Last updated: January 12, 2017
Some people can sleep anywhere and in any conditions; they can even sleep in bright rooms. I am not one of those people. I’m not even sure how they are physically able to fall asleep when there is light in the room because the light inhibits the release of melatonin in your brain. Melatonin is the hormone that tells your brain it’s time to sleep and makes you sleepy. For people who have trouble sleeping when there is too much ambient light, it’s a great idea to use a good quality sleep mask. The best eye masks for sleeping will block any light around you. Whether you are traveling and want to catch up on some sleep on the plane or train, or your room is just too bright, a sleep mask will help you get to sleep by helping your body release that much-needed melatonin. Below are the best sleep masks on the market.
NapForm Eye Mask
Morihata Binchotan Eye Mask
Table of Contents
Best Budget Silk Sleep Mask
ALASKA BEAR® - Natural silk sleep mask
- Lifetime warranty
- Mulberry silk fabric
- Adjustable band that eases the pressure on your eyes
- Very soft
- Adjustable headband with clasp on back of head
- Very large-covers most of the face
- Blocks light very well
- Metal clasps can be uncomfortable
- Can be a bit tight; loose fit lets the mask move a little
Made of Mulberry silk, this sleep mask is luxurious and works great at blocking the light. This is a very large sleep mask that is extremely effective at blocking the light. It fits around the eyes and all the way to the side of the head. Smaller masks may let in slivers of light around the sides as you move around. Having a mask like this one that covers so much area eliminates those spots that let in the light.
The only problem with some of the big masks, and this is no exception, is that they must be kept on the tight side or they may move around on the face as you change positions in bed.
Because it is silk, it is very soft and lightweight. Even with its large size, it doesn’t feel heavy on your face. The feeling of the silk against your skin is very pleasant. Since silk is so breathable, you won’t feel yourself overheating in this mask.
Allergy sufferers should really consider using a silk mask as they are hypoallergenic. In addition, dust mites won’t find a home within the fabric of this sleep mask as the silk resists them.
A nice touch is the clasp for the strap is located on the back of the head rather than the side. Since most people sleep on their sides, a clasp on the side of the face can be uncomfortable. The one issue with the clasps is that they are made of metal and are not comfortable unless you have some hair under them.
The price is kind of shocking but in a good way! Sleep masks made out of silk can be a bit pricey. This is a high quality silk that still comes in lower in price than many of the leading sleep masks made out of synthetic materials. Regardless of the price, the quality of the material of this mask is very high.
If you are a frequent traveler, consider buying two, one for the home and one for the road.
Best Contoured Sleep Mask
Bedtime Bliss BTB01 Contoured & Comfortable Sleep Mask
- Lightweight and contoured to suit your face shape
- Soft and comfortable for a blissful sleep
- Comes with free ear plugs and carry pouch
Because it is contoured for comfort, blocks light effectively, and allows you to open your eyes while wearing it, this mask is the best contoured sleeping mask.
- Contoured shape allows eyes to be open
- Nose ridge forms tightly over bridge of nose
- Very soft padding conforms to your face
- Adjustable velcro straps are comfortable
- Made of synthetics that may cause sweating
With many sleep masks, the area at the bridge of the nose is a real problem spot. That is where some light is able to leak in. Every person's nose is different so this won't be an issue for everyone. For some people, they just can’t seem to get the right fit without letting in the light.
Bedtime Bliss has solved that problem by creating this mask with a perfect fit over the bridge of the nose using a contoured nose ridge. The mask wraps around past the eyes so there are no spots that will let in any slivers of light.
Having space between your eyes and the mask prevents any pressure against your eyes making for a very comfortable fit. The padding conforms to the contours of your face so it’s very personalized. It does not matter how high your cheekbones are.
The straps are made of soft material, and the clasp is velcro, so there is nothing that will rub against your head and cause distractions or irritation.
Some contoured masks can be a bit bulky. This sleep mask is very thin considering it is a contoured mask that is padded with foam.
