reading pillow

To make sure we always provide the latest information, this page was last updated on 1 October 2020. 

Best reading pillow

What is a reading pillow?

A reading pillow is a pillow shaped like an armchair, with a back and armrests.

They’re designed to allow the user to sit up in bed or on another surface, while also supporting the spine in a comfortable posture. They’re also known by the somewhat old-fashioned name ‘husband pillow’, which is thought to be related to the way the arm pillows hug and support the body upright.

Regardless of that name, they can be a great choice for many people. Our beds are so often far more to us than just a surface to sleep on. If you enjoy lounging in bed reading a book or watching TV, a back reading pillow could be a great choice. 

Unlike a pile of cushions or pillows which you might usually use as a bed rest when sitting in bed reading, a proper reading pillow offers full or partial back support, as well as arm support.

The lumbar support offered by these pillows can be great for helping anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding to sit up comfortably. This helps with posture and reduces muscle strain.

The best reading pillows offer an ideal way of reading in bed, but not every reading pillow is the same. There are a few important factors to bear in mind when you’re shopping for a reading pillow.

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Our Number 1, and best rated, reading pillow

Linenspa Shredded Foam Reading Pillow

Why we rate this the best reading pillow

  • This product comes in three size options: standard, large, and extra-large.  You can choose the ideal option for providing you with support. The extra-large reading pillow is probably the best choice for larger adults.

  • The shredded memory foam is CertiPur certified. You can rest in the knowledge that it’s safe to use.

  • It comes with an adjustable neck bolster. You can position it to make it perfect for your needs. It’s also removable so you can use it as a leg rest instead.

  • The velour outer is super comfy, adding an additional level of comfort.

  • The shredded memory foam stuffing helps airflow. You won’t be getting too warm while using it. It molds to the shape of your spine, making it one of the best bed pillows for reading.

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This is rated our best value for money reading pillow

Vekkia Premium Soft Reading Pillow

What you need to know

  • This bed rest reading pillow is on the larger side. It’s ideal for people over 5’9”.
  • This design features its own side pocket in one of the arms. It’s great for holding your phone or TV remote.
  • The velvet cover makes it even more relaxing to sit in and you’ve got several choices of color: black, grey, navy blue, brown, and coral pink.
  • This product comes with an extra 200g of shredded memory foam. It’s no hassle to unzip and refill where you need it to bolster it if you need additional support.
  • The armrests are raised to provide great support for your arms while reading.
  • The headrest is detachable, so if you prefer the pillow without it, it’s easy to remove.

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The best of the rest

Hit Notion Husband Pillow

What you need to know

  • The microplush cover of this reading pillow is separately washable. It’s easy to keep it clean and fresh.

  • It also comes with a carry handle. It’s convenient to take with you anywhere, making camping and hotel visits more enjoyable.

  • It’s taller than many available pillows. At 24″ tall without the neck rest, and 31″ with it, it’s ideal for adults to use in comfort.

  • The large rear pocket and side pocket make this great for holding books and magazines when you’re not reading them.

  • It’s designed to be durable, again and again, and comes with a 100-day money-back guarantee, as well as a three-year warranty. You can relax with peace of mind with this reading pillow.

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Milliard Reading Pillow

What you need to know

  • The Milliard reading pillow comes in four choices of length.  Ranging from the petite 14″ model to the extra-large version at 24″, you can be sure of finding the right fit for you.

  • The outer comfy velour cover is machine washable. You’ll have no problem keeping it hygienic and fresh.

  • It’s got a zip so you can adjust the shredded foam inside to ensure it’s supporting you in the right places. Or take some stuffing out altogether if you prefer softer support.

  • The shredded memory foam stuffing has plenty of give, meaning that you can be comfy while also enjoying additional support.

  • The convenient carry handle helps to make it super easy to take around with you wherever you need to go, making it the best reading pillow for those who want to read comfortably on the move.

