We could all use a little break sometimes.
That seems to be the thinking behind Casper’s latest effort to get you on one of its mattresses, at least.
The startup recently opened the Casper Dreamery, a spot to “rest and recharge” in New York City. For $US25, anyone can walk into the Dreamery and book 45 minutes in a Casper Nook, a circular pod complete with a Casper mattress and pillow.
You’ll even get some pajamas, skincare samples, and free coffee after your rest.
I recently had the opportunity to try the Dreamery for myself. While I didn’t fall asleep, I was pleasantly surprised by how a seemingly silly concept could make so much sense amid the insanity of a day in New York.
Here’s what it was like:
I visited the Casper Dreamery on a weekday morning, before the space was open to the public. It’s located directly behind Casper’s retail space in the NoHo neighbourhood of Manhattan.
Once inside, I walked through a midnight blue tunnel, complete with twinkling lights. After walking through the city on a hot summer day, the entryway was a welcome respite.
My visit to the “Dreamery” was as a member of the press, but if it were a typical session, I would have first checked in at the front desk for my nap session. Sessions can be booked online between 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day.
It costs $US25 for a 45-minute session. There are plenty of freebies included in the price …
… like pajamas, if you want them. They’re not yours to keep, but you can wear them during your session.
The pajamas – which I can state from experience are very comfy and lightweight – come in unisex sizes. They’re made by a company called Sleepy Jones, and they’d cost $US178 if you were to buy your own pair.
Along with my PJs, I also got a small goody bag of tiny samples from luxury skincare brand Sunday Riley.
There was also a bookshelf full of books that promised to “put you right to sleep.”
I was the first nap of the day, so I headed right in. But if you need to wait for your session to start, you can relax in the waiting area.
There were free healthy snacks like almonds, fruit, and energy bars, as well as free drinks — I grabbed a cold brew coffee after my session.
Once it was time to begin my session, I headed back to the “refresh rooms.” Here, you can change into your PJs, wash your face, and apply any of the various creams and serums included in your goody bag.
After changing, I locked up my clothes and belongings inside nearby lockers. The lockers include a phone charger, so you can charge up while you’re resting.
Next, I waited outside the door to the Dreamery. A Casper employee — called a night owl — came to get me and explained how the process works.
You’ll be asked to keep your voice down inside the Dreamery so as not to disturb the other nappers.
Here’s what it looks like inside.
There are nine Casper Nooks total, spaced out inside a dimly lit room.
The lighting inside each nook is warm and inviting, and you can ask Casper to wake you at the end of your session by turning on the lights gradually, like a sunrise.
Each nook is complete with a twin-size Casper mattress and pillow, along with a light I could control myself. The eye mask is optional.
My nook had a little personalised placard wishing me “sweet dreams.”
The Casper employee closed the curtains on my nook, and then it was mine to do with as I pleased.
Casper doesn’t insist that you take a nap – you can meditate, scroll through Instagram, or listen to music (with headphones in, of course).
If I have one complaint about the nook itself, it’s that you can’t control your own temperature. I sleep hot, and I was a bit warm in my pajamas and underneath all those blankets. Plus, if you’re a little bit claustrophobic like me, some airflow would be a nice touch.
I wasn’t able to fall asleep during my session, but I did relax a bit. It got very dark and very quiet in my nook, and I certainly could have fallen asleep if it wasn’t only 11 a.m.
I would definitely visit the Dreamery again, whether to nap, or just to relax and unwind for 45 minutes. In a city like New York, it’s the perfect option for weary tourists, someone who just took a red-eye flight, or anyone who’s just had a long day.
That said, I’m not sure the concept would work as well in the suburbs, or in a more low-key or easier-to-navigate city than New York. Most people can just go home when they need a break.
Still, I can think of dozens of times when I wanted to sit and rest, but it would take too long to go home. I usually resort to visiting a coffee shop or bar, and spend money on drinks I don’t really want.
Instead, for $US25, I got some comfy pajamas, a free cold brew, some tiny skin care products, and some “me” time.
The Casper Dreamery is now open in the NoHo neighbourhood of Manhattan.
You can book your own nap session, or learn more, on the Casper Dreamery website.
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