The fact that it is contoured means that you can have it tight without causing any pressure. Keeping it pulled tight will keep it from moving around on your face when you change positions while sleeping.
If you are a CPAP machine user for sleep apnea, this is a "must have" mask. Your sleep mask will not interfere with your CPAP mask.
One drawback is the fact that it is made of synthetic material. If you are a night sweater, you may find this mask causes you to overheat.
Best Aromatherapy Sleep Mask
Dream Essence Sleep Mask with Aromatherapy
- Includes lavender sachet and sleep serum
- Blocks 100% of light
- Sleep serum helps you relax and fall asleep faster
- Comes with lavender and chamomile sachet
- Has a pocket so you can use your own aromatherapy blend
- Soft material with light padding
- Soft adjustable straps
- May let in a little light around edges of mask
A sleep mask that blocks light combined with aromatherapy will erase your sleepless nights. Blocking the light will help you fall asleep, and the aromatherapy will help you stay asleep. If you have never tried using aromatherapy to fall asleep, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. If you are looking into getting a sleep mask, then why not kill two birds with one stone and get this mask that uses aromatherapy?
It has a sachet filled with lavender and chamomile. These two aromas have natural properties that will allow your mind to find a calm place and set yourself up for sleep. Having that in your sleep mask to block the lights is really an ideal situation.
It has a pocket that the sachet fits in, so feel free to add your own blend of scents that will help you sleep. You can read our guide to aromatherapy for inspiration in finding the ideal combination for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
The light padding of the mask will conform a bit to your face to prevent any pressure against your eyes. The material, though synthetic, has a nice cool feel to it. It doesn’t fit around the sides of the face but, if your face is slim, it should be large enough to block out all of the light.
Best Memory Foam Sleep Mask
NapForm Eye Mask with BioSense Memory Foam
- Adjustable strap to fit and stay in place
- Relaxes tired eyes
- Soft and comfortable to use
- Extremely comfortable
- Blocks light very well
- Infused with green tea to reduce puffiness around eyes
- Infused with charcoal to absorb odors
- Memory foam contours to the face
- Comfortable adjustable straps
- Slightly contoured around the eyes
- Cover can be removed and spot cleaned
- Not very breathable
Like sleeping with a blanket on your eyes, this is as comfortable as it gets! Block the light while feeling like your eyes are on vacation in a 5 star hotel.
The soft cover is like a terrycloth bath robe. It is so comfortable and warm. If you keep your room slightly cool at night, your eyes will feel like they are under a big, soft comforter.
The Biosense memory foam has a nice elasticity to it that will move as you move, keeping a snug fit as you sleep.
At the same time, the light will be blocked extremely well, thanks to the size and the memory foam. Under that thick cover is conforming memory foam that will fit snugly to your face. The area at the bridge of the nose that is an issue for most sleep masks is dealt with by the memory foam forming a tight seal around the ridge.
There is a slight contour above the eyes. You might not be able to fully open your eyes when wearing the sleep mask, but you won’t feel any pressure against them if you prefer to wear the mask tightly.
The only drawback is that it can be a bit hot due to the memory foam and the bulk of it. If you are someone who runs cool, then this likely won’t be an issue for you.
Best Sleep Mask for Side Sleepers/Best Satin
Sleep Master Sleep Mask
- Material is lightweight, breathable, flexible, and comfortable
- Adjustable velcro strips
- A one-size fits all sleep mask
- Lightweight and breathable
- Luxurious feel with satin
- Blocks all light
- Covers ears to block sound
- Soft wide straps
- Doesn’t move as you move
- Can overheat
- May be too tight for some
Sleeping on your side can cause your sleep mask to move which, in turn, can cause light to get in. The Sleep Master sleep mask is ideal for the side sleeper as it stays put during the night.
This sleep mask is almost like a wrap for your face. It covers the eyes completely and goes around the whole face including the ears.
