BLACKNIGHT [GB] Luxury Sleep & Travel 3D Mask-Completely Variable-Total Darkness
The BLACKNIGHT [GB] is the only eye mask you will ever need. Totally adjustable ovoid-shaped eye pads give a perfect fit around each eye without placing pressure on the eyelids Whether you sleep on your back, side or front you can sleep comfortably and peacefully all night. Our eye mask even allows eyes to be fully open and yet you are still submerged in total darkness. It is
“As Black as Night”
(by Nigel Mills, Founder of Functional Products Ltd)
'I myself am a very light sleeper and also suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnoea. Consequently, I have always welcomed anything that helps to keep me asleep. Disturbed sleep is an anathema to me. Quality sleep is essential to my everyday wellbeing and general performance. I am sure that most people feel the same. We all know how badly we perform and feel after a poor night's sleep.
'One of the secrets of good sleep is to sleep in total darkness but that is not easy to find. Even reasonably lightproof curtains let in enough light to disturb my sleep... as is demonstrated particularly during the light night summer months.
'Then, of course, there are those times when you need to have a nap during daylight or perhaps during long-haul travel in aircraft. These occasions are a problem for me as well. Perhaps I have particularly thin eyelids! Also, total darkness can be a help when meditating.
'Whatever, I decided some time ago that the answer for me would be to investigate a sleep mask. I ended up trying quite a few from the courtesy ones provided by airlines (which were, in reality, a bit of a joke) to more sophisticated ones that I purchased at a range of prices. I soon found three main problems with conventional sleep masks...that I am sure many others have also found.
'Firstly, there is the inability of a flat or dished fronted mask to keep out light from around the nose area. In other words, they do not provide the required total blackness.
'Secondly, the general lack of comfort with conventional masks. Specifically with the pressure being placed on the eyelids and eyes even with fixed position dished masks. This can disturb REM sleep. Also some masks have the sides of the headband so wide that it is difficult to wear such masks satisfactorily without the headband covering and flattening down one's ears. I personally find that causes me considerable discomfort.
'Thirdly, the inability of the fit and position of the usual type of mask to be adjusted precisely to suit the user.
'The first two points are self-explanatory. To me, as a product designer, the third one is the most significant problem. We all have variably shaped heads and differently shaped faces. So how can something that needs to fit so closely to the face in order to exclude all light be one non-adjustable shape? Clearly only a fully three-dimensionally adjustable mask is going to fit the bill.
This where the BLACKNIGHT [GB] mask comes in. It deals with all three of the above major problems... as well as with other lesser ones. Why not try it...and if you are not delighted with its comfort and total darkness I will fully refund your purchase price on its return within 30 days of purchase. You cannot ask fairer than that.'
BLACKNIGHT [GB] - Detailed Description
The eye pads themselves are of a generous size and, unlike most of the others on the market, slightly ovoid in shape. This enables them to give extra adjustability of facial fit if rotated through 180 degrees. They are foam filled, faced with a very soft pile fabric and beautifully stitched. The foam used is a soft smooth low rebound memory foam. They are sized at approximately 91mm x 76mm with about 21mm internal clearance depth.
These eye pads are fastened to the headband with micro velcro which allows total adjustability of position giving a large range of eye centres, when the mask is laid flat, from approximately 80mm to in excess of 140mm. Note that the distance between these centres will measure less when the curvature of the face is allowed for. The foam and fabric used in eye pads are so soft that it will not cause any pressure marks on your face
The approximately 700mm long headband itself is made of two different fabrics. The outer facing material is a quality cationic polyester spandex mix fabric that has the great advantage of not only being very durable but more importantly, has a shiny slippery surface feel. This is important when used in a sleep mask so that when the head is moved across the pillow when lying on the side or front, it slides easily across the surface not tending to displace the mask's position on the face. Some similarly styled masks on the market have much rougher non-slippery headband fabrics that can tend to drag on a pillow. This is obviously something to be avoided.
The inner face of the headband is totally different. This uses an ultra-soft napped fabric or 'fine flannel' to give maximum comfort against the nose, forehead and temples where it might come in contact with the skin.
The shape of the headband where it passes over the ears is also important. The BLACKNIGHT [GB] mask's sides are both tapered and curved to allow the sides to pass above the ears to give maximum comfort by not pressing on the ears themselves.
At the rear of the headband, each side a 20mm wide soft pile faced elastic is used against the hair to avoid any snagging. To these are fastened two 95mm long strips of micro velcro (guaranteed not to snag your hair) giving tremendous adjustability of headband size. This gives an effective usable range of fit to head circumferences ranging from 500mm to 640mm...well exceeding all percentiles of male and female head sizes.
The mask comes with a neat black velour pull string bag to enable it to be packaged compactly for travel purposes.
The BLACKNIGHT [GB] is washable and we would suggest that you do this separately by hand to avoid fine lint from other items being washed with it possibly becoming snagged in the micro velcro. We would also suggest air drying in a warm place.
