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Best Electric Toothbrush 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Gemma Wheeler

(GDC Number: 259369)

selection of electric toothbrushes on the bathroom sink

This post contains a wealth of information on choosing an electric toothbrush.

It’s based on extensive hands-on testing (we’ve tested hundreds of brushes over the years!) and advice from our in-house dentists.

We’ve got quick answers for those of you in a hurry, and extra detail for anyone that wants to delve deeper.

We answer important pre-purchase questions, such as how much you should spend.

There’s also advice from Dr. Gemma Wheeler about other things you can do to take care of your teeth.

Click a link below to jump to the section that appeals to you most.

And if you’ve got any questions, please ask in the comments.

Our top 5 picks for 2021

In the sections below you can read a little more about each brush and the reason we have rated it as the best in its category.

1. Oral-B Pro 2 2500

Best value electric toothbrush (Oral-B)

Oral-B Pro 2 2500 electric toothbrush
Oral-B Pro 2 2500

Read our full Oral-B Pro 2 2500 Review

The Pro 2 2500 is comfortable to hold with lots of gripping points, and has 2 brushing modes.

In our opinion, the Pro 2 2500 is as close to ‘perfect’ as an electric toothbrush can be.

It is effective, affordable and reliable.

This slim handled brush has all the features we regard as essential for daily brushing.

Included are a 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer, which encourage you to brush for the dentist recommended 2 minutes. Brushing for the right amount of time is one of the most effective ways to improve your oral health.

A visible pressure sensor on the handle lights up red if you brush too hard. Brushing too hard can damage your teeth and gums, so this is your cue to adjust your brushing technique and prevent lasting damage.

The powerful daily clean mode is suitable for the majority of users.

The gentler sensitive mode is good for those who prefer a clean that is a little less intense. This sensitive mode is ideal for those with sensitive or receding gums.

A single brush head is provided in the box. The small round head cleans the teeth well and is clinically proven as effective.

The Pro 2 2500 has a rechargeable battery that lasts around 2 weeks on a full charge. It comes with a practical travel case that can protect the handle and up to 2 brush heads.

Overall the 2500 is a brilliant toothbrush. Despite the huge array of choices this really is a great option and the one we recommend to our family and friends.

2. Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4300

Best value electric toothbrush (Sonicare)

Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4300 toothbrush
Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4300

Read our full Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4300 Review

The ProtectiveClean 4300 is the Sonicare equivalent of the Pro 2 2500 — we rate it as the best value brush from Sonicare.

The features of the two brushes are comparable, but the 4300 is a bit pricier and the replacement brush heads are more expensive.

The handle is slim, solid and well built and does have all the hallmarks of a more premium option. There are some more exciting colour options available, too.

Although the 4300 has a single cleaning mode, it has two different intensity settings. This means you can choose a less intense brushing action if you suffer with sensitive teeth and gums.

A built-in timer and pacer encourages you to brush for the correct amount of time. It powers off at the end of the two minute cleaning cycle, so you know you haven’t brushed for long enough if the brush hasn’t turned off.

The rechargeable battery is impressive — it lasted 5 weeks in our hands-on testing.

When it’s time to replace your brush head, a light on the handle of the 4300 illuminates. Worn bristles lead to less effective cleaning, so this is a welcome feature.

Included in the box is a travel case, which protects the handle and brush head when travelling.

3. Sonicare 9900 Prestige

Best Sonicare electric toothbrush

Midnight Blue Prestige Toothbrush in hand
Sonicare 9900 Prestige

Read our full Sonicare 9900 Prestige Review

The 9900 is the best smart toothbrush available on the market today.

What makes the Prestige stand out though is how Sonicare have actually simplified the ‘smart toothbrush’ experience.

Despite being packed with technology it has been geared to just getting the job done and taking away things that might otherwise distract you from the core task of brushing your teeth.

Sensors track and log the position of the toothbrush in real-time. This is shown in a 3D mouth map, so you can see what teeth you have and have not brushed well. Tracking is good but not perfect.

The brush records how much pressure you use and if you are scrubbing the teeth. Where appropriate adjust the power of the toothbrush to stop you from doing damage.

All of this information can be reviewed in detail when you want. But, the clear colour coded dashboard is most useful, giving key insights at a glance.

It is a complete package with lots of small refinements that just work.

Of course, it cleans the teeth really well. The new A3 Premium brush head is fantastic. It provides the most invigorating clean of any Sonicare head we have used to date. Plus, no more switching heads, the A3 cleans, whitens and helps improve gum health too.

The 9900 offers a respectable 4 weeks on a single charge.

You can charge it with the included USB charging stand. Or, use the stylish and compact travel case that has a USB Type-C connector.

4. Oral-B iO

Best Oral-B Electric Toothbrush

Oral-B iO starry eyed face on screen
Oral-B iO

Read our full Oral-B iO Review

The iO is the Oral-B equivalent to the 9900 Prestige.

Using the Oral-B app you can see which surfaces of the teeth have and have not been brushed very well. It also provides tips on how to achieve 100% brushing every time.

The smart features of the iO are designed to educate us to brush our teeth better.

A revised design in comparison to most other Oral-B models means the iO looks sleek and more current than some of the cheaper options.

The inclusion of a display in the brush handle is, without doubt, a stand out feature.

Via the buttons on the handle, you can navigate through the menus on the display to choose from 7 brushing modes. Needless to say, your teeth feel lovely and clean after each use.

The visible pressure sensor uses a red light to alert you when you are brushing too hard and a green light to alert you when you are brushing correctly .

The magnetic motor is a little quieter than other Oral-B models.

Oral-B advertises the iO as ‘AI-enabled’. This essentially means the built-in technology can track the position of the toothbrush in the mouth.

The iO also charges in as little as 3 hours via its magnetic charging stand and can be charged within the provided travel case.

All very appealing it is, but it does come at a price. It is not cheap and the brush heads are exclusive to the iO. They are not interchangeable (like other Oral-B heads) and they are more expensive.

5. Fairywill P11 Pro

Best budget electric toothbrush

Fairywill P11 Pro Electric Toothbrush
Fairywill P11 Pro

Read our full Fairywill P11 Pro Review

If you have a tight budget when it comes to buying an electric toothbrush, then the Fairywill P11 Pro is a great option.

The Chinese brand has a broad range of brushes and has made a good name for itself over the last few years based on the value it offers.

There was a time when the materials used in Fairywill brushes felt a little cheaper than the more premium alternatives. But that is not the case so much with the P11, which has even won a design award.

It has a 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer. It turns itself off at the end of the brushing cycle, too.

It does not have a pressure sensor, which is a shame, but not a complete deal-breaker.

Most importantly, the brush cleans the teeth as well as any Sonicare or Oral-B toothbrush.

The P11 will cost you around the same price as the Oral-B Pro 2 2500. But it comes with 8 brush heads in the box rather than 1. Based on a single user, this means there isn’t a need to buy more heads for up to 2 years and it works out much cheaper in the long run.

On top of this, the built-in rechargeable battery lasted over 60 days in our hands-on testing. That is double the 30 days claimed battery on a single charge.

The P11 includes 3 cleaning modes — clean, gentle and massage. The LED’s for these modes are hard to see, due to the design. Style over function in this instance.

Having the travel case included at this price is a nice touch as well.

For the price, this is a cracking product and one that would have a price tag of £90+ if it were made by one of the leading brands.

