By Derek Reimherr
Among the many things that I knew I was unprepared to face in adulthood, buying a mattress was not one of them. My parents bought the mattress I had used all the way up until marriage in middle school. It was slightly sloped towards the middle and probably had several pounds of sweat stored away, but it was home.
And yet somehow, even though I’m 5’ 8” and my wife is 5’ 1”, she demanded that we needed a king bed. You might think, “Well that sounds unreasonable,” and you’d be right. I quickly realized, however, that this little girl I was marrying took up approximately 70% of a queen bed. How…what…I just don’t understand.
Luckily for her, we did actually need a new bedroom set. I eventually conceded that having an ocean of sheets between us would be kind of nice. Who doesn’t love being able to reach out in either direction and feel only registry-gifted 600 thread count sheets? It’s a luxury that only a hobbit-sized married couple can enjoy. “Let’s upgrade to a king,” I said.
So we set out on a Greater Boston area hunt for bedroom furniture and mattresses. We referenced the radio ads from my previously long driving commute to guide us, each Boston-accented store name more hilarious than the last. We wandered from Jowredan’s (Jordan’s) to Burneigh and Phal’s (Bernie and Phil’s) to Bahstan Interiors to Bahb’s Discount Furnahtah.
We were super #blessed enough to have the cost taken care of as a wedding gift from family, but we were still working within a budget. The bedroom furniture set was easy - we both liked the same style.
When it came to mattresses, however, apparently our butts have some high standards. Because here’s what we quickly learned about the ~cloud~ we hoped to sleep on:
HOLY !@$% MATTRESSES ARE EXPENSIVE. Like really, really expensive.
You want your bed to not feel like a funeral pyre? Start at $800.
How about a little softness? $1,000.
Maybe some memory foam in there? $1,500.
All memory foam? At least $3,000.
The first one we laid down on was more than $5,000. I asked my friend Collin, an automotive journalist, what kind of whip you can buy in that price range. “How about a used Mazda Miata or a late 80s BMW?” I’m not even a car guy, despite having previously worked for a car company, and I would rather have one of those than a freaking Sleep Number. “You can sleep in a car, but you can’t drive a mattress,” he says. Touché, good sir.
But then a long forgotten conversation magically reappeared in my brain. “Yeah, Daniel just convinced Alyssa to get a Casper,” Maggie once mentioned.
The friendly ghost? Not quite, although it IS a pretty friendly company. Casper is one of several mattress startups that are trying (and succeeding) to disrupt the sleep industry. You may have heard of Tuft & Needle, Yogabed or Loom & Leaf - it’s all a similar concept.
Here’s how it works: They cut out the middlemen (your local Mattress Factory or whatever) and make beds out of varying compressible materials. Casper makes its beds out of memory foam and latex, for example. They stuff these mattresses up into a very small refrigerator sized box and ship it, drastically reducing the logistical cost of transportation.
Maggie wasn’t so confident, though. Apparently the idea of “don’t try before you buy” freaked her out. It’s a reasonable apprehension to have, but here’s the beauty of these mattress startups: they all offer some type of 90 or 100 day return policy. Casper will even come pick up the bed from your apartment/house if you don’t like it. With that insurance policy in mind, we pulled the trigger.
I LOVE MY CASPER MATTRESS. It’s easily one of my favorite purchases/gifts I’ve ever received. It took a couple weeks to break in, but we love it. The best part? A king size bed is only $1,000. It almost feels like you’re cheating getting a mattress for that price.
It doesn’t matter what stage of life you’re in. Whether you’re a recent graduate, getting your first apartment, moving in together, or marrying your sweetie, you will eventually need a new mattress. If you ask us, do yourself a favor: buy a Casper bed. If you don’t trust our opinion and want to try a different company, go ahead. But for the love of all that is comfy, don’t go to a mattress store. Your wallet will thank you later.
Bought a bed recently? We’d love to hear about your experience. Tell us your story in the comments or shoot us a message on social.
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