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 mattresses 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 LITGM

9 thoughts on “Innovation – A Bed in a Box From Casper”

  1. I’d think most people would want to try them out at least for a few seconds before buying…Does this company provide free return shipping if you don’t like it? Even if yes, the logistics of packing it back up & shipping it would be a pain.

    Maybe what they need is a network of very small, demo-only showrooms, with all the actual inventory and shipping done centrally or regionally.

  2. I bought a new mattress last summer which I doubt anyone could ever roll up. It’s a Cal King size and over a foot thick. I had another one like it before but had moved to a smaller place and had it in storage. My daughter got a beautiful king sized bed given to her and her husband and asked if she could have the mattress. I gave it to her about two years ago. Then I moved again to a larger house and wanted the big bed again. That was expensive but there are three of us in that bed, including my large basset hound.

  3. This looks like a good way to buy a mattress, or anything else. They give you easy returns at no extra cost. If you like the product you get it without the hassles of shopping. If you don’t like the product you are hardly worse off than if you hadn’t bought it.

    This also works for Zappos, Amazon and other online retailers. Buy and try, and return with almost no friction if you don’t like it. In behavioral economics terms it’s the inverse of the old-fashioned shop-and-haggle method that is still used by car dealers and, apparently, mattress stores. In the old system inertia works against buying, since you know that the process will be 1) full of hassles and 2) difficult to reverse if you later change your mind. You are also probably more likely to end up dissatisfied no matter what you do. In the new paradigm you are encouraged to buy because you pay almost no cost for changing your mind. In reality the cost of returns is still borne by the customer, but it’s paid up front as part of the purchase price, averaged over all customers, rather than afterwards and only by the customers who change their minds.

  4. I’m stunned at how expensive mattresses have become. I wonder if the govt. includes mattresses in it’s CPI? ;-)…..This looks interesting Carl, you’ve given me something to think about as we are in need of a Cal King….As long as it’s better quality than the garbage that Ikea peddles….

  5. Costco sells a mattress in a box as well, looks very similar but cost only 400 when on sale.. Have two of them, both are great.

  6. I bought a 6″ single mattress that works the same way at Walmart for $100 last month. (Didn’t bother to look to see who manufactured it.) Slept on it myself for four nights in a new apartment, then moved it to the guest room when I got a real queen-sized mattress and boxspring delivered.

  7. I like it a lot. It is a product endorsement from me. It is definitely softer than a typical “springs” mattress.

    The only thing I didn’t like was the stink and it took a while to air out.

  8. Interesting product. Such a personal thing to buy online since everyone likes something different. As long as the return policy is decent I can see giving it a shot since a half day driving around and screwing around with scheduling delivery guys is worth a lot of money.

    I would be very concerned about off gassing and would be interested to hear what the company has to say about it. When we built my new house, my youngest daughter was miserable for the longest time until I finally installed a whole house energy recovery ventilator, which fixed everything in a matter of a couple of weeks. Everything in our house was off gassing and taking its toll on the little one. Thank god that is behind us.

  9. We bought a king sized mattress-in-a-box mail order from Walmart about a year ago, and it’s been as good a mattress as I’ve ever used. No complaints here.

    Current price: $229.

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