The 8 Best Reading Chairs of 2020

Meet your new favorite spot in the house

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Naumann Armchair at Wayfair

"This stylish chair is sturdy and firm, but doesn’t sacrifice comfort."

Best Leather: Irving Roll Arm Leather Recliner at Pottery Barn

"It’s a timeless piece of furniture that looks great in just about any room."

Best with Ottoman: Heywood Armchair and Ottoman at Wayfair

"Many reviews praise the comfort and aesthetic of this piece."

Best for Small Spaces: Book Nook Armchair at West Elm

"Despite its size, it has a seat that’s deep enough to snuggle up in."

Best for Bedroom: Briar Chair at Joybird

"Comfortable and attractive, with a square shape."

Best Rocking: Embrace White Rocking Chair at Article

"The striking combination of white fabric and dark wood really separates this piece from other options."

Best Budget: POANG Armchair at Ikea

"It's compact enough for small spaces, like a dorm or an apartment."

Best Outdoor: Belle Patio Chair at Wayfair

"This patio chair is constructed from acacia wood, with a thick, comfortable, fabric-covered cushion."

  • 01 of 08

    Best Overall: Naumann Armchair


    Courtesy of Wayfair

    For a versatile reading chair that's affordable and well-made, we recommend the Naumann Armchair. This beautiful, elegant chair works particularly well in a small space—like a home office, or the corner of a bedroom. Bold, vibrant colors mean that it can also hold attention in a larger room, making a colorful accent to your room’s decor. 

    The frame of this chair is made from pinewood, with a poly-blend fabric topping the foam fill. The chairs do require a bit of assembly, but not anything major that requires unexpected tools. You’ll just need to screw on the legs and attach the back of the chair to the frame. 

    This stylish chair is sturdy and firm, but doesn’t sacrifice comfort, so you can easily sink in, and spend hours absorbed in a book, watching TV, or gazing out the window.

  • 02 of 08

    Best Leather: Irving Roll Arm Leather Recliner

    Irving Roll Arm Leather Recliner

    Courtesy of Pottery Barn

    If you’ve always wanted a nice, cozy leather chair to kick back in, this reading chair is what your dreams are made of. It’s a timeless piece of furniture—you’ll have it for many years to come—that looks great in just about any room. Try it in the living room, family room, basement, home office, or even your bedroom.

    This Pottery Barn reading chair is just about as comfortable as a reading chair can be, too. It has a built-in recliner, so you’ll always have a place to rest your feet—without having to sacrifice any spare floor space (a huge bonus for small-space living). Plus, no-sag steel sinuous springs provide ample support—you’ll sink in, but you won’t feel stuck there.

    Another great bonus is that this particular leather chair comes in a variety of top-grain aniline-dyed leather. If the standard chestnut doesn’t match your decor, try a darker leather like molasses, or go for a bolder shade like berry red or forest green. You have plenty of choices: there are 28 different fabrics to choose from.

    Looking for a more affordable recliner? Take a peek at our favorite budget recliners.

  • 03 of 08

    Best with Ottoman: Heywood Armchair and Ottoman

    Heywood Armchair and Ottoman

    Courtesy of Wayfair

    If you’re a real bookworm, and you’re going to spend hours curled up with novel after novel, comfort is paramount. Don’t underestimate how much propping your feet up can increase your comfort level—look for a reading chair that comes with an ottoman.

    This chair and ottoman set has over 2,200 five-star reviews, many of which tout both the comfort and the aesthetic of the piece of furniture as deciding factors. The tufted chair and the ottoman are both made of a polyester blend that’s easy to keep clean (just wipe with a damp cloth and mild soap).

    Though the ottoman definitely adds comfort, the design of the chair itself is what really catches your eye. It has a rounded back with low flared arms that give it a modern, but traditional look that’s widely appealing. And thanks to the neutral colors available (cream or gray), the reading chair suits many decor styles.

