And so to bed... five dreamy eye masks
Katie Wright recommends the most effective light-eliminating coverings
As a beauty writer, I receive a lot of products for review, and while I couldn't possibly take everything home to try - my house would look like a branch of Boots if I did - there's one thing I always make space for when they land on my desk, and that's sleep masks.
Honestly, I'm addicted - but it's all my own fault. A few years ago I was given a copper-infused mask that's said to reduce wrinkles (more on that later) and after trying it in the name of ageing prevention, I'm now dependent on total darkness in order to ease my passage to the land of nod.
Not that it's a bad thing. Even though my bedroom is relatively dark, I sleep so much better with all light eliminated by a silky eye covering. Even if I wake up before my alarm and the mask has slipped off, I just pop it back on and I'm soon slumbering again. Plus, they're an essential part of my long haul flight routine (alongside silicone ear plugs and a Super Snoozer inflatable pillow, FYI).
Not to brag, but I've got quite the collection now - it's important to have a few because, being in close contact with your skin every night, they need to be washed regularly - and after years of testing, I consider myself something of an expert when it comes to assessing the comfort, effectiveness and aesthetic prowess of sleep masks. There are no novelty masks in my bedside drawer - only chic, high quality designs. So, if you're struggling to catch enough Zzzzs, why not give one of my tried and tested bedtime buddies a go? Here are my top five sleep masks and why they've earned a place in my anti-insomnia arsenal...
1. Black silk eye mask, £27.40, Kitsch
This is a recent addition to my collection and a new favourite. In super-soft black silk, the mask is bigger than most so it really blocks out light. Its strap is firm but not too tight and the minimalist design is just right. It ticks every box for me and it's cheaper than many other luxury versions.
2. Iluminage sesame skin rejuvenating eye mask with copper oxide, £40, LookFantastic
This is the aforementioned anti-ageing mask which started my obsession. It's infused with copper oxide fibres and clinically proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles in four weeks. I can't say for certain it's affected my complexion (partly because all sleep masks fall off during the night) but it's nicely cushioned, eliminates light very well and helps me sleep, which is good for your skin anyway.
3. Peachy Keen sleep mask, £50, Slip
The makers of the famous Slip pillowcase also do a range of sleep masks in their gorgeously soft silk. With more than 30 colours and styles to choose from (including a lovely range of navy masks embroidered with star sign constellations) they're lovely to look at and very comfortable. However, they are slightly smaller than other silk versions, and at a higher price point.
4. Silk eye mask, £25, The White Company
One of the best sleep masks I own is actually priceless - I picked it up when I was lucky enough to fly British Airways business class on a press trip. It was made by The White Company, and if you can get your hands on one, I highly recommend you keep it, but if not, the next best thing is the brand's spotty silk mask.
5. Star navy velvet eye mask, £14, Oliver Bonas
While silk is kindest on your skin, synthetic fabrics offer a more affordable option.
This navy sleep mask from Oliver Bonas combines a silky material on the inside and velvet on the outside, which makes it very good at blocking out light. It's also a lot cheaper than most silk masks, and comes with a cute little travel pouch.