Most of us don't take enough care of our spines and when sitting reading in bed we tend to slouch, hunch, and rarely have enough support to be comfortable.
Normal sleeping pillows are not designed for sitting up and while they support your head great they can't form properly for your back when reading.
If you want a good reading pillow you want something that cradles your back and gives you support so your hips don't hurt and you can stay comfortable for hours.
There are two different types of reading pillows – those that act as a back rest and those that can stand alone and be used as a floor seat back rest as well. Whichever design works for you they're going to make it much more comfortable.
Best Pillow for Reading in Bed – Comparison Table
|Brentwood||Easy To Clean||26 x 18 x 18 inches||0.8 ounces||4.2/5|
|Lavish Home Down||Removable Cover||30 x 18 x 12 inches||5.7 pounds||3.2/5|
|BedLounge Classic||Removable Cover||25 x 27 x 21.5 inches||6.5 pounds||3.4/5|
|LINENSPA Shredded Foam||Similar to Memory Foam||0.4 x 0.4 x 0.4 inches||5.3 pounds||4.3/5|
|Brentwood Home Pismo||Multipurpose||24 x 24 x 11 inches||5.8 pounds||3.9/5|
Best Pillow for Reading in Bed – Reviews
Brentwood Originals Poodle Bedrest
Available in four bright colors this provides good support for both your back and arms. There's a handy carrying handle so you can move it from room to room and the flat base means it can also stand alone for sitting on the floor.
It's easy to spot clean with a damp cloth, though it's not washable. It's ideal for adding softer cushioned support that isn't too firm.
It's not particularly big and more suited for someone who is less than 5'7 in height as this is the smaller size to their Shagalicious. The cover is a soft chenille feel and it's cute looking in all bright colors.
– 4 Color choices
– Smaller Size
– Flat standalone base
– Arm support
– Carry Handle
Pros: It's so soft and comfortable you want to cuddle it all the time. This is great for someone with a smaller build who might be drawfed by some of the larger rests.
It's cute looking and sturdy. The fabric is pretty thick and warms quickly to your body temperature. It sits on top of a normal pillow so you can make it taller if needed.
The arm rests cradle you even if you lean. It's light and easy to move around so you can even take it with you for bleacher seats.
Cons: It is very small, and if you want something bigger you have to go with the Shagalicious version instead. This is very soft so it may not be enough support, it's pretty squishy. The stitching isn't great and is the weak point where it comes apart. Not being washable is also a pain as it starts to smell over time.
Lavish Home Down Alternative Reading Wedge
With a bundle package of up to three this is a much more grown up looking pillow. It's a simple wedge design that can also be turned for sleeping to help with GERD issues.
It has a removable and washable cover and is filled with polyester fluff much like standard pillows. The filling is hypoallergenic and it's soft and cloud like.
– Wedge Shape
– GERD help for sleep
– Removable/Washable Cover
Pros: With a washable pillowcase this is a lot more useful and sanitary. It has two functions and is more versatile than the armrest shaped pillows.
It's fairly cheap and if you don't like the soft design you can find plenty of similar shaped pillows in a firmer memory foam.
Cons: This is even softer than the Poodle Pillow and it doesn't hold it's shape when you lean on it. While the size is comparable to other GERD pillows it smushes flat with bodyweight so it doesn't work for that or reading.
The support is minimal and feels the same as having two regular pillows. It has to be aired out for a couple of hours so that it can get it's shape upon arrival.
This is a pricey pillow, but it comes in a huge range of colors and is a good size for adults (you can also get it in a small size too). There's 16 different shades to choose from and it comes with an extendable headrest and supportive arms.
It has a frame inside it to provide firmer support and still weighs only 6.5lb. The covers are removable and washable and it's made in the USA.
There's also a matching Leg Lounge to prop your legs up on and you can purchase spare covers in different colors.
The arms can also be folded up and the whole thing folds down to be stored or transported. The headrest is also adjustable forwards so you can cradle your head and provide support for your neck as well as your back.
– Removable covers
– 16 Colors
– USA Made
– Matching leg rest
Pros: With a design that comes with doctor input this is truly a supporting rest. While you probably think this is more than a simple pillow it's designed with your back health in mind and provides the best support.
It's adjustable to fit just about anyone and with two sizes you can personalize this based on your comfort level. It's quite firm but that's good for your back.
Cons: This is a design you either love or hate. It's very firm and it holds your back in place so you can't slouch into it.
The design is also fairly cheaply made despite being one of the most expensive pillows out there. It's not really great value for money. The cushion is made of rubber latex which can also cause allergy issues.
LinenSpa Shredded Foam Reading Pillow
As the number one best seller you have to wonder what's so special. This is a similar shape to the poodle pillow but it's made with shredded memory foam instead which gives it a much firmer and more cradling support.
The shredded foam allows for better ventilation than the solid latex version which
stops your back getting hot or sweaty.
It has a carry handle and is a suitable 18” high so it works for most adults. The cover is soft and plush and while it's not washable it can be spot cleaned.
The foam doesn't absorb smells as easily as fluff too. It has a 3 year warranty and is free standing so you can also use it on the floor like the Poodle Pillow. It's not as heavy as the Bed Lounge so it's easier to move about.
– 100% Viscoelastic Shredded Foam
– Plush Cover
– Carry Handle
– High back
Pros: With more support than the Poodle and a better size this is one of the most comfortable and supportive pillows for reading in bed.
It's ideal for most adults from the height and the arms are still low enough not to get in the way while cradling you.
It comes in a nice neutral color and the shredded foam returns to shape even after being sat on. It doesn't bunch up inside like traditional fluff.
Cons: It arrives flat so you have to let it air out for a bit and plump up. The memory foam does have a slight gassing off but it's not so noticeable unless you're up close.
It doesn't have any support for the upper back or a neck rest so you may need to prop it up on additional pillows underneath. It's also quite expensive in comparison to similar pillows.
Brenthood Home Pismo Therapeutic Latex Wedge
While not as expensive as the Bed Lounge this is a firmer version of the Lavish Home reading wedge. It's actually designed for GERD use but it can be flipped up to use as a reading pillow. It's covered in a soft knit fabric which is removable and washable.
It comes in three sizes so you can choose how high you want to sleep or how far back you wish to lean while reading.
The design is long enough that it supports most of the back while sitting up (24”). You can also find a more expensive version that has a gel layer and memory foam base if you want a slightly softer pillow that cools. It can also be used to elevate feet and is a firm slope.
– Long Line
– Removable/Washable cover
– Three Sizes
Pros: Unlike most foam pillows this has no gassing off. It's very firm to provide support which may not be comfortable for everyone.
It works well for both the intended uses and the cover feels plushy and comfortable.
Cons: The cover has a tendency to shrink when washing and that can make it very difficult to get back on after washing. The foam is extremely firm which can be uncomfortable if you want something to sink into.
It's pretty tough to decide which is the best pillow for reading in bed because the two designs are so obviously different. If you're looking for a GERD pillow anyway go ahead and get one of the wedges.
As an upright pillow it's clear why the LinenSpa beats out the Poodle pillow because the foam and size provides much better support.