As one of the biggest names in the bed in a box market, Casper has long been known for their flagship mattress that carries the company’s name. Casper has recently begun to offer new models that may appeal to those looking for a different feel.
The first new model Casper released was the Wave, which has a luxury feel to it. In this review I take a look at Casper’s newest mattress, The Essential, which has a more streamlined design and comes in at a lower price than their other models. Interested to see if the Casper Essential meets your needs? Read on to find out!
The Casper Essential is an all foam mattress made of three layers totaling 8.5 inches in height. Casper aimed to make the Essential a more efficient design than their flagship mattress, however they did use some design elements from their signature model.
Cover – The Essential has a knit cover made of 100% polyester. It has a durable feel to it while being thin enough that it doesn’t interfere with the feel of the foam layers of the mattress.
Comfort – The top layer of the Casper Essential is made of a 2 inch soft layer of foam that allows you to sink into the mattress for pressure relief. This foam has a pretty quick response to pressure, which means that you won’t feel stuck when trying to adjust your position on the mattress. I found this material to be pretty breathable, which helps with temperature regulation and cooling.
Pressure Relief – Below the comfort layer is a 1 inch memory foam layer that will allow the sleeper to sink in a bit further for pressure relief. By placing the memory foam beneath the comfort layer, Casper defends against the trapping of body heat, which memory foam can sometimes be known for.
Base – The foundation of the Casper Essential is made of a High Density Poly Foam which acts to support the layers above it as well as provide some deep compression support to the sleeper. This is a firm material that gives the Essential its shape and lends durability to the structure as a whole.
As I first press into the Essential I find it pretty easy to sink in, as the comfort layer is pretty soft, however when I remove my hand that layer responds quickly and snaps back into place. As I add a bit more pressure I begin to interact with the memory foam layer and can start to feel a bit of contouring to my hand.
Everyone will feel the firmness of a mattress a bit differently because of differences in body type and weight. Instead of just giving my opinion on the firmness of the Essential I brought in three other testers to give their opinion as well. This will give you a better sense of the firmness range you can expect.
The average rating from the four testers came in at just over 6/10 on the firmness scale. This rating puts the Casper Essential in the medium firmness range, meaning it offered a pretty even mix of support and pressure relief.
I personally gave the Essential a 6/10 on the firmness scale which lands directly between the ratings I have previously given to the Casper Wave and their signature model. I should note that while the firmness levels of all three mattresses are pretty close, they have distinctly different feels. The Casper Essential has more of a no frills feel than their signature model, while the Wave has a luxurious feel to it.
In order to give you a better idea of how the mattress will feel I placed a pressure map on top of the mattress and lied on my back, side, and stomach. This will provide a visual representation of where you may feel pressure points while lying on a Casper Essential. On the image below pressure will be represented from blue (low pressure) to red (high pressure).
My weight was pretty evenly distributed while I was lying on my back, and the pressure map results above show low pressure across my entire body. In this position I didn’t compress the foam layers of the mattress much and felt like I was mostly interacting with the comfort layer of poly foam. I could feel the comfort layer fill in the space beneath my lower back in this position, which is nice support for back sleepers.
When I rolled onto my side there was a bit of an increase in pressure at the hips, shown in the results above. This is pretty common for side sleepers as there is an increase in weight concentration in this position, causing side sleepers to press further into the mattress. This pressing into the mattress is why it’s nice to have the memory foam layer below the comfort layer as the material is known for its ability to relieve pressure.
Once I moved onto my stomach my weight was again evenly distributed. The pressure map results show that there was low pressure across my entire body, which is especially important at the chest in this position as low pressure means the sleeper can breathe easier. Another important aspect for stomach sleepers is how far into a mattress their hips sink and I found that the Essential did a good job of keeping my hips up and my back in a good position.
If you share your mattress with a partner, you will want to know what it will feel like when someone gets into and out of bed or tosses and turns during the night. This next test is helpful in showing the intensity of motion that is detectable from one side of the mattress to the other.
For this test I dropped a 10 lb steel ball from heights of 4 inches, 8 inches, and 12 inches and measured the disturbance on the other side of the mattress. This should be pretty intuitive: the bigger the lines, the bigger the disturbance.
The 4 inch drop simulates someone changing position on the other side of the bed, and this result is in range with other foam mattresses I have performed this test on. The 8 and 12 inch drops are meant to represent what it feels like when someone gets or jumps into bed and the disturbance is, as expected, a bit higher for both. Overall I would say these results are in line with what I have seen from other foam mattresses.
It is important for many people buying a mattress to know if they will feel like they sit on top of or sink into a mattress. In order to get a good idea of how someone might sink into the Casper Essential, I placed four balls of varying sizes and densities (a 6 lb medicine ball, a 10 lb steel ball, a 50 lb medicine ball, and a 100 lb medicine ball) on the mattress and measured how much they compressed the surface.
These different sizes, weights, and densities help to imitate different body parts or different sized people to show how far into a mattress you may sink.
- 6 lb medicine ball: 1.5 inches of sinkage.
- 10 lb steel ball: 2.5 inches of sinkage.
- 50 lb medicine ball: 4.5 inches of sinkage.
- 100 lb medicine ball: 6 inches of sinkage.
If you share your bed or roll around at night and need to use the entire surface area of the mattress, then you’ll want to take a look at edge support. Foam mattresses sometimes struggle to live up to the edge support of traditional innerspring mattresses, so I wanted to have a look at how I would feel near the side of the Casper Essential.
While lying on my back near the side of the Essential, it felt consistent with what I felt at the center of the mattress. As I moved really close to the edge I compressed the softer foams a bit, which is to be expected. The image above shows how the Essential contoured to my body and filled in the space beneath my lower back.
By rolling onto my side I increased the pressure on the mattress with the higher weight concentration over a lower surface area. This image above shows how the Essential allowed my hips and shoulders to sink in in this position to keep my back aligned.
By sitting up on the side of the Essential I concentrate my weight over a single section of the edge of the mattress. This increase in weight does compress the edge a bit, but this amount of sinkage is common among foam mattresses with soft comfort layers.
- Sleep Trial: The is a 100 night trial period for the Casper Essential.
- Warranty: Casper offers a 10 year warranty for this mattress.
- Shipping: The Casper Essential ships for free and will arrive compressed in a box.
Size and Pricing Information
|Twin||39” x 75" x 8.5"||44 lbs||$350|
|Twin XL||39” x 80” x 8.5"||46 lbs||$400|
|Full||54” x 75" x 8.5"||56 lbs||$500|
|Queen||60” x 80” x 8.5"||63 lbs||$600|
|King||76” x 80” x 8.5"||76 lbs||$725|
|California King||72” x 84” x 8.5"||76 lbs||$725|
Now that we’ve put the Essential to the test it’s time to discuss who I think would be a good fit with it.
- Looking for Value – Casper is one of the biggest names in the online mattress world and has used their experience to produce this streamlined mattress. The Essential uses quality materials and provides a solid mix of support and comfort at a value price.
- Sleeps Cool – The comfort layer of the mattress is pretty breathable to help with temperature regulation and cooling. By placing the breathable foam over the memory foam layer of the mattress, the construction of the Essential helps to stop it from trapping too much body heat, which memory foam has a reputation of doing.
- Pressure Relief Without Feeling Stuck – The advantage of placing the memory foam layer beneath a responsive foam comfort layer is that you get great pressure relief but can adjust your position without feeling stuck.