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The best e-readers aren't all Kindle

The best e-readers let you carry an entire library everywhere you go. Our favorites have adjustable displays and page-turning buttons for an easy-to-read experience.
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Emery Wright
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition | Best e-reader overall
A close-up of someone using the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition to read a book while camping.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition
Best e-reader overall
View now View at Amazon
Amazon Kindle Oasis 3rd generation | Best Kindle with physical buttons
Kindle Oasis
Amazon Kindle Oasis 3rd generation
Best Kindle with physical buttons
View now View at Amazon
Amazon Kindle 11th generation | Best budget e-reader
Person reading a Kindle with a red blanket on top of them
Amazon Kindle 11th generation
Best budget e-reader
View now View at Amazon
Kobo Libra 2 | Best Amazon alternative e-reader
Close up of a person holding a Kobo e-reader horizontally
Kobo Libra 2
Best Amazon alternative e-reader
View now View at Amazon
Kobo Clara 2E | Best sustainably-made e-reader
A Kobo e-reader on the sand next to discarded plastic and garbage
Kobo Clara 2E
Best sustainably-made e-reader
View now View at Amazon

Books take up a lot of space, but e-readers allow you to carry hundreds of books (and audiobooks) in a small, convenient form factor.

Also, unlike smartphones and tablets, e-readers are fitted with e-ink displays to look and even feel like paper. They're glare-free and suited to both indoor and outdoor reading. 

E-ink displays even feature a subtle backlight, which means you can read in bed without needing a light on. Combine this with a battery life measured in weeks, and you have the perfect device to replace your big, heavy books.

We've rounded up the best e-readers available, including products that aren't Amazon Kindles. 


Pros & Cons
  • Longest battery life
  • Plenty of storage
  • Compatible with wireless charging
  • $50 more than the regular Kindle Paperwhite
More Details

Tech specs: Display: 6.8-inch 300 ppi e-ink screen | Storage: 32 GB | Colors: Black | Weight: 7.3 ounces | Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.9 x .32 inches | Connections: USB-C and wireless charging | Battery life: Up to 10 weeks 

The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition is a top-notch e-reader. It has all the familiar features that a Kindle has (300 ppi e-ink screen, long battery life, and auto-adjusting light), along with wireless charging, which is a huge plus that no other e-readers on this list have. The Signature Edition model is also ad free.

The reading experience on this e-reader is crisp and clear, and if you're reading in direct sunlight or at night, the screen will automatically adjust based on your surroundings. 

Read the review: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021) review

The main differences between the regular Paperwhite e-reader and the Signature Edition are 8 GB versus 32 GB of storage, auto-adjusting light, and wireless charging. If you don't find these features very worthy, you can go forgo the Signature Edition for $50 less. 

Pros & Cons
  • IPX8 water resistant for reading poolside or in the bath
  • Adjustable warm light for nighttime reading
  • Page-turning buttons
  • No USB-C connector
  • No headphone jack for audiobook reading
More Details

Tech specs: Display: 7-inch 300 ppi e-ink screen| Battery life: Up to 6 weeks (at 30 minutes per day) | Weight: 6.6 ounces | Storage: 8 GB or 32 GB

The Kindle Oasis is a high-tech device with features geared towards helping you read. Even though this Kindle hasn't been upgraded since 2019, it's a great option with the same e-ink technology as more recent Kindle models.

This Kindle has 25 LEDs instead of the Paperwhite's 17 LEDS, and is noticeably crisper when compared side by side. It's also the only Kindle with physical page-turning buttons and automatic page rotation, so you can read at whatever position is most comfortable for you. 

It's also waterproof so you can read by the pool without worrying about splashes. But all these special features also mean it's more expensive at $250. 

Read the review: Amazon Kindle Oasis 2019 review

And while it doesn't have a regular headphone jack, the Kindle Oasis does support Bluetooth connectivity, so you can use wireless headphones and speakers to listen to audiobooks or the screen reader function.

Pros & Cons
  • Similar to more expensive models
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Dark mode
  • Limited web browser functionality
  • No warm light option
More Details

Tech specs: Display: 6-inch, 300ppi glare-free | Storage: 16GB | Colors: Black or denim | Weight: 5.56 ounces | Dimensions: 6.2 x 4.3 x 0.32 inches | Connections: USB-C | Battery: Up to 6 weeks

Amazon last updated its basic Kindle model in the fall of 2022. The upgraded 11th generation Kindle offers 16GB of storage instead of 8GB, 300 ppi instead of 167 ppi, six weeks of battery life compared to four weeks, and charging via USB-C instead of a micro-USB. It's also under $100. 

The new Kindle is the smallest and most lightweight Kindle. The previous generation clocked in at 6.1 ounces, but this new one weighs only 5.56 ounces, and it's drastically easier to carry and hold than an actual book (especially those thick hardcovers). 

