Whilst not everyone needs an electric toothbrush, many will benefit from using one.
Studies and reviews consistently show that electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque and reducing gum disease, leading to better long-term oral health.
Our in-house dentist Dr. Gemma Wheeler has found that patients are more likely to clean their teeth for longer thanks to the timers built into electric brushes.
What to look for, what to avoid
We explain these points in more detail later on, but before you make a choice, here are the key things you should know to avoid spending too much or too little.
Keep these in mind as you browse our recommendations below and keep reading for more insights from our testing:
- A 2-minute timer, a pacer and a pressure sensor are the essential features that dentists recommend
- You only need to spend about $100 to get these features
- There isn’t much to separate Oral-B and Sonicare. They use different cleaning technologies, but either will do a good job
- Smart toothbrushes generally aren’t worth it and add to the price tag
Oral-B Smart 1500
*Prices correct at time of writing
Why we chose it:
The Smart 1500 has the key features we recommend for an electric toothbrush. We rate it as the best Oral-B electric toothbrush, all things considered.
The small round brush head cleans the teeth well. It is easy to maneuver into some of the tightest spots in the mouth. If you brush too hard the visible pressure sensor lights up red to warn you.
You can choose between the standard clean mode, a more gentle sensitive mode or a whitening mode. There are no icons to let you know which mode is active, but it’s easy enough to distinguish between the two.
This slim handled brush does not feel quite as secure in hand as some models. It doesn’t have lots of rubber grips. The benefit is that it’s easier to keep clean.
The Smart 1500 has been independently approved by the American Dental Association, which means it is safe to use, and that it has the benefits advertised.
It’s worth noting that despite the name, this is not a ‘smart’ toothbrush. It has no bluetooth connectivity.
Read our Oral-B Smart 1500 Review.
What we like
- Timer and pacer encourage brushing for the recommended time
- Slim, grippy handle
- Visible pressure sensor – alerts you when brushing too hard
- 2 weeks use on a single charge
What we dislike
- No icons on the handle to show which cleaning mode is selected
- Limited feedback on remaining battery power
*Prices correct at time of writing.
Why we chose it:
Electric toothbrushes don’t fare well in their impact on the environment. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use one.
You need to balance effective cleaning and disease prevention against the environmental impact. If you suffer from gum disease or tooth decay, you should prioritize effective cleaning.
Sustainable Rituals (SURI) electric toothbrush is the most environmentally conscious brush that we have seen and used to date.
It isn’t perfect and SURI doesn’t claim to be, but other leading brands don’t come anywhere as close in their environmental pledges.
Slim and stylish, this metal handled sonic toothbrush cleans the teeth well.
It does lack the pressure sensor dentists recommend, but the all important 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer to encourage even cleaning of the teeth are present.
The brush heads are made from plant based plastic (castor oil and cornstarch) rather than the usual petroleum based plastic. SURI does too offer a free recycling programme to help prevent them from going to landfill.
A carbon neutral company, pending B corporation certification, SURI breaks the mould somewhat by having designed this toothbrush to be easily repaired, should it be required. Many modern brushes are not able to be repaired or it is uneconomical to do so.
A premium travel case is included. It not only allows the brush to be charged whilst inside, using the provided USB C cable, but it has a UV-C light to sanitize the bristles.
It also includes a magnetic charging stand that doubles up as a really useful wall mount.
SURI isn’t cheap but is priced fairly for the features on offer and the company credentials.
Read our SURI Toothbrush Review.
What we like
- Environmentally considerate materials and design
- Slim handle
- The timer and pacer encourage brushing for the recommended time
- USB charging stand
- A magnetic wall mount
- USB C powered travel charging case with UV-C cleaning
- Free brush head recycling programme
What we dislike
- No pressure sensor to alert you when brushing too hard
- The cleaning action isn’t as satisfying as other electric brushes
- USB charger makes it less convenient for some
- Availability – Not widely stocked
Sonicare 9900 Prestige
*Prices correct at time of writing
Why we chose it:
The Prestige has more features than you need, but it is the best smart toothbrush on the market today.
It looks fantastic and feels great in hand. The smooth touch materials are good quality and easy to keep clean.
We rate it as the best top of the range brush in our Best Sonicare Toothbrush post.
The A3 brush head included in the box gives a really thorough clean — there’s no need to switch out different heads for different modes.
The Sonicare app can tell you precisely where you have and haven’t brushed. It will tell you if you brushed with too much pressure and if you scrubbed the teeth. You get visible alerts for these things too.
Despite the complex technology, Sonicare has simplified daily use. During our testing, we didn’t find the smart features to be annoying, but we stopped checking the app for feedback after a while.
The compact USB-C enabled charging case is every bit as stylish as the toothbrush itself. The strap on the case is a little impractical though.
One downside is that the power and intensity buttons require a firm push. They don’t give a lot of feedback.
You do pay a premium price for this brush.
Read our Sonicare Prestige 9900 Review.
What we like
- Timer and pacer encourage brushing for the recommended time
- Visible pressure sensor alerts you when brushing too hard
- 4 weeks use on a single charge
- Premium charging travel case included
- Premium materials & design
- Reminds you when to replace the brush head
- Tracks & monitors your brushing
What we dislike
- No place to store the detachable USB cable
- Bluetooth isn’t essential
Oral-B Pro 500
*Prices correct at time of writing
Why we chose it:
The Pro 500 is proof you can get a good toothbrush without spending lots of money. It is a very good value option.
It comes with a single Oral-B brush head, which is small and round.
The shape of the brush head allows it to be easily moved, even into the smallest spaces of the mouth, and the bristles cup a tooth surface for a satisfying clean.
As it uses Oral-B’s 2D cleaning action, it does lack the extra dimension (pulsations) that most other Oral-B models offer. But it does disrupt and brush away lots of plaque for a better clean than a manual brush.
First time electric toothbrush users will be pleasantly surprised.
Dentists recommend a 2 minute timer and pacer, both of which are included. There is no pressure sensor built-in, which is a shame. Just be sure to let the bristles skim the teeth and don’t scrub, because you won’t get any alerts if you brush too hard.
One of the positives of the Pro 500 is just how incredibly grippy the handle is. The large textured grip runs around the whole handle and is suitable for all ages.
Do be sure to clean the grip regularly as the dimpled texture makes it easy for muck to build up.
The rechargeable battery offers 8+ days of use on a full charge. Unfortunately, you get no feedback from it when the power is low. There is no LED notification light to let you know when the battery has almost run out.
If you’re shopping within this price bracket, you may find our post on the best affordable electric toothbrushes helpful.
Read our Oral-B Pro 500 Review.
What we like
- 1 cleaning mode that is easy to use
- The grip on the handle helps to securely hold the brush
- Timer and pacer encourage brushing for the recommended time
What we dislike
- No pressure sensor
- No battery status feedback
- Battery life
- 2D cleaning action
Our choices explained
The range of electric toothbrushes available is so vast that it can be overwhelming to choose one. To keep things simple, we have narrowed down the options to the choices you see listed above, and will now explain why we recommend them.
Our choice for the best electric toothbrush, the Oral-B Smart 1500, is based on the best value for money. It has the features we regard as essential, as well as a few more. It strikes a good balance between features and cost.
The very best brush you can buy is the Sonicare Prestige 9900, which is a top of the line smart toothbrush. We don’t recommend this as the top choice because it has far more features than the average user needs. Additional features inflate the price, and you can clean your teeth just as well with the Smart 1500 and other cheaper models.
The Sonicare equivalent to the 1500 is the 4100 Series. Both models do a great job, but we do find Oral-B’s small round brush heads a little easier to move around the teeth and reach the tighter spaces at the back of the mouth.
The cost of replacing Oral-B heads is also cheaper compared to Sonicare.
The rubber grip around the power button and the textured surface on the back of the hand means it is fairly grippy in hand. It doesn’t feel quite as secure in hand as some other Oral-B models that have a rubber grip running down the front of the handle. The benefit, though, is that the Smart 1500 is easier to keep clean.
The built-in timer and pacer encourage you to brush for the right amount of time, evenly across the mouth.
The pressure sensor (which wraps a full 360 degrees around the handle) alerts you if you are brushing too hard, which is a cause of gum recession.
It would be nice if the Smart 1500 came with a travel case. It would be useful for protecting the toothbrush during transport. It doesn’t though, but few do at this price and it’s easy enough to buy one separately.
All in all the Smart 1500 has everything you need in an electric toothbrush and is approved by the American Dental Association. We explain this certification in more detail below.
In terms of design, the 1500 isn’t as refined as top of the line models like the Sonicare 9900 Prestige and the Oral-B iO, but it is far cheaper.
You don’t need a smart toothbrush. But, if you want the most advanced and interesting toothbrush, then this is the 9900 Prestige.
