Best Sleep Masks
No one should ever have to see the things that go on an airplane during a 9-hour flight – which is why every traveler that has eyeballs should pack a great sleep mask in their carry on bag to help promote easy and restful air travel. They aren’t just used for sleeping, either- many of them have recessed cavities so that you can comfortably keep your eyes open if you want to block out the visual stimulants from your flight so that you can relax even in you aren’t tired. Additionally, once you make it to your destination it can be used to fall asleep in an unfamiliar place, especially if the place that you are staying doesn’t have blackout curtains. You might find that you love how something as simple as a mask will help you fall asleep, and you might want to add it to your normal sleep schedule at home.
There are many different styles out there on the market, and some are considered to be far better than others. You want to make sure that you select one that is constructed from high-quality materials. Cheap fabrics that will be draped across your face run the risk of irritating your skin or causing breakouts. Cheaper fabrics also can become hot and uncomfortable- therefore making it a little more difficult to help you fall asleep. Below, we have sorted through a lot of various brands and styles of sleep masks to bring you the models and designs that customers have tried and tested on many long flights, and will no doubt help you arrive at your destination relaxed and refreshed- even on a busy flight.
- DREAM ESSENTIALS SLEEP MASK
- Padded nose bridge
- NIDRA SLEEP MASK
- Stays in place
- MAVOGEL SLEEP MASK
10 Best Sleep Masks
Dream Essentials® Escape Luxury Sleep Mask
This model is made from soft a comfortable cotton that most likely feels like a blanket you are snuggling up with. The inside is made from more rigid materials, and there are slight divots where your eyes will go to ensure that there is no pressure on your eyelids, and will also keep any outside light from seeping in. Filled cotton pads line the area around your nose so there will no irritation, and less irritation to your face means the easier time you will have falling asleep. The elastic band is able to be adjusted to fit most head types
While this model will keep all of the visual stimulants out of sight so that you can catch some z’s, this product also comes with a pair of free earplugs. Ear plugs are great on a light because they can help drown out the sounds of the engine, and basic airplane chatter to help you fall asleep faster, and not be woken up by any loud sounds. It also comes with a drawstring bag for storage, so you can easily throw it into your carry on.
While it is a little bit more expensive than some of the other brands out there, it by no means will break the band in any way. The cost of this product will likely set you back the same amount of money that you would spend picking up a couple of magazines at the airport gift shop.
No matter what kind of sleeper that you are- if you sleep on your back or if you are a side sleeper- this model was designed to keep the light out and stay firmly in place. At a slightly higher price point than some of the others, you will soon find that the ability to achieve a good night sleep on an airplane is well worth the few extra bucks you will spend to get there.
- Additional ear plugs
- Carrying bag
- Padded nose bridge
- Eye cavities
- Some find that it is not ideal for side sleepers
Nidra Sleep Mask
Like we stated earlier- the simple design is what makes this model really stand out from the rest. It has a cupped shape that specially contours to the shape of your face. These cups that are placed over your eyes make it so that you have the ability to fully open your eyes while wearing it, but still be immersed in total darkness. Some find that products that press against your eyes and don’t give you the full ability to open your eyes can become distracting and actually keep you from falling asleep.
It measures in at 8.8 inches long and 3 inches tall, which will be able to fit most faces easily. Due to the fact that this model doesn’t have any special contouring around the eyes or the nose- it is able to fit most faces. Instead of having a solid elastic band that has to go up over your head, the adjustable band for this model has a strap that fastens in the back.
The price is what makes this design really shine. It comes at an incredibly affordable price, and it is one of the least expensive models making this list. It doesn’t come with any additional features like earplugs or a carrying case, but it comes with a 100 percent money back guarantee if you are displeased with the quality of this product.
If you want something that is simple, and will fit almost any head shape easily- this is a great product. The only thing that is more important than ensuring that you are always rested to be at your best it to ensure that you never spend more money than you need to on a product.
- Designed to fit almost anyone
- Stays in place
- After approximately 1 year of consistent use, the layers begin to split for some users
Mavogel Sleep Mask
This particular model stands out from the rest because it isn’t black- it’s a light gray. It is composed of 5 distinct layers that are designed to sit comfortably on your face, but also keep air moving so that it will never become itchy or hot. The 5 distinct layers are made of cotton, an elastic sponge, an unwoven cotton, cotton filler, and skin friendly layer. Measuring in at 7.3 inches long and 3.5 inches wide- it is a tad narrower than most, which could be a problem if you have wider facial features.
