In this post I explain the various options if you’re looking for a good toothbrush for travel.
There are various types to consider:
- A rechargeable electric toothbrush (preferably with a long lasting battery and travel case)
- A battery powered toothbrush
- A manual toothbrush
I make recommendations in each category, based on my own hands-on testing.
Here at Electric Teeth we buy the products in ourselves so that we can advise which are best in situations such as this.
Another consideration if you travel abroad is the power adaptor. I explain how this works in the buyer’s guide section.
I’ll start with a list of my recommendations, but keep reading for more insight on the brushes I recommend.
Our recommendations for the best travel toothbrush
Whilst there are some excellent choices available, there isn’t a single ‘best’ toothbrush — manual or electric — that you must have when you travel.
Any toothbrush is better than no toothbrush, but much depends on your requirements.
If you are embarking on a 6 month backpacking trip, your needs from a toothbrush are likely to be quite different to that of someone travelling for work or on a short holiday.
I have, however, listed what I deem to be the most suitable for most people.
1. Oral-B Pro 2 2000
The Pro 2 2000 is one of my most recommended electric toothbrushes.
It offers a superb clean of the teeth and all of the essential features required of an electric toothbrush.
A timer, pressure sensor and multiple cleaning modes are built-in and it uses the rotating-oscillating technology and round brush heads Oral-B are famous for.
It is great value for money, particularly when a travel case is included in the box.
A basic, but functional case it holds the handle and up to 2 brush heads.
The slim handled brush feels comfortable in the hand and looks good too.
Whilst the Pro 2 2000 does not offer the best battery life of an electric toothbrush, it strikes a nice balance between usable time, features and price.
With 2+ weeks of battery life available on a full charge, this should be enough for most people going away on holiday or for work.
|Oral-B Pro 2 2000||69 Reviews||$ 79.00||View on Amazon|
Read our Oral-B Pro 2 2000 Review
2. Brush With Bamboo
Brush With Bamboo is the top pick in our best bamboo toothbrush article.
Any of the recommendations in that post will do you well if you’re looking for the most environmentally considerate option.
Needless to say, a manual toothbrush requires no batteries to power it, so you can be sure that it will always work wherever you are.
Whether it is a weekend away or months spent backpacking around the world, this brush will take up little space or add little weight to your bag.
Made from bamboo it is an environmentally considerate option and compostable (with the exception of the bristles) when you need to dispose of it.
You can buy Brush With Bamboo from Biome or Let’s Go Natureal.
If you want a manual toothbrush but don’t specifically want bamboo, there are some more options in our best manual toothbrush article.
3. Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100
With up to 5 weeks of use available from the built-in rechargeable battery, the 5100 is great for those who spend extended periods of time away from home and unable to recharge their toothbrush.
Included in the box is a protective travel case, which holds the handle and up to 2 brush heads. Thanks to this you know when you are travelling your brush will be protected from damage and accidental activation.
The 5100 offers the most important features you would want from an electric toothbrush.
A built-in timer and pacer encourage you to brush for the dentist recommended 2 minutes, whilst the pressure sensor helps avoid doing damage by applying too much pressure when you brush.
For those who like a little extra choice, the 5100 has 3 cleaning modes, clean, white and gum health.
A smart and strong performing toothbrush, you can achieve a great clean of the teeth and gums with the 5100.
|Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 - Navy Blue||33 Reviews||$ 169.00||View on Amazon|
Read our Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 review.
4. Colgate ProClincal 500R
A good value electric toothbrush, the Colgate ProClinical 500R has a sonic cleaning action just like Sonicare electric toothbrushes.
The 500R comes with a single soft bristled toothbrush head, charging stand and travel case.
With a case included, this makes for a nice option for those who are on the go. Detach the head from the handle, pop both inside the case and be assured the handle is protected from damage and accidental activation.
With approximately a 10 day battery life this is not going to suit those who are away for extended periods of time, unless you are prepared to take the charging stand with you.
2 cleaning modes are available, a powerful daily clean and then a gentle clean too.
All modes activate the built-in 2 minute timer and pacer, to help encourage you to brush the teeth for the dentist recommended amount of time.
|Colgate ProClinical 500R - Sensitive||6 Reviews||$ 46.90||View on Amazon|
5. Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige
This is a premium toothbrush that offers far more than anyone needs. It is also a very expensive option. You can achieve comparable cleaning results from a brush a fraction of the price.
But, if you want the absolute best and most capable, with all the latest tech, then this is it. We feature it is as the most high tech brush in our main best electric toothbrush article.
The travel case is particularly appealing. It is very compact. It holds the handle and a single brush head. It is strong and has a magnetic closing lid. And it is the first toothbrush (that I know of) to allow the brush to be charged inside via a USB type c cable.
The Prestige can track the exact position of the toothbrush in the mouth, recording your coverage and rating your brushing, even if you are not using the app in real-time.
The greatest benefit comes from using the app in real-time as it shows you what areas of the mouth you have and have not brushed. Thus, you can take corrective action immediately.
As you might expect the brush provides a fantastic clean of the teeth.
It has your essential 2 minute timer, pacer and pressure sensor built-in.
Multiple cleaning modes and different brushing intensities are available if you so desire.
|Sonicare 9900 Prestige - Champagne||$ 499.00||View on Amazon|
Read our Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige review.
