Backrest pillows are unique pillows great for helping you to relax while providing much-needed neck and back support.
We bought our first backrest pillow a few years back and have been hooked ever since.
Let us help you find the best backrest pillow with arms, backrest pillow for bed, or husband pillow -no matter what you call it – at an affordable price among the hundreds of available online options.
UPDATE: For 2020, we’ve reevaluated our list of the best backrest pillows and, based on recent reader feedback, have eliminated several prior selections that have not kept pace with new additions. We’ve also added new user reviews.
Why Buy a Backrest Pillow?
Relieve Neck and Lower Back Pain
Finding a comfortable position when reading a book, watching a movie, or lying in bed can sometimes be surprisingly challenging.
Fortunately, the problem can be solved by a supportive and comfortable backrest pillow.
Backrest pillows, or husband pillows as they are sometimes referred to, support your neck and back while you enjoy your well-earned leisure time without all the lower back pain and aches.
Perfect for Bed Rest
In our opinion, a backrest pillow also makes for the best bed rest pillow.
With its upper body support, you can spend an extended period of time in bed without developing annoying neck and backaches.
Ditch the mound of pillows.
Instead, easily prop yourself up in bed with a backrest pillow.
What Is a Backrest Pillow?
A backrest pillow is a thick, slightly contoured pillow that is designed to provide support while keeping you propped up.
The vast majority of backrest pillows have arms attached for additional support.
They are typically filled with shredded foam or polyester and include a handle stitched into the top of the pillow.
BUYER’S GUIDE FOR THE BEST BACKREST AND HUSBAND PILLOWS
When shopping for the best backrest & husband pillows on the market today, there are a few key points to keep in mind before making a purchase.
First, what materials were used in the construction of the backrest or husband pillow? Some of the more commonly used backrest pillows are made with a polyester foam or memory foam filling with a soft cotton or velour cover for comfort. However, there are also alternative options you can choose from if you do not prefer memory foam.
Features and Accessories
You will find many backrest and husband pillows that have their own set of features and accessories that come along with them. So, you need to look into these carefully to ensure that you are getting the right pillow for your unique needs. Sometimes, you may find that a lot of the extra features and accessories simply are not needed.
For example, some may come with a sturdy back as well as arms and a pillow. If you are looking for more comfort and support, then this is something you may want to consider looking for when making your purchase.
Some also come with pockets that can be conveniently used for the storage of small items that you want to keep handy. Others might have extra handles or pillows.
This can go hand in hand with the features and accessories category. The best option for you will depend on your particular needs and wants. If the pillow is for a child, they may prefer their favorite character or color. Adults, on the other hand, may be looking for something with a more ergonomic design and more features.
When looking for a husband pillow, the headrest will be a big point to consider. If you plan on using the pillow for hours at a time, then a headrest can come in handy. It offers you a comfortable place to rest your head while you are working, reading, or playing a game.
Size is another factor to consider. For example, if you are a taller person, then you may want to find a larger option that better suits your height. However, many times you will find that an average-sized option is suitable for most.
Sometimes having a removable cover can be beneficial because it makes it much easier to clean. You simply remove the cover and throw it in the washing machine and follow the instructions on the label. Having a cover made of 100 percent cotton is also recommended to help ensure you have the maximum level of comfort and softness possible.
Finally, the shape is another factor to consider. Test different shapes if you can ahead of time to see what works best for you. The wedge shape is recommended if you are looking for more in the way of lumbar support. It also allows you to prop yourself up in bed quickly and easily.
Here’s the list of our favorite pillows.
BEST BACKREST PILLOWS
LINENSPA Shredded Foam Reading Pillow
Due to its features and high-quality, the LINENSPA Shredded Foam Reading Pillow has consistently held a spot as one of the best-selling, most affordable backrest pillows available online. This lumbar support pillow has been specifically designed to make reading a book or watching TV more comfortable.
Its supportive contouring also reduces neck and back pain, while the shredded foam filling this backrest pillow increases airflow and creates softer, yet supportive feel.
Another great feature about the LINENSPA Shredded Foam Reading Pillow is that, while supportive, it is soft enough to mold itself to your body shape.
LINENSPA offers this pillow only in a classic stone color, and in two sizes: Standard and X-Large.
