For 9-to-5 office workers or travelers, a short noon nap and flight sleep are precious. However, there is no guarantee that they can sleep in a totally dark environment. Luckily, we found this Inidea sleep mask that can help you fall asleep quickly even during the day.
It not only ensures that no light leak in from around your eyes, but also solves the problem that the light easily leaks in from the bottom of your nose. Another important advantage is that there is enough room between your eyes and eye cups, allowing you to open and blink your eyes while wearing it.
If you have trouble falling asleep all night, the easiest and most effective solution is to wear an SZJ sleep mask to sleep, which is made of soft natural silk. Its flat design makes it easily fit different people’s face. We believe anybody who wears it will praise how soft and smooth its silk fabric is.
Most importantly, its lack-of-structure design makes it won’t easily deform or fall off when you toss and turn. This means you can sleep with ease all night and don’t need to worry it would cause any disruption. Last but not least, its light-blocking effect is at the top level among similar sleep masks.
Who this is for
Getting quality sleep is essential in our lives, and is absolutely crucial to our physical and mental health. Insufficient sleep will cause a lot of troubles to our lives, and will ruin the following work or pleasant trip the next day. Even if many people have realized that there’re many risks if they’re lack of sleep, they still cannot find an effective solution. In fact, it’s not hard to improve your sleep quality. Many scientists’ researches indicate that a fully dark place helps people get better sleep. This is because when your brain senses you’re in a dark environment, melatonin begins to secrete. As the melatonin’s content raising, we can naturally fall asleep.
However, in our everyday life, it’s hard to control the lighting situation especially for business travelers and daytime sleepers who work at night. Thus, we need a sleep mask that can shut all light anytime and turn a place to total darkness in front of our eyes. The sleep mask creates an all-dark environment through blocking light, helping your body secrete melatonin and letting you fall asleep naturally.
Sleep masks can also help those who have a hard time sleeping all night at home. For these people, even very weak light may be their sleep disruptor. Of course, the best way to solve all problems once and for all is to install blackout curtains in your bedroom. However, purchasing a sleep mask is the simplest solution and costs way less. After all, for most people, nothing is better than an easy and quick path.
How we picked
Choosing sleep masks is not like choosing a lot of electronic products, because we cannot judge a sleep mask’s quality by its specification and performance. Thus, based on our real-world experience, we get to know in what situations we need sleep masks. Finally, we categorized them into two types that are suitable for travel and daytime napping and suitable for night time use. After that, we bought 27 models of sleep masks on e-commerce sites like Taobao, Jingdong, Amazon, Aliexpress, and Souq.com, and did tests to them according to the following criteria.
All sleep masks we bought back to test.
Since sleep masks are used to improve your sleep quality, light-blocking performance is your top priority when purchasing. Light-blocking performance means whether a sleep mask conform to fit your face, especially your nose bridge and nose wings (where light leak in more easily) to avoid light leaking. Second, it’s also important that whether the material itself has light-leaking problem.
Meanwhile, you also need to consider the light-blocking requirement for your sleep environment. When you’re in a fully dark place, a simple sleep mask that can keep out most light meets your need. However, if you’re in a very bright office napping, you need to get a sleep mask that can effectively keep out all the light.
The reason we buy a sleep mask is to get better sleep, but if the sleep mask is too tight to affect our rest, the game is not worth the candle. Thus, we think the best sleep mask should allow people to adjust according to their face shapes and head sizes. Most sleep masks on the market are Velcro adjusted or buckled adjusted. Generally speaking, their adjustable range should be large enough and won’t affect your comfort.
Velcro strap (up) and buckled strap (down)
Soft and breathable fabric
Sleep masks conform to fit around our eyes, which are sensitive, so the fabric is very important. First, the softer, the better, so that we don’t feel wearing something. Second, on a hot summer day, some masks will trap more heat, which makes us don’t want to use them at all. Thus, breathable material is vital. We think natural silk will make our eyes more comfortable without feeling blistering on our face.
We think natural silk will make our eyes more comfortable without feeling blistering on our face.
