The 8 Best Sleep Masks I’ve Found For Light Blocking

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eight sleep masks on a table

In the photo above, you can see the exact sleep masks I bought and will be covering in this article. Left column, top to bottom: Manta, Alaska Bear, Barmy, Bedtime Bliss. Right column, top to bottom: Jersey Slumber, Medi Grade, Imak, Mavogel.

Light: can’t live without it, can’t sleep with it. So in those less than pitch black situations, a sleep mask can give you control over the balance between the light and dark.

I’ve tested many sleep masks in the years since starting this website and regularly try new ones. I use them when flying (on a plane, not in my superhero outfit), and if I need to sleep during the daytime.

I also ask my partner to test them to get a second opinion. She has long hair and prefers not to have to untangle it from the straps in the morning, so little details like the quality of the strap design matter to her.

In this review, I’ll be looking at three main styles: flat sleep masks that are practical for all sleep positions, contoured masks with more space for your eyelids and eyelashes, and weighted sleep masks that can be cooled beforehand.

I used all eight sleep masks naturally over the course of a year, as well as doing specific tests in the same light and bedroom conditions to get a clear idea of how they compare.


Overview of the sleep masks

Alaska Bear

alaska bear

Price: $

The Alaska Bear was the best sleep mask overall when I tested them in the same conditions and is currently my personal favorite. It has just the right balance of feeling soft and comfortable, blocking out light well in all sleep positions, and being reasonably priced. It’s made with a thin layer of silk on the outside and cotton fill on the inside, and I found I could comfortably wear it when sleeping on my side, front, and back. The strap is elastic and has a subtle adjustable slider buckle, with no velcro in sight. The one caveat is that it won’t be right if you need contours or cavities for your eyelashes because it sits flat over the eyes.


manta sleep mask

Price: $$

If you need some space for your eyelashes and eyelids to move around, the Manta is my top pick of the contoured sleep masks. It has very deep eye cups that can even be removed and repositioned to fit your facial features. The external material is soft to the touch, and the adjustable strap comes with reinforced elastic and micro hooks that are less likely to catch in your hair. I found it blocks out light very effectively when lying on my back. However, when lying on my side or front, I can feel the thick foam pressing against my face.


mavogel cotton sleep mask

Price: $

The Mavogel is the most comfortable cotton sleep mask I’ve tried. It feels soft and is very breathable, so it’s usable all year around. I particularly liked how it has a bendable nose piece to minimise light intrusion around the nose. The mask is made with a standard elastic strap and adjustable slider buckle. It does a good job of blocking out light when you’re lying on your back or side, but the nose piece might need some adjustment if you’re on your front.

Medi Grade

medi grade mask

Price: $

The Medi Grade isn’t officially medical grade, despite its name. However, it’s designed with gentle memory foam contours, allowing some freedom for your eyelids and eyelashes. Although it’s made from synthetic material, I found it to be surprisingly soft and comfy. The mask comes with an elastic strap as well as velcro for a snug fit, and it does a solid job of blocking out light. I think it’s another one that works best if you’re on your back, as lying on your side or front can make the foam more noticeable against your face.



Price: $$

The Barmy is my top choice of the weighted sleep masks. It weighs 0.8 pounds and provides gentle pressure around the eyes. You can also cool it in the fridge or freezer in the zip-lock bag it comes with. Personally, I like the combination of cooling and pressure, but I imagine it won’t be for everyone. When lying on your back, the light blocking is excellent, thanks to the beads that adapt to the shape of your face. However, its bulkiness can be less practical when lying on your side or front, making it perhaps more suited for short naps or relaxation sessions.


imak eye pillow

Price: $$

The Imak is another weighted sleep mask, but it’s more compact than the Barmy in both surface area and weight, at 0.5 lbs. The exterior is made from soft cotton, and it feels more breathable than the Barmy. It can also be cooled beforehand if you enjoy that. I find the Imak has excellent light blocking when lying on my back or side and is comfortable to wear in those positions. However, all the beads make it quite bulky, so it’s not ideal if you lie on your front as you’ll feel a lump on the side of your face.

