In this post I explain the various options if you’re looking for a good toothbrush for travel.
There are various types to consider:
- A rechargeable electric toothbrush (preferably with a long lasting battery and travel case)
- A battery powered toothbrush
- A manual toothbrush
I make recommendations in each category, based on my own hands-on testing.
Here at Electric Teeth we buy the products ourselves so that we can advise which are best in situations such as this.
Another consideration if you travel abroad is the power adaptor. I explain how this works in the buyer’s guide section.
I’ll start with a list of my recommendations, but keep reading for more insight on the brushes I recommend.
Our recommendations for the best travel toothbrush
Whilst there are some excellent choices available, there isn’t a single ‘best’ toothbrush — manual or electric — that you must have when you travel.
Any toothbrush is better than no toothbrush, but much depends on your requirements.
If you are embarking on a 6 month backpacking trip, your needs from a toothbrush are likely to be quite different to that of someone travelling for work or on a short holiday.
I have, however, listed what I deem to be the most suitable for most people.
1. Oral-B Pro 3 3500
The Pro 3 3500 is one of my most recommended electric toothbrushes.
It offers a superb clean of the teeth and all of the essential features required of an electric toothbrush.
A timer, pressure sensor and multiple cleaning modes are built-in and it uses the rotating-oscillating technology and round brush heads Oral-B are famous for.
It is great value for money, particularly when a travel case is included in the box.
A basic, but functional case it holds the handle and up to 2 brush heads.
The handle isn’t covered in lots of rubber grips. But, there is enough texture that it doesn’t feel too slippy in hand. It is easy to keep clean thankfully.
Whilst the Pro 3 3500 does not offer the best battery life of an electric toothbrush, it strikes a nice balance between usable time, features and price.
With 2+ weeks of battery life available on a full charge, this should be enough for most people going away on holiday or for work.
|Oral-B Pro 3 - 3500||£100.00 £34.99||View on Amazon|
SURI is a slickly designed brush that comes with a stylish, sturdy travel case.
It is the environmental pick in our main best electric toothbrush article.
Often with travel cases you remove the head and store it separately in the case, but with SURI’s case you don’t. The head remains attached to the handle.
As such the case is longer than some, but it is not as wide. It is of plastic construction and hinges on the left hand side.
In the base of the case are 2 holes for ventilation and allowing moisture to escape. These are more important than you might think.
The case can also be used to charge the brush via USB-C. This is a useful feature as it means you don’t have to take the charging stand with you and can charge from the case rather than the stand if you prefer, even when at home.
The case also has a UV-C sanitisation feature built-in. This isn’t something we regard as essential, but it’s a feature worth pointing out.
The battery lasts 30 days on a full charge, which is excellent if you are travelling and don’t have the means to charge it frequently.
3. Hydrophil bamboo toothbrush
Hydrophil is the top pick in our best bamboo toothbrush article.
Any of the recommendations in that post will do you well if you’re looking for the most environmentally considerate option.
Needless to say, a manual toothbrush requires no batteries to power it, so you can be sure that it will always work wherever you are.
Whether it is a weekend away or months spent backpacking around the world, this brush will take up little space or add little weight to your bag.
Made from bamboo it is an environmentally considerate option and compostable (with the exception of the bristles) when you need to dispose of it.
If you specifically want a bamboo toothbrush that comes with a travel case, The Truth Brush could be an option, but is is slightly more expensive.
If you want a manual toothbrush but don’t specifically want bamboo, there are some more options in our best manual toothbrush article.
4. Philips One by Sonicare
A simple, well thought out and effective electric toothbrush.
Sometimes, the more simple something is, the more effective it can be. The Philips One is a great example of this.
It’s a slim handled and lightweight toothbrush, ideally suited to travel, available in different colour options.
It has just 1 cleaning mode that lasts for 2 minutes.
A timer and pacer are built into the One by Sonicare to encourage you to brush for the dentist recommended 2 minutes.
