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Best Sleep Mask of 2020

By Sara Aranda ⋅ Review Editor
Monday September 21, 2020
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To find the best sleep masks of 2020, we researched over a dozen different leading designs. We purchased the top 9 for thorough, side-by-side comparison, taking note of what we think works and what doesn't. Sleep masks are a popular solution for bettering our quality of sleep, but not all products are able to offer dark sleep environments for deeper sleep. This in-depth analysis by our review experts is meant to help you figure out the best mask for your needs and budget. With so many different masks to choose from, we bring you our take on how comfortable, effective, and versatile these top competitors are.

1

Best Overall Sleep Mask


Manta 100% Blackout Eye Mask


Editors' Choice Award
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$29.99
at Amazon
See It

Approx. Dimensions: 8 x 3 x 1 in | Care: Machine wash warm, air dry flat
Highly adjustable
Durable construction
Full blackout when the fit is right
Great for all types of sleepers
Contoured eye covering reduces claustrophobic feeling
Takes some time to customize perfectly
Bulkier than what is traditional
Long eyelashes may hit the mask

The Manta Sleep Mask offers a unique fit customization solution with detachable velcro eyecups. The strap is also easily adjustable, low profile, and lined with soft cotton and polyester. The velcro is snag-free — a bonus for those with long hair. We measured the circumference to range from around 18.5 to 24.5 inches (unstretched), meaning that it should fit most head sizes. The entire mask is cozy, straightforward in its design, and sewn together with quality stitching. The elastic portion of the strap is thicker than average, which should increase the longevity of its stretchiness. Its best quality overall is its ability to achieve nearly a full blackout. The eyecups are deep, making it easy to blink our eyes. We hardly noticed our eyelashes touching the mask, but this will depend on the length of your eyelashes. Lastly, the mask stays put and on our heads really well and doesn't change in feel as much as some of the others we tested when rolling side to side.

During our LED flashlight test, the Manta ranked as the best, although we were able to pick up on subtle differences in pure darkness vs. red-tinged darkness influenced by the flashlight. That is to say, a small amount of light can find its way in, but in more realistic, everyday environments such as midday sunlight or even tungsten light in a bedroom, creating a near blackout is achievable. The customization might take trial and error for some, especially if you have a smaller face. Too, the relative bulk of the mask is far higher than what is traditional and might not be as appealing for minimalist travel. Nonetheless, it can still be easily packed into the mesh bag it comes with (which also holds the mask for machine washing). In summary, we feel this mask provides high comfort, high effectiveness, and offers a sense of versatility we think will please most people.

The Manta sleep mask offers a unique solution to the dilemma of adjustability with its removable eyecups.
The Manta sleep mask offers a unique solution to the dilemma of adjustability with its removable eyecups.

2

Best Overall Memory Foam Sleep Mask


MZOO Eye Mask


Editors' Choice Award
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$16.99
(23% off)
at Amazon
See It

Approx. Dimensions: 9.5 x 4 x 0.5 in | Care: Hand wash warm, air dry
Comfortable memory foam
3D contouring increases comfort
Stays on all night
Well-made
Eyelashes may rub
Not full blackout for smaller faces/narrow noses
Memory foam might prevent a flush fit around the nose
Material seems to darken from absorbing skin oils

The MZOO Sleep Eye Mask is well-made and is easily adjustable via a sliding buckle. The strap is wide and yet soft enough to barely notice it. The mask itself is made from memory foam and covered in what we assume is polyester, creating a very comfortable mask that our testers resoundingly enjoyed. We can wear the mask all night and roll around from side to side without much fuss. It's lightweight and cozy against our faces, especially since the memory foam helps contour to the shape of the face to mitigate any pressure points. We measured the circumference to range from about 18 to 26 inches, which is quite accommodating to many head sizes.

While the contours for the eyes are a nice touch, our eyelashes still brush the mask due to the space not being very deep. We aren't particularly sensitive to this, but we understand that someone people might be. The biggest drawback has to do with light leakage. When we're already in low light, the mask works just fine in simulating a blackout. However, with full midday sun and especially during our LED flashlight test, we had a lot of light coming in around the nose. We recognize, however, that our lead tester's nose is on the small/narrow side, so this might not be as much of an issue for those with larger faces. Regardless, we feel the fit around the nose area could use some rethinking as the memory foam prevents us from pressing down to flatten/shape the material against our faces. But overall, the outstanding comfort and ease of use are high with this product, and we find that its best use is for sleeping or napping in low light environments. If you prefer the feel of memory foam, then this is the mask for you.

