Sure, people read every once in a while, and the bed or the sofa may just be the perfect spot to get a light reading in.
However, if you consider yourself as a hardcore reader, it’s a different case. For an avid reader, a single reading session may go for hours on end, maybe even the whole night, and we have all been there, right?
And if you answered yes, then it is obvious that the bed and the sofa are not as comfortable as they may seem. And this is where you should consider yourself getting a reading pillow.
A reading pillow can come in different forms and shape, but what it mostly does is, it aids you in reading comfortably.
But do I really need a reading pillow?
It also helps you with keeping the right posture for reading and you would not find yourself tossing and turning to get the right position. In other words, you would be able to concentrate in reading more than in adjusting to the right position for reading.
Many might say, “Hey! We can manage fine with our sleeping pillows” and might even think that it is an unnecessary purchase. But the truth is, science backs this up as well.
A sleeping pillow aids in keeping our necks and the shoulders in the correct position while sleeping. But reading is a perfectly different business.
Of course, it is not surprise we use a sleeping pillow or the occasional sofa to prop ourselves up to read a gripping book, but it does more harm than good.
When you sit for long hour with a book in your hand without the proper support, the neck and the lower back undergoes a lot of stress. When stress is inflicted on the neck and the lower back, muscle strain will start occurring. This is not good news in the long term as it causes bad posture.
We have all heard our elders to sit up straight or to avoid slouching and we have all eye rolled whenever they said that. But the truth is, it goes beyond just reasons for good appearances. Bad posture causes an array of problems which could be tiresome or even turn out expensive for some unlucky people.
So, how bad is bad posture for us?
Some of the known health problems due to bad posture are:
Poor posture can misalign your spine and this in turn causes stress to the spine. In the long term, it can causes detrimental effects to the joints as misalignment can increase the stress on any particular area of the joints. The spine is literally the backbone of our bodies and when it gets affected, the way of life gets affected plagued by extreme pain and discomfort.
When a person sits in a position with poor posture, it prevents proper circulation. When you are sitting there with a number of pillows in an uncomfortable position, it is no wonder that you have had your arms go numb. This is a result of poor circulation, and if this happens with an increasing frequency, it can lead to a lot of issues like varicose veins.
It is no wonder that if you are reading in an uncomfortable position, you are no longer interested to read but rather, you find yourself dozing off or feeling less energetic. This is not unusual, as bad posture leads to fatigue. This will just not affect your reading, but it will affect your normal way of life as well. With poor posture, you are adding strain and stress to areas of your body which are not originally meant for bearing the pressure. These stresses with time builds up in the joints, bones and ligaments and start tearing through the muscles. This in turn leads to physical fatigues and you would find yourself with lesser energy day by day.
A psychology study was conducted in 2014 on 74 people. The findings were then published in Health Psychology. In this study, these people were asked to either sit slouched or to sit upright. After a while, they were asked to recite a speech. The people who were sat slouched gave off a vibe of decreased focus while the people who sat upright gave off a vibe of higher alertness and were reportedly feeling more positive and confident.
While reading with bad posture, the shoulders and the neck are most prone to stress and tension. In a way, we could say that the shoulders and the neck succumb to unaccounted pressure which affects the joint that connects the jawbone and the temporal bones of the skull. These joints behave as a sort of hinge for the jaw to open and close. But with poor posture in the neck and the shoulders, these joints could misalign causing the jaws to pop and lock, may even cause severe spasms and will even cause difficulty in chewing.
For proper breathing, the thoracic cavity in the diaphragm needs to have ample of space for the air to be circulated with each breath in and breath out. However, that is not possible when the spine is in poor posture, especially if you are reading with poor posture with your back bent and drooped shoulders. This causes the thoracic cavity to contract and does not provide enough room for air to circulate in and out properly. The breath quality decreases with improper circulation, which could be a result of poor circulation.
This is the most common problem of all and that is headaches. When you are reading with bad posture, the neck muscles will undergo tightening and the spine compromises the natural curve of the back. This is turn leads to headaches, because tight neck muscles would radiate pain right to the head.
Shoulder and neck pain
This is also a common occurrence for people who sit and sleep in a bad posture. Bad posture contributes to the misalignment of the spine and the neck muscles are subjected to extreme stress because of the tightening of the muscles. So, anyone sitting with a bad posture should not be surprised when the neck and shoulders are not feeling great. The stress would be bound to cause pain and discomfort in those areas.