Video of our best picks

The video below summarises our best electric toothbrush recommendations for 2021.

Best Electric Toothbrush 2021

Common pre-purchase questions

Best Electric Toothbrush 2021 1

In this section our in-house dentist Dr. Gemma Wheeler answers some of the common questions we get asked by people considering a new toothbrush.

Is it better to choose an electric toothbrush instead of a manual toothbrush?

Some people will see benefits when using an electric toothbrush instead of a manual toothbrush.

The purpose to toothbrushing is to:

  • remove plaque, which contributes to dental decay and gum disease.
  • remove food debris from the teeth to reduce the risk of dental decay.
  • introduce a fluoride containing toothpaste to reduce the risk of decay.

When asking whether an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush is better, the question is really “which one removes more plaque and food debris, without harming the teeth and gums”.

Studies (reviewed by Niederman and Yaacob et al ) show that electric toothbrushes are better at removing plaque. They also show that electric toothbrushes help with gum disease.

Despite the clear evidence in reducing plaque, there is no evidence to support the use of electric toothbrushes when it comes to reducing decay.

For people wearing braces, a review of the evidence concluded that there is no reason to support the use of electric toothbrushes for reducing plaque on teeth and avoiding gum disease (although this evidence only covered a period of 8 weeks).

When thinking about the safety of your brush, know that both manual and electric toothbrushes have the potential to cause harm when used incorrectly. An example is causing wear on the outside of the tooth by scrubbing too hard. Evidence has shown that electric toothbrushes are of no greater concern to teeth and gums than a manual toothbrush, and some studies even support the use of electric toothbrushes to prevent worsening tooth wear caused by over brushing.

One other consideration is which one are you more likely to use? A toothbrush that encourages you to brush twice a day for two minutes each time, is always going to be better than one you can’t use.

Finally, when thinking about whether an electric toothbrush is better than a manual toothbrush, you will also want to think about the environment. This recent study discussed the greater impact of electric toothbrushes on the environment.

The take home message?

It is a personal choice.

If you are good at cleaning with a manual toothbrush and have no gum disease or tooth wear, then a manual toothbrush is satisfactory. It also has less impact on the environment (especially bamboo toothbrushes).

If you struggle getting your teeth clean enough with a manual toothbrush, or if you suffer from gum disease, then an electric toothbrush is a better option for you.

Will spending more money on a toothbrush improve your oral health?

This depends on your starting point!

If you have healthy gums and teeth, spending more money on a toothbrush will not improve your oral health.

However, if you are suffering from gum disease you could benefit from spending a bit more money on the right electric toothbrush for you.

Be aware, spending more money on a toothbrush does not always mean you are getting a better product.

There are a number of types of electric toothbrush, including side to side movements, sonic, and rotation oscillation.

There is a small amount of evidence showing that rotation oscillation brushes are better than other types of electric toothbrush. They reduce levels of plaque gum disease. But one review rightly points out that the difference is small and it is unknown whether these clinical trials actually translate into day to day use.

The good news is that rotation oscillation toothbrushes tend to be cheaper than other widely available electric toothbrushes.

Apart from this, there is almost no evidence supporting one type of brush over the others. However, key characteristics which may benefit you in an electric toothbrush are:

  • a pressure sensor to prevent over brushing.
  • a timer to help ensure you are brushing for the full two minutes.
  • a good quality toothbrush head which is changed every three months or when you can see them fraying.

Our number 1 pick in the list above, the Oral-B Pro 2 2500, includes all of these.

Spending more money on a toothbrush may provide things like travel cases and better battery life, but these aren’t going to actually help brush your teeth better!

Is a smart toothbrush worth it?

Not really.

A smart toothbrush is one with bluetooth technology. This is developing all the time, and in the last few years has emerged from just connecting to a timer, to being able to connect to an app on your phone.

Some smart toothbrushes also send reminders as to when you should change your toothbrush head.

There is no evidence currently available to support the use of a smart toothbrush over a normal electric toothbrush.

As a dentist, I would point out that many of the benefits advertised by a smart toothbrush can be gained more affordably elsewhere, such as by setting a calendar reminder on your phone, or by learning proper techniques from our videos and your own dental professional.

This topic is discussed in more detail in our article: is a smart toothbrush worth it?

How much should you spend on an electric toothbrush?

Our number 1 choice is based on the best value for money.

You don’t need to spend loads of money to get a good brush.

Actually, many of the best electric toothbrushes come in at under £50.

If you spend more than this you will be paying out for gimmicks that aren’t going to help you get a better result when it comes to cleaning your teeth. The most important things to look for in a toothbrush are:

  • a pressure sensor to prevent over brushing.
  • a timer to help ensure you are brushing for the full two minutes.
  • a good quality toothbrush head which is changed every three months or when you can see them fraying.

These will be included in many toothbrushes coming in the £30 – £50 bracket.

An expensive electric toothbrush will provide some extras like charging cases and better battery life, and if these are important to you then you may need to spend a little more, but it’s not necessary for a good clean.

Will an electric toothbrush help with gum disease?

Yes, electric toothbrushes help with gum disease.

Managing gum disease is all about reducing the amount of plaque on the teeth and under the gums. An important part of this is physical removal by toothbrushing and interdental cleaning.

Reviews by Van der Weijden Niederman and Yaacob et al support the fact that electric toothbrushes help with gum disease. More recently, an 11 year long study by Pitchika et al has examined long term successes of electric toothbrush users. These papers have found:

  • electric toothbrushes remove more plaque than manual toothbrushes, in both the short and long term.
  • electric toothbrushes provide a benefit in reducing levels of gum disease (compared to manual toothbrushes) both in the short term (6%) and long term (11%).
  • electric toothbrushes reduce the progression of advanced gum disease, with users having less bone loss.
  • users of electric toothbrushes, and who have gum disease, are less likely to lose teeth.

What else can you do to look after your teeth?

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Brush for 2 minutes each time
  • Use the correct brushing technique
  • Spit after brushing, don’t rinse with mouthwash or water
  • Clean between the teeth once a day, with floss or interdental brushes

Creating a regular cleaning habit by following these steps will have the biggest impact, over and above the toothbrush you choose.

We also answer more pre-purchase questions in our buyer’s guide below.

Electric Toothbrush Buyer’s Guide

Having given our answers above, what follows below is a condensed version of our electric toothbrush buyer’s guide.

We’ve tried to provide the information we think you’ll find most useful, without getting too bogged down in detail.

If you would like even more detail, you can view our full length buyer’s guide here.

selection of electric toothbrushes

Explaining our choice for ‘best overall’

At the top of this page, we’ve given our recommendations for the best electric toothbrush.

Part of the difficulty in answering the question is figuring out exactly what people mean by ‘best’; do they mean the best once all factors have been considered, or the best in terms of technology and performance?

Generally we think people would like to know which electric toothbrush is the best without having to spend a lot. We aim to strike a balance between the features on offer and the cost. We’ve therefore chosen the Pro 2 2500 as the best, because:

  • It’s not that expensive
  • It comes with a pressure sensor
  • It comes with a quad-pacer
  • It comes with a travel case
  • It has great battery life

The pressure sensor, timer and quad-pacer are features we consider worth paying for and they aren’t always included with slightly cheaper brushes. We give our thoughts on other features and how important they are in the next section.

For those that want truly the best in terms of performance (and if money isn’t an issue), we’d recommend the Oral-B iO Series 9 or the 9900 Prestige, which we rate as the best Oral-B electric toothbrush and best Sonicare electric toothbrush respectively.

