If you have a love of reading, then you know how frustrating it can be to struggle to find a comfortable reading position. This is especially true when laying in bed, where reading is often marked with regular shifting of positions to alleviate numb body parts. What we pay little attention to is our own body discomforts in order to stay entranced with the literature in front of us.
If this sounds like you, and you are tired of stacking up pillows and shifting back and forth, and the stiffness and occasional pain you may feel when you get up- then you should consider a reading pillow to help with your comfort. The best pillow for reading in bed needs to be one that helps support your back, and allows for easy use. Below we’ve provided some top rated choices based off consumer reviews, as well as some alternative ideas to help you stay focused on your reading habit.
Husband Pillow Reading Bed Rest Pillow with Arms
Keen Edge Home Reading Pillow
||30 day distributor returns|
ComfortSpa Reading Pillow Bed Wedge
Xtra-Comfort Bed Wedge Pillow
||60 day guarantee|
Milliard Reading Pillow
||30 day distributor returns|
Nestl Bedding Reading Pillow
The Best Rated Pillows for Reading
#1. Husband Pillow Reading Bed Rest Pillow with Arms
- Available sizes: 1
- Available colors/patterns: 25 in total
- Outer shell material: Microplush
- Fill: Memory Foam
Tired of reading in bed and struggling to find a comfortable position while sitting up? The headboard constantly digging into your back, pillows slipping down when you are trying to get settled, and neck burning from the strain? Then you definitely want to look into a reading pillow that offers absolute comfort and cushion during those binge-reading sessions.
The Husband Pillow is a large reading pillow that is designed to cradle the body during reading or watching shows on your laptop. It features a detachable neck bungee pillow, plush memory foam fill, and arms that support the body in a natural reading position. Another great feature? The side pocket that is ideal for storing your reading glasses, remote, cell phone, and more!
The cover is easily removed via a zipper when you want to launder it for cleanliness and you have two different styles to choose from!
- Side storage pocket.
- Inner zipper allows you to remove or add foam to suit your firmness level.
- Memory foam conforms to the body for support.
- Carrying handle on top.
- Neck pillow is firm density.
- Can be bulky and cumbersome.
Who Should Purchase this Pillow
Anyone who is an avid reader or enjoys watching an episode or two of their favorite show before bed will benefit from this cushiony pillow.
#2. Keen Edge Home Hypoallergenic Shredded Foam Reading Pillow
- Filling: shredded foam
- Size: 20″ H x 28″ W x 17″ D
- Weight: 6.5 lbs
- Warranty: 30 day distributor returns
Shredded foam is a popular pillow choice because of how well it conforms to your body, but provides an underlying supportive firmness. It also is highly malleable and provides a softer feel than solid foam cores. With a 20 inch height and 11 inch long arms, this pillow is slightly larger than comparable pillows on the current market to allow for more back coverage when sitting against it.
The soft, velour cover is removable for machine washing and drying, has a side pocket for book storage, and has a top handle grip for carrying from place to place. Made to be rested against a stable surface when being used in an upright sitting position, this pillow provides a comfortable surface to lean prop yourself against, and doubles as a great lounger.
- Supports the neck well when lounging against
- Easy to remove and wash cover
- Firm enough for bed and floor use
- Takes up to 2 days to decompress
Who Should Purchase this Pillow
Bed readers, couch readers, floor readers… all can benefit from this design as it allows for a comforting surface to rest against in more than one position. The shredded foam is pliable, but also firm enough to support your body without collapsing beneath your weight.
#3. ComfortSpa Reading Pillow Bed Wedge
- Inner Material: Shredded Foam
- Outer Material: Velour
- Color Variations: Comes in only Gray
- Dimensions: 15 inches width 18 inches height /Arms 11 inches length 5 inches height
- Maintenance: Spot- Clean Stains and Spills Only
ComfortSpa provides users with a heavier duty reading pillow that can be used for more than just reading. Constructed from medical grade material, this pillow will not only help your posture, but improve your general health while you read to your heart’s content.
The build of this pillow allows for an optimum spinal alignment that conforms to all body types. The interior of this pillow is shredded foam while the exterior is soft-to-the-touch velour.
There is also anti-clump foam padding inside of the pillow to ensure you don’t develop uncomfortable lumps when you sit in one position for too long.
