Spending hours lost in a novel is even better 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. Features like an ottoman or reclining make these chairs even more appealing.
Learn about the most popular styles of reading chairs, how to select the right one for your space, and explore top picks for book lovers from plush leather recliners to elegant accent chairs.
- BEST FABRIC: Article Mod Lounge Chair
- BEST LEATHER: Pottery Barn Manhattan Leather Armchair
- BEST VELVET: AllModern Jasper 30.7” Wide Velvet Armchair
- BEST BUDGET: JUMMICO Fabric Recliner Chair
- BEST LUXURY: Herman Miller Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman
- BEST RECLINER: La-Z-Boy Jasper Wall Recliner
- BEST SWIVEL: West Elm Cozy Swivel Chair
- BEST CHAISE LOUNGE: House of Hampton Deese Chaise Lounge
- BEST OVERSIZED: Laurel Foundry Marta 61” Wide Barrel Chair
- BEST FOR SMALL SPACES: West Elm Book Nook Armchair
- BEST OUTDOOR: Best Choice Products Outdoor Hanging Lounge Chair
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, invest in the kind of reading chair you can sink into comfortably while still supportive enough to hold up a book or tablet. Keep these key factors in mind as you shop:
Before you start an online search for some of the best reading chairs on the market, you first want to determine your style preference.
There are two general types of upholstery for lounge chairs, arm chairs, and the like: leather and fabric, with fabric having several subtypes. The upholstery material you choose will impact the chair’s durability and comfort.
- Genuine leather is extremely durable and can stand up to years of wear and tear. It’s the highest quality upholstery available, meaning it’s the most expensive. Although it’s a strong material overall, leather is vulnerable to scratches and water damage.
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) mimics the appearance of real leather at a lower cost. This synthetic material is more scratch-resistant and stands up better to water in comparison.
- Polyurethane is another popular and budget-friendly fabric option. It’s waterproof, stain-resistant, and has enhanced torsion strength, meaning it can withstand cuts and punctures.
- Velvet has a soft feel and luxurious sheen, coming in natural and cheaper synthetic varieties. This fabric is virtually snag-proof and immune to pet scratches, but tends to attract dust and pet hair.
- Polyester is a water-resistant fabric favored for sofas and chairs because it resists stains and spills. Polyester velvet is particularly popular, offering the high-end look of true velvet at a lower cost.
- Microfiber is affordable, relatively stain-resistant, and holds its color well. On the downside, it attracts dust and pet hair, and may generate static cling.
If you have children or pets, polyurethane, polyester, and microfiber are good fabrics since they’re durable and clean easily with mild soap and water. Velvet can be cleaned using the same method. Genuine leather chairs require a specialized leather cleaner, but are otherwise simple to maintain.
The material of the chair frame will determine how much weight it can bear and how sturdy it is. Metal is the strongest and longest-lasting option. However, if you don’t restuff the chair cushions periodically, a metal frame can create uncomfortable pressure points over time.
Hardwood is another good option due to its durability and give, though solid wood frame chairs can be expensive. Alternatively, manufactured wood is an affordable frame material, but it’s the weakest and generally has the lowest weight capacity.
Style and Space
If you don’t have a specific sort in mind, there are a number of classic reading chair designs to consider for your space.
- Club armchairs are typically fabricated with leather or another thick upholstery. These lounge-type seats usually come with a footstool or ottoman, so you can put your feet up and relax.
- Lounge chairs are designed with or without armrests. Round reading chairs are a favorite in this style, allowing you to curl up and get cozy, thanks to the softer lines.
- Recliners are another go-to for readers, with modern styles offering features like a swivel base, cup holders, and massage functions.
- Chaise lounges offer a lovely space to lounge and put your feet up because of their elongated shape—plus they look more elegant than recliners.
- Hammock chairs have a fun look and provide a feeling of weightlessness in their enveloping fabric seat.
- Floor chairs are designed for portability, with many options that fold up and can be stowed away when not in use. These legless reading chairs are among the most cost-effective.
