Online mattress seller Casper made a notable entrance into the smart home market earlier this year with the Glow, a smartphone-controlled bedside light with some nifty dimming features and gesture controls. For a company that had never made a consumer electronics device before, it was a surprisingly high-quality gadget. Unfortunately, it’s now much more expensive. Casper has quietly raised the price of the Glow by nearly 50 percent: it’s now $129 for a single unit, up from $89.
“Maintaining the highest quality product and experience for our customers remains our priority. This meant having to increase the price on Glow as the costs associated with making the product have gone up since our last production run,” a Casper spokesperson told The Verge in a statement. In other words, Casper appears to have priced the Glow incorrectly at the outset, or something unexpected must have occurred in its production process that is pushing up its manufacturing costs. The company did not provide any further clarification regarding the price hike.
It’s an unfortunate circumstance for Casper. The company has made a strong effort to transform itself from an online mattress seller in a crowded marketplace of competitors like Purple and Tuft & Needle into a kind of lifestyle and wellness brand. Casper now sells pillows, bed frames, and sheets. It has its own nightstand and even a fancy $125 dog bed engineered by the same team that designs its mattresses.
The Glow was designed as an extension of its brand, positioned around sleep wellness and marketed as a product that would help you wind down at night without the need to stare at a phone screen. You can automatically set a dimming timer for the device that can be activated by flipping it from end to end, while rotating it on its wireless charging base dims and brightens the light. It’s also battery-powered, meaning you can pick it up and carry it with you to other parts of the house or even on short trips away from home.
In my time with the device back in February, I thoroughly enjoyed it. But I found its high price, at $89, made it more of a smart home luxury than a product that could compete with cheaper, more utilitarian smart lighting options from Philips and other brands.
At $129, the Glow is even more inaccessible for most consumers. It’s still the same stellar smart light, but it’s priced in a way that makes it hard to recommend unless you can reliably get a substantial amount of value out of it. To that end, Casper does offer a 30-day trial similar to the 100-day trials on its mattress line. So if you don’t like the Glow after one month, you can get a full refund. Still, $130 for a smart light that doesn’t even have voice control or any third-party support at the moment is a much tougher sell than when the Glow launched for $40 cheaper.