The wedged body enables you to lift and elevate your body from lying flat. There is also a fabric handle stitched onto the pillow to make transportation easier.
If you find you’re not satisfied with this pillow, ComfortSpa offers a 100% guarantee refund policy with no hassle.
- Medical grade material
- Anti-clump shredded foam padding
- Fabric handle
- Smaller size for adults
#4. Xtra-Comfort Bed Wedge Pillow
- Inner Material: high-density memory foam
- Outer Material: polyester
- Color Variations: Caramel Brown
- Dimensions: 22 inches width 12 inches depth
- Maintenance: Removable Cover is Machine-Washable
This wedge pillow has a three-in-one design made to make your life easier. You can fold it in three different ways for a small, average, and long elevation. You can even swap from placing it behind your back to under your head and even your feet!
It comes with a carry handle so you can take it anywhere you want in your home, or even while you travel.
The inside is made from high-density memory foam with a cover constructed out of polyester. The only color available is caramel brown, a neutral color that can fit into any decorative theme. The cover is machine washable and can be removed using the zipper.
There is a 60-day guarantee on the Xtra-Comfort wedge pillow which ensures you can be confident in your purchase or return with no hassle if it’s not what best suits you.
- Can be shifted into three different wedges
- Carry handle for portability
- Machine washable cover
- Using the pillow for too long at once can create immediate stiffness.
#5. Milliard Reading Pillow with Shredded Memory Foam
- Filling: Shredded memory foam
- Size: up to 24 inches in height (see descriptions)
- Weight: up to 12 lbs
- Warranty: 30 day distributor returns
Available in multiple sizes, the Milliard reading pillows have variable backrest heights ranging from 14 to 24 inches. Filled with a shredded memory foam and made with a sturdy construction, this pillow can serve as both a support against a harder surface, or as a standalone upon a floor. Plus, with the differing sizes you can pick and choose what you need according to your body type.
The zippered velour cover is removable for washing as well, and is a soft, gentle comfort. Long arms provide both stability and a place to rest against in various positions, and durable seams provide excellent shaping.
- Covers washable and replaceable
- Various sizes available
- Stable and supportive
- Takes up to 48 hours to decompress
Who Should Purchase this Pillow
This is a great pillow for both larger adults and children alike, and even has replacement covers for anyone who needs one.
#6. Nestl Bedding Reading Pillow
- Inner Material: Shredded Memory Foam
- Outer Material: Plush Cover
- Color Variations: 44 colors
- Dimensions: 14 inches width 17 inches height /Arms 12 inches length
- Maintenance: Removable Cover is Machine-Washable
Like all pillows, people enjoy it more when they can customize and personalize their accessories. Nestle Reading Pillows are the exact option for you if personalization is something you’re keen about. They are also extremely family-friendly since the generous size can fit one and all, from children to adults.
Inside, there is premium high-density shredded memory foam to help conform and support your body. The exterior is a plush cover that comes in 44 different colors.
There are also back and side pockets on the arms for accessories such as books, glasses, and your phone. The cover is machine washable for a quick clean once you notice dirt and stains developing.
You can even adjust the stuffing on this reading pillow with the inner zipper. The headrest is adjustable to three different positions: neck, back, and footrest.
- For everyone in the family
- Carrying handle
- Back and side pockets
- Adjustable loft
- Strong Chemical Smell
Types of ‘Reading’ Pillows
When on the hunt for a good ‘reading’ pillow, you may have come across a few surprise choices that don’t fit the vision you had in mind. Wedge pillows are one such choice, as they are rather variable in their uses and can be helpful for a variety of afflictions.
Also, with the rise in technology, the term ‘reading’ pillows has also have grown to encompass support for your e-readers as well. Although this article focuses on your own body support, we’ve also highlighted a few alternatives to help hold your reading materials in place.
• Wedge Style
Wedge pillows are popular for relief from acid reflux, snoring, and back pain, but some styles can be tipped up, or adjusted, to lay against a headboard to support you in a sitting position. Many readers like the support this lends when sitting, rather than lounging.
Traditional Bed Support
These types of pillows are made specifically for back support, and are usually a thicker, tall pillow that has armrests to allow your upper torso to lounge back against. They work well with both a support placed behind it, such as a headboard to a bed, or as a stand alone support.