Leaving some space between a sleep mask and your eyes is beneficial. This will let your eyes open or blink in enough space and it won’t apply pressure to your eyes. Besides, people who usually wear makeup would love this design as it will not smudge your eye makeup.
This will let your eyes open or blink in enough space and it won’t apply pressure to your eyes.
The size of a sleep mask is also an important factor. If it is too small, you need to constantly adjust it until it gives a perfect fit to keep out light effectively. And it is hard to fit a big-head size. However, the big size is not definitely the best. Wearing a too-big sleep mask for too long will cause obvious feeling of blistering.
The best sleep mask helps you fall asleep naturally without feeling it. Thus, we think a sleep mask the lighter, the better.
For your belongings, keeping them clean is the most important. Thus, sleep masks should be washable (with your hands). Of course, it would be the best if you can just throw them in a washing machine.
At the beginning, we did not consider this feature as one of our selection criteria, and the smell is rarely mentioned in consumer feedbacks on many e-commerce sites. After all, very few consumers like us will buy so many masks at different prices. However, when we got those eye masks with pungent or sweat-like smells, we think the smell of an eye mask is also a point we need to pay attention to. Those strange smells will make you have no desire to wear it at all. You don’t want to put other person’s after-workout clothes on your face, right?
How we tested
First, we washed all sleep masks to make sure they could survive from daily cleaning without being out of shape. Then, we did two rounds of tests to find products that are worth our recommendations. To test these sleep masks’ performance on different face shapes, we asked six of our colleagues to be testing members.
In the first round of test, we let these six colleagues sit in a bright office testing these 27 models, and record the suitable level and light-blocking effect of each sleep mask. Then each person picked their two favorite models. In this round, we eliminated those products with bad quality, that were not breathable, adjustable and performed bad in light-blocking.
Six testers sitting in a bright office to test.
In the second round of test, we tested if testers would feel uncomfortable wearing these sleep masks to sleep on bed for a long time, as well as if the sleep mask would move or fall off when toss and turn. Thus, we did a night sleep test to the remaining winners —— each colleague wore each sleep mask for a couple of nights. Finally, we found those sleep masks that keep us sleep sweet during all night.
In addition, we found an easy and effective way to verify if the material of eye masks is made of natural silk. We cut a part of the fabric of each eye mask and then burned it. In this process, if they’re natural silk, they will emit white smoke along with the smell of burning protein such as leather or hair. And if they’re fake silk, they will emit pungent black smoke after burning. Through this method, we found those sleep masks that are made of natural silk.
What we found & Our recommendations
Sleep masks are not some new technology products, and many people think picking a good sleep mask is not something difficult. However, after our tests, we found that there are still many points that are worth your notice when purchasing.First, whatever style it is, an adjustable strap is necessary. Otherwise, people who have different head sizes would complain about the strong tightness feeling, and also the great pressure that adds to eyes. We considered that buckled strap and Velcro strap are both good ways to adjust because they can adjust conveniently without affecting the comfortability. Besides, we noticed that some feedbacks on Amazon said the Velcro adjustment would tangle in your hair. However, after our testing, we found no situation like this happened. Plus, we don’t think it has a great impact on real-world usage. Yet buckled strap is still more convenient than Velcro strap because once you adjust it to your perfect fit, you don’t need to adjust it every time you wear it.Our recommendation: We need to avoid to purchase those masks with non-adjustable strap and elastic strap. Elastic straps claim that they can adjust according to your head size, but they have limited adjustable range. If people who have a larger head, they will feel obvious tight and hurt on the back of their head.
We need to avoid to purchase those masks with not-adjustable strap and elastic strap.
Second, most sleep masks easily let light in from the positions of nose bridge or nose wings. For the light-leaking problem, different manufacturers have different solutions. Commonly, they design nose-shaped masks to try to cover our nose. However, people have different nose shapes, and this design is hard to guarantee to create a fully dark environment for most people. The other problem is that this raised part of many eye masks is easy to be out of shape. Thus, you never expect they can cover your nose to block light.
Our recommendation: During our test, we found a brilliant solution. By thickening the part where touches your nose bridge, it well solves the light-leaking problem of the nose area. This design makes a sleep mask fit your nose bridge more naturally, reducing the brightness and even creating an all-dark environment. And so far, it’s the most effective solution we could find to fit more face and nose shapes.
