Cumbersome, costly and touting a puzzlingly opaque sales model, a startup called Casper saw the $13 billion mattress industry as one in need of a serious reawakening.
“The industry is bloated with sales commissions, excess SKU creation, and retail rip-offs,” said Philip Krim, the company’s CEO, and one of its five founders. “You can’t choose the right bed by lying down in a crowded showroom with a salesperson hovering overhead.”
To upend this paradigm, Casper will vend a single mattress model -- available in six standard sizes -- directly to consumers online at CasperSleep.com. Prices are a third of those at Sleepy’s or competing department stores, the company said. A twin bed sells for $500, for instance, while a California King will run $950.
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But perhaps most impressive -- thanks to a patented German compression machine -- mattresses are shipped for free “in a box that fits in the trunk of a standard taxi cab.” New York orders, in fact, can be delivered within hours via Uber, or even on a Zipments cargo bike, the company boasts.
See the packing and unboxing process here:
The 10-inch mattresses, which are American manufactured, contain both latex foam and memory foam that contour to the body while remaining cool and bouncy to the touch, said Jeff Chapin, Casper co-founder and head of product.
The company offers returns within 40 days, with all used mattresses being donated to local charities.
Casper, which has raised $1.85 million in seed funding to date, operates a vertically-integrated business model that bares a striking resemblance to buzzy electric car company Tesla.
By helming its own manufacturating and retail models, the company is able to aim for blunt transparency and greater value, it said.