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Oral-B iO5 Review

Oral-B iO Series 5 Electric Toothbrush Black

Our Verdict

4 star rating

I simply can’t fault the brushing experience you get with the iO Series 5. Your teeth feel fantastically clean after each use.

The iO5 benefits from some very clever technology. If you commit to using it, you can improve your oral care routine and have healthier teeth and gums.

As good as it is, I can’t say it is an absolute must buy electric brush for most people.

The modern design, quiet motor and features are appealing. But, other models in the Oral-B range are more affordable with little compromise.

For those wanting the most capable, other iO models suit you better.

Pros

  • A 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
  • Bluetooth and AI can be valuable to the most committed users
  • American Dental Association (ADA) approved

Cons

  • Doesn’t remember the last cleaning mode used
  • Cleaning mode icons are a little confusing
  • iO specific heads required which are more expensive
  • Better value options exist
  • Bluetooth connectivity isn’t essential and adds to the cost

Where to buy the Oral-B iO5

Here are some of the current prices and retailers stocking the iO4 Series from Oral-B:

Consider these other brushes

Whilst the iO5 is a very capable powered brush, we recommend considering the brushes from our post on the best electric toothbrushes, particularly the ‘best overall’ choice:

Our Choice
Oral-B Smart 1500 Electric Power Rechargeable Battery Toothbrush, Blue
Oral-B iO Series 5 Electric Toothbrush with (1) Ultimate White Brush Head, Rechargeable, White
Brush Name
Oral-B Smart 1500
Oral-B iO Series 5
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
5/5
Approx. Price
$79.99
$119.99
Oral-B
Oral-B iO5 Review 1
Oral-B iO5 Review 1
Ebay
Oral-B iO5 Review 3
Oral-B iO5 Review 3
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
$79.99
Oral-B
Oral-B iO5 Review 1
Ebay
Oral-B iO5 Review 3
Oral-B iO Series 5 Electric Toothbrush with (1) Ultimate White Brush Head, Rechargeable, White
Brush Name
Oral-B iO Series 5
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
Approx. Price
$119.99
Oral-B
Oral-B iO5 Review 1
Ebay
Oral-B iO5 Review 3

How does the iO5 compare to other brushes?

All of the iO range of brushes are far more capable and feature rich than you need.

The iO5 doesn’t feature as much of the technology as the brushes higher in the range, which brings the price down.

But, it does have the real-time and AI tracking that the iO4 doesn’t have. It is fair to say the Series 5 is better and a smarter investment than the 4.

Like the Series 6, 7 and 8, the iO5 tracks 6 zones via the smartphone app. It is helpful to those committed to improving their oral care. But the tracking offered by the Series 9 and 10 is more comprehensive as it tracks 16 zones. 

Essentially you get more actionable feedback from the 9 & 10.

The handles of the iO Series are more stylish and feel better than predecessors like the Genius X

But, the Genius X boasts much more grip on the handle, so it feels more secure in hand to some. The trade-off is that it doesn’t look quite as premium or stylish. And, it is harder to keep clean.

Although many Oral-B brushes have pressure sensors built-in, there is no denying that the smart sensor configuration available here is much more appealing and useful to users.

It would be nice to see this added to future updates of the Pro 1000, Smart 3000 and Genius ranges.

If it’s specifically an Oral-B brush that you’re shopping for, you may find out best Oral-B electric toothbrush post useful.

Oral-B iO5 in-depth review

The iO Series 5 was added to the iO lineup in 2022 alongside the iO4. 

The 5 is designed to be a more affordable alternative to other iO models, whilst retaining some desirable features.

For example, the 5 has the same motor, cleaning performance and handle profile as the 6, 7, 8 and 9.

Find out more about how it compares in my detailed Oral-B iO5 review below.

Variants of this toothbrush

At the time of review, there 2 variants of the iO Series 5 available.

The only difference is the color of the handle, brush head and travel case.

The 2 color choices are:

  • Quite White
  • Matte Black

Each comes with a color matched travel case.

The charging stand supplied with either is white in color.

