Have you ever woken up on the weekend with the sun glaring through the window early in the morning when all you want to do is sleep in? This is something all of us can relate to since the chances are that it has happened at least once in our lives. Would you like to take an afternoon nap, or does your partner enjoy late night movies or games and the light from the TV bothers you? Or do you just want to spend an hour meditating without your attention being drawn by the flickers of light through your eyelids?
There is one simple solution for each of these problems – get a sleeping eye mask. But however simple this solution may be, there are so many varieties and types to choose from that it can be exhausting to find the best fit. This is why we have compared and weighed up the pros and cons of each type. We have found our favourite eye sleeping mask, and hopefully, we will help you to get better acquainted with all of them.
Classic Sleeping Masks
The most obvious and common type of sleeping mask is the classic one. It can be made of silk, satin or cotton, and even a combination of those materials, sometimes with the addition of foam for a softer effect. Classic sleeping masks are the cheapest option, but that does not mean they are of the lowest quality. The materials they are made of are natural, easy on the skin, and they allow the skin to breathe during the night. Although they are thin, the materials used are great for blocking out the light.
The downside is that some users complain that the mask pressures their eyes which prevents them from opening them upon waking. Another possible issue is that they sometimes do not fit as snugly as you would want which allows the light to come in through the area around the nose. This usually depends on the shape of your face which means that you should look for the right fit for you. As for the light coming in, if you are not the lightest of sleepers or if you do not sleep in a really bright room, this is not necessarily a big problem.
Gritin Ultra Soft Sleep Mask, Eye Mask and Ear Plug
If you are thinking about getting your first sleeping mask, the classic style could be the best choice for you. We have found that the Gritin sleep mask will give you the quality you are looking for, and it is perfect for checking if sleeping masks are something you could use in the future. It is highly affordable and you will get your money’s worth (if not more). The only downside that we found with this model is that its adjustable strap doubles up right at the back of your head which can be a little uncomfortable if you sleep on your back or are leaning your head against a harder surface. Otherwise, it is a great starter mask. It is both long and wide enough not to allow the light to come in at the sides and around your nose. It is soft on your skin, and it comes with a carrying bag to keep it clean for longer. Your entire family can use it safely on planes, buses, etc and it is perfect for use with the earplugs which come with it to cancel out noise along with the light.
Features of Gritin Ultra Soft Sleep Mask, Eye Mask and Ear Plug
The most amazing feature of this mask is the material it is made of. It is completely skin friendly, and will give you the rich, luxury feel of pure mulberry silk against your skin. The inside of the mask is filled with pure cotton which makes it really soft and breathable. The cotton allows the mask to fit snugly against your face and in that way prevents the light from penetrating around your nose. It comes with an adjustable strap that makes it suitable for men, women and children. The strap will not tangle your hair, and is durable and strong enough to hold the mask in place, even if you are a restless sleeper. This lightweight mask will allow you to get your much-needed rest by creating a ‘midnight environment’.
Advantages of Gritin Ultra Soft Sleep Mask, Eye Mask and Ear Plug
BreathableThe combination of silk and cotton allows your skin to breathe during the night without adding extra pressure and making you too warm.
Soft and comfortableThe natural materials are soft on your skin, and it is almost impossible to develop any irritation to the material.
ElegantIts simple design and silk feel will give a classy touch to your night-time routine.
EarplugsThe mask comes with not one but two pairs of earplugs for a quiet night.
Light blockThe Gritin mask does not allow the light to come through to your eyes despite the soft and thin nature of the materials.
The Gritin sleep mask is a great choice for you if you need a good night’s sleep and want to experience complete darkness with the help of natural materials. This simple mask is sure to deliver.
3D Contoured Sleeping Masks
Contoured sleeping masks differ from the classic ones in several ways, however, the main point of difference is the fact that they have contoured chambers for your eyes so you can open them. Another important thing is that they do not touch your eyelids or put pressure on your eyes during REM sleep.
Contoured sleeping masks are probably the best choice for you if you do not require anything high-tech or any of the specialised versions. They are an upgrade to the cheapest classic versions so by investing a little more money in a contoured sleeping mask, you will ensure prolonged quality and better effects on your sleep. There are many models on offer for you to choose from and they differ in their durability, the material they are made of, their adjustability, effectiveness and so on. We have been through several of them and have picked these two models for you:
Bedtime Bliss Sleep Mask
If you are looking for a comfortable, pleasant sleeping mask, you are probably on the right track with this one. Whether you need it to block out morning light or street light, for travel or to use in your home, it does the job. Carry it around in your bag and easily wash it when you feel you need to. It is soft, lightweight and washable. These and many other features make the Bedtime Bliss sleep mask our top pick. It is great for everyday use and frequent washing, and other reviews suggest that it can be used for over 4,000 hours before it needs to be replaced.
