Do you and your partner watch TV in bed?
Would you like to do that without bothering each other? Or making mess w/ snacks?
You’ve come to the right place.
What’s In This Guide?
Table of Contents
In this guide, we discuss the most common challenges people like you and me have watching TV in bed and discuss the best solutions and products to improve your in-bed TV experience.
We cover everything from how to keep sound and light from bothering your partner to the best products for eating and drinking in bed.
To start, let’s take a quick look at some of the most common problems we all face – and some opportunities to upgrade our bedroom media experience. Then, we’ll dive into specific solutions and products to these problems.
Common Issues Watching TV In Bed
If you’re like me, you probably stream or watch shows every night in your bedroom. And you’ve given nary a thought to how that experience could be improved – much less what sort of issues it might be causing you in terms of poor quality sleep, exacerbating pain, and more.
Limited Space For A TV
If you have a spacious bedroom, you can skip this issue.
But for those of us with barely any space beyond the bed, it can be difficult to add a TV to the bedroom.
You have to find a good location where you can comfortably watch TV while in bed, and make sure it’s not in the way.
There are a couple of ways to solve this challenge.
One, get a space-saving TV stand. We recommend the VIVO Space Saving TV display stand.
Two, mount your TV on the wall. That doesn't take up any usable space. On the downside, this may not be possible if you are renting.
Where Is That Damned Remote?
This is a frustrating problem whether you are watching TV in the bedroom or living room. The darned remote is always lost in the cushions, under furniture and other inexplicable places.
If you don't want to constantly throw off the bedding looking for the remote, get a remote control holder.
We like the TotalMount hole-free remote holder because it’s super-easy to install anywhere and doesn't require drilling holes or ruining your existing furniture to use it.
TV Speakers Sound Awful
Watching a great show you both love should be a memorable experience.
Unfortunately, most people rely on their built-in TV speakers in their boudoir, and they are typically awful.
Adding a decent-quality sound bar can do wonders to turn your bedroom binge into a truly immersive media experience. And the smaller size of most bedrooms means you probably only need 40-50 watts of power to get it..
Our favorite budget sound bar for the bedroom is the ever-popular Polk Audio Signa S2. It delivers 40 watts of power in a slim single bar design that will easily fit into any cabinet. Also comes with a separate 40-watt subwoofer to pump-up those action movies.
If you want more power and 5 separate speakers for more of a home theater setup, consider the VIZIO M-Series 5.1.2. This award-winning model comes with 5 channels of sound, a dedicated subwoofer, and Dolby Atmos. Widely available online.
Disturbing Your Partner
This is a biggie in my home.
I love sleeping with my partner, but she sleeps on a different timeframe than I do (I tend to stay up late), and we often prefer different kinds of shows.
A couple of years ago, we started sleeping in different bedrooms to solve the problem. Until we learned we didn't have to do that.
“Turn the Sound Down Please”
The first issue we had to deal with is noise.
If your partner doesn't share your enthusiasm for Netflix binging at midnight, the sound from the TV can be a big issue for them. And no matter how low the volume goes, some people are sensitive to sound and require complete silence to sleep.
Keep your explosions and car chase sounds to yourself using a pair of wireless headphones.
To avoid the sound lag common with wireless setups, buy wireless headphones designed specifically for watching TV. They come with a transmitter that eliminates lag.
Our favorite wireless TV headphone set is the Avantree Ensemble Wireless Headphones for TV.
“The Light Keeps Me Awake”
Another common problem with couples.
Thankfully, this one's easy to solve – ask them to wear a sleeping mask, or use a blackout drape. Just make sure it's a high-quality, super-soft and breathable design.
Our favorite inexpensive sleeping mask is the highly-rated Jersey Slumber Sleep Mask. This is one of the least expensive silk blackout masks you can buy and comes with a pair of foam earplugs, to boot. Over 20,000 positive ratings on Amazon.
If you want to splurge on yourself or buy a gift for your partner (hint hint), then go for the Drowsy Silk Face Mask. This unique award-winning design is made of silk and guarantees 100% blackout protection.
Spending a lot of time looking at a screen, including watching TV, strains the eyes. I should know. My eyes have paid the price for my countless hours in front of the TV.
Your eyes may get itchy, sore, or dry. You may also get headaches, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light.