Jersey Slumber

jersey slumber

Price: $

The Jersey Slumber has a similar shape and design to the Alaska Bear. while it looks good initially, the material doesn’t feel quite as soft though. The cut was also slightly different, and I didn’t find it to be as effective in blocking light when lying on my back. It was better on my side and front when I adjusted the position. On the plus side, it felt comfortable in all sleeping positions due to the lightweight material, thin elastic strap, and small slider buckle.

Bedtime Bliss

bedtime bliss

Price: $

The Bedtime Bliss was the least effective of the contoured sleep masks when I tried them in the same light conditions. However, that may be partly down to the fact that it doesn’t have a very flexible design, so it may fit some people’s facial structure better than mine (or my partner who wasn’t so impressed either). The eye cavities aren’t as deep as the Manta, it has a synthetic feel, and is hand wash only. So other than the low price, it wasn’t one either of us will be using again in a hurry.

Comparison tables

Table 1: Ratings

In table 1 below, I’ve given each sleep mask a score out of 10 in some key areas: how well they block light and how comfortable they are to wear in different sleep positions.

I wore each sleep mask for several consecutive nights to get a good idea of how comfortable they feel and how effective they are. I also asked my partner for her opinion before deciding on the scores.

The light blocking is based on two tests I did: how well they blocked out some daylight shining through the curtains in my bedroom at the same time of the day; and how well they blocked out my partner’s reading light in the nighttime.

The reason some of them have lower scores on your side or front is that the bulkier design raises the mask when you put the weight of your head on the side of the sleep mask.

The comfort score is based on several points combined: the softness of the material; the fit around the eyes and nose; and whether the strap or buckle press into your head.

The blue links will take you to Amazon.

Sleep maskLight blocking
on your back
Light blocking
on your side
or front
on back
Comfort on
side or front
Alaska Bear991010
Medi Grade101097
Jersey Slumber79910
Bedtime Bliss6688

Table 2: Key points to look out for

In table 2 below, you can compare the masks on some of the key points I look out for when testing them: how bulky they feel, the strap style, the materials used to make the mask, and whether the packaging can be recycled or is excessive.

Sleep maskLight
Alaska BearLight-Elastic
-Slider buckle
-Micro hooks
-Slider buckle
Medi GradeMedium-Elastic
-Micro hooks
ImakBulkyThin elasticCottonOkay
Jersey SlumberLight-Elastic
-Slider buckle
Bedtime BlissLight-Elastic

Table 3: Price

In table 3 below, you can compare the prices of the sleep masks in US dollars and British pounds.

The prices sometimes fluctuate throughout the year, so I thought it would be useful to provide a snapshot of the base prices on one day so you can see the price range you might expect to pay for a sleep mask. These prices were accurate on the day of my last article update – April 22, 2024.

Sleep maskUS dollarsGP pounds
Alaska Bear$9.99£9.99
Medi Grade$9.99£7.99
Jersey Slumber$8.89Unavailable
Bedtime Bliss$7.99£6.99

My video review

In the video below, I take a close up look at all the sleep masks in this article, with a focus on the design, materials, strap style, comfort, and light-blocking effectiveness. I also wear them in different sleeping positions so you can see how they look when worn in bed.

The sleep masks in detail

1. Alaska Bear

The best silk sleep mask. Ideal if you want one that’s comfortable to wear in all sleep positions.

photo of a man wearing the Alaska Bear sleep mask

The Alaska Bear is currently my personal favorite for one key reason: it has the best balance between light blocking and being comfortable to use in any sleeping position.

It doesn’t have contours, so if you need space for long eyelashes it might not be the one for you. But if you’re not worried about that and you’re a side or front sleeper like me, this is a very effective little sleep mask.

Materials and design

When I bought it, it came in a basic plastic wrapper with a little mesh bag that you can fold the mask tightly into. The mask is made from very soft mulberry silk on both sides, with some light cotton padding on the inside. It feels breathable to use, which is good in hot weather. I tried several other masks that looked just like this one, but none felt as soft.

The stitching is neat and feels robust, but like most sleep masks it’s hand wash only to keep it in good condition.

Strap style and size

The strap is made from simple nylon elastic, with a thin plastic adjuster. Many sleep masks have this type of adjuster and I don’t find they irritate my skin or snag hair. The adjustable strap means it will fit head sizes of 15.8 to 27.6 inch circumference.

