How to Find the Best Back Rest Pillow in 2021

The global spread of COVID-19 and the necessary social distancing that accompanied it means that more people are spending large parts of their days indoors. While the ability to add more rest to our daily lives is great, the rising popularity of reading, gaming, and binge watching TV has leisure-seekers searching for the perfect pillow to complement these new lifestyles.

It’s been nearly a year (oh my goodness) since initial COVID-19 restrictions were put into place. Those of us who may have spent the early days of the pandemic frantically deep-cleaning our homes and obsessively binge-exercising to free at-home YouTube workout videos have started to embrace the “relax, we’ll be here a while” attitude. Even as vaccines start to make their way around the world, it’s possible many of us will remain in “quarantine” for a few more months (at least).

When this all first started, I wasn’t much of a “stay at home” sort of person. I was constantly on the go, from work to the gym, to the grocery store, hiking, cycling, playing with my dog, seeing friends, etc. I didn’t spend much time with a rest pillow propped beneath my back, because I simply wasn’t still long enough to necessitate such a thing.

The past few months, however, have seen a drastic shift in my lifestyle (as is true with much of the world). Now, I’m spending much of my time (specifically evenings and weekends) at home, curled up on my couch with a good book, TV show, or movie. And because of this, I’ve come to better understand the importance of owning a good, comfortable back rest pillow.

Normal bed pillows are great for sleeping and laying down our heads. But they don’t offer much in terms of support for sitting up or engaging in activities other than sleeping.

That’s where backrest pillows come in.

If you’ve found your way to this page, you’re likely searching for the perfect backrest pillow from which to partake in your daily activities. Backrest pillows, also known as the husband pillow, help problems (like back and neck pain) that are commonly associated with long periods of inactive sitting. Comfortable pillows with suitable back support can help users rest easy as they are gaming or reading.

Personally, I spent much more time reading in 2020 than I have in other recent years. So, finding a good, comfortable husband pillow and back rest pillow were critical to supporting my back and shoulders as I relaxed on the couch with my new library of books.

And with a plethora of backrest pillows to choose from, the options can seem overwhelming. That’s why we’ve done the work for you. We’ve tested and researched all of the best pillows for back rest and neck support, so you can choose the pillow that best fits your needs. Whether you’re searching for a firm memory foam pillow or a pillow with a soft, plush cover, you’re sure to find something suitable for rest and relaxation on this list.

I was lucky enough to work with a team of expert reviewers when I began my search for the best pillow to support my lounging activities, and now I’m excited to share this list with you.

Read on to discover the best back pillows of 2020. 

Back Rest Pillow Comparison Table

The Best Backrest Pillows of 2020

1 – Husband Pillow

Husband Pillow XXL Maroon Backrest with Arms - Adult Reading Pillow with Shredded Memory Foam, Ultra-Comfy Removable Microplush Cover & Detachable Neck Roll, Unmatched Support Bed Rest Sit Up Pillow

  • Cover: Microplush
  • Filling: Shredded memory foam
  • Warranty: 3-year warranty
  • Price Range: High
  • Support level: Excellent

First on our list of the best backrest pillows is the classic Husband Pillow. Not only is this pillow available in 28 different colors, it comes with a plush cover that is easy to clean. It’s sturdy and stuffed with high-quality shredded memory foam, so it feels like cuddling up with another (slightly softer) human (hence the name “husband pillow”). The firm foam filling provides additional back support, whether you’re using it in bed while reading or on the couch while watching TV. The comfortable armrests make it perfectly suited for late night gaming before bed. It’s tall enough to support your neck, making it the perfect foam reading pillow.

Unlike similar pillows, the Husband Pillow comes with built-in side pockets, so you can store your novel, remote, phone, or (let’s be honest) snacks. Plus, its convenient back pocket is a perfect place to store other lounging necessities, like glasses or a small water bottle. These pockets, to me, were a huge selling point. If you’ve ever experienced the joy of discovering pockets in places you weren’t expecting them, you know what I’m talking about. The side and back pockets mean that I can keep my book, glasses, headphones, and phone together in one place. If I want to move from the living room to the bedroom to read before falling asleep, I can simply place my belongings in the pockets, pick up the entire pillow, and walk to the other room. This leaves one hand free to grab a glass of water or a cup of tea before heading to bed, which is, honestly, amazing.

