Weighted Sleep Masks Are the Most Luxurious Way to Catch Better ZZZs
They’re like a hug for your eyes.
Tired of being tired? It’s likely been a hot minute since you last had a full night of glorious sleep. If you’ve tried white noise machines, black-out curtains, and clever sleep apps to no avail, it may be time to upgrade your bedtime routine with a weighted sleep mask. Just like the much-beloved weighted blanket, the trend has now come for your eyes. With a mission to ease stress and anxiety and promote a better night’s sleep, weighted sleep masks are the secret tool to help get your REM cycle back on track.
We spoke to two sleep experts who were able to break down everything there is to know about weighted sleep masks, whether or not they are right for you, and the ones that promise to have you in the arms of Morpheus in no time.
What Is a Weighted Sleep Mask?
Similar to a weighted blanket, weighted sleep masks use deep pressure touch (DPT) to evenly-distribute pressure to provide a sense of soothing as you fall asleep. They are commonly filled with small silica beads, flax seeds, or lavender buds to provide gentle pressure on the eye area to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s rest and digestion response. Tiffany Paul, founder and CEO of The Slept Life, tells us that, “the weighted pressure helps you feel calm and sends a signal to the brain to reduce the fight or flight response, which is what often keeps you alert and anxious at night.”
Weighted sleep masks come in different fabrics (such as satin, fleece, or cotton) with weights ranging anywhere from 10-16 oz.—light enough for comfort but heavy enough to give you a sense of grounding. Some masks also come with zippered closures that allow you to adjust or replace the fill or (if you want to take it up a notch) to add in your favorite aromatherapy mixture, like lavender or chamomile.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Weighted Sleep Mask?
If you’re prone to late-night anxiety over your mounting inbox of unread emails or just life in general (these are COVID-19 times, after all), then you may benefit from the gentle pressure of a weighted sleep mask. Dr. Kent Smith, founding director of Sleep Dallas and president of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, highlights that weighted sleep masks, “not only block out light like a regular sleep mask, but they also help trigger a state of relaxation and can possibly even alleviate pain and/or tension, using deep pressure therapy.”
Not only will a weighted sleep mask prevent you from late-night TikTok scrolling, but the heightened relaxation it provides will also help you achieve longer, better quality sleep, which in turn leads to improved health all around.
Pro tip: Put your mask in the freezer beforehand and let the cold help to further relieve headaches, migraines, and sinus pain.
Who Should Use a Weighted Sleep Mask?
Dr. Kent Smith points out that weighted sleep masks can be helpful for people dealing with insomnia, depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, or autism. Even older adults who have dementia or Alzheimer’s may benefit.
But side sleepers likely won’t see much help, since according to Dr. Smith, “gravity would be pulling the mask towards the pillow instead of putting pressure on the face.” He also adds that those who suffer from nasal blockage or other nasal issues should steer clear of weighted sleep masks. “The additional weight may make it more difficult to breathe or exacerbate the issues further,” he explains.
Bottom line: A weighted sleep mask is a great non-medicated and non-intrusive way to help you fall—and stay—asleep.
Are you ready to reclaim your beauty sleep? Shop our top six picks below for the luxurious and uninterrupted snooze you deserve.
Shop the Best Weighted Sleep Masks
Shake off the day with this strapless mask, perfect for back sleepers. Filled with eco-friendly glass beads with a 100 percent ultrasoft bamboo cover, this mask will keep you cool throughout the night. Stress? You don’t know her.
Missing those pre-Covid spa days? Gravity’s sleep mask feels like a gentle massage on your eyes and provides relief when dealing with headaches. It also comes with a separate gel pack that can be cooled or heated. Bonus: every purchase comes with a 60-day Calm App subscription. Your zen awaits.
If you’re an active sleeper, this mask is your perfect companion. It stays on no matter how much you toss and turn. Made with jersey cotton on one side and cozy microfiber fleece on the other, you can pick the material that suits your mood.
Stress-relieving lavender is embedded into this silky weighted sleep mask, which is filled with flaxseeds for gentle pressure while you snooze. The mask even comes with a bag of extra lavender and flaxseed mixture so you can customize the weight according to your preference.
You have satin pillowcases, so why not add a satin-weighted sleep mask into your bedtime arsenal? Not only is this mask comfort approved, but it’s also perfect for any sleep position and its satin material will help prevent your favorite eye cream from rubbing off before it sinks in.
Reach a state of blissful relaxation with this strapless mask that blocks out 100 percent of light and contours perfectly to your face. With cooling jersey cotton on one side and warm microfiber on the other, no matter your preference, this mask is a comfortable solution for your nighttime slumber.