By thickening the part where touches your nose bridge, it well solves the light-leaking problem of the nose area.
Third, though most sleep masks cannot avoid the light-leaking problem, their light-blocking performance still varies. After our test, we found that the light-blocking effect is decided by the color and light-through performance. And the color of a sleep mask is a key factor. Many consumers buy eye masks with light colors such as pink, campaign gold for the nice look. However, through our test, light color masks will water down the light-blocking effect. Plus, though regular sleep masks are hard to block 100% light, they’re more suitable to use during night time sleep. This is because their lack-of-structure design makes it hard to deform or fall off when your toss and turn. And usually it’s dark at night, so you won’t notice the slight light from the bottom of your nose bridge.
Our recommendation: When purchasing sleep masks, we should choose dark colors as much as possible (like black, dark blue), at least for the inner layer.
Light color masks will water down the light-blocking effect.
Fourth, we bought many sleep masks at different prices and we found the fabrics don’t vary too much despite that the prices vary dramatically. There are many sleep masks made of natural silk, but the price varies greatly in the same style. From the perspective of fabric, no matter a sleep mask is pricey or cheap, there is no obvious difference in comfortability. In fact, natural silk doesn’t cost much, so it’s not necessary for us to buy expensive natural silk sleep masks.
Our recommendation: The price of natural silk sleep masks varies greatly, and the premium pricing of brands is serious. Thus, we should avoid purchasing those crazily expensive sleep masks. They’re not worth the high price you paid.
Our pick for travel and daytime napping
Our Pick: Inidea 3D Contoured Sleep Mask
You’ll love using Inidea sleep mask during a trip or a short nap, because it allows you to sleep comfortably in a totally dark environment, so that you will still stay energetic in the continued journey or work. Especially when you want to sleep in your makeup, Inidea sleep mask’s deep eyecups ensure that your eye makeup won’t be smudged.
Inidea allows you to sleep comfortably in a totally dark environment.
From now on, no more light will disturb your sleep.
At first, we think all sleep masks are hard to avoid the light-leaking problem in the position of your nose bridge and nose wings, until we found this Inidea sleep mask. Our colleagues excitedly reported that the design of this mask can create a complete total-dark space. This benefits from the design of the a-bit-thickened part where touches your nose bridge. Thus, it can create a total dark environment for people with a variety of face shapes. Other masks try to cover your nose with the nose-shaped design, but it doesn’t work well because the part of nose wings is easy to be out of shape.
The design of this mask can create a complete total dark environment.
It leaves ample breathing room for your eyes.
If you tried sleep masks with the flat design before and you didn’t like the pressure that added to your eyes, this Inidea sleep mask offers extra space for you and make you feel relief. Inidea’s deep eyecups save ample room for your eyes to breathe, allowing you to open and blink your eyes. One of our colleagues said only this design can make his eyes relaxed all the way and take a nap more quickly. In addition, our female colleagues also love to try this sleep mask because they don’t need to worry their makeup will be smudged. Thus, Inidea can extend our sleeping time as much as possible and reduce our re-makeup time too.
Female will love to use this sleep mask because they don’t need to worry their makeup will be smudged.
You’ll probably forget you’re wearing it.
You can easily adjust Inidea’s Velcro strap to fit your head. And when you find your perfect fit, Indiea’s great comfortability lets you forget that you’re wearing a sleep mask. You won’t have any blistering feeling. You would love to wear it to your sweet dreams. After two rounds of tests, one of our colleagues fell in love with it and soon added this product to his shopping cart.
You can easily adjust Inidea’s Velcro strap to fit your head.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
For travelers who usually sleep sitting upright on a flight, Inidea is a perfect mask. However, it’s not suitable to be your nighttime sleeping companion during the long night, especially for side sleepers. Once you sleep on one side and your face is against a pillow, the eye mask is not easy to conform with your face. Compared to the flat design, it’s also easier to move or fall off due to tossing and turning. However, this more depends on one’s sleeping habits and postures. If you need a sleep mask for nighttime use, we recommend you to choose SZJ sleep mask, which is more smooth and universal fit.
