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best sleep mask for travel
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

I’ve got to admit — there are few things I love more than the ritual of preparing my travel essentials before boarding a red-eye flight. I am not a good sleeper, but I give it my all every time. I drink a glass of water, pop an Airborne tablet in, load up on facial oil and lip balm, and then voila, I am ready for a restful, upright-seated sleep — as restful as those can be. A good eye mask is always paramount to this process.

But I have to be honest. As much as I love the diva look that accompanies the delicate, black silk sleep mask I’ve been using for the past few years, I can’t say that I love the feeling of something touching my eyelids. In fact, it can even feel a little distracting as I try to fall asleep.

That’s where the Bucky 40 Blinks mask comes in, and it's arguably the best eye mask for sleeping that I’ve encountered. While it may not look as adorable as some of those Audrey-Hepburn-circa-Breakfast-at-Tiffany’s-type sleep masks, it makes up for its peculiar appearance with ultralight comfort and practicality.

Made of a smooth polyester and foam blend that completely blocks out any and all light, the 3.5-inch by 9.5-inch mask is contoured to fit over your eyelids, like two little cups, so nothing touches them. When I flew home on a red-eye from Los Angeles this past week, I fit the Bucky mask over my head (it has an adjustable Velcro strap for easy fastening) and enjoyed the sleep mask–enhanced benefits of a restful, pressure-free snooze. The five-hour flight felt like five minutes.

bucky sleep mask
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

The mask is also convenient for those who want to nap without smudging makeup or disturbing long or false lashes. Heck, you could even slip some fresh cucumber slices under the eye contours and have yourself a cheeky little in-flight spa treatment.

My only issue with the mask was the Velcro bit on the strap. If you have long hair, be sure to carefully fasten the Velcro because it can tug if the two get tangled.

The Bucky 40 Blinks sleep mask usually retails for $10, but it's available for $8 right now at Amazon where it has more than 900 five-star reviews.