This is one of our favourite manual toothbrushes, as well as one of the top eco-friendly toothbrushes.
This toothbrush has a number of good environmentally friendly aspects, including the recycled material handle, bio-based bristles and the replaceable head.
This brush also has an excellent grip, and is suitable for left or right handed people.
Although the brush handle is on the pricier side, the replacement heads are reasonable.
- Easy grip handle
- Replaceable head toothbrush
- Eco-friendly and sustainable product
- Company provides recycling options
- Difficult to source (only available online)
- Plastic packaging
- More expensive option
- Larger heads not suitable for everyone
Where to buy the Radius Source
The best place to buy this toothbrush is online.
You can also buy it direct from the Radius Website and get a 10% discount with the code ELECTEET
Here at Electric Teeth, we price the brush over three years to give some benchmark for comparison.
Although this brush can be a bit more costly, the replaceable heads are affordable and come in a range of sizes and shapes.
Although it seems expensive, at the moment it is about the going rate for a replaceable head toothbrush and the heads work out about the same cost as a regular manual toothbrush.
It is recommended that you change your manual toothbrush every 3 months.
You would need one handle and four brush heads per year.
The handle comes with only one brush head and costs $10.
Replacement heads average $3.5 per head and you need 11 of these.
This works out at $48.50, or $4.04 every 3 months.
This is much more expensive than a multipack of unbranded toothbrushes, but the planet does benefit.
Other brushes to consider
The Radius source toothbrush is one of the best replaceable head/reusable handle toothbrushes.
It features in our post on the best eco-friendly toothbrushes.
For a recycled material toothbrush you may also be interested in Preserve.
Another alternative would be a bamboo brush such as Brush With Bamboo, or any of the brushes in our best bamboo toothbrush post.
Finally, check out our best manual toothbrush post if you are looking for some cheaper (but still reliable) options.
Radius Source in-depth review
Radius is an American brand that makes oral hygiene products for adults, kids, and pets. Its range includes a few different types of replaceable head toothbrush as well as floss and toothpaste.
Read on to find out if this could be the replacement for your traditional toothbrush.
Variants of this toothbrush
The Radius Source toothbrush handle is made from recycled materials. The color depends on the material used, and there are seven handles available:
- Wood – medium brown
- Paper – cream
- US currency – dark green
- Starch – light brown
- Hemp – dark brown
- Soda – light green
- Coconut – black
The brushes can be bought as individuals or a pack of six.
The heads available include “soft”, “medium”, and “flossing” although other types of head are sold by Radius and do fit the handle.
Soft and medium refers to the bristle hardness. The flossing head appears to have tapered bristles rather than the bristles being cut flat at the end.
What’s in the box?
The brush comes in two parts: the handle and the brush head.
You can buy replacement brush heads separately.
The packing is made of card and recycled plastic (clear plastic labelled as plastic number 1, which is also recyclable).
- Manual toothbrush
- Reusable handle
- Handle made from recycled materials
- Replaceable toothbrush head
- Large toothbrush heads
- Bio-based plastic bristles
Design, usability, clean & general use
The exact design and color of the Radius Source toothbrush depends on the variant selected, but for this review I have been testing the “Paper” version with a soft head.
Refer to the variants section of this review to see the other designs.
The recycled plastic handle has an ergonomic design. It is designed to sit in your hand and is much wider than the average manual toothbrush. It is also “reversible” and can be used by left-handed or right-handed people.
The handle is a solid color – in this case a sort of cream color. It has Radius engraved on it too. It has a polished, smooth surface but which feels grippy in hand. It is heavier than an average manual toothbrush at 36g (compared to 10-15g from bamboo or other types of plastic).
The material is designed to be a more sustainable option to traditional manual toothbrushes as it is made from recycled materials. And because it is made of one plastic – plastic number 5, it is easily recycled when you are finished with it.
The concept of having a reusable handle toothbrush where you replace the toothbrush heads also reduces the amount of plastic used overall. In this case, Radius claims a 93% reduction in waste.
The head has a long, flexible neck. This is designed to be able to reach the back teeth easily. I found it to have a bit of give but the flexibility didn’t seem to negatively affect the brushing experience as I expected.
