A fantastic brush, but you don’t need to spend this much
The Oral-B iO Series 10 is a superb electric toothbrush.
The iO Sense charging stand gives useful at-a-glance feedback on your brushing. This and other features can enhance your user experience, but they won’t clean your teeth any better.
It isn’t perfect and the price is simply ludicrous. I can’t justify the spend compared to other Oral-B models.
- Smart charger gives real-time feedback to encourage better brushing results
- Premium design with color screen
- Quieter than other Oral-B brushes
- Rapid recharging
- Real-time tracking via Bluetooth can be valuable to the most committed users
- Requires iO specific heads
- Bluetooth connectivity isn’t essential and adds to the cost
- Charging travel case requires a separate power adapter
Buy the iO9 instead
By opting for the iO Series 9, instead of the 10 you will save yourself at least $80.
The 10’s stand is ‘better’ but no more than about $40 better.
If you’re not bothered about smart features, save even more money and go for the Smart 1500.
|Oral-B iO Series 9||6,047 Reviews||$299.99 $283.99||View on Amazon|
The iO Sense charger is unique to the iO10 but it’s not worth the money
Equipped with LEDs and a clock/timer, the iO Sense enabled magnetic charging stand provides real-time feedback on your brushing time and coverage. It allows you to get insight into your brushing without having to refer to the Oral-B app each time. It is noticeably more convenient.
The LEDs correspond to six zones of the mouth, known as sextants.
Those zones are:
- Upper rear right
- Upper front
- Upper rear left
- Lower rear right
- Lower front
- Lower rear right
In both brushing time and coverage modes, the light changes from blue to a bright white, if you complete a successful brushing session.
As the name implies, when set to brushing time, the LEDs change as you successfully complete 20 seconds of brushing in each sextant.
Coverage mode on the other hand is looking more at technique and how well you brush the teeth in the different zones.
Sensors in the iO10’s handle can track 16 zones compared to the 6 displayed on the stand. These additional 10 zones are displayed in the app only. The consequence is you can neglect particular tooth surfaces and not know about it.
I do fear that for some people it could become obsessive and someone might end up focusing more on feedback from the stand than getting the correct angle against the gumline, for example. Those committed to achieving the best results still need to use the app. The same 16 zone tracking is available on the more affordable iO Series 9.
The stand has both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and must be plugged in at a power outlet at all times to work. You can’t set up the stand without connecting to the app at least once.
The iO Sense stand is compatible with the iO Series 7, 8 and 9. In my opinion, it would have made more sense to offer it as an affordable optional accessory, rather than selling it with the iO10 exclusively. As it is, the stand isn’t worth the price premium.
This premium applies to other smart features. Generally speaking, they are not worth paying for. You need to be dedicated to get the most out of them and they add a lot to the overall price tag. You can clean your teeth just as well with a far cheaper brush.
Inconsistent battery life — maximum 2 weeks use is below average for a premium brush
The average battery life of a toothbrush today is in the region of 3-4 weeks. The flagship iO Series 10 has a claimed 2 weeks use on a full charge, based on 1 user brushing twice a day for 2 minutes.
Whilst passable, it is below the standards one should expect given the alternative options.
Yet, achieving this is somewhat hit and miss with the Series 10 and many of the iO models for that matter. The exact reason why, I am not sure.
I managed a maximum of 15 days, but on many occasions, I have lost a day or two, with no logical explanation. My suspicion is that the display and the motion sensors built into the handle are a drain on the battery. I’ve noticed the screen activates at times I might not be using it.
I’ve had this problem since 2020 with the iO Series 9 and I know others have too, but without implementing strict testing it’s nigh on impossible to pinpoint the cause.
It’s not really a redeeming factor but the Lithium-Ion battery can be replenished in as little as 3 hours when placed on the iO Sense magnetic charger. This is impressively quick when most brushes take 12-24 hours. Few of us need it to charge this quickly, but I don’t wish to complain.
Do be aware, the iO10 isn’t compatible with the more common Oral-B charging stand.
Charge levels are shown via the smartphone app and the in-hand display. You get an exact percentage and the graphic changes accordingly. The light ring will flash red when power is low and pulse when on charge.
