The Most Comfortable Reading Pillows of 2024, Vetted By Our Editors

From wedge pillows to Husband pillows

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McKenzie Cordell for PureWow

Picture this: You've settled into your favorite reading spot—ready to lose yourself in the pages of a great new book—but after a while, you start to feel a familiar ache in your back and neck. Suddenly, the relaxation of reading turns into trying to get comfortable. And that’s where a reading pillow comes in. (Plus, a comfy reading chair, if you have the budget.) 

Finding the right reading pillow is crucial because it's about finding something that won’t interrupt hours of getting lost in a psychological thriller or twisted romance novel. It needs to support your body in all the right places, all while being soft enough to let you sink in. That said, everyone has their own comfort preferences, and some shapes/sizes might be better than others. So, from wedge pillows to Husband pillows to extra-large headboard pillows, I vetted the absolute most comfortable reading pillows money can buy. Below, find 10 of our editors’ favorites (plus chiropractor-approved advice on how to choose the right pillow for you). 

The Best Reading Pillows of 2024 at a Glance


Best Overall

 XXL Husband Pillow

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Best for Neck Pain

Sleep Number Rest & Read Pillow 

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Best for In-Bed

Casper Backrest Pillow

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Most Plush Pillow

unHide Squish Backrest Pillow

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Best Under $50

Contour Flip Pillow

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How I Chose The Best Reading Pillows

After scouring the web for the top reviewed reading pillows, I made our selections based on the following criteria: a) that it was made from supportive materials—like memory foam or polyfoam—that keep your lower back supported, b) that it was at least 8 inches high to keep your neck cradled and c) that it had a removable/machine-washable cover. 

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Best Overall

1.  XXL Husband Pillow

Husband Pillow

There’s a reason why this brand is considered the OG of reading pillows: It has customizability and comfort woven into its design. The first feature that makes it unique is its adjustable loft, where you can custom-tailor the shredded memory foam inside with a zipper on the inner shell. If you prefer a softer feel, you can remove the foam to reduce the loft (aka thickness). If you prefer a firmer feel, you can add extra foam to increase the loft—crucial for anyone who needs more back and neck support). Yet, beyond the feel, it’s also packed with features, including a detachable neck roll for extra support and two handy pockets for storing remotes, books, snacks—you name it. Plus, its smooth microfiber cover—which is available in 33 colors, including a faux fur—is removable and machine-washable.

It’s also worth mentioning that this guy measures 31 inches high, which is patented to stand taller than most competing pillows: “I’m 5’11”, and when I sit erect the top of the husband pillow, it hits me right up my shoulders…the neck pillow rests at the perfect position on the top of my neck where my skull begins. When I get really comfy and slouch a bit, the back of my head hits the head pillow. In short, this is what makes it so comfortable,” one Amazon reviewer explains. He also adds: “It's been three years now since I bought this, and even after several washings of the cover, the seams are still intact, and the cushioning is near like new. It's amazing how easy it is to clean the covers—just unzip and throw them in the washer. I use this several hours a day, every day, and it has stood the test of time.”

Fast Facts

  • Materials: shredded memory foam, microplush cover 
  • Size: 33-39” L x 15” D x 31” H
  • Care Instructions: Wash cover in cold water on the delicate cycle. Don't use fabric softener or bleach. Tumble dry low, make sure the pillowcase is completely dry before using. (Inner Pillow Liner: Pin zipper closed before washing in cold water on the delicate cycle.)

Best for Neck Pain

2. Sleep Number Rest & Read Pillow 

Sleep Number

Prone to kinks in your neck while you’re reading? This innovative pillow features two sections for tailored neck support: The top chamber is filled with soft polyester—specifically designed to relieve neck tension—while the firmer bottom section uses a blend of shredded memory foam and down alternative for lower back bolstering. What this means is that the softer top section allows your head and neck to sink comfortably (without making you feel slurped in), while the firmer bottom offers enough cushioning to keep your back propped comfortably. “It is soft and squishy, yet firm enough to provide the support I need. And while I wouldn’t consider this a 'sleeping' pillow, I have enjoyed some naps on this—and I didn't wake up with neck pain, either!” one Sleep Number reviewer explains. 