The point that makes this product really stand out from the rest is the innovate nasal bridge design. It’s built just a little bit differently- but works the best in completely blocking out the light. It has a bridge that is able to be molded once it is on your face in order to block out all of the light. Once the mask is comfortable enough for you, pinch the nose bridge and lift it up so that there is no point where the fabric is sitting on your nose.
In terms of all of the various shapes and models that you will found out there on the market- this unit falls about right in the middle of the road. It is not the most expensive model out there, but it does cost a little bit more than some of the lower priced units. However, considering the quality of construction and materials, it is worth the little bit of extra money.
This is a great model for those that want something a little bit more padded than some of the other models, and for those that need a model that doesn’t run the risk of letting any light in whatsoever. You might pay a little bit more, but this model is well worth the slightly padded price tag.
- Innovative nose bridge design
- Comfortable materials
- Some find the buckle in the back can dig into the back of their head
- No contoured eye cavities- cannot open eyes
Jersey Slumber Sleep Mask
What makes this model different from some of the others out there is that it is made from silk- making it incredibly comfortable and lightweight. It feels cool against your face when you put it on, and won’t become too hot or itchy to the point that it is preventing you from falling asleep. It has a large profile so it is able to fit most faces and successfully block out all of the light so that your next airplane ride will be shrouded in darkness.
While this doesn’t have eye cavities that allow you to open your eyes without your lashes getting caught on the fabric, the lightweight 100 percent silk material will not prevent you from opening your eyes comfortably. The absence of formed pads and eye cavities will also help you look more refreshed when you wake up because there aren’t any seam lines that have the potential to dig into your face to give you that classic ‘I just slept on an airplane’ look.
This comes in at one of the lowest price points than many of the other products out there. While it sports a simple design and doesn’t come with any additional features- such as earplugs- it will likely run you about the price of a nice cup of coffee from the airport.
If simplicity is more your thing- this is an excellent choice. The soft silky material will feel cool against your face, and won’t become hot and itchy the way some of the other designs have a tendency to do. Set at such a low price point, there really is no reason for you not to try out this model.
- Silk feels cool against face
- Band becomes loose over time
- Some find that it is a little thin
Unimi Sleep Mask
As we stated above- this model doesn’t try and reinvent the wheel. It is constructed with matte black fabric. It is constructed from two distinct layers. The first layer is a type of memory foam that will contour to the unique shape of your face the more that you use is, and the second layer is elastic polyester to make sure that it will fit perfectly right out of the box. It also has eye cavities that allow you to fully open your eyes without your eyelashes becoming caught on the fabric. This feature is great to help lull you to sleep faster without the feeling on constraint on your eyelids
The head strap on this model is one is its best features. Unlike some of the other models out there, this one doesn’t use buckles that have a tendency to dig into the back of your head over time. Instead, it uses velcro on its elastic bands to ensure a nice and comfortable fit every time you use it. The materials used for this model are considered to be anti-fade and anti-bacterium.
One of the best features about this design is the fantastic price point- which will likely set you back the same amount of money that you would spend buying a nice cup of coffee at the airport waiting to board your flight. It is considered to be one of the most affordable brands currently on the market.
If you are looking for something simple and easy that gets the job done- this the perfect product to ensure that you arrive at your destination awake and refreshed. And the best part is that it will leave you more money to spend on souvenirs.
- Simple design
- Velcro straps too short for larger heads
- Straps lose shape over extended use
kimkoo Silk Sleep Mask
What makes this a little different than many of the other products on the market is its strap design. When other products utilize a single strap, it order to ensure that it fits tight- it has a tendency to pull the it right up against your eyeballs. And this scenario isn’t ideal if you want to be able to full open your eyes while wearing it. How this product fixes that is that it has three straps instead of just one, and it dispurses the tension to three different points so that it doesn’t press against your eyes. It is also composed of soft mulberry silk, which will always feel cool and comfortable against your face.
The purchase of this particular product also includes a carry case that makes it easier to throw it into your carry on. If blocking out all of the light isn’t enough to get you to fall asleep on a busy airplane, the purchase of this product also comes with a set of noise-canceling earplugs. With the use of these earplugs in addition to this product- there should be no reason that you cannot catch some z’s on your next trip.
