Jaap Stam's promising start to his managerial career continued as his side's good form continued and they moved up to third place in the table.
Reading went into the game with Yann Kermorgant and John Swift both missing due to injury. That meant Dominic Samuel started a league game for the first time for The Royals, and it was to be a day of firsts for the 22 year old when he opened his Reading account four years after he made his debut.
Danny Williams doubled the lead soon after when he finished after a perfect Jordan Obita cross.
Burton pushed their luck before the break with Paul McShane having a shot cleared off the line and Samuel being denied a penalty, which angered Stam so much the referee had to calm him down.
After a poor first half Burton could only improve and two shots early after half time gave Reading a warning that the game wasn't won. Despite that good work from Samuel almost led to McCleary putting the game beyond The Brewers.
Following that chance Reading never had to get out of second gear and the game was finally put to bed when substitute Yakou Méïte showed good strength to get past Ben Turner to fire a shot that Jon McLaughlin saved only for it to rebound off John Brayford into the net.
The win saw Reading go above Huddersfield in the table and they are now just four points behind Brighton. In a poor Championship, Stam's team are surpassing expectations and are in good form: four wins in a row, four clean sheets in a row and two three goal wins in a row.
There is a clear gap in quality between the top two and the rest of the Championship, so while Reading won't trouble the automatic promotion places their fans will be increasingly hopeful of a bright future under Stam.
Reading: Al-Habsi; Gunter, McShane, Moore, Obita; Williams, Evans, Obita; McCleary (Mendes 77), Samuel (Méïte 67), Beerens (Kelly 86).
Burton: McLaughlin; Brayford, Mousinho, Turner (Flanagan 80); Akins, Williamson (Naylor 71), Palmer, Irvine, Dyer; Beavon, O'Grady (Miller 67).
Referee: Keith Stroud
Attendance: 15,545 (446 away fans)