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Do you really have to buy a case every time you get a new Kindle? Maybe all you need is a decent sleeve that could serve you much longer than just a year or two.
Many users, who decide to buy the newest Kindle, almost automatically add to the cart a dedicated case.
The problem with Kindle cases (and cases for any other mobile device, naming only an Amazon Fire or iPad) is that a vast majority of them is compatible with just one generation of just one model from just one brand.
And here we come to the heart of the matter: with decreasing prices of electronic devices, the cost of the case becomes a considerable part of the total value. A top-shelf, genuine leather case can cost even $50, while the price of the entry-level Kindle model can go down to the same level during Black Friday or Prime Day event.
After years of having a habit of buying the Kindle and the case together, it’s time to refresh your approach.
Maybe you don’t need the case you used to buy so far because other covers offer features that would better meet your evolving needs.
Maybe you don’t need even the most innovative or fashionable case because it’s still too expensive when compared with the benefits it gives.
The main reason to buy a case is protection. Why buy a case that protects well from dust and scratches but gives a not-so-good protection against bumps and drops? Have you ever considered getting a Kindle protection plan and get a peace of mind even if you damage your Kindle three times?
When you stop thinking about protection, new possibilities arrive: to save more money, to read hands-free, to carry more than one device, or to enjoy the look of the Kindle every time you read a book.
In the following simple guide, I list most common types of Kindle cases and sleeves, compare their benefits and disadvantages, but most importantly, give you some answers that will let you make a more deliberate decision what kind of accessory you’ll really need for your Kindle this time.
Kindle case pros and cons
|• Suited perfectly for a single Kindle model|
• Tailored cutouts for a power button and charging port
• Supports auto sleep/wake function
• The front cover folds back entirely, allowing for a one-handed use
• Several colors and designs to choose from
• The feel of a hardcover paper book
|• You will need to replace the case every time you replace the Kindle|
• Cases are usually more expensive than sleeves
• A case doesn’t fully protect against drops
• Most cases, besides flip stands, won’t let you read hands-free
• Usually, there is no pocket for cables and other small accessories
• Some designs may make the Kindle too heavy for long reading sessions
Kindle sleeve pros and cons
|• It can be used with several Kindle models, not just one|
• It gives the protection when the Kindle needs it the most – when you are carrying it
• It doesn’t add bulk when you read because it’s put aside
• It lets you enjoy the Kindle in its entirety
• Many sleeves come with pockets for accessories
• Better corner protection than most cases
• You can use a sleeve as an extra layer of protection of your Kindle with a case
|• No support for auto sleep/wake feature|
• The more pockets there are, the bulkier the sleeve is
• When reading, the sleeve is put aside, and it gives no protection to your Kindle
• To accommodate different devices, it’s good to buy a bit larger sleeve, and it may be too large for your needs
• Say “bye” to print book nostalgia – no sleeve will give you this feel
Kindle case types
Book-like slim case
This lightweight case opens to the side, like a print book. Usually, the front part folds back completely. It’s the most popular Kindle case design.
It’s heaver than the slim case, and it’s made of either leather or faux leather. Furthermore, it typically comes with an internal pocket or pockets and a hand strap. The Kindle is being held in either a plastic case or a leather frame.
Vertical flip stand case
The case opens to the bottom. A foldable back cover is used to form a stand. Grooves or straps on the inside of the front cover are used to set up the right viewing angle.
Vertical kickstand case
The case opens to the side; inside the front cover there is a built-in kickstand you can use to read books hands-free. This type of stand is less stable than a vertical flip chart.
Origami standing case
Offered for larger Kindle models. The stand is being formed by folding the front lid like an origami. It’s the lightest Kindle stand case you can get, but keep in mind that you can use it stand only on solid, flat surfaces. The stand design is too unstable for uneven surfaces.
Universal e-reader case
The case is not designed for a particular Kindle model. The device is held in place by elastic or adjustable corner straps or hooks.
Kindle sleeve types
Simple slide-in sleeve
The simplest and cheapest Kindle sleeve you can get. It’s typically made of felt or neoprene, and closes with a button or Velcro. You slide the Kindle from either the shorter or longer side. Usually with no extra compartments.
This multi-layer sleeve is typically made of waterproof material. It opens on one side using a zipper, and comes with handles and pockets. Sometimes there is more than just one main compartment. Suitable, if you plan to use the sleeve interchangeably for your Kindle and tablet.
Zipper pouches are more about fashion than protection. They can be used the same way as a purse, and typically come with a carrying handle. They are typically made of a soft material, so the only protection they give is against dust and scratches.
Hard carrying case
If you want to get a sleeve that guarantees the highest possible protection, you should pick up a zipper carrying case that’s made of hard plastic shells, sometimes covered with a fabric. The hard carrying case offers a protection against drops, and it usually comes with internal pocket.
Travel organizers are a suitable solution if you want to keep with you not only the Kindle, but also other electronic gear, such as charger, power bank, earphones, and all kinds of cables. Why carry two bags if you can pack your essentials into one? Travel organizers are bulky because they come with more than one large compartment and several small pockets, both inside and outside.
Kindle case or sleeve – which one to choose?
If you have more than one mobile device
…choose a sleeve
More and more families have more than one mobile device, be it a Kindle or Fire, or any other tablet. If these devices have a similar size, for instance the 6.8-inch Kindle Paperwhite 5 and Amazon Fire 7, it’s reasonable to consider getting a single sleeve that could be used interchangeably.
