Best Eye Masks

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

21 Models Considered
68 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
145 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best eye masks

Last Updated October 2019

The eyes just might be the windows to the soul — they definitely give everything away when you are battling a headache, suffering an illness, feeling stressed, or lacking sleep. But whether you’re dealing with under-eye puffiness, dark circles, or a bout of insomnia, a good eye mask can help you look and feel better.

An eye mask is an ideal option for anyone who has difficulty sleeping through the night because it can block out light and help you catch some Zs. Some masks are ideal for battling puffiness under the eyes or providing relief from headaches and other health issues. When you need to de-stress at the end of a long day, an eye mask can be the perfect way to unwind.

But if you want real results, it all comes down to finding the right eye mask. That means deciding what type of mask is best for your needs, what type of coverage you want the mask to provide, what material is best, and what other features would help you get relief. Read on for more information about eye masks: the types available, the features to look for, and how much you should expect to spend.

Wake up with puffy eyes? Place a chilled eye mask over your eyes while you go through the rest of your routine. By the time you’re ready to shave or put on your makeup, your puffiness will be greatly reduced.

Eye mask types

There are two main types of eye masks to choose from: sleep masks and therapy masks.

Sleep eye masks are usually solid and opaque. This allows them to block light when you’re trying to sleep or relax. Sleep eye masks are typically made of fabric; some are padded to providing extra cushioning. A sleep mask is an ideal option if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. A person who works the night shift and sleeps during the day may find a sleep eye mask particularly helpful.

Therapy eye masks are designed to help treat specific physical issues, whether it’s puffiness under the eyes or sinus pain. These masks usually contain some type of gel that can be chilled or heated to help reduce swelling or soothe pain. Some therapy masks contain gel beads that provide a massaging effect for additional relief.

Unlike sleep masks which cover the eyes completely, therapy masks often feature cut-outs for the eyes. However, you can find some sleep/therapy combination masks that cover the eyes fully and also contain therapeutic gel.

For puffiness, headaches, and more

The FOMI Hot and Cold Therapy Gel Bead Facial Eye Mask is versatile enough to work for both hot and cold applications, which means you can use it to reduce puffiness under the eyes, soothe a headache, or relieve sinus pain. The mask is large enough to cover your eyes, sinus area, and forehead, and the soft cloth backing makes it comfortable against your skin. We love that the gel beads conform to the contours of the face for a comfortable fit.

Features

Coverage

Most sleep eye masks only cover the eye area. However, with therapy eye masks, you have options. Some therapy masks cover at least part of the forehead and temples to help with headaches. Others surround the nose to provide relief from sinus pain and congestion.

If you want a mask that can treat migraines and sinus pain in addition to puffiness and dark circles under the eyes, opt for a mask with greater coverage.

Materials

Sleep eye masks are usually made of fabric, while therapy eye masks are typically made of plastic, which is filled with a gel substance that can be chilled or warmed.

Cotton is a popular choice for sleep eye masks because it’s a lightweight, natural fabric that breathes well. Cotton is ideal if you have sensitive skin, as it’s not likely to cause irritation. Cotton is fairly absorbent, so if you apply eye cream or serum before bed, make sure the product has completely dried before you put on the mask.

Silk is commonly used for sleep eye masks. It’s a costlier choice because it’s such a soft, luxurious material. Silk blocks light effectively, doesn’t irritate the skin, and makes for an extremely comfortable mask. It does get dirty easily, so the mask may require more frequent washing than other materials.

Satin is similar to silk, and it also provides a soft, plush feel. Satin masks are comfortable and unlikely to tug at your hair or skin. The material washes well, but to prevent shrinking, it should only be laundered at low temperatures.

Polyester is often used for sleep eye masks because it’s durable and lightweight. However, as a synthetic material, it doesn’t breathe as well as cotton or silk and may cause irritation. Polyester sleep masks tend to be budget-friendly.

Colors and patterns

Most therapy eye masks are composed of clear vinyl or plastic. Sleep eye masks, on the other hand, come in a wide range of colors and patterns. You could opt for a basic black sleep mask, or you could choose one with a whimsical design. The color or pattern doesn’t affect the performance of the mask, so opt for whatever look you like the best.

Band

An adjustable band at the back of the head holds the eye mask over your eyes. Sleep masks usually have a stretchy band that can accommodate a variety of head sizes. Some bands may tug or snag the hair, so choose wisely. A band made of a natural material is less likely to make you uncomfortable.