At the end of 2 minutes it automatically powers off.
Contoured grips on the handle make this easy to hold and small touches like the raised notches on the handle stop this from rolling on a countertop.
The provided travel case is compact and well thought out.
It is not as powerful as traditional Sonicare electric toothbrushes, but it cleans the teeth well enough, just be sure to use some manual brushing motion, don’t rely on the toothbrush itself to do all the work.
|Philips One Battery||£35.43||View on Amazon|
Read our Philips One by Sonicare review.
5. Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4300
With up to 5 weeks of use available from the built-in rechargeable battery, the 4300 is great for those who spend extended periods of time away from home and unable to recharge their toothbrush.
Included in the box is a protective travel case, which holds the handle and up to 2 brush heads. Thanks to this you know when you are travelling your brush will be protected from damage and accidental activation.
The 4300 offers the most important features you would want from an electric toothbrush.
A built-in timer and pacer encourage you to brush for the dentist recommended 2 minutes, whilst the pressure sensor helps avoid doing damage by applying too much pressure when you brush.
A smart and strong performing toothbrush, you can achieve a great clean of the teeth and gums with the 4300 and select from 1 of the 2 modes/intensities to find the one most suitable for you.
|Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4300||14,498 Reviews||£145.00||View on Amazon|
Read our Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4300 review.
6. Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige
This is a premium toothbrush that offers far more than anyone needs. It is also a very expensive option. You can achieve comparable cleaning results from a brush a fraction of the price.
But, if you want the absolute best and most capable, with all the latest tech, then this is it.
The travel case is particularly appealing. It is very compact. It holds the handle and a single brush head. It is strong and has a magnetic closing lid. And it is the first toothbrush (that I know of) to allow the brush to be charged inside via a USB type c cable.
The Prestige can track the exact position of the toothbrush in the mouth, recording your coverage and rating your brushing, even if you are not using the app in real-time.
The greatest benefit comes from using the app in real-time as it shows you what areas of the mouth you have and have not brushed. Thus, you can take corrective action immediately.
As you might expect the brush provides a fantastic clean of the teeth.
It has your essential 2 minute timer, pacer and pressure sensor built-in.
Multiple cleaning modes and different brushing intensities are available if you so desire.
|Sonicare 9900 Prestige - Champagne||£549.99||View on Amazon|
Read our Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige Review.
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Buyers Guide – travelling with an electric toothbrush
The electric toothbrush can go with you when travelling, it does not need to stay at home.
Many people I have spoken to seem to leave their electric toothbrush at home in preference of taking the traditional manual brush, when travelling.
Most often say it is more convenient.
A manual toothbrush is smaller and lighter for sure. But, to me this seems slightly counter-intuitive when convenience (it doing the work not you) is one of the reasons some go for the electric toothbrush in the first place.
So let me answer some common queries and explain some of the options you have when travelling with an electric toothbrush.
Can you take an electric toothbrush in hand luggage?
There should be no issue with you taking an electric toothbrush in your hand luggage.
I have done this many times. I have personally never been stopped or had my toothbrush inspected.
Technically, the exact rules on whether you can or cannot take an electric toothbrush with you onto an airplane will vary from one airline to another.
The customs/airport security ruling can change from one country to another also.
However, the likelihood of it being an issue is very slim. An electric toothbrush is really considered a bit like a mobile phone. It is one of those essential items that passengers will carry.
Many thousands of passengers travel with electric toothbrushes in their hand luggage daily.
Travelling domestically with an electric toothbrush
When travelling domestically or inside your home country, nothing about the way you use your toothbrush changes.
You can continue to use your electric toothbrush as you would at home.
You will need to consider how long you are away for and what you need to do if anything about recharging the battery in the brush.
If away for a couple of nights you can take just the brush. If away for a few weeks you will need to take the charging stand in most cases too.
