Reading is one of the best ways to wind down after a long day. If you’re one of those that like to curl up on the sofa or bed with a good book in hand and a mug of hot cocoa on a side table, then you have probably encountered the challenge of finding a comfortable resting position. The armrest on the sofa may hurt your neck. The headboard on the bed may soon leave your back and neck stiff. The pillows propped up under and around you may be great for the first few minutes until you start shifting around and fidgeting.
If this is you, then you could probably do well with a reading pillow.
A reading pillow is specially designed to offer sturdy support to your neck and spine while you read, work on your laptop, use your phone, or just relax binging on a good movie. They will prevent slouching and create a great reading nook on the bed, couch, or floor.
With tons of options in the market today, finding the right pick for you may be rather daunting. Are they all the same? Should you focus solely on the material making the pillow? The function for which you need it? The budget?
Don’t fret. We have put together a list of our top 8 picks and why they are so amazing.
Our top 8 picks for reading pillows:
1. Editor’s Pick- Linenspa Shredded Foam Reading Pillow
Linenspa holds the promise of amazing comfort while reading, playing video games, or using your phone. It can be propped up against a surface such as a wall or used as a stand-alone pillow.
This pillow is made from shredded memory foam that adds form and durability. The shredded foam contours to your body and allows you to reshape the pillow to best suit your comfort. The foam will not gather at the bottom of the pillow with time, thereby retaining the sturdy form for an extended period.
The outer cover is made from velour fabric, which is breathable and soft, adding to the pillow’s comfort. The double-stitched seams make the pillow more indestructible.
The materials are CertiPUR-US certified, meaning that they are free of chemicals and toxins.
The Linenspa pillow is typically designed with a rectangular backrest with two armrests. These arm-stretches sit right on the pillow’s body for extra support and are designed as comfortably as the rest of the pillow.
The pillow is in two colors: navy blue and stone grey, which are subtle yet beautiful and will easily fit in in any space. It is available in standard and extra-large sizes that are well suited to people of different heights.
During shipping, it is packaged with as little air inside the pillow as possible. It will arrive flat and structureless. Allow it some time to fluff up into its proper size and shape. In a few days, the mild odor it may carry due to the packaging will have dispersed. It features a handle at the top that makes it portable.
The pillow comes with a 3-year warranty as an assurance that you are not only making a comfortable investment but a safe one as well.
- Made from shredded memory foam that contours to the body
- The outer cover is made from velour fabric with double-stitched seams for extra durability
- CertiPUR-US certified hence toxin and chemical-free
- Available in standard and extra-large size
- Available in two colors: navy blue and stone grey
- Handle for portability
2. Runner’s Up- Milliard’s Sleeping Pillow
The Milliard’s Sleeping Pillow is an amazing prop for the bed, couch, or floor if you’d like to get some reading done. It is designed to offer support to the neck, back, and arms. Milliard goes ahead to boast of this pillow’s quality and assure that it can be used even for sleeping upright. Isn’t this awesome news for users struggling with nasal congestion or acid reflux!
This pillow is sturdy and can rest against a surface such as a headboard or can be used as a stand-alone prop. The arms stretch out adequately to allow you to rest in different positions with ease.
It is made from shredded memory foam that contours to your body for extra comfort while keeping rigid at the same time. The stuffing is removable, allowing you to customize the pillow. If it is too firm, you can remove some foam. If you’d like to make it firmer, you can always get more foam. As a bonus, you can replace the foam after an extended period rather than buy a whole new pillow.
The outer velour cover is removable and machine-washable. This makes it super easy to keep the pillow clean and fresh. It is soft to the skin to provide a delightful resting place.
It is available in 3 sizes: petite, standard, and extra-large. These options will allow you to get just what is suited to you based on your body and needs.
The pillow has an in-built handle that adds to its portability.
It is great value for money and will be one of the most budget-friendly picks in the market.
- Made from shredded memory foam
- Removable stuffing allowing for customization
- The outer velour cover is removable and machine-washable
- Available in three sizes: petite, standard and extra-large
- In-built handle for extra portability
3. Also Great- Husband Pillow
The name alone suggests how cozy and cuddly this pillow is. It is designed to provide maximum upper body support and is filled with shredded memory foam that contours with your body and retains its shape even after years of use. It is breathable, allowing for air circulation to keep the pillow at the optimal temperature.
