Every night, millions of people across the world struggle with the same thing. All-day long, they look forward to being able to place their head on a pillow and finally get the much-needed rest they’ve been craving. Yet, when the time comes, they find themselves tossing and turning, unable to quickly fall asleep.
If you’ve ever watched old television shows or movies like “Matilda,” then you’re sure to remember scenes where a very dramatic, usually female, a character wearing a pink satin eye mask sits up as she starts to rise out of bed. No matter how far back these movies and shows go, the eye mask has remained as one of the most proven and effective ways that both men and women can get a better night of sleep without the negative side effects of alternatives like medicine or the inconvenience of battery-operated sleeping aids.
Some critical factors to consider before choosing the right eye mask for you are how thick you want the material to be, whether or not you will be using it to travel, and whether its long-term use will have any negative impact on your skin.
If you’re looking to get a sleep mask, below are some of our favorite options!
This eye mask not only fits great but also comes with included earplugs! Its contoured design allows for an excellent fit on your face while not sacrificing its ability to block out light. Suitable for both men and women, this eye mask has a bonus of not smearing your eye makeup – should you choose to take a nap without taking your makeup off. With an outer polyester and inner polyurethane foam design, it’s very comfortable while allowing the foam to have a structure that raises the mask off of your eyes, all while continuing to block out light.
Block Out Street Lamps Or The Morning Sun
Lightweight, Contoured (No Pressure On Eyes)
Perfect for Men, Women, Children and Shift Workers
The FOMI Care eye mask is another double purpose eye mask that is great for those who like to alternate between hot and cold settings. The inner gel allows you to use heat for injuries, increased circulation, and stimulates healing. Inclusively, the gel could be used on a cool setting to aid with pain and swelling, working even at room temperature, which makes it ideal for travel. Designed to be reversible, you can either utilize the inner gel or stick to the soft cloth on the reverse side for a smooth and comfortable feel. With the versatility it has to offer, the FOMI Care eye mask is one of the best eye masks currently available.
Perfect For Travel, Meditation, Yoga, Or Relaxation
An incredibly lightweight and silky-smooth eye mask, the Jersey Slumber offers plenty of space to allow for comfortable blinking while wearing it, all while maintaining its light-blocking integrity. Am an adjustable strap with a buckle-style slider will enable you to adjust it to the perfect fit. As one of the most affordable options, the Jersey Slumber eye mask is a top, well-performing, and lightweight pick!
Blink freely & sleep in any position
Adjustable soft elastic strap
Pain-free head strap that does not move or fall off
The fabric on the eye cover fades and leaves black marks on white sheets
A top-rated eye mask due to its large size and ability to block out 100% of light. Reliable for travel, this eye mask is fully backed by a ‘replace if lost’ policy in which the eye mask is entirely replaced for free with consumers only having to cover shipping and handling. An adjustable Velcro strap makes this a perfect one-size-fits-all product that anyone is sure to love! Specifically designed to accommodate side sleepers, this eye mask is also machine washable with specific instructions to use cold water on a delicate cycle with air drying only. Slightly on the more expensive side as far as eye masks go, it is well worth the money for the convenience and reliability it provides daily users!
With an included carrying pouch and included earplugs, this eye mask is the perfect pick for those looking to get great sleep while traveling. Its concave eye pocket design and adjustable strap give it the right level of comfort for just about anyone. As a more delicate option, it's recommended that this eye mask be hand-washed and air-dried to prolong its durability.
You can easily carry it in a purse, handbag, beach bag or briefcase
As the name suggests, you will sleep as long as a hibernating bear if you’re using this eye mask. Its use of mulberry silk on both sides gives users the ultimate smooth and breathable experience. Furthermore, this eye mask is especially great for those using a sleep apnea CPAP facial mask as its adjustable straps allow for a consistently perfect fit. Unlike other masks, the ALASKA BEAR eye mask comes in a variety of prints and striped designs that any fashionista is sure to love!
