The Casper mattress is widely regarded as being one of the best memory foam mattresses on the market. The product’s innovative design patterns, high-quality advanced materials, and very reasonable price point (considering the quality) have made it an extremely popular choice that has taken the world by storm.
However, the Helix is rapidly rising in popularity, and its entirely custom nature is earning itself a reputation for being one of the most comfortable products on the market.
Today we’re going to put these two products head to head in a comparison review. We’re going to take each mattress apart layer by layer to see what’s inside, and what makes them both so special. We’ll answer some common questions, examine the similarities and differences, and finally make a recommendation about which product we think is best.
Let’s get started.
- Hybrid Products – Both products are hybrid mattresses that use several layers of different materials to benefit from their individual properties
- Durable – Both products are exceptionally well made with the highest quality materials, they’re more than capable of standing the test of time
- Price – With a few small differences for bigger mattresses, both products are nearly identically priced
- Zoned Support – The Casper provides a zoned support system whereas the Helix does not
- Customizable – The Helix is an entirely custom product, and the Casper is not
- Open Cell Memory Foam – The Casper uses open cell memory foam and the Helix does not
We like to start these comparison articles with the longest, and most important section – the construction comparison. It’s here that we will learn what exactly you’re getting for your money, and why it’s good (or not so good).
Let’s first take a look at the Casper mattress. The product is made up of 4 different layers of different materials (which makes this a hybrid product). This isn’t all that special and most mattresses at this price point will make use of a hybrid design pattern as it allows brands to combine the positive benefits of several materials into a single product.
The Casper is a memory foam product, which for many people will start alarm bells ringing. Memory foam is well known for being a poor thermal regulator and overheating throughout the night (resulting in an uncomfortably warm night’s sleep). However, overheating is not a problem with this product thanks to the advanced kind of open cell memory foam that’s been used in the top layer.
Traditionally memory foam is made up of countless little pockets (or cells) that contain air inside them. When weight is applied to memory foam these little cells are squashed which gives the material its amazing supportive contouring properties. However, when body heat enters the mattress throughout the night the air inside these cells heats up. As the cells are completely sealed off from the outside world the air cannot ventilate throughout the mattress (and outside into the bedroom) – which results in the mattress heating up.
Open cell memory foam is largely the same material as normal memory foam, the only difference is that the cells are partially open on one side. This means that when the air inside the cells begins to heat up it’s able to escape the mattress and take the heat it contains with it. The end result of this is a much cooler sleeping surface that’s widely regarded as being about as cool as memory foam can get.
While open-cell memory foam is interesting, the next layer down is even more impressive.
It’s not the material that’s special about this layer – it’s a standard layer of normal (closed cell) memory foam. It’s possible to use normal memory foam in this layer because it’s not in direct contact with the sleeper, and as such it receives much less heat. Open cell memory foam is much more expensive than normal memory foam, and using normal memory foam in this layer helps keep the overall cost of the product down.
The special thing about this layer is the way it has been designed. It’s entirely covered in small ventilation holes which are separated into 5 separate zones. Each one of these zones has a different number of ventilation holes (and different sizes of holes). This non-uniform nature creates a sleeping surface that has different amounts of support and different levels of firmness. The way the firmness has been calibrated means that your head and shoulders will sink into the mattress more, and pressure points like your hips will sink in less. This creates the perfect conditions to promote a straight spine and is very comfortable (to say the least).
The next layer down is a transition layer of comfort foam. It’s not that interesting or special, but it is a high-quality foam. Its main job is to make the transition between the layers above and the base layer below a little more gradual to stop the sleeper feeling like they’ve got layers of memory foam on top of concrete. The base layer is equally as boring and is a standard thick wedge of firm high-density support foam, again it’s high quality – but there’s not much to say about it.
The covering of this mattress is extremely breathable to allow the open cell foam and ventilation systems optimal airflow into the bedroom. It’s a pure white knit cover that’s reasonably plush, quite durable, and removable/washable.
Talking about the construction of the Helix is a little bit difficult, as it’s a completely custom mattress. Helix quite rightly states that no two sleepers are exactly alike. Different weights, sleeping positions, health issues, and a thousand and one other factors all combine to create an “ideal” mattress. Off the shelf products almost always cater to a “happy medium” which means if you’ve got special requirements – you’re out of luck.
Due to the unusual nature of us reviewing a custom mattress, we’re going to discuss the customization options available to Helix’s customers in this section. While there are many options to choose from, actually customizing your mattress is very easy with a simple questionnaire that takes around 5 minutes to complete.
There are 3 different materials in the mattress that Helix offers customization of. You can change the size and order of the layers to get a product that’s exactly what you’re looking for.
