If you want to keep up with the trends and technology when it comes to reading your favorite authors, but you also don’t want to strain your eyes with that dangerous blue light modern readers emit, en eBook reader with no blue light is the perfect choice for you.
And in today’s article, I am going to share with you exactly that: the best eBook readers with no blue light available on the market, as well as some alternatives that still get their display lit, but are putting little (if any) extra pressure to your eyes thanks to the way the light itself is propagated.
While this article will have all the details you need about each product that we recommend – from comple descriptions of these ebook readers, to more details about blue light, the warm light that some devices offer and everything else that you need to know when it comes to choosing the best eBook reader for you, we’ll quickly list them below just in case you don’t want to read everything.
(But remember – if you want all the details, just scroll down to check out an in-depth overview of each reader, as well as learn more about eBook readers and the things to consider when it comes to the health of your eyes, the readers’ effects on your eyes and more).
Please note: We get commissions for purchases made through links in this article.
Let’s start with the beginning: these are the best ereaders with no blue light (or highly customizable lighting options):
|eBook Reader Model||Blue Light?||Display Size||Quick Note||Where to get?|
|Sony DPT-RP1/B||No Blue Light||13”||Remarkable big screen device||Click here to buy|
|reMarkable - the Paper Tablet||No Blue Light||10.3"||Best high-end device||Click here to buy|
|Kindle Oasis||Frontlit Display (adjustable)||7"||Best for avid readers||Click here to buy|
|Kobo Forma||Frontlit Display (adjustable)||8"||Rising star||Click here to buy|
|BOOX Nova Pro||Frontlit Display (adjustable)||7.8”||Feature-packed Android e-reader||Click here to buy|
|Nook GlowLight 3||Frontlit Display (Night Mode)||6"||Highly portable eBook reader||Click here to buy|
Now, we’re going to talk more about each of the products listed above, so that you have all the details in one place, to make an educated decision and choose something that ticks all your needs without breaking the bank.
Best E-Reader without blue light in 2020
If you want a huge eBook reader, this Sony-made device is definitely the right choice for you: at 13″, its screen is larger than some laptops out there – so definitely consider its size if you plan to travel a lot and pack light.
However, despite its size, the DPT-RP1/B (yup, they could’ve come up with a better name!) is really light: just 12.3 oz (around 350 grams). It’s also very thin, similar to the thickness of 30 pieces of paper.
Thanks to the digital paper technology that it uses, our first recommended product is perfect for reading, offering a paper-like experience, without any actual paper. Its screen is not backlit (or frontlit), meaning that you need to be in a lit room to be able to actually see it. But this one goes one step further and even its texture is paper-like, which is a really nice touch.
It also means that you’re getting exactly what you’re looking for: an e-reader with no blue light! But prepare to pay a premium, as this is the most expensive device on our list (and by a lot!)
Its quality is undeniable: despite the large size, there is no loss in text quality. The display offers high contrast rates (1650 x 2200 dots), it is low glare and extremely comfortable to the eye. This means that the text is always easy to read, from all angles.
However, this is much more than a simple ebook reader, being chock-full of features, bells and whistles. It’s a high end device that might, in reality, be a bit too much for the regular reader, but one that has to be considered nevertheless.
For example, it comes bundled with a stylus that allows you to underline text, but also take notes or even use it as a writing board. This is something you might never use, though – but definitely an interesting extra feature to have.
What makes the Sony DPT-RP1/B even more interesting is the fact that it doesn’t connect to the internet directly and it doesn’t offer an internet browser, for example. Syncing is done through the digital paper app that it comes bundled with, which can be considered a con by some. And definitely for its price, not offering WiFi internet is a bit of a disappointment…
But at least this means that you have even longer battery life as it will need minimal amounts of energy when you use it to read your favorite ebooks. Expect it to last on a single charge anything from 2 days (with heavy stylus use) to a couple of weeks if you’re just reading.
It also has some other tricks that it can perform, like the ability to read PDFs – while also allowing you to fill up PDF forms, auto folder sync and the “Print to digital paper” option which allows you to print to the ebook reader any file from your computer or Mac.
In terms of storage space, it comes with 16GB of internal storage memory, which should be enough for a large library of books, as well as many saved personal notes. Nothing to complain here about.
