Many of us wear an eye mask to block out light while we sleep, but what if your mask could also sing lullabies, get a massage, and use the latest NASA technology?
Enter the new wave of high-tech eye tech that promises to do just that. These ‘smart’ masks claim to help us create a relaxing sleep environment by enlisting the support of the other senses – touch, heat and sound.
With 60 percent of people reporting an increase in sleep problems after the pandemic, it’s no wonder we’re turning to future options.
According to Technavio market research, the global eye mask market grew from £8.2million to £1.7billion last year and over the next three years, nearly a third of the growth will come from the technology sector.
Smart sleep masks claim to help us sleep by enlisting the support of other senses, with 60 percent of people reporting an increase in sleep problems after the pandemic. Musicozy mask plays tunes through speakers hidden in soft fleece
Are Gadgets Really the Answer to a Good Night’s Sleep? ‘High-tech solutions can help improve your night’s sleep,’ says Sammy Margo, author of The Good Sleep Guide. ‘Try technical options but ignore other factors, such as your bedtime routine, diet and screen time, which can affect the quality and quantity of sleep.’
We’ve put the latest to the snooze test…
Manta Sleep Mask (£30, mantasleep.uk)
The Menta Sleep Mask uses breathable materials to provide the lightest and most sound-proof fit without scratching your hair or straining your eyes
It may sound low-tech but it uses breathable materials to provide the lightest and most sound-proof fit without snagging your hair or putting pressure on your eyes: Adjustable eye cups crush the longest lashes Prevent and allow even the most vigorous rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Ear plugs are included, but cold and warm eye patches have to be ordered separately.
Decision: Beautifully comfortable and the perfect blackout without the eye strain, but too expensive to justify the lack of smart features. 2/5
Musicozy Sleep Headphones (£20.99, amazon.co.uk)
Sing to your playlists to sleep with the comfy HID speakers connected to Bluetooth. The supersoft, washable fleece drapes gently instead of pressing on the eye sockets or ears.
Decision: It makes up for what massage features lack in snuggle power, and the ability to listen to a snoozy tune or podcast to really help you fall asleep. One for side sleepers because it is very comfortable at any angle. The handy volume controls on the forehead mean you won’t have to fumble for your phone in the dark. 4/5
Renpho True View Eye Massager (£54.99, uk.renpho.com)
The new model of the Renfo brings a Bladerunner vibe to the mask game with its wrap-around mirror visor and newly introduced vision window
The new model of the Renfo brings a Bladerunner vibe to the mask game with its wrap-around mirrored visor and newly introduced vision windows. The heat massage option is believed to get rid of bags under the eyes with an acupoint massage.
Decision: Simple controls and cool voice instructions on the side keep the Rainfo mask moving as you make your choices. A choice of music tracks is built in – or you can bluetooth one for yourself. It also easily folds in half into a soft carry case. But the vision window is a bit plasticy and it’s too heavy for anything other than snuggling on your back. 4/5
Sound Oasis Illumi (£129, comfort-uk.com)
Reflected in the price, this is the gold standard of CircadianLite eye masks. It uses pioneering NASA technology aboard the International Space Station to set astronauts’ body clocks using colors of light to mimic a day on Earth.
Once you install the app and set your alarm, you’ll see a slowly dimming sunset that prompts your mind and body to relax. In the morning, the mask glows on its own, imitating the action of the sun.
Decision: Groundbreaking technology aside, it disappoints with its cheap feel and the need to fiddle with an app. But for travelers, it’s a winner: The gentle morning of a jet-lag-free day is almost worth the money alone. 4/5
slowness of the space age
brio iDream5S Eye & Neck Massage Helmet (£199.99, amazon.co.uk)
The BREO iDream5S Eye & Neck Massage Helmet applies deep kneading massage to the eyes, upper neck and scalp areas, integrating heat compression and ‘intelligent air pressure’.
They say this is the future – the ultimate multi-tasking and automatic massage mask: The iDream 5S’s 150 pressure points apply deep kneading massage to the eyes, upper neck and scalp areas, integrating heat compression and ‘intelligent air pressure’ , set you up for more restful sleep.
Decision: Not for the faint-hearted: While the helmet’s vise-like grip starts to feel soothing, the head massage feels like witches’ claws are sliding right below my hairline and a neck massage never really does. . What works is the Eye Socket and Temple Flutter, which gives you a million dollar feel, but the bulk and price make it exorbitant and impractical. 1/5