Features of Bedtime Bliss Sleep Mask
The contoured design of this mask allows your eyes to move during the REM sleep cycle and the shape allows you to open your eyes completely without your eyelashes touching the mask. This makes it great for travelling as it will not ruin your make up, and you will not be irritated by the constant pressure some masks have on your eyes. Moreover, it’s compatible with CPAP apparatus. The shape also fits wonderfully around your nose which completely prevents the light from coming in. Due to the material it is made from, it is soft and pleasant against the sensitive skin of your face. It comes with an adjustable strap which gives you the security of fastening it just right, without worrying that it will slip off during the night or that you will wake up with a strap mark or a headache if it is too tight.
Advantages of Bedtime Bliss Sleep Mask
Free earplugsThis sleep mask comes with free earplugs. The combination of mask and earplugs allows you to sleep blissfully in all situations.
The pouchThe little bag it comes with enables you to carry it around and also keeps the mask clean. This is important when travelling since you do not want any bacteria around your face and eyes after accidentally placing your mask on a seat in a bus, for example.
VersatileThe adjustable strap makes it possible for children to use the mask as well as adults.
CPAP therapy compatibleIf you suffer from, or know someone who suffers from, sleep apnoea, this mask is the one for you (or as a gift) since it is compatible with CPAP apparatus.
If you need a high quality, adjustable and comfortable mask that will enable you to sleep without tossing and turning, then you can’t go wrong with the Bedtime Bliss contoured mask. It blocks out all the light, fits everyone and enables you to have a full night’s sleep including repeated REM cycles.
PaiTree Sleep Mask
PaiTree believes in its products and offers you a great sleeping experience for an affordable price. It claims that this mask is zero pressure, allows your skin to breathe and is the way to go if you are looking for a perfect sleep mask. PaiTree also offers you a product guarantee which instils trust right from the beginning. If you want to avoid smudged make up or tangled hair during a quick nap on a bus or during a meditation session, this mask is for you. The extra room for the eyes lets you relax completely without the nagging and irritating feeling of something pressing on your eyeballs.
Features of PaiTree Sleep Mask
The mask’s design is said to ensure complete darkness even in really bright rooms especially due to the design around the nose as the mask fits perfectly on the bridge of the nose. As we already mentioned, the 3D mask design allows for complete movement of the eyes. It does not put pressure on your face, so you do not have to worry about looking wrinkled as if you have slept on your face. Another great thing about this mask is that it is really lightweight (only 14g). This is thanks to the milk silk outer lining and the foam inside. The slow rebound memory foam ensures that the mask will adjust to your face’s shape and in that way ensure a snug fit for you to sleep in any position. It comes with an adjustable Velcro strap to ensure that the mask does not come off while you sleep or put too much pressure on your head.
Advantages of PaiTree Sleep Mask
Shading nose designThis is a patented design characterised by a perfect fit over the nose bridge. It ensures that absolutely no light will come in through this area.
GuaranteeThe mask comes with a six-month service and quality guarantee which shows that PaiTree believes in the quality of its product. It also has great and helpful customer service.
No pressureThe eye space is deeper and allows for full movement of the eyes.
The PaiTree contoured mask is a great choice for a sleeping session, either during the night to protect you from the sunlight in the morning, for shift workers or for any of you who need to be in complete darkness during activities such as meditation during daylight hours.
Massage Sleeping Masks
Massage sleeping masks are a specialised variety of sleeping mask and although they can double up as a regular sleeping mask their design is primarily aimed at relieving specific ailments of the eyes. They do not actually massage the eyes, instead they emit heat at various temperatures to warm the area, promote circulation and thus help you to get rid of eye irritations caused by exposure to blue light from phones, laptops, and so on.
They do not have batteries, but they do need to be plugged in so using them is a bit more complicated than using other sleeping masks. For this reason only, we think that they are more suitable for afternoon naps rather than a full night’s sleep. We decided that the VINDAR mask was the best one in this category.
VINDAR Heated Eye Mask
The VINDAR heated mask helps you get rid of issues caused by poor circulation (puffy eyes), speeds up the process of black-eye healing and relaxes strained eyes. Patients suffering from blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid muscle) also report that the heat helps with the issues that come as a consequence of the disease. Set the timer, heat to the desired level and enjoy a massage without worrying that it will burn or that you will have to repeatedly replace warmed eye pads. If the heat feels good, go for it! The eye side material is made from fleece, so it warms the skin even if the mask is not plugged in. However, this can be uncomfortable if you are using it for general and not its specialised purpose.
