Spending hours lost in a novel is elevated when you can curl up in the comfort of a cozy seat, but not all reading chairs are created equal.
The best reading chair for your living space is one that provides support, in addition to comfort. Reading-friendly features like an ottoman or an option to recline will make a reading chair even more appealing.
These top picks for some of the best reading chairs will allow every literary lover to discover the perfect place to read.
- BEST OVERALL: JUMMICO Fabric Recliner Chair
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Urban Shop Faux Fur Saucer Chair
- BEST LEATHER: Rivet Revolve Modern Leather Armchair
- BEST RECLINING: Homall Recliner Chair
- BEST WITH OTTOMAN: Christopher Knight Home Alfred Fabric Club Chair
- BEST FOR SMALL SPACES: GDFStudio Mason Mid-Century Modern Tuft Back Recliner
- BEST OUTDOOR: Best Choice Products Outdoor Hanging Curved Chaise
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Reading Chair
Unwinding with your favorite book—or magazine; we’re not here to judge—is a favorite way to relax. If you’re aiming to lounge with your literature, you’ll want to invest in the kind of reading chair you can sink into comfortably while still being supported enough to hold up a book or tablet. Yet, with so many options, how do you choose?
Before you start an online search for some of the best reading chairs on the market, you first want to determine your style preference.
The feel of a reading chair will determine how comfortable you believe it to be. While choosing a certain type of fabric is ultimately a personal preference, there are materials most people find to be cozier than others. Velvet, cotton, linen, and twill are all fabrics you’ll find on snuggle-worthy reading chairs. Leather is another excellent option, as it becomes softer with age and repeated use.
If your reading chair will come into frequent contact with children or pets, it might be wise to choose a fabric that will resist spills and stains. You can also pretreat your reading chair with an upholstery protectant to minimize stains.
With an overwhelming amount of available styles, there is likely to be a reading chair to fit nearly any aesthetic. However, if you don’t have a specific sort in mind, there are a few classic designs that tend to match nearly every home decor.
Club reading chairs are typically fabricated with a durable leather or another thick fabric. Plus, these lounge-type seats usually come with a footstool, so you can put your feet up and relax. Recliners are another popular option for readers, with modern styles offering features like a swivel base, cup holders, and even massage functions.
The round reading chair is another classic look. With softer lines and a range of designs, this type of reading chair allows you to curl up and get cozy. However, even though it often features a deep seating area, this style of reading chair often lacks armrests, which can leave you feeling a bit buried in the chair.
Comfort and Support
Comfort and support go beyond just having a pleasant place to read. A supportive reading chair is built with the proper ergonomics to ensure that it feels comfortable, even after a long period of sitting. Plus, an ergonomically-designed reading chair can help prevent your sitting position from leading to long-term issues, such as chronic neck and back pain.
Ergonomics vary from chair to chair, but for reading chairs, in particular, look for one with a tall back to provide a place to rest your head and reduce strain on your neck. Ideally, you’ll also want to be able to rest your arms comfortably, so the armrests shouldn’t be too high or too low.
Finally, you’ll want your seat cushion to fall in that perfect middle ground of plush, but not hollow. A down or down-blend cushion is most likely to fit that criterion.
As mentioned above, armrests play an important role in a reading chair’s overall ergonomics. While the style, shape, and width of armrests can vary, your comfort will largely depend on their height. The most well-designed armrests permit you to easily relax your arms without feeling any stress or strain on your shoulders or upper body.
Some reading chairs feature wooden or metal armrests. While these look sleek and modern, they may not be as comfortable as a reading chair with fabric armrests. Having a reading chair with spacious armrests can provide a spot to hold up your book, beverage, or even a bowl of snacks.
As you search for a comfortable reading chair, keep in mind that it’s good to have a soft but solid spot to place your feet. If kicking up your legs at the end of a long day is important to you, you’ll want to choose a reading chair with a footrest. Typically, a detached footrest comes in the form of an ottoman or footstool and often matches the style and color of the reading chair. Of course, you could also opt for a fully-reclining chair.
Even if the reading chair you purchase doesn’t include a footrest, consider buying one separately. Using a footrest when you sit for long periods of time can prevent feet swelling and discomfort.
It is also important to think about seat depth before investing in a reading chair. For those that are tall or prefer to sit with their legs curled up underneath them, chairs with deep seats are often a comfortable option. A deep seat is also ideal if you like to frequently switch seating positions while you read.
If you want to keep your feet placed firmly on the floor when diving into your next book, then choose a reading chair with a shallow seat. To sit comfortably with your legs bent, you’ll need a seat with a height of approximately 17 inches.
Of course, the space you have available in your residence or office will determine the size of the reading chair you can consider. Thankfully, with so many available options, finding a reading chair to fit any room, no matter how small, is relatively simple. If you have limited space, think about a small recliner, or a chair that folds up for easy storage. If your inside space is limited, consider an outdoor chair, especially if you live in a warmer climate.
