Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Moving to a new home presents multiple do-over opportunities:  a chance to purge enough junk to pretend you're not a hoarder, a chance to change your decor from forty-year-old traditional mahogany pieces that cost a fortune to Ikea (since your old furniture didn't fetch much on craigslist), and a chance to simplify, since you're only taking what fits in your Prius.

I'm doing all of the above, plus getting a new mattress. since I don't remember when I bought the last one.  An intriguing piece on the internet caught my eye, about a start-up in Los Angeles called Casper with a novel approach to the totally boring process of mattress shopping.   I know what kind of mattress I want.....a Tempurpedic.....but I just can't bring myself to spend 3 or 4K on a freaking mattress.  Yes, I know, we spend a third of our lives in bed...with the exception of prostitutes, but that's a different story......but two-thirds of my life is over, so I discount that statistic.

Casper will ship me a memory foam and latex mattress rolled up in a box for about 25 percent of the cost of the Tempurpedic, let me sleep on it for 100 nights, and if I don't like it, they will come pick it up and refund 100% of my money to boot.  I like that, but I still want to have some idea what it feels like.  

There aren't many places to test drive a Casper, but since I was in Los Angeles - their corporate home - for a few days, I decided to do just that.  My youngest daughter and I took the 4-year-old and the 10-month-old to Griffith Park to ride the ponies and visit the trains at Traveltown.  Trusting Waze to help us find the Casper showroom, we drove up the steep, narrow streets of the Hollywood Hills and wondered what kind of business could be located in this affluent, residential area.  A home with a big "C" on the front door and a Casper shipping box on the sidewalk came into view.  We looked at each other, wondering about the safety of entering a private home and asking to try out the bed.  She stayed in the car with the kids while I ventured inside.  

The living area's walls were all glass, affording an expansive, scenic view, like a Hollywood home in the hills should.  Four people sat at a table with desktop computers, answering customer calls.  A twenty-something with impossibly white teeth and blonde hair asked if I had an appointment.  An appointment? To lie on a matteress??

It must have been a slow day, as she checked her tablet and saw they had an opening, so I was admitted to a bedroom with an equally gorgeous view and given a clean pillow.  I mentioned my waiting family and the blonde with the blinding smile lured them inside with promises of water and juice.  The four-year-old propelled herself onto the bed and the ten-month-old spied an opportunity to nurse before vomiting copiously on the clean carpet.  She spent a few minutes gazing out the window while the other one pushed Trader Joe's rocket-shaped cheddar crackers into the vertical fan.  I shut my eyes and tried to decide how the mattress felt while calculating how long it would take to get home in L.A.traffic.  Would the wiser course be to hunker down at Magnolia Bakery until rush hour was over? 

I remain undecided.  I still prefer the Tempurpedic experience, but keep coming back to the Casper price.  At least I have 100 vomit-free nights to see if I want to keep it.