The stand comes with a detachable 2 pin power adapter.
Great cleaning results with a softer and more enjoyable brushing experience
I know it sounds so cliche and like an ad for Oral-B (this really isn’t), but I can’t fault how well it cleans the teeth. You get that dentist clean feeling.
It’s not as harsh on the teeth and gums as other Oral-B models
Using a brushless magnetic drive system that directs the cleaning energy to the bristle tips along with what is known as micro vibrations. This offers a smooth and soft cleaning experience.
The difference is noticeable compared to existing brushes without the magnetic motor. It feels less harsh and aggressive on the teeth and gums. But, it isn’t a reason on its own to switch.
Compared to other sonic brushes, the iO’s cleaning action still feels more vigorous and intense, which might not be to everyone’s liking.
Oral-B has published impressive clinical results and the iO Series has been awarded the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance, confirming it meets the claims made by the manufacturer.
Great results do only come with good technique and habits such as brushing time. The iO10 might be technically capable, but it still relies on you to do a lot of the work
The iO heads are not as small as non-iO models, but still reach tighter gaps
Whilst it will likely have limited impact for the vast majority of users, the iO Series heads are marginally larger than the heads used on non-iO models. They are approximately 10 percent deeper. Whilst they still reach into tighter spaces in the mouth with more ease than the likes of Sonicare brush heads, existing Oral-B toothbrush users may notice a difference in the way the heads fit and move around the teeth.
iO exclusive heads are 2x the cost of normal brush heads
iO brush handles require iO specific brush heads.
iO heads are not compatible with other Oral-B brushes such as the Vitality, Pro, Smart and Genius Series. And the heads that fit those models don’t fit the iO10.
In the box are 4 Ultimate Clean heads, but each refill costs in the region of $12. That is 2x the cost of a manufacturer’s original refill for most Oral-B brushes.
This re-design may well have been necessary, but I am not sure that the additional cost is.
4 iO compatible brush head styles are available. It is the softer bristled Gentle Care and firmer Ultimate Clean that are my preferred options.
It’s still quite loud, but quieter than non-iO models
The iO10 operates at up to 64 decibels (dB), that’s about 10 quieter than most other Oral-B electric brushes.
It produces a less mechanical noise than other non-iO models and more in line with the gentle humming sound of most sonic toothbrushes.
Colgate and Philips Sonicare brushes tend to be a bit quieter, but the vast majority fall in the 60-70dB range.
The pacer is configured differently from what you are likely used to but it helps you brush your teeth evenly
We don’t have an extensive list of must-have features, but there are a few that our in-house dentists feel are really worthwhile: a 2 minute timer, a pacer and a pressure sensor. These are included in all but the cheapest of brushes these days.
The pacer momentarily pauses the brushing action every 20 seconds to tell you to move on to the next part of the mouth. After 2 minutes the alert changes slightly to tell you that you have brushed for long enough.
It’s worth noting that all other Oral-B brushes are configured to 30 second interval pacing. This is known as quad (4) pacing, whereas the iO10 has sextant (6) pacing. Although different it aligns better with the zone tracking available.
Unlike some brushes, the iO10 doesn’t power off automatically. This may be a disappointment to some, but it’s not a big issue.
Being shown you are using the right amount of pressure is brilliant
Perhaps one of the best features of the iO Series is the smart pressure sensor.
The light ring around the top of the handle changes color based on the pressure applied.
- White – low pressure – not enough force is being applied.
- Green – the right amount of pressure is being used.
- Red – high – excessive pressure is being applied and the force should be reduced.
Over time using lots of force as you brush will damage your teeth and gums, therefore you want to aim for the light ring to be lit green for the entirety of the brushing session.
Don’t worry if you brush too hard. When detected, the motor will slow the brush head movements until the pressure is relieved. During this time, the iO Sense charger and the app will be lit red too.
If you know you have a habit of brushing with too much force, you can rectify this with the iO Series.
It’s easily dismissed, but it will alert you to replace your brush head
Using a brush head for longer than the recommended 3 months can potentially be damaging to your teeth and gums, not to mention less effective in the clean that it offers.
