Good value for money brush, made by a reputable brand
There is a likeable simplicity to the Colgate ProClincial 250R.
More stylish than the competition it delivers good value for money. The downside being that the cleaning performance doesn’t feel quite as good as Sonicare or Oral-B.
A replacement to the 250+, it looks a more stylish, but has worse battery life and loses and no handy travel cap/protective.
- 1 cleaning mode
- Slim & lightweight
- Stylish design
- Battery life isn’t great
- No pressure sensor
- Cleaning power is weaker than some other brushes
Also worth considering
Any other toothbrush is going to be more expensive, but you should consider the Oral-B Pro 3 3500.
The Pro 3 3500 uses an oscillating-rotating cleaning technology compared to the sonic cleaning action of the 250R, but you gain a pressure sensor, a few days extra battery life, and a travel case in the box, which could be useful additions for many users.
|Oral-B Pro 3 - 3500||£100.00 £34.99||View on Amazon|
Design, usability, clean & general use
The 250R is the successor to the 250+ and on first glance, it is definitely an improvement.
Whilst I can’t criticise either for their function, the older 250+ was, well a bit dull and uninspiring to look at.
The 250R rectifies this with a new sleeker, much more current design.
This hasn’t got the finish and finesse of a premium DiamondClean model from Sonicare, but then again it is a fraction of the price.
Not only has the brush handle itself had a refresh, but the box has also.
The iconic red and white colours so often associated with Colgate are present, but there is more to catch the eye and generally help sell the 250R.
It is the usual story on the box, a large image of the brush and the key features called out on the sides and back of the box.
The brush, charging stand and brush head are all mounted within a plastic tray inside the box. It is made from polypropylene (recycling code 5), which isn’t accepted by most kerbside recycling programmes. Come on Colgate! We have all seen the stories. Is there not more sustainable packaging you could use?! You even operate a recycling programme, so this should be high up your priority list.
So, with the brush out of the box, let’s take a closer look.
The handle tapered design. The top (not including the brush head) is widest, thinning toward the base of the handle.
I have the charcoal coloured unit, which looks very nice, particularly with the strong contrasting red oval panel that sits towards the top of the handle and contains the power button.
There is a white and red coloured handle option also. The difference is the brush head supplied.
This panel sits ever so slightly recessed into the body of the handle. The power button is at the bottom of the panel and is ever so slightly raised, with a white power icon on it. This design makes it quite obvious where to press, to power the brush on.
You would be hard pushed to tell, but between the red panel and the main handle body is a small panel that allows the LED light to shine through. This LED light refers to the charging of and the remaining power in the toothbrush.
When illuminated, this light fills the very bottom third around the red panel and is quite noticeable.
Within the bottom third of the handle, is the Colgate logo, in this instance white in colour, contrasting with the charcoal body.
The sides and back of the handle are free of any notable grips or design cues, aside from a slight ring that runs around the whole handle, in the very top third. It is hard to explain, but you should see it in the hands-on pictures throughout this review.
The handle is rounded with no harsh edges. The brush also stands upright.
You might think the cylindrical design would mean it would roll all over the place if laid flat, but the addition of a small plastic ridge on the back of the handle (towards the bottom) stops this.
The base of the handle has a small recess into which the prong on the top of the charging stand fits.
Of course, at the top of the handle is the point at which the brush head fits.
The head keeps the fairly sleek and stylish look of the handle and tapers to the tinner brush head. More on the heads in just a moment.
The handle is all plastic construction, smooth to the touch. It looks good enough and feels solid enough in hand. It is light also.
Make no mistakes, it does not look nor feel as good as premium brushes you can get. Given the price, I can’t really grumble.
I will have a slight moan about the power button though. It is one of the most rigid power buttons I have ever used on a toothbrush. It gives barely any feedback to the fingertip. You have to give it quite a firm push.
Children, the elderly and particularly those with arthritis might find this a bit more of a challenge. Don’t get me wrong, it works, but it took more force and gave less feedback than I would have ever imagined.
