Best Sleep Masks

Best Sleep Masks UK (2024)

Last updated: 23.02.2024 Reading time: 5 Min.

Tired of counting sheep? 🐑

You can elevate your sleep game by blocking out pesky lights with the best sleep masks!

Discover how sleep masks can boost sleep quality and find your dream match.

From the soft embrace of silk to the gentle pressure of weighted sleep masks, there’s something for everyone.

Your perfect night awaits! 🛌

Man wearing sleep mask

The best sleep masks in the UK

Sleep Hero Favourite

Manta Sleep Original Mask

The original Manta Sleep Mask offers a 100% blackout experience with customisable comfort options.

This one-of-a-kind sleep mask has removable eye cups so you can adjust them for greater comfort - or replace with other cup options.

The original Manta sleep mask is a bestselling product and one of the most popular eye masks in the UK. 🏆

It is made of soft and breathable materials and has a unique ergonomic design to allow for a 100% blackout experience without excessive eye pressure or discomfort.

manta sleep mask squishiness
The Manta sleep mask is soft, squishy, and comfortable. 

The padded eye cups are soft and squishy and feel very soft on the skin. 🤗

You can use this mask comfortably in any sleeping position, but it's especially well-suited to back sleepers. 

What makes the Manta sleep mask so unique, however, is that the eye cups are removable, leaving you with a head strap that can be used on its own (though it's a little less soft and comfortable).

But this feature also allows you to adjust the sleep mask to suit your face perfectly and gives you the opportunity to add on any of the other Manta sleep eye cups available. 🔧

removable eye cups
The eye cups are removable, so you can place them on the head strap where they best fit your face.

Two of the best options include the Manta Cool eye cups and the Manta Steam eye cups, both of which offer relaxation and relief for tired, sore, or dry eyes. ❄️♨️

Conveniently, the Manta sleep mask also comes with a travel pouch that doubles as a laundry bag - the mask is fully machine-washable.

This is great news for people concerned about hygiene or frequent travellers. 🚂

Manta Sleep products come with free delivery within the UK, a 60-day trial period, and a 6-month guarantee.

BUY MANTA SLEEP MASK£ 38

  Manta Sleep Mask
Composition: Modal and polycotton
Eye cover: Padded and removable cups
Maximum head strap circumference: 73 cm (28.7 inches)
Washing instructions: Machine-washable; air-dry flat
Advantages:  Fully customisable, 100% blackout experience, soft and comfortable, machine-washable, travel and laundry bag included
Disadvantages: Some side sleepers may find the padded eye cups uncomfortable - the Manta Pro with C-shaped cups is a better alternative
Luxury Option

Drowsy Silk Sleep Mask

The Drowsy Silk Sleep Mask is silky-soft, comfortable, and kind to your skin and hair.
  • Mulberry silk 
  • Gentle on skin & hair
  • Machine-washable 

Tell me more about the Drowsy Silk Sleep Mask

The Drowsy Silk Sleep Mask has a padded design that creates a cocoon of darkness.

This makes it ideal for lighter sleepers seeking a night of uninterrupted slumber.

Crafted using luxurious pure 22 momme, mulberry silk, it is sumptuously soft and gentle on the skin and hair. 

The thick, silk-covered, adjustable strap allows you to customise the fit, ensuring your mask stays put all night long.

Additionally, the Drowsy sleep mask's thick strap completely covers the ears, muffling sound for a better night's sleep.

But it's worth knowing that it may also feel too bulky for those who sleep on their front or side. 

Reasons to buy

Blocks light & reduces sound

Protects skin & hair 

Luxurious materials 

Reasons to avoid

Fairly expensive 

May be too bulky for side & stomach sleepers

Memory Foam Comfort

Tempur Sleep Mask

The Tempur Sleep Mask is a unique memory foam mask which gently moulds to the shape of your face.

Unlike most eye masks, this product comes with a stress-reducing 2-year guarantee. 

The Tempur Sleep Mask stands out as a premium choice with a memory foam filling that moulds to the contours of your face.

Its use of Tempur foam ensures a more comfortable fit and prevents any light from sneaking in. 🌙

Crafted with a soft grey velour finish, the mask adds a touch of cosy luxury to your bedtime routine.

