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The best Amazon Kindle e-readers you can buy right now

Get your read on in style!
By
December 4, 2021
Man holding Kindle against white wall with plants in the background
Adam Molina / Android Authority

Even in a world of smartphones and tablets, Amazon’s Kindle line of e-readers continues to thrive. Almost 12 years after the first Kindle hit the scene, these Kindle e-readers continue to be an enticing offer. It’s almost refreshing to own a device that has one job: to consume books, a job they do very well. Here’s our list of the best Kindle e-readers currently available.

Buying the best Kindle e-reader for your needs

You’ve already chosen Amazon’s Kindle as your preferred reading platform. Their selection of books is beaten by none, and their services work amazingly. It’s the biggest e-reader hub around, but choosing to go with a Kindle isn’t the only decision you must make. Now it’s time to see which of Amazon’s options is best suited for your needs.

There are multiple factors to consider. Let’s start with the screen. Some Kindle e-readers are larger than others. The biggest one has a 7-inch screen, while the smallest one measures 6 inches. A larger screen will allow you to use bigger fonts, while avoiding as many page flips. You might also care about display resolution, which in this case, is measured in ppi (pixels per inch). A higher ppi will make text crisper and defined, which is especially important for smaller font sizes.

These offer an e-ink display, which reads much like paper and has no glare, but some differences exist in some Kindle e-readers. Some Kindle readers allow adjusting the color temperature, making it possible to add a more yellow hue to the background. This will cause less eye strain and look more natural (similar to paper).

Related: The best Amazon devices available right now

Current Kindle e-readers offer screen lighting for reading in the dark, but not all brighten your digital books as well. Some of these devices have more LEDs under the screen, and while all provide a comfortable reading experience in the dark, some get brighter than others. Also, do you prefer physical buttons, or are you ok with touchscreen controls?

Another essential feature differentiating Kindle e-readers is the addition (or lack thereof) of an IP rating for water resistance. If you like reading in the hot tub, or by the beach, this might be an essential feature to keep in mind. Also, do you want fancy features like wireless charging, an auto-adjusting light sensor, or cellular connectivity?

Depending on how many books and files you’ll keep in your Kindle, you will also want to keep storage space in mind. The lower-end Kindles offer only 8GB of storage, which doesn’t go too far in the hands of avid readers and audiobook listeners.

The best Amazon Kindle e-readers

  • The Amazon Kindle Oasis is the very best Kindle e-reader Amazon has to offer. You’ll get plenty of customization, a larger screen, brighter lighting, and plenty of other features that will make a demanding reader’s experience much more enjoyable.
  • The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite finds a great middle-ground between features and accessibility. It keeps most of the features you find in a high-end e-reader, without the scary price tag.
  • The Amazon Kindle is for those who want an enjoyable reading experience, but aren’t willing to pay much for fancy features they may not even care for. It’s a great e-reader that takes things back to the fundamentals, yet still keeps a modern philosophy.
  • The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Kids is the perfect solution for giving children a reading habit. It’s technically the same as the standard Paperwhite, but comes with a few additions tailored for the little ones at home.

Editor’s note: We will update our list of the best Amazon Kindle e-readers as new devices launch.

Amazon Kindle Oasis: The very best Kindle e-reader

Amazon Kindle Oasis profile shot
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

If you’re a voracious reader who wants the top-end Kindle device, the Amazon Kindle Oasis is your best bet. It features a seven-inch display with 25 LEDs. The Kindle Oasis also sports a pixel density of 300ppi, an aluminum body, an IPX8 rating for water protection, and page turn buttons.

It also has a neat trick up its sleeve: an adjustable color temperature. The feature lets you change how warm or cool the display is, translating to an improved reading experience in different lighting conditions and at night. Those who enjoy audiobooks will also be able to connect Bluetooth headphones to the device and listen hands-off. It even comes with cellular connectivity for free.

It’s pretty pricey, starting at $249.99 MSRP for the 8GB version, but it could be worth the investment to serious readers. Those who want the best Kindle with the best specs and largest, sharpest display should go with this one.

Amazon Kindle Oasis in hand reading
Kindle Oasis
The Amazon Kindle Oasis is a powerful e-reader that makes no compromises. It's fast, bright, long-lasting, and resistant to water. It's also pricey, but you get the best around.

Pros

  • Larger 7-inch display with a high 300pi definition
  • IPX8 rating for water resistance
  • Adjustable color temperature
  • Physical buttons and more ergonomic design

Cons

  • Larger and heavier
  • Very expensive
  • No wireless charging

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: The best for most people

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

It doesn’t have all of the fancy features of the Kindle Oasis, but the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite keeps most of the functionality while cutting down on the price significantly. This device features a 6.8-inch display and a pixel density of 300ppi. The display only has 17 LEDs underneath it, but that’s more than enough to deliver uniform backlighting at various brightness levels when reading at night.

Read next: Which Kindle do I have?

There’s also an IPX8 rating for water protection, Bluetooth, and Amazon’s Audible service support. Finally, battery life should be good for weeks. Furthermore, it keeps the adjustable warm light. Not to mention it’s smaller and more portable than the Oasis. Those who get the Signature Edition even get wireless charging.

The Kindle Paperwhite starts at $139.99 MSRP for the base 8GB version with ads. The Paperwhite is the easiest recommendation of all three modern Kindles for that price.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021 with the screen showing a book, on a table, next to a cup of coffee and plant, version 1
Kindle Paperwhite
The Kindle Paperwhite is a mid-range e-reader with great features. It has a relatively large 6.8-inch display with a 300ppi resolution, screen lighting for reading in the dark, and a stunning battery life that will last weeks.

