In this post I explain the various options if you’re looking for a good toothbrush for travel.
There are various types to consider:
- A rechargeable electric toothbrush (preferably with a long lasting battery and travel case)
- A battery powered toothbrush
- A manual toothbrush
I make recommendations in each category, based on my own hands-on testing.
Here at Electric Teeth we buy the products in ourselves so that we can advise which are best in situations such as this.
Another consideration if you travel abroad is the power adaptor. I explain how this works in the buyer’s guide section.
I’ll start with a list of my recommendations, but keep reading for more insight on each brush.
Our recommendations for the best travel toothbrush
Whilst there are some excellent choices available, there isn’t a single ‘best’ toothbrush — manual or electric — that you must have when you travel.
Any toothbrush is better than no toothbrush, but much depends on your requirements.
If you are embarking on a 6 month backpacking trip, your needs from a toothbrush are likely to be quite different to that of someone travelling for work or on a regular vacation.
Why these brushes? We explain each recommendation in more detail below.
1. Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100
An absolutely superb electric toothbrush, there is little I can fault with this.
It looks good, feels good in hand and cleans the teeth really well.
Essential features such as a 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer are built-in, whilst you also get the benefit of a built-in pressure sensor to help prevent you brushing too hard and damaging your teeth and gums.
Provided with a travel case, the brush and heads can be protected when in a bag or suitcase and with a battery that can last as much as 5 weeks between charges, there is no need to take a charger with you.
This brush has not been designed specifically for travel, so it is not super compact like some other options, therefore backpackers might want to opt for something smaller, but it is not bulky and even the rounded travel case allows it to slide in a bag with more ease.
And the last thing to note; it really is not that expensive either and represents good value when you consider the features and quality.
|Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100||25,426 Reviews||$99.99 $89.96||View on Amazon|
Read our Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Review.
SURI is a slickly designed brush that comes with a stylish, sturdy travel case.
It is the environmental pick in our main best electric toothbrush article.
Often with travel cases you remove the head and store it separately in the case, but with SURI’s case you don’t. The head remains attached to the handle.
As such the case is longer than some, but it is not as wide. It is of plastic construction and hinges on the left hand side.
In the base of the case are 2 holes for ventilation and allowing moisture to escape. These are more important than you might think.
The case can also be used to charge the brush via USB-C. This is a useful feature as it means you don’t have to take the charging stand with you and can charge from the case rather than the stand if you prefer, even when at home.
The case also has a UV-C sanitization feature built-in. This isn’t something we regard as essential, but it’s a feature worth pointing out.
The battery last 30 days on a full charge, which is excellent if you are traveling and don’t have the means to charge it frequently.
3. Brush With Bamboo
Brush With Bamboo is the top pick in our best bamboo toothbrush article.
Any of the recommendations in that post will do you well if you’re looking for the most environmentally considerate option.
Needless to say, a manual toothbrush requires no batteries to power it, so you can be sure that it will always work wherever you are.
Whether it is a weekend away or months spent backpacking around the world, this brush will take up little space or add little weight to your bag.
Made from bamboo it is an environmentally considerate option and compostable (with the exception of the bristles) when you need to dispose of it.
If you want a manual toothbrush but don’t specifically want bamboo, there are some more options in our best manual toothbrush article.
4. Philips One by Sonicare
A simple, well thought out and effective electric toothbrush.
It is available to buy here on the Philips Website.
Sometimes, the more simple something is, the more effective it can be.
The Philips One is a slim handled and lightweight toothbrush available in 4 different color options.
It has just 1 cleaning mode that lasts for 2 minutes.
A timer and pacer are built into the One by Sonicare to encourage you to brush for the dentist recommended 2 minutes.
At the end of 2 minutes it automatically powers off.
Contoured grips on the handle make this easy to hold and small touches like the raised notches on the handle stop this from rolling on a countertop.
The provided travel case is compact and well thought out.
It is not as powerful as traditional Sonicare electric toothbrushes, but it cleans the teeth well enough, just be sure to use some manual brushing motion, don’t rely on the toothbrush itself to do all the work.
