Many of us wear an eye mask to block out light while we sleep, but what if a mask could also sing lullabies, provide a massage, and take advantage of the latest NASA technology?
Step into the new wave of high-tech eye technology that promises to do just that. These “smart” masks claim to help us sleep by using the support of our other senses – touch, temperature and sound – to create a comfortable sleeping environment.
With 60 percent of people reporting an increase in sleep problems after the pandemic, it’s no wonder we’re turning to future options.
Last year, the global eye mask market grew by £8.2 million to £1.7 billion, and over the next three years, nearly a third of the growth will come from the technology sector, according to market research at Technavio.
Smart sleep masks claim to help us sleep By getting support from other senses, 60 percent of people have reported increased sleep problems after the pandemic. Musicozy mask plays tunes through speakers hidden in soft fleece
Are Gadgets Really the Answer to Good Night? “High-tech solutions may help improve your sleep at night,” says Sammy Margo, author of The Good Sleep Guide. Experiment with technical options but don’t lose sight of other factors, such as your bedtime routine, diet and screen time, that may affect the quality and quantity of sleep.
We’re putting the latest to the snooze test…
The start is simple
Manta sleeping mask (£30, mantasleep.uk)
The Manta sleeping mask uses breathable materials to provide the best fit and lightness without tearing your hair or putting pressure on your eyeballs
This may sound low-tech but uses breathable materials to provide the best fit and lightness without snagging your hair or putting pressure on your eyeballs: adjustable eye cups prevent the longest lashes from squashing and allow even the most active quick eye. Movement (REM) sleep. Earplugs are included, but the cold and hot eye patches must be ordered separately.
Verdict: Beautifully comfortable and perfect dimming without eye strain, but too expensive to justify the lack of smart features. 2/5
Musicozy Sleep Music Headphones (£20.99, amazon.co.uk)
Get singing to sleep with conveniently hidden Bluetooth speakers connected to your playlist. The ultra-soft, washable fleece gently wraps the head instead of putting pressure on the eye sockets or ears.
Verdict: This makes up for in snuggle power what it lacks in massage features, and the ability to tune in to a tune or podcast that really helps you fall asleep. One for side sleepers as it is very comfortable from any angle. Easy volume control on the front means you don’t have to touch your phone in the dark. 4/5
Renpho True View Eye Massager (£54.99, uk.renpho.com)
The new Renpho model brings the Bladerunner look to the mask game with a wrap-around reflective visor and newly introduced sight windows.
The new Renpho model brings the Bladerunner look to the mask game with a wrap-around reflective visor and newly introduced sight windows. The heat massage option is supposed to get rid of bags under the eyes by massaging the acupoint.
Verdict: Simple controls on the side and quiet voice instructions while choosing your options put Renpho Mask first. A selection of music tracks are included – or you can use Bluetooth yourself. Easily folds in half into a soft carrying case. But the viewing window is too sticky and too huge for anything other than a nap on your back. 4/5
treader of dawn
Sound Oasis Illumy (£129, relax-uk.com)
This is reflected in the price, and this is the gold standard for everyday eye masks. It takes advantage of NASA’s groundbreaking technology on the International Space Station that sets the astronauts’ body clock using the colors of light to mimic a day on Earth.
Once you install the app and set the alarm, you will see a gradual faint sunset that pushes your mind and body to rest. In the morning, the mask lights up on its own, simulating the movement of the sun.
Verdict: Regardless of the innovative technology, this let down by its cheap feel and the need to tinker with an app. But for travelers, it’s a winner: A nice dawn for a day without long flights is almost worth the money alone. 4/5
space age silence
Brio iDream5S Eye and Neck Massage Helmet (£199.99, amazon.co.uk)
The BREO iDream5S Eye and Neck Massage Helmet uses a deep massage of the eyes, upper neck and scalp areas, incorporating heat pressure and intelligent air pressure.
They say this is the future – a multifunctional automatic massage mask: The iDream 5S’s 150 pressure points apply deep massages to the eyes, upper neck and scalp areas, incorporating heat pressure and “smart air pressure”, setting you up for a more restful sleep.
Verdict: Not for the faint of heart: While the helmet-like grip of a vice begins to feel soothing, the head massage feels like a witch’s claws roll down to my hairline and the neck massage doesn’t really get there. What works is the eye pulsation and temple pulsation, which makes you feel like a million bucks, but the larger size and price make this overpriced and impractical. 1/5