Plus, despite the memory foam fill (which is known for trapping heat), many reviewers were surprised by how breathable and cooling it was: “I read a lot in bed and have gone through many pillows and wedge cushions trying to find something that is comfortable and supportive. This has the best combination of lower back support and a cushioning neck portion, so it doesn’t feel like I’m resting on a rock. It’s also cooler than any of the memory foam reading pillows I’ve used and is much more practical since it isn’t a giant wedge I can’t keep on the bed when I’m ready to sleep.” Bonus: The pillow conveniently fits Euro square sham covers and comes with a removable, machine-washable cover for easy cleaning.

Fast Facts

  • Materials: shredded memory foam, polyester down alternative, knit polyester cover
  • Size: 22" L x 22" H
  • Care Instructions: Wash cover in cold water with mild detergent and tumble dry on low. (Pillow insert is spot clean only.)

Best for In-Bed

3. Casper Backrest Pillow


If you’re someone who props four or five pillows up in bed for reading, this cushion was designed to rid you of that issue. First, it has an ergonomic teardrop shape, so it provides targeted lumbar support for better posture and alignment. But what makes it special is that it’s crafted with Casper’s signature inner foam layer and a soft, cozy fiber outer layer, so it offers the perfect balance of softness and support. Add to that the fact that it has an oversized 24-inch width, so it offers should support that prevents you from slouching. Take it from one Casper reviewer, who says, “I’ve always tried the awkward combination of pillows while trying to sit up in bed, but come away with annoyance and pain of those pillows not supporting me. Then along came this Casper pillow. I now have the ease of sitting upright in bed for my leisurely activities with no worries about pain or awkwardness.” 

In fact, it’s so comfortable that another reviewer uses it as a sleep pillow: “I purchased this pillow after a back injury when I realized I would have to do a fair amount of work from bed while recovering. It is the perfect hybrid between sturdiness and softness. It provides all the support I need for my lower back while feeling like I'm on a cloud.”

Fast Facts

  • Materials: spandex and viscoelastic polyurethane foam, polyester fiber fill, knit mesh lining
  • Size: 24" W x 5” D x 24" H 
  • Care Instructions: Avoid the washer and instead opt for hand-washing or vacuuming and spot treating. If hand-washing, submerge the pillow and allow the water and laundry detergent solution to seep all the way through.

Most Plush Pillow

4. unHide Squish Backrest Pillow


Made from the same luxurious chinchilla faux fur material as unHide’s beloved blankets, this backrest oozes plushness in its design. It’s made with 1,000 grams per square meter (GSM) of faux fur polyester and 180 GSM velveteen polyester, so it's about as buttery smooth as you can get for a faux fur. To that end, the brand is committed to cruelty-free materials, so while it might feel like a chinchilla, you can rest easy knowing that no animals were harmed in the making of the backrest. And of course, there’s the 100 percent polyester fill, which is fit with arms and an 8.5-inch height to keep you supported in every reading position. Bonus: The cover is removable and machine washable. 

As for the feel, one unHide reviewer writes: “Since it’s labeled ‘squish,’ I was worried the backrest wouldn't be supportive enough…[definitely not the case]. It is absolutely firm enough to be comfortable for an evening of reading or TV binging.” Another reviewer loved this backrest so much, she regrets not buying two: “I often do my work while sitting on the sofa. This pillow is a game-changer. I use it while I work, watch TV or read. In fact, I drag my pillow from room to room in order to have comfort and back support 24/7. I also love to pair it with my unHide throw blanket for the ultimate comfort experience.”

Fast Facts

  • Materials: 1,000 GSM faux fur polyester, 180 GSM velveteen polyester, 100 percent polyester fill
  • Size: 31" W x 20" D x 18" H (Arms: 5.5" W x 10" L x 8.5" H)
  • Care Instructions: machine wash cold, do not bleach, do not tumble dry, do not iron.