Due to the build quality and the quality of the materials used, we have found this pillow to be very durable – even surviving a year used by our seven year old playing his Xbox. The pillow comes with a top handle for carrying ease and includes a three-year warranty.
- Maintains its shape due to pillow’s shredded foam filling
- Pillow doesn’t slide when you lean back against it
- High-quality materials and construction
- Available in two sizes
- Sold in only one color
Relax in front of the TV while being hugged. The Deluxe Comfort Microsuede backrest pillow offers you the support you need when you need it. It is soft but also firm and stuffed with fiberfill material. This lumbar support cushion offers support for the entire upper body. You will no longer find yourself switching positions often as you look for a more comfortable way to sit and lounge.
It is both versatile and portable and can be easily taken along with you for an overnight trip or another trip you have planned. It is backed by a two-year warranty and is taller and wider than some of the leading and best backrest and husband pillows currently on the market today.
- Available in a variety of color options
- Stands securely on its own
- Long and thick arms
- A stable base that won’t slouch or fall over
- Some report that its firmness was not up to par
The Husband Pillow is not like other smaller backrest pillows, but more like a plush portable recliner. With an emphasis on back and neck support, it supports your entire upper body.
Also, the Husband Pillow makes for one of the best backrest pillows with arms. Its arms are soft, yet supportive, and are perfect for reading in bed.
A fun feature of the Husband Pillow is its detachable neck pillow. Leave it on for maximum neck support or take it off for looking up to watch TV.
Another unique feature of this pillow is how it allows the user to add or remove foam to increase or decrease softness. Take foam out and allow the pillow to mold to your body shape. Add foam for a pillow with extra back support.
Our favorite feature may be its 100-day money-back guarantee – no questions asked. It also includes a three-year warranty.
Although it carries a slightly higher price point, we have found the Husband Pillow to be worth the money. It is versatile and very comfortable.
- Detachable headrest
- Side and back pockets
- Great neck and back support
- Custom fill amounts
- Slightly pricier than most backrest pillows with arms
- May need to adjust filling to find optimal firmness for you
Similar in design to the Husband Pillow, the ZOEMO pillow is a bulkier, upright, cotton-filled backrest pillow available in navy and gray.
Branded as a reading pillow for kids and adults, reviewers have also found the ZOEMO pillow to be well-suited for those on bed rest.
Measuring in at 26.5″ tall and 21″ wide, this pillow is covered in washable – and removable – velour.
While the ZOEMO doesn’t offer anything particularly unique, users have found it to be durable and well-made.
As far as comfort?
Many reviews have labeled the feel as “soft but not too soft” and “firm but not too firm”.
- Three-year warranty
- Good proportions
- Washable cover
- Not the cheapest backrest pillow
Avana Kind Bed Orthopedic Support Pillow Comfort System
We’re breaking our own rules with the Avana Pillow System. Instead of one pillow, the Avana is a four-piece unit of adjustable orthopedic cushions that offers support for sitting up in bed.
When it comes to pillows for bed rest, the Avana is king.
The unit includes a back scoop, scoop cradle, headrest, and even a knee rest. The support cushion includes a layer of memory foam and is covered in a durable bamboo fabric, which is removable and machine washable.
What reviewers may like the most, though, is how the Avana Pillow System can help you to sleep sitting up in bed.
- Adjustable configuration
- Support cushions are firmer than most backrest pillows for additional support
- Washable covers
- Higher price point than most backrest pillow options
Real HomeGenerosity Reader Review
“I had a back operation and found myself using a recliner to try and sleep at night. These pillows were a little pricey, but it was worth the try. I’ve slept sitting up in bed the last two nights without many problems. So far, I only use it like in the picture, but I also use my regular pillows.”
Milliard Reading Pillow With Shredded Memory Foam
Due to its versatility, the Milliard Reading Pillow contends for the position of our best husband pillow.
While it sports supportive arms, they are angled out far enough that you can easily use the Milliard pillow in bed.
Those reviewers on bed rest particularly have showered this pillow with an avalanche of positive reviews.
New mothers also have recommended this husband pillow for breastfeeding in bed as its arm design provides plenty of room to cradle their new baby.
The Milliard Reading Pillow is offered in three different sizes: 14, 18, and 24 inches.
