The Amazon Kindle is considered the best eReader money can buy, and with good reason. But with several different Kindle models at different prices, it's not easy to decide which model is right for you. Here, we explain the differences between Kindles so you buy the best one.
The relative affordability (of some models) and easy-to-use nature, coupled with the fact you can carry thousands of books on one device, means eReaders are an attractive purchase for many, though for some people their phone or tablet screen does just as well, and Amazon's Kindle app is available on just about every device.
Today there are now six different Kindles available direct from Amazon. In this article, we break down the models - Kindle, various Paperwhites, Kids, and Oasis - to explain the differences between them, and why some cost a lot more than others.
As well as getting the device on its own, Amazon sells bundles so you can save a bit of money if you're going to want a case and charger.
If the Kindle range doesn't convince you then check out our overall list of the best eReaders to see some alternatives. We've also compared the Kindle Store vs Kobo Store. You might also want to consider an Amazon Fire tablet instead.
Best Kindle 2022
Kindle Paperwhite (2021) - Best Overall
- Larger display with colour warmth
- Longer battery life
- Small price rise
The latest entry in the Paperwhite series remains the sweet spot of the Kindle range.
Amazon's popular eReader now has a larger 6.8in that has the adjustable warmth previously reserved for the Oasis model. Battery life is also improved and the move to USB-C has finally arrived.
There's very little to dislike here unless you really need physical page turn buttons. The slightly higher price might put some off so look to the 2018 Paperwhite while it's still on sale if you need something cheaper.
Read our full Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021) review
Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition (2021) - Best Premium Features
- Great display
- Stellar battery life
- Solid performance
- USB-C and wireless charging
- Ineffective auto brightness
- Some software inconsistencies
- No 4G model
The Kindle Paperwhite now comes in a new Signature Edition and although it's cheaper than the Oasis, it has features not even the most expensive Kindle brings to the table.
This mainly consists of USB-C and wireless charging so you can keep it topped up a lot easier, although great battery life means that may not be very often.
It's also got 32GB of storage if you need a lot of space but is otherwise very similar to the latest regular Paperwhite. If the auto-adjusting sensors worked better it would be in with a shout of topping the chart.
Read our full Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition review
Amazon Kindle (2019) - Best Budget
- Front light
- No waterproofing
- No mobile data
It's hard to say whether the Paperwhite or the regular Kindle is the better eReader because they're both excellent.
The Kindle 2019 offers better value for money and has all the things most people will look for. However, the Kindle Paperwhite has a more premium design and extra features like more storage, mobile data and waterproofing.
You pay extra for them, of course, so it really depends how much you have to spend and whether those extra things matter to you.
For us, they are both the best eReader you can get, just for different reasons.
Read our full Amazon Kindle (2019) review
Amazon Kindle Oasis - Best Premium Design
- Warm light
- Premium metal design
- Page turn buttons
As you would expect, the Oasis is one of the best Kindles you can buy in terms of the specs and features it offers. We can't complain too much about the price staying the same and the eReader now having an adjustable warm light.
However, we'd like some more advancements such as USB-C and even a headphone jack. It's also a shame that Amazon has ditched the magnetic case from the previous Oasis in favour of a full wrap-around design.
With the introduction of the Paperwhite Signature Edition, there's even less reason to buy the Oasis unless you really want a metal design with dedicated page turn buttons.
Read our full Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019) review
Amazon Kindle Kids Edition - Best for Kids
- 8GB storage
- 1-year of subscriptions
- Accidental damage warranty
- No waterproofing
- Not cheap
A different kind of tablet for kids, the Kindle removes the distractions of apps, games and other stuff and ensures they can focus on reading.
You get a 12-month subscription to Fire for Kids Unlimited / FreeTime Unlimited which includes over 1000 books for kids of various ages. There's also 8GB of storage which is double the cheapest Kindle.
The selection is not the best it could be, but overall this is a decent package for the money. If you're not too fussed about those extras then you can save money by just getting the regular Kindle.
Read our full Amazon Kindle Kids Edition review
Which Kindle should I buy?
Here’s a list of things that are the same on all models of Kindle, no matter which you end up buying:
- Full access to the entire Amazon Kindle Store
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Built-in light
- 6-, 6.8- or 7in touchscreen e-ink display
- Take and share notes within books
- Audible audiobook support
You also have to pay a bit more for the Kindle or the Paperwhite if you don't want lock screen adverts or 'special offers'.
The Kindle is the most basic device in the range but even that now comes with a built-in light. It's just not as fancy in other ways such as screen resolution and the number of LEDs in the light. You now get 8GB of storage but there's no option for cellular connectivity.
Moving up to the Paperwhite gets you a better light and a higher resolution display. It's now 6.8in but has a flush design with the bezels and the device is also waterproof.
The Oasis is the premium model, with its ergonomic wedge shape design. It's made of aluminium and also has dedicated page turn buttons so you don't have to rely on the touchscreen. The light has more than six times as many LEDs compared to the regular Kindle and also automatically adjusts.
The 2019 model adds a warm light but ditches the option for a magnetic case. Check out our round-up of the best Kindle cases here.
Opting for a 2021 model will get you a 6.8in screen with 17 LEDs and an adjustable warm light. Those with enough cash for the Signature Edition will get USB-C and wireless charging as well as auto-asjutment via light sensors.
For kids there are now two options, the regular Kindle Kids or the newer Paperwhite Kids which has a better screen, flush design and IPX8 waterproofing. Both come with a case and 8GB of storage, though.