In the photo below, you can see the Alaska Bear sleep mask, the carry case, and packaging.

alaska bear sleep mask with packaging

How well it blocks light

When I lie on my back, most of the light is blocked out, though some tiny slithers appear around the nose unless I tighten the strap. Personally, I prefer to keep it a bit looser because the light blocking is more than good enough when I close my eyes.

The main benefit is that I can lie on my side or front and still have excellent light blocking. And importantly, I can change positions without the mask sliding out of place as much as I find with many contoured sleep masks.


Overall, the balance of price, comfort, and light blocking, as well as the flexibility to use it in any sleeping position, makes the Alaska Bear a great choice. Just be aware that it doesn’t have contours, so it lies flat against your eyelashes and eyelids.


The Alaska Bear sleep mask is reasonably priced. You can usually find it for under £10 in the UK or under $10 dollars in the US.

2. Manta

The best contoured sleep mask, with deep eye cups that allow plenty of space for your eyes and eyelashes.

man wearing the Manta sleep mask

The Manta is one of the largest sleep masks, and kind of looks like it belongs more with a superhero outfit than pajamas. However, it’s also a very effective sleep mask. It’s comfortable to use because of the soft material, it has very deep eye sockets, and provides superb light blocking.

Materials and design

It comes in a sturdy box that can be recycled, with a mesh carry bag, and conveniently it can be machine washed.

What makes the Manta unique is that the eye cups can be repositioned to match your facial structure. The cups are made from soft foam with modal fabric on the outside that feels very soft on the skin. At 0.71 inches deep, they’re the biggest eye cavities I’ve seen in a sleep mask.

Strap style and size

The strap is very sturdy with reinforced elastic that’s much stronger than the thinner nylon straps of many masks, and a micro hook fastening system on the back that doesn’t snag hair like basic velcro does. The company says it will suit head circumferences between 15 and 20 inches.

Below, you can see the Manta sleep mask, the mesh carry case, and box it came in.

Manta sleep mask, box and case

How well it blocks light

I really like the Manta if I’m just having a nap on my back because it blocks out 100% of even the brightest light. I don’t need to faff around to find the perfect position either. I just lie down, put it on and the light’s gone. It feels very comfortable to wear and the foam cups put minimal pressure on my face.

If I lie on my side, I do find some light creeps in around the nose though, which is very common with sleep masks. A more important issue when you’re on your side is that the foam feels a bit lumpy on the side of your face. It’s not uncomfortable, but it is noticeable. And when you lie on your front it’s even more noticeable.


The manta sleep mask could be an excellent choice for people who sleep on their back and need the most space possible for their eyelids or eyelashes. Some people will be okay with it on their side too, but side or front sleepers are taking a bit of a risk with this one and a simpler mask with less engineering might be better.


The Manta is one of the more expensive sleep masks I’ve tried, costing between £30 and £40 pounds in the UK, and also between $35 and $40 in the US or Canada.

3. Mavogel

The best cotton sleep mask, with a bendable nose cartilage to help block out light.

man wearing the Mavogel cotton sleep mask

If you’d like a soft sleep mask that’s made of cotton rather than silk, the Mavogel could be one to try. A key feature is that it has a bending cartilage around the nose area, which is good for blocking out the slithers of light that tend to creep in.

Materials and design

The Mavogel came in a neatly presented cardboard box. However, the mask itself was inside a fabric bag, with a plastic wrapper and an extra carry case. So including the Amazon box, that’s five layers, which isn’t the most eco-friendly.

The exterior of the mask is cotton and feels soft, with cotton filler and a thin sponge layer around the outside. That stops it from pressing into your eyes as much as some of the thinner masks do.

It’s more breathable than the thicker foam masks, but not as breathable as the thin silk ones, like the Alaska Bear. Inside the nose piece, there’s a thin bendable piece of metal that feels about the width of a paperclip, but it’s more flexible. It means you can bend it over your nose to help block out even more light and it works quite well.

Below, you can see the Mavogel sleep mask, the case, and packaging (which seemed a bit excessive to me).

mavogel sleep mask, box and case

Strap style and size

The strap is elastic, with a standard plastic buckle, and it will fit head sizes from 19 to 29 inches. The stitching is reasonably good so I imagine it will last a good length of time, as long as the elastic isn’t stretched to its max a lot.