- Removable soft velour outer cover
- Retains shape over time
- Could be too small for larger users
- Only available in light gray
HomeGenerosity Reader Review
“I work from home, and sometimes I just don’t feel like getting out of bed! I tried putting the Milliard pillow behind me in bed and problem solved. I can stay in bed and still get work done.”
MittaGonG Backrest Reading Pillow With Arms
The MittaGonG husband pillow has a weird name. There’s no doubt about that; however, it remains one of the most popular pillows with arms.
It’s made with high-quality shredded foam padding and measures in at 21″ x 12″ x 12″.
It can be tough to find a backrest pillow that lasts after frequent use. Reviewers love the MittaGonG though for its durability.
The pillow is available in three colors:
- Navy Blue
- Deep Blue
Some buyers may not prefer the MittaGonG due to its height and vertical backrest angle. While that is a personal preference that you must consider before buying your new pillow, there is no doubt that the MittaGonG is a quality choice for your home.
- Great back support
- Removable cover
- Larger than most reading pillows
- Some reviewers find this pillow too firm
Brentwood Originals Brushed Twill Bedrest Pillow
This backrest pillow sets itself apart from the rest of the bestselling pillow list. The “Brentwood Originals Brushed Twill Bedrest” is slightly larger than most backrest pillows and measures in at 26 inches long by 18 inches wide by 18 inches high.
The Brentwood Originals is sold in 5 different colors: Black, Chocolate, Garnet, Khaki, and Navy.
Also, this pillow provides thorough neck and back support, whether you are laying on the floor watching a movie on your new home theater projector or lying in bed reading the latest Stephen King novel.
It is filled with polyester fiber and makes no compromises when it comes to its high-quality cover made of polyester brushed twill fabric.
As a bonus, you can easily bring it anywhere courtesy of its top handle.
Have messy kids? It’s a good pillow for kids as you can clean any spots by simply using a damp cloth.
- Great for working on your laptop in bed
- Sturdy backrest and arms
- Perfect amount of cushioning
- Some reviewers have wished for a larger pillow
- No pockets
Everlasting Comfort 100% Pure Memory Foam Back Cushion
Slightly different than our other pillows, another backrest pillow that our readers really like is the “Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Back Cushion.”
The foam inside this pillow is 100 percent pure memory foam, unlike cheap imitations. Although it doesn’t have arms, it is so comfortable and provides so much back support at the office and at home that we needed to include it in this list.
Everlasting Comfort designed this pillow to address back pain when sitting in a chair. However, this pillow also makes a great backrest for bed and is an affordable, simple bed rest pillow.
The memory foam in this pillow and its universal curve structure instantly helped to alleviate our back pain and back tightness when sitting for hours at a time at the office.
A nice feature that we grew to love is the dual adjustable straps that allow this pillow to stay in place on your office chair. It also comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee – as if eliminating back pain wasn’t enough.
- Excellent lumbar support pillow
- Great pillow for use in office, car, or home
- Made with high-quality materials
- No neck support
- No pillow arms
RELAX WITH A HUSBAND AND BACKREST PILLOW
There is no downside to having a backrest pillow with arms in your home.
Their design reduces backaches while providing you the extreme lounging comfort that you deserve.
With the large selection now available online, you can find a backrest pillow to fit any budget and preference.
And don’t be too hard on yourself after you buy one! It’s normal to wonder why you waited so long!
QUESTIONS ABOUT BACKREST PILLOWS
You may not spend as much time with your backrest pillow as you do with your pillow for bed, but the backrest pillow you choose is crucial to making your hard-earned relaxation time that much better.
With so many options for buying backrest pillows, we’ve put together answers for the most frequent questions we receive from our readers.
What is the best backrest pillow for reading?
Congratulations. You’re either already a voracious reader like us or plan on joining the ranks. Most reading at home is done in bed or on the couch.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of neck and back support that your bed and couch provide, your reading experience can be cut short…
That’s where a backrest pillow comes in.
The best backrest pillows for reading are soft, yet supportive, and can allow you to read for hours without developing a sore neck.
If reading in bed, we prefer a backrest pillow with arms. The bed pillow arms are perfect for supporting your own arms as you hold a book or Kindle and have the added benefit of an extra dose of cozy.
