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Which book lamps are best?

If you’re a reader who loves a good book before bed, you know the challenges of keeping the light on without disturbing anyone else in the room. A book lamp or reading light can help illuminate your page-turner without lighting up the whole space. 

Book lamps come in various types and sizes with different features, so finding the right one is crucial for creating a cozy reading nook. If you’re looking for a versatile and affordable book lamp for late-night page-turners, the Glocusent Rechargeable LED Neck Book Light is the top choice.

What to know before you buy a book lamp

Lamp type

There are many different shapes and sizes of reading lights that work for different purposes. 

Clip to book: Book lamps that clip directly to your book are useful no matter where you are. These lights have a base with a clamp to hold onto your book cover or Kindle. The lamp attaches to the base with a flexible, adjustable gooseneck. This makes it easy to direct the light to shine just above your reading materials.

Clip to table or headboard: Larger or stronger book lamps can attach to a headboard, shelf or table. Similar to book lamps that clip directly to your book, these lights have a clamping base that holds the light in place. Since these lights don’t attach to the book itself, you’re free to move around and read at different angles. 

Wearable: Some book lamps are designed to attach to you, the reader, rather than the book. These generally fit around your forehead or neck. Unlike the other two types of book lamps, these illuminate anything you point your head toward, making for an intuitive reading experience.

Power source

Book lamps tend to run off battery power, but some are also rechargeable using a USB cable or AC power adapter. Battery-operated book lamps typically use standard AAA batteries, and most can also accept rechargeable Li-ion batteries. Consider how often and where you plan to use your book lamp to help determine which power source makes sense for your reading habits.


Book lamps can weigh different amounts based on their materials, size and power source. The weight can affect how secure or portable your book lamp is. Lamps that weigh more may not stay upright on paperback books and can be more easily dislodged while traveling. If you’re looking for a lightweight solution, search for lamps that weigh 2 ounces or less.

What to look for in a quality book lamp

When it comes to finding the best book lamp for your reading routine, a few key features that can make all the difference. Look for book lamps with adjustable light settings, flexible stands and LED bulbs.

Adjustable light settings

Some lamps offer more than one light setting, including variable brightness and temperature. These different settings can help ensure you have the best lighting for your eyes regardless of where you read. They can also help you avoid disturbing your partner or roommate when you stay up late with a good book.


For the best reading experience, you’ll want to find a book lamp with a flexible neck or movable arms. These book lamps let you adjust the angle and height of the light, giving you optimal illumination for each book you pick up. Flexible arms also make it easy to fold up for storage or take with you on-the-go.

Bulb type

Almost all new book lamps use LED light bulbs. These offer longer-lasting, eco-conscious and low-impact lighting, perfect for bookworms. However, some book lamps still use traditional incandescent bulbs, which use far more energy to produce the same amount of light as LED bulbs. Incandescent bulbs can also cause glare and eye irritation, so be sure to shop for lights that use LED bulbs for the most comfortable reading experience.

How much you can expect to spend on a book lamp

Book lamps can range from $5-$25, with those on the higher end offering more features, adjustable settings and variable power sources.

Book lamp FAQ

Do I need to charge my book lamp?

A. That depends on the type of book lamp. Rechargeable book lamps use either a USB charging cable or AC power adapter. If you have a standard book lamp, it may accept rechargeable batteries. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidance on your book lamp.

Are book lamps safe to use for my eyesight?

A. Most book lamps are made with the express purpose of reading in mind, and are constructed to be as safe as possible for our eyes. Book lamps tend to use LED bulbs for efficiency and safety, as they reduce eye strain and last longer. 

Can I travel with my book lamp?

A. Most likely, yes. As you shop for a book lamp, keep in mind that you’ll want something flexible and small enough to pack in your luggage.

If you’re flying and checking a bag, you can pack your book lamp directly into your checked luggage. If packing it in a carry-on bag, you’ll probably only need to remove it for inspection if you are using a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Be sure to check airline restrictions before heading to the airport. 

What are the best book lamps to buy?

Top book lamp

Glocusent Rechargeable LED Neck Book Light

Glocusent Rechargeable LED Neck Book Light

What you need to know: This hands-free book lamp offers a bright, convenient reading experience.

What you’ll love: Multiple light settings and temperature modes let you control how bright your reading light is. The flexible and sturdy band sits easily around your neck and the beams of light point directly down at your book. The light is available in three different colors.

What you should consider: It is a bit large, so it might not fit as well on those with smaller shoulders.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top book lamp for the money

Energizer Lightweight LED Clip Book Light

Energizer Lightweight LED Clip Book Light

What you need to know: This flexible book light comes with lithium coin cell batteries already installed so you can enjoy the next book on your reading list right away.

What you’ll love: The clip is small but strong enough to work on most any size book or Kindle. Long-lasting batteries power this light for up to 25 hours. The thin, flexible lamp is adjustable and great for traveling.

What you should consider: Lithium coin cell batteries are not the same as lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, so they are likely fine in a carry-on bag.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

LIGHT IT! By Fulcrum MultiFlex Reading Light

LIGHT IT! By Fulcrum MultiFlex Reading Light

What you need to know: This lamp offers the best features along with a great price.

What you’ll love: The ultra-flexible neck lets you direct the beam of light anywhere you need. The clip-on style grip can attach to different surfaces like book covers, Kindles, bed frames and tables. A wide beam of light helps you read your materials without interruption.

What you should consider: This book lamp does not come with batteries.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond

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Katy Palmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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