Relaxing in bed with a good book can be the perfect way to wind down in the evening or ease into a lazy weekend. But while a comfortable mattress, soft sheets, and fluffy pillows make for a restful night’s sleep, they might not actually be the ideal setup for supporting healthy posture while sitting upright.
That’s where reading pillows come in. Not only do they prevent slouching, they can turn your bed, sofa, or even the floor into a cozy reading nook. Not a big bookworm? Reading pillows also work great when watching TV, using a laptop or tablet, or having breakfast in bed. Knowing there’s the right amount of firmness to a back pillow provides not only comfort but peace of mind: maintaining a healthy posture can help ease aches and pains—and even prevent them down the road. To take a closer look at all the available features, we’ve put together a list that highlights some of the best reading pillows available.
- The smaller detachable pillow can be adjusted to provide neck support where it’s needed, giving the Husband Pillow a maximum height of 31 inches. The extra pillow also doubles as an under-the-knees cushion to alleviate pressure on the joints. Having this extra movable pillow can really help customize the comfort for different physical needs or preferences.
- The filling is made from memory foam pieces, which can be added or removed to adjust the pillow to the preferred firmness.
- The removable cover is made of soft microplush and comes in many colors. Additional covers can also be bought separately for those who want to change up the look or always keep a fresh cover handy.
- This pillow has plenty of additional pockets sewn into the cover, making it great for holding things like reading material, a phone, tablet, or water bottle.
- The Husband Pillow is a little pricier than other options we reviewed.
The Husband Pillow is a great all-around product that holds its shape while providing the moldable density of shredded memory foam. Its size is suitable for adults, with a height that reaches full back height for most people. The extra adjustable pillow adds customization options for other areas of the body such as the neck or knees.
LINENSPA Shredded Foam Reading Pillow
- It comes in the classic neutral tones of navy blue and stone gray, which are great for common areas of the house.
- With multiple size options varying in height from 22 to 29 inches, this pillow caters to people of varying heights and needs.
- A solid, affordable choice for those looking for an adult-size, full support reading pillow that has both back- and armrests, with the option of a neck pillow as well.
- There is no removable cover so this pillow should be spot cleaned only.
- The pillow does not come with a zippered opening to add, remove, or adjust the filling.
This is another reading pillow that combines back support and armrests, with the option of an added neck cushion. It’s filled with a blend of memory foam and support foam cushioning and is covered in soft velour, making it super comfortable with a nice balance of firmness and comfort.
Milliard Reading Pillow
- This reading pillow is a good value for the price. It has many of the same features as other products on this list, such as memory foam filling, a removable cover, and a zippered inner shell that provides easy access to the stuffing for customized softness.
- With the wide color selection and lower height, this product would be a great reading pillow for children, as well as teens and adults who don’t need a larger sized pillow that supports the full back and neck.
- The smaller size does not provide as much upper back support as other options.
Our choice for the best bargain, the Milliard Reading Pillow has armrests and a carrying handle and comes in a wide selection of colors. At a height of 18 inches, it’s a smaller, casual option that can be good for dorm rooms, or even put together in a group to make a reading corner in a shared family room. (This product also comes in a larger 24-inch size, but it’s the smaller standard size that hits the bargain price.)
Best for Sharing
WOWMAX Triangular Reading Pillow
- The removable corduroy cover and tufted design gives off a stylish texture, and the classic shape blends well into bedroom decor—a reading pillow that doesn’t look like a reading pillow.
- It can be flipped to use for stomach reading or as an elevated sleeping aid.
- Perfect for a pair sharing a full, queen, or king size bed, but also works against the length of a twin bed set against a wall.
- There are no armrests for support like the more popular reading pillow shape.
This shareable triangular wedge is designed to be used against—or in lieu of—a headboard. It transforms the entire bed into a pleasant area for sitting up and reading. Both sides are equipped with a small pocket, the perfect size for a phone or a pair of reading glasses. There are different length options for various bed sizes, and lots of colors to choose from to complement any room.
