This video is the UK version of the 250R. There are subtle differences. But the general message is the same.
Good value for money brush, made by a reputable brand
There is a likeable simplicity to the Colgate ProClincial 250R.
More stylish than the competition it delivers good value for money. The downside being that the cleaning performance doesn't feel quite as good as Sonicare or Oral-B.
1 cleaning mode
Battery life isn’t great
Slim & lightweight
No pressure sensor
Cleaning power is weaker than some other brushes
Also worth considering
It addresses the cons of the ProClincal 250R, but you will have to pay a sizeable premium for it.
The Pro 500 is a little more affordable with a more intense cleaning action and a travel case included.
How the 250R looks, feels and works
The 250R is the successor to the 250+ and on first glance, it is definitely an improvement.
Whilst I can’t criticise either for their function, the older 250+ was, well a bit dull and uninspiring to look at.
The 250R rectifies this with a new sleeker, much more current design.
This hasn’t got the finish and finesse of a premium DiamondClean model from Sonicare, but then again it is a fraction of the price.
Not only has the brush handle itself had a refresh, but the box has also.
The iconic red and white colours so often associated with Colgate are present, but there is more to catch the eye and generally help sell the 250R.
It is the usual story on the box, a large image of the brush and the key features called out on the sides and back of the box.
The brush, charging stand and brush head are all mounted within a plastic tray inside the box. It is made from polypropylene (recycling code 5), which isn’t accepted by most kerbside recycling programmes. Come on Colgate! We have all seen the stories. Is there not more sustainable packaging you could use?! You even operate a recycling programme, so this should be high up your priority list.
So, with the brush out of the box, let's take a closer look.
The handle tapered design. The top (not including the brush head) is widest, thinning toward the base of the handle.
I have the charcoal coloured unit, which looks very nice, particularly with the strong contrasting red oval panel that sits towards the top of the handle and contains the power button.
There is a white and red coloured handle option also. This is known as the ProClincal 250R Deep Clean. The colour is the only difference.
This panel sits ever so slightly recessed into the body of the handle. The power button is at the bottom of the panel and is ever so slightly raised, with a white power icon on it. This design makes it quite obvious where to press, to power the brush on.
You would be hard pushed to tell, but between the red panel and the main handle body is a small panel that allows the LED light to shine through. This LED light refers to the charging of and the remaining power in the toothbrush.
When illuminated, this light fills the very bottom third around the red panel and is quite noticeable.
Within the bottom third of the handle, is the Colgate logo, in this instance white in colour, contrasting with the charcoal body.
The sides and back of the handle are free of any notable grips or design cues, aside from a slight ring that runs around the whole handle, in the very top third. It is hard to explain, but you should see it in the hands-on pictures throughout this review.
The handle is rounded with no harsh edges. The brush also stands upright.
You might think the cylindrical design would mean it would roll all over the place if laid flat, but the addition of a small plastic ridge on the back of the handle (towards the bottom) stops this.
The base of the handle has a small recess into which the prong on the top of the charging stand fits.
Of course, at the top of the handle is the point at which the brush head fits.
The head keeps the fairly sleek and stylish look of the handle and tapers to the tinner brush head. More on the heads in just a moment.
The handle is all plastic construction, smooth to the touch. It looks good enough and feels solid enough in hand. It is light also.
Make no mistakes, it does not look nor feel as good as premium brushes you can get. Given the price, I can’t really grumble.
I will have a slight moan about the power button though. It is one of the most rigid power buttons I have ever used on a toothbrush. It gives barely any feedback to the fingertip. You have to give it quite a firm push.
Children, the elderly and particularly those with arthritis might find this a bit more of a challenge. Don’t get me wrong, it works, but it took more force and gave less feedback than I would have ever imagined.
2 brush heads are included with the 250R. This is a Deep Clean brush head, in charcoal colour to match the handle.
Essentially the 250R variants differ in colour and the brush head supplied. Although the charcoal 250R and the 250R Deep Clean have the same brush head. To me it would have made more sense to call it the ProClinical 250R Deep Clean, then just offered colour options.
