Best Sleep Masks

Research consistently finds that people obtain better-quality sleep when they sleep in darkness. But it’s not always possible to achieve a totally darkened sleep space without some help — and that’s where sleep masks come in. No matter whether you work night shift and sleep during the day, you need to sleep on a plane, or you’re tired of streetlights making their way into your bedroom, a sleep mask can help you block out light and sleep better.

Sleep masks come in a variety of materials and designs, so be prepared to sort through a lot of options. To narrow down your choices, consider whether you like a contoured or flat design; whether you prefer memory foam, silk, or another material; what style of strap adjuster best suits you; and your primary purpose for using the mask. Then check out this list of stellar options to get started on your search.

Best Sleep Masks 2021

Best Sleep Masks

Editor’s Choice

sleep master sleep mask

Sleep Master Sleep Mask

Pros: 

  • The mask is made from soft, comfortable memory foam. 
  • The eye area is contoured to allow free eye movement and minimize pressure. 
  • Extended coverage and fitted edges help block out light at the nose and cheekbones. 
  • The long, wide, adjustable elastic strap should accommodate virtually all adult heads.

Cons:

  • When it first arrives, the mask might have a chemical odor. You might need to let it off-gas before using it. 
  • This mask is a bit more substantial than some others on the market, so it may take some getting used to. 

Best for Headaches

total eclipse sleep mask

Total Eclipse Sleep Mask

Pros: 

  • The mask features an ergonomic design that’s contoured around the eye sockets to minimize the chances that you’ll feel pressure on your eyes. 
  • The adjustable elastic means this mask should fit most adults. The soft strap is fairly snag-free. 
  • The contoured design helps block out light to facilitate sleep in brighter spaces. 
  • For what you’re getting, this is a pretty budget-friendly eye mask. 

One possible downside? Some users have reported that the material doesn’t hold up super well to long-term use. 

Best Sleep Mask for Travel

Best Sleep Mask for Travel

Dream Essentials Escape Luxury Sleep Mask

I know it seems like I’m playing favorites here, but hear me out: the Escape Luxury mask comes with a travel bag (and earplugs in their own case that can slip into the bag with the mask), is soft enough that if you’re leaning against the window or you’ve turned the side of the face toward your seat, the mask won’t shift significantly into your nose, and it offers sufficient darkness that when the route for your flight or train trip means sun is streaming in beside you, you won’t be disturbed. There’s no Velcro to get stuck on the upholstery behind you (or to pick up travel dirt), and the mask is also cheap enough that you won’t be too upset if you lose it on your trip.

Dream Essentials Escape Luxury Sleep Mask Review

Runner-up: Alaska Bear Sleep MaskNothing about the Alaska Bear Sleep Mask is fancy or exciting, and that’s part of what makes it great for travel. The $10 blindfold-style mask comes with a mesh carrying bag and is soft and comfortable—you’ll hardly notice you’re wearing it. The Alaska Bear mask won’t provide total darkness like the Escape Luxury mask, but it’s noticeable enough to tell your seatmate you’re not in the mood for a chat.

Alaska Bear Sleep Mask Review

Dream Essentials Escape Luxury Travel Sleep Mask
Dream Essentials Escape Luxury Travel Sleep Mask
Dream Essentials Escape Luxury Travel Sleep Mask

Large eye pockets and a soft, cushiony exterior make this Dream Essentials eye mask a real winner. 

Silk Contender

EyeMasks alaskabear

Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask

Pros: 

  • The 100% natural mulberry silk fabric is breathable and gentle on skin. 
  • The mask is available in tons of colors, so you can pick to suit your tastes. 
  • The plastic adjuster rests at the back of your head, so it won’t get in the way of side sleeping. 
  • The mask is designed to fit even when you’re using ear plugs or a CPAP mask. 

Cons: 

  • The mask lies flat against the eyes and isn’t contoured, so you could feel some pressure on your eyes and/or feel your eyelashes pressed against the fabric. 
  • Unless you keep the straps very snug, the mask might shift around a bit while you’re sleeping. 
Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask
Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask
Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask

The 100% mulberry silk Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask comes in tons of colors. It’s designed to fit even if you’re using ear plugs or a CPAP mask. 

