Our recommendations are independently selected and dentist-approved. We may earn a commission if you buy something. Why trust us?

Oral-B iO3 Review

Oral-B iO Series 3 in hand

Our Verdict

5 Star Rating

The iO Series 3 is a good electric toothbrush.  

It has dentist recommended features and cleans the teeth well.

The sleek, premium design is appealing, as is the quiet motor built into the handle.

It isn’t packed with lots of unnecessary features, you don’t need. As such it is the most affordable iO model to date.

But, brush heads are expensive and this impacts the ownership costs. For the premium, there are limited benefits that make it worth buying compared to our top rated Oral-B electric toothbrush.

Those who want more features are better served by other models in the iO range.

Pros

  • Premium looking handle that is easy to keep clean
  • The small round brush head cleans the teeth really well
  • Timer and pacer encourage brushing for the recommended time
  • Visible pressure sensor – alerts you when you are brushing with the correct & incorrect force
  • Quieter than other Oral-B brushes
  • Brush head replacement reminder light
  • American Dental Association (ADA) approved

Cons

Where to buy the Oral-B iO3

The Oral-B iO3 is available directly from Oral-B, and we’ve included a live price comparison below of other retailers that stock it.

It’s always worth checking eBay too.

Consider these other brushes

Whilst the iO3 has a place, we recommend considering the brushes from our best electric toothbrush post, particularly the ‘best overall’ choice.

Our Choice
Oral-B Smart 1500 Electric Power Rechargeable Battery Toothbrush, Blue
Oral-B iO Series 3 Electric Toothbrush with (1) Brush Head, Rechargeable, White
Oral-B iO Series 6 Electric Toothbrush with (1) Brush Head, Gray Opal
Brush Name
Oral-B Smart 1500
Oral-B iO Series 3
Oral-B iO Series 6
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
4/5
5/5
Approx. Price
$69.99
$49.94
$118.99
Buy Direct
Oral-B iO3 Review 1
Oral-B iO3 Review 1
Oral-B iO3 Review 1
Buy From Ebay
Oral-B iO3 Review 4
Oral-B iO3 Review 4
Oral-B iO3 Review 4
Our Choice
Oral-B Smart 1500 Electric Power Rechargeable Battery Toothbrush, Blue
Brush Name
Oral-B Smart 1500
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
Approx. Price
$69.99
Buy from Amazon
Buy Direct
Oral-B iO3 Review 1
Buy From Ebay
Oral-B iO3 Review 4
Oral-B iO Series 3 Electric Toothbrush with (1) Brush Head, Rechargeable, White
Brush Name
Oral-B iO Series 3
Electric Teeth Rating
4/5
Approx. Price
$49.94
Buy from Amazon
Buy Direct
Oral-B iO3 Review 1
Buy From Ebay
Oral-B iO3 Review 4
Oral-B iO Series 6 Electric Toothbrush with (1) Brush Head, Gray Opal
Brush Name
Oral-B iO Series 6
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
Approx. Price
$118.99
Buy from Amazon
Buy Direct
Oral-B iO3 Review 1
Buy From Ebay
Oral-B iO3 Review 4

How does the iO3 compare to other brushes?

The iO3 is the cheapest and most affordable iO Series brush handle to be launched to date. 

It has a more premium design and quieter brush motor than other iO models have.  But, it doesn’t have the display and Bluetooth connectivity like the iO6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, hence the lower price.

At quick glance, it looks identical to the iO4, but that has Bluetooth technology.

To understand how it compares to other iO models specifically, do check out our iO comparison.

Feature wise, the iO3 is quite similar to the Smart 1500, although the pressure sensor implementation is better on the iO3.

The big benefit of not opting for a model from the iO Series is the cost of brush heads. Stick with the standard Oral-B heads and you are looking at a cost per head that is half that of the iO Series brushes.  

Oral-B iO Series 3 in-depth review

The iO Series 3 was added to the iO range of brushes in 2022 very shortly after the iO 4 and 5.

The Series 4 and 5 represented more affordable options over other iO models as some features we dropped.  The iO3 takes the price point lower still.  But, for some, it might be a step too far as you have lost many of the premium features the iO Series has become known for.

