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Which gel eye mask is best?

Gel eye masks are one of those items that belong in every home. Part therapeutic device and part beauty tool, they’re a sure bet to relieve a nagging headache or simply to help you unwind.

These squishable, flexible masks are filled with liquid or soft beads. The fillings give masks unique properties, as they’re able to be frozen, chilled, or even microwaved. Once they reach your preferred temperature, apply the gel eye mask to your face and let it work its magic. While gel eye masks don’t cure any conditions, they’re remarkably effective for soothing and relaxation.

Our top pick, FOMI’s Hot and Cold Therapy Gel Bead Facial Eye Mask, is made from nontoxic materials and covers three-quarters of your face for maximum relief.

What to know before you buy a gel eye mask

Coverage area

Most gel eye masks cover just over an inch above or below your eyes and extend to cover part of your temples. Many people use them to treat puffy eyes or as a staple of their skin care routine.

There are also oversized gel eye masks whose coverage areas extend from beyond the T-zone right down to the cheeks. These are often used by those who suffer from migraines or sinus headaches and depending on their design, they can be flipped and worn on the neck or behind the head.

Cold therapy vs. warm therapy

Gel eye masks used for cold therapy are placed in the freezer between uses. If they feel too chilly for immediate wear, you may need to leave them on the counter for a couple minutes before placing them on your face.

Some — not all — gel eye masks can also be heated in the microwave for warm therapy. They’re ideal for soothing soreness, especially related to tension or sinus headaches, as the warm compress helps boost blood flow.

What to look for in a quality gel eye mask

Liquid vs. soft bead fillings

Gel eye masks fall into two main categories: liquid or bead filled. While both are flexible and pliable, masks with beads are better at contouring to your face. This means you have more areas of contact between the mask and your face, which maximizes your overall therapeutic experience.

Light blocking vs. eye holes

If you intend to wear your gel eye mask while engaging in other activities around the house, as many people do, opt for one with eye holes. On the other hand, if you prefer to snooze while wearing your mask, you’re better suited for a light-blocking mask without eye holes.


Straps keep gel eye masks in place and are adjustable to provide a comfortable, customized fit. They can be elastic, hook and loop or have a slide buckle.

While straps seem like a rather simple feature, they’re telling of the mask’s overall quality. Poorly made masks have flimsy straps that break easily, while better ones are made from durable materials or feature reinforced stitching.

Premium comfort features

If you’re looking for an extra boost for soothing or relaxation, consider spending a little more on gel eye masks with premium comfort features. There are some that have removable aromatherapy inserts and others that have soft fabric linings. Certain gel eye masks even come with padded straps.

How much you can expect to spend on a gel eye mask

For less than $10, you can find liquid gel eye masks with minimal coverage. Those with a larger coverage area with additional comfort features like linings run between $10-$20. For a spa-quality gel eye mask, which may come with aromatherapy, you may spend closer to $30.

Gel eye masks FAQ

Can you sleep with a gel eye mask on?

A. You could, and it’s not unusual to nod off while wearing one. Medical experts, however, say it’s best to limit wear to no longer than 20 minutes at a time. To make sure you’re always wearing your mask safely, you may wish to set a timer during your relaxation session.

How do you clean a gel eye mask?

A. Wipe it down with water and gentle soap, and let it dry fully before freezing it again. If your mask is lined with fabric, you may need to spot treat it with gentle detergent if it’s stained from makeup or dirt.

What’s the best gel eye mask to buy?

Top gel eye mask

FOMI’s Hot and Cold Therapy Gel Bead Facial Eye Mask

FOMI’s Hot and Cold Therapy Gel Bead Facial Eye Mask

What you need to know: You can use the unique design for headaches, eye puffiness or simply relaxation.

What you’ll love: The oversized design has a cloth side for maximum comfort and can be used warm or cold.

What you should consider: Follow microwave directions carefully to prevent leakage.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top gel eye mask for the money

L'autre Peau’s Therapeutic Spa Gel Bead Eye Mask

L’autre Peau’s Therapeutic Spa Gel Bead Eye Mask

What you need to know: The flexible design covers the temples.

What you’ll love: This budget-friendly option has easy-to-adjust straps and comes with two masks.

What you should consider: The eye holes could be cut a bit better.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Bausch + Lomb’s THERA PEARL Eye Mask

Bausch + Lomb’s THERA PEARL Eye Mask

What you need to know: It’s on the smaller side, so it’s best for those who need modest coverage and relief.

What you’ll love: It provides maximum surface area for relief, because it has eye holes. It is TSA-approved.

What you should consider: The strap can be somewhat challenging to wear.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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