My main problem with all the reading devices that have no blue light at all is that they can actually be considered tablets, offering so many more functions than you would need from a device whose sole purpose is to let you read books.
This doesn’t only go for the otherwise amazing Sony DPT-RP1/B, but all the no blue light readers listed here and probably any other similar device available on the market.
While these features are definitely welcome and of great help to those who actually use them, most of the readers don’t and having to pay a premium for things you’re not going to ever use isn’t the best sales pitch possible.
But unfortunately, this is how things are at the moment and the devices that have no back light are expensive and offer more features than most readers will ever need or use…
reMarkable – the Paper Tablet
This is a product that definitely gives Sony tough competition for that top position in the tablet/e-reader mix, with some clear advantages that make this lesser known brand the better option.
An option that is, just like Sony’s DPT-RP1/B, much more than a simple eBook reader with no blue light: even its creators call it a “digital notepad and e-reader,” meaning that it can do a lot of stuff (that might or might not be of use to avid readers).
But let’s start from the beginning! The reMarkable eReader is actually smaller than Sony’s device, but also large if we are to compare it with regular eBook readers: a 10.3″ display that is still large if we compare it to most of the tablets on the market.
It also has a really solid paper-like technology that allows you to read ebooks and PDF documents without any glare (or, better said, with minimal glare in direct sunlight). The text itself reads well, the contrast is high and you should have no trouble enjoying your light-free reading experience.
Just like the Sony DPT-RP1/B, the reMarkable eBook Reader offers a ton of features that make it sound a lot more impressive than your regular readers, but which in reality might be of no use to you.
For example, you have the option to take notes directly on the tablet and the entire process is pretty simple and well made. But the most important additional feature, in my opinion, is that it converts your written notes into typed text (and also supports over 30 languages for it). It does it with really good precision and even though it might still miss here and there, it’s still a great feature to have.
This is definitely a great extra feature for wannabe authors, for example, who can easily convert their written creations into typed text. Because sometimes, it just feels right (and better) to get that handwriting done instead of typing.
Still, these are features that most people who just want to read books don’t really need – and you will still have to pay for them: although a lot less than you have to for Sony’s device, it’s still a lot more than you would for a regular ereader (more about them starting with the next recommendation).
But before we move over to other products, I have to say that the reMarkable comes with just 8GB of storage (which should still be generally enough for most readers out there), and a strong system running on Linux.
The battery also seems to offer less time than Sony’s DPT-RP1/B does on average, but we’re still talking about anything between two days to a couple of weeks, depending on how you use it.
All in all, this is definitely a good product – otherwise it wouldn’t be here – and clearly one of the rising stars in the world of ebook readers with no blue light. And with fewer and fewer products of this kind available each day, you should definitely grab yours while supplies last – it might be one of the last we’ll ever see with no light at all!
If you’re an avid reader, there’s really no better option for you than a Kindle. The thing with Kindles is that they have direct access to Amazon’s huge ebook library (audiobooks as well, if you’re into that), while all the other readers that are not Kindles don’t.
This gives Amazon’s device a big advantage… but the truth about it – and all the products recommended from now on – is that it’s not completely unlit! But don’t run away just yet, as this is not really a big problem, as you will see (and I will explain this in even more detail towards the end of this article).
Amazon stopped doing unlit Kindles since around 2012, with the launch of the final Kindle 4th generation model (or somewhere around that time). And the reason why they stopped doing so is the Frontlit technology that almost all readers started to use – which is fully detailed at the end of the article.
What you need to know before you get there is that this method involves throwing light at the screen from the front as opposed to the traditional way (from the back), making it a lot better for the eyes.
Actually, with this technology (combined with the fact that you can adjust the intensity of the light), your eyes won’t get tired as they normally do when reading on a regular LCD display. I personally felt no difference between the frontlit displays and reading regular books or from a reader with no blue light.
And with these in mind, comes the Kindle Oasis, the best option in my opinion when it comes to e-readers nowadays. Because it’s just perfect from all points of view!
If you ever held a Kindle in your hand before, you know that it has the perfect size – and the Oasis is the same, even though it seems a bit odd at first with its buttons to the side. They actually make navigation on the device a lot easier and you’ll get used to them instantly – the screen itself rotates automatically when you switch hands too!
