Are Sleep Masks Bad for Your Eyes?

✓ Medically Reviewed by Jack Cincotta

Do you currently use a sleep mask for sleeping? If so this article will assist you weigh up the positives and negatives of utilising one. If you choose not to use a sleeping mask you can peruse this article to ensure you analyse the dangers and positives before purchasing one to suit your needs. A sleep mask is one of the greatest sleep aids to use, when chosen correctly to facilitate better sleep.

Sleep masks or a weighted eye mask can contribute to blocking out light whilst you sleep allowing for a superior night’s sleep. However, there are several negatives to wearing a sleep mask. For instances they can cause dry eyes, damage your eye lashes, and give you temporary blurred vision.

Why Wear a Sleep Mask?

Wearing an eye mask can dramatically improve your sleep. In fact, studies have shown that by wearing a blackout sleep mask you can increase REM sleep. REM sleep is the type of sleep that is essential for improving memory so it’s a good thing to get more of this type of sleep phase. Sleep masks may also make falling asleep easier and drastically improve and assist regulate your sleep cycle, which will give you a quality night’s sleep.

Sleep Mask

You should also try and wear a sleep mask every night, with our fail. There are many potential issues that come with wearing a sleep mask and one of those can be making them bad for your eyes. An exceptional night's rest is easily achievable with an brilliant sleep mask and poor sleep a thing of the past.

Blurry Vision

When you wear a sleep mask or cloth mask, they can place unnecessary pressure on your eyes. This light pressure over a period of 7 or 8 hours can cause you to have temporarily blurred vision upon waking.

When selecting eyeshades for sleeping it’s incredibly important to find a 100% black out sleep mask which does not place any pressure on your eyes. If you consistently have blurred vision, you should discontinue using your sleep mask and seek medical advice from your eye doctor or qualified physician.

Damaged Eye Lashes

When using a sleep eye mask, the excessive pressure it places on your eyes can damage your eyelashes. Whether they be natural eyelashes or extensions. Eyelashes help keep dust from entering your eyes so we want to preserve them as best we can.

By wearing a sleeping mask that places unnecessary pressure on the eye lashes and damages them can also be painful. Like the situation with blurred vision ensure you purchase a sleep mask that places zero pressure on your eye lashes whilst sleeping.

Not Providing Total Darkness

Many standard sleep masks do not block out light enough to make them useful or give us a good night's rest. As we have seen blue light disrupts melatonin, therefore its a solid idea to block all blue light from entering our eyes whilst we sleep. Achieving total darkness is paramount to an exceptional sleep mask and a good night's sleep.

Dry Eyes

Sleep masks can cause dry eyes and annoying skin irritation around the peripherals of your eyes. Dry eyes and dry skin around your eyes can cause you to rub them unnecessarily which places unwarranted pressure on your eyeballs. It’s essential to find a sleep mask that has adequate air circulation to ensure to do nit suffer with the symptoms of dry eyes.

Tension Headaches

If your sleep mask does not have a fully adjustable strap, it could mean you are wearing a sleep mask which is too constricted. Having a tight, close-fitting strap around your head as you sleep may lead to a tension headache the following morning.

Advantages of Wearing a Sleep Mask

One study found that participants that wore a sleeping mask and ear plugs reported dramatic improvements in their Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. This shows that quality sleep can be significantly improved when wearing a proper sleep mask.


By wearing good quality blackout eye masks, you may be able to get better quality and quantity of sleep. An exceptional sleep mask should block 100% of artificial light whilst you sleep and not slip off during the nighttime.

Sleep masks are also great to wear when you want to sleep during the day. You could be a nightshift worker that has just finished your shift and need to sleep.

We all know its incredibly hard to sleep in daylight. Daylight signals to our circadian clock system that its daytime and that restricts the best quality of sleep. By using a black out sleep mask, you can simulate night-time by creating complete darkness which is optimal conditions for a better night’s sleep.

Blackout curtains help improve sleep. However, sunlight cannot pass through them meaning you may need to set an alarm to wake up. Black out curtains cannot be taken with you when you travel.

How to Choose the Best Sleep Mask?

Are sleep masks detrimental to your eyes? Yes, if you select the incorrect sleep mask but No if you choose one backed by the academic literature and peer reviewed science.

When choosing a sleep mask, it’s vitally important to find one that has the following features. These incredible features will ensure the sleep mask is not bad for your eyes and help you sleep better.

Fully Adjustable Eye Cups

Ensure your sleep mask has either fully adjustable eye cavities or large hollow eye cavities. This will guarantee you can accomplish a greater level of darkness which in turn could mean a better night’s sleep

eye mask

Hollow Eye Cavities

Consistent pressure on your eyes is what makes sleep masks detrimental for your eyes. Having hollow cavities where your eyes sit mean you guarantee you can fully open your eyes with the eye shades on and still have complete darkness and zero eye pressure. This protects your eyes from blurred vision and preserves your eye lashes.

Eye mask

Fully Adjustable Straps

Ensuring the sleep mask you purchase has fully adjustable straps is a great way to make sure your sleeping mask doesn’t damage your eyes. By ensuring an adjustable strap you can get the perfect fit which will place significantly less pressure on your eyes.

sleep mask

BON CHARGE offers a large selection of different sleep masks that tick all the boxes of the best sleep mask listed above. We have sleep masks that do not damage your eyes and that are suitable for side, back and belly sleepers.

Check out all the benefits of a sleep mask here.

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