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The Best Kindle in 2022: All Amazon E-reader Models Compared

Are you in the market for a Kindle but at a loss for where to start with all the different models and iterations? Join us as we compare the options and help find the best Kindle for you.

Aleksander Hougen
By Aleksander Hougen (Managing Editor)
— Last Updated: 2022-03-07T19:16:11+00:00 Facts checked by Elisabeth Ivey

If you’re looking for a way to read e-books, then chances are you’ve already considered one of Amazon’s Kindle devices. These are without a doubt the most popular e-book readers in the world. However, now that they’ve been around for more than 15 years, there are quite a few different models and generations to choose from. Join us as we compare them all and find the best Kindle for you.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are four main Kindle models: the regular Kindle, the Kindle Paperwhite, the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition and the Kindle Oasis.
  • If all you want is a basic e-reader, the standard Kindle will do fine. However, the Paperwhite has a longer battery life, a better display and more LEDs in its front light. If you need more than 8GB of storage, then the Paperwhite Signature Edition is a great choice.
  • If price is no concern, the Kindle Oasis is the most premium of Amazon’s e-readers. It has a higher build quality, a design better suited for reading with one hand and can come with up to 32GB of storage.

All of Amazon’s e-readers are similar, but with minor differences and improvements as you move up in price. We start by diving into our breakdown of the different Kindle models and generations, then also address the difference between Amazon’s Kindles and Amazon’s Fire Tablets.

  • Generally, the newer the generation, the better the device. That means that at the time of writing, the 10th-generation Kindle, fifth-generation Paperwhite and third-generation Oasis are the best. When looking at older Kindle generations, you’ll want to try to find a device from the seventh generation or later, as this is the generation of Kindles that saw the most drastic improvements.

  • Although it’s hard to match the sensation of real paper in your hands, the Kindle definitely has it beat for practicality and ease of access. Plus, Kindles come very close in terms of simulating a real paperlike experience.

The Best Kindle: Pricing Comparison

One of the biggest factors in choosing which Kindle to buy is the price, so we’ll start by doing a quick price comparison between the different models before jumping into the details of each one.

Device:With adsWithout ads
Kindle$89.99$109.99
Kindle Paperwhite$139.99 $159.99
Kindle Paperwhite SignatureN/A$189.99
Kindle Oasis 8GB$249.99 $269.99
Kindle Oasis 32GB$279.99 $349.99
Kindle KidsN/A$109.99
Kindle Paperwhite KidsN/A$159.99

Kindle e-readers range in price from $89.99 for the most basic version with ads all the way up to $349.99 for the 32GB Kindle Oasis without ads. Considering that the difference in price between ads and no ads is only $20 for all the models, it’s definitely worth it, as the ads can get quite annoying and you’ll be stuck with them forever.

Compare Amazon Kindles: In-Depth Reviews of Each E-book

Considering Amazon’s near monopoly on the e-book market, it’s hard to beat its e-book reader in terms of practicality. Besides being a well-designed device that greatly reduces eye strain when reading compared to tablets or phones, it also gives you easy access to the Amazon ecosystem, which makes buying books and downloading them to your device very simple. 

Keep reading for more details on each of the Amazon Kindle e-readers. 

The Simple Kindle With the Best Prices

amazon kindle review
The standard Kindle is a more than capable ereader.
  • Price: $89.99 with ads, $109.99 without ads
  • Quick Specs: 6-inch screen, 8GB storage, 167 PPI display, 4-LED brightness
  • Buy It: on Amazon

Pros:

  • The cheapest Kindle
  • The lightest Kindle
  • Offers the best prices

Cons:

  • Fewer LEDs
  • Smaller battery
  • Lower resolution & pixel density

The obvious place to start is with the regular version of the Kindle, simply named “Amazon Kindle.” This offers the best prices for Kindle, but it doesn’t have all the extra bells and whistles of the more advanced Paperwhite and Oasis models.

In terms of specs, it has a six-inch screen with a resolution of 800 x 600 and a pixel density of 167 PPI. The front light uses four LEDs and it has 8GB of internal storage. Like most other Kindles, it has 512MB of RAM. At 6.1 ounces, it’s also the lightest of the current generation of Kindles.

The battery capacity is listed at 890 mAh, which Amazon estimates will last four weeks, though this is under its own specified “ideal reading conditions.” This means 30 minutes of reading per day with the brightness set to 50% and all connectivity turned off.

Amazon Kindle

The simple Kindle (without ads) with the best prices.

