Reading in bed: backmax or something else?
April 27, 2020 9:48 AM   Subscribe

I really need a more ergonomic and comfortable way to position myself when I read (which I do in bed and also sitting on the floor with my back leaned against my bed frame.) Is a BackMax (set of contoured adjustable pillows that zip together) worth it for $160 or should I cobble together something similar from wedge pillows and elevated leg pillows? I don't just want a "husband pillow" - I want a more complete system that will be really comfortable and minimize strain.
posted by needs more cowbell to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I have an elevated leg pillow like you link to, and I do love it (though my motiviation is for dealing with lower back issues). It's not hard to cobble together a combo of that and a few pillows under my upper body to make a nice position. But when I clicked on that BackMax thing you led to, I have to admit I oohed and aahed for a sec. That looks pretty wonderful, and I really want it.

However I will say that you will need some significant space to store even just the elevated leg pillow. It's large and firm, and dealing with it when I don't want it on the bed is a bit of a hassle. And the BackMax would be even more to deal with.
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:26 AM on April 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Your pillow looks great. I use cobbled together pillows with this tablet stand to hold the book overhead
posted by CathyG at 7:31 PM on April 27, 2020

That BackMax pillow looks awesome, but not necessarily great for reading. I have a hacked-together setup that approximates the shape of the BackMax using about 7 regular pillows and a wedge, and it's great for my back but not great for reading -- my hands and wrists get very strained trying to hold the book up.
posted by ourobouros at 4:56 AM on April 28, 2020

Response by poster: my hands and wrists get very strained trying to hold the book up.

I basically only read on my kindle, so that's a factor for me. But also what other positions do people do that are better in that respect (other than using some kind of book stand, which seems independent of chair/pillow setup)? I wear glasses and it makes lying on my side while reading difficult (I've looked into cutout pillows for that but that seems iffy.)

It feels weird that I haven't sorted this out, but I read a lot as a kid (no glasses, young body) and then had some vision issues that interfered with doing much pleasure reading for awhile and I'm trying to get back into the habit.
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:13 AM on April 28, 2020

Response by poster: Update: I got this (very very firm) wedge to test out and I feel sold on the general concept of wedge pillows but definitely need to mess around with other pillows to make it comfortable for reading. So I decided to spring for the BackMax, which is on Woot right now for what feels like a bargain (especially since that's the wider version.) I don't have floor space for (or the budget or ability to shop in person for) a recliner or comfortable couch and I'll be spending so much time at home for the foreseeable future that it felt like a reasonable investment. I'll update again when I get it.
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:05 AM on May 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

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