Book lovers tend to have a love/hate relationship with ereaders, but their portable convenience, and ability to download whole books from almost anywhere often makes them a popular product to have. What is also convenient is that you don’t have to have two hands to hold them, and with ‘reading’ pillows for e readers available, you can curl up in many more comfortable positions to read from. Some of the more popular styles can be found here:
Prop ‘n Go Slim– the pillowy comfort of the bottom of this support is made to sit on and conform to a variety of surfaces for stability. The top boasts an adjustable angled surface for your preferences, and type of tablet you may have.
Flipy Multi-Angle Soft Pillow Lap Stand– with multi angles, and made to support any size ereader, the Flipy Pillow Lap Stand can be used on any flat surface or even your lap to help prop up your reading material.
Ipevo PadPillow Stand– this adjustable pillow pad has a foam core and allows your tablet or ipad to be leaned up against in support. It also has handy pockets to earbuds, charging cords, pens, or writing pads if needed.
Why Is Spinal Support a Concern?
If you want to read comfortably for hours, then you want to invest in something that helps hold your back in alignment and reduces the pressure on your hips. More traditional pillows are not designed to stand up enough, or provide the size to allow this type of support. Usually a back lounging type position where the head and upper torso can be supported is popular, and designs that serve as a stand alone backrest generally serve readers the best.
Without proper back support you begin to create pressure points and spinal compression. This generally isn’t a long term issue, but can cause you to become uncomfortable, and might make you feel stiff or sore when you move.
If this is a current problem, you are not providing enough support to your body alignment and need to try and relax in a more natural position.
Material is always an important feature to note, since there are so many variations. You also have to keep in mind what material is comfortable for you; whether you need hypoallergenic or not or if you prefer organic materials or are fine with synthetics. Your preference becomes a prime decision-maker.
– Interior Material
To start things off, there will always be two types of material used in and on your reading pillow. The interior material is what will help support your back and keep you comfortable, along with maintaining the shape and structure of the actual pillow.
You’ve most probably heard of the term memory foam many times before this. But what exactly is memory foam, and why is it used in so many things?
Memory foam is a highly dense material which has special contouring capabilities. It maintains its general shape while the heat from your body softens the material, getting your exact shape molded into the pillow for pressure relieving comfort.
Shredded Memory Foam
Shredded memory foam is basically memory foam, only this time it’s not one piece. Shredded memory foam is tiny pieces of this foam that shift and move around while you relax. This allows the individual pieces to be pushed into critical areas that are in need of more support.
Shredded memory foam has its benefits over standard memory foam; there is less heat retention, the smaller pieces mold easier, and they can generally be softer since it’s not one bulky piece of foam.
There are even adjustable loft pillows, which means you can add more or take out filling to your desire.
The final option you may come across is microfiber. This synthetic material comes at a cheaper price and is much more commonly found.
This also means its performance isn’t quite as satisfying as shredded memory foam. It does the job, it just may not last as long or simply be a step down you’re unwilling to take if you’ve had the shredded memory foam experience.
– Exterior Material
The next feature on the list to identify is the exterior material. This is the material you will be in direct contact every time you use your reading pillow, so be sure to choose carefully what your pillow cover is made out of.
Velvet is a luxurious material that more than often asks for additional maintenance. There are a number of different velvets you can come across with the most durable being wool and/or mohair velvet.
Then, there is cotton velvet which is weak on its own and can easily be deformed. In order to make it stronger. It is combined with polyester and other common fibers.
Finally, there is the most delicate of them all; silk velvet. It is soft, luxurious, but extremely sensitive. More than anything, you’ll be getting this velvet cleaned by professionals if you don’t want it to be ruined.
Velour is a cousin to velvet. Though still with its luxurious appeal, velour is stretchier, easier to clean, and comes at a lower price. Velour is a better option if your pillow is going to be used often, or if you have young and furry ones at home just waiting to have their turn with the new pillow.
With the main points out of the way, it’s finally time to take a look at all of the other features you may be presented with when making a final choice.
– Pockets and Handles
Husband pillows tend to be the kings of additional features such as pockets along the arms or even on the back. These are great for holding your books, headphones, phone, glasses, or even remote.
