Whether or not you’ve ever tried one, the odds are good that you’ve heard of Casper mattresses. The company burst onto the scene in 2014 and famously sold $1 million worth of mattresses within its first month. Casper has gone on to enjoy exponential growth by undercutting conventional mattress companies and by aggressively marketing its mattresses online. While it wasn’t the first “bed in a box” brand, Casper is easily the most recognizable name in the United States. In fact, Casper’s success is viewed as the main reason big-name mattress companies have begun to launch their own bed in a box brands.
Until recently, I had never tried a Casper mattress. I do like memory foam mattresses and I’ve been sleeping on them for more than a year now, but I had always heard mixed things about Casper’s mattresses. Then earlier this year I started seeing the company’s new premium memory foam mattress, the Casper Wave, pop up all over the place. The more I read the more intrigued I was because the mattress seemed to be almost universally loved in all of the customer reviews I was seeing. I had to know if the Wave could possibly live up to the hype, so Casper recently sent me one to review so I could find out for myself.
For me, the true appeal of bed in a box brands has always been price. High-quality innerspring mattresses have become so expensive in recent years that the market was ripe for disruption. There are beds out there that cost more than cars. No, seriously.
Meanwhile, a decent “bed in a box” mattress can cost as little as a few hundred dollars. It might seem crazy that a good mattress can be that inexpensive, and some people dismiss them because of their low prices. What’s more, there are very few places where you can actually try a mattress from a bed in a box brand before buying it, so that’s another big barrier. Of course, that’s why most of these companies have adopted worry-free guarantees that let you return a mattress within 100 days for a full refund. Since bed in a box brands offer free shipping, these guarantees mean consumers literally have nothing to lose by trying a new mattress.
Of note, no, you don’t actually “return” your used mattress so it can be resold. Instead, mattress companies team up with charities and junk removal companies to have mattresses picked up. Refunds are then issued once the consumer provides proof that their mattress has been removed.
I’ve tried memory foam and hybrid mattresses from four different bed in a box brands in the past, and the first thing I noticed about the Casper Wave is how different it is from every other mattress. In a word, it’s very… floppy. Most memory foam mattresses have several layers of rigid foam at the bottom and then softer foam layers toward the top. This rigid foam offers support, but it also helps the mattress keep its shape when you move it.
The Casper Wave, on the other hand, flops around and doesn’t hold its shape at all when you move it. This made me very skeptical right from the get-go. How could such a floppy mattress offer any support at all? I left it out and let it off-gas for a couple of days, thinking the entire time that I was going to sink into it and hate it once I tried it.
There are two important things you need to know about the Casper Wave’s floppiness. First, it makes moving the mattress extremely difficult. I have a king mattress that weighs 141 lbs. That doesn’t seem terribly heavy on paper, but it might as well be 1,000 lbs when you’re trying to move an amorphous blob of a mattress. In my case I had to move it down a flight of stairs into a basement-level guest room where it was being tested, and it was beyond difficult. I think I sweat more in the 10 minutes it took me to move the mattress than I do during an hour-long workout.
The second thing you need to know about the Casper Wave’s floppiness is that it’s very deceptive. Despite the fact that Casper’s mattresses don’t have the same rigid foam layers as other mattresses, I still found the Wave to be just as supportive as the best mattresses I’ve tried from rival brands.
In one way, the bendable characteristics of the Wave mattress turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I put the Wave on a base called the DreamCloud Adjustable Bed Frame. It’s a very cool new frame that features a wireless remote to control the two-zone motorized platform. You can lift up the head area of the bed to watch TV and the foot of the bed raises and lowers as well, but the bottom stays flat while the platform bends at the knees like so:
You can of course also raise both sections at the same time and fine-tune the bed to the exact position you want.
There’s even two zones of vibrating massage, and a special “zero gravity” setting that DreamCloud describes as follows: “The Zero Gravity position supports your body in the position astronauts use in space to provide alignment and support. Feel like you are floating as the innovative whisper-quiet mechanism glides into place, allowing you to relax effortlessly.”
Why is all this relevant? Because the Casper Wave is so floppy, it bends and flexes easily as the DreamCloud Adjustable Frame moves. So if you have an adjustable frame like this one, rest assured that the Wave will be a good fit.
As you can see in the graphic above, the Wave uses five different types of foam. The base foam is a support layer with contouring, and the remaining four layers combine to create a sleep surface that is supple and yet still supportive. You don’t sink into the mattress, as is the case with some memory foam. It still feels nice and soft though, and the outer case has an incredible silky texture. In fact, the top layer of “weightless flo foam” and the mattress case are so velvety that I almost didn’t want to put sheets on the Wave.
There’s no question that the mattress is comfortable, but comfort doesn’t always translate to quality sleep. In this case, it does. I tracked my sleep and found that I tossed and turned less on the Wave than I do on other mattresses, and I also found it to be far cooler than other memory foam mattresses I’ve tried. The buildup of heat is a big concern people have with memory foam, but I can assure you that it’s not an issue here. I didn’t sweat at all, and I woke up nice and energized.
The only downside I found during my tests was that I did wake up on a few mornings with slight pain in my lower back. This is an issue I personally have with all mattresses, memory foam and innerspring alike. I have yet to find a mattress that completely eliminates the issue. I wake up with brief lower back pain at least once a week with the mattress I sleep on regularly, and on the Wave it has been slightly more frequent. If you have the same issue, it’s something to keep in mind.
The Wave is the most expensive mattress Casper has ever made. A Twin starts at over $1,000, a Queen costs $1,995, and the King and California King sizes top out at $2,395. It’s a premium mattress with a premium price tag. The King size memory foam mattress I sleep on regularly retails for $2,299, so Casper’s Wave is priced in line with other high-end options out there. It’s as good or better than any other premium bed in a box I’ve ever tried though, and it’s worth every penny.