Sleeping eye masks have been around for decades and date back to the early 20th century. They are commonly used to block out light and provide the sleeper with a well-rested sleep. Over time, eye masks have become available in various materials, with the most popular often being silk or foam. Advancements in design and technology also mean you can get useful extra features such as contouring and built-in headphones.
With an enormous variety of products from many different suppliers, finding the right sleeping mask for you may be quite the task. So, here is a list of recommended sleeping masks in the UK market.
(Important Facts, Studies, Advice, Considerations & FAQs In Conclusion)
|Panda Bamboo Eye Mask||Bamboo||30 Nights||£17.99|
|Mela Eucalyptus Eye Mask||Eucalyptus Silk||NA Nights||£29.99|
|Echor Total Blackout Eye Mask||Foam||30 Nights||£14.99|
|Masters of Mayfair Sleep Mask||Bamboo Silk||17 Nights||£50|
|Orihea Sleep Mask||Memory Foam||360 Nights||£9.99|
|Sleep Master Sleep Mask||Satin||NA Nights||£24.49|
|Plemo Sleep Mask||Memory Foam||NA Nights||£7.34|
|LC-Dolida Bluetooth Eye Mask||Memory Foam||45 Nights||£19.99|
|FRESHME Sleep Mask||Cotton||NA Nights||£18.28|
|Voluex 3D Sleep Eye Mask||Cotton Memory Foam||NA Nights||£8.99|
|Unimi Eye Mask||Lycra + Memory Foam||NA Nights||£8.49|
|Bedtime Bliss Eye Mask||Bamboo + Cotton||60 Nights||£9.28|
1. Panda Bamboo Eye Mask
|• Vegan-friendly |
• 1-year guarantee
• 100% bamboo
The Panda Bamboo Eye Mask is made from 100% bamboo, which claims to have the same soft feeling as silk while being more sustainable and vegan friendly.
Bamboo requires less water and grows more rapidly, meaning it can be more environmentally friendly than cotton and other traditional materials. Due to its organic origins, bamboo can be naturally anti-bacterial, which helps protect against skin irritation and allergies. Additionally, the material is known to be breathable and temperature regulating.
The eye mask has been designed on the larger side yet was produced to feel lightweight so as not to put pressure on the eyelids. It also comes with adjustable straps so you can alter the tightness.
The Panda Bamboo Eye Mask has received positive customer reviews, with many commenting on its soft feel. The eye mask also comes with a 30-night trial and a 1-year guarantee.
2. Mela Eucalyptus Eye Mask
|• Eucalyptus silk|
• Oeko-Tex certified
• 300 ply thread count
The sleeping eye mask from Mela is woven from extra soft 100% eucalyptus thread. The materials used are Oeko-Tex certified, and there are no harmful chemicals used, making it less likely to irritate the skin.
Eucalyptus silk is used due to its cooling properties while using a 300 ply thread count to create a soft and comfortable feel. The eye mask is made to lay flat on the face and comes with an elastic strap. Design-wise, the mask comes in 3 different colours for you to choose from.
Mela values sustainability, and it sources its eye mask materials from regenerative forests in Austria and the Czech Republic. Moreover, eucalyptus silk uses 10x less water than cotton to grow and is both compostable and biodegradable. Mela also has a partnership with 1Tribe and pledges to help protect the Amazon rainforest with every order.
3. Echor Total Blackout Eye Mask
|• 3D blackout design|
• 30-night trial
• Ergonomic nose wings
The Echor Eye Mask uses its blackout 3D design and ergonomic nose wings to help eliminate external light and aims to provide a well-rested sleep.
The eye mask has a modern and sleek design, available in both black and white. Additionally, there are adjustable head straps, so the mask can fit any head size and allows you to adjust the tightness to make sure it doesn’t fall off during the night.
Echor uses foam lining to create a comfortable yet firm feeling, which can help make the mask feel more secure and durable. Within the mask, there are also eye indentations which allow for plenty of space around the eyes and may help to relieve pressure.
The Echor Eye Mask has received positive reviews on third party sites - especially regarding its softness and comfort quality. The product also comes with a 30-night trial and offers a full refund within this time.
