There are only a few features separating Amazon's ereader lineup, so finding the best Kindle for you isn't quite as easy as it appears. After all, there's only three main models on the shelves; the budget Kindle, the mid-range Kindle Paperwhite, and the premium Kindle Oasis. However, finding the right Kindle will come down to your reading habits and the type of content you're most likely to consume.
You'll find every Kindle on this page is capable of storing thousands of books and they all come with an illuminated screen. At $89.99 / £69 / AU$139 the base Kindle is the cheapest option on the market, and is regularly found on sale as well. However, if you're after waterproofing and a larger, better quality screen, we'd recommend the new 2021 Paperwhite, launched at the end of the year.
This model comes in at $139/£129/AU$239, and is well worth the extra expenditure. As for the luxury Kindle Oasis ereader, prices start at $269/£229/AU$389 which means this is one reserved for power users.
You'll find more information on all the best Kindles on the market just below.
The best Kindles 2021
The Paperwhite is an excellent ereader and an easy choice to top our list for the best Kindles. The Paperwhite model does cost a little more than the base device, but adds features like waterproofing, a better display resolution, a larger screen, and flush design that make the extra cash well worth it.
This is the cheapest waterproof Kindle which makes it not only ideal for reading in the bath or poolside, but also to protect from incidents of leaking drinks bottles in your bag or getting caught out in a downpour.
It gets better though as the 2021 update also adds even more space on the screen compared to the previous model as well as USB-C charging (for the rare moments this device will need juicing up).
Not so long ago we advised most people to skip the standard entry-level Kindle in favor of the Kindle Paperwhite instead. But Amazon's 2019 edition of the cheapest Kindle now comes with a front-lit screen meaning you can read it in low-light/dark conditions too.
This puts it on a par with the older (now discontinued) 2016 Paperwhite, although at a much cheaper price. The 2019 Kindle's asking price is slightly higher than the previous-gen model, but we think it's money well spent.
The screen resolution is almost half that of the other Kindles, but it certainly doesn't look that way with the text looking super crisp and clear throughout. This Kindle is light in the hand and its compact design makes it ideal for taking out and about. If you're trying ereaders for the first time, this is a great place to start, but if waterproofing is an essential requirement for you, we'd opt for the Kindle Paperwhite instead.
We're always very torn with the Kindle Oasis line and the newest 2019 edition is a tempting choice to head up our list of the best Kindles. But just look at that asking price. Even during sale events, it's incredibly expensive for an ebook reader.
For your money though, this top of the line luxury ereader has the best display of any Kindle. It's an inch larger than the others and while the resolution might be the same 300ppi as the Paperwhite, the increased brightness makes the display even crisper. You don't have to worry about getting smudgy fingerprints on this Kindle too as it has a pair of page-turning buttons that are suitable for both left and right-handed readers. The buttons are excellent actually and much more accurate than the screen swipes on other Kindles which can sometimes fire you forwards more than one page at once for some reason.
The metal chassis on the rear of the Kindle Oasis feels beautifully premium and the wedge around the battery side aims to give you something to hold onto, but truth be told, it can be a little slippery compared to the other models - not ideal considering the price.
The only real difference on the new 2019 model over its 2017 sibling model is a new warm light feature. This is a little easier on the eyes and great if you're reading in the dark or you want something a little less stimulating when reading before bed. It's a lovely addition that we hope makes its way down to the future line of cheaper Kindles at some point.
The Kindle Kids Edition is physically the same as the standard 2019 Kindle we mentioned earlier but comes with a sturdy cover as standard along with built-in child-friendly software features. It also has double the storage at 8GB, which given the small size of ebooks, is only really any use if you're planning on stuffing it with audiobook files.
Online access to the Kindle store and other websites is blocked on the device itself so you don't have to worry about them splurging on more titles or browsing sites they shouldn't. The Kindle Kids Edition also comes with a year of access to over 1000 child-friendly titles to read. You can track how much time your child has been reading and other stats via an app. Like the Fire Tablets, the Kindle Kids Edition comes with a free two-year warranty against faults or accidental breakages.
A built-in Vocab builder creates flashcards for later learning if required and the dictionary feature is super useful on all Kindles as you just hold a finger over any word for a definition popup to appear.
If your child outgrows some of the safety features, you can actually unlock the regular online features of this Kindle via a PIN code, which helps future-proof your purchase further. If your child is already high-school age, then you might want to give this version a miss for one of the above models instead.
What is the latest Kindle?
If you're just after the latest Kindle e-readers to hit the market, you'll find all the newest releases just below.
Kindle Paperwhite - 2021 model
Kindle - 2019 model
Kindle Oasis - 2019 model
Should you buy a Kindle 'with special offers'?
You might notice two price points on most Kindles, especially when buying directly from Amazon. A cheaper price sits on Kindles that come 'with special offers'.
This basically means do you want discrete ads on the lock screen or not. These static ads usually promote ebooks and other Amazon-related sales. You simply open your Kindle up as normal though and don't have to manually close them and we've never accidentally clicked through to any ads either.
Kindles 'without special offers' simply replace them with a generic background image. Your Kindle doesn't unlock or load any slower with ads and they never appear when you're reading. We've even found that some of the sales highlighted are actually worth clicking through to.
Short version, we don't think it's worth paying the extra money to get the ads removed at all - you can also do this at a later date after buying the Kindle if you like though.
What is a 4G Kindle?
The latest Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis models are available in standard Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi 4G models. The 4G models are considerably more expensive, but the 4G data itself is free of charge so you don't need a SIM card, data plan or mobile tethering.
This means you can download books and audiobooks and use online features such as Wikipedia entry lookup on words on phrases without being on the Wi-Fi. If you spend a lot of time away from home or want to avoid signing in to local Wi-Fi hotspots this could be a handy feature, but it is an expensive initial purchase for what we feel is a feature most users won't need.
Naturally, if you don't mind the reflective glass screens instead, you'll find a Kindle app on leading tablets too if you'd prefer a single slate in your bag that you can enjoy apps, videos, games and colorful graphic novels on too. If you fancy a browse, check out our picks for the best gaming tablets which are excellent devices for general tablet use too.