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The Best Reading Chairs

Last updated on November 11, 2023

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

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Our Picks For The Top Reading Chairs

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

HollyHOME Easy-Assembly Thickly Cushioned Lazy Reading Chair

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

HollyHOME

Easy-Assembly Thickly Cushioned Lazy Reading Chair

Choose from a variety of colors with this reading chair, which is both cozy and supportive. The design of the chair makes it feel like you’re being hugged while you’re enjoying a good book. The plastic footstool cover holds the chair in place to give you the stability you need.

Overall Take

Great for Small SpacesMeasuring only 28"D x 28"W x 36"H, this chair squeezes into small spaces while still providing plenty of comfort.

 Luxury Pick

POLY & BARK High Density Foam Living Room Chair Furniture

POLY & BARK

High Density Foam Living Room Chair Furniture

The Italian tanned leather upholstery on this living room furniture piece is simply stunning and sure to draw the attention of any guest. The wide seating and feather down topper make the chair comfortable. You'll find the best thing about this chair is that it takes just 5 minutes to assemble.

Overall Take

Complimentary BolstersThis living room furniture piece also works well in a home office setting.

 Runner Up

Christopher Knight Home Evelyn 305538 Upholstered Retro Reading Chair

Christopher Knight Home

Evelyn Upholstered Retro Reading Chair

Use this accent chair alone or with an ottoman to set up the perfect space for reading and relaxing. The legs are finished walnut to provide a sturdy, durable option. The back is waffle tufted, so you’ll have plenty of cushioning while you’re seated there.

Overall Take

Extra RoomyWith a seat width of 21.50” D x 21.50” W x 17.75” H, this chair has enough room for you to sit cross-legged while you read.

 We Also Like

Lexicon Elle Curved Arms Contemporary Reading Chair

Lexicon

Elle Curved Arms Contemporary Reading Chair

Measuring 28.5” W x 32” D x 31.5” H, this chair is roomy enough for an adult and a child to share. The wood frame has a walnut finish that looks great with the blue polyester upholstered cushion. The seating is foam padding over pocket coils for extra comfort.

Overall Take

Supportive BuildWith a walnut-finished wood frame, this reading chair is both a sturdy and comfortable option.

Buying Guide

Despite the many distractions now available, reading is still a popular pastime. In fact, 75 percent of U.S. adults say they’ve read a book in the past year, and the number of adults reading e-books is on the rise, as well.

Whether you read paperbacks, hardbacks or e-books, though, comfort is key. Some read in bed before turning in for the night. It’s a great way to relax and wind down, putting some space between the stresses of the day and much-needed sleep. Some curl up on the couch or on a swing on the front porch or back patio.

But a comfy reading chair can give you a designated spot in the house specifically for reading time. You can even insist nobody else use it but you. A true reading chair keeps you comfortable while you lose yourself in a great story.

The size of your reading chair is important, though. You’ll need to make sure you have enough room for it, so pay close attention to the dimensions before you buy. You can find reading chairs in a variety of heights and widths, and even some that are slimmer in width without sacrificing seating space. If you’re operating with limited square footage, this could be an option for you.

With a reading chair, you may want seating that seems to embrace you. Extra cushioning in the seat area with support for your back and plenty of padding on the armrests can make a big difference. But consider how you’ll want to position yourself while you read. If you like to recline, you’ll either need a reclining reading chair or a seat with an ottoman that puts you in the position you want.

Sturdiness is also important. You’ll want a strong frame with legs that don’t scratch your floors. If you are prone to spills, look for material that’s stain resistant as well as being easy to clean. This will give you the long-lasting piece of furniture you need for your home.

What to Look For

  • Color is going to be a top decision when you’re looking at chairs. Some come with upholstery available in multiple colors that let you choose your look. This will help you blend with the rest of your décor.
  • If you won’t be using a rug, look at the legs of your chair. You’ll want a chair that won’t scoot around on the floor beneath it, as well as one that doesn’t damage your floor. You can buy pads that will reduce sliding and protect your floors.
  • Think about how you like to sit before you start shopping. Some seats are wide enough for you to sit cross-legged or snuggle with your child or pet. Others are narrower to give you that cradled feeling you crave.
  • The frame material is important. Wood is always a durable option, but solid wood can be expensive. Make sure the frame is strong enough to support you over the years you’ll be using it.
  • Look at the build of the seat cushion. This will be the area that gets uncomfortable first. Foam padding will help give you that extra support you need.
  • If you opt for a recliner, look at how it opens and closes. Some have electronic mechanisms, while others operate using a hand lever on the side. Some recliners even open and close merely by moving your body to maneuver it, removing the need for a mechanism altogether.
  • If you opt for a recliner, look at the options for reclining positions. Make sure the position you prefer while reading is covered.
  • Any chair’s upholstery plays an important role in its functionality. You’ll want a recliner with material that’s easy to clean. Either you should be able to wipe it clean or remove the cover to wash it. If it features padding, you can clean your upholstery using special equipment and materials.

More to Explore

The job of a librarian might not seem too stressful. In fact, to some, it could sound like a dream job. Spending your day surrounded by books, in a place where silence is prized? What could be better?

But in the 1800s, library work was actually considered by some to be too stressful for delicate women. In 1886, Dewey Decimal System founder Melvin Dewey even warned that female librarians would be unable to handle the profession because of poor health.

This prediction turned out to be at least a little true. Some librarians experienced mental breakdowns of sorts, and even took time off to recover. The problem was noticeable enough that in 1900, the Brooklyn Public Library proposed a seaside rest home for librarians who had suffered breakdowns. It was, overall, a small number of librarians, but it was enough to reinforce stereotypes about women being less able to handle job stresses than their male counterparts.

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