The best ereaders give you access to a whole library of books, from your pocket. While it is unlikely ereaders will ever replace the traditional printed book, they are a fantastic innovation for those who don't have space to store all the books they want to read, or are are often travelling.
An ereader will also enable you to download books directly to the device from the comfort of your own home, rather than trawling bookshops for sometimes expensive books.
The ereader market is dominated by Amazon's Kindles at the moment, and the Amazon bookstore certainly offers the widest range of ebooks. However, of the relatively few other ebook manufacturers out there, Kobo is also worth a look. If it is a Kindle you're after, we're likely to see some discounts over Amazon Prime Day (15-16 July). Our tool will pull in the cheapest prices below, or check out our Prime Day deals roundup for discounts on more creative gear.
First, let's get started with our pick of the best ereaders right now...
01. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
The best ereader for price and features
Store: Amazon | Screen: 6" | Resolution: 300ppi | Storage: 8GB or 32GB | Weight: 209g | Backlight: Yes | Touchscreen: Yes | Wi-Fi: Yes | 3G option: Yes | Max battery life: 6 weeks
If you’re happy to spend a bit extra, almost everything is slightly improved on the Kindle Paperwhite when you’re comparing it to the standard Kindle. It has a far better display with a higher resolution and a stronger backlight, plus it comes with an improved screen tech that makes it easier to read in direct sunlight.
The design feels more premium in the hand – although it isn’t the most high-end device on this list – and you’ve got direct access to Amazon’s book store that allows you to use services like Kindle Unlimited or get cheaper titles during Amazon’s regular book sales. Overall, the Kindle Paperwhite is one of the best ereaders money can buy – it’s well worth the extra money in terms of the extra features you get over the standard Kindle.
02. Amazon Kindle
A brilliantly low price, although you sacrifice screen quality
Store: Amazon | Screen: 6" | Resolution: 167ppi | Storage: 4GB | Weight: 161g | Backlight: Yes | Touchscreen: Yes | Wi-Fi: Yes | 3G option: No | Max battery life: Four weeks
The cheapest ereader, Amazon's Kindle is one of the best that money can buy if you’re looking for an affordable option. This latest version of the standard Kindle was released early in 2019, and it’s the first of the basic Amazon ereaders to include a backlight to let you read in the dark.
If you’re looking to read books with illustrations, you may not be happy with the resolution here on the Kindle as it’s substantially lower than the rest of the ereaders on this list (the Kindle offers 167ppi, while its competitors all pack in 300ppi). It also has a slim and lightweight design.
This ereader offers the least storage of all the devices on this list – just 4GB. However, for ebooks this is absolutely plenty; you'll be able to store hundreds of ebooks with no trouble. However, if you're a big audiobook fan, you'll want to stump up for something with more space – 4GB will hold maybe 10 audiobooks max.
The Kindle doesn’t feel as premium as Amazon’s other ereaders, but if the cost of your device is the most important consideration then you’ll want to consider picking up this Kindle as your way to read ebooks on the move.
03. Kobo Clara HD
The best ereader if you don't want an Amazon device
Store: Kobo | Screen: 6" | Resolution: 300ppi | Storage: 8GB | Weight: 166g | Backlight: Yes | Touchscreen: Yes | Wi-Fi: Yes | 3G option: No | Max battery life: 'Weeks'
The Kobo Clara HD is very similar to the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, but you won’t have access to Amazon’s book store. Instead it uses the Kobo Store, which you will want to take a look at before you buy one of these, as it can be a bit more limited in book choices.
If the store includes the books you want, it’s well worth getting this Kobo as it features a great looking design alongside a beautiful 6-inch HD display with the same resolution as the Paperwhite. The display is particularly good in low light, making this a great choice if you like reading before bed.
Everything else is remarkably similar to the Paperwhite. If you’re looking for a device that isn’t made by Amazon, we recommend this Kobo as it’s one of the cheapest from one of the few alternative ereader manufacturers out there.
04. Amazon Kindle Oasis
The most premium option from Amazon
Store: Amazon | Screen: 7" | Resolution: 300ppi | Storage: 8GB or 32GB | Weight: 194g | Backlight: Yes | Touchscreen: Yes | Wi-Fi: Yes | 3G option: Yes | Max battery life: 6 weeks
The Kindle Oasis is the most expensive ereader in Amazon’s range, and it's also its most high-tech and beautifully designed device. It features a similar screen tech to the Paperwhite, but it’s slightly larger meaning you have more space on the page, plus it has better backlighting tech too.
You may want to opt for the 32GB of storage variant here if you’re planning to download and play audiobooks over Bluetooth headphones or a speaker (there's no headphone jack). That’s an option on all of Amazon’s Kindle products, but the 32GB Oasis will give you lots of space to fill with Audible titles.
The undeniable highlight of the Oasis is its design. It’s ergonomically more comfortable than a lot of the other devices in this list which makes it easier to read for long periods of time. Just note you’ll have to spend quite a bit to be able to get it.
05. Kobo Forma
A truly impressive ereader... but it'll cost you
Store: Kobo | Screen: 8" | Resolution: 300ppi | Storage: 8GB/32GB | Weight: 197g | Backlight: Yes | Touchscreen: Yes | Wi-Fi: Yes | 3G option: No | Max battery life: 'Weeks'
Arguably the most unique device on this list is the Kobo Forma, but it’s also the most expensive. With a huge 8-inch display, you’ve got a lot of screen to use when reading your ebooks and it features a 300ppi resolution so those books will be clear and easy to read.
The extra screen doesn’t make this a heavy ereader either – it weighs in at just 197g. It’s a premium design overall, but it’s worth noting that Kobo’s store can be a little limited in its book selection so be sure to have a look to ensure you want to opt for Kobo’s alternative to Amazon.
Overall, if you’re looking for one of the very best ereaders that money can buy you should opt for the Kobo Forma. However, note that high price, and the smaller book range, before you make your final decision.