We’re going to compare the top sleep masks for lucid dreaming (including lucid dreaming devices and machines that you wear) and see which ones are the BEST. Ready?
You all know what a sleep mask is, one of those things they give out free on long haul flights to make you look ridiculous, right?
No but seriously, we wear them to block out light and any visual distractions that might interfere with our sleep. Seems simple, but believe it or not there are loads of different and complex sleep masks out there, some even with built in technology.
Even the most basic sleep mask, like those free ones from airlines, work in a pretty clever way. By simulating darkness, the masks help our bodies produce melatonin, the hormone that controls our body clocks, it tells us when to head to bed.
If you’re trying to nap or changing time zones you might find the sun is still shining bright, and so you cant sleep. Or maybe there’s just an annoying source of artificial light in your room, either way, a sleep mask is going to block that out and help you sleep.
Sleep masks can also help dreamers achieve lucidity. How, you ask? Well first off, an important step towards improving your dreams is remembering them. Any lucid dreamer, or aspiring lucid dreamer will know the importance of dream recall and sleep masks can make this a lot easier.
One of the reasons we forget our dreams when we wake up is because of the visual distractions that present themselves as soon as we open our eyes. Suddenly our dreams are forced to the back of our minds. With a sleep mask though, when we awake we still see only darkness, and we’re given a moment to focus just on the memory of the night’s dreams.
They can also help with the Wake Back to Bed (WBTB) technique. Some of you might be familiar with this technique, but if not, the WBTB technique involves waking yourself up early and then going back to sleep.
This technique is often used between 5 and 7 am, so after the sun has already started to rise. With a sleep mask getting back to bed is a lot easier, as it blocks the first rays of sunlight from disturbing you.
This all sounds quite simple right? A sleep mask just makes it dark. But I wasn’t lying when I said that there are some more complex others. Lots of sleep masks that are specifically designed for lucid dreamers have better designs for comfort, built in light therapy that helps with lucidity and some even analyse your sleep for you. Impressive, I know, but which ones are the best for us lucid dreamers?
1: Dream Essentials Escape: Luxury Sleep Mask
Starting off with a fairly simple sleep mask, the Dream Essentials Escape mask is a good mask if you’re looking for something simple and affordable. It only costs around $20, and comes with a free carry pouch and earplugs. It’s perfect for travel, it’s easily portable and not only helps you block out light but also any sounds that might otherwise drive you insane.
It’s made out of natural cotton so is suitable for sensitive skin and has an eye cavity, so your eyes aren’t actually against the mask. This reduces risk of any irritation or smudged make up. If you want to make it slightly more personal and stylish (if a sleep mask can be stylish) you can also choose from different colours.
2: Dream Essentials Sweet Dreams Contoured Sleep Mask
This one is much like the last one, even made by the same company (Dream Essentials) but is slightly cheaper and is slightly different in what it can offer in terms of comfort. Again it comes with a free carry pouch and ear plugs, but the difference is probably what you’re wondering about.
The Sweet Dreams Contoured Sleep Mask is currently priced at around $13, so a few dollars cheaper than the Luxury Sleep Mask. Rather than a simple sleek look though, this one instead is contoured for comfort. The contours are made of foam though, so a less sensitive material. Whilst this may cause irritation for those with sensitive skin, the foam is intended to add padding and comfort.
These two masks aren’t the most impressive of masks but they do exactly what you want from a sleep mask and for a decent price as well, these would both suit someone who’s not looking for anything to extravagant or expensive.
3: Remee Dreamer
The Remee Dreamer sleep mask is a fairly well known one in the lucid dreaming community. It’s more pricey than the Dream Essentials masks but also does a lot more. It’s currently priced at $95, which isn’t actually bad for a sleep mask like this. Various sales have seen it reduced to $75 at certain points during the year though, so you can always keep an eye out for a good deal.
It has a simple design, but is comfortable to wear. The material is designed to let air flow through it, so heat and sweat are less likely to irritate you during the night. It’s also soft so no matter how much you roll around in your sleep, you shouldn’t even notice it.
As well as being slim and comfortable, it also involves some clever technology. Lights are displayed to trigger lucidity, they work by reminding you you’re dreaming, as your brain will associate the lights with the waking world. You can also adjust the lights to how you want them, so if they’re too bright or fast flashing and it’s just stopping you from sleeping, simply use either the online tool or app to change them to the brightness and speed you need.
You might think the technology would surely affect comfort, but it can bend to suit the shape of your head, so the mask can actually be personal to you. There’s no rigid discomfort. It’s also lightweight so easy to take travelling, something you want of a sleep mask as they’re particularly good at helping you battle jet lag.
4: REM Dreamer Pro Lucid Dream Induction
Again, this mask has light technology that causes lights to flash when you are in REM sleep, only the lights are also accompanied by an audible beeping, just in case the lights aren’t enough for you. You can also customise the beeps to be louder which is particularly handy for any deep sleepers or the hard of hearing.
The REM Dreamer continues to run with the audible theme and has a feature that we haven’t really seen in any other sleep mask, it has the ability to record and play voice messages. The idea is that you can record yourself saying something like ‘I am dreaming’ and set it to play when the mask detects that you are in REM sleep.
