The 13 Best Sleep Masks for Blocking Light

Our best overall pick is the Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask

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Byrdie / Chloe Jeong

Sleep masks (the cloth variety, not skincare) work like blackout curtains in that they're designed to block outside light that may get in the way of catching your Zs. "Light plays a huge role in sleep, because it can impact our melatonin production as well as circadian rhythms," explains product expert Keith Cushner of Sleep Foundation. "Light-blocking eye masks can help create a dark sleeping environment, which can improve your sleep quality." 

Researched & Approved

Our best overall pick is the Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask, which is breathable, moisture-wicking, and antimicrobial and offers complete light cancellation. We also love its affordable price point. If you can swing the steeper price, the luxurious Slip Silk Eye Mask is made from splurge-worthy silk that feels amazing against the skin.

According to Cushner, some of the best sleep mask designs are made of natural fabrics like silk and cotton. "Silk will have a lighter feel, while cotton may provide more light cancellation," he tells Byrdie. You might also want to look for something adjustable to ensure a secure fit and prevent uncomfortably tight straps. For convenience's sake, a washable design is ideal.

We conducted hours of research on the best sleep masks. We tried some of the top-rated models out there, and our testers took note of the material quality, light cancellation, and extra features. We also considered the skin feel of sleep masks, since they get up close and personal with your face. Our team then combined these results with our research of fan favorites to create this list.

Ahead, find the best sleep masks to help get your beauty rest.

Best Overall: Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask

Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask

Amazon

What We Like
  • Adjustable

  • Skin-friendly fabrics

  • Lots of colors

What We Don’t Like
  • Hand-wash recommended

Our top pick is the Alaska Bear Natural Sleep Mask. It's made out of mulberry silk, a buttery-smooth material that's inherently breathable, moisture-wicking, and antimicrobial, meaning it won't harbor bacteria. The inner padding is cotton, which is also naturally airy with sweat-absorbing abilities.

Cushner recommends sleeping masks with natural fabrics like this one, noting that the silk component is lightweight and nonirritating against the skin, while the cotton helps block all external light. We also appreciate that it comes in 32 different colors and has an adjustable strap to accommodate all head sizes.

Price at time of publish: $15

Material: Mulberry silk, cotton | Colors: 32 colors

Best Budget: Hochoek Silk Sleep Mask Eye Shade

Hochoek Silk Sleep Mask Eye Shade

Amazon

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Adjustable

  • Pack of three

What We Don’t Like
  • Not machine-washable

This wallet-friendly eye shade comes in packs of three, so you can keep one by your bed and another in your travel bag, and still have one to spare. It's made of real silk to ensure softness and breathability, while an adjustable strap provides a secure, comfortable fit.

Price at time of publish: $22

Material: Silk | Colors: Black, navy, purple

Best Splurge: Dr. Harris Anti-Wrinkle Sleep Mask

4
dr harris sleep mask

Dr. Harris

What We Like
  • Innovative

  • Reduces fine lines

  • Doctor-developed

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

  • Not machine-washable

If you can swing the price, consider splurging on this anti-aging sleep mask from Dr. Harris. A hit with our home tester, the innovative design features copper-infused mulberry silk with tiny silicone dots to stimulate the "little nerve endings in your face" and provide a natural, pain-free solution to fine lines and wrinkles.

Price at time of publish: $80

Material: Mulberry silk, copper-infused fabric, silicone dots | Colors: Black

What Our Testers Say

“After pressing the touchpoint in the middle of my eyebrows as instructed, I did feel an instant wave of relaxation. I fell asleep within 30 minutes, which is much faster than my usual hours-long process.”—Brittany Leitner, Product Tester

Best Luxury: Slip Silk Sleep Mask

4.6
Slip Silk Sleep Mask

Amazon

What We Like
  • Long-fiber silk

  • Won't leave marks

  • Doesn't tug hair

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

  • Not machine-washable

Willing to spend a little extra on the perfect mask? This long-fiber mulberry silk number from the buzzy line Slip is splurge-worthy. Long-fiber mulberry silk has beneficial smoothing qualities to the appearance of your complexion and hair, since it won’t leave any marks on your face.