9900 Prestige & SenseIQ

If we had to choose between the two, the Prestige just takes the edge as a more complete package, despite the fact that the iO is the newer model.

These are both smart toothbrushes, which we explain in more detail in our guide here.

Both of these brushes offer extra cleaning modes and smart technology, including real-time tracking. But that comes with a price and for some people it will be overkill. Unless you really feel you can benefit from these smart features, avoid them, and save yourself the cash.

Believe it or not the Pro 2 2500, which is some £200 cheaper, can serve you just as well — it is our recommendation for the best overall brush.

The built-in timer and pacer encourage you to brush for the right amount of time, evenly across the mouth. The pressure sensor alerts you if you are brushing too hard, which is a cause of gum recession.

Are there any new innovations to consider?

There are some interesting developments happening around toothbrush technology — “automatic” or “mouthpiece” toothbrushes are one such example.

Y-Brush is the best mouthpiece toothbrush we have tested so far. However, we don’t yet deem any to be a suitable replacement for the traditional manual or electric toothbrush.

There are now various smart toothbrush options as well, which we run through in our guide here.

Are there any soon-to-be-released products worth holding out for?

Ultimately no, there are not.

No upcoming products are going to revolutionise the way you brush your teeth or the standard of clean you can achieve.

It is better to buy our recommendation for the best value electric toothbrush, and perfect your brushing technique.

Of course new products do come along fairly regularly so there could always be something else…

Oral-B has a model called the Oral-B Sense in the pipeline , which it describes as a “fitness tracker for the mouth”. This looks to be an interesting product, but as above, unless you really feel you need the features it offers, we wouldn’t suggest holding out for it.

Very similar to the Sense is the Oral-B Guide. We explain the differences between the two here.

If you are interested in new toothbrush technology, such as mouthpiece toothbrushes, there are a few products due for release over the coming months:

However this technology is very new and has limited clinical testing.

Based on the products we have tested so far, we would not recommend delaying the purchase of a regular toothbrush in favour of one of these products, especially as some of them will not be released until late 2021.

If you are interested in staying up to date with new technology such as this, check back to our toothbrush technology page or sign up to our email alerts.

Other brushes we’ve recently tested

While only a handful of brushes make it into our list of the best electric toothbrushes, we’ve put many more to the test.

Over the last few years we have tested well over 130 different models. The majority of these are featured in our reviews and comparisons.

Rarely will a modern electric toothbrush fail to achieve the basic standards we look for in a brush.

But to keep our overall recommendations simple we use strict criteria and only select a few brushes as “the best”. We explain our recommendations in more detail here.

That being said, we know there will be interest in the other brushes we have tested (particularly the more expensive ones), so we’ve included a quick overview of them below.

Recent years have seen an increase in the appeal and offering of smart toothbrushes.  As you will have learnt, we don’t typically recommend them.  They are expensive, and you don’t need one to clean your teeth well.  But, inevitably, the top of the line models come with smart features built-in, out of the box.  

The Oral-B iO and the Sonicare 9900 Prestige are the two leading smart toothbrushes. We have included them above as the best Oral-B and best Sonicare brushes. They are truly the best in terms of technology. However, we encourage our readers to consider the cheaper options, such as the Pro 2 2500, as these can do the job just as well. 

The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 is another one of the more premium options.  It is an upgrade over the DiamondClean 3rd generation.  You now have a pressure sensor. This is not a visible sensor, but the handle vibrates when it is activated to alert you.

It has a brush head replacement reminder system. An orange light shines on the brush handle when it is time to change your brush head. This is very useful. The negative consequence is the higher price of the brush heads.

The brush also has 3 different pressure settings and 4 cleaning modes. They don’t clean the teeth any better. Nor are they essential, but they offer choice.

The 9000 has Bluetooth Smart features.  But it does not have the position detection and tracking facilities of the 9900 Prestige, DiamondClean Smart or older FlexCare Platinum.  If the app is used in real-time, you get an on-screen timer only.  Data is synced post brushing. It is displayed on the screen in the form of coloured charts.  This data shows performance for the last 7 days only.  It doesn’t allow brushing history and learnings as you might expect.

It is a similar story for the ExpertClean from Sonicare.  It cleans the teeth really well and has a good box contents.  Unless you can commit to using the smart features, there are better value options available.  It does feel awfully similar to the 9000, although cheaper.

The 9900 Prestige is the latest addition to the Sonicare lineup of brushes that offers Bluetooth connectivity. Like the DiamondClean Smart, this does actually offer real-time tracking.  

They fundamentally work the same, but the unique element to the Prestige is that even if you don’t use the app in real-time, the handle stores and syncs more of this data in the background.  You get a mouth map for cleaning, pressure, and scrubbing, something the Smart does not offer. This means you get more meaningful data over time, irrespective of real-time app use or not.

The 9900 is also focused on simplification.  It sounds odd given the brush offers so many features, but it is more about getting the job done and installing good repetitive habits to help you and your oral health in the long term.

It was Oral-B that really pushed smart technology into the toothbrush some years ago. The iO is the latest iteration with even more tech, including a display in the handle.

We have only ever seen it before on the Oclean X.   The cleaning performance was great. The display was touch-sensitive and horrible to use.  The iO’s display is not touch-sensitive.  Despite this, the X has a lot going for it.  It has a magnetic wall mount, great colour choices and it is very affordable.

But, with the introduction of the Oclean X Pro Elite, there is really little reason to opt for the older X variant.  The touchscreen has been radically improved and is a delight to use.  It might not be essential, but it adds something to the experience.  In addition, the Elite is super quiet.  In fact, it is the quietest electric toothbrush that we have ever tested, by quite some margin. Oh, and it is a smart toothbrush too. It sends data back to your smartphone to help you track and improve your oral care habits.

It is perhaps no surprise that Oclean is affiliated with Chinese technology giant Xiaomi. Their Mi toothbrush is another extremely good value option.  It comes complete with, yes you guessed it, Bluetooth technology.  Yet again the implementation of this tech was not great. You need to be quite forgiving to really get the value from it.  These models are not widely stocked, giving favour to those household names. 

Slightly older models like the Oral-B Genius X are extremely capable.  It has more features than you need, but it is much more affordable than the iO.  It does away with the clunky position detection technology used by the Genius 9000.  All the sensors are built into the handle. There is no need to stand in front of a smartphone camera to track the movements, as was the case with the Genius 9000.

Oral-B’s app has evolved over the years. It can be a little confusing. Particularly when there are different configurations for different models.

The Smart 6 6000 is a solid mid-range toothbrush.  It cleans the teeth well, has extra cleaning modes, a pressure sensor and 2 weeks battery life. It is neither cheap, nor extortionately expensive.  It is somewhat lost in the range though. Particularly when you consider the slimmer handled Smart 4 4000.  It offers multiple modes, nigh on identical cleaning performance and comparable battery life.  All for less money.

Oral-B has always underperformed in the battery department.  Sacrifices might be expected for entry-level models.  But, around 1 week on a single charge isn’t really good enough from the Pro 1 680 and Pro 1 750.  For a little extra, you can own the more capable Pro 2 2500.  It comes with twice the battery life, 2 cleaning does and a visible pressure sensor.

