Everything You Should Know About the Kindle Kids vs the Basic Kindle

If you’re looking to buy a Kindle, whether for yourself or a child, you might find yourself wondering. . . “what’s the difference between the Kindle Kids and the regular Kindle?”

I’ve been talking about Kindles for years and I’m THRILLED to give you the full rundown on the Kindle Kids v Kindle dilemma so you can choose the best one for your needs.

kindle kids vs kindle

kindle kids vs kindle

The most important thing to know about the Kindle Kids vs the Basic Kindle is that they are the exact same hardware. If you take the case off, you literally will not be able to tell a difference between them.

Literally the only difference between a Kindle Kids and a basic Kindle is based on whether you’re signed in as an adult or a child.

And you can sign in to either device as an adult or a child. Which means that if you buy a Kids Kindle and log in as an adult, it’s now a basic Kindle. And if you buy a basic Kindle and log in to a child’s account, it’s now exactly the same as if you’d purchased a Kids Kindle.

So how to decide which one to get?

It really depends on the current Kindle pricing (which changes all the time). Generally, they run about $20 different with the Kids Kindle being the more expensive one.

Here’s the difference between the Kids Kindle package and the Basic Kindle package:

  • The Kids Kindle comes with a case included (there are three options to choose from) while the basic Kindle does not have a case. So if you are happy with one of the kids case options, you’ve probably saved yourself some money right there. The Kindle cover I have, for example, is $30 so getting a Kindle for $20 more that already has a case saved you $10 right out of the gate.
  • The Kids Kindle comes with a 2 year, no questions asked guarantee. Drop it in the bathtub? They’ll replace it. Run over it with your car? Replaced. So if you think there’s any chance you’ll damage it in two years, that warranty is a really nice feature to have.
  • The Kids Kindle generally comes with a year of Amazon Kids+ while the basic Kindle generally comes with 3 months of Kindle Unlimited. I don’t particularly love Amazon Kids+ and if I were buying a Kids Kindle as an adult, it wouldn’t hold a lot of value for me (I’d rather have Kindle Unlimited). So that’s one potential downside of buying a Kids Kindle as an adult, although you can almost always get a free trial of Kindle Unlimited, so it’s not MUCH of a downside.

Basically, you can’t go wrong with either, so it really depends most on what the current price is. If the Kids Kindle price drops LOWER than the basic Kindle price, absolutely I would recommend you buy the Kids Kindle. If you don’t like the Kids cases and are going to buy your own either way, it’s probably better to buy the basic Kindle unless the price is more than the Kids Kindle.

The other question that comes up is about the Kindle Paperwhite Kids vs Kindle Paperwhite and it’s the same story – they’re the same hardware, just with a case or no case and either the Amazon Kids+ subscription or the Kindle Unlimited subscription, plus the two year warranty on the Kids version. So check the prices, make your decision about the case and pick the one that makes more financial sense. 

(If you’re curious about the basic Kindle versus the Kindle Paperwhite, the main differences are that the screen is a little bigger (6.8″ instead of 6.0″) and it is waterproof. The screen is also a flush front screen and has warm light options, plus the battery lasts up to 10 weeks instead of the 6 weeks of the basic Kindle. Plus, the page turns are 20% faster. Again, the Paperwhite Kids and the regular Paperwhite are identical hardware, so all the things I mentioned in this paragraph will be the same on both devices because .. . they’re the same device).

Any other questions about the Kindle kids vs Kindle? I’m happy to help you decide which one is right for you! 

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  1. I feel like I remember you talking about the kids Kindle being ad free versus the basic Kindle you had to pay to turn off the ads. Is this still the case?

  2. we have the kindle with free time. We also use the dot devices in our home. My daughter likes to listen to audio books while going to sleep on the kids dot in her room. I am trying to figure out how to manage her audible account she gets via our free time subscription and i’m having a terrible time trying to find where i can see the audible free time selection and add those to her account. Help?

  3. We’re having trouble with my daughters paperwhite kindle. It only lasts for 2-4 weeks on a charge no where near 6-10 weeks! What are we doing wrong? Or is she just reading too much? 🤣🤪🤷🏼‍♀️

    1. I don’t know! I’m sure it depends on usage or you might have a faulty battery or it may be an older model – I’d contact customer service if it’s an issue!

  4. I’ve seen others comment that it is difficult to put books from the library on the kids version of kindles. Have you tried borrowing from the library and putting it on a kids kindle?

  5. Do you know the size dimensions of the kindle kids if we want to switch out the case? Is it the same size as a basic? Thanks?

  6. My husband & I are considering purchasing Kindle Kids for all our grandchildren for Christmas this year.
    I’ve read thru your WONDERFUL article here several times. Thank you for all the detail!

    I’d like to understand if the Kindle Kids devices prevent access to adult content. Are you able to address this concern for us?


    1. Yes – as long as they’re in kids mode (which they can’t exit without your password), they’ll only see Amazon Kids titles or books you’ve specifically added to their account. They won’t be able to buy books or look at the larger Kindle library of millions of books for all ages.

      The most common mistake parents make is not actually logging their child into their kids profile – if you don’t do this, they’ll be able to see all of YOUR books and browse the entire Kindle library.

  7. Do you know if I have kindle unlimited for my kindle, can it be used for my daughters, too? I’m debating getting one for her! Kindle unlimited is a nice feature to have but I don’t want to pay for it twice. Is the kids + that comes with it for a year like kindle unlimited? Thanks!

  8. Hi there! I am trying to figure out which is the better option for my kids. They go thru books like crazy, are there better free options on the kids+ or are they typically on kindle unlimited as well. I’d rather have the extra 3 months per device because I pay for kindle unlimited but if there’s more options going the kids+ route I would probably choose that. I don’t know what to do.

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