The 10 Best Reading Chairs of 2021

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Best Reading Chairs

The Spruce

If curling up with a good book is your idea of fun, you know how crucial a comfy reading spot is. Whether you're an avid reader or an occasional bookworm, devouring a page-turner is all the more enjoyable when cozied up in a chair. But not just any chair. It's got to be one you can sit back, curl up, or even lay down in while flipping through your latest paperback.

"Comfort is key when selecting a reading chair," says Decorist interior designer Elizabeth Herrera. "A high or rounded back will provide lots of support and create a cozy feel." She recommends opting for an oversized design or something with a recliner. Chair-ottoman combos are great, too, and depending on your preferred reading position, you might want to get something with armrests.

You'll also want to consider the upholstery material and size in terms of the actual seat and overall dimensions. Of course, there's no one-size-fits-all reading environment, but we found a bunch of options at a variety of price points that check most (if not all) the boxes.

Below, the best reading chairs for the bookish among us.

Our Top Picks
With dozens of fabrics to choose from and comfy, plush cushions, this armchair is the perfect place to snuggle up.
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This chair offers multiple reclining positions and a sleek design, all at an affordable price.
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Linen upholstery, an included ottoman, and a barrel design make this chair a must-have.
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At 56 inches wide, this oversized chair will feel amazing to sink into, and it comes in various colors to accent any decor scheme.
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This chair gives off chic Scandinavian vibes, and it's equally as comfy with the cozy bouclé fabric.
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This chair is a timeless (and practical) piece of furniture that looks great in just about any room.
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This chair includes a matching tufted ottoman and is available in suede, velvet, or linen fabric.
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This armchair feels both classic and modern with it's low-profile, mid-century design and velvet polyester upholstery.
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This saucer-shaped chair with faux fur fabric is ideal for kids or teens who want a comfy spot in their bedroom.
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From the classic brand comes this incredibly comfy recliner, which is thickly padded and has a pillow-style back for added comfort.
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Best Overall: Joss & Main Highland Armchair

Joss & Main Highland Armchair

Dimensions: 39 x 37 x 38 inches | Frame Material: Solid and manufactured wood | Cover Material: Polyester blend, velvet, cotton, acrylic | Weight Capacity: 250 pounds | Warranty: 1 year

What We Like
  • 145 fabric choices

  • Fully assembled

  • Stain-resistant upholstery available

  • Plush cushions

What We Don't Like
  • Weeks-long wait on made-to-order items

  • Doesn't recline

The best reading chair overall is undoubtedly the Highland Armchair from Joss & Main, which has a boxy seat cushion, wide armrests, and a super-plush back. Featuring a solid wood frame and four square legs, you can count on the durable construction to provide long-lasting support.

Beyond its impressive comfort level, this handsome chair comes in a whopping 145 colors and several upholstery materials. This includes velvet, acrylic, cotton, microfiber, faux suede, stain-resistant canvas, and performance polyester, so you're sure to find exactly what you're looking for.

Best Budget: Jummico Fabric Recliner Chair

Jummico Fabric Recliner Chair

Dimensions: 30.31 x 27.16 x 20.67 inches | Frame Material: Steel | Cover Material: Polyester | Weight Capacity: 265 pounds | Warranty: Not listed

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Multiple reclining positions

  • Built-in footrest

What We Don't Like
  • Some assembly required

For bookworms on a budget, we suggest the Jummico Recliner. Featuring a durable steel frame, breathable fabric upholstery, a padded back, multiple reclining positions, and even a footrest, this best-seller pulls out all the stops. It comes in five colors to suit your style, although take note that it's not the best option for smaller spaces. Some assembly is required as well, though you won't need any tools and it shouldn't take long.

