The 8 Best eReaders of 2021

Practical, convenient gadgets for taking your book on the road

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Our Top Picks
"With a paperwhite display, adjustable warmth and brightness, and a waterproof, ergonomic design, the Oasis stands out from the competition."
"The standard Kindle is an affordable, high-quality product with a paperwhite glare-free display and adjustable lighting."
Best Splurge:
Kobo Forma at Walmart
"This 8-inch eReader is lightweight, waterproof, ergonomic, and can be read either horizontally or vertically."
"The Kids Kindle comes with one year of Amazon Kids+, which includes all Harry Potter books and other children's series."
Best for Bright Sunlight:
ONYX BOOX Poke 3 at Onyxboox.com
"With an e-ink screen with 300 PPI, the high-contrast display is easy to read and comfortable for the eyes in bright outdoor lighting."
"You can adjust the warmth and brightness manually or set it to reflect the natural light progression throughout the day."
Best for Eye Health:
Kobo Clara HD at Walmart
"ComfortLight technology minimizes blue-light exposure and provides a natural, print-like display."
Best Tablet for eReading:
Apple iPad Mini at Amazon
"The 8-inch screen has True Tone technology, and you can use it to read, email, shop, and watch videos."

If you're a book enthusiast, it doesn't take long to accumulate a small library in your home. And while a book collection is visually pleasing and can make you feel accomplished for all the pages you've read over the years, it takes up a substantial amount of space. That's why many bookish individuals have made the switch to eReaders. 

Even if you still like to get printed copies now and again, it's nice to have one on hand. You can download any book you want from the comfort of your home or while on the go. And beyond novels and nonfiction books, you can read magazines, newspaper articles, and children's books.

If you're in the market for an e-book device, we've got you covered. Below, find our favorite eReaders.

Best Overall: Amazon Kindle Oasis

Kindle Oasis

Amazon didn't come out with the first-ever eReader, but the Kindle was a groundbreaking product in the book world. There are now several variations, including our overall best pick, the Kindle Oasis. This 7-inch device was a flush-front paperwhite display with 300 PPI (pixels per inch). Innovative e-ink technology makes it look like real paper. It comes in graphite or champagne gold with the option of 8 or 32 GB of storage.

As an IPX8 waterproof product, the Oasis can survive for up to 30 minutes underwater, so you can read as you please in the bathtub or while lounging by the pool. This eReader also stands out for its lightweight, ergonomic design and comfortable page-turn buttons. You can adjust the screen from white to warm amber to minimize eye strain and light stimulation. And the adaptive front light automatically brightens and dims based on the lighting of your environment.

Best Budget: Amazon Kindle

Kindle

As it turns out, the standard Amazon Kindle is the best budget-friendly option. This 6-inch portable device is the OG of eReaders. Thanks to its high-quality design and versatility, it's remained a top choice among avid readers. 

The Kindle has a glare-free display with 167 PPI, so it looks like real paper, even when you're sitting in direct sunlight. You can adjust the front light for comfortable reading at all hours of the day, whether indoors or outside. Unlike regular tablets, the battery charge lasts for weeks instead of hours, and you can sync it to headphones or speakers to listen to your books through Audible.

Best Splurge: Kobo Forma

Kobo Forma

The Kobo Forma is a sleek and lightweight Kindle-alternative. It runs for about the price of the Oasis with similar tech-forward features. With a curved ergonomic design that accommodates both left- and right-handed page-turners, this eReader is made for comfort. 

You can read books in portrait or landscape mode and set it to automatically adjust the orientation based on how you hold it. The Forma is also waterproof, so you can read in the tub or out by the pool. It has an 8-inch display and comes with either 8 or 32 GB of storage.

Best for Kids: Amazon Kindle Kids Edition

Kindle Kids Edition

If you're shopping for a child, your best bet is the Amazon Kindle Kids Edition. It has a 6-inch black and white glare-free screen and comes with a durable magnet cover. The cover is available in bright solid colors or kid-friendly prints. 

The Kids Kindle comes with one year of Amazon Kids+, which includes all Harry Potter books and other children's series. Since it's designed strictly for reading books, it doesn't have any games, ads, or videos. However, you can get the tablet/eReader combo if you want a little more versatility.

Best for Bright Sunlight: ONYX BOOX Poke 3

BOOX Poke 3

Backlit screens can create glare and be difficult to read in natural outdoor lighting, but the ONYX BOOX Poke 3 solves this dilemma. This impressive eReader has an e-ink display with 300 PPI and both a MOON Light 2 backlight function and a SNOW Field setting. The high contrast and light substrate allow you to read it in bright sunlight, and it's just as easy on the eyes as a paper book. You can also read it in a pitch-dark room.

The Poke 3 has a 6 x 4.2-inch display and is only .26 inches thick. It runs on an Android operating system, which gives you more settings and access to various reading programs. With a touch screen and a full-fledged internet browser, you can easily browse books and surf the web, all on one device.

Best Adjustable Display: Barnes & Noble NOOK GlowLight Plus

GlowLight Plus

The NOOK GlowLight Plus from Barnes & Noble has a 7.8-inch high-resolution display with 300 DPI (dots per inch). With e-ink contrast and GlowLight illumination, you can read it in the pitch dark or bright natural sunlight. The ambient display provides evenly dispersed light that's easy on the eyes, indoors or outside, at all hours of the day. 

This eReader seamlessly shifts from day-to-night display modes. You can manually adjust the warmth of the screen and dim or brighten it to your liking. Alternatively, you can set it to mimic the natural changes in light throughout the day. The waterproof design allows you to read anywhere—at the beach, out in the rain, in the bathtub, or by the lake.

Best for Eye Health: Kobo Clara HD

kobo-clara

If your eyes are sensitive to screens and artificial lights, you might consider the Kobo Klara HD. With ComfortLight technology, the 6-inch display offers a natural, paper-like reading experience. Also, the front light minimizes blue-light exposure for more comfortable reading at night. Plus, you can adjust the text to suit your vision with various font weights and sharpness settings.

Best Tablet for eReading: Apple iPad Mini

Apple iPad mini

If you want a multi-purpose device, we recommend the iPad Mini. It has an 8-inch screen and a lightweight design that's smaller and slimmer than most books. While you won't get an e-ink display, the high-resolution screen has True Tone technology, which automatically adjusts to the lighting in your environment. Aside from reading, you can use it to surf the web, scroll through social media, watch videos, shop, email, work, and access virtually any iOS app.

Final Verdict

The best overall eReader is the Amazon Kindle Oasis (view at Amazon), due to its nearly unbeatable display and comfortable design. If you're able to spend a bit more or want a Kindle-alternative, the Kobo Forma (view at Kobo Books) boasts similar features and has an accommodating left- or right-handed design.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Theresa Holland has significant experience in researching, reviewing, and writing about tech products and books. She's an avid reader and Kindle owner and is always on the hunt for the most comfortable reading experience.

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