One of the appeals here is the ability to subscribe to regular brush head deliveries, should you want this convenience.
Read our Philips One by Sonicare review.
For those who like to travel light and are limited on space, Quip’s toothbrush is for you.
Quip is available to order here on the Quip Website.
Many people love this toothbrush. Being honest, I was not really won over by the brushing experience, it is by no means as good in my opinion in comparison to a Sonicare or Oral-B.
But, and it is a big but, this brush is slim and amazingly convenient for those on the go.
A provided brush holder actually doubles up as a travel cap and makes the overall brush, complete with cap not much larger than an average manual toothbrush. You could easily store it in a jacket or even trouser pocket — out of those we have listed it is the most portable.
Powered by a single AAA battery, you can get about 3 months use before a replacement is needed.
It boasts the 2 minute timer and pacer that are essential of an electric toothbrush and is available in plastic or a more premium metal finish.
Whilst it is not the ‘best’ value it’s pretty reasonable with the option of subscribing for the delivery or replacement brush heads.
Read our Quip toothbrush review.
6. Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige
This is a premium toothbrush that offers far more than anyone needs. It is also a very expensive option. You can achieve comparable cleaning results from a brush a fraction of the price.
But, if you want the absolute best and most capable, with all the latest tech, then this is it.
The travel case is particularly appealing. It is very compact. It holds the handle and a single brush head. It is strong and has a magnetic closing lid. And it is the first toothbrush (that I know of) to allow the brush to be charged inside via a USB type c cable.
The Prestige can track the exact position of the toothbrush in the mouth, recording your coverage and rating your brushing, even if you are not using the app in real-time.
The greatest benefit comes from using the app in real-time as it shows you what areas of the mouth you have and have not brushed. Thus, you can take corrective action immediately.
As you might expect the brush provides a fantastic clean of the teeth.
It has your essential 2 minute timer, pacer and pressure sensor built-in.
Multiple cleaning modes and different brushing intensities are available if you so desire.
|Sonicare 9900 Prestige - Champagne||1,368 Reviews||$379.96 $299.96||View on Amazon|
Read our Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige review.
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We are not sponsored by big brands or healthcare companies. Our site is funded by affiliate revenue and ads, but we only recommend products that we have tested and truly believe to be worth your money.
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Buyers Guide – traveling with an electric toothbrush
Many people I have spoken to, chose not to take their electric toothbrush on vacation or on trips away as they think it is a hassle, choosing the good old manual brush instead.
There is nothing wrong with doing this, but don’t you want to retain the benefits of an electric toothbrush even when away from home? They can be just as portable as a manual toothbrush, plus it saves wasting a manual brush (if, for instance, you buy one to use just for your trip and then throw it away)
With a few recommendations above, I thought it might be useful to add in a little extra information to this article, to better understand what you need to consider when traveling with an electric toothbrush.
Within the same country/traveling domestically
If you are traveling from 1 state to another, aside from the space in your luggage, you don’t need to worry about the power adapters, because all the power outlets and voltages are the same.
It is important to think about how long you will be away for and how frequently your toothbrush needs charging.
Most modern brushes including those I have listed last at least 2 weeks before then need charging, therefore popping back up state to see your relatives for thanksgiving means you probably don’t need to worry about taking a charger for those few days.
However, if you are off to the other side of the states, perhaps to enjoy some sun and sand on the west coast for a few weeks, you might want to include the charging stand.
Those bristles on the brush head might appear quite robust, but they are more delicate than you might think. They pick up all sorts of dust and bacteria and can become damaged quite easily if just thrown into a bag.
Consider a case for the brush to stop the bristles becoming frayed or damaged and in the case of an electric brush it can to prevent the brush from being accidentally switched on.
Some brushes come with a travel case included, others do not.
A final consideration, is, whether or not you need to take a spare brush head with you, might it be time to change your brush head whilst you travel?
Outside of home country (same power voltage)
When you are traveling internationally, you need to consider the local power supply if you want to be able to charge your electric toothbrush whilst you are away.
As you well know the voltage in the USA is 120V with plug type A or B.
Thankfully most countries that use 120V electrical supply do also use the same A or B style plugs, meaning with a few exceptions you can take your normal charging stand and use it in those countries.
