What to Look for in a Weighted Sleep Mask
Cover and Fill Material
There are two components to the weighted face mask: the exterior (cover) and the interior (fill). Different companies use a wide variety of materials for both the cover and fill, which impact the overall feel of the mask and even how you wash it.
Here are some common cover materials you’ll encounter when shopping for weighted sleep masks:
- Silk: Made of a protein fiber from the silkworm. Breathable, naturally temperature regulating, hypoallergenic, doesn’t attract dust mites.
- Satin: A weave that blends fibers like silk, polyester, or nylon. Soft and delicate, supports healthy skin.
- Fleece: Made from polyester and sometimes even recycled from soda bottles. Highly breathable, light-weight, machine washable, quick-drying, retains insulating properties when wet.
- Jersey: A knit fabric made from a combination of cotton, wool, and/or synthetic fibers. Breathable, keeps cool, doesn’t wrinkle or crease easily.
- Cotton/cotton blend: Cotton comes from the fluffy fiber of cotton plants. It’s natural, hypoallergenic, controls moisture, and insulates. Cotton blends are usually a mix of cotton and polyester. Together, the two are often easier to care for and clean.
Common fill materials for weighted sleep masks include:
- Silica beads/microbeads: A chemical compound known as silicon dioxide, found in the Earth’s crust. These beads distribute weight evenly, helping conform the mask to your face, and the beads allow the mask to cool down easily.
- Flax seeds: The seed of the flax plant. A natural alternative, stays cool, provides distributed weight on face while being a kind, eco-friendly choice.
- Lavender buds: A plant of Mediterranean origin that is grown in many countries around the world. Not used for weight, but provides aromatherapy benefits. Other dried flowers or plants can be substituted for lavender.
Weight and Customization
Weight is, of course, the most integral part of the weighted sleep mask. The average weighted mask usually clocks in between 10-16 oz, or 0.6-1 lbs. Much like its cousin the weighted blanket, this amount of weight is enough to be noticeable and help with stress and anxiety relief, without causing pain or too much pressure.
However, the weighted mask also comes with an added bonus: the compression from the weight may also help relieve headaches and migraines.
Some weighted sleep masks come with zippered closures that allow you to adjust or replace the fill. This works well adjusting the weight to fit your needs, as well as adding or subtracting an aromatherapy aspect from the mask.
Certain brands of weighted sleep masks come with aromatherapy features. Make sure to double check whether the mask you’re ordering has them. Different masks may use aromatherapy by infusing the material with essential oils or filling the interior pouch with dried plants or herbs.
You may not want an aromatherapy-infused mask if you have sensitivities to smell or allergies. However, many people do enjoy the perks of aromatherapy and find it helps them sleep. Specifically, these scents seem to do the trick:
- Lavender: Calms the nervous system, lowers blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature
- Valerian: Produces a sedative quality often used in sleepytime or herbal teas
- Clary Sage: Known for sleep-inducing properties, has shown antidepressant effect on menopausal women
- Sweet Marjoram: Recommended for insomnia due to its calming qualities
- Roman Chamomile: Shown to potentially reduce nightmares, relieve insomnia and anxiety
- Bergamot: Reduces heart rate, blood pressure, stress, and anxiety
Best of all, a customizable weighted mask will allow you to experiment with these aromatherapy scents and figure out what works best for you.
Other Important Considerations
Wearing a mask for hours every night can easily cause it to get dirty with oils or skin particles from your face. If you’re picky about how you clean things (for example, if you can’t stand to hand wash), spend time researching the cleaning method before you purchase a weighted sleep mask. Cleaning methods vary based on materials.
For example, a weighted mask with a silk exterior will usually have to be hand-washed with a gentle detergent. A jersey or cotton mask might be safe to throw in the washing machine, so long as you’re not using hot water.
But there’s also the interior fill to consider. The point of a weighted face mask is to have that weight, which may come in form of polyester or silicone beads, or even flax seeds. These special materials may require you to spot wash in case heat warps the material. Weighted masks that have detachable interiors and easily washable exteriors may be easier to machine wash.
Shipping and Delivery
Most weighted sleeping masks have different shipping and delivery policies. Here’s what to ask yourself to make sure it’s a good fit:
- Does the company ship to my location?
- Are there any additional shipping costs you may not be aware of?
- Does the company offer free shipping?
- If ordering through Amazon, does the order qualify for free shipping through Amazon Prime?
Warranty and Returns
Similar to shipping and delivery policies, most companies have different return and warranty policies for their weighted sleep masks. Make sure you know the answers to these questions before purchasing so you don’t get stuck with a product that doesn’t work for you:
- Does the company allow you to try the mask and return it if it’s not right? What is the trial period? Remember, if you’re purchasing through Amazon the trial period is 30 days, which may be different than the trial period if you purchase through the product website.
- Will you also have to return any add-ons that come with the mask (such as aromatherapy or face gels)?
- Is there a warranty in case you receive the product and there are manufacturer defects?