How to Read in Bed Comfortably – Best Reading Positions and Accessories

Reading in bed could be the last thing you do after a stressful day. It is a quick way to get over a bad day, relieve stress, relax, and learn. The best part about reading is that you can enjoy your favorite book while in bed.

Reading a book in bed is relaxing and fun. It requires less effort and you get to close the day with a book. However, reading in bed may not be all fun and exciting for book-lovers with poor reading posture. You may experience recurrent neck pain or discomfort in your shoulders or back as a result of the long hours spent reading in bed.

How to Make Reading in Bed More Comfortable

If you enjoy reading in bed, you might have experienced some of the unpleasant side-effects attached to it. The sharp pain in your neck, shoulder or back can dissuade you from engaging in this favorite bedtime activity.

If you are wondering how to make reading in bed more comfortable, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled some great tips below to help you get rid of the pain and discomfort and make reading in bed worth looking forward to.

1. Use a Reading Pillow

A reading pillow is a must-have for bookworms. It is specially designed for reading and provides the needed support for your neck and spine when reading or watching TV in bed. It also makes sitting up in bed while reading much more comfortable.

Also known as a pillow chair with arms, a reading pillow makes reading for long hours relaxing and soothing. It enhances blood circulation and reduces headaches resulting from long reading hours. If you intend to spend a lot of time reading before you sleep, you should consider buying a reading pillow.

These ergonomic pillows come in different sizes and shapes. Therefore, you should be able to buy one that suits your preferences.

Want to buy yourself a reading pillow? Check out our best backrest reading pillows to create your cozy reading space in bed.

2. Use a Book Seat

Holding a book for longer periods can be tiring and sometimes, you just want to flip through the pages without holding the book. A book seat is designed to make reading less stressful. With a book seat, your book stays open and all you need to do is flip through the pages.

Book seats make reading in bed fun as you can take snacks or drinks while reading. It is recommended for long hours of reading and also helps you maintain correct posture while reading.

Book seats also keep your book in good condition as it minimizes handling. You may be able to sell your books at a good price or give them to someone after reading them if you use a book seat often.

3. LED Book Light

girl reading with book light

Reading is more enjoyable when you read with the perfect light. Poor lighting affects the eyes and causes headaches.

Sadly, most book nerds do not know the appropriate light for reading and this can make reading in bed uncomfortable. You need to ensure that the light is neither too dim nor too bright.

LED book lights are the perfect light for reading. They are neither too bright nor dim. They are portable and flexible. You can adjust the light to your preference and take it closer or farther from your book.

These lights are also helpful if you sleep with a partner because an otherwise bright room will hinder their sleep. Most book lights are also rechargeable which makes them ideal for traveling or camping.

4. Prism Glasses

Prism glasses are great for reading while lying on your back. These cool advanced glasses make reading in this position more comfortable as it adjusts your view to about 90 degrees. You can view texts vertically when lying in a horizontal position without tilting your head.

Prism glasses can be worn over prescription glasses so you don’t have to bother about ditching your prescription. You can also enjoy the fine prints in your book as prism glasses do not magnify text.

Prism glasses come in different shapes and styles. Thus, you can get one that reflects your personal style while making reading in bed all the more comfortable.

5. Tablet Stand

If you enjoy reading on your tablet, you should invest in a tablet stand. Tablet stands keep your device safe and make reading easier and fun as they can be kept on the bed or a bedside table. You can position your device to minimize eye strain and reduce neck pain.

Reading in bed is more comfortable when you have a rotating tablet stand with a mount which allows you to set your tablet at your desired angle and height. You do not have to tilt your head a lot when reading with tablet stands. All you need to do is swipe through the pages. You should add this to your shopping list if you want to read comfortably in bed.

How Does Reading Before Bed Affect your Sleep?

Reading before bed affects your sleep in so many ways. A study shows that people who read before bed make up to $3,705 more annually than people who do not and also make healthier choices.

Research also shows that reading before bed helps people combat insomnia and depression. It is a good way to ease yourself into a good night’s sleep as reading takes your mind off many things. You can easily snooze after reading a great book without worrying about anything.

Reading before bed is also a great stress reliever. According to a research conducted by the University of Sussex, reading before sleep reduces stress better than listening to music or sipping a cup of coffee. Also, people who read before bed are more relaxed and focused.

It is advisable to read a book you love before bed for quality sleep. It puts you in a great mood and prepares you for a good night’s rest. If you have never tried reading before bed, try reading your favorite book or genre before you sleep.

Comfortable Reading Positions for Reading in Bed

Apart from using the right reading-in-bed accessories, you also need to adopt a good posture.

Most reading enthusiasts tend to neglect their reading position when they get engrossed with their books. You may develop poor posture if you do not read in the right position. You may also find reading stressful and less fun.

Finding the right reading position can make all the difference. You get to read more comfortably and you can read for long hours. You also do not have to suffer back and neck pains as the right reading positions minimize strain on your neck and back.

Also, a good reading position ensures proper blood circulation which helps your brain assimilate what you are reading. Here are some of the recommended reading positions:

Sitting Upright in Bed

reading sitting upright in bed

Sitting upright in bed is considered to be the most comfortable reading position. It’s easy to read and get immersed in your favorite book while sitting upright in bed.

To sit upright when reading, place your back straight against the headboard. You can also use a reading pillow with arms to support your back. This prevents neck and back pain and helps you read comfortably for long hours.  Also, your book should be held about 30 centimeters away from you or placed on a book seat that is about 30 centimeters away from you.

Tilt your head down a bit to prevent neck pain. However, do not tilt your head too much as this can cause headaches, eye strain, and neck pain. You can keep your legs stretched out or crouched.


girl reading book in bed lying on back

The supine position is great for reading in bed as it helps you relax and prevents your neck and back from getting strained.

However, the main challenge here is placing your book appropriately to avoid eye strain.

If you are reading from a tablet, you can get an adjustable tablet stand that can be mounted on the headboard. You can always adjust the height and position of the book or tablet to make reading more comfortable.

If you are reading a paper copy while sleeping on your back, you can get a pair of prism glasses in order to comfortably read in this position without putting a strain on your eyes.

This position is mostly recommended for bed-ridden patients and elderly people.


Reading while lying on your side is another commonly used position to read in bed. It allows for flexibility as you can keep your legs stretched out or folded at the knees. Reading in this position is great as it ensures proper blood circulation. It’s also easier to hold a book while staying in this position with or without an adjustable book seat or tablet stand.

However, your hands may get sore if you stay in this position for a long time. Thus, it is not recommended for long hours of reading. Your book should also be placed at least 20 centimeters away to prevent eye strain.

If you must read while lying on your side, place your head on a firm pillow to keep your shoulders and head slightly elevated. It is also advisable to lie on your right side and hold the book with your right hand.

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