It lays flat so, when you are sleeping on your side, it won’t budge. The sides of the other masks are what can cause problems for some side sleepers. Since the sides of this mask are on the side of the head, you are sleeping on the mask without the edge being against your pillow.
The satin has a very sumptuous feel to it. It’s silky smooth and very soft against the skin. The only problem could be that, if you tend to get hot, it’s not very breathable. It is very cozy though, and the padding provides a nice cushion. That cushion is important since you may need this mask to fit tight so it doesn’t slip around as you move.
There is no need to worry, though. For most people, this mask will not budge if you keep it at a normal adjustment.
Even the strap is padded for comfort. It has a nice velcro attachment that, once adjusted, doesn’t need to keep being undone.
If noise is an issue for you and you don’t want to wear earplugs, then you will get some relief from the wrap-around aspect of this mask. It does cover your ears slightly which will help with noise. It won’t work the same as earplugs, but it will help some. If you do wear earplugs, this mask will help keep them in and feeling comfortable.
Overall, this is a very comfortable and effective sleep mask. Side sleepers love it, but those that toss and turn quite a bit at night will love it even more.
Best Pain Relief Sleep Mask
Imak Eye Pillow
- Relieves puffy and tired eyes
- Material is made of cotton
- Soothes your eyes with cool beads
- Blocks light
- Very comfortable stretchy cotton
- Great price
- Flimsy strap
- May allow bits of light in
Headaches, especially migraines, can put a damper on your sleep. Too much light in your room can make that headache or migraine even worse. That’s when you need a sleep mask that pulls double duty. The Imak Eye Pillow can be cooled like a gel pak and provide compression therapy while blocking light.
There’s nothing worse than suffering from a headache when you need to sleep. Even the dimmest light can be jarring and distracting. Using a sleep mask is a good first step; however, take it a bit further to get the relief you need by using this mask with cold gel beads.
Simply place the mask in the freezer for an hour or two before bed and enjoy the cold pack in your sleep mask. It’s called a compression mask as the beads inside also have some weight that will help alleviate the pain of your headache.
This is a very comfortable mask. Even when you are not using it as a cold compress, it works nicely to block the light. The beads inside conform to the contours of your face. It’s snug and feels very relaxing.
If you are someone who moves around a lot when you sleep, you may find some light streaking in through the sides. The other drawback is that the strap could have used a little more thought in the design. It’s a bit flimsy and doesn’t feel very comfortable. A wider, padded strap would have been much better.
For the price, you can have a nice 2-in-1 combo. Get the gel pack with a sleep mask attached or a sleep mask that also has a gel pack. Whatever way you look at it, you will get some needed pain relief that will help sleep when you need it most.
Best Travel Sleep Mask
Morihata Binchotan Eye Mask
- Double adjustable strap makes it stays in place
- Helps soothe fatigue around the eyes
- Blocks light very well
- Made of silk
- Stimulates blood circulation
- Contains binchotan charcoal
- High price
- Strap can become loose
Travel is very stressful, not to mention it starves you of sleep. Having a sleep mask that blocks light enables you to sleep anywhere. Having this Morihata sleep mask also helps relieve the stress of travel.
Binchotan charcoal is known for its ability to promote blood circulation. This is ideal when you travel. The stress of travel can cause headaches which can be relieved by this increase in circulation. Eye pressure caused by a lack of circulation from stress is also alleviated.
It does a great job at blocking light, so if you need to catch some sleep in a different time zone or on a plane, your body will release that much-needed melatonin. Ease yourself into a peaceful place and get your rest.
This so-called miracle charcoal is native to Japan and, for a very long time, has been used to promote health.
Silk sleep masks like this one are great for people with allergies as it is hypoallergenic. It is also extremely comfortable and lightweight. You will forget you have it on which is very important when traveling. You want to feel as natural as possible so you can be comfortable.
What to Look For In a Sleep Mask
Sleep masks might all look the same, but there are some differences that may or may not work for you. Some materials might prove to be uncomfortable to some; other people might want a mask that wraps around the head. Still others might need a contoured sleep mask so there is room to open their eyes.
