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How to Make Reading in the Bathtub Comfier?

a profile image of TSA author Alex

Written By Alex Petrović

Certified Sleep Consultant

Woman reading book in bathtub

1 April 2024 8 min read

If you're a bookworm, there are few things more relaxing than reading in the bathtub. So, today we're going to talk about how you can turn your bathtub day into a premium experience. Let's go through our top tips for reading in the bathtub.

After you've had a hard day at work, taking a warm bath and catching up on your favourite novel is nothing short of bliss. So, it's essential that things go smoothly – as you don't want your “me” time to turn into a stressful mess!

Luckily, there are all kinds of gadgets and products that you can use in order to keep things running smoothly. Therefore, here are our tips for making reading in the bathtub a premium experience!

Keeping your book dry

When thinking about reading in the bathtub, getting your book wet is public enemy number one! So, making sure that you can keep things nice and dry is essential if you don't want to risk ruining your favourite novel. Here are a few ways you could do exactly that.

Have a dry towel handy

Product image of Super Soft Pure Cotton Towel Natural

If you're a purist and don't want to buy extra products for reading in the bathtub, you can just have a dry towel nearby and simply dry off your hands before grabbing your book. However, this is by far the riskiest approach since there's nothing that can catch your book if it slips.

Not to mention that you'd have to keep both of your hands up above the water the entire time, as even just scratching your head would probably require you to grab the towel again.

Not to mention that you'd have to keep both of your hands up above the water the entire time, as even just scratching your head would probably require you to grab the towel again. But if you do decide to go with this route, we suggest getting some high-quality towels. For example, these cotton ones from Dunelm.

Get a page-turner

In case you want a slightly safer variant from the last segment, getting a page-turner is your best bet. They usually come in the form of plastic grips that you put on your hand, with one protruding “finger” that you can use in order to turn the page.

So, even if your hands are wet, the book will be completely fine. That being said, page-turners can be somewhat awkward to use – so, your reading in the bathtub might be a bit more annoying. And just like with the previous entry, the book itself has no protection, and accidents happen.

Get a bath tray or book holder

For most people, this will likely be the most convenient option. After all, a bath tray not only gives you a place to set your book down but you also have room for any snacks you'd want to munch on as well. Or a glass of wine, we don't judge.

Plus, there is a surprising amount of variety among bath trays and book holders. For example, while some just have a space for you to prop your book up, an adjustable book holder wraps around the book and keeps it open as well.

Make your book waterproof

Whether you want some extra security to go along with your tray or just prefer to hold the book like you would normally, making your book waterproof is an ideal option. And there are two main ways to do this.

First off, you can simply get a waterproof case. These usually come in the form of some type of laminate bag that you can put your book inside and zip up tight. Although it might be a bit awkward, as long as the seal is tight, it's a foolproof method.

The second option is arguably the best one but also the hardest one to pull off. For certain books, you can find them printed on synthetic paper. And these bad boys are basically indestructible unless you start rubbing them with harsh chemicals.

However, be aware that they can be hard to find and are usually very expensive. Especially when compared to just getting a plastic zipper bag.

Keeping your electronics dry

An image of different electronic devices on a table

Although traditional bookworms swear on the new-book smell on every occasion, they have to admit that having an e-book is extremely convenient. For one, some phones and tablets are completely waterproof – making your reading in the bathtub routine a lot easier. Although we wouldn't suggest testing it out as the soap can cause some damage.

And even if it's not waterproof most electronic stores sell waterproof cases that you can put your phone or tablet inside of and keep things safe. Especially since an electronic device is a lot easier to control with one hand than a book.

Lastly, you can even take the extra step and just have an audiobook app read your book to you. After all, you can't get an audio recording wet. So, it makes for the safest bathing experience if you want to read.

Making the tub more comfortable

An image of a woman comfortably laying in a filled-up bathtub reading a book and enjoying herself

When it comes to adding comfort, a good bathtub pillow is all you need! And luckily, there are a plethora of bath pillows on the market to choose from. They usually have a suction cup so that they can't slip into the water and are designed to provide a comfortable angle so that you can remain seated for a very long time.

And while getting a bath pillow from a good manufacturer is your best bet, some people have gone the DIY route as well. However, do note that this doesn't involve taking your sleeping pillow and putting it in the bath – as that can ruin the filling.

