The last few years have been huge for the mattress industry. Dozens of new online mattress companies are dramatically re-shaping the industry. With so many direct-to-consumer online options available, it’s as difficult to know the best option online as it is in store.
Two of the most talked about options are the Casper and the Leesa mattresses. Both are hybrid foam mattresses, both have a great price point, and both have exceptional reviews. But there are important differences, so with that said, let’s dive in!
Unfortunately, Casper does not provide any coupons for Sleepopolis readers.
Both Casper Sleep and Leesa Sleep mattresses are hybrid foam mattresses, meaning they use a combination of different types of foam to achieve optimal comfort and support. These hybrid configurations are designed to offer great support from memory foam and great comfort / cooling, provided by a layer of responsive poly foam (Casper) or Avena foam (Leesa)
Casper uses 4 foam layers. The top layer is a 1.5 inches of responsive poly foam. The second layer is 1.5 inches of memory foam. The third layer is 1.5 inches of poly foam. The bottom layer is a 5 inch support foam base. The top layer of responsive poly foam is ideal for providing airflow and cooling throughout the night, which helps prevent the mattress from sleeping too hot.
Over the last 2 years I’ve slept on my Casper for several months (the original version, their re-designed version that launched May, 2016, and their most recent re-design iteration, which launched in January, 2017) and never once felt like it slept any hotter than my old innerspring mattress.
Leesa uses 3 foam layers. The top layer is 2 inches of Avena foam. Avena foam is a latex foam alternative and is designed to feel and sleep just like latex. However, Avena foam does provide better durability than latex foam (read our Avena vs. Latex comparison post here for more information). The middle layer is 2 inches of memory foam. The bottom layer is a 6 inch support foam base.
Leesa’s top layer of Avena foam is designed to provide cooling and airflow throughout the night, so the mattress doesn’t “sleep hot”. Like the Casper, I never felt like the Leesa slept hot in the slightest.
After sleeping several months on each mattress I would say both mattresses are fairly comparable in terms of cooling. I haven’t felt like they are any hotter than any innerspring mattress I’ve slept on.
The cover is not something that’s particularly important from a pure functionality standpoint. However, it does make a nice statement about each mattress.
Casper has gone with a more subtle and traditional cover. The cover is 2-tone, with all white on top and grey around the sides. The white piece of fabric on top is fairly thin, stretchy, and porous. It is made from 100% polyester. This makes it great from a breathability and cooling perspective, however, I would caution you to be careful when moving the mattress.
Leesa’s cover utilizes a bold 4-bar design. The cover is cut from a single piece of fabric and woven together so it’s almost entirely seamless. Leesa’s cover is quite unique compared to most other mattresses in its seamless construction and design. I really love the aesthetic design of the Leesa.
GUIDE: How to choose a mattress
Leesa’s cover is built from a blend of polyester and Lycra. Polyester provides great durability, protecting the Leesa from damage, while the Lycra provides exceptional stretch, moisture wicking, and breathability. Lycra is the same material they use to make performance sports clothing. While thinner than more traditional quilted covers, the Leesa cover is a good bit thicker than Casper. The added thickness gives it a more durable feel and gives me more confidence in its long term durability.
In terms of firmness, both mattresses are very similar. Casper comes in at a 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale.
Leesa also comes in at a 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale.
Heavier sleepers may find the Casper closer to a 6.5-7 firmness, as the thinner comfort layers allow heavier sleepers to sink more into the firmer 1.5″ poly foam and base poly foam layers.
According to Casper’s chat support reps, the Casper is recommended for sleepers up to 250 pounds (per side) and couples up to 450 pounds. According to Leesa’s chat support reps, the Leesa is recommended for sleepers up to 300 pounds and couples up to 600 pounds.
Sinkage, Feel, & Motion Transfer
Lying Down Position
While lying down on the Casper and Leesa, I found that the Casper’s sinkage on my back and side were a god bit deeper. During my tests and measurements I found about 2.5” – 3.5”of sinkage on the Casper and 2.0” – 2.25” on the Leesa. These differences in sinkage also lead to a different feel overall.
With the Casper I feel a more pronounced “hug” of the foams around my entire body. This gives it a more enveloped feel when lying down. Casper’s website sums it up like this:
“The Casper’s sleep surface is universally comfortable — it contours to your body to relieve pressure while retaining a healthy bounce and cool temperature.
The Leesa has a soft neutral feel also, but there’s less of a dramatic “hug” around your body and a little bit more of a push back. That said, I would not describe the Leesa as a firm mattress in any capacity. It’s still on the medium scale, but you don’t get as much of an enveloped feel as with the Casper. Leesa’s website sums it up as follows:
“Leesa mattresses are designed to be great for all body shapes and all types of sleepers. Three layers of high quality foam deliver cooling bounce, contouring pressure relief and core support for amazing sleep…”
Sitting on the Edge
Edge support for foam mattresses is always a difficult task to accomplish. In a normal sitting position, where my weight was a little further back on the Casper mattress I experienced around 4″ of sinkage. On the Leesa, I saw 3.5″ of sinkage in the same sitting position.