The available space in your residence or office will also determine the type of the reading chair that best suits the spot. If you have limited space, consider a compact armchair or lounge chair. On the other hand, you can take advantage of a larger space with a chaise lounge or an oversized recliner. Regardless of type, it’s good to measure the living or working space available before you make a purchase.
Comfort and Support
Comfort and support go beyond just having a pleasant place to read. An ergonomically designed reading chair is built to ensure that it feels comfortable, even after a long period of sitting. Chairs with a tall back provide a place to rest your head and reduce strain on your neck. Ideally, the seat cushion will fall in that perfect middle ground between plush and firm for adequate support.
Having a reading chair with spacious armrests can provide a spot to hold up your book, beverage, or even a bowl of snacks. And, if kicking up your legs at the end of a long day is important to you, choose a reading chair with a footrest or ottoman. These accessories can prevent foot swelling and discomfort when you sit for long periods of time. Otherwise, you can purchase this foot support separately or opt for a fully-reclining chair.
Additionally, think about seat depth before investing in a reading chair. For tall users or those who prefer to sit with their legs curled up, chairs with deep seats are a good choice. A deep seat is also ideal if you like to frequently switch seating positions while reading. These reading chairs typically have a seat depth of 20 inches or more.
Our Top Picks
A comfortable reading chair is the perfect backdrop for your next page-turner, providing a supportive and snug spot to crack open a new book. Cozy up for your next read with the best reading chairs ahead.
Unwind from a long day and unfurl your next book or magazine in the Article Mod Lounge Chair. Not only is this seat a comfortable choice, it’s also a stylish pick for your living room or bedroom. The deep seat and curved arms create an enveloping effect, wrapping you up while providing great support with a strong, straight back.
Polyester upholstery makes this chair a low-maintenance option. The heathered fabric adds some visual dimension and this chair comes in four colors: a medium gray (Jay Gray), heathered dark blue (Blue Berry), warm orange (Orange Spice), and deep minty green (Spearmint Aqua). The chair sits on solid wood legs, splayed out at a slight angle to complete it’s mid-century modern aesthetic.
- Upholstery: Polyester
- Frame: Unknown
- Colorways: Jay Gray, Blue Berry, Orange Spice, Spearmint Aqua
- Dimensions: 35 by 34 by 41.5 inches
- Stylish mid-century modern design
- Deep, cozy seat
- Solid wood legs
Get the Article lounge chair at Article.
There are few seating options more classic than an elegant leather chair. The Pottery Barn Manhattan Leather Armchair is a handsome choice to add to any living space. This large chair has a stately appearance inspired by the iconic 1930’s club chair design, which features a high back, large arms, and a deep seat. A nailhead accent and stout wooden legs add to this chair’s tasteful look.
This armchair is available as a standalone chair or as a set with a matching ottoman. Shoppers can choose from 24 color options, ranging from white leather to camel tones to midnight black. SInce it’s made of real leather, this chair is a bit of a splurge, but is well worth it for those looking for a high-quality reading seat.
- Upholstery: Leather
- Frame: Birch wood and engineered wood
- Colorways: Customizable
- Dimensions: 36.5 by 42.5 by 35.5 inches
- 1930’s-inspired classic club chair design
- Large range of finish options
- Roomy and deep seat
Get the Pottery Barn Manhattan armchair at Pottery Barn.
A velvet chair can add a glamorous accent to any room. This seat from AllModern is a contemporary take on a classic velvet armchair. It features a roomy seat with soft, velvet-lined cushions, which make this a cozy chair for reading, while gold or black metal legs add a bit of style.
Besides the refined look, this chair is beautifully made. The frame is crafted from solid pine wood and the inner cushions are made from three layers of medium-density foam for the perfect amount of give. The soft velvet cushion covers are removable, which makes for easier cleaning, so you can keep the chair looking as beautiful as it feels for years to come.
- Upholstery: Velvet
- Frame: Solid pine wood
- Colorways: Dark gray, light gray, rust
- Dimensions: 30.7 by 35 by 33.46 inches
- Chic design
- Solid wood frame
- Comfortable medium-density cushions
- Removable cushion covers for easier cleaning
- Some colors have visible chair leg floor protectors
Get the AllModern armchair at Wayfair.
