Best Sleep Mask 2021
Whether you do a lot of traveling or not, many people can benefit from a great sleep mask. And while sleep masks come in a wide variety of styles and designs, they all serve one core purpose of blocking out light to improve your quality of sleep. Many travelers swear by sleep masks because they can make it easier to sleep in environments that would otherwise not be conducive to quality sleep—such as on an airplane or private jet in broad daylight. For less frequent travelers, a sleep mask can still provide the light-blocking features needed to enjoy more restful sleep at a more affordable price than blackout curtains.
If you’re thinking about buying a sleep mask for yourself, you may be a little overwhelmed by the options available to you. Today, not only can you find a wide selection of traditional sleep masks, but everything from weighted sleep masks to aromatherapy sleep masks as well. We’ve taken some guesswork out of choosing your ideal sleep mask by putting together a list of the top five sleep masks on the market today, as well as some considerations and tips for deciding on the right one for your needs.
Best Sleep Masks
- Bedtime Bliss Sleep Mask
- RiptGear 3D Contoured Sleep Mask
- Yala Silk Eyeshades
- AyaZen Lavender Silk Eye Pillow
- NodPod Weighted Sleep Mask
Reviews of Best Sleep Masks
Begin your search for the best sleep mask with this list of top-rated products:
1. Bedtime Bliss Sleep Mask
The Bedtime Bliss Sleep Mask is frequently chosen as one of the best available, and for a number of reasons. For starters, these masks are designed with contouring around the eyes so that there isn’t any fabric pressing uncomfortably against your eyelids while you sleep. This also allows your eyes to engage freely in rapid-eye movement, which occurs during the deepest stages of sleep. This, combined with the soft material and comfortable fit, makes the Bedtime Bliss Sleep Mask a great choice for just about anybody.
2. RiptGear 3D Contoured Sleep Mask
The RiptGear 3D Contoured Sleep Mask is another top choice to consider as you shop; it offers 100% light-blocking materials, which makes it great for those who have a hard time sleeping anywhere but in total darkness. It is also contoured so that the material doesn’t touch the eyelids during sleep, and its lightweight design makes it both comfortable and easy to pack for travel.
3. Yala Silk Eyeshades
If you’re looking for an eye mask that will feel smooth and soothing on your skin, or if you have especially sensitive/delicate skin, then the Yala Silk Eyeshade may be a great choice. The silk material is lightweight and can help to prevent both wrinkles and breakouts caused by some other materials. Meanwhile, this mask features two thin straps that will help keep it in place without sacrificing your comfort in the process.
4. AyaZen Lavender Silk Eye Pillow
There are many aromatherapy eye masks on the market these days, but the AyaZen Lavender Silk Eye Pillow is frequently one of the top-selling options. The smell of lavender has been found to help improve sleep, and for travelers, the scent may help to block out some less-pleasant smells that tend to permeate airplane cabins. Meanwhile, you can add or remove lavender from the mask to customize your experience, which is a feature not offered by many other aromatherapy sleep masks.
5. NodPod Weighted Sleep Mask
If you’re familiar with the concept of a weighted blanket, the NodPod Weighted Sleep Mask employs a similar idea. The gentle weight of the mask (which is achieved using microbeads) is meant to help create a calming effect that can help those with insomnia, stress, or even travel anxiety. This unique mask also comes in a variety of sizes so you can find your perfect fit.
Advantages of Using Sleep Masks
Still not entirely sold on the idea of using a sleep mask? Consider a few of the key advantages of using a sleep mask, whether it be for travel-related purposes or for general everyday use.
Signal Melatonin Production
At night, your body naturally produces more of the hormone known as melatonin—which is what not only helps you fall asleep, but stay asleep as well. A lack of light helps your body to produce melatonin, so when you wear a sleep mask, you can encourage your body to create more of this sleep-friendly hormone without needing to take any supplements or sleep aids. That’s because sleep masks can block out up to 100% of light with a proper fit, so you can enter (and remain in) dream land regardless of the time of day!
Block External Stimuli
If you have a hard time falling or staying asleep in bright environments, you’re certainly not alone. Perhaps you even have blackout shades in your bedroom at home to help you sleep. Unfortunately, when you’re traveling, you may not always have the luxury of blackout curtains—and if you have hopes to sleep on the plane, you may find it difficult due to light and other stimuli.
This is where having a sleep mask can really come in handy, allowing you to enjoy the same effects of blackout shades even while you’re on-the-go. Sleep masks can completely block out external stimuli so you can sleep easily and more restfully no matter where you are.
Get More Restful Sleep
Many people who wear sleep masks also find that they’re able to achieve more restful sleep when compared to not wearing a sleep mask. This, again, probably has to do with the fact that these masks are designed to block out most (if not all) light and thus protect you from sleep disruptions. As a result, you may be able to wake up feeling better rested and more refreshed.
Enjoy Added Benefits
Depending on the type of sleep mask you end up purchasing, there are some other benefits you may be able to enjoy as well. For example, some sleep masks come with a built-in gel, similar to some travel pillows, that can be warmed up or cooled before wearing. These therapy gel features are thought to help reduce eye puffiness, prevent wrinkles, and even help to prevent or alleviate tension headaches.