All of the reviewed backrest pillows above are great for reading in bed, but we have found that the best pillows for reading in bed to be the LINENSPA Shredded Foam Reading Pillow and the Husband Pillow. Both are soft and supportive and provide fantastic neck, back, and armrest support.
You can’t go wrong with buying either the LINENSPA or Husband Pillow; both pillows have been pronounced by readers to be the best reading pillow.
How do I wash my husband pillow?
The best way to wash your husband pillow depends on whether it has a removable cover.
To wash a husband pillow’s removable cover, remove the cover from the pillow and then follow the care instructions on the tag. If you can’t find the care instructions, wash the cover with detergent in cold water. Avoid shrinking by allowing the cover to air dry.
If your pillow doesn’t have a removable cover, check out our full guide on washing pillows without removable covers.
What is the best backrest pillow for watching TV?
It sounds so good – lying in bed and watching a movie. The problem is that your regular pillow just doesn’t provide enough neck support. The result? An achy neck and a far less enjoyable viewing experience (you may even be forced to stop watching Real Housewives!).
Your solution is a backrest pillow for watching TV.
While all of the backrest pillows we have reviewed are great for watching TV, your ultimate selection should hinge on whether you plan to use the pillow while lying on the floor, on the couch, or in bed.
Backrest pillows for bed should have larger vertical support for a better viewing angle, while backrest pillows for the floor should have less of an angle.
Again, we recommend the LINENSPA Shredded Foam Reading Pillow as the best overall backrest pillow for watching TV. Also, for watching TV in bed, you may want to check out the Xtra-Comfort Bed Wedge Pillow – another great backrest pillow to prop yourself up in bed.
Whatever pillow you choose, you’ll be shocked at the difference a backrest pillow for bed can make.
Is there a difference between a backrest pillow and a bed rest pillow?
Yes and no. Backrest pillows can certainly be used by individuals on bed rest. However, when it comes to buying a pillow for bed rest, purchasers tend to place more emphasis on orthopedic support than a pillow armrest and extra comfort.
As a result, many of the best bed rest pillows are, in fact, wedges. Some, such as the Avana Kind Bed Rest Orthopedic Support Pillow provides additional pieces for knee and leg support.
However, all of the backrest pillows that we’ve reviewed also serve as wonderful bed rest pillows. Your selection really comes down to what features you value.
Pillows with a more vertical angle are more supportive and better for reading and watching TV, while bed rest pillows with a lesser angle will provide some support while being better suited for napping.
Know Your Needs. Do you value pillows arms for support, or wish to be able to move freely?
The Arlee Micro Plush Bedrest Pillow is a great option if you need a bed rest pillow that has arms but still allows you to move freely in bed. It also is designed to be a great pillow for back pain and provides upper and lower back support.
Making yourself comfortable is only one check on the list when it comes to being on bed rest. Just as importantly, you have to take care of your mental health.
How do you improve your mental health while on bed rest?
Put the dark dramas, and This Is Us on hold and switch to watching some good old fashion comedies to get you laughing. Your mom wasn’t lying when she told you that laughter is the best medicine.
Eliminating Negative Energy
Nancy from across the street that likes to fret about every single thing? She can stay at home. You need to keep your spirits up. Surround yourself with positive people.
Create a Welcoming Environment
If you’re going to be spending some time in your bedroom, make it a place you want to be. Fresh cut flowers, family photographs, and signs with positive messages all can boost your mood.
You’re going to need help. To avoid stressing about things you cannot control, have friends and family ready to tackle any unforeseen circumstances.
Connect With Others
Join a support group like the fantastic folks at Sidelines High-Risk Pregnancy Group.
Do they sell a bed rest pillow with a cup holder?
Pillow with cup holders? Yes, please
If back support isn’t enough, and you want to take your relaxation to the next level, or if an ailment has you on bed rest and you want to stay hydrated, a bed rest pillow with cup holder is for you.
The Carepeutic Bed Lounger is the ultimate when it comes to bed rest pillow accessories. Not only is it a bed rest pillow with a cup holder, but it is a bed rest pillow with massage abilities. Two massage settings provide a comfortable massage while lying in bed.
The Carepeutic Bed Lounger also features an extendable LED light, detachable arms, and a large pocket.
While reviewers love this backrest pillow’s features, some have voiced concerns that it does not suit smaller users.