Popular destinations that use the same power plugs and voltages as the USA include Canada, Mexico, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Bahamas and Costa Rica.
It is important to check before you travel though, as exceptions do apply.
In those instances you may need a socket/plug adapter that will convert your plug to the correct connector for that country.
Outside of home country (different power voltage)
This is where things begin to get a little more complicated.
To help explain this a bit more, let me give some context.
Europe is a very popular destination for a vacation for Americans. The power supply here is totally different.
Within Europe, in almost all countries the voltage is 220-240V.
The plugs are different too.
Whilst mainland European countries like France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal and many more use the 2 pin plug type C and F, the UK uses an entirely different plug known as type G.
What this means is that if you take your toothbrush charger, you need to make sure it is compatible not only with the plug type but the voltage in the country you are traveling to.
Most Sonicare electric toothbrushes come with a charging stand that works on 100-240v, meaning you then need only worry about the plug adapter, because the charging stand can handle the different voltage.
Oral-B charging stands, on the other hand, tend to only support 110-130v. This means it could not be used within Europe without some form of voltage and plug adapter.
The supported voltage should be printed on the base of your toothbrushes charging stand. Do check before traveling.
As an American, traveling to Europe you are going to need what is called a ‘step down’ converter. This allows the higher voltage to be adjusted down to the lower power supply suitable for your electric toothbrush.
You could do a lot worse than buying the Foval Power Step Down 220V to 110V Voltage Converter with 4-Port USB ports as this not only deals with the voltage but offers plug adapters too.
|FOVAL Power Step Down 220V to 110V Voltage Converter International Travel Adapter for Hair...||3,510 Reviews||$42.98 $39.98||View on Amazon|
This will be suitable for more than just your toothbrush.
If your electric toothbrush supports the higher voltage used in Europe and you simply need a plug adapter like Ceptics plug adapter, which you can view here on Amazon.
Or for the sake of a few extra dollars, you could invest in the Sublimewear Power Plug adapter which supports additional countries and has USB ports too.
|Power Plug Adapter (White) - 4 USB Ports Wall Charger - Fast Charging Adapter for 150 Countries -...||11,148 Reviews||$24.99 $19.99||View on Amazon|
For those traveling for extended periods of time or even moving to a different country, it might be more convenient to pick up a local charging stand rather than using a voltage/plug adapter.
What this means is that even if you bought your brush in the USA, if you buy a European charging stand, you can still use your USA toothbrush on it.
These are normally easier to buy in the country you are travelling to rather than in the USA, but Oral-B owners, you can buy an EU charging stand from:
Of course, if your brush has a battery life of 2 weeks and you will be in Europe for just 1, you don’t need to worry, just charge the brush at home fully before you go.
Does that all make sense? I do hope so.
USB standards are international and many hotels offer USB ports for charging appliances.
Some toothbrushes do charge via USB but not whilst in the case, basically, the same rules apply.
The Oral-B Genius X charges in the case and has a power adapter that supports 100-240v, but the power connector is suitable for the USA only, so you will need a plug, but not a voltage adapter.
Having a case can be really useful to protect the brush and keep the head and handle together and stop the potentially embarrassing episode of a vibrating toothbrush in the bag.
Alternatively, you could head to Amazon.com to see if they have a travel case specifically designed for your brush.
There are too a large number of more generalized cases that are suitable for a variety of brushes, not just specific models.
Advice when traveling with a manual toothbrush
Travelling with a manual toothbrush can be a lot less hassle. No need to worry about recharging it, but you do miss out on the benefits of an electric brush.
Manual brushes do not come with travel cases normally unless you get 1 specifically designed for travel.
It is still worth considering whether a basic travel case is appropriate for your brush. It can protect, most importantly the bristles from damage.
The cases available are generic and can protect the whole brush or you can get those cases designed for nothing more than the brush head only.
Seriously consider more environmentally friendly options like bamboo brushes that have less impact on the environment if disposed of.
Your opinions & questions
If you have any questions or opinions you would like to share about traveling with a toothbrush, please do, by commenting below.