It is very expensive, but you do get some very nice extras. For example, the travel case is slimmer and more stylish than the basic plastic case Oral-B offers. You can even charge the toothbrush inside it.
Sensors in the handle track your brushing and find areas for improvement. It relays this information to charts and other visuals within the application.
In certain circumstances, the brush automatically adapts to prevent you from doing damage to your teeth.
None of these extras are necessary. And nothing about this brush actually cleans your teeth better.
What the Prestige can potentially do is educate and encourage you to take better care of your teeth.
If your preference is Oral-B, the iO is the most feature rich model they offer. It isn’t as refined as the 9900, but it offers some unique elements. These include a color display and sensor that confirms when you are using the correct pressure. We compare them to one another in our Oral-B iO vs Sonicare Prestige 9900 comparison.
There is little difference between them, but the Prestige just edges the Oral-B iO in our opinion.
If your preference is Oral-B, the iO is the most feature rich model they offer. It isn’t as refined as the 9900, but it offers some unique elements. These include a color display and sensor that confirms when you are using the correct pressure. We compare them to one another in our Oral-B iO vs Sonicare Prestige 9900 comparison.
There is little difference between them, but the Prestige just edges the Oral-B iO in our opinion.
The Oral-B Pro 500 is one of the most affordable options.
Yes, technically there are even more budget-friendly options, but for us their compromises stop them from being strong considerations.
You may pay a few dollars extra for the Vitality than for the really cheap brushes, but you do get a toothbrush from a premium brand, Oral-B. It has good support and its replacement brush heads are easy to find online or in shops.
It actually uses the same brush heads as the Smart 1500, but you benefit from the lower initial purchase price of the brush handle itself.
The cleaning action isn’t quite as intense and thorough as the more expensive Oral-B brushes, but it is a big step up from a manual toothbrush with most of the benefits.
The most recent addition to our recommendations is SURI, which we have put in as our environmental pick.
Electric toothbrushes don’t fare well in their impact on the environment, but for some people they are still a necessary choice. We explain this more in our post on how to make your dental health eco-friendly.
SURI is one of the first electric toothbrushes we have come across that has taken genuine steps to reduce its impact on the planet. It’s not perfect, but it’s at least pushing harder in the right direction than other brands.
It’s also a delight to use and comes with a slick design and travel case.
Newly tested products + those we are currently testing
In the last month or so, we have put 2 electric toothbrushes to the test, along with a toothbrushing sponge.
Yes, I did say sponge.
Blizzbrush 5.0 is the latest unique offering from the US company. It is an iterative upgrade on their earlier model that I previously reviewed.
It’s impressive in many ways, but it is too a mouthful.
Of the electric toothbrushes, the first isn’t your average sonic toothbrush, it is instead an ultrasonic or ultrasound toothbrush.
One of a limited number of brushes that are truly ultrasonic, the Megasonex M8S is really quite impressive.
It performs really well in our tests and there is a lot to like about it.
But, the reality is whilst the technology is clever, the benefits for the price are really quite hard to justify.
We have too been using the latest Quip electric toothbrush and have updated our Quip toothbrush review.
It looks very similar to the existing range, but this latest variant has a rechargeable battery built-in, instead of the removable AAA battery found in all the other Quip models.
Because it is rechargeable you get a magnetic charging cable that connects to the base of the brush handle.
Aside from the battery and charging, pretty much everything else is the same.
Like all the Quip models that came before it, the new rechargeable variant is perfectly satisfactory, but it doesn’t quite pack the value and cleaning power that most people will likely want.
Check out our hands-on review that also includes a comparison between the different Quip models.
Although it has been a few weeks since we published our reviews, we have recently gone hands-on with the latest iO models from Oral-B.
They are 3 in total. They are the iO3, iO Series 4 and the iO5.
All are slightly more affordable models compared to the existing Series 6, 7, 8 and 9. The major difference is the 4 and 5 lack the display in the handle. The 3 is even lesser featured, with no Bluetooth connectivity either.
As you would expect the iO3, 4 and 5 clean the teeth well. They look good and bring some benefits as smart brushes, but neither are must have models really.
In the summer of last year we completed testing of SURI. As you may have noted, it is featured above as the most environmentally considerate electric toothbrush to date.
We have also been testing and writing up our opinions on a further four brushes from Philips.
The 1100, 2100, 3100 and 4100 Series are replacements to older models that made up the more cost effective brushes within the Sonicare range.
The 4100 Series is our top pick if you specifically want a Sonicare toothbrush. It delivers good performance and features for the price.
We have just completed testing CleanTeeth, which is the latest mouthpiece toothbrush.
It is certainly one of the better options and takes the challenge to SymplBrush, which performed well and is the best we have tested to date. CleanTeeth is a little more expensive and bulkier in hand. It works slightly differently too. Although both are impressive, we still recommend opting for a regular electric toothbrush instead.
We’ve also tested the refreshed version of the Oral-B Pro 1000. This is a good brush but we still recommend opting for the Smart 1500 if your budget can stretch to it — for a little extra you get a visible pressure sensor and better battery life.
Back in January 2022, Oral-B announced the iO Series 10. It has launched in Europe, but we await its arrival in the USA. We expect to see it in the spring. The key differentiator to existing models is the iOSense enabled smart charger.
As we progress through 2023, at this time we have absolutely no reason to suggest you hold off on buying a toothbrush and wait for what is coming this year. It is better to pick a brush available now and begin using it than it is to wait in hope of the next best thing.
Manufacturers do continually tinker and improve their product ranges, but we are not expecting anything revolutionary. We only have to look at the category of mouthpiece toothbrushes to see that despite many attempts over the last few years we are a little way off perfection.
Currently on test ia another ultrasonic toothbrush, this time from Emmi-dent, their platinum model.
Other electric toothbrushes we have tested
While only a handful of brushes make it into our list of the best electric toothbrushes, we’ve put many more to the test.
Over the last few years we have tested well over 130 different models. The majority of these are featured in our reviews and comparisons.
We’ve explained our recommendations in detail above. That being said, we know there will be interest in the other brushes we have tested, so we’ve included a quick overview of them below.
Recent years have seen an increase in the appeal and offering of smart toothbrushes. As you will have learnt, we don’t typically recommend them. They are expensive, and you don’t need one to clean your teeth well. But, inevitably, the top of the line models come with smart features built-in, out of the box.
The Oral-B iO 9 and the Sonicare 9900 Prestige are the two leading smart toothbrushes. They are truly the best in terms of technology.
It should be noted that whilst none of the major brands make their ranges particularly easy to understand, Oral-B’s iO Series has expanded rapidly over the last couple of years. In addition to our recommended iO Series 9, there is the iO8, iO7, iO6 and the newest iO5 and iO4. Upon quick glance, they look very similar, but there are subtle differences. Our iO comparison explains them all.
We encourage our readers to consider the cheaper (non smart) options, such as the Oral-B Smart 1500, as these can do the job as well.
If you are set on a smart toothbrush but don’t have a huge budget, the hum by Colgate is an exceptional product for the price. We particularly like you are not paying significantly more than you need to.
It isn’t perfect. The cleaning performance does feel a bit weak and it doesn’t have the all important pressure sensor. But, going in its favor, is the fact that it is relatively affordable. The real-time tracking actually works well. You get a travel case included and you can even get rewards for regular brushing.
The hum by Colgate essentially replaced the Colgate Connect E1. This was made in partnership with Kolibree. It was the first toothbrush to be stocked in Apple stores. But, much of what we know and love about Colgate has been lost and the software experience is substandard. It simply isn’t a great brush for daily use. A little more work on the software would have resulted in significant improvements.
The ExpertClean from Sonicare is a premium mid-range toothbrush. It tries to offer a balance between premium features and price. It is arguably an upgrade on the DiamondClean. You now have a pressure sensor. This is not a visible sensor, but the handle vibrates when it is activated to alert you.
It has a brush head replacement reminder system. An orange light shines on the brush handle when it is time to change your brush head. This is very useful. The negative consequence is the higher price of the brush heads.
The brush also has 3 different pressure settings and 4 cleaning modes. They don’t clean the teeth any better. Nor are they essential, but they offer choice.
The 9000 has Bluetooth Smart features. It does not have the position detection and tracking facilities like the 9900 Prestige or DiamondClean Smart. If the app is used in real-time, you get an on-screen timer only. Data is synced post brushing. It is displayed on the screen in the form of colored charts. This data shows performance for the last 7 days only. It doesn’t allow brushing history and learning as you might expect.
The 9900 Prestige is the latest addition to the Sonicare lineup of brushes. It offers Bluetooth connectivity. Like the DiamondClean Smart, this does actually offer real-time tracking.
