The Best Sleep Mask for Side Sleepers: Our Top Picks and Why
Let’s get straight to the point. You’re a side sleeper who hasn’t been getting a decent night’s rest, and that’s why you’re here.
Shoulder pains aside, let us assure you it’s unlikely your sleep position is a culprit. One obvious solution is an eye mask, and not just any either. Keep reading for the best sleep masks for side sleepers and why.
A Note from Us for Side Sleepers Like You
Allow us this shameless plug: Most of our infinitely adjustable masks are designed to work for all sleep positions: back, front, and side. We wouldn’t dream of coming up with a list if this wasn’t the case.
The reason we’ve done this from the get-go is simple: side sleeping is preferred by more than 60% of people, whether they know that it’s the healthiest position or not. We got you covered no matter what mask you pick.
It can be tough choosing the best sleep mask. Whether you’re a side sleeper who already uses one or doesn’t, these common problems will help you spot the duds.
Your sleep mask slips off when switching sides.
You probably already know this about side sleeping but it’s natural to switch from your left to right through the course of the night. You need to. Otherwise, your shoulders suffer in the morning. While a sleep mask won’t take away your shoulder pain (an orthopedic will help), it’ll help you sleep better.
With this in mind, the best sleep mask for side sleepers should be snug enough in the eye area to stay put no matter how many times you shift. The strap should be durable, too. Otherwise, it’ll be on the floor or somewhere between your sheets in the morning.
You’re conscious of wrinkles and your sleep mask is pulling around your eye area.
A con of side sleeping is that it pulls the skin around your eyes. Unfortunately, this leads to wrinkles and fine lines apart from the natural aging process. But before you attempt to change your sleep position for good, consider a silk sleep mask.
Besides this, there are other benefits of sleeping with a silk sleep mask. Here are a few:
Silk is naturally moisturizing
It absorbs less of your skincare products
It feels so good against your skin
Your hair won't snag on it
Silk is a fine and lustrous fabric that has a slippery feel. Therefore, you might be wondering how something made out of this fabric can stay in place, and block out light effectively. Our answer: it depends on the sleep mask. Which one? Keep reading.
Your sleep mask is too bulky, making side sleeping uncomfortable.
Maybe you can’t do without a night light. Or your room gets practically flooded with sunlight in the morning. Thus, your sleep mask is wide and thick. But, we get it. You loathe anything on your face (and your ears) while you sleep.
As a side sleeper, you can do without that extra space between your head and the pillow. And the obvious answer to this is to get a slimmer sleep mask.
The problem is most slim sleep mask straps are made from flimsy material, allowing light to seep through. It probably has a thin elastic strap to keep it in place, too. Since you hate anything on your ears, this is a real downer. And at one point, this will lose all its elasticity.
What you need is a mask that’s slim yet durable enough to stay put while performing its most basic function: blocking light. (And just in case it’s your first time, here’s how to wear a sleep mask.)
Now let’s get down to two eye masks that help you sleep and nap better.
This Top Sleep Mask for Side Sleepers Loves Your Skin
There are several silk eye mask benefits for better beauty sleep, but the bottom line is that it helps prevent wrinkles. Smooth and lustrous, it puts less friction around your eye area. Plus, if you’re heavy into skincare, it absorbs less of your miracle serums. Without further ado, here’s the best silk eye mask for you.
Manta Sleep Mask SILK
As most of our eye masks do, this one works even if you sleep on your side. The Manta Sleep Mask SILK is made from 22 momme silk. We’re talking about super lustrous, high-grade fabric here, folks.
Other things to love about this sleep mask:
Rejuvenates as you sleep with fabric that has 18 amino acids
Lined with silk from the inside out
A sturdy and adjustable 6-layer strap that contains silk from the inside out
Infinitely adjustable silk eye cups that are tapered to conform to your face
Zero eye pressure
It’s silk and it's 100% machine washable. OMG.
It helps prevent wrinkles and lets you snooze more comfortably. Scratch the latter. You will sleep in the lap of luxury.
The Sleep Mask Made Especially for the Side Sleeper
To help side sleepers get quality quadruple Z time, this mask doesn’t have side bulk. Think of how uncomfortable it is for there to be space between your head and pillow. Not to mention the extra pressure. Also, the main point of a sleep mask is to block out light. How’s that going to happen if your mask doesn’t stay put?
We already said all our masks are made with side sleepers in mind, but we saved the one mask to rule them all for last:
Manta Sleep Mask PRO
Side sleepers, rejoice! This is the sleep mask of your dreams. We’re not kidding. The Manta Sleep Mask PRO comes with C-shaped eye cups that lay flat against your temples, so you lie completely flat on your pillow. Even better, the slim strap is made from a lightweight material and angled so it doesn’t cover your ears.