4. Masters of Mayfair Sleep Mask
|• Bamboo silk material|
• Lavender infused scent
• Free ree silk carry case
Masters of Mayfair Sleep Mask is a more luxurious option, sitting at a higher price point than other masks on the market. The eye masks are made from ethically sourced Fairtrade cotton, with a bamboo silk backing designed to give a more soft and comfortable contact with your face.
They have a range of models/ colours, and you can select if you want lavender infused into the mask or not. The eye masks that include lavender are infused with dried natural lavender flowers (British grown) which are believed to have various therapeutic properties, helping you achieve a more relaxing sleep.
An adjustable strap is included for stability, which features a flat clip engineered to prevent any discomfort. Adding to practicality, they have also made the sleep mask machine washable, but bear in mind that the lavender scent may fade over time (this can always be rejuvenated with a lavender spray which they also offer).
Every Masters of Mayfair Eye Mask is delivered in a special box, which includes a silk carry case for travelling purposes.
5. Orihea Sleep Mask
|• Memory foam|
• Silk lining
• Adjustable nose bridge
The Orihea sleep mask is designed using a combination of memory foam and a silk lining to create a soft and breathable feel. There is also an adjustable strap to alter the size.
The Orihea sleep mask features contouring in its design. It uses an adjustable inner nose bridge for any size nose and can help block out any light. Moreover, the Orihea sleep mask has ample space for your eyes which means there will be no pressure on the eyes or eyelids.
The mask has received many positive customer reviews, with many highlighting the softness, sleep quality and being practical for travelling. Orihea also states that you are welcome to try the mask and easily return it if you are not satisfied with the product.
6. Sleep Master Sleep Mask
|• Satin material|
• Free headphones
• Noise reduction design
The Sleep Master Sleep Mask is designed to block out all light, with the edges coming down past your nose and continuing around the back of your head, which can also help with noise reduction.
The mask has been created using satin, which aims to be cool and breathable while providing a soft and comfortable feel. The material is also designed to be durable yet lightweight. To add to the supportive feel, the mask uses velcro to attach and stay in place.
Sleep Master also provides headphones with the mask, which can help to reduce external noise and can be held in place due to the fabric covering the ears. The mask has reviewed positive reviews online, with high ratings for its softness and lightweight feel.
7. Plemo Sleep Mask
|• Cushioned eye pockets |
• Elasticated velcro straps
The Plemo sleep mask is a memory foam mask with added features for comfort and breathability. It also claims to be hypoallergenic and latex-free.
The eye mask has a soft and comfortable design, with cushioned pockets above the eyes, which claims to alleviate eye fatigue and allow for natural eye movement. There is also added space around the eyes to relieve pressure. The mask also comes with elastic straps that have velcro, making it adjustable and secure.
The Plemo sleep mask has positive reviews, particularly for its soft and comforting feel, as well as being a good option for travel.
8. LC-Dolida Bluetooth Eye Mask
|• Bluetooth receiver |
• Machine washable
• Fitted headphones
For those who enjoy the sounds of nature or music to help them sleep, this mask includes headphones and a Bluetooth receiver which can be connected via mobile. The mask has a charging time of 2 hours and a playtime of up to 10 hours, meaning it can be played throughout the night.
The Bluetooth eye mask is made from memory foam and silk, making it soft and breathable. It uses a blackout concave design, which allows for space around the eyes with reduced pressure on your eyelids and lashes. The mask also includes contouring around the nose, which is designed to fit closely and help block out light.
In addition to the contouring design, the mask also features an elastic band that can be stretched to fit most sizes. The mask is machine washable, but the speaker must be removed beforehand.
9. FRESHME Sleep Mask
|• 100% organic cotton|
• Low-hanging design
• Free carry bag
The FRESHME sleep mask is a low-hanging, 100% cotton mask that comes down past your nose and rests gently upon your face. The large design helps cover all angles and block out any light around the nose area and sides.
The mask uses skin-friendly 100% organic cotton designed to create a durable and soft feel while relieving facial stress. The FRESHME sleep mask is also made to be lightweight and portable and comes with a free carry bag, which can be ideal for travelling.
The mask uses large straps that are adjustable and designed to avoid pressure on the head and prevent hair from getting tangled. Moreover, the eye mask is 100% hand-made, foldable and washable.
