According to a recent survey by TIME Magazine, more than half of American adults do not get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. This is troubling, because according to various studies carried out over the decades, sleep has monumental benefits to our daily performance at the workplace. Among the added benefits of sleep is better memory retainment and less chances of getting sick.
Most people would go for the easiest solution – sleeping pills, but they have way too many downsides, and most people don’t like to take the risk of a drug overdose. Logically, there’s only one way left to go, and thus enters the sleeping mask
Sleeping masks are an elegant solution to a somewhat difficult conundrum to figure out. For one, they are pretty cheap, and they have lots of additional benefits beyond just getting you to sleep.
Once you’ve digested the importance of a good night’s sleep and weighed the need for a good sleeping mask, all that remains is to ask, what sleeping mask is best for you? Well, while the decision making process is fairly subjective, we tried to weigh in a lot of factors when breaking down what would benefit the greatest number of people, including, but not limited to, budget and comfort. You can buy any of the sleeping masks below by simply clicking their names.
The Alaska Bear sleep mask comes first on the countdown for a number of reasons, first of which is it’s incredible comfort, where, despite the fact that it’s much lighter than the other entries on this list, in fact, it’s made of the lightest materials we’ve encountered so far, it still packs a punch for comfort. It’s primary components are natural Mulberry silk, which give a really smooth, natural sensation on the skin.
What’s more, what it does even better is shut the light out quite effectively, even if the source of light is quite bright.
It’s straps are also made from elastic material, making it easily adjustable to fit your needs, regardless of the size or shape of your head. Perhaps what we found the most pleasing was the deliberate lack of velcro, that had the great disadvantage of sticking into people’s hair while they were asleep.
Perhaps its greatest winning point is pricing, where, unlike other entries on this list, it’s pretty cheap, especially considering the product you’re going to be getting at the end of the day.
All in all, if you want a minimalist sleeping mask that takes up little to no space at all, at the same time, never feeling over your eyes, don’t look any further – the Alaska Bear is for you.
These sleep masks may have come second and third respectively, but don’t make the mistake of counting them out just yet. They are every bit as qualified to be first on the list as the Alaska Bear, but as with every competition, someone simply has to win.
The NapForm Eye Mask won our hearts with its crazy comfortability, which was one of the factors we used to rank winners and contenders on our list, its BioSense memory foam making it feel comfortable, without going too overboard that it gives an unnatural feel to the skin.
What’s more, it’s also pretty effective at blocking out light, being a little bit thicker than our number one pick, such that you could turn on three lamps in the room and open your eyes underneath the mask, but you would swear there wasn’t a single light on in the room.
These features make it one of the best masks for both home use and even more so, travel use It provides incredible relief for worn out and exhausted eyes.
The only downside we could find (it would be an understatement that we probed and probed) is that it can’t be machine washed. Bummer. A quick spin in the dryer and it begins to lose its elasticity and fit, making it practically impossible to use to begin with.
For a long while, this was referred to as the best sleeping mask ever made, and sold like cold ice cream on a hot summer. Right from the elegant design, which, by the way, many sleep mask designers seem to ignore, to the downright comfortability of of it. Suffice to say, this is and always will be a classic in the eyes of all therapeutics.
At this point, if you’ve never heard of the Dreamzone, you might ask yourself why a sleeping mask would be a cult classic among customers. Well, for one, as mentioned, the sheer comfort of it, as a result of a heavenly blend of silk and cotton. For yet another, it’s entirely possible to morph it into a fit for any head shape, literally any.
Why would a classic like this not come first then? Well, first of all, it has a velcro band. This is pretty bad if your hair is wild and difficult to manage at night. Second, though this point suffered a bit of criticism, the natural aroma they tried to provide was great for some, but if you have allergies to strong scents, oh, boy. This is definitely not for you. Lastly, despite their flexibility, if you’re a relatively large person, you might notice a bit of light seeping in from the undersides of your eyes. Otherwise? Great mask, great fit.
Why do you need a sleep mask?
So, that’s great and all – they’re comfortable, they do a great job at helping you sleep at night, but what if you sleep just fine as you are, do you even need a sleep mask to begin with?
Need? Perhaps not. Saying yes would be drawing the point too far and trying to encapsulate a whole lot of people in a category they don’t belong, but should you get one? If you enjoy a good night’s sleep, then the answer is yes. You definitely should, here are a few reasons why:
Better sleep at night
At this point, this should go completely without saying, but first, a little Biology lesson. Melatonin is a neat little hormone produced in the brain that has a lot of functions in the body, but in this context, let’s say it’s main job is regulating sleep cycles. In short, it helps you sleep at night, but for this to happen, your body has to be convinced it’s time to sleep.
Production of melatonin is thrown off by light, and as such all those pesky neon lights, cell phones, tablets and tvs won’t do you any good if you’re trying to fall asleep. Enter the sleep mask.
Sleep masks function to block the light out, and in the process invoke a sense of darkness, and the rest is history. Well, Biology, but you get the idea.