Moreover, the Husband Pillow features an adjustable loft with a zipper enclosure on the inner shell. This allows users to add or remove the shredded memory foam, so you can customize your comfort level to match your exact needs. Again, this was a huge selling point. I hate pillow lofts that force my head forward, so the ability to adjust the level of filling from the shredded foam was perfect.

It truly is one of the best pillows on the market. However, if you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase after 100 days, the company offers a 100% money-back guarantee as well as a 3-year warranty for damaged items. If you’re searching for a stylish backrest pillow with excellent support, and a shredded foam texture that can easily move with you from the bed to the couch, the Husband Pillow is the perfect choice. 


  • Built-In pockets
  • Available in 28 colors
  • Allows users to add or remove shredded memory foam filling
  • Provides excellent back support
  • Comes with a 100% money-back guarantee


  • Some users found the neck support lacking. 

Best For:

Anyone looking for a foam pillow that provides excellent support while they read, write, game, or watch TV in bed. 

2 – LINENSPA Shredded Foam Pillow

Linenspa Shredded Foam Pillow Perfect for Back Support While Relaxing, Gaming, Reading, or Watching TV - Soft Velour Cover, Standard, Stone

  • Cover: Velour
  • Filling: Shredded memory foam
  • Warranty: 3-year warranty
  • Price Range: Medium
  • Support level: Excellent

Second on our list of the best backrest pillows is this model from LINENSPA. With its classic armrest shape, this pillow is an excellent choice for children, teens, and adults alike. The low backrest provides great support for any leisure activities; it’s the perfect pillow for college students studying from a dorm room bed, as well as an excellent lounging option for adults looking to add a bit of comfort to their daily routines.

To be honest, this pillow reminds me of something I had in my dorm room in college, and which I sometimes wish I had held on to as an adult. The LINENSPA shredded foam pillow offers great support for the arms and back as you’re lounging, perfect for late nights studying or cramming in chapters from the week’s reading assignments. In today’s world, it’s perfectly suited to propping yourself up on the bed or couch as you settle in for a Zoom lesson. The memory foam stuffing means that it will retain its shape and support you through even the longest of classes.

This pillow comes with a soft velour cover in both navy and stone. These soft, relaxing tones make the LINENSPA Shredded Foam Pillow a perfect addition to any bed set. So, even if you’re no longer a college student, but a certified #Adult, this pillow will blend in well with whatever design aesthetic you’ve selected. Plus, the convenient top handle makes this pillow easily transportable, so you can move it from the bed to the couch and anywhere in between. It also comes in three different sizes: standard, extra large, and extra large with neck support. If you’re someone who tends to feel neck pain when sitting for too long, the third option may be perfect for you.

Filled with CertiPUR-US certified shredded memory foam, the LINENSPA pillow can be molded and personalized to fit the contours of each user’s body. When it’s delivered, you’ll notice that the pillow comes rolled up in a box; it’s recommended that you fluff the pillow a bit, then let the foam expand for up to 48 hours to let it reach its full size.

Even with its litany of features, this pillow is one of the most moderately affordable on our list of backrest pillows. Plus, it comes with a 3-year warranty, so you can rest easy. 


  • Perfect for children and teens
  • Inexpensive
  • Offers a classic aesthetic with maximum support
  • Includes convenient carrying handle
  • Filled with CertiPUR-US shredded memory foam
  • Comes with a velour cover available in two colors


  • This backrest pillow does not come with a machine washable cover. It should be spot-cleaned only. 

Best For:

  • Anyone looking for backrest pillow features that include plush velour and enough support to prevent back pain and neck problems.
  • Users searching for a pillow that they can easily move from the bed to the couch.

3 – Milliard Reading Pillow with Shredded Memory Foam

Milliard Reading Pillow with Shredded Memory Foam, Great As Backrest for Books Or Gaming- 18x15 inches (Sit up Pillow)

  • Cover: Zippered velour cover
  • Filling: Shredded memory foam
  • Warranty: No warranty
  • Support level: Excellent for smaller individuals 

Reading seems to have grown in popularity more throughout 2020 than in any other recent year. I can attest to this fact, as I’ve probably doubled (if not tripled) the amount of books I read in 2020 compared to previous years. And if you, like me, are a newly-minted bookworm searching for the perfect backrest pillow with arms to read in bed, this next model is perfect for you. The Milliard Reading Pillow is filled with comfortable shredded memory foam, providing users with excellent back and neck support as they devour their latest bookstore score. At 18-inches high, this back pillow offers maximum support and is the perfect place to rest after a long hard day.