Best Small: Latitude Run Jazouli 25.5'' Wide Linen Barrel Chair and Ottoman

Latitude Run Jazouli 25.5'' Wide Linen Barrel Chair and Ottoman

Dimensions: 25.5 x 25 x 27 inches | Frame Material: Solid and manufactured wood | Cover Material: Linen | Weight Capacity: 250 pounds | Warranty: Not listed

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Good for small spaces

  • Several colors available

  • Comes with an ottoman

What We Don't Like
  • Shallow seat

Looking for something to place in a bedroom, apartment, or home office? Check out this compact chair and ottoman set from Wayfair. The Jazouli is just over 25 inches wide with a relatively shallow seat, easily fitting through doorways and in small spaces. And what it lacks in size, it makes up for in comfort. Not only is the chair super comfy, but also the ottoman also gives you more room to recline. Choose from ten colors, including basic neutrals and brighter hues, to complete the look.

Best Oversized: Kelly Clarkson Home Negley 56'' Wide Chair And A Half

Kelly Clarkson Home Negley 56'' Wide Chair And A Half

Dimensions: 58 x 43 x 31 inches | Frame Material: Solid and manufactured wood | Cover Material: Custom | Weight Capacity: 250 pounds | Warranty: Lifetime

What We Like
  • Oversized design

  • 100 fabric choices

  • Stain-resistant upholstery available

  • Lifetime warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Weeks-long wait on made-to-order items

  • Some assembly required

As Herrera mentioned, oversized armchairs are great for reading, like this beauty from Kelly Clarkson's Wayfair collection. Boasting rolled arms, an ultra-plush T-shaped back, and an extra-large seat with sinuous springs, the Negley is everything we love about the chair-and-a-half trend. Not only that, but it comes in 100 colors and numerous upholstery materials, including a handful of stain-resistant fabrics that are perfect for homes with kids or pets.

Best Upholstered: Article Gabriola Bouclé Lounge Chair

Article Gabriola Bouclé Lounge Chair

Dimensions: 34 x 34 x 31 inches | Frame Material: Kiln-dried Larch, plywood | Cover Material: Polyester blend bouclé | Weight Capacity: Not listed | Warranty: 1 year

What We Like
  • Cozy upholstery

  • Kiln-dried wood frame

  • Supportive back

What We Don't Like
  • Some assembly required

Article's Gabriola Bouclé Lounge Chair is a favorite of Herrera's, and we can see why. There's a lot to love about the incredibly soft and mildly fuzzy (but not over the top) bouclé upholstery—and that's not all. This reading chair also has a kiln-dried wood frame, high-density foam cushions with sinuous springs, and a supportive, slightly angled back. It's only available in two colors (gray and ivory), but the bouclé fabric ensures your chair will be anything but boring.

Best Leather: Pottery Barn Irving Square Arm Leather Power Recliner

Pottery Barn Irving Square Arm Leather Power Recliner

Dimensions: 33 x 37.5 x 38 inches | Frame Material: Kiln-dried hardwood | Cover Material: Semi-aniline leather | Weight Capacity: 300 pounds | Warranty: Not listed

What We Like
  • Power recliner

  • Built-in footrest

  • Full-grain leather

  • Kiln-dried wood frame

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Weeks-long wait on made-to-order items

If you're partial to leather furniture, you should definitely check out Pottery Barn's Irving Power Recliner. Inspired by classic club chairs, this dapper reading chair boasts a kiln-dried hardwood frame, firm yet comfy cushions, and top-grain leather upholstery in your choice of over 30 aniline-dyed colors. But that's not all—with the push of a button, the Irving reclines into the perfect reading position and releases its built-in footrest for ultimate comfort.

