Choosing an electric toothbrush can be confusing.
There are many brushes to choose from and it can be hard to tell how they differ.
And to make matters more confusing there are now “smart” toothbrushes, which can be rather more expensive than the entry-level options.
Given these challenges, the aim of this post is to save you time and money when picking a new brush.
Here at Electric Teeth we thoroughly test the UK’s latest electric toothbrushes, so our recommendations remain well-informed and up to date. They are also dentist approved.
For this post we’ve put a lot of thought into boiling our recommendations down to 5 simple choices, and our number 1 choice is based on the best value for money.
You don’t need to spend loads to get a good brush.
The top of the range brushes do have their uses and we include a couple in our list, but the more affordable brushes can clean your teeth just as effectively.
If you’ve got any questions after reading this post, please ask in the comments.
Here are the 5 electric toothbrushes we recommend choosing from in the UK
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
Best for receding gums and sensitive teeth
The perfect brush, it ticks all the boxes for us.
One of the questions we like to ask when assessing a product like this is:
“Can this product be relatively cheap, whilst still being effective and reliable?”
The answer with the Pro 2 2500 is yes.
It has the features we regard as essential, and its lower price tag does not mean you are paying for inferior build quality, but rather less of the bells and whistles that come with some of the more expensive models.
|Oral-B Pro 2 2500||24,155 Reviews||£79.99 £33.00||View on Amazon|
- Affordable price tag
- Slim handled brush with good grip
- Built-in timer
- 2 week battery life
- Pressure sensor — be alerted when brushing too hard
- Travel case included
- Battery status indicator — more notice prior to the battery running out would be helpful.
All things considered, we rate the Oral-B Pro 2 2500 as the top electric toothbrush you can buy at the moment.
We explain this choice in more detail below, but for us it has the best marriage between price and features.
The slim handle is comfortable in hand and easy to grip.
2 cleaning modes offer different power settings, suiting the needs of different users. Both clean the teeth well thanks to the small round oscillating-rotating brush head provided.
The built-in timer and pacer help you clean all your teeth evenly.
There is a 2 week battery life between charges and it comes complete with a travel case for a very reasonable price.
Read our full Oral-B Pro 2 2500 Review
Read our Best Electric Toothbrush For Receding Gums & Sensitive Teeth article.
2. Sonicare DiamondClean Smart
Best smart toothbrush
Best Sonicare electric toothbrush
If money is no object then this is the toothbrush to go for. It’s the best Sonicare electric toothbrush and the best in terms of performance, in our opinion.
|Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart||230 Reviews||£200.00||View on Amazon|
- Built-in timer and pacer
- Pressure sensor
- Bluetooth & AI technology
- Box contents
- Travel case
- Cleaning mode icons
Innovation is packed into this brush to offer some really useful features. The toothbrush reminds you when the brush head needs to be replaced. The handle even sets the most appropriate cleaning mode for the type of brush head fitted.
Location sensors and Bluetooth connectivity feedback real-time data to the smartphone application so that you can see on screen which teeth to brush and which require more attention.
A premium travel case is provided, complete with a USB cable for in-case charging.
The DiamondClean Smart is a refined toothbrush offering a premium brushing experience.
We rate it as the best smart toothbrush.
Read our full Sonicare DiamondClean Smart Review
Read our Guide on the best smart toothbrushes
3. Oral-B iO
Best Oral-B Electric Toothbrush
This is the Oral-B equivalent to the DiamondClean Smart.
The Oral-B iO is much sleeker and technologically advanced than its predecessors and is, without a doubt, the best Oral-B brush I have used.
It looks and feels more premium than any previous Oral-B brush and the battery life is staggering, lasting 3x longer than the 2 weeks advertised by Oral-B.
|Oral-B iO Series 9||423 Reviews||£249.99||View on Amazon|
- Built-in timer and pacer
- Smart Pressure sensor
- Sleek design
- Quiet when used
- Bluetooth & AI technology with 3D teeth tracking
- Box contents
- OLED display
Built into the handle is a colour display that allows you to select your cleaning modes and provides brushing feedback. There is only one other toothbrush I have seen with a colour screen in the handle.