And it’s not just for reading. The Milliard Reading Pillow is perfect for anyone searching for a pillow with enough support to keep them comfortably sitting up as they watch TV or play video games. It features an easily accessible memory foam insert, so users can add or remove stuffing to adjust the firmness of the pillow. This allows you to increase or decrease the amount of memory foam in the pillow, molding The Milliard Reading Pillow to your exact comfort level. And with a convenient carrying handle, it’s easy to move this pillow from one room to another, so you can enjoy your activities from bed or anywhere else you desire. Again, this is a huge plus in pandemic times. Because each of us is spending so much additional time in our own homes, it’s important to purchase products that move with us as we travel from one room to another. This Milliard Reading Pillow does just that, moving easily from the bedroom to the den to the living room and anywhere in between.

Plus, when things “go back to normal,” it will make a perfect addition to any outings you may have – simply place the pillow on a blanket or in a hammock, and you’ve got a perfect outdoor lounging pillow with better support than standard camp chairs.

Not only is the Milliard Reading Pillow affordable, it comes in three different sizes (standard, petite, and extra large), so people of all shapes and sizes can enjoy its high-quality, soft level of back support. 


  • Filled with CertiPUR-US certified memory foam
  • Inexpensive
  • Machine washable cover
  • Offers excellent back support and relieves back and neck pain
  • Adjustable stuffing allows the foam to mold to your body


  • Some larger sleepers found that this pillow was too small for them. While it works as a comfy place to curl up and read in bed, it might not be the best pillow for larger people as they sleep. 

Best For:

  • Users looking for a pillow constructed with the best quality memory foam on the market that will support their back and neck as they read or watch TV from bed.
  • Anyone who prefers a machine washable backrest pillow for easy cleaning.

4 – Brentwood Originals Brushed Twill Backrest

Brentwood Originals Brushed Twill Backrest, 2'2" x 1'6" x 1'6", Chocolate

  • Cover: Brushed twill velour
  • Filling: Polyester fiber
  • Warranty: 100% against defectives
  • Support level: Excellent

If you’re a regular reader of the Sleepy Center Blog, you’ll know that we feature designs from Brentwood rather frequently. This is because Brentwood has a standard of excellence and a reputation for creating some of the best products on the market. If you’re looking for a pillow that offers superior support, quality, and comfort, no matter your intended use of that pillow, you’re sure to find something from Brentwood.

That’s why the fourth pillow on our list of backrest pillows is this classic model from Brentwood Originals. From first glance, this pillow looks like a standard sitting pillow. It’s stylish, classic, and can fit with anything. Plus, it is made with 65% polyester and 35% cotton. This model is versatile and sturdy, so you can curl up with it in bed or take it outside and use it for camping or lounging in the backyard. The convenient top handle means you can literally take it anywhere with ease (remember what I said about the importance of convenience in these unprecedented times).

This pillow provides excellent support for your back, neck, and arms while you relax, watch TV or read from bed. Since it’s available in three stylish color options, it’s the perfect addition to any bed set. Whether you want to bring it to a dorm, or down the hall, it’ll give you excellent support as you relax.

The pillow is filled with polyester fiber and comes with a long-lasting, brushed twill velour cover. While the cover is not machine washable, it is easy to spot clean with a damp towel, so spills are essentially a nonissue.

Finally, this backrest pillow is certified frustration-free, meaning it comes with no additional packaging than what is absolutely necessary. Anyone searching for an Eco-conscious pillow need look no further. Plus, not only is it one of the most affordable pillows on our list, it comes with a 100% warranty against defective products. If there’s something wrong with your pillow when it’s delivered, you can return it.


