Best Pillows For Reading In Bed [Review] in 2021
Last Updated on December 8, 2020
written by sleep expert Lauren Hall
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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 backrest and those that can stand alone and be used as a floor seat backrest as well. Whichever design works for you they’re going to make it much more comfortable.
We’ve spent the time researching so you don’t have to:
Best Pillow for Reading in Bed Individual Reviews
Brentwood Originals Brushed Twill 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.
It’s so soft and comfortable
It’s cute looking and sturdy
It’s light and easy to move
The fabric is pretty thick and warms quickly to your body temperature
It is very small
Latest deal: Brentwood Originals Brushed Twill Bedrest
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.
It’s fairly cheap
Armrest shaped pillows
The support is minimal
Latest deal: Lavish Home Down Alternative Reading Wedge
Bed Lounge classic
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 are 16 different shades to choose from and it comes with an extendable headrest and supports 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.
Designed with your back health in mind
Provides the best support.
It’s adjustable to fit just about anyone
t’s quite firm but that’s good for your back
The design is fairly cheaply made
Latest deal: Bed Lounge classic
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
It comes in a nice neutral color
shredded foam returns to shape even after being sat on
It arrives flat so you have to let it air out for a bit and plump up
Latest deal: LinenSpa Shredded Foam Reading Pillow
Brentwood Home Pismo Therapeutic Latex Foam Wedge Pillow
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.
Unlike most foam pillows this has no gassing off
It’s very firm to provide suppor
The cover feels plushy and comfortable
Latest deal: Brentwood Home Pismo Therapeutic Latex Foam Wedge Pillow
Leewadee Foldout Triangle Thai-Cushion
Leewadee knows what’s up when it comes to pillows for reading in bed. They have just the right type of product for your consideration that will not only deliver on a comfortable reading and resting experience, but also fit accordingly with the style you have going on in your room. This is enabled, of course, through the wide variety of designs and color options you have available to you.
Some of these are black, orange, brown, grey, red/green and blue/red with intricate design patterns to name a few. The natural plant material used allows for a comfortable and breathable experience, preventing sweat buildup. It also acts as a folding lazy sofa chair for your bedroom or living room. The triangular wedge cushions are made by hand for that premium feel. It gives a very sustainable and nice vibe. The build quality is also great, and you will absolutely love what you get for the price.
Plant based material
Good build quality
Hand-made premium feel
Multiple design and color options
Could be more comfortable
Latest deal: Leewadee Foldout Triangle Thai-Cushion
Cascadia Essentials Shredded Memory Foam Reading Pillow
How much functionality can your really expect out of a pillow made for reading in bed? If not much, then jog your imagination again because Cascadia has just the right type of pillow for you. The ergonomic design allows for a comfortable and snug fit as you lay inside of it and the back support is also great. You also have arm rest for your arms and there are cup holders on the end of each of them. This improves your functionality as now you have a place to rest your drink while reading. The grey simple one-tone color is mature and looks elegant with every setup you can think of. You will find the softest shredded memory foam inside for all your back support and plush comfort needs. Cascadia also offers you a money back guarantee if you don’t like the product and want to return it. The build quality is great and overall, you are in for a treat.
Good build quality
Filled with shredded memory foam
Comfortable and tough
Could be better built
Latest deal: Cascadia Essentials Shredded Memory Foam Reading Pillow
Vekkia Reading & Bed Rest Pillow
Vekkia is another great competitor in the pillow for reading in bed department. And if you are in the market for a pillow that is comfortable and well-built at the same time then you have come to the right place. With that said, let’s take a closer look at this pillow. The grey color tone looks clean and simple, great for minimalists who like it beautiful. You have some color options as well to pick from which is always a great deal for customizations freaks.
The colors available to you are black, brown, navy blue, grey and coral pink. The velvet cover is there to enable a smooth feel while the soft and plush foam inside is great for comfort and support for your back. You also get a convenient arm pocket where you can store necessary items while sitting like your smartphone or TV remote. There is a handle up top as well for easy carriage and the build quality is on point. Overall, this is a great one for you.
Good build quality
Soft and comfortable
Handle for carriage
Could use memory foam
Latest deal: Vekkia Reading & Bed Rest Pillow
Brentwood Home Zuma Therapeutic Wedge Pillow
Brentwood focuses on simplicity and elegance while making sure you get the most functionality out of your pillow. This pillow for reading in bed has a great design and will satisfy all your comfort and support needs. The upright triangular build allows for easy prop against the bed wall and makes it convenient to use. The design is also this crisscross pattern that looks clean and stylish at the same time. The all-white colorway helps with the simplicity further while looking cool. The build quality is great and made with knit fabric which means it will hold up for a long time before feeling the need to change. It is also super comfortable and plush for resting on. The gradual slope helps improve breathing and also reduces neck and shoulder pains. It also improves your digestion by correcting your posture and helps with snoring and allergies as well. Overall, this one is a steal.