Fitted with two adjustable 15cm Velcro straps, it generally offers a snug fit for various head sizes, staying in place throughout the night.

Tempur sleep mask grey
Thanks to the velcro straps, it's easy to tighten or loosen the mask.

The eye area is specially cushioned, providing comfort and pressure relief, crucial for a restful sleep experience.

However, some people find the Tempur Sleep Mask too heavy, noting that the padded bottom pinches their noses. 🏋️

You should also note that this mask cannot be machine-washed or soaked in water - not necessarily ideal for something that sits on your face night after night. 

Overall, most customers are happy with the quality and durability of their Tempur Sleep Mask, backed by a 2-year guarantee. 💤

Free delivery and returns within Mainland UK make it a hassle-free choice for shoppers.

BUY TEMPUR SLEEP MASK£ 45

  Tempur Sleep Mask
Composition: Tempur memory foam filling and cotton and polyester cover
Eye cover: Shaped eye mask that moulds to face
Maximum head strap circumference: 70 cm (27.6 inches)
Washing instructions: Gently sponge with mild soap and water (do NOT immerse in water); air-dry flat
Advantages:  Memory foam filling that moulds to face shape, adjustable straps, and an outstanding 2-year guarantee
Disadvantages: Relatively expensive, not machine-washable, and has a bulkier design that's unsuitable for those who sleep on their side or stomach
Budget-Friendly

Alaska Bear Sleep Mask

The Alaska Bear Sleep Mask is one of the most popular eye masks on the market.
  • Silk cover & cotton filling
  • Contours to eye shape
  • Great for dry eyes, allergies & sensitive skin

Tell me more about the Alaska Bear Sleep Mask

The Alaska Bear Sleep Mask is made from 100% organic mulberry silk.

Silk is linked to anti-ageing benefits as it reduces friction and maintains skin moisture, which can help prevent wrinkles around the delicate eye area. 

Furthermore, the mask offers a cooler, relaxing experience since silk is breathable.

For those suffering from dry eyes, particularly if the eyelids don't fully close, this mask gently holds the eyes shut, preventing morning dryness and discomfort.

Featuring a deeper nose cutout, the Alaska Bear Silk Sleep Mask contours comfortably to various face shapes without putting pressure on the nose while ensuring 100% light blockage. 

Even after having been reviewed by almost 40,000 customers, this sleep mask still has an impressive 4.5-star rating

Reasons to buy

Highly-rated by customers

Hypoallergenic materials 

Promotes healthy skin & eyes 

Reasons to avoid

Stitching may come undone after some use

May not be a perfect fit for everyone

Best Weighted Sleep Mask

Sivio Weighted Sleep Mask

The Sivio Weighted Sleep Mask features a removable insert that can be heated or cooled for the ultimate relaxation experience.

As well as improving sleep by preventing light from reaching your eyes, it also offers additional benefits such as reduced stress, anxiety, and headaches thanks to its weight.

The Sivio Weighted Sleep Mask has a double-sided design, featuring a plush cotton and cooling bamboo fibre side, making it adaptable to different temperatures.

Conveniently, the bead bag is detachable and can be microwaved or frozen.

As well as the mask's relaxing weight, users can enjoy the benefits of a cold compress or provide soothing heat therapy around the eyes. 🌡️

Weighted sleep mask from Sivio
Warning: Users should take care when heating in a microwave to avoid overheating and potential damage.

It features an ergonomic shape with a flexible and adjustable Velcro strap, ensuring a comfortable fit throughout the night.

The mask scores high on ease of care as it is machine washable, ensuring durability and hygiene. 🧼

The high-grade zipper further simplifies the process of removing the inner bag for washing.

Customers have expressed satisfaction with the mask's quality and comfort, particularly how it completely blocks out light.

The Sivio Weighted Sleep Mask is an effective sleep and relaxation aid that comes with a lifetime warranty.

BUY SIVIO SLEEP MASK£ 14.99

  Sivio Weighted Sleep Mask
Composition: Cotton, bamboo fibres, silica beads
Eye cover: Weighted flat eye cover 
Maximum head strap circumference: 58 cm (23 inches)
Washing instructions: Hand and machine washable cover (remove insert); Air-dry
Advantages: 

Therapeutic benefits, including headache relief and stress reduction, effective light blocking, easy to clean

Disadvantages: No eye contour, too heavy for some users, and not suitable for side or stomach sleepers

How we test products

Our mission is to take the guesswork out of finding the perfect sleep products.