How well it blocks light

When I’m on my back, I can get nearly 100% light blocking with the Mavogel if I get the nose cartilage in the right place, and that’s good enough for me when I have my eyes closed too.

When I lie on my side or front, the light blocking can be good too. But I often need to readjust it when I change positions if I’m still awake otherwise I do notice the light around the nose bouncing off the light grey material.


If you have sinus problems or a sensitive nose you might want to avoid this one because of the way the cartilage lies against your skin. Otherwise, I think the Mavogel is a good sleep mask if you prefer flatter designs over contoured ones and would rather have cotton than silk on the exterior.


It currently sells for just under £9 in the UK, and just under $10 in the US and Canada.

Medi Grade

Gentle contours and excellent light blocking.

man using the Medi Grade sleep mask

The Medi Grade has a contoured design, with memory foam that creates space for the eyelids and eyelashes to move around. But what I like most about it is that the nose piece is really well designed, and it meant that I could get 100% light blocking on my front, my side, or my back, which is quite unusual for a sleep mask.

However, despite how amazing the light blocking is, I do have a bit of a love-hate relationship with this one.

Materials and design

My main criticism of the Medi Grade is that it came with loads of bits and pieces that I just didn’t use. The recyclable cardboard box and useful carry case are fine. But the not very good earplugs, the two plastic earplug carry boxes, the carabiner, and a bag with five hair clips felt superfluous, especially for me with my lack of long hair.

As for the mask, I really like the design and the shape though. It molds well to my face, and the material that sits over the nose is comfortable and very effective. I couldn’t find any information in the packaging or online about the exact materials used. It has a soft but slightly synthetic feel and is less breathable than the silk masks, and it’s hand wash only.

Below, you can see how many bits and pieces came with the Medi Grade sleep mask. Perhaps you’ll use them all. Personally, the hair bands don’t suit my short hair!

Medi Grade mask, packaging, and all pieces included

Strap style and size

The strap is a combination of elastic and velcro and seems robust, but if you have a large head there will be quite a lot of exposed velcro to potentially get hair caught in. They don’t say what head sizes it will fit, but I’d say it’s best for medium to larger sizes compared to the other sleep masks.

How well it blocks light

The light blocking with the Medi Grade sleep mask was total in all sleep positions for me. When I’m on my back it’s very comfortable to use, although I do need to tie it fairly tightly to get complete light blocking. It’s slightly less comfortable on your side or front because the memory foam and strap create bulk on the side of your face.


Overall, if you’d like some shallow contours for your eyes and very effective light blocking, the Medi Grade sleep mask is one to try. It might not be right though if you don’t like velcro, bulkier material when you’re on your side, or are environmentally conscious.


I bought it for under £10 in the UK. It typically costs under $10 in the US and Canada.


The best weighted sleep mask that can also be cooled.

Man using the Barmy weighted sleep mask

The Barmy is the first of two weighted sleep masks I’ll be discussing. It weighs 0.8 pounds and you can put it in the freezer for a couple of hours before using it to get a cooling effect.

The combination of cooling and weighted pressure around the eyes is supposed to help with relaxation and headache relief, as well as light blocking. However, I don’t really suffer from headaches so I can’t comment on that point. But what I can say is that the light blocking with this one is fantastic.

Materials and design

It came in a plastic Ziplock bag to keep it clean when you cool it in the freezer. I found that the cooling effect lasts for around 20 to 30 minutes on average before your body heat and room temperature warm it up again.

The exterior material is viscose derived from bamboo on the side that goes over your eyes, and polyester around the front and the strap. It feels very soft against the skin, but it’s not so breathable because of the microfleece material and all the glass beads on the inside.

You can unzip it to remove the inner weighted section and conveniently machine wash the outside part. I like how the beads are sewn into pockets around the edges so they put pressure around your eyes but not directly onto them.

Below, you can see the Barmy sleep mask and the plastic case you can use to keep it clean if you want to cool it in the freezer.

Barmy sleep mask and case

Strap style and size

The strap is part elastic and part micro hooks, and it’s designed to fit head sizes from 21 to 24 inch circumference.

How well it blocks light

When I lie on my back, the light blocking is amazing with the Barmy. It easily blocks out 100% of the light, with minimal adjusting. However, I found it virtually unusable on my side or front because it’s just too lumpy.


