Two angles facing left, which often indicate, “return to the beginning.” Two angles facing right, which often indicate, “advance to the end.”

  • The online mattress company Casper has expanded its sleep-centric product line to include everything from bedside lights to duvets to multiple types of mattresses.
  • More products, however, mean a lot more product testing is needed — especially for a company that’s as much a high-tech startup as it is a mattress company.
  • Recently, Business Insider was invited for a tour of Casper’s San Francisco testing lab.Read on for a look inside the lab.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

The online mattress company Casper made waves when it launched in 2014 — mostly for the completely new buying experience it offered.

Instead of having to visit a mattress store in-person and negotiate with aggressive salespeople, those in the market for a new bed could simply order one on Casper’s website and have it shipped (in a compact cardboard box) right to their front doorsteps.

However, as Casper’s co-founder and Chief Product Officer Jeff Chapin told Business Insider in a recent interview, the mattress world caught on quickly to the experience the startup was offering, and many copied its playbook.

“Now there’s like 50 companies that sell one mattress online,” Chapin said. “The landscape changed. We have to adapt to that and find a new value proposition. We think it’s about getting people better sleep.”

A focus on better sleep has broadened the possibilities for Casper, beyond selling the one, standard mattress it offered when it first launched. Today, Casper’s sleep-centric product line runs the gamut from bedside lights to duvets to multiple mattresses for an array of preferences.

“It’s all about — how do you meet the needs of more people?” Chapin said. “We do think there’s this big unmet need around sleep, it’s just finding what’s our unique take on everything.”

Read more:I slept on Casper’s new adjustable bed frame with a built-in massage function — here’s what it was like

Casper’s ability to expand its product offering beyond mattresses will become increasingly important as the company prepares to go public, which it announced in March it had begun preparing for. To date, Casper has raised over $330 million and was most recently valued at $1.1 billion.

More products also mean a lot more product testing — especially for a company that’s as much a high-tech startup as it is a mattress company. Chapin told us that for every product that eventually makes it to market, many don’t, but that the tinkering and experimenting in its lab is “all about figuring out what is a sleep company and what isn’t.”

Here’s a look inside Casper’s San Francisco testing labs:

1/19

The Casper lab is located in San Francisco’s Mission District.

The Casper lab is located in San Francisco's Mission District. Katie Canales/Business Insider

2/19

At the labs, there are firmware engineers, electrical engineers, design researchers, and more who are thinking up Casper’s next generation of products.

At the labs, there are firmware engineers, electrical engineers, design researchers, and more who are thinking up Casper's next generation of products. Katie Canales/Business Insider

Casper outsources some of its ergonomics testing, but most of its prototyping and testing takes place in-house, right in the heart of San Francisco.

The company’s business headquarters is in New York City.

3/19

Casper’s co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Jeff Chapin, was our guide.

Casper's co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Jeff Chapin, was our guide. Katie Canales/Business Insider

4/19

Chapin explained that Casper is in the sleep business, not just the mattress business, which means the company thinks about products people use when preparing to go to bed and when they wake up.

Chapin explained that Casper is in the sleep business, not just the mattress business, which means the company thinks about products people use when preparing to go to bed and when they wake up. Katie Canales/Business Insider

5/19

That’s why in January the company launched the Glow Light — a “smart” bedside light that slowly dims as you’re getting ready for bed and slowly brightens when you want to wake up.

That's why in January the company launched the Glow Light — a Katie Canales/Business Insider

6/19

Chapin said that the Glow took them two years to develop and that initial sales for the product far exceeded expectations. In less than one month, Casper sold…