Best Sleep Mask Reviews: Our Top 5 Choices for a Good Night’s Rest

by | Accessories, Sleep Masks | 1 comment


I recently had the opportunity to check out a selection of eye masks to determine their comfortability, durability, and overall use. Out of 10 different masks we purchased, I choose my top 5 for various reasons, as explained below, and was surprised to find that the more costly purchases didn’t always live up to the price tag.

Our Top 5 Sleep Mask Comparisons

ModelMaterialUnisexAccessoriesOur Rating (Out of 10)
IMAK Pain Relief MaskCotton and ErgobeadsYesNo8.6
Drift to Sleep Eye MaskLightweight NeopreneYes, Different Color ChoicesEarplugs8.8
Alaska Bear Silk Sleep MaskSilkYesNo9.4
Soniworks Natural SilkSilkYesDrawstring Pouch and Ear Plugs9.2
Fitglam Silk Sleep MaskSilk and GelYes, Multiple ColorsElastic Case and Ear Plugs8.2

Sleep Mask Uses

There are a lot of reason why you might consider using a sleep mask because quality of sleep isn’t all they are capable of, even though that is their main purpose. A variety of different masks are on the market today to aid in everything from setting your sleep cycle, to aiding in migraine pain relief.

Sleep Aide

Using sleep masks help to regulate your melatonin levels. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that is produced during times of darkness and serve as a natural sleep aide. Melatonin can be thrown off by sleep patterns that infringe upon daylight, house lights, or by ‘screen time’ and the light that is produced by your televisions, tablets, and phones.

Masks may not be able to change your melatonin levels directly, but indirectly they do provide a source of darkness, so if you are a daytime sleeper due to a night time job, they are certainly something to consider for a deeper, more restful sleep.

 

 

Reset Sleep Cycle

Have you been traveling across time zones? Working a night shift? Been feeling under the weather? Sleep cycles can be thrown off for so many reasons, and therefore it can be difficult to recover your normal sleep patterns.

Because of it’s effectiveness as a sleep aide due to the light blocking factor, masks can help reset your internal clock and get back into the sleep schedule your body craves for your overall health.

 

 

Heal Body Damage with Sleep

You probably have heard a friend or two jokingly mention that they need to “get their beautyrest”, but they truly aren’t kidding if they are aware that sleep heals body damage. Not only is sleep the best remedy for sickness and body strain, it also improves the texture and quality of skin, brightens your complexion, reduces breakouts, and lightens dark under eye circles.

Pain Relief

In recent years sleep masks have evolved to include a bit more of a personal preference range concerning materials, and overall usage.

If you suffer from sinus pressure, migraines, or other fatiguing events that leave your face feeling strained and puffy, there are a few choices on the market to choose from to help alleviate your suffering, and improve your water retention in your face to get you back to your old self in no time.

Sleep Mask Materials

The most popular lightweight material used in sleep masks is silk and silk blends, although breathable cotton, foam polymers, gel filled plastics, and poly-beads are all materials used often in various products labeled as a ‘sleep mask’ to fit your various needs.

Silk

Silk is the threads spun by mulberry silkworms which is then woven into cloth for use all over the world. Although it used to be a very expensive product, faux silk, and silk blends have helped to drive down the cost.

This is a very lightweight, soft material that is often difficult to wash since it can easily show water spots on lighter toned cloth. Silk is a popular choice due to being hypoallergenic and very gentle on sensitive skins.

 

 

Cotton

Cotton is another all natural material derived from the cotton plant. This is a very breathable, light material that can be woven in a variety of ways to enhance softness and lower material heft. Like silk, cotton is hypoallergenic and is another excellent choice for sensitive skin.

Gels and Beads

The use of gels and beads are often sealed in a polymer covering for insert into a silk, or cotton casing. The use of these products have become popular due to the their versatility concerning heating and cooling to aide with headache pressures, and facial puffiness.

Sleep Mask Drawbacks

First and foremost it might be difficult to get used to having something on your face and around your head at first. Even though almost all masks are adjustable and lightweight, it can still be an odd sensation to have anything touching your face if you aren’t use to it.

Cortisol is produced when light levels begin to rise and is registered in your brain. This is what begins to wake you naturally, and if the darkness of a mask is too much for you, you may have trouble waking if you are a natural sound sleeper.

