Which one would we choose?
Our Choice: Oral-B Pro 500 (view on Amazon)
2nd Choice: Oral-B Vitality (view on Amazon)
The 500 is twice the price of the Vitality, but over the years that you will own it, that extra spend will be worthwhile.
Make no mistakes, the Vitality is more than acceptable as a basic brush, but from a user perspective, the 500 offers so much more.
The biggest appeal has to be the enhanced cleaning performance, after all that is what you are using the toothbrush for.
- The Pro 500 offers a 3D cleaning action compared to the 2D cleaning action of the Vitality.
- The Pro 500 motor is more powerful. The Pro 500 offers 8,800 oscillations and 20,000 pulsations compared to the 7,800 oscillations only on the Vitality.
- The Vitality comes with 2 brush heads included compared to the 1 brush head of the Pro 500.
- The Pro 500 is available in 2 colour options compared to the 1 of the Vitality.
- The design of the brush handles are different, the Pro 500 is more appealing.
- The Pro 500 has a quadpacer built-in.
- The Pro 500 has a pressure sensor built-in.
- The Pro 500 has a battery life of 7 days compared to the 5 of the Vitality.
- The Pro 500 has a battery icon/charging light on the handle, the Vitality does not.
- There is a Pro 500 variant that comes with a case.
- The Pro 500 is more expensive.
These differences are explained at length later in this article. However, you might wish to learn more about each brush being compared. To do so, check out our hands-on reviews:
Please note. Every effort is made to ensure the key differences listed are correct, but these differences are subject to change without notice. Products and the box contents can be changed without notice and different variants can exist.
Detailed comparison: what’s the difference between the Oral-B Pro 500 and Vitality?
If the list of differences were not a big enough hint, the Pro 500 is the more premium brush here.
Oral-B is one of the market leaders and although the 500 comes out on top, the Vitality is not a terrible brush, it just isn’t as good as it should be in my opinion.
The first and possibly the most important difference is the cleaning action of these brushes.
Both use Oral-B’s small round brush heads, which have been clinically proven as excellent.
However, the Vitality has 2D cleaning action compared to the 3D cleaning action of the 500.
What this means is that the 500 benefits from pulsations, another word for vibrations that aid in the cleaning of the teeth and gums.
A form of ‘non contact’ brushing. the high frequency pulsations generated by the Pro 500 agitate fluids that surround the teeth and can loosen and remove dental plaque in locations that are beyond the physical touch of the toothbrush.
Add to this the fact that the motors in the brushes are a little different too and the Vitality enjoys 7,800 oscillations per minute, but that 500 has an extra 1000 oscillations, so 8,800 in total. There is then the 20,000 pulsations which are not present on the Vitality.
Don’t get me wrong, there are benefits to brushing with the Vitality, but if you have the option of the 500, it is the better brush.
In the box with the Vitality you actually get 2 brush heads, whereas with the Pro 500 you get just 1.
Both models use the interchangeable brush heads available form Oral-B, so you do not have to stick with the style that comes in the box.
The Vitality is actually sold in 6 different package options containing 2 heads which are either, CrossAction, FlossAction, Precision Clean, 3D White, Gum Care or Sensitive.
The Pro 500 is sold with either a CrossAction or 3D White brush head.
The Pro 500 has either a pale blue or pink coloured grip on the front of the handle, unlike the Vitality that is available in just 1 colour option.
The Pro 500 certainly looks the more appealing of the 2 brushes. The Vitality has a tapered design to the handle, thicker at the top and thinner at the bottom.
On the other hand, the Pro series has a uniform cylindrical shape to the body. One thickness top to bottom.
The images throughout best demonstrate the design differences, but the Pro 500 has a rubber grip that runs the length of the handle on the front, whereas the Vitality has a grip that wraps around two thirds of the upper half of the handle, primarily on the rear.
In the Vitality’s favour is the soft touch rubber wrapping around the back of the handle compared to the harsher plastic ridges for grip on the back of the Pro 500.
Both brushes have a 2 minute timer built-in. This means that 2 minutes after the brush is powered on, the motor pauses briefly 3 times to change the brushing sensation and sound to alert you that the dentist recommended brushing time is up.
What the Pro 500 has is a 30 second quadpacer.
I believe this is incredibly important and should be core to any electric toothbrush.
It works in conjunction with the 2 minute timer, to break the clean down into 4 sections.
A pause in the brushing sensation and change in sound at 30 second intervals gives you the alert you need to move from one quadrant of the mouth to another.
You have 4 quadrants, upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower left. Spend 30 seconds cleaning each and you should get a fairly balanced overall clean.
