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Have you ever laid in bed at the end of long day and, try as you might, just can’t fall asleep? We’ve all been there, but a possible reason for your delayed Zzzs is that your room isn’t quite dark enough. Who knew? As it turns out, creating the darkest sleep environment possible is just as important as having a comfortable mattress or some excellent sheets, and sleeping with an eye mask might just be the solution you’re looking for.
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The best sleep masks are the ones that help block out light completely and feel comfortable (not snug) over your eyes. Most people who’ve used a sleep mask know that it takes a bit of trial and error to find just the right one. So if you’ve been thinking about getting one, you’re in luck, because AT staffers are here to guide you. We’ve tested plenty of sleep masks, including weighted, silk, luxury, and travel-friendly options, and rounded up the best in each category.
Terry Cralle, RN and spokeswoman for the Better Sleep Council, says sleep-mask first-timers should expect that the first few they try out may not end up being their favorite. “Be prepared for some trial and error, and don’t give up on them if the first one, two, or three don’t feel comfortable,” she tells AT. “I found the perfect sleeping mask on my fourth try! Overall, it’s a minimal monetary investment when you consider the many benefits of refreshing and restorative sleep.” Cralle also recommends that people who work night shifts should try their best to use sleep masks regularly, because they have to get shut-eye during daylight hours.
A pure, high-quality silk mask is often the most preferred sleep mask choice because of how luxuriously soft the fabric feels. Silk is also a lightweight and extremely breathable fabric, which is a win when it comes to anything worn on the face. Cotton, cotton blends, and mesh fabrics are also good sleep mask materials, because they’ll help you stay cool throughout the night. It’s also important to consider the material inside the mask. Weighted eye masks often contain small beads or seeds that work to provide light pressure relief. Some contain memory foam that helps the mask feel weightless. It all depends on what you’re going for.
We tested a wide selection of sleep masks, judging them on the following criteria:
When it comes to finding the perfect sleep mask, you ideally want a layer that is soft, comfortable to wear in a range of sleeping position, and can successfully block out intruding light. Fortunately, FRESHME’s Sleep Mask ticks off all of the boxes and then some. The magic lies in its clever “nose wing” design, which effectively blocks out any light that could potentially come from the mask’s nose opening. And, thanks to its adjustable strap and mostly cotton construction, FRESHME’s mask is Best List writer Kendall’s go-to. “I was given this eye mask as a gift when I was a guest at a friend’s place and it’s definitely among the top 10 gifts I’ve ever received,” she shares. “It covers my entire eye line with a smooth, breathable jersey material that doesn’t pull at my skin, trap sweat or oil (I know, but important), and doesn’t move throughout the night. The filling is about half-an-inch thick, so not only does it give a super blackout effect, but whatever it’s filled with forms to my face comfortably (yet non-restrictively!), so there aren’t any weird gaps that let light through. It’s got an adjustable Velcro back with plenty of non-Velcro border space so my hair never get caught — I also haven’t felt or heard the Velcro once while using it.”
Who It’s Best For: honestly, anyone. Not only is this light-blocking mask super comfortable, but it also works with an array of sleep styles. “I’m a stomach and side sleeper primarily, and it’s effortless to adjust positions without needing to readjust the mask,” Kendall says.
Good to know: Want to get a good night’s sleep on the go? FRESHME’s mask folds and comes with a complimentary carrying case, making it a great option for travel, too.
Craving a luxurious sleep for less? You can’t go wrong with Asutra’s Silk Eye Pillow, which offers some serious bang for your buck. Decked out with a silk outer shell, this delicate mask is filled with flaxseed and lavender herbs that create a soothing, multi-sensory slumber. Of course, Asutra’s silk outer has a lot more to offer than comfort; it successfully blocks out light, too. In fact, it’s so good that it even turned our sleep mask-avoidant SEO editor, Sarah, into a believer. “After moving into an apartment with lots of natural light that was waking me up hours before my alarm clock, I knew I needed to bite the bullet and find the right sleep mask,” she says. “The pressure this one provides is perfect and the aroma is just the thing I need to lull me to sleep.” Sarah loved the mask’s fit — the fully adjustable strap ensures it won’t slip off in the middle of the night, and the mask has a zippered opening that lets you add or remove as much of the filling as you’d like. “I never thought I’d be a mask girl,” says Sarah, “but here I am, doing my best Holly Golightly impression and loving every minute of it.”
Who It’s Best For: Those who want a spa-like experience with their sleep mask and don’t want to spend big to get it.
Good to know: This mask comes with an additional gel eye mask that you can freeze and apply to your face to reduce the appearance of puffy or tired eyes.