Packaging for Mail Order
When you purchase a BLACKNIGHT [GB] mask it comes to you with the eye pads unfitted. The reason for this is twofold. Firstly, because the eye pads need to be fitted correctly for each user. Secondly, and very importantly, dispatching them to the buyer like this in an unassembled state in a thin plastic mailing bag enables them to be mailed via British and International post at the Large Letter rate. This gives the purchaser a considerable saving over if it had been sent boxed and assembled, which would take it into the far more expensive Small Parcel rate. We naturally assume that buyers would like to have this saving passed on when making a purchase!
You get what you pay for!
That is an old saying but generally true...particularly if you are buying online. You will see that there are a few similar looking sleep masks being sold on Ebay and Amazon at knock-down prices. Most of these are being made by Chinese companies who import them in bulk to warehouses in the UK. This is why they are able to state that the item is located in England. We bought several of these when investigating the market... and were disappointed with their general quality.
In some cases the advertised sale prices of these cheap masks are actually less than our BLACKNIGHT [GB] sleep mask costs us before we even start to add advertising costs and then make a normal sales profit. However have a look at the detailed photographs showing the design features and material description of this item of ours and then decide on the comparative quality of what we are selling.
Most importantly, it is not just the purchase price of the item that you need to consider. It is naturally the entire purchasing experience. Obviously, it is no good getting something ridiculously cheap if you are not happy with it or a manufacturing/functional problem arises. You will then need to follow up with the seller based in the Far East...which is where your complaint will be sent and not to the warehouse operative in the UK.
To illustrate these potential problems (and for some light entertainment!), take a look at the detailed wording of cheap sleep mask advertisements and note the number of 'Chinglish' grammatical and translation errors...and this is despite that being important text that they have had both the time and incentive to get correct. Dealing satisfactorily with urgent queries and complaints (if they deal with them at all) can be rather problematic with these Chinese companies. You can see this for yourself, just look at the buyer's feedback relating to these items and note the numerous problems reported.
With us, you will be dealing with a British company. We are Functional Products Ltd, the on-line retail arm of an award-winning Product Design company of nearly 40 years standing. The whole reason for Functional Product's existence is characterised by its name. Our objective is to bring products that ACTUALLY WORK to our clientele. We also take great pride in dealing personally and quickly with our customers to sort any issue that could arise. We highly value the level of our positive feedback...and want to keep it that way!
There are other quality sleep masks that appear similar to ours on the market but they can cost up to £25 each. However, even that sort of money is well spent on a product that works and lasts well and where you are assured of good customer service. So our quality BLACKNIGHT [GB] mask at a lesser price has got to be good value. Regular reliable ongoing good night's sleep must be worth that much to you. So why make a potentially uncertain purchase for around £5 or £10 less?
Fitting the BLACKNIGHT [GB] Sleep Mask
Fitting is easy...Regardless of your race, nose shape or gender you can customize our BLACKNIGHT [GB] mask to fit the contours of your face.
Firstly position the eye pads into what you feel will be about the correct position for your face and width between the eyes. Then, putting the mask on, adjust the headband around the widest part of your head so that it is reasonably firmly in place without feeling too tight. The eye pads are so soft that it should never feel uncomfortable on the face. At this stage, if you can see any light seeping in around the edges, adjust the position of the eye pads up, down and/or sideways until you are in total darkness. Do not forget that you can rotate them through 180 degrees to put the broader or narrower end the best way round to get a good fit. Also you can slant them up or down to suit your requirements. Doing this fitting in bright daylight or by looking at a bright interior light source and by moving your head about will set up the mask for your use from there on.
You will discover that the BLACKNIGHT [GB] mask, is what it says it is...
“As Black as Night”
When fitted correctly to suit the user absolutely no light will come in...even if you stare directly at the sun on a cloudless day. Try this (with obvious care) and see for yourself! The personal fitting might initially take a minute or two, but once it is done that is it...the pads will not move from your chosen position.
The Importance of REM Sleep
One of the most important aspects of good sleep is REM sleep. During normal sleep, you pass through a number of stages of which a vital one which occurs of times is the REM cycle. This stands for Rapid Eye Movement and is when your eyes with their lids closed move quickly in different directions. These REM stages during sleep are when your brain is most active and you generally have dreams. So if your closed eyelids and eyeballs have any pressure on them due to an inadequately designed mask, this issue can be problematic due to the discomfort and irritation affecting the freedom of your REM movements.
Consequently, it is vital that you choose a mask like the BLACKNIGHT [GB] that gives adequate clearance above the eyelids and allows the central positioning of that space to tie in with your own eyes. You will even be able to open your eyes whenever you want. If you have long eyelashes, they may brush the inner face of the eye pads as you open your eyes but there will not be any discomfort...and anyway your eyes are naturally closed when you are asleep and your eyelashes will remain clear of any contact.