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One easy way to guarantee a good night’s sleep is to invest in the best sleeping mask.
After comfort and noise reduction, the one factor crucial to experiencing a restful night’s sleep is reducing your exposure to light.
And the best way to cut out all light? A sleep mask.
The best rated sleep masks should mould themselves to your face, promoting comfort while effectively creating a light-deprived environment for you.
In this darkness, your mind and body kick in to encourage sleep.
Not only is this useful for everyday sleeping — particularly if you live in an urban area where street lights and other outside light pollution can invade your bedroom — but also when you need to sleep in a less than optimal environment. On an airplane, for instance, or during the day if you work shifts.
- 1 The Science Behind Sleeping Masks
- 2 Who Would Benefit from a Sleep Mask?
- 3 Qualities of the Best Sleep Mask
- 4 Different Types of Sleep Masks
- 5 The 5 Best Sleep Mask Reviews
- 6 Conclusion
The Science Behind Sleeping Masks
Most people think that eye masks for sleeping are only really necessary for light sleepers who wake often, disturbed by any tiny speck of light or noise.
But the truth is that all of us can benefit from reducing our exposure to light while we sleep.
Artificial light — that is, any light that doesn’t come from the sun — causes our bodies to suppress production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Without melatonin, we find it much harder to drift off into restful sleep.
A lack of melatonin is also thought to contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, immuno-deficiencies and even some cancers.
By creating darkness, the best sleep mask will not only trick your mind into believing that it’s pitch dark bedtime, but will also encourage production of melatonin.
Cue a great night’s sleep.
Who Would Benefit from a Sleep Mask?
The answer to this question is ‘everyone’, but there are a few groups of people who especially benefit from the light reducing qualities of the best sleeping masks.
- Shift workers
- People without black-out blinds
- Light sleepers
- People living in urban areas close to outside street lights
- People who share their beds with someone on a different sleep schedule
- New mothers trying to sleep while their baby is asleep during the day
Qualities of the Best Sleep Mask
Sadly, not all sleep masks are created equal. Those free airline masks aren’t really going to cut it.
We’ve all thrown off those tatty, itchy and sweat-inducing masks in the middle of the night.
Quality costs when it comes to sleep masks and, as with so many things in this life, it’s worth spending a little more for high-quality. Think of it as an investment into your mind, body and soul.
The best rated sleep mask will enjoy the following features:
- Comfort: The material should be light and soft — silky fabrics are ideal. You don’t want any rough textures that are going to cause irritation or itching.
- Fit: They should have a contoured fit around your eyes so you don’t feel any pressure or claustrophobia while you’re wearing it.. This 3D fit means you can open and close your eyes easily inside the mask, and also encourages you to stay in rejuvenative REM sleep.
- Total blackout: The best eye masks for sleeping will not slip off your face during sleep and should provide total darkness all night long.
Different Types of Sleep Masks
There are lots of different eye masks for sleeping available right now which will appeal differently to each individual sleeper.
You might want to buy a few — after all, the eye mask you use to sleep at home might not work so well during a transatlantic red eye flight!
Here are some of the myriad of styles available:
- Contoured and ergonomic: designed to fit your face perfectly and provide total blackout
- Lightweight silk or cotton: best sleeping mask for travelling and incredibly comfortable
- Wrap around: they wrap totally around your head for maximum blackout
- Gel mask: good for people with dry eyes or looking to reduce migraines and puffy eyes
- Aromatherapy: equipped with a herb pocket for a truly holistic experience
The 5 Best Sleep Mask Reviews
This reasonably priced sleeping mask is one of the most popular on Amazon — with over 3,000 reviews as of November 2016!
- Patented ergonomic design that uniquely fits to your eyes and face shape
- Deeply molded eye cups — won’t smudge makeup or impede REM sleep
- Contoured and lightweight
- Stays in place all night long
- 30 day money back guarantee
- Very soft and comfortable, even for side sleepers
- Breathable fabric
But there’s room for improvement:
- The tension in the adjustable strap is a little tight, and may prove uncomfortable for men with large heads
It may not be the cheapest sleep mask on the market, but it’s certainly high quality — as you’d expect from sleep masters, Tempur-Pedic.
- The Tempur-Pedic material contours completely to your face
- Total darkness
- Elasticized strap with velcro closure for a snug fit
- Cool, soft and comfortable
- Good for sensitive skin
- Hollow eye cavities so you can open and close your eyes inside the mask
- Very durable with no frayed edges
- Stays on the face regardless of what position you sleep in
Room for improvement:
- Expensive compared to its competitors
This is a top selling best sleep mask on Amazon with over 6,500 reviews.
Despite its low price, the Alaska Bear sleep mask is all about luxury: natural silk, super soft and cooly relaxing.
- Made of 100% 19-momme natural mulberry silk — super soft and smooth
- Breathable and cooling fabric
- Hypoallergenic mask
- Easy to adjust headband – from 15.8 to 27.6 inches
- Total blackout
- No pressure on the eyes or nose
- Lightweight so shouldn’t impede REM sleep
- Fits underneath a CPAP mask
Room for improvement:
- The silk dye can stain your pillowcase if you don’t wash the mask a couple of times before using it
This is another low cost yet high quality sleep mask that’s super popular with people using it for travelling and normal sleep alike.
- Made of soft, luxury nylon on the outside and memory foam on the inside
- Half inch deep eye cavities — won’t smudge makeup or impede REM sleep
- Adjustable strap from 16 to 23 inches
- Contours to your face shape and stays in place, even if you toss and turn
- 30 day refund period
- Very lightweight
Room for improvement:
- Did let in tiny specks of light around the nose area
Can you say ‘luxury’? This silk eye mask combines a good night’s sleep with beauty technology to bring you what they call “a facial while you sleep.”
- Made of premium mulberry silk
- Super soft and with an ultra plush pillow
- Fabric is infused with copper ion technology to promote younger looking skin — copper helps build new cells and encourages production of elastin and collagen
- Copper also repels nasty odors
- Breathable fabric that keeps cool throughout the night
- Long, adjustable strap
- The adjustable rings on the strap are positioned for maximum comfort, away from your ears
- A narrow pillow for your nose
- Comes in a beautiful box — a great gift idea!
- Also comes with bonus free ear plugs
- Comes with risk-free lifetime warranty
- Blocks out all light
Room for improvement:
- No hollow eye cavities
- Expensive in comparison to its competitors
Now you should be well read on the many benefits of investing in a sleep mask and should be well equipped on how to choose the best sleeping mask for your circumstances.
What’s your pick for the best sleep mask?