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Reading in Complete Comfort: Best Reading Pillows for Seniors

Reading in Complete Comfort: Best Reading Pillows for Seniors

Whether you want to read your favorite book or use your laptop before going to sleep, the bed is probably the most likely place where older adults prefer to sit back and relax. Reading pillows like these provide great support and comfort for seniors with neck, shoulder, or back pain when sitting in bed.
Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®
By:
Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®
Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

With over 20 years of experience and certifications as a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)® and Senior Home Safety Specialist (SHSS)®, Scott Grant provides reliable recommendations to help seniors maintain independence through informed product and service choices for safe, comfortable living.

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Best Reading Pillows For Seniors
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 What to Know

Reading pillows are an excellent way for seniors to read or just lounge around more comfortably. They support the neck, head, back, and arms and have helpful features like pockets, armrests, and cup holders.

When choosing a reading pillow, seniors should consider its size, shape, fabric, and fill to ensure it is comfortable and supportive.

Additionally, seniors should use the armrests to reduce fatigue and muscle strain, use the pockets to keep reading materials within reach, and use a pillowcase or cover to keep the pillow clean

To keep the pillow in tip-top shape, seniors should wash and dry it regularly, fluff it often, and store it in a cool, dry place. With all these benefits, reading pillows are the perfect way for seniors to relax and enjoy their favorite books and activities.

The Best Reading Pillows For Seniors

Here are my recommended reading pillows for older adults who love to read in bed. 

Husband Pillow XXL Black Backrest with Arms - Adult Reading Pillow with Shredded Memory Foam, Ultra-Comfy Removable Microplush Cover & Detachable Neck Roll - Unmatched Support Bed Rest Sit Up Pillow

Husband Pillow XXL Dark Grey Backrest with Arms

$79.95
as of 02/23/2024 4:49 am
15 inches Wide by 31.5 inches Tall
 Weighs 9.1 lbs
 Customizable Shredded Memory Foam Fill
 Removable Microplush Cover
 39 Color and Style Options

This giant reading pillow is our overall favorite for seniors and the elderly looking for superior comfort and support while reading or working against a bed headboard. Non-married users can call these extra-large pillows “boyfriend pillows” if they prefer!

Crafted with premium shredded memory foam and a breathable micro plush outer cover, the Husband Pillow provides unparalleled support and comfort for the thorax and neck.

It even has a removable neck support roll pillow and a built-in side pocket to hold remotes, phones, and other items.

Adjustable and easy to take with you, it is backed by a 100-day, 100% money-back guarantee, and a 3-year warranty.

Measuring 31 inches in height, it is taller and broader than other backrest pillows on the market, making it the ideal product for seniors and the elderly.


Vekkia Headboard Bed Wedge Pillow Set Foam, Adjustable Bolsters for Body Positioners, Reading Bedrest Throw Pillows with Removable Cover for Back Support, Watching TV. Grey Queen Size

Vekkia Large Bed Positioning and Reading Pillow

20 inches High in Twin, Full, King Widths
About 9 lbs
Polyester Fiber Fill
 Removable Korean Suede Fabric Cover
 3 Color and 3 Size Options

This luxurious Vekkia adjustable wedge pillow set combines comfort with style for seniors and the elderly.

The ergonomically designed triangular shape ensures it won’t fall forward when you move, and the high-density foam retains its shape for years without sagging.

The plush, velour-covered cover is removable and machine-washable, and the secure large pocket is perfect for keeping a pair of reading glasses handy.

The 3-in-1 design allows you to customize the height and incline based on your comfort level, ensuring maximum comfort while reading, watching TV, or sleeping.

Additionally, this reading pillow is designed to promote blood flow and helps to prevent snoring and heartburn – perfect for a good night’s sleep!


Milliard Double Reading Pillow with Shredded Memory Foam, Great as Backrest for Books or Gaming with Cooling, Removable Cover-Two Person Sit Up Pillow

Milliard Double Reading Pillow

If you’re looking for a pillow to snuggle up with your loved ones and relax, look no further than Milliard’s Double Reading Pillow!

Made of shredded memory foam that molds to your individual comfort, this pillow can be customized to your personal softness or firmness needs.

The soft velour cover and convenient carry handles make it easy to transport. The waterproof cup holders on each side make it ideal for keeping a bottle of water close by.

