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Last updated: May 18, 2021
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A sleep mask can be a very simple purchase, but also an extremely important and useful one. If you work nights and need to sleep in the day, or simply struggle to sleep due to ambient light creeping into your home from streetlights, for example, getting the best sleep mask is essential for improving your sleeping patterns. Sleeping in darkness is vital for the body and helps to produce enough melatonin. This ultimately means a better night’s sleep, and more rest.
The features of a good quality sleep mask are pretty simple. They aren’t hugely high-tech products! That said, some have included features such as Bluetooth functionality in the modern age. Generally, a comfortable contoured design to protect your eyes, a flexible size, adjustability and a good quality material will help to create the best-rated sleep mask. Taking all this into consideration, we’ve named the FRESHME 100% Handmade Cotton Sleep Mask our top sleep eye mask. It is comfortable, stays in place and won’t cause issues for your eyes.
Our team has tried and tested these products as well as using consumer reviews to rate the very best products on the market and find suitable options for a variety of different lifestyles. Our research is presented as a simple overview table of the best products, and we’ve also gone into full, detailed reviews before creating a buying guide for you to better understand the vital features and make the right decision for you.
The FRESHME 100% Handmade Cotton Sleep Mask is our top rated light-blocking sleep mask. It is perfect for stopping light from coming in but also has a nose wing design, which allows you to still breath comfortably.
The 95% cotton design gives a padded and comfy feel, which is soft on the face and doesn’t hurt their eyes. It is a good sleep mask for men and women and it is fully adjustable, it can fit every age too.
As you would expect from a small cotton mask, it is very lightweight. This mask is easy to carry around and has a carry bag which can go inside your bagpack, for example.
It’s totally washable and designed to go back to its original shape once washed. The durability means you should get long-term use out of this sleep mask.
As well as covering the eyes, this product goes around the ears and can act to block out noise, perfect for trying to sleep on a plane or train, for example.
Why did it make our list?
Handmade out of quality cottons
Can act to block out some noise
Adjustable and suitable for most head sizes
What is not ideal about it?
No specific contour to the eyes, though still very comfortable
We live in the age of technology! The Joseche Bluetooth Sleeping Eye Mask is a great example of this. You can use your devices such as smartphones and tablets to play music, audiobooks or other audio while you have covered your eyes. This is perfect for plane travel, for instance.
The battery lasts up to 9 hours, and you can even take the Bluetooth element out so that this mask can be washed.
It has a velcro design making this adjustable, and pretty comfortable for all heads.
Naturally, this has speakers inbuilt which are designed for just the wearer to be able to hear. These speakers are decent, but not amazing. For ultra-clear audio you may have to pay more. That said, being able to listen to sound and block out other noise while you go to sleep is great.
It’s made of 95% cotton and this makes the mask pretty comfortable. The long battery also makes this one of the best sleep masks for travel.
What makes it special?
Velcro makes this adjustable, so you can match it up to your head size
Reliable Bluetooth connection
Battery life of up to 9 hours, suitable for many flights or extended use
We’ve named the Tker our best anti-slip sleep mask as it has a clever design meaning that a gel within the strap at the back stops it from slipping off your face. Slipping can be an issue for eye masks, if it slips off in the night it can reduce your chances of a good night’s sleep or proper melatonin production, and potentially get tangled, causing discomfort.
The eye sections are designed to be rigid and not put pressure on the eyes, and like some other options this also includes ear plugs. There are even extra eye cups in case you need to replace these. The cups themselves are covered in velour, designed to be very comfortable.
A nose wing design prevents this model from blocking air from getting through the nasal passage.
The strap at the back is made out of a specific type of velcro, designed not to tangle up your hair.
As we’ve mentioned, the main benefit here is that the mask is very secure, so it’s unlikely you will lose it off your head during your sleep time. This makes it a good choice for a sleep mask for side sleepers, due to the fact it is less likely to snag and get dragged off.
The Lewis N. Clark Comfort Eye Mask is sold as a 2-pack. This is great for families, for instance if you need to stock up before you go on holiday and do a lot of air travel. These are affordable and while not luxurious, they do the job of keeping the light out.
Though these are not contoured sleep masks, they are well-cushioned to try to prevent eye pressure.
The nylon that these masks are mainly made out of are very good for durability, if not the most amazing for comfort.
A buckle design allows for adjustability and tightening to your preference. This can be used in conjunction with a CPAP mask so the Lewis N. Clark Comfort Eye Mask could be a great choice if you’re after a sleep mask for sleep apnea.
You can hand wash this mask if it becomes dirty over time.
The Jersey Slumber 100% Silk Sleep Mask is immensely simple. This is the ‘old-fashioned’ design of sleeping mask you may think of, and many people still prefer. The silk design will feel good against your skin and this is a way to keep the light out effectively with a very compact mask.
There are downsides to silk masks, but the main one, the fact that they can put pressure on your eyes, is not such a big issue with this as it fits comfortably and is adjustable. The Jersey Slumber is designed not to contract your eyelids. It isn’t as good as some of the contoured options above, but it isn’t terrible either.
The silk design still manages to be breathable, making this a good sleep mask for dry eyes.
The adjustment of this sleep mask is done with an adjustable elastic strap around the back. It is simple, and it is unlikely you’ll catch your hair.
The silk is very comfortable, 100% Mulberry Silk. It could maybe do with more cushioning, and this is not a high tech mask, but it is affordable and suitable for those who prefer a silk design. It may be what you are used to!
What stands out?
Comfortable mulberry silk
Does a good job of blocking out the light
Compact and easy to transport
What cons did we manage to find?