There are a whole host of clever features built into this toothbrush. A pressure sensor not only alerts you when you are brushing with too much pressure, but also when you are brushing with the correct pressure. The real-time tracking is also more accurate than on previous models.
The iO is quieter thanks to a new motor and the brushing experience is softer on the teeth and gums.
A premium power2go charging case is included in the box.
Oral-B has created a great product, but it does come at a price.
Read our full Oral-B iO Review
4. Oral-B Pro 600
Best budget electric toothbrush
The Oral-B Pro 600 is a simple, no-nonsense easy to use electric toothbrush.
|Oral-B Pro 600||7,843 Reviews||£49.99 £31.08||View on Amazon|
- Cheap, but still does a good job
- 1 cleaning mode
- Built-in timer
- Slim handle
- Only 7 days battery life
- Limited box contents
With a small round brush head, it is easy to move around the mouth and cleans the teeth really well.
You do get a 2 minute timer and pacer built-in. These help you brush for the right amount of time.
The built-in rechargeable battery does only last 7 days, which is a bit disappointing. However, for a very reasonable price you get a quality product from a trusted brand.
Read our full Oral-B Pro 600 Review
5. Colgate ProClinical Pocket Pro
Best for travel
A small and compact brush complete with a travel case in which it can be charged, all at a fantastic price.
|Colgate ProClinical Pocket-Pro||146 Reviews||£64.99 £49.99||View on Amazon|
- 1 cleaning mode
- Built-in timer
- Travel case
- Slim and lightweight
- Travel case will not be suitable for all
- So slim it can be tricky to grip hold of
This is one of the must haves for those who want to travel light, but retain the benefits of using an electric toothbrush.
Read our full Colgate ProClinical Pocket Pro Review
Read our Best Travel Toothbrush article.
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.
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.
|Oral-B Pro 2 2500||24,155 Reviews||£79.99 £33.00||View on Amazon|
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 DiamondClean Smart, which we rate as the best Oral-B electric toothbrush and best Sonicare electric toothbrush respectively.
If we had to choose between the two, the DiamondClean Smart 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 most promising of the products 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.
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.
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 2021.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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 DiamondClean Smart?
Smart features on offer today can be very useful, but they are far from essential. You have to be committed to making use of them to really gain the benefit, particularly when these brushes come at a premium price.
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.
We run through the best smart toothbrush choices in our guide here.
How important is a whitening mode?
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?
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?
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?
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.
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
- Oral-B 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
- Colgate 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
- Oral-B Bluetooth Connectivity Explained
- Oral-B Wireless SmartGuide Explained
- Oral-B Go Pro Toothbrushes Explained
- Oral-B Sound Connectivity Explained
- Electric Toothbrushes With Timers
- Which Electric Toothbrushes Have a Pressure Sensor?
- Do Electric Toothbrushes Remove More Plaque?
- Which Electric Toothbrushes Have Bluetooth?
- How Do Silicone & Rubber Toothbrushes Compare To A Normal Toothbrush?
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:
- Oral-B Warranty: How It Works & What It Covers
- Philips Sonicare Warranty / Guarantee: How It Works & What It Covers
- Colgate Warranty / Guarantee: How It Works & What It Covers
- Oral-B Cleaning Modes Explained
- Sonicare Brushing Modes Explained
- Oral-B Coloured Rings: What Are They For?
- 2 Pin Plugs & Adapters for Toothbrushes Explained
- Charging An Electric Toothbrush
- Using An Electric Toothbrush Abroad
- Recycling An Electric Toothbrush
- Oral-B Electric Toothbrush Parts & Spares
- Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush Parts & Spares
- Toothbrush Holders & Storage Compartments
- Toothbrush Travel Cases
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.
- The History Of The Electric Toothbrush
- How Does An Electric Toothbrush Work?
- History Of Oral-B
- Mouthpiece Toothbrushes Explained
- How A Toothbrush Is Made
Electric Toothbrush Reviews
We’ve reviewed nearly all of the electric toothbrushes available in the UK.
We’ve listed some of our most popular 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 also view a list of all of our electric toothbrush reviews here.
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.