This article is a part of CNN Underscored’s Guide to Sleep, a week-long focus on everything you need to sleep better. We’ll be featuring new products and exclusive deals all week, so check in every morning to see what’s new.
Our editors test and research hundreds of products a year, but the stuff that we get the most excited about? The items that claim they can get you “the best sleep of your life,” and actually do just that.
It’s a rare occurrence, sure, but when we find a sleep product we love, we just can’t shut up about it. We’ve already talked about our nightstand necessities that changed the way we sleep, so now let’s get into the sleep products we now literally cannot sleep without.
I’m a terrible sleeper. I wake up half a dozen times throughout the night and toss and turn. I’m always looking for products to help me get a better night’s rest and bought the NodPod weighted sleeping mask on a whim. When I was little, I used to put a homemade heating pad made with cherry pits on my eyes to help me fall asleep, and this has the same effect (just don’t heat it up). I’m honestly incredibly impressed by how comforting this feels on my eyes and found that I sleep deeper when I use it. — Lindsey Smith, associate editor
My brain never shuts off and I’m incredibly jealous of people who don’t have an inner monologue. The voice inside my head tends to work overtime when I’m trying to doze off. I downloaded Balance on a whim when I saw you can get your first year free. I know can’t sleep without guided meditations. The app also offers sleep sounds — like rain and white noise — to help you drift to sleep. My favorite is the “Back to Sleep” exercise which is helpful for me since I never sleep through the entire night. — Lindsey Smith, associate editor
Coop’s Original Pillow is one of the most highly rated out there — but the brand’s newest offering has become my latest bedtime obsession. The brand has ingeniously created a crescent-shaped pillow made specifically for side sleepers who also rotate to their back (a.k.a. me), and it’s been a comfort game changer. Plus, like other Coop pillows, its fill is completely customizable. — Chelsea Stone, senior editor
Take 15% off sitewide at Coop Home through March 18 using code CNNSLEEP at checkout.
I never have enough time to read, so having a large-screen e-reader next to my bed not only allows me to catch up on my favorite novels before I fall asleep, but if I wake up in the middle of the night (which, unfortunately, is more often than I’d like to admit) I can turn on the built-in nightlight and read myself back to sleep without waking up my husband. I especially like the more expensive Kindle Oasis, because it comes with a roomy 7-inch adjustable Paperwhite display that doesn’t bother my eyes like a phone or tablet. Plus, it’s even waterproof, so when it’s not on my bedside table, I can bring it with my on holiday and safely tote it to the beach or the pool. — Tobey Grumet Segal, reviews editor
I can have a hard time falling asleep. On those nights when I’m tossing and turning and I just can’t turn my brain off, I love turning on the sleepcasts on the Headspace app. They have a short meditation exercise, where you either focus on your breathing or “turning off” your muscles one by one, then they launch into a cute and relaxing story. They’ve definitely helped me calm down at night and get better sleep when I’m stressed. — Kai Burkhardt, associate editor
There is no worse feeling to me than waking up in the middle of the night feeling overheated and sweaty. But, finding the perfect balance between breathability and warmth, especially in colder months, is a fine art. When I got this Sleep Cloud comforter, it was love from the very first sleep. Always cool to the touch, the nylon and spandex fabric is silky and lightweight and helps create a little pocket of warmth between your body and the comforter. I’ve never shelled out more than probably $80 on a comforter before, but now I’m really seeing a difference between this and my previous bedding. As a temperature sensitive sleeper, this comforter just gets me and lulls me into a deep slumber night after night. Plus, it’s easy to throw in the wash and is good looking enough to stand on its own or layer with other blankets and throws. — Jillian Tracy, editorial coordinator
I’ve had this velvet napper for more than two years now, and I absolutely love tucking my feet into it every night. I found that sleeping with a weighted blanket on top of my entire body felt a bit, well, heavy. Then once I figured out that if I just tuck my feet under it at night I fall asleep almost instantly, I’ve never been the same. It’s also just gorgeous splayed out on my bed. — Rachel Lubitz, senior lifestyle editor
I’m a total linen sheets fanatic, and also a firmly anti-white-sheet individual, which means that I go bonkers for brilliantly colored bed linen whenever I can. Cultiver has been on my must-try list for a while, and I finally got the pleasure of trying out its duvet cover and sheets. And all I can say is: wow. Not only available in rich colors like mahogany, rose, baby pink and more, but right out of the box they’re buttery soft. I went with a cedar brown duvet cover and blush pink sheets, which I think go together really nicely. You can’t ask for a cooler-looking set than this. — Rachel Lubitz, senior lifestyle editor
Since I spend most of the day working at my desk — which just so happens to be located 18 inches from my bed — I find that winding down at the end of the day requires a more intentional vibe shift. Mrs. Meyer’s products have long been staples in my kitchen and bathroom, but now I’ve found an essential for my bedroom, too. I like to spritz my sheets and pillows a few times before getting under the covers. Words cannot express how good this room spray smells (I highly recommend the Geranium scent too), and the scent lasts without being overly potent or perfumey. — Caroline Curran, associate deals editor
I never realized how much a good pillow could change how I sleep. But after years of using limp, unsupportive pillows, I finally made the switch to a Casper pillow and I’ll never go back. I sleep better, don’t wake up with neck pain and feel supported all night long. — Kai Burkhardt, associate editor
I bought this peanut-shaped memory foam pillow on a whim a few years ago (it was on sale!), and now I can’t envision my life without it. It’s the ideal shape for propping up your head and neck if you want to watch TV or read in bed (or if you suffer from neck pain or soreness), and it also relieves pressure on your back if you hold it between your knees while resting on your side. — Chelsea Stone, senior editor
These bamboo sheets from Cozy Earth are both a blessing and a curse — they are so soft that I fall asleep faster, but that being said, they also make it absolutely impossible to get out of bed in the morning. I’ve had them for a couple months now, and even after washing, they’ve remained as soft as they did when I first got them. They’re worth every single penny! — Stephanie Griffin, social lead
Get 35% off sitewide at Cozy Earth when you use code CNNSLEEP at checkout through March 18.
