A sleep mask is the next best thing to a pitch-black room; however, not all of them are equal. From the fabrics to other fancies, here are the factors to consider when choosing this sleep accessory.
They're everywhere – in airport stalls, drug stores, malls, even in online shops. But purchasing a sleep mask can be harder than you thought. With prices ranging from $5 to $150, each of them bearing different gimmicks, it's easy to be lured at the extreme ends of the spectrum. But if you want something that will last you for a long time, here are the features you need to investigate.
The main purpose of your sleep mask is to seal your eyes from all unnecessary light that might disrupt your sleep. This is most especially useful if you're trying to take a nap during the day. Pick out a sleep mask that covers your face or has special moulds that help you cover your eyes from small flashes of light. Check its width before purchasing.
You want your sleep mask to help you take naps comfortably, but what if it wouldn't settle on your nose or behind your ears? You want something that fits the upper part of your face perfectly, especially around your nose. Look for masks which has fabric flaps sewn around this portion to help fit different face sizes. Another thing to watch out for: the flat parts which may disrupt your sleep as your eyelashes graze through the mask during REM. Pick a mask that has recesses to keep the material from having contact with your eyes.
Sleep masks are made from a wide variety of materials. Pay attention to this aspect; you want to choose a fabric that won't irritate your skin or cause creases around the eyes, especially while you rest.
- Silk is the best fabric for sleeping mask. It's lightweight, easy on the skin and has great blackout properties, especially those constructed in thicker material. Another pro: it glides smoothly around the eyes, so you don't have to worry about creases and wrinkles. And don't you want to pair it with your sleek, silky pyjamas?
- Cotton is a common material in producing sleep masks, thanks to their softness, lightweight, and blocking ability. It is also sought after for its moisture wicking quality while discouraging the growth of bacteria on skin. While inexpensive, cotton absorbs sweat as well as the creams you put on your face. Fortunately, it is easy to wash and retains its soft texture even when used for a long time.
- Polyester sleep masks are durable, lightweight and inexpensive. The lightness of this material lets you sleep without feeling the pressure around your eyes. Unlike cotton, polyester doesn't have strong wicking properties; this material is known to make you sweat while absorbing oils quickly.
- Satin is a mix of cotton and silk, a sleek and smooth material that combines the fabrics' best properties. It is lightweight on skin, similarly breathable as cotton but less demanding than silk.
Just like in every other thing, you want your sleep mask to hit all the right notes, even your budget. It’s important to take your time looking for that one item that fits your needs and promises the luxury of sleep, without irritating your skin. Some sleep masks can be more expensive than the others, but take care to check the unnecessary frills. Finding the right accessory can make a whole new difference to your sleeping routine; one of life’s greatest pleasures is a sure and sound sleep.
Who says you shouldn’t be stylish when taking naps? Your eye masks should not be mundane, and there are plenty of ways to infuse fun and fashion into this accessory, especially if you’re bringing it on your travels. Our suggestion: buy sleep masks that complement the rest of your sleep wear. Love bold colours? Go for bright floral prints that remind you of vivid dreams in summer gardens. If you’re more of the subtle type, choose easy-on-the-eye designs, like pastel polka dots and smaller floral patterns. Last but not the least, you couldn’t go wrong with a monochrome sleep mask, which is fun to mix and match with your pyjama coordinates.
Last tip: Technology
Today’s sleep masks are armed with various sleep devices – sensors, gyrometer, light therapy and even ambient sounds! These devices gather data about the way you snooze and, when paired with an app, you can discover better ways of sleeping! Expect to invest more in these modern sleep masks; these can amount to $75 to $150.
There’s no one-size-fits-all sleep mask, and for you to find your perfect napping companion, you need to take time to study your options, check the fit and gauge the price. After that, slip it on, and you’re on to a good night’s sleep!