Which e-reader screen protector is best?
The crisp screen of an e-reader makes for an enjoyable reading experience, but a scratch or crack can easily ruin that.
Whether you prefer an e-ink screen or a traditional full-color LCD, there are screen covers designed to preserve or alter the look and feel of your screen. Because screen size varies, it’s important to find a screen protector designed for your e-reader or one of the same size.
There are as many screen protectors as e-readers, but our favorite is the NuPro Anti-Glare Screen Protector.
What to know before you buy an e-reader screen protector
A screen protector offers a minimalist way to protect your e-reader without significantly impacting its form factor. However, most screen protectors only fit specific models of e-readers, and their materials and levels of protection vary.
Why use a screen protector?
Screen protectors don’t impact the form factor of your e-reader significantly, and they protect the screen all the time — not just when you set the device down. However, they can negatively impact your reading experience by distorting the screen or adding glare.
E-reader covers typically attach to the device’s chassis and have a flap that covers the screen, keeping it safe when not in use. When you open the cover to read, you could scratch the screen if you drop the device. A cover can also add a significant amount of weight and bulk, and they are usually more expensive.
A screen protector is the best option for preventing scratches, and some protectors are designed to produce a clear image consistent with your device.
What brand and model e-reader do you have?
Not unlike smartphone screen protectors, most screen protectors are made for a specific brand and model e-reader. While you can purchase a screen protector made for a different model, be sure that it matches your screen size, including the shape of the corners. Many e-reader screen protectors are designed to fit snugly into the corner of the screen, which may be squared or rounded. Others cover the screen and the bezel, so precision is less important.
Finding the right amount of protection
E-reader screen protectors may be made of tempered glass, polyethylene terephthalate or thermoplastic polyurethane — or any combination of the three.
Tempered glass on its own is highly scratch-resistant, but it can collect fingerprints and may produce a glare without additional coatings.
Polyethylene terephthalate protectors have a matte surface similar to most e-ink screens and can resist light scratches. They do not protect against drops, however.
Thermoplastic polyurethane is slightly tougher than polyethylene terephthalate, offering a bit of impact protection. It also resists oils, and light scratches will disappear over time.
What to look for in a quality e-reader screen protector
Additional coatings and included accessories impact your reading experience and how easily you can apply the screen protector.
Unless you enjoy the look of a glossy screen, consider a glare-reducing screen protector to improve readability and make your screen appear page-like.
Smudge- and fingerprint-proof design
Materials that repel oils, usually in the form of an oleophobic coating, keep your screen free of smudges and fingerprints, so you don’t need to clean it as frequently.
Ease of application
Perfectly applying a screen protector is challenging, but some e-reader screen protectors are designed to be bubble resistant to ensure a close fit against the screen. Many screen protectors require a bit of water to adhere correctly, while others have a silicone-based adhesive (which may leave a residue when the protector is removed).
How much you can expect to spend on an e-reader screen protector
Most e-reader screen protectors cost from $3 to $10 each, and they often come in packs of two or three. Price is typically dependent on the materials used and the number of protective layers.
E-reader screen protector FAQ
Will the screen protector reduce the responsiveness of the touch screen?
A. It’s possible. Thinner screen protectors are less prone to this issue.
Will a screen protector hide scratches?
A. Minor scratches may be difficult to see, but big ones will still stand out. However, any screen protector will reduce how much you can feel scratches.
What’s the best e-reader screen protector to buy?
Top e-reader screen protector
What you need to know: With two plastic screen protectors and an application kit, this offers good value.
What you’ll love: This film-like screen protector is so thin it’s hard to notice it’s there at all.
What you should consider: Only 2019 10th-generation Kindles are compatible with this screen protector. The manufacturer doesn’t specify what type of plastic the protector is made of.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top e-reader screen protector for the money
What you need to know: The polyethylene terephthalate design means these screen protectors have a matte finish similar to the screen of your Kindle.
What you’ll love: With three screen protectors included, you get a couple of attempts to get the fit just right. Once applied, there’s even less glare than the Paperwhite’s screen.
What you should consider: There are no application tools, so you should be particularly careful to get a good fit.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Designed to fit the 2020 Fire HD 8, Fire HD 8 Plus and Fire HD 8 Kids, these tempered glass screen protectors are durable and feature an oleophobic coating.
What you’ll love: The tempered glass design is surprisingly thin and has a glossy finish for those who don’t like the look of matte screen protectors.
What you should consider: Application can be challenging, and the paper packaging provides little protection.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Peter McPherson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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