Like many of the bulkier sleep masks, I think the Barmy is really good for short naps on your back. I found the combination of 100% light blocking and cooling to be excellent, but I wouldn’t recommend it for longer periods of sleep. I also don’t think it’s good in the seated position because the weight obstructs nasal breathing.


The Barmy costs a little under $25 dollars in the US and Canada. It isn’t always available in the UK locally though, and you may end up paying more to ship it from the US if it’s out of stock.

Imak eye pillow

A weighted sleep mask with a cool cotton exterior.

Man wearing the Imak eye pillow

The Imak eye pillow is similar to the Barmy in that it’s a weighted sleep mask and can also be cooled in the freezer before you use it. It weighs 0.5 pounds compared to the 0.8 of the Barmy, and the overall surface area is also smaller than the Barmy, so it’s more compact.

Materials and design

It came in a recyclable cardboard box, and the manufacturer says the plastic ergo beads that create the weight can also be recycled.

It comes with a basic plastic bag to keep it clean when cooling it in the freezer. I found the cooling effect lasts for around 20 minutes on average, which is nice for a nap, but that’s about it.

Below is the Imak eye pillow, the box it came in, and a simple plastic bag to cool it in the freezer.

imak eye pillow with box and carry bag

I couldn’t find a listing of the exact material, which seems to be a common theme with these sleep masks. I believe the exterior material is cotton and it feels very soft on the skin.

There are some indentations for the eyes and there’s a bit more space for eyelids to move around than the Barmy. The stitching on the inside of the pockets is a bit untidy though, which is a shame, but I like how they’ve kept the beads around the edges to provide the pressure around the eyes and not directly onto them.

Strap style and size

The strap is my biggest concern with the Imak eye mask. It’s made from very thin elastic, with no adjuster. On the plus side, it should stretch to fit any head size. Having said that, if you have a larger head the constant stretching is going to stress the elastic eventually.

How well it blocks light

On my back, I found that the light blocking is excellent. With a bit of adjusting to find the right position, I can get 100% light blocking, which is great.

On my side, I could also adjust it to get 100% light blocking, which surprised me. It’s comfortable on your side too because you can carefully position it to not have any lumps under your face. On my front though, it’s completely unusable because you really feel those lumps.


On balance, if the strap were better I’d choose the Imak over the Barmy because I prefer the material, the eye cavities are deeper, and it costs less, but that flimsy strap is a real concern.

If you only plan on using it from time to time when having a nap, or for headache relief, perhaps you might like it. But as a nightly sleep mask, I’m not convinced it’s the best choice.

Having said all that, this is my partner’s favorite sleep mask to use when an early summer sunrise wakes her up because she loves the feel of the material and the weight. That just goes to show how different masks will appeal to different people.


The Imak costs around $15 in the US and just under £23 in the UK.

Jersey Slumber

A simple, flat sleep mask.

Man wearing the Jersey Slumber sleep mask

The jersey slumber sleep mask looks very similar to the Alaska Bear. It has the same flat design, it’s made from silk (apparently…) and it also has a slider buckle. However, the overall quality of the design just didn’t strike me as being as good as the Alaska Bear.

Materials and design

It came in a single use plastic bag, with no carry case. The manufacturer says the material is 100% mulberry silk. Although it does feel soft, it’s not as smooth or breathable as the Alaska Bear so I’m not entirely convinced about the quality of the silk. They say you can machine wash it cold though, which is convenient.

Below, you can see the Jersey Slumber sleep mask and the basic packaging it came in.

Jersey Slumber sleep mask and packaging

The stitching around the edges seems robust, so it should last a good length of time. Oddly, the mask seems to have been cut larger on one side and it’s visibly uneven, which again makes me question the overall quality.

Strap style and size

It has a similar strap design to the Alaska Bear, combining elastic and the slider buckle. The maximum circumference is smaller though, and although they don’t list the head sizes it will fit, I calculated that it should fit head sizes in the 16 to 24 inch range.

How well it blocks light

When lying on my back, it was one of the least effective sleep masks at blocking light. Quite a lot of light came in around the nose, which may be because of my face shape, but the lack of an adjustable nose piece means I just couldn’t get a better fit.

