Happy Sleep Week! Yes, it's that time of the year again—the "holiday" week that was surely invented by mattress manufacturers, but that we love all the same—when we celebrate the eight-ish hours a day that we spend unconscious and therefore liberated from the prison of sentience and reality. Sleep is just about our favorite thing ever, tied with sweatsuits, Uncrustables, and the Satisfyer Pro 2, and it makes sense to invest in quality slumber when it's what fuels your brain, heals your body, and recharges you for the days ahead.
You may be good in bed—but this stuff will make you (sleep) even better.
Sure, when we were 19, we only needed four hours of terrible-quality sleep next to a rando that we met at the foam party, and when 10:41 a.m. came around, we could chug a couple of sugar-free Monster energy drinks and be back on our feet. But these days, we're believers in the much-discussed self-care ethos, and have realized that finding moments of comfort, peace, and solace where we can is crucial to maintaining PMA, dodging depressive episodes, and being able to show up to our acupuncture appointments on time. So, what conjures grade-A, top-choice sleep? According to our editors, who have tested everything below, a few tried-and-true ideas include upgrading your sheets to dreamy linen, winding down with calming teas, and finding a silky sleep mask that will shut out the haters, a.k.a. the light streaming in from a skylight in your shoebox apartment. For some, good sleep requires earplugs, memory foam, and quenching overnight lip masks; for others, it's found via cult-fave blankets and high-tech alarm clocks. Read on for the absolute best sleep products beloved by our staff for getting to sleep, staying asleep, and waking up well-rested and ready to face the shitshow that is our Idiocracy-like modern society. JK, we're feeling pretty great this morning! Time for a cup of adaptogenic mushroom coffee.
I'm a lifelong side sleeper who unfortunately never quite figured out how to position my arms, and often wake up in a totally different body config than the one in which I fell asleep. That changed, though, when I got my hands on Honeydew's Scrumptious Side Sleeper Pillow and realized that maybe all of my crunchy feather-filled pillows hadn't really been taking me to my max snoozing potential. This thing gently cradles my head while leaving room for my shoulder and arm to fully relax, and as a result, I often wake up refreshed and realizing that I slept so deeply, I didn't even move around. —Angel Kilmister
Honeydew's pillow specifically for side sleepers
First of all, yes—linen sheets are worth it. Secondly, you know you need to buy new sheets, dude, and you absolutely need to stop buying janky ones from the dollar store every six months just because you don’t want to do laundry. (Yes, that is a personal anecdote.) Linen is cooling, breathable, and perfect for the warmer parts of the year, which we soon, unfortunately, approach. This was my very first set of linen-blend sheets, so I went with an affordable but super highly rated set from Amazon, and they've got me addicted. —Ian Burke
Breezy linen-blend sheets
If you’re the kind of person who wakes up at the slightest sound, you've gotta have some Howard Leight earplugs on-hand. They’re so comfy and effective that sometimes I’ll just work with them in my ears during the day if there’s construction outside my apartment, and I always end up taking a pair for plane travel, doling them out to visiting houseguests, and keeping a pair or two by my nightstand. There’s nothing worse than getting jolted awake in the middle of the night by Diplo-loving neighbors—and nothing more satifying than shutting them out of your senses, instantly. —Mary Frances “Francky” Knapp
The best earplugs for light sleepers
Remember alarm clocks? And no, not the one that goes off on your iPhone—and the iPhone of millions of others—every day. The Loftie Alarm Clock is one of the most magical, relaxing pieces of non-tech tech (lol) I’ve seen in years, because it’s designed to take you off of your phone and into dreamland. I was lucky enough to be given one for a test-run for VICE by the woman-owned wellness and shopping platform The Verticale, and I won’t shut-up about it to my friends. The aesthetic is sleek, and the alarms are like soundscapes from a Miyazaki movie; it includes sleep-inducing podcasts, white noise machine options, and looks slick on my nightstand. —Mary Frances “Francky” Knapp
This alarm clock wants you to “break-up with your smartphone alarm”
I drink this most nights before bed; it has a light, relaxing flavor and contains chamomile and valerian root, as well as licorice, cardamom, and cinnamon for a spicy-sweet flavor. If you’re looking for a nice relaxing cup of something warm before you head to bed, this soothing tea is perfect for winding down. Pro tip: add two tea bags if you want to fall asleep as fast as possible. —Jamie Steidle
A tea for knocking out
While I am vehemently against “gaslighting, gatekeeping, and girlbossing,” I did consider keeping this pillow all to myself. It’s that good. In an emergency, I would grab my dog, some heirloom Hermès scarves, and this goose down-filled pillow. There are various options in terms of fill, size, and density, but I can tell you what makes this 600 fill option the GOAT: It’s soft and squishy, but still holds its shape when fluffed into place. It cradles your neck and head, and is also amazing for cuddling or shoving between your knees if you’re experiencing back pain. Catch me on the next season of TLC’s People Who Love Objects. —Becca Blasdel
A pillow that truly cradles you
If you’re not wearing an eye mask to sleep, you’re missing out on some serious chunks of REM. (Or so I’m told.) I’m a huge fan of Brooklinen’s Mulberry Silk Eye Mask, since it’s soft, not too tight, and doesn’t make my face sweaty at night. It’s also one-size-fits-all, which is impressive, since it fits around my massive head with ease. —Ian Burke
Brooklinen’s Mulberry Silk Eye Mask
People are obsessed with Barefoot Dreams blankets and I never understood why until my sister got me one for Christmas a couple of years ago. There's a reason the reviews are a sea of five-star raves; nothing else compares to the soft, stretchy, warm, luxurious feel of these blankets, which seem to be spun straight out of clouds, candy, laughter, and yarn made from Care Bear fur. They're not cheap, but they are 100% worth it for something you'll cuddle with every night (or, even better, if a family member buys one for you). —Hilary Pollack
The best blanket ever IMO
I was so sick of waking up in the middle of the night with a dry throat and a bloody nose during the winter, so I tested out the TruSens humidifier for VICE to see if it could finally put an end to my suffering. Not only has it helped me sleep better for the past few months, but my tropical plants are looking healthier than ever.