The iO10 notifies you when it is time to replace the head. There is a notification on the display and via the smartphone app.
These reminders are really helpful as the iO specific brush heads don’t always have fading indicator bristles to remind you.
It’s expensive for limited extra benefit
I can’t justify the $400 retail price of the iO Series 10. I had thought the $300 of its predecessor, the Series 9 was high. The only notable difference is the iOSense charger.
As a consequence of the pricing model Oral-B use, the actual selling price is normally 20% less, thus still expensive at $320.
A genuine iO brush head will cost on average $12 per head. Compare this to the $5, or thereabouts, you would pay for an Oral-B head suitable for any other brush that isn’t an iO Series model.
Over 3 years, you can expect the iO10 to cost $416. That is over 3 times more expensive than our most recommended Oral-B brush, the Smart 1500, that cleans the teeth just as well.
If you want all the tech, the iO Series 9 costs $80 less and all you lose out on is the iO Sense stand.
For a little more compromise the iO6 is $164 cheaper.
A premium looking handle that feels more grippy thanks to the speckled paint finish
The handle of the iO10 has been well thought out. Nicely weighted, it feels balanced in hand. It stands upright on a countertop and doesn’t roll when laid on a flat surface.
Each function button has a slightly concave shape and a different material finish to the rest of the handle, thus it’s obvious to the fingertip where it is positioned.
Compared to the more cost effective Oral-B toothbrushes, the rounded handles look and feel more premium. Large rubber grips and glossy plastics have been replaced with matt finishes and chrome accents. An overall cleaner and more minimal look.
There isn’t quite the same reassuring security in hand when holding the Series 10 to the Vitality series for example, but by no means does it feel like it will slip out of the palm.
In fact, making up for the lack of a textured surface is the cosmic color scheme exclusive to the iO10.
Available in stardust white or cosmic black, the unique speckled paint finish (not available on other iO models) gives the most minimal, but weirdly satisfying extra texture and grip.
The color screen looks great but is unnecessary with limited functionality
The centerpiece of the brush handle is the eye catching color display. It is one of the ways the iO Series differentiates itself from the competition.
It has that initial wow factor, but it is a little disappointing as it is somewhat limited in functionality.
It isn’t a touchscreen like the Oclean X Pro Elite. This is a good thing as although touch is more intuitive, button controlled navigation is more practical under the usage conditions.
You primarily use it to change between cleaning modes, to confirm brush head changes, see your brushing time and remaining battery life. You can control the color of the light ring, but you have fewer choices than you do in the app. Oral-B also hasn’t used the screen to display any meaningful feedback on your brushing habits.
No matter how long you have been brushing for, an emoji style face appears on the screen.
It feels a bit like Oral-B included it because they could rather than there being a real need for it.
Beware of the mold if you don’t clean it properly
Thoroughly clean and dry the iO10 regularly. Failing to do so increases the chance of mold building up inside the brush head and around the magnetic attachment point.
This isn’t a problem exclusive to the iO Series, but compared to previous generations, it seems more pronounced, since a gap around the top of the magnetic motor was introduced. It offers an ideal trap and breeding ground for bacteria.
Water resistant, even with a display, the iO10 can be happily rinsed under a tap and even used in the shower if you so desire.
You’ve got a choice of cleaning modes — too many choices
The iO10 is the only toothbrush other than the iO9 to offer 7 cleaning modes.
You don’t need so many, a higher and lower powered mode are sufficient for most. A powerful mode for everyday use and a gentler mode if your teeth and gums feel a bit sensitive. Modes like whitening don’t provide any significant benefit to you. In fact, you can disable and re-order modes, via the app if you desire.
The 7 modes you have available are:
- Daily Clean
- Gum Care
- Super Sensitive
- Tongue Clean
One benefit to the color screen is that you can see both an icon and a text label for the modes, making it easier to select and switch between. Many Oral-B models don’t offer any form of label to show which mode has been chosen.
Real-time tracking isn’t always accurate – you’ll need to be really committed to continue using it
The iO10 is Bluetooth enabled. It is what some might call a ‘smart toothbrush’. It means you can connect it to your smartphone using the free Oral-B app and get insights into your oral care routine.