The Waterproof Best-Seller

amazon kindle paperwhite
The Paperwhite offers an improved reading experience over the standard Kindle, but at a higher price point.
  • Price: $139.99 with ads, $159.99 without ads
  • Quick Specs: 6.8-inch screen, 8GB storage, 300 PPI display, 17-LED brightness
  • Buy It: on Amazon

Pros:

  • Better front light with warmer tones
  • High resolution & pixel density
  • Longer battery life
  • USB-C charging
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • More expensive than the standard Kindle

Next up is the Paperwhite, which according to Amazon is its best-selling device. Its design is pretty similar to the standard Kindle, to the point where most people probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference at a glance. That said, there are some key improvements in the Paperwhite that justify the somewhat higher price point.

The Paperwhite’s display is slightly larger at 6.8 inches, with a 1448 x 1072 resolution and pixel density of 300 PPI. Its front light is also markedly better, as it ups the number of LEDs to 17 and includes warmer tones than the standard edition.

The fifth-generation Paperwhite is the first to use a USB-C cable for charging instead of the traditional USB Micro cable. Although Amazon has yet to release the specs for the size of the battery on the newest edition of the Paperwhite, it claims that it should last 10 weeks on a full charge, though again this is under the ideal reading conditions mentioned earlier.

Finally, the fifth-generation Paperwhite is one of the few Kindle models that has an IP rating, meaning it’s partially waterproof. It’s been rated IPX8, which means it can survive being submerged in water at a depth of between one and two meters for up to 60 minutes and in seawater at a depth of 0.25 meters for up to three minutes.

The Kindle Paperwhite

The waterproof, best-selling Kindle (without ads).

The Kindle for Avid Readers

amazon kindle paperwhite signature
The Paperwhite Signature Edition offers more storage, wireless charging and automatically adjustable brightness.
  • Price: $189.99
  • Quick Specs: 6.8-inch screen, 32GB storage, 300 PPI display, 17-LED brightness
  • Buy It: on Amazon

Pros:

  • All the features of the regular Paperwhite
  • 32GB storage
  • Wireless charging
  • Automatic brightness adjustment

Cons:

  • $30 more than the regular Paperwhite

The Paperwhite Signature Edition is unsurprisingly very similar to the standard Kindle Paperwhite. It has the same dimensions, RAM, front light, battery and e-ink display, but there are a few other extras that the regular Paperwhite doesn’t have.

It supports wireless Qi charging and comes with more storage — 32GB compared to the regular 8GB. It also comes with a sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness of the display, which can save a lot of battery life as it’s easy to forget to turn off the front light on the regular Paperwhite when it isn’t dark.

There’s also no ad-supported version, so if you’re already looking at an ad-free Paperwhite, it might be worth spending the extra $30 for the additional storage, wireless charging and automatic brightness adjustments.

The Paperwhite Kindle Signature Edition

The 32GB Kindle (without ads) for avid readers.

The Fancy Kindle

amazon kindle oasis best ereader
The Amazon Kindle Oasis is the best Kindle in terms of features, but it’s also the most expensive.
  • Price: From $249.99 to $349.99
  • Quick Specs: 7-inch screen, 8GB or 32GB storage, 300 PPI display, 25-LED brightness
  • Buy It: on Amazon

Pros:

  • Aluminum finish
  • Easier to hold
  • Better backlight with warm tones

Cons:

  • The most expensive Kindle model
  • Shorter battery life than the Paperwhite

The Kindle Oasis is the upper-tier version of the e-reader and thus the most expensive. It looks noticeably different from the regular Kindle or the Paperwhite, since it features a wider bezel on one side to make it easier to hold one-handed. It also has an aluminum finish instead of plastic, which makes the build quality feel a lot better.

The display is slightly larger than that of the Paperwhite, coming in at seven inches. The resolution is also higher, at 1680 x 1264, but the pixel density is the same at 300 PPI. It also has the best front light of any Kindle with 25 LEDs, and was the first Kindle to introduce the warmer range of tones for the light.

Like the newest generation Paperwhite, the Oasis is also waterproof with a water resistance rating of IPX8. Unfortunately its battery life isn’t quite as good as the Paperwhite’s, as Amazon estimates it at up to six weeks under its optimal reading conditions.

The Kindle Oasis

The top-tier Kindle for readers who want all the bells and whistles.

Reading Designed for Children

amazon kindle kids edition parental controls
The Amazon Kindle Kids offers a distraction-free way to read e-books and comes with a subscription to Amazon Kids+.
  • Price: $109.99
  • Quick Specs: 6-inch screen, 8GB storage, 167 PPI display, 4-LED brightness
  • Buy It: on Amazon

Pros:

  • All the features of the regular Kindle
  • Cheapest model designed for kids
  • Built-in subscription to Amazon Kids+
  • Multiple color schemes
  • Cover included
  • Two-year worry-free guarantee
  • Tools for readers learning suite

Cons:

  • Smaller battery
  • Fewer LEDs
  • Lower-quality display

Besides the four regular Kindle models we just covered, Amazon also has a couple of models designed specifically for kids. First is the Amazon Kindle Kids edition, which is essentially the same as the basic Kindle but with multiple color schemes and an included cover. There is no ad-supported version.