They fundamentally work the same. But the unique element to the Prestige is that even if you don’t use the app in real-time, the handle stores and syncs this data in the background. You get a mouth map for cleaning, pressure, and scrubbing, something the DiamondClean Smart does not offer. This means you get more meaningful data over time, irrespective of real-time app use or not.
The 9900 is also focused on simplification. It sounds odd given the brush offers so many features. It’s more about getting the job done. Learning good habits will help you and your oral health in the long term.
It was Oral-B that really pushed smart technology into the toothbrush some years ago. The iO is the latest iteration with even more tech, including a display in the handle, previously only seen on the Oclean X before now.
With the Oclean X, the cleaning performance was great. The display was touch-sensitive and horrible to use. The iO’s display is not touch-sensitive. Despite this, the X has a lot going for it. It has a magnetic wall mount, great color choices and it is affordable.
With the introduction of the Oclean X Pro Elite there is little reason to opt for the older X variant. The touchscreen has been radically improved and is a delight to use. It might not be essential, but it adds something to the experience. The Elite is also super quiet. In fact, it is the quietest electric toothbrush that we have ever tested, by quite some margin. Oh, and it is a smart toothbrush too. It sends data back to your smartphone to help you track and improve your oral care habits.
Oclean is affiliated with Chinese technology giant Xiaomi. Its Mi toothbrush is another good value option. It comes complete with, yes you guessed it, Bluetooth technology. Yet again the implementation of this tech was not great. You need to be quite forgiving to get the value from it. The Mi and Oclean models are not widely stocked, giving favour to those household names when it comes to availability.
Older models like the Oral-B Genius X are extremely capable. It has more features than you need, but it is more affordable than the iO. It does away with the clunky position detection technology used by the Genius Pro 8000. The sensors are built into the handle of the Genius X so there is no need to stand in front of a smartphone camera to track the movements, unlike with the Genius Pro 8000.
Oral-B’s app has evolved over the years. But it can be a little confusing. Particularly when there are different configurations for different models.
The Oral-B Genius 6000/6500 is a solid mid-range toothbrush. It cleans the teeth well, has extra cleaning modes, a pressure sensor and 2 weeks battery life. It is neither cheap, nor extortionately expensive. It is somewhat lost in the range though. Particularly when you consider the slimmer handled Smart 3000. The 3000 offers multiple modes, nigh on identical cleaning performance and comparable battery life. All for less money.
Oral-B has always underperformed in the battery department. Sacrifices might be expected for entry-level models. But, around 1 week on a single charge isn’t good enough from the Pro 1000. For a little extra, you can own the more capable Smart 1500. It comes with twice the battery life, 3 cleaning does and a visible pressure sensor.]
It is a similar story for Aquasonic. Their range has increased over the years to include the Black Series and now the Vibe. They pack a punch for the price. Coming with multiple brush heads in the box, as well as a travel case. They have too been approved by the American Dental Association. The slight catch here is that replacement brush heads have proven slightly more tricky to source at times.
No electric toothbrush, cheap or expensive, can ultimately clean your teeth perfectly unless you use it correctly. Proper technique and enough brushing time are key to good oral health.
Mouthpiece style toothbrushes are trying to help with this. They have a brush head that positions the bristles at the perfect 45 degree angle. But, in addition, it attempts to clean all tooth surfaces at the same time. Conceptually it is a great idea. However, in practice, it does not work. It fails to reach all the tooth and gum surfaces, leaving lots of plaque behind. And despite being designed to correct technique issues, there is still a technique to use it. Worryingly, there is a kids version. The engaging characters on the brush handle are fun. But it is no replacement to regular toothbrushing.
Y-Brush is better, but only by a little bit. It still isn’t a suitable replacement for a regular toothbrush. Using nylon bristles found on regular toothbrushes, it manages to lift more plaque from the teeth and gums compared to other mouthpiece brushes. It is easy to use and has a good battery life. But revisions are needed. It looks and feels a bit homemade at the moment. Refinement in the materials and production process is needed. As are different sized mouthpieces. The one size fits all approach means brushing can feel awkward and uncomfortable.
SymplBrush, is a newer automatic toothbrush that is arguably better than Y-Brush. It is more refined and well thought out. Interestingly though, there is a lot of similarity between them. SymplBrush uses nylon bristles and focuses on just one arch of teeth at a time. The cleaning results are the most impressive we have seen to date. Still not perfect, but it is most definitely the best mouthpiece toothbrush we have tested to date.
CleanTeeth is another possible alternative. It is one of the better options, albeit a bit expensive and bulky in hand.
What makes CleanTeeth unique is the way the head moves. It still brushes all the tooth surfaces at the same time, but the whole mouthpiece moves left and right, covering about 12 teeth at any one time, rather than all the teeth in one jaw.
We are all for innovation if done well. On paper the Waterpik Sonic-Fusion reads like a great idea. It is a combination of water flosser and sonic toothbrush. 2 in 1 products can take up less countertop space, whilst delivering multiple benefits. In reality, it is expensive and impractical. You don’t get the choice of different tips like you do with a normal water flosser. Water is fed through the brush head, making angling and positioning more difficult. The battery life of the toothbrush itself is poor. And the noise it makes is quite irritating. It is a shame as Waterpik’s Complete Care range is pretty good. It’s also proof that a separate water flosser and toothbrush is the answer.
We rate Burst Oral Care as the USA’s best toothbrush subscription — you can find out more in our Burst toothbrush review. You can buy it outright or subscribe. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a pressure sensor either. Nor does it come with a case. But, Burst does offer this as an affordable accessory. It is actually really good value. The charcoal bristles are a little unnecessary, but the brush itself has been proven to perform well. Unless you really want regular brush head deliveries, we recommend opting for our main choice above.
Our latest videos
For nearly all the products we test we create a video review. We also compare popular brushes to similar brushes.
We’ve included some of our latest toothbrush reviews and comparisons below, but you can check out all our new videos on our YouTube channel.
Useful pre-purchase advice
Dr. Gemma Wheeler, BDS (Hons)
With the help of our in-house dentist Dr. Gemma Wheeler, we’ve added useful notes and tips from our research and testing.
No doubt you’ll have one or two particular questions before buying, as did we.
Browse the sections below, and if you can’t find the information you need, please leave a comment at the bottom of this page and we’ll get back to you.
Key things to consider
Below are the three main bits of advice we would give to someone considering a new electric toothbrush.
1. You don’t need to buy an expensive toothbrush
Spending more on a toothbrush doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting a better product. Often you are paying for extra features and functions you will not use. An expensive toothbrush does not clean the teeth better. Many of the best electric toothbrushes come in at under $100.
2. Smart toothbrushes are generally not worth it
They can help to encourage better technique and habit formation, but they are not more effective at cleaning your teeth.
3. Routine and technique are important
Your toothbrushing technique and routine have more impact on your oral health than the toothbrush itself. It’s no use having the best electric toothbrush if you don’t use it properly.
What to look for in an electric toothbrush
Toothbrushes can come with all manner of features at different prices.
From our testing, the most essential features to look for in an electric toothbrush are:
2 minute timer
A timer helps to ensure that you brush your teeth for 2 minutes each time, which is recommended by dentist and governing bodies around the world.
A pacer helps you to spread your brushing time evenly across all parts of the mouth.
Frequently brushing too hard will severely damage your teeth. A pressure sensor alerts you when you are brushing too hard so you can adjust your technique.
You can get a good brush for less than $100
There are a number of types of electric toothbrush, including side to side movements, sonic, and rotation oscillation.
Oral-B brushes use rotation oscillation technology, whereas Sonicare brushes use sonic technology.
There is a small amount of evidence showing that rotation oscillation brushes are better than other types. They reduce levels of plaque and gum disease.
But one review rightly points out that the difference is small. It is unknown whether these clinical trials actually translate into day to day use.
The good news is that rotation oscillation toothbrushes tend to be cheaper.
Apart from this, there is almost no evidence supporting one type of brush over the others.
However, key characteristics which may benefit you in an electric toothbrush are:
- a pressure sensor to prevent scrub brushing.
- a timer to help ensure you are brushing for the full two minutes.
- a good quality toothbrush head which is changed every three months or when you can see them fraying.
Our number 1 pick in the list above, the Oral-B Smart 1500, includes all of these. Many of the best electric toothbrushes come in at under $100.
Spending more money on a toothbrush may provide things like travel cases and better battery life, but these aren’t going to actually help brush your teeth better!
We don’t recommend smart toothbrushes
No, not in my opinion.
A smart toothbrush is one with Bluetooth technology, which is developing all the time. In the last few years it has evolved from just connecting to a timer to being able to connect to an app on your phone.
Some smart toothbrushes also send reminders when you should change your toothbrush head.
There is no evidence currently available to support the use of a smart toothbrush over a normal electric toothbrush.