Sitting on the absolute edge the Casper wasn’t able to support the weight and I experienced a dramatic collapse of 5″ of sinkage. In this more aggressive sitting position on the Leesa I experienced 4″ of sinkage. I weigh 140 pounds to give you an idea of the pressure on the mattress.
If you watch a lot of TV, have sex, get dressed in the morning, or otherwise use the edge of the mattress quite a bit, this is something to keep in mind. Overall, the Leesa is about average in terms of other foam mattresses and Casper is slightly less than average.
My wife, who has a tendency to sleep closer to the edge of the mattress, noted that she felt like the Casper created more of a feeling of “falling off,” especially when she was getting up from the mattress. The Leesa’s firmer edges don’t have quite the same sensation, especially in a normal lying position.
Standing in the Middle
While it is something you would never need to do, I always stand in the middle of the mattress to test the mattress under the most pressure. Standing in the center of the Casper mattress I saw 6.0″ of sinkage. Standing in the center of the Leesa mattress I saw 4.5″ of sinkage.
Sinkage Tests Summarized
- Lying on back – 2.5″ (Casper), 2.0″ (Leesa)
- Lying on side – 3.5″ (Casper), 2.25″ (Leesa)
- Sitting on edge – 4″ (Casper), 3.5″ (Leesa)
- Sitting on absolute edge – 5.0″ (Casper), 4.0″ (Leesa)
- Standing in middle – 6.0″ (Casper), 4.5″ (Leesa)
As with most foam mattresses, motion transfer is extremely minor. My wife and I slept on the Casper and Leesa for several months, at no time during the night have I ever felt her move around, and generally I don’t even feel her get out of bed in the middle of the night. Both mattresses perform similarly with regards to motion transfer.
Both mattresses are about the same in terms of price.
Casper vs. Leesa Side-by-Side Comparison
We’ve talked quite a lot about the softer comparison points (no pun intended) of Casper vs. Leesa, but now it’s time to get down to the bottom line. Below is a complete list of the major comparison points of Casper vs. Leesa.
|Foam Layers||1.5" responsive poly foam, 1.5" memory foam, 1.5" poly foam, 5" support foam||2" Avena foam, 2" memory foam, 6" support foam|
|Cover||2-tone, white and grey, soft and stretchy, 100% polyester (top), polyester / polypropolyne blend (side panels)||4 bar design, one single piece of fabric, poly-lycra blend|
|Firmness||6 out of 10||6 out of 10|
|Motion Transfer||Very minimal||Very minimal|
|Warranty||10 Years||10 Years|
|Trial Period||100 Days||100 Days|
|Shipping||Free, 2-7 days||Free, 4-10 days|
|Returns||They will pick up / dispose||They will pick up / dispose|
Should you buy the Casper or Leesa mattress?
This was a tough question and definitely one of the closest to call reviews I have ever done. After months of sleeping on both of these mattresses I believe the Leesa to be the better mattress.
Why is Leesa the better mattress?
- Better & More Foam – The Leesa uses 4″ of comfort foam compared to only 3″ in the Casper. This means better durability and better deep compression support. Additionally, Leesa uses Avena foam as opposed to Casper’s responsive poly foam. Casper’s May 2016 re-design that added a 1.5″ layer of transition poly foam helped to narrow the gap, but it was not enough of a change, in my opinion.
- The “It” Factor – I don’t always know what “it” is, but Leesa definitely has it. It’s hard to describe the balanced feeling of softness and support you get with the Leesa. I personally love the Leesa mattress. Among all of the mattresses I have tested (over 100 at this point) the Leesa is among a short list of the mattresses my wife and I keep going back to.
- Thicker Cover – Personally, I like the Leesa’s cover design. But placing aesthetics aside, I have found the cover to just better made. Leesa’s cover is a good bit thicker and woven from a single piece of fabric. I like the softness of Casper’s cover, but I am afraid the extra soft fabric + porous nature could be problematic from a durability perspective.
- Firmness – The firmness with the Leesa is a very consistent 6 out of 10 (where 10 is the most firm). I’ve had numerous readers attest to this. However, the Casper seems to have a fluctuating firmness range. My wife and I tend to think it’s a 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale. However, I’ve had heavier sleepers reach out to me (180+ lbs) and say they think it is more like a 6.5-7 out of 10. I believe this is due to the softness of Casper’s top layer combined with their total 3″ layers of specialty foam. This could be resulting in deeper compression and engaging more with Casper’s transition poly foam and poly foam support layers.
- Edge Support – Edge support is always difficult for foam mattresses. Neither the Leesa nor the Casper were necessarily amazing in this area. However, the Leesa holds up a little bit better and does not collapse to the same degree. Additionally, the Leesa does a great job in a normal lying position when close to the edge.
There are numerous other factors that were basically the same, including: support, motion transfer, warranty, trial period, pricing, shipping, and returns.
That said, all things considered, I prefer the Leesa mattress.
Visit Leesa.com for more information on the Leesa.
Visit Casper on Amazon for more information on the Casper.
More Casper & Leesa Mattress Reviews
Still not sure if Leesa or Casper is right for you? Make sure to check out our full standalone reviews of each mattress below: