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Engineering a good night’s sleep

That a good night’s sleep is key to good health and wellbeing is nothing new, but what is new is the fact that today, more than ever, people in the UK are struggling to get the sleep they need.

The problem is so profound that leading neurologist Matthew Walker, author of Why We Sleep, has called it a “catastrophic sleep epidemic”, and this lack of reparative sleep is the reason why people are investing more time, energy and money in getting a better night’s sleep as part of a growing wellness trend.

This has sparked hundreds of companies globally to undertake new research and develop a new range of solution-focused, data-driven sleep products. One brand that is leading the march to improve the way people sleep is Casper.

Launched five years ago, Casper has established itself as the market leader in this fast-growing sector. Following on from the huge success of its mattress range, the company has continued to differentiate itself from its competitors through innovation and a focus on research and product design, cementing its position as the go-to expert in all things relating to sleep.

Casper’s consistent focus and ongoing investment in development led to opening the Casper Labs in Silicon Valley three years after the launch of its original mattress. This hub houses more than 50 engineers, designers and researchers, all collaborating on the single goal of improving the quality of sleep.

Casper’s chief of product Jeff Chapin explains: “It was here that we started to apply millions of data points, our renowned expertise in foam research and years of sleep science to the goal of reinventing the mattress once again.”

A team of more than 50 engineers, designers and researchers, all collaborating on the single goal of improving the quality of sleep

The 5,000-square-foot research facility houses prototyping machines, a lab where products are subjected to rigorous testing, and even a bedroom with sensors measuring temperature and humidity to ensure products deliver optimum sleep conditions.

Mr Chapin says: “We also have wood, metal, foam and soft shops, enabling us to carry out rapid prototyping and experimentation with new materials in-house, and a connected project bay, where we are exploring every avenue of sleep, including the future of sleep with connected products. At Casper, we are not just building the perfect mattress – we are creating the perfect sleep environment.”

To support a variety of different sleeping habits, Casper produces a range of mattresses. When the company was unable to get the quality of foams they needed from foam mattress suppliers, their engineering team created new ones, which relieve pressure and create the most comfortable environment for sleep.

“Not all foam mattresses are equal and there are a lot of different ways to ‘layer’, or otherwise structure a foam mattress, to give it the characteristics that an engineer like myself is looking for,” says Mr Chapin. “With a lower-quality mattress, you’ll feel each layer as you sink down, a bit like bobbing slowly down a staircase. In the Casper mattress we’ve achieved a much smoother feel, like moving gently down a ramp as you move through the layers. You can’t feel the distinct steps and layers, just their ergonomic support.”

Casper’s newest mattress, set to be launched in the UK, is the Hybrid mattress, which contains both foam and springs.

A major factor in the quality of Casper’s products, and ultimately in its success, is its testing policy. Asked how long each product in the Casper range has been tested before coming the market, Mr Chapin says: “It takes as long as it takes. If we’re doing testing and something’s not quite right, we are never going to say bypass that and push it out. We go back and challenge each other to make the products work to help people sleep better.”

In making its leap from bedding to bedside sleep assistance, Casper recently launched its Glow Light, which uses very warm, comforting light housed in a palm-sized translucent cylinder to mimic the setting or rising sun. It works on the principle that the light calms you down before bedtime and gently wakes you the next morning.

“Light influences our sleep-wake cycles, and even impacts our mood and ability to relax, which is why it’s so important to have the right kind of light in your bedroom,” says Mr Chapin. “We have been on a mission to create the ultimate sleeping environment and we developed Glow specifically to help us wind down naturally for better, deeper sleep.”

Casper is clearly a company that thrives on innovation and keeps itself at the forefront of the sleep business. As part of its transition to becoming a sleep company and wellness brand, with a mission to help people enjoy quality sleep beyond just selling mattresses, the company launched the Casper Sleep Channel on social media. Host June the Moon goes on air to encourage people to put their smartphones down and listen to some sleep-inducing content, including meditations, soundscapes and readings.

With its technical knowledge base, high-quality range of sleep products and innovative approach, Casper will continue to help to drive that growth, at the same time ensuring people get to enjoy a good night’s sleep.

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