How to Choose the Best Sleep Mask For Your Needs

Where do you plan on using your sleep mask?

Is this an aide for getting a good night’s rest? If so, consider your sleeping positions for the best fit possible. Side and stomach sleepers may find certain masks too cumbersome, or that they slip due to gravity. Pain relief masks that have beads or gel, in general, are too heavy for anyone not sleeping on their backs or in a reclined position. Part of the reasoning behind their use is to have gravity used to provide the relief needed through pressure points.

Masks made of thicker materials, such as the Tempur-Pedic Sleep Mask, falls into this category as it is impossible to turn sideways and laying your head against a surface without it causing interference.  For sleep only masks, consider lightweight materials and thin masks that are more capable of staying in place through your nighttime movements.

 

Do you travel?

If using a mask during travel, either to block out the extra light hotel rooms always seem to have, or to catch a few extra z’s on a plane, using a mask that also helps to muffle sound might be a consideration. Although they didn’t make the cut of my final choices, the Dream Sleeper Sleep Mask, and the Warmhoming Ultra-Sleep are perfect choices for this as it feels as if your head is muffled by a cool cloth that helps reduce sound.

Combine this, or any mask, with a set of foam earplugs (many masks come with these) and you will have created a peaceful area for your rest away from home. The Drift To Sleep is also a great travel mask.

 

 

Consider the overall fit

The fit of your mask is going to be important. Not all are made the same, or to head size despite adjustability. You want a nice, close, but non-restrictive fit. You also want to make sure light is blocked out, and you may want to consider a mask that isn’t snug up against your eyelids. Many masks are contoured around the eyes or nose for the best fit possible, but these are also subject to facial structures and one size doesn’t always fit all.

A few that didn’t make my cut include the Bedtime Bliss and Living Pure Sleep Masks. Although not uncomfortable, their more rigid structure for contoured fit allowed more light to seep into my viewing area. I found I preferred a softer material against my eyelids than the contoured shape for sleep purposes only.

 

 

Is makeup protection important to you?

A snug mask might be great each night, when your eye makeup has been removed, but it might be problematic if you are catching a few hours rest on a connecting flight to a business meeting, or to to meet that special someone. No worries – there are masks on the market that address this problem rather well.

As mentioned above the contoured masks to allow you to open your eyes are an excellent choice for this. My top pick in this category is the Drift to Sleep, and is detailed more below, but the Bedtime Bliss and Living Pure masks are also better choices than those that rest against your eyelids.

 

 

Do you suffer from migraines, or sinus pressure?

Pressure from head pain is just that, a pain. But if you are trying to catch some rest to alleviate the pressure, consider using something to counteract the pain during your rest. Cooling gel packs, and massaging lightweight beads can often help provide the much needed relief you crave to go about your day.

The Fitglam gel inserts, and Imak Pain Relief Mask are both top choices and are listed in my top choices below. Although ANY mask can help alleviate or block light, which can be a pain trigger for migraines and other eye sensitivities, these masks use temperature and pressure points to help get you back on your feet faster.

 

 

Our Top 5 Sleep Mask Reviews And What Each Is Best For

In searching for the perfect sleep mask I became somewhat overwhelmed with the variety of choices presented to me, and consequently read hundreds of best sleep mask reviews, tried on, slept in (for multiple nights), stored, folded, washed and dried, and traveled  with a plethora of choices to try and determine the best masks on the market for the many needs out there.

I also wanted to test out how easy it was to heat, or cool, certain masks, sleep reclining, and how well my eye makeup lasted through mask use. All in all, I tested ten different masks: Soniworks, Warmhoming, Alaska Bear, Dream Sleeper, Termpur-Pedic, Bedtime Bliss, Imak, Drift to Sleep, Fitglam, and Living Pure.

IMAK Pain Relief Mask

Overview

  • Material: Cotton and Ergobeads
  • Unisex: Yes
  • Washable: Yes
  • Uses: Sleep aide, migraine/head pain and pressure relief
  • Accessories: No
  • Warranty: N/A

 

I have often used cooled rice bags to alleviate headache and sinus pressure, and this mask reminds me of exactly that, except it CANNOT be heated (seriously don’t. The beads can melt inside). But with that being said, I found it to be an excellent choice to provide pressure to sinus points as it settled well into the contours of my face without adding undue weight to my eyelids.