Our pick for nighttime use
Our Pick: SZJ 100% Silk Sleep Mask
If you have hard time falling asleep all night at home, your easiest and most effective solution is to wear an SZJ sleep mask to sleep. Just like many premium bedding, SZJ sleep mask is made of natural silk, which is soft and skin friendly. And its flat design makes it won’t easy to move or drift off when you toss and turn. This means you can wear it to sleep with comfort all night without worrying it will disrupt you.
You can wear it to sleep with comfort all night without worrying it will disrupt you.
Soft and skin-friendly genuine silk
Though we think Inidea’s material is comfortable enough, apparently our skin prefers SZJ’s natural silk material. In our test, after we burnt SZJ, it emitted white smoke with the burning smell of protein such as leather or hair. This means that it’s made of natural silk on both sides. Therefore, we did not feel blistering when we wore it for a long time. We believe that you will be happy to use it even on hot summer days. This surprised us because SZJ can provide such great quality of smooth silk at this price, which is comparable with the priciest sleep masks we tested.
SZJ sleep mask is made of natural silk, which is soft and skin friendly.
It fits almost all face shapes.
If convex sleep masks don’t fit your face, SZJ would be a great choice, because its flat design fits almost any face shapes and nose shapes. Most importantly, its lack-of-structure design is also more suitable for you to sleep at night. Undeniably, it’s likely that the light will leak in from the bottom of your nose as other regular sleep masks (this depends on your face shape). However, this is not fatal during your nighttime sleep, not to mention its light-blocking effect is at the top level among similar sleep masks. After you wear it, there is no way that the light can leak in from your eyes.
Its flat design fits almost any face shapes and nose shapes.
We also love its strap, which is adjusted with a small plastic buckle. This design won’t tangle in our hair and the buckle is too small to be noticed when you sleep. Its adjustable strap and the area of the eye cover are enough to fit different people’s face. Thus, no matter it is a large head or a small head, our colleagues love to wear it, and they didn’t complain there was anything uncomfortable.
This design won’t tangle in our hair and the buckle is too small to be noticed when you sleep.
There are many similar sleep masks like SZJ on the market, but we believe you’re hard to find products that feature comfortable fabric, excellent light-blocking effect, and affordable price.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Compared to convex sleep masks, it does add pressure to our eyes. However, our colleagues still love to use this flat sleep mask while sleeping. After hours of sleep, it doesn’t cause any discomfort to our eyes.
Our pick for travel and daytime napping
Bedtime Bliss sleep mask: This contoured sleep mask sells very well on Amazon. It solves the light-leaking problem of the nose with the nose-shaped design. Though compared to other sleep masks that share the same design, the raised part of the nose is not so easy to get deformed. However, everybody has a different nose shape, and this design is still hard to guarantee to create an all-dark environment for most people.
Inidea Air sleep mask: It belongs to the same serious of Inidea which we recommended. The difference is that this model has a smaller size. And it’s covering area and the raised part of the eye area are both smaller than our pick. Thus, we prefer the option with more space for your eyes to blink. Besides, the nose area is designed to be tall that it’s not able to keep out light from your nose.
Travellight sleep mask: The nose area adopts an empty design, which is hard to block light from your nose. And one of our colleagues complained that its edge is sharp which will hurt our skin (especially the nose) and make us feel uncomfortable.
Epc sleep mask: Its design is very similar to Travellight, and they both exist the same problem.
SHUERKE sleep mask: It solves the light-leaking problem by the nose-shaped design. Apparently, this design doesn’t fit most people’s nose. More fatally, its raised material is easy to get deformed. Thus, you never expect it will keep out all the light for you.
SHUERKE super soft sleep mask: As an upgraded version from the last model, it doesn’t well solve the problem we mentioned before. It only enhanced the material a little bit, which makes the whole sleep mask lighter.
LING TING sleep mask: Its overall size is the biggest in this category, and its material is soft enough. But, it’s a pity that it still doesn’t solve the light-leaking problem from the nose.
GEERBENO sleep mask: It is the cheapest model in this category. However, it didn’t bring us much surprise. Besides the light-leaking problem we mentioned above, its built quality is rough.
