Are you the type of person who needs a pitch-black room to sleep? Do you suffer from headaches or sinus problems that mean you can't relax? Then, you might benefit from an eye mask to help you nod off.
There are a wide variety of eye masks to choose from, and benefits include cooling eye masks for headaches, heated eye masks for sinuses and weighted eye masks for getting the body ready for rest.
Here at Spirit & Destiny, we've put together some of the best eye masks we could find, along with some insight from experts and top tips for a restful night's sleep.
What are the benefits of eye masks for sleeping?
There can be a number of benefits for eye mask wearers when sleeping. The main benefit is blocking light from reaching our eyes while we're trying to get to sleep. The darkness increases the production of a hormone called melatonin, which puts our bodies in a state of relaxation, ready for sleep.
On the other hand, artificial light stimulates the hormones and gets the body in a state of alertness. This production of hormones can have an effect on our sleep cycle and circadian rhythms. Therefore, while it may seem like common sense, sleeping in a dark room holds the best results for a good night's sleep.
For those who have trouble with sensory overload, those with anxiety, or those who suffer from headaches, migraines or sinus problems may benefit from eye masks for sleeping. Take a look at some of the different types of eye masks that are out there and how they might be able to help.
What types of eye masks for sleeping are there?
With some eye masks infused with camomile or lavender to help promote sleep and relaxation, there's an option for everyone. Eye masks can come in several materials - from cotton to silk, gel to beads, and even bamboo or eucalyptus.
Here are some of the different eye masks you can get, their properties and their benefits for the wearer:
Cooling eye mask:
These types of masks may be made from materials such as gel, which are the most effective in cooling eye masks. However, bamboo is a material that's often quite cooling too.
These cooling properties may help to soothe inflammation associated with headaches and migraines. They may also help reduce dark circles or puffiness around the eyes related to little sleep.
Heated eye mask:
These types of masks can come in a variety of materials. From beaded eye masks you put into the microwave, to self-heating masks containing iron fillings. It's always best to check these materials, especially to see if they're microwave appropriate.
Heated properties can help with dryness of the eyes, creating a hydrating environment by stimulating the oil glands. It may also help with allergies and sinus issues by draining fluid.
Weighted eye mask:
These masks can include microbeads, flaxseeds, sands or a whole range of materials which apply light pressure to the eyes that can cause a calming or soothing sensation.
A weighted eye mask may also be soothing for some who are neurodiverse, potentially for people who suffer from sensory overload. Furthermore, they can also reduce symptoms of anxiety, as the gentle pressure puts the body into rest mode.
10 of the best eye masks for sleeping
Here are our favourite eye masks for sleeping, from cooling gel masks to self-heating masks.
Aurora Eyes 5 Self-Heating Eye Masks Chamomile Scented
Best heated eye mask
One of our top picks, these self-heating eye masks from Sensory Retreats are infused with the scent of calming camomile to help you relax before bed. With heating technology that works as soon as you take them out of the sachet, each soft mask contains a thin layer of iron filings that provide gentle, steady heat.
Although the heated element only works once, the mask has blackout properties which mean that these reusable masks can be used as a sleep mask every night. We can't get enough of these magical masks.
A reviewer said, "I love all the eye masks and this one was the first one I tried. The heat develops quickly and is just the right level, it even helps when I've got a migraine as it eases the pain around my eyes. I would recommend them to anyone"
Rest Easy Sleep Better Weighted Eye Mask
Best weighted eye mask
This weighted eye mask is a John Lewis bestseller. In two colour choices of grey and pink with its own silk storage bag, this mask applies gentle pressure on the eyes to help the wearer relax. As well as containing weights, this sleep mask stops light from getting in so that the wearer has an undisturbed sleep.
A reviewer said, "I have bought several of these as I feel they are the best eye masks. Weighted which I find relaxing and gets me to sleep quickly. I love the two different fabric sides. The headband isn't tight and stays in place. I love the bag it comes with too so I can put it away and it keeps clean."
Recommended eye mask
In a gorgeous celestial print, these starry space masks are self-heating for full relaxation. Infused with jasmine to promote calming sensations, they provide relief from tension headaches and ease tired eyes.
While they're single-use, heating up once they're taken out of the packet, they're also recyclable. The steady heat from iron powder is activated once the mask comes into contact with air. To encourage drifting off, these heated masks are the perfect solution to sleep troubles.
A reviewer said, "I use these lovely warming masks when I struggle to get to sleep, they stay on all night till I wake up. I also use them when I can feel a headache coming on. They are so relaxing for my eyes and if I've been scrolling and got eye strain I will use one then too. They do just relax my eyes and I do drift off for a while but my eyes feel so much better after using these. I will continue to buy these as they work really well for me in a number of ways. A lovely product."
Eucalyptus Silk Eye Mask
Best sustainable eye mask
Made entirely from Eucalptyus silk, this sustainable eye mask is hypoallergenic, biodegradable and free from toxins. A great option that's good for the environment and is also incredibly soft and cooling against the skin.
A reviewer said, "So comfy and cooling on the eyes with the silk. We have blinds in the bedroom that let the light in a bit, so this was a game-changer I didn't know I needed!"
Luna Eyes 7 Self-Heating Eye Masks Lavender Scented
Our top pick
Another amazing mask from Sensory Retreats is their award-winning Luna Eyes mask, which self-heats with a thin layer of iron fillings and emits the scent of lavender for deep relaxation. Once again, although the heated element can only be used once, the blackout properties mean they can be reused as a sleep mask every night.
