The results are in from Consumer Reports' exhaustive tests of two new Casper mattresses, and neither of them live up to the expectations set by the company's original mattress.

Late last year Casper launched new premium and budget mattresses: the high-end Wave, $1,850, and the lower-priced Essential, $600. Both are sold alongside the company’s flagship mattress, The Casper, which consistently ranks near the top of our ratings for foam mattresses and is priced in the $1,000 range.

When we tested the new products, we also decided to test The Casper again in case the company had made changes to that mattress' construction.

Here's what we found.

The Casper

The model, which costs $995 for a queen, has actually improved slightly, climbing 1 point in its Overall Score.

The Casper earns impressive scores for every size human subject in our support tests, which include petite side and back sleepers, and tall/large side and back sleepers, and an average of the two.

But The Casper did indeed change.

“By appearance, The Casper looks to be identical to previous samples we’ve tested,” says Chris Regan, the CR test engineer who oversees our mattress program. “But when we dissected the mattress at the lab, we found that the construction was in fact different than the previous version. The new model replaces the latex foam layer with a layer of high-resilience polyurethane foam.”

Regan says Casper must have done its homework: The new layer of foam, though different in composition, creates a slightly better performing mattress than the original. 

The Wave

At $1,850 for a queen-size mattress, this new model costs nearly twice as much as The Casper but performs about the same. In fact, The Wave nabbed the same Overall Score but ranks one notch lower because it scored lower in one of the support tests.

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Casper markets The Wave as a higher-end mattress, but judging by our tests, it's not worth the extra money.

“In our testing, The Casper scores slightly better than The Wave for large and tall back support,” says Regan. “Another difference is that The Wave is softer than The Casper."

It scores a 3 on our firmness scale, and The Casper is a 5. The scale runs from 1 to 10, with 10 being the firmest. Whether The Wave's 3 is better or worse depends on whether you like a soft or firm mattress, of course. 

We spoke with Casper’s co-founder and chief product officer, Jeff Chapin, who explains that The Wave’s comparatively high cost is in its materials. Chapin tells Consumer Reports the company decided to source The Wave’s latex layer from a Belgium-based manufacturer that specializes in engineering a relatively firm type of latex Casper wanted, even though it greatly added to the cost. 

The Essential

Casper's other debut mattress, The Essential, is a less expensive option meant to cater to budget-conscious buyers. It costs $395 less than The Casper, and its performance is considerably lower, too.

“With The Essential, we were talking to people who were shopping at IKEA for mattresses vs. our core customers,” says Chapin. “We made the mattress 1.5 inches thinner, which saves a little bit of money. We also decreased the density of the foam. If you look at the cover, the material is thinner, the sewing is simpler. To get that price point, you have to make trade-offs.”

These trade-offs represent a steep compromise. Our testers note that they could sometimes feel the slats of the bed frame through the mattress. That didn't hinder its performance in CR's support test for petite and average side sleepers and petite back sleepers. It’s passable for large/tall side and average back sleepers but not good for large/tall back sleepers.

The Bottom Line

So if you're considering a mattress from this brand, you may want to stick with The Casper, at the middle price. To alleviate fear of buyer's remorse, the company has a 100-day trial period and a generous return policy. And if you're still feeling skittish—or just uncertain—you can try out Casper's mattresses at a number of stores around the country. Check the Casper website to find a store near you.

For more mattress choices from other brands, see our full mattress ratings and recommendations.

"While it’s clear that Casper has done their research with The Casper mattress, my recommendation is to take a wait-and-see approach with their two new mattresses, The Wave and The Essential," Regan says.

After all, Casper has made a number of tweaks to its original mattress—around 50, the company says—so it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect it to improve The Wave and The Essential over time.

If that happens, look for Consumer Reports to weigh in on how they stack up.

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Tossing and turning all night? Maybe it’s time for a new mattress. On the 'Consumer 101' TV show, CR expert Chris Regan shares tips on what to look for when mattress shopping.