Colgate have a range of brush heads, which I explain in depth in my guide to Colgate brush heads.
I won’t explain the configuration of bristles on the head in this review, because the guide (linked above) does just that.
What I will point out here though is, a small nice touch. On the back of the head is a tongue cleaner. There are a number of small silicone bristles. Run this along the surface of your tongue to refresh the mouth and remove bacteria build-up.
I particularly like the smaller size of this brush head, it makes it easy to position and manipulate the brush within the mouth. It is particularly easy to access the harder to reach areas at the back of the mouth. It is a fraction larger than the round Oral-B brush head, but smaller than a Sonicare head.
Any of the Colgate range of heads will fit on the 250R handle. You don’t have to stick to the brush head style supplied, you can change if you like. That said, the charcoal coloured heads tend not to be as widely stocked as the white colour, so bear that in mind.
The heads are interchangeable and simply push onto and pull off the handle. There is only 1 wat to attach them, so you can’t get the fitting wrong.
With any toothbrush, the head should be replaced every 3 months. The 250R is no exception.
The heads do have indicator bristles. These are bristles that fade to white. This is a gradual fading normally over 3 months. They act as a reminder to change your brush head. Replace the head sooner if the bristles are visibly worn, splayed or damaged.
At the time of writing, my daily toothbrush is an Oral-B brush, and in my opinion, it provides me with what I feel to be the better overall clean compared to the 250R.
Don’t get me wrong, the 250R offers a good standard of clean, but I don’t get that sensation of a powerful clean like I do with Oral-B.
The 250R uses a sonic cleaning action and the bristles complete 30,000 strokes per minute, compared to the oscillating-rotating action of Oral-B. I have met many who prefer sonic over the Oral-B cleaning action, so it is partly personal preference.
Studies that compare both, generally suggest the oscillating-rotating wins marginally, from a clinical perspective, but don’t worry too much about this. Sonic action is still great and is said to deliver up to 5 times more plaque removal at the gumline than a manual brush.
If you are not used to an electric toothbrush and you are thinking this could be your first, then I think it would be a solid option as you do not have this comparison to make.
A single press of the power button will turn the 250R on and launch the 2 minute long Clean mode. Another press of the button will turn the brush off.
When the brush is powered on, a 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer are activated.
At 30 second intervals, a pause in the motor (and a change in brush sound) alerts you to the need to change quadrant, for an even and effective clean.
After 120 seconds have passed the clean ends automatically and the brush turns itself off. This is a useful and clear sign that the 2 minutes are up.
Whilst dentists recommend a 2 minute clean if you want to clean for longer you can. Simply power the brush back on.
There is no pressure sensor built into the 250R. It is by no means a deal-breaker, but something I would have like to have seen. It is quite common for people to brush with too much force and a pressure sensor alerts a user when they are doing this.
The bristles of the brush need really only skim the surface of the teeth, you don’t need to scrub. Whilst there is no sensor built-in, you will notice the motor straining and the sound of the brush change slightly if you are brushing with too much force.
A point I note with the Colgate range, particularly compared to Oral-B, is the sound. The 250R produces an audible humming sound and a strong vibration through the brush handle. This is quieter than Oral-B brushes which produce more of a mechanical sound, but do not deliver as much vibration through the handle.
If you have used a Sonicare brush the sound of the motor and the vibration are very similar.
Supplied in the box is a charging stand that has a small prong on the top of it. It is that prong that fits into a recess on the base of the ProClincal 250R to charge the battery encased inside the handle. You can expect 10-12 days of battery life.
The brush itself is water-resistant rather than waterproof. This means it will survive life in a wet bathroom, a rinse under the tap and exposure to moisture from the mouth. Do avoid submerging the brush.
Unfortunately, aside from the brush heads, handle, charger and manual there are no other items in the box. There is no travel cap or case like that provided with the 250+ that came before the 250R. This is a real shame as I liked this a lot.