What’s in the box?

  • 1 x Matte Black iO Series 5 toothbrush handle 
  • 1 x Black Ultimate Clean brush head
  • 1 x White charging stand
  • 1 x Black travel case
  • Documentation
Oral-B iO Series 5 box contents
Image used for illustration purposes

Key Features

  • 5 cleaning modes
  • Built-in timer and pacer
  • Smart pressure sensor
  • Quiet brushless motor
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Real-time position detection

How the iO5 looks, feels and works

The retail packaging doesn’t affect your use of the iO5, but I do feel it is worth a mention.

The cardboard box, complete with a cardboard inner has a very typical Oral-B design to it. It is fairly consistent with other models. However, there has been a real improvement in the amount of information printed on it.

In the past, it would state 5 cleaning modes, but never say what they were. Now, these are clearly identified. Other features are highlighted and explained too.

Somewhat disappointing is the fact that the travel case is wrapped in a plastic sleeve. It must be to protect it from damage, but it probably doesn’t need to be.

iO Series 5 box

A stylish toothbrush handle that is easy to keep clean

Like the other iO brush handles, the iO5 sports a sleek, clean and premium look, which I like.

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

It is the same shape, size and weight (for the most part) as the other iO handles. The big difference is that there is no LED display built into the handle as the more premium models do.

Instead, you have 2 buttons placed inside an elliptical rubber grip. One at the top and one at the bottom.

Between them are icons, which get backlit when a particular cleaning mode is selected. 

The grip color is black on both variants and does of course stand out more on the white handle.

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 5 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.

The iO Series are not as grippy to the touch as models like the Vitality and Genius. But, I can’t say they feel very slippery to the touch. The finish to the plastic is resistive.

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.

Oral-B iO5 in the hand

The iO5 feels good quality and is durable

Although of plastic construction rather than metal, like the SURI toothbrush for example, the iO5 does still feel solid and durable in hand.

Having been making toothbrushes for many years, Oral-B knows what works.

Aside from the aforementioned buttons and cleaning mode icons, you will also find a printed Bluetooth icon along with the Oral-B iO logos in the bottom half of the handle.

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

There is no raised plastic nodule on the back of the handle to stop it from rolling about. But when laid flat it tends only to wobble a bit, rather than roll, due to the weight and shape of the handle.

The iO5 will stand upright on a flat surface, when not on the charging stand.

It’s water resistant, but not submergible

Most toothbrushes, including the Series 5 are designed to withstand the rigors of twice daily use.

Water, wet hands, toothpaste and saliva are all in store for your handle. 

Whilst I don’t suggest trying to submerge the iO5 unnecessarily, the handle is water resistant so a good rinse under the faucet and even use in the shower are perfectly acceptable things to do.

iO Series 5 under a tap

5 different cleaning modes for the iO5

The iO5 has no fewer than 5 different cleaning or brushing modes available.

This is 3 or 4 more than you actually need, but the choice is there if you so desire.

The modes you get are:

  • Daily Clean
  • Sensitive
  • Super Sensitive
  • Whitening
  • Intense
Oral-B Series 5 brushing modes

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

You can continue to cycle through the modes until you get to the one that you want.

The brush will remain set to the chosen cleaning mode during your brushing session. However, come the next session it will reset to the default daily clean mode. It does not remember or stay set on the last mode used.

So, for example, if you want to use super sensitive mode, every time you use the toothbrush you need to press the power button once to turn it on and a further 2 times to change to the super sensitive mode.

Alternatively, you can change the mode prior to turning the brush on. Thus, 2 presses of the mode button and then a press of the power button.

There is a way around this though. Connect the brush to the app and you can change the order of the modes. So, you can make Super Sensitive the first and default mode if you so wish. 

Or if you wish you can actually disable specific modes altogether.

I mention not needing the extra modes. Whilst choice is nice, Daily Clean is the best mode to use for most people, and the Sensitive modes can be beneficial if you want a less intense cleaning action. But, modes like whitening and intense don’t provide any significant benefit to you.

