I’m thinking about writing a screenplay about the history of mattresses.
If you’re sceptical, you might like to watch Joy, the Jennifer Lawrence movie about one woman’s mission to design a mop (I’m summarising somewhat, there’s a bit more to it than that).
My mattress movie will include a dramatic scene about the introduction of the ‘bed in a box’ mattress which shook up the market which had mostly been a choice of pocket springs, open coil springs or memory foam until then.
The Bed in a Box Phenomenon
New brands like OTTY, Eve Sleep, Simba Sleep, Nectar Sleep and so on, turned up with one mattress each which combined various types of foam. They had a number of things in common, such as offering a long risk-free trial so you can try it out at home over several weeks or months. They also arrived squashed into a box, to make it easier to deliver and to get it up the stairs.
I imagine I’ll cast Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as young entrepreneurs setting up their own mattress company and falling in love along the way.
These bed-in-a-box mattresses shook things up because loads of them won awards, most notably from Which? but also from various experts online (which is why we feature some of them on this site). Many of them also got very good customer reviews too.
The sequel to my mattress movie will cover what seems to be the next phase in the market where these one-mattress brands start offering a wider choice of mattresses.
Casper is one such example, which introduced a hybrid version of their mattress. It’s the luxury option which currently sells for £1000 in King Size and it’s 24 cm deep.
Previously, Casper also sold two other mattresses in the UK:
At one end of the range was The Essential, which is a little bit firmer than most and is 18cm,deep with two layers of foam. According to the website, it got a rave write up from Which? experts who said it was ‘one of the best mattresses we’ve ever tested’ in 2019.
The Original Casper mattress (also just known as The Casper) had four layers of foam and is 24cm deep. Most reviewers consider it to be a medium firmness mattress. It’s been called a best buy mattress.
Warranty and trial
The Casper Hybrid mattress comes with a 10 year warranty and a 60 night trial. If you don’t like it, you can swap it for another mattress sold by Mattress Online (which is the only place you can buy Casper mattresses in the UK).
So what’s the difference between The Casper and The Hybrid?
As the name suggests, the big difference is that The Hybrid is a mix of springs and foam whereas The Casper is entirely foam. This is quite a big deal for mattress enthusiasts like me, because bed in a box companies mostly offer foam mattresses rather than springy ones.
The key thing with this mattress is that the springs are buried beneath three layers of foam so you get the feeling and support of foam along with the springs which add a bit of ‘bounce’.
The Hybrid also has ‘zoned support’ with ‘firmer springs under hips, softer springs under shoulders’.
As with The Essential and The Casper, The Hybrid aims to make good use of memory foam with some clever construction techniques.
In previous years, most memory foam mattresses had a layer of the stuff on the top. The more you paid, the thicker the top layer.
On the plus side, various experts and reviewers have concluded that memory foam offers a really good level of all over support. The negative side is that many customers find that memory foam makes them feel too hot as it hugs them closely. In some cases you can end up with a bit of a person-shaped dent, although in theory that should bounce back.
More modern mattresses, like those made by Casper and other bed in a box companies changed things round by putting the memory foam as the second layer with a breathable layer on top.
The theory is that you don’t get quite the same ‘sinking feeling’ or overheating issues as memory foam but you still get the consistent support that you don’t get from sprung mattresses.
Personally I’ve become a fan of this approach in recent years and haven’t had any issues with getting too hot on The Hybrid or on The Casper.
Of course, the other advantage of this type of mattress is that you have 60 days to make your mind up, rather than spend 30 seconds in a showroom feeling a bit awkward. It is worth having a read of the terms and conditions with the sleep trial of course.
We were sent a free mattress by Casper. The words are our own.
Update: 500 nights later – how is the Casper Hybrid performing?
We thought it was worth an update to this Casper Hybrid review as it’s seen longer term usage. As I write this, we’ve had the mattress for two years. We rotate mattresses between rooms in our house and would estimate that this one has had usage of around 70% which means that it’s been used for about 500 nights. It comes with a 10 year warranty, so it should have plenty of life in it.
We started with a visual inspection which shows that it’s looking very good. The sides haven’t lost any shape and the outer cover isn’t bobbling, which is what I had expected to happen. There are no lose threads of worn patches.
We’ve found that Casper mattresses can be difficult to manoeuvre because their handles are hidden underneath. This has made it difficult to move it between rooms, but the springs give it less flexibility and bend than the Casper Original so it is certainly achievable without too much huffing and puffing.
In terms of comfort, I would say there has been no noticeable change over the 500 nights and it continues to be a very comfortable mattress. Of course, it is hard to spot changes in comfort over time without a new mattress for a side by side comparison, but we continue to sleep well on the mattress.
There are no noticeable dips whilst lying on the mattress (we’ll move onto our indentation test shortly). We rate it as being slightly firmer than the Casper Original mattress, which is the cheaper alternative which just uses foam rather than combining foam with springs.
Our next test was our indentation inspection, which involves using our trusty friend Rod (a machine-cut piece of wood) to see if the mattress is starting to sag in the middle. This is a particular risk with no turn mattresses, which is how the vast majority of bed in a box and hybrid mattresses are designed.
The wooden rod was placed across the width of the mattress to see if it has developed a gap between the height of the centre of the bed and the height at the edges.
We recorded a dip of 18mm, which is a little higher than we had expected but is not unheard of. We’ve carried out similar tests on a three year old no-turn Hypnos mattress and found a gap of 14mm. Notably though, we only found a gap of 1-2mm had developed on the Casper Original mattress which we tested after three years. This small scale study supports the theory that foam mattresses are more capable of returning to their original shape than sprung mattresses, particularly those which can’t be turned over.
Despite that, we remain impressed with the mattress and are confident it will offer plenty more nights of good sleep.
Where can I buy The Casper Hybrid mattress in the UK?
Mattress Online is now the only official seller of Casper mattresses in the UK. Casper used to sell their mattresses through their own website as well as places like John Lewis & Partners and Amazon but they changed that in 2020.
At the National Bed Federation’s Awards, Mattress Online was named as the Online Bed Retailer of the Year in 2019/20 and the company also scores well on TrustPilot with an average score of 4.8/5 at the time of writing.