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The Manta Sleep Mask looks weird — and improves my sleep

The Manta is great for side sleepers and keeps all the light out of my eyes without snagging my hair or squishing my eyelashes.
This sleep mask is comfortable and keeps the light out of my eyes — and now I own two.
This sleep mask is comfortable and keeps the light out of my eyes — and now I own two.Manta Sleep

I’ve never been a good sleeper, jolting awake at the first hint of sound or light. And forget being able to nap on a plane or in the car, something I’ve always wished I could do, as a frequent traveler. I started using sleep masks for an optimal sleep environment at home and while on the road, but they never really helped much — until I tried the Manta Sleep Mask.

Other sleep masks pressed against my eyelashes, bunched up when I slept on my side, felt awkward on my face or snagged in my long hair. Manta Sleep said their mask didn’t do any of that. Touted by the brand as the world’s comfiest sleep mask, it was something I wanted put to the test. With its claims to completely block out light with its soft, adjustable eyecups, the mask looked just weird enough to catch my attention. But would this be the one to get me to sleep through the night?

Manta Sleep Mask

Upon first try, the mask didn’t completely black out all the light, but then I realized I hadn’t adjusted the cups correctly — I wasn’t used to sleep masks so advanced. You can move the cups further apart or closer to your nose to perfectly fit your face and eyes, effectively blocking out any and all light.

Once I found the right fit for the cups, the cushy foam did indeed block out every single ray of light for complete blackness. Unlike other masks, this one mask wasn’t a hindrance to a side sleeper like me and never put excessive pressure on my lids or lashes in any position — it even didn’t smush lash extensions I had in for a wedding — and the snag-free band didn’t catch in my long hair.

The lightweight mask is also machine-washable and comes with a small wash bag/carrying case and earplugs. The soft memory foam makes the mask easy to slip into my carry-on bag or suitcase during travel, though I do look rather weird wearing this mask on an airplane.

I started by using the mask for naps and definitely slept better. But would it help me get adequate rest for an entire night? Yes, it certainly helped.

I find the mask’s foam to be cooling, ensuring it doesn’t get my face sweaty or hot on humid summer nights (the brand actually makes a separate mask specifically for cooling, which is next on my list to try). I may not be sleeping eight hours straight, but I do notice a difference in my waking mood and energy after I forget to put the mask on — they’re significantly worse. And I’m apparently not the only one who feels this mask has improved my sleep: It has an average rating of 4.6 stars from over 8,000 reviews on Amazon.

Now I have two Manta Sleep Masks: one for home and one for travel so I can create a sleep-inducing environment whenever and wherever I need it.

Other sleep masks to consider

If you don’t particularly need a mask for side sleepers or if you want something less expensive than the Manta, consider these highly rated sleep masks or read our guide to top-rated sleep masks.

MZoo Sleep Mask

This sleep mask has 3D-contoured cups that, according to the company, block out light without putting pressure on your eyes. The buckle strap is easily adjustable and won’t catch or pull hair, according to MZoo. It has an average 4.7 rating on Amazon from over 62,000 reviews.

Bucky’s 40 Blinks Ultralight Sleep Mask

The 40 Blinks Sleep Mask from Bucky’s keeps things dark using contoured, lightweight cups that don’t actually touch the tops of your eyes for zero pressure, according to Bucky’s. But the washable mask may be slightly more uncomfortable for side or stomach sleepers, as the cups are raised, and the polyester plus polyurethane foam combo may peel after extended use, according to some reviewers. Still, for insomniacs on a budget, the mask effectively blocks out light, according to the company. It has an average rating of 4.3 stars from over 2,600 reviews on Amazon.

YIVIEW Sleep Mask

Dr. Seema Khosla, medical director at the North Dakota Center for Sleep, recommended this face mask in our guide to sleep masks, citing the breathable memory foam ringing the eyes. It has an elastic strap that’s less likely to snag your hair than a Velcro one, according to experts, and comes three to a pack and has a 4.5-star average rating from more than 18,100 reviews on Amazon.

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