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The perfect reading chair offers comfort for your preferred reading posture. To help you find the ideal chair for your reading nook, we consulted Decorist interior designer Elizabeth Herrera and researched top options, prioritizing oversized shapes, high-quality materials, and comfort features.
Our favorite reading chair is the Joss & Main Highland Armchair because it offers complete customization, durable and comfortable materials, and comes fully assembled.
Here are the best reading chairs for curling up with a good book.
Overall, we recommend the Joss & Main Highland Armchair (view at Joss & Main). It comes in almost 200 upholstery options, features incredibly plush cushions, has a durable frame, and arrives at your door fully assembled. If you’re on a budget, go with the Jummico Fabric Recliner Chair (view at Amazon), which has a sturdy steel frame, a padded back, multiple reclining angles, and a built-in footrest.
As Herrera mentioned, comfort is vital when it comes to reading. You’ll want to go with a chair style that’ll keep you comfy and relaxed for hours on end, such as a design with a relatively tall or rounded back. Otherwise, she says to “consider an oversized chair or even one with a recliner so you can put your feet up.” A chair-and-a-half is an excellent choice, too, as it offers a broader and deeper seat. If you like to lay back while reading, consider getting a chaise lounge.
For one, it’s essential to find a design that’ll fit in your space. Whether you’re placing it in a designated reading nook, bedroom, sunroom, or office, make sure to measure (and re-measure) before ordering carefully. Size has a lot to do with a chair’s overall comfort as well. We recommend getting one with a relatively wide and deep seat if you like to curl up, lean back, or even lay down while reading.
Upholstered chairs are usually a little softer, and you can often find stain-resistant options. “I also think about the texture—bouclé upholstery, for example, is plush and cozy, while a chair that isn’t upholstered won’t be as inviting,” says Herrera. Leather-upholstered chairs tend to be more expensive, though they typically last longer.
The frame material is also important. If you want something with a higher weight capacity or built to last for several years, look for a chair with a solid wood frame—even better if it’s kiln-dried. Some recliner frames are steel, which is generally considered a high-quality, long-lasting material.
When the only thing stopping you from finishing a page-turner is uncomfortable seating, there are a few things you can try to make things a little comfier. First, if the chair has removable cushions, take them off and fluff them up, just like you would a pillow. And speaking of pillows, sometimes that’s all you need to get the back or neck support you crave. A footrest or ottoman can go a long way, too, as it allows you to recline back in an otherwise small chair.
“I like to place reading chairs in a quiet area of the home,” says Herrera. “A living area near a fireplace or a cozy corner in the bedroom are great options.” Some people opt to place armchairs and chaises near a window, as it can be peaceful while offering ample natural reading light.
You can create a coveted reading nook nearly anywhere in your home, and it could go in the corner of a larger room, underneath a staircase, in an attic, or even built into a wall.
The proper way to clean a reading chair depends on the material. Fabric upholstery can typically be spot-cleaned with an upholstery cleaner, a homemade solution, or sometimes liquid carpet cleaner. Some chairs even come with removable covers that can be zipped off and thrown in the washer for a more thorough cleaning.
In some cases, you can use handheld steam cleaners to freshen up fabric upholstery. Leather chairs can typically be wiped down with a slightly damp cloth and a small amount of mild soap if needed.
Theresa Holland is a Portland-based freelance writer specializing in interior design and lifestyle. She has been regularly contributing to The Spruce since 2019, where she covers home improvement, furniture, and decor. Outside of her professional life, she’s spent countless hours researching furnishings for her own home and knows what to look for when buying high-quality pieces. For this story, she reviewed products from a broad range of brands and retailers, read reviews, and considered key characteristics, including size, style, and material.
Madison Yauger is an Assistant Editor for home commerce and has extensively covered home and lifestyle content for the past several years.