What is the best posture for reading?
Now that we have learned some of the problems that arise because of bad posture, I think it is time to learn about what are the best postures for reading. Also, we cannot guarantee that almost all of these will not be requiring a reading pillow!
Remember in the above section where all the problems were a result of a curved spine and droopy shoulders? Yes! So, in order to reverse the problem, the answer is the right posture for reading is simple – A straight back! If you are sitting on a chair, keeping a straight back is not hard. But if you are sitting on a bed or a couch, it would be a certainty that your back would not be supported and you would find yourself in a posture that would cause your back to bent. In order to avoid that, a reading pillow can be propped up as they are designed to keep your back parallel to the wall or the chair.
So, maybe sitting up and reading does not seem like an attractive option, especially if you want to get under the covers during a cold night. Therefore, in order to avoid bad posture, you can level your spine by keeping your feet up.
Of course, you can use your sleeping pillows, but sleeping pillows are usually soft and it would not do a good job of keeping your feet leveled with the spine.
So, what do you do? Get your reading pillow, because they are soft but at the same time, they are designed to bear the weight of your feet and your back as well.
Keeping the book at eye level
Don’t slouch or bend your neck to read, but instead bring the book up to your eye level. In this way, you don’t strain your neck muscles and you keep your spine in a neutral position. When you tilt your head for long hours, your neck and shoulders will undergo strain. Besides that, it also hampers the air passages and oxygen does not flow properly. Getting a reading pillow with arm rests will provide support to your arms which will also enable you to keep the book or your e-reader at the eye level.
Adjusting your chair
A neutral spine position is the key to a good reading posture. And hence, it is important that you sit in a chair that has a 90° angle. If it is not, you could always adjust your chair to 90° or get a new chair that is meant for reading or simple get a reading pillow!
How do I choose the right reading pillow?
Well, I am hoping that you are already on-board with getting a reading pillow seeing as to how a reading pillow can prevent so many problems while helping you finish your favorite book as well.
The next natural thought for you would be, “Okay, now where do I start?” Before you proceed to buy a reading pillow, you should understand the different types of materials that are used to make one and the type of reading pillows.
Reading pillows are also made of different materials just like your sleeping pillows, so that people would have a choice. And in this section, we shall discuss the different types of reading pillow materials:
I personally love memory foam which is viscoelastic polyurethane, but it is easier calling it memory foam. Memory foam contours the body according to the density and the heat of the body, and when you lay on it, it engulfs your body by providing the support which is required. In a way, a reading pillow with memory foam cradles the neck, head and the shoulders by providing optimum support.
Shredded memory foam
A memory foam reading pillow consists of solid foam, while a shredded memory foam reading pillow would have pieces of memory foam. The shreds of memory foam will move independently when your body lays on it, while the independent pieces of memory foam targets specific areas of the body to provide support.
Shredded memory foam reading pillows are softer than memory foam reading pillows, more adjustable as you can fill it more pieces of memory foam or remove it and it also retains lesser heat.
Polyester fiber is also known as microfiber and it is one of the most common materials used for making reading pillow target as well as sleeping pillow. It provides support, but as compared to memory foam and shredded memory foam, it may not provide as much support that you would most probably be expecting. This is also the reason why polyester fiber bed reading pillow is generally cheaper than the rest.
The outer material of the reading pillow can be any one of the following materials
The outer material is also a crucial part of the reading pillow, and your comfort depends on it.
The faux suede is also a favorite among many people. It is a synthetic material, which is family-friendly and is designed to resemble animal suede. It is also a popular material because of its ability to repel stain, because we all like to sit down with a great book with a mug of hot cocoa right? Faux suede is also easy to clean and they last long as they are tightly woven.
This material gives your reading pillow a plush and luxurious look. But apart from looks, we can all agree that velvet is a soft material which we wouldn’t mind rubbing our faces on it the whole day! Velvet is a great material; however, it can be quite delicate depending on the type of velvet. Mohair velvet is known to be durable and also stain-resistant. So, when you go out looking for a reading pillow with velvet outer, make sure that you choose one that you can spend the rest of your life with it!
