Last updated on December 6th, 2019
Our Review Methodology
We’ve spent countless hours reading thousands of reviews on dozens of reading pillows. We have also conducted thorough research on reading pillows and their effects on sleep.
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In a Hurry? Check out the editor’s choice for the best reading pillow: InteVision Foam Wedge Bed Pillow
Reading pillows are beloved by anyone who enjoys a good book, is studying for school, or who works long hours. The best back support pillows on the market can help you read more, study better and be more productive when you take your work home with you.
What are the best reading pillows on the market? We’ve taken a look at nearly all back-rest pillows, and have selected the best of the best. If you’re looking for a comfortable reading pillow, consider the options found below.
- Best Reading Pillows Reviewed
- Why a Back Support Pillow for Reading in Bed?
- Reading and Sleep
- Additional Benefits
- Do You Really Need One?
- Types of Reading Pillows
- Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Reading Pillow
- Final Thoughts
Best Reading Pillows Reviewed
Not everyone shopping for bed reading pillows needs the same exact design or features. To help you navigate the best reading pillows, we’ve provided recommendations for different needs. Here’s a look at options to consider when shopping for the best pillows for reading in bed:
InteVision Foam Wedge Bed Pillow — Editor’s Choice
When you want the best back rest pillows, look no further than the InteVision Foam Wedge Bed Pillow. This pillow isn’t designed like traditional pillows for reading, but it delivers benefits that far exceed what traditional options offer.
First, the InteVision option is the most comfortable you will find. It offers a 1.5-inch memory foam layer atop a firm base that delivers the perfect blend of comfort and support. The pillow itself is designed to maximize air circulation, too, which means you won’t overheat during sleep.
This option also comes with a machine-washable cover that is exceedingly easy to get on and off — which isn’t the case with all bed reading pillows. You can even purchase additional cases for this Foam Wedge Bed Pillow — 400-thread-count, 100% Egyptian cotton replacement cases make the pillow even more comfortable.
Finally, this pillow helps with more than just reading, studying, and working. It also aids those suffering from acid reflux, as well as those who struggle with snoring and allergies.
- Best and most versatile performance available
- Helpful in combating a wide range of health issues
- Price point that delivers value
- Non-traditional design may not be what some are looking for
- Not as attractive as some other options
Linenspa Shredded Foam Reading Pillow — Best High-End Option
A more traditional option with armrests is the Linenspa Shredded Foam Reading Pillow. What does “traditional” mean? Most back support pillows are designed with a large section that supports the back, plus smaller ones that stretch out to support the arms. This pillow, made of soft velour and crafted for enhanced airflow, is designed for maximum comfort. It is available in a standard size or extra-large, and also includes a handle at the top — which makes it simple and easy to transport. If you’re looking for protection with your purchase, this model from Linenspa comes with a 3-year warranty. Critics of this bed reading pillow say that it’s not very attractive, but that it’s a small price to pay for one of the most comfortable options on the market.
- Perhaps the most comfortable option on the market
- 3-year warranty protects your purchase
- Easy to carry and maneuver
- Limited attractiveness and color options
- Higher price may not be worth the investment to some
Brentwood Originals Brushed — Best for Reading
Many who are in search of the best back-rest pillows are looking for something that helps with — you guessed it — reading. Imagine that!
Believe it or not, some bed reading pillows aren’t great for reading at all. Some are better for watching TV, some are better for working, and others are better for sitting on the floor.
The Brentwood Originals Brushed Twill Bedrest — considered the best option for reading — is made of polyester brushed twill fabric and polyester fiber fill. This type of construction means equal amounts of comfort and support. As a bonus, you will also enjoy affordability when you choose this option.
If you’re interested in aesthetics, you can choose from different colors too. While some reading pillows aren’t attractive, you can closely coordinate this back support pillow with your existing bedding.
Of course, as you’re reading, you might spill a drink or drop some food on your pillow. One of the best things about this option is that it’s incredibly easy to clean using a damp cloth.
- Designed for comfort while reading
- Easy to clean
- Wide range of colors
- Non-hypoallergenic, which means no help for those suffering from allergies
- Other designs may provide better support
Brentwood Originals Shagalicious Bedrest — Best for Back Support
The Brentwood Originals Shagalicious Bedrest pillow is visually appealing and great for back support. This reading pillow for bed is made of a shaggy and soft polyester, which makes it incredibly comfortable to sink into after a long day.
Back support is vital, whether you’re reading, studying, working or sitting on the floor. If you don’t have back problems, the Brentwood will help you avoid them. If you do have back problems, this pillow will help you read, study or work in comfort.
