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Casper Essential Mattress Review

On a budget, but don’t wanna scrimp on comfort? Then you may want to consider the Casper Essential, an all-foam mattress built with coziness — and affordability — in mind.

Though the Essential’s got value on its side, I won’t know if it’s a worthy buy until I put it to the test, analyzing its construction and feel to figure out if it might just be the bed of your dreams.

Continue on for my full review of the Casper Essential mattress! Don’t got the time? Then skip on over to my review summary.

Brand Snapshot

Casper arrived on the scene in 2014 and has grown into one of the most popular mattress brands on the market today. How did it pull that off? By developing a diverse product line and marketing the you-know-what out of it. It’s a one-two punch of quality goods and cheeky advertising that’s made Casper such a recognizable — and ubiquitous — brand.

The company now has several different mattresses to its name, two of which I’ll take a look at later on: the Original Casper and the Casper Wave. I’ll also make sure to size up the Essential against some of its biggest competition, namely the Nectar and Tuft & Needle mattresses.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! First, we’ve gotta see what’s cookin’ in the Essential.

Casper Essential
The Casper Essential in the Sleepopolis bedroom

What’s the Casper Essential Made of?

Aside from being the least expensive Casper bed, the Essential is also its most straightforward. Here, you’ll find just three layers of memory foam, poly foam, and high-density poly foam, which come together to create a uniformly supportive vibe.

Cover – The Essential’s cover is made of a hybrid knit weave, so is not only soft to the touch, but also super durable.

Casper Essential Tag
Up close with the cover of the Casper Essential

Comfort – Up top, you’ll find a layer of poly foam. This material has a quick response to pressure, which helps to keep the sleeper positioned on top of the structure. Though you shouldn’t experience too much sinkage into this layer, you’ll likely feel some pleasant comfort as the foam fills in the space at your lower back.

Contour – Below the comfort layer, you’ll find a section of memory foam. Unlike the material above it, this foam has a slow response to pressure, which allows for a bit of sinkage and contouring. Though it’s not quite enough to override the firm bounce of the top layer, it does help to bring some comfort to the shoulders and hips.

Base – Rounding out the construction is a layer of high-density poly foam, which brings some durability and shape to the structure.

Thoughts – Firm, supportive, and bouncy, the Essential could be a great pick for back or stomach sleepers.

Casper Essential Materials
Showing the materials used in the layers of the Casper Essential

How Firm is the Casper Essential?

After taking a peek under the covers, let’s figure out how the Casper Essential feels, starting with firmness.

As with any feel factor, firmness is highly subjective, and could change depending on one’s body weight, size, or shape. To explore the firmness range you’re likely to experience on the Essential, I decided to have three of my coworkers test out the bed with me. We each stretched out on the mattress and assigned it a personal firmness rating, which we then averaged together to land on the score you see below.

Casper Essential Firmness
The Casper Essential is the firmest of the Casper line of mattresses

We were all pretty much in agreement about the firmness of the Casper Essential, arriving an average rating of 7.1. When compared to the industry standard of 6.5 for medium firmness, it’s clear this bed is on the firmer side.

I personally gave the bed a 7.5 as I found its combination of responsive foams to create quite a supportive structure. Though there’s a little bit of give in the top layers, you’re not likely to experience very much sinkage at all, resulting in a more “on top” of the bed feel. Though back, stomach, and combo sleepers might enjoy the mobility this kind of vibe offers, strict side sleepers will probably want to opt for a softer bed, like the Casper Wave.

Are you a side sleeper? Make sure to visit my Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers page!

Casper Essential Mattress
Casper Essential Mattress

A streamlined, balanced feel makes the Casper Essential fabulous for a wide range of sleepers!

How Well Does the Casper Essential Relieve Pressure?

Another important component of a bed’s feel is pressure relief, or how well it’s able to alleviate tension at sensitive spots like the shoulders, hips, and lower back.

Though I could describe the ways in which the Essential did (or didn’t) do that for me, I thought it’d be a lot more useful to show you. To do that, I stretched out on a pressure map and created a colored graphic of my body interacting with the bed in real time. Blue indicates areas of low pressure whereas red, well… that’s the danger zone.

Casper Essential Pressure Map
Pressure map test results for the Casper Essential

Back – As I rolled onto my back, I could feel the top layers of foam filling in the space at my lumbar region for some satisfying pressure relief. Though there was a little bit of give, I felt decidedly on top of the structure, which made changing positions a breeze.

Casper Essential Back
Back sleeping on the Casper Essential

Side – The comfort I experienced on my back didn’t translate to my side, as I felt my shoulders and hips digging into the structure. As I mentioned in the firmness section, strict side sleepers are going to want to look for something softer to better support these sensitive spots.

Stomach – Of the three positions, I enjoyed sleeping on my stomach the most. Granted, I’m a stomach sleeper by nature, but I’ve gotta say that the firm support of the Essential made prone snoozing a dream. Why? The firmness helped to keep my spine in a neutral, healthy alignment, all the way from my hips to my shoulders.

Casper Essential Stomach
I like the firm feel of the Casper Essential for stomach sleepers

Casper Essential vs

Now that we’ve got a pretty good sense of what’s going on in the Essential, let’s see how it compares to some of its biggest competitors on the mattress scene: the Nectar and Tuft & Needle mattresses.