A humidifier that’s good for you (and your plants)
I’m referring to my lips, duh. They tend to get really dry at night, especially in the winter… if the A/C is on… if the heat is on… so, yeah, pretty frequently. So I like to slather them in a lip sleep mask before bed, which is more hydrating and lasts longer than any miscellaneous checkout-counter lip balms. I used Laniege’s cult-fave one for a long time because it comes in a lovely gummy bear flavor, but now, I actually prefer the lip mask from Tatcha, which feels less sticky, and is infused with Japanese peach and olive-derived squalane. When I do, I wake up with zero chapping.—Angel Kilmister
Keepin' em juicy all night long
The Brooklinen waffle robe is my closest companion, and I talk to my mother at least twice a day, so that’s saying a lot. It’s made out of a lightweight and cozy Turkish cotton, and it's deep-set waffle pattern allows the robe to absorb water and dry super fast. But the real cherry on top for me is the actual stitching and form of this baby, which seems normal enough but truly does slip onto your body like a hug. If you’ve ever felt annoyed/constricted by your robes, this is a game changer. Sleep is just better when you know you’re gonna wake up and wrap yourself in a perfect robe. —Mary Frances “Francky” Knapp
A morning robe that feels like a hug
In the words of my colleague Mary Frances “Francky” Knapp, weighted blankets "feel like cuddling up in a sigh of relief"; that gentle pressure is just what the doctor ordered for melting away the stresses of every day in this godless world of late capitalism. (Huh? Nothing!) Anyway, the Nodpod sleep mask takes that concept one step further with its weighted blanket eye mask, which is like a long, cozy caterpillar that gently rests on your face, hugging your head, blocking out light, and deterring haters. It's perfect for people who find that extra darkness and gentle pressure help them sleep, but who don't like the feeling of having a piece of cloth tightly strapped to their noggin, as it doesn't have a band. It's definitely best for those who sleep on their backs, but can be configured for side sleepers, too, as long as they don't mind readjusting it here and there. —Hilary Pollack
A weighted blanket for your eyes
Fellas, is your significant other constantly griping about how “you only have one pillow” and that it’s “yellow from years of neglect?” Well, have we got the solution for you: Buy some more pillows! Specifically, these breathable memory foam pillows from Amazon. They’re doughy and cooling in all the right ways, and are a comfortable, affordable way to get your partner off your back—and into your bed. —Ian Burke
Cooling memory foam pillows
My hair is one of my favorite things about myself. Naturally, I treat it with tender loving care. One of the best things I’ve ever done for it is to invest in Unite’s U Oil. Not only does it smell great going on right before bed but it strengthens, smooths and hydrates my mane. —Becca Sax
Hydrate your hair overnight
I used to think that sleep masks were not for me. Envious of everyone around else on overnight flights, I could never find one that fit loose enough to not bother me while still blocking out a good amount of light (those free ones with the elastic string? I shudder at the thought). Then, I tried Drowsy’s Silk Sleep Mask. With an adjustable velcro strap for the perfect fit and large flat panels with ample space for your nose, this mask is the next best thing to sleeping in a pitch-black room on a satin pillow. While it is a little pricier than other sleep masks, I am willing to bet my first born that you will love it and never have to buy another one again. —Becca Blasdel
A squishy, cloud-like sleep mask
Okay, so this isn’t really a true sleep product, but it is a vital part of my evening wind down routine. After I finish my skincare, brush my teeth, and make myself a cup of Sakara Sleep Tea, I literally turn off all the lights in my room and read in the dark on my Kindle. The screen is meant to be paper-like, and has an adjustable light (a.k.a. no lamp required). It’s actually the best vibe and makes me feel relaxed and cozy before I’m ready to close my eyes and drift off. —Kate Spencer
The basic B Kindle
I always wondered if meditation could really help manage my anxiety and intrusive thoughts, and I found out through personal experience that the guided meditation app Headspace absolutely can. There’s no better time to mellow out than when you’re trying to sleep, and Headspace has lots of dedicated sleep features, including meditations for sleep, sleep music, and sleepcasts that are designed to help you relax and, well, get in the headspace for sleep. —Jamie Steidle Here’s to banishing that horrible feeling of looking at the clock and calculating how much sleep you can get if you fall asleep now. Sweet dreams are made of this (stuff).
The Headspace app, because meditation really does help
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.