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While both are designed to facilitate better sleep, the answer as to which is better between sleep masks or blackout curtains boils down to personal preference and convenience.
A sleep mask is perfect for those who want to sleep on the go, particularly during flights and travels. It’s also great for people who wish to have a nap during their break at the office. Meanwhile, for those who prefer complete convenience without having to put a cover on their eyes, blackout curtains will prove to be much better.
If you can’t decide between the two, let’s try to take a look at each of their benefits.
Benefits of a Sleep Mask
Sleep masks are more than just beauty essentials. They’re useful tools which can help you get the relaxation you need throughout the night. Here are some of their benefits:
1. They help improve overall sleep quality
According to Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine, we have “light-sensitive” cells located in our retina. These cells tell the brain what time of day it is. They are also the ones that determine our sleeping patterns. For instance, if you’re used to sleeping early but were exposed to light, you won’t be able to fall asleep quickly. Exposure to light causes you to miss out on the benefits you’re supposed to get.
A study which was conducted by Chinese researchers investigated the effect of sleep masks and how they can affect a person’s sleeping pattern. The study had the participants’ urine analyzed for their melatonin levels (the hormone responsible for inducing sleep).
They found out that the use of sleep masks during sleep has led to improved sleep quality with fewer disruptions and boosted melatonin levels.
2. Sleep masks are a lot safer compared to taking medication
Some individuals have trouble sleeping and resorted to using sleeping pills to get a good night’s sleep. However, regular intake of such medication can lead to habit-forming, and in most cases, irreversible side effects. There’s even the risk of overdose.
On the other hand, sleep masks work by tricking your brain into believing that it’s already time to sleep. There’s also the fact that they’re effective, low-risk, and don’t involve the use of any chemical to get a sound sleep.
3. They’re convenient during travels
As mentioned earlier, a sleep mask is perfect for getting a good nap during travels, especially in a heavily lit plane. Since it’s portable and small enough, you can easily slip it into your travel bag without any worries.
4. Sleep masks are way cheaper
Lastly, there’s the fact that a sleep mask is just way cheaper compared to a blackout curtain. While blackout curtains can completely block light which comes from outside your windows, they can be quite costly, especially if you have a vast and spacious room. As an alternatively, you can opt for a sleep mask to simulate darkness instead. It’s way cheaper, and it can be beneficial for giving you that sleep you need.
Benefits of Blackout Curtains
Now that you’ve known about the significant benefits that a sleep mask has, let’s then talk about the advantages of using blackout curtains.
1. Blackout curtains significantly block out light
A blackout curtain is capable of significantly blocking out light which enters your room via the windows. It’s because its backside is made of layers of heavy fabric which is tightly woven and opaque. However, it doesn’t block out light completely; hence, you will still get a small portion of soothing light which can aid in relaxation.
2. They can significantly reduce noise
If you want to enjoy a noise-free sleeping time, then you’d want to invest in a blackout curtain. After all, it’s been designed to reduce and block noise significantly due to how it’s intended. This makes it perfect for soundproofing your room, considering that noise can have an impact on your overall sleep quality. You’d definitely enjoy a quiet night with a blackout curtain, especially if you’re living in the city or areas with a high population density.
3. They help you save energy
In case you’re undecided because of the blackout curtain’s hefty price, you might be amazed to find out that it can help you save energy. By investing in a blackout curtain, you can end up saving money on both your heating and cooling expenses. After all, blackout curtains do an excellent job of reducing heat loss.
A blackout curtain can provide insulation during winter months and keep heat away from your rooms during the summer months.
4. Blackout curtains offer maximum privacy
If you value your privacy, then you can find comfort from the fact that a blackout curtain can offer you the level of privacy you need. Due to its thick material, it can protect the room from all those prying eyes from the outside.
As mentioned earlier, the answer as to which is better between a sleep mask and blackout curtains is personal preference and convenience. To better elaborate, let us compare the two side-by-side:
- A sleep mask is ideal if you want to take a nap on the go, particularly during travels or when you’re away from your room. On the other hand, a blackout curtain is only limited to your room. This means that if you want the convenience of sleeping anywhere you have to, then a sleep mask is better.
- In terms of privacy, a blackout curtain is clearly the better choice since it can prevent strangers from taking a peek of what’s going on inside your house.
- When it comes to sleep quality, both can do a great job on their own. A sleep mask can completely cover your eyes and prevent light from entering and disrupting your sleep. Meanwhile, a blackout curtain blocks off light which might come from outside sources.
- A blackout curtain is ideal for maximum ambiance as it can significantly reduce noise pollution within your room. On the other hand, most sleep masks only cover the eyes. However, other brands also include coverage for the ears, though they’re not as efficient as blackout curtains when it comes to noise reduction.
Which Should You Choose?
If you’re completely okay with a traditional curtain or regular blinds, then investing in a sleep mask to help improve your sleep quality is fine. However, if you’re having difficulties getting to sleep because of noise around the neighborhood or too many glaring lights outside, then a blackout curtain is an excellent choice.
If you’re struggling to look for high-quality products, then here are some of the best I can recommend:
1. Nidra Deep Rest Eye Mask
This Deep Rest eye mask from Nidra (view on Amazon) acts as a blackout curtain to block a significant amount of light from disrupting you during your sleep. Aside from that, it has an ergonomic design that can easily match the shape of your face along with adjustable straps for various head sizes.
2. Tempur-Pedic Sleep Mask
Tempur-Pedic is known for its memory foam mattresses as well as pillow products. However, it also offers a variety of products that help you get a sound sleep. This sleep mask (view on Amazon), in particular, follows the same design concept used on their Tempur memory foam. This means that it will stay cool, offer you complete darkness, and even contours to the shape of your face.
3. NICETOWN Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtain
This thermal blackout curtain from NICETOWN (view on Amazon) comes with three layers of microfiber fabric for blocking out a significant portion of light, allowing you to get a sound sleep anytime you want. It also offers thermal insulation to keep you as comfortable as possible.
4. Deconovo Blackout Curtain
This blackout curtain from Deconovo (view on Amazon) offers excellent light blockage to keep you comfortable and disruption-free during your sleep. It’s made of 100% polyester and comes with one silver-coated side and one blackout side. The silver side is useful in reflecting light while the blackout side is effective in giving you a dark room for sleeping.
Conclusion – Sleep Mask or Blackout Curtains: Which Is Better?
If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, investing in either a sleep mask or blackout curtains can be an excellent choice. After all, both of them are designed to improve your overall sleep quality and help you fall asleep a lot quicker than usual. Also, they are proven to be quite effective and risk-free compared to using medications such as sleeping pills to get some sleep.
Then again, the answer to the question “Which is better?” is, it all boils down to personal preference. Each has its own positives and drawbacks. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that one is better than the other. For more convenience and sleeping on the go, sleep masks are, no doubt the better choice. However, for complete relaxation and privacy inside your room, blackout curtains come on top.