The design is actually really smart, once you get over the first impression (yes, I did believe it looks strange at first): the grip it offers makes it easy to hold with one hand – unlike most e-readers that are not that comfortable to hold with one hand – while, at the same time, offering the impression that you’re actually holding the spine of a paperback.
The device itself uses the latest eink technologies, as well as the Paperwhite tech to make it resemble the real feel of a real book as much as possible. And I consider that they do an amazing job on that matter.
The Kindle Oasis is – as I said already – offering an adjustable frontlit display. This means that you can read in the dark, set the intensity and color temperature of the lighting and not have to worry about your eyes being put under more pressure as with a regular led display.
The light’s brightness and temperature are adjustable using two separate bars (one for brightness and one for the color temperature) and since the device offers warm color as well, it actually makes the pages look like those in older books. I personally keep that feature on at all times as I love the feeling!
As an added bonus – that might not be of much use for regular owners, but still a good one to have since you never know – the Kindle Oasis is waterproof. So you can relax in the bathtub and read without worrying that you could break your device if you get water on it!
It is also fully integrated with Audible – Amazon’s answer to audiobooks (with a TON of titles available too), meaning that you can instantly switch from reading to listening to a book when you’re on a move. And it does work with Bluetooth headphones!
In terms of storage, the recommended model finally gives you enough space to never worry about running out of storage for your books – and maybe even for audiobooks. We’re talking about 32GB of storage space, but if you think that it’s way too much for your needs (for example, if you don’t plan on adding audiobooks which are much larger than regular ebooks), there are also 8GB options available.
Even though it is more expensive than your regular Kindle, it is definitely one worth investing in thanks to all its features and technological advances. And to top them all, it’s also the thinnest of its kind and also the lightest. So in terms of portability, you won’t even feel that you’re carrying it around!
As for the battery, Amazon’s devices always offered a lot on a single charge and the Kindle Oasis makes no exception. You can easily get up to a couple of months on a single charge under specific circumstances, like not using the brightness levels at maximum values. Even with more intense levels set, you will still get a solid battery life from this e-reader.
To sum things up, I would say that the Oasis is by far the best option on the market. It’s not as cheap as other ebook readers out there – including other Kindle models – but it is the best in my opinion. So even though it’s not fully not lit, it is the device you most likely need. You’ll love it!
Extremely similar in design with the Kindle Oasis, the Kobo Forma basically challenges Kindle’s dominance of the market and does a really good job at it, although it’s still a bit behind in my opinion.
However, if you need an ebook reader that feels great when held, is slightly larger than the Oasis (8″ compared to Kindle’s 7″) but is still thin and light and comfortable – and it’s not a Kindle – this is as close as you can get.
Of course, it won’t have access to Kindle’s library directly, but you still have a huge offers of ebooks elsewhere and with a bit of tweaking and some time consumed to convert your books, you can read anything on it. Plus, you can borrow books from libraries if you’re in one of the supported countries (currently the US and Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand)
It also offers a Frontlit display with the company’s proprietary Natural Light feature which automatically (and gradually) changes the color of the screen to make reading more comfortable throughout the day. As the day progresses, the light gradually changes to an orange candlelight, and contains less blue.
You can manually change the intensity and color balance as well, but the device does a good job by itself, so you won’t have to worry about setting the correct brightness in order to protect your eyes. But you do have this option if you don’t like what the auto mode does.
In terms of design, as you can see in the image above, it looks really much like the Kindle Oasis – so I would say that it looks a bit odd at first with those lateral buttons. They do become really easy to use soon, just like in the case of Amazon’s device.
An interesting feature of the Kobo Forma, though, is that it allows you to read books holding it horizontally, in landscape mode. It has auto-rotate features, so if you want to switch from holding it with your right hand to the left one, it will automatically detect the movement and rotate the text accordingly.
The quality of the text – as well as the color of the page itself – is also really good. I don’t think that there are any mainstream e-readers that no longer get it right, and the Forma makes no exception. You get high quality fonts that are easy to read, and it’s as close to the experience of reading text on paper as possible: we’re talking about the industry’s standard 300 PPI E-Ink technology and a solid 1440 × 1920px resolution.
In terms of storage, it comes in two variants: the 8GB one (linked below), but there are also 32GB variants available for those who want to make sure that they never run out of space.
