The Kindle is the undisputed leader in e-readers, and Amazon makes several models. Knowing which Kindle to buy depends on your budget and your reading preferences. With this guide and our in-depth reviews, we’ll help you find just the right Kindle for you or your lucky loved one.
Alert: If you’re a longtime Kindle reader, you might have one of the original models. In December, 2021, those 1st- and 2nd-generation Kindles will lose Internet access, as 2G and 3G networks go offline. Read all about it in our story.
Amazon’s E Ink slabs were first introduced to the world in 2007, and currently there are four models with varying feature sets—even one for kids. A few scrappy competitors may nip at the Kindle’s heels, but none can hold a candle to the sheer volume of books, comics, and periodicals available to download and consume on a Kindle.
Purchasing one of Amazon’s less expensive Kindles could mean missing out on features that could make your reading time more pleasurable. But that doesn’t mean the most expensive Kindle is the always right choice—don’t pay for features you won’t use.
Should I choose the ‘Ad-Supported’ discount?
With all models, you can buy an ‘Ad-Supported’ model, which has advertisements that appear on the Kindle’s lock screen, or pay an additional $15-$20 for a version ‘Without Ads,’ which should be self-explanatory. We show the price for the ‘Ad-Supported’ model in our reviews. You can click the Without Ads button on any Kindle’s product page to skip the marketing campaigns.
If you’ve already chosen Ad-Supported and now have regrets, you can back out–but it’s going to cost you. Read all about it in our guide to removing ads from your Kindle.
To help you find the right Kindle to suit your reading needs and budget, we’ve put together this brief guide, with links to our full reviews of the hardware we recommend.
The best Kindle for most readers
With the All-new Kindle Paperwhite (available on Amazon), Amazon’s not only managed to catch up to the competition like the Kobo Clara HD, it’s lapped them. The new e-reader’s premium features, reasonable price, and wide variety of content make it the best e-reader for most people. Read our full review.
The best waterproof Kindle
If you enjoy reading by the pool, in the bathtub, or lead a lifestyle that places your expensive electronic devices in liquid peril on a regular basis, you’ll be happy to know that the best waterproof Kindle is also our pick for the best Kindle for most people: The All-new Kindle Paperwhite.
With its IPX8 rating, it can survive in two meters of water for up to an hour at a time. This means it’s possible to take your All-new Kindle Paperwhite to the beach, into the bathtub, or poolside with a light heart. That said, using the device while it’s wet is less than ideal. As with the 2017 Kindle Oasis, the All-new Kindle Paperwhite’s operating system makes it possible to turn off touch input, lest its touchscreen mistake a splash of water for user input. Read our full review.
The luxury Kindle
The very name of Amazon’s “All-new Kindle Oasis” would seem to herald a radical overhaul. Thankfully, the changes to Amazon’s top-shelf e-reader are far less dramatic. Beyond the introduction of a new color-adjustable front light that can warm or cool the screen’s illumination, the All-new Kindle Oasis remains strikingly similar to its predecessor. And that’s good news. It’s still the best e-reading experience you can buy. Read our full review.
All our latest Kindle reviews
All-new Kindle (10th generation, 2019), Ad-Supported
Michael Ansaldo is veteran consumer and small-business technology journalist. He contributes regularly to TechHive and PCWorld.