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Casper Essential Mattress Review (2019 Update)

Last updated on July 9, 2019

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Casper's mattress lineup includes the Essential, their inexpensive entry-level product. But does bare-bones pricing mean bare-bones comfort? Read our in-depth review to find out.

Short on time? Click here to jump down to the review summary

Note: Casper began its business by offering just one model. The line has now expanded to three products. This review is for the Casper Essential mattress, the entry-level and least expensive product in the line.

Also see our Casper mattress review, their original model, as well as our review of the Casper Wave mattress, their more full featured and higher priced mattress. You can also compare all 3 Casper mattresses side-by-side on the company's website.

If you’d prefer to watch rather than read, check out our full Casper Essential mattress video review above.

Table of Contents

Nobody does more in-depth mattress reviews than GoodBed — which means there's a lot of information here! Use the links in this table of contents to quickly jump to the sections of this review that interest you most.

Summary Overview of GoodBed's findings and conclusions about this product
Materials & Construction Mattress Type, Layers, Cover
Comfort & Feel Ratings Softness, Cushioning Depth, Memory Feel, Bounce
Back Support + Pressure Relief Ratings By sleeper weight and sleep position
Feature Ratings Motion Isolation, Temperature, Edge Support, Ease of Repositioning, Natural vs Chemicals, Adjustable Base Compatibility
Price, Value & Longevity Cost, Discounts, Durability, Overall Value
Other Factors to Consider Delivery, Returns, Warranty
Bottom Line Who is the best/worst match for this mattress?

Summary: Casper Essential Mattress

The Casper Essential mattress is a 8.5”, three-layer mattress made mainly of polyurethane foam, with a 1.5” memory foam layer in the middle. Even though there’s a small amount of memory foam in this bed, we’d still class the Essential as a foam bed, as it shares few characteristics with beds that use more memory foam. The mattress is enclosed in a robust, knit zippered cover.

In our evaluations, we found the Casper Essential mattress to have a Medium softness level, with very good support and spinal alignment for back sleepers in particular and for lighter weight stomach sleepers.

Motion isolation was a highlight in our standard tests, with both a 16-lb. bowling ball as well as our 200-lb. tester. Part of that owes to this bed’s quick-responding foam, with almost none of that slow-responding/melting feeling you would get with a memory foam bed. That makes the Essential a good choice for those who are concerned about feeling a partner’s movements on the other side of the bed.

Perhaps the most notable characteristic of the Casper Essential bed is its price: $595 for a queen size foam mattress. That’s substantially lower than most online-only mattresses, including the next-level-up Casper bed. Even so, this is a no-frills mattress without any particular innovation or features intended to improve edge support or temperature control, and the mattress is covered with a basic knit wrapper, not the plush and cushioned pillowy covers we’ve been seeing on competing, though higher priced mattresses.

If you are looking for the basics, are of average size and weight, or perhaps need a mattress for a spare bedroom, we think the Casper Essential is a very good value.

Another plus: a Casper store locator can direct you to showrooms where you can try a Casper bed in person but pay the same competitive prices you’ll find online. And Essential mattresses are also available in select Target stores (no demo model available, but you can buy boxed-up beds there). For those uncomfortable with buying online, this is a reassuring bonus. And Casper does offer the same generous 100-night trial period with free returns for all of its mattresses, regardless of price.

Among our concerns: We did wonder whether heavier individuals (200+ lbs.) might sink through the comfort layers of the Essential mattress on bottom out on the firmer support layers, especially in side and stomach sleeping positions. And we had concerns about very light side sleepers who might not compress the foam enough to allow should to sink enough into the bed to create ideal spinal alignment.  

If you like to sit on the edge of the bed, or tend to lie right on the edge, edge support with the Casper Essential mattress isn’t good; our tester felt himself sliding off the bed while laying right on the edge. If you have kids or pets that tend to force you to the very edge of the mattress, some other models may work out better for you than the Casper Essential.  

Free shipping is included, but delivery and setup in your bedroom is a $150 option.

