A streamlined option for price-sensitive customers, the Essential is the ‘cheap and cheerful’ offering from the Casper mattress company. With it, they seek to find the sweet spot between value and comfort, while still providing the quality materials and durability that the company is known for.
The Essential offers three layers of foam, including a layer of pressure relieving memory foam. All foams feature open-cell technology to ensure they sleep cool and the layers are wrapped in a removable, zip-off cover, for easy cleaning.
But just how comfy is the Casper Essential and will it work for your body type and sleep position? And, at just $795 USD for a queen, is it good value or is the Essential just too good to be true?
What we liked:
- Great value – Yes, there are cheaper all-foam mattresses out there, but they don’t usually have three layers of quality foam or a memory foam layer.
- A solid name – The Casper mattress company is one of the first e-commerce mattress companies out there and they’ve had some time to iron out the kinks. We like the security behind an established name brand in the industry.
- Sleeps cool – With open cell foam technology, the Essential is getting good feedback from customers who normally sleep hot.
- Medium firmness – means it might be a good pick for those who want a memory foam mattress but don’t like that “stuck” feeling
What we didn’t like:
- Less support – Because the Casper Essential has fewer layers than the signature Casper mattress and the Casper Wave, it might not be suitable for all customers, particularly heavier customers who might sink through the top layers too easily.
- Edge sinkage – The Casper Essential mattress has a level of edge sinkage that is on par with most other all-foam mattresses but it might not be suitable for bigger customers used to an innerspring bed who like to sleep close to the edge.
4 reasons to pick the Casper Essential mattress
Value – For the price, the Casper Essential offers an affordable, high-quality bed with premium materials and a decent sleep trial period and warranty.
Suits most types of sleepers – Because the Casper Essential rates as a medium to medium-firm bed, it should suit most types of sleepers, no matter their sleep position. It has a good level of firmness to provide spinal alignment without being hard.
Good sleep trial period – The Casper company offers its usual 100-night sleep trial period with the Casper Essential mattress, giving you ample time to try it out to see if it works for you.
Great pressure relief – Because of its inner memory foam layer and top comfort layer the Casper Essential provides a good amount of pressure relief for most types of sleepers, including those who normally have pain at the pressure points in the hips or shoulders.
Firmness & Support
As we previously mentioned, the Casper Essential comes in at about a 6 to a 7 on a 10-point scale of firmness, with 10 being the firmest. This means it has layers that allow you to sink in just a bit, providing great pressure relief, but you won’t sink in too much. There’s also a good level of push back and responsiveness.
Compared with their signature model, though, the overall feel of the Casper Essential is a bit simpler, as it has fewer layers and it feels less plush than their high-end Casper Wave, which has a luxurious feel. It offers a good level of support for customers of average weight in all sleep positions, especially for stomach and back sleepers, who will find their weight distributed evenly, with a good level of spinal alignment.
Side sleepers will find the upper comfort layer provides a decent level of cushioning on the hips and shoulders and the second layer of memory foam allows for a bit of sinkage, but not too much. Some heavier customers are reporting that the Casper Essential doesn’t have enough support for their weight and that they sink into the upper layers too much, which causes back pain due to lack of spinal alignment.
This is not something completely unusual for all-foam beds and customers over 250 pounds may feel happier with a bed with more core support, like a hybrid mattress or an innerspring bed.
Conversely, customers who are smaller who like a plush bed with cushy, thick memory foam layers may find this bed too firm and they may not be able to get the advantages of the middle memory foam layer if they are too light to sink into it.
Overall, though, customers are reporting a very high level of satisfaction and many customers who have undergone surgery or have complicated back problems are reporting waking up pain-free and refreshed. As well, the 100-night sleep trial period makes it easy to give the bed a try before you make a long-term commitment.
The Casper Essential mattress is comprised of three layers, for a total height of 8.5 inches. This gives it one less layer than the signature Casper mattress and two layers less than the luxe Casper Wave. It starts with a base layer of high-density poly foam, which acts as the stable foundation for the bed and provides durability and support during deep compression.
Above this is a middle layer of pressure relieving memory foam. At just 1 inch, this layer is not enough that you’ll sink in and get “stuck” but enough to give a bit of sinkage and cushioning and it makes a good transition layer between the base and upper layer of the bed.
One nice feature of the Casper Essential mattress is that the memory foam layer is under the comfort layer, whereas many other beds put the memory foam layer at the top. This makes for a cooler sleep, since memory foam can trap body heat and be uncomfortable for hot sleepers.
The top layer is a 2-inch-thick layer of comfort foam, providing extra cushioning and a quick level of responsiveness. It’s cooling and comfortable and it returns to its shape quickly and even gives a bit of bounce.
The three layers come together for a superior level of support and spinal alignment for a mattress in its price range and its all wrapped up in a removable, zip-off, upholstery-grade cover, for easy cleaning.
Temperature Regulation & Motion Isolation
All three levels of the Casper Essential bed are designed with breathability in mind. The foams are made with open-cell technology, meaning they circulate air better and draw away heat better than regular, cheaper foams. By putting the layer of memory foam beneath the top comfort layer, the bed has a nice level of sinkage without trapping heat.