Best Under $50

5. Contour Flip Pillow


With 10 different support positions and a price point that won’t break the bank, this pillow is the absolute best bang you’ll get for your buck. First and foremost, it’s a wedge pillow connected to a rectangular bolster, both filled with super moldable fiber and wrapped in breathable cotton. This is how it combines the comfort of a standard sleeping pillow with the support of a wedge. You can use it as a backrest stilling up in bed, an elevation pillow for your neck or as a knee and leg wedge. Plus, when you use it as a backrest for reading, it's cushy on the lower back—and despite the fact that it's soft and squishy, it keeps its shape after hours of use. Not to mention that it’s constructed with a breathable, hypoallergenic cover for anyone with sensitive skin

Take it from Lauren Fountain, a certified sleep science coach, who raves in a review: “When used as a backrest, the pillow’s large size [offered] a considerable amount of lumbar support. Despite being soft and pliable, the pillow also retains its shape for long periods of time. We also liked how easy it was to mold into different shapes and lofts for a variety of uses, including sitting upright, lying back on a sofa, and supporting the knees.” She also adds that it’s great for back sleepers, because “it provided solid support while still feeling plush…the cotton cover was also quite breathable.”

Fast Facts

  • Materials: polyester fill with cotton cover 
  • Size: 19" L x 20" W x 18" H (30” H available in King size) 
  • Care Instructions: place it in the dryer on low heat for 15 minutes. You can also add a clean tennis ball and fabric softener sheet for added effects. (This will gently loosen and separate the fiber-fill material to give you more fluffiness.) For spot cleaning, simply wipe the surface using a small amount of mild soap on a damp cloth and allow to air dry.

Best Oversized

6. WOWMAX Linen Blend Pillow


Yet another option that’s getting rave reviews? This extra-padded pillow, which is so big, it doubles as a fluffy headboard (available in twin, full, queen, king and California king sizes). In terms of comfort, it’s crafted with premium polyester fiberfill and tufted fabric buttons, so it maintains its shape without collapsing or deforming. Add to that the fact that it has an ergonomic triangle design, which makes it different from ordinary square pillows (aka ones that aren’t custom fit to the shape of your back). This one helps reduce orthopedic pains by softly propping up your shoulders, back and waist for optimal torso uplift—and it won’t leave you with aches and pains after sitting upright for extended periods of time. Another draw is its double pockets on each side, plus the fact that it comes with a removable linen cover (available in eight colors that are so pretty, it can double as decor when paired with a freshly made bed). 

“I purchased this bolster because our headboard has slats that swallow the pillows. Also, we had three pillows each to prop ourselves up while reading in bed. The thing is perfect for containing the sleeping pillows as well as giving firm support for sitting up/reading in bed,” one Amazon reviewer writes. Plus, another Wayfair reviewer was especially pleased with the design: “The filling on this and construction of the covering gives it the structure needed to be really functional for us. I like to lean back and read at night, and it offers great support. During the day it gives the bed a nice, finished look; stands up and stays neat looking. The color, to my relief, was a nice golden color, not the bright French's mustard color shown in some photos.”

Fast Facts

  • Materials: polyester fiberfill and tufted linen fabric
  • Size: 20" H x 39-76" W
  • Care Instructions: remove the pillow cover by unzipping the two-way zipper and unbuttoning each button (fixed on the pillow insert) from the buttonholes (pre-designed on the pillow cover) to get it machine-washed in cold water with a gentle cycle, no bleach, air dry.

Best U-Shaped

7. Yogibo Support Pillow


Unlike your typical backrest pillow or armrest, this one is shaped like an oversized U with 37 inches of room to snuggle up in. This not only means it can provide multi-level support from head to toe but it’s also designed to cradle your neck, back and arms in every position. As for comfort, it’s filled with Yogibo’s signature micro-beads, which mold to your body shape and keep you cool with a heat-dissipating design. Plus, the outer cover is made from buttery-soft natural cotton with a hint of Spandex, making it easy to remove and toss in the wash when it needs a little pick-me-up. Oh, and did we mention that it comes in 17 cover colors that allow you to change things up over time?

One Yogibo reviewer writes: “As someone who has Ehlers-Danlos, I am constantly looking for pillows to support my joints. It’s nearly impossible for me to find a position that is actually comfortable without approximately 12 pillows of various shapes. Then I bought my Yogibo and tossed the majority of my other support pillows off the couch.” It’s also worth noting another reviewer’s five-star review for durability: “You know how sometimes those bead-filled loungers move around and you continually have to squish, push, punch the thing in, hoping it keeps form? No more! This thing stays put once you set it up how you'd like. I even use the arm as a mouse pad.”

