The 5 Best Sleep Masks for Night Shift Workers Reviewed
We all know how important getting a good night’s sleep is, but what happens when you do all of your sleeping… during the day?
When your environment is not conducive to catching those zzzs, it can be frustrating and even lead to depression at its worst.
Finding the right sleep mask for use during atypical snoozing hours can not only help you head to the land of nod quicker, but it can also improve the quality of your sleep and allow you to rest for longer periods of time, providing a total blackout.
Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a high-quality light-blocking blind, have a look at our five featured sleep masks, expertly created to suit night shift workers who need darkness but don’t have the budget to kit out their bedroom.
With our useful buyer’s guide, you’ll get the low down on exactly what to look out for in a top-notch sleep mask; there’s nothing worse than looking forward to a life-changing product’s arrival in the mail, only for it to disappoint you or make things worse!
Nightmares can be allayed by our Frequently Asked Questions section, a handy list of the most common queries from customers also seeking to improve their bedtime routine after the long slog of a night shift, so make sure you read to the end!
Best Sleep Masks For Night Shift Workers
Desperate To Drift Off? Here’s our top pick:
Low-rebound memory foam forms a soft, comfortable cavity which prevents pressure on the eyes, wider and deeper than those of competitors to guarantee total blackout whilst looking after your skin and preventing irritation.
Top quality fiber fabrics have been fused using unique heat-bond technology, so you’ll find it sturdy and durable; unlike masks constructed with glue, it’s not going to fall apart after the first couple of uses, and it’s affordable too.
Suitable for all head circumferences with a fully adjustable strap, sitting comfortably on your head without pulling at your hair when you move, it effectively blocks natural and artificial lights but leaves your eyes free to blink.
Super light and washing machine friendly, there’s no need for messing around with detergent to clean this mask in your sink. It’s also a great travel companion, helping you get some well needed shuteye on long haul flights or lengthy road trips.
Naturally breathable and soothing to skin, if you suffer from irritation or blocked pores, you won’t experience a breakout using this mask; allowing you to blink freely and minimizing pressure on your eyes, it won’t compress your face no matter how you sleep.
A soft, adjustable elastic strap prevents the mask from slipping without causing pain and preventing sleep by affixing too tightly to your head. You’ll hardly notice you’re wearing it, but you’ll definitely notice the improvement to your bedtime routine!
Ideal for sleepers suffering from insomnia, migraine headaches or sore eyes, the natural hypoallergenic fibers promote the flow of oxygen and prevents dryness, preventing those irritations whilst leaving room to apply ointments or lotions to soothe your pain.
Side, stomach or back sleeper, it doesn’t matter, resting securely but gently on your face, and whether you prefer to machine wash or hand wash, as long as you use cold water and air dry, any method is fine.
Ultra soft, light, latex-free foam has been molded especially to contour the face, so wearers can blink without restriction and won’t experience pressure on the eyes, so you’re guaranteed to rest in comfort.
Composed of 100% polyester interlock, there’s no irritating liner; a hook and loop strap allows for easy adjustment and won’t hurt your head when you hit the pillow, so it’s suitable for men, women and children to wear.
No matter how bright your bedroom is (or wherever you’re trying to fall asleep, we’re not judgy!), you’ll be able to settle down to sleep quickly with the light completely blocked, helping you wake up refreshed regardless of time.
Should you need to wear a mask more regularly – maybe you have the dreaded full schedule of night shifts coming up? – it’s possible to buy a set of three masks for just a few more dollars, allowing you to wash each one regularly but still get to wear one every night.
Adjustable eye cups are flexible, extra-deep and can be customized right down to the position and angle, to fit your face like a glove and allow for absolute blackout in any environment, even on the go.
A breathable cotton velour strap is soft and attractive, whilst a snag free micro hook and micro fleece closing device uses industrial-grade elastic to prevent sliding during the night, offering maximum comfort at bedtime.
Included in the box as an added bonus are a pair of Manta premium ear plugs to increase your likelihood of REM even further, and a case that doubles as a wash bag, to keep your sleep mask safe when it’s in the machine.
Ensuring no bridge or sinus pressure with ample nose space, the cozy velour lined strap sits snugly above or against your ears, suiting users no matter their preference and able to fit a variety of head shapes and sizes.
An upgraded battery chip offers ten hours of playback after just one or two hours of charging, enough power to keep you listening for as long as it takes for you to fall asleep – and it won’t beep or wake you up should the battery die.
Not only can you listen to whatever sounds aid your drifting off, but a memory foam body with silk lining places no pressure on your eyes and prevents any light from passing through, letting the wearer curate their perfect night’s sleep.
Breathable and therefore skin-friendly, a cool and ventilated fabric won’t cause long-term damage after regular wearing, or irritate your eyes and their delicate surrounding skin. No matter how many night shifts in a row, this mask can help you achieve a deep sleep.
Ultra thin straps and a soft central control panel are lightweight and won’t annoy you as you try to get comfortable, as well as being simple to adjust for the most comfortable wear possible, perfectly suited to your head.
Sleep Mask For Night Shift Workers Buying Guide
Although it’s only small, a sleep mask can drastically improve your sleeping cycles and, therefore, your mood – but only if you choose the right one for you.
All of these features will determine your experience with a mask, so make sure you consider them equally:
Whilst to some, the idea of a weighted sleeping mask that adds a gentle pressure to your eyes sounds like heaven, it could just as easily be your personal hell. Some masks are made to rest just above or around your eyes, which you might prefer if that is the case.
