Casper is the friendly mattress that arrives in a box

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Casper beds come in boxes. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Casper mattresses come in boxes. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
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LAS VEGAS — Bryan Chaffin loves his Casper mattress.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015 “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.

The Casper mattress arrives in a big cardboard box, which is much easier to get into the bedroom than a traditional mattress. Photo: Bryan Chaffin/@Geektells: http://instagram.com/geektells
The Casper mattress arrives in a big cardboard box, which is much easier to get into the bedroom than a traditional mattress. Photo: Bryan Chaffin/@Geektells

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.