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Which reading pillow is best?

When you’re ready to cozy up with a good book, a reading pillow can offer the perfect amount of support to keep you turning pages all night long. However, choosing a pillow that suits your body takes a bit of planning. There are many factors to consider, including style, materials, size and features. If you’re looking to make a reading nook with a comfortable, functional and affordable reading pillow, mittaGonG Shredded Foam Reading Pillow with Detachable Neck Roll is a versatile choice.

What to know before you buy a reading pillow

Types of reading pillows

  • Armrest: The armrest pillow is generally the bulkiest, offering an entire backrest, along with armrests and sometimes even a headrest. An armrest pillow lets your arms rest comfortably while holding a book up to read. It may also include small side pockets to hold your book while you’re not reading.
  • Wedge: The wedge reading pillow is a slice of padding that rests against a solid surface to provide the most back support while you read. Since it needs such sturdy support behind it, it’s popular to use in bed against the wall or headboard. High-density foam or memory foam gives these pillows lots of structure for those who need more back support.
  • Backrests and bolsters: Backrests and bolsters are lightweight and tend to be filled with polyester fiber, so they won’t offer as much back support as other reading pillows. They’re also shorter than armrest or wedge pillows. However, bolster pillows can help readers get comfortable for shorter periods of time, and they don’t take up as much space as the other types of pillows.

Filling material

Reading pillows use various filler materials to lend support and cushioning to the reader. These can include polyester hollow fiber, memory foam or high-density foam and shredded memory foam. Polyester fiber is the softest material and is generally used as a down alternative in bed pillows and duvets. Reading pillows with polyester fill squish more easily and are more flexible. Reading pillows with some type of foam fill are much stiffer and sturdier to fully support your back as you get lost in a book.

Outer material

The outside of a reading pillow can vary. You can find reading pillows covered in velour, faux suede or cotton-based materials, including corduroy. Velour is machine-washable and very soft, making it a popular choice for avid readers. Faux suede (or micro-suede) is also very soft to the touch, stain-repellent and can be wiped clean. Cotton-based materials are the most breathable and are a great option for readers who want an organic backrest.

What to look for in a quality reading pillow


When considering what size reading pillow to choose, think about how you prefer to sit or lay when reading, whether you want to rest your head back and how mobile you want your pillow to be. The larger the pillow, the heavier it will be to move from room to room. However, if you want some extra support that doesn’t take up too much space, wedges and bolsters can stay on your bed, even when you’re not reading.

Color and design

Once you’ve chosen all the other elements of your reading pillow, you can browse the available colors and patterns. Reading pillows are available in many colors and neutral shades, as well as patterns and sometimes even embroidered designs. If you find a reading pillow that’s comfortable and functional for your reading habits, choose a shade that suits your personality or decor.

Additional features

Some reading pillows offer extra functionality, accessories and attachments. These can include detachable headrests, carrying handles, side pockets or an adjustable loft. Detachable headrests let you relax your head and neck while you read to reduce neck strain. Carrying handles make it easy to relocate between rooms or furniture. Side pockets help keep your home tidy by giving you a slot to hold your book when you’re not reading. An adjustable loft comes in handy if you decide to add or remove filler to customize the firmness of your reading pillow. Similar to other standard features, consider which of these extra features suits you and your reading habits, then look for a reading pillow that includes those features.

How much you can expect to spend on a reading pillow

You can expect to pay $35-$100 for a quality reading pillow, depending on the size, materials and extra features.

Reading pillow FAQ

How do I clean my reading pillow?

A. Many reading pillows come with a removable cover, making it easy to throw the pillow cover in the washing machine. If your reading pillow isn’t machine-washable, be prepared to spot clean as necessary.

What if my pillow is too stiff or not supportive enough?

A. Some reading pillows allow you to unzip the outer layer to adjust the loft. This means you can either add extra filling or remove some filling to give the cushion the right amount of support for your back. After trying to get cozy with your new pillow, if you decide you need additional filling to make it more comfortable, research the manufacturer to learn how to purchase extra filling.

What are the best reading pillows to buy?

Top reading pillow

mittaGonG Shredded Foam Reading Pillow with Detachable Neck Roll

mittaGonG Shredded Foam Reading Pillow with Detachable Neck Roll

What you need to know: This super-soft velvet reading pillow provides lots of back and arm support, along with a few extra features.

What you’ll love: The pillow measures 21 inches across the back and features shredded memory foam for a comfortable yet sturdy structure. Velvet encompasses the entire pillow for an extra soft feel, and the outer shell can be unzipped for easy washing and to adjust the firmness of the pillow. This reading pillow features a large carrying handle and a side pocket, as well as a removable and adjustable neck roll for added support.

What you should consider: It’s relatively firm; you may need to break it in to get comfortable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top reading pillow for the money

Milliard Reading Pillow with Shredded Memory Foam

Milliard Reading Pillow with Shredded Memory Foam

What you need to know: This velour-covered pillow offers the best of an armrest reading pillow at an affordable price.

What you’ll love: The soft velour cover is removable and machine-washable. This makes it easy to adjust the firmness of your pillow by removing or adding shredded memory foam. The pillow is lighter than some, making it easy to adjust and move around. It comes in two different colors: gray and navy blue.

What you should consider: This pillow is a bit on the smaller side and may not be as sturdy as other options.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Brentwood Home Zuma Therapeutic Wedge Pillow

Brentwood Home Zuma Therapeutic Wedge Pillow

What you need to know: This wedge reading pillow lends a sturdy backrest for readers who love sitting up in bed with a book.

What you’ll love: The wedge pillow can lean up against the wall or down on the bed for multiple reading and relaxing positions. The knit bamboo cover is removable and machine-washable. The solid therapeutic foam inside is stiffer than typical pillow stuffing and provides a solid surface to lean on. It comes in three different sizes.

What you should consider: Though the cover is machine-washable, you can’t fit the entire foam pillow in the washing machine.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Katy Palmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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