The 8 Best Pillows For Reading In Bed

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Reading in bed is a great way to unwind, but you know what’s not great? The inevitable stiffness that comes with it — that is, if you don’t have the best pillows for reading in bed. Back and neck cricks are no fun, so it’s worth it to invest in some extra support if you don’t already have one of these comfy pillows.

There are a few types of “reading pillows” on the market. You’ve probably seen the classic arm-clad option that offers back support. However, U-shaped pillows can also be maneuvered into reading-friendly positions. And there are wedge pillows, which are ideal if you want to sit up to read but need a little cushion between your body and your headboard or wall. Finally, a pair of fluffy throw pillows can be a fit when you’re looking for a versatile option you can easily move around. Depending on how you prefer to read in bed — laying down, sitting up, or both — and how long you plan to do so, one option might be more suitable for you than another.

Below, you’ll find a list of some of the best reading pillows that fit each aforementioned category. They’re sure to make plowing through chapters comfier than ever — and they’re all available on Amazon.


Editor’s Choice: This Arm-Clad Reading Pillow

ComfortSpa’s reading pillow has accumulated more than 11,000 Amazon ratings, and it also happens to have the the approval of Jen Fiegel, Bustle Digital Group Commerce Editor. It’s stuffed with shredded foam filling, which Fiegel describes as “more firm and supportive than others I've tried so you don't just melt in." It features a carrying handle and arms, and it comes in a plush gray cover that you can spot-clean when necessary. And, according to Fiegel, the built-in pockets are “surprisingly handy.”

One reviewer wrote: “Finally, I’ve found a firm enough reading pillow that it doesn’t collapse into nothing when I lean on it! The back does get a little smashed down with repeated use, but I hang it from a coat hook by the top handle overnight, and that helps it fluff right back up. No, it’s not the softest pillow ever, but that's probably not what you’re looking for here!”


The Best U-Shaped Reading Pillow

This U-shaped pillow is multifunctional, but it’ll do wonders for your reading positioning, as it’s made to promote proper body alignment. The hypoallergenic, synthetic down material won’t trap heat or deflate over time, and the entire pillow is machine washable, according to the manufacturer. What’s more, this United-States-made pillow is available in five colors including the pictured white shade. Here’s a reading-in-bed position idea: Flip the ends upwards to create a little seat. Sit inside the circular “seat,” then rest your head against the flipped-up ends.

One reviewer wrote: “I never could find the correct combination of pillows to support my neck and put between my knees. This pillow does it all and more. I can use it to support my head and back to sit up in bed and read then readjust for sleeping.”


The Best Wedge Pillow For Reading

Wedge pillows like this one are also multifunctional (and can be great for acid reflux). However, for reading purposes, they provide solid support in sitting positions against a headboard or wall. This particular wedge features a patented design created with multiple layers of breathable memory and polyurethane foam. It comes with a machine-washable pillow case and weighs just under 5 pounds. Keep in mind that, like the first foam-filled option on this list, it’ll arrive compressed and will need to expand before use. It’s not available in multiple colors, but it does come in three sizes.

One reviewer wrote: “It’s so hard to find not only a wedge pillow of this size, but also for a reasonable price. This does both and has been extremely helpful for the past 5-ish years I've had it. Bought it for when my sciatica acts up mainly; makes recovery quicker for me so I can get up in the morning with minimal pain. Also recently found it's equally useful for dealing with bad allergies/congestion and, interestingly enough, vertigo. I tried other wedge pillows at the stores and are far too low for the amount of incline I need. Also nice for when you want to just chill out in bed to read a book, play games, or knit.”


The Best Reading Pillow For Two People

If you frequently read with or to someone, you might appreciate Milliard’s reading pillow. Since it’s made for two, it’s wider than the above options. It’s filled with shredded memory foam that you can add or remove according to your needs, and it has waterproof cup holders to keep your favorite bedtime beverage on hand. The gray velour cover features two handles for carrying — plus, it’s removable and machine washable. When not in use, the two-button closure can fold the pillow onto itself for easier storage.

One reviewer wrote: “I got this double reading pillow to read stories to my daughter before bed. It is super comfortable (better than others I’ve had in the past) and looks very sleek and nice. Love it!!! It’s good for one person or two!”


An Oversized Bolster Pillow That Doubles As A Headboard

Danielle Calma, Commerce Writer at Bustle Digital Group, first bought a wedge pillow like this one to use as a headboard but eventually started using it to read in bed, too — and she recommends the style to others looking for a similar experience. Reviewers have confirmed that the polyester filling of this particular pillow isn’t too firm — but it’s not so soft that it slumps under the slightest pressure either. There are convenient pockets on the sides, which you might use to store your phone out of view. The velvet cover is removable for washing, and it comes in multiple colors and sizes, too.

One reviewer wrote: “After carefully opening the package to be sure I didn't cut the fabric it sprang open and 'fluffed' immediately. It is gorgeous. Nice velvet, trim is beautifully done, the side pocket for your phone/whatnot is a total bonus. It is beautiful on the bed as both a 'headboard' and a decorative item - but the best part is not piling tons of pillow against the wall so I can comfortably sit and read or watch a movie. If you are hesitating like I was - which is why it was on a wishlist instead of just purchased straightaway - proceed with confidence. It is beautiful and comfortable!”


The Best Adjustable Wedge Pillow For Reading

If you want a wedge pillow with an angle you can adjust, opt for Xtra-Comfort’s wedge pillow. Made with memory foam, it comes with a smaller triangular-shaped wedge that you can maneuver in three ways — that way, you can lie, lean, or sit while you read. It isn’t just limited to reading, though. You can also use it as a leg rest or while you sleep. Whichever shape it’s in, the pillow is designed to be firm and supportive. As a plus, the pillow’s soft polyester cover is machine washable for quick cleaning. It’s available in two colors: camel (like this version) and white.

One reviewer wrote: “I got tired of using a million pillows to try and prop myself up in bed to read. So I figured I would try this. It's very sturdy — gives great support for sitting up to read in bed. When you get it, it comes vacuum sealed, so just open it up and let it expand and air out. It does have a bit of a smell when you first open it but after letting it air out for a day it was fine.”


Editor’s Choice: These Supportive Throw Pillows

Bustle Digital Group Commerce Editor Amy Biggart recommends HIPPIH’s throw pillows for bedtime reading. Biggart says, “I lean against these throw pillows when reading in bed or on the couch, and they are supportive enough with the perfect amount of give.” The polyester-filled pillows are less bulky than the other picks on this list, which makes them a bit more versatile. For Biggart, the pillows “also double as decorative pillows on my bed when I’m not using them, so I don’t have to have a large backrest pillow on display during the day.” Just make sure to snag some throw pillow cases separately.

One reviewer wrote: “These pillow inserts filled out the pillow covers perfectly! They are soft, yet firm, and stay plump, offering great support.”


The Best Reading Pillow For Kids

Nestl’s reading pillow is sized to accommodate young bookworms. It’s made out of shredded memory foam to support young readers’ backs, all encased in a ribbed fabric that comes in hues ranging from this bright teal to dusty rose. The pillow features three pockets to hold books and other essentials, and the carrying handle allows you to move the pillow from bed to couch and back again with ease. While it’s made for kids and teens, some adult reviewers have mentioned described it as spacious enough to use for themselves. If you want a size up, there’s a medium-size version for a few more dollars, too.

One reviewer wrote: “Cushy [...] Very comfortable. Perfect for a child or small adult.”

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