Whether you’re travelling, your bedroom is too light to sleep in, you’re into blindfold chess, kinky sex or you are looking for some darkness during meditation or shamanic breathwork session, a blindfold (or sleep mask as they’re sometimes called) definitely comes in handy! I’ve tried many different eye masks, from free ones that you get on a plane, to sexy silk ones you use in the bedroom, to 100% blackout sleep masks that are marketed as next level. I’ve narrowed it down to 2 favourites – the Mindfold Mask and the Manta Sleep Mask and wanted to review them to help you find the best sleep mask for meditation, travel and sleep.
Before I begin this review (which is NOT sponsored btw) – if you’re looking for a sexy blindfold to play in the bedroom with, then this isn’t the place for you. These sleep masks are many things, but sexy is definitely not one of them! Have a look at these or maybe these if you’re looking to get kinky.
In a rush? Skip down to the bottom for a summary table.
Manta Sleep Mask review – is this the best sleep mask?
I stumbled across this blindfold on Instagram, it was advertised as the best sleep mask and the photos looked like it was good quality, so I decided to check them out.
These guys are definitely very modern, they’re on the social game and have lovely customer service. During this review, I used the Manta SLIM mask.
What’s great about the Manta Sleep Mask?
The materials used are really great, can’t say anything bad about the quality at all. The bit that touches your face is made of cotton, so it’s nice and soft on your skin and the elastic band behind has one of those soft velcro’s, so your hair doesn’t get caught in it.
The Manta Sleep Masks have different kinds of eye pieces and they’re all hollow, so you can keep your eyes open. Some are cooling, some are warming, some are weighted and then you get the normal kind too. I have the normal kind (there are 2 sizes), which was said to be the only style that’s 100% blackout (spoiler alert: they’re not).
You don’t get sweaty in this sleep mask, there’s no plastic in it, so that’s a big thumbs up from me!
Lastly, it’s a rather nice-looking sleep mask, definitely one of the best I’ve seen. It certainly doesn’t fall under the sexy category but more like sporty if anything.
What’s not so great about the Manta Sleep Mask
The biggest disappointment for me was that it’s not 100% blackout as advertised, it’s only 100% dark IF YOU DON’T MOVE and if you tighten it a lot! According to their marketing they “have tens of thousands of happy customers, and 99% of them report 100% blackout”… my guess is that none of these people have ever tried a Mindfold and simply don’t know what 100% blackout actually is, or they simply tried it without sleeping on their sides or front. Sorry guys, I’m calling you out on this one, no matter how much you adjust it, if you sleep in any way that’s not on your back, then the mechanism fails.
Also, you can feel the Manta Sleep Mask on your face. Oh don’t get me wrong, it’s comfortable, and when I first tried it I was like oo this is quite nice. But then I put the Mindfold on to see the difference, and immediately my face felt calmer and more relaxed, I didn’t realise how much pressure the Manta Sleep Mask was actually putting on my face until I had something to compare it to.
If you sleep on your front, it’s very uncomfortable. The eye pieces stand out a lot, so they put even more pressure on your face and it leaves marks in the morning. If you sleep on your side, it’s not as bad, but the eye pieces shift somewhat and can get a little awkward. You don’t get this problem with the Mindfold.
The eye pieces are all removable, so you can place it anywhere on the front strap. I guess this is useful for people who have asymmetrical faces, but personally I just found it inconvenient. It takes some time to fiddle about and get it just right. On the positive side of that, you can just buy one head strap and get different eye pieces. I’m still keeping this in the negative column though because I’d rather buy a brand new mask than fiddle around changing the eye pieces all the time!
Mindfold review – could this be the number one blindfold?
I was first introduced to the Mindfold during a workshop where we needed to have 100% blackout for meditation and we were all given one for free. This was back in 2011 and I still have that Mindfold to this day even though it’s been 9 years! At the time, I had never seen anything like it and was shocked at how poorly marketed it was, when it was clearly revolutionary.
It was comfortable, you could open your eyes in it and it was completely 100% dark in there! I thought these things would grow massively, but sadly they didn’t. Their website is rather outdated and they don’t even have social media accounts. Thankfully you can get them on Amazon!
What’s so great about the Mindfold sleep mask?