Best for Kids

bedtimebliss

Bedtime Bliss Mask

Pros: 

  • Very budget-friendly product, so if your kids are just starting to try a sleep mask you won’t be out too much money if they decide they aren’t a fan.
  • Actually is very comfortable to sleep in no matter what sleeping position. 
  • Great for travel since it can fold up and take up only a few inches. 

Cons: 

  • Not the most durable. At this price point, this mask is good for every now and then use, but if you use it every night expect some wear and tear. 

Contender

EyeMasks Mzoo

MZOO Sleep Mask

Pros: 

  • The mask is made from memory foam, so it should feel soft and comfortable. 
  • The contoured design relieves pressure on the eyes. 
  • The adjustable (sliding) buckle strap lets you customize the fit to your head. 
  • The mask is made via heat bonding (instead of with glue), so it might be more durable than similar products that are made with glue. 

Cons: 

  • While not crazy expensive, this is pricier than a lot of the other options on this list. 
  • Some users have reported that the mask still lets in some light. 
MZOO Sleep Mask
MZOO Sleep Mask
MZOO Sleep Mask

The MZOO Sleep Mask’s contoured design helps relieve pressure on the eyes, while the adjustable strap lets you customize fit. The mask is made via heat bonding for extra durability. 

How We Picked

Here at Sleepopolis, we’ve tested a lot of sleep masks. So we’re pretty familiar with the options that are out there. Here you’ll find a few tried-and-true sleep masks that we’ve personally tested in the past (such as the Alaska Bear) along with some contenders that are newer to us.

What each of these options has in common is that they passed muster when it comes to the following criteria.

Comfort

Sleep masks are supposed to help you sleep better. It does more harm than good to use a sleep mask that’s so scratchy or uncomfortable that it interferes with your sleep. So we focused on masks that are soft to the touch and relatively breathable.

Design

Different people will have different preferences when it comes to sleep mask design, so we included a variety of options. For instance, some people wouldn’t dream of using anything but a contoured mask, while others prefer the simplicity of flat options.

Design can also refer to the strap portion of a mask as well as features that help block out light. For instance, the strap could use a buckle, a slider, or velcro to secure itself, and these options can each affect comfort in their own ways. Again, go with your personal preference.

Materials

We focused on sleep masks made from materials that are meant to enhance comfort, such as slow-responding memory foam and soft, breathable silk. We nixed any mask made from materials that might be scratchy or otherwise uncomfortable.

Light Blocking

One of the primary reasons that a person might seek out a sleep mask is to block light, so we made sure to include several masks that really excel at light blockage. These masks might feature extended coverage, unique nose bridge designs, or adjustable straps that help you form the mask to your face. If you need a sleep mask to block out light, you should be able to find a solid option on this list.

Sleepopolis Buying Tips

Still trying to settle on the best sleep mask for your needs? Consider the following:

  • Do you prefer a contoured or flat design? Some eye masks lie flat across your face, while others feature contoured cups that make space around your eyes instead of lying flush against your eyelids. Determining whether you want a contoured or flat mask is an efficient way to rule out some options.
  • Do you have long hair? Long hair can easily get stuck in velcro enclosures, which can be painful. If you have anything other than close-cropped hair, you might want to look for a mask that doesn’t use velcro.
  • What’s your preferred material? Most decent masks feature either memory foam or silk as their primary material. Silk is very gentle on the skin, and there’s some evidence that it might have certain skin health benefits. Memory foam is very soft and will contour a bit to your face. Your preference will help you zero in on the best choices for you.

Finding the right sleep mask should help you obtain better-quality sleep, so it’s worth some time and effort. By considering your functional needs and your preferences when it comes to materials and contouring, you should be able to find the best sleep mask for you.

Logan Block
Logan is the content director of Sleepopolis, which means he not only reviews new mattresses every week, but also curates all the comparisons, best of pages, and video guides on the site. He takes a straightforward, honest approach to his reviews and endeavors to give viewers an objective look at each new product he tries out. Logan has perfected his method by personally testing over 200 different mattresses, so he’s not only able to discern the overall vibe of a specific bed, but to contextualize its feel within the bed-in-a-box market as a whole. When he’s not hopping on a new bed or working with our editorial team to whip up an engaging sleep education guide, you can find him reading books on world history, walking his dog Pepper, or searching for the best cheeseburger in New York City.