The Vitality does not have this though.
Another nifty feature the Pro 500 has, is a pressure sensor.
What happens is if the brush detects too much pressure, the speed of the motor and in turn, the number of movements the brush head makes is reduced.
Such a response by the brush limits the potential damage the brush can do to your teeth and gums. Full speed is resumed when the pressure is no longer detected.
The 500 does not have a visible pressure sensor like some other models in the range which is a shame. Important to note it that this pressure sensor does not exist on the Vitality.
You don’t necessarily need weeks of usage time from the built-in battery, but the average is now about 2 weeks.
Both these brushes fall below that, but the Vitality has a claimed 5 days or 16 brushing sessions compared to the 7 days or 14 brushing sessions of the Pro 500.
Although, despite the claimed usage time, my actual own hands-on testing has sown that the Vitality has outperformed the Pro 500. But this might not always be the case.
If you are a regular traveller, neither of these are ideal as you would likely need to take the charging stand with you.
However, whats does make a difference is the inclusion of a battery status icon on the brush handle of the Pro 500.
You will get a notification when power is low, when the brush is charging and when charging is complete. None of this is available with the Vitality as there is no battery status icon, so you need to remember to recharge regularly or hope it does not run out mid clean.
Another small difference is that there is a variant of the Pro 500 that comes with a travel case. The ‘value edition’ or bonus pack, it is the pale blue model with a basic, yet functional travel case that holds the handle and up to 2 brush heads. View on Shaver Shop.
More often than not it is the same price as the regular 500, a free additional accessory.
There are no versions of the Vitality that come with a case.
So then to the last difference and that is the price. I explain it in more detail in the section below, but perhaps unsurprisingly, the 500 is the more expensive of the 2 models.
Does one clean better than the other?
Yes, the Pro 500 is capable of cleaning the teeth better.
Both brushes provide a more consistent cleaning action than a manual toothbrush and will be beneficial for your dental health if you use them correctly.
What sets these 2 brushes apart, is whilst they both use the clinically superior small round brush heads, the Vitality has only an oscillating-rotating (2D) cleaning action compared to the oscillating-rotating and pulsating (3D) cleaning action of the Pro 500.
Pulsations offer a more sophisticated motion and give another dimension to the brushing.
Whereas the 2D cleaning requires the physical movement of the brush head against the teeth, pulsations are essentially a ‘non contact’ form of brushing.
It is a non contact brushing as the high frequency pulsations generated by the brush agitate fluids that surround the teeth and can loosen and remove dental plaque in locations that are beyond the physical touch of the toothbrush.
Pulsations are essentially Oral-B’s description for sonic technology.
The Vitality offers 7,800 oscillations per minute, whereas the 500 is more powerful with 8,800.
0 pulsations are available on the Vitality, whereas the Pro 500 offers 20,0000.
If you brushed your teeth with each brush, it is possible to tell the difference.
Although the Vitality is perfectly usable as a daily toothbrush, the Pro 500 will longer term help deliver a much better cleaning experience.
Is one better priced than the other?
As you might expect, the Pro 500 has a higher price tag as a result of the extra features it offers.
Oral-B suggests a retail price of $99 for the 500 whereas the Vitality has a suggested retail price of $50.
The Pro 500 is double the cost of the Vitality.
Both are subject to discounts on their retail price and the actual selling price for both models is half that of their retail price.
Therefore you can expect to pay $25 for the Vitality and $50 for the Pro 500.
At twice the price still, there is a strong argument that the 500 is not worth the premium, but I actually feel it is for all the extras you gain.
The ongoing cost is almost identical for both brushes, because they are Oral-B, the cost of replacement brush heads will be on average around $7 per time.
The Vitality does actually come with an additional head in the box, which is surprising given the cost.
Based on 1 user, over 3 years, the cost of owning the brushes are $0.09 per day for the Vitality and $0.12 for the Pro 500.
Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and will vary based on location, supplier and time of purchase. These figures were correct at the time of writing and should not be relied upon as hard fact, but used as a guide during your decision process.
The Vitality is satisfactory, but honestly, in my opinion, there is no contest here, the Pro 50 is the brush to go for.
The added cleaning power, slimmer handle, built-in pressure sensor and quadpacer are all reasons to opt for the 500.
Ultimately, whatever brush you decide upon, it is you who needs to make the decision; but do so based on which is best for your needs or the end user, if you are purchasing on behalf of somebody else.
Only pay the price you are happy with and do not be led into buying something if it is not right.
Hopefully, I have presented the facts and made the whole decision process that little bit easier.