As a dentist, I would point out that many of the benefits advertised by a smart toothbrush can be gained more affordably elsewhere, such as by setting a calendar reminder on your phone, or by learning proper techniques from our videos and your own dental professional.
This topic is discussed in more detail in our article: is a smart toothbrush worth it?
Sonicare vs Oral-B
According to lab testing (1,2,3) the oscillating-rotating technology (used by Oral-B) is better at removing plaque than the sonic technology used by Sonicare.
Whilst the science says the Oral-B is only slightly better than Sonicare, whether this will make much difference in the mouth is unclear. There are other factors at play in the real world, such as comfort during use, noise levels and personal preference, which all influence how well a person brushes with a certain type of brush.
Because of this, you might not want to discount Sonicare and should look into these brushes if you do not like using electric toothbrushes that use oscillating-rotating technology, like Oral-B.
In reality, more research is needed. Our Sonicare vs Oral-B article explores this in more detail.
Is it better to choose an electric toothbrush instead of a manual toothbrush?
Some people will see benefits when using an electric toothbrush instead of a manual toothbrush.
The purpose to toothbrushing is to:
- remove plaque, which contributes to dental decay and gum disease.
- remove food debris from the teeth to reduce the risk of dental decay.
- introduce a fluoride containing toothpaste to reduce the risk of decay.
When asking whether an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush is better, the question is really “which one removes more plaque and food debris, without harming the teeth and gums”.
Studies (reviewed by Niederman and Yaacob et al ) show that electric toothbrushes are better at removing plaque. They also show that electric toothbrushes help with gum disease.
Despite the clear evidence in reducing plaque, there is no evidence to support the use of electric toothbrushes when it comes to reducing decay.
For people wearing braces, a review of the evidence concluded that there is no reason to support the use of electric toothbrushes for reducing plaque on teeth and avoiding gum disease (although this evidence only covered a period of 8 weeks).
When thinking about the safety of your brush, know that both manual and electric toothbrushes have the potential to cause harm when used incorrectly. An example is causing wear on the outside of the tooth by scrubbing too hard. Evidence has shown that electric toothbrushes are of no greater concern to teeth and gums than a manual toothbrush, and some studies even support the use of electric toothbrushes to prevent worsening tooth wear caused by over brushing.
One other consideration is which one are you more likely to use? A toothbrush that encourages you to brush twice a day for two minutes each time, is always going to be better than one you can’t use.
Finally, when thinking about whether an electric toothbrush is better than a manual toothbrush, you will also want to think about the environment. This recent study discussed the greater impact of electric toothbrushes on the environment.
The take home message?
It is a personal choice.
If you are good at cleaning with a manual toothbrush and have no gum disease or tooth wear, then a manual toothbrush is satisfactory. It also has less impact on the environment.
If you struggle getting your teeth clean enough with a manual toothbrush, or if you suffer from gum disease, then an electric toothbrush is a better option for you.
An electric toothbrush can help with gum disease
Yes, electric toothbrushes help with gum disease.
Managing gum disease is all about reducing the amount of plaque on the teeth and under the gums. An important part of this is physical removal by toothbrushing and interdental cleaning.
Multiple reviews (Van der Weijden Niederman and Yaacob et al) support the fact that electric toothbrushes help with gum disease. More recently, an 11 year long study by Pitchika et al has examined long term successes of electric toothbrush users. These papers have found:
- electric toothbrushes remove more plaque than manual toothbrushes, in both the short and long term.
- electric toothbrushes provide a benefit in reducing levels of gum disease (compared to manual toothbrushes) both in the short term (6%) and long term (11%).
- electric toothbrushes reduce the progression of advanced gum disease, with users having less bone loss.
- users of electric toothbrushes, and who have gum disease, are less likely to lose teeth.
An explanation of the different toothbrush features
There are lots of features that can be built into electric toothbrushes today.
Not all of them are necessary.
We have grouped the most common features by their importance.
For the high and medium importance features, we have included a brief description. We explain what they do and why they might be helpful.
High importance — essential in any electric toothbrush
2 minute timer
We cannot stress the importance of a timer enough.
Dentists, hygienists and governing dental bodies around the world are in unison that brushing your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes is important.
When brushing your teeth, it is all too easy to get distracted and misjudge time. You can think you have been brushing for longer than you have.
A timer keeps track of how long the toothbrush has been switched on for.
At the end of 2 minutes (120) seconds, the toothbrush will power off or briefly pause the brush motor.
If the timer hasn’t gone off, you haven’t brushed for long enough.
2 minutes spent cleaning your front or back teeth is no good. To maintain good oral hygiene you need to clean all the teeth.
A pacer is linked to the 2 minute timer.
It is designed to encourage you to brush the teeth in the mouth evenly during the 2 minute brushing cycle.
Most pacers work by pausing the brush motor at 30 second intervals. The pause in the sound and motion of the toothbrush is your cue to move from 1 section of the mouth to another.
Imagine your mouth split up into 4 sections:
- Upper right
- Upper left
- Lower right
- Lower left
Spend 30 seconds cleaning the surfaces of the teeth in each quadrant. By the end of the 2 minute cleaning cycle all teeth will have had equal attention.
Some brushes (notably Sonicare) have a pacer set to 20 second intervals. This results in 6 sections of the mouth. They are as follows:
- Upper right back teeth
- Upper front teeth
- Upper left back teeth
- Lower left back teeth
- Lower front teeth
- Lower right back teeth
We believe a pressure sensor is an underrated feature, particularly for a first time user.
Brushing too hard can damage the gums. Bristles of the brush need only skim the surface of the teeth and gums.
Brushing too hard will also wear away the outermost surface of the tooth. This is what dentists call abrasion. Abrasion itself can cause sensitivity to hot and cold.
Scrubbing harder is not an effective way to remove plaque and debris from the teeth. You and many others may not have known this, because you have never been told or shown how to brush correctly.
A pressure sensor alerts you when you are applying too much force as you brush.
It is a gentle reminder to use a little less force and help you maintain a healthy smile.
Sensors are implemented differently.
In many instances when pressure is detected, the motor will slow down. This limits the bristle movement and potential damage.
A visible pressure sensor will illuminate to act as a visual alert. This is common in Oral-B brushes. Usually, a red light is emitted around the neck of the toothbrush.
Some models, notably Sonicare, will vibrate the brush handle to alert you.
Avoid activating the pressure sensor if you can.
Once the pressure is relieved, the sensor is deactivated and normal brushing resumes.
Medium importance — worth considering, but not critical
Good battery life
Most electric brushes have built-in rechargeable batteries.
Over recent years performance and usage time of batteries have gotten better. Most brushes are on par with each other, with an average of around 2-3 weeks use between charges.
The vast majority of batteries in toothbrushes use Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion). Some are Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH).
Some brushes will have removable AA or AAA. They can last months. They are not that common and tend to be the cheaper models at less than $30.
Rechargeable toothbrushes typically perform better and are more cost effective.
Even if you are not a regular traveler, a case makes it much easier to transport the toothbrush and brush heads.
When in the case, the likelihood of damage, particularly to the bristles on the brush head is reduced. There is also less chance of the brush accidentally being switched on. Any excess moisture and toothpaste remains in the case and not on anything else that might be in your bag. Nobody likes toothpaste stains on their clothes!
There are certain models that come with travel cases that allow charging whilst in the case. They do not need to be placed on a separate charging stand.
Only ever spend what you are comfortable with.
For some spending $30 will be a lot whilst to others $200 will be cheap.
You do not have to spend a fortune.
A more expensive brush does not mean it is any better at cleaning your teeth.
For less than $100 you can buy an excellent electric toothbrush.
The act of regular brushing, with the correct technique, is more important than what you pay.
Additional cleaning modes
There is little need for extra cleaning modes. The default cleaning mode on a toothbrush is suitable for most users.
If we were to pick an additional mode it would be sensitive.
A sensitive cleaning mode uses less power from the brush motor. It is more gentle on the teeth and gums.
Model dependent, there can be up to 6 or 7 different brushing modes.
What differs is the power/intensity of the mode and the brushing time. Very often the likes of a ‘deep clean’ mode will last for 3 minutes.
For more information, read our Sonicare brushing modes or Oral-B cleaning modes article.
Being able to control the amount of power the motor delivers can be useful.
Some models offer the choice of low, medium and high power settings.
If the brush has 1 cleaning mode, it may default to the high setting.
You could change it to the low setting for a less intense clean.
Although the brush motion does not change, the speed of the motion does.
These act as alternatives to cleaning modes.
A brush with 1 mode but 3 intensity settings is in many respects equivalent to a brush with 3 modes.
Cost of replacement brush heads
The cost of replacement heads affects the long term ownership cost. It is worth factoring into your decision. Oral-B brush heads are cheaper than Sonicare.
