As someone who has never slept straight through a flight before, this sleep mask was a revelation.

By Tanya Ghahremani
December 14, 2019
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Courtesy of Nordstrom

Falling asleep on a long-haul red-eye flight isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world to do — but for some seasoned, experienced travelers, it’s not the most difficult thing, either. Personally, I’ve been lucky enough to have had a lot of opportunities to travel for work, but it wasn’t until recently that I finally figured out the formula to falling and staying asleep during one of these flights. In the past, I’d tried everything from fancy travel pillows to highly rated earplugs — and none of it worked.

Turns out, I just didn’t have the right sleep gear. During a recent flight from NYC to London (which was set to be a total of seven hours long), I packed a new purchase in my carry-on backpack that I hoped would be the answer to all my sleep problems: the Slip Silk Sleep Mask, which, as the name suggests, is a pure silk sleep mask. When I tested the sleep aid at home, it helped me fall asleep faster than usual, so I figured it was worth a try in the air.

Unlike the other sleep masks I’d tried before, this one truly felt like I was wearing nothing thanks to the silk material, but it still offered full blackout darkness. When I laid back to try to sleep shortly after take off, I found it far easier to shut out all of the other distractions — the people shifting and talking around me, the fact that the legroom in economy is never substantial enough for an adult human, etc. — thanks to how enjoyable wearing the sleep mask was.

And damn, that comfort: The silk feels buttery smooth skimming over your eyes.

Courtesy of Nordstrom

To buy: nordstrom.com, $50

I don’t know when exactly I fell asleep during that flight (mostly because I was too busy falling asleep) — but I’m not exaggerating when I say it was like a revelation to lift the eye mask upon hearing the pilot’s announcement that we were approaching London’s Heathrow airport. I truly didn’t think it was possible for me to sleep through an entire flight like that — but I’d done it, and it seemed it was all thanks to an eye mask. When the flight finally landed, I didn’t feel as sluggish as I normally do after a red-eye flight; I actually felt like I could do things that day.

To ensure it wasn’t a fluke, I tried the eye mask again on the way back to New York a few days later. Sure enough, I put the magical mask on, and soon enough, I was asleep. Fluke, this was not.

Since then, I’ve used the sleep mask on another flight with a similar outcome: a quick sleep turnaround time and a well-rested me upon landing. I’m really not sure why the Slip Silk Sleep Mask works better than ear plugs or a pillow would — but the bottom line is that it does, and I’m not going to ask any more questions than that.

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