The bristles are a bio-based plastic. Specifically these are castor oil based nylon. These are a more environmentally friendly alternative to conventional petroleum based nylon (find out more about what toothbrush bristles are made of and how to recycle them).
The brush heads have more bristles than most toothbrushes. The head width is about 17mm at the widest point and 27mm long, along the exact size depends on the head you opt for. This is about twice the width of a regular toothbrush, for comparison. There are many more tufts than your average brush, but there isn’t any plastic sticking out around the head, which does make it comfortable to use.
These white bristles are arranged on a flat plane. I have not tested the flossing head, but these appear to be tapered rather than flat.
I will say that Radius advises that toothbrush heads don’t need replacing as often as three months, and say their heads last 6-9 months. The number of bristles and bristle material chosen may mean that the bristles don’t fray in that time. But I really would still recommend replacing the head every three months because of the research by Raiyani et al and Karibasappa et al about bacterial build up in this time.
I have tested the Radius brushes. The large handles are very easy to handle, especially if you have any mobility problems. This good grip should also help get the right technique.
This can make the whole head feel bulky, which can take some getting used to. It could be uncomfortable for some people, such as those with smaller mouths or a pronounced gag reflex.
Overall, I liked the brushing experience with this brush. The handle had a good grip, much better than average, and I liked the feel of the larger heads covering more tooth surface.
In addition, the brushes are made in the USA in a factory powered by solar panels. From deign to delivery, Radius try to make as many green choices as possible. I am disappointed by the plastic packaging given their claims to be eco-friendly.
Radius is ADA (American Dental Association) approved, meaning they have been independently reviewed to meet claims they make.
The brush is vegan and cruelty free, and has certification from the Leaping Bunny programme.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Recycled material handle
- Choice of colors and material for handle
- Handle is recyclable
- Ergonomic shape handle
- Reusable handle
- Replaceable head
- Soft, Medium and Flossing bristle options
- Larger than average toothbrush head
- Bio-based bristles
- Bristles on a flat plane
- Good cleaning ability
About Radius as a company
Radius is a proudly American brand. Their products are made in the USA.
Radius also pride themselves on being “woman owned”. Although this makes no difference to the actual product, it may be something you want to spend more money supporting.
Generally, Radius does aim to have sustainable policies. They describe it as “being green for the right reasons”. Whilst no company is perfect, they are clearly making efforts throughout the supply chain to reduce their impact on the planet. This includes using solar energy on their factory.
One disappointment is that within these efforts they still use plastic within packaging. Although it is recycled plastic which has significantly less impact than new plastic. It does also mean you need to put in a bit more effort taking the packaging apart before recycling it, in order to separate the materials.
One thing they include as part of their sustainability effort is having a toothbrush head that lasts up to nine months. They don’t provide links to studies about how they come to this number. Because of the studies I mentioned above that show bacterial build up over a 3 month period, I would not recommend keeping the head for any longer than that.
Reliability & long term use
I used this brush twice daily, for two minutes, for a week.
I didn’t continue to use it beyond this as there are numerous other brushes to test.
But it held up well over the week and there is nothing to suggest there will be any problems over three months in terms of cleaning ability.
As previously mentioned, I do not recommend you keep using the heads beyond three months, despite the recommendation from Radius that the heads can be used up to nine months.
Whilst I agree that the bristles are unlikely to fray and be damaged, there is plenty of evidence indicating bacterial build up at three months.
How to recycle the Radius Source toothbrush
The handle is made of recycled materials to make plastic number 5, which is also recyclable with household recycling when you are finished with the brush.
The detachable heads need to be recycled with a specialist system such as TerraCycle, but this is less waste than disposing of a whole toothbrush every 3 months.
The Radius Source toothbrush is a good sustainable manual toothbrush. The reusable handle, made from recycled materials, is comfortable to hold.
The bio-based bristles on a larger than average toothbrush head give a good clean.
- Height (without head) – 4.3inches/11.5cm
- Height (with head) – 7.2inches/18.5cm
- Width (widest point) – 1 inch/2.5cm
- Thickness – 0.8inches/2.0cm
- Weight (without head) – 1.1oz/ 31g
- Weight (with head) – 1.2oz / 35g
All are approximates
Do you own or have you used the Radius Source?
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.