Therapy eye masks that contain gel or massaging beads usually have an adjustable Velcro band. For optimum adjustability, choose a mask with a band made of elastic or another stretchy material.

Cooling/heating

Therapy eye masks are designed to be used cold. The gel can easily be chilled if you place the mask in the refrigerator or freezer. The cold helps soothe puffiness around the eyes and can also provide relief from migraines and other headaches.

Some therapy masks can also be used warm to help ease sinus pain, headaches, and tension around the eyes. To warm the mask, place it in the microwave or soak it in hot water. Notably, not all therapy masks can be safely placed in the microwave, and not all therapy masks can be used hot.

Aromatherapy

Some eye masks are infused with specific scents to provide an aromatherapy effect. Lavender is frequently used because it’s an essential oil known for its calming effects.

EXPERT TIP

If you’re chilling an eye mask in the freezer, be careful not to leave it in long enough to freeze. It shouldn’t feel solid when you place it over your eyes.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Not all gel therapy eye masks can be used warm or warmed in the microwave. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure that yours is safe to use that way.


Staff  | BestReviews

Eye mask prices

Eye masks vary in price based on type, material, and features. Most masks cost between $3 and $30.

The most affordable eyes masks are usually sleep masks that are made of synthetic material and don’t have any padding, cushioning, or gel inserts. These masks range from $3 to $10 and work best if you just need help blocking out light when you’re sleeping.

If you’re willing to spend a little more, you can choose between padded sleep masks made of cotton or therapy masks with gel inserts for hot and cold use that cover only the eye area. Some options have beads for a massaging effect. These masks typically cost between $10 and $17 and are an effective option for individuals who suffer from under-eye puffiness, headaches, or sinus issues.

The priciest eye masks are usually silk or satin sleep masks or therapy masks that cover more of the forehead and nose area. These masks have gel inserts for hot and cold use, massaging beads, and often have aromatherapy properties. They usually range from $17 to $30.

Comfortable enough to sleep in

Want a soothing therapy eye mask and a dependable sleep mask? The Ariel EDGE Plush Hot/Cold Eye Mask combines the best of both worlds with a solid, opaque design that blocks light, a plush backing that’s gentle on the skin, and gel therapy beads that can be cooled or warmed depending on your needs. The adjustable elastic strap allows it to fit on any head, and the mask can easily be cleaned with soap and water.

Tips

  • When you’re using an eye mask for cold or hot therapy, don’t place it on your face until you can comfortably touch it with your fingers. Using the mask when it’s too cold or too hot can irritate your skin.

  • If you like to use your eye mask cold, store it in the refrigerator or freezer between uses. That way, it’s always ready when you want to use it.

  • When chilling your eye mask in the refrigerator or freezer, place it in a sealable plastic bag to prevent it from absorbing food odors.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some eye masks include earplugs to help you block out sounds that might disturb your sleep.

Others products we considered

With so many eye masks to choose from, there are plenty of options that may fit your needs. The ZGGCD 3D Sleeping Eye Mask is an ideal choice if you have trouble getting a restful night’s sleep because it effectively blocks light, but the contoured areas around the eye make it more comfortable than other sleep masks. We also love the Kimkoo Gel Cooling Eye Mask for people who have issues with puffiness around the eyes, headaches, or sinus pain because it can provide relief just by chilling the mask in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Some research suggests that sleeping with an eye mask can help improve the quality of your dreams.

FAQ

Q. Can I sleep with a cold or warm eye mask?
A.
You can sleep with a cold or warm therapy eye mask, but these masks can be somewhat lumpy, particularly if they contain massaging beads. If you sleep on your side or stomach, the mask may be uncomfortable. Opt for a sleep mask that contains gel inserts rather than using a therapy-style mask when you go to bed.

Q. What’s the best way to use an eye mask to soothe a headache?
A.
For many people, a cooling sensation can help provide relief from migraines and other headaches. Chill a gel-filled eye mask according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and leave it on until your headache subsides or the mask is no longer cold.

Q. How can I use an eye mask to help with sinus pain?
A.
Whether it’s due to a cold or allergies, sinus congestion can cause serious pain. Using a warm, gel-filled eye mask can help break up congestion and relieve discomfort. Warm the mask according to the manufacturer's instructions. Put the mask on once it’s comfortable enough to touch, and wear it until it returns to room temperature.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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