We've dedicated hundreds of hours to testing mattresses and sleep accessories, and rely on a team of testers of differing weights, temperature preferences, and sleeping positions to evaluate each product. 

Tested products are granted the Sleep Hero tested stamp of approval, a mark of our review's reliability.

To learn more about our testing process, check out our methodology page.

If we haven't personally tested a product, please be assured that we invest significant time and energy into scouring the UK market and researching the best recommendations, and we work with a team of sleep experts who review our articles, ensuring that the insights we provide are not only relatable but also reliable.

Why use a sleep mask?

Sleep masks are becoming increasingly popular worldwide.

The primary benefit of wearing a sleep mask is to enhance your sleep quality by blocking light, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. 😴

These nifty little sleep accessories are ideal for travel and offer several additional benefits.

We’ll get into these benefits after we discuss how a sleep mask can help you sleep better! 👇

Using sleep masks for better sleep

Sleep masks focus on controlling light exposure.

They help create an ideal dark environment that tells your brain it's time to rest.

By blocking out light, sleep masks aid our bodies in producing the sleep hormone melatonin. 🙈

Melatonin is vital to our natural circadian rhythm, which controls various body processes, including sleep, alertness, temperature, and appetite.

Melatonin vs serotonin production
Sleep masks help create a dark environment, signalling to our bodies that it’s time to sleep.

Being in a dark environment makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. 💤

While anyone can benefit from less light exposure when trying to sleep, blackout sleep masks are particularly beneficial for some.

These include:

  • People who are easily woken by light.
  • Those with different sleep schedules, such as shift workers.
  • Individuals who travel frequently and struggle to sleep on the go or in new locations.

While sleep masks primarily work to block light, their benefits extend beyond this.

Sleep mask benefits

Sleep masks contribute to overall health improvements associated with better sleep. 💪

These include enhanced cognitive function, mental well-being, and even weight management.

Waking up happy with cat
Getting the sleep you need can help you wake up feeling fresh, rested, and happy.

Eye masks for sleep are small and affordable, making them a great product to try if you’re facing difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep. 🌛

While the core purpose and benefits of wearing a sleep mask revolve around improving sleep, that's not all they're good for.

Additional sleep mask benefits

Sleep masks can offer several perks beyond aiding sound sleep.

These include:

  • Soothing dry eyes: For those who suffer from dry eyes, especially in air-conditioned or heated environments, a sleep mask can create a protective barrier, reducing airflow over the eyes and helping to maintain moisture.
  • Reducing wrinkles: Pure silk sleep masks, in particular, can help minimise the formation of wrinkles. The smooth texture of silk creates less friction on the skin, which can reduce sleep creases and pressure on the delicate eye area.
  • Maintaining skin hydration: Silk is less absorbant than cotton or synthetic fabrics. Wearing a silk sleep mask can keep your nightly eye creams and serums in place, potentially improving skin hydration and the efficacy of your skincare routine.
  • Relieving sinus pressure: Some heavy or weighted sleep masks are believed to engage facial pressure points and soothe sinus pressure and headaches.
  • Relaxation and temperature regulation: Masks like the Sivio Weighted Sleep Mask have removable inserts that can be cooled or heated to help you reach the perfect temperature, relieve headaches and sinus pressure, or feel soothe puffiness.

Now we know all about sleep mask benefits, it’s time to dig a little deeper into what’s available. 👇

Types of sleeping masks

Before we discuss how to choose a sleep mask, let’s have a quick overview of the types of sleep masks available.

These include:

  • Fabric sleep masks: Common materials include silk, cotton, and polyester.
  • Contoured eye masks: Cushioned and shaped to fit the face without putting pressure on the eyes.
  • Heated or cooling sleep masks: Often gel-based, these can be heated or chilled for therapeutic effects.
  • Weighted eye masks: Apply gentle pressure to promote relaxation and stress relief.

Most of these slip sleep masks have adjustable headbands to prevent the mask from falling off during the night.

Each type of sleep mask caters to different needs, from simple light blocking to specific therapeutic benefits. 💆

Some sleep masks also combine various features.

