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I'm a Dude, and a Silk Sleep Mask Drastically Improved My Life

I had resigned myself to a life of shitty slumber until someone gifted me a Mulberry Silk Eye Mask from Brooklinen.
Ian Burke
Brooklyn, US
Silk Sleep Mask Review
Composite by Vice Staff

After living in shoebox-sized, railroad-style apartments with low ceilings for years, I finally moved into a place where my 6’5” roommate doesn’t have to worry about bumping his head. Yep, I finally have high ceilings—don’t worry, it’s still a shoebox-sized, railroad-style apartment—and while I love the newfound vertical space, there's a bit too much natural light in my room due to a second window that’s too high for me to reach and put up a curtain or blinds. I’d either need a painter’s ladder or I’d have to call my building’s management, which, as everyone who’s ever lived in New York knows, is pretty much a useless endeavor. Unfortunately, all this natural night—which, don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for—wakes me up at an ungodly hour in the morning, wrecking my sleep cycle. 

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In the early days of living at my new place, I used to (and I'm not joking) place a single black tube sock over my eyes as I slept to act as a makeshift sleep mask. The problem with that was as soon as I’d roll over or toss and turn in my sleep, my improvised mask would fall off and I'd wake up. After a few weeks (yep, weeks) of that, I moved on to using a T-shirt, but that posed its own issue—it would end up wrapped around my entire face, and I’d wake up thinking my roommates were finally trying to smother me in my sleep for filling the entire apartment with bulky homebrewing supplies. After nearly two months of rising with the sun, I thought all was lost, and that I'd have to resign myself to a life of shitty slumber while I ran out the remainder of my lease, or I succumbed to a painful death by sleep deprivation. That was, of course, until someone gifted me a Mulberry Silk Eye Mask from Brooklinen.


$29 at Brooklinen

$29 at Brooklinen

I was skeptical at first, because I'm a moron, but after the first night, I was hooked. I slept like a baby, didn’t wake up once, and it was in no small part due to my new eye mask. First of all, if you’re like me and don’t own any other pieces of silk, you’ll be blown away by how soft, breathable, and naturally cool this thing is. It also blocks out all light, and as is one-size-fits-all (and it actually is; I have a massive noggin). Though it doesn’t have an adjustable strap, it's still tight enough to stay on your face through the night, but not so tight that it gives you a headache after wearing it all night. It comes in a bunch of different colorways, from “Celestial” to “Blush,” is machine-washable, and is made with a luxurious charmeuse weave.

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Unfortunately, just a few weeks after I got my Brooklinen mask, I lost it. (Or, I thought I did; it was actually just under one of my pillows.) I panicked—having become accustomed to my newly eye-masked lifestyle—hopped on Amazon, and ordered this MZOO Sleep Eye Mask right away.


$29.99$19.99 at Amazon

$29.99$19.99 at Amazon

This one is different from my silk eye mask in that it has adjustable straps, and two raised donuts made of memory foam that circle your eyes—but doesn’t touch them—so you can actually open your eyes while wearing the mask. (You just see infinite blackness, which is strangely comforting when you’re trying to conk out.) It’s made with super soft fabric and has a 4.5-star average from 64,532 ratings. “Overall, an outstanding design,” one reviewer, who isn’t me, writes. “For a very reasonable price!” Personally, I love it so much that even after finding my Brooklinen mask, I actually alternate between the two depending on how I'm feeling.

TL;DR: The main takeaway here is that I could have avoided many a sleepless night had I just ponied up for a real sleep mask instead of trying to MacGyver a sock/shirt situation at home. Whether I’m wearing the Mulberry Silk Eye Mask from Brooklinen or the MZOO Sleep Eye Mask, the result is the same—I sleep like an absolute log. Until, of course, the charming sounds of NYC car alarms and angry drunk people wake me up in the wee hours of the morning. Don’t worry though: We’ve got a solution for that as well


The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.