100% top-quality natural mulberry silk
Gentle, easy-to-adjust headband won’t tangle hair or snag pillow
Fits comfortably with ear plugs
Only super-soft, super-smooth pure silk offers the breathable, cool relaxation
Made of elegant and smooth mulberry silk, this eye mask provides smooth and soft comfort all night long. It uses an adjustable strap to tailor to any size and always provides a great fit. Additionally, the adjustment clasps were very streamlined and provided added comfort, unlike cheaper models. With its high-quality build, this eye mask is still reasonably priced and ideal for anyone looking for a great sleep!
Super soft feeling and super close skin eye mask
Elastic design can be adjusted effectively relieve pressure
Soft sleep mask make you enjoy a comfortable, undisturbed sleep
You could hardly feel that you were wearing the mask
This two-in-one product is perfect for anyone that loves dual purpose gear. Serving as more than just a blocker of light, this eye mask also provides a hint of compression and cooling relief. This is especially great for those that hate waking up with puffy, slightly swollen eyes. The internal bead filling enables users to place the mask in the freezer during the day for a comfortable cooling sensation at night. The mask is made of a cotton and lycra fabric blend and conforming to your face with an elastic strap. Maintenance is relatively easy as well, with a recommended hand-wash every few uses
The patented eye darts allow lashes to move freely during REM sleep
Soft, breathable cotton/spandex material
Blocks out light
Helps soothe puffy, dry eyes
Can fall of if you are a sidesleeper
Benefits of Using an Eye Mask for sleeping
Reduces Eye Swelling: An eye mask can be an easy way to relieve puffy, swollen eyes. To make the cover cool, it's recommended that you place it in the freezer or, even better, get an eye mask designed explicitly with cooling gel or beads. At a minimum, it should be worn 10-20 minutes to get the desired effects. Your skin’s contact with the cold surface will constrict blood your blood vessels, reducing inflammation and swelling. A bonus is that this can be used year-round to help you continuously wake with better skin and staying cool during the hot summer months.
Pain Relief: Aside from cooling gels, another great benefit of some eye masks is the ability to be warmed up. A microwave-safe version is an excellent option as they increase blood flow and aid in the healing process as well. Inclusively, the heat can ease painful migraines!
Blocks Light: Being able to block light is a crucial part of getting a quality night of rest. However, some people may not be in the best environment to get a fully dark room to sleep in. That is why, regardless of what mask you choose, it must be able to execute its primary function flawlessly — eliminating light while sleeping is ideal in maintaining melatonin levels and assisting in a continuous sleep cycle.
Relax While Traveling: Traveling, especially across time zones, is known to be highly disruptive to standard sleeping patterns. More and more people rely on eye masks to sleep on airplanes and trains to minimize the adverse effects that traveling causes to regular sleeping habits. Furthermore, they provide a nonverbal signal to others that you do not want to be disturbed, making it a win-win.
Longer Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep: Your body needs a certain amount of time in the REM sleep cycle for it to feel truly rested. The REM cycle is also part of our sleep that is responsible for the healing and restoration process. By wearing an eye mask, you can fall asleep faster and longer, directly contributing to your REM sleep.
Regulates Melatonin Levels: Melatonin is a hormone that tells your body that it is time to sleep. Melatonin production slows, or even stops, during the day and then increases again at night. In order for production to occur at healthy levels, its best to give your eyes an environment of total darkness. With today’s technology-obsessed society, light is becoming more and more inescapable. Whether it’s from television, tablet, or smartphone, all these lights serve as sleep disruptors and will negatively impact the quality of sleep you get every night. An eye mask is a perfect way to shut out excess light and begin to regulate healthy melatonin levels.
What to Consider Before You Buy
Satin: This popular material mimics the feel of silk but without the added price. Most often, this material is a blend of cotton and silk and may also contain polyester. Masks made of satin are perfect for people with long hair because their hair won’t pull, snag, or get caught on it.
Silk: A luxurious material, silk is thicker than most other fabrics and thus is superior at blocking light sources. Its durability, coupled with its softness makes it a top choice among discerning sleep enthusiasts.
