LAS VEGAS — Bryan Chaffin loves his Casper mattress.
“I don’t even know where to start,” effused the Mac Observer executive vice president. “It’s the most comfortable mattress I’ve ever slept on. It was dead-easy to set up. It’s just incredibly comfortable.”
Chaffin is a satisfied customer of Casper, a New York startup shaking up the tired old mattress industry. Casper is doing everything differently, from the design of its all-foam mattress to the way it sells and ships direct to customers.
Founded last year, the company is already off to a big start. The five co-founders worked in e-commerce, and a roommate was looking for a mattress. His experience was so wretched, the co-founders decided to shake up an industry that hasn’t changed in decades.
“We just saw a huge opportunity to create a much better experience and create a brand that really resonates with people,” said co-founder and CTO Gabriel Flateman here at International CES. (The company was named after the mattress-hunting roommate.)
Casper sells directly to customers rather than through big-box stores. Direct sales make the mattresses cheaper by cutting out the middleman, and there’s none of the hassle of dealing with a mattress sales rep.
Instead, the mattress is sold through a well-designed website. The company sponsors a lot of tech podcasts (including Chaffin’s Mac Observer podcasts, but he paid for the mattress himself). Casper has cleverly targeted the tech community: They’re young, monied and probably haven’t bought a mattress before.
The all-foam mattress arrives in the mail in a big box, which is much easier to get into the house than a traditional mattress. A machine in the company’s factories (all in the USA) folds the mattress down into the box. Even the largest Cal King size fits into the same 42-inch by 21-inch by 22-inch box, which is shipped worldwide for free.
“The biggest problem is getting rid of the old mattress,” said Chaffin.
The construction is a mix of memory foam and latex foam. “Just the right amount of sink, just the right amount of bounce,” said Flateman. Curiously, the memory foam isn’t the top layer, like a mattress topper. Memory foam tends to sink too much and retains heat, which makes the mattress hot, so it’s sandwiched a layer down.
Casper’s mattresses start at $500 for a twin, $850 for a queen and $950 for a King or Cal King. Casper offers a 100-percent risk-free trial with a no-questions-asked return policy. They just ask customers to give the mattress two weeks before returning it.