Rather, people have taken towels or even bath mats, folded them up, stitched them tightly, and then sewn suction cups on the back. So, if you have some spare towels or mats laying around and don't feel like going shopping, this could be a viable alternative. Although it's difficult to mimic the comfort you'd get from the ready-made product.

Creating a relaxing bath atmosphere

The main point of reading in the bathtub is relaxation. So, it only makes sense to make the entire experience as relaxing as humanly possible. After all, this is one of those cases where you can't have too much of a good thing. Therefore, here are a few suggestions for maxing out the relaxation meter.

Get scented candles

We firmly believe that every bath is better if it's a scented bath. After all, who doesn't want to smell cinnamon and roses while relaxing and catching up on their favourite crime drama?

Plus, this is one of the easiest tips to implement. All you have to do is get a candle, put it somewhere where accidental splashes can't get to it, light it up, make sure your towels aren't on fire, and relax. And since a single candle can get you through multiple sessions of reading time, it's rather cheap as well.

So, either browse online or go to the nearest shop and get all of your favourite scents. And if you're so inclined, you could even get some essential oils to make the experience even more relaxing. After all, if essential oils can help you fall asleep, they can probably help you relax as well.

Get bath bombs

Bath bombs are the type of product you don't think about or even dismiss at first but the second you try them out, they become your next go-to self-care product. From the added bubbles to the water colour and the smell, a good bath bomb can make you feel like you're in paradise.

And since they're only getting more and more popular, you can find all kinds of bath bombs on the market. So, you can get the one that's perfect for you. Sure, they aren't as cost-effective as scented candles, but they're an excellent treat every now and then while you're working down your reading list.

Include relaxing sounds

The way we see it, there are two main ways you can include relaxing sounds into your routine of reading in the bathtub. First off, getting a wireless speaker and playing some ambient music. Not only does this set the mood quite well but if you have a virtual assistant (like an Alexa), you can also control the settings without getting out of the tub.

However, if you think actual music would be too distracting and you don't want your smart devices in the bathroom with you (to avoid all kinds of pings and notifications), you can get a white noise machine.

A good white noise machine should help you tune out some of the thoughts running around in your head without distracting you from the good book in front of you. Just make sure that you don't accidentally fall asleep, as a good white noise machine can make you sleepy.

Keeping things safe and easy

Lastly, we'd like to talk about ways to keep the whole process nice, safe, and convenient. Because you want to read the latest thriller, not become an accidental victim in one. So, here are some general tips for things you can do before and after your bath in order to keep things running smoothly.

Place down a bath mat

An image of two people reading in a bathtub

Not to be confused with bath rugs (which are mostly decorative), bath mats are very absorbent and provide a non-slip area for you to step onto after getting out of the bath. And this is rather important for two main reasons.

Number one, it prevents you from slipping and potentially getting hurt. Secondly, it will absorb any water that might have splashed over, keeping your bath rugs safe and dry. So, definitely a product that's worth looking into.

Get a hair catcher

If you have a lot of hair and tend to scratch your head vigorously as you devour the pages of your crime drama, getting a hair catcher is a wise investment. After all, nobody likes digging through the drain to collect hair clumps.

And if the drain gets blocked up and you used a bath bomb, cleaning the tub later might be enough of a hassle to completely counteract the relaxing experience you just had. Plus, they're cheap and can be used for quite a while – so, it's not much of an investment.

Have a cold spritz if it's late

Although cooking yourself like a lobster is extremely fun and relaxing, it's not exactly what you'd want to do if you took the bath in the evening. This is because your core body temperature is now quite high and you might have issues falling asleep.

Your body needs to reach a certain temperature before dozing off, so if you jump right into bed after a hot bath, you might end up tossing and turning for a while. So, have a cold spritz and cool off before heading to bed.

It's also ideal if you can prep your room to be the ideal sleep temperature beforehand as well, just so that you can easily doze off and head into dream town.


In conclusion, reading in the bathtub can be extremely relaxing when done right! So, keep our tips in mind and relax like a champ. And if you have any other tips for reading in the bathtub, feel free to let us know in the comments!

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About the author

Alex Petrović
Sleep Consultant
A CPD certified Sleep Consultant with more than 2000 hours of research into all the different ways we can get a great night's sleep. As a former insomniac, I know how difficult life can be without a nightly recovery and I love that I get to share everything I've learned with you all. So hopefully we can all sleep soundly!
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