The micro-plush cover is so soft it almost feels like resting against a feathery cloud. It is removable and machine-washable and will ease the efforts required to clean the pillow. What’s more, the zipper allows you to remove or add foam to suit your liking and comfort.
The pillow features a smaller, detachable cushion that provides extra neck support in addition to the stretched out armrests. You can adjust the neck roll position or completely remove it if you don’t need it.
There are back and side pockets to hold books, remotes, phone or tablet, or reading glasses as a thoughtful bonus.
It is available in a generous size and numerous hues. Isn’t it amazing that you can pick out your favorite color for that superb reading experience?
- Made from shredded memory foam
- Adjustable by removing or adding foam
- Soft micro-plush cover that is removable and machine-washable
- Detachable neck-roll for extra neck support
- Back and side pockets to hold essentials
- Available in numerous colors
4. Best for Health Challenges- Brentwood Home Zuma Therapeutic Foam Bed Wedge Pillow
This pillow is designed with people suffering from health challenges in mind. The wedge shape will be great to support your upper body, elevate your legs, or keep your body stable when you sleep on your side.
The gentle incline is a therapeutic relief for those struggling with acid reflux, hiatal hernia, snoring, sleep apnea, poor circulation, and neck and back-related problems.
It is made from hypoallergenic, CertiPUR-US certified foam and material that is sturdy and will retain its shape even with extended use. The soft Bamboo cover is removable and machine-washable for easy cleaning. It is also breathable and will allow air circulation and temperature regulation for optimal comfort.
It is available in 3 heights: 7-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch widening the options available. Though it may be long, it is not bulky and will fit even into limited space with ease.
This delightful pillow will be your best pick for a restful reading session that also soothes your back and breathing system.
- Therapeutic relief for acid reflux, hernia, sleep apnea, neck, and back-related challenges
- Made from hypoallergenic, CertiPUR-US certified foam and material
- Breathable, removable, and machine-washable.
- Available in 3 heights
- Not bulky
5. Best for Sharing- WOWMAX Bolster Triangular Reading Backrest
This pillow is ideal for couples that like to snuggle up next to each other, reading, or just chilling. Made using dense polyurethane, this pillow promises effortless neck and back support. It can be flipped to allow you to read on your stomach. It will work as a great headboard if you don’t have one.
The fine corduroy cover with button detail sets the pillow as both a decorative piece as well as a supportive backrest. It is removable and machine-washable, keeping the pillow clean and fresh all through. The cover has a small side pocket for small essentials such as your phone or the remote.
The pillow comes in numerous sizes, including twin, full, queen, and California King. You would be hard-pressed not to find a size that suits you. There are multiple colors available, allowing you to customize it to your liking.
- Good neck and back support
- Corduroy cover that adds to the aesthetic appeal
- The cover is removable and machine-washable
- Small side pocket for essentials such as a phone
- Available in numerous sizes and multiple colors
6. Best for Aesthetic Appeal- Brentwood Shagalicious Bedrest
A reading spot doesn’t have to be serious and dull. Sometimes it can be fun with splashes of color and some excitement. If you are looking to add a dash of cuteness, the Brentwood Shagalicious Bedrest is just what you need.
It is designed to be light-weight, comfortable, and extremely snug. This pillow’s winning aspect is the plush, fuzzy exterior that is soft and furry to the touch. Lying on this pillow is almost like cuddling into a huge teddy bear.
The cover is not removable. However, it is easy to clean using a clean, damp cloth. It has a handle at the top that makes the pillow conveniently portable.
The Shagalicious bedrest is available in 3 colors- hot pink, lime, and turquoise. These colors and the texture make it a suitable pillow for kids, a college room, or even for that first apartment that needs a bit of sunshine.
While it offers good neck, back, and arm support, it is not recommended for one that is medically challenged and who may need a firmer pillow.
- Light-weight and comfortable
- Plush, fuzzy exterior
- The cover is easy to clean using a damp cloth
- Available in 3 colors- hot pink, lime, and turquoise
7. Best Multi-functional- X-tra Comfort Bed Wedge Pillow
This wonderful pillow has a 3-in-1 design that allows you to use it under your legs, head, or behind your neck. Made from high-density memory foam, it provides optimal support.
