Aaron Lennon set up David Healy for the opener shortly before the interval, but it was the on-loan Hulse's second-half brace that caught the eye.
Healy and Jermaine Wright set up his first, from the edge of the area, before Hulse made it two from 25 yards.
Lloyd Owusu's late goal denied Leeds a clean sheet but that did little to take the shine off Leeds' and Hulse's day.
Reading manager Steve Coppell:
"Defence is one thing that we've had going for us. Since the turn of the year we've been very solid," he said.
"But the first goal was a mess-up, and in the second half we had a crazy spell when we conceded two in 10 minutes.
"That we're still up there is scant consolation - on our current form we don't deserve to be up there."
Leeds: Sullivan, Kelly, Carlisle, Butler, Gray, Lennon (Richardson 72), Gregan, Wright, Einarsson, Healy (Pugh 85), Hulse (Ricketts 71).
Subs Not Used: Walton, Johnson.
Goals: Healy 36, Hulse 56, 63.
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Sonko, Ingimarsson, Shorey, Little (Morgan 67), Sidwell, Hughes, Harper (Brooker 66), Forster, Ferdinand (Owusu 76).
Subs Not Used: Newman, Young.
Goals: Owusu 89.
Ref: C Foy (Merseyside).