As a general rule, we don’t recommend smart brushes. This is because you don’t need them to achieve a good clean. Not to mention they use more resources and can be more expensive.
Nonetheless, the intention is that the data is presented by the app in such a way that it educates and encourages you to take more control and ownership of your oral health, based on your habits. If we can learn what we are doing well and where there are areas for improvement, we can make the appropriate corrections before problems arise.
The app is regularly updated to improve and enhance features and yes, occasionally you update the software in the toothbrush handle itself.
But as it stands you can customize the order of the cleaning modes, set specific oral care journeys, see the battery status, change the color of the light ring and track how long you have been using a particular brush head, amongst other things.
When brushing in real-time, you get a very different screen setup. Not only will you be able to see where you are brushing, you can see which cleaning mode you have selected and how long you have been brushing for.
The screen will change when you are applying too much pressure and more.
Real-time 16 zone/3D teeth tracking
Sensors in the handle relay the orientation of the brush back to the app in real-time, which turns the data into on-screen visuals.
The idea being it helps you to learn what areas of the mouth you are and are not brushing well, so that you can take corrective action, either immediately or the next time you brush.
Only the Series 9 and 10 track 16 different zones in the mouth, most other iO models track just 6. The extra detail allows for more focused improvement.
The whole system is very clever, with serious commitment, some will gain a real benefit.
Minor irritations exist that Oral-B should have fixed by now
I would be lying to you if I said everything was perfect. The tracking isn’t that accurate.
Some sessions seem better than others, but I will often have the app or stand register a different zone than the one I am actually brushing. Left handed brushing seems to track worse. There too can be a noticeable lag/delay in the visuals.
Marginal improvements have been made over time, but these issues have existed since real-time tracking was first introduced years ago.
Whilst it is nice not to be confined to a strict brushing pattern, for some the option of having to follow a strict pattern of movement would be really useful for encouraging better techniques and habits.
You can achieve similar results for less money without the need for all this tech
To get the improvements you want, you really have to work hard at making the necessary changes. We need to train ourselves and potentially break habits of a lifetime.
If you have brushed for over 2 minutes already in an attempt to get the on-screen visuals to turn bright white, but you don’t manage it. Will you continue to brush for longer to get that perfect coverage score?
Even as someone who tests such products, I don’t regularly use the apps outside my testing.
If you make improvements, the motivation to use the app inevitably wears off. Yes, you can periodically log a few sessions to ensure you are still doing the right thing, but will you? Old habits can creep back in.
And the reality of the situation is that you don’t need a smart toothbrush to perfect your routine. Yes, it could help, but you could save a lot of money by buying a more affordable toothbrush without the tech and instead learning the correct approaches from other sources.
The proprietary power adapter makes the charging travel case less useful
A travel case is a great accessory for a toothbrush. It prevents damage and accidental activation.
The iO10 case holds the handle and 1 brush head. It is well made and noticeably better quality and more durable than cases supplied with more affordable models. But, although rounded, it is quite bulky.
Being able to charge the brush whilst in the case is even better, it makes for a very convenient solution. But, using a proprietary power adapter is inconvenient and bulkier than it needs to be.
The case uses the same 2 pin power adapter as the iO Sense charger.
International travelers are covered with dual voltage support
The power adapter does support 110-240v, so you may only need a plug adapter if traveling internationally.
The cable is 90cm/36 inches in length.
It’s not repairable and the 2 year warranty is average compared to others
Having handled no less than 7 different variants of the iO Series prior to the 10, I know first hand how well built they are.
The iO Series does use a newer motor and handle design that doesn’t have years and years of reliability data, but as an established player in the market Oral-B knows a lot of the failure points and has tried to mitigate these with the iO Series.
That said, the extra tech in the iO10 does introduce additional risks.
I’ve been using the iO Series 9 since it launched in the summer of 2020 and it still functions as you would expect.
As standard, you get a 2 year warranty which is comparable, but no better than competing brands.
Like many brushes today, I anticipate that in 5 or more years, this could still easily be your daily toothbrush, there isn’t a need for regular replacement.