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Cheer Collection Wedge-Shaped Reading Pillow

What you need to know

  • The bolster pillow can be attached in three positions to offer tailored support. At the top it supports the neck, in the middle it supports the back, and at the bottom, it supports the lumbar spine.

  • The shape of this wedge pillow means it can be positioned upright or on its side. This means you can be supported in a seated or a lying position when reading books.

  • The cover can be easily taken off for problem-free washing.

  • The handy side pocket can be used to store your phone or TV remote while relaxing.

  • This item is lighter than many other alternatives. It’s great for storing or taking with you anywhere.

  • With a choice of six colors to pick from, you’ll have no problem matching it to the decor of your room.

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Vctops Bohemian Printed Bed Rest Pillow

What you need to know

  • Stuffed with polyester fiber, this pillow is one of the firmer products available. A great choice if you prefer a more supportive backrest.

  • On the smaller side, this product would be best suited to smaller adults or teenagers. It’s light too, making storage and transport no problem at all.

  • It comes in a wide range of interesting and stylish patterns. Express yourself with this tasteful and supportive pillow.

  • It’s easy to sponge stains off the sturdy canvas cover. It can be taken off and machine-washed as well, making it simple to keep clean.

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Malouf Z Foam Fill Reading Pillow

What you need to know

  • A blended stuffing of memory foam and high-density polyurethane foam provides a combination of firm support and relaxing softness.

  • The cover is made from a bamboo and polyester blend. Making these some of the more durable pillows for reading in bed.

  • The cover is also highly breathable. This prevents heat capture and ensures you stay at a comfortable temperature while reading.

  • The stylish charcoal-grey design will complement any interior.

  • Designed to last and support you for several years, it comes with a 3-year warranty.

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Homesoft Things Supersoft Bedrest Reading Pillow

What you need to know

  • The ultrasoft polyester microfiber cover is sure to help you relax while you read or watch TV.

  • This pillow arrives unstuffed. This means you can use the provided foam filling to stuff the pillow to the level of firmness perfect for you.

  • The cover can be removed and machine-washed, making caring for this product a piece of cake.

  • Available in five eye-catching color choices, you’ll have little trouble matching this product to any interior.

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Lavish Home Bed Wedge Reading Pillow

What you need to know

  • The down-alternative stuffing is both comfy and hypoallergenic. An important additional factor to consider if this matters for you.

  • As one of the more versatile wedge pillows, it can be oriented in several different ways to provide support in any seated or lying position.

  • The inner cover is polyester, while the outer cover is 100% cotton, providing a luxurious feel to the pillow.

  • The removable cover makes machine-washing hassle-free.

  • It’s on the larger side, at 30″ tall. This makes it a great choice for any adult, including taller individuals.

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Zoemo Bed Rest Reading Pillow

What you need to know

  • The backrest cushion of this reading pillow is specially reinforced to give superior support to the user, helping to relieve muscle strain.

  • The velour covering is constructed of 100% cotton, and the stuffing is made of clusterball fiber. This use of superior materials gives the pillow a luxurious quality.

  • At 27″ tall, it’s in the mid-range of sizes. This makes it a great choice for use by children and adults alike.

  • The large neck support pillow is firm enough to give great support to the head and neck while reclining.

  • The large side pocket is great for storing books or snacks while using this item.

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Acwarm Home Reading Pillow

What you need to know

  • This pillow comes with two detachable pillows. The neck roll and leg support can both be removed to suit your needs. Use the leg pillow to keep your feet supported while reclining or reading books.

  • The neck roll can be adjusted to give back or lumbar support, making this a versatile choice.

  • The shredded memory foam stuffing offers a great compromise between support and softness.

  • The high-quality slipcover can be removed and washed with no hassle.

  • This is a sturdier product than some alternatives and the armrests point forward, rather than out to the sides. This gives it a real sense of ‘hugging’ the user and helps with posture.

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Ziraki Large Plush Reading Pillow

What you need to know

  • The velour cover is able to be spot cleaned if it becomes dirty.