It’s also great for those with medical conditions such as acid reflux, as it can be used to prop up your arms, legs, and back for increased comfort.


VERCART Adjustable Bed Reading Pillow Throw Wedge Pillows for Sleeping Triangular Bedrest Sofa Pillow for Lumbar Neck Back Support with Removable Velvet Cover, Cyan 23.5 Inches

VERCART Adjustable Reading Pillow With Neck and Lumbar Roll

$65.95
as of 02/23/2024 4:49 am

This bed wedge pillow provides the utmost comfort with a premium polyester fiberfill and a luxurious velvet fabric cover for added softness and durability.

The adjustable bolster pillow ensures the back is kept in a straight position while the large support pillow gently conforms to the user’s ergonomic design for optimal back support and improved posture.

Additionally, two small pockets on the side are perfect for small items such as a mobile phone, remote, or your favorite pair of reading glasses. The pillow is also easy to clean thanks to its machine-washable and removable outer cover.

This wedge pillow is ideal for use on the bed, as a sofa daybed headboard pillow, or as a chair or couch cushion. 


Dot&Dot Twist Memory Foam Travel Pillow for Neck, Chin, Lumbar and Leg Support - Neck Pillow for Traveling on Airplane - Best for Side, Stomach and Back Sleepers - Adjustable, Bendable Roll Pillow

Dot&Dot Twist Memory Foam Travel Reading Pillow

$24.99
as of 02/23/2024 4:49 am

The Dot&Dot twistable travel neck pillow is the smaller pillow solution for seniors looking for comfort and convenience during long-distance trips.

The adjustable and flexible design features a memory foam core that contours to the body for firm support and is encased in a breathable cotton cover.

The pillow attaches to carry-on luggage or a backpack for on-the-go older adults.

Plus, the snap closure allows seniors to secure the pillow around their neck or car headrest for maximum comfort and support.

Enjoy the ultimate travel experience with the Dot&Dot twistable travel neck pillow – perfect for seniors who want to read on-the-go in comfort and style.


RELAX SUPPORT RS6 Bed Wedge Pillow - Whole Memory Foam 3-in-1 Technology Elevation Adjustable Wedge Pillow for Sleeping Reflux Reading Snoring – Pregnancy Triangle Pillow Support Body Back Neck Legs…

RELAX SUPPORT RS6 Bed Wedge Pillow

This RS6 Memory Foam Wedge Pillow is ideal for seniors or the elderly!

Crafted from premium memory foam for superior comfort and support, the 3-in-1 design allows you to adjust the height to suit your individual needs.

The removable and machine-washable cover ensures a secure and comfortable fit throughout the night.

This pillow relieves neck pain, acid reflux, respiratory problems, snoring, GERD, heartburn, and more.

Additionally, it comes with a lifetime replacement policy, so you can rest assured that it won’t go flat or become lumpy over time. 


BedLounge Hypoallergenic - Regular Size - Burgundy Cotton

BedLounge Hypoallergenic Back Wedge

The BedLounge is an innovative ergonomic lounger that provides superior neck and back support.

It is crafted with multiple layers of aircraft-grade foam and fleece-combed fibers. Plus, the adjustable headrest extends up to 12″. It rotates a full 90 degrees to cradle your head and neck for ultimate comfort.

The armrests also pivot inward and outward for a perfect fit. They have pouches for your reading glasses, magazines, and more within reach.

The regular size is suitable for people 5’3″ and above, and the cover can be easily removed, and machine washed.

Its adjustable features guarantee the correct posture and support. Its lightweight and portable design make it easy to take with you wherever you go or store away when not in use.

Finally, a removable, machine-washable cover covers all these wonderful features!


Yogibo Support

Yogibo Support Reading Pillow

$81.75

Featuring a U-shaped design, the Yogibo Support provides a versatile seating option that’s also comfortable for reading in bed or even lounging on a chaise lounge. 

Crafted with a cotton and spandex blend outer cover and a polyester and spandex blend liner filled with EPS beads, the Support provides superior comfort and support.

Plus, it has a removable, machine-washable cover with extra covers for a new look. With Yogibo Support, seniors and the elderly can enjoy optimal comfort and support for their relaxation needs.


What’s So Special About A Reading Pillow?

