Weighted eye masks are is gaining a lot of attention these days. The mask is similar to weighted blankets that promote quality sleep, ease tension headaches, help with migraines, relax your brain and cure insomnia.

They have become popular among frequent travelers as it helps to release travel stress and anxiety and soothe dry eyes.

We’ll explore the benefits and uses of weighted eye masks in this article.

What Are Weighted Eye Masks?

Weighted eye masks are sleep masks filled with weight, such as natural flaxseeds, sand, microbeads,  or lavender. They are made from soft fabrics like satin, silk, or cotton. The weight of the eye mask ranges from 200g to 500g.

A weighted eye mask functions by providing tender pressure that sends a signal to your brain to calm down and relax. It also blocks the sleep-disturbing lights.

If you wish to purchase a weighted eye mask, pay attention to these 3 different features.

  • Material: Choose a material carefully that suits your comfort, lifestyle, and health needs. For example, if you have sensitive skin, buy a mask made from cotton or are allergic to a particular material, opt for a non-irritating fabric like soft silk.
  • Weight: Check the weight of the mask before you buy it. Most of the masks weigh around 200 gm to 500 gms. 400 gms is the most preferred choice among buyers.
  • Fill: Understand what is filled inside. The type of fill will directly impact sleep. And it also affects how you clean it. For example, silica beads can be irritating to sensitive skin people. Lavender buds can give an aromatherapy soothing effect.

Weighted Eye Masks Possible Benefits

There are several benefits associated with weighted eye masks. Some of them include:

1. Helps to Block Light Completely

 The Mask completely blocks the light and creates a pitch-black environment for sleeping. According to experts, even a small light from a window or behind the curtain can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm and affect sleep quality [1].

Eye masks block both natural and artificial light to get high-quality sleep. It allows the pineal gland to produce melatonin that regulates the sleep cycle. Total darkness helps people having shift jobs or irregular sleeping schedules as it completely shuts the outside environment.

2. Helps to Deeper and Longer Night Sleep

Eye masks facilitate longer sleep hours. According to a study, weighted eye masks promote balance between sleep and hormone. It further results in more REM time and deeper sleep.

It also provides a gentle pressure that triggers the brain to produce mood-boost hormones and a fall in cortisol. When the cortisol level is high, you tend to stay alert at night, leading to insomnia. A good quality eye mask helps you sleep in deeper, healing sleep [2].

3. Enhances Relaxation Effect

The eye mask creates a calming effect while you sleep. It uses Deep Pressure Touch (DPT) or Deep Pressure Stimulation (DPE) to relax and calm the nervous system by gently squeezing.

You must choose a suitable mask to create a sense of peace and calm. When your brain is calm, it signals to prepare your body to sleep.

4. It Helps with Headaches and Migraine

According to studies, an eye mask can help with headaches and migraine. A weighted eye mask can block the blue light from electronic screens and trigger that causes migraine. You can keep cold eye masks on your eyes to get a soothing effect.

The research study also suggests that approx. 80% of migraine patients are sensitive to light. A cold eye mask can narrow the blood vessels and affect the circulation to the nerve that causes pain. It numbs the eyes and head, leading to relaxed eyes and sound sleep [3].

5. Prevents Dry Eyes

Eye masks can help prevent dry eyes when you wake up.

You can use heated eye masks to get relief from dry eye symptoms. The masks can help boost hydration, reduce inflammation, and increase oil production.

6. Reduces Formation of Wrinkles on Face

Your sleeping position can influence the formation of wrinkles. It puts external pressure on facial expressions when you sleep on your stomach or side or sleep in one position for a long time.

When you wear a weighted eye mask, it becomes a barrier between your face and pillow/bed. Thus it reduced the friction on the skin.

7. Ideal for Travel

The eye mask is a fantastic company when you are on vacation. They are light in weight and thus can be carried everywhere with you.

Weighted masks can help to overcome jet lag as they completely shut all lights and sunshine and block all unwanted brightness. Eye masks also help you with travel stress.

Weighted Eye Masks Dangers

Eye masks are usually considered safe for everyone. However, there is some potential risk. You may get allergic if the mask material or fill does not suit you. Many people are allergic to specific cloth types or fill.

Secondly, if your mask gets too tight, it may cause blurred vision. A tight mask puts pressure on your eyes and decreases your blood flow.

Bottom Line

You spend one-third of your life sleeping. And the quality of sleep affects a lot of things in your life. A good night’s sleep makes you feel active throughout the day and improves your mental and physical health.

A weighted eye mask can benefit you if you are a shift worker, a frequent traveler, or have inconsistent sleeping patterns.

The mask can make you sleep quickly and provide you with the quality sleep you need. It calms and relaxes your brain and rejuvenates your body.

If your sleep problem is frequent, do consult a health care professional.

FAQs

What is the best weight for an eye mask?

The best weight for your eye mask should be the one that helps you to get good sleep and health. If you are new, start with lower weight mask.

Which fabric should I choose?

The fabric of your mask should suit your body type and temperature. Material like satin and silk is soft and keeps your body cool. While if you have sensitive skin, cotton is a better option.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References and Fact Checking

  • Ohayon MM, Milesi C. Artificial Outdoor Nighttime Lights Associate with Altered Sleep Behavior in the American General Population. Sleep. 2016 Jun 1;39(6):1311-20. doi: 10.5665/sleep.5860. PMID: 27091523; PMCID: PMC4863221.
  • Hu RF, Jiang XY, Zeng YM, Chen XY, Zhang YH. Effects of earplugs and eye masks on nocturnal sleep, melatonin and cortisol in a simulated intensive care unit environment. Crit Care. 2010;14(2):R66. doi: 10.1186/cc8965. Epub 2010 Apr 18. PMID: 20398302; PMCID: PMC2887188.
  • Digre KB, Brennan KC. Shedding light on photophobia. J Neuroophthalmol. 2012 Mar;32(1):68-81. doi: 10.1097/WNO.0b013e3182474548. PMID: 22330853; PMCID: PMC3485070.
  • Szigiato AA, Speckert M, Zielonka J, Hollamby K, Altomare F, Ng E, Nisenbaum R, Sgro M. Effect of Eye Masks on Neonatal Stress Following Dilated Retinal Examination: The MASK-ROP Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2019 Nov 1;137(11):1265-1272. doi: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.3379. PMID: 31486844; PMCID: PMC6735413.
  • Textile Contact Dermatitis: How Fabrics Can Induce Dermatitis. (2019, February 8). SpringerLink. Retrieved September 14, 2022, from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40521-019-0197-5?error=cookies_not_supported&code=97b2eb5e-e951-4ab4-a898-7b25673831ca

With her Master in Business Adminstration (MBA), Sarika has explored numerous industries and picked up valuable experiences and skills along the way. She is now a professional content writer and meditation instructor who enjoys helping and empowering people to get deeper in touch with their physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Sarika also has experience as a social media manager and research and marketing professional, which equips her to communicate effectively through her articles. LinkedIn