One option is to reduce how much TV you watch, but I admit this one is hard for me to do. You can also try taking frequent breaks to rest your eyes. If you have dry eyes, get over the counter artificial tears.
But the least-intrusive solution, in our opinion, is protecting your eyes using blue light blocking glasses. They not only prevent strain when watching TV, but also when using other devices like a computer or your phone.
Our favorite set is the Livho 2 Pack Blue Light Blocking Glasses.
No Place To Put Your Drinks & Snacks
Drinks and food in bed is not just messy. If you’re not careful you’ll be watching TV with bugs to keep you company.
A breakfast tray table provides a perfect place to put your snacks while watching TV and keeps your bed clean and bug-free. One good choice is the Pipishell bamboo tray table.
However, a tray table is not the best choice for everyone. It can be uncomfortable to use for long periods and you can’t move around without the table threatening to tip over.
The other great option if you don't fancy a tray table is an overbed table. Overbed tables are larger and stand on the floor / not on the bed, so you don't have to worry about tipping it over. One of the most popular top-rated overbed tables is the Joy Overbed Table.
If you only drink while watching TV, an overbed may be overkill. We recommend a simple cup and bottle holder instead. The best we’ve come across is the popular Cup Cozy Pillow.
The Kitchen Fridge Feels Like It’s Miles Away
Still on the topic of TV snacks, if you like to drink beer, wine, or any cold beverage when watching TV, it’s tiresome to keep getting up to grab a cold one from the kitchen refrigerator.
A robot butler that brings you drinks would be cool, but we have an even better idea.
What about keeping drinks cold right where you are?
A bedside beverage cooler is the best solution for your bottled water, juices and wine.
The compact Antarctic Star 1.6cu.ft Beverage Refrigerator takes up minimal space in your bedroom and looks kinda cool with its soft blue interior lighting.
Back & Neck Pain
No, you are not getting old. It’s that your bed is not the ideal place to watch TV from. Even just a few minutes of watching TV in bed can leave you with a sore neck especially if you watch while lying down.
Sitting up is more comfortable, but not practical if your goal is to fall asleep.
So here’s a simple tip to avoid waking with TV-induced pain:
Don't rely on your regular pillows and your headboard for proper back/neck support.
A total backrest pillow like the Husband Pillow XXL is great for sitting up in bed, while a wedge pillow like the Kӧlbs Extra Wide is great when you want to recline or lie down as you watch TV in bed.
Other Solutions & Advice For Watching TV In Bed
- If you don't have space for a TV in your bedroom or you are worried it’ll bother your partner, consider watching shows and movies on a tablet or smartphone. It’s less intrusive. For comfort, use it along with the Lamicall Gooseneck tablet holder.
- If your mattress is not supportive enough or it’s old, upgrade to a new mattress. For in-bed TV watching, I love sitting/reclining on a hybrid mattress with plush foams and supportive coils. A comfortable mattress can also reduce aches when you are watching TV.
- Take frequent breaks to stretch your joints. You can even walk around the bedroom to relieve leg cramps. This will prevent muscle and joint aches from staying in one position for too long.
- If, like me, you have a habit of leaving the TV on when you sleep, look for the auto switch off setting in the TV menu. Once you start to get sleepy, set the auto-off timer.
- If watching TV makes it harder for you to fall asleep, switch it off about an hour before it’s bedtime.
- No matter how many pillows I use, watching TV in bed sometimes leaves me with a mild backache. If you already have back or joint problems, you could aggravate the pain. Consider getting a chair or couch (depending on how much space you have) for your bedroom. It’ll be more comfortable for watching TV than the bed.
Best Products For People Who Watch Television In Bed
Here is quick list of the products we’ve recommended so far:
The awesome-named Husband Pillow XXL is always our top recommendation for people who spend time in bed reading, eating, working, or watching television.
It's big, it's super cozy and it supports your back and head.
To enjoy watching TV in bed, you need to make it as comfortable as possible and your regular pillows aren’t up to the task.
A backrest pillow is much more comfortable for sitting up in bed. The Husband Pillow XXL is a bit more expensive than other backrest pillows in the market, but it’s worth it.
For one, it’s bigger than other backrest pillows. It can support any adult, even those with a bigger body frame.