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.
- Upholstery: Fabric
- Frame: Steel
- Colorways: Beige, brown, gray, light blue, red
- Dimensions: 19.8 by 28.8 by 38.6 inches
- Sturdy steel frame
- Comfortable reclining design
- 90- to 165-degree reclining angle
- Relatively narrow seat and armrests
Get the JUMMICO recliner chair on Amazon.
Make a design statement with an Eames Lounge Chair. This world-famous chair is an excellent choice for those who want to add luxurious seating to a living room, bedroom, or home library. Not only does the Eames chair boast one of the most iconic designs of the 20th century, it’s also extremely comfortable for reading or relaxing.
This chair and ottoman set features a molded plywood design and a comfortable, slightly reclined seat, made to cradle the body into relaxation. Shoppers can choose a standard or tall size and pick from a range of shell and upholstery options to customize their chair’s look.
- Upholstery: Customizable
- Frame: Wood and aluminum
- Colorways: Customizable
- Dimensions: 33.5 by 35 by 31.5 inches (standard chair), 20.75 by 21.5 by 17.13 inches (ottoman)
- Iconic design
- Customizable finish and upholstery
- Supportive, reclined position
Get the Herman Miller chair and ottoman at Herman Miller.
The right recliner can quickly become the comfiest seat in the house, and since you can kick up your feet, it’s the perfect reading chair. The La-Z-Boy Jasper Wall Recliner is a generous choice. With a wide seat and a high back, this large recliner is built for tall and large users—but readers of any height will likely find it comfortable. Flared pillow arms and a pillow back cushion give this plush seat relaxing support.
To extend the recliner, simply pull on the convenient side handle. The back can recline without raising the leg rest for more seating flexibility. Since this recliner is a wall-hugger model, it can be placed mere inches from the wall, while still offering a full recline.
- Upholstery: Customizable
- Frame: Unknown
- Colorways: Customizable
- Dimensions: 40 by 38.5 by 42 inches
- Several customizable options
- Ideal for large and tall users
- Back can recline separately from leg rest
- Lacks comfort features seen in some recliners of a similar price, like cup holders and massage functions
Get the La-Z-Boy recliner at La-Z-Boy or at Wayfair.
With a low-slung design and a range of soft fabric upholstery choices, this swivel chair from West Elm arrives ready for lounging. This chair features a wide seat and an inviting rounded shape, ideal for curling up with a new book.
The smaller size is ideal for placing next to a bookshelf or to create a reading corner in the living or bedroom. Since the chair swivels a full 360-degrees, a pair of these chairs is also a great choice to furnish a conversation nook. The medium-firm cushion is removable and flippable for easy refluffing (which might be necessary if you spend several hours lost in a good book), and since this chair is designed to meet the demands of commercial use, it’s a durable option to have at home.
- Upholstery: Customizable fabric
- Frame: Engineered wood
- Colorways: Customizable
- Dimensions: 38.6 by 35.4 by 28.7 inches
- Stylish low-slung design
- Several upholstery options
- 360-degree swivel base
- Some upholstery options are made-to-order and may weeks to months to ship
Get the West Elm swivel chair at West Elm.
The extended design of a chaise lounge provides the perfect place to kick your feet up and lay back with a good book. The Deese Chaise from House of Hampton features a sumptuous look, with button-tufted details and grey microsuede upholstery.
A metal frame makes this chaise lounge a sturdy choice (and it will support up to 250 pounds of weight), while the addition of tapered wooden legs add an understated charm. An included bolster accent pillow makes this chair even more inviting. The simple but elegant aesthetic makes this chaise a design chameleon; it will fit right in with traditional, rustic, or contemporary room styles.
- Upholstery: Microsuede
- Frame: Metal
- Colorways: Grey
- Dimensions: 27.5 by 64 by 36 inches
- Button-tufted details add charm
- Durable metal frame
- Includes a bolster pillow
Get the House of Hampton chaise lounge at Wayfair.