This is usually the "make or break" ingredient for most people when considering a sleep mask. Think about it. This product will be against your skin for the entire night. The material must be right for you. Since everyone has a different opinion on what is comfortable, make sure you are taking into consideration what the sleep mask is made out of.
Common material for sleep masks
Polyester is a very common material for sleep masks. It’s inexpensive and very lightweight. It is also strong and resists tearing and scratching so it lasts a long time.The biggest disadvantage is that it is not always breathable. This can lead to sweating where the mask touches the skin which can be uncomfortable.
Silk is all-natural, soft, and very luxurious. Using a sleep mask made from silk feels like you are spoiling yourself in addition to helping your sleep. It’s also hypoallergenic, so people with allergies can use it without any issues.Silk is also very good at letting your skin breath. As humidity comes off of your face, the silk will trap it and wick it away from your skin.It is very strong, like polyester, and incredibly lightweight. The biggest drawback to silk is the price. Sleep masks made of silk are not inexpensive. They do last awhile, however, so there is still some value to be had even at a high price. Make sure you read the label before washing as silk has some special care required for cleaning.
Memory foam is found in many sleep products like mattresses and pillows since it is so comfortable. That goes for sleep masks, too.It’s elasticity makes it conform to the contours of your face, relieving pressure and giving you a personalized fit.Memory foam is ideal for those who suffer from allergies as it is hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant.The one big disadvantage is that it doesn’t breath well. Many people complain of overheating when using memory foam products. There are some newer versions made with cell technology that do allow the skin to breath, so do your homework. You might just find one that won’t cause you to sweat.
Satin is almost as luxurious as silk and is usually made from strong natural materials. One caveat though, is that sometimes it is made from synthetics like polyester and can end up having the same negative properties.When it is good satin, it is incredibly soft and smooth.The downsides are that it is not very breathable and not very stretchy.
Cotton is all-natural, stretchy, soft, and breathable. The low cost is also a major plus when considering a sleep mask. It doesn’t irritate the skin and will not cause you to overheat.The drawback is that, if you do naturally sweat, cotton will not wick away the moisture and will be uncomfortable.
Whatever your preference for comfort, price, and durability, you are not going to have a problem finding it when searching for the best sleep masks.
Contoured vs. Non Contoured
You might be someone who likes a tight fit over your eyes and face and need a noncontoured sleep mask. That tight fit can contribute to a sense that you are sealed up, and no light will be getting in at all.
On the other hand, there are people who might feel claustrophobic if they can’t open their eyes when they have an eye mask on. Even though you still won’t see anything when you open your eyes (obviously), it’s a nice feeling to know they aren’t closed shut. Another consideration is that a tight sleep mask could also put pressure on your eyes and lead to headaches.
Not all sleep masks block 100% of the light. If the material is thin and the light is bright, it might cancel most, but not all, of the light. That is ok for some people. They just need the mask to block enough of the light to eliminate the distraction, and they like the lightweight feel of thin material.
For others, a full sleep mask that wraps around the face and is made of a heavy material like memory foam is what is needed. Even a sliver of light will be enough of a distraction to prevent them from falling asleep.
Smart Sleep Mask
Sleep masks have changed very little in the last few decades; however, high tech sleep masks have now entered the sleep market.These high tech sleep masks will keep track of your sleep data while you sleep and give you an analyses of how you slept. They can help relieve jet lag and also wake you up at the perfect time in your sleep phase so you wake feeling refreshed. You can read a full review here of the Neuroon smart sleep mask.
Final Thoughts on Best Sleep Masks
As you can see, there are enough different types of sleep masks that even the most finicky of sleepers can find one that suits them perfectly.
Sleep is a very subjective thing, and what works for me won’t necessarily work for you. Some people can sleep anywhere in any conditions at the drop of a hat. For others, like me, sleep has always been a struggle. Knowing that there is such a large variety of sleep masks available has been a real boon to people like me.