A reading pillow is an extremely helpful reading aid for seniors and the elderly that reduces neck, back, and shoulder pain while reading or working on a laptop, helping you maintain a comfortable and ergonomic position.

They are much more supportive and comfortable than cramming a standard pillow underneath your back or neck. 

The benefits of a reading pillow over a standard pillow include its ergonomic design and ability to provide the exact amount of support needed.

The support is provided by a fill material such as memory foam, which contours to the shape of your body.

Plus, a reading pillow includes straps or handles so you can easily adjust the angle and height of the pillow to make yourself as comfortable as possible.

This makes it easier to get into the ideal reading or laptop working position and maintain a good posture while doing so.

Finally, seniors who are temporarily or permanently confined to bed are more comfortable with a bed rest pillow than trying to mold a standard pillow to assist them with sitting up.

Different Types Of Reading Pillows

Reading pillows come in various shapes, sizes, and materials so that you can find the perfect one for your needs and preferences.

Here are the different types of reading pillows and their features.

1. Traditional Reading Pillows

These are your classic cylindrical-shaped neck roll reading pillows, usually filled with soft stuffing or foam and covered in a soft fabric. They are comfortable and supportive when placed behind your back or neck while reading in your favorite chair or bed.

2. Memory Foam Reading Pillows

Memory foam matches itself to the shape of your body to provide a comfortable and supportive surface. Memory foam pillows provide even more support while reading than standard reading pillows.

3. Adjustable Reading Pillows

These pillows feature adjustable straps, buckles, and lumbar supports so that you can customize the angle of the pillow to your exact preference. This makes them ideal for supporting people sitting at a certain angle for long periods for reading or other activities.

4. Wedge Reading Pillows

These triangular-shaped wedge pillows are designed to be placed behind your back to provide support and comfort when sitting up in bed or on the sofa.

They generally offer two incline levels for people who want to change their position while reading.

5. Body Pillows

These large, body-length pillows are designed to be cuddled between your legs or body while lying down. They provide comfort and support for the whole body instead of just your neck and head.

6. Contour Pillows

These pillows conform to the shape of your head and neck, providing extra support and comfort as you read. They come in various shapes and sizes, so you can find one to match your needs. They are best for people with neck pain or other joint problems.

What Are The Main Features To Look For When Shopping For A Reading or Support Pillow? 

The cover and fill materials are the most critical consideration when shopping for a reading pillow because they determine the softness and support levels. They can make a massive difference in providing comfort and reducing skin irritation.

They also affect its longevity and cleanability. 

Cover Fabric Options

Cotton is lightweight, breathable, comfortable, and easy to clean. It is also highly durable, soft, and hypoallergenic, making it an ideal choice for a light and breathable material.

However, it is not as supportive as some other materials, so it may not be the best choice for those who need extra support.

Polyester is a synthetic material often blended with cotton to create a durable yet soft fabric. It is wrinkle-resistant but not as breathable as cotton and can be prone to static. It is best for people who need durability above all else.

Linen is a natural material that is lightweight and breathable and also durable and hypoallergenic. However, it is not as supportive as some other materials. It is best for people who prefer lightweight, breathable, and hypoallergenic fabric.

Microfiber is a synthetic material often blended with cotton to create a soft and comfortable fabric.

It is solid and resistant to wrinkles, making it a good choice for those who need durability and long-term use. However, it is less supportive than some other materials and can be prone to static. 

Velvet is a soft, luxurious fabric often blended with other materials to create a variety of textures and colors. It is comfortable to the touch but can be fragile, difficult to clean, and won’t last as long as other materials.

Fill Materials

Memory foam is a dense foam material that molds itself to your body’s natural curves. It is supportive and comfortable but less breathable than some other materials. Memory foam is best suited for people who need extra support and comfort.

Down fill is a natural down often used in pillows due to its softness and warmth. While comfortable, down is heavy and bulky. But, it has its place for seniors who insist on a soft, warm, and luxurious pillow.

Buckwheat fill is a natural fiber often used in pillows because it retains heat, which is why it is used in many microwavable heat therapy products. It is also lightweight and compressible. Buckwheat fill is best for people who want a light and thermally-insulating pillow.

Shredded foam fill combines compressed foam pieces with small air pockets that provide support and comfort. Some people find them lumpy and uncomfortable, though.