The main reason to get one of these, though, is the built-in one year subscription to Amazon Kids+. This is a service that gives you access to thousands of children’s books at no extra cost, as well as a parental dashboard where you can manage your kid’s library. 

Unlike the Kindle models intended for adults, the Kids’ versions also come with a two-year worry-free guarantee, meaning no matter what happens to the device in the first two years, Amazon will replace it.

It also adds software called “tools for readers,” which is a learning suite for spelling, grammar and vocabulary intended to improve your child’s reading ability.

Kindle Kids

A Kindle designed for kids, with parental controls.

The Best Kindle for Kids

best kindle for kids
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Kids is the best Kindle to get if you’re looking for an e-reader for children.
  • Price: $159.99
  • Quick Specs: 6.8-inch screen, 8GB storage, 300 PPI display, 17-LED brightness
  • Buy It: on Amazon

Pros:

  • All the features of the Kindle Paperwhite
  • Built-in subscription to Amazon Kids+
  • Tools for readers learning suite
  • Cover included
  • Multiple color schemes

Cons:

  • $50 more than the regular Kindle Kids

Like the previous model, Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Kids is essentially just the regular Kindle Paperwhite but with the same kid-friendly features. It comes with a cover, the extended two-year guarantee and a built-in one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+. 

There are three different color schemes to choose from and, like the regular Paperwhite, it sports an improved e-ink screen and a longer battery life.

Kindle Paperwhite Kids

The best Kindle for children, with a two-year worry-free guarantee.

Should You Buy an Older Kindle?

Seeing as the kindle has been around for more than 15 years at this point, it’s not surprising that there are a bunch of other Kindles besides the ones you can purchase directly from Amazon. There are 23 models spread across 11 generations, and all of the models listed above come from the 10th and 11th generations.

Starting with the basic Kindle, the newest version is the 10th iteration. Of these, the Kindle 7 was the first to feature a touch screen instead of physical buttons, so if you’re looking at older Kindles, this is a good cutoff point. If you need to be able to read in the dark, keep in mind that the current generation is the only basic Kindle with a front light.

old best kindle ebook reader vs kindle today
The Kindle has changed a lot over more than 15 years and 10 iterations.

The Paperwhite was first introduced at the same time as the Kindle 5, and the newest model is the fifth iteration of Amazon’s mid-tier e-reader. If you’re looking at older generations of the Paperwhite, we don’t recommend going further back than the third generation, as this is when Amazon made significant improvements to the display. If you want a waterproof Paperwhite, then stick to the fourth generation or higher.

For the Kindle Oasis, there are two previous models. There’s very little difference between the second generation and the one that’s currently sold by Amazon, save for the improved light with warmer shades, but the first generation lacks the aluminum finish and ability to play audio. It also only has 4GB of storage and 10 LEDs, compared to the 12 and 25 of the subsequent generations.

Should You Get a Kindle E-reader or a Fire Tablet?

That depends on what you’re looking for. The Kindle e-reader and the Amazon Fire Tablet are very different products. If all you want is a device to read on, get an e-reader. If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly tablet that runs an offshoot of Android, then Amazon’s Fire Tablet will be closer to what you need.

The reason why the Kindle e-readers are better for actual reading mainly comes down to the display. Where the Fire Tablets have regular LSD displays, Kindle’s use a technology Amazon calls “e-ink,” which emulates the look of paper and has a matte finish which eliminates glare.

fire tablet vs kindle ebook readers
Amazon’s Fire Tablet is a great choice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly Android tablet with basic functionality.

You can check out our Kindle vs Fire comparison for all the details, but in summary, the Fire Tablet is a cheap way to watch videos and browse the internet, whereas the Kindle is dedicated entirely to acquiring and reading books or listening to Audible audiobooks.

Final Thoughts: The Best Kindle & Reading Experience

With that we’ve reached the end of our Kindle comparison. At the end of the day, the answer to the question, “Which Kindle is best?” depends entirely on how much money you’re willing to spend and if the additional features of the new Kindle Paperwhite or Amazon Kindle Oasis are worth the increased price. 

No matter which of Amazon’s lineup of e-readers you choose, you’ll have a competent e-book reader with instant access to Amazon’s huge library of e-books.

If you want to know more, we have a Kindle user guide that explains how Kindle works, as well as a guide on how to set up Kindle.

What did you think of our comparison of Amazon’s Kindles? Do you agree that the entry-level Kindle is probably sufficient for most people, or do you think everyone should consider upgrading to one of the Paperwhite models? Or do you think that the larger screen and higher resolution display makes the Oasis a must-have? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.