If you particularly want a travel case, look at the Oral-B Pro 500.
As you would expect, the brush comes with a warranty, a 2 year warranty. This covers mechanical faults like the battery no longer charging or the power button not working. It does not cover user damage.
A final word on the manual. It is fairly slim and not a lot of information included. Admittedly there isn’t a great deal to say, but a demonstration on how to clean the teeth correctly with a brush like the Colgate 250R would have been nice.
So overall, the 250R ProClinical from Colgate is a solid, entry level electric toothbrush. It has the essentials and no more. It does what it needs to do, but lacks the more complete package that the 250+ it supersedes offers.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
Battery life on an electric toothbrush is a topic that divides many.
For a large number of us, it is not all that important. When not in use the brush sits on the charging stand or worktop in our bathroom. Therefore, if the battery lasts 5 days or 5 weeks it doesn’t matter all that much as the charger is within easy reach.
However, for those that are on the road, or those who travel for a week or more at a time, opinions might be different.
The battery life available on electric toothbrushes does differ quite considerably. Some offer 5 days whilst others offer 5 weeks or longer.
Colgate have always been pretty good when it comes to battery life, offering around 2 weeks on average.
2-3 weeks is now probably the average battery life of most new electric toothbrushes. Therefore I was quite surprised to see that the claimed battery life of the 250R was up to 10 days.
Sometimes toothbrushes outperform the claims, manufacturers perhaps play it a little safe.
These claims are generally always based on 1 user brushing their teeth twice a day for 2 minutes.
Based on Colgate's claims of 10 days, that is a total running time of 40 minutes or 20 brushing sessions.
My own hands-on testing managed to achieve 12 days. In other words 48 minutes of brushing time or 24 brushing sessions.
This is good as it exceeds the claims, but somewhat disappointing given the average battery life available in other electric toothbrushes today. The 250+ which the 250R replaces managed to achieve 14 days. Why is the battery life in the new model worse?
Sonicare's Elite+ lasted up to 39 days in my hands-on testing, yet the Oral-B Pro 500 manages around 7, so perhaps the 250R is not all that bad. Then again the vast majority now last 2+ weeks.
You can see here how Colgate is really not up to speed with the competition This, of course, assumes battery life is important to you.
Working back in the 250R’s favour is the charging stand.
A revised design means that is is now not as wide and deep than that provided with the 250+, but is a bit taller. The brush sits on top of the stand and is a little more secure, less easily knocked off.
The charging stand does now support 100-240v, whereas the 250+ supported only 220-240v only.
What this means, is that should you travel internationally, the stand itself will support voltages around the world, you will just need a plug adapter.
The charger has a 2 pin suitable for Australia. To use this charger in the EU or America, for example, you will need an adapter to convert the 2 pin plug to the relevant connector for the country you are in.
Whilst it is possible to take the stand with you, it's a little inconvenient, particularly when you have to then worry about plug adapters also.
The rechargeable battery built into the handle is not user replaceable. For those who are interested, it is a Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery.
A full charge can take up to 10 hours.
When sat on the charging stand and connected to power, a white light will be emitted around the edge of the red power button.
Once the battery is fully charged, the light will go out.
When the battery has about 20% remaining, the light around the power button will shine red to alert you that the power in the battery is low.
Summary of battery life
Price & where to buy
In the world of electric toothbrushes, there tends to be the recommended retail price (RRP) and then there is the price that the brush actually sells for.
The RRP of the 250R is $49.99.
What it actually sells for is on average about $35-40, so a reasonable discount.
It is not quite the 50% discount we see with many Oral-B brushes, but then again the recommended retail price is lower to begin with.
Some retailers will sell it at the full RRP and to be fair at $50 I don't think it is the worst toothbrush, but you are in the price territory that the competition could be very attractive alternatives.
This brush, like every other, requires replacement brush heads for each user every 3 months.
2 brush heads comes included in the box.
Replacement heads can be purchased in packs of 2 or 4 and work out at around $8 per head on average.