It’s also super comfortable and supportive thanks to the shredded memory foam and polyfoam filling.
By the way, you can remove or add more filling to change how the pillow feels.
A neck roll pillow provides support for your neck and head. You can remove it or change its position to where it’s most comfortable.
The Husband Pillow XXL also comes with armrests.
Other thoughtful additions include a rear pocket for magazines or devices, and another pocket on the side that’s perfect for keeping the TV or sound bar remote.
The soft cover on the Husband Pillow XXL is removable and washable. You can also order additional covers in various colors.
Issues & Limitations
The Kӧlbs extra wide wedge pillow is available in two height options: 7” and 12”.
Most customers found the 7” option to be the most comfortable one for them. It’s high enough that you can comfortably watch TV in bed, but not too high that it’s uncomfortable to sleep on.
If you want a wedge pillow that’s perfect for watching TV as well as sleeping, go with the 7” height.
If you only want a wedge pillow to recline on when watching TV, get the taller 12” option. It’ll give you a better viewing position.
One thing we love about the Kӧlbs wedge pillow is how wide it is. It’s 33” wide (about half the size of a Queen bed), so you have plenty of room to rest and toss.
The wedge pillow has a plush 1.3” memory foam layer on top of a firmer poly foam base. The two layers ensure the pillow feels soft while also being supportive.
Tip: For extra comfort and support, try placing your regular pillow on the wedge pillow under your head. It also keeps you from sliding down.
The two-tone jacquard cover is removable and machine washable.
Issues & Limitations
The unique V base of the VIVO Space Saving TV stand is genius. It keeps the TV stand stable and it allows the stand to fit in a small space.
You can push the base under your bed, so that the TV stand takes up as little space as possible.
The VIVO TV stand is made from aluminum and steel. This makes it lightweight but strong and sturdy. It can support up to 88lbs of weight.
The mount at the top of the TV supports any flat or curved screen TV with VESA mounting patterns from 200x200mm to 600x400mm.
This covers most 49 inch to 70 inch TVs, though some 43” TVs are also compatible (check the VESA pattern at the back of your TV to ensure compatibility).
The mount swivels around so you can turn the TV whichever direction you want. You can also adjust the height of the TV up to 53” high.
To reduce clutter, the VESA space saving TV stand comes with a built-in cable management system that hides the wires to maintain the clean minimalist look of the stand.
Issues & Limitations
The only feature missing is a bracket or mount to hold a sound bar. If you are using a sound bar, you’ll have to find another place to put it.
Alternatively, get another TV stand with a sound bar mount or shelf like the PERLESMITH Swivel Floor TV stand.
The VIZIO M-Series M512a-H6 sound bar is one of the best value sound bars. It’s a mid-range soundbar with some of the features typically found in high-end units.
If you want a cinema experience in your bedroom without spending close to a thousand bucks, we highly recommend the VIZIO M512a-H6 sound bar.
The VIZIO M512a-H6 sound bar is one of the cheapest ways to get into the world of Dolby Atmos. It’s a great choice if you want an affordable but good quality sound setup for your bedroom TV.
A regular HDMI port (and other types of sound input ports) will not deliver the Dolby Atmos experience.
Additionally, check that the media platform you are using supports Dolby Atmos. Many services including Netflix, HBO Max, Apple Music and others support Dolby Atmos, though you may need a higher priced tier to access it.
If you check all these requirements, then the VIZIO M512a-H6 sound bar is a great pick.
Tip: If you don't care about Dolby Atmos or you can’t take advantage of it, look for a non-Dolby Atmos sound bar. It’ll be much cheaper. Check out the VIZIO V-Series sound bar line.
Back to the VIZIO M512a-H6, it also comes with DTS:X, an alternative to Dolby Atmos.
The setup includes the main sound bar speaker that’s 40” long, a 9.9” tall wireless subwoofer, and two small surround speakers.
In total, the VIZIO M512a-H6 has 11 speakers including two upfiring ones in the main speaker.
All this is to say that sound quality is really good for the money, and more than adequate for the bedroom.
Issues & Limitations
If you just want a basic budget sound bar for your bedroom TV, the VIZIO M512a-H6 may not be what you are looking for. It’s good value for money, but still pricey compared to entry-level sound bars.