It does though have 3 of the best iO features.  The sleeker design, smart pressure sensor, and improved brush motor.

Variants of this toothbrush

At the time of review, there are 4 different variants of the iO Series 3 available.

Technically, each variant is the same. There are no differences in the cleaning modes, technical abilities and cleaning performance. The difference is the handle colors, box contents and price.

Your choices are:

  • Matte White – $79.99
    • 1 x matte white iO3 handle 
    • 1 x white Ultimate Clean brush head
    • 1 x white charging stand
  • Matte White – $99.99
    • 1 x matte white iO3 handle 
    • 1 x white Ultimate Clean brush head
    • 1 x white Gentle Care brush head
    • 1 x white charging stand
    • 1 x white travel case
    • 1 x white travel refill holder (holds 2 brush heads)
  • Matte Black – $99.99
    • 1 x matte black iO3 handle 
    • 1 x black Ultimate Clean brush head
    • 1 x black Gentle Care brush head
    • 1 x white charging stand
    • 1 x black travel case
    • 1 x black travel refill holder (holds 2 brush heads)
  • Icy Blue – $99.99
    • 1 x icy blue iO3 handle 
    • 1 x white Ultimate Clean brush head
    • 1 x white Gentle Care brush head
    • 1 x white charging stand
    • 1 x white travel case
    • 1 x white travel refill holder (holds 2 brush heads)

What’s in the box?

  • 1 x Matte white iO Series 3 toothbrush handle 
  • 1 x white Ultimate Clean brush head
  • 1 x white charging stand
  • Documentation
Box contents of Oral-B iO3
What you get in the box with the standard iO3

Key Features

  • 3 cleaning modes
  • Built-in timer and pacer
  • Smart pressure sensor
  • Quiet brushless motor

How the iO3 looks, feels and works

Oral-B isn’t going to win any awards just yet for sustainability and environmentally conscious product design, given electric toothbrushes are more harmful than their manual counterparts.

But, the multinational giant has in recent years made improvements, by ditching polystyrene and switching to cardboard internal packaging instead.  This is good to see.

What I also like is that the retail box has more meaningful information printed on it.  At times this was once vague, but key features and box contents are now clearly labeled. 

iO3 retail box

It looks good and is easier to keep clean

When the iO Series was first introduced in 2020, it brought with it a new handle design, that looked much more modern, sleeker and generally cleaner than other models.

Although the iO3 doesn’t have the in handle display like the iO9 which was the first iO model to launch, the remainder of the handle design is nigh on identical.

The handle has a rounded design, with no harsh edges.

And compared to models like the Pro 500, there are very minimal rubber grips.

Instead, the handle is primarily all plastic, but thankfully not the harsh and very clinical gloss white plastic of some electric brushes.

The plastic has a matt color finish. 

It is too somehow smooth yet grippy in hand. It is hard to explain, the coating on the handle just works.

White Oral-B iO Series 3

Where the iO Series 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 Series have a display, the iO3 has 2 buttons placed inside an elliptical rubber grip. 

On the matte white variant I have, this grip is a muted grey color. It is a classy and subtle contrast to the white handle. It is a little more pronounced on the black and blue variants.

The upper button is the power switch that turns the brush on and off. It has a power icon within it. It has a concave design, so it is easily picked up by the fingertip.

The lower one is the mode button that you use to change between the 3 cleaning modes. It has a solid circle in the middle that lights up as part of the brush head replacement reminder system.

The rubber grip is functional and helps retain a secure hold of the brush in hand, but isn’t as effective as the 360 degree grip that wraps around the Vitality.

What this ultimately means is that the iO3 looks nicer.

And because there is little in the way of textured grips the handle is much easier to keep clean. A quick rinse and wipe are all that you need.

The Pro 500 will after a few months of use usually have a white buildup of residue paste within the textured surface. This is almost impossible to remove unless you are very thorough with your cleaning.

iO3 funtion buttons
Grip around the power and mode button of the iO Series 3

The benefit is the handle looks sleek and is a little easier to keep clean compared to those with more extensive rubber/silicone grips. The contours in the grips are known for catching toothpaste residue and being a bit tricky to keep clean.