Otherwise, you can also find sleep masks that are filled – typically with silica microbeads – distributing weight evenly across your eyes, helping contour the mask to your face and contributing to a full blackout experience after a long night of work.
On average, a weighted mask comes in at between 0.5 and 1 lbs, which might not sound like a lot, but bear in mind that your eyes are delicate organs! Akin to the recently popular weighted blanket, it can also serve to offer anxiety relief or switch off your mind post-work.
You’ll find masks are manufactured using a variety of fabrics of both natural and artificial materials, each offering different characteristics and potential pitfalls.
Which one is right for you?
You don’t want to be kept awake further by an itchy, uncomfortable mask!
Satin – A soft material weaved from fibers such as polyester, nylon and silk; delicate and gentle on your skin, you won’t experience an increase in pimples from oil build-up.
Silk – Born from the fibers produced by humble silkworms, it’s well-ventilated and naturally regulates temperature, as well as being hypoallergenic – good for sensitive souls.
Cotton/blend – Extracted from the fiber of cotton plants, cotton can regulate moisture, is insulating and naturally hypoallergenic; a cotton blend is usually the combination of cotton and polyester, increasing durability.
Jersey – Knitted with cotton, wool and, sometimes, synthetics, it’s nice and breathable, won’t crease up after one or two uses and is soft and cozy like your favorite blanket.
Fleece – Lightweight and comforting, fleece is entirely polyester and well-ventilated, as well as having the bonus of being machine washable
Perhaps the most fundamental aspect of a sleep mask made especially for those on the night shift is its ability to block out the light. Our bodies are accustomed to falling asleep in the dark, and don’t take kindly to us trying to do otherwise.
Successfully making your room dark enough to sleep in doesn’t mean investing in very thick curtains or expensive blackout blinds; using a mask also means that if people need to come into the room while you’re sleeping, you won’t be disturbed by any light they bring in.
Getting enough sleep can be the difference between a great mood and a terrible one the next day, so picking up a sleep mask that is unable to achieve complete darkness is not worth the hassle – always read the customer reviews when a mask promises to black out.
Although they might all look the same, sleep masks come in different shapes and fits; for instance, if you prefer to sleep on your side, you’re going to want a mask with a strap that holds it in place (without being uncomfortable) to prevent slipping when you move around.
If you want to be able to open your eyes whilst wearing the mask you can find designs with specially formed cavities, allowing you to rest those peepers even when you’re awake, relieving tension from those long days of staring at a phone, computer, and/or TV screen.
Likewise, those masks with contoured cups, usually constructed from memory foam, are recommended if you’re experiencing dry eyes – or the skin is irritated around them – as this prevents the blockage of moisture and protects any open cuts or sore spots.
Even sleep masks cannot escape the advance of technology, and nowadays, it’s possible to buy a high-tech model like the one we’ve highlighted from MUZICOZY, which boasts built-in headphones and Bluetooth connectivity.
Imagine, finishing a gruelling night shift, coming home to a house full of life and being able to block out all of the lights AND play some soothing wave sounds, a meditation track or some gentle music right into your ears to lull you into dreamland. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Thanks to their connection capabilities, you can use any device you like to connect to it, and listen using the streaming app of your choice. Whether that’s Spotify, Apple Music or an obscure podcast service, you’ll be able to sleep soundly – no need to wranle with earphones!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a sleep mask every night?
Whilst it’s certainly possible for you to sleep wearing your mask every evening if you need to, this will cause it to get dirty with the natural oils from your skin, sweat, and bacteria accumulated on your face during the day.
Skincare enthusiasts will know that this is a breeding ground for pimples, and could cause irritation, especially if you’re prone to dry skin or breakouts anyway. Silk, cotton or satin, your mask requires regular washing if you want to avoid damage to your face from long term use.
Depending on the material, your mask will require different care when cleaning; some are machine washable and can be thrown in with a load of laundry, whilst others need a more gentle hand wash, with hypoallergenic detergent.
Washing a few times a week is encouraged, because several hours of wear on a regular basis can leave your mask pretty grimy, even more so if you have naturally oily skin or you tend to sweat a lot in your sleep, which may mean you have to wash your mask every day.
When night shifts loom, you may need to sleep with an eye mask several nights in a row, in which case we would recommend having multiple masks in rotation so you can avoid potential skin issues and still get your full eight hours no matter what time of day.
Does a sleep mask improve sleep?
Studies performed by the National Sleep Foundation indicate that using a sleep mask when you hit the hay will help you get a better night (or day’s!) rest, as shielding your eyes from light causes the body to begin producing more melatonin.
This handy hormone is known to increase the time you spend in a state of REM, or Rapid Eye Movement, which is the deepest form of sleep and will leave you feeling much more rested and refreshed than hours spent tossing and turning.
Can a sleep mask cause wrinkles?
Well made, adequately ventilated sleep masks are not going to cause wrinkles if you wash them appropriately and ensure that you opt for one that fits your face well – too tight, and it’s going to irritate your skin no matter how fancy it is.
Pulling and stretching your skin, particularly where it is most delicate and fragile – around the eyes – is a surefire way to cause wrinkling, so dermatologists would argue that sticking to a silk mask, which is soft and unlikely to put pressure on the face, is the best way to avoid this.
Last update on 2021-08-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API