Best Sleep Masks
The difference between a great night’s sleep and an insufficient one usually comes down to obvious factors like your mattress, stress, and how dark the room is, but sleepers often underestimate the impact sleep accessories can have on their rest.
Sleep masks are sleep accessories made from fabric that covers both eyes to keep incoming light to a minimum. By simulating darkness, the best sleep masks allow nightshift nurses and other workers with irregular hours to sleep in the middle of the day. They’re also useful for long flights, naps, and those who have trouble sleeping regular hours.
In this guide, we’re sharing the best sleep masks of 2019 along with a buyer’s guide providing an overview of sleep masks available and considerations for buying. And while you’re shopping for ways to get better sleep, consider checking out our lists of the best pillows and best weighted blankets.
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Top 10 Sleep Masks
Nidra Deep Rest
Made from 100% polyester, this sleep mask has contoured cups that rest over the eyes instead of on top of them. The broader overall fit and flexible nose gap allow it to suit a wider variety of faces than other masks in the market.
Reason to Buy: This lightweight and contoured mask is an excellent option for travelers and day sleepers alike because it’s weightless, adjustable, and the contoured cups don’t irritate the eyes. The velcro strap keeps the mask in place as you sleep and aids in blocking out light from a bright room or plane cabin. It’s available for less than $12 in two colors.
Dream Essentials Lavender Sleep Mask
BEST AROMATHERAPY SLEEP MASK
The Dream Essentials mask weighs just one ounce and is made from linen satin with an adjustable velcro elastic strap. Each mask comes with a french lavender aromatherapy sachet to induce relaxation.
Reason to Buy: If you’ve had success with aromatherapy in the past, the Dream Essentials mask will allow you to incorporate it into your nighttime routine. Tuck the sachet in the mask’s front pocket and the lavender will lull you to sleep. Sleepers who prefer natural remedies will appreciate this add-on, but the mask works just as well without the sachet. Some reviewers store earplugs in the front pocket instead. The mask is washer friendly, but you’ll need to remove the sachet prior to washing.
Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask
BEST COOLING SLEEP MASK
Made from mulberry silk with an adjustable buckle strap, the Alaska Bear Sleep mask comes in more than twenty colors and patterns. It features a baffled nose flap to completely block light and prevent the mask from slipping.
Reason to Buy: The mulberry silk featured on both sides of this mask not only makes it feel luxurious to the touch but creates a cool, breathable feel. Children and adults who sleep hot can enjoy this mask, as the adjustable strap ranges from 15.8 inches to 27.6 inches long. It “feels luxurious,” according to reviewers, but costs less than $10.
Slip for beauty sleep ‘Slipsilk’ Pure Silk Sleep Mask
BEST LUXURY SLEEP MASK
The Slipsilk is made from mulberry silk with strict quality guidelines, including non-toxic dyes. Pure silk from the inside out, including the silk-covered elastic headband, this mask comes in seven classy colors, like blush, ivory, caramel, and silver, for $50.
Reason to Buy: Beauty publications often tout silk’s ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines and creasing around the eyes, and this mask is specially tailored for skincare aficionados and seekers of beauty sleep. The Slipsilk was specially-commissioned and developed over 10 years to provide the ultimate combination of “shine, thickness, and durability.” It’s our most expensive mask recommendation, made for the luxury shopper, and can be paired with the company’s other luxury sleep accessories, like Slipsilk pillowcases and hair ties.
MZOO Sleep Mask
MOST INNOVATIVE SLEEP MASK
The MZOO is made with polyester and memory foam padding. It features an adjustable back strap and the 3D design aids in light blockage.
Reason to Buy: The 3D design of the MZOO has a contoured, bubble-like space for the eyes that’s wider and deeper than other eye masks. The memory foam padding around the eye sockets keep the mask from touching your eyes, and it’s also great at preventing light bleed around the edges. It has a 5-star Amazon rating from more than 3,000 reviews and comes with a 6-night-product trial, earplugs, and a travel pouch.
Sleep Mask by Bedtime Bliss
BEST CUSTOMIZABLE SLEEP MASK
Made of rayon with a cotton lining, this sleep mask has an adjustable hook-and-loop strap, making it appropriate for children and adults. The molded design adapts to the facial features of its wearer, providing a personalized fit for anyone.
