The best eye masks for a great night's sleep


Struggling to fall asleep? Block out the light and doze off faster with our pick of the best eye masks

Slipping on the best eye mask is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get a better night’s sleep. By blocking out artificial light and keeping you in the dark until well beyond dawn, the best eye masks can make all the difference for people who struggle to get enough shut-eye, especially when working shifts.

And if you need a nap during the day, perhaps after gazing at your computer screen all morning, a blackout eye mask will help you nod off. Skip to our pick of the best blackout, contoured, adjustable silk and cotton eye masks below, or read on for our tips on how to choose your ideal eye mask for better sleep and well-rested peepers.

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Best eye mask: At a glance

How to choose the best eye mask for you

What should I look for when buying an eye mask?

Those flat, flimsy eye masks you get for free on hotel pillows and airplane seats (if you're lucky) are not really up to the job. All the eye masks we recommend below are made from more substantial layers of fabric, designed to block out all light without bothering you while falling asleep, even if you fidget. Here are a few other factors to look out for.

Contoured or 3D masks have cups that rest over your eyes. The idea is that your eyelashes have plenty of room to move, even if your eyes blink and move while you sleep (highly likely during REM dream sleep). The manufacturers of some contoured masks claim they can accommodate false eyelashes without messing up make-up – ideal for a power nap before a night out!

Adjustable straps help to ensure the mask stays in place while you snooze. A well-fitting mask won't just stay on your head all night, but it'll cover your eyes rather than ending up over one ear when you turn in your sleep. The right fit is also essential for comfort, of course.

Machine-washable fabric such as cotton is a bonus. Luxurious silk eye masks can be washed in some machines, but read the label. Hand-wash if in doubt.

Blackout power is really important in an eye mask. A couple of our recommended masks are described specifically as 'blackout eye masks', but any well-fitting multi-layered mask should block light to help you sleep.

Special inserts such as fragranced lavender inserts and cooling gel layers can boost an eye mask's slumber-power and help fend off puffy eyes in the morning. Just remember to remove these inserts before throwing the mask in the washing machine.

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The best eye masks you can buy in 2022

1. Bedtime Bliss Sleeping Mask: Best eye mask for a great night's sleep

Price: £7 | Buy now from Amazon

Less than a tenner for a contoured, adjustable, super-comfy and fully blackout eye mask? This mask is an absolute steal, especially considering you get a free carry case and ear plugs in the box. The soft cotton fabric feels comfy and cool, and it's contoured firmly enough to keep the mask away from your eyelashes and to allow plenty of room for the bridge of your nose. The mask is fully adjustable, thanks to the elastic strap, and stays snug and light-leak-free all night.

What’s more, this eye mask comes with a money back guarantee, promising a full refund if you’re not happy.

Key details – Material: Bamboo and cotton; Adjustable: Yes; Other colours available: No

2. Elizabeth Scarlett Sleep Mask: Best eye mask for travelling

Price: £25 | Buy now from Elizabeth Scarlett

Crafted from cotton with soft velvet on the other side, this eye mask is filled with lavender to help you drift off. It's not adjustable, but the elasticated headband keeps the mask in place without feeling too tight, and its large surface area ensures that your eyes are comfortably covered and kept in complete darkness throughout the night.

We’re big fans of the hand-illustrated embroidery, of which there are several beautiful designs to choose from. The mask comes in a lovely carrying pouch (in a matching Elizabeth Scarlett print) and would make a beautiful gift for a keen traveller.

Key details – Material: Cotton and polyester; Adjustable: No; Other colours available: Yes

Buy now from Elizabeth Scarlett

3. Slip Pure Silk Sleep Mask: Best luxury silk eye mask

Price: £50 | Buy now from Cult Beauty

Fifty pounds is a lot to spend on an eye mask, but this gorgeous pure silk number will make you feel like a million dollars as you drift off to the land of nod. You may find it slipping around a bit if you're a fidgety sleeper, but it's so wonderfully soft and weightless that you're likely to be asleep before it has a chance to move. The breathable fabric is cooling on the skin, so it's ideal for keeping you cool in the summer, and its malleable shape means it moulds to the contours of your face. Its light-blocking silk insert did a great job of screening out disturbances through the night, but we’d invest in a thicker sleep mask for daytime napping.

Overall, sleep masks don’t come any more luxurious than Slip’s range of silky bedtime accessories. Choose from classic navy and black, to lavish caramel and pink, or even make a statement with the marbled effect or embroidered options.

Key details – Material: Silk; Adjustable: No; Other colours available: Yes

Buy now from Cult Beauty

4. Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask: Best value silk eye mask

Price: From £8 | Buy now from Amazon

This 'super smooth' eye mask will bring a touch of luxury to your slumbers, without breaking the bank. Not only is it made from natural, cooling, breathable mulberry silk on both sides, but it's also a real looker, available in a range of designs, including one inspired by Van Gogh's Starry Night and another that bears the relatable motto: 'Leave Me Alone'. The headband is really easy to adjust so it fits you perfectly, and it provides full light-blocking for easy daytime naps. The only drawback is you should hand-wash it rather than throw it in the machine.

Key details – Material: Silk; Adjustable: Yes; Other colours available: Yes

5. Panda Bamboo Eye Mask: Best silk alternative

Price: From £18 | Buy now from Panda

As with many of Panda’s bedding and bathroom products, its eye mask is made from 100% bamboo, from the microfibre filling to its bamboo rayon outer. If you live a strict vegan lifestyle, then the Panda eye mask is a great alternative to silk (the production of which often involves the killing of the worms used), and we found it to be almost as smooth and soft.

It’s naturally antibacterial, hypoallergenic and, according to Panda, environmentally friendly. We don’t want to overstate the eco credentials of bamboo, since the sustainability of the material largely depends on how it is processed. However, Panda has a responsible environmental policy, which you can read about on the company’s website.

The Panda Bamboo Eye Mask is available in a choice of four colours, including the limited edition ‘Eclipse Black’ (which is ever so slightly pricier at £20), and comes with a matching travel bag, also made from bamboo.

Key features – Material: Bamboo; Adjustable: Yes; Other colours available: Yes

Image of Panda Bamboo Eye Mask (Urban Grey)

Panda Bamboo Eye Mask (Urban Grey)

£17.99 (£17.99 / count) Buy now

6. Smug 100% Blackout Sleep & Eye Mask: Best blackout eye mask for long eyelashes and design fans

Price: From £9 | Buy now from Amazon

We love the designs of these generously-contoured masks, which claim to be 100% blackout and 'eyelash friendly' (no more lashes that go bump in the night!). The fabric is soft but structured to give you plenty of room around the eyes as you sleep, while keeping all light firmly out. Some may find the mask a little too small for full blackout coverage, and the velcro in the adjustable strap may get tangled in long hair. But it's a great price, and the nine designs include hot pink, leopard skin and flamingos. Something for everyone, surely.

Key details - Material: Polyester; Adjustable: Yes; Other colours available: Yes

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