The cost of this product runs about in the middle of the road in comparison to all of the other models out there on the market. It will likely set you back the same amount of money it costs you to pick up a couple of magazines at the airport gift shop.
If you are in the market for something that will help you fall asleep fast, and it comfortable against your face- and you aren’t will to spend the top dollar- this is an excellent choice to help you make it through those long airplane rides.
- Innovative strap design
- Nose flap to block out light
- Some find it to be a little too thin
- Does not have eye indentions
AMAZKER Sleep Mask
The design is a little bit more structured than most. It has recessed eye holes that make it so that you are able to open your eyes while wearing it, and a contoured nose that will block out light from infiltrating under the nose. It also has a soft elastic strap that is long enough to wrap around most heads and fastens in place with velcro. The memory foam that found in one of the layers will conform to your face over time.
In addition to receiving this product with purchase, it also comes with a compact carrying case that makes it simple to throw it into your carry on for easy access. And if blocking out the light isn’t enough to get you to fall asleep on a busy flight, it also comes with a set of noise-canceling earplugs- so you can pretend you are already at your destination instead of on a busy airplane filled with grumpy passengers.
The cost of these run about in the middle of the road. They are not the most expensive on the market- but they are also not the least expensive out there. They will most likely run about the same price that you would spend to pick up a couple of magazines to read while waiting for your gate to open.
If you would like it to fit a little bit more tightly and conform to your face- this is an excellent option. Made with high-quality materials, like memory foam, and offered at a reasonable price, there is really no reason not to give these a try to see if they will help you sleep on your next flight.
- Memory foam contours to face over time
- Lightweight (weighs approximately .4 ounces)
- Doesn’t fit some nose shapes
- Some find that it doesn’t block light at nose
VCOO Sleep Mask
As stated earlier, the design is what makes this product stand out from all of the others. The front is a solid royal blue with white accents. It has contoured eye cavities so you are able to completely open your eyes while wearing them, and it won’t smudge your makeup so that you arrive at your destination looking impeccably fresh and rested.
The soft elastic straps are able to be adjusted via a buckle located on the side- making it easy on your hair. Many of the velcro models might not dig into your head the way buckles can- but they have a tendency to get caught in your hair. The purchase of this product also comes with a trendy and sharp carry bag that makes it easy to throw these into your carry on for when you need them. And if blocking out light isn’t enough to get you to fall asleep on a busy airplane, this product also comes with a set of earplugs.
One of the best things about this product is that it comes in at a great price- and is one of the most affordable options to make this list. It will most likely set you back the same amount of money it might cost you to pick up a sandwich before boarding your flight.
If you want to get something the ordinary rather than the basic black models, this is a fun and trendy option with excellent functionality to help you get to sleep faster, and be able to enjoy your vacation rest and relaxed from the journey.
- Not great for side sleepers
- Some find that some light can still penetrate through
Modern Travel Sleep Mask
The design of this product is made to be a little more rigid than some of the other models. It has eye cavities to make you able to fully open your eyes while wearing it, and a nose bridge that keeps light from infiltrating from the bottom. The straps that hold it in place and light and comfortable and held together by velcro.
If you find that blocking out the light isn’t sufficient enough to lull you to sleep on busy aircrafts, the set of noise-canceling earplugs might do the trick. This product also comes with a lightweight drawstring travel bag, so it can be easily stowed away in your carry on bag for easy access when you need it.
You are not going to find a product that is less expensive than this model. We might go so far as to say that the cup of coffee that you buy at the airport might be a little bit more expensive than this product. With such a low price point- there really is no reason not to give this a try.
If you were in the market for something to help you catch some sleep on long and stressful flights- this might be just the thing that you need. Set at such an affordable price, it will save you enough money to bring back more souvenirs from your vacation.
- Additional carrying case and ear plugs
- Dye on head strap can bleed onto pillowcases
- Does not fit all head types
L’alysse Sleep Mask
The exterior is made from soft cottons- the same materials that you are probably snuggling up with when you use it. The interior is made from light and breathable materials, and has recessed eye holes that will not put any pressure on your lids, and will make it so that you are able to fully open your eyes while wearing this product. The material feels soft and cushy to the touch, and will contour to the shape of your face over time.
