While there are definitely “pandemic purchases” I regret — a pair of boots still in their box, blazer for the office covered in creases and unused lipstick in overly colorful hues — my Slip sleep mask isn’t one of them. In fact, I can’t imagine sleeping without it now.
After too many sleepless nights last year, I decided that something in my sleep routine had to change. Before the pandemic, I could usually get the recommended seven hours of sleep (for someone my age). But a month into working from home, I couldn’t really sleep at all. I tossed. I turned. I stared at the ceiling. I stared at my phone. Sometimes hours would go by without so much as a yawn. And when I did finally sleep, strange dreams and even eerier nightmares would wake me up before my alarm went off. So I set rules to follow before bed: I would stop so-called doomscrolling, turn off whatever TV show I was watching an hour prior to bedtime, finally figure out the right bedtime and follow it.
Unfortunately, I didn’t always follow those rules. Fortunately, I kept coming across Slip’s silk sleeping masks in both online shopping stories and Instagram. The masks looked especially luxurious at a time when Gap sweatpants officially became a part of my work-from-home wardrobe. I took a chance and bought one in a plum shade embroidered with little lipsticks. I never wore an eye mask before and at first, it was weird to just look into complete darkness when I still wasn’t sleepy. I couldn’t stare at a screen. I couldn’t overthink. I could only think about how dark it was. But after a couple of nights, I wasn’t just used to it. I found myself snoozing off within minutes of sliding the mask on.
Slip’s sleep masks are made entirely of mulberry silk, a high-quality kind of silk that covers the exterior filler, inner liner and even the elastic band. The silk feels soft and smooth to the touch, superior to any under-eye patches, eye creams or cucumber slices I’ve ever put on. Although it feels odd to call the mask breathable since it goes over your nose, the eye mask doesn’t force me awake and sweaty nor suffocate me — it’s that lightweight. One dermatologist we spoke to previously praised silk for being just that — breathable — and until I put it on for the first time, I didn’t really understand how soft silk could feel against my skin, softer than any velvet jacket, cotton T-shirt or any plush towel I own. There’s no padding inside the mask so you don’t feel like the mask presses down on you. While the words “face mask” have taken on a new meaning now, this face mask is something I look forward to putting on.
Since you just have to slip the mask on, the elastic band is especially stretchy — but even if I pull the band back for as far as it will go, it bounces back into shape (and doesn’t droop down over my face). As for the mask itself, the brand says it uses non-toxic dyes. The masks come in colors like Caramel and Gold, along with novelty prints, including After Dark (black and white polka dots) and a zodiac collection featuring each sign’s constellation. On Slip’s site, it’s recommended that you hand-wash and line-dry the masks, as well.
The opaque silk is like a blackout curtain for your eyes. And the elastic band in the back helps me stay asleep. Sometimes I’ll still wake up in the middle of the night — worried about work, the world and everything else in between. But the eye mask stays in place. If I’m too tired, having the mask stay on means I can usually get back to sleep within a couple of minutes. If I can’t rest right away, I can easily just move the mask off my eyes by feeling for the band in the back. For my hair care routine, the band isn’t so tight that it leaves creases on the back of my head. After drying and styling my hair before bed, the last thing I would want is to wake up with that work ruined. Luckily, this sleep mask doesn’t do that.
To keep my mask in tip-top shape, I follow the directions laid out by Slip. The brand suggests using a pH neutral detergent when hand washing its eye masks. But I usually just use whatever is on hand (that means the least expensive detergent I can find on any given grocery run). I haven’t had any trouble on that front at all. When it comes to line drying, you’ll want to make sure to leave your mask laid out — keeping it as smooth as possible and wringing it out for any wrinkles. The first time I washed one of the masks, I left it slightly scrunched to dry and realized just how wrinkly it could get the next day.
Now, I own three. Putting on one of Slip’s eye masks is the last thing I do every night and taking it off is the first thing I do in the morning — I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Other Slip products to consider
Eye masks aren’t the only item Slip carries in its line of silk products. Here are a few of Slip’s products that you should know about.
One of the best silk pillowcases out there, according to one dermatologist who praised its quality, Slip’s silk pillowcase is also made from mulberry silk. The brand says the pillowcase is designed to reduce friction on your face and keep your hair from tangling throughout the night. Unlike the brand’s eye mask, the pillowcase is machine-washable but you’ll want to line dry it, too. It’s a popular pick for shoppers, with an average 4.5-star rating across more than 800 reviews.
This pack includes six mini silk scrunchies — the brand also carries a set of three large silk hair ties. Again, this silk is the same as the one used for Slip’s pillowcases. Elastic, can sometimes snag hair, according to one hairstylist who spoke to TODAY. But these hair ties are supposed to be more gentle, with a silk covering over elastic on the inside.
These hair ties also must also be hand-washed and line-dried when you need to clean them.
Slip now has its own face masks, which are covered on the outside with the brand’s signature silk. The double-layer design includes a cotton lining on the inside, adjustable ear loops and metal nose piece. While you might not think that silk is effective for a face mask, the Centers for Disease Control published a brief explaining how the fabric can help filter out coronavirus droplets. And cotton is one of the materials that is best for breathability, too. You can throw these into a washing machine, but make sure to dry the covering out flat. It has an average 4.4-star rating across more than 300 reviews at Nordstrom.