As a devotee of sleep masks for many years (but not a brand loyal one — having relied on the free masks collected over time from overnight flights), I was thrilled to test a thoughtfully designed, higher-level eye mask: the Ostrichpillow 3D Ergonomic Eye Mask.
Ostrichpillow, which is perhaps best known for its squidlike (and frankly, meme-worthy) Napping Pillow, calls its eye mask the “first truly 3D ergonomic eye mask,” with a design adaptable to the three-dimensional features of the face, claiming to fit perfectly on all head sizes and face types.
While we can’t speak specifically to those claims, as just one individual tested this specific sleep mask, Underscored did thoroughly test sleep masks this past spring, including several others that offer a versatile, inclusive fit. But the claims that the Ostrichpillow mask provides a 100% blackout sleep experience in total comfort, we can indeed confirm.
The Ostrichpillow Eye Mask is made with six different layers of “high-quality materials” (not fully articulated on the site description), but it feels cottony-foamy, soft and deeply comfortable. When we first tried on the mask — never having worn a full blackout sleep mask before — we were almost startled at how a bedroom in full daylight turned instantly dark. The six layers create a light barrier that’s significantly thick but also quite light and portable.
The mask felt softly but securely suctioned to the face, leaving no gaps in the material for any light to sneak in. A secure Velcro closure around the back of the head allows for adapting the snugness of fit, and even at a looser positioning around the head, the mask still clung to the face and blocked light. At the same time, the mask felt breathable and not at all obstructive.
Sleeping in the Ostrichpillow Eye Mask, on our backs or our sides, was the stuff of dreams. We slept in total darkness peacefully, and even if we had to get up in the middle of the night, it was simple to remove the mask and reapply it without much fumbling.
One drawback to this mask, compared to the complimentary flat masks dispensed on airplanes, was the experience of stomach sleeping. Because of the soft but structured cups around the eyes with the Ostrich — very successful at keeping the mask in place and blocking light — sleeping facedown doesn’t feel natural at first. The cups around the eyes feel very present — not uncomfortable, per se, but not not noticeable — when sleeping facedown. The structure of the mask softened a bit over a few nights of use, and we wonder if a user might become more accustomed to stomach sleeping after regular usage and washings of the mask.
To that point, the mask is machine-washable (with suggested line drying), a distinction that none of the sleep masks Underscored tested last spring could claim. The Ostrichpillow mask also comes with a convenient travel bag so you can easily pop it in your bag for flights, train rides or even midday rests in your company’s meditation room if that’s your office reality.
At $45, the Ostrichpillow mask isn’t a cheap sleep mask, but since it is machine-washable and adjustable, it may be a fine longer-term investment in many good nights’ sleep.