No matter which reading chair you choose, it’s good to determine a spot for it in your living or working space before you make a purchase. Then, you won’t have the unpleasant surprise of finding the chair doesn’t fit in or match the style of the room.
Our Top Picks
Once you have a preferred type of reading chair in mind, as well as a sense of which factors would be most beneficial to your overall comfort and space, it’s time to start shopping. Keep reading for a selection of some of the best reading chairs available to you online.
Recliners make ideal reading chairs because they provide customized head and neck support, as well as a place to comfortably rest your feet. However, the JUMMICO Fabric Recliner Chair goes even beyond those features with eight massage modes aimed at relieving waist fatigue and promoting more relaxation.
Even if you choose to just recline without the massage function, the chair’s breathable fabric; thick, backrest padding; broad, curved armrests; and adjustable footrest make it a desirable option. This inexpensive, modern-style recliner is available in five colors, including grey, beige, brown, light blue, and red. And you can adjust the recline feature from 90 degrees to 165 degrees.
You don’t have to put a major dent in your wallet to experience the comfort of a good reading chair, thanks to the Urban Shop Faux Fur Saucer Chair. With its circular shape and 100 percent micro mink fabrication, this plush chair—offered in 13 different colors—is a solid option for curling up with your favorite novel.
Not only is this chair a strong choice in terms of comfort and affordability, but it’s also perfect for small spaces. The durable metal frame folds, making for easy storage and portability. The downside is this chair’s lack of armrests and a footrest, which could be uncomfortable for some readers. It has a weight capacity of 221 pounds.
When looking for a classic yet still cozy style, look no further than the Rivet Revolve Modern Leather Armchair. With simple lines, tall tapered legs, and sturdy, square armrests, this modern armchair fits in with most home decor styles. You can assemble it in under 15 minutes, and because it’s constructed with soft leather and beech wood, this durable chair should last for years of late-night reading.
The height of the seat is neither too low nor too high, and is also quite deep. The soft cushion and relaxed lean make it an excellent reading chair if you’re tall or prefer to sit with your legs folded or curled up underneath you. Available in eight colors, the leather renders this chair more expensive, so expect to pay for the feeling of luxury.
Be warned, if you have a good book and the Homall Recliner Chair, you might never want to stop reading. With multiple massage modes; a double-thick backrest and footrest; and wide, curved armrests, this modern recliner will easily become the most sought-after seat in the house.
Its high-quality PU leather is skin-friendly and easy to clean, while the high-density thick sponge padding makes it durable and long-lasting. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that this incredibly affordable recliner, which is available in seven different colors, won’t break the bank. However, if you like to read with your feet placed on the ground, it might not be the most comfortable reading chair for you.
Thanks to its high backrest, curved armrests, and accompanying ottoman, the Christopher Knight Home Alfred Fabric Club Chair is one of the most comfortable and stylish reading chairs on the market. Constructed with soft fabric and a tufted back, this chair complements almost any home decor, especially since it is available in seven classic colors. Plus, the seat height is 17.5 inches, which is ideal if for a reader who likes to keep their feet on the ground.
This reading chair doesn’t have the deepest seat, so it might not be a good option if you want to curl up with the latest mystery thriller. It’s also one of the more expensive chairs on this list, which may be a consideration for those with a budget in mind.
Laying back and putting your feet up isn’t only for people with large living rooms. With dimensions of only 27.5 inches long and 38 inches tall, the slim profile of the Mason Mid-Century Modern Tuft Back Recliner lets you experience the comfort of a supportive reading chair no matter how small your available space.
Crafted in a mid-century modern design with 100 percent polyester, this chair features an extra-padded cushion and a slightly tufted back to provide readers with the ultimate coziness. The recliner is not only affordable when compared to similar models, but is available in 16 different colors to match nearly home decor. The only downside to this chair is that its unique, slim-design might not fit in with every aesthetic.
If you enjoy reading outdoors, then the Best Choice Products Outdoor Hanging Curved Chaise is for you. With a curved-steel chaise hanging beneath a removable, 46-inch canopy, this outdoor chair provides the unique experience of weightless lounging. Plus, the canopy is UV-resistant to supply the perfect amount of shade to see your book clearly.
The affordable chair, which is available in a range of five colors, features 2-inch foam-filled cushions and a removable headrest for extra support. However, be aware that at 73 inches long and 46 inches wide, it’s quite large and requires a lot of space. Its weight capacity is 265 pounds.
FAQs About Reading Chairs
Now that you’ve explored the options for some of the best reading chairs, it’s time to answer any remaining questions. Below, check out answers to a few questions you may have about reading chairs to ensure you choose the right one for getting lost in a good book.
Q. What is a reading chair?
A reading chair is a stand-alone armchair in which you can comfortably sit for hours while you read.
Q. What makes a good reading chair?
A good reading chair typically features sturdy construction, soft material, a high back, wide armrests, and—depending on your preference—a place to rest your feet.
Q. How do I choose a reading chair?
Choose a reading chair based on your style preference and the most comfortable position in which you prefer to read.