Best Reading Chairs

You’ve got the time, the peace and quiet, and a great new book—now all you need is the perfect reading chair. Unlike a great desk chair, the best chair for reading has to be comfortable enough to support your reading binges, which could last hours if the book is really good.

So what are some of the requirements of a comfortable reading chair?

Wider Width

While a chair with unique features (more on this later) can enhance the gaming experience, ultimately, comfort is often the deciding factor for gamers in search of a quality chair.

While the perfect desk chair should be all about supporting good posture, the perfect chair for reading should be all about extra width. You are bound to shift your weight and shift positions while you are thumbing through your latest page-turner, so the width of your reading chair should be larger than the width of a desk chair or dining chair to provide for optimum comfort.

With a 35” depth, the DHP Metro Chair is a great example of a chair that is both stylish and perfect for reading a book. Even a 33” depth, like you’d find with the Beliani Chesterfield Leather Armchair, would work well for curling up with a good book, as it’s still a bit wider than the average width of a chair, which is anywhere from 20 to 25 inches wide.

Put Your Feet Up

When you settle in with a good book, the last thing you want to worry about is the pins-and-needles feeling that happens when your leg falls asleep. The elevation that you get from putting your feet up on an ottoman can actually help increase the blood flow to your legs and provide for proper circulation. The CorLiving LYT-503-C Yalaha Leatherette Reclining Lounge Chair with Ottoman encourages healthy circulation to your legs and feet and while also offering a modern take on a classic design pair.

If you are looking for something a bit more substantial than a reading chair and ottoman duo, you might want to consider a recliner. Niels Diffrient, an industrial designer with over 30 years experience in what makes chairs both practical and comfortable, recommends a reclined position for long-term reading, because “in that position, weight is not being transferred down the body to the tailbone." The Parker Semi-Upholstered Glider is a great reading chair that takes pressure off of your back and allows you to focus more fully on what you are reading.

Up In Arms

Reading chairs with arms gives you the ability to take the stress off of your neck and shoulders that comes from holding a book or e-reader for hours. When you take ergonomics into account, the health benefits of choosing a reading chair with arms is a no-brainer. A comfortable reclining arm chair, like the Flash Furniture Contemporary Tonto Bonded Leather Rocker Recliner, will prevent you from developing potentially chronic pain in your neck, shoulders and back. Although even if you are planning on diving into a new novel for hours on end, experts still agree that taking a break every 45 minutes or so can aid in keeping your body feeling limber and young.

Super Plush

One thing that almost all great reading chairs have in common is their comfortable, plush cushions. With accent chairs or dining chairs you can get away with an unlined, wood or plastic seat because you are not anticipating sitting in them for an extended period of time. With reading chairs, however, it’s important to have some plush cushioning—similar to what you would want to experience in bed--to truly unwind and get comfortable with a great book.

All in all, remember to look for:

  • Extra width
  • Ability to recline or put your feet up
  • Chair with arms
  • Plush cushions

No matter which reading chair you choose, having the ability to remain comfortable over the course of several hours is important both to your body and your experience with whatever book you choose to read in it.

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For long term reading, consider a recliner so that weight is not being transferred down the body to the tailbone.