A single brush head is included with the 250R. This is a Deep Clean brush head, in charcoal colour to match the handle.
Essentially the 250R variants differ in colour and the brush head supplied. Although the charcoal 250R and the 250R Deep Clean have the same brush head. To me it would have made more sense to call it the ProClinical 250R Deep Clean, then just offered colour options.
Colgate have a range of brush heads, which I explain in depth in my guide to Colgate brush heads.
I won’t explain the configuration of bristles on the head in this review, because the guide (linked above) does just that.
What I will point out here though is, a small nice touch. On the back of the head is a tongue cleaner. There are a number of small silicone bristles. Run this along the surface of your tongue to refresh the mouth and remove bacteria build-up.
I particularly like the smaller size of this brush head, it makes it easy to position and manipulate the brush within the mouth. It is particularly easy to access the harder to reach areas at the back of the mouth. It is a fraction larger than the round Oral-B brush head, but smaller than a Sonicare head.
Any of the Colgate range of heads will fit on the 250R handle. You don’t have to stick to the brush head style supplied, you can change if you like. That said, the charcoal coloured heads tend not to be as widely stocked as the white colour, so bear that in mind.
The heads are interchangeable and simply push onto and pull off the handle. There is only 1 wat to attach them, so you can’t get the fitting wrong.
With any toothbrush, the head should be replaced every 3 months. The 250R is no exception.
The heads do have indicator bristles. These are bristles that fade to white. This is a gradual fading normally over 3 months. They act as a reminder to change your brush head. Replace the head sooner if the bristles are visibly worn, splayed or damaged.
At the time of writing, my daily toothbrush is an Oral-B brush, and in my opinion, it provides me with what I feel to be the better overall clean compared to the 250R.
Don’t get me wrong, the 250R offers a good standard of clean, but I don’t get that sensation of a powerful clean like I do with Oral-B.
The 250R uses a sonic cleaning action and the bristles complete 30,000 strokes per minute, compared to the oscillating-rotating action of Oral-B. I have met many who prefer sonic over the Oral-B cleaning action, so it is partly personal preference.
Studies that compare both, generally suggest the oscillating-rotating wins marginally, from a clinical perspective, but don’t worry too much about this. Sonic action is still great and is said to deliver up to 5 times more plaque removal at the gumline than a manual brush.
If you are not used to an electric toothbrush and you are thinking this could be your first, then I think it would be a solid option as you do not have this comparison to make.
A single press of the power button will turn the 250R on and launch the 2 minute long Clean mode. Another press of the button will turn the brush off.
When the brush is powered on, a 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer are activated.
At 30 second intervals, a pause in the motor (and a change in brush sound) alerts you to the need to change quadrant, for an even and effective clean.
After 120 seconds have passed the clean ends automatically and the brush turns itself off. This is a useful and clear sign that the 2 minutes are up.
Whilst dentists recommend a 2 minute clean if you want to clean for longer you can. Simply power the brush back on.
There is no pressure sensor built into the 250R. It is by no means a deal-breaker, but something I would have like to have seen. It is quite common for people to brush with too much force and a pressure sensor alerts a user when they are doing this.
The bristles of the brush need really only skim the surface of the teeth, you don’t need to scrub. Whilst there is no sensor built-in, you will notice the motor straining and the sound of the brush change slightly if you are brushing with too much force.
A point I note with the Colgate range, particularly compared to Oral-B, is the sound. The 250R produces an audible humming sound and a strong vibration through the brush handle. This is quieter than Oral-B brushes which produce more of a mechanical sound, but do not deliver as much vibration through the handle.
If you have used a Sonicare brush the sound of the motor and the vibration are very similar.
Supplied in the box is a charging stand that has a small prong on the top of it. It is that prong that fits into a recess on the base of the ProClincal 250R to charge the battery encased inside the handle. You can expect 10-12 days of battery life.