Features of VINDAR Heated Eye Mask
The mask comes with a built-in heater (so you do not need any batteries), a USB cable with a controller to set the time and temperature, an eye mask cover, carrying bag and even earplugs. The material is a combination of cotton and fleece and is removable so you can wash it. The temperatures are 35, 40, 45 and 50 degrees and the time can be set up for 10, 15, 20 or 30 minutes. Start with lower temperatures to see how it feels on your skin. The recommended combination is 45–50 degrees for 20 minutes, especially for dry eyes and relaxation.
Advantages of VINDAR Heated Eye Mask
Ailment reliefThis type of mask reduces discomfort from dry, itchy and puffy eyes, along with more serious conditions like blepharitis.
Adjustable settingsThe mask comes with four levels of temperature and four periods of time.
Automatic turn offDo not be afraid of dozing off during the massage session. When the time runs out, the mask will turn itself to 0 and leave you with a regular mask to block out the light.
USB poweredThe mask comes with a USB port that allows you to use it when you are on the go since you can plug it into your laptop or a power bank.
If you are suffering from eye irritation, puffy eyes or blepharitis then this mask might well be your top pick as it helps alleviate the discomfort by gently heating the area. Be careful not to burn yourself if your skin is sensitive, though.
Hi-Tech Sleeping Masks
As the name suggests, hi-tech sleeping masks give you something extra. They are an upgrade from your regular sleeping mask, but they are not for everyone. If you enjoy perfect silence while you sleep, you might pass on this type as its main feature is the ability to play music.
Hi-tech sleeping masks are great if you enjoy meditation and would like a more focused sound without worrying that your ear buds will slip out. They are the perfect gift for people who travel regularly as they can enjoy their favourite music while they are taking a nap. Take a look at what we have found for you:
WUMINGLU Bluetooth Sleep Eye Mask with Headphones
Are you a frequent traveller or do you meditate daily? If you are, this mask could be the perfect choice for you. Connect your mask to a Bluetooth device and enjoy about eight hours of music. The mask is perfect for side sleepers and for those people who struggle to fall asleep and wish to cancel out all unnecessary noise apart from their favourite tunes. It is very comfortable to wear and, in addition to playing music, it is great at blocking the light. When the battery runs out it will not beep, it will just turn off and continue to function as a classic sleeping mask. It comes with a one-year warranty.
Features of WUMINGLU Bluetooth Sleep Eye Mask with Headphones
The Bluetooth device is on the front allowing you to sleep in any position. The material is a combination of cotton and polyester (95 to 5% ratio) which is highly breathable and extremely comfortable. There is extra padding around your nose for a tighter fit which prevents any light from coming in. When it gets dirty, you can easily wash and dry it after removing the speakers. You do not need any controllers as you can adjust the sound volume directly on the mask. In addition to listening to music, you can make and receive calls since it has a built-in mic as well. The headphones are mobile, and you can position them where they fit you best.
Advantages of WUMINGLU Bluetooth Sleep Eye Mask with Headphones
Longer playing timeIf you charge the batteries for about two to two-and-a-half hours you can get eight full hours of music.
BluetoothYou can easily pair your sleeping mask with iPhones, smartphones, iPads or laptops.
Great for side sleepersThe Bluetooth is situated in the middle of the mask (on your forehead), so it does not press into the ears.
AdjustableBoth the Velcro strap and the speakers, which can be moved closer to your ears, are adjustable for a better experience.
This hi-tech sleeping mask could be a perfect gift for your tech-savvy friends or family. They are sure to get excited about the upgrade.
MaterialIt is highly recommended to opt for a mask made of natural material such as silk, satin and/or cotton as they allow your skin to breathe during the night. That is how you will prevent premature wrinkles, puffy eyes and general overheating that can lead to exactly the opposite of what you want to achieve: sleeping calmly through the night.
ContouredIf your aim is to use the sleeping mask primarily for improving the quality of sleep (or even for meditation), look for a contoured sleeping mask. Its anatomical shape allows for the movement of the eyes during the REM cycle and allows you to open your eyes fully when you wake up (or if you are awake while you are wearing the mask).
WashableMake sure that your mask (even the hi-tech one) can be washed safely. You do not want germs on your skin or around your eyes. However breathable the material, it will be hotter under the mask (especially the heated one) which is the perfect environment for harmful bacteria to develop.
AdjustabilityNot all masks come with an adjustable strap. Pick the ones that do. It will ensure that you can tighten or loosen the strap according to the size of your head or the volume of your hair.
Light LeakingBefore picking the right mask for you, try it on and check if the light leaks through the sides. Most commonly, light will reach the eyes if the mask does not fit perfectly around the nose.
ComfortNo matter how good the material is, if the mask is not comfortable, it is not for you. Make sure that it does not pinch or leave marks.
Additional FeaturesIf you need more than just a light block, carefully examine your needs and buy a specialised mask that meets them. These masks can offer medicinal benefits such as massage masks, hi-tech masks or others that offer a spa-like experience. The choice is yours.