Case Studies

The Hibermate sleep mask is an innovative and comfortable luxury eye mask with removable ear muffs specifically designed to improve and enhance quality of sleep. Sleep is crucial to our health and happiness. A lack of sleep affects thinking and learning by impairing attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, memory and problem solving.

Insufficient sleep has also been linked to serious health issues including: coronary disease, stroke, diabetes and weight gain. The Hibermate sleep mask allows shift workers, travellers and light sleepers to experience a natural, uninterrupted, deep sleep; awaking refreshed and revitalised.



Silicone cup: comfortable sound deadening

Previous sleep mask products have used ear plugs or fabric ear muffs to block sound, often with ineffective and uncomfortable results. The Hibermate ear muff features a low profile, flexible silicone cup which utilises the same sound blocking methodology of standard industrial ear muffs, but in a ‘soft’ product that is comfortable to wear while sleeping. Internal memory foam enhances sound deadening and softens the outer rim of the ear muff for added comfort, whilst an air escape vent reduces the likelihood of pressure build-up against the user’s ear drum without hindering the acoustic performance.

Tangible user benefits and competitive performance advantage

The end benefit of the Hibermate sleep mask is the increase in quality sleep for people in noisy and/or bright conditions, improving their lives through enhanced cognitive processing – a direct result of better sleep. The innovative new sleep mask gives Melbourne company Hibermate, a distinct competitive advantage against other more cumbersome, uncomfortable and less effective sleep mask and ear plug products. The market for this product is global as the requirement for good sleep bridges cultural divides. Until now, there has not been a definitive product that truly responds to users’ needs.

Functional design solving user needs

The product’s design was kept purposefully simple to support intuitive use, irrespective of user demographic. The silicone cups and eye mask are attached by elastic bands which adjust from the front, allowing the user to comfortably and securely fit the Hibermate. The assembly of the memory foam and silicone cup has been designed without the use of adhesives, allowing removal of the foam for cleaning or replacement – making the product hygienic and long lasting. The sleep mask’s design incorporates a recess for the eyes, eliminating pressure and allowing deep Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.

Strategic use of user-centred design

CobaltNiche’s collaboration with Hibermate has yielded several innovative product features that improve the user experience and enhance Hibermate’s strategic positioning. The newly designed product has generated significant marketing ‘buzz’ for Hibermate, by adding a market leading second generation product to their existing range of sleep masks. Hibermate have validated the user-centred design approach and successfully funded the volume manufacturing and implementation of the product by raising over $110,000 through a ‘crowd-funding’ website. Victorian manufacturers have been key contributors to the product design and core components will be manufactured in Victoria among several suppliers.

Key Specifications


  • Improve quality of sleep through superior noise/light reduction
  • Achieve superior comfort and adjustability

Design Solution

  • Soft low profile, adjustable silicone ear muffs 
  • Air escape vent to release ear pressure
  • Eye recesses for comfort and light reduction

CobaltNiche tasks

  • Industrial Design
  • Product Engineering
  • Prototyping
  • Production procurement
  • Tooling management
  • Product testing

Development Period

12 weeks to initial prototype

CobaltNiche Team

  • Brett Capron (Lead Engineer)
  • Ryan Harper (Engineer)
  • Warwick Brown (Project Leader)
  • Andrew Beard (Designer)


  • Memory Foam
  • Medical grade silicon
  • Satin outer
  • Jersey cotton inner
Based in Australia, Cobalt Niche is a globally focused creative product design and development group. We operate locally as well as Asia, North America and Europe.

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