The Cascadia Essentials Deluxe Backrest Pillow also is a fantastic option if you are on the hunt for a husband pillow with cup holders. In addition to the convenience of having built-in cup holders, the Cascadia is a great size for adults and children.
Should I buy a backrest pillow with arms?
Some backrest pillow buyers are leery of buying a backrest pillow with arms because they don’t plan on always needing the arms. Reviewers are split on this question.
The best backrest pillows with arms provide support for reading or using the computer in bed. However, the downside is that pillows with arms are slightly constricting. If you want a pillow for a nap, and tend to toss and turn in your sleep, a pillow with arms may not be right for you.
However, thousands of reviewers have determined that when it comes to finding the best lounging pillow, best pillow for reading, or best bed rest pillow, a backrest pillow with arms is the only real choice.
If you plan on using your new pillow to snuggle with your significant other or take the occasional nap, you may simply want to get a backrest pillow with arms where the arms are set at a wider angle – allowing for more room.
What is the best pillow for sitting up in bed?
Almost all of the backrest pillows reviewed above make for great bed rest pillows or pillows for sitting up in bed. However, you may also want to check out the mittaGonG Backrest Reading Pillow With Arms or the Deluxe Comfort Microsuede Bed Rest Lounger Pillow.
The mittaGonG has an odd name but may be the best pillow for sitting up in bed. It does have arms, but they are short and allow for a little more maneuverability while performing tasks in bed in like studying or knitting.
We like the mittaGonG pillow for sitting up in bed because it is on the firmer side. Also, its angle puts you in a comfortable upright position.
Owners of this pillow also rave about its durability and washable removable cover.
What are the benefits of buying a backrest pillow?
Like it or not, we are spending more and more time relaxing on the couch or in bed (I’m looking at you, Netflix!). Backrest pillows allow us to enjoy our lounging time without straining our necks or backs. They fit perfectly against the edge of the couch or your bed’s headboard and allow you to comfortably read or watch television in a natural position.
A backrest pillow also makes a perfect gift for the student in your life. A study pillow makes schoolwork a little more bearable and leads to more time reading textbooks in the dorm room.
Backrest pillows also are great for younger children as they stop the all too familiar hunched over sitting on the floor pose. Instead, your children can sit and play their video games with proper back and neck support.
Is there a difference between a husband pillow and a backrest pillow?
Quite simply, no. High-backed pillows with arms go by several names, including:
- Backrest pillow
- Husband pillow
- Boyfriend pillow
- Study pillow
- Lounge pillow
- Sit up pillow
- Reading pillow
Whether you call them husband pillows or backrest pillows or study pillows, they all serve the same purpose: to prop you up and support your body as comfortably as possible. However, as you’ve read above, these pillows are now offered in many shapes, sizes, and colors. What your decision really comes down to is personal preference and use.
A large pillow like this, is great for lounging, while a small backrest pillow like this may be better suited as a pillow for studying. You may even consider a bean bag chair if you’re really adventurous.
It doesn’t hurt to have multiple pillows in the house for different purposes.
Is a husband pillow the same as a boyfriend pillow?
So, here’s the pillow terminology breakdown. A husband pillow is the same as a backrest pillow. A husband pillow is not the same as a boyfriend pillow.
A boyfriend pillow is just that – a pillow that looks like one half of your boyfriend. Its unique look has garnered plenty of attention, making headlines all over the country.
The idea is that it’s like sleeping in a big warm hug – the perfect pillow for cuddling.
No doubt, it looks strange, but reviewers have said how the boyfriend pillow does help them sleep (especially after a bad breakup!).
Can I buy a reading pillow with a cover?
Husband pillows are often referred to as reading pillows. If your pillow is going to see a lot of use, it really helps to have a removable cover.
The mittaGonG and Reading Pillow are great options for durable reading pillows with removable covers. When it’s time, you can easily pop off the cover and throw it in the wash. They are machine safe, and reviewers have found them super easy to clean.
Image Credit: Amazon.com
Which would you suggest for post abdominal surgery surgery? I won’t be able to move around well for a few days once I’m home. Looking for the best option for my couch/bed.
Lara, check out the Avana Pillow System. It’s super adjustable and great for spending an extended period of time in bed. Best of luck!