The Best Sleep Masks, Tested by HGTV Editors

Improve your sleep quality with an eye mask that will comfortably block out the light, whether you're in bed, on the road or in the air.

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February 07, 2022

Our Top Sleep Mask Picks

If you’re on this page, then you’re probably looking to better your sleep routine in some way. Sleep is crucial for your emotional well-being, physical health and mental health. It’s a basic human need, and sleep deprivation can affect every aspect of your life. Simply put, sleep helps your brain work properly. Plus, it plays a vital role in your physical health. Getting a good night’s sleep can help reduce your risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

There are a lot of ways to improve your sleep habits, from going to bed at the same time every night to avoiding screentime before bedtime. But one of the easiest ways to create a sleep-ready atmosphere is to keep your bedroom quiet, cool and dark. Exposure to light, whether that’s from your windows, devices or door, can make it more challenging to fall asleep and stay asleep. Why? We each have a circadian rhythm that controls our natural wake-sleep cycle. That’s why we’re naturally awake during the day and ready to sleep at night. Our bodies produce melatonin in response to darkness, which helps us go to sleep. Light, however, blocks this production of melatonin and can keep us awake. According to Alexa Fry via the Sleep Foundation, "Research has shown that being in a fully lit room prior to going to sleep results in delayed and shortened production of melatonin compared to dim lighting. The use of electronic devices before bed is associated with increased sleep issues and poorer quality sleep." Luckily, it’s easy to create a dark atmosphere that will increase your sleep quality. A few ways to get a better night’s sleep? Cover windows, turn off hallway lights, avoid electronic devices and wear a sleep mask. Now, let’s talk about sleep masks.

Sleep masks block out light, helping you maintain a natural sleep cycle. In order for it to properly work, though, the mask needs to stay on throughout the night to keep light exposure at bay. While it was difficult to find a sleep mask that would stay put all night, we do have recommendations for finding one that’s comfortable and will help you fall asleep, even if it does shift midway through the night. Keep in mind that every sleeper is unique, so while a particular mask may not have stayed on for us, it may work perfectly for you!

Types of Sleep Masks

There are many different types of sleep masks, from silk to cotton to weighted, so it’s easy to find one that fits your need and is comfortable to wear either at night or while traveling. The most common types of sleep masks, and the ones we tested, are flat masks, contoured masks and weighted masks that offer a complete blackout experience.

What to Look for in a Sleep Mask

Design/Material: Sleep masks are made from a variety of materials, including cotton, satin or silk, polyester, memory foam, velvet, fleece and more. Cotton and silk are the most breathable and lightweight, with silk being an ideal option for those with sensitive skin.

Comfort: Does it have an adjustable head strap? How does the material feel on your skin? Does it stay put when you lay down? Can you open your eyes with the mask on and blink? (You should be able to comfortably.)

Fit: Most sleep masks feature an adjustable strap, but those that don't may not work for every head size and shape. Most importantly, does it block out all the light?

Durability: Wearing a sleep mask every night will require frequent cleaning. Can you run it through the washer?

Price: Sleep masks can range in price from $10 to $100, depending on the brand, material and features. Most, however, are in the $30 price range.

We kept all of these considerations in mind when testing and choosing the best sleep masks for a variety of sleepers. Shop our top picks in the links below.

$34

The Nodpod Sleep Mask gets major points for its unique design and features. Nodpod’s patented design lays softly across your head to apply gentle, even pressure for a soothing, comfortable experience. Plus, we love that Nodpod covers every sleep position, from side sleepers to stomach sleepers. Just use the adjustable pull-through strap design to keep it in place — no elastic needed. While it did not stay put through the night for our variety of sleepers, it does make nodding off much faster and more relaxing. Our favorite feature, though, is the four equally weighted microbead pods with machine-washable microbeads that offer the perfect amount of weight to soothe headaches, eye strain and more. The dual-material design is cooling on one side and warm on the other. You can even toss it in the freezer to help dull the pain associated with headaches and migraines. Because of its universal, light-blocking fit and lay-over design, it gets our “Most Comfortable” pick.

$34 | Amazon $34 | Anthropologie $34 | Urban Outfitters $34 | Nordstrom $34 | Bloomingdale's

Tempur-Pedic’s signature sleep mask is filled with soft, TEMPUR material that contours to your face for complete darkness. In fact, this mask would also nab our “Best Blackout” category because the design allows you to comfortably blink but keeps out every ounce of light. We love the cotton exterior, as it’s cool and breathable through the night. It features a fully adjustable elasticized strap with a Velcro closure that surprisingly doesn’t catch your hair. While the TEMPUR-Sleep Mask didn’t completely come off, it did shift during the night for our stomach-sleeping tester. Because it stayed in place so well, we would recommend this sleep mask for long-haul flights and those who toss and turn a bit more through the night.