While not everyone may appreciate the 3 available colors — lime green, turquoise and hot pink — this 70s-inspired back-rest pillow is incredibly comfortable and delivers superb back support.
- Back support that can’t be beat
- Incredibly comfortable design
- Handle for easy transport
- 70s-inspired colors that may not jive with your bedding
- Not as many health-related features as other options
Brentwood Foam Bed Wedge Pillow — Best Value
Many people searching for the best back support pillows are most interested in value. If you’re someone looking for back-rest pillows that deliver value, check out the Brentwood Foam Bed Wedge Pillow. This non-traditional design delivers unexpected benefits to anyone who reads, studies or works often while in bed.
This option from Brentwood features a gradual slope that also helps with issues that may lead to sleep challenges such as snoring, acid reflux, allergies, poor circulation, etc. The slope of the pillow can also help with back or neck problems.
As a bonus, this option from Brentwood is hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites. This product makes the list of best back-rest pillows for a myriad reasons, but perhaps the biggest reason is you get all of these benefits at an incredible price.
- Incredible price point that can’t be beat
- Hypoallergenic to help you feel as comfortable as possible
- Gradual slope that assists with different health issues
- Non-traditional design that won’t work for everyone
- Lack of color for those interested in a stylish reading pillow
Why a Back Support Pillow for Reading in Bed?
A reading pillow is always a nice-to-have. But not all bed reading pillows are created equal. For example, you can stop by discount stores and find bargain-basement options. But these off-brand reading pillows won’t hold up for long, and they definitely won’t be as comfortable as the best back support pillows.
The best reading pillows are designed for durability and comfort, and they also promote ergonomically correct reading positions. You may even find back-rest pillows that can help prevent snoring, acid reflux and allergies.
Decide on what the most important features are to you, and then find a back-rest pillow option that delivers the goods. If you’re going to invest the time and money into getting a pillow for reading in bed, you owe it to yourself to find one that meets your exact needs.
Reading and Sleep
Without a doubt buying a reading pillow also benefits your brain. Research has found that reading through a couple of chapters before bed is associated with a variety of health benefits, including:
- Reduces Stress – Whether in bed or not, reading lowers blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels.
- Improves Sleep – Reading also helps your body to transition into sleep mode which leads to a higher sleep efficiency.
- Reduces Screen Time – It promotes restful time by reducing the amount of time you spend looking at your devices before bed. Blue light emitted by screens can stimulate the body by subduing the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, making it harder to doze off.
- Lowers the Risk of Dementia – Research has shown that engaging in hobbies, such as reading, for one or more hours every day might be protective against dementia in late life.
If you want to fully take advantage of these benefits, avoid reading on phones, tablets, or e-readers with blue lights to keep from interrupting the release of melatonin. Also, if you find it helpful to limit your bed to sleeping to stimulate rest, you may want to read in a chair or other area of your house when preparing for sleep.
What do you gain from using a reading pillow? Traditional pillows are designed for just sleeping, but sleeping isn’t the only thing people do in bed. As noted above, many people use their beds for:
- Watching television
And there are plenty of other activities, hobbies and pastimes that people feel most comfortable doing while in bed. However, it’s hard to use traditional pillows while engaged in activities other than sleeping.
That’s why the reading pillows are so valuable. They provide support for a different sitting posture when you’re doing something other than sleeping while in bed. When you’re reading, studying, working, watching television or folding clothes, back support pillows help you sit in a better position.
Do You Really Need One?
Anyone could use a good back-rest pillow, right? After all, almost everyone spends non-sleeping time in bed. And it doesn’t take long to realize that traditional pillows aren’t much help when reading, studying, working, and watching TV.
There’s a good reason why the best back support pillows are so in-demand by everyone from college students to working professionals. They are helpful when you’re trying to relax, when you’re trying to be productive, and when you’re trying to alleviate a wide range of health issues.
Types of Reading Pillows
Here’s a quick overview of the different type of reading pillows.
Although the name can be misleading some people think that its name came to because of the lumbar support that it provides while breastfeeding, this multipurpose pillow is great to have around because:
- Its headrest prevents stiff neck and soreness, allowing you to read or binge-watch your favorite shows for hours
- They support the entire upper body area from neck to lower back, including shoulders and arms
- Usually come with adjustable armrests, as well as cup holders
- Husband pillows often come in a vacuum-sealed package, so you need to give them some time to unfold properly.
These are the most popular type of reading pillows in the market because they can also be used as a regular sleeping pillow.
- Great of people suffering from sleep apnea or heartburn. These pillows firmness and thickness keep your head elevated while sleeping, which can help reduce snoring symptoms and heartburn.
- Ease neck, leg and back pain. Thanks to its extended torso support, this type of pillow allows for a well-supported lower back. You can also use it to raise your knees, thus relieving the pressure in your lower back.