The Mindfold sleep mask has good and bad bits about it, as with anything, but do the positives outweigh the negatives and make it the best sleep mask?
The greatest bit is that out of every mask I’ve ever tried, this one was the only one that stayed true to the description – it is indeed a 100% blackout blindfold, even after 9 years of use.
It’s made with high-density soft foam padding. The foam padding has cutouts that allow you to experience total darkness even with your eyes open! This is great for people with long eyelashes or just generally if you want to open your eyes in comfort. I have several Mindfolds which I use for different reasons (e.g. I take the old one to travel with, in case I lose it) and I noticed that the foam on the old one has gone suuuuper soft, which is actually rather nice.
The strap is adjustable from both ends and doesn’t get in the way.
The second best bit – you can sleep with it on your back, side or front and it will still be completely dark, it’s actually very comfortable and it doesn’t fall off!
What’s not so great about the Mindfold blindfold?
I do wish the inside was made with natural materials. The foam is soft, but there’s just something that I personally don’t like about unnatural products against my face. I always wondered why they can’t cover the foam with cotton or something. Also, hair sometimes gets stuck in the foam, which tickles your nose if you don’t get it out. That’s probably my number one complaint about this sleep mask!
The outside bit is made of flexible plastic, which means it doesn’t breathe from the top, which makes it pretty sweaty in there. When I’m sleeping on my stomach and press against it hard, I can feel the sweat touch my eyelids and it’s pretty gross…
The strap does lose elasticity after a few years, which is so be expected, but it does make my 9-year-old one rather messy looking.
Finally, you look like a bug in this thing. It’s not attractive, but in my opinion, it’s totally worth it!
So, what’s the verdict?
The best sleep mask for MEDITATION IS…
The Manta Sleep Mask. Because it’s made with cotton, it feels nice against your face, so you don’t get distracted during meditation. Also, you don’t typically move during meditation, so it will stay 100% blackout.
The best sleep mask for SLEEP IS…
The Mindfold blindfold. It’s super comfy and is the best one I’ve ever tried for sleeping on your side and front, without compromising the darkness.
The best sleep mask for TRAVEL IS…
Both are great for different reasons. The Mindfold is easier to clean and you can rest assured that you’ll have darkness no matter where you are and what position you find yourself in, but you have to keep it inside a cover when not in use so as to not damage the foam. The Manta Sleep Mask won’t be as comfortable, but you can fold it and be a lot rougher with it, so I would prefer that for more extreme adventures.
Hope you found this review useful! Here’s a quick breakdown for you all just to have all the details at a glance:
|100% blackout||YES!||Can be, if you don’t move||No|
|Comfort||Very comfortable, can barely feel it, but can get a little itchy||Fairly comfortable, but you can still feel it on your face||Comfortable|
|Can you sleep on your stomach with it?||Yes, relatively comfortable||It’s not comfortable and it leaves marks on your face||Yes, relatively comfortable|
|Can you sleep on your side with it?||Yes, very comfortable||Yes, you can feel it though and it breaks the blackout||Yes|
|How durable is it?||Very long lasting, I’ve had mine since 2011||Very long-lasting||They typically don’t last long due to the elastic straps|
|How good are the straps?||They are decent, adjustable, but do stretch too far after many years of use. Spiky kind of velcro||Soft kind of velcro, adjusts nicely, haven’t used it for years so don’t know how durable they are, but feel like great quality||Usually not adjustable and break/stretch quickly. If you have silk straps, they don’t hold well at all|
|Aesthetics||Not very appealing and very large||Very well designed, looks nice||Most cheap ones will just look like you took them from a plane|
|Eye covers||High-density soft foam padding with cutouts so you can keep your eyes open||Adjustable (you can actually place them anywhere on the mask, separately), made with memory foam, covered in cotton with cutouts so you can keep your eyes open||No cutouts for eyes, it’s uncomfortable to blink|
|Front part||Flexible black plastic plate||Cotton velour and polyester||Typically cheap rubbish (yes, that’s the technical term)|
|Is it breathable?||No, it gets sweaty in there||Yes, unless you’re in a very hot space||Basic ones – no, real silk ones – yes|
|Does it fall off when you sleep?||No||No||Yes|