$29 | Tempur-Pedic $29.99 | Mattress Firm
$50

When it comes to quality, the Slip Silk Sleep Mask gets our “Best Silk” pick. Made of 100% pure mulberry silk and with a 22 momme count, the Slip mask feels like an upgrade to other silk masks we tried. It even features a pure silk filler and internal liner, unlike Alaska Bear’s cotton interior. Slip’s proprietary Slipsilk is slick, smooth and incredibly soft. It’s lightweight and slim, too, which works well through the night. The pull-on mask features a looser one-size-fits-all elastic band that is not adjustable, which our tester struggled with, although it all depends on your head size and shape. Once you get it perfectly adjusted, it does offer a total blackout experience with easy eye movement behind the mask. We’d recommend this mask if you want a smooth, light sleep mask and have skin concerns. The price point is also a bit more of an investment compared to others we tried, but the quality of the silk justifies the price tag.

$50 | Amazon $50 | Nordstrom $50 | Sephora $50 | Ulta Beauty $50 | Bloomingdale's
$13.54

The IMAK Sleep Mask is a weighted blanket but for your eyes. In fact, this weighted sleep mask was designed by an orthopedic surgeon to provide relief from migraine headaches, tension headaches, sinus pain and eye strain. The breathable cotton exterior is soft and comfortable, while the ergoBead interior provides weight and a gentle massage effect around the eyes. You’ll notice the unique stitching over the eye area, which also helps to alleviate pressure on your eyelids to further aid in relaxation. It completely conforms to the face and eyes to fully block out light and features a durable — yet surprisingly thin — elastic strap to keep it in place for side sleepers. Although it did not stay in place throughout the night, it did make falling asleep noticeably easier and faster. We also love that you can use it chilled. Simply store it in the freezer to provide soothing cool relief for tired, puffy eyes. It only stays cold for around 20-30 minutes, but we found that to be just enough time to alleviate headache symptoms during the day or night. While we recommend this for night sleeping, it’s also a great tool for daytime relaxing, meditation and travel, especially after hours of staring at a computer screen. This weighted mask gets our “best” pick for blocking out light, being adjustable and staying in place far better than the others we tested. Plus, you can't beat that under-$15 price point.

$13.54 | Amazon $12.99 | Bed Bath & Beyond $15.50 | Walmart
$29.99 $20

The MZOO Sleep Mask nabs our “Best Contoured” pick for being ergonomically designed, comfortable and blocking out all light. The gentle, lightweight memory foam is comfortable, and the contoured eyecups provide what feels like a custom sleep mask experience, as the eye space is wider and deeper than flat masks. The nose contour fits better than most of the flat masks we tested, too. Plus, it features a fully adjustable buckle strap that’s easy to modify and won’t catch your hair, unlike hook-and-loop fasteners. Most importantly, though, it effectively blocks out all light while still allowing you to comfortably blink behind the mask. If you’re a side sleeper, it won’t stay in place through the night, but it will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. You can even toss this one in the washer, which is important for frequent use. We love that this mask comes with a full travel kit, too, including a satin travel pouch and earplugs. Compared to the other contoured masks we tested, the MZOO has the most comfortable memory foam design and blocked out the most light at night, creating a better sleep experience overall.

$20 | Amazon
$15 $10

This under-$15 natural silk sleep mask from Alaska Bear is no joke. The smooth, flat mask gets major points for being comfortable, durable and stylish. It features an adjustable elastic strap with a silk exterior and cotton-padded interior for comfort. We were surprised at how well it stayed in place through the night, although we would recommend it for those who sleep exclusively on their back to limit movement. Compared to the other silk masks we tested, it looks and feels a bit second-rate, but we still recommend it overall, especially for the price point. This mask would be great to toss in your toiletry bag for stints in a hotel room or in your carry-on for long red-eye flights. It would also be a great addition to a guest room nightstand to keep visitors comfortable during their stay. Plus, it comes in almost 30 different colors and patterns, including basic black and pink and even Vincent Van Gogh scenes. And like most silk products, this one is hand-wash only, so care is a bit more challenging than simply tossing it in the washer regularly. Overall, we were impressed with this inexpensive silk sleep mask, even without the frills and fancy features.

$10 | Amazon

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