It’s recommended that you replace your brush head every 3 months. If you follow that advice you’ll need 4 brush heads a year.
Official brush heads cost anywhere from about $5-10+ per brush head. This can be a lot of money when they will only be thrown away 3 months later.
You can save money by buying when there’s a deal on or by buying in bulk.
In most instances, you have the choice of opting for a third party brush head. There may not be the same range and the quality may be different. But there are some great options at very good prices.
Do be aware of fakes/counterfeit brush heads which pose as genuine but are often not the real deal. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.
Low importance — not a big consideration
- Brush handle shape, size and color
- Brush head shape and size
- Cleaning mode notification lights
- Battery charging/status icon
- Smart features
- Motion tracking
- Smart guides
- UV sanitizers
- Automatic power off
- Charging stands/USB charging
- Water resistance
- LEDs/cleaning mode display
- Storage compartments
- Dual handles
An explanation of the different brush heads
The brush heads available vary depending on the brand of toothbrush and the model that you choose.
Oral-B, Sonicare and Colgate all offer a range of different types of brush heads.
Each head is, in theory, designed to do a different job.
Sonic brush heads tend to be larger than the small round brush heads found on oscillating-rotating toothbrushes. Sonic heads have an oval shape to them.
The ranges are unnecessarily complicated. There is no definitive evidence to say one head is better than another.
It is best to pick and stick to one style of brush head and use it, rather than to worry about the particular type.
We have dedicated guides for brush heads:
How dental association approval works
There are many dental bodies and organizations around the globe.
In fact, each country will usually have a panel of leading experts. They usually guide oral health within that country.
These organizations have similar goals and approaches. For example, producing advice for the general public on how to look after their teeth and gums. Or the recommended fluoride doses.
People look to these for advice on what products they should and should not be using.
The American Dental Association (USA) and the Oral Health Foundation (UK) are 2 examples.
Each has programmes that verify the safety and effectiveness of consumer products.
Consumer oral health care products are independently evaluated. This is to ensure they are safe and that the claims made are proven and not exaggerated. Reliable scientific evidence is usually required.
The programmes are designed to give consumers peace of mind and reassurance.
Each programme is run independently. A manufacturer must apply and submit the relevant data to each organization. Only once this process has been completed will a product be awarded the ‘approved’ status of the relevant body.
The ADA issues a ‘Seal of Acceptance’. The Oral Health Foundation labels products as ‘Approved’.
Although they are separate programmes, they operate with similar policies. A product awarded the ADA seal would likely be approved by the Oral Health Foundation.
85 thoughts on “Best electric toothbrush 2023”
It would be interesting to get your opinion about different electric toothbrush cleaning methods comparing brushing (sonic brushes clean buy brushing) vs. non-brushing (ultrasonic brushes – clean touchless with soundwaves).
Thanks for the comment.
We haven’t done any extensive write-up on this in truth. So far we only really cover ultrasonic brushes in this article.
We are certainly not ruling out doing more testing/write-up of the differences. In fact, I have a Megasonex brush I am about to test.
But to date, we have been led by the evidence, demand and availability of the sonic brushes. From what we understand, these deliver much better value for money for the vast majority of users and perform really as well on the whole. Thus the premium to be paid for ultrasonic isn’t justifiable for most.
thanks for your reply.
Providing a good overview of all cleaning technologies available will give your readers the opportunities to choose the one that works best for them. Cleaning with ultrasound is much less known – but has the advantage of non-abrasive, no-brushing deep-cleaning ordinary sonic or manual or electric toothbrushes cannot deliver. For people with sensitive teeth/gums, any type of gum disease/inflammation and pre/post oral surgery this is often the only cleaning method available.
When testing true ultrasonic devices you might want to include emmi-dent, because their patented technology is actually clinically proven to remove bacterial plaque – even underneath the gumline where ordinary brushes cannot reach.
Hello, Thank you for this site! It’s quite informative and it seems down-to-earth with it’s style and advice.
Over the years, multiple dentists have said I have a smaller-sized mouth and was wondering if I should get a “kids” electric toothbrush instead of the adult size. I’m concerned about the size of the heads on electric toothbrushes. Will they really fit my mouth to get into all the tough to reach spots? I have a few partial or full crowns. Other than that, my teeth are average with a bit of crowding in one area.
What would you recommed?
You can use a kids brush head.
With Oral-B and Sonicare brushes, the kids heads fit to the adult handles. Thus you can benefit from features & designs for adults, but still, get the benefit of the smaller brush heads.
The kids heads tend to be about 10% smaller on Oral-B heads. And Oral-B heads tend to be the smallest overall, thus most likely suiting you better.
You might want to try a regular adult head and see how you get on and then you have the option of getting a kids head if you do want to try it.
Most people can accommodate a regular adult’s electric toothbrush head. I am not sure what you use now, but if you are using a manual brush for example they are no bigger really.
The electric brush heads will work fine with crowns, full or partial.
It is always ‘best’ to get personalized advice from a dental professional who has made an assessment of your teeth/mouth. But, you can probably try our top recommendation, the Oral-B Smart 1500. If you feel the head is too small, then buy and fit the kids head to it.
Thank you for the advice!
Is there a specific model that is best for inflamed gums or best for getting gums in good health? I noticed that Phillips Sonicare only has one that mentions gum health, but I have read that all electric toothbrushes are good for gum health. I would appreciate your thoughts……..thanks,
This article Helen has our main recommendations. But yes you are right all electric toothbrushes are generally good for gum health.
It is important to ensure you are brushing for the correct time and with the correct technique too.
You don’t need a specific gum health mode on the brush for your gums to benefit.
You may want to opt for a soft brush head if you have particularly sensitive gums.
Hi, thanks for all your reviews. I am wondering is there really any major difference between my oral b toothbrush I bought 7 years ago and one that’s out today? They both us the same heads, mine has a 2min timer and I don’t really care about not having a pressure sensor. Would there be any reason I need to upgrade?
Hi Mike. If your current brush is working just fine I see little reason to upgrade.
Battery life will have improved. The newer handles are slimmer and there is a little more power in the motor, so more brush head movements. But, fundamentally these make no significant difference in how well the brush cleans the teeth.
I would stick with your brush, changing only when it has come to the end of its usable life.
I tookphillip soni care platinum tooth brush to UK USED CONVERTER ADAPTR AND IT WOUD NOT CHARGE JUST FLASHING GREEN LIGHT IS IT UNUSABLE NOW?
I am afraid I can’t say for sure. It is odd that it did not work. It might be a sheer fluke that it stopped working as you went traveling with it. It may need repair, if within warranty period.
I bought an Oral-B BrAun PRO timer sonicare toothbrush for my granddaughter, who lives in a different State than myself. She came to visit recently and she was so excited to show me her new toothbrush. She had the brush wrapped in cellophane to protect it, since it had no plastic protective cover. I bought my other granddaughter a lesser priced electric toothbrush and it came WITH a protective cover. Was this a faulty packaging problem? I would appreciate you helping me resolve this issue please. Very unsanitary. If I would have known this , I would have made a different purchase. Thank you for your time.
Brenda, when you say ‘protective cover’ do you mean a case that covers & protects the whole toothbrush or a cap that goes over the brush head only?
Oral-B kids brushes don’t typically come with a travel case or a brush head cover/cap.
Have you heard of silk’n dental ir toothbrush?
Their product is called toothwave, and they claim it uses some kind of radio frequency waves to clean.
Hi Andy. Yes, I have heard of this, but I have not tested it as of yet. It is on the list to test in the future.
We’ve used a few electric toothbrushes down through the years. Various Sonicare models…recently the Boka electric. My favorite to date is the Curaprox Hydrosonic Pro. For reasons unknown (possibly a virus or allergic reaction, new toothpaste… who knows?), I suddenly (like almost overnight) developed highly sensitive, swollen, PEELING, bleeding gums. It was right at the beginning of what folks are calling the pandemic and routine dental care became essentially unavailable. So I started researching it myself. I initially discovered two manual brushes (Nimbus and Curaprox 5460) and both were better than the Boka as far as being kind to my gum issues (whatever they are) with the Curaprox being slightly kinder. Given that I attributed the difference to the Curaden bristles I decided to try their electric model. This is the first electric toothbrush I can honestly say I enjoy using. It’s not overly technified, only feature, really, is 4 x 30 second notifications. Otherwise it just brushes. It holds a charge for several weeks, which I like, offers power, sensitive and solo brush heads and stores in a very nice travel case (though a charging feature would be an excellent upgrade). I’m using the sensitive brush head, as you can imagine. Two final steps in my routine, just recently added, are interdental brushes (again, Curaprox from similar reasoning – the Curaden bristles) and PerioScience AO series toothpaste, mouthwash and topical gel. Everything seems to be coming together as my gums are doing better daily. A review of the Hydrosonic Pro would be something I’d enjoy reading if you’re able to manage it. I know, feature wise, it’s not on par with that Sonicare 9900 but for me, it’s been perfect.