One of the most comfortable masks  the MZOO is made from memory foam.
One of the most comfortable masks, the MZOO is made from memory foam.

3

Best Bang for Your Buck


LKY DIGITAL 3D Contoured


Best Buy Award
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$9.99
(38% off)
at Amazon
See It

Approx. Dimensions: 8 x 3.25 x 1 in | Care: Hand wash cold, air dry (don't wring)
Great for all types of sleepers
Contoured eye area
Lightweight
Affordable and comfortable
Strap may bother ears
Not full blackout for smaller faces/narrow noses
Mask moves when you flex your face

We think the LKY DIGITAL 3D Contoured mask establishes a unique niche between the ultra-thin traveling mask and the thicker foam designs. For us it is very comfortable and it stays on all night, even when sleeping on our side. The compact design makes it easy to pack and stash away. The foam isn't bulky and contours nicely with the shapes of our faces, allowing for a more sealed fit and therefore, darker conditions. With a sliding buckle on the strap, the circumference ranges from about 19 to 26 inches. At the time of this review, we received three different colored masks for an incredible price and we really appreciate this. Three for the price of one meant that we could keep one stashed in the bedroom, one in near the living room couch, and one in our carry-on. There isn't a bag or case included but caring for the masks is easily done.

We really do find the blackout ability to be quite high, though in our testing experience, there are small lights leaks around the nose. Adjusting for this is easy, but as soon as we flex muscles on our face, the mask moves upward, revealing the light leaks. This can be a nuisance for day-time napping, but even then, once we close our eyes, we can't even tell. Another point of contention is the strap. While very adjustable, it isn't the most comfortable over the ears. It's possible to wear the mask with the strap going above and behind the ears, but this may not be as intuitive depending on the shape of your head and personal preferences. In the end, we find the LKY DIGITAL to be a steal of a deal, especially if you want to stash a mask in a few different places.

A low-profile foam mask that is comfortable and lightweight.
A low-profile foam mask that is comfortable and lightweight.

4

Another Great Value


Nidra Luxury Patented Sleep Mask


Best Buy Award
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$13.95
at Amazon
See It

Approx. Dimensions: 9 x 3 x 1 in | Care: Hand wash cold (alcohol-free soap), air dry
Deeply contoured eye area
Best for back-sleepers
Lightweight
Affordable and comfortable
Doesn't stay on as well as others
Not full blackout for smaller faces/narrow noses
Poor adjustability

The Nidra Deep Rest is a basic model at a low price, but still offers contoured eye covers for the best comfort of all the models that we tested. Notably one of the lightest masks of the bunch, it's made with 100% polyester interlock fabric and a thin foam insert. There is a small snag-free velcro patch on the elastic strap, which seems to imply that it isn't meant to be adjusted. We measured the unstretched circumference to be around 20.5 inches. When it fits properly, it does its job well.

In our experience, testers with smaller faces had more of a struggle with this mask staying in place. Light tends to leak in by the nose and eventually everywhere if you move around a lot, but this problem is common among the masks we've used. The velcro can be adjusted slightly by misaligning it, but this adds or subtracts only an inch or so. If you attach the velcro to any of the other parts of the strap, then it begins to pull apart the fabric. Overall, the ultralight fabric is quite comfortable and we love the deep contours for maximum eyelash room. Best for those wishing to spend the least and get fair quality, we feel the Nidra offers the right amount of mask for such a bargain.

The Nidra mask had very deep cups for the eyes  which we find very enjoyable.
The Nidra mask had very deep cups for the eyes, which we find very enjoyable.