Pyramid Pillows offer great adjustable support. These pillows often feature a patented ‘lumbar bulb’ which provides full lower back support. They are designed to prop your book, e-book reader, laptop, or any other device in a comfortable position so that you could read for a long time without straining your neck.
Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Reading Pillow
Okay, so you have a few options to choose from when shopping for a reading pillow. But which option is the best one for your unique needs? Here are 5 things to consider as you narrow down your options and focus on the best pillows for reading in bed.
Price is always an important factor, even if you have an unlimited budget. We’re all looking for value as consumers, and so you want to choose the pillow that delivers the greatest value to fit your needs. That might mean paying $20, $50 or maybe more.
Pillows for reading in bed come in a range of different materials. For example, you can look through the options above and find pillows made of velour, polyester and other materials. You need to ensure that you love the way your pillow feels, so look for a material that feels good against your skin.
Reading pillows fall into two large design categories. You’ll find the traditional design that includes a large pillow for the back and then extensions to support the arms. You’ll also find the wedge design, which is simply a pillow that features a gradual slope. Which type of pillow best meets your needs?
Looking for a hypoallergenic option? Need a back-rest pillow that’s easy to clean? These features are important when shopping for bed reading pillows. Make sure you’re getting an option that includes the features that are most important to you. Here’s a comprenhesive list of additional features:
- Handle – Larger reading pillow feature a top handle, making them easier to move from place to place or reposition on your bed.
- Pockets – Some husband pillow models include side and/or back pockets for holding items like your phone, remote, headphones, or a book.
- Armrests – Traditional or husband reading pillows generally come with armrests.
- Cup-Holders – Husband pillows with armrests may also include cup-holders so you can enjoy a beverage while relaxing.
- Headrest – Some husband pillows offer a headrest or neck roll to support your head and neck while you’re sitting upright. With some models, the headrest is detachable and may be removed to prop up your legs.
- Removable Cover – Many husband and wedge pillow models offer a removable cover for easier cleaning. You can often purchase new covers to replace an older one.
- Adjustable Loft – Husband pillows filled with shredded memory foam may feature an adjustable loft, meaning you can easily add or remove foam to alter its shape and firmness. Manufacturers of such pillows may include extra filling or offer it for purchase.
5. Health Issues
Some people shop for the best reading pillows in order to address specific health issues or concerns. Perhaps you have a problem with back or neck pain, snoring or even allergies. Find a back support pillow that is known to help people experiencing similar health issues.
Here’s a look at frequently asked questions related to reading pillows:
Are reading pillows good for kids?
Absolutely! You can find models specially designed for younger kids. But, as kids get into late elementary school, you’ll find that adult-size reading pillows meet their needs just fine.
Just like adults should focus on key decision factors when shopping for back-rest pillows, kids should do the same. Does your child need a reading pillow for a specific purpose? Does he or she prefer a certain type of material? Is the pillow meant to alleviate some health issue? Let those questions drive your search.
How do you clean a reading pillow?
There are two basic ways to clean reading pillows. Many have removable cases that can simply be thrown into the washing machine. This sounds easy, but sometimes the cases are difficult to get back on the pillows after washing and drying.
Other reading pillows are easy to clean using a damp cloth. For tough stains, try using upholstery cleaner.
Can you make your own reading pillow?
In theory, you could make your own pillow for reading in bed. But think about how much it will cost to collect the materials, and think about the time you would spend sewing. It’s far more time- and cost-effective to simply buy one, given how affordable and accessible they are.
Where can you buy a reading pillow?
You can buy reading pillows from many different brick-and-mortar stores. But the easiest way to find one is through Amazon. You can browse the greatest number of colors, options, styles and designs, and your order will arrive at your doorstep in no time.
Choosing your best option from among the available back support pillows is a great way to better enjoy your bed. It doesn’t have to be just for sleeping, you know. Getting a reading pillow can help you spend more time reading, studying, working or watching TV while staying as comfortable as possible.
Be sure to carefully consider what you want most out of a back-rest pillow. Then, search through the options above to find the one that best meets those needs. When you put in the time and effort to research the best fit for your needs, you can’t go wrong. You won’t be disappointed in how bed reading pillows can transform your bedroom experience!
->See the Editors Choice For Best Reading Pillow
More Pillow Resources
If you are interested in learning more about different pillow materials and pillow options for different sleepers, feel free to read these resources:
Brad is a freelance writer and journalist who lives and works in Austin, TX. Away from work, he enjoys running, reading, watching baseball and spending time with his family. On rare occasions when he gets the chance, he loves nothing more than a long nap on a Sunday afternoon.