Hi Ken. Thank you very much for the comment and feedback. So pleased to read you have found a brush that works for you.
The Hydrosonic Pro from Curaprox is on our list to review in the near future. Just haven’t quite gotten to it yet!
I’ll be watching! 😄
Just FYI – I read your review of the Boka brush (since it was my previous brush) and I agreed with your review completely (save, potentially, one point) I will say, in every category you list, the Curaprox pulls slightly ahead (IMO)
Styling – Yes, the Boka is a “clean” design that’s pleasing to look at and use. The Hydrosonic Pro, even more so. One big add is the battery indicator. I found it difficult to know how much charge the Boka had left. The Hydrosonic Pro has an attractive blue led stripe giving you a very easy indicator.
Brush heads – You mentioned the charcoal bristles were maybe more fad than fact but not necessarily a negative. Possibly, but I’m not convinced they weren’t at least a factor in the issues I experienced. The Curaden bristles are (again, IMO) vastly superior in that regard, and I’ve come to the opinion that bristle material, composition and design are (or should be) one of the primary criteria when selecting a brush. This is likely just for people like me, not for people who have no negative effects from nylon bristles, charcoal bristles etc, naturally.
Travel case – this being included with the Hydrosonic Pro made it a no brainer to take these brushes with us on a recent trip. Our last trip, we left the Bokas behind and simply packed our manual brushes. A small thing but even so… Beyond that, there’s daily storage at home. It’s well understood that the bathroom is, by far, the least sanitary room in our homes and storing an open, uncovered brush in the bathroom is undesirable (have you ever addressed this issue?). With the Boka we tried to minimize that exposure by storing them upright, in a cupboard, using their included cap. Well enough. Only problem was, it’s fairly unstable in that position and they would get knocked over routinely. But with the Hydrosonic Pro, I use that same travel case. Covered and stable for the win.
In most other regards, I find the two brushes very similar in form, function and use.
Thanks for the extra feedback Ken, all great stuff!
We haven’t done extensive research about how sanitary a bathroom is and the best place to store your toothbrush.
It would appear from some research that the risk to the toothbrush is often overplayed. It isn’t quite as bad as some think. Yes, keeping the brush away from the loo will always help, but there doesn’t seem to be lots of evidence to suggest you must take lots of steps to protect the toothbrush. I reiterate we haven’t done lots of research to confirm, so there might be data against this.
Most leading dental organisations recommend any special steps or the need to sanitize the toothbrush after or before use.
Keeping the brush in a case or cupboard will of course help, providing it is ventilated. A toothbrush head stored in damp conditions can potentially cause bacteria to grow on the head. The bristles ideally need to dry out between uses if possible.
All said and done most toothbrushes are very similar and serve the vast majority well. Personal circumstances and desires will always have a part to play and particular brushes will stand out for one reason or another, as you have found yourself.
Dear John, I used an Oral B and tried in every way to keep it clean — the hole in head, the seal at top and bottom. Is there any electric toothbrush with elegant engineering design to solve all these surface easy to keep clean problems. I tried putting heads in kangan water high ph, scrubbing 2 seal lines with toothpicks. Is the oral b type design all there is. How to keep clean? It sorta looks like 2 of the 3 oral b heads have smaller holes in their shaft. I really appreciate your help.
Hi Tamara. All the Oral-B heads have holes in their shaft.
I can’t say there is 1 toothbrush that is much easier to keep clean. Sonicare models a bit easier as they do not have holes in the brush head shaft and tend to have less rubber grips on the handles so less nooks and crannies for possible buildup of dirt etc.
Thank you for your expertise. I’ll look at sonicare.
Isnt it time to get silicone or rubber brisstled heads?
Will it increase the price? Why?
Hi Sylvia. We have covered silicone bristled toothbrushes in our article ‘Silicone & Rubber Bristled Toothbrushes: How Do They Compare To A Normal Toothbrush?‘
We haven#t really found them to be as good yet. Those that do exist tend to be a bit more expensive, most likely due to the more specialist nature. This design is not commonplace as yet.
We are looking to share a handle (not the brush heads) and have limited counter space. Ideally, the unit would include a charger and a place to store the brush heads. Is it me or are these difficult to find? I can’t seem to find an Oral B or the Sonicare versions that meet our needs.
If not, what is the best way to store the brush heads after each use (from a cleanliness POV).
Great question. The good news is that there are options.
A great option is the Oral-B Smart 3000. Our review is available here. It comes with a brush head storage compartment. It does have Bluetooth Smart features. But these don’t work well when sharing the handle. But you don’t have to use this feature.
The brush head storage compartment is as small as it can be really considering it holds 4 heads. But, it is larger because it hold 4.
The benefit here is it all comes in 1 box.
Alternatively, you can purchase pretty much any Oral-B toothbrush and then buy this accessory, to clip around the charging stand. It will hold 2 brush heads.
I link you to the official part, but there are cheaper equivalents such as this on Amazon.
You can get equivalent holders for Sonicare, but they don’t tend to come in the box as standard.
I hope this helps. If you need more assistance, please let me know.
Someone mentioned that Phillips Sonicare and Oral-B is both equally good eletric toothbrushes. But why do Phillips thinks they are better than Oral-B and Oral-B is better than Phillips? Phillips try their best to equally remove the same level of plaque as Oral-B. And also, I think saying “Im the one that removes way more plaque than you” phrase should stop because it will hurt the other eletric toothbrush company.
This is a battle that has and will continue to exist. Each brand wants to outperform each other, it is the marketplace we have created as humans. It is the same for other product categories, be that cars, technology, etc. Each is trying to appeal to the consumer in one way or another and validate claims.
There are studies that show Oral-B clean better, removing more plaque, then there are studies that suggest Sonicare removes more plaque. The data in each is valid, but the studies are usually small.
As a general rule, whilst the data does seem to stack up in favor of Oral-B slightly, the reality is the differences are not necessarily significant and what differences do exist rely on correct and regular use of the brush.
In everyday use, both are great and more than good enough. Heck, used correctly a manual brush is sufficient.
It would be nice to see a little less competition and more working in favor of happy, healthy smiles, but both do work on this goal too. I don’t expect to see any change in the competitive speak and claims.
Could you please recommend a smart toothbrush, I understand that a cheaper one will do the job, but I find it easier with as app showing me my progress as well has how long I should do it.
If money is no issue then the DiamondClean Smart is the one to go for. You can read our review of it here.
Oral-B has recently released the iO, which we have reviewed here, but we still recommend the DiamondClean Smart over this.
Hi, I was hoping to get a recommendation
I live in Canada
I’m looking for a sub $100 range, preferably with smart features.
Also how does Phillips stack up against oral b, considering one specializes in oral care.
Hi. The recommendation we have for Canda is the same as for the USA. In fact, we do have a Candian site with recommendations available here.
The Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 is an excellent choice in my opinion.
Both companies specialize in oral care and ultimately there is not a great deal to choose between them. Both offer brushes that clean the teeth well, they are just different. Technically, Oral-B offers a better clean according to the clinical trials, although ultimately more trials are needed. However, Sonicare offers a better value package in the form of the 4100.
My view is worry less about the brand and the particular brush and worry more about your brushing routine and technique as this will deliver more effective results than the brush alone.
If you have specific questions you would like answered, please let me know.
If you have a
I’d like to see a review of that teeth cleaner that looks sort of like a mold of a complete set of upper and lower teeth. It appears that there is one on the shelf behind you when doing a comparison review.
Please show me where to find –
The product you are referring to is Amabrush, which is one of a number of different mouthpiece style toothbrushes.
Conceptually these are great. In reality, none are suitable alternatives to a regular manual or electric toothbrush yet, as I explain in our mouthpiece toothbrush article.
Please consider reviewing the TAO Clean toothbrush with UV cleaning station for your 2021 recommendations?
Thanks for the request. We will add this to our list of products to consider reviewing and of course if we deem suitable include it in our recommendations.
I am greatful to find this site
is Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4300 better than Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 ?
thanks for your efforts
Thanks for the question. They are essentially the same brush. The 4100 is the model sold in the USA primarily, whilst the 4300 has been designed for the UK/European market. The box contents and charging stand differs. However, from a cleaning performance point of view they are the same.
Have you evaluated the Sonicbrush?
I’ve used a Sonicare for years and was thinking of changing to this type of method. Thank you.
Is this the product you mean when you refer to ‘Sonicbrush’?
If so, please avoid, as we explain here: https://www.electricteeth.com/mouthpiece-toothbrush/
Which one do you recommend for people with small mouths and who gag easily?