5

Best for Travel


Alaska Bear Natural Silk Eye Mask


Top Pick Award
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$9.99
(23% off)
at Amazon
See It

Approx. Dimensions: 8.5 x 4 x 0.25 in | Care: Hand wash, air dry in shade
Great for travel
Lightweight
Soft silk
Elastic strap isn't the most comfortable
Not full blackout for smaller faces/narrow noses
Not contoured

The Alaska Bear Natural Silk mask is simple. With a silk body and adjustable elastic strap and plastic adjuster, there isn't much else going on — but that is certainly in line with the sleep mask tradition: simple, effective, and silky soft. It's somewhat easy to move the mask around on your face to find a sweet spot for blocking out light, which is ideal for naps and general relaxation. We measured the unstretched circumference to range from approximately 18 to 26.5 inches, which is the most substantial give out of all the masks we recently tested. At the time of this review, this mask also comes in 22 different colors and patterns, but it only comes in one size. Being lightweight and compact, this model can slip into pretty much into anything, be it a stuffed carry-on or your back pocket.

Since the mask is flat and has one strap, it places light pressure over the eyes, as is expected. Some people may like this for brief relaxation, but it's not for everyone. Our lead tester's eyelashes felt irritated from being pressed, even if the pressure can be mitigated by loosening the strap. The strap itself isn't the most comfortable for the tops of our ears, but this might change depending on your head shape. For people with smaller faces and narrow noses, we also notice light leaking near the nose, which requires fiddling with the mask to find the best balance of comfort and effectiveness. Overall, the lightweight and soft feel makes this a great travel item, short nap aid, or work break relaxation tool, all at a low price.

The silk in this Alaska Bear mask is very soft and we appreciate the wide surface area.
The silk in this Alaska Bear mask is very soft and we appreciate the wide surface area.

6

Best Weighted Mask


Gravity Weighted Sleep Mask


Top Pick Award
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$30.00
(25% off)
at Amazon
See It

Approx. Dimensions: 9.5 x 4.25 x 1 in | Care: Remove pouch, hand wash, air dry
Great for meditation/relaxation
Soft fleece
Removable weighted insert
Not the best for sleeping
Restricts nose breathing
Adjusting the strap isn't the easiest

The Gravity Weighted Sleep Mask is designed to mimic the effects of the popular gravity blanket but for the face. The mask weighs a hefty 15 ounces, yet the silica beads inside are meant to distribute the weight evenly across the forehead, eyes, and temples. We measured the unstretched circumference to range from approximately 20 to 23 inches. With a soft fleece cover, the mask is cozy and very relaxing for short periods and blocks out the light well due to forcing your eyes closed.

Moving the beads around for optimal comfort isn't as easy as we would like, and the weight is easily tipped when you move your head. We feel that this restricts use to when we are lying only on our backs. The velcro strap also snags our hair and isn't the easiest to pull apart, which means we have to guess at the size before putting it over your head. The weight of the mask is significant enough to restrict air through the nose, requiring us to breathe through our mouths, which is not how we prefer to sleep. Moving the mask up to prevent this then allows light to begin to come through by the nose, so it's a tricky balance. Nonetheless, weighted masks are often used less for sleeping and more for still meditation, and for this purpose, it's great. We enjoy using it for meditation, general relaxation, and to let the eyes calm down after lots of computer time.

With some serious weight to the Gravity mask  it's excellent for creating a sense of calm relaxation after a long day or during meditation.
With some serious weight to the Gravity mask, it's excellent for creating a sense of calm relaxation after a long day or during meditation.

7

A Great Cold Compress Mask


IMAK Compression Eye Pillow


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$13.54
(3% off)
at Amazon
See It

Approx. Dimensions: 7 x 4 x 1 in | Care: Hand wash cold, air dry
Not too heavy
Can be frozen for cold relief
Great for relaxation
Not the best for sleeping
Strap isn't adjustable
Doesn't fully block light

The IMAK Compression Eye Pillow is a unique and minimalistic take on the weighted mask. It's smaller and weighs 6.5 ounces. The cotton blend offers moderate comfort. The single elastic strap is thin and nonadjustable. We measured the circumference to be about 19 inches when unstretched (it does stretch quite a bit, though). For freezer use, instructions state to place in a freezer-safe bag and leave in the freezer for at least an hour. We ended up leaving it in the freezer overnight and the result is invigorating, especially after being out in the hot sun. After about 20 minutes, we found the initial cooling power to drop significantly, and a little over 30 minutes, the whole mask felt close to room temperature (but it is neat that you can use both sides of the mask to maximize your cooling experience).

