The Best Sleep Masks
Most people recognize the major impact a mattress has on sleep quality, but not everyone realizes that light also greatly affects amount and quality of sleep. Our body’s circadian rhythm primes us to be alert or tired at different times and is highly influenced by light. Wearing a sleep mask is one way to help keep your body’s circadian rhythm on track and improve your sleep.
People who sleep during the daytime aren’t the only ones who can benefit from using a sleep mask. Darkness at night cues our bodies for rest, but street lights or morning sun seeping in through blinds, nightlights, and the glow of home electronics can interfere with this cue. For these reasons, a sleep mask can help block out light and improve your sleep.
This guide explains the benefits of a sleep mask and helps you determine the best eye mask for sleeping.
Our Top Picks
|Natural Silk Sleep Mask||Super soft silk material, adjustable, velcro-free headband, 15 colors and designs||See Best Price|
|Cotton Sleep Eye Mask||Additional fabric around nose area, 100% handmade design, 5-layer breathable construction||See Best Price|
|3D Sleep Mask||No-eye pressure design, comfortable memory foam, 60-day trial period||See Best Price|
|Bedtime Bliss||Sleep Mask||No-eye pressure design, CPAP machine compatible, 7 color options||See Best Price|
|YIVIEW||Sleep Mask||No-eye pressure design, low price, 4 color options, 12-month full refund policy||See Best Price|
Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask
Why we like it:
- Pure silk material feels super soft against skin
- Adjustable band fits virtually all head sizes
- Velcro-free headband won’t tangle hair
- Sleek design works with CPAP masks and earplugs
- 15 colors and designs to choose from
The Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask is a top seller on Amazon with over eleven-thousand reviews because of its soft feel. It is made with 19 momme natural mulberry silk, front and back. Mulberry silk is the highest quality silk available. It is a soft, durable silk that’s hypoallergenic, making it a good choice for people with sensitive skin. There are fifteen color and design options for people wanting a cute sleep mask beyond the normal black.
This sleep mask has one strap with a plastic adjuster that stays at the back of your head, rather than the sides. This benefits side sleepers who might be irritated by an adjuster touching their temples. The strap adjusts from 15.8 to 27.6 inches so the sleep mask can be used with men, women, and children.
Alaska Bear offers a 30-day return policy on unopened, unused sleep masks, and they are willing to exchange defective or damaged items beyond that time frame.
Mavogel Cotton Sleep Mask
Why we like it:
- Additional fabric blocks light from entering through nose area
- Thicker strap keeps sleep mask in place
- Handmade construction means precise stitching and minimal rubbing
- 5-layer mask blocks light while remaining breathable
The Mavogel Cotton Sleep Mask is a popular, one-strap sleep mask known for its light-blocking ability and comfort.There’s additional light-blocking fabric on the sides and around the nose area of the mask that isn’t on most sleep masks. The Mavogel Cotton Sleep Mask is a good option for people who have tried other sleep masks and still had light seep in around the edges.
This sleep mask is uniquely designed to avoid putting pressure on the eyes, so consider trying it if you’ve found other sleep masks cause you discomfort. This 100% handmade sleep mask has five layers of breathable fabrics and its design was updated in 2019 to make it even more comfortable. It fits head sizes from 19 to 29 inches.
Mavogel offers the Cotton Sleep Mask in two colors: black and gray. Mavogel defaults to the Amazon return policy, which is to accept returned items up to 30 days after receipt of delivery.
MZOO 3D Sleep Mask
Why we like it:
- 3D design means no pressure on eyes
- Memory foam contours to face for comfort
- Thick mask blocks light from edges
- Comes with earplugs and travel case
- MZOO offer extended 60-day trial period warranty
The MZOO 3D Sleep Mask is another highly-rated sleep mask available on Amazon. People choose this mask for its 3D design and contouring memory foam. The 3D design means thick fabric around the mask seals out light and lifts the eye mask so it doesn’t touch your eyes. The memory foam contours to your face, blocking light and providing comfort and stability, so the mask won’t move when you roll over.
This mask has a single adjustable strap that should not tangle hair. It fits head sizes 16.5 - 27.5 inches in circumference. The mask is only available in black.
The MZOO 3D Sleep Mask also comes with a travel pouch and pair of soft earplugs. A unique benefit of this sleep mask is that MZOO allows customers a 60-day trial period in which they can use the mask and return it if they don’t like it, making the purchase nearly risk-free.
Bedtime Bliss Sleep Mask
Why we like it:
- Contoured design keeps pressure off eyes
- Compatible with CPAP machine masks
- Mask is available in 7 color options
- Comes with earplugs and travel case
The Bedtime Bliss Sleep Mask has earned nearly nine-thousand reviews on Amazon because of its contoured design and variety of available colors. The contour of the mask keeps pressure off of eyes and makes blinking and eye movements possible without interference. The seven color options are good for people wanting a cute sleep mask.
This sleep mask is constructed with polyurethane foam covered by an outer polyester layer. It has a single, thick elastic strap that connects in the back of your head with velcro. Some people prefer this strap type because it doesn’t contain plastic adjustment clasps that can cause discomfort, though others find that their hair sticks in velcro. The straps are compatible with CPAP machine masks.
The Bedtime Bliss Sleep Mask comes with foam earplugs and a travel case. This sleep mask’s manufacturer uses the Amazon return policy, which allows customers to return items within 30 days of receipt of delivery.
