The Best Sleep Masks
(Reviews And Buyer's Guide 2021)
It's hard to fall asleep when your room is engulfed in light even with the blinds drawn. But there's a quick fix to the problem — wearing a simple sleep mask! In this post, you'll discover the benefits of sleep masks, how to go about selecting one, and offer you a run-down of the finest sleep masks on the market today and best sleep mask overall.
NapForm Eye Mask with BioSense Memory Foam
Sleep Master Sleep Mask
Tempur-Pedic Sleep Mask
PrettyCare 3D Sleep Mask
Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask
What Are Sleep Masks?
Designed to be light, comfortable and portable, sleep masks are fabric bands that cover the eyes to block out light completely. Ideally, a well-made sleep mask should conform to your face and eliminate gaps that might let in even tiny amounts of light.
A lot of thought goes into its construction, from sourcing the optimal fabrics to designing a cover that doesn't put undue pressure on your eyelids or uncomfortable weight across your ears. And it's easy to use simply by placing the mask around your head via an elastic or fabric band, allowing you to adjust the tension to find exactly the right fit.
The Benefits of Using a Sleep Mask
To activate the production of melatonin, the right conditions have to be met, including having enough darkness to induce sleep. But what do you do if there's too much light streaming into your room? Or even just the glare of a smartphone, which can distract and disrupt sleep? Well, one idea is to consider blackout curtains or shades but that's only on a per room basis and won't block out light emitted from objects in the room itself...
Only a sleep mask can create the dark conditions necessary to induce sleep from anywhere.
By blocking out extraneous light, a sleep mask can help regulate the natural circadian rhythms responsible for inducing rest, thus restoring your ability to fall asleep (source). In fact, wearing a sleep mask is the only way many people with extreme sensitivity to ambient light can even get to sleep, let alone stay that way!
Additionally, a sleep mask may also help those who awaken to painfully dry eyes from sleeping with their eyes slightly open. Masks can discourage this tendency by keeping the eyelids closed through the night.
The Importance of Sleeping in Total Darkness [Video]
Disadvantages of Using a Sleep Mask
While wearing sleep masks poses no health risks, they can sometimes feel uncomfortable at first, especially if you're not used to falling asleep with something on your head like a pair of sleep headphones.
There's also an issue of becoming so reliant on sleep masks that falling asleep without them becomes difficult. But all things considered, these are minor considerations that likely pale in comparison to what they offer.
How to Choose a Sleep Mask
While most sleep masks are designed with materials adept at blocking out light, they don't always do an adequate job since everyone has different facial features or head size that may cause gaps between the sleep mask and face. But the very best sleep masks are designed to conform to the curves and angles of the "average" face without causing uncomfortable pressure points.
Now, some sleep masks work by pulling the fabric across your eyes when tightening the mask. But if you're the kind of sleeper who dislikes the sensation of fabric pressed against your eyelids, you'll want to opt for a mask that provides a hollow area directly over your eyes instead.
Another consideration is the materials used in the construction of the mask. Some sleepers tend to overheat as they sleep, making the choice of fabric an important factor. If this describes you, natural fabrics like silk or smooth fabrics like satin are possibilities. Otherwise, a plush fabric will do very well.
How to Use a Sleep Mask
Using a sleep mask couldn't be simpler. All you have to do is adjust the mask using the straps provided to find the optimal fit for your head size and facial features so that no light leaks in through any gaps. Once properly fit, the lack of visual stimuli should help you to relax and fall asleep in any setting, including:
- Long plane flights
- Daylight hour sleep (especially important for swing shift workers)
- Blocking out light emitted from television and/or reading lights
Reviews of the Best Sleep Masks
Using natural ingredients like green tea and charcoal as the basis for their proprietary BioSense foam, this sleep mask combines a plush material similar to plush blankets and a Velcro closure for a firm, comfortable fit.
Weighing in at only under an ounce, the NapForm is perfect for travel and feels light on the face. Its ample hollow spaces over the eyes allow free movement and relieve pressure on the eyelids while the area below the eyes contains an extra layer of contouring foam to completely block any light from leaking underneath, even when tossing and turning.
When considering comfort, style, and effectiveness, the NapForm sleep mask comes out on top of our list.
Combining superior light blocking with built-in sound muffling, this synthetic satin sleep mask wraps around the head completely, allowing no light to enter. The key comes down to its natural cotton padding — a cushioned texture that prevents light from penetrating the sides and bottom of the mask, while comfortably cushioning the face by distributing the pressure along the wide Velcro closure instead of the eyes and ears.
The Sleep Master Sleep Mask weighs in at just over two ounces, making it ideal to stow in a carry-on bag for long-distance flights or when staying at a hotel. And its sturdy construction and quality materials will keep the mask functioning and looking good for years to come.
Note: Each mask comes with a pair of complimentary earplugs for a total sleep package.
Unlike many conventional sleep masks which put pressure on the eyelids once tightening the straps, the special contouring of this sleep mask creates a hollow cavity directly over the eyes. Moreover, its durable Temper-Pedic foam material molds to the face, creating a personalized fit that keeps light from penetrating through gaps.
Not only is the foam material dirt-resistant, its velvet texture helps prevent the mask from slipping during sleep. And its thick, adjustable Velcro strap also helps secure the mask in place.
This comfortable sleep mask folds and stows easily for travel, allowing even daytime sleepers to get the proper amount of rest.
Weighing 0.5 ounces and only 0.6cm thick, this sleep mask is the lightest, most travel-friendly item on our list. Its material is made from a high-quality memory foam that breathes better than many other masks and blocks out light well. Moreover, its deep, molded eye cavities are designed for optimal comfort, allowing plenty of room to move the eyes without brushing against the mask.
That said, it does have a few downsides including a low-positioned Velcro strap that may "cut" into the ears during sleep and cheap stitching which may shorten its lifespan. Still, the PrettyCare sleep mask may do the trick if you're looking for a simple, inexpensive solution.
Note: Each mask comes with a pair of complimentary earplugs and travel bag for a total sleep package.
Competitively priced and designed to be lightweight and unobtrusive on the face, this eye mask is made from quality, natural dark silk, making it cool and smooth against the skin for ultimate comfort.
The mask is filled with a light foam to give it both shape and padding and includes adjustable double straps that fit perfectly for both adults and children (15 to 27-inch head span). And unlike many sleep masks (including others on this list), the Alaska Bear straps don't fully block the ears, making it easy to wear earplugs without causing them to fall out during sleep.
The combination of silk and foam padding in this sleep mask is designed to block out light even during the high noon sun. That said, its eye shade design terminates into thin straps just past the edge of the eyes, which may allow light to seep in from the sides. Still, for a budget-priced item, this sleep mask may suit your purpose.
Quick Product Comparison
Strap w/ plastic adjuster
Earplugs & Travel bag
What Is the Best Sleep Mask for You?
While any of these sleep masks will block out light sufficiently, only one emerges as the clear winner — the NapForm Eye Mask with BioSense Memory Foam. Here's why:
- Contours to the face without letting light seep in through gaps
- Cushioned design avoids pressure on the eyes
- Superior construction includes plush fabric and hypoallergenic materials
- Comfortable fit and long-lasting
The Napform is one of the more expensive options but the quality of materials and light-reduction capabilities are reflected in every aspect of its design, making it the best sleep mask for the job today.
Now Over to You!
What are your thoughts about using eye masks for sleep? Leave your comments below!