Comfortable and soft
Reduces neck and shoulder pains
Helps with digestion
Could have better size
Latest deal: Brentwood Home Zuma Therapeutic Wedge Pillow
Milliard Reading Pillow
Milliard has another great offering for you when it comes pillows good for reading in bed. This one has a velvet like finish which makes it super comfortable to rest on when you lay down. The design is super simple and that is where the elegance and beauty come from. It will more than satisfy the minimalists and make them super happy as the pillow goes well with all setups. You have different size options as well which enables you to get what fits and suits you well.
The build quality is great for the price as it will last you a good long while. It is also super plush and comfortable for your resting needs and is great for upright reading sessions. The arm rests on the side make for great support which is enhanced by the back. It has just the right amount of firmness that aids in back support, but you can easily reduce it by pulling some foam out. There is a convenient carry handle which makes it super easy to move the pillow and overall, this one is a no brainer.
Comfortable and soft
Firm and strong
Good build quality
Could package better
Latest deal: Milliard Reading Pillow
Nestl Reading Pillow
Nestl has a great product waiting for you to put your hands on when it comes to pillows for reading in bed. This one has a velvet finish again which enables a smooth experience as you lay your head down and the surface area is nice and large as well to accommodate you well. The support you get from the back is amazing and the color choice is light grey that matches well with all setups while keeping it minimal and clean. Minimalists will love this one and the side arms are also there for your arms to comfortably rest on.
You have a wide variety of color options to choose from as well that are peach, yellow, blue, green and teal to name a few. The build quality is great, and it will hold up well for a long time. It is also comfortable and soft for all your comfort needs. It provides great support for your neck and is easy to maintain also. The shredded memory foam creates a plush layer of conforming support and overall, this one is a winner.
Comfortable and soft
Multiple color options
Top handle for carriage
Could be inexpensive
Latest deal: Nestl Reading Pillow
ZOEMO Bed Rest Reading Pillow
If you are in the market looking for a plush and well-made pillow for reading in bed, then you have arrived at the right place as ZOEMO has a great offering for you. It has a head rest at the back of your head installed as well, which provides great support for your neck. The sides are there for good support for your elbows while you read your book. You have a very minimal design language which looks clean and goes well with all setups found at home. You have 3 color options that are blue, grey and brown. This adds a nice layer of customization for people who like to make things their own. It is well-built with 100% cotton thereby enabling a soft and plush experience as you rest on it. It will hold up well with time for you and is also very easy to maintain and clean. You get an official 3-year warranty from the manufacturer which is amazing. Overall, this one is a grab.
Comfortable and soft
Head rest installed
Side arms and good back support
Could be more comfortable
Latest deal: ZOEMO Bed Rest Reading Pillow
Xtra-Comfort Bed Wedge Pillow
Xtra comfort does exactly what the name suggests when it comes to providing a promising and plush resting experience. This pillow is great for reading in bed as the back support in incredible. The design language is as simple as it gets with the toned-down brown color that gives a very antique vibe to it as well. The ability to change the angle as you lay down on it is a blessing in disguise that we will discuss in some time. The build quality is great and will hold up well for many years to come. It is comfortable and plush. Great support for your neck and back is also available and it will make reading a fun-filled hobby for you. Now, the foldable bed wedge enables you to use it under the head for support and also under the pillow for a raised experience. This is the angle changing feature that shines bright for this one. Overall, you are in for a ride.
Comfortable and soft
Angle change feature
Modular and easy to maintain
Could use better size measurements
Latest deal: Xtra-Comfort Bed Wedge Pillow
Brentwood Originals 2136 Plush Bed Rest
If you are on a lookout for an inexpensive pillow for your reading needs in bed, then you have come to the right place as Brentwood has just the right product for you. No need to worry about quality at this price as the build is amazing and you will have no complains in that department. You, once again, get a great design that has a velvet-like finish that looks beautiful and clean. It blends well with the background and symbolizes unity. The color options available to you are red and black which look sleek. This one will satisfy a lot of minimalists. It is imported and made from 100% polyester which enables it to have a good build quality and it will hold up well for many years to come. It is also comfortable and plush for a well-rested experience. It is easy to maintain and clean in case of spillage. It is super lightweight which makes it easy to carry and overall, this one is a great choice.
Comfortable and soft
Lightweight and easy to clean
Could have more colors
Latest deal: Brentwood Originals 2136 Plush Bed Rest
Husband Pillow is the perfect blend of plushness and functionality so if you are in market for a velvet soft pillow good for reading in bed then you have come to the right place. The design is simple and that is where most of the elegance comes from. You get a head rest as well attached to the pillow, but it blends in well with the rest of the product and looks great with any setup. The minimalist feel is real, and the overall vibe of the pillow is also sleek and elegant. You have different color options to pick from as well like black, white, pink, sky blue, dark grey and purple to name a few. This tremendously helps with customization. The build quality is also great and will last you a long time before feeling the need to change. It is comfortable and soft for your resting needs and is also very easy to clean and maintain. Overall, this one is a great deal.
