How We Rate Sleep Masks

Last updated: March 6, 2019

Overview & Methodology

Sleep eye masks are judged by 4 standards: 

  1. Comfort & Fit   
  2. Material Quality
  3. Blockage
  4. Hygiene

Learn more about how each of these qualities can affect your sleep when wearing a sleep mask.

Comfort & Fit

There are a lot of factors that affect your bedtime bliss, most notably is the sensitivity to light.  Not everyone can sleep with light or little light on, some prefer it pitch dark. Unfortunately, not everyone sleeps at night as there are some who works during the hours that everyone else is asleep.  

Our circadian rhythm dictates that when it’s dark we sleep, and if there’s light we stay awake regardless of whether or not we are tired. During the day, it would greatly help if you have a sleep mask on.  Sleep masks are not just to block off the light and give you that much needed good sleep, it sometimes helps people to relax their eyes and relieve stress. On that note it is pertinent that the sleep mask you will purchase is comfortable to use and fits your face well.  We judge and ask these questions:

  • Is it snug fit?
  • Will the straps break off when you toss and turn at night?
  • Will the straps entangle your hair or makes noise when you move?
  • Is it lightweight?
  • Is it contoured?
  • Is it soft to the touch?
  • Is the elastic strap adjustable?
  • Is it made of breathable material?
  • Is it soft and comfortable to use?

Material

Since these masks will be pressed against your face, it needs to be of soft material, something that is hypoallergenic and does not cause irritation.  Some of the materials used to make sleep masks are silk, cotton, polyester, and satin.

The material should be of good quality as the skin on our face is sensitive that is why we have to be careful with what we put on it or apply to it. Here are a few things that we consider when rating a sleep mask in terms of material:

  • Soft
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Dust Mite resistant
  • Should have an adjustable elastic strap (not the velcro type)
  • Should be made with a breathable material
  • Material should be absorbent and able to stay dry
  • There should be space in the eye area while the mask is on so as not to put pressure on your eyes
  • Material should not curl up thus letting the light in

As much as we are meticulous with the materials that makes up our pillows, the same philosophy should be applied in choosing the eye mask.  If the fabric snags or rips that can pinch the skin. It wouldn’t give you your much needed rest as it should but would just add agitation. Or if the material is not breathable then it would be uncomfortable to use for you’ll be sweating on it especially during summer.  

Blockage

As we are rating a sleep mask, blockage is of the most importance.  Blackout curtains, a white noise machine aids in falling asleep faster, but if you’re on the road curtains and machines can’t really be a top notch solution.  Sleep masks have been the simplest solution there is, but it has to be able to block out the light coming in as it may disrupt your circadian rhythm, but it’s not just a simple eye cover.  You’re body senses if you’re in total darkness, when you are, your body produces melatonin, a body hormone that regulates wakefulness.

There are a lot of new innovations to make this possible. There are masks that have crevices so there isn’t too much pressure on your eyes or when you’re wearing a makeup and just want a power nap.  

Blocking out light completely should never equate to being tight. The key to it is the fit, most sleep masks have a snug fit to ensure no light comes in, some have linings while others uses foam at the edge of the mask to ensure that you’re in total darkness while wearing it.  The strap and the quality of strap is also important as the fit.

Hygiene

Since the eye masks are something you are going to be wearing your face, it is so important that they are well maintained and clean when you used. There are those that opt for cheap ones so they can throw it away after using it for some time, but that is not economical and if you really want the best one, you have to find the best one that meets all of the above standards we mentioned and hygiene.  

Here’s a few guidelines that we follow when we rate sleep masks in terms of hygiene:

  • Is it machine washable or does it need to be hand washed?
  • If so, will the material not wrinkle or curl up after it is washed?
  • Will the stitching stay put after it is washed?
  • Is it made of material that is hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites?
  • Does the dye used for the mask smears ?
  • Does it dry up easily after being washed?

Additional Resources

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Read our full medical disclaimer.