If 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 cleaning mode icons are a bit confusing

As you switch between the modes, different icons on the handle will be backlit. This is to make it clear to you which mode you are selecting.

Perhaps I am being picky, but I think the icons used are more complicated than they need to be.

The icons are as follows:

  • Tooth
  • Plus (+)
  • Feather
  • Plus (+)
  • Diamond
Oral-B iO5 Review 9

The default order of the brushing modes are:

  • Daily Clean
  • Sensitive
  • Super Sensitive
  • Whitening
  • Intense

The icons that light up for each mode are:

  • Daily Clean – Tooth
  • Sensitive – Feather
  • Super Sensitive – Feather and the Plus (+) icon beneath the feather
  • Whitening – Diamond
  • Intense – Tooth and the Plus (+) icon beneath the tooth

I see the logic behind this approach.

But couldn’t the Intense mode have a tooth icon with a + on it as per the icon on the side of the box, rather than lighting up 2 different icons on the handle?

Using the name of the mode is simpler, rather than icons. There is less opportunity for confusion. That is how Philips Sonicare does it.

To be fair to Oral-B, if you pick instead their iO6, 7, 8, 9 or 10, the display in the handle shows an icon and a name label.

If you are using the smartphone app in real-time as you brush the app will tell you which mode you are using on-screen.

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

An essential feature of any good toothbrush is a 2 minute timer and pacer. The iO5 has these.

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 120 seconds of brushing time, you should have achieved an even clean to the teeth and gums.

You will need to press the power button to turn the toothbrush off, as it does not power off automatically as some other brushes do. Well, it would if you left the brush running for 5 minutes, but I don’t recommend doing so.

As you power the brush off at the end of a 2 minute 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.

Around the world, dental professionals are in almost unanimous agreement that 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.

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 smart pressure sensor alerts you when you brush with the correct or 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.
Oral-B iO5 Review 10

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

It is worth noting that the white light can be customized to an alternative color via the smartphone app.

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

If using the smartphone application when brushing you will be alerted via the on-screen graphics only when too much force is being applied.

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.

This smart sensor isn’t exclusive to the iO5. It is available on all Oral-B iO series handles.

iO5 Pressure Sensor

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 iO5 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 iO5 operates at approximately 64 decibels.

To see how this compares to other models, see our post on the quietest electric toothbrush.

The cleaning results are pleasing

Simply put when using the iO5, my teeth felt lovely and clean after each use.

I can’t fault how it cleaned. 

I enjoy the invigorating clean you get from the Oral-B oscillating and rotating brush head. It feels like a deeper clean, in my opinion, compared to sonic toothbrushes.

Compared to the motor in the Smart 3000, Vitality, 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 but retains that satisfying deep clean feeling.

The round brush heads still move back and forth in a circular motion like other Oral-B brushes. This is one part of the cleaning action. Another is what is known as micro vibrations that help to ensure the best possible results.

Oral-B iO5 Review 11

Oral-B has posted impressive clinical results with their iO brushes and there is plenty of additional data from independent third parties that confirm how good the plaque removal is for an Oral-B toothbrush.

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 iO4 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. 

iO5 brush heads are different to most other Oral-B electric toothbrushes

One of the benefits of an electric toothbrush are the replaceable brush heads.

The iO5 is no exception.

You can easily replace a head, by pulling it off the handle and pushing a new one on.

You want to be doing this every 3 months to get the best cleaning results.

But, one thing you need to be aware of is that the iO5 has iO Series specific brush heads.

This means only heads designed for the iO family of electric toothbrushes will fit and work with the iO5.

Oral-B’s brush heads that fit the Vitality, Pro 1000, and Smart Series don’t fit.

This is annoying for existing Oral-B brush owners that might be upgrading and have spare brush heads.

But, perhaps the most galling part is that the iO heads are much more expensive. About twice the price. Expect to pay around $12 per head rather than around $5.

Oral-B iO Series 5 with Ultimate Clean brush head

The iO5 comes supplied with 1 x Ultimate Clean brush head, which provides a very satisfying clean.

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

It is not the only style of head available though.