Pros

  • IPX8 rating for water resistance
  • Adjustable color temperature
  • Wireless charging available with Signature Edition
  • More welcoming price-point

Cons

  • The base version only has 8GB of storage
  • No physical buttons for flipping pages
  • Cellular connectivity is not available
  • No auto-adjusting sensor (unless you get the Signature Edition)

Amazon Kindle: The best budget option

Amazon Kindle Weight

The cheapest and most basic e-reader in the lineup is the Kindle. It’s still a great device and comes at a considerable discount, though. The screen is much smaller at six inches, and the resolution is set back to 167ppi, but that’s still good enough for reading text.

Some might be turned off by the lonely 4 LEDs under the screen. While it’s true the screen doesn’t get as bright, it’s plenty for reading in the dark comfortably. Not to mention you still get Bluetooth connectivity for listening to Audible audiobooks.

The rest of the Kindle is what you’d expect: weeks of battery life, the display doesn’t sit flush with the bezel, no waterproof rating, and the light sensors don’t automatically adjust to the environment. That said, the low price makes it easier to tolerate the compromises.

Man holding Kindle against white wall with plants in the background
Amazon Kindle
The Amazon Kindle offers a basic reading experience for a very affordable price. It comes with a 6-inch display, touch interaction, and weeks of battery life.
$54.99 at Amazon
Save $35.00

Pros

  • Small and portable
  • Amazing battery life
  • Very affordable
  • It still has audible support with Bluetooth headphones

Cons

  • Smaller 6-inch display with lower 167ppi resolution
  • Only four LEDs to brighten the screen
  • Cellular connectivity is not available
  • No IPX8 rating

Kindle Paperwhite Kids: The best option for the little ones

Amazon isn’t forgetting about children. Kindle e-readers could be great learning tools, after all. Not to mention they could be a great replacement to video games, social media, and other less productive ways to pass time.

Our favorite option for children is the Kindle Paperwhite kids. It’s more expensive than a regular Kindle, but it also comes with some perks that will make it worth the extra cash.

Related: The best Android parental control apps

For starters, it comes with a two-year warranty, which beats the one-year warranty all standard Kindle e-readers get. This is a great offering, considering kids tend to be harsher on their electronics. It also comes with an included cover and a year of Amazon Kids+, which includes a lot of books and audiobooks.

Otherwise, the device is just like a regular Kindle Paperwhite. It features the same 6.8-inch screen, 300ppi resolution, 17 LEDs, adjustable warm light, and 8GB of storage.

Kindle Paperwhite Kids floatie
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Kids
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Kids edition is technically a regular Paperwhite e-reader, but it comes with some kid-centric additions that make it well worth the extra cash. These include a longer warranty, a free case, and an included subscription to Amazon Kids+.

Pros

  • IPX8 rating for water resistance
  • Includes a 2-year warranty
  • Comes with a cover
  • A free Amazon Kids+ subscription for one year

Cons

  • Only has 8GB of storage
  • Cellular connectivity is not available
  • Slightly pricier than the standard Kindle Paperwhite

Why go with a Kindle e-reader vs. other options?

2020 Amazon Fire HD 8 review photos 14
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

There’s a reason why the competition can’t touch Kindle e-readers. Android tablets and iPads can also use the Kindle app, but reading on a backlit screen all the time causes plenty of strain, kills the battery much faster, and requires a more expensive device. As for other e-ink alternatives, they usually don’t come backed by Amazon’s Kindle library. Nor do they have access to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited plan, which offers access to over two million digital books, thousands of audiobooks, some magazine subscriptions, and loans on ‘Great on Kindle’ eBooks.

More: The best e-book reader apps

Furthermore, the few options left are pretty hard to find. Amazon ships it right to your door, and very fast if you have a Prime subscription. The company has made it too simple to pick them, at least when it comes to e-readers.

Looking for the best Kindle e-reader accessories

There isn’t much you can get for your Kindle e-readers in terms of accessories. Lights were popular, until the company started adding lighting right into its devices. The only things you can add to the experience are a cover and headphones. But keep in mind is that these Kindles don’t support a wired headphone connection; you need to use Bluetooth. Take a look at our recommendations below.

Other frequently asked questions

Q: How many books can a Kindle e-reader hold?
A: We can’t give you an exact number because it depends on the length and file size of the book. Another critical factor is whether the book comes with many images or simply text. Amazon mentions 8GB can hold “thousands” of books, which is true. Considering an average book should be about 2MB to 3MB, 8GB should fit over 2,700 books.

Q: How long does a Kindle battery last?
A: The “weeks” of battery life Amazon claims in its specs is a bit vague. We know you want a more specific answer. The truth is it depends on your reading habits, how much you use the light, and how much you listen to audiobooks. Reading for about an hour a day and multiple hours on the weekend, we managed to get an Amazon Kindle through half of its battery over a week.

Q: How helpful is cellular connectivity?
A: A Kindle e-reader isn’t a regular tablet you can do things like read emails or watch videos with. There are no apps, and everything is straight to the point. Not only that, but downloading books doesn’t use much data, and it’s not something you’re often doing. It might be excellent for listening to audiobooks while on the go, but that’s about the best you can do with a Kindle’s included cellular data connection. It’s a cool feature, but not something you should go out of your way to get if you have Wi-Fi at home.

Q: What if I want something other than an Amazon Kindle e-reader?
A: As mentioned above, sadly, there aren’t many other brands offering good options anymore. We have a list of the best e-readers available if you want to check out alternatives.

Q: Does Kindle offer parental controls?
A: Yes. It’s called Amazon Kids. The service allows you to choose which content from your Amazon library kids can access, and you can filter age-appropriate content. Other features include screen limits, educational goals, and purchasing limits.