When you’re struggling to sleep, it can difficult to nod off if there’s too much light in your bedroom – or you might find that the early sunrises in the summer mean that you wake up sooner than you would like.
Research shared by Harvard University suggests that too much light in your bedroom at night can disrupt your sleep, leading to a range of health problems including diabetes. The link between light and our circadian rhythms (sleep cycle) has been well-established and can have a real impact on the quality and quantity of your sleep. This is particularly important for shift workers, as it can lead to symptoms that are very similar to jetlag.
On the bright side, if light pollution is causing you to wake easily there are things you can do to address the problem. Using a sleep mask can help you to block out unwanted light so that you can get the rest that you need (or you can pop one on if you fancy a daytime nap).
How to choose the best sleep mask
How do you pick the best sleep mask when there’s so much choice out there? Before you buy, it’s a good idea to think about what you actually need. If you’re just looking for a mask to block out most of the light then you might want to opt for a soft satin or silk sleep mask. These will be comfortable to wear against your skin all night long.
Silk masks are breathable and have the added benefit of keeping moisture close to your skin, preventing your delicate eye area from drying out overnight. If you have sensitive skin, it may be worth investing in a silk sleep mask as this is less likely to cause irritation.
If you really want to go all-out and block out as much light as you can, then look for a blackout sleep mask. There are plenty on the market which will help you to shut out light pollution and help you to get your beauty sleep.
We’ve included masks to suit a range of budgets from good value buys to luxurious sleep masks, so you’re sure to find one that works for you.
Read on to discover the best sleep mask for you…
Looking for more ways to improve your sleep? Learn what to eat to improve your sleep, try our sleep yoga routine, discover how sleep hormones affect your body and how sleep ASMR could help you to relax.
Best sleep masks to buy in 2021
Kitsch adjustable satin eye mask from Cult Beauty
You don’t necessarily need to splash out on a silk sleep mask – satin sleep masks are just as comfortable and soft against the skin. The soft satin material won’t irritate your delicate eye area and can be worn overnight.
This affordable eye mask from Cult Beauty comes in four colours (silver, blush, black and leopard) and has an adjustable strap so you can make it fit perfectly. At £12.50, we think this one is a bit of a bargain and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. As an added bonus, this mask is cruelty-free and 100% vegan.
Tonic velvet eye mask – Romantic Garden from Amara
This beautiful sleep mask from Amara is beautifully soft and comfy to wear. The front of the mask is covered in luxurious velvet and the inside is silky satin. The stretchy elastic band ensures that it will fit comfortably over your eyes, blocking out the light so you can get a good night’s sleep.
This mask is a treat to wear at home or to take with you on your travels. It would also make a wonderful gift for a friend or family member.
It can be worn overnight to help you get your eight hours or pop it on for a lazy afternoon nap. There are matching accessories too – Amara also sells a coordinating heat pillow and a luxe eye pillow. The eye pillow is filled with soothing flaxseed and lavender and can be chilled before use.
- Buy the Tonic velvet eye mask – Romantic Garden for £15 from Amara
- Buy the Tonic luxe eye pillow – Romantic Garden for £23 from Amara
- Buy the Tonic luxe velvet heat pillow – Romantic Garden for £26 from Amara
This Works Deep Sleep pillow spray and eye mask duo
Looking to treat yourself? This lovely sleep set comes with a soft sleep mask and a sleep aromatherapy pillow spray to help you get in the right frame of mind for a restful night’s sleep.
The pillow spray includes the fragrances of camomile, vetiver and lavender to soothe you at bedtime. You’ll soon begin to associate the smell with rest and relaxation and it will become a welcome part of your bedtime routine. This set would also make a brilliant gift.
Slip pure silk mask from Cult Beauty
Add a touch of luxury to your bedtime routine with this silk mask from Cult Beauty. Made from 100% pure mulberry silk, it’s super-soft and won’t leave any lines on your face when you wake up. This silk sleep mask comes in a wide range of colours and patterns, making it the perfect sleep accessory.
It’s slightly larger than many sleep masks on the market, so it’ll block out the light and help you to enjoy a proper night’s sleep.
At £50 it is one of the more expensive masks on our list, but if you look after it then it will last a long time.
Paradise fragrance oil and eye mask gift set from Oliver Bonas
Bring some summery style to your bedroom with this tropical sleep mask from Oliver Bonas. This beautiful embroidered sleep mask will make your sleep routine feel relaxing and comfortable. It would also be a great sleep mask to pack for a holiday so you can sleep while you travel.
Use the accompanying jasmine and white willow fragrance oil in an aroma diffuser to set the mood for sleep in your bedroom.
Echor total blackout sleep mask from Amazon
Ambient light can keep you awake, so investing in a blackout sleep mask can have real benefits for your sleep. The Echor sleep mask is excellent value and blocks out light very effectively.
This mask includes a high-elastic foam layer so that it feels lightweight and has flaps at the side to cut out light. This is a great buy that won’t break the bank.
Smug blackout sleep and eye mask from Amazon
If you’re a light sleeper and you really need your environment to be dark then this is a great sleep mask to try. The Smug mask fits snugly against your face, making it a great blackout mask for wearing at night.
The strap is adjustable so you can ensure that it fits properly around your face and doesn’t slip during the night.
Alaska Bear luxury sleep eye mask from Amazon
This pretty constellation sleep mask is brilliant at blocking out unwanted light when you sleep. The ergonomic design allows you to blink without restriction, so it feels as though you’re not wearing a mask. It’s designed to reduce light as much as possible and it’s a good fit for both men and women.
The inner lining is silk so it feels incredibly comfortable, but it’s still washable. It comes with a pouch and a set of ear plugs – ideal for when you’re travelling.
Infinity bamboo sleep mask from Antler
This Infinity sleep mask is made from super-soft bamboo fabric that won’t aggravate your skin. Bamboo fabric is breathable and naturally antimicrobial, so it’s comfortable to wear all night long.
It comes in one size, but has an elasticated band to help it fit properly around your face.
Slip sunrise eye mask from Anthropologie
This sleek silk mask is made using long-strand Mulberry silk to protect your skin while you sleep. It’s incredibly soft and luxurious against your skin. It’s also hypoallergenic, so it won’t irritate sensitive skin.
While it’s expensive at £50, it’s good quality and will probably last for years if you look after it.