A common problem when it comes to these products is the infiltration of light via the gap by your nose. The way that this brand tries to solve this problem is by creating a line of additional fabric by the nose that will drape down- and it versatile enough to accommodate many different nose sizes- so even if you have a bigger nose, you will be covered with this style.
In terms of price- this model runs right down the middle of the road. It is not the most expensive model out there, but it is not the least expensive. It will set you back about the same amount it would cost you to buy a sandwich before boarding your plane.
If you want something that will really block out all of the light and is versatile enough to find a wide range of facial type- this is an excellent choice that is set at a reasonable price point.
- Innovative nose bridge design
- Some find that it is still and uncomfortable
- Velcro is backwards and catches hair
The Criteria We Used to Find the Best Sleep Masks
Gimmicks and tricks don’t work when it comes to these products- so try not to be fooled by all the extra bells and whistles that some of the other brands may offer. There are two things that make one stand out from the rest: the ability to fully block out light, and comfort. If you don’t have those two things, then you don’t have a very good product. There were many factors we took into consideration to ensure that we brought you the best- because being rested is important.
The range of prices don’t vary all that much, but some of them can run up an unnecessarily high price tag, and others are so inexpensive that they are made from less than ideal materials. When we tried to find the best models out there, we tried to keep the price right in that sweet spot where it was set at an absurd price point, but it also wasn’t so inexpensive that the quality of materials came into question. One thing to keep a look out for and avoid like the plague is brands that come with one color for every day of the week, and cost less than some of the singular models. While it may seem like a great deal and it might seem tempting to buy different colors- these packaged deals are often made from materials that might make your face break out, or they may fall apart quickly.
This is the most important aspect we looked at because if it doesn’t completely block out the light, then it’s not considered to be a sleep mask. Where the problems on light infiltration usually occur is around the nose- because no one nose is the same. Many different companies went about to try and fix this problem in a myriad of ways. Some used pieces of fabric to block out light, which is great for accommodating various sizes of noses but can become a little itchy. Others tried to create a nose bridge with flaps that adjust and can be pinched together- which was one of the more innovative solutions that we liked. Others forewent any type of nose cover, and just added padding to the inside of the nose. The padding may add additional comfort, but it makes it a little more difficult to keep light out with some shapes of noses.
Everyone loves when a product comes with extra loot, and especially when it is extra sleeping tools. We gravitated towards products that threw in earplugs because you might need them in you are trying to fall asleep on a busy airplane. It is as if the airlines have adopted a new policy that every flight must have at least one crying baby on board at all times. While it is no fault of the baby or the parents (who are likely having a worse time than you are), a set of earplugs could really come in handy on those special flights. Additionally, we liked products that come with their own carrying case. It makes it simple to load it up into you carry on to take out when you need it, and it won’t run the risk of getting snagged and tangled up in other things in your bag.
This was another important thing that we looked at. The type of materials that a company used will make or break what makes a good product. These will be sitting on your face all night- you want to make sure it is made from quality materials. Models that are made from materials that aren’t breathable- like certain types of nylon and polyester- can not only make your face feel hot and itchy, but it can also cause breakouts. We tried to find the best materials that we breathable and comfortable. An added bonus we found were models that had a layer of memory foam in them that formed to your face over time. The less that you notice that you are even wearing anything on your face means the faster you will fall asleep.
There are some features that can become problems, especially based on how you fall asleep. There seem to be two camps on what makes a superior way to secure it on your head- and both have their own problems. Buckles- typically composed of metal or a hard plastic– are easy to adjust and can fit securely on your head. The drawback to buckles is that depending on how you sleep- they might dig into your head and become uncomfortable. We tried to select models that had buckles on the side of the head rather than on the back. The other way to adjust is to use velcro. While velcro won’t dig into your head, and you can get a more secure fit using it- it has a tendency to get stuck in your hair.
If it isn’t comfortable- you’re not going to want to wear it. Poorly designed models are made from itchy and hot fabrics and have straps that fit too tightly. When we were on the hunt for the best models out there- we made sure to find materials that were breathable, and straps that could accommodate most sizes of heads. A bonus feature that we loved were designs that come with memory foam that too the shape of your face over time and felt like you were wearing a pillow right on your face while still being cool and breathable.