Comfortable and soft
Easy to maintain
Multiple color options
Available in five different sizes
Money back guarantee
Latest deal: Husband Pillow
How do I use a reading pillow?
In order to understand how to properly use a reading pillow, we need to first learn the importance of reading and resting. Reading allows us to vastly increase our knowledge, may it be about how to write a fictional piece of art or gathering knowledge about real worldly topics. Reading is known to stimulate our brains which helps in keeping it healthy and functional. It also helps with reducing stress and improving our vocabulary. Who doesn’t want to learn new words every day? The more the merrier! We can also aid our analytical skills and help with memory improvement by adopting the hobby.
The second great factor is rest. We need to be well rested while we read. Constant reading while keeping our head at a fixed angle without support can put unnecessary strain on our shoulders and spine. This may not feel like much in the start, but with time will start to build up and cause major issues later on in life. In order to avoid this, we need a proper pillow, one that is made for reading in bed. And there are many that we have reviewed for you today, but it is also crucial to understand how to effectively use them to the best of our interests.
You can prop the reading in bed pillow against the bed wall which allows for a good support from the back. Something solid will do the trick and save you the annoyance of constant slipping of the pillow. Reading pillows have a handle up top as well which enable you to quickly adjust their position or move them entirely with minimal to almost no effort at all. Our goal is to provide as much comfort while reading in bed as possible, and that is further made possible via the side arms you can use to rest your arms on. They also have a pocket where you can store your books or smartphone for convenience.
A reading pillow has good stuffing inside, sometimes made from memory foam but may also have normal foam inside. These pillows come with varying degree of firmness, but you can adjust it according to your use as well just by removing some of the foam if it is too stiff or adding some if it has a lot of give. Keep adjusting until you find the right comfort to firmness ratio. Some pillows for reading in bed feature adjustable angles as well which help in providing good neck support at different angles which can allow some neck movement and keep the stress away. Some even have headrests installed.
All in all, it is important to have a proper know-how when it comes to the correct usage of a reading pillow. If done correctly, a reading-in-bed pillow can prove to be an amazing experience, alleviating stress and adding joy to the amazing hobby of reading.
How do I clean the pillow?
One of the most frequently asked question is, “How to clean a backrest pillow?”, and we have the answer right here for you. People also ask if it is hard to do, and we must admit it can be a little complicated in the beginning. But with all the right protocols, you will have a fresh backrest pillow in no time. It will feel just like the day you bought it and the best part is that it’s not even that hard to do. So, without wasting anymore time, let’s take a closer look and explore how to clean a backrest pillow.
Every backrest pillow is shipped with instructions for maintenance. Read them carefully as every pillow has its own set that need to be understood clearly before attempting anything. The more that you know exactly what to do, the longer it will last you. And who doesn’t want their backrest pillow to last a long time before feeling the need to change? The next thing to consider is to make sure you always use a mild detergent as a harsh one can change the chemical composition of the surface and it may not feel as plush or comfortable afterwards. So, a soft and light detergent is the way to go.
A lot of people think of using bleach which is a major no because not only will it ruin the feel of the pillow but may also deform it and destroy the color. No one wants a shrunk, weird looking pillow that doesn’t feel good. So, bleach is a no go. Another crucial aspect is the use of warm water. Not too hot as it can be a burn hazard for you as well as it may negatively affect the pillow. Warm water allows the dirt to become loose quicker and come off easily. It does all of this while retaining the feel and texture of the pillow, thereby conserving the plush and soft experience it has always had. Temperature of water may vary from pillow to pillow, so read the instructions carefully.
Start to slowly work the detergent in, in circular motion so it does not change the direction of the threads. Also make sure to work the detergent in quick and don’t overdo it. Once you are satisfied with the result, start washing the pillow under gentle pressure of warm water and allow it to soak well. Once that it done, let it dry and you will have a fresh smelling and clean backrest pillow.
One of the most important questions when it comes to cleaning backrest pillows is how often should you clean the pillow? You should clean your pillow when it starts to smell. You will also notice increase in the weight of the pillow which is also a sign that you need to clean it.
On average, you should clean your pillow after every 3 to 6 months. If you follow all the protocols provided above, your pillow will stay clean and retain all the plushness for a long time.
Are the pillows available in different sizes?
Backrest pillows are available in a wide variety of sizes, all the way from baby to king size. Yes, you can actually buy back support pillows for your baby too. The standard pillow size measures 20”. This means you can put one pillow of this size on a twin bed, 2 on a queen size bed and 3 across a king size bed.