Helix Dynamic Foam – This is a proprietary foam that has some limited contouring properties. Helix claim it’s similar to memory foam, but the contouring properties are not as defined in our opinion. Regardless it’s a comfortable, supportive foam that’s of an extremely high quality.
High-Grade Polyfoam – This is a high-quality comfort foam that’s reasonably dense, Helix dress this up a lot on their website but it’s reasonably standard
Pocketed Microcoils – Helix use microcoils in most of their mattresses, they’re durable, comfortable, and provide a supportive bottom section for the other layers to rest on
Base Layer – This base layer is the only layer that cannot be customized, it’s in all of their products. It’s a high quality, high-density support foam that provides a stable base for the layer configuration above.
One of the most interesting (and popular) customization options Helix has on offer is to make the product “dual zone”. If there’s a mismatch between the size, weight, or sleeping positions of two sleeping partners then with this option they can customize each half of the mattress separately so both sleepers can have exactly the kind of sleeping surface they want.
If you’re known to be a warm sleeper, then helix offer a customization package specifically for you. There are no new materials or cooling technologies utilized, it’s all done from the size and configuration of the materials we mentioned above.
If you wake up with pain or have joint issues then you can customize the helix to eliminate your pain with a custom configuration for your condition. Again this is done by adjusting the layers that are used and the order that they are used in.
One of the most common customizations in the Helix is firmness. You can specify a super soft or a super firm sleeping surface (or anything in-between). Again the firmness adjustment is done by changing the thickness and order of the materials we mentioned above.
The Casper mattress comes in at around 6.5 on the firmness scale and is a medium-firm product. This is generally the most popular firmness level (and therefore the most profitable). Unless you like a super firm or a super soft bed, you’re going to enjoy sleeping on it.
The Helix, on the other hand, can be as firm or as soft as you want it to be. The simple questionnaire that is used to determine the optimal layer configuration for your mattress has a section dedicated to firmness.
If you like a soft or firm mattress it’s important not to go over the top with your selection as the Helix can be customized to the extreme of both ends of the firmness scale.
Both the Helix and the Casper are very similarly priced. This is no accident as both brands are well known for being fierce competitors of one another.
- A twin XL Helix costs $700 and a twin XL Casper costs $645
- A queen-sized Helix costs the same as a queen-sized Casper ($995)
- A California king-sized Helix costs $1,245 and a Casper of the same size costs $1,195
Which Bed Sleeps Cooler?
The Casper is widely regarded as being one of the coolest memory foam mattresses on the market. The open cell memory foam is excellent at creating airflow throughout the layer and removes many of the hotspot issues that normal memory foam suffers from. When this is combined with the ventilation holes in the layer below, it creates a super cool sleeping surface.
Again, it’s hard to compare the Casper against the Helix in terms of thermal regulation simply because you can tailor the Helix to be as warm or as cool as you like. It’s possible to get a sleeping surface that’s equally as cool as the Casper with the Helix, and perhaps even a little bit cooler (but only just). That being said, it’s also possible to create a configuration that’s warmer than the Casper – but we’re not sure why you’d want to do this.
Which Bed Would Be Best For A Side Sleeper?
This is a section where we can finally make a definite comparison.
The Casper is one of the best beds in the world for side sleepers, it has been custom made specifically for people who sleep in this position (as it’s the most popular). The 5 zones have been tailored to provide the optimal amount of support at different pressure points across the body. Your head and shoulders will sink into the mattress more than your hips, creating a perfectly straight spine. This is great for your health but is also extremely comfortable.
Note: Stomach sleepers and back sleepers will still find the Casper comfortable, it’s just that side sleepers will get the most benefit.
As we know by now, the Helix can be custom tailored to any kind of sleeping position, including side sleepers. While the Helix is very comfortable for side sleepers, even in the dedicated configuration it’s not as good as the Casper. It’s extremely difficult to compete with the performance of a zoned sleeping surface, and as such – the Casper wins this section hands down.
Should I Buy A Casper Or Helix Bed?
Quite honestly which mattress you should buy out of these two products depends on your sleeping position and your personal situation.
If you’re a standard side sleeper and you’ve got no chronic pain issues, then the Casper would be your best bet. It’s one of the best mattresses in the world for side sleepers.
However, if you’re a stomach sleeper or a back sleeper (or you have a mismatch with your sleeping partner), then the Helix would be a better bet.
So there you have it, everything there is to know about the Casper and the Helix.
Both products are excellent value for money and will provide you with an extremely comfortable night’s sleep. Regardless of which product you end up going with you’re going to be happy with your choice – they’re both more than worthy of your consideration.