The Internet has changed the way we shop for just about everything, and that includes mattresses. No longer do we have to go to a mattress store, awkwardly lie for 30 seconds on a confusing range of options, and then lug one home. The direct-to-consumer mattress-in-a-box means that with a click of a button, a small package with a compressed mattress inside will quickly arrive at your doorstep.
While everyone from Sealy to Costco is getting in on the game and launching their own mattresses-in-a-box, the two most prominent names in Canada are the U.S.-based Casper and Endy, a Canadian company that offers mattresses manufactured here.
Both share a few key promises: a better sleep (case in point: Casper dubs itself “The Best Bed for Better Sleep”), affordability (all of Endy’s mattresses are under $1,000), convenience and customer satisfaction (both offer at-home trials for up to 100 days — if you’re not satisfied, you’ll get a full refund).
And it seems that the companies have won over consumers. Casper sold US$200 million worth of its products in its third year of business and, as of the end of 2020, Endy said it had sold 250,000 mattresses in Canada.
I tried both companies’ mattresses, from delivery to unboxing to sleep. (Note: Each company provided a free mattress for my review.) Here’s what I thought:
Casper offers four different styles of mattress, all made in the United States. It also sells bed frames, sheets, pillows and wake-up lights. We tried the Original Mattress, its most popular model.
It’s made of memory foam, which the company says is breathable to help keep you cool while you sleep. It also has a bottom layer of support foam, which Casper vows offers support and long-lasting durability. Plus, the outer shell easily unzips so you can wash it. The mattress comes with a 10-year warranty.
$1,395 for a queen
It arrives at your door in a small box that’s easy to carry upstairs because of the handles on each side. It’s small and light enough that you could probably lift it solo (but ideally you’d have someone to help). And you don’t have to wait around for your mattress to be delivered — there’s an option for the courier to leave it at your door, even if you’re not home.
As a boxed-mattress newbie, I was so impressed by the amount of time it took to get the mattress out of the box and ready to sleep on — from door to bed, the whole process took just ten minutes. I was under the impression that you had to wait hours for it to inflate, but as soon as the plastic came off, it popped up in about three seconds and was ready to sleep on. It was also super light to lift up on to the bed. I also expected the mattress to smell funny — but there were absolutely no fumes or weird, plastic-y odours.
The best part? The ridiculously easy-to-follow illustrations that came in the box.
I slept on this mattress for just over two weeks. It’s an extremely firm mattress (a plus, in my books), but didn’t sink around my body the way I expected memory foam would. My first night’s sleep was a glorious step up from the futon I had been sleeping on, and it definitely kept its promise to keep me cool throughout the night. After about two weeks, though, the firmness was getting to me. There wasn’t a lot of sink in the mattress, which I found uncomfortable. I like a mattress that sinks in just a little, which the Original didn’t.
Unlike Casper, Canadian-made brand Endy sells just one mattress model that’s designed “for all.” (They also sell pillows, sheets, bed frames, weighted blankets and more.)
It’s made from three layers of foam (the top one has a gel-infused layer that helps control temperature), which the company says has just the right amount of sink. As with Casper, the cover is removable and machine-washable, and there is a 15-year warranty.
$895 for a queen
The box is a little taller than the Casper and doesn’t have handles, which made it more difficult to carry up stairs. It’s definitely a two person job. You don’t have to wait around for your mattress to be delivered — there’s an option for the courier to leave it at your door even if you’re not home.
The mattress was also heavier to unpack, but once it was unboxed and expanded, it felt really light, making it easy to put on my bed. The set-up time was exactly the same as the Casper — in other words, quick — and there was absolutely no odour when I unboxed it. It didn’t come with instructions, but everything was pretty intuitive.
Endy boasts “perfect firmness,” which I found entirely accurate. I’d describe it as firm, but with a little give. I love that it sinks just the right amount when I lie down. I found it didn’t control the temperature as much as the Casper did, though that wasn’t a make or break for me.
For me, the better sleep experience was definitely the Endy. It’s the one I’ve chosen to keep in my bedroom — the Casper is in our spare room. I liked its firm support, mixed with a little give. The Casper is definitely the mattress for someone looking for something incredibly firm, with little sink.