The battery itself is decent, although not too impressive – probably its weakest feature, to be honest. You do get a couple of weeks of battery life under regular use, which is still more than enough in most cases. Keep that brightness to minimum in order to increase battery life though (or decrease it greatly if you keep it up).
All in all, this is a solid competitor for the Kindle Oasis and a really good alternative if you want something a bit cheaper which isn’t tied to Amazon. It doesn’t always go as smoothly as the Kindle does, but for most of the time, you will have absolutely no reasons to complain about.
BOOX Nova Pro
Although not as well known as the other names on this list, Boox is actually a really good brand when it comes to feature-packed ebook readers. They actually had a really nice e-reader / tablet mixture that had no blue light and I initially wanted to include that on the list, but it appears that they’re no longer manufacturing it.
Even so, we do have the Boox Nova Pro which also offers a ton of features – but comes with a frontlit display (again, with adjustable brightness, so it won’t hurt your eyes). We have already discussed this frontlit feature – and I will detail it before this article’s end – so I won’t insist on this.
In terms of size, this ebook reader is pretty large – but not too large to become difficult to handle with one hand. We’re talking about 7.8″, which makes it larger than the Kindle Oasis and slightly smaller than the Kobo Forma. In my opinion, I prefer the smaller ones – like the Oasis – but 7.8″ is by no means huge.
The device doesn’t follow trend with the buttons to the side, offering a more traditional look and feel. It also has both electromagnetic touch and capacitive touch, meaning that you can easily use gestures or a stylus with it.
The stylus can be used for you to take notes directly on text (PDF format only), but also write your own thoughts, sketch or draw. This is an added bonus for those who actually need this feature, but an unnecessary increase in price for regular readers.
The display itself is really good, coming with some interesting and welcome features. Not only that the text can be read easily and it looks just like the text on your regular paper books, but the display also has the option to let you switch from blue light (still frontlit) to warm light – or use a mixture of both.
This means that you have full control over the lighting settings and you can easily adjust them depending on your location: turn on the blue light during the day or in very lit areas, for example, and turn on the warm light when reading before going to sleep.
The device also comes with a solid battery that packs a massive punch on a single charge (if you’re not abusing the brightness levels), but also allows for bluetooth connectivity, meaning that you can quickly switch to listening audiobooks (or music if you really want that) if you have a headset or speakers with bluetooth support.
One of the extra bonuses brought in by the Boox Nova Pro is the impressive processing power it offers. We’re talking about an Android-based ereader, with a 1.6GB processor (like on most mid-range modern laptops, for example), 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
All in all, if you prefer a more traditional look – and an eBook reader that also comes with some additional bells and whistles, this is a good choice for you. It might be a bit too much (price-wise and feature-wise) for people who only want to read books on their ereader, though.
Nook GlowLight 3
The Nook has long been the main competitor of Amazon’s Kindle in my opinion, but things have started to change with the constant releases of improved products in the Kobo ebook reader line, as well as other e-readers.
However, this ebook reader created by Barnes & Noble still has some aces up its sleeve and is a solid option for those looking for a quality reader that doesn’t really break the budget, has some good specifications and has warm light options not to put too much (unneeded) pressure on your eyes.
It is also the smallest on the list – at just 6″, so it’s not just very portable – smaller than your regular pocket book, but with the screen size still large enough not to be considered too small or difficult to read on. I personally prefer the larger screens – but it is, in the end, just a matter of personal opinion.
In terms of design, I like it a lot, despite the fact that it’s so small. It actually looks like the older Kindle models – which is a bonus in my books – with navigational buttons on the left and the right sides, as well as a main button at the bottom. Really easy to use and extremely comfortable, in my opinion!
The quality of the screen itself – and that of the fonts you can read on it – is similar to that of all the other recommended devices: 300 PPI, resulting in crisp, easy to read text in all lighting conditions, with an anti-glare display that is also scratch-resistant.
And if it gets too dark, you have the frontlit display (with the proprietary Glow Light feature) that can be adjusted to match the environment. You can enable the auto mode or control the settings manually. Either method you choose, the warm light is perfect for night time reading – and evenly spread over the screen.