Note that the Casper mattress does not come with a box spring (nor does it need one).  You can place the Casper Essential mattress atop the support of your choice, including a separately purchased box support, a bed frame, platform bed, or adjustable bed frame. Casper sells its own bed frame and adjustable frame, but neither are required purchases.  

We also judged construction to be of good quality and would not have serious concerns about longevity with the Casper Essential, and the mattress is backed by a 10-year warranty.

Read on for our detailed report and be sure to check out the video to see this mattress in action as we put it through our tests.

GoodBed's Take – Who is the Best Match for a Casper Essential Mattress?

BEST if you:

  • Are primarily a back sleeper
  • Are a stomach sleeper of average body weight
  • Don't want to feel a partner's movements
  • Prioritize budget over innovation
  • Want the option to try in a store before buying

NOT IDEAL if you:

  • Prefer a slow, melting into the bed feeling
  • Weigh more than about 250 lbs.
  • Tend to sleep right on the edge of your mattress
  • Prefer a mattress with some bounce
  • Like a thick, tall mattress



Comfort & Feel

These are the "preference-based characteristics" of a mattress. No classification here is better or worse – they are strictly a matter of your personal preference.

Softness Level
(1=Least Soft, 9=Most Soft)
5 Medium
Cushioning Depth
(1=Shallowest, 9=Deepest)
5 Medium
Response Rate
(1=Slowest, 9=Fastest)
9 Very quick recovery

 

Back Support (by Sleeper Type)

No mattress will provide equally good spinal alignment (a.k.a., back support) for every sleeper. Here's what to expect in terms of spinal alignment on this mattress – by sleeper weight and sleep position.

Weight Range Back Sleepers Side Sleepers Stomach Sleepers
Lighter <150 lb 9 6 9
Average 150 to 200 lb 9 7 9
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 9 7 7
Heavier >250 lb 9 6 7

 

Pressure Relief (by Sleeper Type)

The pressure relief offered by a mattress – especially important for side sleepers – will vary based on a sleeper's weight and body shape. Here's how we size up the pressure relief capabilities of this mattress.

Weight Range Typical Curves Extra Curvy
Lighter <150 lb 7 6
Average 150 to 200 lb 7 6
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 7 6
Heavier >250 lb 6 6

 

Other Features

These are the "priority-based characteristics" of a mattress. Ratings here indicate where this mattress has strengths or weaknesses – however the importance of these features will depend entirely on your personal priorities.

Motion Isolation 10 Exceptional
Stays 'Cool' 8 Good among foam mattress
Edge Support 4 Below average
Ease of Repositioning 8 Very good
Green Features 5 Does have some safety certifications
Adjustable Base Compatibility 8 Good compatibility
Overall Value 9 Excellent value

 

Key Facts

Mattress Type

All-Foam

Price (Queen)

$595

Delivery

Free delivery

Return Policy

100-day trial, full refund and pickup

Warranty

10-years. Indentation coverage: 1"+

Country of Manufacture

United States

Thickness

8.5 inches

Weight (Queen)

63 pounds


Materials & Construction

Overall, we classify The Casper Essential Mattress as an "All Foam" construction type. It is 8.5″ thick and comprised of 3 layers (listed below from top to bottom):
  •  2" polyurethane foam comfort layer
  • 1.5" memory foam comfort layer
  • 4.5" polyurethane foam support layer

The Casper Essential mattress is made of three foam layers stacked and glued together. The top and bottom two layers are polyurethane foam, while a 1.5” layer of memory foam is sandwiched in between. Although it does contain that small amount of memory foam, we would consider the Casper Essential bed more of a foam bed, rather than a memory foam mattress.

The top two layers comprise the softer comfort layers, while the support layer below is substantially firmer. Casper does not disclose the density data on the foams used in the Essential mattress, unfortunately. (That is data we can use to estimate longevity.)

The bed is wrapped in a fire sock of undisclosed material. (Fire retardant measures are required by law; some companies use chemical treatments while others use a physical wrapper of some kind.)

