I have an addiction to MegRhythm Gentle Steam Eye Mask — I use one every night, and I get a bit twitchy if I’m without it. It sends me into the kind of deep sleep that could otherwise be achieved after a reading a chapter or two of The Goldfinch. (No offense to the book, which is beautifully written and a Pulitzer Prize winner; it’s just not for me. It takes a hell of an effort to wade through as it bores me stiff.)
Kao’s MegRhythm Gentle Steam Eye Mask is a self-heating eye mask that gradually warms up to 40°C for about 10 minutes. Despite the name (and packaging) suggesting it might be steamy hot, it actually only produces dry heat that’s a few degrees higher than normal body temperature. If you’ve ever used instant disposable hand-warmers, this mask works on the same principle.
I use all varieties, but there’s just something with the Lavender-Sage that hits the spot. It’s just so mind-calming and relaxing. This, worn before I go to sleep, is the absolute business — the mild fragrance combines with the warmth gently lulls me to sleep. If you don’t particularly care for lavender, there’re also Ginger-Chamomile, Yuzu, Rose, Menthol, and Fragrance-Free for you to choose from.
And the Gentle Steam Eye Mask isn’t limited to nighttime use — in fact, I think most people actually use it to relax and refresh tired eyes during the day, without falling sleep. You reap the benefits of the short moment of relaxation, rather than knocking yourself out. Literally. My only problem is, during the daytime, that I risk looking like a prized idiot wearing what looks to be a sanitary pad on my eyes.
Great to keep on the bedside table or to pop into your bag. I fly fairly frequently long-haul (and more frequently short-haul), and it’s an absolute in-flight essential for settling down for sleep. Pair that with my trusty Shure IEMs and I can conk out even with an army of crying babies on board.
I usually stock up on MegRhythm Gentle Steam Eye Mask on Amazon Japan — 2 boxes of 14 masks (so you get 28 altogether) in Lavender-Sage is just ¥1,920 (international shipping via AmazonGlobal). It’s the lineup’s most popular mask in Japan. Alternatively, a box of 14 is US$13.96 from YesStyle.