The other potential issue is the size of the sound bar. The main speaker is 40” long. You may struggle to find adequate space for it.
Unlike remote holders that mount with screws, the TotalMount remote holder is super easy and quick to install.
It used adhesive strips that take a couple of minutes to set up. The adhesive is strong and holds the remote holder securely.
But you can still unstick the holder easily by pulling on the hidden tabs at the bottom. This will remove the adhesive without damaging the wall.
The strips are compatible with different kinds of surfaces including plastic, wood (including painted/varnished wood), metal, glass, and concrete.
So you can stick the remote holder on the wall next to the bed, on the bed itself, or whatever other surface works best for your situation.
The TotalMount remote holder comes with screws, so you still have the option to mount it the traditional way.
The remote holder holds 2-3 remote controls depending on their size. It can also hold a smartphone.
Issues & Limitations
The TotalMount remote holder is well designed with the exception of the divider inside at the bottom. It’s meant to create two compartments to keep remotes separate.
But customers say it is an issue if you have a wider than usual remote control. It’s also a problem when you want to put your smartphone in the holder.
If you only occasionally use headphones to watch TV, any decent bluetooth headphones will work fine. Just be sure to tweak TV settings if you experience lag.
But if you watch movies, shows, documentaries, and songs often via headphones, the Avantree Ensemble headphones are a better choice. They have no lag, sound quality is great, and the range is amazing.
The Avantree Ensemble headphones have two components: the headphones themselves and a transmitter.
The transmitter connects physically to the TV’s audio out port. The transmitter has a number of port options including optical, coaxial, 3.5mm, and RCA.
So whichever output port your TV uses, the transmitter can accommodate it. All the cables for the different outputs are included with the Avantree Ensemble headphones.
Once you connect the transmitter to the TV, it then transmits audio wirelessly to the headphones. It uses 2.4 GHz RF transmission instead of Bluetooth.
This eliminates lag. You get perfect sync between audio and video.
It also greatly improves audio quality. You no longer have to spend a lot of money on high-end bluetooth headphones to get good audio. The Avantree Ensemble headphones are clear even at high volume.
RF transmission also means you can enjoy a longer range of up to 100 feet. You can even keep listening in another room with a wall separating you and the TV.
The wireless Avantree Ensemble headphones run on rechargeable batteries that last about 12 hours. To charge the batteries, simply dock the headphones on top of the transmitter.
As for comfort, most users say the Avantree Ensemble headphones feel soft and comfortable on their ears. You can adjust the head band for a perfect fit.
Issues & Limitations
While the default sound quality is pretty good, some users say they wish the Avantree Ensemble headphones had treble and bass control.
Hope you like what you hear because you cannot adjust sound quality other than volume.
The Livho glasses may not look like they block light because they have clear lenses, not the traditional tinted lenses in most computer glasses.
But they work. To prove it, the package comes with a tester card and a small blue light torch. You can check yourself that the glasses block blue light.
A majority of customers say they’ve felt a difference after getting the Livho glasses. They get fewer headaches, their eyes feel less tired, and they sleep better after watching TV in the evening.
In addition to blocking blue light, the Livho glasses also have a special coating that blocks UV 400, meaning it keeps out both UVA and UVB rays. So the Livho glasses are ideal for watching TV and you can also put them on when going outside.
The pack includes two pairs of glasses, each a different style. There are over a dozen style combos to choose from when ordering.
The glasses have a casual style that’s perfect for use at home or at work.
Issues & Limitations
While the Livho glasses reduce glare, many users say there is still a bit of glare noticeable when you are watching TV or looking at a screen.
But you get used to it and don't notice it after some time.
The Joy overbed table looks like home furniture rather than hospital equipment, which is what most overbed tables look like.
The Joy table is actually stylish and you can get it in black or white.
As for functionality, the Joy overbed table has plenty of space for whatever you want. The table straddles the entire width of your bed. The tabletop is 70 inches wide and 15.8 inches deep.
You have a lot of space for your TV watching snacks and drinks. The table is also great for those days you are watching something on your laptop or tablet. Simply place it on the table.
It’s also ideal for working in bed.
A backboard wraps around the back and sides of the table to keep stuff from sliding off.