Nectar

  • Like the Essential, the Nectar is a relatively affordable, all-foam bed.
  • However, it relies more heavily on memory foam than the Essential does, resulting in a supremely soft structure with plenty of body contouring and sinkage.
  • Therefore, it would probably be best-suited for side sleepers in search of deep pressure relief.
  • Pricewise, the Nectar is just slightly less expensive than the Essential, starting at $399.
  • Learn more at my full Nectar mattress review.

Tuft & Needle

  • As with the Essential and the Nectar, the T&N mattress is also an all-foam, value buy.
  • And it has an even more streamlined construction than the Essential, with just two layers.
  • Though you might think this would make for a soft bed, the T&N is actually quite firm, that I’d recommend for back and stomach sleepers.
  • It’s also the least expensive of the three mattresses listed here, starting at $350.
  • Get the full scoop at my Tuft & Needle mattress review.

On a budget? Check out my guide to the Best Mattresses for the Money in 2019!

FAQ

Q: Is Casper Mattress Good for Kids? A: The Casper Essential is a great pick for kids! It’s got a firm, supportive feel that should help soothe growing pains and keep young sleepers positioned squarely on top of the bed.

But the Essential doesn’t just face stiff competition from other brands… it also has to contend with its Casper mattress siblings. Below, I’ll size it up against two of those beds: the Original Casper and the Casper Wave.

Casper

  • This mattress is basically a beefed up version of the Essential, featuring a four-layered, balanced foam approach and medium firm feel.
  • It also has a special layer of Zoned Support, making it an even more tempting offering for combo sleepers who need to feel comfortable no matter the position.
  • Starting at $595, the original Casper is just slightly more expensive than the Essential.
  • Read my Casper mattress review.

Casper Wave

  • The Casper Wave is Casper’s luxury mattress and is built with five plush foam layers.
  • This gentle combo makes it well-suited for those in need of deep pressure relief, particularly strict side sleepers.
  • It’s also the most expensive Casper bed, coming in at $2,295 for a Queen.
  • For more, check out my full Casper Wave review.

Wanna learn more about the Casper line of mattresses? Check out my comparison of all three, all-foam Casper beds.

FAQ

Q: Which is Better, Foam or Spring mattress? A: Depends on how you sleep! If you’re after deep pressure relief at the shoulders and hips, go with foam. If you like a little bounce and want something more traditional, stick with an innerspring mattress.

Is the Casper Essential Right for Me?

Well that’s about it for this review, y’all! We’ve gone over the Casper Essential’s construction, chatted about its feel, and even compared it to some of its biggest competition, but the question remains: Is it right for you? Unfortunately, I can’t tell you that, but I can leave you with some final thoughts to help you make your decision.

Casper Essential Mattress
Casper Essential Mattress

A streamlined, balanced feel makes the Casper Essential fabulous for a wide range of sleepers!

Casper Essential Recommendations

  • One of my favorite things about the Essential is its price point — you get a ton of bang for your buck here!
  • As far as types of sleepers are concerned, I’d recommend this bed for back and stomach sleepers, who will likely enjoy its firm support.

Casper Essential Complaints

  • Though the firm support could do wonders for back and stomach sleepers, it’s not likely to work for side sleepers who need a softer structure for pressure relief at the shoulders and hips.
  • With that mind, if you’re after more of a plush feel, I’d recommend checking out another mattress, like the Casper Wave.

FAQ

Q: Can I put a Casper Mattress on a Box Spring? A: Definitely, it just depends on the kind of bed frame you like. If it’s got slats, you can place the Casper right on top of them. If it doesn’t, stick it on a box spring.

Other Casper Products

Check out our reviews of other Casper products:

Basic Information

  • Trial – 100 Night
  • Warranty – 10 Year
  • Shipping – Free and Compressed

How Much Does the Casper Essential Cost

SizeDimensionsWeightPrice
Twin38” x 75" x 11"40 lbs$395
Twin XL38” x 80” x 11"42 lbs$445
Full53” x 75" x 11"56 lbs$545
Queen60” x 80” x 11"68 lbs$595
King76” x 80” x 11"84 lbs$795
California King72” x 84” x 11"84 lbs$795
Casper Essential Side
Side sleepers may prefer the zoned support of the Casper Original
  • Materials
  • Comfort
  • Support
  • Value
  • Cooling
  • Edge Support
  • Sex
  • Smell
  • Company
  • Refunds
  • Trial
  • Warranty
4.5

Summary

The Casper Essential mattress is an 11” deep, all-foam model from popular bed-in-a-box company Casper. It has a general medium firmness with a mixed foam feel, trending just slightly firmer than most fully memory foam mattress. This is Casper’s most budget-friendly option and could be a great value for consumers looking for a medium firm, all-foam option.

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Logan Block
Logan is the content director of Sleepopolis, which means he not only reviews new mattresses every week, but also curates all the comparisons, best of pages, and video guides on the site. He takes a straightforward, honest approach to his reviews and endeavors to give viewers an objective look at each new product he tries out. Logan has perfected his method by personally testing over 200 different mattresses, so he’s not only able to discern the overall vibe of a specific bed, but to contextualize its feel within the bed-in-a-box market as a whole. When he’s not hopping on a new bed or working with our editorial team to whip up an engaging sleep education guide, you can find him reading books on world history, walking his dog Pepper, or searching for the best cheeseburger in New York City.
Logan Block

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