If you want to take the Kindle with you, just put it inside the sleeve, and put the Fire in a safe place – and the other way around. You may even consider getting one sleeve that can hold two devices at the same time. Many travel organizers come with two large compartments suitable for tablets and/or e-readers.
If you want to have auto sleep/wake support
…choose a case
A support for the Kindle’s feature that wakes the device when you open the cover, and puts it to sleep on closing is for many users the second most important benefit, after protection.
If pressing the power button every time you want to start reading is something you can’t accept, you have no other choice but pick up a case that supports auto sleep/wake.
If you want to feel an old book
…choose a case
The times when ebook newbies were investigating options for making their e-readers look and feel like a print book are long gone.
The Kindle is a beautiful object, and you can easily get addicted to its look, feel, personalization options, and the look of your favorite font face.
That’s why, more and more users are looking for a case or sleeve that provides more benefits, reflects personality, or simply brightens up.
If you, however, are still longing for a look of an old library book, you have no other choice but pick up a book-style case.
If you want to have a peace of mind
…choose a case or
…choose a protection plan
Most user buy a case together with the Kindle because they want to make sure they give their new shiny device the maximum level of protection. It’s all about relief that when you accidentally drop the Kindle, it will survive.
The first thing you should ask yourself is how many times you have actually dropped the Kindle (or any other device) in your entire life. The total number of drops of my three earlier Kindle models equals zero. Why was I packing them into protective cases?
Secondly, Kindle cases are not primarily designed for military drop test protection. In other words, if you drop the Kindle protected by a standard case, some damage will be done. What to do with a Kindle with a deformed corner or a broken screen? Won’t it make you concerned every time you want to read a book?
A better solution to make sure you will be able to use the Kindle after you accidentally drop it is a protection plan – you will just get a new Kindle instead of keeping a damaged one.
Square Trade offers accident protection plan for Kindle (1, 2, or 3-year). For instance, the 2-year plan costs $24.99 (less than an original Kindle case) and you can make 3 claims during the term. It means that if you drop the Kindle three times, you will have three new devices. Square Trade guarantees the replacement device will arrive in 2 to 3 days.
Now, imagine how your Kindle and your case will look like after three drops…
OK, but you never actually dropped your Kindle. Why do you need a case, then?
If you want to protect the Kindle against water
…choose a protection plan
…but only if you don’t have a waterproof Kindle
Some users love to read in a bath, and they fear of dropping the Kindle into water. The good news is that both Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis are waterproof. It means that you can put each one into water for half an hour, and absolutely nothing will happen. There is no need to buy a waterproof sleeve or case.
The basic Kindle model is still not waterproof. If you drop it into water, it may stop working. And no current case can prevent it. In fact, most cases are not waterproof, so they will get damaged or deformed, too.
If you are concerned about damage caused by water, and if you have the Kindle that’s not waterproof, you should pick up a Kindle protection plan.
If you want to read hands-free
…choose a case or
…choose a hands-free accessory
If your reading sessions are usually much longer than you have originally planned, every bit of comfort counts. A case with a hand strap is better than the one without. A case that can be turned into a stand is better than the one with a hand strap.
The problem with Kindle stand cases is that they are ugly and bulky. The ones that are not ugly and bulky – origami stand cases – are unstable, and you will only be able to use them on a desk.
Do you read books by a desk? Most people find much more comfortable places: a big old chair, a sofa in a living room, or a large bed. Stand cases don’t fully work here. They are too small to stand still on a duvet cover, blanket, or your laps. And, most probably, they will be far too low for your eye level.
Instead of buying a bulky standing case for your Kindle, think about an accessory designed for hands-free reading. Soft and cozy pillow stands are the first thing which comes to mind, but there are several other innovative accessories that are worth checking out.
Kindle case or sleeve – my personal choice
Every time I was ordering a Kindle, I was considering a sleeve instead of the case. And every time I ended up with the case. Until now.
When I ordered the latest Kindle Paperwhite, I was determined to buy a sleeve that I could use much longer than the device itself. All I need is a protection when the Kindle is away. When I read, I want to enjoy the look and feel of the device.
I decided to go for an uncommon solution and buy a product that is not intended to be used with Kindle Paperwhite or any other e-reader. But it serves its purpose brilliantly. It’s the side bound notebook sleeve from Rite in the Rain.
My rating: 8.2/10
This solid and durable sleeve is made of incredibly tough Cordura fabric that’s water and weather resistant. The pouch closes with a solid, rugged zipper closure.
Inside, there are two large pockets for notebooks, on the left and right side. Each one can accommodate the 6.8-inch Kindle Paperwhite (and all previous models except the Oasis). Inside, there are also four pen-size holders, and a pocket for a credit card.
This sleeve will work with any 6-inch Kindle now and in 10 years. Why pay for a case every time I buy a new Kindle?
Kindle case or sleeve – idea lists
Have you decided which kind of accessory you want for your Kindle?
Check out my ongoing idea lists of Kindle cases and Kindle sleeves that I curate on Amazon, thanks to my participation in Amazon Influencer program.
Please note that if you buy anything from these lists, I may receive a small commission, usually between 1 and 4% of the value of your purchase.
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