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What is a Bed Lounger?

By Kate Monteith
Updated May 17, 2024
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A bed lounger is a manufactured chair-like pillow specifically designed to offer back support in bed. People will use a bed lounge while reading, playing video games or watching TV in bed. Sometimes called a bed rest, these back pillows also offer a sturdy brace for the ill or infirm who have difficulty gaining bed support.

Rather than using several stacked pillows for reclining in bed, the bed lounger is a one-piece unit, perfectly suited for the job of head and neck support. They are available in different shapes, colors and styles, but most look like the top of an overstuffed chair, with no seat or legs. The basic design is usually a wide backrest flanked by two armrests along the side.

Consumer expectations for supreme comfort have prompted manufacturers to add some advanced features to the bed lounger. The high-end models now have an adjustable headrest above the back support that looks a lot like the headrest in a car seat. They can be adjusted up or down as well as rotated side to side for a full range of head and neck support.

The back cushion on some models can be adjusted to recline several degrees. Just like a living room recliner, the reclining bed lounger can be tilted back to suit individual comfort. Additionally, the armrests may be pivoted to just the right width to provide desired arm support. Some bed lounges even come with an embedded massaging vibrator that helps soothe aching backs, with or without heat.

While the main purpose of a bed lounger is to support the back in bed, there are bed pillows designed for other specific body support issues. For instance, a tube, or wedge-shaped bolster, called a leg lounger, may be used under the knees to support achy legs, or under the ankles to promote blood flow back to the heart. A crescent-shaped pillow may be used for neck support in bed or on an airplane. Women who are pregnant will often gain more comfort in bed with the use of a maternity pillow that supports the abdomen.

The materials used to manufacture bed loungers are much the same as upholstery materials. Most stores that sell bed recliners will also sell slipcovers that are a custom fit. A slipcover provides protection for the bed lounger, and covers are generally made of durable and washable material, including satin, cotton or synthetic fabrics. Slipcovers that are hypoallergenic can cost a bit more, but provide a cleaner, healthier choice.

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Discussion Comments
By honeybees — On Dec 19, 2011

Our grandson loves to spend the night. Since our other bedroom is clear at the other end of the house, we bought him a Cars slumber bed lounger.

He loves to come over and sleep in this lounger that reminds him of his favorite movie. It is nice to have him in the same room as we are, but not in the same bed.

With this lounger, he has his own spot and it is up off the floor. It folds up for easy storage when he is not here. He actually looks forward to bed time so he can sleep in his bed lounger!

It also has a zipper so he is zippered in and won't fall off the bed. He also likes to set it up when we watch movies.

By andee — On Dec 19, 2011

@MrSmirnov - I do like the portability of our bed lounger. I mostly use it for reading than anything else, but like the support it gives my head and back.

These portable bed loungers are also much less expensive than something like a bigger lounger sofa bed. Here you have the length of a bed so you can fully stretch out, but is not as easy to carry around with you.

It all depends on the main reason you are wanting to use it. If you just want to be temporarily propped up for awhile, a bed lounger is a great way to go.

If you want something that is more permanent, I would look at other alternatives.

By MrSmirnov — On Dec 18, 2011

Do you think it is a better idea to get a few mattress bed wedges or an actual bed lounger?

We have one of those thinner mattresses so it bends pretty easily, which makes me think it might be ideal to put the wedges under. I also like that the wedges come in different sizes so that you can switch things up if you don't want your bed up to high.

My wife is leaning towards the bed loungers though as she has visions of taking it with us when we stay at her parent's place. For someone reason she thinks it will be less strange to bring a bed lounger along.

By Sara007 — On Dec 18, 2011

My children all got kid's bed loungers for Christmas as I was tired of them sitting up in the living room and reading past their bedtime. I am happy if they are in their rooms on time as it gives my husband and I some downtime.

My son actually loves his Spiderman slumber bed lounger because it lets him play his video games comfortably from his bed, and he doesn't get any sore necks from trying to sit on the bed and play games at an odd angle. I think bed loungers are a good family investment if you want everyone to be comfortable.

By drtroubles — On Dec 17, 2011

When my wife and I decided to buy a couple of slumber bed loungers we had to shop around quite a bit because some of them just weren't that sturdy. Our daughters have gotten to that sleepover stage and the slumber bed loungers are a great investment if you can find some quality ones. They are very much like small comfortable cots but can be raised so you can sit in them too.

I liked the idea of my daughter and her friends being able to watch movies and sleep on the same piece of furniture, as it saved us having to buy more furniture.

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