Material-wise, the mask picks up lint quite easily, and since the strap isn't adjustable, smaller or larger heads might find an issue with the fit. Also, the stitching in the middle of the mask lets light in fairly easily, especially during the LED flashlight test (it was nearly see-through). It is ideal for back sleepers because when we roll onto our sides, the beads collect and create uncomfortable pressure points on the temples. Too, the mask is heavy enough to slowly become uncomfortable after long periods of time (like us trying to fall asleep). One tester made a good point, stating that for her, weighted masks are an excellent tool for sleep prep, but not for the sleep itself. Overall, this mask offers decent comfort, average light-blocking ability, and some versatility. We think its best use is for intentional eye relief, cold therapy, and focused relaxation.

The IMAK is like a mini bean-bag pillow for great relaxation  especially fresh out of the freezer on a hot day.
The IMAK is like a mini bean-bag pillow for great relaxation, especially fresh out of the freezer on a hot day.

8

A Good Bargain


Jersey Slumber 100% Silk Mask


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$9.89
at Amazon
See It

Approx. Dimensions: 8.5 x 4.25 x 0.25 in | Care: Not listed
Soft silk
Strap adjusts easily
Lightweight
Strap isn't as comfortable
Not full blackout for smaller faces/narrow noses
Feels delicate

The Jersey Slumber Silk mask has a more basic design. With smooth silk material and a single elastic strap, the product is lightweight and adjusts without fuss. The larger surface area of the mask helps mitigate light, and we find it to stay on pretty well. Similar to other silk masks, this model is notable for its sleek and minimal design. We measured the circumference to range from 16.5 to 23.5 inches, unstretched. At the time of this review, this model only comes in black and in one size.

The main drawbacks have to do with light leakage at the nose and how the design focuses the pressure over the eyes. This is either a huge pro or a major con, but it seems like most people are likely to find it more bothersome than comfortable for overnight use. The strap also isn't the most comfortable as it rests over the ears, and the durability seems delicate overall. Still, we feel that for such a low price, we think this product is fine for brief naps, rest at home, or for traveling.

Sleek and straightforward  the Jersey Slumber mask retails for a hard-to-pass-up price.
Sleek and straightforward, the Jersey Slumber mask retails for a hard-to-pass-up price.

9

A Warm, Cotton Alternative


Mavogel Cotton Eye Mask


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$9.98
at Amazon
See It

Approx. Dimensions: 7.5 x 3.5 x 0.25 in | Care: Hand wash cold, air dry
Comfortable cotton
Durable construction
Strap is difficult to adjust
Nose piece doesn't cater to smaller faces/narrow noses

The Mavogel Cotton Sleep Eye Mask is relatively simple but has a piece of carbon steel wire for adjustment over the nose. The thin elastic strap is adjustable. We measured the unstretched circumference to range from 17 to 23 inches. The cotton fabric is soft, and this model comes in two different colors (at the time of this review). The stitching and overall construction seem durable and well-made. Due to the relative warmth of the cotton, we think it'd be better for colder months. We also appreciate the wider strap attachment design, which helps alleviate pressure over the eyes by redirecting pull to the top and bottom of the mask in a way that feels even.

As compared to the other masks we tested, the strap adjustment isn't as fuss-free, and the overall comfort is flatly average. The function of the mask is also questionable. The nose piece, while a good idea, doesn't seem to perform as intended. The mask is on the smaller side, which isn't great for people with larger heads, but during our tests, we consistently found huge gaps around the nose for light to leak when worn by small faces, making us wonder whose face the design fits. Pinching the wire only makes the mask uncomfortable around the nose. But we were able to find a balance eventually, which required pulling the mask down over the nose and pinching the wire in a way that still kept airflow open for the nostrils themselves. Still, it's tough to say what head size is ideal for this type of mask. Thus, we feel this model is best used for already dark situations and for people that want a warmer, cotton alternative.

The cotton is quite cozy on the Mavogel mask  but the fit is a little evasive.
The cotton is quite cozy on the Mavogel mask, but the fit is a little evasive.

Why You Should Trust Us


Our lead tester, Sara Aranda, is a lover of sleep, taking naps and resting as much as possible between work and exercise. With a detail-oriented mind and a background in writing, she brings a much-appreciated critical eye to her gear reviews. We also passed each mask around to our partners and friends to get a broader opinion on how each mask fits. During our testing, we slept with each mask and also tested them during the day to attain a general feel of their function and comfort. For a more technical examination, we used an LED flashlight to determine whether or not claims of complete "blackout" capabilities hold up under more intense scrutiny. We also tried to be aware of different sleeping positions during the overnight and nap-related tests, from back to side to stomach. We critiqued the fit and comfort of the straps, the overall ease of use, and the perceived durability of the materials and construction. In the end, we ranked the entire lineup and determined the best use for each model based on these head-to-head test results.