Even then, the 2 week battery life is no match for the budget-busting brand that is Fairywill. They have constantly over-delivered.  A month is the minimum you will get from their brushes.  The E11 is one such example. When the battery does need replenishing, you use the detachable USB cable.  Compact and convenient for some.  The drawback here is the proprietary design of the cable and the position of the charging port on the base. 

It is incredibly light in hand and comes with 8 brush heads included in the box. Based on value for money alone, it is simply sensational.

Colgate has for many years offered good value brushes.  They haven’t been absolute must-buy products, but they do what they need to.  Oral-B and Sonicare have been better in product quality and cleaning power.  The sonic cleaning action has always felt weaker and this still applies to the Colgate 250R.  It is cheap, but the battery life and box contents are worse than the 250+ it replaced.  The design is a bit more stylish though.

The Colgate Connect E1 was made in partnership with Kolibree. It was the first toothbrush to be stocked in Apple stores.  But, much of what we know and love about Colgate has been lost and the software experience is substandard.  It simply isn’t a great brush for daily use.  A little more work on the software would have resulted in significant improvements.

No electric toothbrush, cheap or expensive can ultimately clean your teeth better. You have to use it correctly. Improper technique and brushing time is the cause of so many dental care problems.

Mouthpiece style toothbrushes like AutoBrush are trying to resolve this.  They have a brush head that positions the bristles at the perfect 45 degree angle.  But, in addition, it focuses on cleaning all the tooth surfaces at the same time.  Conceptually it is a great idea.  However, in practice, it really does not work that well.  It fails to reach all the tooth and gum surfaces, leaving lots of plaque behind.  And despite being designed to correct technique issues, there is still a technique to use it.  Worryingly, there is a kids version.  The engaging characters on the brush handle might be fun, but it is no replacement to regular toothbrushing.

Y-Brush is better, but only by a little bit.  It is the best mouthpiece toothbrush we have tested so far, but still isn’t a suitable replacement for a regular toothbrush.  Using more reputable nylon bristles, it manages to lift more plaque from the teeth and gums.  The plaque disclosing results speak for themselves.  It is easy to use and has a good battery life.  But revisions are needed.  It looks and feels a bit homemade at the moment. Refinement in the materials and production process are required, as are different sized mouthpieces.  The one size fits all approach means brushing can feel awkward and uncomfortable.

We are all for innovation if done well.  On paper the Waterpik Sonic-Fusion reads like a great idea — it is a combination of water flosser and sonic toothbrush. The thinking is that 2 products in 1 can take up less countertop space, whilst delivering the benefits of both products . In reality, it is expensive and impractical.  You don’t get the choice of different tips like you do with a normal water flosser. Water is fed through the brush head, making angling and positioning more difficult.  The battery life of the toothbrush itself is poor.  And the noise it makes is quite irritating.  It is a shame as Waterpik’s Complete Care range is pretty good. It’s also proof that a separate water flosser and toothbrush is the answer.  

We rate the Ordo Sonic+ as the UK’s best toothbrush subscription toothbrush.  You can buy it outright or subscribe. It is pretty good value, although a little more expensive than our best electric toothbrush, so unless you want the convenience of regular brush head deliveries, we recommend opting for our best value choice above.

How important are other features and factors?

In the following section, we include our own insight on the other questions you may have when shopping for an electric toothbrush. This is compiled having extensively tested the range of brushes available in the UK.

To make things nice and clear we have labelled each with what we consider to be of high, medium and low importance.

How important is a timer?

High Importance

We cannot stress the importance of a timer enough.

Dentists, hygienists, governing and medical bodies around the world are on the whole in unison that brushing your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes is incredibly important.

When brushing your teeth, it is all too easy to get distracted, misjudge time and think you have been brushing for longer than you really have.

Therefore, a brush with a built-in timer encourages you to brush for the right amount of time. It lets you know when the 2 minutes are up. Then and only then, should you stop brushing.

Our top rated electric toothbrush brush, the Pro 2 2500, includes a timer.

How important is a quad pacer?

High Importance

A quadpacer is a very useful addition and can seriously impact how well you clean all the teeth in your mouth.

During a standard 2 minute clean, a quadpacer will alert you when 30 seconds has passed.

You have 4 periods of 30 seconds within the average 2 minute cleaning cycle.

Imagine breaking your mouth up into 4 sections.

In section 1 you have your upper right teeth, section 2 your upper left, section 3 your lower right and section 4 your lower left.

The idea is that you spend 30 seconds cleaning each section.

As you get the alert, you move to the next section.

By the end of the 2 minute clean, you should have cleaned all 4 sections and given an even clean to all of the teeth in your mouth.

Our number 1 rated brush, the Pro 2 2500, includes a quadpacer.

How important is a pressure sensor?

Medium Importance

Certainly a nice to have, we believe it is an underrated feature and particularly useful to first time user.

A common cause of gum recession is as a result of brushing too hard. Bristles of the brush need only skim the surface of the teeth and gums.

Where you have gum recession, brushing too hard will also wear away the outermost surface of the tooth, causing what dentists call abrasion. Abrasion itself can cause sensitivity to hot and cold.

You may be used to scrubbing with a manual toothbrush, but doing so with an electric toothbrush will do more harm than good.

Scrubbing harder is not an effective way to remove plaque and debris from the teeth. You and many others may not have known this, because you have never been told or shown how to brush correctly.

The pressure sensor alerts you via a change in brushing sensation, sound or light that you are brushing too hard.

It is a gentle reminder to use a little less force and help you maintain a healthy smile.

Our number 1 recommended brush, the Pro 2 2500, includes a pressure sensor. We also list other brushes in our post Which Electric Toothbrushes Have A Pressure Sensor?

How important is price?

Medium Importance

Price is not all that important. Our primary recommendation, the Pro 2 2500, is not that expensive compared to other brushes.

Just because a brush is more expensive, it does not mean it is necessarily any better at cleaning your teeth.

More important is regular brushing, with the correct technique for the right amount of time. Get these things right and even a £3 manual toothbrush will do a good job, but there are of course many more benefits to using an electric one.

How important is battery life?

Medium Importance

Battery life need not be a big part of your buying decision.

Over recent years performance and usage time of batteries have gotten better. Most brushes are on par with each other, with an average of around 2 weeks use between charges.

Typically the cheaper the brush the less battery life it offers but this isn’t always the case.

If you do need a particularly long battery life, Philips Sonicare brushes tend to be the best for this.

How important is the cost of replacement brush heads?

Medium Importance

The cost of replacement heads can affect the long term ownership cost, so this may be something you wish to factor into your decision. Typically Oral-B brush heads are cheaper than Sonicare.

It’s recommended that you replace your brush head every 3 months, so if you follow that advice you’ll need 4 brush heads a year.

Official brush heads typically cost anywhere from about £3.50-£8 per brush head. This can be a lot of money when they will only be thrown away 3 months later, but you can save money by buying when there’s a deal on or by buying in bulk.

In most instances you have the choice of opting for a third party brush head. There may not be the same range of choice and the quality may be slightly inferior, but there are some great options at very good prices for both Sonicare and Oral-B.

Do be aware of fakes/counterfeit brush heads which pose as genuine but are often not the real deal. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.

Is it useful to get a brush with a travel case included?

Medium Importance

Even if you are not a regular traveller, having a case makes it much easier to transport the toothbrush and the brush heads in.

When in the case, the likelihood of damage — particularly to the bristles on the brush head — is reduced. There is also less chance of the brush accidentally being switched on. Any excess moisture and toothpaste in the heads remains in the case and not on anything else that might be in your bag; nobody likes toothpaste stains on their clothes!

