Best Beds for Reading (or Working) in

Hedge and I recently upgraded to a grown-up bed, after having both spent our single days on used mattresses and IKEA beds. Since Hedge loves to read in bed and I like to work on my laptop (read: fall asleep to my Facebook news feed) at night, I wanted to find a bed frame that was well-suited for these functions.

Surprisingly, my Google search attempts only resulted in disappointing links to books I should read in bed, and those hideous reading pillows that look like E.T. with a headlamp. So I realized, maybe no one cares has written about this topic. After 2-3 months of info-gathering online and in showrooms, I now have knowledge to share. Below is a roundup of the best beds for reading or working in:

LET’S START WITH THE BED I CHOSE:

NOZNOZNOZ - Best beds to read and work in Noz

The Jane Bed by Modloft was the highest quality option within our grown-up-but-not-yet-baller budget of ~$1,000. It’s sturdy, modern, and upholstered in nice neutral colors. Several sites also offer free white glove delivery + assembly with this bed. Also, before starting my research, I had sketched a design for my ideal bed frame, and this one came really close thanks to its slightly slanted, very wide headboard:

NOZNOZNOZ - Best beds to read and work in Headboard

Headboard is wide enough to rest your book/glasses/phone/iPad before you fall asleep.

NOZNOZNOZ - Best beds to read and work in Profile

Slightly slanted headboard is a good angle because the incline starts after the top of the mattress. Another added bonus, in case you too have a small dog who likes to climb into bed, is that this bed has wide side panels, which can serve as a stepping stool (critical for Viv, since she’s not allowed to jump up/down from furniture due to a past back injury).

NOZNOZNOZ - Best beds to read and work in Noz vs Hedge

Headboard angle is suitable for me to sit up against, and for Hedge to slouch into for reading. He is in a Jedi robe.

A FANCIER OPTION, IF YOU ARE ON THE $BALLER$ PLAN:

NOZNOZNOZ - Best beds to read and work in Bolton Bed

The ultimate reading bed, which I got to lie in at the NYC showroom, is the Bolton Bed by Poliform. The headboard is split at the middle, and each side is adjustable with a push latch: you can push it down to a lower height, or push it down again to bring the headboard back to full height.

Honestly though, this mechanism is a little excessive – I’d probably end up keeping the headboard at full-height all the time; but in general, the bed is stunning both in cloth and in leather, and it comes with optional under-mattress storage (the Jane Bed does not).

The price on this DeLorean of beds is (retail) $10K for basic fabric upholstery and upwards of $20K if you choose fancy distressed full-grain leather.

Side note: there are a few Poliform beds that get the reading-in-bed angled headboard right, but they’re all in the same general price range.

BUT WAIT – A BUDGET-FRIENDLY OPTION:

NOZNOZNOZ - Best beds to read and work in Nyvoll Bed

IKEA has recently stepped up its bed game with the Nyvoll Bed ($179-249, Full-King). It’s not upholstered, so you’d want to prop pillows against the headboard for comfort, and the frame and headboard are too thin to rest anything on. But for the price, it’s much more functional than the ubiquitous Malm beds.

Another side note: IKEA does offer a bed with clunky angled headboard cushions but at $900 for a Queen, you’re better off with the Jane or any other bed, because that is a lot of money for a bed you’d have to put together with an allen wrench and tiny flat IKEA tools.

OR IF YOU’RE DIY-INCLINED…

I see a lot of DIY headboard projects, which are aesthetically great, but not suitable for reading or working on, because they’re all flat, parallel to the wall. Of course, you could get ambitious and build a headboard frame at an angle, but I love the idea of a thick cushion-headboard. I first saw this idea at the Ace Hotel in Portland, OR:

NOZNOZNOZ - Best beds to read and work in Ace HotelThe only challenge with incorporating this idea would be that regular bed frames don’t come long enough to sandwich your cushion-headboard behind your mattress, so you’d most likely end up sacrificing some bed length for the cushion (the Ace Hotel custom-built their bed frames long enough for this design).

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT. If you’ve got other bed frame suggestions that you love reading or working in, share them in the comments!