Fast Facts

  • Materials: EPS beads, cotton-, spandex- and polyester-blended cover
  • Size: 30” W x 37” L x 12” H
  • Care Instructions: zip off the outer cover and wash in cold water with like colors. Tumble dry low. Turn the dry cover inside out and place on your Yogibo by matching the corners. Flip the cover right side out, making sure the corners of the cover and Yogibo still match.

Best Wedge

8. Forias Wedge Pillow


After seeing this pillow had more than 2,400 glowing five-star reviews on Amazon, we had to see what all of the hype was about. What makes it special is that it’s filled with a premium memory foam top that contours to your body shape, keeping your neck, head and back properly aligned. Then, beneath that plush memory foam, lies a high-density medical-grade foam base, which offers just the right amount of firmness and support. This not only makes it great for reading and sitting upright in bed, but it can also be used to improve circulation and reduce swelling as a sleep pillow: “Sleeping flat or on my side has caused so much pain on my hips, shoulders, and knees…I climbed in bed with two of these pillows, one with my upper body elevated and my knees raised on the other wedge. I slept 10 hours and my husband said I slept so soundly that he had to occasionally check my pulse,” one Amazon reviewer reports.

As for other stand-out features, it also has an anti-slip bottom—which keeps it firmly in place on your bed or sofa—two pockets, and a convenient handle that makes it easy to carry from room to room. “It helps me elevate my upper body comfortably, and I don't have the neck and back pain I experienced when trying to use a mound of regular pillows. It's firm without being too firm, and I like that I can rotate it upright if I want a backrest for reading/ watching TV. The side pockets are also handy for storing remotes—and storing them in the pillow doesn't impact my sleep at all,” another Amazon reviewer adds.

Fast Facts

  • Materials: memory foam, high-density foam, plush polyester knit cover
  • Size: 25" L x 24" W x 12" H
  • Care Instructions: remove the cover and machine-wash on cold. Tumble dry on the low setting.

Best Down-Filled

9. The Company Store Down Reading Wedge Pillow

the company store

Speaking of wedge pillows; this is about as cushy as you can get when if you’re looking for a pillow that works for reading and sleeping. With a special blend of 95 percent feathers and 5 percent down, it offers the perfect combo platter of softness and support. It also has a thick loft with a tight fluffy feel—available in medium and large sizes—and it’s encased in a 200-thread count cotton twill shell. It’s smooth and breathable to the touch, which also makes it versatile enough to be used when you’re propped up in bed or for extra support under your knees and behind your head while sleeping. Plus, unlike the bulk of down-filled bedding, this one can be machine-washed at home. 

One Company Store reviewer says, “The pillow is very comfortable, with enough firmness to hold you upright, but still sink in slightly for comfort. Note: These pillows are sewn as a right triangle. They are 12 inches at the bottom, angling up to a bit of a point at the top. The angle is just right for use on my deep sofa, as well as making the twin mattress comfortable to sit on during daybed use. There is just nothing like a feather and down pillow for comfort. The pillow cover is a wide woven cotton fabric, but soft…[it’s] about an inch too long, but I'm hoping that is taken up a bit after an eventual washing.” That said, many reviewers lauded the feel but wished Company Store would release pillowcases to match the unique shape. 

Fast Facts

  • Materials: feathers, down and 200-thread count cotton twill shell
  • Size: 20” L x 15” W x 8” H (Large: 3”L x 18” W x 12” H)
  • Care Instructions: use a mild detergent to machine wash cold, gentle cycle, separately. Tumble dry low until feathers are thoroughly dried.

Best for College

10. Nestl Reading Pillow


PSA to anyone going to college next year: This is your ticket to ultimate relaxation while hitting the books or catching up on Netflix. It’s not your average back pillow—its largest size features a 29.5-inch height—and it’s built to be sturdier and fully supportive with premium shredded memory foam. The real draw, however, is that it comes with two detachable pillows for extra lumbar support, three convenient pockets for you to store your essentials, and little pocket for your mug or Stanley tumbler. Plus, it’s available in 44 vibrant colors, all of which are removable and machine washable. 