The iO3 feels good quality and durable

The iO Series has a very minimal design and this remains true on the iO3 despite being the less feature rich model.

On the front of the handle, aside from the aforementioned buttons, there is an Oral-B and iO logo printed in the lower third. 

The back and sides of the handle are free from any notable ports or controls.

Although of a plastic construction it feels solid and well built when in the hand.

It stands upright on a countertop, despite having a recess in the base to allow it to sit on the charger.

Laid flat the shape and weight mean it can wobble a little, but it doesn’t have a tendency to roll away.

The iO 3 is water resistant

This means it has been designed to resist the water, toothpaste and saliva that it will come into contact with.

This does too mean a rinse under the faucet or use in the shower is completely fine. 

However, it isn’t designed to be submerged in water for long periods. If it does fall in a sink full of water it will likely be fine, but avoid it if you can.

Oral-B iO3 Review 13

3 different cleaning modes but no icons or labels on the handle

Over the years of testing electric toothbrushes I have learned from users and dental professionals, that generally speaking 1 cleaning mode is sufficient for most people  

Some toothbrushes offer as many as 7 different modes, but nobody needs this many.

Adding more modes can make the task of just using the brush more complex. This is because you have more things to think about and decide if is this right etc.

And truth be told, I have yet to see any really meaningful evidence that additional modes equal better results.

Yes, there will be some examples, but for many, the differences are going to be marginal and unlikely clinically significant.

Your dentist isn’t really going to be able to tell if you have been using the standard clean or whitening mode.

Over and above the standard clean, or in the case of Oral-B, Daily Clean, if I was to request 1 additional mode, it would be a sensitive mode. Or something that is a little less powerful and a more gentle option for users.

The iO3 has this, which is good news.

The more gentle sensitive mode is an option for those with sensitivity, inflammation and those adjusting to the power and intensity of using an electric brush.

The iO3 does in fact have 3 brushing modes.  The additional mode is whiten.  Thus your options are:

  • Daily Clean
  • Sensitive
  • Whitening

To change between each, you press the lower of the 2 buttons on the front of the brush handle.

Unfortunately, there is no indication from the brush handle itself as to which mode you have selected.

Many brushes have labels or icons on the handle that are lit to inform you. You don’t get this on the iO3.

You will eventually learn the difference between the modes, the sound, and the cleaning action is a little different, but this is frustrating. I don’t think anyone would say that they don’t want some form of label or icon on the handle to tell them which mode is selected.

I will just point out that you can’t change the mode prior to turning the toothbrush on.

Should you want to learn more about the different brushing modes on Oral-B handles, do check out our guide to Oral-B cleaning modes.

The timer and pacer help you to brush for the right amount of time

The default recommended brushing time is 2 minutes.

You should be brushing your teeth twice a day 2 minutes at a time and cleaning in between the teeth at least once a day too.

The reality is far too few do, with the average brushing time being just 45-70 seconds in total per day.

If you are guilty of this, you are putting your oral health at risk.

The iO3 has a built-in timer to encourage brushing for the recommended time, but to also help achieve even brushing.

It is not good to brush for 2 minutes if the entire time is spent brushing just the front teeth.

Man holding Oral-B iO Series 3 to their teeth

As the brush is turned on the pacer and timer are activated.

At 30 second intervals, the pacer kicks in. You will note a pause in the bristle motion, a change in sound and brushing sensation and a vibration in the handle. This is your cue to move from one section of the mouth to another.

This then repeats every 30 seconds, until the brush gets to 120 seconds (2 minutes).

The idea is that you break the mouth up into 4 sections: 

  • upper right
  • upper left
  • lower right 
  • lower left

You spend 30 seconds cleaning each section. As you do, you try to give equal attention to the front, back and biting surfaces of the teeth. 

If you do, come the 2 minutes of brushing time, you should have achieved an even clean to the teeth and gums.

Of course, you don’t have to follow it, but it is good practice.

At the end of a cleaning cycle, the light ring will run through a series of colors in a rainbow like display as confirmation you have achieved the recommended brushing time.

Unlike some toothbrushes, this does not turn itself off automatically at the end of a cleaning cycle. You must turn it off. 

