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I was recently listening to a mattress store commercial on the radio and learned that humans are the most sleep deprived species on earth. It might be a ploy to get listeners to go mattress shopping, but the fact is pretty relatable.
The resting zombie face I've had over the last few weeks was finally enough motivation to try Amazon’s bestselling sleep mask. This $10 eye cover from Alaska Bear worked for over 11,700 reviewers who gave it a cumulative 4.4-star rating out of 5 stars, so how could it not work for me?
When I pulled the mask out of its packaging, I felt like I was pulling out a tuft of cloud. Despite being only $10, it’s softer than the 100% cashmere sweaters in my closet, the 500-thread-count sheets on my bed and the expensive body butter in my bathroom.
Unlike most eye masks you get last minute in airport shops, this one is soft on both sides. It’s made of hypoallergenic “100% top-quality 19 momme natural mulberry silk,” and though I'm not overly familiar with my silks, mulberry silk is often referenced as the highest-quality silk consumers can buy.
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On the mask’s packaging, Alaska Bear — which, despite its name, is a Chinese company — calls it “the fabric of the emperors.” (It’s also the fabric behind the bestselling pillowcases that prevent bedhead.)
The sleep mask is surprisingly cool and comfortable
I have a fear that if I sleep with anything over my face it creates a breeding ground for bacteria. This mask doesn’t feel like it’s trapping heat — but if it ever did, I could loosen it with the adjustable headband. Unlike the Velcro straps of my eye masks past, this one has plastic adjusters that don’t stick to my hair.
For me, the fit is fine. But some fans spend $1 more for the upgraded version — it’s basically the same mask with double straps and a nose baffle that you can shape to fit your nose if you’re worried about light coming in from beneath the mask.
It's darker than any blindfold
Sleeping in my parent's house made sleeping anywhere else much more difficult because for the first 17 years of my life I was sleeping in a dark basement. I had a window the size of my laptop and the closest city lights were seven miles away. As a result, I prefer my sleep environment like my best friend likes her coffee: black.
Fast forward a few years and I now live in a city. So, earlier this summer, I invested in a new pair of blackout curtains and though they're great, they don’t do me any good when I’m on the road (I have a travel blog) and my seat-mates have reading lights on. Fortunately, I’m finding this mask — which I ordered in basic black, although it’s available in 10 colors and prints — to function as blackout curtains over my eyes.
The mask is so dark that when I’m wearing it and still have my eyes open, I sometimes forget I have my eyes open! In fact, it blocks out so much light that I recommend using it instead of a blindfold at parties with piñatas. It will definitely make the game last longer.
You have to hand-wash it, so I have another in my cart
As a lazy germophobe, I don’t like that I can’t just toss the sleep mask in the washer on hot and use my detergent with bleach, but I realize that’s a small price to pay for sleeping with silk. The washing instructions for this mask call for hand-washing in cold water with a mild soap or silk detergent. They also recommend dry cleaning.
However, there’s no way I’m making a special trip to the dry cleaner downtown for a $10 eye mask. Luckily, for the price I don't mind just ordering another. Now that I know what back-to-back nights of a full eight hours of sleep feels like, I can’t imagine going to bed without this mask.
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