To give you an idea of the ownership cost and some level of comparison to other brushes, we like to calculate the cost of owning the 250R over a 3 year period.
The brush will cost on average $40. Add in the 10 additional brush heads required over a 3 year period and you are looking at a total cost of $117.50.
That is a cost of about $0.11 per day.
This price does exclude the cost of water, toothpaste and electric to charge it. This price also works on some assumptions, but you get a rough idea.
You can bring the cost down further if you were to share it with other members of your household. All you need do is invest in is extra brush heads.
This price overall is actually fairly competitive.
The Sonicare Elite+ comes in at $0.17 whilst the Pro 500 from Oral-B works out at $0.12 per day.
Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and should be used only as a guide during your decision process.
Summary of price & where to buy
My thoughts on reliability and repairability
The 250R has undergone several weeks of testing prior to writing this review.
I would love to be able to test it for longer to give you a long term opinion on what it is like in terms of reliability, but sadly this is not feasible.
Having paid close attention to the construction of this toothbrush I see no glaring issues.
Going by previous models, the 250 series has on the whole been a very reliable range and generally it would appear that you can expect the brush to last 3+ years.
Of course, being an electrical product and one that is exposed to moisture, it is perhaps more susceptible to failure, but it does come with a 2 year manufacturer warranty should something go wrong.
Should it fail within this period, Colgate will either repair or replace the handle in most instances.
We tend to live in a throwaway society. Opinions and attitudes are changing and more users are calling for electric toothbrushes like the ProClinical 250R to be user repairable. It is not designed to be this way. In part, this is to do with safety and the exposure to water, another is cost.
Ultimately, as I see it, the 250R should last a good few years. But, should this fail outside of the 2 year warranty period, whilst it might last less than you ideally want, for the price, you will have had your value from it.
With regards to the 250R specifically; it has limited box contents which reduces its weight during transportation compared to others that come with more items in the box. That said, I do think the charging stand is heavier than it needs to be.
It is not a smart brush, which reduces the total number of components used and means not as much waste is created when the brush no longer works.
It has not been designed to be easily repaired by yourself. Trying to replace parts like the battery will likely break the brush. This makes it more likely to be discarded rather than repaired if broken.
While Colgate has partnered with schemes such as TerraCycle in some countries, it does not yet have its own recycling scheme for used brush heads or faulty products.
Its brush heads are made from petroleum-based plastic, which uses up the planet’s finite resources compared to using plant-based plastics.
Summary of reliability, long term use & sustainability
All things considered the 250R from Colgate is a good electric toothbrush and if you are on a relatively tight budget then you could do a lot worse.
It cleans the teeth well, looks good and has a satisfactory battery life.
- Toothbrush height with head - 20.5cm / 8.07inches
- Toothbrush height without head - 17.5cm / 6.89 inches
- Width - 2.5cm / 0.98 inches
- Depth/thickness - 2.2cm / 0.87 inches
- Weight with head - 52g / 2.01 ounces
- Weight without head - 47g / 1.66 ounces
Country of manufacture
Colgate ProClinical 250+ vs 250R
The 250R was introduced in the summer of 2019, to replace the 250+ that was launched in 2017.
The 2 brushes are very similar, but there are some subtle differences that you might like to know.
- The 250R does not come with the travel cap/cover that the 250+ did to protect the brush head/handle when travelling.
- The design of the 250R is different from the 250+, a little more curvy and sleeker, with a bold, red power button.
- The battery life is 10-12 days on the 250R compared to the 14 of the 250+.
- The charging stand on the 250R has been improved. It supports 100-240v. It is now smaller and the brush a bit more stable on the stand than the 250+.
- The 250R comes in black (charcoal) and white colour options. There is no pink handle as was available with the 250+.
- The 250R comes with either a deep clean or whitening brush head, whereas the 250+ always came with a deep clean head.
- You get 2 brush heads in the box with the 250R.
- There is no branding or reference to ‘Omron’ with the 250R, which was the case with the 250+.