As a side and stomach sleeper, there is no way this mask will do me any good as gravity easily pulls it away from where it needs to be, and tightening the band only created an uncomfortable tightness. However, if you sleep face-up, this may be an excellent choice for you since it blocks light excellently and really is a comfortable fit in this position.

As a pain relief aide I found this to be a great choice, and would highly recommend this product to anyone who suffers from migraines, sinus pressure, congestion, or puffy eyes. I rested easily on my back during my application of the product, and enjoyed the light pressure of the beads even without present pain.

As a sleep aide this probably isn’t your best choice other than for back sleepers, although pain relieving benefits make it a product I enjoy having handy.

R

Pros

  • Washable
  • Can be cooled (DO NOT heat)
  • Molds to face for pressure points
  • Blocks light completely

Q

Cons

  • Elastic can wear out quickly
  • Adjustable band holders are cheap
  • Doesn’t hold coolness for a long length of time

Drift to Sleep Eye Mask

Overview

  • Material: Lightweight Neoprene
  • Unisex: Yes, different color choices
  • Washable: Yes
  • Uses: Contoured sleep aide
  • Accessories: Earplugs
  • Warranty: 100% money back guarantee

 

I had a hard time liking this product at first, but kept coming back to it because it’s SO pretty! That and because it has some overall high ratings and I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. My biggest complaint from the start was the contoured ‘eyes’ of the mask that kept me from getting a truly dark experience. I think my head is a bit small, and no matter how I adjusted it I always had a little bit of light seeping in- especially in the nose area. And then it dawned on me that it’s best use is for travel; especially for those wearing eye make-up as the mask is beautifully formed to fit over the most glamorous of eyes.

I can totally see myself toting this mask around to catch some extra rest during travel, especially since it is most comfortable in an upright, or prone position. Side or stomach sleepers may find it shifts during movement and become uncomfortable. The little bit of light seepage isn’t a deal-breaker in my opinion as the best eye mask for travel.

Overall I found the mask to be a bit wide for my head shape, although it isn’t at all uncomfortable- but since it has a money back guarantee it’s totally worth trying out to see if it is a good fit for you. Complaints occurred over how warm it can get due to the material used that isn’t very breathable, but I personally did not experience this issue (maybe because I don’t have a complete seal).

This is an excellent choice for travelers, especially those who want a smudge free experience when it comes to their eye make-up. Color choices and patterns make it a unisex choice as well, and the few men I asked (forced) to try it out found it a good fit; although they weren’t fond of the pretty pink flower print I had chosen…

R

Pros

  • Adjustable buckle strap
  • Contoured for smudge free eye makeup
  • Lightweight
  • Doesn’t snag hair

Q

Cons

  • Material can begin to peel away over time and usage
  • Doesn’t always block all light depending on head shape
  • Not very breathable

Alaska Bear Silk Sleep Mask

Overview

  • Material: Silk
  • Unisex: Yes
  • Washable: Yes
  • Uses: Sleep aide
  • Accessories: No
  • Warranty: 30 day guarantee, 100% money back return

 

My motto is, the simpler the better, and this sleep mask fits that criteria rather nicely. This is a simple, no frills, soft, and lightweight mask for a perfect night’s rest. Multiple size choices and a money back 30-day policy, paired with excellent customer service, makes buying, returning, or exchanging this product a no brainer, and worth your while.

If you need a simple sleep aide mask for any reason, this is a decent choice. As mentioned, I am a side and stomach sleeper, and although I feel that it’s near impossible to not have some sort of slippage concerning something strapped to your face while asleep- I found this mask to be both comfortable, and impossible to feel when settling myself in for the night. In fact, I was shocked when I woke the next morning and although it had slightly slipped to the side, letting in a scant amount of light, the sun was brightly shining into my room, and I hadn’t even noticed.

Silk is not only soft, but cooling as well, and I can very much see this mask as bringing pain relief to its wearers if one is suffering from any sort of headache pressures. The slightly padded surface keeps the mask from being flimsy, but allows great flexibility and shaping to your face.

Overall this is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a simple, yet comfortable, and inexpensive mask for regular use.

