Monday, May 12, 2014

How to Choose a Sleep Mask - Two Main Factors to Consider

Our experience suggests that there are two main factors to consider when buying a sleep mask – comfort and effective light blocking.

Most people’s knowledge of sleep masks comes from their experience on flights where the airline freebie is deployed to try to get some kip against the odds on a long haul. This is unfortunate because the tendency is to believe that all sleep masks are as ineffective and uncomfortable as these freebies. That is not the case.

Sleep masks can be an effective way to block out unwanted light in the quest for a great night's sleep. So if your curtains let in light, if your partner likes to read at bedtime, or if you are off on holiday they can be helpful.

So here’s a few things to think about when choosing a sleep mask, if you fancy an upgrade from the freebie.

Comfort – the factors that determine how comfortable a sleep mask is to wear are how soft the material is and how well it is able to conform to the shape of your face. Everybody’s face is a different shape, so you need a mask that can flex to fit. The sleep mask should also be light-weight.

Some people prefer silk masks because they are naturally very smooth against the skin.

The other factor that determines comfort is whether the mask is shaped. Flat masks tend to press on the eyeballs, which can be uncomfortable and disruptive.

Lastly you should think about the strap – it should be nice and wide so that it does not cut into the ears or head and it should be easily adjustable.

Airline freebies are nearly all “flat” masks with very thin straps that cannot be adjusted. They are just about better then nothing, but only just.

Light Blocking – The other main factor is the ability of the mask to block out light. Most modern masks are made of good opaque materials. The place where the light is most likely to come in is around the edges of the mask around the nose. Hence masks that have soft portion around the nose area that can conform around the shape of the nose will have most chance of blocking out the light.

Other things to think about are the colour or design – sleep masks don’t have to be black to still block the light out. The other factors are durability and price.

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