Casper Essential Mattress Review: Is This Streamlined Comfort?

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Since 2014, Casper has made a name for themselves in the online and in-store mattress market. For years, they offered only one mattress, but they’ve recently added two more to their line: the Essential and the Wave.

Out of these three mattresses, the Essential is the most basic in terms of construction. It has some of the same features as the original Casper mattress but is more streamlined in its design. Because of this, the Essential is also the most budget-friendly of the three mattresses.

Casper markets this mattress for children, teens, and lighter-weight sleepers. Will you sleep well on this simple mattress? Read on for my full review.

You Might Want To Pick The Casper Essential If …

  • You are looking for a budget-friendly mattress. Compared to the other Casper mattresses and other bed-in-a-box mattresses, the Essential is much more affordable. If your budget is tight, this might be a good choice for you.
  • You are lightweight or need a mattress for a teen or child. If you are a lighter person, this thinner, simple mattress could work for you. Teens and kids may also find this comfortable.
  • You are a hot sleeper. While foam mattresses aren’t always the best at heat dissipation, this is not the case with the Essential. The top layer of foam is open-celled, which helps the mattress breathe.
  • You want a foam mattress but don’t want to feel “stuck”. The foam layers respond quickly, making it easy to move around on the Essential. You get the softness of foam without feeling “stuck.”

Click HERE to get the best current deal on the Casper Essential.

A mattress is opened to show its construction.

You Might Not Want To Pick The Casper Essential If …

  • You are a medium-weight or heavy-weight stomach sleeper. Firmer mattresses are usually a better fit for stomach sleepers. While lighter stomach sleepers may get enough support on the Essential, this may not be true for medium- or heavy-weight people. They may need a firmer mattress to ensure they don’t sink in too much and lose proper spinal alignment.
  • You are a medium-weight or heavy-weight back sleeper. The Essential is a bit softer than average, so it may give the proper support for some lighter-weight back sleepers. However, those who are medium-weight or heavier could find this mattress uncomfortable in this position. This mattress may lack the overall support that these sleepers require.
  • You are looking for more of an investment. This is more of a value mattress and does not have all the features of the original Casper. If you have the budget, you may want to look at the original or the Wave. These will most likely be more durable and long-lasting.

Compare the Casper Essential to other models HERE.

Construction Overview

  • The mattress is 8.5” tall.
  • The cover is soft and poly-knit. It is removable, so you can easily clean it.
  • The first layer is 2″ of breathable Fusion Foam. This is an open-celled, springy polyfoam.
  • The next layer is 1.5″ of responsive memory foam. This transition layer is quick to recover.
  • Finally, there is a base support layer of 4.5″ of durable support foam.
  • The foams found in this mattress are Certi-Pur certified, meaning they are eco-friendly.
  • The Essential is made in the USA.

RELATED: 4 Best Mattresses For Stomach Sleepers

A man sleeps on his side.

Construction Takeaways

  • The Essential is available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King.
  • The foam, especially the second layer, responds quickly. This means it should be easy to move around on the mattress. You get the softness and comfort of foam without feeling “stuck.”
  • The polyfoam layer is open-celled, which makes it more breathable. This helps dissipate heat, so you shouldn’t be sleeping hot.
  • This is a thin mattress, so heavier sleepers may press through it, possibly bottoming out and feeling the firm support layers underneath.

How This Mattress Compares To the Original Casper

The Casper Essential is a simplified version of the original Casper. It is thinner overall and this is partly because the Essential has three layers, while the original has four. It is also because the comfort layer is thinner on the Essential. The Essential also lacks the Zoned Support system that helps make the original Casper so supportive and pressure-relieving.

This mattress is softer than the original, but I still felt more comfortable side sleeping on the original Casper. On my stomach, I did not feel the nice support that I felt on the original mattress. While lighter-weight sleepers may be comfortable on the Essential, I thought the original Casper was more comfortable overall.

Check out our review of the Casper Original HERE

Firmness/Feel

For me, the Essential felt like a 6 out of 10 in terms of firmness. The three layers differ in softness and combine to make this mattress feel a bit softer than average.

On my side, I felt some decent pressure relief. There was little pressure on my shoulders and hips. I am medium-weight, however, and heavier sleepers may not have the same experience on this mattress. They may bottom out on the Essential, meaning they might press through the soft upper layers right down to the firm base layer. This could make it quite uncomfortable for heavier side sleepers.