 

Cover

The three layers of the Casper Essential mattress are wrapped in a very sturdy feeling knit cover. The fabric reminded us of the type of fabric you’d see used as furniture upholstery fabric. It’s fairly flat and not cushioned/quilted. The cover itself is a charcoal gray, in contrast to the white or off-white covers used by most manufacturers (and Casper itself for its other mattresses).

 

Comfort & Feel

There are three aspects that make up our assessment of comfort and feel. We call these "preference-based characteristics" because no rating here is better or worse – rather, the attributes that are most desirable to you will be determined solely by your personal preferences. We apply the same classification standards to each mattress so you can more easily compare apples to apples.

Softness ( what’s this )

Keep in mind that what mattress companies call “firm” or “soft” is a purely a preference. All mattresses should be supportive and promote healthy spinal alignment. Whether a mattress is fluffy and squishy (what mattress companies call soft or plush), or less so (what companies call firm), is purely down to your personal needs and preferences.

We classify the Casper Essential mattress as a Medium in terms of softness overall, maybe just a hair to the side of softer. But overall, we this this mattress is right in the middle in terms of softness.

Not sure what softness is best for you? Take our Mattress Match Quiz and find out.

Softness Level
(1=Least Soft, 9=Most Soft)
5 Medium

 

Cushioning Depth ( what’s this )

This refers to how deeply you sink into the mattress or feel cradled or hugged, versus a feeling of floating on top of the bed. We found the Casper Essential again to be a middle-of-the-road mattress between the two poles, right between that hugged/deep sinking feeling versus a firmer floating on top feeling.

Cushioning Depth
(1=Shallowest, 9=Deepest)
5 Medium cushioning

 

Responsiveness ( what’s this )

Responsiveness refers to how quickly a mattress recovers its shape after being compressed. When you press your hand into the mattress, for instance, then remove it, does it take several seconds for the mattress to return to flat, or does it recover immediately?

While the Casper Essential mattress does have a small 1.5” layer of memory foam (the middle layer of the mattress), it really does not have any of that recognizable memory-foam feel, where after compressed, your handprint takes several seconds to disappear (some describe this as a slow, melting into the mattress feeling). Rather, the Casper

Essential mattress is fairly quick responding, meaning it recovers its shape quickly; not as quickly as an innerspring mattress might do, but definitely a lot faster than what you’d associate with memory foam.

This also translates to bounce, which we test in two ways. When we dropped our 16-lb. bowling ball in the mattress, it bounced only once, and when our tester dropped his weight onto the bed, he did not bounce at all. This mattress has practically no bounce at all, which comes into play when we discuss motion isolation further below.

Response Rate
(1=Slowest, 9=Fastest)
9 Quick recovery

 

Back Support & Pressure Relief

The two things that you should always be sure to get from your mattress are spinal alignment (commonly thought of as "back support") and pressure relief. Unfortunately, no mattress will deliver these two things equally well for all sleepers. In particular, spinal alignment and pressure relief capabilities will vary across sleepers with different weights, body shapes, and sleep positions. To help you determine how this mattress will perform for you, we break down our spinal alignment and pressure relief assessments by sleeper type.

In our evaluations, the Casper Essential mattresses afforded very good support for back sleepers, and would be suitable for a broad range and sizes of people.

The Essential was also good in our view for stomach sleepers with the possible exception of those heavier than about 200 pounds, where we questioned whether hips might sink into the mattress’s soft top layers too deeply, bottoming out on the firmer support layer.

We thought it might be find for certain, but not all, side sleepers. Our 200 lb. tester felt that his shoulders didn’t sink quite deeply enough into the mattress as he would have liked, and he felt the mattress’s support layer sort of pushing back up. He didn’t experience any pain, but he found he didn’t enjoy being in that position and was happy to roll back to his back. In the end, we thought the Essential could be fine for those who occasionally sleep on their sides.