The table’s legs sit on caster wheels, making it super easy to move the table over the bed. You can adjust how high the table is (from 34” to 40”) to suit the height of your bed.
Tip: Use the Joy overbed table along with the Husband XXL backrest for best comfort.
When you are not using the Joy overbed table on your bed, it also works great as a standing desk, a breakfast bar or a regular table. Just roll it where you want it and lock the wheels.
Issues & Limitations
The Cup Cozy Pillow is essentially a block of foam with holes cut out and covered with a fabric. It works great for keeping your drinks secure when you are on the bed, couch, floor, or any other surface.
The flat bottom of the Cup Cozy Pillow makes it hard for it to tip over even when you move on the bed or hit the cup holder.
The bottom of the fabric is also anti-slip.
The three holes are the cup holders. There’s a small one on end for narrow cups/bottles, a special one in the middle designed to hold a mug with a handle, and a larger one on the other end.
When you put a drink inside one of the holes, the foam expands to secure it. The foam also provides some insulation, keeping your drinks cold or hot for longer.
The fabric is removable and washable, so don't worry if it gets dirty.
Issues & Limitations
The thought of a fridge in the bedroom may not sound that appealing, but the Antarctic Star beverage refrigerator actually looks good next to your bed.
You can put it on the floor or place it on a bedside table.
The Antarctic Star beverage cooler is compact with a contemporary style. The glass door provides a nice view of the soft blue interior lighting.
The rest of the cooler is finished in black, so it blends in easily with your bedroom decor.
The Antarctic Star cooler is powered by a compressor. Unlike thermoelectric beverage coolers, it does an excellent job keeping drinks chilled.
The refrigerator offers a cooling range between 40 and 61 degrees Fahrenheit.
Inside the Antarctic Star beverage cooler, you can put in bottles (beer, wine, water, soda etc.) as well as cans.
While it’s not as spacious as most beverage coolers, it holds enough drinks for one or two people.
Issues & Limitations
The other issue with the Antarctic Star beverage cooler is the lack of a digital thermostat. Temperature control is via an analog dial that makes it hard to set a precise temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions About Watching Television In Bed
How can I comfortably watch TV in bed?
When watching TV in bed, you need to protect your back and neck from strain. The best way to do this is using a backrest pillow that allows you to comfortably sit up in bed.
Alternatively, use a wedge pillow to watch TV while lying down/reclining.
Does watching TV in bed keep you awake?
Watching TV in bed during the day will likely not affect your sleep quality. What might be an issue is watching TV before you sleep.
If you are watching something exciting, it might keep you awake into the night. The blue light from the TV can also make it harder to fall asleep.
Use blue light blocking glasses to reduce the effect of blue light and consider switching to a slower movie or program when it's almost bedtime. You can even look for something relaxing to help you sleep.
What is the best position for watching TV in bed?
Don't lie down when watching TV in bed. It'll strain your neck and leave you with aches. Instead sit up and support your back against the headboard, wall or a backrest pillow.
If you want to lie down, use a wedge pillow. It'll recline your upper body so you can still watch TV without bending your neck.
How can I watch TV in bed without disturbing my partner?
Use a pair of wireless headphones and link them to the TV or soundbar.
You can use regular bluetooth headphones or get special TV watching wireless headphones. TV watching headphones use an RF transmitter to eliminate the audio lag that is an issue with many bluetooth headphones.
Another tip is to dim the screen so that the light from the TV is not too bright.
You can also watch your movie or show on a laptop or tablet using headphones. It'll be less disruptive than a large TV.
How do I stop losing the TV remote?
The trick is to find a single place to keep the remote control. Always remember to return it there after using it, so you always know where to find it.
A remote holder is perfect for this. Look for one of those adhesive remote holders that you can attach to the wall, your bed or any surface without making holes.
Where should I place the TV in my bedroom?
Position the TV where you can easily see it from the bed. That's usually above the foot of the bed. You can mount it on the wall above the bed or place a TV stand at the end of the bed.
As a degreed engineer, I love new technology as much as you do (perhaps more). I also understand how to sort the best products from the rest. My team and I spend dozens of hours each week reviewing the best & latest products for your bedroom. Many are tested in-house, and others we break down based on our technical understanding. Whether you need a bed-cooling system, an adjustable bed, or a new CPAP machine – we've got you covered.