Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Innovation - A Bed in a Box From Casper

Recently we contemplated buying a new mattress. There are seemingly infinite ways to approach this problem, from the Hasten's bed store down the street in River North where they cost $16,000 and up to the re-occurring commercials on TV promising custom or cheap mattresses. This article in the NY Times "How to Find the Best Mattress in the Maze of Choices" explained how customers were confused in a world of competing brands, technologies, and choices.

Since we are not excited about spending all day shopping and fond of trying something new, we took up one of their recommendations which was a company called Casper which can be found at Casper was well recommended on their site and sold only ONE product (reminiscent of Apple's strategy) which was a mattress that they ship to you in a box. The only difference was the size of the mattress to fit your bed frame. We bought a queen size mattress with shipping and tax included for $850.

This model is highly innovative. Instead of investing in a vast distribution system and retail footprint, moving to an online only (they have one store in NYC) model with a much smaller shipping plan (it is much easier to ship this box than a standard mattress), they should be able to beat the hell out of competitors assuming that they have a superior product.

Here is what the box looked like when it arrived. It was a relatively small box and I could put it on a cart and manhandle it around the condo.

After we opened the box, we found the mattress looking like this, all rolled up and waiting for the big reveal.

And this is what the mattress looked like after we followed their instructions for opening the bag in which it was tightly wound. I guess I should have made a movie of it. After a few seconds it formed out into the natural state of being a regular mattress.

How did the mattress perform? We like it. It has a built in cover top with memory so that you sink into it a bit. We used to have a very hard mattress and when one person (me) flipped around in bed the other person flew around like what occurs when you jump on a trampoline and send a little kid flying the opposite way. We are very happy with the purchase, the price, and the way we received the mattress.

One caveat - when we unrolled the mattress it STUNK with a sort of chemical smell. I have smelled this before with new mattress or mattress toppers. We left it out on the floor next to our existing bed for a week or so and opened the window as often as we could so that it would air out. After it all aired out, everything was fine.

Cross posted at Chicago Boyz


Gerry from Valpo said...

After a few weeks let me know how you like it. We are in the market for a new foam mattress as well. One considered is a Tempurpedic but they are so pricey.

creakypavillion said...

The site is very annoying (that Google+, Win8, iphone interface!) and non-informative. There is no honest description of construction, instead - lots of marketing noise. Also, somewhere among their bragging there is a mention of choices in their product, but the extent of those seems to be just size.
No choice in degree of firmness, no fabric choices, no color choices.
I don't see how their price of almost a thousand is justified.

They claim the latex on top makes for cooling sensation - what is your experience with that?

creakypavillion said...

oh yeah, and another thing - there is no information about a warranty.

how many years a customer might expect his investment of $850+tax will last? .....crickets.

no info about repairs, maintenance, stain cleaning, cost of returns, chemical off-gassing, allergy health concerns: nothing.

Carl from Chicago said...

Gerry we like it a lot, other than the "stink" that took a week or so to air out. Maybe put it in your garage or something until that is done.

It is definitely not hard like a spring mattress. It is more cushioned and you "divot" the mattress a bit. If you move about your spouse won't feel it - that is a huge plus in my household.

I will send you a coupon by email I think we get $50 off and you do too if we refer someone.

Carl from Chicago said...

Forgot to respond about the cooling effect. Didn't notice that.

I didn't try out the warranty but they say that if you don't like it they will send someone to pick up the mattress and give you your $$ back.

Can't vouch for that though I didn't send it back, fortunately.

creakypavillion said...

OK, so at least two of their claims are not confirmed: of material choices and of cooling top layer.

Warranty is how many years manufacturer guarantees the quality/original condition of their product will last. Normally mattresses has 5 to 25 yrs warranty, with 10yrs on average.

"If you don't like it they will send someone to pick it up" is a return policy, not a warranty. And the policy, according to their site, is for "100 nights".

So, does it mean after ~3 months the mattress is unreturnable, unrefundable and probably unusable?


Ethan Wright said...
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