Best Reading Lights
If you like to read in bed, you’ll want to find the reading light that best suits your needs. Reading lights provide focused lighting that makes it easier to read or do other activities, like knitting, in bed. Using a reading light can cut down on eye strain and contribute to better sleep hygiene.
A reading light may sound like a simple purchase, but there are many different models available and many factors to consider, such as light source, portability, brightness, and power source.
Some models sit on a bedside table, while others can be mounted to a headboard or clipped onto a desk. There are also models that offer advanced features like Bluetooth and USB ports. How you plan to use your reading light can dictate which model is the best choice for you.
We’ll cover several different models and their features. We’ll also discuss some general factors to consider when shopping for a reading light.
Top Picks Overview
Our Top Picks
Casper Glow LightBest Overall
- Mimics natural light to facilitate sleep
- Portable model that can be placed on a bedside table or on any other surface
- Bluetooth-enabled with an app that controls its settings
The Casper Glow Light is a self-dimming touch lamp. It uses soft white LED light with amber accents to simulate natural light. You can twist the lamp to get the desired level of brightness for reading.
When you turn on the Glow, it begins a 45-minute long light cycle, starting with a brighter white light and slowly dimming to amber light, then fading until it goes out. This pattern mimics the sunset and is designed to ease sleepers into a more natural sleep. You can also tap, turn, or shake the Glow at any time to brighten it up.
The Glow comes with a wireless charging station. Once charged, the Glow is portable. Its polycarbonate outer casing is designed to be durable.
The Glow is also Bluetooth-enabled and can be used with an app that allows you to adjust the light’s settings. One setting allows you to use the Glow as an alarm. At the alarm time, the Glow light gradually gets brighter to mimic a sunrise.
Casper offers a 30-night trial of the Glow, with free returns. The Glow is also covered by a 12-month limited warranty.
Lepower Clip on LightBest Value
- Four light settings that control light type and brightness
- Scratch-resistant clip
- Fully adjustable arm
The Lepower Clip on Light comes in three colors: black, silver, and white. It features a round, non-flickering light at the end of an adjustable arm, and a 5-foot USB cord that plugs into a regular household outlet.
The cord has two push button switches that adjust the type of light and the brightness. The lamp uses either white light or warm light and is adjustable to be bright or dim. The arm is a gooseneck design that rotates 360 degrees.
The clip can expand up to 2.36 inches and can be clipped onto a desk or headboard. The clip includes a layer of foam that resists scratching.
The Leopower Clip on Light is made of metal and plastic. It’s 20 inches tall and provides soft lighting that is designed for comfortably reading in bed.
Glocusent LED Neck Reading LightBest Wearable
- Comfortable, wearable design
- Focused light that won’t disturb your partner
- Three brightness levels and temperature settings
The Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light is designed to be worn around the neck. Each side of the wearable lamp includes an arm with a light at the end. These lights are adjustable, with three brightness levels and color temperatures, as well as a push button control. The brightness levels include general reading, brighter reading, and precise working, and the color temperatures are yellow, warm white, and cool white. The Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light also filters out blue light, which can have negative effects on your sleep-wake cycle.
The base is an ergonomic shape designed to fit comfortably around the neck. The arms are fully adjustable for precise illumination, making it easier to use without disturbing a sleeping partner.
The reading light comes in gray, blue, and pink. While it is designed for reading in bed, it can also be used for other activities like camping or knitting. It includes a rechargeable battery with up to 80 hours of light on one charge. The light is constructed out of plastic and rubber and includes a USB-C cord for charging.
The light is returnable when ordered through Amazon.
YiLaie Reading LightBest Magnetic Mount
- Wireless construction makes it portable
- Adjustable head is convenient for any reading position
- Light can be set anywhere between 2% and 100% of its full brightness
The YiLaie Reading Light is a wireless magnetic touch lamp. It has a minimalist style and comes in two colors: American black walnut and noble wooden. The light is made out of wood and iron, and it gives off a natural white light using 26 LEDs. By holding down the on/off switch, you can dim the light down to 2% of its brightness level.
The light includes a rechargeable battery with a USB charging cable. One charge gives 30 hours of continuous lighting.
