The original Manta Sleep Mask was very impressive. The most personalised, customisable mask I’ve ever worn that has led to many deep sleeps over the years of travel on a plane, car, bus and every night in a bed. Even on an airport bench. I wasn’t sure how Manta Sleep could improve on this… and then out came Manta Sleep Mask V2 and it’s an upgrade in every single way. Frequent time zone jetlaggers, night shifters and those that struggle with getting to sleep with find this to be the only mask you’ll need, with a modular ecosystem to last a lifetime.
Inside the box is a familiar set of essentials that came with the original: a mesh wash-friendly, travel zip case, pair of foam earplugs and the Manta Sleep Mask V2 itself. It comes in a tidy hard plastic packaging with the mask at the fore. The package is a bit BIGGER this time around as the headband is slightly thicker, but mainly the soft foam eye covers, which are the biggest changes in version two. If you’re concerned for head size, the headband is 71cm (28 inches) in length with an extra few cm from the new dual elastic bands with a balanced tension (I’ll cover further down).
For premium quality, you’re looking at the real deal with these – a blend of nylon, polyester and natural cotton for a durable, comfortable headband. You wouldn’t be too far off to think these were a pair of pillows wrapped around your head. It’s pretty comfortable. These are certainly on the top-end pricing when you think about traditional sleep masks, but think of it this way: an investment in your sleep and your wellbeing translates into a more productive, energised lifestyle.
You’ll thank yourself with faster deep sleep, trusty full light block and room for your eyes breathe. Am I sure? I’ve been using these for the past several months in Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea. These are the real deal.
If you’re no stranger to Manta Sleep’s original mask, you’ll be familiar with the design and their modular ecosystem like no other. The eye covers detach from the headband, allowing you to freely change them or uptake other eye cover options Manta Sleep offer like their COOL eye covers. The modular aspect of the Manta Sleep Mask V2 headband via velcro not only tailors the fit, but makes it easy to wash and support any future eye covers dedicated to improving your sleeping habits.
The headband feels so much more robust, substantial and durable than the original. Made of polyester, nylon and cotton velour for the lining, the Manta Sleep Mask V2 will last many more washes and retain the soft level of comfort when it comes to putting them on. The mask has more filling inside for that softer response and absence of head pressure that other sleep masks may do.
This is how the Manta Sleep Mask V2 looks like on. Kind of looks like a virtual-reality headset, right? Humour aside, these actually look really nice and feel even better in person. The lighter grey colour offers a revitalised look than then a conventional black of the last. The profile of the mask is a bit thicker as a result of the padded headband and more so with the soft foam eye covers. But the upgrade in comfort, assurance in fit and light blackout is a worthwhile trade-off for better sleep in just about any lighting and sleeping condition you find yourself in.
For real-life mileage, that’s four international flights from the UK to Thailand to Vietnam and now South Korea. Connecting flights crossing time zones, 3am delayed flight to South Korea and a short two hour flight to Vietnam, in all times I was able to fall asleep quickly for deep sleep no matter how long or short the journey was. It definitely helps to use the included foam earplugs to lessen the sound or better yet, these pair quite well with my over-ear active noise cancelling Sony H.ear on 2 headphones. A sleeping mask is a travel essential for me and if I’m going to take just one with me, they have to be the best as I really value my quality of sleep (I would like to sleep longer, but my daily passion of being productive takes over me).
New this time around are the totally redesigned eye covers – the shape is more defined, the velcro has a wider attaching area, the soft foam filling is plush and the cupped area for the eyes is a completely new experience to any sleeping mask I’ve tried. Usually, the mask puts pressure to the eyes when worn, meaning if you open your eyes, you’ll feel it brush against your eyelids and lashes. Usually, this may not be a problem, but I found myself waking up with blurry vision as my eyes adjust to the morning light from the friction.
These eye covers are a breath of fresh air. There plenty of space for my eyes to freely blink and open. The wide walls of the eye covers blocks out light completely so if you’re still trying to sleep, no light leak during the day or night will disturb as you fall into a lull. The cotton velour lining around the eyes are subtle and gentle on the skin, soothing to aid deep REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep for a great night’s rest.
Meant as an all-round sleeper, it works excellent in any position. Whether you sleep on your back, your front or side, you’ll find comforts sleeping with the mask. For those worried about the thicker headband and eye covers, I like to sleep on my side where I thought it may be difficult to sleep with. Sure, it requires just a few seconds of adjustment before finding my sleeping position, but that’s it. The eye covers are primarily at the front of the band with the widening band by the temple of my head, offering extra leverage for side sleepers.
The result? Off to sleep like any other day with the Manta Sleep Mask V2. For years, I’ve used the original and find the comfort around my eyes and head upgraded in every way. The combination of total light blackout and ergonomic headband design to fit your head size comfortably is a winning formula that has made even the most awkward, uneasy and tedious sleeping positions better. Think airport chairs with the lights on 24/7, on a plane in bright daylight, naps during the day and overnight bus rides in Japan with lights that turn on every bus stop and restroom breaks.
The team at Manta Sleep have made the most customisable sleeping mask even better. I loved the design concept from the original, and they’ve built on top of that with deserving premium quality, a solid headband and secured fitting system for everyone. The eye covers are innovative by design, wrapped in comforting materials to offer the very best experience possible. Though side-sleepers may take a few adjustments to get used to the bigger footprint and snuggle into place, the bedding in phase will subside and it’ll feel second nature to wear every night.
People who love their sleep or work in routines where the few hours of sleep is vital to functioning will find a lot to love here. And as sleep is a vital component of our wellbeing to started the day right and energising on the right side of the bed, the Manta Sleep Mask V2 is a tried, tested and recommend sleep wear I vouch for, as much as it has helped me with my sleep over the months of travel…and years to come.
Manta Sleep continue to impressive among their impressive array of masks, witth the AROMA an unexpected, but innovative take on conventional sleeping masks. It's comfortable, plush, offers excellent blackout while letting your eyes 'breathe', with a subtle scent that relaxes the mind. It may just replace the SLIM for me as a daily driver.