Not brilliant for the eyes and does contract a little around the eye area.
A sleep mask is a relatively simple product, and there’s not necessarily any need to spend a lot of money on it. The OriHea Eye Mask for Sleeping is our budget pick and is a great example of how you can still get some pretty good features without spending too much money.
This mask is contoured, and designed with a 3D cup for each eye, this keeps the pressure off your eyes and allows you to still move them freely, as well as blinking.
A nose baffle has been built into the design which allows the nose to still be left clear to breathe. This is both good and bad as it can let a small amount of light in and make it tougher to get the right amount of R.E.M sleep and block out the sun.
This product comes with ear plugs and is suitable for use in public, it can block out a lot of the sunlight and also some of the noise.
The memory foam design is pretty comfortable, and this can be adjusted to fit nicely with the strap at the back.
What stands out?
Contours and protects the eyes
Comes with ear plugs
Available in multiple colors
What cons did we manage to find?
Velcro strap can catch on your hair in some situations
Nose baffle can allow in some light and defeat the purpose of a sleep mask
Things to Consider
There is quite a lot of choice on the market if you are looking to buy a sleep mask. Though you could be forgiven for assuming that all of these masks are pretty similar, that isn’t strictly true. In order to make the right decision you need to do a little research and work out which features are going to be most vital for your own needs. This is why we’ve created a buying guide all about the best eye masks for sleep. We cover the important considerations and features to allow you to choose the right option.
Advantages of using a sleep mask
Using a sleep mask is not just for travel. A lot of people assume that these products are best if you are going on public transport and want to catch some sleep. This isn’t necessarily the case, and there are lots of people who could benefit from a sleep mask. Sleeping in full darkness has a good impact on your body and the healthy production of melatonin.
If you sleep in a room which can get very bright, you may wake up quickly after sunrise. Some people struggle with light from the street, depending on the area where they live. Of course, if you work in the evenings then there is every chance you rely on daytime for a lot of your sleeping. This means that a sleep mask could be essential to block out the bright daytime sunlight.
Blocking out the sun can improve the quality of your REM sleep, too. This is vital to getting a proper, restful night’s sleep.
Features to consider when choosing a sleep mask
The following features are the most important we’ve picked out for you to consider when finding the best sleep mask for your needs. Obviously, there’s a chance you may have some other considerations such as if you have sleep apnea or other conditions. Ultimately, our sleep mask review section has been based on the features listed below.
Mask design: is it contoured?
A contoured design is usually created in a sleeping mask in order to stop the mask from actually making direct contact with your eyes. This can be a big issue for masks such as silk masks which can stop your eye from freely moving. This can prevent REM sleep and cause discomfort. A contoured design can also better fit around your face and ears, creating a generally far more comfortable experience.
There are some designs that aren’t contoured and still manage to be okay, but these are far from perfect. If you really want to keep your eyes protected, you might want to think about a contoured design.
The straps are what keep your sleep mask in place. Naturally, you need these to be adjustable, we all have different head shapes and you should get a product that allows you to match to yours. Straps should also be comfortable and not dig into your head anywhere. Straps can be a really good extra feature for people who need their mask to stay perfectly in place. The
Tker Sleep Mask is an example of this. It has a gel design that keeps it securely in place and prevents the mask from slipping off.
The traditional material you think of may be silk. A silk design doesn’t really lend itself to contouring, though, and sometimes these can be a little tight. Materials such as memory foam and cotton, as used in the FRESHME 100% Handmade Cotton Sleep Mask, are also very popular in the designs of sleep masks.
The material should be breathable as well as comfortable for you, but there is an element of personal preference here. Some people just prefer the feel of one material over another.
Noise canceling properties
As well as blocking out the light, a lot of the designs on this list are designed to block out noise, too. This can be great for traveling on public transport or trying to sleep somewhere in public or with background noise. The FRESHME Handmade Cotton Sleep Mask covers the ears and can, therefore, block out some noise. Some other products have included earplugs which can be used in conjunction with the mask to have the same effect.
Extra technology and some cool added features can make your sleep mask more exciting and add a little bit more functionality. For instance, the Bluetooth model, the Joseche Bluetooth Sleeping Eye Mask, can allow you to listen to music while you are wearing your mask. Other features include cooling gels and designs to stay in place, or specific sleep masks designed for use with CPAP machines.
It is a possibility that a sleep mask can damage eyelashes. If you buy an ill-fitting or tight mask then there is every chance it can damage your lashes, so the key is to find the right option. A soft, cushioned mask may do the job, but for the safest option you can go for a contoured mask.
In the majority of cases, a sleep mask will block out all light. There are sometimes issues with this. Some of the contoured options have little areas for the nose to ensure you can still breathe as well, and these may let light in. Also, a mask which doesn’t fit properly can let in light.
Again, avoiding wrinkles or any other issues for your skin is all about finding the right mask. Only tight masks which stretch out the skin will do this. Find something which doesn’t apply pressure, such as a contoured design.
The FRESHME 100% Handmade Cotton Sleep Mask is our editor’s choice and has been rated 9.9/10. It is easy to keep clean, comfortable and does an effective job, and even helps with blocking out noise.
The extremely smart Joseche Bluetooth Sleeping Eye Mask comes in next at 9.8/10. Being able to connect to your device and listen to audio while you drift off to sleep is a bonus, and a long battery means it is suitable for travel.
The MZOO Sleep Eye Mask is also highly rated at 9.7/10. It is comfortable if a little bulky, and the included ear plugs are an extra bonus.