On my back, I definitely needed more support. When I was in this position, I felt my hips sinking in a bit too much. Likewise, on my stomach, I needed more support to keep myself from bowing into the mattress. Lighter sleepers may get enough support in these positions, but someone my size (160 lb) and heavier may require a firmer mattress. If this is the case, I would suggest looking at the original Casper and the Wave.

In terms of feel, the mattress had a balanced foam feel with a bit of bounce. The second layer is a fast-responding memory foam, so it is easy to move around on the mattress. I never felt “stuck” in the Essential.

Motion Isolation

Performing my usual glass test, I saw little motion transfer. The glass barely moved as I disturbed the area around it. Being that this is an all-foam mattress, I was not surprised by this.

We also had Marten move around on the mattress as I lay down. He got up, sat down, and moved around. While I did feel some motion transfer to my side of the bed, I believe this mattress could be a good option for some couples.

Edge Support

The Essential is a thinner, all-foam mattress. Foam mattresses do not always perform well with edge support, and that was the case with this mattress. It collapsed when I sat near the edge.

However, when I was lying near the edge, I did not feel like I was going to be ejected from the bed.

You can see the edge support in the photo below.

A man sits on the edge of the bed.

Marten’s Take:

Marten is a staff writer for us. He has a much different body type than me: He is 6’7″ and weighs about 230 lb; I am 5’9″ and 160 lb. Here is what he thought about the mattress:

I felt it was a 6 in terms of firmness, actually the same as what Joe said. If you look at both our pressure maps side to side, you’ll see that we had a very similar reading.

That being said, I think I might be a little too heavy for this mattress. On my side, I did feel some nice pressure relief, but I still pressed through those upper layers and felt some pressure on my shoulders and my hips. On my stomach and back, I definitely needed more support.

So, if you’re a heavier sleeper like me, I would take a look at the original Casper or Casper Wave. Both are a better fit for heavier sleepers.

Marten’s experience on the Essential is not surprising. He is a heavier person, so this mattress is not really made for him. He definitely needed a firmer mattress for when he was on his back and stomach. When he was on his side, he pressed through the soft upper layers and felt the firm layers beneath.

RELATED: Top Mattress Picks Overall

What Makes This Mattress Stand Out

  • This mattress is a value. It has some of the features of the original Casper mattress but at a reduced price. It is a much simpler mattress than the original, but if you are on a budget, this could be a good pick.
  • The memory foam responds quickly, so it is quite easy to move around on the mattress. You get some nice pressure relief without feeling “stuck.
  • The Essential is a simpler mattress that could be a good choice for kids and teenagers. It lacks the frills of the original Casper but could fit someone who needs a basic but comfortable mattress.
Casper Essential Review
4.3 Reviewer
Comfort4.5
Support4.2
Value (Price)4.3
Doesn't Sleep Hot4.4
Motion Transfer4.2
Edge Support3.5
Materials/Durability4.4
Company Reputation4.6
Return Policy/Warranty4.6
Overall Sleep Experience4.3

Unboxing This Mattress

The Casper Essential is a bed-in-a-box mattress, which means it will come compressed and be shipped straight to you. You will want to begin by removing the rolled up Essential mattress from its box. Then, preferably with another person’s assistance, position the roll on your bed.

Carefully cut away the first layers of plastic until the still-compact mattress can be laid down flat. Then, pierce through the final layer of plastic and the Essential will expand. Simply clear away the excess plastic and allow your mattress to breathe and fully expand.

Overall

While I prefer the original Casper mattress, the Essential could still be a good match for lighter-weight sleepers as well as teenagers and children. Its simple design also allows Casper to sell this mattress at a value price.

However, if you are medium- or heavier-weight, I don’t believe this mattress will be the best fit for you. To get the proper support and pressure relief, I would consider the original Casper or the Wave.

The Essential comes with a 100-night trial, 10-year warranty, and free shipping. Financing is also available.

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Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site. He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 100 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. When he isn't testing sleep products, he enjoys working out, reading both fiction and non-fiction, and playing classical piano. He enjoys traveling as well, and not just to test out hotel mattresses!

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