Typically a toothbrush, with a small brush head is going to be best. So, I would suggest looking at an Oral-B model. The Pro 1000 is a great option.
It is a similar price point to the mentioned Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100, but the battery life is not quite as good.
You could also consider the Pro 1500, which is a slight upgrade on the aforementioned Pro 1000, with twice the battery life.
I suspect you know this already, but it is going to take time and practice to try and train yourself not to gag.
sonic vs electric toothbrushes – any differences? Are these the same basic thing?
The words ‘electric toothbrush’ are a broader headline term to describe a type of toothbrush.
A sonic toothbrush is a type of electric toothbrush.
Essentially all types of electric toothbrushes work towards the same goal of cleaning the teeth effectively so that you and I can have cleaner and healthier teeth and gums.
The main 2 types of electric toothbrushes are Sonic and Oscillating-Rotating.
If you click here, we have a more detailed explanation of the differences that I really hope you will find useful.
Hi. I would like to know why the Burst toothbrush did not make the line up for 2019? I noticed one of the con’s you listed on the Burst review was the cut of the bristles. Do you think these bristles are not efficient and effective at cleaning, or that they may do harm to teeth and gums? I like the look, price, and subscription offered by the Burst. However, I would not put these likes before caring for my teeth and slightly receding gums.
Simply put, there are many great choices, all of which could with justification make it into the best list, Burst included.
Overall, I quite like the Burst toothbrush. It is a perfectly capable toothbrush and just because it hasn’t made the list does not mean you should not consider it.
Personally I did find the bristle cut to be a bit different and not quite as pleasant to use initially, but that is just my opinion. It would be unfair of me to suggest you are putting your teeth and gums at risk.
I do think the charcoal bristles are a bit overhyped, there is limited clinical evidence to the benefits these bring.
The fact that so many dental professionals recommend Burst is a very positive thing, however a degree of cynicism is that they get a commission for doing so.
I am not suggesting all do this for the money, the majority only recommend what they believe in.
To try and keep things simple, we have broken the ‘Best Electric Toothbrush’ down into 10 categories. Those in my opinion, that Burst may have contended for are, best overall, best subscription and best for receding gums and sensitive teeth.
The reason it hasn’t taken top spot in these categories for 2019 is that ultimately we feel the competition just beats Burst within these categories.
We consider a whole range of things when compiling the list, from brush features, price, reliability, availability, clinical evidence, brand reputation, etc.
To further clarify, the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 (the recommended ‘best overall product’ at the time of reply) presents a subscription free purchase, which is widely available (not sold online only, like Burst primarily is) with many great features, clinically proven performance from a brand that many recognize and trust. For the average user, this represents a good option, because things like replacement brush heads can be purchased from the local drug store etc, whereas this is not possible with Burst.
We are certainly not saying Burst should not be one you consider. If you think it is better suited for you, then great.
I hope this answers your question and provides a little more insight.
Thank you for your quick response Jon. The fact that the positive reviews for the Burst are all coming from Burst ambassadors has been a big reason for me not having already purchased this trendy rose gold toothbrush. Your unbiased review is very much appreciated by an over thinker like myself. I suppose all that is left for me to do is try the Burst under the 90 trial and formulate my own unbiased opinion. If I don’t like it I will purchase my third Sonicare Diamondclean and hope that is lasts longer then the 2 year warranty this time.
Glad I could be of some assistance and pleased to see that I am not the only one who has noticed the recommendations all being from Ambassadors.
If you do try Burst, I would love for you to let me know what you think as insights and impressions from users like yourself are so valuable.
I couldn’t resist taking advantage of an early Black Friday deal from Burst. I will definitely update you with my first and lasting impressions in 60 – 90 days.
Hello! I’m curious if you test durability or reliability? I currently have a Phillips Sonicare DiamondClean that just died. I think the power button is stuck and now won’t even charge. It is just over the 2 year mark and based on other reviews it doesn’t seem as though Phillips will do anything about it. $200 is a lot to spend on something that just lasts 2 years…any that you think will last longer? Or is that the standard for electric toothbrushes? At $40-50 I think 2 years would be acceptable.
Thanks for the comment.
I have heard quite a few reports about the Sonicare DiamondClean and its durability.
I cannot comment how regularly these products fail, but inevitably, there tend to be more reports of when it fails than praising it for when it works, so sometimes issues can seem worse than they really are.
You have clearly been unlucky and it is a shame it has failed after the warranty has run out.
Whilst I don’t have scientific data, the durability of brushes tends to be well in excess of 2 years, more towards 5+ years on average.
I certainly would have expected the brush to last longer.
In terms of long term testing and durability, there is only so much we can do.
We do use some brushes on a long term basis, but we are a small team and there are lots of brushes on the market. However, I can say we had a DiamondClean that failed a little after the warranty period. In our case the button didn’t appear stuck, but it would not turn on.
We are not a testing/durability lab with specialist machines and processes that can really test the brushes to destruction as it were. It would be nice if we could do this, but sadly we don’t have the funds for this!
I love your website and I have read so many good things here which helped me but also made me confused or better to say made me rethink my choice. I’m in active search for new toothbrush and problem that I have is kinda specific so I hope you will be able to help me with making right choice. I’m about to have some serious dental work, 4 implants in upper jaw (2 with their own crowns and 2 with 4crowns bridge) and also if it will be possible two implants in lower jaw, never the less point is that those require to be cleaned perfectly thus electric > manual. My mind was set on Sonicare mainly because in had rotating electric brush in past and it was really harsh to my teeth so I decided I dont like round/rotating heads. But after reading lots of your reviews I’m now not sure and looking at Oral-B as possibility. I dont need too much gizmos but I’m not running away from them either. Pressure sensor is must for example because with manual I always had problem with being harsh on my teeth and rubbing as mad. That is maybe one of stuff that made me develop animosity to rotating brushes, if I pressed to hard. So do you have some suggestion for me? Thank you in advance for reading and answering.
I am glad you have found our website helpful. I do apologize that it has perhaps also complicated your decision making process.
Sonicare and their sonic cleaning action or Oral-B and their oscillating-rotating cleaning action toothbrushes are both perfectly fine to use.
Many are concerned about using electric brushes on implants/dentures/bridges and other cosmetic dental work, but they are fine to use (unless your dentist says otherwise).
Personally, I generally prefer Oral-B’s cleaning action, but I know many who have tried it and not got along with it. The same can be said for Sonicare.
Clinical studies exist for both brands claiming how well they clean, but generally Oral-B takes the edge. However, in day to day life they really are just as good as each other when used correctly.
The gizmos are nice to have, but you often pay a premium and very few really get the value from them.
I would suggest you look at the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 and the Oral-B Pro 1500. Both are pretty much on par for specs.
Prices are always subject to change, but the initial cost of the Sonicare may well be cheaper but over the lifetime of ownership, the Oral-B will be more cost effective.
Both brushes do have pressure sensors, although I do believe Oral-B’s implementation is slightly better.
Sonicare win’s on battery life, but the Oral-B will give you 2 weeks on a single charge.
Ultimately it will be personal opinion. I wouldn’t rule out trying Oral-B again if I were you.
The good news is Oral-B has a 60 day money back guarantee and Sonicare a 90 day, should you need to use it.
I hope this helps. If you need any extra information, just let me know.
A lot of clinical trials are finding that O-R toothbrushes clean much better than sonic. (Eg https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/29758154/?i=2&from=/30375187/related). What do you make of this?
Yes, many clinical studies have found that oscillating rotating toothbrushes are better.
However, these tests are run under clinical situations and in reality, when you take into account everyone’s different brushing styles, or not brushing for the right amount of time etc, in the real world, for most there is little difference.
That said, our general preference is for oscillating brushes.
When it comes to suggesting the best though we try and take in a number of factors and at present, the Sonicare still offers a fantastic clean and is in our opinion a better all round package at this time.
I have the benefit of buying a cariPRO through my insurance for a very very good price over retail.
I have used oral b for about 15 years. The thing is I cannot find a true review of this brand. All reviews are from people who were given the product which tells me nothing really. Thanks
Thanks for the comment.
The cariPRO is a brush we have become aware of in more recent months. We have found like you that most people have been given one to review and have fairly positive things to say, as you might expect.
We hope to review this product in the near future, but I can’t say when this will be exactly.
If I were you, stick to what you know and that is proven.
Any further questions, please let me know.
If I wasn’t confused enough before, your site has gotten me there. Why is your Best electric toothbrush recommendation different for the UK than it is for the US?
The toothbrush features and prices differ slightly from UK to US – even models with the same / very similar name are not necessarily like for like. We therefore have different recommendations for each country. Let us know what sort of price range and features you’re interested in, and which country you’re in, and we’ll give a couple of recommendations.
I would appreciate if you give a quick comparison summary between Sonicare 4100 and Oral-B 1500, using your categorized breakdowns. I believe many other prospective first time users would appreciate this comparison of two later models.