10. Voluex 3D Sleep Eye Mask
|• 4-layered design |
• 3D eye sockets
• Elastic headband
The hand-stitched Voluex 3D contoured sleep eye mask uses contouring and memory foam to create a structured yet comfortable design to help block out light. Within its 4 layers, the middle layering uses pure cotton blackout fabric, which aims to further eliminate light.
The mask features a 3D eye socket design, allowing space for the eyes while reducing pressure on the eyelids. The Voluex eye mask also includes nose wings, designed to soften the feel of the mask but also to block light from passing into the mask. The eye mask has a wide elastic headband with a stretch cord that can be easily adjusted to change the tightness.
The Voluex Eye Mask has a majority of top-rated reviews, with many stating it's suitable to travel with, as well as being soft and comfortable on the face.
11. Unimi Eye Mask
|• Memory foam and lycra materials |
• Buckled strap
• Inner padded nose design
The upgraded Unimi Eye Mask uses memory foam to create a soft touch, with lycra cotton fabric to give it an added lightweight and stretchy feel.
The Unimi Eye Mask is contoured and includes an inner padded nose design, which aims to block all light from entering the mask. The contoured design also provides extra space around the eyes, allowing for natural eye movement and reduced pressure.
The eye mask is complete with an adjustable strap with a buckle, securing your mask and preventing hair from getting tangled may happen with other materials, such as velcro. It is recommended to wash the mask by hand to maintain its flexibility.
12. Bedtime Bliss Eye Mask
|• Bamboo and cotton materials |
• Designed for all face shapes
• Free carry case and earplugs
The Bedtime Bliss Eye Mask has been created for all sleeping positions and face shapes due to its structure and adjustable velcro strap.
The eye mask uses bamboo and cotton to create a soft and lightweight feeling. It is designed with contours to keep pressure off your eyes as you sleep and to prevent makeup from smudging. The cupped shape also allows for a better sit around the nose and lets less light inside.
In addition to the eye mask, the product also comes with a free carry case and earplugs to help block out external noises. Bedtime Bliss offers a risk-free 60-day 100% money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied with your purchase.
How Light Exposure Effects Sleep
The connection between light and sleep is largely related to the body’s circadian rhythm. This natural process helps regulate your sleeping and waking cycle - repeating roughly every 24 hours. Light and darkness can act as indicators that can help to adjust to the circadian rhythm.
Research✓ has shown that the circadian clock is most sensitive to light, 2 hours before bedtime and 1 hour before waking up. Therefore, by minimising light leading up to and during sleeping hours, it can help keep the circadian clock's natural rhythm.
Increased light exposure during the day can increase sleep duration. A study✓ showed that an additional hour outdoors could increase sleep by up to 30 minutes.
While natural light can play a part in sleep disruption, artificial lighting can also have the same impact. In fact, research✓ has found that artificial light can hinder important sleep-promoting neurons and suppress melatonin, a natural hormone that helps us sleep. This can prevent us from getting to sleep and even make us more alert.
Moreover, other studies✓ found that individuals exposed to outdoor street lights recorded a decrease in sleepy quality and quantity and increased daytime sleepiness. Considering the research, it may be worth limiting or eliminating external light sources as it can potentially impact the ability to have a well-rested sleep negatively.
Melatonin And Darkness
Sleeping eye masks are known to help block out light and help you get to sleep. However, don't just take our word for it; science also seems to back this theory. When you prepare to sleep, melatonin or the “sleep hormone” is released and aids you in falling asleep.
Research✓ has shown that melatonin naturally secretes when it's dark, and our bodies prepare for rest. Muscles can begin to relax, body temperature drops, and drowsiness creeps in. So, with a sleeping mask, you’re able to keep the lights out and let the melatonin flow.
Eye Mask Materials
There are currently different materials available for eye masks; however, foam and silk are often popular choices, with others such as satin and bamboo also available on the market. The material you choose depends largely on your own preferences and should be something to consider before purchasing.
- Foam: This is a popular material that is commonly found in mattresses and pillows due to its cushioning features. Many eye masks include memory foam which can offer a supportive yet comfortable feel. Moreover, foam can be used to contour eye masks around the nose and eyes to help relieve pressure.