It is so firmly supportive that it is recommended for users suffering from spinal challenges. It will also help people with acid reflux or gastroesophageal difficulties as it will allow them to lie inclined at a suitable angle.
This extra support isn’t to mean that it won’t be ideal for ‘normal’ users. On the contrary, the pillow was engineered to be a favorite for all users.
The pillow is covered in a breathable, removable, machine-washable polyester cover. Cleaning it will be an easy task. Attached to it is a handle that will make it easy to move the pillow from room to room or with you as you travel.
The X-tra Comfort is available in one color- beige, neutral and will blend in easily in any room.
- Good for people with spinal or gastroesophageal difficulties
- Made from firm memory foam
- Breathable, removable, and machine-washable polyester cover
- Comes with a handle for portability
- Available in beige color
8. Best for Relaxing- Nestl Reading Pillow
This reading pillow feels like stepping into a nest: Comfortable, safe, and pleasurable. It is made from shredded memory foam to be firm and sturdy, giving optimal lumbar support and spine relief. You can customize the pillow to your ideal firmness by removing or adding memory foam.
It has two detachable cylindrical pillows that offer head and neck support and extra lumbar support if necessary. The cover is made from soft, velvet material that leaves the pillow cozy even after hours of use. It is machine-washable and will, therefore, be easy to clean. Moreover, it features a back pocket that will come in handy to hold books, magazines, your tablet, etc.
As a bonus, the zipper will allow you to swap out the memory foam for new stuffing when you feel that it is time for a change. This will save more than buying a new pillow altogether.
The pillow is available in two sizes and more than ten colors. It will not be too difficult to find one that is just the right fit. As a further measure of its quality, Nestl Reading Pillow comes with a 3-year warranty.
- Made from shredded memory foam
- Two detachable cylindrical pillows
- The cover is machine-washable
- Back pocket to hold books, magazines, etc
- Available in two sizes and more than ten colors
- 3-year warranty
Types of reading pillows
Did you know that there are numerous styles for reading pillows? They include:
Traditional reading pillows
These are commonly called husband pillows. They feature a backrest and arms and offer support to the whole upper body. Some brands go the extra mile and have a removable or adjustable neck pillow, headrest, cup holders, or side pockets.
Wedge reading pillows
Wedge pillows are designed in a sloping plane and can be used to read, stay upright, or sleep. They are recommended for people with challenges such as back pain, sleep apnea, acid reflux, or poor circulation. Higher inclined pillows can also double up as headrests against a headboard.
Features to look for in a good reading pillow
i. Inner material
Like standard pillows, reading pillows are made using various materials, each offering a different kind of support. Types of inner material include;
ii. Memory foam
This is a dense, contouring material that adjusts to the pressure and heat of your body. A reading pillow will be made from one piece of memory foam that offers support to the head, neck, and back while maintaining its shape
iii. Shredded memory foam
Simply put, a reading pillow made using shredded memory foam will contain many small pieces of foam as opposed to a single solid block. These shreds are mobile within the pillow and allow you to mold it to your liking. It is also possible to achieve your desired firmness by removing or adding to the foam in some pillow brands.
Reading pillows made using shredded memory foam tend to be softer, more pliant, and retain less heat than traditional memory foam pillows.
iv. Polyester fiber
Polyester fiber is also known as micro-fiber or fiberfill. It is a common, inexpensive synthetic material that is used to make both standard and reading pillows. However, these pillows may not be very durable or offer as adequate support as the former two.
v. Outer material
A reading pillow’s outer material will influence its look, comfort, and durability just as much as the inner material will. Common fabrics used to make the outer material include:
Velvet is soft and shiny and easily stands out. How durable it is will depend on the type of velvet used and how well you take care of it. Silk velvet, for instance, is fragile and may not last as long as wool velvet. Moreover, velvet pillows will often require professional cleaning, a cost you need to be prepared for.
Velour is like the street version of velvet. While it is also shiny and soft, it is stretchier, less expensive, and easier to clean than velvet. It is a preferable option if you intend to use the pillow frequently or have small children or pets that would easily ruin the material.