  • Available in three different colors
  • Easy to clean
  • Provides excellent back and neck support
  • Relieves neck and back pain
  • Portable and complementary to any bed décor 


  • This pillow does not come with a machine washable cover

Best For:

  • Anyone looking for a stylish, comfortable, and portable foam pillow that will provide additional support as they read or watch TV in bed.
  • Users looking for an Eco-friendly backrest pillow that doesn’t compromise on style or support.

5 – mittaGonG Backrest Reading Pillows with Arms

mittaGonG Backrest Reading Pillow with Arms Removable Cover Gray

  • Cover: velour
  • Filling: high-quality shredded memory foam
  • Warranty: No warranty
  • Support level: Moderate

One of the things that consistently frustrates me when I’m searching for a sit up and/or backrest pillow is that these designs can sometimes feel as if they are made exclusively for smaller people. I am rather tall, especially for a woman, so I can sometimes find myself struggling to find a pillow that not only offers me the support I need but which doesn’t leave my neck and shoulders abandoned.

For sleepers in search of a large backrest pillow with arms that will support them as they read in bed, this model from mittaGonG is a perfect choice. This pillow is 20 inches high and 12 inches wide, with a 12 inch wingspan, offering total and complete support for users’ arms and necks. Similar to other pillows on our list, this one is filled with comfortable shredded memory foam for an added level of luxurious back support as well. This makes it the perfect pillow for relaxing and watching TV from bed.

This backrest pillow features a plush velour cover and comes in two color colors (blue and gray), making it the perfect pillow to add to any room or bed set. The firm memory foam filling means this backrest pillow will retain its stylish shape, and it comes with a washable cover, so you know it’ll always smell fresh and clean. Fully equipped with a convenient topside carrying handle, this backrest pillow can be easily moved from one room to the other; whether you want to relax in bed or on the couch, you can always take it with you. 


  • Cover is easy to remove and machine washable
  • Filled with high-quality shredded memory foam
  • Large enough to support the back, neck, and arms
  • Prevents back pain and neck strain
  • Easy to move from the bed to the couch


  • Some users felt that the lower back support on this pillow was somewhat lacking

Best For:

  • Users looking to optimize their relaxation attempts with a backrest pillow that provides perfect support for watching TV.
  • Anyone who wants a foam reading pillow that will support their back, neck, and shoulders.
  • Anyone looking for an extra-large pillow that will support every inch of their body.

Pillow Talk: Final Thoughts

2020 has been a tough time for everyone, and it looks like 2021 will be much of the same (at least at the beginning). We’re stuck inside more often, and many of our usual outdoor activities are off limits in an attempt to halt the spread of COVID-19. However, as we’re spending more time inside, we don’t have to sacrifice our comfort or health.

As we sit and lounge more often, whether that be reading from bed or watching TV, finding the perfect backrest pillow to support our less-active activities is critical to preventing damaging side effects like neck and back pain. It’s no secret that spending more time in bed watching TV isn’t great for our joints, but the right backrest pillow can make a big difference.

As you’re searching for the perfect backrest pillow for your own personal needs, there are several things to keep in mind. First, obviously, is cost. How much are you willing to invest in a pillow? The backrest pillows on this list range in price from low to medium high, so you’re sure to find one that will fit your budget.

The second thing to consider before purchasing a backrest pillow is your desired filling. pillows filled with shredded memory foam (or any sort of shredded foam), like the husband pillow or the foam reading pillow will be more firm and will ultimately offer more support as you lounge in bed. If you’re someone who like to adjust your pillow for different use cases, find one that allows you to adjust the amount of foam inside, so you can customize the pillow for your exact needs at any given time.

The third item to consider is the cover encasing your desired pillow. If you’re someone prone to spills or accidents, you’ll want to find a pillow with a cover that is easy to clean and machine washable (like the Milliard Reading Pillow), so you never have to worry about destroying your new backrest pillow.

And finally, make sure you check out whether your pillow has any special certifications. A pillow with CertiPUR-US certified memory foam will be of higher quality than one with a non-certified memory foam filling. This may affect its longevity, level of support, and overall quality. 

Key Takeaways

This might seem like a lot of information to digest in search for something as simple as a pillow. However, human beings spend an average of 12,045 DAYS of our lives in bed. When it comes to purchasing a backrest pillow, it’s critical to find one that will support our needs. We need a soft surface to use as a back rest, and the perfect pillow will do just that.