by Jennifer Allen on
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Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to good health and well being. Whether you’re battling light pollution from the city outside or you’re a shift worker struggling to sleep during the day, a good sleep mask is a lifesaver. We’ve rounded up our favorites to help you sleep deeply.
Why use a sleep mask? Sure you could invest lots of money in nice light-blocking window treatments, and prowl through your bedroom sticking custom light-blocking stickers on every LED you find, but it’s a lot easier to just cover your eyes and let the world around you keep shining on.
Before we dive into our recommendations, let’s highlight a few key details about sleep masks as not all sleep masks are alike, just like no one face is the same. We’ve worked on finding sleep masks for as many different scenarios as possible. We’ve found the best all-rounder, the best for absolute darkness, the best for style, heating, scent, and many other factors. Odds are there’s a sleep mask for you, even if you have very specific needs.
Remember though—in every case, it’s going to take time to settle into. In particular, foam based masks require a few days to mold to your face to be particularly comfortable. Be prepared to experiment a little till you find the right fit for you. Thankfully, unlike those pricey aforementioned window treatments, sleep masks are a downright bargain—so don’t be afraid to order more than one and test them out yourself.
The Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask offers a little bit of everything. It’s keenly priced at only $10, it’s comfortable thanks to its natural mulberry silk exterior that works on both sides of the mask, and it looks good too. It also works just as well for side sleepers as back sleepers.
It has an easy to adjust headband that promises to not tangle up with your hair, and there’s no velcro straps to get in the way either. The mask will happily co-exist with ear plugs and even a CPAP facial mask. It doesn’t guarantee 100% total blackout coverage, given that the nose cutout doesn’t comfort perfectly to every nose, but its sheer comfort means you’ll forgive it this small flaw as the light leaking (if it happens at all) isn’t really noticeable until bright light is shining directly at the gap around the nose.
With a little time, the Dream Essentials Escape Sleep Mask could be your new favorite sleep mask. That’s because it uses a foam interior that takes time to mould to your face. In the majority of cases, it ultimately provides 100% light blocking while remaining comfortable.
There’s an eye cavity area within the mask so your eyes don’t feel pressured by the fabric, and natural cotton means it’s safe for sensitive skin. The mask also comes with a pair of foam earplugs, and a satin drawstring carry pouch, which is perfect for regular travelers.
Contoured masks are deliberately moulded to fit around the average face. In the case of the Bedtime Bliss Contoured Sleep Mask, it means plenty of comfort, providing your face is fairly conventional in shape. Because it’s contoured, it’s perfect if you’re worried about smudging make up or you don’t want a mask too close to your face or nose. It won’t put pressure on your eyes either.
The mask also looks pretty stylish and comes with Moldex earplugs for extra convenience. A contoured mask isn’t for everyone given it’s a little restrictive when it comes to facial shape, but it is good for avoiding any uncomfortable feeling of pressure on the eyes.
If the slightest hint of darkness is unwelcome, but you still want to be comfortable, the Total Eclipse is a great bet (provided you sleep on your back). The mask blocks all light while contouring to your face, thanks to its foam interior. A fully adjustable elastic strap keeps things snug and cosy, with eye cut outs ensuring your eyes aren’t sore. There’s also a slot for storing your earplugs which is useful for keeping organized.
The catch? It doesn’t work anywhere near as well if you sleep on your side. On your back, it’s near perfect but the moment you move over, you’ll see light coming in. However, if you exclusively sleep on your back, this is a great mask to buy.
For total darkness, you can’t beat the Mindfold Eye Mask. Whether you sleep on your back, side, or even stomach, it blocks light out at all times. It also promises to not smudge eye make up while doing so, thanks to its eye cavities.
So, why isn’t this the best sleep mask of them all? It’s not as comfortable to wear as many others. The adjustable strap isn’t painful or anything but it’s a little irritating so if you’re a sensitive sleeper, you’re going to notice its effect. It’s tough to beat when it comes to complete darkness though, which is why it’s still worth trying for some.
As we’ve mentioned, everyone has a different face. In particular, everyone’s nose is a different size too. The P&J Health 100% Natural Silk Sleep Mask is perfect for those of us with larger noses. That’s because its design doesn’t pinch your nose at all.
Elsewhere, it’s a high quality sleep mask that’s 100% silk. It’s lightweight and soft, with a comfortable to wear adjustable strap. Its light elimination isn’t 100% but it’s still highly competent so it’ll work for the majority of sleepers — no matter where they are.
None of the sleep masks featured here so far are particularly stylish. Practical — yes — but not the kind of thing you’d want to show off while on a flight or train. The Bucky 40 Blinks Luxury Ultralight Sleep Mask is different in that regard. Available in 24 different colors, it’s an effective contoured sleep mask that also happens to look pretty great too.
Made from polyester interlock and polyurethane foam, it’s lightweight and moulds to your face. There’s no risk of there being undue pressure on your eyes, and it won’t even smudge your make up. As expected, it also provides a lot of protection from light too, so it should help you get a great night’s sleep or nap, while still looking cool.
If you’re looking for more of a spa treatment for your eyes, while you rest, the Graphine Times Heated Eye Mask is pretty sweet. Charged via USB, the sleep mask is heated up to a temperature of your choice. Low, medium, and high range from 100.4F to 113F to suit your mood and skin. An automatic shut-off feature means it’ll only stay heated for an hour each time so there’s no problem if you happen to fall asleep while wearing it.
It’s reasonably good at blocking out light too, so falling asleep shouldn’t be an issue. Alongside a comfortable and soft head strap, and this is a great change of pace from the usual masks you might use to nap in.
Many people swear by the use of scents to help with relaxation and mood, and lavender is a particularly popular scent that proponents say help with deep sleep. With that in mind it makes perfect sense to include a lavender scent within a sleep mask.
The Masters Mayfair Sleeping Mask is made out of natural silk so it’s comfortable and breathable, while still offering that delightful stress relieving scent. It comes with a velvet travel bag for easy storage, with a number of different colors available in the range. It doesn’t quite block out all the light but it’s still a fair middle ground when it comes to eye protection, and the scent makes it worthwhile if you’re looking for something a little different.
Many of the masks here are great for people with sensitive skin or allergies, but the Dream Sleeper Mask is the ultimate solution if you suffer badly from any such issues.
It’s hypoallergenic and latex free, immediately eliminating some of the key issues people suffer from. It also has wide straps so there’s no need to worry about it being an awkward fit, with it working just as well for side sleepers and back sleepers. Comfort is a big part of the Dream Sleeper Mask so irritation is non-existent. Even better, it actually blocks out all the light while you sleep, no matter your sleeping position. It’s expensive but worthwhile if you have sensitive skin. While some people find the blind-fold-like design off putting, fans of the Dream Sleeper can’t say enough good things about how effective it is.
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