  • 04 of 08

    Best for Small Spaces: Book Nook Armchair

    Book Nook Armchair

    Courtesy of West Elm


    So your home or apartment has a teeny-tiny footprint, but you’d love to have a nice, comfortable place to sit and read? You don’t have to settle for your couch or your bed—you can have that reading chair you’ve always wanted. This handsome reading chair is more compact than many similar options on the market, but you won’t pay the price when it comes to comfort. Despite its size, it has a seat that’s wide and deep enough to snuggle up into. Plus, the arms have soft, subtle curves that provide the perfect perch for your arms.

    What’s more? Despite the brand name, the chair is fairly priced. Plus, it comes in three different fabrics and finishes: basket slub in chili with pecan-finished legs, boucle in wheat with chocolate-finished legs, and performance velvet in ink blue with chocolate-finished legs.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best for Bedroom: Briar Chair

    Briar Chair

    Courtesy of Joybird

    Though not standard in every bedroom, a reading chair can definitely be filed under the category “nice to have.” It offers a place to read, yes, but also a place to tie your shoes or rest a jacket. But not all bedrooms have the necessary space for a reading chair—especially a nice big, comfortable reading chair. If you fit into this camp but would love to have a reading chair in your bedroom, this piece of furniture is the best choice. It’s comfortable and attractive but has a square shape that makes it easy to tuck into a corner and out of the way.

    Plus, there’s no concern this chair won’t match your bedroom’s color scheme—the chair comes in 65 different shades, from canary yellow to good old fashioned gray.

  • 06 of 08

    Best Rocking: Embrace White Rocking Chair


    Courtesy of Article

    When you think rocking chair, do you think rickety old porch chair or something you’d find in your grandma’s house? This rocking chair will change your mind.

    Though it has all the same great qualities the older generation appreciated—comfort and smooth movement, for example—it has a sleek design that brings the piece of furniture into the 21st century. The wide, low seat is upholstered with durable, white fabric and is supported by a solid wood frame. The striking combination of white fabric and dark wood really separates this piece from other options.

    According to customers, the Embrace Rocking Chair is "packed with comfort." The deep, plush seat is filled with foam and fiberfill, and several customers report that the seat is deeper than expected so you’ll sink right in—and not want to get up!

    Need some throw pillows to complete the look? Check out the best throw pillows available online.

  • 07 of 08

    Best Budget: POANG Armchair


    Courtesy of Ikea

    When it comes to affordable furniture, IKEA is a go-to for most—and when it comes to a reading chair, the Swedish retailer doesn’t disappoint. IKEA’s version of the reading chair is called POANG. It doesn’t look like much—it has a sleek wooden frame and a simple cushioned seat—but it’s widely raved about across the internet. It’s no wonder the retailer has been manufacturing the chair for nearly 40 years!

    Devotees love the price point, sure, but they also love the fact that the it’s compact enough for small spaces, like a dorm, an apartment, or even a small home office. Plus, the reading chair is extremely lightweight—it can be easily moved to another room, if you need to clear space or add seating. IKEA sells a few iterations of the chair, so you can upgrade to a leather version, if budget allows. They also manufacture a fairly-priced ottoman, so you can get a place to rest your feet, too.

    Designing a space for the youngest set? Check out these tips for creating a reading nook for kids.

  • 08 of 08

    Best Outdoor: Belle Patio Chair


    Courtesy of Wayfair 

    Reading doesn’t have to be an indoor-only activity! But a plastic, uncushioned chair isn’t very conducive to relaxing reading. Enter the Belle Patio Chair, which is constructed from acacia wood, with a thick, comfortable, fabric-covered cushion, and a gently sloping back. 

    This chair is easy to make part of your daily ritual, whether it’s reading the news on your phone with a cup of coffee in the morning, or early evening hours spent with a paperback. A small, but easy, amount of assembly is required for this modern take on an Adirondack chair.

Our Process

Our writers spent 2 hours researching the most popular reading chairs on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 40 different reading chairs overall, screened options from 25 different brands and manufacturers, and read over 200 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.