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Sleep masks are often a necessity for people who struggle to fall asleep if there’s too much light. Small, lightweight, and often inexpensive, they’re a great item to take with you when you travel. But there’s a new product that’s now on the market, and it claims to do more than just block out light. Weighted sleep masks are a new innovation leveling up this classic bedtime staple.
So, what’s the difference between classic sleep masks and weighted ones? Think comfort first. Much like weighted blankets, weighted sleep masks often bring a greater feeling of comfort and well being to the wearer. Of course, not all weighted sleep masks are created equal, and some go the extra mile with additional features such as aromatherapy for those looking for an even more luxurious sleep experience.
The Best Weighted Sleep Masks of 2019
Best for Standard Features – Gravity Weighted Sleep Mask
Best for Easy Care – Nodpod Weighted Sleep Mask
Best for Customization – Asutra Weighted Sleep Mask
Best Value for the Price – Imak Compression Mask
Consider the Gravity Weighted Sleep Mask as “set it and forget it.” This mask may not come with customizable features, but therein lies its charm — if you’re looking for a simple product that adds some relaxing weight to your face and blocks out the light, this might be the right fit for you.
The adjustable strap lets you adjust the mask to fit your head size while allowing for proper weight distribution. This mask performs best for back sleepers, as some product users who slept on their side found it would slide down. One word of caution: if you have sinus problems, the pressure put on your nasal cavity may not be the best fit.
Nopod is definitely the most innovative and unique looking of its category and wins big points for versatility — you can choose either a cooling or warming effect depending on which side you wear. Dubbed as “the weighted blanket for your eyes”, nopod’s soothing microbeads may help alleviate headaches, eye strain, and stress.
Time and again, nopod users hailed the product for helping them sleep better, longer, and deeper. Because of the way its strap functions, it’s also able to stay in place the majority of the time, even if you’re tossing and turning. One size fits all. Another bonus — it’s machine washable, making it easy to clean.
If you’re looking for the ultimate form of customization, Asutra stands out from the rest with multiple features. With this mask, you’ll find the muslin pouch and pillow both have zippers that allow you to change out what’s inside. Some of the features you can customize include:
Between both the interior and the exterior mask makeup, all materials are organic, non-toxic, and eco-friendly. And that might help you sleep better at night.
Imak stands out for its one-of-a-kind ergoBeads™, which glide smoothly against your skin. The massaging effect is intended to increase blood circulation in your face and allow for healthy muscle tissue. Additionally, the combination of microbeads and cotton-spandex allow the mask to mold to your face, keeping light out more successfully than with other sleep masks.
Imak doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of its more expensive competitors, but simple solutions still make this a versatile product. If you’re hoping for a chilly effect, pop the mask in a ziploc bag and put in the freezer a few hours before you go to sleep. The elastic strap also prevents it from slipping out of place if you adjust sleeping positions throughout the night.
The available variety of weighted sleep masks continues to grow in terms of materials, design, and purpose. Which mask you choose depends greatly on what features you’re looking for. Below, we’ll go over how weighted sleep masks work, and the benefits of using one.
Weighted sleep masks stand apart from classic sleep masks not only because of their weight, but also because of their inner components.
How do they attach to your head?
How do they distribute weight?
The type of fill, whether some variation of microbeads or flax seeds, will determine how the weight is distributed across your face. The fill combined with the fit of your mask will also result in how well it molds to your face.
How do they block out light and how much light do they block?
Just like a normal face mask, covering your eyes will block light out. However, the inner materials (fill) in a weighted mask offers an additional benefit of molding the mask better to your face.
How do they improve sleep?
Weighted sleep masks act similarly to weighted blankets. Many people feel they improve sleep through:
At the end of the day, a standard sleep mask either does or doesn’t block out light. But a weighted face mask offers several other advantageous features to help you sleep. Many consumers find that weighted masks help with their anxiety and act in a similar manner to weighted blankets. Here’s the breakdown of how regular and weighted sleep masks stack up.
|REGULAR SLEEP MASK
||WEIGHTED SLEEP MASK
|Reduced Stress & Anxiety||X|
* Masks can be available with or without this feature.
You may want a simple, straightforward mask, or a weighted mask with more bells and whistles. Here are the pros and cons of using a weighted mask:
Normal sleep masks usually have an exterior cover and some kind of headstrap. But the beauty of the weighted sleep mask is it offers all kinds of options for customization. What are you looking for when it comes to cover, fill, weight, and color? We go over the variety of options below.
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 materials you’ll encounter when shopping for weighted sleep masks:
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:
Best of all, a customizable weighted mask will allow you to experiment with these aromatherapy scents and figure out what works best for you.
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.
Most weighted sleeping masks have different shipping and delivery policies. Here’s what to ask yourself to make sure it’s a good fit:
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:
Weighted sleep masks are just one of many ways to get deep and rewarding sleep. If you’re looking for even more ways to catch some z’s, we have several articles that will help you wake up everyday relaxed and refreshed. Learning how light exposure affects your sleep is a great place to start.