The first Instagram ad to ever “get me” was for the Buffy Cloud Comforter. I wanted to make a swap to an eco-friendly (and animal-friendly) comforter that didn’t include down feathers. Buffy is equally comfortable as it is environmentally conscious. It’s crafted entirely from plant-based and recycled materials and is lightweight and fluffy. The brand went the extra mile to also include loops at the ends so you don’t have to wrestle as much with a duvet cover. — Lindsey Smith, associate editor
Use code CNNSLEEP through March 18 to save 20% off sitewide at Buffy.
I’ve never slept better than I have with this mattress underneath me. The DreamCloud Premier is both firm and cushiony, and the top layers of memory foam help cut down on motion transfer — which means you won’t feel a thing if you live with a restless sleeper like I do. Each night, I look forward to sinking right into bed and getting a good night’s rest. — Stephanie Griffin, social lead
Save 30% on the DreamCloud Premier mattress when you use code CNNSLEEPWEEK at checkout through March 18.
I know, $150 is a LOT to pay for an alarm clock. But Loftie is a thoughtfully designed, gorgeous clock that makes sleep feel like self-care. It features an ambient night light, soundscapes and meditations to help you fall asleep and a two-phase alarm that gradually wakes you up in the morning instead of jolting you awake. — Kai Burkhardt, associate editor
I love a beauty product that works overnight, and these cute pimple patches help banish breakouts by the morning. The star-shaped hydrocolloid stickers absorb the fluid and gunk within the pimples, reducing the inflammation and size of the zits. While I’ve tried several brands of pimple patches, I always come back to these because they’re honestly a joy to put on, they come with a fun case that has a compact mirror inside and there are limited-edition drops of the stickers, so you can mix it up with new colors. — Sophie Shaw, associate beauty editor
This sauna blanket from HigherDose has become a key part of my nightly ritual. I tuck myself inside of it for 45 minutes each night, and not only does it result in TONS of sweat and glowy skin, but it also leaves me feeling super relaxed — which ultimately leads to much better, deeper and longer sleep. It’s super easy to use, and the cleanup is quick too. — Stephanie Griffin, social lead
Ever since I was a little girl, I always loved walking around my parents’ house in a cozy pair of slippers. Years later, I still love to add that extra element of cozy to my feet as I walk around my apartment. My latest addition to my slipper collection are these Frankie Slippers. The first thing that stood out to me when I first wore these slippers was how snug they felt on my feet. I can walk freely without worrying that the slippers will slide off. They exceed in the comfort department, and aren’t they adorable?! — Sarai Thompson, former social coordinator
I swear by Aesop skin products, and this body balm is no exception. I love this rind concentrate scent — it’s the perfect combination of fresh, citrus smell with nourishing powers for softer hands. One small dollop and I feel immediately relaxed. — Emily McNutt, senior travel editor
I’m big into matching pajamas, and these remain my all-time favorite pair. Expensive, yes, but consider that this silk pajama set is machine-washable, making them actually easy to care for too. My favorite part, however, is actually just how versatile this set is. I wear the cropped top alone with jeans in the summertime, and in the winter I layer it with a turtleneck. I always feel incredibly chic, and the fabric really is buttery soft. — Rachel Lubitz, senior lifestyle editor
Through March 18, you can score 15% off orders of $100 or more at Lunya with code FOR-CNNSLEEP-15.