R

Pros

  • Has multiple sizes to choose from
  • Non-slip elastic
  • Lightweight
  • Completely blocks out light
  • Lasts through heavy use

Q

Cons

  • Black dye has come off on pillows/skin (washed off)
  • Light can leak in due to head size (mostly a male complaint)
  • Strap connections can be uncomfortable

Soniworks Natural Silk Sleep Mask

Overview

  • Material: Silk
  • Unisex: Yes
  • Washable: Yes
  • Uses: Sleep aide
  • Accessories: Dawstring pouch and ear plugs
  • Warranty: N/A

 

Another simple pick, this silk sleep mask is thin, comfortable, lightweight, and possibly my favorite of all traditional sleep mask designs. I really don’t like to feel a strap around my head, so I keep anything adjustable at the loosest it can be without falling off- and not only did this mask never slip, I didn’t wake up the first night I used it until my kids were jumping on me asking what was on my face.

Although there is no warranty that I could find on the product, I don’t feel anyone ordering this is going to be highly disappointed and want to return it unless there was some major defect. This is a seriously great mask to block out light and gains my review as the best eye mask for sleeping.

I’d recommend this mask for anyone looking for a great night’s sleep and wants a simple solution to their tossing and turning due to anything light. Despite some complaints about a chemical smell, I never experienced that, or the strap snagging either in my hair, or on the pillowcase. All in all this was a fantastic product.

R

Pros

  • Adjustable strap
  • Very lightweight
  • Large and soft for full light blockage
  • Feels like nothing is being worn

Q

Cons

  • Light chemical smell upon opening but disappears shortly after
  • Strap can snag on pillow

Fitglam Silk Sleep Mask with Hot and Cold Gel Eye Set

Overview

  • Material: Silk and gel
  • Unisex: Yes, ,multiple colors
  • Washable: Yes
  • Uses: Sleep aide, migraine/head pain and pressure relief
  • Accessories: Plastic Case and Ear Plugs
  • Warranty: N/A

 

This set brings the best of both worlds of eye masks with a thin, silk sleep mask and gel compression mask that can be used both hot and cold (be sure to warm your gel in a hot water submersion only. I submersed my gel pack into heated water only AFTER it the burner had been turned off. Avoid open flame or indirect contact with open flame). Use together by slipping the insert into the pocket of the mask, or use separate with the elastic bands made specifically to hold the gel mask in place. I’ll admit, I really have enjoyed using the gel mask for puffy, tired eyes both alone, and within the silk shell.

The sleep mask is a perfect stand alone as well since it’s simple and lightweight, and although is a bit small even for my smaller head to block the light 100% completely, it gets the job done. My issues were around my nose area, as were a few other reviews. Side sleepers and stomach sleepers may not want to use them together overnight either since they will slip due to gravity.

This has been a fun product reviewing due to the variety of uses in just one package, and I found the gel cooled in the freezer and fridge to be fairly long lasting and comfortable both within the silk, and one its own. The gel feels that it is naturally below room temperature and is cooling even without using a colder environment in advance. When used heated it loosened congestion and felt amazing on sinus pressure (I used it within the silk when heated).

This is a good choice for anyone wanting a versatile mask for pain relief, congestion, and as a sleep aide.

R

Pros

  • Cooling and heating capabilities
  • Can use with gel, or without
  • Soft and lightweight
  • Helps with eye puffiness
  • Helps with congestion

Q

Cons

  • Mask is very thin
  • No instruction- DO NOT heat mask in microwave! Use hot water submersion
  • Size issues on blocking light near nose area

Conclusion

When looking for the best sleep mask the answer is not as clear cut as I originally thought. There are plenty of choices to choose from, and a lot of reasons to purchase one over the other. If you need a good night’s’ sleep and only a need a simple solution, then a uncomplicated silk mask might be your best choice. But if you suffer from any of the above mentioned ailments, you might want to consider the choices that combine a few worlds into one, like I have.

My best rated eye mask is the Fitglam Silk Sleep Mask with Hot and Cold Gel Eye Set since it comes with the simple silk mask I love for a good night’s sleep, but also has that amazing gel insert I am enthusiastically using for puffy eyes and sinus pressure.

Do you have a favorite eye mask, or are looking to replace one? Perhaps you have always wanted to try one, but didn’t know where to start? Hopefully the above information is a great start to your own search for the perfect mask! Comment or question below!