Velour somehow feels like velvet because of its softness and plush look. But it is easier to clean and is more durable as compared to velvet. It also stretches more and it is recommended for people who are planning to spend a lot of time with their reading pillows. Also it’s for those who have children and pets.
Corduroy is made of a cotton blend material with ridges on it. It is soft and it is also mega-durable. It is also easy to clean and also looks unique too. However, the ridges may pose as a problem for people with pets especially if they are known to scratch certain surfaces (Yes, I am talking about cats!).
Styles of reading pillows
There are two types of styles that a reading pillow will come in:
A traditional reading pillow will have a backrest which will kind of represent a chair and with arm rests. The traditional reading pillow is mainly for those people who want a full back support or the entire upper body.
A reading wedge pillow is designed in a sloping shape. This type of pillows can also be used for sleeping as well as reading. These reading wedge pillows can be propped up against a wall to provide support to the upper body as well.
Reading pillows can have additional features like handles which are used to position them from one place to another, some can even have cup holders too.
Some reading pillows arrive with removable covers, headrests and adjustable lofts.
Reading pillow can also come with a variety of attractive designs.
Embroidery designs on the outer looks amazing and they can provide a unique look.
Patterns and style provides a cozy look. Some reading pillows can have that reading pillow pattern free look as well.
Best 10 reading pillows
To help you get a start-up, here are 10 best and most popular reading pillows:
Linenspa shredded memory foam reading pillow:
This is a traditional reading pillow which is suitable for when you get down with reading a book. It has shredded memory foam inside and the outer cover is made of velour. It provides superior support to the upper body and it arrives in stone and navy colors.
Milliard shredded memory foam reading pillow:
This is also a shredded memory foam reading pillow, where you can pull out fillings or add more to adjust with your needs. It has an outer velour cover which can be removed which is easy to wash and replace. It is also a traditional type of reading pillow that provided optimum support for your back.
mittaGonG reading pillow:
mittaGonG reading pillow is a traditional reading pillow which also arrives with removable arms as well as removable cover. It has shredded memory foam where users will have the freedom to adjust the filling. It also comes with a top handle where you would be able to position it anywhere in the house.
ComfortSpa reading pillow:
This is a deluxe reading pillow with shredded memory foam. It is designed to provide full support to the back, while giving your maximum comfort. It has side pockets as well, where one would be able to store their phones, snacks or an extra book in case you finish with the current read.
Husband reading pillow:
The husband pillow has the plushest outer cover while the inner material has shredded memory foam. It comes in an array of colors from dark gray to bright pink. Spruce up your reading sessions with this ultimate bed reading pillow! The handle at the top makes it portable and easy to take it with you wherever you go.
VERCART reading wedge pillow:
The VERCART reading wedge pillow is available in king, queen and twin sizes. This pillow can be doubled as a reading pillow as well as a sleeping pillow. This reading wedge pillow is excellent for providing lumbar support, neck support, and leg support. It is great for people who love reading in bed. The outer layer is made of velvet and is extremely soft.
WOWMAX triangular reading pillow:
This is also a reading wedge pillow and also arrives in twin, full, king and queen sizes. This can also be used as a headboard and is perfect for reading in bed. The cover is removable and is made of velvet. It is highly durable and is easy to wash.
WOWMAX cotton-filled reading wedge pillow:
The reading wedge pillow from WOWMAX is made of polyester and is the perfect reading aid. It can be propped up against a wall.
Also it can be used to position your neck while lying down to read. There are side pockets as well for your snacks, phones or books. The cover is also removable which makes it easy to wash.
mittaGonG reading pillow with detachable neck roll:
This reading pillow is a traditional reading pillow, but it comes with a detachable neck roll which depends on the user to keep it detached or to attach it. The reading pillow provided superior neck rest and prevents people from reading in a bad posture. It has high-quality shredded foam and the cover is removable.
WOWMAX large bolster reading pillow:
What’s special about this reading pillow is that, it is handmade. So, if you have ever wondered on how to make a reading pillow, it is possible firstly. And there are lots of tutorials online on how to make one. Aside from that, it is also a beautiful looking traditional reading pillow with patterns and is 100% made from polyester. It can also serve as a headboard and the cover is removable for easy washing.
The facts have been laid out and we have understood how good posture is important. Reading pillows can serve as support while you are watching TV, playing games or sitting by the computer. The fact is, reading pillows are made for correcting posture and providing comfort in every activity you do.