The smart pressure sensor alerts you when you brush with the correct and incorrect amount of pressure

This is probably one of the best pressure sensor implementations in any electric toothbrush on the market today.

Around the neck of the brush handle is a light ring that changes color depending on the pressure applied.

The colors and what they mean are as follows:

  • White  – Low pressure – not enough force is being applied. This is the default setting.
  • Green – The right amount of pressure is being used.
  • Red – High or excessive pressure is being applied and the force should be reduced.

As best as possible you want the light ring to be lit green for the entirety of the brushing session.

Too much pressure can damage the teeth and gums. As such when the red light is active, in the daily clean and sensitive modes the number of brush head movements will be reduced until the pressure is relieved.

The sound of the brush handle does differ very slightly when excessive force is being used. It does not alter the vibration pattern felt via the handle, like Sonicare brushes do.

The iO’s motor is quieter

When the iO Series was introduced so too was a new motor.

Different from motors used in other models, the brushless magnetic drive system used exclusively in the iO Series results in a slightly different, albeit similar cleaning experience.

The motor used in the iO3 is the same as all other iO models.

But another benefit is that the brush is quieter in operation, with a different pitch to the sound. Some other brushes are really quite loud. 

The iO operates at approximately 64 decibels.

Good cleaning results as expected

As you would really hope for, I can’t fault the cleaning experience.

After each use, my teeth felt lovely and clean. 

Just like other Oral-B brushes the iO3’s head has an oscillating and rotating cleaning action. This means the head moves rapidly from side to side in a circular motion.

There is an extra dimension to the cleaning known as micro vibrations that help to ensure the best possible results.

Compared to the motor in the Smart 1500, Pro 1000, and Genius X for example, the sensation of the brushing is different.

It is hard to describe exactly, but it is softer and a little less intense. This is a good thing. But, it still moves in such a way that the cleaning is really invigorating.

When it comes to dental advice and information on how to take care of your teeth, the American Dental Association (ADA) is one of the leading bodies.

Therefore you gain extra peace of mind and reassurance in knowing that the iO3 has achieved the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance.

The association awards products this seal when they are proven to be safe and when they have shown efficacy in removing plaque and helping prevent and reduce gingivitis. 

Ultimate Clean brush head on Oral-B iO Series 3

Oral-B has iO specific brush heads you must use

The number of supplied heads with the iO3 depends on the variant chosen.

All models come with at least 1 x Ultimate Clean brush head. However, the premium versions come with 1  Gentle Care brush head too.

You can learn about the specific differences between each head and why we select each by reading our Oral-B brush heads article.

The Ultimate Clean has firmer bristles that are angled at 16 degrees to effectively remove plaque from the teeth and along the gumline.

The Gentle Care is the softer bristled head that will often be recommended by dental professionals.

These are 2 styles of heads available for the iO Series.

You can choose between:

  • Ultimate Clean
  • Gentle Care
  • Radiant White
  • Targeted Clean (also known as Specialized Clean)

The ultimate clean and gentle care are our top choices. 

You can choose the one you prefer, you don’t have to stick with the style that comes included in the box.

Despite Oral-B having produced electric toothbrushes for many years, the refills for most Oral-B brushes are not compatible with the iO Series.

Only iO Series heads will fit the iO Series 3.

The heads compatible with the Vitality, Pro, Smart and Genius series do not fit the iO3.

These iO specific heads do unfortunately command a price premium twice that of the regular ones.

Be reminded when it is time to replace your brush head

The lower of the 2 buttons on the iO3’s brush handle has an LED in the middle of it.

It won’t light up all that often, but when it does, a yellow/orange light is emitted and the handle will vibrate.

This is the brush head replacement reminder.

When you see this it is time to replace the brush head you are using with a new one.

It is recommended to replace the head on average every 3 months. This is because the bristles on a head become worn and clean less effectively.

If the bristles are splayed or heavily worn before achieving 3 months of use, replace the head sooner.

Once you have replaced the head, you need to reset the brush head replacement reminder. To do this, press the mode button for 2 seconds. A vibration and illumination confirm the reset.

If you don’t replace the head and no action is taken, an automatic reset happens after several days.