Best Wedge Pillow
Brentwood Therapeutic Foam Bed Wedge Sleep Pillow
Made from a single piece of therapeutic foam, this pillow provides a comfortable yet firm diagonal surface for back and shoulders while sitting up in bed. In addition to a seated backrest, wedge pillows such as this one are meant to be used for support under the knees as well as for a reclined sleep pillow.
- The wedge shape prioritizes an ergonomically-designed system that can ease different parts of the body that may accrue discomfort from unsupported sitting or laying positions.
- When laid on its long side, the pillow’s gradual incline can be used as a core stabilizer for laying (or reading!) on your side. It can even be used like a lap-desk for a book or tablet. It’s 24 inches on its long side, with different choices of 7, 10, and 12 inches on the short size, providing different incline angles.
- The soft stretch knit cover is removable and washable. Easy cleaning makes this a good choice for everyday use.
- Good for people who want a reading pillow that’s multi functional.
- The wedge design does not include armrests or an added neck pillow.
How We Picked
When searching for the best reading pillows, we factored in several considerations: firmness, size, shape, and cleaning. Thinking about each category helps reflect on the quality of a product and who it’s best suited for.
The reading pillows on our list all have foam filling to provide a comfortable feel that’s firm but not stiff—ideal for supporting the back while sitting up, whether it’s on the bed, couch, or floor. Some options come with zippered access to the filling to allow for customization. While sleeping or body pillows can be quite soft, a reading pillow should not only be cozy, but also sturdy.
We looked for products that supported adult size, but also included products that had smaller options for children or for other people who aren’t necessarily looking for full back support. A few options include detachable neck pillows, which when used add to the overall size. Most items we reviewed come in different measurements, with larger sizes available at higher prices.
We included both the popular reading pillow shape that combines back support with armrests, as well as triangular wedge pillows that provide a supported slope design. A reading pillow with armrests is a cozy choice that works well on and off the bed, with a design that can be used by the whole family. As sleep aids, wedge pillows are designed to help with conditions like acid reflux and snoring while promoting better circulation and breathing; the shape also lends itself well to upright back support, making it a nice choice for reading pillows that can also be used to make sleeping more comfortable.
When used in bed, reading pillows won’t necessarily need constant cleaning. However, it’s a good idea to do routine washing and there’s always the occasional spill. Moreover, if used by children or in areas in the home with more activity (like the couch in the living room or on the floor in a kids’ reading corner), easy cleaning is an important consideration. That’s why most of the products we highlighted have removable covers that are machine washable.
Several of the products on our list fall within a similar price range, especially considering there are multiple size options that vary the price point up and down. When looking at higher-priced products, we considered size and other special features (i.e., pockets, access to filling, washable covers) that could justify higher costs. Overall, we were looking for items that are a good value for the price.
Finding the right reading pillow means considering size, comfort, quality, and other preferences. We’ve put together a few helpful points to think about while weighing the options.
- Where and by whom will the reading pillow be used?
Who will be using the pillow will determine the size, most importantly, but also other features. Reading pillows in kids’ rooms, student dorms, or shared spaces would benefit from the easy cleaning option of a removable, washable cover. Someone who does a lot of work from bed could use extra pockets to keep necessary items nearby. Think about the features that align with these factors.
- Consider any physical needs to determine the best kind of support.For example, if neck discomfort is an issue there are added neck support pillows that offer relief; armrests can be helpful to rest on to relax tense shoulders; firmness is important for lower back support. Some people also use these types of pillows for health reasons to aid upright or reclined sleep.
- Are you looking for a reading pillow that’s also multifunctional?
Aside from reading in bed, these pillows may be used for activities like watching TV on the sofa or playing video games on the floor. If the pillow will be moved around a lot and used by different people, something that’s easy to carry and clean is a good idea. For those who want a pillow that can also be used for sleeping, look into wedge-shaped options.
Whether it’s enjoying a magazine or movie in bed, playing video games in the living room, or diving into a novel first thing Sunday morning, reading pillows are terrific for anyone who could use extra comfort and support while lounging.