Corduroy covers are made from cotton or cotton blends. Soft and comfortable, they have ridges spanning the length of the fabric that adds to their distinctiveness. However, if you have pets, you may want to rethink this material as their claws may snag and undo the fabric ruining it.
ix. Faux suede
Faux suede, also known as micro-suede or microfiber suede, is a synthetic material designed to mimic animal suede in look and feel. Not only will this material be beautiful on a reading pillow but also be easy to clean and durable.
Latex is a good material if you are looking for a hypoallergenic pillow resistant to dust mites. It gives good shoulder and neck support and is highly breathable.
xi. Comfort and firmness
The inner and outer material and the pillow style will go a long way in determining how comfortable a reading pillow will be for you. A good pillow should be soft yet firm enough to support you sufficiently.
The density of the inner material will mostly determine the firmness. A less dense pillow may not prop you up well, leaving you with neck and back pain. A very dense pillow, on the other hand, maybe uncomfortable to lie on.
xii. The budget
As useful as a reading pillow is, it needs to fit within the budget while still maintaining its quality. Plenty of brands offer great quality and durability at an affordable rate. Find what suits you best at your pocket standards.
xiii. The aesthetics
A reading pillow is just as much a part of the house’s interior decor as a painting is. Finding the best color and design will be one way of making your reading experience even better. Fortunately, many brands in the market come in all sorts of hues, shapes, and designs.
Different brands feature value-adding detail to make their pillows stand out and be more useful to you. These features could include:
- Side and back pockets to hold magazines, books, remotes, etc.
- Cup-holders for that fresh-coffee-and-good-book feel
- A handle for easy portability
- Removable cover for easy cleaning
- Armrests such as those that come with husband pillows
- An adjustable loft; a feature of shredded memory foam that allows you to add to or remove foam to customize your comfort.
Benefits of using reading pillows
A reading pillow will serve you better than a regular pillow or cushion when you need to sit up. Besides the obvious comfort it will offer far above a bunch of regular pillows could, it also packs these amazing benefits:
Helps maintain better posture
A reading pillow will offer better spine alignment as you sit up or read. This is crucial because it will alleviate neck and back pains or joint aches.
Eases back pain
If you are already suffering from back pain, a reading pillow will come in handy to soothe this. Wedge pillows, for example, are recommended for someone suffering from backaches
Helps with medical conditions
Some conditions are best managed by sitting up. Since we can only sit up for so long before we need to switch positions, reading pillows come in handy to help retain a comfortable, inclined position. It will help with conditions such as sleep apnea, snoring, asthma, or acid reflux.
Undoubtedly, reading is an amazing lifestyle to have. It is a channel for great things like better brain development, a wider scope of knowledge, better eloquence, and loads more. So it is most unfortunate when this fantastic habit gets in the way of our good health.
Thankfully, geniuses somewhere came up with the solution to our plight. And how awesome is it that we can find just what we need in the form of reading pillows today? As a bonus, these pillows will be useful not just for reading but also for the nights you are using your laptop or tablet or just catching up on a good movie.
Pay attention to your specific considerations as you make your selection. Elements like the material, firmness, and comfort, to name a few, are critical to improving our health and reading experience.
When you have found your perfect pillow, settle in with your mug of sweetness and that good book. I recommend Paulo Coelho. Or Chimamanda. Enjoy the read.
- How can I use a reading pillow?
Reading pillows are multi-functional and can serve various uses. A firm yet comfortable pillow will keep your back, neck, and head aligned as you work on your computer, as you lean back to use your phone, or even as you catch up with the latest show.
A wedge reading pillow can also serve as a headboard for the bed. Depending on your creativity and choice, a pillow will also be part of your interior decor for aesthetic appeal.
- Are pillows available in different sizes?
Yes, they are.
Some brands come in two or three sizes to cater to different users and widen the availability scope. Select your pillow size based on the intended user or users, their body sizes, and the pillow’s purpose.
- Can I customize a pillow?
Yes, you can.
Some pillows made of shredded memory foam come with an adjustable loft that allows you to remove or add foam to the pillow, adjusting the firmness to your liking.
For aesthetic customization, find a pillow with a removable cover and invest in a few more covers that will allow you to change things up now and then.