A reviewer said, "Perfection in a little packet. From the moment you open them you can see that this is a high-quality product. The smell of lavender fills the air as you unwrap the mask and pop the perfectly placed bands around your ears. Helps your mind and body unwind, I drifted off to sleep within minutes."
Slip Silk Sleep Mask
Best silk eye mask
Known for their amazing silk products, this luxurious eye mask by Slip is incredibly soft and gentle against the skin. Made from mulberry silk and in a wide variety of colours, this highly rated sleep mask comes in its own colour-coordinated box. It would make the perfect gift or is a great investment for those needing some sleep.
A reviewer said, "I had mine for over a year and a half so I can vouch for their durability if you take good care of them! I have been using it at first because I have acne-prone skin and I needed a sleep mask that was not going to irritate my skin or promote the growth/spread of bacteria, but now approaching my thirties I'm glad that I have one to prevent fine lines around my eyes that can be caused by the friction that another material could cause."
The Drowsy Midnight Blue Silk Sleep Mask
Best hypoallergenic sleep mask
In two different colour options, this mulberry silk mask with lightweight padding allows the wearer to drift off to sleep. Not allowing any light to seep through, the hypoallergenic material is the epitome of luxury. An incredible investment for those who value getting some shut eye.
A reviewer said, "This mask is super comfortable in comparison to other ones I have used. It isn't heavy on your eyes, unlike previous masks I have tried. The packaging looks super smart and its clear that this product is high quality! I use it every night, I love it!"
Fluffy Sleep Eye Mask
Best soft sleep mask
A simple option that ensures the wearer gets their sleep, this faux fur mask with satin lining feels so soft against the eyes. Comfortable, machine washable and easy to wear, this eye mask will stop light from disrupting your slumber.
A reviewer said, "Luxurious eye mask with a silk lining. Perfect in these light mornings. Feels lovely on."
Newgo®Cooling Eye Mask
Best cooling eye mask
If you suffer from headaches or you're looking to get rid of dark circles due to lack of sleep, this reversible cooling eye mask is ideal. This mask contains gel beads and comes with its own storage bag, meaning it can be put in the freezer to optimise cooling properties. In a variety of colour choices, this is one of the most highly rated cooling masks on Amazon.
A reviewer said, "Used it to help ease the headache associated with eye strain. As a cold press, it’s been very effective! Works wonders within several minutes. Comfortable to wear even straight out of the freezer. Not used it as a warm press yet. Even when frozen, you can adjust the shape relatively easily and the soft textured surface that comes in contact with your face feels cold but not too cold."
Mavogel Cotton Sleep Eye Mask
Best blackout eye mask
With thousands of reviews on Amazon, this is one of the most popular sleeping masks on the site. Affordable, breathable and comfortable, its ergonomic design means it fits to the contours of your face. As the straps are adjustable, it provides no pressure on the face while also providing blackout from interfering light.
A reviewer said, "I’m autistic and suffer with sensory overload from light and sound. I often need to take some time out during the day and be in complete darkness and needed a little help to achieve that. This mask is almost perfect. If you tweak the little wire in the nose section and mould it to your face you can achieve total darkness with no light leaks.
I’m very happy with it as it’s soft and lightweight but I wish it had a better strap as it’s a bit flimsy for me and the mask shifts if you sleep on your side. But for the price it’s nice, easy to keep in your pocket, comes with a little travel bag to keep it clean."
Is wearing an eye mask for sleeping bad for your eyes?
After seeking expert advice from an optometrist from Specsavers, we were informed that eye masks are perfectly safe to use while sleeping and can't cause any damage to the eyes.
In terms of comfort, ensure your mask fits you well. It shouldn't be too loose so that it slips off or too tight it blurs your vision, makes you dizzy or irritates your eyes.
Be sure to check the washing instructions for the mask you use and to wash your eye mask regularly to maintain good eye hygiene and prevent infection or irritation.
Tips for a good night's sleep
Here are some top tips for a good night's sleep,
A dark room: Dim lighting and an eye mask will help to create a dark atmosphere in the room. Investing in blackout blinds or curtains will also help with this. A dark environment will help get the body ready for sleep.
Low level of noise: Certain noise serves as a distraction while getting ready for sleep. White noise, however, can help assist with getting to sleep. Wearing earbuds or listening to relaxing sounds like white noise, rain or meditation tracks may help the listener to fall asleep.
The right temperature: Experts advise sleeping in a room that's slightly lower than room temperature. A temperature of 16 degrees to 18 degrees is ideal for most.
A good pillow and mattress: Being comfortable in bed is a huge factor when it comes to getting a good night's sleep. The correct pillow and mattress to help support the head and neck can make a big difference.
Limit time on your devices: Phones, tablets and laptops are full of artificial light. Spending time on these devices before bed will stimulate the brain. Limiting as much time as possible on these devices will help to regulate the circadian rhythms.
A hot caffeine-free drink: Drinking a hot drink before bed without traces of caffeine may help your body to get into a state of calm and relaxation. Camomile tea is especially known for its calming properties.
Pillow spray or calming scent: Lavender has been commonly linked with sleep benefits. Spraying a pillow spray or using essential oils to create a relaxing environment in your room.