There are even certain models that come with travel cases that enable the brush to be charged from within the case — no need to mount on a charging stand. Ideal for regular travellers.

We’ve recommended the Pro 2 2500 as our number one choice, which does include a case.

If you’re not bothered about a case, you could go for the Pro 2 2000 which is just the same as the Pro 2 2500 but isn’t supplied with a travel case.

How important is a gum cleaning mode?

Medium Importance

This is not a mode that everyone needs, but if you are in the early stages of gum disease or experience sensitivity in the gums when brushing, you may find this mode helpful to ensure the gums become more tolerant to brushing and generally healthier.

Gum cleaning mode is lower powered than the standard cleaning mode and moves the brush head less aggressively, but in a way that cleans and encourages blood flow in the gums.

Having the mode available can act as a good reminder to brush the gums occasionally.

How important is sensitive cleaning mode?

Medium Importance

Like gum cleaning mode, this is not a mode that everyone needs.

The motor tends to move more slowly for a gentle but still effective bristle movement over the teeth and gums.

It can be helpful if you have tender teeth and gums, and is particularly useful for those with gum disease or going through dental surgery.

How useful are the smart features in the likes of the Oral-B iO and Sonicare Prestige?

Low Importance

Smart features on offer today can be very useful, but they are far from essential. We discuss this in more detail in our post: Is a smart toothbrush worth it?

You have to be committed to making use of them to really gain the benefit, particularly when these brushes come at a premium price.

If used properly, smart features such as real-time tracking in the iO and 9900 Presitge can train you to become better at cleaning your teeth and improve your oral healthcare routine.

They can also add a certain convenience to the way in which we use and interact with the brush.

Sonicare’s BrushSync brush head replacement reminder system is a great example of how technology can be used very effectively — it reminds you exactly when you need to replace the brush head. This is a luxury, though, and only worth paying for if you’re shopping without a budget.

How important is a whitening mode?

Low Importance

Certainly not a mode that is needed, whitening mode is normally just added time as part of the cleaning cycle, which allows for extra attention to be paid to those most noticeable front teeth.

If you are particularly conscious about that perfect white smile, the changes in the bristle movement help buff the tooth surface to give it a shine.

That being said, you should achieve similar results just from brushing your teeth properly twice a day with a regular cleaning mode.

How important is a tongue cleaning mode?

Low Importance

Remembering to clean your tongue in an important part of oral hygiene, but a dedicated mode for it is of low-importance in the scheme of brush features — it’s not worth spending extra money on.

The tongue is home to lots of bacteria and is often one of the major causes behind bad breath.

Cleaning the tongue after brushing, simply by dragging the brush head across it several times can really help freshen the mouth up and for some be a cure to bad breath.

A tongue cleaning mode is just a shorter and lower-powered mode that is more convenient than others available on the brush.

How important is brush head shape and size?

Low Importance

If used correctly, all electric toothbrushes will deliver a more effective clean than a manual brush.

It has been shown that small round brush heads such as those found on Oral-B toothbrushes can have a positive improvement on your oral health. However, the differences are not so significant that a smaller brush head is essential.

You need to consider your mouth, for some a smaller brush head is important to reach certain parts of the mouth.

More important than brush head size is adopting the right brushing technique.

Is it worth having Bluetooth?

Low Importance

It is not essential and we would not encourage you to spend a lot more to get a brush with Bluetooth technology.

You need to invest a little time to get the most from Bluetooth and that may include changing habits of a lifetime.

In-built Bluetooth technology can send data about your brushing back to your smartphone. This data can then be used to help improve your brushing habits.

However this does involve you making use of it and fitting it into your routine, so consider whether this is likely to happen before you spend extra cash on it.

Pre-purchase considerations

Further to the above FAQ, as part of our extensive hands-on testing of brushes we’ve tried to answer any of the questions you may have before and after buying.

Browse the sections below for more information, and feel free to ask a question in the comments if there’s anything we’ve missed.

What are the benefits of an electric toothbrush?

The following are the key benefits to owning an electric toothbrush:

  • Consistent power delivery for a dentist-like clean
  • Can remove up to 100% more plaque than a manual brush
  • Reduces tooth decay and improves gum health
  • Can help to eliminate bad breath
  • Timers and pacers to encourage a 2 minute clean
  • Various cleaning modes
  • Differing styles of brush head to achieve different results
  • Fading bristles remind you when to change your brush head
  • Relatively low lifetime cost
  • Can improve your oral hygiene routine

Read more: Benefits Of An Electric Toothbrush

Is an electric toothbrush worth the investment?


The increased efficiency with which they clean, the convenience they offer and the way in which they encourage you to brush for the right amount of time can certainly pay off.

Whilst there is an initial purchase price, this is offset over time as you could have fewer or cheaper dental bills, not to mention healthier teeth and gums.

Purchasing at a reasonable price helps to ensure the investment pays off. Our primary recommendation, the Pro 2 2500 is a great example of this — it includes the ‘core’ features we recommend having, but doesn’t pile on unnecessary extras.

Read more: Benefits Of An Electric Toothbrush

Is an electric toothbrush better than a manual toothbrush?

The short answer is yes, electric is better than manual toothbrush when it comes to effectively cleaning your teeth.

We will be the first to say a manual brush is adequate for daily teeth cleaning, but the clinical studies and trials show how an electric brush is better.

The most important thing is that you brush your teeth with the right technique, for two minutes twice a day.

Read more: Electric Toothbrush Vs Manual

Do electric toothbrushes damage teeth?


When used correctly, an electric toothbrush does not damage the teeth or gums.

Read more: Do Electric Toothbrushes Damage Teeth?

Do electric toothbrushes cause gum recession?

No, the toothbrush itself does not cause gum recession.

It can exaggerate or accelerate recession, but this is as a result of user (human) error rather than the action of the brush.

Read more: Do Electric Toothbrush Cause Gum Recession

Do electric toothbrushes whiten teeth?

Yes, they can help whiten teeth.

However, no brush can whiten teeth beyond their natural whiteness.

The regularity with which you clean, your diet, lifestyle and toothpaste can all have a bearing.

Read more: Do Electric Toothbrushes Whiten Teeth?

How long do electric toothbrushes last?

The average life span of an electric toothbrush is around 5 years.

Manufacturers normally offer a 2 year warranty should the brush fail sooner.

But some brushes will last a lot longer — we know of people still using electric toothbrushes that are 10 years old.

Read more: How Long Do Electric Toothbrushes Last?

Can you share an electric toothbrush?

Although almost one in ten (9.7 percent) said they had shared a toothbrush (Oral Health Foundation, 2014) it is not advised.

Bristles of the brush head can harbour bacteria and germs that can have a negative consequence on your health when shared.

The interchangeable brush heads of an electric toothbrush make sharing a brush handle easier and possible.

In fact we are advocates of sharing the handle (not the brush head) as it is a great way to keep ownership costs down and get extra value from your toothbrush.

Read more: A guide to sharing an electric toothbrush

Can electric toothbrushes get wet?


With few exceptions electric toothbrushes are designed in such a way that they can be rinsed under a tap for cleaning, wiped with a cloth and exposed to water.

The vulnerable electronics are sealed inside the brush handle with measures in place to stop water from getting in.

Different manufacturers have different advice and guidance on using in the shower, for example. At no point should the brush be submerged in water.