Wait. It doesn’t end there. Each eyecup has a smart air bubble that responds to movement. It expands to block out light when you switch sides and compresses once you lay flat — the true meaning of total blackout.
Why else you should go for the PRO:
Breathable strap made from a combination of mesh and premium foam
Interiors are made from Tactel, soft and fast-drying fabric to keep you cool
Zero pressure on your eyes
Perforated material from the straps to eye cups gives a 360 airflow
Eye cups conform to the face for a snug and comfy fit
This was made for you, side sleeper. ‘Nuff said (we think).
Still Can’t Decide What Side Sleeper Mask is Best For You
We know it’s a tough call, especially if more than one applies to your side sleeping woes. So, here’s what we suggest:
1. Score the Manta Original Headstrap and test drive the eye cups and accessories.
The GREAT news is you can buy the different kinds of eye cups (and accessories) separately. These work with the Manta Original Headstrap. Here’s a quick list:
The Manta Original Headstrap is a great all-around choice. It won’t have the special features of head straps designed specifically for each eye mask. But, it’ll help you decide on what works best before you bite the bullet.
Side note on the Manta Aroma Dots. These will fit any Manta head strap and will give you quick doses of aromatherapy.
2. Choose from our head strap selection and mix and match with different eye cups.
Here’s another way to experiment. Choose a head strap, according to what appeals to you most. Then, pick a pair (or 2 or more) of eye cups that apply to your secondary side sleep issue(s).
Here’s a list of Manta head straps that are great for side sleepers:
We gotta be fully honest with you on these suggestions though. You won’t be getting the same experience as owning any of the eye masks. But, it’ll help you decide on what works best for you before biting the bullet.
Side Sleeping Tips for Better Snoozing
So, we clued you in on the best sleep mask for side sleepers. Allow us to share some tips to make this sleeping position work better for you.
Sleeping on your side means making sure your neck and head are aligned with your spine. Unless you want to wake up in pain, of course.
Use one pillow for your head.
Imagine sleeping on three soft pillows. Doesn’t it sound appealing? The truth is it’s not a great idea—for side sleepers especially. You don’t need tons of pillows. Just one will do.
The pillow for your head should support your neck and head. Too thin and there will be a space between your head, neck, and the mattress. Too thick and your head will be tilted at an angle causing misalignment with the spine.
Place a pillow between your legs.
Meanwhile, putting another pillow between your legs serves to keep your spine aligned.(1) Your knees should be bent too. This pillow should be thicker than the one for your head.
Sleeping with a pillow between your legs is also good if you are pregnant, have lower back pain, or have sciatica.
If you’re recovering from a hip replacement surgery, sleeping with two pillows between your legs is recommended.(2)
(Tip: Also, you could choose to sleep with a really good body pillow.)
Use a mattress that conforms to your body.
As a side sleeper, a mattress that conforms to the shape is your best bet. Ones made from memory foam are a good option.
It’s important that it’s neither too firm nor soft to support the contours of your body. It should be constructed with layers to give your pressure points relief as well.
When you shouldn’t sleep on your side
The fetal position is great for reducing heartburn and GERD. It’s not good for shoulder injuries.
Sleeping this way puts extra weight on your shoulders. Even if it's just one shoulder with a problem. Side sleeping means it’s highly possible you’ll unconsciously shift sides at one point (or more) during the night. So, there’s no pain-free guarantee.
Why Reconsider Switching to Another Sleeping Position
Unless your doctor says so, it’s unlikely (but not impossible) your side sleeping position is causing poor sleep quality. Apart from causing shoulder pains and not helping your sinus, it’s considered by experts a healthy way to sleep. Here’s why:
Helps keep airways open for sleep apnea sufferers
Sleeping on your left side is known to reduce GERD attacks.
It’s ideal for pregnant women as it promotes good blood flow and reduces pressure on the liver (it helps support the belly, too).
It’s the ideal position for getting rid of lymphatic system waste (It prevents degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's or dementia.)(3)
Now that you’re armed to the teeth with everything side sleeping, it’s time to choose the best sleep mask for side sleepers. Make sure it covers your other needs as well.
For instance, you may have health conditions, such as migraines or dry eyes. Believe it or not, there are sleep masks that will give you some relief. Check out these other articles:
1“Best Pillows for Different Sleeping Positions.” Spine-health, https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/sleep/pillows-different-sleeping-positions. Accessed 20 May 2022.
2. “Sleeping Position Tips After Total Hip Replacement Surgery." Cleveland Clinic, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15645-sleeping-position-tips-after-total-hip-replacement-surgery. Accessed 20 May 2022.
3. “Your Sleep Position Affects Much More Than You Think.” Psychology Today, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleep-newzzz/201903/your-sleep-position-affects-much-more-you-think. Accessed 20 May 2022.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website or provided through our blog, e-mails, or programs is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment that can be provided by your healthcare professionals.