The sleep struggle is real, and we’ll try (almost) anything to get us some z’s—whether it’s keeping the bedroom door open, fancy alarm clocks or drinking magical elixirs, we’re game to zonk out. That’s why we were excited to hear about a super lo-fi sleep remedy: a weighted sleep mask from nodpod.
We’ve tried Gravity Blankets before—weighted blankets intended to reduce anxiety and help you nod off—so, this was basically that, but for your face. At $30 a mask, the company says that, “When gentle pressure is applied to the body, it has a profound calming effect, like a hug. This science is known as Deep Touch Pressure and it's something we can all benefit from.” We called in five of the masks to test. Here are our reviews.
“I'm seven months pregnant, and it's been a challenge to adapt to sleeping exclusively on my left side. (Sleeping on your back is a no-no in late pregnancy.) As tight as I tied the sleep mask, it kept drooping down towards the mattress and didn't provide the weighted feeling it would if I were lying on my back. One of the eye pods kept pressing down on my nose and messing up my breathing, so after a couple hours of trying to sleep with it I finally gave up around 2 a.m. If you're a side sleeper (or pregnant), this might not be the best sleep mask for you.” – Lindsay Champion, food and wellness director
“I never have much luck with sleep masks, because I don’t like the feeling of an elastic around my head, not to mention the giant dent it usually leaves in my hair come morning. But this one was different—no elastic or Velcro, so it was comfortable to sleep with. I usually sleep on my back, so I had no troubles with it sliding down. And while I don’t usually have issues falling asleep, I definitely felt a little more relaxed at bedtime.” — Brianna Lapolla, editor
“To be honest, I wasn’t digging this sleep mask. As a side sleeper, it wasn’t very comfortable, and I was very aware of it, even after wearing it a few nights in a row. It also consistently fell off during the night whenever I would toss or turn. I also wasn’t happy that after I stopped using it, I noticed it was harder for me to fall asleep without it. I don’t want to be so dependent on something to help me fall asleep. I feel like if I wore this every night and then went on a trip and somehow forgot it, I’d be totally screwed, and so I’m reluctant to start that habit in the first place. But if you’re an uber-responsible back-sleeper in desperate need of something to help you hit the hay, this might be worth a try.” – Abby Hepworth, associate editor
“I definitely found it to be soft and comfortable when I first put it on. The not-too-heavy weight had a soothing effect and helped relax me quite a bit. I did find it a bit hard to actually drift off with it on my face, so I had to remove it after about 20 minutes of light dozing. That said, I'm not used to having things on my face while I sleep—people who are used to regular sleep masks will probably do just great with it!” – Phil Mutz, executive editor
“The design’s not perfect, but I really like the nodpod sleep mask! My biggest problem with sleeping is the winding down part. I can be tired all day and then suddenly, come midnight, I’m like, ‘Should I roast a chicken?!?!’ But the sensation of a light, comfortable weight on my eyes put my mind at ease. I’m mostly a stomach sleeper (sue me), so the laws of gravity are not in favor of this product. But, for the purposes of getting my mind and body ready to doze off, I just try to sleep on my back and see where the night takes me—it’s usually on my stomach with my mask on the floor, but hey, at least I’m sleeping.” – Dara Katz, senior editor
TLDR: The masks probably aren’t best for finnicky sleepers or people with lots of restrictions—hello, seven-months-pregnant co-workers. But if you can sleep on your back, the masks do have an overall positive, calming effect.