You might also want to consider a case for the brush to keep it protected and avoid accidental activation when transporting.
Some brushes come with a travel case included, others do not.
Don’t forget to consider whether you need to take a spare brush head with you, might it be time to change your brush head whilst you travel.
Travelling internationally with an electric toothbrush
When travelling internationally with an electric toothbrush, things can become a little more complicated.
However, by taking a couple of minutes you can be assured or what you need or have to consider when travelling with an electric toothbrush.
The key thing to determine is the voltage and power sockets used in the destination country.
You need to know whether they have the same power/voltage and whether they have different plug sockets.
My guide to travelling abroad with an electric toothbrush tells you all you need to know.
However, for your convenience, I include a quick reference chart below.
- Printed on base of the toothbrush or charging stand – 100-240V
- Where can it be used? Globally
- Do I need a voltage convertor? No
- Do I need a plug adapter? Subject to country
- Printed on base of the toothbrush or charging stand – 220-240V
- Where can it be used? In countries with 200-240V (e.g. most European countries, NOT US/Canada)
- Do I need a voltage convertor? Yes if the voltage of the country you are travelling to is less than 220V
- Do I need a plug adapter? Subject to country
- Printed on base of the toothbrush or charging stand – 110 Volts 60 Cycles
- Where can it be used? In countries with 110 volts (e.g. US/Canada)
- Do I need a voltage convertor? Yes if the voltage of the country you are travelling to is higher than 110V
- Do I need a plug adapter? Subject to country
It is the act of travelling to a country that has both a different power supply voltage and power connectors that makes travel with an electric toothbrush more difficult.
If the battery life of your brush extends the time you are in the country there is no need to worry.
If your toothbrush has USB charging, this is also not an issue.
However, if you own a brush like the Oral-B Pro 3 3500 and you are spending 6 months in the USA for example. This is the slightly more confusing setup.
The UK uses 240V electrics whereas the USA uses 110V.
Most electric toothbrushes bought in the UK and Europe have charging stands that work on 220-240V. The Pro 3 3500 is no exception.
So to use them in the USA, you need a power converter to allow the charging stand to accept the 110V.
What you may need as well though is a plug adapter. This is to convert the 2 pin adapter found on most charging stands in the UK to work with the power supply in the USA.
You can buy both the voltage and power adapter from various retailers online or in the high street.
When using a voltage converter, you may need a different adapter to the one you think.
Do your research on the voltage in a particular country to ensure you are getting the right converter.
In the instances where the voltage in the country you are travelling to is lower, you need a ‘step up’ converter and when the voltage is higher you need a ‘step down’ converter.
Using the travel form the UK to the USA example, the ‘Step Up’ voltage converter has the 2 pin US connector on it, but actually offers up a 3 pin UK power adapter.
However, your toothbrush has the 2 pin adapter, so although you are travelling to the USA, you will need the 2 pin to 3 pin adapter, like the one shown below.
Some electric toothbrushes have charging stands that will support 110-240V meaning you will not need the voltage converter. Most Philips Sonicare models have dual voltage charging stands.
Advice when travelling with a manual toothbrush
With a manual toothbrush you need not worry whether you are travelling 3 miles down the road or 3,000 miles across the globe as these are typically less hassle when travelling.
You don’t need to worry about power sources, your manual brush does not need charging.
You may want to consider a travel case though, to protect it from getting damaged when in a bag.
Most brushes do not have a specific travel case, but there are loads of third party options from simple caps for the brush head or that encase the brush and leave space for your tube of toothpaste.
It is because of the desire to keep things compact and the brush head protected that folding or foldable toothbrushes have become so popular.
Folding in on itself the brush head flips over to be protected by what is the handle and case to the brush. This typically makes the brush a bit thicker in transit, but not as tall and is a neat option and it’s a more practical shape.
Do seriously consider the more environmentally considerate options such as bamboo brushes which will leave less impact on the environment when disposed of.
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