The brush itself is water-resistant rather than waterproof. This means it will survive life in a wet bathroom, a rinse under the tap and exposure to moisture from the mouth. Do avoid submerging the brush.
Unfortunately, aside from the brush head, handle, charger and manual there are no other items in the box. There is no travel cap or case like that provided with the 250+ that came before the 250R. This is a real shame as I liked this a lot.
If you particularly want a travel case, look at the Oral-B Pro 3 3500.
As you would expect, the brush comes with a warranty, a 2 year warranty. This covers mechanical faults like the battery no longer charging or the power button not working. It does not cover user damage.
A small but possibly powerful component to what is on offer here is a money-back guarantee. This is not well marketed and really only on studying the box or manual will you see this offer.
This essentially allows you to try the brush and return it for a full refund of the purchase price (excluding shipping) if you are not happy. You have 30 days from the date of purchase to try the brush. If you do not like it, send it back within 45 days from the date of purchase, providing you have all the original packaging as well as the original receipt.
Details of how to go about this are included in the manual that comes with the brush or you can speak to them on 0800 321 321 32.
A final word on the manual. It is fairly slim and not a lot of information included. Admittedly there isn’t a great deal to say, but a demonstration on how to clean the teeth correctly with a brush like the Colgate 250R would have been nice.
So overall, the 250R ProClinical from Colgate is a solid, entry level electric toothbrush. It has the essentials and no more. It does what it needs to do, but lacks the more complete package that the 250+ it supersedes offers.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Slim and comfortable brush to hold and use
- Stylish design
- No real grips on the handle
- Plastic construction but good for the price
- The power button is firm and provides little feedback
- 1 cleaning mode
- Built-in 2 minute timer
- 30 second quadpacer built-in
- 1 brush head provided
- Interchangeable brush head design
- Alternative brush heads available
- LED to show when it is on charge or power is low
- Water resistant
- 2 year warranty as standard
- Money back guarantee option for 30 days
Battery life on an electric toothbrush is a topic that divides many.
For a large number of us, it is not all that important. When not in use the brush sits on the charging stand or worktop in our bathroom. Therefore, if the battery lasts 5 days or 5 weeks it doesn’t matter all that much as the charger is within easy reach.
However, for those that are on the road, or those who travel for a week or more at a time, opinions might be different.
The battery life available on electric toothbrushes does differ quite considerably. Some offer 5 days whilst others offer 5 weeks or longer.
Colgate have always been pretty good when it comes to battery life, offering around 2 weeks on average.
2-3 weeks is now probably the average battery life of most new electric toothbrushes. Therefore I was quite surprised to see that the claimed battery life of the 250R was up to 10 days.
Sometimes toothbrushes outperform the claims, manufacturers perhaps play it a little safe.
These claims are generally always based on 1 user brushing their teeth twice a day for 2 minutes.
Based on Colgate’s claims of 10 days, that is a total running time of 40 minutes or 20 brushing sessions.
My own hands-on testing managed to achieve 12 days. In other words 48 minutes of brushing time or 24 brushing sessions.
This is good as it exceeds the claims, but somewhat disappointing given the average battery life available in other electric toothbrushes today. The 250+ which the 250R replaces managed to achieve 14 days. Why is the battery life in the new model worse?
Oral-B’s Pro 3 3500 lasts up to 16 days, whilst the Vitality lasts for about 10 days.
You can see here how Colgate is really not up to speed with the competition This, of course, assumes battery life is important to you.
Working back in the 250R’s favour is the charging stand.
A revised design means that is is now not as wide and deep than that provided with the 250+, but is a bit taller. The brush sits on top of the stand and is a little more secure, less easily knocked off.
The charging stand does now support 100-240v, whereas the 250+ supported only 220-240v only.
What this means, is that should you travel internationally, the stand itself will support voltages around the world, you will just need a plug adapter.
The charger has a 2 pin shaver plug, suitable for UK bathrooms. It is not a 2 pin EU plug. To use this charger in the EU or America, for example, you will need an adapter to convert the 2 pin plug to the relevant connector for the country you are in.
