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Since 2014, Casper has been a pioneer in the bed-in-a-box marketplace, and they’ve never been content to let the dust settle. They are constantly updating and refining their products based on feedback from their customers. The newest addition to the company’s product line has been streamlined for the entry-level space.
Our in-depth review of the Casper Essential will take you through all three layers and score the mattress based on criteria such as support, comfort, and value.
Casper’s original model is extremely versatile and they also have a luxury offering, Casper Wave. To see how the Essential stacks up, read on for our full analysis, or skip ahead for our overall impressions and score.
You will love Casper Essential if you:
- Are on a tight budget – You do not have to sacrifice good sleep even if you’re on a budget. The Essential was engineered using Casper’s research to offer excellent value and a competitive price.
- A combination sleeper – The bed’s medium firmness level works well for most sleep positions. You will sleep more on top of the mattress than in it, so combination sleepers who change position in the night should not have difficulty adjusting because they are less likely to feel stuck.
- Sleep hot but love foam – All the mattress’ foams are open-celled, which means they promote airflow and help reduce heat retention. Foams that tend to trap more heat were strategically placed deeper in the mattress to isolate heat away from the body. Sleeping closer to the top will also expose more of your body’s surface area to the air, which will help with temperature regulation.
You might not like Casper Essential if you:
- Are significantly heavier – The mattress will work well for most sleepers, but those who are significantly heavier may want to upgrade to the original Casper or the Casper Wave, which will be slightly thicker and have additional support features.
Construction (Materials & Quality)
The Casper Essential is compressed and shipped to your doorstep in a box. Like most all-foam designs, it requires a foundation with direct support, so look for slatted frames with slats no more than 4 inches apart, metal frames, platforms, or adjustable bases. Foundations designed specifically for the Essential can be found on Casper’s website.
The zip-off cover consists of upholstery-grade polyester knit that is designed to be extremely durable and removable, making for easy spot cleaning. Its attractive charcoal color stands out in a sea of beds and is great when it comes to accidentally spilling something that could stain.
The mattress contains 3 distinct layers of foam and stands 8.5 inches high.
- The first layer is a 2-inch layer Fusion foam that promotes airflow for temperature regulation, as well as quick-response and bounce that helps with ease of repositioning.
- The second layer is 1.5 inches of visco-elastic memory foam that contours to the body and provides pressure relief. Because memory foam tends to retain heat, this layer’s position deeper than the surface helps to ensure that heat is not trapped right next to the body.
- The third layer is 4.5 inches of conventional polyurethane foam that forms the bed’s foundation and stability and provides support for the sleeper.
Firmness (Support & Feel)
We scored the Essential at a 6 out of 10 on our firmness scale, with 10 being the firmest, falling right in the medium range. Mattresses in this range tend to accommodate a wide variety of people (like the top-rated brands) because of their compatibility with most of the different sleeping positions.
The cover is durable, soft to the touch, and thin enough to allow you to sink into the foams at the top. That said, you will not have that deep hug experience associated with some memory beds. Instead, you will experience a gentle cradle and sleep more on top of this bed than in it, and you shouldn’t feel stuck.
Lying down, you will feel your weight pass through the soft, quick-responding Fusion foam first and meet the visco-elastic memory foam beneath that will contour to your body’s curves. The heavier parts of your body will be supported by the denser base layer.
Because the memory materials are placed further from the surface and the foams are all open-cell for airflow, the mattress does a good job of regulating temperature.
It has a small amount of bounce. The bounce and quick-responding foam help with repositioning. Combination sleepers should not have trouble moving around on this mattress and will be comfortable in most positions.
Most back sleepers should feel the soft Fusion foam mold into their lumbar area while the supportive base layer keeps the spine in alignment.
Most side sleepers should feel the pressure-relieving visco-elastic second layer mold to their shoulders and hips, which will remove the stress placed on these parts in this position.
Most stomach sleepers should not feel their hips fall too low or their spine dip out of alignment when lying down.
The Essential is an extremely affordable product that will accommodate a lot of people’s needs and preferences. However, because this mattress is slightly thinner than other Casper models, significantly heavier people may risk bottoming out and may look to upgrade their mattress to the original or Wave models that will provide more substantial supportive features.
All-foam constructions really excel in the motion transfer category because of their ability to absorb and isolate movement and keep it from traveling to other parts of the bed. The Essential is not an exception here. Those who share their sleeping space and worry that their tossing and turning will disturb their partner will appreciate its motion isolation.
Edge support isn’t important for every sleeper but may be something to consider if you share your bed and need to occupy more of its surface space. As an all-foam bed-in-a-box, the Essential performs as expected.
Sitting on the edge with weight more heavily concentrated in one area, you will notice some deep compression. Lying down with your weight evenly distributed, you will feel the support of the dense base layer and shouldn’t feel like you’re going to tip out.
- Trial Period – You may try the mattress for 100 nights risk-free and return it for a full refund if you aren’t completely satisfied.
- Warranty – The Essential is backed by a 10-year warranty.
- Shipping – Shipping is free in the USA and Canada, as well as returns. Additional fees may apply for HI, AK, and certain areas of Canada. Terms and conditions apply.
- Optional White Glove Delivery – The company can arrange for your mattress to be professionally delivered for an additional fee.
- CertiPUR-US® Certified – The foams are CertiPUR-US® certified, which means meet or exceed certain environmental standards for chemicals and emissions.
- OEKO-TEX® Certified – The cover’s top and the bed’s fire sock are OEKO-TEX® certified, which means the textiles and production process used were monitored for the presence of harmful chemicals.
- Adjustable Base Compatible
- Designed and Assembled in the USA
|Size||Dimensions (inches)||Price (w/o discount)|
|Twin||39” x 75” x 8.5”||$350|
|Twin XL||39” x 80” x 8.5”||$400|
|Full||54” x 75” x 8.5”||$500|
|Queen||60” x 80” x 8.5”||$600|
|King||76” x 80” x 8.5”||$725|
|Cali King||72” x 84” x 8.5”||$725|
The Casper Essential is a budget-friendly new addition from an award-winning bed-in-a-box pioneer.
The comfort of Casper is now available for every budget.
Author: Jill Thompson
I've been self-employed for almost four years and I would not change it for anything! I believe that anyone can achieve their goals with the right attitude and determination.
I'm an avid traveler (25+ countries and counting) that loves to meet new people doing amazing things.
When I'm not researching for the Sleep Advisor, you can find me reading, running, traveling, golfing, or meditating.
I wish you the very best on your journey!