BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Pillow is sturdy and doesn’t lean when in use. Has soft cover that zippers around pillow, allowing users to take off and wash cover for constant freshness. Supports those of all sizes. Possesses convenient side pocket to store items like remote, phone, book, or e-reader.
Is on the firm side and takes a few uses to break in.
Conveniently comes in three different sizes to fit those of all heights and ages. Has soft, removable cover that zips closed and can be easily washed. Pillow is hefty enough to maintain its position while not being overly heavy. Offers significant lower back support.
Only comes in one color option, which is gray with a metallic-like finish.
Cover can be easily removed from pillow to wash and keep fresh. Fabric is soft and comfortable. Firm enough to use in bed or even on floor. Pillow retains fluffiness, even after many uses. Back, neck, and arms are well-supported with this shredded foam pillow.
Takes some time after opening package to fluff up pillow.
Unique design that’s functional and aesthetically pleasing. Long design allows pillow to act as a makeshift headboard. Offers significant back support. Is available in different sizes. Has convenient side pocket. Removable cover is soft and washable.
Material may become staticky in certain weather conditions.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Every avid reader has been there. You’re getting sucked into a page-turner when suddenly, a cramp strikes in your arm, neck, or back, and you just can’t find a comfortable position. Lying in bed, sitting on the couch, standing at the kitchen counter – nowhere is comfortable enough for a long reading session. Enter the reading pillow. A quality reading pillow helps you achieve a comfortable position where you can read for hours without needing to shift every five minutes.
So, you’re going to buy a reading pillow but which one? You can find a wide range on the market and choosing the pillow that best fits your requirements can be baffling. Luckily, at BestReviews, we are on a mission to help.
Not only have we listed our five favorite reading pillows available right now, we’ve also created a full guide with everything you need to know before you buy.
Perhaps the most popular type of reading pillow is one with a high back and armrests. Some of these pillows have headrests, too. You can position these versatile pillows almost anywhere you want to read, whether in bed, on your couch, or even on the floor. The arms give you a place to rest your elbows for a more comfortable arm position when reading.
Wedge pillows are designed to be propped up against a sturdy surface, such as a headboard or wall, so they’re better for reading in bed than on a sofa or in an armchair. They’re usually made from memory foam or high-density foam, so they tend to give firm support, which is helpful for people with bad backs.
Backrests and bolsters
Backrests and bolsters are similar to wedge pillows, but they’re usually filled with polyester hollow fiber, so they’re less supportive. These pillows are not our top choice for a reading pillow, but they can help you get comfy for shorter reading sessions.
Reading pillows have a range of fillings, all with different properties. The best material for you depends on how you’ll use your reading pillow and what you personally find more comfortable.
Once you’ve decided on a filling, look for a reading pillow with a cover that is both comfortable and easy to clean.
It’s important to check the size of your chosen reading pillow. It should be large enough to support you comfortably but not so large that it’s difficult to move around. That said, you can find large bolster reading pillows that are designed to stay in place on your bed. If you choose this type of pillow, it should be an appropriate size to fit the width of your bed.
Color or pattern
You can find reading pillows in a wide range of colors, from neutral grays and creams to hot pink or bright red. Although less common, you can also find some patterned options. The color or pattern of your chosen reading pillow isn’t of vital importance. After all, you don’t want to buy a reading pillow because of its cool pattern only to find that it’s lumpy and uncomfortable. However, if you’re choosing between two pillows with equally great features, choose the color that complements your decor.
Basic reading pillows start between $25 and $35. These are fine for occasional use but are generally less supportive and have fewer handy features than pricier pillows.
Mid-range reading pillows cost around $35 to $50. You can find some excellent models in this price range, but you need to be selective as not all are worth the price.
High-end reading pillows cost roughly $50 to $100. They tend to be made from the highest-quality materials, offer plenty of comfort and support, and be designed in a thoughtful, user-friendly manner with loads of handy features.
With such a large number of excellent reading pillows on the market, selecting just five was tough. There are several other great reading pillows that almost made our list. The Linenspa Shredded Foam Reading Pillow is a solid choice that owners love. It’s well-padded and extremely comfortable. If you prefer firmer support, the Xtra-Comfort Bed Wedge Pillow is an excellent choice. You can configure it in three different ways depending on your preferred reading position. Although it’s on the higher end of the price spectrum, the Husband Pillow is perfect for those who are likely to use their reading pillow daily. This hard-wearing pillow has adjustable loft and a comfy headrest, and it’s available in a wide range of colors. We also love the Brentwood Originals Shagalicious Bedrest with its ultra-plush shag exterior in three swinging colors, though it can become somewhat matted over time.
Q. How do I keep my reading pillow clean?
A. If you’ll be using your reading pillow regularly, it’s important to choose one that’s easy to clean. Ideally, it should have a removable cover that’s machine-washable. Alternatively, you should be able to wash the whole pillow in the machine (though this makes drying harder). Some pillows are spot-clean only, which is fine if you only use your pillow occasionally, but it might start to get a bit funky after a while.
Q. Will a reading pillow eliminate back strain from reading?
A. If you often suffer from back strain when sitting down to read, you might find that a reading pillow helps to eliminate this, especially a model with plenty of support. If you have a serious back problem, however, we recommend asking your doctor for advice on choosing the most appropriate reading pillow.
Q. My reading pillow has too much or too little filling, what can I do?
A. Some reading pillows have adjustable loft, meaning you can unzip them to either add extra filling or remove some filling. If you choose a pillow with adjustable loft, check that the manufacturer sells extra stuffing should you need to add any.
Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.