  • The shredded high-density foam filling conforms to your body shape when it comes into contact with your body’s heat. It also promotes airflow through the pillow, helping to keep you at a good temperature.

  • The foam stuffing makes this pillow both firm and comfy – a perfect compromise for helping to relieve back pain while you relax.

  • The handy carry handle makes this pillow easily movable to anywhere in your home.

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Clara Clark Reading Pillow

What you need to know

  • With 11 attractive colors to choose from, you’ll have no problem picking one to reflect your tastes.

  • It comes with a separate supporting cushion to use as a lumbar or leg support.

  • The neck roll is partially detachable and adjustable to allow you to customize it to your needs. It’s attached to the main structure with bungee cord to ensure that you don’t lose it.

  • The shredded memory foam stuffing conforms to your body shape. It will support your particular body shape perfectly.

  • Its length makes it suitable for all adults to enjoy.

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MittaGonG Backrest Reading Pillow

What you need to know

  • The unique shape of this product makes it a great compromise between a wedge pillow and a husband pillow.

  • The arms of this product are particularly thick and sturdy. Your arms will be well supported while you hold your book or a drink.

  • The cover can be unzipped easily. It can also be machine-washed, making caring for this product very simple.

  • The plush velour cover comes in blue or grey. It will look great in any interior.

  • The sturdy carrying handle makes this easy to pack into storage or to take with you anywhere.

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Nestl Reading Pillow

What you need to know

  • This product comes in a large, medium, and petite size. You’ll have no problem choosing one to suit the needs of you or your loved ones.

  • A huge array of color choices means there’s something to fit every taste.

  • A large rear pocket is perfect for holding magazines, books, or a tablet. You won’t need to get up to get anything once you’ve made yourself cozy.

  • The premium high-density foam hugs your body and fits the contours of your spine.

  • The ultra-plush covering can be removed and washed in cold water to keep your pillow cozy and fresh.

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What features to look for when buying a reading pillow?

Comfort

When looking for a reading pillow for bed, you want to find a sit up pillow that is firm enough to give you the support you need to sit up in bed. But it also needs to be comfy – that’s the whole point after all! This will depend partly on your weight, but sit up pillows containing a memory foam stuffing are often the best for providing comfort and support.

Size

In order to purchase a reading pillow that will provide support for your entire back, it’s worth checking the length of the product from base to top.

If you can find one that is as long as your whole back you’re likely to find it gives you better support than a product that is only tall enough to offer partial support. Try measuring the length of your back and using this to select a product that meets your needs. Likewise, not all armrests will be long enough for all customers, so check the measurements before you buy.

Some designs have additional features like side pockets or even adjustable neck supports. It’s important to choose carefully to find the best bed rest pillow for your specific needs.

Materials

Most reading pillows will have a polyester cover. They tend to be in a suede or velour style, so this will come down to your personal preference. For the stuffing, shredded memory foam can provide better comfort for some people than a dense foam stuffing, but the memory foam models tend to come with a higher price tag.

Also, check that the foam in the pillow has been CertiPur certified. This label means that the stuffing has been tested by CertiPur for hazardous contaminants. Choosing a CertiPur certified pillow means you won’t be at risk of breathing in toxic materials from the pillow.

What does the best reading pillow cost?

As is so often the case with products like this, there is a range of options at a range of prices.

The price will depend on a number of factors, primarily the size, build quality, and materials used. For instance, reading pillows made from memory foam or shredded memory foam tend to be more expensive than dense foam or microfibre.

What does a cheap reading pillow cost?

For the cheapest reading pillows, you can expect to pay around $35. The most expensive reading pillows, such as bed reading pillows with arms tend to be priced at around $85. Now, let’s take a look at some of the best reading pillows for the bed available.

A helpful video for you

Want to learn more? Well here is a useful video that provides you with more useful information when looking to make a purchase.

Meet the author

Hayley Suarez

Hayley Suarez

Hayley is a part-time member of the team and writes content for the site as well as managing the social media profiles. As a full-time writer, she also writes for a couple of cookery and food blogs.

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