Price at time of publish: $50

Material: Mulberry silk | Colors: Pink, black, blush, white, navy, burgundy, silver, tie-dye, animal print

What Our Experts Say

"This type of silk is also great for hair to avoid any friction or tangles."—Ginger King, Cosmetic Chemist

Best Washable: Lunya Washable Silk Sleep Mask

4.6
Lunya Washable Silk Sleep Mask

Revolve

What We Like
  • Skin-friendly fabric

  • Offers total darkness

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey

Silk is inherently delicate and often not machine-washable, but Lunya's washer-friendly sleep mask is a different story. The outside is skin-friendly silk, and the inner padding is polyester to ensure utter darkness while you doze. So although this model is a bit more pricey than competitors, we think the quality construction is worth it.

Price at time of publish: $48

Material: Silk, polyester | Colors: Beige, gray, black, white, navy

Best Cotton: Mavogel Cotton Sleep Eye Mask

mavogel sleep mask

Amazon

What We Like
  • Breathable

  • Offers total darkness

  • Ergonomic

What We Don’t Like
  • Hand-wash recommended

If you're partial to the natural breathability and sweat-wicking properties of cotton, go with Mavogel. Thanks to its unique ski-goggle-shaped design that covers even the smallest gap over the bridge of your nose, it promises to block out all light, no matter where you are or what time of day it is.

Price at time of publish: $20

Material: Cotton | Colors: Gray, black

Best Silk: Brooklinen Mulberry Silk Eyemask

4.9
Brooklinen Mulberry Silk Eyemask

Amazon

What We Like
  • Skin-friendly fabric

  • Machine-washable

  • Chic colors

What We Don’t Like
  • Doesn't block all light

For those who prefer mulberry silk, we highly recommend this eye mask from Brooklinen. Featuring a sumptuously smooth charmeuse weave, it's breathable and gentle against sensitive skin, and unlike other silk products, it's conveniently machine-washable.

Price at time of publish: $29

Material: Mulberry silk | Colors: White, black, blush, star print

Best Gel: Grace & Stella Hot + Cool Gel Bead Eye Mask

Grace & Stella Hot + Cool Gel Bead Eye Mask

Amazon

What We Like
  • Adjustable

  • Cooling

  • Minimizes puffiness

What We Don’t Like
  • Only one color (pink)

Craving a cooling sensation? This eye mask from Grace & Stella is filled with gel beads, which conform to the shape of your face. Even better, it can be chilled in the freezer to offer a depuffing effect around your eyes. You can also heat it in the microwave for soothing warmth.

Price at time of publish: $15

Material: Fabric, gel beads | Colors: Pink

Best Skin-Friendly: Kitsch The Pillow Eye Mask

Kitsch The Pillow Eye Mask

Ulta

What We Like
  • Offers total darkness

  • Doesn't leave creases

  • Comfortable cushioning

What We Don’t Like
  • Not machine-washable

The Pillow Eye Mask is made of 100 percent satin, a silky smooth and exceptionally soft fabric that promises not to cause creases or irritate your skin. What's more, the soft padding comfortably cushions your face while blocking out all outside light.

Price at time of publish: $18

Material: Satin | Colors: Blush, charcoal

Best Colors: Blissy Sleep Mask

Blissy Sleep Mask

Nordstrom

What We Like
  • Skin-friendly fabric

  • Offers total darkness

What We Don’t Like
  • Slightly tight fit

The Blissy Sleep Mask comes in 30 colors, including black, burgundy, bronze, and blush. There are even a few chic prints, like black-and-white marble and playful tie-dye. It's made of mulberry silk, a naturally skin-friendly fabric that's airy but also tightly woven to ensure complete darkness.

Price at time of publish: $40

Material: Mulberry silk | Colors: 30 colors

Best Contoured: MZOO Sleep Eye Mask

MZOO Sleep Eye Mask

Amazon

What We Like
  • Adjustable

What We Don’t Like
  • Hand-wash recommended

If you have eyelash extensions or just don't like the feeling of fabric right up against your eyes, go with this clever contoured number. The three-dimensional design consists of silk-wrapped molded memory foam to alleviate pressure on your eyelids and allow you to open your eyes and flutter your lashes without being exposed to light. We also like that it has a fully adjustable buckle strap for a customized fit.

