There are thousands of products out there that promise consumers the best sleep of their lives. But not all of them are worth your investment, and you don’t have the time to filter through pages and pages of reviews on your quest for the perfect night of sleep.
That’s why we’ve rounded up some niche sleep companies whose products really deliver the shut-eye they promise. These brands each have a sleep specialty, like soft and cool clothing, guided meditations, or aromatherapy, which means they’ve honed in their expertise to develop the best solutions possible.
Lunya Restore Sleep Mask
If you need absolute darkness to sleep, and you either can’t stand the sight of blackout curtains or prefer a portable solution to any bedroom scenario, a sleep mask is your answer. But which sleep mask will offer you a supremely comfortable, light-blocking experience? Lunya, a sleepwear startup that makes upscale pajamas and sleep accessories geared towards women, sells a mask that makes finding total darkness a luxurious experience. It’s made of soft pima cotton fibers and is designed to gently hug your face, providing a relaxing pressure on your eyes. The wide band covers your ears to muffle noise, while also keeping your hair from creasing. “I didn’t expect it to completely change the way I sleep,” one reviewer writes. Looking for an upgrade? Lunya also offers the same model in washable silk, so you can get the cooling richness of silk, but without any of the dry-clean-only fuss—ideal for everyday use.
Weighted blankets were initially designed as a therapeutic solution for people with autism, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, but in recent years have been adapted by the masses as a sleep solution. The pressure of weighted blankets is said to soothe the nervous system, reduce the stress hormone cortisol, and support the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. They aren’t for everyone, but if you like the sensation of snuggling up under the weight of a big pile of blankets, they might work for you. Baloo, an eco-friendly luxury bedding startup, offers weighted blankets in varying weights (so you can get the right weight for your body size and sleep style), that are all machine washable and made of breathable cotton that won’t get too hot during the night. And the crisp white quilted look is attractive, too.
Sleep Cycle Intelligent Alarm Clock App
Understanding your own sleep cycle is a key part of developing a sleep routine that leaves you feeling relaxed, refreshed, recharged. Surprisingly, not everyone benefits most from the traditional eight hour mandate. Enter: Sleep Cycle, an app that analyzes your sleep patterns and wakes you up at the perfect time. Here’s how it works: before going to sleep, you can either place your phone on your bedside table or on the edge of your mattress. Then, Sleep Cycle uses your microphone and sound analytics to detect your movements during the night, which correspond to the five different stages typical of a night of sleep. Close to your wake-up window, Sleep Cycle uses this data to determine when you are in the lightest possible sleep stage to sound an alarm and wake you up.
Having a wind-down ritual indicates to your body that it’s time to switch into sleep mode. For those who want a full arsenal of sleep rituals within a single app, the award-winning Calm is worth the $69.99 annual subscription. It’s been downloaded more than 52 million times, according to The New York Times, and offers audio sleep tools including: guided meditations for everyone from beginners to advanced meditators, bedtime stories read by well-known soothing voices like Matthew McConaghey, Laura Dern and Eva Green, as well as soothing nature sounds. Calm also gives users a new “Daily Calm” recording every day, so there’s truly no way for a user to exhaust the app’s endless sleep tracks. (How does Calm compare to Headspace? Read our review here.)
Scentered Sleep Well Aromatherapy Balm
There are plenty of different aromatherapy techniques, but few are as simple as the Sleep Well Aromatherapy Balm created by Scentered, which makes diffusing soothing scents as easy as applying chapstick. The balm comes in a shea butter and beeswax stick that you apply to your wrists and neck like you might use a solid perfume. Or, might even want to rub it on the bottom of your eye mask, as one obsessed reviewer does. Made with 100% natural essential oils, the relaxing lavender blend is enhanced and balanced with chamomile, geranium and ylang ylang for a scent that is therapeutic and fresh. And it’s the perfect travel aromatherapy solution: no spills, leaks or TSA restrictions apply.