Read more: Can Electric Toothbrush Get Wet

Other pre-purchase topics

Useful post-purchase information

As well as helping you before you buy a toothbrush, we’d also like to help you with any questions you may have once you do own one.

Below are some of the topics we get asked about the most, as well as issues we’ve run into ourselves:

Fun & Interesting Toothbrush Topics

To really get to know electric toothbrushes inside-out, we’ve also written about some other topics that aren’t necessarily part of the buying decision, but have still captivated us nonetheless.

Electric Toothbrush Reviews

We’ve reviewed nearly all of the electric toothbrushes available in the UK.

We’ve listed our latest reviews below, or you can use the search box at the top of the page if there’s a particular review you are looking for.

You can see the full list on our electric toothbrush reviews page.

Electric Toothbrush Comparisons

As well as reviewing brushes, we also compare similar brushes side by side.

Below you can find some of our most popular comparisons, or you can view our complete list of electric toothbrush comparisons here.

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

58 thoughts on “Best Electric Toothbrush 2021”

  1. Thanks for this review! Now I’m convinced to get Oclean X Pro Elite. I’m gonna head out to their website now ’cause I heard they have it on promo. 🙂

  2. I have oclean elite x pro and it’s super simple to set up and use. Really like the timer and visual features for each section of your mouth. Definitely one of the best I’ve tried.

  3. Hello, i wanted to ask which mid-range
    Sonicare is the best in your opinion? Something more expensive than ProtectiveClean 4300, I live in EU.

    • Hi Casper.

      For what reason do you want a more expensive model? This will help me give a better recommendation.

  4. Hi , I have an Omron HP-B201 toothbrush ,but I can’t find new head brushes .Is the brush of pro clinical Colgate-Omron compatible with my brush ?
    Thank you for this article .

    • Hi Irene.

      I have to be honest and say this is not a brush I have come across before, used or know much about. It is possible that Colgate brush heads may work, but a quick web search turns up nothing conclusive.

      I think the best action to take is contact Omron themselves for advice.

  5. Hi,

    I’m looking forward to buy an electric toothbrush, after researching I’m trying to decide between 2. Both are from Oral-b, one it the Pro 2 for 35€ or the Genius 8000 for 85€. Does the Genius 8000 worth the 50€ more then the Pro 2??

    • For most people no. The Pro 2 series gives what you need.

      The Genius 8000 has more features that some may like, but are by no means essential. If you want to connect the brush to a smartphone for example, then this is a brush to consider, but assuming not, I would advise the Pro 2.

  6. Hi Jon
    Looking for an Oral-B & would appreciate your opinion as undecided. Have problem with ‘pockets’ and receding gums (years of hard brushing manually!) so hygienist every 3 months. 2000/2500 is option for good basic clean, 4000 is reviewed as best for gums, G9000 has the app for best brushing but not sure if I would use that all the time? But then all the others, so your advice please, thank you.

    • Hi Elaine,

      Thanks for your question.

      The main features to make sure you have are a pressure sensor and sensitive cleaning mode, which are both included with the Smart 4 4000. It’s then worth giving Oral-B’s sensitive brush heads a try — we have written about them in our guide to Oral-B brush heads.

      Our take on the app that is included with the Genius 9000 is that it takes a good degree of commitment to really make the most of it. If you are already confident with your brushing technique you are unlikely to gain much from it. An initial step could be to get your hygienist to check your brushing technique. We also have our own guide and videos that demonstrate the correct technique here.

      So in summary it is probably worth spending on the Smart 4 to get the sensitive cleaning mode, but the extra expense of one of the smart toothbrushes may not be worth it.

  7. I always use this toothbrush I feel the battery life is not 2 weeks after a few weeks it only lasts a couple of days this has happened with all oral b brushes I would also ask that it comes with head cover not very hygenic when storing on charger

    • Hi Isabella.

      I presume you are referring to our top pick, the Pro 2 2500. If the fully charged battery is not lasting more than a few days, there might well be an issue with it and I would suggest you speak to Oral-B about potentially have it repaired.

      Understood about the cover, but not having a cover on it, also allows the air to get to and around the bristles with more ease. A cover on a brush head can actually help bacteria grow because the bristles do not dry.

  8. You wrote that the smart 4 4000 is the most recommended toothbrush for receding gums and sensitive teeth because it is the cheapest Oral-B brush to offer a sensitive cleaning mode.
    But as I read in other articles in your sit there are many “oral b pro” models that also has sensitive mode (like the pro 2 2500)
    Wil be happy if you could explain in more details why the smart 4 4000 is the best for sensitive teeth (as you also wrote in separate article…) and why the pro 2 2500 isn’t suitable for this need?
    Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Shay,

      Thanks for the comment and question, it is indeed very valid.

      The honest answer is it is not so much the case that the Pro 2 2500 is not suitable, it certainly is an option. There are many possible choices and picking a ‘best’ brush isn’t always the easiest.

      Whilst it will not be for everyone, the smart features of the 4 4000 does too give tracking options and the ability to log cleaning routines which can act as encouragement and proof for some that they are working towards improving their oral health.

      Exacerbating the situation somewhat is that for some time we were understood that the Oral-B Pro 2 2500 had 2 modes, Daily Clean & Gum Care. However, we have recently had confirmation that the modes are actually Daily Clean & Sensitive. A small but subtle difference. This confusion came as a result of misleading information across various marketing materials and descriptions that exist for this product.

      There is very little difference between these modes and both do a similar job, but you can perhaps see why the Smart 4 4000 became the recommendation as it was our understanding that the Pro 2 2500 did not have the slowest and most gentle gum care mode.

      Since having confirmation of this cleaning mode error, we have updated the majority of content across our site to reflect this, but haven’t yet completed every change. This includes reviewing recommendations like the Smart 4 4000 as the best electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth. IN truth, there is a very high likelihood we will switch the recommendation to the Pro 2 2500 for the value it delivers.

      So, in short the Pro 2 2500 is an option and this is why the Smart 4 is currently our pick.

  9. Thank you very much for your consideration…i appreciate your advice, I believe I’ll go towards a Sonicare.
    One last thing: do you believe the Protectiveclean 4500 HX6830/44 is a better buy than the Hx6511/50, considering that in my region the price difference is only 13€ between the two?

  10. Thank you, you truly are a benchmark in this argument. I’m trying to decide which to buy today between the Sonicare Hx6511/50 and the Oral-B PRO 2 2500…
    I value quietness and overall cleaning capability; any advice?

    • Juan.

      I would go with the Sonicare Hx6511/50.

      There is some clinical evidence that the Oral-B cleans better overall. However, the differences are minimal and is not an issue to be too worried about. The Sonicare is much quieter than Oral-B. So based on this, I think Sonicare.

  11. Thanks so much for cutting through all the twaddle!
    I read nearly everything and it was very useful.
    I have a preference for Sonicate but I can’t afford the all singing and dancing one in your current list. I particularly want to look after my gums – previously they were in a dreadful state and I don’t want to go back there. And I have TMJD and have just cracked a molar.
    If you have time would you mind giving me be a recommendation for a Sonicare un to £100? I think it’s worth investing in a good toothbrush (and using it properly) but I don’t want to chuck money away for the sake of it..
    I will tell my dentist how useful your site is.

