saatva mattress

Why I Ditched Casper (and Found a Much Better Alternative)

When I moved within Manhattan this spring, we wanted to upgrade our bed from a queen to a king, and that of course required buying a new mattress. Without thinking too hard about it, we decided to go with a Casper. After all, they advertise their “perfect mattress” everywhere. Who can argue with perfect?

I can.

First, one has to appreciate how ridiculous “perfect” is. People have a wide range of mattress preferences. Any mattress can be too hard or soft, or bulky or thin. The problem with a one-size-fits-all notion of perfect is that you wind up with a law of averages. You find something that’s pretty good, if not really good, for most people. McDonald’s fries aren’t perfect, but for enough people, they’re exactly what they want out of fries. And then over time as people discover curly fries, waffle fries, crinkle cut fries, sweet potato fries, potato wedges, patatas bravas, and other variations, then the mainstay of that skinny, salty, crispy enough fry becomes just one decent option.

Casper seemed remarkably average, and a bit firm. I’ve stayed in hundreds of hotel rooms, and this was one of those mattresses that would have been a comfortable night’s sleep but not a memorable stay. It’s no “Heavenly Bed.” We could have settled and kept it, and it would have been fine, but for a $1,000 purchase that we spend a third of our time lying on, why settle?

Before I reached the end of the 100-day return window, I started researching other online mattresses. I checked out a few kinds of mattresses and wound up checking in with Casper while also chatting with Tuft and Needle (which kept coming up in searches), Leesa (which a friend mentioned on Facebook), and then Saatva (which I hadn’t heard about).

Saatva stood out in a few ways.

First, they advertise three different kinds of mattress: luxury firm (their flagship level), firm, and plush soft. Just look at how well they describe the last option:

“We achieve this comfort level by coupling our individual pocketed coils with softer foams, offering more flexibility and give. We have designed this comfort level to be soft, cradling you from the time you enter the mattress.”

They also had slimmer mattresses and supports with higher foundations. In the photo above, I mistakenly ordered foundation that we didn’t need, as my wife said she wanted to be higher up. This was a bit ridiculous (though Saatva would later be very flexible in returning it).

Second, they’re a bit more expensive. Instead of trying to compete on price, they have a sliding scale of costs depending on the mattress size and other factors. For a product that two of us use every day, it was easy to justify stretching the budget a bit. And it seemed like we were paying for quality. The base price of the standard mattress is still on par with Casper.

Third, they didn’t compromise on price. When I chatted with customer service, I asked them if there was any discount code. With a quick search, one can easily save $50 on a Casper. But not Saatva. The response, which I shoul have saved, was something to the effect of, “Unlike some of those other sellers, we don’t devalue our product.” Now, it was a bit snobbish, like the service you’d expect in a Parisian bistro. But it was also the response from a company that stands up for their product. I respect people who don’t compromise. It’s like when you meet someone who says, “I charge $200 an hour and can’t go lower because that’s what I’m worth,” you might still opt for someone who charges $100 an hour, but you’re not going to nickel and dime them to get to $185.

So, yes, we went with the Saatva, and we’ve had it for months. We literally enjoy sleeping on this mattress every day. It is much better than anything we had before. It feels luxurious, even through the sheets. It’s well crafted. Our toddler is learning to somersault on it ahead of her US Olympics gymnastics team debut in 2030.

And no, I get no credit for saying this. Saatva won’t even give me a referral code. Remember, they don’t compromise. And they also don’t try to be perfect. They just try to sell the best product for any customer in the market for a great night’s sleep, whatever their preference is.