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Catching some sleep during the day or on an airplane with the lights on can be difficult (and the airplane sleep masks that flight attendants disperse often don’t cut it). Many still let light in, pinch the skin or slide off the face. There are a wide variety of sleep masks that try to improve on the concept and some are more successful than others in delivering a quality product. Want to know which ones are worth your money? Here are the best sleep masks for when you're looking to catch some shut eye while traveling.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Bedtime Bliss Contoured Sleep Mask
For a comfortable fit at an affordable price that’s a cut above the competition, the Bedtime Bliss Contoured Sleep Mask is a great choice. Designed to fit your face without putting pressure on the eyes, the mask features adjustable straps, a contoured shape around the nose, soft material and it completely blocks out light. Soft padding on the sides prevent it from rubbing and makes it easy to forget you have it on. The mask also comes with a convenient carry bag and earplugs to drown out background noise. Many Amazon buyers stated that they tried several sleep masks before having success with Bedtime Bliss.
Best Style: Bucky 40 Blinks Luxury Ultralight Sleep Mask
For a wide variety of color combinations, patterns and styles, the Bucky 40 Blinks Luxury Ultralight sleep mask is the way to go. There are more than 20 colors and patterns ranging from funky floral to polka dots, so you can easily identify your mask. The mask is made of polyester polyurethane foam, creating a smooth, ultralight design that feels comfortable on the face.
Dipped, molded cups around the eyes allow you to blink freely inside, and an elastic band helps to hold it in place. The mask is ideal for long flights, those who work night shifts or those prone to tension headaches because it can completely block out light. Be sure to hand wash this item.
Best Heated: Graphine Times Heated Eye Mask
For a soothing, “mini-spa” treatment on the plane, bus or just about anywhere, the Heated Eye Mask from Graphine Times will help you sleep better. The mask creates complete darkness and has a convenient USB plug to power on from a battery bank or other source.
With three different heat settings, it soothes the eyes and muscles, and Amazon buyers have found it helps with migraines, puffy eyes and wrinkles. Designed to increase blood flow, it is EPA approved and does not emit electromagnetic radiation. For safety, the timer goes off after one hour, so if you fall asleep (which it is designed to let you do) it won’t stay on all night.
Best Basic: Jersey Slumber 100 Percent Silk Sleep Mask
For a simplistic design that serves the purpose of helping you sleep, the Jersey Slumber is an excellent option. There’s no bells and whistles with this sleep mask, but it is made of 100 percent silk for a soft, soothing feel on the skin and comfortable, adjustable elastic strap to hold it in place – without getting caught in your hair. Unlike other masks, this lies flat on your face without much space to blink. The light-blocking, black sleep mask takes up very little space in luggage, making it the perfect travel accessory for long flights.
Best Scented: DreamTime Sweet Dreams Sleep Mask
Sometimes, comfort and eye-depuffing capabilities aren’t enough when it comes to the perfect sleep mask—no, you also need your mask to smell nice, to be able to sink into a deep slumber during your travels. The DreamTime Sweet Dreams Sleep Mask boasts a soothing yet subtle natural lavender scent (there are real lavender flowers sprinkled inside) that provides some serious aromatherapy benefits. In addition to its lovely scent, this DreamTime mask has a cushy black lining, an adjustable strap, and nose flaps to effectively block out light. This mask comes in two shades—lavender velvet and larkspur blue. FYI, you can also put it in the freezer or microwave for instant cooling or heat.
Best Budget: Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask
If you’re prepping for a trip and you’d rather spend money on your travels as opposed to accessories, the Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask is an affordable option that’s a great pick for just about anyone. With that being said, it’s especially ideal for anyone who suffers from insomnia, migraines, or other eye-related health issues. Crafted from 100 percent natural mulberry silk, this soft, ultra-plush sleep mask offers the utmost in breathability and comfort, and its gentle, easily adjustable headband makes it suitable for women, men, and children alike. It’s also super light-blocking, so for those travelers who are especially sensitive to harsh plane lighting, this mask is a perfect fit.
Best Hypoallergenic: Dream Sleeper Mask
Those who have allergy sensitivities to different scents and fabrics should consider the Dream Sleeper Mask, a hypoallergenic and latex-free sleep mask. The simple, functional design completely blocks out light from the eyes and can remain dark even if it shifts slightly in your sleep. The elastic band on the back holds it in place and works well with side sleepers and restless movers. The mask is a little pricier than some of the others, but the warranty is amazing: if you lose the mask they will replace it for free (you just pay for shipping and handling). Amazon buyers noted that makeup, oil and sweat sticks to the material, however, it is machine washable.
Best Gel Mask: TheraPearl Eye Mask
Not only will the TheraPearl Eye Mask with Flexible Gel Beads help improve the quality of your sleep, but it'll also pull double duty as a soothing eye pain alleviator and skin protectant. This popular gel mask can be used as both a cold compress and a heating pack. If you frequently suffer from dry eyes on planes (and with the cold air blowing straight at your face, who doesn’t?), the TheraPearl Eye Mask is an ideal solution—when the mask is heated in a microwave for a few seconds, its specialized Pearl Technology delivers heat to your eye area to break up clogs in the glands that cause dry eyes. Alternatively, if you suffer from puffiness or deep bags around your eyes, you can cool your TheraPearl mask in the fridge before your trip and use it to help with these health issues. The TheraPearl Eye Mask with Flexible Gel Beads is non-toxic and BPA-, latex-, and phthalate-free.
Products We Tested
How We Tested
Our reviewers spent 146 hours testing a top-rated sleep mask. To get the most thorough results possible, they wore it every night for weeks and analyzed its performance. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using this sleep mask, from its fit to its material. We've outlined the can’t-miss points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in a Sleep Mask
Fit Look for a mask with molded eye pockets so that the fabric isn’t directly against your eyelids — this allows you to blink comfortably, and you won’t feel claustrophobic. Contoured construction around the bridge of the nose also offers comfort, and models with Velcro straps allow you to make adjustments until you find your ideal fit. Lastly, make sure the mask is wide enough to cover your eyes and peripheral vision.
Fabric For optimum comfort, look for a mask that has a bit of padding or gel on the sides. If you plan to use yours very often, consider a hand-washable mask. And if the mask is constructed of layers of fabric, be sure to also examine the seams for strength (which is a potential weak point in some designs).
Extra features As with all gear, bells and whistles abound in sleep masks. Some come with earplugs and a stuff sack, while others run on rechargeable batteries to provide intervals of soothing (and medicinal) heat. Others can be dropped in the freezer for a bit of cooling relaxation, and a few even integrate calming scents like lavender.
Test Results: Bedtime Bliss Contoured Sleep Mask (Best Overall)
What We Like
What We Don't Like
Eye covers are a little big
Fabric could be softer
Overall, our testers found that this sleep mask helped them drift off faster and stay sound asleep. Although one reviewer spent some time adjusting the mask to find her perfect fit, she also said that it blocked out all light effectively. Our testers also appreciated that the mask came with a set of earplugs. One of our reviewers, however, wished that the mask's fabric was “more visually appealing” and “silky.” She also suggested that the mask could’ve been smaller, commenting that the eye covers “are the diameter of a mandarin orange.”