One word to describe this buttery-smooth sleep mask? Bougie! At least that’s what AT contributor Olivia says about Lunya’s luxurious sleep mask, which is made of 100 percent moisturizing silk. “This mask looks high-end and makes me want to buy a matching silk pajama set just to get the total experience,” she says. “It’s extremely soft, and I like that the silk fabric doesn’t tug on my eyes or irritate my sensitive skin.” The beauty of this well-constructed sleep mask is not just its delicate and heavenly soft material but also its wide, elasticized headband that fits securely and prevents hair creases. Olivia, a side sleeper, loved that the mask stayed on throughout the night. “It blocks out light, the filling is plush, and I slip well with it,” she says. Customers agree that they’re better rested, and one reviewer, who gave birth to her fourth child, says this sleep mask helped her fall asleep in two minutes flat. Say no more!
Who It’s Best For: Side sleepers, beauty enthusiasts, and those looking to invest in a sleep mask that will stand the test of time.
Good to know: This mask doubles as a headband you can use during your nightly skin-care routine. And, if you want to upgrade your next snooze session, a corresponding pajama set is also available.
After staring at your screen all day long, it’s likely your eyes might need some serious TLC. Fortunately, Saatva’s Weighted Silk Eye Mask is designed to deliver. The brand has been making popular, top-tier mattresses since 2010, so it’s safe to say it knows a thing or two about a good night’s sleep. Its recently launched mask is made with a long-fiber mulberry silk, which is naturally hypoallergenic, breathable, and temperature regulating. (Not to mention ridiculously comfortable.) Meanwhile, it’s filled with all-natural glass beads to offer gentle, therapeutic pressure. “It’s arguably one of the softest and thickest I’ve used, while still feeling fairly lightweight when I’m sleeping with it,” says style editor Blair. “It’s made from mulberry silk, so you know you can count on cozy, breathable softness, especially paired with the gentle pressured filling.”
Who It’s Best For: While its one-size fit is great for back sleepers, anyone with tired eyes will get a lot of mileage out of its gentle pressure.
Good to know: “The only downside is that the back strap isn’t adjustable, so it doesn’t always fit on my head as snugly as I’d like it to, and it is a little splurgier,” Blair says.
Whether you want to squeeze in a quick catnap — but don’t want to ruin your makeup before that big Zoom call — or want to be able to blink as you lull yourself into a soothing slumber, conventional sleep masks may not be for everyone. But, if you’re looking for a mask that offers the best of both worlds, LKY Digital’s offering has you covered. Decked out with an innovative 3D molded design, this mask’s eye space is wide and deeper than most conventional models. (Translation? This mask successfully blocks light without applying any pressure to your eyes.) It’s no wonder Kendall is such a fan. “Contoured to fit comfortably around the eye socket vs. On top of it, this mask leaves space for me to blink (which is especially important if I’m on my eyelash extension game) and still feel like I’m in a totally dark space,” she says. “I like how I wake up without puffy eyes using these contoured masks because there’s no pressure or contact effecting what my eyes naturally do when I sleep.”
Who It’s Best For: LKY Digital’s mask is perfect for mask novices or beauty lovers who want to keep their look intact.
Good to know: Because LKY Digital’s masks are sold as a set of three, you can keep one by your bedside, another in your suitcase, and a third in your linen closet.
Let’s face it: Between long overnight flights and the inevitable jet lag, traveling somewhere new isn’t exactly conducive to a good night’s sleep. But, if you don’t want to compromise your sleep quality on the road, consider picking up Casper’s Snoozewear Sleep Mask. Made with soft, breathable materials — such as a cotton shell and 100 percent polyester fill— this mask offers a lightweight, pressure-free ways to block out light and noise. As a pioneer in modern-day sleep essentials, Casper took their mask a step further by incorporating a wide band for crease-free hair and a foldable design. The result? The ultimate travel companion. “Casper’s Snoozwear sleep mask is unlike any I’ve tried before, and I mean that in the best ways possible,” Blair says. “While most I own are fairly small with a thin elastic strap in the back, this one really covers my entire line of vision with a much wider design and back band. Yes, it looks a little ridiculous on, but it’s basically the equivalent of a pillow for your eyes: It’s super plush and slightly padded for the perfect amount of light-blocking coziness. It almost feels weighted, too, yet is completely pressure-free. I’ve even thrown mine in the washer and it’s still good as new.”
Who It’s Best For: Anyone who wants to improve their sleep on planes, trains, automobiles—and beyond.
Good to know: Want to freshen up your sleep mask mid-vacation? You can easily throw Casper’s Snoozewear Sleep mask in the laundry.