Kindle Covers and Cases: What Are Your Options?

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If you have a Kindle and don’t yet own some type of case or cover, maybe it’s about time. Navigating through the sea of Kindle covers can be a daunting task, and the best place to start is to learn about the different styles of cases available.

When you boil it all down there are three main categories — covers, sleeves, and skins. Each is quite different, so let’s dive into each style a little deeper.

Kindle Covers

This is by far the largest category. The most common design is a flip-open style case which protects both the front and the back of your Kindle when it’s not in use. When you’re ready to read (or watch), simply open up the cover and you are ready to go. This style of cover remains on your Kindle while it’s in use so it can add some additional weight/bulk.

The most common materials used are leather, synthetic leather, rubberized materials and nylon. Each has their pros and cons. Typically leather Kindle cases tend to provide more protection, but add more weight. Rubber and nylon, on the other hand, tend to be more form-fitting yet often provide less protection. More feature-rich covers are also available, including covers with a built in reading stand and/or light.

Kindle SleevesKindle Sleeve

Following Amazon’s release of their own Kindle sleeves for the batch of 2011 Kindles, this category has exploded with more options. Kindle sleeves are simply a storage case. The most obvious benefit to this style is that a sleeve maintains the size/feel of your Kindle when in use, while protecting it from bumps or scrapes when it’s in your backpack, purse, etc. Sleeves often have a velcro or button flap which often make the cover resemble a padded envelope, though there are also sleeves with zipper closures.

Kindle Skins

Kindle Skins hardly resemble a cover at all and provide little protection. So why would you want one? While it will offer some protection from scrapes, the main purpose of a skin is to customize the look of your Kindle. The two-piece ultra thin (we’re talking a few millimeters) vinyl material simply applies to the front and back of your Kindle. The design options are endless. There are literally thousands of skins available, not to mention a handful of providers which will produce designs made to order.

Kindle SkinRegardless of which Kindle model you have, it is important to at least consider a cover to insure your Kindle has a long life. The last category also touches on another key point: design. While the degree will vary from person to person, you can find a Kindle cover that offers the protection you need without hurting your eyes.

Instead of stopping there, I thought I would include 5 important questions to ask before you buy a Kindle cover:

  1. What’s your budget?
  2. Is this Kindle cover/sleeve/skin designed for my Kindle model?
  3. How much abuse do you put your Kindle through i.e. how much protection should the cover offer?
  4. Are their any additional features (read light, stand, etc.) which would really make using your Kindle more enjoyable?
  5. Can you find user reviews about this cover and/or other covers from the manufacturer to attest to the quality of their products?

About the author: Jonathon has been writing about technology including consumer tech and green tech for over two years. With over 100 cover reviews and counting, his Kindle cover blog helps thousands of Kindle owners each month find the right cover.