If you sleep beside a partner you might be worrying that this would probably be quite annoying for them, but this mask comes with a headphone so that only you can hear the beeps and messages. It’s not a headphone that’s going to fall out either though, it doesn’t actually go in your ear, it’s just attached to the mask near your ear. There’s no risk of it falling off.
This is an impressive mask, and could be especially useful anyone with visual impairment, but it’s price is reflective of it’s unique qualities, costing around $170.
5: Mindfold Relaxation Mask
Another cheaper mask for those of you looking for something that wont leave a hole in your wallet, is the Mindfold Relaxation Mask. It only costs $15 but again you get what you pay for, and what you pay for here is a simple sleep mask with no in-built technology.
It comes with earplugs to block out sound as well as light, so you’ll be able to eradicate any distractions when trying to get to sleep. Cheaper masks can sometimes be less likely to actually block out light effectively but this mask is actually pretty good, giving you complete darkness.
It’s comfortable to wear and again is built with an eye cavity, with eye sensitivity and make up in mind. This is good if you’re planning on wearing it traveling, no one wants to get off a flight with their mascara smeared across their face.
There isn’t much detail to give about this sleep mask, other than it’s cheap and does exactly what you would expect and want a simple sleep mask to do.
6: Glo to Sleep
This is another more high tech mask, it’s similar to the Neuroon (which I’ll move onto in just a moment) only a third of the price, costing only $100.
Rather than simple flashing lights, the light technology in this mask is a step up, simulating sunset and sunrise at the beginning and end of your sleep. This allows you to feel as though you’re waking up naturally, with the sun. It’s a lot more gradual and pleasant than a shrill alarm.
If you don’t think that’ll be enough to bring you out of your slumber though, you can set an alarm to play through the mask. There is also an app it can connect to so that you can set your mask to different time zones, so that the sunset and sunrise simulation can be set to suit you.
To help you get to sleep there’s a pulsing light (which can be adjusted). The slow pulsing light calms your mind and sends you to sleep, almost like hypnosis, and once you are asleep and in the REM stage of sleep, can help you become lucid. The Glo to Sleep mask comes with a travel case to make it extra handy to carry around without risk of damage.
The next two masks you could perhaps consider the ultimate sleep masks for lucid dreamers…
7: Neuroon smart sleep mask
The Neuroon is one the most impressive masks you’ll come across, it has everything you could possibly need. It has an artificial sunrise to wake you up gradually, which is definitely nicer than a sudden and irritating alarm. This is also good if you’re jet lagged, or travelling, as you can use it to realign your body clock.
The mask can be customised by you to make it work around your lifestyle so it’s good for anyone with shift work or anyone that just likes a nap, as the Neuroon can even help you plan the best time and length of a nap.
It analyses your sleep and gives you feedback in the morning, so you can plan how to make the most of your rest in future nights. The Neuroon is one of the only devices that actually gives you an accurate and thorough report of how you slept. Many with sleep disorders have spent hundreds on having similar readings in a medical environment.
As for how it caters to lucid dreamers specifically, there’s a whole app for dreamers that connects to the mask. The Neuroon detects when you are in REM sleep and starts flashing lights that let you know you’re dreaming.
There’s no denying that this is one of the ultimate sleep masks, but it comes at a price. This costs almost $300, which admittedly is a lot to spend on a sleep mask, but then when you consider how much it does, and how much of our lives we spend sleeping, is it really that bad? We also have a detailed review of the Neuroon sleep mask if you’re interested.
8: Aurora Sleep Mask
This is another impressive but equally expensive sleep mask. It’s slightly simpler than the Neuroon though, just using two LED lights to let you know you’re dreaming. It’s also different in that it doesn’t actually go over your eyes, it just rests on your forehead.
This isn’t so good if you specifically wanted something to block out the light, but it is better in terms of comfort. The head band is thinner than most eye masks and made to be comfortable all night long.
It’s especially impressive in terms of sleep analysis, as like the Neuroon it tracks your sleep so you can see how to get a better nights rest in future and identify the cause of any sleep disturbances. It even tracks your brainwaves, that’s some pretty high tech stuff.
To keep track of it all easily there’s an app for both your phone and your desktop, so you can see a record of not only last night sleep, but also the history of your sleep since you’ve been wearing the Aurora.
There’s more as well, the Aurora is probably the smartest of all sleep devices, ahead of its time even. It comes with a smart alarm to wake you up gently. Even more impressive, though perhaps not yet relevant, it can connect to smart technology, so for anyone who already has a smart bedroom, you can use the device to control room temperature, light, and more. It’s the ultimate dreamer’s gadget, but again costs around $300.
9: The Kasina mind machine system
This is a meditation device more than anything but it can be used very effectively to lucid dream and reach a deep sense of relaxation. You can check out my post about light and sound mind machines or just go here to read more about the Kasina.
10: The iBand+
The iBand+ is a brand new EEG sensing headband that can detect when you’re in REM sleep and can then play audio visual cues to you in your dream. It’s a great way to get started with lucid dreaming tech, but you should make sure you know how to actually lucid dream before using it!