Price at time of publish: $30

Material: Silk, memory foam | Colors: Black, blue, purple, red, silver

Best Adjustable: YiView Sleep Mask (Pack of 3)

YiView Sleep Mask (Pack of 3)

Amazon

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Contoured

  • Pack of three

What We Don’t Like
  • Hand-wash recommended

Available in packs of three, this budget-friendly sleep mask features 3D foam contouring to keep pressure off your eyes and lashes. The fully adjustable design accommodates all head sizes and shapes with a comfortable fit in any sleeping position.

Price at time of publish: $16

Material: Fabric, foam | Colors: Black, blue, purple, gray, red

Best Weighted: Norpod The Weighted Blanket for Your Eyes

Norpod The Weighted Blanket for Your Eyes

Norpod

What We Like
  • Offers total darkness

  • Strap-free design

  • Machine-washable

What We Don’t Like
  • Nothing

"If you are a fan of weighted blankets, there are also weighted eye masks that help relieve anxiety," says Cushner. We like the Nodpod, which is filled with BPA-free polyethylene beads to deliver gentle, deep touch at key pressure points. Thanks to the scalloped design, it conforms to the shape of your face and provides complete light cancellation without an elastic band.

Price at time of publish: $34

Material: Jersey cotton, microfiber, BPA-free polyethylene beads | Colors: Black, orange, purple, pink, yellow, red, gray, blue, green

Final Verdict

Our top choice is the Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask, which is breathable, moisture-wicking, antimicrobial, and offers complete light cancellation at an affordable price. If you can swing the steeper price, the luxurious Slip Silk Eye Mask is made from splurge-worthy silk that feels amazing against the skin. If you want something you can toss in the washing machine, go with the Lunya Washable Silk Sleep Mask.

Meet the Expert

Keith Cushner is a sleep expert with nearly a decade of experience researching, testing, and developing sleep products. He oversees the testing lab and evaluation processes at Sleep Foundation.

What to Look for in a Sleep Mask

Material

The best sleep mask will be comfortable to wear and won't irritate your skin or hair. Sleep masks are usually made from silk or cotton. Silk is a great option, not only because it feels great but also because it won't collect moisture (which could soak up your nighttime skincare or cause acne), tug at your skin (which could cause wrinkles), or tangle up your hair (which could cause breakage).

"It's always best to sleep in the darkest environment possible, so it's important to research the different effects of eye mask fabrics."Keith Cushner, Sleep Product Expert

Size

Your sleep mask should slip on and off easily, but it should also fit you well enough that it doesn't slide around while you sleep. Most sleeping masks come in a one-size option, so make sure it's neither too tight nor too loose.

Features

Beyond blocking out light, some sleep masks can be heated or cooled to help relieve tension and soothe the eyes. Others are weighted to help relax pressure points. Some sleeping masks help fight off wrinkles, while others use light therapy to help calm your mind and body. You can even find sleeping masks that cover your ears to filter out sound. How advanced you want your sleeping mask to be is entirely up to you.

FAQ
  • Do sleep masks really work?

    In short, yes. Since sleep masks help block out distractions (namely, your phone and other sources of lighting), you'll be able to fall asleep sooner and sleep better. Better sleep can lead to a slew of health benefits, like improved focus, mood, memory, and more.

How We Researched

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from 1 to 5 (5 being the best; 1 being the worst) to certain products on the list.

Why Trust Byrdie

Theresa Holland is a freelance commerce writer specializing in sleep solutions, textiles, and beauty. She considered dozens of sleep masks for this story and interviewed a sleep product expert, who offered insight into different materials and the benefits of light-blocking eye masks. She also consulted our testing insights and third-party reviews to inform the product selection in this roundup.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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  2. Loh K & Tan W. Silk Fabric. (2015). Advances in Silk Science and Technology.

  3. Kim, Hyun-Ah. Moisture Vapor Permeability and Thermal Wear Comfort of Ecofriendly Fiber-Embedded Woven Fabrics for High-Performance Clothing. Materials (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 14,20 6205. 19 Oct. 2021, doi:10.3390/ma14206205

  4. Cleveland Clinic. The Case for Wearing a Sleep Mask. HealthEssentials. 2021 Mar 17.

  5. Cleveland Clinic. Facial Icing: Is Ice Good for Your Face? HealthEssentials. 2021 Oct 6.

  6. The case for wearing a sleep mask. Cleveland Clinic.

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