- Silk: Commonly used in traditional eye masks as it can feel gentle and soft on the skin. If you want a smoother and more luxurious feel, you may consider purchasing an eye mask that uses mulberry silk, renowned for being the highest quality of silk. Although bare in mind, silk eye masks often lay flat across the eyes, so perhaps not ideal for those who blink or twitch a lot in the night.
- Satin: This material is typically a combination of cotton and silk, and can offer a soft feel with a smooth surface. For hot sleepers, satin tends to be lightweight and breathable. Satin is also known for having a similar feeling to silk, but often with a cheaper price tag.
- Bamboo: There is growing popularity surrounding this material as it is appearing in many sleep accessories, such as bamboo mattress toppers and bamboo pillows. It is frequently marketed as an eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to other materials, often with anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic properties.
- Gel: Eye masks including gel could be a good option for hot sleepers, as the material is known for its cooling properties. Due to this, many gel eye masks claim to reduce eye puffiness and dark circles.
Sleeping Eye Mask Considerations
Buying a sleeping eye mask may seem like a quick and easy decision; however, there are a few things worth considering before parting with your cash. Factors such as design, material and extra features may make a difference, so it’s important to look at how your personal needs and preferences align with these considerations.
Certain materials, such as foam, can include contouring in the design of the mask. This is to allow space around the eyes and nose which can help to relieve pressure. However, be aware that sometimes the contouring may not align with your facial features, particularly around the nose and could therefore allow light in.
Many sleeping eye masks will include adjustable straps, which can be convenient as you can alter the size. Straps can use buckles or velcro, although the latter may not be ideal for those with longer hair as it could get caught in the velcro.
Back sleepers may want to avoid straps with a buckle, as it may dig into the back of the head. Likewise, side sleepers or front sleepers may consider avoiding masks with firmer or more bulky contoured edges, which may put pressure on the side or front of the head.
While many will be satisfied with a traditional eye sleeping mask, some more advanced options are available if you’re willing to spurge. Extra features can include added scents, massaging features and even built-in Bluetooth receivers for those who prefer music to send them to sleep.
For many, the main reason for purchasing an eye mask is to block out the light. So aside from all the extra features, make sure to check reviews and consider the design elements which focus on light blocking.
Benefits Of A Sleeping Eye Mask
One of the most common reasons for buying an eye mask for sleeping is to help block out light and improve sleep quality. However, based on what you're searching for, there could be other benefits that may be appealing.
“Putting on an eye cover for sleep can be part of a calming bedtime routine that conditions your brain to recognize everything’s safe, calm and comfortable. Your routine tells the brain it’s time to shut off and let sleep come”Sleep Expert, Samuel Gurevich, MD.
- Eye masks can help to block out light and prevent you from waking up too early
- The light blockage can aid your circadian rhythm and may improve sleep quality
- Useful for travelling, particularly when you don’t want to be disturbed on a plane or public transport
- Eye masks could be beneficial for those who suffer from light-sensitive headaches or migraines
- Cooling eye masks may help to reduce puffiness or eye swelling. Try using a gel eye mask for increased cooling effects.
Downsides Of A Sleeping Mask
Admittedly, there should be little to no serious side effects when it comes to wearing a face mask. However, there are some points that may prove bothersome for certain individuals and are therefore worth considering.
- Eye masks which lay flat across the face may put pressure on the eyes and eyelashes. This could be an issue for those with eyelash extensions or for sleepers prone to eye twitching.
- When worn too tightly, eye masks may leave temporary lines and marks across the face
- For heavy sleepers, the lack of natural light to help awaken you, may cause you to oversleep
- Eye masks which use cheap or low quality materials may cause irritation for those with sensitive skin
- If the mask isn’t tight enough, it could fall off during the night and disrupt your sleep
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best eye mask for sleeping?
This can depend on your personal needs and preferences. If you prefer a contoured mask, foam may be a good option. Silk or satin may also benefit those who enjoy a smooth feel. Gel can be a good cooling mask, and bamboo could be a great eco-friendly option.
Where can I buy an eye mask?
Eye masks are available in many stores across the UK. They can be commonly found in department stores, as well as fashion, beauty and health stores. There are also plenty of options online, such as Amazon.
How to make an eye mask?
You can use fabric scissors to cut a couple of layers of cotton fabric into the desired shape and sew them together. Measure the head before attaching the elastic band, then sew to attach. There are more detailed tutorials available online.