Here we are comparing all the types of elastic straps and velcro systems.
For side-by-side fit comparison  our lead tester is shown trying them on one after the other.
We gathered quite the mix of sleep masks  from the more traditional to ones with neat  modern designs.

Analysis and Test Results


In the vast world of sleep masks, there seems to be two main groups of users: those who want intentional pressure on the eyes and those who don't. Depending on what part of this spectrum you reside on, the comfort, fit, and therefore, the effectiveness of each product will be perceived differently. Plus, with how uniquely shaped every faces is, designing a one-size-fits-all mask is difficult, as is writing a review to provide a one-size-fits-all recommendation. So, we created different performance metrics to observe and compare each model on a more objective level. This will help you focus on the aspects that are most important to you. We do our best to keep the reality of our personal preferences and face-shapes in mind as we assess and critique each product.

Comfort


We feel this metric is one of the most important. For a mask to function, it has to feel good and fit well to allow for optimal sleep and rest. But we also recognize that our lead tester has a preference for no pressure on the eyes, so we sought feedback from someone who does like such pressure to conceptualize this metric better. We also consider the strap adjustability, as it relates to fit and thus, comfort, and how the feel of the mask might change between different sleeping positions.

We found the Manta to be one of the most comfortable with its soft fabric and cushion eyecups. Side sleeping was easily done without gripe.
We found the Manta to be one of the most comfortable with its soft fabric and cushion eyecups. Side sleeping was easily done without gripe.

The masks with the highest comfort ratings included the Manta,MZOO, LKY DIGITAL and the Nidra. All four are constructed with soft fabrics, provide room for the eyes, and generally fit our faces the best. For those that prefer light pressure on their eyes as they drift off to sleep, the Alaska Bear silk mask is a great choice. The Mavogel Cotton and both weighted masks, Gravity and IMAK, fell to the middle of the comfort spectrum. They all yielded slightly above average comfort due to the nature of more complicated fits and their different distributions of pressure across the face. The mask that didn't generate high comfort marks is the Jersey Slumber, which, despite its silk construction, simply couldn't compete with the others in our opinion. Overall, we prioritize comfort for overnight use over that of napping or meditation, since sleep is the prime reason for these products to exist.

The MZOO memory foam hands with when rolling onto our sides. The wider strap relieved pressure points and kept the mask on for us.
The MZOO memory foam hands with when rolling onto our sides. The wider strap relieved pressure points and kept the mask on for us.

Effectiveness


This performance metric is where we assess the more practical function of how well each mask sits on your head and blocks light. We noted light leaks, issues with fit, and whether or not a mask stayed on properly. Fit, as with comfort, plays a significant role in this metric, as effectiveness is greatly diminished if one can't comfortably wear the mask. Essentially, we compare the design intention of each product with the real-life performances we experienced. For comprehensive testing, we made sure to use each one during both the day and at night.

We love how easily removable the Manta eyecups are for making adjustments. This is how its near-total blackout is achieved.
We love how easily removable the Manta eyecups are for making adjustments. This is how its near-total blackout is achieved.

With the ability to block out light as the top priority, we also used an LED flashlight to put each one through the ultimate test. We moved the flashlight in circles around our heads and took notes on how each model performed. We found that zero of the masks provided 100% blackout. We interpret 100% as being in a pitch-black cave, and unfortunately, even the best had some subtle weaknesses. Thus, the top two were the Manta and Gravity masks. Both are easily adjustable to almost entirely remove all light, but we were still able to tell there was a flashlight circling around our heads. Many of the others did well enough, with light leaking about the nose being the most common fault. The model that truly failed, in our opinion, was the Mavogel Cotton mask due to its wire-nose design, which is more bothersome than useful.

With so much weight in the form of beads  the fabric certainly contours to your face well  which helps block out light.
With so much weight in the form of beads, the fabric certainly contours to your face well, which helps block out light.

