I had just spent thirteen hours in the plane and I arrived in Tokyo. After having dinner with my friend and getting ready to board my next flight, my friend ducked into a gift shop and bought me a box of Kao Eye Masks. I could not read any of the Japanese on the box - but I was able to figure out they were meant to relax me on the flight. Little did I know that they would become my newest must-have.
Kao's MegRhythm Steam Eye Masks begin to heat upon opening up. They last for 10+ minutes and heat up to a relaxing 40C allowing your eyes and sinus cavities to relax. The steam is also meant to hydrate and moisten the eyes - which is useful especially when traveling. Besides unscented, the masks also come in lavender/sage, chamomile/ginger, and fresh rose scents.
My goal on most long haul flights is to fall asleep and I now refuse to on an international flight without a few masks with me. These masks help me fall asleep almost instantly. The heat and the aromatherapy transport you from a crowded and loud plane to a relaxing and comforting spa sensation. The masks won't block out all the light like a high quality sleep mask, but it will likely be enough for you to fall asleep. At times I'll also reverse the mask and put the heat pads onto my neck for a therapeutic feel.
While the masks can be difficult to find in North America, they are easily found in Asia or on Amazon.com. On Amazon.com the masks are retailing for approximately $1 each. They come in boxes of 14 and they are all individually wrapped. They weigh next to nothing and can easily be put into your carry-on luggage for your next flight. But a quick warning - once you start flying with them, it'll be difficult to travel without them. So I suggest you stock up.