Shredded foam fill is best for people who want a soft, supportive pillow with extra padding and don’t mind a few lumps.

Other important features:

Neck Support

Reading pillows typically feature a raised neck support cushion to support the head and neck in a comfortable, ergonomic position while reading, reducing the risk of muscle strain and fatigue.

Headrests

Many larger reading pillows feature built-in headrests for additional reading support and comfort.

Armrests

Armrests are an additional feature on reading pillows that prop the arms comfortably while holding the reading material. This keeps them from getting tired while reading.

Adjustable Lumbar Backrest

Adjustable lumbar supports and backrests allow seniors to find their most comfortable position for reading.

Washable Detachable Covers

The best reading pillows have detachable covers or custom-shaped pillowcases that allow easy cleaning and maintenance.

Portability

Lightweight neck pillows are designed to travel with you on a plane, train, or even just to the back patio.

Additional Features

Additional features such as built-in pockets, cooling gel pads, and built-in cup holders are offered for convenience but might make your reading experience even nicer.

How to Choose the Best Reading Pillow For Your Needs

1. Choose a pillow with adjustable support

Many seniors suffer from back and neck pain and need extra support to make reading comfortable. Look for a pillow that adjusts in both height and firmness for a personalized fit. 

2. Consider the materials

Look for a pillow made of breathable, durable fabric that will help keep you cool and comfortable while you read. Removable covers make cleaning much easier.

3. Look for a contoured design

A contoured pillow provides a more natural support position for your head and neck to stay comfortable longer.

4. Consider the size

A reading pillow should be large enough to provide comfortable support without feeling bulky and in the way.

5. Consider the shape

Some reading pillows are designed with an ergonomic shape, which helps keep your spine aligned, reducing neck and back pain. 

How to Use Reading Pillows Effectively

  1. Make sure you find a pillow that fits your body shape and size.
  2. Put the pillow behind your back in an ergonomic position that supports your neck, head, and back.
  3. Prop your arms on the armrests, if available, to reduce fatigue and muscle strain.
  4. Adjust the lumbar support to get the most comfortable fit.
  5. Use the pockets, if available, to keep your reading materials within easy reach.
  6. A pillowcase or included cover will keep your pillow in the best condition possible.
  7. Consider using a cooling gel pad to reduce heat buildup.
  8. Use a cup holder, if available, to hold your beverage while you read.
  9. When you’re done reading, store your pillow in a dry, dust-free location.

10 Ways That Reading Pillows Help Seniors

  1. Improving posture while reading
  2. Reducing neck pain
  3. Providing comfort and support while reading
  4. Offering back support while sitting up or lying down
  5. Helping to keep your hands and arms relaxed while reading
  6. Serving as a cushion with armrests and headrests
  7. Helping to keep your book or laptop at an ergonomic angle
  8. Supporting your lower back and spine while sitting for long periods
  9. Reducing fatigue and muscle strain
  10. Improving circulation and reducing cramps

How to Keep Your New Reading Pillow in Tip-Top Shape

  • Wash your reading pillow regularly according to the instructions on the care label. Use a mild detergent and a delicate cycle.
  • Dry your reading pillow in a cool, dry place. Avoid direct sunlight and heat.
  • Fluff your pillow every few days to keep the fill even and to help maintain its shape.
  • Keep your reading pillow away from sharp objects, pets, and children to prevent tearing or damage.
  • If your pillow becomes wet, allow it to dry completely before use.
  • Spot clean any stains immediately with a mild soap and damp cloth.
  • Store your reading pillow in a cool, dry place when not in use.

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Infographic: Best Reading Pillows for Seniors

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Wrapping Up

Reading pillows for older adults are unique in that they provide comfortable padding and adjustable head and arm support for comfortable reading.

They are also designed to be lightweight and portable, making them easy to move from room to room.

Additionally, many reading pillows for older adults have helpful features like pockets for books and magazines and cup holders for drinks to add to your reading experience.

Finally, reading pillows for older adults come in various colors and fabrics, so you can find one to match any style or décor.

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Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

With over 20 years of experience and certifications as a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)® and Senior Home Safety Specialist (SHSS)®, Scott Grant provides reliable recommendations to help seniors maintain independence through informed product and service choices for safe, comfortable living.

Learn More Email

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