A full written comparison is on the list to do, but here are the main differences for you.
The cleaning action of the brush head is different. Oral-B has the small round oscillating-rotating brush head, with pulsations compared to the side to side sweeping movement of the Sonicare.
The 4100 ProtectiveClean has Sonicares BrushSync brush head reminder system. You can learn more about that here.
Sonicare offer a range or brush heads, but you ideally want to use their newer, more premium ‘BrushSync’ compatible heads to take full advantage of the features that are on offer.
You will typically find each brush head from Oral-B is a couple of $ cheaper.
The 4100 has just 1 cleaning mode (Clean) compared to the 2 modes of the Oral-B 1500 (Clean and Sensitive).
The Pro 1500 has a visible pressure sensor on the rear of the handle. The 4100 has a pressure sensor, but not the visible light like the 1500.
The Pro 1500 has a 2 week battery life as does the 4100, but in hand, testing has had the 4100 lasting up to a couple of weeks longer.
The Pro 1500 comes with a US charging stand, as does the 4100, but the Sonicare stand has support for global voltages should you travel.
Those are the main differences.
Just to recap a few similarities. Both brushes are similarly, have a built-in 2 minute timer, quadpacer, rechargeable battery, 2 year warranty and 1 brush head in the box.
i hope that helps.
Thank you very much. It does help, and as I am not from the States, the voltage factor has the deciding say. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember reading about the voltage on your reviews, and believe your international readers would praise if you include this difference in your future reviews. Of course I read both reviews, and even the differentiating techniques of the two companies, but such eye-to-eye comparison tells me clearly what I’m gaining and what I’m losing for my choice. Thanks again and keep up your splendid in depth reviews!
I do normally include information about the voltage/charging stand in the reviews, but it is possible that I may have forgotten to do so on one or two reviews. If you need more information please let me know.
Hello, I’ve been thinking about getting my first electric toothbrush, and had settled on the Oral-B Smart 5000. Then I noticed I could get a Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 for a similar price, and a bit of research lead me to your site. I see a lot of people say they prefer Oral-B brush heads, both for comfort and replacement cost. Any advice?
Thanks for the comment.
To be honest, it is often a personal preference at the end of the day.
On a more technical level, the Oral-B’s do tend to clean the teeth better and the brush heads are cheaper to replace, hence this is why many prefer.
Sonicare tend to be quieter brushes and feel a little more premium, whilst offering better battery life. If you use either brand of brush correctly, there will deliver a superior clean to a manual brush.
If you have any specific queries you need answering then just let me know.
I have had a Braun 3D excel now for about 20 years that is just starting to go. (Got my money’s worth from that one!) I need a replacement and need it to be simple. The fewer choices the better for me to not over think and just get it done. Do you have a recommendation which would be most similar to that one?
I had to look that model up. I can see it is from the mid 2000’s so, yes it is fair to say you have gotten your value from that one!
My go to recommendation for no nonsense, simple to use Oral-B brush is the Oral-B Pro 1000.
It does a good job of cleaning the teeth and is great value.
If you want to learn more, check out my review here.
Any questions, just ask.
I owned a phillips toothbrush for years, bought the brushes online, but the battery finally died. I am 77 years old with many crowns and each toothbrush I have bought end up buzzing too fast, tickling my gums, tongue and shaking my teeth. Which toothbrush is available that is not so intensive and I do not like the round brush heads. Any help from you would be great.
If you don’t like the round brush heads Sharon, it will be a case of sticking with Sonicare like you have had previously.
Most are going to move at a high speed though unless you use them on a sensitive/gum care mode. Have you tried brushes with these more gentle modes? If so did you still feel the tickling/buzzing sensation?
I bought the Phillips Sonicare Diamondclean & even though I liked it, I will never buy another or recommend it. It was guaranteed for 2 yrs & a little after 2 yrs the battery went bad. There is no replacement for that. You might as well throw it away. The Phillips customer service people were “so sorry, but it is out of warranty “. They refused to do anything except sell be another at 10% off! Why on earth would I buy another one if the batteries are designed to go bad shortly after the warranty expires?
I am now looking for a replacement toothbrush with a better battery life and/or better warranty on the battery and/or a toothbrush with a replaceable battery. Any help with this searc would be greatly appreciated.
I should add that price is not my greatest concern.
Sorry to hear of the circumstances you have experienced.
When it is out of warranty, there is little manufacturers offer to do, but this is the same with most products.
I would not say that your experience is normal, most do last longer and we suggest the average life of an electric toothbrush is 3-5 years on average. Many will last longer.
Happy to help in your search. In comparison there are few options you have that are quite as capable as the Sonicare DiamondClean, but have removable batteries.
I think you would benefit from taking a look at some of the options listed in our best battery toothbrush article. The Fairywill 959 is the winner and will give a similar brushing experience, but there is the likes of the Sonicare PowerUp if you would prefer to stick to a better known brand.
Sadly, to my knowledge, none offer longer warranties, in fact, most are just a year, but the purchase price tends to be less.
The only exception to this is Quip, which is a subscription service. I believe their warranty lasts as long as you remain subscribed.
I really hope this helps.
Great site, Jon!
I just purchased a Sonicare 5100 Protective Clean Gum Health (with a coupon I paid $60 at CVS which I know is a very good value!).
I am wondering now if upgrading to the 5100 (from a Sonicare Gum Health Series 3) is worth it. After reading your review, I am convinced the 5100 is a great brush but is it worth the extra features from the Series 3 which is only a year or two old? I don’t like clutter or waste and if I do keep the 5100 (I haven’t opened the box yet so can still return it) my other brush will never again be used again. I’m okay with that if you think the 5100 is worth the upgrade. Many thanks, Nora
Thanks for the compliment on the site. 😍
Wow that was a good price on the 5100, good work!
Whether it is worth it, is always a difficult question and is somewhat is a personal opinion.
Normally, based on the presumption that the 3 series is working fine, unless you needed the extra features it would not normally be necessary to upgrade as the 3 series still does a good job.
You will likely feel the 5100 is better, but there wont likely be significant benefits to you, although there are some nice features built in such as the pressure sensor, brush sync technology and the travel case that is included.
Given the price you bought it at, it seems a shame to return it, but of course no point keeping it if you won’t use it.
You obviously felt it was worth buying in the first place, so that says something to me.
I would probably keep it.
You could move to it and sell on the 3 series brush handle, you will get a few $ for it. Perhaps you could pass the handle onto a friend or family member who may benefit.
You could always gift the 5100.
Or keep it as a spare, should the 3 series fail.
The choice is yours.
Thanks so much for your thoughtful and thorough reply, Jon!
I wish all review sites were as well researched and detailed as yours.
Based upon your comments above, I’m keeping it. I do like the extra features, especially the pressure sensor and brush sync, which are lacking in my older Series 3.
And, you’re right, since I felt it was worth buying in the first place, that says something to me also. You are very intuitive and I suspect it goes beyond electric toothbrush reviews! 🙂
Thank you again, Jon!
No problem Nora.
Thanks for the positive comments.
Once you have used the 5100 for a couple of weeks, please do come back and let me (and others reading this site) know what you think. 😊
What kinds of tests do you do on the toothbrushes to determine their performance?
We use them on a day to day basis, so every opinion we give is on a first hand, have used basis.
Scientific tests are not what we are about. The brands already do this and there is plenty of supporting data to show the benefits of electric toothbrushes.
Just a question, I have 2 oral b toothbrushes, the 7500 and the 8000. Usually I leave one in my house and carry the other with me all the time. Do you know if there’s a way to have both of them connected to the app?
When I pair one of them, the other one is not recognized by the app. So I have to enter to settings and select “connect a new handle”, when I do that, the app don’t recognize the one that was connected.
This is a very good question. The answer is that you cannot have more than 1 brush connected to the app at any 1 time.
To log all your cleans in the app you would have to use just 1 brush.
I understand why you have got the setup you have, but most people have 1 brush that they use and this is how the app has been designed to work.
In a different post you say that oral b pro 2 2500 is the best and here its some other ones. Why?
The post you are referring to is our UK website.
In the UK the toothbrushes available and their prices are different to the USA, which influences the list.
The Pro 2 2500 is not a model available in the US, so this affects the list we offer to our US readers.
I hope that helps. If you need more information, please do let me know.
Thanks for the answer. What would you say is the best between the nr 1 on this list and the nr 1 on the uk list?
Good question. They are both slightly different and very difficult to compare because things like price usually have to be considered.
If I had to pick, it would be the Pro 2 2500 from Oral-B, but only just. It comes with a travel case and visible pressure sensor which I like.
The BrushSync technology on the ProtectiveClean is great, but less important as is the longer battery life it offers.