If you like cozying up and reading with a loved one—or just sprawling out by yourself—an oversized chair is a smart pick. Measuring 61 inches across, this extra-large barrel chair from Laurel Foundry has plenty of space for reading and relaxing.
A solid wood and plywood frame make this oversized chair a sturdy choice. To accommodate one, two, or even three people, it has a 400-pound weight capacity. Foam and synthetic fiberfill provide support so the seat doesn’t sag and a polyester-blend fabric (and included throw pillow) offers a low-maintenance finish. With an inviting and approachable feel and look, this oversized couch is made to be enjoyed.
- Upholstery: Polyester blend fabric
- Frame: Solid wood and plywood
- Colorways: Creme, gray, silver, brown, coffee, black, blue, red
- Dimensions: 61 by 61 by 37 inches
- Extra-wide seat
- 400-pound weight capacity
- Throw pillow included
- Large footprint
- Round shape can make it awkward to pair with a coffee or side table
Get the Laurel Foundry barrel chair at Wayfair.
If you live in a small space, you don’t need to miss out on creating a cozy reading nook. The West Elm Book Nook Armchair is a good choice for tight corners, compact apartments, or cramped bedrooms.
This chair features a timeless design with low, curved armrests, a pitched seat, and a thick cushion. Mid-century style solid wood legs add a modern touch to its classic look. Although this chair has a smaller seat (and also a smaller footprint) it isn’t lacking in comfort. Measuring 26.5 by 31.5 by 32.3 inches, this chair is more compact than most recliners and armchairs, and in case you need to move, it’s easy to disassemble, transport, and reassemble.
- Upholstery: Fabric
- Frame: Solid and engineered wood
- Colorways: Beige, blue
- Dimensions: 26.5 by 31.5 by 32.3 inches
- Small footprint
- Thick, comfortable cushion
- Attractive mid-century modern design
Get the West Elm Nook armchair at West Elm.
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.
- Upholstery: Polyester
- Frame: Steel
- Colorways: Gray, green, blue, orange, red, teal
- Dimensions: 46 by 73 by 78 inches
- Suspended seat gives a feeling of weightlessness
- Removable UV-resistant canopy
- Suitable for outdoors
Get the Best Choice lounge chair on Amazon or at Target.
With a stylish mid-century modern design and enveloping seat, the Article Mod Lounge Chair strikes an excellent balance between style and comfort. It’s on the pricier side, so for those looking for a more budget-friendly pick, consider the JUMMICO Fabric Recliner Chair, an affordable and comfy reading chair with a useful massage feature.
How We Chose the Best Reading Chairs
A good book can draw you into a new world for hours—but reading in the wrong chair can leave you feeling uncomfortable and sore when you come back to reality. The right chair can make reading a cozier experience.
When choosing the best reading chair, comfort was our top priority. Each chair we chose had several comfort features, including a supportive design, ample cushioning, comfortable armrests, and extra features like reclining back and footrest or massage functions. We also looked at consumer reviews, selecting chairs that show real-life evidence of comfort.
When it comes to furnishing a home, style is as important as comfort for many shoppers. We kept aesthetics in mind when choosing our top picks, selecting chairs that have an attractive design and come in a range of upholstery options, so you can choose a seat that suits your style. Lastly, we chose reading chairs from a range of price points, from budget-friendly to luxury, so you can find a suitable choice for your home.
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: Do you need a reading chair?
While a reading chair isn’t a necessity, it is a nice furniture piece to invest in. The best reading chairs on this list were chosen for striking a good balance between coziness and support, so you can stay comfortable while settling down with a good book.
Q: What style of chair is best for reading?
Several chair styles are suitable for reading, but the most popular styles include club chairs, lounge chairs, and recliners; these chairs are usually designed for comfort, making them a good choice for your reading nook.
Q: What makes a good reading chair?
A good reading chair typically features a sturdy metal or wood frame, plush yet supportive cushions, a high back, wide armrests, and—depending on your preference—a place to rest your feet.