Day or night, I always have a blanket wrapped around me (I run cold). But ever since I got my hands on Casper’s new Snoozewear line, I’ve tossed my blankets to the side and wear this cloudlike robe all day long. It features large armholes and convenient pockets for my phone — or snacks, perhaps? — and also comes with buttons so it stays secure all day long. It practically doubles as a puffy duvet, so oftentimes, I take it off before bed and place it over me since it’s so warm and comfy! — Stephanie Griffin, social lead
I’ve always wanted to try linen bedding, but most options are way out of my price range. This Casaluna set is budget-friendly and super soft. Since it’s a heavyweight style, it’s perfect for chilly winter days. — Lindsey Smith, associate editor
I’ve been using this simple eye mask for years, and it’s still my favorite one. The overall mask is slightly puffy and pillowy, and I find that it sits really nicely on my face. The real game changer here, however, is the extra lining at the bottom of the mask that blocks out all light. This is technically made for travel, but it’s so good that I sleep with this mask every single night. — Hayley Saltzman, former head of social
Nothing winds me down after a hectic day quite like a nice cuppa herbal tea. I tend to switch between peppermint tea and camomile tea, depending on the day. There’s really no better start to a sleep routine than a piping hot tea and a good book. — Emily McNutt, senior travel editor
At this point, I’ve tried linen sheets from Casaluna, Parachute and Magic Linen. But my all-time faves remain this set from Citizenry. It’s the most buttery-soft linen I’ve ever felt, and it seems to get softer with each wash. I also just simply cannot get over the rich brown color (called Sienna), which totally transformed my room. I used to be an all-white-everything sheets girl, and these are what permanently changed me. — Rachel Lubitz, senior lifestyle editor
Take 10% off bedding at The Citizenry with code CNNSLEEP through March 18.
These naturally dyed sheets from one of my favorite bedding brands, Buffy, are hands down the softest I’ve ever felt. They’re made from 100% eucalyptus fiber (that contains no essential oils and is safe for pets and kids), and they’re incredibly breathable, so they’re ideal for hot sleepers too. Best of all, they only get softer the more you wash them. — Chelsea Stone, senior editor
I like to be moisturized from head to toe before I get into bed, and this Everywhere Balm from Hello Bello is a great part of my nighttime routine. It is incredibly moisturizing and silky, and it’s completely fragrance-free, so I don’t have to worry about an overpowering scent while I’m trying to fall asleep. I use this on my hands, elbows, heels and anywhere that needs a little extra moisture before bed, and my skin feels super soft when I wake up. — Hayley Saltzman, former head of social
I had no idea just how different a foam mattress was compared to a traditional spring mattress until I swapped mine for the Tuft & Needle Original Mattress. It is incredibly comfortable, and as a hot sleeper, it helps keep me cool. Plus, since it comes in a box, all 5 feet of me was able to bring it up a flight of stairs and set it up with no problem. — Lindsey Smith, associate editor
I’ve never spent more than $12 on a pillow, but I was having a terrible time sleeping on my cheap ones. From neck aches and lumps, these pillows were not doing it for me. Instead of buying a new pillow every few months, I splurged on the Coop The Original Pillow and haven’t looked back. You’re in control of how soft or firm you want it, and it’s so comfortable. It’s also easy to wash and maintain. — Lindsey Smith, associate editor
I love tea any time of the day, and the Twinings Nightly Calm Tea blend is comfort in a cup. Some herbal teas can taste bland, but Twinings gets it right with a blend of chamomile, spearmint and a subtle hint of lemongrass. It may not be the secret elixir that knocks you out for a full eight hours, but it helps me relax before bed. — Lindsey Smith, associate editor
This lavender-scented eye pillow feels like heaven after a long day. I try to avoid looking at my phone or electronics right before I go to sleep, and this pre-bedtime eye mask helps me unwind. You can put it in the microwave if you want a heated mask, and pop it in the fridge for some cooling/de-puffing action. — Hayley Saltzman, former head of social
I have big, curly hair, and I simply can’t sleep if it’s in my face. Thus, I only trust these luxe silk scrunchies by Slip to hold back my mane at night. Not only do they gently keep my hair held back without pulling, allowing me to remain headache-free, but they also ensure my hairstyle survives the night. — Chelsea Stone, senior editor
As someone who feared the dark until she was in her mid-teens, it’s ironic that I now can’t sleep without blackout shades. I had first used them to help with drafty windows but soon realized the darkness really improved my sleep. I’ve had the same ones for eight years and they still look brand new and are a great deal. — Lindsey Smith, associate editor
This CBD-infused body cream is one of those products that I will never let myself run out of, it’s that good. You can actually feel the relaxing effects of the CBD (it packs in 500 milligrams) after massaging it into sore muscles or just a generally tired body, making it easier to drift to sleep. I usually apply it just before I go to bed, and within minutes my body is chilled out. It also has a light lavender and cedarwood fragrance that adds an extra dose of calm. — Sophie Shaw, associate beauty editor
These slippers are new, but I’m already a huge fan. I was going to include them in my monthly editor picks’ roundup, but they’re so good that I had to include them here. They’re one of my instant favorites because they’re simple and classic, but more importantly, they’re the most comfortable, supportive slipper I’ve ever worn. I generally find most slippers to be pretty comfortable, so I was expecting some level of coziness when I first slipped these on, but they quickly surpassed my expectations after about two days of wear. I now wear these before bed every single night, and sometimes all day long as well. — Hayley Saltzman, former head of social