With a need to move to more sustainable approaches, it is disappointing that no parts on the brush are designed to be user serviceable. Yes, this is common for electric toothbrushes.
The environmental impact of electric toothbrushes is on average 11 times greater than a manual brush. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use one. You need to balance effective cleaning and disease prevention against the environmental impact.
With the additional, non-essential technology built into the iO10, plus the extra accessories, bigger box and increased shipping weight the impact is likely much higher than most.
While Oral-B has partnered with schemes such as TerraCycle, it does not yet have its own recycling scheme for used brush heads or faulty products.
Its brush heads are made from petroleum-based plastic, which uses up the planet’s finite resources compared to using plant-based plastics.
Come the end of its life the extra electrical components required for the smart technology results in more e-waste. And this is further exacerbated by the fact that the iO10 isn’t designed to be easily repaired.
If you are concerned about how your oral care decisions are impacting the planet, you should think twice about opting for the iO10.
It lacks some of the smart technology, but the SURI S1 electric brush is far more considerate in its use of resources.
Conclusion: Too expensive to be a must buy
I really like the Series 10.
As toothbrushes go, you will be hard pushed to find something more feature rich. Used correctly, the iO10 can achieve fantastic cleaning results.
The iOSense magnetic charging stand is unique and a more convenient tool for getting real-time feedback.
But, I wouldn’t buy it with my own money and I strongly advise you not to either.
Oral-B and the stockists of this brush are profiteering, even when you factor in the true (average) price of around $320.
You can get an excellent toothbrush from Oral-B for $75 or less. Even if you want the most advanced, go for the iO9. It is easily $80 cheaper.
Had the difference been approx $40, maybe my verdict would be different.
Rather than making the iO Sense charger exclusive to the Series 10, they should sell it as an optional accessory or bundle it with brushes for $30-40. With this approach, it would be a more justifiable purchase.
- Height (without head) – 18.3cm / 7.2 inches
- Height (with head) – 24cm / 9.45 inches
- Width – 2.8cm / 1.1 inches
- Thickness – 2.8cm / 1.1 inches
- Weight (without head) – 131g / 4.6 ounces
- Weight (with head) – 140g / 4.9 ounces
iO Sense magnetic charging stand
- Height – 3.5cm/1.4 inches
- Width – 6.5cm/2.6 inches
- Weight (without toothbrush) – 108g/3.8 ounces
iO power2go travel case
- Length– 23cm/9 inches
- Width – 6.5cm/2.6 inches
- Height – 4cm/1.6 inches
- Weight (without toothbrush) – 139g/4.9 ounces
All are approximates
iOSense button functions
On the back of the stand is a single capacitive button that has 2 functions if pressed.
- Low power mode
The stand enters into low power mode whereby all features beyond charging are disabled.
You need to press it once to activate and again to deactivate.
The activation of low power mode is indicated by the LEDs on the top of the iOsense charger.
- Factory reset mode
Touch and hold the button until the orange light appears on the top of the iOsense charger, then release the button.
Tap the button once again while the orange light is on, to trigger the factory reset.
The LEDs spin orange clockwise to confirm the factory reset. All credentials and settings are deleted from the charger.
How do I turn on or off Bluetooth on the iO10?
Disable Bluetooth by entering the «Settings» menu on the interactive display-> Bluetooth -> disable.
Follow the same procedure to enable Bluetooth again.
How do I turn on or off Bluetooth on the iOSense charger?
Disable Bluetooth/Wi-Fi on your iO Sense charger by pressing the iO Sense button twice. This will enter low power mode. Tap the button once to enable Bluetooth/WiFi.
How do I change the language on the iO10?
Press the lower mode/function button (under the display) multiple times until you see the settings icon. Looks like a cog icon.
Press the power button once to enter the settings menu.
Press the mode button twice to get to Language.
Press the power button once.
Press the mode button multiple times until the language you desire is shown on the display.
Press the power button to confirm the language choice.
How do I reset the iO Sense charger?
Touch and hold the iO Sense button until an orange light appears on the top of your iO Sense charger, then release the button.
Tap the button once while the orange light is on to trigger the factory reset.
The LEDs will spin orange clockwise to confirm.