Best with Ottoman: Wade Logan Gusman Tufted Lounge Chair and Ottoman

Gusman 29.52" Wide Tufted Lounge Chair and Ottoman

Dimensions: 29.52 x 33.46 x 37 inches | Frame Material: Solid wood | Cover Material: Velvet, suede, linen | Weight Capacity: 264 pounds | Warranty: 90 days

What We Like
  • Ottoman included

  • Multiple reclining positions

  • Solid wood frame

  • Side storage bag

What We Don't Like
  • Some assembly required

  • Short warranty

This undeniably cushy chair and ottoman set from Wayfair was made with reading in mind. The Gusman has a thick pillow-style back that reclines into six different angles, a plush seat, and comfy armrests with a side pocket for your book or e-reader. We also like that the frame and legs are made of solid hardwood and that it comes with a throw pillow. Choose from seven upholstery colors, including classic gray and and brown suede, to get the chair of your dreams.

Best Modern: AllModern Jase 23.6" Armchair

AllModern Jase 23.6" Armchair

Dimensions: 32 x 35 x 32 inches | Frame Material: Solid wood | Cover Material: Velvet polyester | Weight Capacity: 500 pounds | Warranty: 1 year

What We Like
  • Solid wood frame

  • Wide seat

  • High weight capacity

What We Don't Like
  • Some assembly required

If you appreciate mid-century modern design, you'll love this attractive velvet armchair from AllModern. Featuring a solid wood frame, tapered dowel legs, a low profile, and a clean-lined silhouette, the Jase is sure to elevate any room. Thanks to its extra-wide, foam-filled seat and back cushions, it's incredibly comfortable too—perfect for long afternoons spent reading.

Best for Kids: Milliard Cozy Saucer Chair

Milliard Cozy Saucer Chair for Bedroom

Dimensions: 25 x 38 x 34 inches | Frame Material: Metal | Cover Material: Faux fur | Weight Capacity: 265 pounds | Warranty: Not listed

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Foldable design

  • Suitable for all ages

What We Don't Like
  • Fabric may be prone to tearing

Looking for ways to encourage your kid to read more? A comfy reading chair like this saucer-style option is a great place to start. It has a soft round cushion and chic gold metal legs that fold up for easy storage and transport. With a wide seat and a 265-pound weight capacity, both teens and adults can enjoy it, whether it's placed in a bedroom, playroom, basement, or dorm room.

Best Recliner: La-Z-Boy Jasper Wall Recliner

La-Z-Boy Jasper 40'' Wide Manual Wall Hugger Standard Recliner

Dimensions: 40 x 38.5 x 42 inches | Frame Material: Manufactured wood | Cover Material: Polyester | Weight Capacity: 300 pounds | Warranty: Limited lifetime

What We Like
  • Wall-hugger design

  • Multiple reclining positions

  • Pillow-style back

What We Don't Like
  • Weeks-long wait on made-to-order items

Recliners make really amazing reading chairs, and surprise, surprise, La-Z-Boy still makes the best ones. The Jasper has thick padded arms, a pillow-style back, and an exceedingly plush seat. But more to the point, when you pull the side lever, it smoothly adjusts into your optimal incline and releases the built-in footrest. It's not the most stylish option, but it is the comfiest—and is pretty much guaranteed to last for many years.

Final Verdict

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.

What to Look for in a Reading Chair

Style

As Herrera mentioned, comfort is key 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 wider and deeper seat. If you like to lay back while reading, consider getting a chaise lounge.

Size

You'll also want to consider the size. For one, it's important 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 carefully measure (and re-measure) before ordering. Size has a lot to do with a chair's overall comfort as well. If you like to curl up, lean back, or even lay down while reading, we recommend getting one with a relatively wide and deep seat.

Material

The other thing to think about is the material. 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 that's 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 made of steel, which is generally considered a high-quality, long-lasting material.

FAQ
  • How do you make a chair more comfortable?

    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.

  • Where do you place a reading 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.

    A coveted "reading nook" can be created nearly anywhere in your home. It could go in the corner of a larger room, underneath a staircase, in an attic, or even built into a wall.

  • How do you clean a chair?

    The proper way to clean a reading chair really 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, handheld steam cleaners can be used 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.

Why Trust The Spruce?

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.

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