For instance, the Drowsy Sleep Mask is a padded, contoured pure silk sleep mask.

It's an excellent choice if you’re looking for a luxury sleep experience. 💅

BUY DROWSY SLEEP MASK£ 69

How to choose the best sleep mask

With so many eye sleep masks on the market, knowing which will improve your beauty sleep the most can be challenging.

It's essential to consider what suits you since you’re more likely to wear and reap the full benefits of improved sleep quality if you choose a sleep mask you love! ❣️

From materials to fit, special features, and price, there's plenty to consider.

Let's dive in.

Sleep mask materials

When choosing a sleep mask, it's essential to consider both the filling and the cover material.

Cover materials

The cover of a sleep mask is the material which sits directly against your skin. 😶‍🌫️

Silk sleep masks are a top choice for their smooth feel, skin benefits, and temperature regulation.

These masks are an increasingly popular option to give as a gift for birthdays, Christmas, and more.

Silk benefits
Silk sleep masks offer several notable benefits for your hair and skin.

But keep in mind that they require special care, often needing hand washing or a delicate machine wash at a low temperature. 🧼

If you're after something more low-maintenance, you might prefer a cotton or polyester mix sleep mask.

Filling

The filling of sleep masks is equally important, with typical options including cotton and polyester.

However, you can also find more unique fillings like memory foam.

The Tempur Sleep Mask, for instance, has a foam filling that moulds around your eyes. 💤

While most find this supremely comfortable, for others, it's too heavy and restrictive.

BUY TEMPUR SLEEP MASK£ 45

Sleep mask comfort and fit

Comfort and fit are critical factors for choosing the best sleep mask.

Headbands keep your sleep mask on your head all night.

Most masks use velcro, elastic, or adjustable straps to allow you to modify the fit, ensuring the mask feels just right for your head size. 📏

Besides adjustability, your sleep position also greatly influences which type of mask will be comfy and suit you best!

Different sleeping positions
Padded and weighted sleep masks are best suited to back sleepers.

For back sleepers, masks with additional padding or eye contours often feel best, sitting away from the eyes and effectively blocking light.

However, side sleepers and stomach sleepers may find these bulkier sleep masks uncomfortable, obstructive, and difficult to keep in place. 👎

If you sleep on your side or stomach, we'd recommend selecting a slimmer face mask like the Alaska Bear Sleep Mask.

BUY ALASKA BEAR SLEEP MASK£ 9.99

Special sleep mask features

Sleep masks with special features can further improve your sleep experience.

While most masks aim to reduce light, some, like the Manta Blackout Sleep Mask, provide 100% light blockage thanks to their specific materials and design. 🌑

Check out our Manta Sleep Mask review for everything you need to know.

Weighted sleep masks enhance relaxation.

Similar to weighted blankets, they offer deep-pressure therapy to alleviate stress and anxiety and help you sleep.

Weighted blanket benefits
Weighted devices like blankets offer many benefits.

Those looking to relax or seeking relief from puffiness, sinus pain, or headaches should check out heated or cooling sleep masks. 🤯

Some masks, like the Sivio Weighted Sleep Mask, come with a removable insert weighed with silica beads that can be microwaved or frozen for the ultimate sleep and relaxation aid.

BUY SIVIO SLEEP MASK£ 14.99

Alternatively, a sleep mask with headphones offers a dual solution of blocking out both light and sound.

Some studies have found that sleep masks and earplugs that help block light and sound can increase sleep quality.

Sleep masks that go over the ears, while not as effective at blocking sound as earplugs, can comfortably reduce sound for a more peaceful sleep.

Bluetooth sleep masks, some of the best sellers on Amazon, offer the added convenience of wireless connectivity. 🎧

SHOP BLUETOOTH SLEEP MASKS

Sleep mask prices

As important as other sleep mask features are, there's no denying that price is a critical factor.

You can find sleep masks to suit a variety of budgets.

The most affordable sleep masks cost around £10, while the most expensive ones can go over £50. 💷

Generally, you will pay more for higher quality masks, particularly those made of 100% silk or padded with memory foam filling.

