Best Kindle 2020: which of Amazon's ereaders should you be using?

Not all Kindles are equal, but we'll explain the differences in our authoritative best Kindle guide

Best Kindle Amazon
(Image credit: Amazon)

Welcome to T3's guide to the best Kindle ereaders on the market today. Amazon has disrupted multiple markets, and there's no doubt those markets include ereaders – the Kindle has helped transform how we consume books in electronic form, and the device has sold in huge numbers since the first one appeared.

So you've decided you want an Amazon Kindle ereader: which one is the best Amazon Kindle ereader on the market? As of 2020, Amazon sells four different Kindle models covering a variety of features and price points, and we're here to explain the key differences between them in this guide.

The good news for anyone shopping for a Kindle is that Amazon has gone a covered a broad spectrum in terms of budget with its ereader range, so there really are options for everyone, regardless of how much money they have to spend.

Importantly, though, not every ereader will be perfect for every user, so regardless of budget, it is important to figure out which model will be best suited to you before pulling the trigger. Chances are you're not going to need the top-end model, even if you have budgeted its cost into your decision-making process.

The best Amazon Kindle 2020

best Kindle Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

The best Kindle for most people

Specifications
Screen size: 6 inches
Resolution: 300ppi
Storage: 8GB / 32GB
Front light: 5 LEDs
Waterproof: Yes
Thickness: 8.2mm
Weight: 182g
Reasons to buy
+The solid mid-ranger+Compact and waterproof

The Kindle Paperwhite costs almost twice as much as the basic Kindle, so why would you upgrade? Because you get some extra features that are actually useful, not just gimmicks, while keeping the same compact 6-inch screen size and getting an even thinner Kindle.

More storage, a better front light, waterproofing, and a fetching blue shade... these are all good reasons why you might go for the Paperwhite model rather than the standard one. The display is flush with the device's front and running at a much higher resolution too.

Combined, all these extra features really do flush out the standard Kindle as a device, and especially so in terms of future-proofing. For anyone who is serious about getting into reading on an ereader, then this is the Kindle model to check out first.

best kindle Amazon Kindle Oasis

If you're shopping with a large budget, then the Kindle Oasis is a superb premium choice.

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. Amazon Kindle Oasis

The best premium Kindle

Specifications
Screen size: 7 inches
Resolution: 300ppi
Storage: 8GB / 32GB
Front light: 25 LEDs
Waterproof: Yes
Thickness: 8.4mm
Weight: 188g
Reasons to buy
+Dedicated page turning buttons+Largest Kindle screen

The Kindle Oasis is Amazon's top of the line ereader and, as such, it costs. So you know why you would pay extra for the Paperwhite – why would you then pay even more for the Kindle Oasis? Well, once again you get the front-flush design, and the waterproofing, and the extra storage (your choice of 8GB or 32GB, as on the Paperwhite).

At 7 inches, this is the biggest Kindle screen too, which means a more immersive reading experience even if it's a bit more to carry. It's the most premium-looking model in the range too, and you get dedicated page turning buttons and an auto-adjusting backlight.

It really is a joy to use, too, with the 300ppi screen displaying pages as if they were printed on real paper thanks to very latest E Ink technology. The Oasis also works with Audible, the audiobook service, so if you like listening to stories as well as reading them, this top-end unit has you covered.

best Amazon Kindle

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Amazon Kindle

The best budget Kindle

Specifications
Screen size: 6 inches
Resolution: 167ppi
Storage: 4GB
Front light: 4 LEDs
Waterproof: No
Thickness: 8.7mm
Weight: 174g
Reasons to buy
+The lightest Kindle+Won't break the bank

The introductory Kindle model is a strong basic ereader. It's compact, it's intuitive to use, and it does everything that you'd want a Kindle ereader to do – though you miss out on some extra features (for example, this Kindle isn't waterproof, so you wouldn't want to drop it in the pool on holiday).

Other Kindles offer more storage, too, but 4GB is plenty of space for thousands of ebooks (and that's really what it is about, right), and what we like most is the low price: go for one of the more expensive models and you'll have to pay at least twice as much. With that in mind, this is our pick for the best Kindle out there if you are shopping on a budget.

best kindle Amazon Kindle Kids Edition

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Amazon Kindle Kids Edition

The best Kindle for little people

Specifications
Screen size: 6 inches
Resolution: 167ppi
Storage: 8GB
Front light: 4 LEDs
Waterproof: No
Thickness: 14mm
Weight: 288g
Reasons to buy
+Chunky, colourful case included+With a year of Fire for Kids Unlimited

The name really gives away the reason why you would pick this Kindle over all the others – it's the KIndle for your offspring, the one you should get for the children in your life, and it adds a few kid-friendly features on top of all the features from the basic Kindle model.

Those extras include a choice of colourful cover cases, built-in parental controls, and a one-year subscription to the Fire for Kids Unlimited service (usually £1.99 a month) – that includes all the Harry Potters, by the way. The perfect introduction to ebooks for kids.

How to choose the best Kindle

On one level, picking the best Kindle isn't too daunting a task – they all do more or less the same job, letting you buy and read ebooks from Amazon's marketplace, and keeping your ereading synced between devices (including phones and laptops). Whichever Kindle you end up buying, you're unlikely to be disappointed.

There are, however, some differences in these devices that are worth mentioning. It's also important to weigh up these feature lists against how much you're going to spend on your Kindle, whether you're buying it for yourself or someone else as a gift – features like the available storage and waterproofing vary between models.

Screen size and overall size are important to bear in mind as well, as these will make a difference to your reading experience, and how easy it is to carry your Kindle around. The good news is that thanks to their popularity all these Kindles come with a host of accessories (including cases) to pick from.