Our pick for nighttime use
NANJIREN sleep mask: It has comfortable fabric and excellent light-blocking effect. It’s a perfect sleep mask for people who have a small head. We wanted to choose it as our pick, but we found its adjustable range and eye-covering area are not as big as our pick. This means it’s not friendly for big face people. Thus, we finally picked SZJ which also performs well in every other way.
JIAJIALIN sleep mask: It sells very well on Jingdong, but what disappointed us was that its light-blocking performance was not good in this category.
Duonisha sleep mask: This mask feels thin, and when you wear it, it has a bad light-blocking effect. So, we eliminated it soon.
JINSANTA sleep mask: Although it has a good light-blocking effect, it’s still not as good as SZJ. Thus, we have no reason to spend twice the price of SZJ for it.
Silk Eye Shade sleep mask: It’s comparable with SZJ in every way, but it sells for 60 RMB. This reflects on the side that it’s amazing for SZJ to provide such good quality at such low price.
TAOBAO PICK sleep mask: Now, more and more famous e-commerce sites have their own brands, like AmazonBasics, which is a classic example. Undeniably, many products that feature both premium quality and reasonable price. However, this sleep mask kind of disappointed us. We bought a pink model to test this time, and its inner layer was also pink. This causes its terrible light-blocking effect. Besides, its elastic strap is too tight to wear it comfortably on our head.
ALASKA BEAR sleep mask: This sleep mask also sells great and has good reputation on Amazon. Its performance satisfies us in every way. To our surprise, the SZJ which is only one sixth of its price can also offer the same experience.
MANITO sleep mask: MANITO is a well-known brand that specializes in bedding. Many celebrities love to use its natural silk pajamas and eye masks. There is no doubt that its material is very soft and smooth. However, it’s apparent that it has serious premium brand pricing and the 300 RMB (- 170 AED) is daunting.
MOOYEE sleep mask: This sleep mask features terrible built quality. One of our colleagues complained that there is a small raised stick on the adjustable buckle. Every time he adjusts it, the stick hurts his hands.
HUIRUI sleep mask: When we first got it, it smelled strange, which gave us a bad impression. And its light-blocking performance has obvious difference compared to our pick during our test.
YUESHUO sleep mask: This is the cheap model we can usually get. Its terrible built-quality and the pungent smell caused us to abandon it very soon.
Booty sleep mask: After our two rounds of tests, our colleagues all had good feedbacks on it. Just the light-blocking performance is a bit worse than SZJ. If there is no SZJ, it would become our pick.
TANGX sleep mask: Before we began this test, our colleague already bought this sleep mask. At first, he thought all sleep masks were pretty much the same, so he picked a nice-looking model online. However, after he got the mask, he found that it didn’t help with his sleep at all, because it had bad light-blocking effect. When he tried SZJ, he regretted that he spent three times its price to buy this sleep mask.
Mejo sleep mask: There is a cool side and a warm side on this sleep mask, allowing us to use it according to our needs. This is a great idea and it does give us a feeling of cool or warmth. However, its wearing way made us unsatisfied. Its ear strap is uncomfortable to wear on ears for a long time.
SZJ dual side sleep mask: It also has the cool-and-warmth design. The difference is that it adds an adjustable round buckle to the ear strap. However, it’s not helpful to comfortability and the tight feeling still exists.
SLEEP MASTER sleep mask: It has a creative shape design, like a giant towel wrapping around your head. Undeniably, its material is soft enough and comfortable, but this design traps more heat easily than other sleep masks.
KANGFUTE sleep mask: It has similar design as SLEEP MASTER, but it’s cheaper. This makes its material less breathable and strengthens the warm feeling when you wear it.
HONEYWEST sleep mask: It performs the worst in comfortability of all sleep masks we tested. First, its elastic strap is very tight, which made us feel uncomfortable wearing on head. Second, its material is rough. One of our colleagues complained that he didn’t want the mask covering on his eyes at all.
TEMPUR sleep mask: Its padding is made of very thick memory foam, which features great flexibility. And its light-blocking performance is excellent. However, we don’t like its material. After wearing it, we would feel blistering.