You can choose between:

  • Ultimate Clean
  • Gentle Care
  • Radiant White
  • Specialized Clean
iO Brush Head Range

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.

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

Be reminded when it is time to replace your brush head

Like a manual toothbrush you should be replacing the iO5’s 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.

To help you change the head at the ideal time, rather than having to remember, the mode button on the handle will light up with a yellow/orange light once the usage time has passed. It will also vibrate the handle.

The combination of light and vibration is your reminder to replace the head.

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.

Oral-B App Brush Head Replacement Reminder

It is possible to customize the brush head replacement settings from the smartphone app.

The app will remind you if you use this.

It 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.

Connect the iO5 to your smartphone via Bluetooth

Making the iO5 a little different to other brushes is the fact that it has Bluetooth connectivity.

It is what some might call a ‘smart toothbrush’.

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, you have the option to pair the iO5 to an iOS or Android device.

The free app available from the marketplaces allows you to customize your brush and log your brushing habits.

Changes and improvements are being made all of the time, but you can customize the order of the cleaning modes, set specific oral care journeys, change the color of the light ring and track how long you have been using a particular brush head.

You will be able to see which cleaning mode you have selected. The screen will change when you are applying too much pressure and more.

Oral-B Smartphone App Brushing Coverage Summary

Track your brushing in real-time

One of the more unique features of this premium toothbrush is the ability to track the position of the toothbrush in the mouth. 

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.

Based on how well you brush, you are given a score.

This score, along with other bits of brushing data is presented in a dashboard that you can take learnings from.

The app looks to build up an average score and understanding of your habits, but you can drill down into individual brushing sessions.

Even if you use the brush at times without the app, the handle will store some of the data and sync this with the app next time.

Without getting into too much minute detail, the whole system is very clever. Conceptually it is a very good idea and with serious commitment, some will gain a real benefit.

But a few of the sticking points are as follows:

  1. You need to be committed to making improvements

To get the improvements you want or the app encourages you need to really work hard at making the necessary changes. Essentially you have to be prepared to correct your mistakes. If you do, this should benefit your oral health.

Ideally, you want to have your phone with you each time you brush, which isn’t something everyone will want to do.

  1. The tracking isn’t that accurate – 6 zones rather than 16

The tracking works, but it isn’t perfect. 

Some sessions it seems better than others, but I will often have the app registering a different zone to the one I am actually brushing. There can be a noticeable lag/delay in the visuals.

The app shows the on-screen visuals based on 6 zones (upper right rear, upper front, upper left rear, lower right rear, lower front and lower left rear) compared to the 16 zones (all the tooth surfaces)  that are tracked on the iO9 for example.

Tracking 16 zones is more accurate and meaningful than 6. You might always be failing to brush the inside surfaces in a particular zone. But, you wouldn’t know this as the 6 zone tracking isn’t as specific.

It’s not a massive issue, but the pacer on the iO5 is set to 4 quadrants, yet the app is set to 6 zones. Thus a 20 second (sextant) pacer might be more useful to encourage even brushing in the ones being tracked.

Whilst I won’t claim to have the perfect brushing technique, I do think it is perhaps better than most. That said, even I struggle to get perfect scores all the time. Perhaps I have faults or it is partly down to the tech?

Oral-B Smartphone App 6 Zone Tracking Timer
  1. Once you have made the improvements, you probably won’t want to track

If you have a terrible routine and habits this brush can aid improvement. But what about when you have mastered it?

Let’s assume you have got a pretty accurate brushing score every time for the last 3 months. 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 have the value and benefit gone?

  1. You can achieve similar results for a fraction of the price 

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.

Get personalized recommendations and tutorials from your dental hygienist or watch some of our oral care videos that show you how to brush correctly.

With a few minutes of your time and several brushing sessions where you really put into practice what you have learnt, you can achieve the same results.

Accessories and extras

Included in the box with the iO5 is a travel case. It 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.

Inside the case, it holds the brush handle and up to 2 brush heads.