YIVIEW Sleep Mask
Why we like it:
- Unique edging makes sleep mask more durable
- 3D contoured design keeps pressure off eyes
- Price is lower than similar-quality masks
- Mask is available in four colors
- YIVIEW allows full refunds up to 12 months after purchase
The YIVIEW Sleep Mask is a popular sleep mask because of its 3D contoured design, low price, and 12-month refund policy. The mask is constructed with foam covered by fabric. The comfortable foam fits to the face and provides lift so the mask doesn’t touch your eyes. This mask comes in three-packs for a price you’d pay for a single mask of comparable quality. It could be a good option if you need masks for more than one person or location.
The YIVIEW Sleep Mask comes in four colors, for people wanting a cute sleep mask. The colors are black, blue, red, and purple. The construction of the mask’s edging makes the mask durable, so you won’t have to worry about it falling apart.
YIVIEW offers an unusually generous return policy, allowing customers to return their eye masks for a full refund up to 12 months after purchase.
Sleep Mask Buyer’s Guide
This guide will help you determine what to consider when shopping for a sleep mask, and how to identify the best sleep mask for you. Sleep masks are valuable because they help people sleep by blocking out light that would throw off circadian rhythm. Darkness signals to the body that it’s time to sleep and a good sleep mask helps create the total darkness you need to sleep soundly.
The best sleep mask for you is one that effectively blocks out light and feels comfortable on, helping you sleep unbothered during the night. This section explains how straps, materials and fill, mask design, and other factors contribute to your comfort and the mask’s effectiveness.
Sleep Mask Considerations
There is no universally perfect sleep mask for everyone. That’s why you want to carefully consider your needs and research sleep masks before purchasing.
There are many factors to take into consideration when purchasing a sleep mask, particularly the strap, your comfort needs and preferences, the effectiveness with which the mask blocks out light, the materials and fill used to construct the mask, and whether or not the mask is travel-friendly.
- Adjustable Strap: Since different people have different head sizes and shapes, adjustable straps are necessary. Most sleep mask straps contain elastic that provides minor adjustment capabilities. They also usually use either velcro or a plastic adjustment mechanism to provide more major adjustment.
- Comfort: The comfort of a sleep mask is the sleeper’s subjective experience of how the mask feels on. Size, design, strap, materials, and fill all contribute to comfort. Some people prefer flat sleep masks, while others like contoured masks that do not touch their eyes. Similarly, different sleepers prefer different strap types and materials.
- Effectiveness: Effectiveness refers to how successful the mask is at blocking out light. The materials and fill determine how light-proof the mask itself is, while the design and construction determine if light will seep in around the edges of the mask.
- Materials and Fill: Sleep masks come in a variety of materials and fill. Some contain foam cores and others are fabric only. Natural materials used in sleep masks include silk and cotton, while commonly-used synthetics are polyester and polyester blends.
- Travel-friendly: A sleep mask is more travel-friendly if it comes with a protective case, if it can easily slip into a travel bag, and if it can withstand being folded or smashed.
Materials and Fill
The materials and fill of a sleep mask are important to consider because they meet different needs related to comfort, skin sensitivity, durability, breathability, and light blockage. The most common materials and fill are foam, natural materials such as cotton and silk, and synthetic fibers such as polyester and poly-blends.
- Foam: Foam is used as a core material in many sleep masks to provide added comfort, then covered by fabrics. Foam can contour to your face, providing a soft feeling while creating a seal that blocks out light. Well-fitting foam sleep masks are usually effective at creating complete darkness.
- Natural Materials: Cotton and silk are the most common natural materials used in sleep masks. Silk is a good option for people who want a super-soft feel. Cotton provides softness and breathability. Cotton is good for those with allergies, but it is absorbent, so it isn’t the best choice for people who wear a lot of night cream.
- Synthetic Fibers: Polyester and polyester blends are the most common synthetic fibers used in sleep masks. These are lightweight, durable materials that will last long and return their shape after washing. They might not be as soft or breathable as natural materials, however.
Benefits of Using a Sleep Mask
There are many benefits to using a sleep mask, and improved sleep quality at home is only one of them. Using a sleep mask is likely cheaper and more convenient than rearranging your life to create a dark sleeping environment. Sleep masks can also improve sleep quality while traveling or sleeping in different places, while protecting your eyes and skin.
- Improve sleep quality: If you have insomnia or don’t sleep as soundly as you’d prefer, a sleep mask might help. Many people don’t realize the effect even low levels of light have on the body’s circadian rhythm.
- Enjoy convenience: You might not be able to move to the country or find a spouse who doesn’t insist on reading late at night, but you can slip on a sleep mask.
- Sleep well away from home: Sleep masks are useful for sleeping in different places and situations. If you want to fall asleep on a long plane ride or in a hotel room that doesn’t have blackout curtains, a sleep mask might do the trick.
- Protect your eyes and skin: Some people use sleep masks to prevent dry-eye during the night, protect their make-up during a mid-day nap, or help reduce eye wrinkle development during sleep.
Drawbacks and Risks of Using a Sleep Mask
Generally, the use of sleep masks is safe and free from any major health risk. Most sleep masks are relatively low in cost and have refund policies, so the financial risk is also low. Still, some people do experience unwanted outcomes from using a sleep mask.
- Oversleeping: The sleep mask could help you sleep too well, to the point that you feel groggy and have trouble waking up when your alarm goes off in the morning.
- Discomfort: If you’re particularly sensitive or purchase the wrong sleep mask for you, discomfort could become an issue. Most sleep mask discomfort stems from tight or misplaced straps, or unwanted pressure on the eyes or elsewhere.
- Skin issues: Some people find that sleep masks cause breakouts, itching, or allergic reactions on their face. Identifying the best sleep mask materials for your body should take care of this problem.
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