Memory Foam: Many modern masks now have memory foam interior to help shape the inside for a more comfortable fit. These types of masks are especially helpful for people who blink a lot in their sleep or that have long eyelashes and want to avoid rubbing and irritation. Memory foam is also great for making space for other sleeping apparatuses, such as a CPAP mask.
Cotton: A natural and hypoallergenic option, cotton is ideal for those with sensitive skin and eyes. As a bonus, it’s easily washable and can get even softer with age as well as being resistant to the growth of mold, bacteria, and yeast.
Polyester: Eye masks made of polyester tend to be the lightest and most durable. With a naturally cooler feel, the only downside to them is that they are not as breathable as other materials and are less resistant to stains. This leads us to recommend that, if you’re going to get a polyester eye mask, make sure to get it in black.
Gels and Beads
Modern eye masks now come with gel and bead interiors. These eye masks are great for those wanting to experience any heating and cooling effects. They’re also crucial for reducing eye swelling and puffiness as well as helping you regulate your body temperature if you tend to sleep cooler or warmer throughout the night.
Getting an eye mask that suits your face and texture preference is great. However, getting an eye mask that suits your sleeping position is far greater. This is why side sleepers should opt for a slim and sleek design that enables a comfortable fit even while on your side. Clasps at the back of the head instead of at the side also make an immense difference in comfortability.
Back sleepers may want clasps on the sides and not the back to avoid any digging or poking while sleeping. Furthermore, back sleepers should get something with slightly more space to counteract the effects of gravity, applying too much pressure throughout the night.
Some eye masks offer aromatherapy-infused covers which may aid certain people to get a deeper, more relaxed sleep.
Eye masks with holes in the eye cavities are perfect for people who are more comfortable with the ability to open and close their eyes with minimal adjustments to the masks itself. Be sure to look closely at the stitching to avoid any discomfort.
Size is king when it comes to finding the perfect fitting eye mask. If you go one size too small, the mask will be uncomfortable. If you go one size too big, you’ll lose the ability to block out light.
Adjustment straps are another critical piece to a great eye mask. With added straps, the eye mask will be much easier to adjust to a perfect fit.
Regardless of the features, make sure that at the end of the day, the eye mask fits comfortably while still being able to block out as much light as possible.
Maintenance and Care
Nowadays, eye masks are designed with cleanliness in mind. That is why you should always avoid eye masks that are not intended to be washed.
No matter what the cleaning instructions say, we recommend always hand washing in warm water and letting the eye mask air dry to avoid tampering with the stitching and compromising the overall design.
With all the great benefits that eye masks have to offer, we’d be remiss not to mention the few setbacks that they may bring as well. If the mask is too tight, this can eventually lead to issues such as eye infections, ingrown eyelashes, and irritated skin.
Not cleaning the eye mask may also eventually lead to irritated skin, acne, and eye infections.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are these recommended for side sleepers?
There are multiple eye masks designed with side sleepers in mind! Avoid bulky designs and stick to the sleek and slim looks. You will still reap all the benefits without any issues.
Are there eye sleep covers designed for men?
Men can especially benefit from the use of eye masks to arise more energized and ready to tackle the day. With plain color options, such as navy blue or black, and simple designs available, it’s easier than ever for men to start jumping into the eye mask benefit train!
Where can I buy cute and funny eye masks?
Amazon has the largest selection, along with competitive prices, to be your one-stop-shop for cute and funny eye masks. Additionally, reviews serve as a great resource to find the perfect one for you!
The second option we recommend is Etsy. Full of creative people and products, Etsy is sure to deliver on unique and hard-to-find eye masks to suit your needs.
Sleep masks are the absolute best and most cost-effective way to improve your sleep. In addition to the sleep aid benefits, the added benefits of diminishing swollen and puffy eyes, reducing migraine symptoms, and alleviating sinus pressure make it the best way to get restful sleep both at home and on the go. With the multitude of options, grab one for the house and one for your next plane ride and never suffer through restless sleep again!