Last Updated: Jun 7, 2023 @ 1:59 pm.

What's the best reading pillow? We surveyed the readers of our parenting books to find out their favorites for both kids and adults. We took their suggestions and then another 9 hours of research, comparing pillows on comfiness, back support and affordability. Here are the ones we'd recommend!

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home, parents and families since 1994. To keep it real, we don't money or freebies from the brands we review. Our reviews are 100% reader-supported! Thanks in advance for reading this article!

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Best Budget-Friendly

Perfect for college dorm
We loved this pillow, which is stuffed with shredded memory foam. Sturdy, firm yet comfy. And easy on the wallet. Cover is machine washable. Caveat: on the heavy side.

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Best Budget-Friendly: Milliard Reading Pillow

What makes a great reading pillow?

Comfort and back support are obvious key points, but there are some features that are important but not obvious: weight is a surprising deal killer. If the pillow is too heavy, that makes the pillow hard to move around or from room to room. And that can be a deal killer for some folks.

That’s what we learned when we surveyed our parent readers about their favorite reader pillow for adults and kids. We asked for their favorites and then narrowed down this field to come up with these recommendations.

Another X-factor: fill. Personal preference for this is all over the board—some folks like shredded memory foam as a fill. Others prefer basic foam, which they think is better for back support.

And let’s talk about the cover: itchy covers are another deal killer! Some highly recommended pillows didn’t make the cut for this reason.

After all that research, we decided Millard’s Reading Pillow is the best budget-friendly reading pillow bet. Here’s why:

What We Liked

• Sturdy, firm design.

• Perfect for college dorm.

• Cover is machine washable. That’s a big plus over other brands we considered, which are spot clean only.

• Good support for back while in bed.

• Shredded memory foam fill = very comfy!

• Handle for carrying.

• Armrests are comfortable.

• Three different sizes available.

What Needs Work

• Smaller than some folks expected. Yes, the back is about 18″ and that works well for most people—but taller folks may want to upgrade to the extra-large version.

• Heavy. This pillow weighs nearly 9 lbs.

• More back support? While we thought the back support was good, some users think it could be better. For those folks, we have a pick later in this article with better support.

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Most Comfy Reading Pillow

Lightweight (6lbs.), easy to move
The velour cover is the star here—we loved its overall plushness. This pillow hits the right spot between support and softness. Caveat: cover is not machine washable, unfortunately.

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Most Comfy Reading Pillow: LINENSPA Shredded Foam Pillow

Comfort may be somewhat subjective, but when we surveyed our readers to find the best reading pillows, this one rose to the top in terms of comfort: LINENSPA’s Shredded Foam Pillow. And after trying it ourselves, we’d agree—it is very comfy! Yes, it’s bit more pricey . . . but worth the investment in our opinion. Here’s more:

What We Liked

 Velour cover = super soft.

• Good back support.

• Carry handle.

• 18″ back is good height for most average height folks.

• Bigger size available—and even a neck support option. 

What Needs Work

• Spot clean only. The cover is not machine washable, unfortunately. (If this is important, we’d suggest the Milliard pillow recommended above, as the cover is machine washable).

• Pricey.

• Too firm? Too soft? Yes, comfort is in the eye of the beholder—we see a few reports that some think it is too firm. And others too soft. We think the shredded memory foam provides that right balance . . . but not everyone agrees!

• Strong odor when you first remove it from the box. It’s also shipped in a condensed package—it takes 48 hours to expand to full size. If you can air it out in a ventilated space, that is also helpful!

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Best Kids Reading Pillow

Zippered cover is machine washable
The 14" back cushion is sized well for most kiddos—it sits up on its own (so can be used on the floor). Sturdy design. Loved the soft velour cover. Easy on the wallet.

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Best Kids Reading Pillow: Milliard Petit Reading Pillow for Young Adults and Children

This pillow from Milliard has the same pros and cons as the first pick in this article—it is just a smaller version for kids.

The 14″ back is perfectly sized for kiddos, in our evaluation. And the machine washable cover is another must when you look at reading pillows for kids . . . for the obvious reasons!

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Best Back Support Pillow

Cover is spot clean only
The firm support of this pillow is great for those who recovering from surgery—or just anyone with back issues! Loved the pockets, which provide bonus storage space.

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Best Back Support Pillow: ComfortSpa Reading Pillow

As any parent will tell you, raising kids takes a toll on you . . . especially your back!

Back support and comfiness of reading pillows are somewhat inversely related—that is, the best reading pillow for back support is somewhat firmer than others, in our opinion. And after considering several options that fit that bill, we think the ComfortSpa has the best back support (based on our reader feedback).

This pillow has somewhat stiffer foam than others that use memory foam, in our evaluation. That is a plus (better back support) and a minus (some folks think this pillow is too hard). Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Pockets! We love the bonus storage in the arms!

• Great back support.

• Excellent for folks recovering from surgery.

• Lightweight (6.5 lbs). 

• Carry handle—easy to move from room to room.

What Needs Work

• Cover is spot clean only. 

• Doesn’t stand on its own—you have to prop this up against a headboard or wall. Not a big deal (as that is how most folks use it), but just an FYI.

• Strong odor when first removed from the box. Air it out in a ventilated room for a day or so before using.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

Baby Bargains: Your Baby Registry Cheat Sheet is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and its related sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.