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Casper Dreams of Being Bigger Than Mattresses

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Besides mattresses, Casper now sells bed frames (starting at $365), duvets ($250), dog beds ($125), even actual sleep. At the Dreamery, a hushed, high-ceilinged space attached to Casper’s store in SoHo, you can buy a 45-minute nap in a minimalist, yurtlike pod for $25. The price includes snacks, beverages and rental pajamas.

“Over time, revenue is going to increasingly be diversified outside of the mattress, as more and more people realize that Casper is not just a mattress destination but, really, a destination for all things sleep,” Mr. Krim said.

This spring, Casper quietly changed its social media strategy. Along with its usual photographs of shiny, happy people on Casper beds, the company began publishing guided meditations and bedtime stories on Instagram, YouTube and Spotify. Many are narrated by a somniferous entity named June the Moon.

“Hello there, creatures of the internet,” she intones breathily in one clip. “Are you dreaming of blissful sleep? Tired of chasing those elusive z’s? Ready to live your best life?” She promises to transport the bleary-eyed to “a magical internet slumberland filled with sounds, meditations and bedtime stories to help you wind down and drift off.”

“Social media tends to be really anxiety provoking,” said Jeff Brooks, Casper’s chief marketing officer. “We want to be an oasis.” Mr. Brooks also helped create the company’s new mission statement, as lofty and vaporous as a cumulus cloud: “Awakening the potential of a well-rested world.”

A mattress primer: For a long time, the American market has been dominated by Tempur Sealy and Serta Simmons, both of which date back to the 19th century. Simmons Bedding was founded in Atlanta in 1870; Sealy, which Tempur-Pedic acquired in 2012, was founded in Texas in 1881.

But the current state of the industry began to take shape in 2014, when a group of men at a co-working space noticed the direct-to-consumer trend and figured that a good industry to disrupt might be one whose incumbents had been around since Thomas Edison was messing with electricity. They started Casper, and before long it was synonymous with the mattress-in-a-box concept. Today Casper has a $1.1 billion valuation and a slew of imitators, including Purple, Avocado, Leesa and Saatva. [Wirecutter, a product review site owned by The New York Times, recently evaluated the best memory foam mattresses.]



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