Another bonus is the fact that the device is both waterproof and dustproof, meaning that you should no longer worry too much about its safety when taking it with you at the beach… or when deciding to relax a bit in a hot bath and do some reading…
Compared to previous Nook e-readers, the GlowLight 3 is definitely an improvement. It offers better grip, it’s more comfortable for reading marathons and has all the features that you’d like from a modern ebook reader.
It runs on Android and has access to the Barnes & Noble library, which offers millions of books to choose from – meaning that most likely you won’t really have to go through the trouble of using extra software to import Kindle books. But it all depends on what authors you read and if they’re exclusive to Amazon or not…
In terms of storage, the GlowLight 3 offers 8GB of space for your ebooks and magazines and whatnot, while the battery itself is pretty decent, regularly offering around 1 month on a single charge if you don’t use it heavily.
All in all, the Nook Glowlight 3 is a good choice if you want a small, highly portable ebook reader that doesn’t break the bank.
No Blue Light vs Frontlit Display
I have barely touched the subject in the overview of the recommended eReaders above, but I want to talk more about this. Mainly because it’s getting more and more difficult to find an ebook reader that has absolutely no light, while most of the good ones opt for this Frontlit Display.
So… what is this Frontlit Display, after all?
Just like its name suggests, it’s a relatively new technique that is used to light up a device’s screen by sending light from the front. Normal screens use a backlit display: your phone uses it, your laptop’s screen uses it, the TV does too… most of the things that we look at nowadays have a backlit display.
This means that all the LEDs that the device have are placed behind the screen itself, making it look beautiful and nice – there’s no doubt about it. But the biggest problem is that these led lights, which are usually extremely bright even when you tune them down, start hurting your eyes after a while.
The backlit displays and the bright blue light they use are responsible for aching eyes, tiredness, difficulties falling asleep after using a backlit screen and much more.
With a frontlit display, things change drastically. The display here is lit from the front of the device, which can be compared to reading a book in a dark room, with your reading light turned on.
Unlike the reading light, though, the technology used in frontlit displays allows the light itself to be evenly distributed along the entire surface of the screen. As a result, this doesn’t strain your eyes more than reading a regular book in a dark room with your reading light turned on does.
Actually, it might even be a bit better, because the light is evenly spread over the page of the eBook – as opposed to darker areas and shadows that you usually get from using a regular light. So these frontlit displays are not as bad as you might consider them to be – at least not when it comes to your eBook reader.
Do you really need an ebook reader with no blue light at all?
An ereader that has absolutely no blue light is always a great choice – especially when it comes to reading your favorite books in a well lit environment and reducing the eye strain to maximum.
However, things get a bit more complicated when it gets dark. Because they have no additional light, they become pretty much useless unless you have another source of light. And pointing it directly into the device’s screen will result sometimes in glare or give you other reading problems or even strain your eyes.
A frontlit display allows you to customize the intensity of the light (at least it normally does with the recommended products above) without causing your eyes the harm that your regular backlit displays do by shooting blue light straight into your eyes.
And while we can agree that there’s no real use to have extra light (even if it’s the better one coming from the front) when reading outside or in a well lit room, I would say that the need for a reader that really has no blue light at all is at the moment a bit too expensive for us, the regular folk.
Sure, one should never put a price on their health since it’s their most important possession, but the truth is that those frontlit displays seem to work just as well, reducing eye strain to a minimum. I personally never had problems falling asleep after using such a device, nor had I felt more tired than I normally did after reading a regular book.
The eBook readers that I have recommended above should fit all budgets and all needs and no matter which one you choose, I am 100% sure that you will be extremely satisfied.
However, if you are only purchasing your reader to do this one task – which is reading books, the ones with no blue light might be a bit expensive. They are indeed amazing products, offering a ton of additional options – but if you don’t plan to use them, you’re just wasting money in my opinion.
If money is not a problem and you really need or want a reader with no light at all, the first options listed in this article are the best eBook readers with no blue light available on the market right now.
But otherwise, I really believe that you should give those frontlit displays a chance. They will not make your eyes more tired than general reading does (based on reviews and personal experience) and they will not make it harder for you to fall asleep if you read at night (again, based on reviews and personal experience – there is still a small chance that things are different in your case).
What do you think though? Are those readers that use no light at all still the best choice, despite their price – or you plan on getting (or got already) one with a frontlit display?