Best Kindle: which ereader should you buy?

Want to read ebooks? Here are your choices

Update: Amazon has updated its original Kindle ereader, which we've added to our list in time for Black Friday. It's now only 161g, making it 16% lighter than its predecessor as well as being thinner than ever before. Plus it's faster and comes in a new shade.

If you want a device to read your ebooks on, the market isn't particularly crowded right now. Amazon has taken over the ereader game with its Kindle products and we've curated a selection of our favourite you can buy right now.

Some Kindles and ereaders have risen to the top through a combination of slick performance, stunning screens and attractive prices.

Others wallow at the bottom, bogged down by cumbersome interfaces, high costs and disappointing displays. So we've put together this list so you can avoid them and only buy one of the best Kindles out there right now.

Amazon Kindle Oasis

Amazon Kindle Oasis

The most premium Kindle ever

Screen size: 6-inch | Screen type: Carta e-paper | Storage: 4GB | Resolution: 300ppi | Weight: 131g | Backlight: Yes | Touchscreen: Yes | Wi-Fi: Yes | 3G: Yes | Battery life: up to eight weeks

Innovative new design
Fantastic clear display
Most expensive Kindle ever
Only leather case options

The Oasis sits as the most expensive option in the Kindle range, above the Kindle, Paperwhite and Voyage. At almost five times the price of the standard Kindle, you're spending a lot of money here… but it's worth it.

If you're looking for the most comfortable ereader experience you can ever have this is the best one for you. A brand new design that's thinner on one side makes it even easier to hold in one hand.

It means you can actually read A Game of Thrones while holding onto the hand rail on your commute. There's a vibrant display with 300 pixels-per-inch and a fantastic backlight that makes it the brightest Kindle yet.

You also get a leather battery case bundled in with the Oasis that gives this Kindle the best battery life we have ever seen on an ereader. It can last up to eight weeks.

This will cost you quite a bit more than all the other ereaders on this list - but if this is the device you use every day to absorb your tomes, why not spend that little bit extra?

Why should I buy it? Because this is the ultimate ereader experience you can get right now with the best screen and design that money can buy.

Read the full review: Amazon Kindle Oasis

Kindle Voyage

Amazon Kindle Voyage

Reading in luxury form

Screen size: 6-inch | Screen type: Carta e-paper | Storage: 4GB | Resolution: 300ppi | Weight: 180/188g | Backlight: yes | Touchscreen: yes | Wi-Fi: yes | 3G: yes | Battery life: up to six weeks

Brilliant screen
Sleek design
Expensive

The Kindle Voyage was once the top of the heap, but it's been bettered by another Amazon offering, the Kindle Oasis.

When this launched, it was essentially a perfected version of the Kindle Paperwhite, with the same interface and features but an even better 300ppi screen. Now the Paperwhite has that screen it's difficult to justify spending the extra on the Kindle Voyage, while the Oasis has a brand new beautiful design.

This one does come with a uniform backlight, an ambient light sensor and PagePress buttons, which allow you to navigate a book without lifting a finger.

It's even got a sleek 7.6mm thick build making it the best looking Kindle ever. All that comes with a high price tag that starts at £169 and like other Kindle's the Voyage lacks a microSD card slot, but this is still arguably one of the most premium ereaders you can buy.

If you read a lot and, crucially, have the money to spare, this is the clear choice.

Why should I buy it? If you're looking for a premium Kindle experience, but not by spending as much as you would on an Oasis, go for this.

Read the full review: Amazon Kindle Voyage

Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

It's all about that screen

Screen size: 6-inch | Screen type: E ink | Storage: 4GB | Resolution: 300ppi | Weight: 209g | Backlight: yes | Touchscreen: yes | Wi-Fi: yes | 3G: yes | Battery life: up to six weeks

Super-sharp screen
Improved typography
Bland design
Still missing some features

The latest version of the Kindle Paperwhite is the best we've ever seen with a beautiful 6-inch HD display that has 300 pixels per inch and 4GB of storage, meaning you can keep thousands of books on one device.

The Kindle Paperwhite is almost the closest you can get to real paper while getting all the benefits of an ereader. You have access to Amazon's huge library of books and you can even use the Kindle Unlimited rental service on the Paperwhite.

There's a built-in light and you're not going to get any screen glare when reading it in bright sunlight. The battery isn't as good as the last version as it only lasts six weeks, but that said it's still a very good amount of time to get reading your ebooks.

Why should I buy it? If you're looking for one of the best screen experiences on an ereader and you want to be able to read in bright sunlight, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is your choice.

Read the full review: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle (2016)

Simple digital reading at its best

Screen size: 6-inch | Screen type: Pearl e-paper | Storage: 4GB | Resolution: 167ppi | Weight: 161g | Backlight: no | Touchscreen: yes | Wi-Fi: yes | 3G: no | Battery life: up to four weeks

Affordable
Improved design
No backlight
Screen could be better

The Amazon Kindle, or all-new Kindle as Amazon calls it, is the most basic and affordable ereader the company sells, coming in at just £56.99.

And it's not much different to the previous model, which means you get an adequate (but not backlit) touchscreen, a long lasting battery and plenty of space for all your digitial tomes, plus an intuitive interface, that makes navigating your books a breeze.

Where it's improved is in the design - 2016's model is slimmer and lighter than what's come before, so even though you could essentially be carrying an entire library with you it won't even feel as weighty as a single paperback.

Amazon's also given its latest basic model a power boost, for fairly snappy performance. It's no match for the Oasis, Voyage or even Paperwhite, but at just over £50 it doesn't have to be.

Why should I buy it? Because you want a bargain and can live without the backlight and sharper screen found on pricier Kindle's.

Read the full review: Amazon Kindle

Now for the best ereaders that aren't made by the big A. Now Nook has left the UK, it's all about Kobo if you don't want a Kindle.

Kobo Aura H2O

Kobo Aura H2O

Reading in the bath has never been easier

Screen size: 6.8-inch | Screen type: E Ink | Storage: 4GB | Resolution: 1430 x 1080 | Weight: 233g | Backlight: yes | Touchscreen: yes | Wi-Fi: yes | 3G: no | Battery life: up to two months

Dust and waterproof
Long battery life
Lacks processing power
PDFs slow to navigate

It's almost surprising that we've had to wait this long for a water and dust proof ereader, given that baths, swimming pools and beaches are popular reading spots, but Kobo has finally delivered one with the Aura H2O.

That's not all it's got going for it either, as a bright LED-lit e-ink screen that only needs to be refreshed every six page turns ensures it's got the basics down too and a long battery life and microSD card slot don't hurt.

Sadly it's not perfect, thanks to a distinct lack of power which can leave it feeling sluggish, especially when viewing PDF's.

There's also no 3G option, while its price tag puts it in high-end company. But as the only waterproof ereader it's the ideal choice for anyone who can't help but reach for a book when in the proximity of water.

Why should I buy it? If you're not a fan of Amazon, or just want to be able to read by water worry-free, the Kobo Aura H20 is the ereader to go for. 

Read the full review: Kobo Aura H2O

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James is Phones, Wearables and Tablets writer for TechRadar and covers all the big announcements from the best manufacturers making gadgets for your palms, wrists and face. Based in London, James is often testing out the latest and greatest phones, smartwatches, VR headsets and - when he can be motivated to go outside - fitness bands. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all the latest from the mobile world.