Just like when you step foot in a bookstore and become overwhelmed with choices for what to read next, it's just as complicated to pick out a Kindle. Today, Amazon sells four e-readers that are all smaller than a paperback, have touchscreen e-ink displays, and pack plenty of storage, so you can carry thousands of books at a time. While they look quite similar on the outside, they vary significantly in pricing and features. We want to help you decide which one is best for your needs and budget, so you can spend more time actually reading books than deciding what device you're going to read them on.

Kindle Paperwhite

Best Overall



The Kindle Paperwhite is the best Kindle for most people. It usually costs $120, but has reached prices under $100 on sale days like Prime Day and Black Friday. The Paperwhite, which comes in black or white, has the same display size and 300 ppi resolution as more expensive Kindles. The screen is sharp and text is crisp, and it's easy on the eyes. Plus, it's backlit by four LEDs, so it's much better for reading at night than the entry-level Kindle. The Kindle Paperwhite weighs less than an iPhone 8 Plus, and it measures 6.7 inches tall, making it comfortable to hold, compact, and light enough to fit in a small bag or purse. You turn the pages by swiping or tapping on its plastic capacitive touch screen.

The device charges with a standard MicroUSB port, the same used by most Android phones. Amazon says the Paperwhite gets up to six weeks of battery life. That's plenty long enough for a vacation overseas with no need to worry about purchasing an international adapter to recharge it. You can also pay an extra $30 for an always-on 3G connection, so you can download books anywhere in the world. This feature comes in handy for travelers who don't always have access to Wi-Fi. However, we think the standard Wi-Fi-only model will do fine for most people.


Best Budget



The Kindle is Amazon's most affordable model. It typically sells for $80, but frequently goes on sale for Amazon Prime members — sometimes even reaching prices as low as $50. The device comes in black or white, and it features the lowest resolution screen of the four models, coming in at 167 ppi. There's just a single button on this e-reader to power the device on and off. Pages are turned by tapping the sides of the touch screen or with a quick swiping gesture. The screen is responsive and refreshes quickly, but it isn't as smooth of an experience as the other Kindle models. Plus, the Kindle also feels more cheap and plastic-like than the more expensive versions. It also has a shorter battery life of four weeks, compared to the other kinds with six to eight weeks.

We think this entry-level Kindle is best for kids or bookworms on a budget. It doesn't have a built-in backlight, which is good for kids, but it's bad for adults who are night owls and like to read late. You should know that Amazon also sells a Kindle for Kids Bundle, which comes with a colorful cover to protect it from scratches and a 2-year worry-free guarantee, which means Amazon will replace the Kindle if it breaks from accidents like drops or spills.

Additionally, to make for a lower price, Amazon sells all of its Kindles with "special offers," which are ads that appear on the lock screen when the Kindle is turned off or at the top of the home screen. The ads never appear while a book is opened. You can pay $20 to remove the special offers up front, or you can pay the fee later on down the line.

Kindle Voyage

Best Splurge



Amazon's $200+ Kindle Voyage builds upon the Paperwhite by adding physical buttons for page turning and an adaptive backlight so the brightness level will automatically change based on the environment you're in. This e-reader has improved contrast and six LEDs (compared to the Paperwhite's four) for illuminating your books.

It comes in black and offers a 12% lighter body, six weeks of battery life, and a three-hour charge time — an hour less than the Paperwhite and entry-level Kindle. It features a micro-etched glass screen that further reduces glare, and it feels more like paper to the touch. At just 7.6 millimeters thick, it's 16% thinner than the Paperwhite and entry-level Kindle as well.

We don't think the Voyage's smaller lighter exterior, brighter adaptive backlight, and added buttons make it worth the $80 cost to upgrade. If money is no object, though, go for the Kindle Voyage. It's better, but the differences aren't significant, especially considering it has the same pixel density, six-week-long battery life, and 4 GB of storage like the cheaper models.

Kindle Oasis

Best Waterproof Kindle



Starting at $250, the Kindle Oasis is the most expensive Kindle that you can buy. It features a unique design where one edge of it is thicker than the other, so it feels more like you're holding a magazine than a screen. It's also equipped with an accelerometer, so if you flip your device, the screen will follow suit and rotate. The Kindle Oasis is more compact, travel-friendly, durable, and sharper than any other Kindle. It weighs just 4.6 ounces (40% less than the Kindle Paperwhite) and is just 3.4 millimeters thick at its thinnest point, which makes for good one-handed reading.

Rather than having capacitive buttons like the Voyage or requiring you to swipe or tap on its touchscreen like the Kindle or Kindle Paperwhite do, the Oasis has two buttons on its side: The top one goes to the next page, and the bottom takes you back. Flip the Oasis and its screen adjusts accordingly, thanks to that accelerometer we mentioned earlier. The Oasis even comes with a detachable leather case with a built-in battery pack for extending its eight-week battery life to a couple months more.

The display is the sharpest one on a Kindle yet. Its 12 LEDs provide even backlighting from both sides, plus an adaptive light sensor automatically adjusts the screens brightness depending on what environment you're in. It also has twice as much RAM as older models, which makes page turns and navigating menus and Amazon's expansive digital bookstore much faster.

We previously harped on the Kindle Oasis because despite its expensive price and name — which literally means fertile spot, Amazon neglected to make the device waterproof. Fortunately, the new Kindle Oasis is IPX8-rated waterproof. This means it can withstand submersion in up to 2 meters of water for 60 minutes — making it the ultimate companion for the pool, bathtub, or beach. Amazon even says that it can survive a dip in some saltwater! If you want the latest and greatest e-book reader and can swallow its expensive price, the Kindle Oasis is the best one you can buy.

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