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The bed-in-a-box mattress market might be crowded today, but it wasn’t long ago that one name stood out as being a pioneer in the online mattress world: Casper. Casper was one of the first big names in online bed-in-a-box mattress sales, and helped revolutionize the way many us shop for and buy our mattresses. When Casper first began selling its tightly-packed memory foam mattresses in 2014, the idea seemed far-fetched. Now, the online mattress sales industry brings in roughly $1.5 billion of sales every year. While many mattress etailers are content to rest on their laurels, Casper has taken the opposite approach by branching out and trying a completely different sales model. In late 2017, Casper opened fifteen “pop-up” retail shops to allow potential customers the chance to try Casper mattresses in person for a limited time.

The pop-up Casper stores will allow shoppers to try Casper products in person and even feature “nap pods” in case customers want a full-on sleep test of Casper’s mattresses. One of the first stores opened in Chicago earlier this month, and the stores are expected to stay open through early spring.

While some online-only purists might bristle at the idea of an online retailer opening physical storefronts, the idea makes sense when you think about what kind of product Casper offers. Since sleeping takes up such a large (and important) part of our lives, it’s important to know exactly how your body will feel on different mattresses. Sure, being able to shop online is convenient, but at the end of the day, your mattress plays a huge role in your daily happiness. Allowing customers to try out these mattresses in person (especially right before the holiday season), is likely to pull in many customers who have been on the fence about buying a mattress unseen (or is it unslept?). Will Caspers foray into the ‘real world’ pay off?

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