The reminder system is a neat feature that will be beneficial for some.

I can see the reminder annoying some users, albeit the intention behind it is good. 

I am a little concerned that it turns itself off automatically after a few days.  Doesn’t it defeat the point? 

But I suppose this is the happy medium to suit all users.

The iO3 is not a smart toothbrush

Unlike all the other iO Series toothbrushes, the iO3 is the only one not to offer Bluetooth connectivity.

As such it does not connect to a smartphone via an app and it cannot and does not track the position of the toothbrush in the mouth for real-time or post brushing feedback.

It is your conventional electric ‘dumb’ brush without all the extra tech.

I don’t think this is a bad thing.

Don’t get me wrong, used appropriately, the smart tech can be good and useful, but for many it isn’t necessary.

Oral-B iO3 Review 14

Accessories and extras

As you will likely have gleaned from the review so far, what you get in the box depends on the variant you select.

The cheapest model doesn’t come with any additional accessories other than those you need like the brush head and charging stand.

With the other variants, you can get a travel case, which holds the handle and up to 2 brush heads.

The case is pretty basic but perfectly functional. It does the job of protecting the handle and preventing accidental activation. 

Holding the case vertically, it is hinged on the left side, opening up like a book.

It is made from lightweight molded plastic and is either black or white in color.

The ends of the case are rounded, as is the top lid. The base is flat, so it sits on a worktop.

Debossed onto the top lid is the Oral-B iO logo with a push style clip on the right side to lock the case close or to open it up.

There are a couple of small openings to allow for airflow so that a wet brush head can dry out whilst inside.

You can also get a brush head refill holder, which is kind of like a separate travel case for brush heads.

It consists of a rubber/silicone base which is flat so it sits on a countertop. On top are 2 raised nodules onto which iO brush heads can be placed. 

An opaque plastic lid or cap if you prefer can then be fitted over the top to hold and protect the heads. It is ideal for storing on a countertop or as a way of transporting heads. 

There is a vent in the holder to allow air to circulate so the heads can dry.

The color of the silicone base depends on the color of the brush handle.

Summary of design, usability, clean & general use

  • Clean minimal look to the brush handle which is easy to keep clean
  • No display in the handle like some iO models
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Separate power and cleaning mode buttons
  • 3 different cleaning modes
  • No cleaning mode labels or icons on the brush handle
  • It has a built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer
  • Excellent visible smart pressure sensor helps reduce the chance of doing damage
  • Quiet, brushless magnetic motor
  • Great cleaning results from the small round brush head
  • American Dental Association approved
  • 1 x Ultimate Clean brush head supplied as standard
  • Additional brush head styles are available separately 
  • Brush head replacement reminder system
  • No Bluetooth connectivity – doesn’t connect to a smartphone
  • Does not track the brush movements in real-time
  • Travel case & brush head holder included with select variants

The battery lasts about 18 days on a full charge

Oral-B’s own website doesn’t really shout about the battery life on any of the iO models, you often have to dig down into the specifications to find it.  When you do it is a bit vague still citing something like 2+ weeks.

What is 2+ weeks? Is that just better than 2 or nearly 3 weeks of what?!

In my hands-on testing, I achieved up to 40 brushing sessions, each 2 minutes in length.

That is equivalent to 20 days of use or about 6 days longer than the advertised 2 weeks. But the average was 18.

As a general rule, my minimum expectation is 2 weeks for a rechargeable brush like this which the iO3 easily surpasses. 

But, do be aware that there are competing products that far outperform in this area.

Oral-B iO Series 3 next to charging stand

A charging stand is included in the box

Supplied in the box is a charging stand. It is not a magnetic charging stand as is advertised with some other iO models.

It is instead the standard white colored countertop charger supplied with almost all Oral-B electric brushes.

The stand has a 2 pin US power adapter hardwired into it.

The cable is about 1.2 meters (4 feet) in length.

On top of the stand is a prong that fits into the recess on the base of the brush handle. 

The brush will only sit one way on the stand.

Once on the charger, it takes up to 16 hours to fully recharge.

Built into the toothbrush is technology to prevent overcharging, so you can leave it on the charger all the time if you prefer. 

