Back in 2002, I stepped into the hallowed halls of a certain mattress retailer named Sit ‘n’ Sleep. It was time for me to graduate from the janky futon I had been sleeping on for the past year and learn what it meant to be an adult. Or at least, a young adult. I was a year out of college, and I was growing up.
That was the first time I had ever purchased a mattress, and I didn’t even know what I was looking for. Did I want something firm? Soft? What did my back need? As far as I could tell, I’d never met a bed I didn’t like. I could sleep on cots, futons, air mattresses, whatever. Just give me something springy with some blankets. Well, I walked out of that Sit ‘n’ Sleep with a $400 queen that seemed to promise a lifetime of beautiful slumber and unwavering happiness.
That never happened.
To my dismay, I discovered that I had purchased a miserable mattress that was entirely too firm for my delicate body. I hated the thing almost immediately, but for some reason I held out hope that I just needed to “break it in.” All I needed was some determination and grit!
Fast forward to summer 2015, and here I was, a 36-year-old man still sleeping on his Fisher-Price My First Mattress™. It had been thirteen years since I had welcomed this dreadful beast into my life, and never did it EVER break in. It would not be broken! The only thing broken was my spirit. Something needed to be done.
And then I learned about Casper Mattresses.
For those who don’t know, I co-host a successful podcast called “Watch What Crappens” [pauses for scattered clapping], and at some point this summer, we took on a new advertiser: Casper Mattresses. I had never heard of the things, and I thought it was odd that a podcast about Bravo TV would attract a mattress company, but hey, sponsors are sponsors, and I’ll take whoever wants to advertise with us (hint hint).
The Casper boasted three layers of foam, including a proprietary latex blend that kept sleepers from sinking totally into their mattress (looking at you, Tempurpedic). No springs, no fumes, and no NONSENSE.
Well, just a few days after taking on this sponsor, my friend Michelle coincidentally alerted me that she had just heard of this newfangled Casper Mattress, and she wanted to visit a showroom. “Casper Mattress! They’re our sponsor!” I replied, with way more enthusiasm than it probably deserved. Now would probably be a good time to mention that Casper is no longer a sponsor of the podcast (but we still do have a promo code with them, which I’ll share at the end of this post).
At this point, I really needed to know what the heck was going on with this mysterious Casper brand. I believe I did all of one Google search, and that was enough for the robots to determine that I should then be served Casper advertisements for the rest of the summer. Every website I went on: CASPER MATTRESS ADS. They were all over my computer, and I don’t know if I was brainwashed or merely curious, but by August, I found myself in a swanky Casper showroom up in the storied Hollywood Hills. Old chum IndianJones and his fiancé joined me on this mission, informing me that our friend Malibu Judie was also considering a Casper (something that made the mattress all the more appealing to me for some reason).
Anyway, up in the showroom, the three of us hopped on a king-sized Casper to test it out for twenty minutes. I’d say we spent about thirty seconds taking in the experience and the rest of the time taking selfies with the in-room photo setup:
Here we are, happily partaking in branded content.
Assuming glam-sleep positions.
Truly not making good use of this time with the mattress.
Nevertheless, after our photo session at the showroom, I left quite happy with the Casper experience. It was comfortable and foamy, and compared to my old mattress, it was like upgrading from standard definition to HD. I was pretty much sold on the Casper at that point, but I still needed to do some due diligence. I wasn’t going to simply get into bed with the first mattress I came across.
In the ensuing weeks, I did plenty of Googling and traded notes and enthusiastic texts with Malibu Judie. Both of us had read about a competing foam brand — the Leesa Mattress — that admittedly seemed to be eking out Casper on all the mattress blogs (and yes, there are such things). Now I was really in a quandary. The Leesa Mattress had better reviews, but it was more expensive and there were no showrooms for me to do a test run. What was a man to do? Well, I pestered everyone I could about the situation: friends, podcast listeners, strangers. Finally, I found a post on reddit where the CEO of Leesa Mattresses announced that the Casper was less firm than his own brand. Well, that’s all the info I needed. I was no longer going to consign myself to a life of firm mattressing. Team Casper!
A few days later, I got drunk at a club, came home, and bought a Casper Mattress at 2 AM.
Four days after that, the Casper Mattress arrived.
Here it is! Yes — in that box. The perks of an all foam mattress.
The Casper found a temporary home in my living room while I figured out what the hell to do with this:
Blech. My crappy, old mattress. Thank goodness for Craigslist. I gave this beast away for free and not a tear was shed as it went out the door.
After a day of waiting, i was finally able to bust open the box. Part of me feared that the mattress would just explode out like the alien in, well, Alien. Proud to announce that I survived this stage of the process.
We have successfully removed the burrito. Time to roll it into the bedroom.
Ready for unfurling. First step: slice open the opaque layer of plastic keeping this scroll together.
In a few seconds, the mattress gasps to life as air rushes into the rapidly inflating foam. I’m oddly entranced by the quiet “pssssssshhhhh” I hear.
When I cut away the second layer of plastic, the mattress really expands, and the “pssssh” becomes a more intense “PSSSHHHHHHH.”
After about three minutes, the mattress has decompressed fully, but I still don’t hop on board for another hour, at the advice of some blogger.
In the meantime, macro shot!
And so the Casper era begins.
Well, people, it’s time to set the record straight.
I LOVE MY CASPER MATTRESS.
it’s perfect for me. To be fair, the Casper isn’t some marshmallow that I just sink into every night. It’s pretty firm (and that’s a good thing because I still do need support — spinal and emotional). However, there’s a soft, squishy layer that welcomes me into the mattress in a way that my previous piece of garbage never did. It makes all the difference. Now when I wake up in the morning, it’s not because my body can no longer deal with the mattress. It’s because, well, a lot of reasons. But the mattress isn’t one of them.
More importantly, as a side sleeper, I can report that my hips and shoulders and arms never ache, and I have woken up every morning feeling totally rested. Almost too rested. I am so foggy when I wake up that it may actually be a problem.
Fun fact: I started this blog post late last night, went to sleep, and now I’m writing from WITHIN THE CASPER MATTRESS. And yes, I am VERY foggy at the moment.
Also good to know: the mattress sleeps cool, as advertised. Apparently a major issue with foam mattresses is that they run hot — something to do with body heat getting trapped in the foam. Well, there’s enough buoyancy in the Casper to keep airflow at an appropriate level, and as someone who sleeps hot, this is an important feature.
The point is that I’m very happy with the purchase, at least after the first ten days. For anyone who’s interested in their own friendly Casper Mattress, feel free to save $50 by using this promo code: http://casper.com/crappens
Do you have a Casper or a Leesa? Let me know what you think in the comments!