Read the review: The new entry-level Kindle has officially converted me to e-readers

Its 300 ppi is the same display as the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Oasis. The anti-glare display makes it easy to read in any light, and dark mode is a warm welcome when you're trying to read at night without letting blue light interrupt your sleep cycle. 

Pros & Cons
  • Landscape mode and page-turning buttons
  • Blue-light reducing technology
  • Outside of the Amazon ecosystem
  • Not as long of a battery life
More Details

Tech specs: Display: 7-inch 300 ppi e-ink touchscreen | Storage: 32 GB | Colors: Black or white | Weight: 7.6 ounces | Dimensions: 7.01 x 7.64 x 1.18 inches | Connections: USB-C and Bluetooth | Battery life: A week or so

Alternatively, Amazon's Kindles are not the only e-readers on the market. This Kobo e-reader has many of the same features as the Kindle Oasis, including page-turning buttons, 32GB of storage, waterproof, and an e-ink screen. However, the Kobo Libra 2 is $190, instead of the Kindle Oasis' $250. 

Kobo offers more than 5 million e-book titles to choose from, including audiobooks. You can also borrow books from your local library.

The e-reader also has Kobo's unique ComfortLight Pro blue light reduction technology, which limits eyestrain and lets you read well into the night without affecting your sleep.

Pros & Cons
  • Waterproof
  • Made of 85% recycled plastic
  • 300 ppi screen
  • Slower performance
More Details

Tech specs: Display: 6-inch 300 ppi e-ink touchscreen | Storage: 16 GB | Colors: Deep ocean blue | Weight: 6.03 ounces | Dimensions: 6.26 x 4.41 x 0.33 inches | Connections: USB-C and Bluetooth | Battery life: A week or so

Another Kobo e-reader option is the Kobo Clara 2E, and it's sustainably made for those looking to make an impact. The exterior is made with over 85% recycled plastic, including 10% ocean-bound plastic. In addition, its packaging is made of with FSC-certified recycled paper.

The Kobo Clara 2E is also super lightweight at 6.03 ounces, making it super portable to take with you in your purse, gym bag, or backpack. 

It also has the same ComfortLight Pro technology as the Kobo Libra 2 for less strain on your eyes.  

What is the best e-reader?

Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition is the best e-reader due to its display and lighting options, as well as its battery life and user-friendliness. Here's how the five best e-readers compare based on price, screen size, and battery life.

Best e-reader


Screen size

Battery life

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition


6.8 inches

10 weeks

Amazon Kindle Oasis


7 inches

6 weeks

Amazon Kindle


6 inches

6 weeks

Kobo Libra 2


7 inches

2 weeks

Kobo Clara 2E


6 inches

2 weeks

Which e-reader is right for you?

If you like books, then an e-reader gives you the closest "book reading" experience on an electronic device.

If you're someone who likes to have multiple books on the go, then an e-reader helps to lighten the load. Whether you have one book or a hundred, the e-reader stays the same size and weight.

If you don't mind the Amazon ecosystem, Kindles are a great option with some of the latest e-reader technology. However, Kobo makes an e-reader that closely rivals most Kindle models. 

Choose this e-reader...

If you need...

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition

A well-rounded and affordable e-reader

Amazon Kindle Oasis

An e-reader with the most features for the price

Amazon Kindle

A basic, budget-friendly e-reader

Kobo Libra 2

An alternative to Kindle e-readers on Amazon

Kobo Clara 2E

An e-reader made of over 85% recycled plastic

How did we choose these e-readers?

We know there are a lot of e-readers to choose from, so we used our own experiences with these products and conducted research to find the best choices.

We combed through popular sites reading reviews (both good and bad) and noting the top-rated e-readers for different categories and needs. We considered price, display, battery life, and special features when making our final picks.

Isn't a smartphone or tablet a good enough e-reader?

While you can read on a smartphone or tablet, e-readers have three huge advantages:

  • The e-ink display is much nicer to look at, especially for extended periods of time.
  • The battery life of e-readers is much better than any smartphone or tablet, lasting for weeks between recharges.
  • There are far fewer distractions on an e-reader -- no emails, social media, phone calls, and so on.

Are the ads on the "Ad-supported" Kindles annoying?

Some people may find the ad-supported Kindle models to be annoying, but there is the option to pay extra for an ad-free device.

How much storage does my e-reader need?

It depends. 8GB is cavernous for books but can fill up quickly if you start to add audiobooks. Also, if you want to keep every book and audiobook, you can find your storage getting full after a couple years.

Are there alternative e-readers worth considering?

There are lots of options out there if you're looking for a way to read digital copies of your favorite books. Here's a short list of other great e-readers. 

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