Handles have the convenience of transportability. You can take your reading pillow anywhere in the house, be it the living room, bedroom, or lounge. Anywhere where you wish to sit and relax, wind down on your comfortable pillow and enjoy some ‘you time’.
– Armrests and Cup Holders
A husband pillow will come with armrests which are ideal if you’re on your phone or are reading a book.
Another great addition to these armrests can be a cupholder which lets you enjoy some refreshing beverage to make your experience all the more relaxing.
A headrest is not always found on husband pillows, though some will surprise you. They may even have a neck roll to keep your neck at a comfortable angle if you fall asleep sitting up. Some models will even go a further mile to make their headrest removable and then replaceable near your feet to elevate them!
– Removable Covers and Adjustable Lofts
Removable covers are a must when it comes to pillows. Even if there aren’t any stains, there will definitely be a smell. Sweat, odors, and even storage will leave your pillow with a smell that can only be cleaned out. This is why, for an additional layer of protection there should always be a removable cover over the pillow.
Adjustable loft, as mentioned before, allows you to insert more or less stuffing into your pillow. Typically, there will be a zipper that allows you to access the interior filling. The more you put in, the firmer it becomes. The more you take out, the squishier and softer it becomes.
– Maintenance and Cleaning
Finally, there is the feature that will determine whether the purchase is too much of a hassle, or perfect. Seeing as the outer material is what can get dirty, you have to keep an eye on how exactly to clean it.
Velvet will be spot cleaned at the least, otherwise, it’s the professional cleaners you go to. If you choose velour, then there is a chance of finding a machine-washable cover. If not, the most they’ll request from you is spot-clean.
Polyesters and cotton are the easiest materials, since they almost always are machine washable.
What to Consider When Choosing a Pillow for Reading
Comfort should be your main priority when choosing a reading pillow. Since you are not sleeping upon it all night, you don’t have to worry about sleep positions and such; You should consider when and where you want to use it, and what positions you like to read in. If you have a hard surface to lean against, you may not need as sturdy a pillow body for it to stand on its own – but you may want a thick cushion. If leaning to the side is important, than you may want to consider larger arm rests.
The bottom line is, take into account your own personal reasoning for researching reading pillows, what makes you comfortable, what discomforts you are attempting to address, and then start narrowing down your choices from there.
A good reading pillow is a true must for reading enthusiasts. It provides the spinal support you need in both upright and lounging positions, and allows you to read comfortably for hours. The above highlighted models may all be somewhat similar in nature, especially since shredded foams are a preferred filling, but each has its own design features to make them unique and stand out from each other. Our personal favorite is the Z Foam Filled Reading Pillow as it has a high back, wide arms, and a pliable memory foam filling for easy shaping. Of course, your own personal choices and needs to be a part of your decision prior to purchase, as each have their own features to consider.
November 1, 2021: The YesIndeed X-Large Reading Pillow and Brentwood Originals Plush Bed Rest have each been removed due to unavailability, replaced with the increasingly popular ComfortSpa Reading Pillow Bed Wedge, Xtra-Comfort Bed Wedge Pillow and Nestl Bedding Reading Pillow.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you use a reading pillow?
A reading pillow is meant to offer you support and comfort as you flip through your favourite book while sitting or lounging in bed. Depending upon the position you read in, you may want to use different types of reading pillows in different ways. A contouring memory foam reading pillow with armrests can be placed against the headboard of the bed to provide spinal support. A wedge pillow can be used in multiple ways, against the headboard it can provide you back support, and on your lap, it can offer elevation. The traditional bed supports can be positioned behind your back for extra comfort in a lounging position.
What is the best pillow for reading in bed?
Filled with shredded memory foam, Z Foam Filled Reading Pillow is our top pick. Large in size to accommodate different body shapes and sizes, this reading pillow has a height of 21” and comes with 13” armrests for comfortable elbow support. You can use this pillow in both upright and lounging positions, so you don’t have to worry when you start sliding as the book reveals its climax. Despite the size, the pillow is lightweight and easy to move. It comes with a bamboo blend cover that regulates temperature and is easy to wipe clean. However, every reading pillow has its own benefits, so you should take into consideration your personal preferences when making a decision.