 

Spinal Alignment

The key to good back support is maintaining proper spinal alignment while you sleep. This means that the mattress should hold your spine in roughly the same position it's in when you're standing. The ability of a given mattress to do this will generally depend on your weight, sleep position, and body shape.

Here is how we break down the spinal alignment of the Casper Essential mattress:

Weight Range Back Sleepers Side Sleepers Stomach Sleepers
Lighter <150 lb 9 6 9
Average 150 to 200 lb 9 7 9
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 9 7 7
Heavier >250 lb 9 6 7

 

Back Sleepers:

While our tester was on his back, he noted that his hips sank just deeply enough to create a perfectly neutral spine, while he felt the mattress did a nice job reaching up to support his lumbar curve. We feel that sleepers of a wide weight range would have a similar experience in this position on the Casper Essential.

Side Sleepers:

Side sleeping was not ideal for our tester. While he didn’t experience any pain or pressure, his shoulders did not sink as deeply as he would have liked, and he was happy to roll back onto his back. While the Essential may be just fine for those who only sleep occasionally on their sides, we especially question how supported heavier and also lighter might be; heavier people might sink through to the firm support layer of the mattress while lighter people might not compress the foam layers much at all.

Stomach Sleepers:

Achieving good spinal alignment for stomach sleepers can often be trickier as the hips can tend to sink down too far with some mattresses, but our tester felt well supported in this position as well despite the softness of the mattress’s rather soft comfort layers. We did question whether those over 200 lbs. would experience the same support, and suspect that hips might sink far enough to create less than ideal spinal alignment. But for most who sleep on their stomachs, we felt the Casper Essential would be a good match.

 

Pressure Relief

When a mattress pushes back against your body with too much force in a concentrated area, the result can be pain, soreness, loss of circulation, excessive tossing, and other problems. In general, such "pressure points" are of greatest concern for side sleepers, since that's the position in which your body's weight is distributed over the smallest surface area. To find the right mattress for your needs, keep in mind that the pressure-relieving capabilities of any given mattress will vary depending on the sleeper. Factors like your weight and body shape (e.g., broader shoulders and/or hips) will determine how far you sink into the mattress, and the pressure relief offered by that mattress will vary widely at different depths.

Here's how we sized up the pressure relief of the Casper Essential mattress:

Weight Range Typical Curves Extra Curvy
Lighter <150 lb 7 6
Average 150 to 200 lb 7 6
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 7 6
Heavier >250 lb 6 6

 

Overall, we found the pressure relief offered by the Casper Essential mattress to be okay, and if you don’t typically have issues with shoulder or joint pain, it might be fine for you. Our tester didn’t experience any specific issues, but he just wasn’t very comfortable in this position. We especially questioned how this mattress would perform for those who are broad-shouldered and might sink down to hit the firm support layer, possibly creating hot spots.  

Other Features

Beyond the preference-based characteristics of comfort and feel, and the body matching for spinal alignment and pressure relief, a mattress will have a number of other attributes that can make it a better or worse choice for you. We call these "priority-based characteristics" because they are areas in which a mattress can be better or worse, but that will have differing amounts of importance to each sleeper. So, determining how much importance to give to these features will be entirely a matter of your own personal priorities. As always, we apply the same ratings standards to each mattress so you can more easily compare apples to apples.

 

Motion Isolation (what’s this)

With a bowling pin standing upright on the Casper Essential bed, we tested motion isolation by dropping a 16-lb. bowling ball on it, as well as the whole weight of our 200-lb. tester.

In both tests, the pin barely moved at all. For that reason, we felt that the Casper Essential bed would be an excellent choice for couples who don’t want to feel their partner getting in and out of bed.

Motion Isolation Rating
10 /10 Exceptional

 

Temperature ( what’s this )

For most people, we do not think the Casper Essential mattress will feel hot. Memory foam has a reputation for heat retention, but in the case of the Casper Essential bed, the memory foam layer is not on top. The top two layers are softer and less dense foams, which should have better airflow than denser materials.  