Reason to Buy: If you’ve had trouble with sleep masks in the past feeling uncomfortable or allowing light to seep through, we recommend giving the Sleep Mask by Bedtime Bliss a shot. While thin, it conforms closely and provides maximum darkness. The contoured cups in the eye areas reduce makeup smudging, and the bamboo and cotton materials keep it lightweight and temperature-neutral. It comes in seven colors for less than $15.
CALPAK Eye Mask & Neck Pillow Set
BEST SLEEP MASK SET
This set by CALPAK features a silk eye mask and neck pillow in five colors and patterns. Both the mask and pillow have magnetic closures and are machine washable, and the set comes with a clear carrying tote.
Reason to Buy: Frequent travelers who want to avoid bed head and bloodshot eyes will enjoy this matching set. After all, what’s the point of an eye mask if you can’t find a restful position for your neck and head? The silk keeps these products naturally breathable, too, so you can stay cool even if the plane or car is stuffy. The set is available for $95.
Lewis N. Clark Comfort Eye Mask
BEST VALUE SLEEP MASK
The Lewis N. Clark mask is made from nylon and an elastic strap with a buckle that won’t get stuck in your hair. A ridge at the bottom of the mask provides extra protection against incoming light.
Reason to Buy: Sold as a two-pack, The Lewis N. Clark masks have more than 2,000 positive ratings on Amazon and cost less than $12. Each mask is durable, however; one reviewer said hers lasted seven years. This mask pair is a great option for those with partners and spouses who will inevitably steal their mask at some point.
Nodpod Weighted Sleep Mask
BEST SLEEP MASK FOR STRESS
The Nodpod looks less like a sleep mask and more like a sectioned scarf with four equally weighted pods that lie across the face or wrap around the head. One side is made of cooling jersey while the other has warming microfiber fleece.
Reason to Buy: Move over weighted blankets—weighted sleep masks are having a moment. Based on the theory that gentle pressure applied to the body is calming, the makers of this weighted sleep mask claim it reduces stress and promotes restful sleep. The design is strap and velcro-free, so if you’re looking for an option that can lay freely over your eyes, this is it.
NEWGO Cold Eye Mask
BEST GEL SLEEP MASK
This gel mask comes in three colors and can be heated in the microwave for heat therapy or chilled for cold therapy. An elastic band holds it in place and a breathable fabric side makes direct skin use comfortable.
Reason to Buy: Gel masks are a great “twofer,” providing relief for puffy eyes while inducing sleep. If dark circles are a concern, you can store this mask in the freezer to help. The mask can also be warmed, which some find more relaxing. It’s a great accessory to have on hand for tough times, too. A cold compress has been proven to reduce migraines and headaches.
How to Pick the Right Sleep Mask for You
Types of Sleep Masks
Sleep masks are designed to fit snugly over the eyes and are made from one or a combination of natural fibers (cotton and silk), synthetic fibers (polyester and silk), and foam (polyfoam and memory foam). Most feature a strap to help the mask stay in place such as a buckle or elastic or velcro strap.
Pros and Cons of Sleep Masks
Advantages of using a sleep mask include:
- Improved sleep—Day sleepers can benefit from the light-blocking qualities.
- Low cost—Usually less than $20 per mask, they’re an affordable sleep-improving tool.
Downsides of using a sleep mask include:
- Uncomfortable—Sleepers may go through an adjustment period when they first begin wearing the mask.
- Acne—Visible effects of wearing the mask are sometimes experienced, from breakouts to messy hair.
- Difficulty waking—If the mask works too well, you may have trouble waking.
Here’s what to keep in mind as you shop for the best sleep masks:
- Breathability—The material will determine how cool it feels and how lightweight it feels around the eyes. For example, silk masks feel particularly luxurious on the skin.
- Size and attachment—The adjuster will determine if the mask fits children or adults. The attachment can also affect how comfortable the mask feels and how stable it is throughout the night.
- Effectiveness—A mask that blocks out 99% of light for one person may block 90% for another, as face shape plays a major role in their effectiveness. Consider buying a contoured sleep mask to improve your chances of blocking as much light as possible.
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