Other types of sleep masks, such as aromatherapy or weighted sleep masks, are advertised to help you fall asleep and stay asleep longer.
Potential Drawbacks of Using Sleep Masks
While many people will find that the advantages of using sleep masks far outweigh any drawbacks, there are some potential disadvantages to consider before you decide to start using a sleep mask. Make sure to read the information below when planning for your trip and purchasing your sleep mask.
May Not Stay in Place
Not all sleep masks are created equal when it comes to overall fit and comfort. Sleep masks with flimsy straps or straps that are not easily adjustable may not stay in place, especially if you tend to do a lot of tossing and turning while you sleep. This can quickly defeat the purpose of wearing a sleep mask in the first place, as all it takes is the mask to be forced even slightly out-of-place to allow light to hit your eyes and disturb your sleep.
Could Smear Makeup
If you’re wearing makeup (such as mascara, eye shadow, or eyeliner) when you put a sleep mask on, you could end up with smudges when you wake up. This is most commonly an issue with non-contoured sleep masks, where the material of the mask itself rests directly on the eyelids. The good news is that this problem can be easily avoided by purchasing a contoured sleep mask or a mask with eye chambers; with this design, the mask material does not rest directly on the eyelid, so your makeup can be preserved.
May Leave Temporary Marks
Depending on the fit of your sleep mask and the sensitivity of your skin, you could end up with marks on your face or around your eyes when you take your sleep mask off. If you have somewhere to be shortly after you remove your sleep mask, this could create an embarrassing problem. The key to avoiding this issue is choosing a sleep mask with adjustable straps and a customizable fit. Still, if you have redness-prone skin, this could still be a problem.
Can Be Uncomfortable
Some people may find that sleeping with anything on their face is uncomfortable and may thus have a hard time reaping the usual benefits of a sleep mask. Furthermore, not all sleep masks are designed with optimal comfort in mind. For example, some may be made with lower quality materials that are uncomfortable on the skin, whereas a poor fit can also create problems.
What to Look For When Choosing a Sleep Mask
If you’ve decided to give sleep masks a try for yourself, there are a few things worth looking for as you shop that will help you make the best purchase.
Head shapes and diameters can vary greatly from one person to the next, so make sure to choose a sleep mask that comes with adjustable straps similar to straps found in carry-ons. This way, you can ensure a snug yet comfortable fit that will hold your mask in place and prevent it from slipping around while you sleep.
Maximum Light Blocking
Ideally, you’ll want to choose a sleep mask with a material that is 99%-100% light-blocking. Even a small amount of light coming in through your sleep mask may prevent you from being able to fall (or stay) asleep.
Interior Eye Chambers/Contoured Design
Non-contoured sleep masks will have material resting directly on your eyes. Not only can this be uncomfortable (or smear your makeup, if you’re wearing any), but it can also interrupt your sleep. That’s because your eyes tend to dart back and forth during your REM sleep cycle. Unfortunately, if you have any material obstructing your eyelids, this could prevent you from slipping into your REM cycle and thus affect the quality of your sleep.
An eye mask with interior eye chambers and/or a contoured design will ensure that no material rests on your eyelids.
Style and Design
If you’ll be traveling and seen with your sleep mask in public, then you may also want to give a little more thought to the specific design and style of the sleep mask itself. Many sleep mask brands, like luggage brands, offer a variety of colors to make their products more stylish, so if this is something that’s important to you, make sure you shop around for a style you can feel good about wearing.
Flexible and Breathable Materials
The flexibility and breathability of your sleep mask material is also important. Materials like silk can provide added comfort while also protecting skin that is easily irritated. Meanwhile, thicker yet harsher materials such as polyester may feel scratchy or uncomfortable, especially if the mask will be resting directly on your eyelids as you sleep.
Some sleep masks will come with added features, such as gel therapy or aromatherapy designed to improve the quality of your sleep. Other brands may include such features as microbeads for a weighted feel or even ear plugs with your purchase. If there are specific features you’re looking for in your sleep mask, be sure to shop around and filter based on your desired features.
Overall Value For Your Money
When shopping for a sleep mask, it’s generally better to spend a little more money on a product that is perfect for your needs and will last for many years to come. While sleep masks generally don’t tend to be very expensive, they can range greatly in cost and quality. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a sleep mask from a reputable brand that offers a 100% money-back guarantee. This way, if the mask you purchased doesn’t work for your needs, you can return it for a full refund and try something else.
Your Usual Sleeping Position
Be sure to also consider your typical sleeping position when you shop for a sleep mask. If you’re a side-sleeper, for example, there are specific sleep masks designed for this position that may make wearing a sleep mask more comfortable.
From encouraging melatonin production to eliminating sleep distractions while you travel, the right sleep mask can improve your sleep quality and help you feel better rested. The key, of course, is shopping around and ultimately choosing the sleep mask that best suits your needs. Be sure to check out our list of the top five sleep masks on the market today and keep these special considerations in mind as you shop. From there, you’ll be able to make your sleep mask purchase with confidence.