If overheating in bed is an issue for you, and you’ve experienced it with other mattresses, other models have features that are specifically intended to address this, but for most we don’t expect heat to be a problem with the Casper Essential bed.

Stays 'Cool' Rating
8 /10 Good among foam beds

 

Edge Support ( what’s this )

Foam mattresses aren’t typically very supportive along the very edge of the mattress—important if you like to sit on the edge of the bed, or if you tend to sleep along the edge. And that’s the case with the Casper Essential. When sitting on the side, our tester sank through virtually the whole mattress.

When laying on the very edge of the mattress, our tester felt his body starting to lean and slip off the edge pretty much right away. He felt less stable in this position than he did with the original Casper bed. Overall, if you spend a lot of your sleep time right on the edge of the bed, we feel other mattresses will be a better fit.

Edge Support Rating
4 /10 Below average

 

Ease of Repositioning ( what’s this )

If you tend to move and change positions a lot over the course of a night, ease of repositioning will be a priority for you. Our tester did experience any big problems, though it was not quite as easy to move around as on the original Casper bed, which is firmer. But overall, we don’t expect most people will have big problems here.

Repositioning Rating
8 /10 Very good

 

Green Features ( what’s this )

For mattress shoppers concerned with the use of natural materials, sustainable manufacturing practices or the like, we offer our subjective evaluation of any efforts taken by the company to make the mattress more green, healthy, or safe. 

In the case of the Casper Essential mattress, the company makes no claims about the use of natural materials, however all of the foams used are certified to the CertiPUR-US standard, which verifies that a material has low VOC off-gassing as well as a lack of chemicals and other substances regulated by the CPSC. The fire sock and cover are certified to the OEKO-TEX standard, which asserts similar minimal off-gassing.

We also gave the Essential mattress a ‘sniff test’ and while it certainly had what we would term a ‘new mattress smell’ we barely noticed a smell. Read more about the company's safety certifications.

Green Rating
5 /10 Not 'natural' but does have some safety certifications

 

Adjustable Base Compatibility ( what’s this )

We did not specifically test the Casper Essential on an adjustable bed frame. However, the Casper company sells its own adjustable base that can be used with the Casper Essential bed, and using an adjustable base (either Casper’s or another brand’s) will not void the warranty. For that reason, we assume that adjustable base compatibility should be adequate. Find the Casper adjustable frame here.

Adjustable Base Use Rating
8 /10 Very compatible

 

Price, Value & Longevity

What Does the Casper Essential Cost?

Prices shown are list prices. Remember that GoodBed keeps our site current with the best available discounts on all online mattresses, many of which are exclusive discounts for our readers. This is an exclusive discount for our readers, and also provides GoodBed with a small referral fee from Casper that supports our work at no cost to you.

Size Dimensions Mattress Std. Foundation / Adj. Base GoodBed Discount
Twin 39" x 75" x 8.5" $395 $250 / NA NA
Twin XL 39" x 80" x 8.5"  $445 $250 / $1,095 NA
Full (Double) 54" x 75" x 8.5" $545 $250 / NA NA
Queen 60" x 80" x 8.5" $595 $300 / $1,199 NA
King 76" x 80" x 8.5" $795 $400 / $1,995 NA
California King 72" x 84" x 8.5" $795 $400 / $1,995 NA

 

What Are You Getting?

The Casper is an 8.5-inch mattress made of polyurethane foam with, along with a 1.5” layer of memory foam sandwiched as the middle layer. As one of the very first, if not THE first companies selling mattresses online, Casper has a long track record in the industry. And recognizing that some people still prefer to try a mattress in person, Casper has opened a number of showrooms (currently in 11 states) where you can try out and buy their products. And if you’re not comfortable buying online, you can find Essential mattress for sale in select Target stores (there’s not demo model, but you can buy boxed-up versions).

 

How Long Will the Casper Essential Mattress Last?