Resetting the sleep cycle
The sleep cycle can be thrown off for various reasons, including working night shifts and travelling across time zones, and if that’s part of your routine, it might get a little difficult to recover your sleeping patterns.
Get an effective sleep mask and your sleeping woes are done for, thanks to the light-blocking factor, helping to reset your internal clock for better sleep and overall health.
Heal body damage
You’ve probably already heard the term ‘beauty sleep’ throw around every once in awhile, but what most people don’t realise is that there is a great correlation between the two.
While you’re asleep, the body is far more active at healing those broken bones and torn skin. In other words, deep sleep results in faster healing, and guess what helps you with deeper sleep?
Sleep mask materials
A man is only as good as what’s inside him, and a sleeping material, though not necessarily bound by the same law, is greatly affected by the kind of material it’s made from. What material to pick is entirely up to you, so here are the most popular to pick from.
Silk is pretty expensive to produce, and great silk is similarly expensive to own, but it gives the advantage of being lightweight, soft and pretty gentle on the skin. The only drawback to silk would be that it’s often difficult to wash since it can easily show water spots on toned cloth.
Cotton is a natural, breathable material woven in a variety of ways to possibly enhance softness and, if the right kind is found, it’s very gentle on the skin.
Gels and beads
Gels and beads have gotten lots of attention lately due to their incredible versatility with heating and cooling, and are thus a great help with facial puffiness and headaches.
Runner-up sleeping masks
Now that that educative session is out of the way, why not wrap up by outlining our other seven favorite picks for best sleeping masks. Once again, the selection process was extremely subjective, but we tried hardest we could to factor in as many variables as possible.
Premium Lavender Silk Eye Pillow —This entry is a marvel in itself, presenting a new unique design that curves itself in such a way that it falls around your face, so it feels a lot more natural when it’s on. To take care of the various head shapes and sizes out there, it includes an adjustable elastic band so it won’t fall off while you carry on with your business.
However, what really won our hearts about the Premium Lavender Eye Pillow was that its design features allow it to double up as a sleep mask and for regular exercise work, like yoga and stress relief exercises. As an added bonus, it also comes filled with organic lavender and flax seeds, which is perfect for aromatherapy uses. Even better, you’re not tied down to just that, if you want it unscented or prefer a different aroma, just open up the zip pillow and fill it up with anything you like!
Soniworks Natural Silk — Picking this sleeping mask as a closer runner-up was pretty simple. This mask is thin, comfy and lightweight. So much so that while wearing it, you almost won’t notice that there’s anything on your face, just pitch black darkness. This lightness, is however, the parabolic double-edged sword often spoken of, because it often leads to seeping of light from just under the eyes if not properly worn.
Brownmed IMAK Compression Pain Relief Mask— Remember that one time when we told you sleep masks were great for pain relief? Well, the IMAK compression pain relief mask is a true testament to that fact. It settles very snugly on the face, making it perfect for providing a gentle pressure at the sinus points as it settles pretty well into the rough edges of any face without adding unnecessary weight to the eyelids.
For pain relief, the IMAK Compression Pain Relief Mask is perfect and is highly recommended for those who often suffer from sinus complications and migraines. However, what it isn’t so great at is being a sleeping aid, as it quite easily slips from the face and needs regular tightening after long periods of use.
Hamalaya Natural Silk Sleep Mask — Some would call this mask oversized, but it was made so to great effect. It takes the crown for the most comfortable entry on this list, it’s primary manufacturing materials being ultra-soft silk, all the while balancing out with an ultra-flexible budget. Comfortable to both the skin and the pocket. It may not be as great as some other entries on the list, but it does has have enough features to make your jaw drop – it’s incredibly breathable, such that it doesn’t retain much heat, and is perfect for hotter environments.
Dream Essentials Sweet Dreams Lightweight Contoured Sleep Mask — has had varying results over the course of our tests, but doesn’t often disappoint, performing moderately well over half of the time. It’s comfortable enough, blocks out nearly all the light and is easily adjustable to fit on any head shape. The only downside would be that, if you’re a heavy turner (you turn around a lot in bed) the mask will tend to dislodge off your face.
Morihata Binchotan Charcoal Eye Mask — This was a difficult one to pin down because all the benefits included are pretty hard to test to begin with. However, it supposedly promotes blood circulation in the face, relieves pressure in the eyes and helps kill those terrible migraines. It’s also supposedly infused with white charcoal (a quick chemistry lesson tells you how unlikely it is to find) and is perfect for travelers who go for long durations with little sleep.
iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Eye Mask — Famous for being marketed as ‘a top notch anti-aging’ mask. Whilst this is hard to argue against, it’s also impossible to back due to the lack of evidence. However, what we can say is that it qualifies as one of the most comfortable masks on the list (somewhere right under the Dream Essential). It is made from copper oxide tech, which has shown signs of keeping the skin tight, thus reducing the probability of wrinkles, so maybe there’s some truth to that marketing slogan.