When mounted on the base, the light can spin up to 360 degrees. The package includes a screw and double-sided tape, both of which can be used to mount the base on a wall or other surface. You can also remove the light from its base and use it as a handheld light. Because it’s magnetic, the light will attach to any iron surface.
YiLaie offers a 360-day warranty with a free return policy.
Acegoo Headboard Reading LampBest Headboard Mount
- Fully adjustable neck
- Easy-to-operate dimmer switch
- Mountable on headboard without damage
The Acegoo Headboard Reading Lamp is a dimmable, adjustable reading light. The light can be mounted to a headboard without drilling or wall damage. The base includes a stabilizer panel that sits between the headboard and wall, keeping the light balanced on top of the headboard.
The light also includes a knob dimmer. Twisting the knob makes the light dimmer or brighter, and the knob is also the on/off switch. The gooseneck-style arm is fully adjustable. By moving the arm, you can focus the light on one specific point.
The Acegoo Headboard Reading Lamp comes with a 50-inch power cord that plugs into a standard outlet. It also comes with a stabilizer panel that requires some assembly.
The light has a minimalist design with a brushed nickel finish. The base of the light is 4 inches wide, 2 inches thick, and less than an inch tall. The base also includes a USB charging port.
The Acegoo Headboard Reading Lamp is returnable when ordered through Amazon.
How to Find the Best Reading Light For You
When choosing the reading light that’s best for you, it’s important to keep certain features in mind, including design, power source, and brightness.
- Design: Depending on how you will use your reading light, different designs may suit your needs. Some designs are portable and can be carried from room to room. Others are mounted in one spot, and some have adjustable lights and arms. You may also want to consider how the design of the light you pick fits in with your decor. Many reading lights feature a minimalist design and are made with metal or plastic. But you can also find lights made of wood or other materials that have a more modern style.
- Power Source: The way a reading light receives power can affect its functionality. Some reading lights must be plugged into a wall outlet to function, making them less portable. Others include rechargeable batteries that provide continuous light until they need to be charged again. Some lights are wireless and can be charged using a wireless charging station.
- Brightness: Many reading lights are made with LED lights and offer options to adjust or dim the light. Those who like to read in bed at night will also want to find a reading light that gives off minimal blue light, since blue light can disrupt your sleep cycle. If you sleep with a partner, it’s important to find a dimmable light with a narrow beam.
Types of Reading Lights
When choosing the best reading light for you, consider where you’ll be using it. This can help you figure out which type is your best option.
Tabletop Reading Lights
Tabletop reading lights are the traditional type of reading light, similar to a standard lamp. These lights are designed to sit on a table or desk. Unlike standard lamps, they often include features that are specific to the needs of readers, like adjustable heads and dimmer settings.
Clip-on Reading Lights
A clip-on reading light affixes to a table or desktop using a strong clip. The clip is usually designed with padding or other material to prevent scratches. These lights are best for those who want a sturdy light but also want the option to move it to different areas. For example, the light could clip onto the end of a desk and also to a headboard for reading in bed.
Wearable Reading Lights
A wearable reading light fits around your neck and has a light on either side. These lights are best for readers who want the freedom to move around the house while still illuminating the area in front of them. They are also helpful for those who sleep with a partner because they focus the light in one area.
Headboard-Mounted Reading Lights
Made specifically to provide enough light to read in bed, a headboard-mounted reading light affixes to a headboard. These reading lights are generally stationary, but they are also usually adjustable. Like wearable lights, headboard-mounted lights work well for readers who sleep with a partner, since they tend to only illuminate one side of the bed.
Smart lights typically include more features than you might find in a standard reading light. They may be Bluetooth-enabled and include an app you can use to adjust various settings. These lights are well-suited for readers who are into technology and want the ability to control their lights using their phone. These lights are often programmable and can also be used as a morning alarm.
Why Use a Reading Light?
Generally speaking, a reading light provides more focused illumination than a bedside lamp or an overhead room light. This focused light makes book pages easier to see and read. It also cuts down on unnecessary light in the bedroom that could be a distraction to others while still providing enough light to prevent eye strain.
Many reading lights also use LED lights that minimize exposure to blue light, which comes from the screens of electronic devices like a smartphone or laptop. Too much blue light can negatively affect your sleep patterns, leading to inadequate sleep.