When it comes to estimating the comfort lifespan of a mattress, we tend to use foam density as our best, albeit imperfect, predictor of how long a foam will retain its shape and resiliency. However, Casper does not disclose the densities of the foam used in the Essentials bed. Most of the foams used are standard polyurethane foam, which generally has a good track record for longevity. If we have any concerns, it’s the 1.5” layer of memory foam. Overall, though, we do believe the Essential bed will hold up well.

 

Overall Value

When Casper first hit the market, it was a revolutionary sales model and product, and at the time was an exceptional value, especially compared to traditional mattress stores. These days, the competition has caught up, and policies pioneered by Casper, like free delivery and returns, are now standard practice.

As the company’s entry level product, the Casper Essential is just that, and in our view, for many people, this may be all the mattress they need. The Essential might also be an option for a guest room. While the free delivery is only to your door, this mattress weighs substantially less than some competing mattresses. The queen size Essential bed weighs 63 pounds and would be substantially easier to manage than some of the 100+ pound mattresses we’ve reviewed.

If you prefer to try a mattress in a store, Casper showrooms offer just that (currently in 11 states), allowing you to test in person but still take advantage of online pricing. Lastly, for those uncomfortable with buying online, Casper Essential mattresses are available in select Target stores. See the store locator on the Casper website for locations. Casper also offers a 10% discount to active duty and retired military and their spouses.

Taking all that together, from a performance standpoint, we’ve reviewed other beds that in our view were better for certain types of sleeping, had better pressure relief, had more plush covers, better edge support, etc. But those mattresses cost several hundred dollars more. For a wide range of people of average size, the Casper Essential is a low-hassle, basic mattress that comes with a top-notch 100-night trial period and solid 10-year warranty.

Value Rating
9/10 Excellent value


Other Factors to Consider

Delivery

  • Free delivery 

Casper includes free delivery, which is not particularly unusual among its competitors. For an extra $150, you can opt for their VIP or ‘white glove’ service, where the mattress is delivered and set up in the room where you want it, and the packaging is removed. They'll also remove your old bedding if you like.

 

Returns

  • 100-day trial period
  • Full refund, including free pickup within trial period

Casper offers buyers a 100-day trial period. Returns within the trial period are free, with pickup of the mattress included. Returned mattresses will be donated to charity, according to the company. Read more about the Casper return policy on their website.

 

Warranty

  • Warranty Length: 10 years
  • Cover is warranted for 2 years
  • Indentation Coverage: 1” and above

One of the biggest, if not THE biggest complaints about any mattress from consumers regards body impressions—the inability of a mattress to spring back, eventually creating a low spot/sinkhole in the mattress. As such, mattress warranties all contain a term defining how big a sag or ‘body impression’ (measured when no one is on the mattress) is considered a defect, and thus covered under the warranty. The industry standard for mattresses is generally between ¾” and 1.5”. Casper has chosen to cover indentations that meet or exceed 1” for all of its mattresses. Practically speaking, that means any softening or sagging would need to be at least that deep before the warranty would offer you protection.

Botton Line: Is the Casper Essential Mattress Right for You?

The Casper Essential is a basic but solid foam mattress that will be suitable for a wide range of people, based on our evaluation. Here’s who we think the mattress is best for, based on our tests.

BEST if you:

  • Are primarily a back sleeper
  • Are a stomach sleeper of average body weight
  • Don't want to feel a partner's movements
  • Prioritize budget over innovation
  • Want the option to try in a store before buying

NOT IDEAL if you:

  • Prefer a slow, melting into the bed feeling
  • Weigh more than about 250 lbs.
  • Tend to sleep right on the edge of your mattress
  • Prefer a mattress with some bounce
  • Like a thick, tall mattress


Is the Casper Essential bed right for you? Take our Mattress Match Quiz to find mattresses that fit your needs, based on your preferences and price range.

Looking for more on the Casper Essential mattress? Visit Casper.com.

 

Final Note

If you like the in-depth assessments and objective expertise that we provide in our reviews, please support our work by coming back to GoodBed.com whenever you're ready to buy – purchasing through most links on this site provides us with a small referral fee that supports our work at no cost to you.


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