This Game-Changing Sleep Mask Works Better Than Blackout Curtains and Is My Secret to a Full Night’s Sleep

published Dec 22, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Portrait of young woman with sleep mask in bed.
Credit: Getty Images/ Westend61

Despite being a fairly light-sensitive sleeper, I’ve never covered the two enormous windows in my bedroom with blackout curtains. On top of preferring the look of sheer curtains over solid ones, I love having access to natural light during the day, without the hassle of pulling the fabric to the side. Still, it’s been hard to hold my ground. If I wake up before my alarm (which tragically happens too often), the sun filling the room makes it next to impossible for me to fall back into a deep slumber. Usually, I’ll just accept my losses and start my day more tired than usual.

I never thought that a sleep mask would be the solution to all of my problems, but that was before I tried Manta’s version, which is so comfortable and effective at blocking out light that I don’t think changing out my curtains will ever be necessary.

What is the Manta Sleep Mask?

Manta’s guarantee of “100% darkness” isn’t exaggerated, thanks to its foam-cushioned, adjustable eyecups. It was designed specifically with side and stomach sleepers in mind — the eye cups become thinner towards the temple, and the soft foam conforms to your face, so it won’t press into your skin uncomfortably. The inside of the strap is lined with a velour material, with two short pieces of elastic on either side of the secure velcro closure.

The cherry on top is that, unlike most flimsy eye masks, this one will last. Its use of durable materials — the eye cups are wrapped in a gentle, sweat-absorbing modal fabric and the strap is made of polycotton — and construction using double and zig-zag stitches ensures that. It’s even machine-washable, as long as you use the included mesh carrying pouch, and those who truly want to block out the world when they sleep will be happy to know that it comes with ear plugs, too.

Credit: Morgan Pryor

Why I Love the Manta Sleep Mask?

I should preface this by saying that I’ve never been an eye mask person, but I’ve taken to keeping this one on my bedside table at all times. Even if I don’t fall asleep with it on, I can pull it over my eyes when I need to go back to sleep after sunrise or when I want to take a nap in the middle of the day. I’ve tried those basic, flat masks on occasion before, but I quickly gave up on trying to make them work when they’d slide off in the night, let light in around the nose, and put pressure on my eyes that was far from relaxing.

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the pieces cupping my eyes, but I’m sure now that I’ll never go back to a regular version after being so spoiled with Manta’s. Tossing and turning in the night — I shift from my side to my stomach constantly — had no impact. The cups simply don’t budge, allowing absolutely zero light leakage to occur. Plus, the lack of direct pressure means that I can open and blink my eyes easily, and when I wake up, there’s no annoying blurring going on. Surprisingly, the cups haven’t left any marks on my face, and the velcro strap has yet to catch on my hair. Standard masks usually have me feeling at least a little claustrophobic, but I’m never in any rush to rip this one off of my face. In fact, it’s so soft that I’ll leave it on for a bit of before starting my day.

New Year’s is right around the corner, and if you’re still trying to think up your resolution, everyone can stand to spend a little more time on self-care. An eye mask is an easy start — scientists have found that wearing one improves alertness and brain function. Take it from someone who never thought they’d swear by an eye mask: You can’t go wrong with Manta’s version. You owe it to yourself to get a better night of sleep in 2024!