  12. Hello! Thanks for the great information there!
    I’d like to ask, the retail store here is selling Oral-B Smart 4 4000 (with 3 refills) and Oral-B Smart 7 7000 (with 1 refill) at the same price, which is AUD99. I couldn’t find any video or review on the Smart 7, therefore I’m having quite a hard time to decide on which one to get? I hope that you’d spare me some suggestions, thanks a lot!

    • Hi Jason. Thanks for the question.

      I think you asked this question on our Facebook page also, so I am sharing the reply here too.

      Being based in the UK, I have not gone hands-on with the Smart 7 7000, but having looked it appears to be very similar to a model we have in the UK called the Smart 6 6000.

      Truthfully there isn’t much between these 2 models they both clean well, have built-in pressure sensors, timer and 2 week battery life.

      The key differences are:

      The Smart 4 4000 is a little slimmer in hand and has 3 cleaning modes.
      The Smart 7 7000 has 6 modes.
      The Smart 7 7000 comes with a travel case and the Smart 4 4000 does not.
      The Smart 4 4000 comes with a brush head storage compartment, that the Pro 7 does not.

      Either are good brushes, but seeing as they are the same price I would pick the Smart 7.

      I hope this helps.

  13. Thanks for a great summary. I have decided to buy oral b genius x, but I wonder if you know the difference between genius x 20000, 20100 and 20200? I can’t find information about it.

    • Hi Kari,

      Thanks for the question.

      The key differences between these models are what countries they are available in and what is included in the box.

      At the time of writing, the 20100 and 20200 are not available in the UK, but are models available in other European countries.

      The key differences as far as I can tell are:

      The 20000 comes with:
      – 1 x Oral-B Genius X toothbrush handle
      – 4 x brush heads
      – 1 x 2 pin charging stand
      – 1 x Charging travel case
      – 1 x 2 pin power adapter for the travel case
      – User manual/warranty documentation

      The 20100 comes with:
      – 1 x Oral-B Genius X toothbrush handle
      – 1 x brush heads
      – 1 x 2 pin charging stand
      – 1 x Charging travel case
      – 1 x 2 pin power adapter for the travel case
      – 1 x Brush head stand (fits around charging stand)
      – User manual/warranty documentation

      The 20200 comes with:
      – 1 x Oral-B Genius X toothbrush handle
      – 2 x brush heads
      – 1 x 2 pin charging stand
      – 1 x Charging travel case
      – 1 x 2 pin power adapter for the travel case
      – 1 x Brush head stand (fits around charging stand)
      – User manual/warranty documentation

  14. Thanks very much for the exceptional detail as always.

    Our children have always had electric brushes and are now 8. We are looking at buying either the Sonicare for Kids, or the Pro 2 2500 with sensitive brush heads. Both children are very used to using electric brushes and so we are thinking that the ‘adult’ version with soft heads may be the preferred option.

    Would be most grateful for your thoughts, and my thanks again for all the great info!

    • Hi Peter.

      Thanks for the kind words.

      I would agree with your thinking.

      8 years old is about the earliest you can or would want to switch children over to an ‘adult’ toothbrush.

      The Pro 2 2500 would be ideal. The small round brush head. The built in 2 minute timer, 30 second pacer and pressure sensor. The soft bristles of the brush head (assuming you pick the sensitive style brush head).

      If you have any other questions, let me know.

    • Hi Hongxin,

      The battery life data is compiled by ourselves.

      With all the brushes we review, we test the battery life.

      Once a brush is fully charged, we run the toothbrush through their standard cleaning cycle until the battery is discharged.

      We have taken the data we have and placed it in the chart shown.

  15. hello,
    I would like to buy 4 electric toothbrushes for my family members for regular daily oral hygiene. Could you possibly suggest the best possible budget-friendly item in the market regarding technology and efficiency?

    • Hi.

      My first question would be do you need 4 separate electric toothbrushes or could the members of the family share 1 brush handle, but each have their own brush head?

      In either situation, the Oral-B Pro 2 2500 is a good option, but I appreciate it is not the cheapest. Therefore, the Fairywill FW-917 or the Oral-B Pro 600 would be brushes to consider as these costs £20-25 on average.

      If the family members could share a brush handle and you want to keep the costs down, go for the Oral-B Pro 2 2500 and then buy brush heads for each user. You may then want to buy this accessory, that clips to the charging stand and gives a place to store the brush heads when not in use.

      I hope this helps. If you need more info or assistance, let me know.

  16. Hi Jon, love the reviews!

    I live in Australia and the Oral-B Pro 2 2500N and the Smart 5 5000 are the same price (£40). The Genius 9000 is on sale for £63. Do these brushes all provide the same clean (i.e. same oscillations/strokes/movements)? If so, the best brush to get if I do not want the bluetooth functions would be the Smart 5 5000 (as it is newer than the Pro 2 2500)?


    • Hi Merrideth,

      Thanks for the comment.

      The power of the Pro 2 2500 and Smart 5 5000 are the same, although the Genius 9000 is a little more powerful.

      Whilst the brushes have different cleaning modes, the basic cleaning action is the same on all models. Although the Genius 9000 is more powerful and can technically clean the teeth more effectively in reality the difference is very small given the Pro/Smart Series are already powerful.

      If you don’t want Bluetooth then there is little point going for the Smart or Genius Series really, despite them being at a very good price.

      Although the Smart 5 5000 did launch fractionally after the Pro 2 2500, it wasn’t long after, so the Pro 2 2500 is the brush to go for.

      I hope that helps, any questions, let me know.

  17. What are the advantages of a sonic toothbrush over a standard electric one. I’ve been told by my dentist to use a sonic one to help prevent plaque…. true or false?

    • Hi Colin.

      I am not sure what you/your dentist mean by a ‘standard electric toothbrush’. I suspect this is a referral to a more tried and tested (recognised brand) electric toothbrush in comparison to a unknown, cheap electric brush.

      A toothbrush in itself does not prevent plaque.

      A toothbrush helps removes plaque more effectively. Sonic electric toothbrushes like those from Philips Sonicare and Oral-B are proven to be better at removing plaque than a manual brush, when used correctly.

      I hope this helps. If you need more information, please let me know.

  18. HI Jon, do you know if my Oral B pro 2000 brush heads will fit the new 2.2500 i am thinking of buying?

    Great website and videos many thanks for all your hard work and research you have put in. good luck for the future.


    • Hi Tom,

      Thanks for the kind words.

      I can confirm that the brush heads that fit to the Oral-B Pro 2000 will work with the new Pro 2 2500.

      All Oral-B brush heads are interchangeable. This means you can use any Oral-B head on any Oral-B brush handle.

      To find out more, you could take a look at our Oral-B brush heads explained article.

  19. I have a small hand and small mouth, and I find the cylindrical shape of electric brush handles very hard to manage. As it gets wet from toothpaste, saliva etc, it slips in my hand and I’ve bruised my mouth a couple of times. It must be possible to shape the handle a bit to make it easier to grip, but I’m not aware of any manufacturer who has addressed this problem yet. Surely I can’t be the only person with this problem?

    • Hi Clare,

      Some models like the Oral-B Vitality have a more tapered design to the handle (wider at top and slimmer at the bottom) which means they are not all slim and perfectly cylindrical.

      There is also the Oral-B Smart Series 6500, which is a little more angular in its design and far from perfectly cyclindrical.

      We will be in the future looking at toothbrushes that have different designs and cater to different user needs, particularly those with disabilities.