Features


With so many different options and "added perks," we take a different look at the design, style, and any key features that the manufacturers boast about. These models embody a wide range of styles from the traditionally minimal to more novel interpretations (like weighted masks for headache/stress relief). The Manta sleep mask, as mentioned previously, is the most adjustable due to its unique, removable eyecups. We applaud the overall design and the styling isn't bad either. The product also comes with earplugs and a zippered mesh bag for storage and for washing. One of the best perks of this mask, in our opinion, is the use of snag-free velcro (if you have long hair, we're sure you know what a nuisance standard velcro can be). Both the MZOO and LKY DIGITAL sleep masks are notable for their 3D memory foam design. They also come in a variety of colors (at the time of this review). The Nidra also has a contoured design for the eyes, which is quite deep, and the material is incredibly lightweight.

The deep contours on the Nidra are great for long eyelashes and the ultralight design is ideal for travel.
The deep contours on the Nidra are great for long eyelashes and the ultralight design is ideal for travel.

We appreciate the therapeutic qualities of the weighted masks. The Gravity is cozier and much heavier than the IMAK, which is notable for its freezer-safe application. Both aren't the best for sleeping, however, but they receive excellent marks for their more specialized intentions. Both silk masks and the Mavogel, however, sit at the bottom of this metric due to their relatively minimalistic natures. Beyond soft fabrics, there isn't much else going on in terms of extra perks or novel design.

The IMAK is made to go in the freezer for extra cold relief. Place in a freezer-safe bag and wait at least an hour.
The IMAK is made to go in the freezer for extra cold relief. Place in a freezer-safe bag and wait at least an hour.

Materials


Most of the masks are made from synthetic materials, such as polyester or from cotton blends, and have elastic straps with either velcro or metal/plastic slides. For this metric, we consider the material integrity and whether or not durability is a foreseeable issue. The most well-made masks, in our opinion, are the Manta, the MZOO, and the Mavogel models. Durability is likely to be long-term with these masks. Their overall construction feels and looks more industrial, and we can tell the materials and stitching are of high quality.

The overall construction of these three masks is high as compared to the others  in our opinion.
The overall construction of these three masks is high as compared to the others, in our opinion.

The Nidra mask is so lightweight that we do question its long term durability. The edges of the mask are very thin and fray easily. The stitching around the velcro also looks like it'll pull away from the elastic strap after a while. The two silks masks, the Alaska and Jersey Slumber, also seem delicate. Silk is inherently not the most durable fabric to use, which is why silk is associated with more luxury items. We can feel the material on these masks catch slightly just from brushing our rough hands across them. Where the straps attach, the stitching doesn't appear to be particularly reinforced either. For these reasons, they rank at the bottom for this metric.

The silk used for the Alaska Bear mask feels very soft and smooth  creating a sense of delicate luxury.
The silk used for the Alaska Bear mask feels very soft and smooth, creating a sense of delicate luxury.

Versatility


Ideally, sleep masks should be lightweight and functional enough to make them usable in a variety of scenarios and circumstances, including plane rides, naps, relaxation, and of course, deep sleep (hopefully for all types of sleepers). This is where all the previous metrics boil down to whether or not we feel a particular design is too specialized or too simple to be used in these various circumstances. But at the same time, we recognize that this isn't a make-or-break quality.

The Alaska Bear silk mask hardly takes up any space and therefore is great for travel.
The Alaska Bear silk mask hardly takes up any space and therefore is great for travel.

The most notable masks in this metric are the two that best represent opposite ends of the sleep mask spectrum; the Manta and the Alaska Bear. The former is bulkier and less traditional but is excellent for blocking out light. The latter is a quintessential mask with its straightforward, slim, and lightweight design. It'll pack all the more efficiently and the style is also less likely to stand out in public spaces. On the other hand, the Gravity mask is the most specialized in our opinion and the least versatile.

The mesh bag that comes with the Manta is great for storage  for packing the mask for travel  and for washing the mask.
The mesh bag that comes with the Manta is great for storage, for packing the mask for travel, and for washing the mask.

Conclusion


With so many varying styles and performance qualities to think about, we believe a sleep mask only serves you best when it fits you and your specific needs. We hope that combining our testing experiences with your personal preferences will help you find the right mask — one that will elevate your moments of relaxation and overall quality of sleep.

Sara Aranda