The charging stand supports 110-130v. This means should you travel overseas to Europe for example you will require a voltage and plug adapter. Or it might just be easier to source a European charger.

iO3 being placed on a charging stand

How the battery LED notifications work

The power icon within the power button of the iO3 is backlit to give feedback on the charge status of the battery.

If the battery level is good, above approximately 10% the icon will be lit with a white light.

When the battery is low and ideally in need of a recharge, a red pulsing light will be emitted.

When sitting on the charger, the light will slowly pulse with white light. 

Once fully charged the light will go out.

The battery is not user replaceable

Sealed inside the brush handle is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery.

Sealing it inside helps prevent water ingress and any risk of damage. This approach is commonplace for electric brushes.

Unfortunately, this approach also means the battery is not replaceable.

It is rare for a battery to fail. I would suggest that the typical life of an electric toothbrush is in the region of 5-7 years. But, there is a need to be more sustainable and reduce our impact on the environment. The iO3 doesn’t help with this.

Should the battery fail within the warranty period it will be repaired or replaced, but outside this time you have no option other than responsibly recycling the toothbrush.

Summary of battery life

  • Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery built-in
  • Expected to last 2+ weeks on a full charge
  • Lasted 18 days in hands-on testing
  • A charging stand is included in the box
  • 2 pin power adapter hardwired into the stand
  • Charging stand supports 110-130v
  • Takes up to 16 hours to recharge the battery
  • The power icon on the power button illuminates to give feedback on the battery level
  • A pulsing red light means the battery could do with being recharged
  • A pulsing white light when on the stand means the battery is being recharged
  • No light when on the stand means the battery is fully charged
  • The battery is sealed inside and is not replaceable.

Price & where to buy

I have included links to buying options here at the start of the review.

In the section below, I discuss the price more generally and in relation to similar products.

I have mentioned a couple of times how the iO3 is more affordable because of the feature set.

At the time of review, it isn’t clear what the precise recommended retail price of the Series 3 is, but we paid $79.99 to acquire this unit.

Based on other models, this sounds about right as a retail price for this model.

For $80, you are getting the variant without the travel case, brush head refill holder and additional brush head.

Spend $20 more and you will get this.

In most instances, even if you don’t think you will need the travel case, I would suggest getting this more expensive variant if you can.  The additional brush head alone is worth about $12.  Therefore you are getting the cases for around $8. 

Of course, if you really don’t need or want these extras, then go for the cheaper model.

Prices are subject to change and discounts come along

Whilst there tends to be an average price a toothbrush from Oral-B sells for, the prices do fluctuate.

At specific times of year, there can be better promotional pricing or retailers may do certain deals. You will from time to time find retailers essentially trying to beat each other on price, so there can be a few dollars difference between one seller and another.

By no mean a guarantee, but a lot of Oral-B models do sell at around 20% below retail.

I don’t think the iO3 will always be discounted quite this heavily, when you consider its price and that of other models the company sells, but it might from time to time.

That would mean the standard variant will drop from $80 to $64 and the $99 variant with the travel case will come down to $80.

I think over time the average selling price will likely settle nearer $70 and $85 respectively.

At this price, I don’t think it is a bad value purchase, just not the ‘best value’.

Oral-B iO3 Review 15

How it compares to other Oral-B prices

The iO4 is the next model up in the range and that has a retail price of $99.99. Thus give or take $20 premium to gain Bluetooth connectivity and an extra brushing mode.

Above the iO4, sits the iO5, at $119.99.

Below the iO4 in the Oral-B range are a whole number of different brushes, but the Smart 3000 and the Smart 1500 stand out in particular.

The Bluetooth enabled Smart 3000 costs around $85 and the 1500, without Bluetooth, cost $80.

The Smart 1500 is one of our top recommended brushes because of its features and price.

When you consider that the Smart series is louder in operation, doesn’t offer quite such a soft brushing experience, has an inferior pressure sensor configuration and might not be quite as sleek looking, there are many arguments to pick the iO3.

But there is more to it…

A quick word on brush head pricing

The standard variant of the iO3 comes with 1 x Ultimate Clean brush head included in the box.