Then we have queen size backrest pillow that will measure 20” x30. This means 2 queen sized backrest pillows will fit perfectly on a queen-sized bed. Both the queen and standard sized pillows can use a standard pillowcase. A queen-sized pillow for backrest is what a lot of people use but it is always better to have more surface area for your back. And that is where the king size back rest pillow comes in.
The king size measures 20” x36 which is quite a large size. This will accommodate your back easily and give you sufficient room to move around and adjust to the position that suits you best. A pair of king size backrest pillows will fit perfectly on a king size bed and will use king size pillowcases.
These are the sizes available to you.
What is the best pillow for reading in bed?
Orthopedic pillows play a vital role in making up for a good pillow for reading in bed. An orthopedic pillow has memory foam that conforms to the shape of your back and provides great plushness along with back and neck support. Back support is very important as it helps with relieving shoulder and spine stress and injuries. Orthopedic pillows for backrest also have a certain level of firmness that will keep your posture upright and help with keeping a straight back when you wake up. Doctor’s recommend orthopedic pillows because they can be very therapeutic and can enhance your reading experience by nailing a few things when it comes to comfort and support.
Another great company for good back rest pillows is Brentwood. We looked at a few products from them today as well. They have a good backrest pillow that offers side pockets for storing objects like TV remotes or smartphones. This is a major factor of convenience and makes so many things easy. Another great feature is the handle at the top of the pillow. This makes it super easy for you to carry your pillow around and set up the way you want it. If convenience is your way to go then this is a nice option for you to consider.
Lastly, a backrest pillow should be comfortable and plush. These 2 things play an important role in determining how long you can stay on a backrest pillow and read, before feeling the need to get up and walk. A reading in bed pillow must provide a comforting experience and keep your neck well-rested throughout the reading session. If you find a pillow that does this, it might be the move.
These are the things you need to look for when looking for the best pillow for reading in bed.
Things to look for in a reading pillow:
The main things to look for when buying a reading pillow are quality, comfort, convenience and firmness. A good quality reading pillow will naturally last you a long time without breaking or needing maintenance. It will also clean easily and will not leave stain afterwards. A well-built pillow can make so many things easier.
Next is comfort. Comfort and back support is something much needed for a pillow. Not only does it provide a plush and comfortable resting experience but also helps with providing appropriate support to your neck and spine. This reduces the stress on shoulders and aids in enhancing the reading experience.
Convenience covers things like a top handle and side pockets. A top handle can improve portability and also make it easy to carry and prop the pillow against a surface. Side pockets in the arm rests can help store items like TV remotes or smartphones or even your favorite book. Another great convenience feature is a cup holder that some of the reading pillows have in the arm rests. It’s a simple yet extremely useful and a genius idea.
Firmness is something all the orthopedic doctors recommend. It helps with keeping your spine upright and straight. It improves your walking posture as well and you wake up with no sore shoulders or neck pains. You can obviously control the level of firmness in your reading pillow by removing or adding some of the stuffing. This is a fairly important feature to have.
- Inner material:
The inner material for a reading pillow is made from either memory foam or normal foam. It could be plant based as well which helps the environment and reduces pollution. The pillow with shredded memory foam filling conforms to the shape of your body and provides great support. It helps sooth all the muscle aches you may be experiencing and is definitely a material to look for, in reading pillows.
Sometimes reading pillows are filled with microfiber/polyester fiber as well. It is also called fiber fill. It is a synthetic material which is inexpensive and does the job well done as well. So, if you are on a budget, you can consider fiber fill.
- Outer material:
The outer material fabric of a reading pillow can be made from a velvet-like material that adds to the plushness as it receives your head every time you lay down on it. You can also find leather as the outer material which screams class, or you can go with a fabric thread like design that is your traditional finish normally found on pillows.
- Pillow style:
There are different styles when it comes to reading pillows. Some have modular parts that you can use to prop on different ways to change your sitting angle, while others come attached with a head rest. Some have arm rests while others have side extensions that act in a similar way. Some even have V-shape that help people who have snoring problems or sleep on their stomachs.
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. The Brentwood Home design is much more comfortable and better for sleeping on, plus you have the optional gel and memory foam if you want it softer.As an upright pillow, it’s clear why the LinenSpa beats out the Poodle pillow because the foam and size provide much better support.
Head of Content at Sleepedia
Lauren is Sleepedia's Head of Content and is a certified sleep therapist who loves her sleep. Lauren helps people to get back to those deep, dream-filled nights they once had by helping to identify problems with their routine and sleep setup. Whether it's a mattress or pillow, Lauren researches the best products in the industry to provide you with an in-depth review of everything you need to know to encourage your buying decision.