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

iO Series 5 travel case

Summary of design, usability & 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 2 colors
  • Separate power and cleaning mode buttons
  • 5 different cleaning modes
  • Cleaning modes icons are a bit confusing
  • Doesn’t default to the last cleaning mode used
  • You can change the cleaning mode prior to turning the brush on
  • 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
  • Additional brush head styles are available separately 
  • Brush head replacement reminder system
  • Connects to a free smartphone application via Bluetooth
  • Real-time tracking is available to encourage better oral care routines
  • The real-time tracking isn’t as comprehensive as models like the iO9 with 16 zone tracking
  • Options to customize the brush handle
  • Travel case included

The battery lasts 17 days on a full charge

Oral-B doesn’t shout about the battery life this brush offers.

The specifications confirm that just like other iO Series handles, you should get 2 weeks use on a full charge.

In my hands-on testing, I achieved 34 brushing sessions, each 2 minutes in length.

That is equivalent to 17 days of use or about 3 days longer than the advertised 2 weeks.

As a general rule, my minimum expectation is 2 weeks for a rechargeable brush like this which the iO5 surpasses. 

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

You get a charging stand, but it isn’t magnetic

Most of Oral-B’s promotional materials for the iO range show the stylish and quick charging magnetic stand.

This is only available with the iO7, 8 and 9. You do not get this included with the iO5.

Whilst the magnetic attachment is a little more convenient, it is hardly a big struggle to pop the Series 5 onto the provided stand.

The included stand is the more generic charger supplied with the vast majority of Oral-B toothbrushes.

It is white in color, irrespective of the handle color you have.

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 which 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.

Oral-B iO5 Review 12

How the battery LED notifications work

The power icon within the power button of the iO5 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 sat 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

Inside the handle is a rechargeable battery.

It is a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery similar to that built into your smartphone and other mobile gadgets.

Oral-B has sealed it inside the handle to limit the potential of damage. 

Water can really hamper electronics. Therefore the handle has been designed to limit the likelihood of any moisture getting inside. 

The consequence is that the brush isn’t repairable at home.

Removing the battery or attempting to do so will basically render the brush useless.

This approach is common across the industry and needs to change, in the interest of the environment.

A battery will often last 5+ years, but it is very handy to have the option at least of replacing it if you need to.

Summary of battery life

  • Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery built-in
  • Expected to last 2+ weeks on a full charge
  • Lasted 17 days in hands-on testing
  • A charging stand is included in the box – it’s not magnetic
  • 2 pin power adapter hardwired into the stand
  • The 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.

At the time of review, $119.99 is the retail price for the iO Series 5.

Whether you are a new electric toothbrush user or not, it is probably quite clear that this isn’t a cheap electric toothbrush.

iO Series 5 box with accssories

Be sure to buy the iO5 with a discount

Quite often you are able to buy electric toothbrushes for less than their suggested selling price.

It isn’t a hard and fast rule, but a typical discount is around 20%.

This brings the cost down to a more reasonable, $96 or thereabouts.

How it compares to other Oral-B prices

It is the iO6 that is the next model in the range above the iO5.

It has a retail price of $149.99. That’s $30 more than the iO5, for the benefit of a display being added to the handle.

But, like the Series 5, the 6 gets discounted.

But as I have already mentioned, you don’t need a premium model.

Something like the Smart 1500 will set you back in the region of $65. 

A quick word on brush head pricing

The brush heads for the iO5 are overpriced.

Oral-B redesigned its range of heads when the iO Series was first introduced. This meant that other brush heads for electric toothbrushes they sell don’t fit.

You have to buy iO specific heads and they are twice the price of the normal heads.

Expect to pay around $12 per head for the iO compared to the $5 of the heads that fit models like the Pro, Vitality and Genius.

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.

According to our research and feedback, affordability and value for money are important to people when buying a toothbrush

The iO5 is going to cost about $96 to purchase.

You then need to factor in replacement heads every 3 months, at $12 per head.

Over 3 years that is an additional cost of $132.

Your total ownership cost is then about $228.

The Smart 1500 is one of the best value brushes on the market, costing $120 over 3 years.