This is one of 4 different styles of brush heads on offer from Oral-B.

It is the Ultimate Clean and Gentle Care that are our top choices.

The iO Series has its own range of brush heads that work with iO models only.

Brush heads compatible with the iO Series are not suitable for other Oral-B models and vice versa.

Thus heads that fit the Smart 1500 can’t be used on the iO3.

The heads not suitable for the iO are considerably cheaper.

iO brush heads command a premium approximately twice that of regular Oral-B heads.

Expect to pay about $12 per head for the iO bristles and just $5 for a normal set of bristles.

It doesn’t matter what your financial position that is quite a premium for what is fundamentally the same product. 

How the long term ownership costs work out

At Electric Teeth we like to price a brush over a 3 year period to give a bit of a benchmark by which to compare it to other models.

As I have demonstrated, the iO3, doesn’t necessarily seem all that bad value given the competition based on the initial purchase price only.

But, factor in those brush heads and well the differences soon start to show.

Assuming 1 user, you will need to purchase a further 11 brush heads at a cost of $132. 

Add this to the typical selling price of $80 and you have a total cost of $212 over 3 years.This might drop to about $202 if you can save $10 on the cost of buying the iO3.

Compare this to the likes of the Smart 1500 which comes out at $120 and you are paying nearly twice the price for the iO Series 3. You certainly are not getting twice the cleaning ability.

The iO3 brush heads cost $77 more over 3 years than those for the Smart 1500. You can basically buy the iO3 or Smart 1500 again for this price premium.

Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and will vary based on location, supplier and time of purchase.  These figures were correct at the time of writing and should not be relied upon as hard fact, but used as a guide during your decision process.

Summary of price & where to buy

  • List of buying options included here
  • Recommended retail price of $79.99
  • May achieve $10 off the retail price, subject to how prices play out
  • Variant with the extra brush head and travel cases has a retail price of $99.99
  • Replacement brush heads cost about $12 each
  • Works out at $202-212 over 3 years
  • Models like the Smart 1500 are about half this

My thoughts on reliability and repairability

As one the the largest manufactures of electric toothbrushes, Oral-B have a long history from which they can learn from to ensure the iO3 proves reliable.

The chassis and motor of the iO3 is newer than some models on sale today, but the iO9 that first used this new design was introduced in 2020, so there has been enough time to gain feedback and make any necessary improvements.

Having handled and tested all of the iO models, I have yet to experience any reliability issues with the structural design and form factor.

As standard, you get a 2 year warranty which is satisfactory.

Unfortunately, no parts on the brush are designed to be user serviceable. This isn’t uncommon for an electric toothbrush. With a need to move to more sustainable approaches this is disappointing.

Sustainability

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.

Electric toothbrushes can reduce the need for dental treatment. And avoid the need for planetary impacts that come from procedures such as fillings.

There is a lack of detailed evidence to confirm that a filling is worse than use of an electric toothbrush. But, with the data available, dentist Gemma Wheeler believes that a single filling is worse than an electric brush with a usable life of 5 years.

There is no perfect solution as yet. We want to see manufacturers doing more to tackle this issue and achieve significant improvements.

Schemes to recycle brush heads only scratch the surface of what needs to be done.

Related to the iO3 specifically:

Pros

  • Limited box contents (subject to variant) – not lots of unnecessary extras. This reduces the weight of transportation
  • Recyclable cardboard box and inner tray.
  • No LCD display in the handle like some other iO models
  • No Bluetooth connectivity like other models, saving on components

Cons

  • No user serviceable parts.
  • Removing the battery breaks the brush.

Conclusion

The iO 3 from Oral-B can clean the teeth well when the correct brushing technique is used.

It has a 2 minute timer and a 30 second pacer, as well as a visible pressure sensor.

Fundamentally the iO3 has all we could ask of it and in no way do I suggest you avoid it entirely.

But, I do urge you to seriously consider what is important to you.

Are you prepared to pay the premium for iO brush heads, to gain a couple of the benefits the iO3 offers?

You can get much better value Oral-B electric toothbrushes if you a prepared to compromise slightly.

There are also more capable brushes within the iO range if that is what you are after.