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Buyers Guide – travelling with an electric toothbrush
The electric toothbrush can go with you when travelling, it does not need to stay at home.
Many people I have spoken to seem to leave their electric toothbrush at home in preference of taking the traditional manual brush, when travelling.
Most often say it is more convenient.
A manual toothbrush is smaller and lighter for sure. But, to me this seems slightly counter-intuitive when convenience (it doing the work not you) is one of the reasons some go for the electric toothbrush in the first place.
So let me answer some common queries and explain some of the options you have when travelling with an electric toothbrush.
Can you take an electric toothbrush in hand luggage?
There should be no issue with you taking an electric toothbrush in your hand luggage.
I have done this many times. I have personally never been stopped or had my toothbrush inspected.
Technically, the exact rules on whether you can or cannot take an electric toothbrush with you onto an airplane will vary from one airline to another.
The customs/airport security ruling can change from one country to another also.
However, the likelihood of it being an issue is very slim. An electric toothbrush is really considered a bit like a mobile phone. It is one of those essential items that passengers will carry.
Many thousands of passengers travel with electric toothbrushes in their hand luggage daily.
Travelling domestically with an electric toothbrush
When travelling domestically or inside your home country, nothing about the way you use your toothbrush changes.
You can continue to use your electric toothbrush as you would at home.
You will need to consider how long you are away for and what you need to do if anything about recharging the battery in the brush.
If away for a couple of nights you can take just the brush. If away for a few weeks you will need to take the charging stand in most cases too.
You might also want to consider a case for the brush to keep it protected and avoid accidental activation when transporting.
Some brushes come with a travel case included, others do not.
Don’t forget to consider whether you need to take a spare brush head with you, might it be time to change your brush head whilst you travel.
Travelling internationally with an electric toothbrush
When travelling internationally with an electric toothbrush, things can become a little more complicated.
However, by taking a couple of minutes you can be assured or what you need or have to consider when travelling with an electric toothbrush.
The key thing to determine is the voltage and power sockets used in the destination country.
You need to know whether they have the same power/voltage and whether they have different plug sockets.
For your convenience, I include a quick reference chart below.
- Printed on base of the toothbrush or charging stand – 100-240V
- Where can it be used? Globally
- Do I need a voltage convertor? No
- Do I need a plug adapter? Subject to country
- Printed on base of the toothbrush or charging stand – 220-240V
- Where can it be used? In countries with 200-240V (e.g. Australia, New Zealand and most European countries, NOT US/Canada)
- Do I need a voltage convertor? Yes if the voltage of the country you are travelling to is less than 220V
- Do I need a plug adapter? Subject to country
- Printed on base of the toothbrush or charging stand – 110 Volts 60 Cycles
- Where can it be used? In countries with 110 volts (e.g. US/Canada)
- Do I need a voltage convertor? Yes if the voltage of the country you are travelling to is higher than 110V
- Do I need a plug adapter? Subject to country
It is the act of travelling to a country that has both a different power supply voltage and power connectors that makes travel with an electric toothbrush more difficult.
If the battery life of your brush extends the time you are in the country there is no need to worry.
If your toothbrush has USB charging, this is also not an issue.
However, if you own a brush like the Oral-B Pro 2 2000 and you are spending 6 months in the USA for example. This is the slightly more confusing setup.
Australia uses 230V electrics whereas the USA uses 110V.
Most electric toothbrushes bought in Australasia have charging stands that work on 220-240V. The Pro 2 2000 is no exception.
So to use them in the USA, you need a power converter to allow the charging stand to accept the 110V.
What you may need as well though is a plug adapter. This is to convert the 2 pin adapter found on most charging stands in Australia to work with the power supply in the USA.
You can buy both the voltage and power adapter from various retailers online or in the high street.
When using a voltage converter, you may need a different adapter to the one you think.
Do your research on the voltage in a particular country to ensure you are getting the right converter.
In the instances where the voltage in the country you are travelling to is lower, you need a ‘step up’ converter and when the voltage is higher you need a ‘step down’ converter.
Using the travel from Australia to the USA example, the ‘Step Up’ voltage converter has the 2 pin US connector on it, but actually offers up a 2 pin AU power adapter.
Some electric toothbrushes have charging stands that will support 110-240V meaning you will not need the voltage converter. Most Philips Sonicare models have dual voltage charging stands.
Advice when travelling with a manual toothbrush
With a manual toothbrush you need not worry whether you are travelling 3 miles down the road or 3,000 miles across the globe as these are typically less hassle when travelling.
You don’t need to worry about power sources, your manual brush does not need charging.
You may want to consider a travel case though, to protect it from getting damaged when in a bag.
Most brushes do not have a specific travel case, but there are loads of third party options from simple caps for the brush head or that encase the brush and leave space for your tube of toothpaste.
It is because of the desire to keep things compact and the brush head protected that folding or foldable toothbrushes have become so popular.
Folding in on itself the brush head flips over to be protected by what is the handle and case to the brush. This typically makes the brush a bit thicker in transit, but not as tall and is a neat option and it’s a more practical shape.
Do seriously consider the more environmentally considerate options such as bamboo brushes which will leave less impact on the environment when disposed of.
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