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Sleep doesn’t get any easier over time. The slightest thing can keep us awake or disrupt an otherwise seamless slumber. That’s why people use things like noise machines and sleeping masks. As for the latter, finding the best sleeping mask typically starts with choosing the right material—and a comfortable one at that.
As it turns out, there are two comfortable and breathable options: Silk and cotton are your two go-to fabrics for any sleep mask, says New York City board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green. Silk takes top preference: “Silk is a great material for sleeping masks or eye masks because it is non-irritating, has a smooth surface that is comfortable on the delicate skin around the eyes, and is breathable and antimicrobial. This makes silk sleeping masks a great option for all skin types, including sensitive skin. Silk does not harbor bacteria, so it is also ideal for acne-prone skin.”
As for cotton, it is equally comfortable but might require even more cleaning or frequent replacements (luckily, it is usually less expensive than the silk options). “Cotton is a common material used for sleeping masks because it is soft, lightweight, and inexpensive,” Green says. “However, cotton is known for being very absorbent, which means it will absorb sweat as well as skincare products that remain on the skin.”
Dr. Green recommends cleaning the eye masks thoroughly (ideally daily, she says), in order to prevent the buildup of dirt, debris, makeup, bacteria and so forth. “This buildup can exacerbate acne and signs of aging,” she explains. “It is ideal to put the eye mask on clean skin, especially if the eye mask is reused for a few days in between washes.”
Here are the best sleeping masks—silk and cotton, of course—for you to consider. They’ll help block out any light, and will wear comfortably on your face meanwhile.
Slip Pure Silk Sleep Mask
Instead of reinventing the wheel, Slip just polished it and made it shine. They have this business down to a science, with a perfectly thick, soft, and strong silk mask that you’ll wonder why it took you 100s of redeyes to finally invest in a high-quality, no-gimmicks eye mask.
Ostrichpillow Ergonomic Eye Mask
Remember that pillow that makes its user look like an ostrich burrowed in the sand? Yeah, that wasn’t some one-trick pony. Ostrichpillow makes all kinds of comfy sleep supports, including this ergonomic cotton-lined eye mask that wraps around your head and comfortably adjusts to its contours. You’ll look like you’re playing a virtual reality game as you wear them, but in reality you’re virtually unconscious from the effective design.
Brooklinen Mulberry Silk Eyemask
Bedding pros Brooklinen have made a sleep mask every bit as sumptuous as their sheets. Mulberry silk wears gentle and cool against your face, and you can even pick from as many as 10 different colors and designs.
Drowsy Jade Silk Padded Sleep Mask
Drowsy’s adjustable, ultra-padded mulberry silk mask is like a 360-degree pillow for your face, and blocks light entirely with a broad, buffered perimeter. Imagine being in the window seat, pulling this down, leaning gently against the wall of the plane, and waking only when the flight lands.
Nodpod Dual-Sided Weighted Sleep Mask
Like a weighted blanket for your eyes, this strapless mask forms down to your face (ever so gently) to block out the light. It is double-sided to accommodate different temperatures; wear the jersey cotton side against your face for a cooler experience, and the microfleece side to keep things a little toastier. The cotton mask (including the interior beads) is machine washable, and its sides are hollowed out so that you can roll to either side without the weighted padding from the mask.
AllSaints Kim Tencel Lyocell & Silk Sleep Mask
A blend of eucalyptus-sourced tencel lyocell and silk, this satin-like mask is padded to wear soften against your mug, and its jungle design will tell other snot to disturb the lion as he sleeps.
Versace Medusa Silk Sleep Mask
Because, why not? This diamond-quilted sleep mask showcases the luxury label’s signature Crete de Fleur print. You’ll sleep in peace with Medusa as your guard, and will doze off faster than you can whisper “Versace, Versace, Versace”.
Lunya Wasgabke Silk Sleep Mask
This mulberry silk mask nestles neatly around your nose and wraps the sides of your head better than the competition. Minimal light entry plus a silky smooth fit equal a good night’s rest.