The top layer has a good level of responsiveness, so that it is cushioning but has more of a ‘floating on top’ feel than a wraparound hug, which can make hot sleepers uncomfortable. Customers are reporting that, overall, the Essential is living up to its hype and does, in fact, sleep cool for most people.
In terms of motion isolation, it’s also getting good feedback, which is common for an all-foam mattress. Customers are reporting that they don’t feel their partner moving around or getting in and out of the bed, making it a great choice for those who sleep with someone else.
The base layer of foam is thick enough to provide a good level of stability and it serves as the first level of defence against vibrations from tossing and turning. Memory foam is also known for being good at absorbing movement so, overall, this bed is a good option if you are a light sleeper.
While this bed does have a certain amount of sinkage common to an all-foam bed, putting the memory foam layer in the middle means it has a nice level of responsiveness. The material in the top layer of the mattress has a nice amount of bounce and returns to its shape quickly.
The memory foam layer is only 1 inch thick, so, although it provides a great level of cushioning, it returns to its shape quickly.
Eco-friendliness & Smell
Despite its decent price point, the Casper Essential is made of high-quality foams that are all CertiPUR-US certified, meaning they do not contain any ozone-depleting chemicals and are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to have Low VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds. This means that the foams don’t harm indoor air quality.
That being said, some customers do report a bit of off-gassing when they first set up the mattress. This is common with foam mattresses that are shipped compressed in a box and it usually clears up within a few days after unboxing and letting it air out a bit. A few reviews suggested that this off-gassing lasted quite a while, even up to two weeks, but, overall, most people said that it disappeared after a few days.
While the Casper Essential is not the cheapest foam mattress on the market, for a multi-layer, quality foam bed with a decent warranty and sleep trial period, it’s certainly one of the best. At $795 USD for the Queen-sized model, the Essential is almost $400 USD less than the Casper signature model and has just one less layer.
It’s also $1,300 USD less than the Casper Wave, making it a great option for those who want all the reliability, durability and quality of a Casper mattress, but can’t afford the splurge of the other models.
Sleep Trial Period & Warranty
The Casper Essential mattress has a warranty and a sleep trial period that is on par with the other Casper offerings, with a 10-year limited warranty. The warranty has some small print that includes disqualification if you use an improper base or storage, so make sure you read it fully, to make sure you’ll be covered.
One nice point is that the warranty covers any permanent indentation greater than 1 inch that hasn’t resulted from improper use or wrong foundation, so you can be sure that it is protected against any major sagging for 10 years.
The Essential also features a decent sleep trial period, at 100 nights. This gives you a nice amount of time to see if it is the bed for you, long-term, and will give you the chance to sleep in multiple sleep positions, in different temperatures. If you don’t love the bed after 100 nights, they’ll pick it up and refund you, in full.
Does the Casper Essential bed sleep hot? Overwhelmingly, most customers report that the Casper Essential is a good option for those who sleep hot. While it doesn’t have any cooling gel in its upper layers, it is made with foams that are designed to be cooling, so it’s suitable for most.
How do you clean the Casper Essential cover? The Casper Essential cover zips off, for easy cleaning. They don’t recommend that you machine wash it, though, as it may shrink. Instead, remove the cover and spot clean it with a mild detergent in cold water. Casper, of course, also sells their own mattress protector if you’d like some added protection and, if need be, you can even purchase a replacement cover through their website. Do note that mattress protectors can make your mattress less breathable.
Where is the Casper Essential made? The Casper beds are fully engineered and made in the USA.
What foundation does Casper recommend for their mattresses? Naturally, the Casper company recommends their own proprietary base and a metal bed frame. However, if you don’t want to purchase a new foundation, they recommend making sure that your Casper bed has a flat surface, or that you place a board between your frame and the mattress to ensure it is evenly supported.
As they say, the firmer and the flatter, the better. If you are using slatted base, they recommend that the slats be thick enough to support the full weight of the mattress.
I’m over 300 pounds. Will the Casper Essential be a good bed for me? Maybe not. Some heavier customers have problems with thinner, all-foam mattresses as their weight compresses the top layers of the bed and they sink into the foundation layer. This means that your spine isn’t aligned and you won’t get the full benefits of the comfort layers.
You may find that a hybrid or innerspring mattress provides more support than a foam bed, as strong coils provide a better foundation for heavier people. If you’re looking for an all foam bed, look for one that has a very thick base layer and a higher overall profile with multiple firmer inner layers and supportive but cushioning upper layers.
If you’re looking for a high-quality, durable, all-foam mattress with a good history and a large amount of decent reviews, you might want to consider the Casper Essential. More affordable than the Casper signature mattress, you get all the benefits of their high-quality layers without having to spend too much.
With its decent sleep trial period and warranty, there isn’t a lot of risk in giving it a try. Similar memory foam beds with cooling properties are more expensive and they don’t necessarily have the history of the Casper company. Since this bed suits most customers of average weight in all sleep positions, it could be the new bed for you if you want to transition to a foam mattress without breaking the bank.