▷ How to Choose the Best Eye Mask for Sleeping (2020 Update)
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Sleep Eye Mask Guide: Best Masks for Side Sleeping, Men, Lavender, Cooling, Novelty, Kids and Luxury

Written by Sabrina Wilson and updated on October 1, 2018
Choosing the Best Eye Mask for Sleeping

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Sleep is unquestionably one of the most beneficial things that you as an individual can do for your body. It provides both you’re the physical tissue of your body, and your mind, with the time it needs to recover from daily stress, thus ensuring that it stays healthy and well-functioning.

On the other hand, chronic sleep disruption and associated declines in sleep quality have been shown to contribute to declines in both cardiovascular and metabolic health, cause cognitive dysfunction, and even promote the development of mental illness.

With this in mind, optimizing your sleep is integral to your health and your happiness.

But often getting good quality sleep is easier said than done.

Between the busy stress-filled lives that we live on a daily basis, and the constant exposure to bright lights and electronic screens, sleep doesn’t always come easy.

Which is why finding when you find something that can truly enhance sleep quality, it is such a game changer – and this is exactly where eye masks enter the discussion.

What are the Benefits of Eye Masks for Sleeping?

As you can imagine, it seems quite likely that eye masks can provide some unique sleep related benefits. With this in mind, we took a good look at the research to determine those aspects of sleep they have the biggest impact.

Let’s start with the most obvious (and arguably beneficial) thing first.  

As previously mentioned, eye masks have the ability to block light from entering the eye. Light has been shown to stimulate the brain in such a way that actually increases sensation of alertness, thus increasing wakefulness, while also making it more challenging to fall asleep.

With this in mind, those individuals who use eye masks on a regular basis have been shown to fall asleep faster than those individuals who don’t use the masks [1]. This also appears to come with significant improvements in global sleep quality, suggesting that eye masks also have the ability to promote a deeper, and less restful sleep, throughout the night’s duration [2].

In conjunction with their positive impact on sleep directly, the application of eye masks have also been shown to positively affect hormone secretion within the body.

More specifically, the use of eye masks have been shown to reduce the secretion of the hormone Cortisol, while increasing secretion of the hormone Melatonin [3, 4].

Melatonin is a hormone that promotes relaxation.

In normal scenarios, it is secreted at night time to prepare the body for sleep. As a result, by assisting in the regulation of this amazing hormone, eye masks appear to have the ability to cause sustained improvements in sleep patterns and sleep quality – even if you happen to forget to wear the mask for a night or two!

Alternatively, cortisol is commonly known as the stress hormone.

With this in mind, its increased secretion has shown associations with increase inflammation, declines in sleep quality, and global reductions in heath. Through this interaction, it appears that eye masks may also have the potential to reduce harmful inflammation, therefore causing global improvements in health as a result.

What to Look For In An Eye Mask?

There are some pretty simple things you need to look for in a high-quality eye mask. In short, these include:

  • Light blocking ability
  • Comfort and materials
  • The fit of the mask
  • Mask design

First and foremost, their ability to actually block light from entering your eye is paramount. Most eye masks will advertise to block out light with 100% effectiveness, however this isn’t always the case. 

As a result, it is absolutely essential that you look for an eye mask that has a dense outer layer made with thick fabric – this is a sure-fire way to ensure that it does indeed completely stop any light from entering your eye.

Additionally, you also want to make sure that your mask is comfortable. It doesn’t matter how well a given mask blocks light if it is severely uncomfortable – because this lack of comfort will actually inhibit your ability to fall asleep (a rather obvious point, I know).

Taking this into consideration, both the fabric that the mask is made of, and the way it fits is terribly important.

Masks made of silk, felt, cotton, and polyester, and widely regarded as being the most comfortable, while also exhibiting the ability to block out light effectively. Regarding fit, you want to make sure that the mask is large enough to completely cover your eyes and the skin surrounding them.

Finally, you want to make sure that the design of mask suits your sleeping style. Some masks are designed strictly for individuals who sleep on their back, in which they will then become uncomfortable during side sleeping. With this in mind, the opposite is also true – so try and find one that suits your sleeping style!

If you do find a mask that happens to ticks all of these boxes, and you are well on your way to a better night’s sleep.

What to Avoid in a Sleep Mask?

When it comes to sleep masks, there are also certain things that you should try and avoid at all costs.

Firstly, you want to avoid thin masks. Irrespective of what they may advertise, the thinner the mask, the less capable they are of blocking light. As a result, you should try and avoid those masks that use a single layer of material.

Secondly, avoid those masks that use firm pieces within their construction. These firm pieces can irritate the skin of the face, making it extremely uncomfortable. As a result, they can severely inhibit your ability to fall asleep, and increase your likelihood of waking up during the night.

And finally, you also want to make sure that your mask does not use poor quality materials. Poor quality materials derived from latex tend to breathe poorly and irritate the skin, which can ultimately impair sleep.

Taking all of this into consideration, if you see a mask that meet any of these criteria, you should run for the hills.

Best Sleep Mask Product Reviews

Given the huge impact that sleep masks can have on your sleep quality, we wanted to give you some great options that you can begin to use immediately. Within this, we have found the best masks to suit literally any circumstance.

The Overall Best Eye Masks for Sleeping

Our favourite sleep mask for overall comfort and effectiveness is this great option by sleep master. Using high-quality materials that also breathe extremely well, this is the perfect option for those looking to boost sleep quality in a comfortable manner.

Furthermore, this great product is completely adjustable and hypoallergenic, meaning that it will fit any face and suit any circumstance!

When it comes to comfort, its pretty hard to look past this great option by Mavogel. Designed using 100% pure cotton, this thing is absurdly comfortable. Combine that with absolutely exceptional light blocking ability, and you have a recipe for success.  

With an adjustable head strap, this particular mask will fit any face. Moreover, as it is completely hand made using the finest quality materials, you can also be assured of its durability.