There are many things to dislike about air travel. It is often hot and uncomfortable, there are too many people trying to make chit-chat with you when you are just trying to relax, and the general realization that you are miles above the ground may be unsettling to some. While the use of drugs is always an option to help you escape this scene- it may not be ideal if you are looking to be refreshed and relaxed once you arrive at your destination. A good sleep mask will allow you to get some restful z’s before you even arrive. They say that it is about the journey and not the destination- but whoever said that has most likely never flown on a 9-hour international flight before.
Q: Who uses sleeping masks?
These products are typically used by travelers that are looking to get some good quality z’s so that they are refreshed and relaxes. But their uses don’t just stop there. Upon returning home, they can be used to sleep everything night. Blackout drapes can be expensive, and the problem that they are solving can be achieved with a simple and inexpensive sleep mask.
Q: Are they effective?
Some of the reasons that we are unable to sleep are when our senses are being stimulated by things such as light, sound, and movement. A good mask will be able to block out light, and a pair of earplugs can lock out sounds. As far as movement is concerned- you are going to be on your own on figuring out how to keep the kid behind you from kicking your seat.
Q: Will I be able to achieve a deep sleep?
While we cannot guarantee that the simple addition of one of these products will help you sleep on something as uncomfortable as an airplane- it will solve one of the top reasons that someone is unable to fall asleep- and that’s light. If you really want to kick up your sleeping game up a notch- you might want to look into other tools such as ear plugs and neck pillows. It is important to add that if you were hoping to catch some z’s on your flight, but the drama of checking your bags and making it to your gate on time has to almost buzz with energy- there is still hope that you will be able to get some rest. When you put on a mask that covers your eyes, and you become exposed to pure darkness, the brain releases a chemical called melatonin. Melatonin is the very things that make you feel sleepy at the end of the day, so wearing one of these products will trick your brain into thinking that it is nighttime.
Q: Are there other styles rather than just black?
You can bet your bottom dollar that if it is a product made from fabric- you better believe that you can get them in all kinds of style and colors. Many manufacturers actually sell them in multiples packs of many different colors, so you can select a color that matches your outfit.
Q: Other than sleep, do they have any additional benefits?
Yes, they can help you sleep- but they can also help you look younger. It may sound strange, but in a small way, it is actually true. Have you ever woken up and immediately looked at yourself in the mirror? You might have noticed in the past that you have sleep lines from the seam in your pillow on your face. While they are essentially harmless, over time they will develop into distinct and permanent wrinkles. A good way to avoid this is by the use of a sleep mask- they typically don’t have seam lines so when you sleep on it, it won’t leave any marks on your face.
Q: Is it bad for your skin?
Whenever there is something that lies against your face, there is always the risk of suffering from a breakout, especially if your skin is prone to breakouts. A good way to avoid this is to be sure that you purchase products that are made of breathable cotton, and try to avoid spandex and certain types of polyester.
Q: Will it mess up my makeup?
The goal when traveling via airplane is to be able to arrive at your destination looking relaxed and refreshed. There’s just something about high altitudes and airplane air that just makes you look disheveled- no matter how much you try to keep it together. If you have an important meeting right after you set off of the plane, and you want to make sure that you looked rested and repaired, masks that have recessed cavities will make it so that it never actually touches your eyes- making your makeup still be perfectly in place.
Q: Will it help my dry eyes?
While they are not designed to promote water retention if you have chronic dry eyes or allergies, it can help keep outside irritants away from your eyes. If you are somewhere that is a little windy, or is dusty- a cover over your eyes that fits tightly and securely will provide an excellent barrier between your eyes and all the things on the outside that would cause irritation. If you really want to help keep your eyes moist at night (while you are at home), you might find it beneficial to invest in a great humidifier to keep the air less dry, especially during those cold winter months.
Q: What’s the difference between a gel mask and a sleeping mask?
You might have noticed if you have been shopping around, that there a few different models of masks out there. The models that use gel- while they look incredibly comfortable- don’t actually promote sleep because they don’t black out your surroundings. Blacking out your surroundings is the most important part because it helps speed up your brain’s production of melatonin. The models that utilize gel are designed to reduce puffiness and dark circles by utilizing heat or cold. If you didn’t manage to actually get a good night’s sleep before and don’t want to look like you did- that’s where a gel model would come in handy.