This is nearly 2x cheaper. And for the saving, you are certainly not getting a clean 2 times as bad. In fact, there is little to distinguish between the 2.

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 $119.99
  • Generally available with a 20% discount to make it $96
  • Replacement brush heads cost about $12 each
  • Works out at $228 over 3 years
  • Models like the Smart 1500 cost half the price

My thoughts on reliability and repairability

Oral-B is an established player within the oral care sector and their electric toothbrushes are on the whole very reliable.

It is not possible to say that the iO5 would never fail, but the odds are very low.

There are fewer failure points than more premium models and the fact the electrical components are sealed inside helps limit the chances of failure.

The handle design is newer, but based on a very similar handle that has been in use for a good few years.

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

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

Sustainability

Electric toothbrushes don’t fare well in their impact on the environment because of materials needed for their electrical components, heavy weight when shipping, and the need to be disposed of as e-waste.

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 iO5 specifically:

Pros

  • Recyclable cardboard box and inner tray.
  • No LCD display in the handle like some other iO models

Cons

  • The travel case and brush head storage compartment come wrapped in plastic, which isn’t necessary.
  • The Bluetooth technology isn’t necessary requiring additional components.
  • No user serviceable parts.
    • Removing the battery breaks the brush.

Conclusion

As toothbrushes go, the iO5 is very good.

It has the essential features dentists recommend. 

In fact, the pressure sensor on the iO is particularly good, because it shows you when you are brushing with the correct pressure, not just too much. More toothbrushes should have this.

The iO5 also includes Bluetooth connectivity and real-time tracking. It is more than you need, but could potentially be beneficial in improving your oral care routine, if you are committed.

The consequence is the brush is more expensive. 

It isn’t bad value, and I wouldn’t say it was a bad buy. But you can save a fair amount if you don’t want all the extra tech.

We include some cheaper options in our best electric toothbrush article.

If high end features and the absolute best toothbrush is what you are after, other models in the iO range are better. See our Oral-B iO comparison to find out about these.

Our Choice
Oral-B Smart 1500 Electric Power Rechargeable Battery Toothbrush, Blue
Oral-B iO Series 5 Electric Toothbrush with (1) Ultimate White Brush Head, Rechargeable, White
Brush Name
Oral-B Smart 1500
Oral-B iO Series 5
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
5/5
Approx. Price
$79.99
$119.99
Oral-B
Oral-B iO5 Review 1
Oral-B iO5 Review 1
Ebay
Oral-B iO5 Review 3
Oral-B iO5 Review 3
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
$79.99
Oral-B
Oral-B iO5 Review 1
Ebay
Oral-B iO5 Review 3
Oral-B iO Series 5 Electric Toothbrush with (1) Ultimate White Brush Head, Rechargeable, White
Brush Name
Oral-B iO Series 5
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
Approx. Price
$119.99
Oral-B
Oral-B iO5 Review 1
Ebay
Oral-B iO5 Review 3

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

More Oral-B iO content

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Oral-B iO range now includes several models. 

We explain the differences in our Oral-B iO comparison

We’ve also reviewed each brush individually: 

FAQ

  • Is the iO5 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 5 come with and what alternative ones can be used?
    • 1 x Ultimate Clean brush head is supplied with the Series 5.
    • 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
      • Specialized Clean
    • You can find out about each in our guide to Oral-B brush heads.
  • Does the iO5 have a pressure sensor?
    • Yes, it does.
  • Does the iO5 have Bluetooth?
    • Yes, it does.
  • Does the iO5 have real-time tracking & position detection?
    • Yes, it does.
  • Does it come with a travel case?
    • Yes, a travel case is included.
  • 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 68 minutes, which if used on the standard daily clean mode is 17 days based on 2 cleans per day.
  • Can I use the iO Series 5 in the shower?
    • Yes. The iO5 is water resistant so if you choose you can use it in the shower. Avoid submerging it in water.
  • Does the iO5 come with a warranty & how long is it?

Your Opinions

Do you own or have you used the Oral-B iO5?

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.

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