      Far from an elegant solution some wrap tape or elastic bands around the handles to thicken them up and make them more grippy and less rounded.

  20. The Oral-B 2000/2500 do sound like good value but Amazon reviews suggest quality control issues with the battery. Even excluding some reviews of possible defects, there are quite a few people suggesting that it will not hold a charge well after only a few months (needs recharging every day or two).

    Do you ever look at long-term battery capacity? Some people presumably look to replace their 5-10-year-old brush because the battery is getting annoying, and ending up in the same situation after only a couple of months would be very frustrating.

    • Thanks for the comment.

      Battery defects can occur but they are rare in the scheme of things now.

      You need to pay attention to when the review was placed on Amazon because they do something silly when updating brushes which means the reviews are not wholly accurate.

      Before the Pro 2 2500 was the Pro 2500. However when the Pro 2 2500 launched they just updated the older Pro 2500 product page. This means a large number of reviews actually relate to the older brush.

      The newer Pro 2 2500 has a new battery which uses a different technology and lasts twice as long between charges.

      As best as possible we test brushes over long periods. We have 3 people using the Pro 2 2500 for several months now without issue. We don’t run detailed scientific tests though.

      I hope this helps

      • I’m aware of that strange policy they have. However, I’m not talking about how long it lasts between charges, but how long it continues meet that standard as it ages: e.g. it lasts two weeks between charges, but after the first couple of months this stops being the case and it needs charging every day. You would want and expect a lithium ion battery to continue to hold capacity for several years as it does in other consumer electronics.

        Both that complaint and total duds (needs charging every time from near the start, discharges itself dramatically whilst not being used, fails to recognise it is charge etc.) appear to be common reports, even in recent and verified reviews.

        • Hi Sambe,

          I can’t speak first hand of having had any issues with the battery life failing/worsening withing a few months. I am sure some have, but the nature of electronic goods is some will sadly fail.

          All of our users are reporting good battery life.

          I personally have had an Oral-B Genius 9000 since the day it was launched and it continues to perform as well as it did the day it came out the box, it only ever goes on the charging stand when the brush is basically out of power.

          Should you buy a brush and notice an issue, the battery should be covered under warranty, which as standard is 2 years, but can be extended to 3 if you register the brush online after purchase.

  21. It would be interesting to see a “best ultrasonic” toothbrush (not a sonic toothbrush – see Wikipedia) since these are becoming quite popular.

    • Hi Hugo.

      You are quite correct that there is a different type of brush, called ultrasonic, which we are aware of ourselves.

      We have not yet compiled a list of the ‘best ultrasonic brushes’ like we have for sonic brushes, because whilst popularity has increased in recent years, public awareness is actually relatively low.

      There is also the issue of availability. In the UK, few are available, whereas in some other markets, such as Germany, Russia and USA they are more commonplace.

      That said, we do highlight a few notable examples here, so hopefully this helps.

  22. Hi Jon,

    Thanks for all the detailed info and reviews available in the website.
    Initially I was thinking about buying a Sonicare toothbrush, especially because most of them are less noisy than the Oral-B ones (they seem to be really noisy), however given that it’s my first buy and the Philips products are quite expensive I decided to go for an Oral-B.

    As I have very sensitive teeth and gums I narrowed down my search to two cheaper models, the Pro 3000 and the Pro 2 2500.
    I can see basically two main differences between them (not considering cases or extra brushes):
    1) The Pro 2 2500 like the other newer models has a Lithium Ion battery and so it’s lasting longer.
    2) The Pro 3000 has an additional cleaning mode for sensitive teeth.
    However looking at your reviews (and cleaning mode guide) the difference between the “Gum Care” and “Sensitive” modes is quite unclear, they seem to be very similar. Do you know more about that?

    • Marco.

      The options you have chosen seem sensible.

      Sonicare are much quieter, but as you say tend to command a premium price, so going for an Oral-B is perhaps a good option for your first brush.

      Gum care and sensitive cleaning modes are very similar in the speed of the brush head.

      To be honest, I cannot provide much more information aside from the speed. In my personal opinion they achieve a similar result. Both are more gentle than the standard cleaning mode.

      I do not suffer with sensitive teeth or have and gum conditions that would ultimately influence me to need the softer mode on a regular basis.

      There is little information that I am aware of that tells a deeper story about how they differ and achieve different results. I have not seen evidence (clinical studies) to show how significantly different they are in achieving different results from different users.

      If I were to make a sweeping generalisation, the sensitive mode is better for those who really do not like the extra power of the standard mode or are finding it harder to transition from manual to electric toothbrush. Because it is slower, everything is a bit softer.

      The gum cleaning mode is going to be the best at promoting better oral health, particularly as during the cleaning the speed of the brush head is changing, helping stimulate the gum tissues.

      If you have generally healthy teeth and gums, I would not worry too much and would of for the Pro 2 2500.

      I hope this helps.

  23. If a sonic toothbrush uses sound vibrations to clean plaque from teeth, why doesn’t that happen already when you talk? After all, the sound of your voice hits your teeth before it even leaves your mouth. How about if you talk louder, does that work? Should we spend extra time talking as well as brushing? Genuine scientific questions.

    • I am no scientist Robert, but its all to do with the frequency of sound waves, the human voice does not create fast enough moving sound waves as I understand it to make such possible.

  24. Hello 🙂
    Earlier in your article you mentioned about fake toothbrushes and that they can cause various injuries. Can’t even imagine what kind of a hurt can fake electric toothbrush cause. Can you please shed some light on this, Much thanks.


    • Viktor,

      It tends to be brush heads that are the problem. Fakes are made often from cheaper grade plastic with less strength and testing going into them.

      The plastics can snap/break and cut the gums and cheeks in some instances.

      Also poorly cut or formed bristles can do damage to the gum line.

      More information is available here on what to look for between real and fake heads.

    • Hi Ivy.

      Thanks for the question, it is a good one.

      The short answer is yes, they can whiten teeth, as can Oral-B. However, its not quite that simple.

      For the sake of example, an extreme example, if you were a smoker, who loved a glass of red wine, currently used a manual toothbrush and were perhaps not too regimented at cleaning twice a day then yes you would see improvement. If on the other hand you religiously brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes with an electric toothbrush already and floss then the likelihood of seeing noticeable improvement is less, if at all.

      Whitening is certainly possible but you may need to consider the toothpaste used, your approach and more.

      Both will remove more plaque and bacteria than a manual brush.

      • Thanks for the reply.
        I use a Pro 2000, and Oral -B sensitive whitening.
        Can I improve on that? My natural teeth are about half a shade darker than my bridge work and I would like them whiter.

        • Hi Ivy,

          If you already follow a good cleaning routine and they haven’t whitened, using a brush and off the shelf whitening may not be enough. You may need to use whitening trays or get a professional whiten at the dentist.

  25. Are all electric toothbrushes the same power. Does one spin faster better than the other,if so how do you identify them and is there any benefit from having a more powerful motor?

    • Hi Ralph.

      In short they do have different power delivery from the brush motors. However in the scheme of things this does not make a massive difference.

      The more powerful motor can deliver more brush strokes/movements than a less powerful motor.

      The most powerful motors are found on the more premium brush models. To some degree the more you spend the better the motor power.

      Those that vary most are the Oral-B range. The Pro 2000 has a more powerful motor than the Pro 600 for example. The Pro 3000, 4000 & 5000 share the same motor.

      The Pro 2000 is one of the most popular brushes.

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