Take it from one Amazon reviewer who says, “I like reading in bed, but after a while, my lower back and neck bother me. This pillow seems to really help support it—I no longer have those issues. I also love the fact that I can unzip the cover and wash it, especially after two semesters on campus... It also doesn't lose its shape, so you don’t have to buy a new one every year.” That said, while many reviewers noted that it comes with a slight smell, it disappears after washing: “I loved the color of my pillow, it perfectly matches the pastel coral [of my dorm aesthetic]. It did smell a little when I first unpacked it, but I was easily able to wash the cover and it smells just fine! Also has pockets for your belongings, which I love,” another student says. 

Fast Facts

  • Materials: memory foam and microfiber cover
  • Size: 33” W x 18” H (Premium Large: 36” W x 29.5” H) 
  • Care Instructions: machine wash in cold water. Tumble dry on low and remove promptly.

Meet The Experts

  • Dr. David Ness is a Certified Sports Chiropractor, located in the Hudson Valley in New Paltz, N.Y.  He served as the official chiropractor for Marist College and Vassar College Athletic Departments before joining the Army in 2015. He now serves as the official chiropractor and ART provider for the ARMY West Point football team, working onsite at the United States Military Academy football training room twice a week.
  • Dr. Lawrence Woods has more than 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor and is NBCE Physiotherapy- and OSH Academy-certified. For the last 20 years, he has been designing mattresses, pillows, chairs and seat cushions that are meant to optimize how patients sleep and sit. 

How to Choose a Reading Pillow

  • Fill: According to Dr. Ness, feather pillows may offer neck comfort, but if you are allergic, you’ll want to stay away. As a result, memory foam is the most popular choice because of its ability to contour to your body’s shape. Dr. Woods also notes that, while feather pillows may initially feel comfortable, they may not provide the same level of support as memory foam ones. 
  • Size: Dr. Ness says reading pillows should be a minimum of 6 inches in height and should alleviate the pressure points around your neck and shoulders. Your size should also be considered when choosing a pillow. A large person needs a bigger pillow, while a more petite person should go with a smaller pillow. The bottom line is the pillow should provide support and comfort, and hold your neck in a neutral position.
  • Neck Support: Per Dr. Woods, a pillow with good neck support helps keep the neck in a neutral position, reducing strain on the neck muscles and the risk of neck pain. This can be achieved by using firmer materials, such as memory foam or high-density foam, or through the use of a contoured design.
  • Contours: Dr. Woods also notes that pillows with contoured shapes, such as those that are thicker in the center and thinner at the edges, can help to support the natural curvature of the neck and keep the spine in a neutral position. This can help to reduce strain on the neck muscles and reduce the risk of neck pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are reading pillows worth it?

Yes. Not only do they keep you comfortable for hours on end, but they also promote better posture, which can help prevent aches and pains. Plus, they often include useful features like detachable pillows and pockets for your essentials, so they're convenient to use when you’re curled up. 

Can you sleep with a reading pillow?

This all comes down to your sleep style. While reading pillows are primarily designed for providing support and comfort during lounging, some people may find them comfortable enough to sleep with (especially side-sleepers). However, it’s worth noting that reading pillows are typically firmer and more structured than traditional pillows, which may not be ideal for everyone's sleeping posture. Some people may find them too bulky or firm for sleeping, while others may enjoy the extra support they provide. If you're considering sleeping with a reading pillow, be sure to assess your sleep style to make sure it doesn't cause any discomfort or strain on your neck or back. 

What is the best pillow position for reading?

Again, this comes down to your personal preferences. Generally speaking, however, most people prefer sitting upright with their back against a supportive pillow. Whether you're reading in bed, on the couch, or in your favorite armchair, however, the key is to find a position that keeps you comfortable and relaxed for extended periods of time. The best way to do this is by experimenting with different arrangements until you discover what works best for you.

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Associate Editor

Sydney Meister is PureWow's Associate Editor, covering everything from dating trends and relationship advice (here's looking at you, 'soonicorns') to interior design, beauty...

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