On my side, I could get better light blocking, and with my eyes closed the light didn’t disturb me at all. Unexpectedly, it was actually really good when lying on my front. I was able to get 100% light blocking with some adjusting. Importantly, it was very comfortable to wear in all sleeping positions.


The Jersey Slumber might be a good option for front sleepers who’d like a flat sleep mask that doesn’t feel lumpy. But I think I’d still go with the Alaska Bear because of the overall quality. However, it’s worth considering if you’d like to try more than one to see which one fits your facial features best.


It costs under $10 in the US and Canada. I haven’t seen it sold online in the UK in recent months though.

Bedtime Bliss

The lowest priced contoured sleep mask.

Man sleeping while wearing the Bedtime Bliss sleep mask

The Bedtime Bliss is a contoured sleep mask that looks and feels quite basic compared to the ones I’ve already discussed. The eye pockets aren’t as deep as the Manta, but they are more spacious than the Medi Grade.

This isn’t one I’ve had the most success with myself though, and I think the lack of flexibility around the nose area means it’s one that either will or won’t suit your face shape.

Materials and design

It came in a recyclable box with a tiny carry bag you can roll it tightly into. Unfortunately, it also looks and feels quite cheaply made compared to the previous sleep masks.

Below is a photo of the Bedtime Bliss sleep mask, and box and soft carry case.

BedtimeBliss with box and carry bag

It looks like the edges have been sealed with heat rather than stitched. The strap also has minimal stitching to hold it in place, so I’m not sure it’s as robust as it could be.

They don’t list the materials used, but it feels synthetic and isn’t as soft as the previous sleep masks in this article. It’s hand wash only and I wouldn’t recommend chancing it in a washing machine.

Strap style and size

The strap is elastic, and has quite thick velcro to fasten it that creates a lump you feel on the back of your head. They don’t list the head sizes it’s made for, but I’d say it will fit most head sizes, except perhaps the very largest.

How well it blocks light

On my back, which is the position I find sleep masks most effective usually, I’d say it only blocked out 80% of the light. Even with my eyes closed, I could still feel the light coming through.

On my side and front, it was a similar story, but at least it was relatively comfortable to use on my side or front because the material is quite thin on the side of the face.


This might be one to consider if your plan is to try a wide range of contoured sleep masks to find the right one for your face shape. But if you’re trying to get it right the first time, I think there are higher quality and more effective sleep masks that are equally low cost.


The Bedtime Bliss is an affordable sleep mask, often costing under £8 in the UK, and under $10 in the US and Canada.

Extra notes

Where else to buy sleep masks

I bought all of the masks myself from Amazon, so I know what you get when you order from there. If you prefer, there are other stores you can get sleep masks from. Some of the ones I’ve discussed can be found on eBay, though the last time I checked they were cheaper on Amazon.

In the US, you could check Walmart and Target, both of which sell plenty of low-cost styles. In the UK, try John Lewes to compare different styles.

Some fashion brands make their own sleep masks, so you could try the website of your favorite brand websites.

You could also have a look on Etsy if you prefer to buy from smaller companies or individuals. It’s also a place to check for sleep masks made from more eco-friendly or recycled materials.

If you’re a dab hand with a needle and thread, try searching YouTube for phrases such as ‘DIY sleep mask’ or ‘make your own sleep mask’ and you’ll find tons of tutorials.

And if all else fails, my partner has been known to borrow one of my black T-shirts from time to time, roll that up, and not worry about her hair getting caught in the straps or velcro.

When companies change the design

Over the years that I’ve been testing and reviewing sleep masks, I’ve noticed that some manufacturers appear to make periodic changes to the existing designs sold on Amazon.

Sometimes the changes are relatively small, such as the color of the fabric or the size of the strap. Occasionally they make bigger changes, such as adding contours or a double strap.

For example, the Alaska Bear comes in several different versions now, and I’ve seen a couple of those versions change over time too. So if one of the links in this article doesn’t go to a mask that looks identical to the one in my photos, have a look under the main product photo to see if they have other options.

The Alaska Bear has five different models all appearing under the same heading, for example, so it may be that you need to click through them to find the one I was talking about. It may also be that you prefer how a newer model looks, in which case I hope it’s just as good.