When it comes to becoming your healthiest self, sleep should be at the forefront of your self-care routine. The best sleep products can’t guarantee a flawless circadian rhythm or an end to waking up in the middle of the night, but they can help your pre-sleep habits to feel more relaxed, cozy, and ready for z’s. Everything from the right bedding to snooze-enducing gadgets like white noise machines can make a positive difference when it comes to optimizing your sleep routine and falling asleep faster. We’ve categorized the best of the best in sleep products (many of which were previously tested or recommended by SELF staffers) below. You’ll find picks from beloved brands like Casper, Bose, Brooklinen, and Parachute, and plenty of affordable options from retailers like Amazon and Walmart. A better night’s sleep is at your fingertips, folks!
A good mattress can change your life—seriously. When buying a mattress, you’ll want to consider what kind of firmness you prefer, your sleeping and room temperature, and the kind of support you need. Thankfully many mattress and mattress-in-a-box companies give you a 100-night trial to decide if it’s the One. Below are our picks, some of which earned the SELF Certified seal of approval, like the Purple Hybrid Premier 3 and the Casper Nova Snow Hybrid.
And if you’re shopping Presidents’ Day sales be sure to check out the best Presidents’ Day mattress sales.
Best Mattress Toppers or Mattress Pads
Sometimes you don’t need an entirely new mattress and all it takes is a divine, comfy mattress topper for a good night’s sleep. You could opt for a down or down-alternative pillow top if you want to make your bed feel softer, a cooling gel option if you’re a hot sleeper, or a memory foam topper for a more responsive feel.
Raise your hand: When was the last time you switched out your pillow? Ensuring that you have the correct pillow for your sleep position might help you achieve a comfortable, restful sleep. The correct pillow for your neck, for example, nixes next-day neck kinks. The ultimate goal? That your head and neck are aligned straight over your shoulders while you sleep. Side sleepers benefit from a higher-loft pillow (like a memory foam pillow), since the added height allows for more space for your shoulder to rest comfortably. Back sleepers, who tend to sleep with their neck and head cranked forward, should go with a lower-profile or flatter pillow. The firmness, though, is up to your preferences.
Best Sheet Sets
When it comes to sheet sets, the world is your oyster. Do you want cotton, organic cotton, Egyptian cotton, bamboo, percale, or moisture-wicking linen? Do you prefer classic white sheets, or are you intrigued by different colors and patterns? Below are our picks at every price point, from Amazon Basic’s comfy jersey sheets to Flax Home’s luxe linen set. Bonus: Most of these sets include pillowcases (and you really should be changing your pillowcase often).
Best Duvets and Comforters
Finding the ideal comforter or duvet set for you depends mostly on your sleep habits. If you’re a hot sleeper, something like the fluffy yet cooling Buffy Breeze could be your best bet. If you’re looking to upgrade your current comforter, all you might need is a soft duvet cover. You might also want to find a comforter or quilt that’s machine washable too.
Best Weighted Blankets
Otherwise known as a gravity blanket or an anxiety blanket, a weighted blanket distributes anywhere from 5 to 30 pounds of weight across your body. Some weighted blankets are filled with sand or glass beads, others are made with heavy cotton knits. The Gravity Blanket and Bearaby Napper are two hyper-popular options at higher price points, but there are hoards of budget-friendly weighted blankets available on Amazon and at other retailers.
Best Alarm Clocks and Wake-Up Lights
Still using the jarring iPhone alarm to wake up every morning? Ditch it for an actual alarm clock and your body will thank you. (If nothing else at least your phone won’t be the first thing you grab for in the morning.) Go for a digital alarm clock with all the bells and whistles, or try a wake-up light, which mimics a soothing sunrise. Many offer USB outlets, bluetooth connectivity, night-lights, dimmable displays, and all sorts of snooze settings.
Best Sleep Masks and Earplugs
For sensitive sleepers, light and noise might make the difference between a restless night and deep shut-eye. If your room doesn’t get as dark as you’d like it to (and you don’t feel like investing in blackout curtains), a soothing eye mask may help your eyes relax and prepare for sleep. Some options are weighted (like a weighted blanket for your eyes), others are silky and pillowy. Earplugs for sleep, on the other hand, should have a barely-there feel to keep side-sleepers comfy.
Best Sleep Earbuds and Headphones
Welcome to the new era of sleep technology folks. Now you don’t have to choose between getting tangled up in your wired headphones or listening to the traffic outside your window. Sleep earbuds are like any other wireless earbuds in their noise-cancellation and slim design, but many are connected to an app where you can choose to listen to peaceful sounds or white noise. Sleep headphones go over your head and are most comfortable for side sleepers and restless sleepers.
Best White Noise Machines
For the best naps and a higher sleep quality, a white noise machine could just be a game changer. A good sound machine should have a range of sounds and volumes, a clean loop, and some customizable features. They often look a bit robotic, but there are a few more understated options you won’t have to worry about leaving on your bedside table.
Humidifiers vaporize water into the air and balance moisture levels in any given space. While they’re most popular during the winter when radiators and heaters are working overtime, they can be beneficial year-round to keep skin and sinuses from getting dry. When shopping for the best humidifier, we’ve previously encouraged considering the size of the space where you want to raise humidity levels. You should also take into account how much the humidifier’s water tank holds, its run time (so you don’t have to refill it as often), noise level, and price tag. And if you plan on using the humidifier near your bed or a napping baby, it’s also useful to check that the humidifier includes a timer, automatic shut-off, a quiet mode, or a night light.
Best Essential Oil Diffusers and Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy can be a helpful tool to help you destress before—and during—sleep. A good essential oil diffuser, like Vitruvi’s below, provides continuous scent and fine mist dispersion. And on the oil front, we love Saje’s Peaceful Slumber essential oil blend, which combines lavender, marjoram, and chamomile. You could also go for the linen spray or aromatics route with Parachute’s pillow mist or Tata Harper’s luxe rollerball bedtime treatment.
The sleepwear you choose can make or break your sleep—seriously. If it’s too warm, you’ll wake up in a cold sweat, but if it’s too cold, you might not be able to fall asleep at all. Perhaps you’d like to indulge yourself in a luxe silk set from Lunya, or maybe you’d prefer to be swathed in the clothing version of a hug. And you can never go wrong with a basic, soft set of quality pajamas that are appropriate all year long.
Best Sleep and Meditation Apps
If the ongoing pandemic has pushed you to consider meditating, starting out with buzzworthy and highly-rated meditation app like Calm or Headspace is a good gateway. You can also try an app designed for sleep, like Somryst, which analyzes your sleep patterns to help you develop better snooze habits. You could also go for a collection of sound baths or other online sleep sound collections. And, hey, if these don’t help your sleep routine, they may help your mental health, so there’s really no downside to trying one out.
Best Teas and Nightcaps for Sleep
Everyone knows it’s tough to wind down after a busy day. To help you soothe and relax your body and mind, try sipping a hot cup of tea or a nighttime elixir. From calming teas like chamomile herbal tea to Kin’s spicy melatonin- and reishi-infused nightcap, stashing some of these in your pantry is never a bad idea.