Our favourite cheap sleep masks:

Common sleep mask concerns

While sleep masks are low-risk, there are some things you should be aware of before you try one. 🤔

Some associated sleep mask side effects include:

  • Headaches: If the mask is too tight, you may experience head or ear pain.
  • Skin irritation or acne: Prolonged contact with the mask, especially if not cleaned regularly, can irritate the skin and exacerbate acne.
  • Eyelash damage: People with long eyelashes or those who use masks that sit flush against the eyes may notice an increase in lashes breaking or falling out.
  • Heat Retention: Some materials can retain heat, making them uncomfortable in warm conditions or for hot sleepers.

Most of these issues can be avoided by choosing a mask that suits your face and needs.

If you start having problems when using your sleep mask, consider taking a break or stop using the sleep eye mask completely. 🛑

How to wash a sleep mask

Maintaining sleep mask hygiene is crucial as it rests directly on your skin and close to your eyes. 👀

Regular cleaning is necessary to prevent acne and irritation.

Care instructions differ based on the mask and its materials, so it's essential to follow the specific guidelines provided with your mask.

For instance, silk masks typically require hand washing or to be machine washed on a delicate cycle at low temperatures.

Do not wash
Some sleep masks should never be put in a washing machine.

The Tempur Sleep Mask, which contains foam, should not be soaked, meaning no hand or machine washing! ⛔

Instead, clean it with a damp cloth and mild soap.

Other masks, like the Sivio Weighted Sleep Mask, can simply be popped into the washing machine once the removable insert is removed. 🫧

Whichever sleep eye mask you have, air-dry it flat to maintain its shape and improve longevity.

Should you buy a sleep mask?

Sleep masks effectively block light, stimulating the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

They can positively impact your mental and physical well-being by enhancing your sleep quality. 😃

It's certainly worth trying an eye mask if you're sensitive to light.

Given their small size, convenience, and affordability, sleep masks are a low-risk option to experiment with ways to improve your sleep experience. ✨

Our favourite sleep masks in the UK:

Frequently asked questions

  • Is it good to sleep with a sleep mask?


    Sleep masks offer a simple yet effective way to improve sleep by creating a dark environment that fosters melatonin production. 

    This leads to deeper, more restorative sleep, enhancing next-day alertness and memory function. 

    They are especially beneficial for light-sensitive sleepers and can be a key tool for better sleep hygiene.

  • How do you wash a silk sleep mask?


    Understanding how to wash a silk sleep mask is essential.

    Sleep masks sit on your skin, so they should be cleaned regularly, but incorrect washing could permanently damage your eye mask.

    When it comes to how to wash a Drowsy Sleep Mask or other silk eye mask, it’s simple.

    You’ll need to either hand wash it or place it in a wash bag in the washing machine at a low temperature and on a delicate cycle.

  • Where can you buy a sleep mask in the UK?


    You can buy eye masks for sleep from various online and in-store retailers.

    Amazon offers the widest range of choices.

    If you’re looking for the most unique and best sleep mask UK, consider shopping from sleep specialists like Tempur, Panda London, or Manta Sleep Mask UK (which sells a variety of masks, including the Manta Sleep Mask Pro, original, silk, and weighted mask).

    These tend to be more expensive but can be found for less when discounts are running.

    Or, for an affordable regular price, you can check out Boots sleep masks, a sleep mask from Argos, or something like the Smug sleep masks from Superdrug.

    If you’re willing to pay more and are interested in the anti-ageing benefits of silk sleep masks, you may want to try a classic silk sleep mask like the Drowsy Mulberry Silk Eye Mask or the Dr Harris Sleep Mask for something a little different.

    These are good options for those looking to try their first eye mask sleep.

  • Can you get a sleep mask for kids?


    While not as commonly seen, you can buy kids sleep masks for little ones sensitive to light.

    Amazon has many kids' sleep masks, which are smaller than regular eye masks and designed to suit small heads.

  • Can you use weighted sleep masks overnight?


    Some brands say their weighted sleep masks can be used overnight, but this isn’t recommended.

    It’s best to use weighted products in shorter bursts to reduce risk and to give yourself time to get used to the sensation.

    While sleep masks help improve people's sleep, others find them uncomfortably heavy.

  • References

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Katharyn Duffy

Content Writer

Katharyn is a research pro with a BA in English and over 4 years of experience writing health and well-being content. She uses her understanding of sleep and its importance to cut through the nonsense and provide honest information about various sleep products and topics.

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