If you do think the iO3 is for you, you might want to opt for the variants with the travel case and extra brush head.

Our Choice
Oral-B Smart 1500 Electric Power Rechargeable Battery Toothbrush, Blue
Oral-B iO Series 3 Electric Toothbrush with (1) Brush Head, Rechargeable, White
Oral-B iO Series 6 Electric Toothbrush with (1) Brush Head, Gray Opal
Brush Name
Oral-B Smart 1500
Oral-B iO Series 3
Oral-B iO Series 6
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
4/5
5/5
Approx. Price
$69.99
$49.94
$118.99
Buy Direct
Oral-B iO3 Review 1
Oral-B iO3 Review 1
Oral-B iO3 Review 1
Buy From Ebay
Oral-B iO3 Review 4
Oral-B iO3 Review 4
Oral-B iO3 Review 4
Our Choice
Oral-B Smart 1500 Electric Power Rechargeable Battery Toothbrush, Blue
Brush Name
Oral-B Smart 1500
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
Approx. Price
$69.99
Buy from Amazon
Buy Direct
Oral-B iO3 Review 1
Buy From Ebay
Oral-B iO3 Review 4
Oral-B iO Series 3 Electric Toothbrush with (1) Brush Head, Rechargeable, White
Brush Name
Oral-B iO Series 3
Electric Teeth Rating
4/5
Approx. Price
$49.94
Buy from Amazon
Buy Direct
Oral-B iO3 Review 1
Buy From Ebay
Oral-B iO3 Review 4
Oral-B iO Series 6 Electric Toothbrush with (1) Brush Head, Gray Opal
Brush Name
Oral-B iO Series 6
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
Approx. Price
$118.99
Buy from Amazon
Buy Direct
Oral-B iO3 Review 1
Buy From Ebay
Oral-B iO3 Review 4

Size Guide

  • 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) – 127g / 4.48 ounces
  • Weight (with head) – 136g / 4.8 ounces

All are approximates

Noise

  • 64dB

FAQ

  • Is the iO 3 an oscillating brush?
    • Yes, the circular brush head moves side to side and is supported by micro vibrations for extra deep cleaning. 
  • What brushing/cleaning modes are available?
  • What brush head does the Series 3 come with and what alternative ones can be used?
    • 1 x Ultimate Clean brush head is supplied with the Series 3, but there are variants where 1 x Ultimate and 1 x Gentle Care brush head is supplied.
    • Oral-B primarily offers a total of 4 different brush head styles for the iO range. Each can be purchased separately and used with this toothbrush. Those options are:
      • Ultimate Clean
      • Gentle Care
      • Radiant White
      • Targeted Clean
    • You can find out about each in our guide to Oral-B brush heads.
  • Does the iO3 have a pressure sensor?
    • Yes, it does.
  • Does the iO3 have Bluetooth?
    • No, it does not.
  • Does the iO4 have real-time tracking & position detection?
    • No, it does not.
  • Does it come with a travel case?
    • It depends on the variant selected. The standard variant does not come with a travel case.  But there are variants available which come with a case.
  • Does it come with a charger?
    • Yes, a charging stand is included in the box.
  • How long does the battery last?
    • The battery lasts up to 72 minutes, which if used on the standard daily clean mode is 18 days based on 2 cleans per day.
  • Can I use the iO Series 3 in the shower?
    • Yes. The iO3 is water resistant so if you choose you can use it in the shower. Avoid submerging it in water.
  • Does the iO3 come with a warranty & how long is it?

Your Opinions

Do you own or have you used the iO Series 3 from Oral-B?

Are there certain features that you really like or dislike?

Let us know what you think about this brush and let others who may well be considering purchasing one know your opinions before they do.

About Jon Love

Jon is a leading voice on electric toothbrushes and has been quoted by mainstream media publications for his opinions and expertise.

Having handled & tested hundreds of products there really is very little he does not know about them.

Passionate about business and helping others, Jon has been involved in various online enterprises since the early 2000s.

After spending 12 years in consumer technology, it was in 2014 that he focused his attention on dental health, having experienced first-hand the challenge of choosing a new toothbrush.

Read More

Leave a comment or question