Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Since its 2013 inception, direct-to-consumer sleep company Casper has talked about helping people “sleep better.” The brand is best known for kickstarting the mattress-in-a-box craze, and its expansion into sheets, pillows, and blankets has helped it hit $600 million in revenue. Now, Casper has found another aspect of sleep to sell: sleep itself.
Right next to its New York City store, Casper has launched a branded nap destination called the Dreamery. For $25, customers can catch a 45-minute nap inside little sleeping pods, furnished with Casper mattresses (obviously) as well as Casper sheets, pillows, blankets, socks, and an eye mask. Staff will provide fresh linen for every nap, and also on loan are pajamas by Sleepy Jones, a toothbrushing set from Hello, face wash from Sunday Riley, and audio tracks from Headspace — you know, all the necessary sleep accoutrements any Instagram-fluent millennial could desire.
Eleanor Morgan, Casper’s senior vice president of experience, tells Racked that Casper has been working on this “nap experience,” as she calls it, for about a year, with the company testing the concept on customers in its New York offices. While paying to take a very short nap on sheets that are changed every 45 minutes might sound like the height of indulgence, Morgan says Casper believes it’s filling a need. It surveyed customers and found that many wanted a place to nap or unwind at for short amounts of time, but there weren’t any options for them.
“A lot of people need a break but don’t have a place for it, whether they’ve taken the redeye and need a place to crash, or are far minutes away from home and need to settle down for a bit during a 14-hour work day,” Morgan says. “We’re passionate about creating a cultural movement around sleep, and we think a lot about how to give people different ways to rest and recharge.”
Part of the perk, she adds, is simply giving people a place to lay low. The Dreamery’s lounge is serene and calming, with dark blue paint and twinkling stars on its walls. There are also couches, books, and free coffee and snacks.
Morgan admits Casper is curious to see who will be signing up for its naps, which can be booked on the Dreamery site, on apps like MindBody or ClassPass, or as walk-ins. But even without any user data, the company is already set on expanding the concept. Morgan says Casper is in talks with a few companies to open the Dreamery at travel hubs like airports, as well as office spaces (she wouldn’t drop any names but we have our money on places like WeWork).
The $25 fee Casper will charge just covers the Dreamery’s costs, she adds. The concept is not about making money, but is, of course, about an experience: “We don’t really see this as retail. A big part of this is building a community of people that value sleep and want to share that with us. They might join the brand family and ultimately become Casper customers, but the conversation around sleep is the main focus.”
That customers will catch a cat nap right next door to a Casper store certainly helps, though. Nappers won’t get any discounts on Casper products, although Morgan says that could be a possibility at some point. But such an immersive brand experience is sure to rake in some profit. Customers who enjoy drooling on the Casper pillowcase that’s covering a Casper pillow on top of a Casper mattress might very well want to take some part of that experience home.