Whilst it is possible to take the stand with you, it’s a little inconvenient, particularly when you have to then worry about plug adapters also.
Given that many Brits like to go on annual holidays for a couple of weeks, a battery life of 14+ days would have seen them through the holiday without the need to take the charger.
The rechargeable battery built into the handle is not user replaceable. For those who are interested, it is a Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery.
A full charge can take up to 10 hours.
When sat on the charging stand and connected to power, a white light will be emitted around the edge of the red power button.
Once the battery is fully charged, the light will go out.
When the battery has about 20% remaining, the light around the power button will shine red to alert you that the power in the battery is low.
Summary of battery life
- Claimed battery life of up to 10 days – 40 minutes of usage time or 20 brushing sessions
- Achieved 12 days of usage – 48 minutes of usage time or 24 brushing sessions
- Predecessor offered 14 days of battery life
- Competing models offer at least 14 days
- A charger is included in the box
- The charger supports 100-240v
- The charger comes with a 2 pin plug for UK bathrooms
- It takes up to 10 hours to charge fully
- White light to show charging
- White light goes out when fully charged
- Red light flashes when power is low
Price & where to buy
I have included links to buying options here at the start of the review.
In the section below, I discuss the price more generally and in relation to similar products.
In the world of electric toothbrushes, there tends to be the recommended retail price (RRP) and then there is the price that the brush actually sells for.
The RRP of the 250R is £49.99.
What it actually sells for is on average about £20, so a sizeable 50% discount.
This is about right. Believe it or not, the average discount tends to be about 50% on a toothbrush.
Some retailers will sell it at the full RRP, but I am telling you that you don’t need to pay this price and frankly, I don’t think it is worth it.
Whilst £20 appears to be about the average time it right and you may save a few extra pounds, or be expected to pay a little more. £5, either way, I wouldn’t be too concerned about.
What is interesting is that the RRP of the 250R is the same as the 250+ that came before it, but the actual selling price seems to be about £5 less. The 250+ tended to be around £25.
Considering the price of products generally go up over the years, this isn’t bad. That said, the 250+ did come with a travel cap that the 250R does not.
This brush, like every other, requires replacement brush heads for each user every 3 months.
1 brush head comes included in the box.
Replacement heads can be purchased in packs of 4 and used to work out at around £2.50 per head. The price has crept up a bit in recent years and now are anywhere between £12-18 for a pack. This makes each head around £3.75.
To give you an idea of the ownership cost and some level of comparison to other brushes, we like to calculate the cost of owning the 250R over a 3 year period.
The brush will cost on average £20. Add in the 11 additional brush heads required over a 3 year period and you are looking at a total cost of £61.25 (£20+(£3.75×11)).
That is a cost of about 6p per day.
This price does exclude the cost of water, toothpaste and electric to charge it. This price also works on some assumptions, but you get a rough idea.
You can bring the cost down further if you were to share it with other members of your household. All you need do is invest in is extra brush heads.
This price overall is actually fairly competitive. However, because of the increase in brush head prices, the daily cost is higher than the 250+ that came before it, despite the 250R being the cheaper brush to buy initially.
Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and will vary based on location, supplier and time of purchase. These figures were correct at the time of writing and should not be relied upon as hard fact, but used as a guide during your decision process.
Summary of price & where to buy
- Recommended retail price of £49.99
- Generally available with 50% or more off RRP – average selling price £20
- Brush heads work out at around £3.75 each
- Works out at around 6p per day over 3 years
- Share brush handle with another user to extend the value
- Take a look at the best prices and where to buy with our live price comparison
Reliability & long term use
The 250R has undergone several weeks of testing prior to writing this review.
I would love to be able to test it for longer to give you a long term opinion on what it is like in terms of reliability, but sadly this is not feasible.
Having paid close attention to the construction of this toothbrush I see no glaring issues.
Going by previous models, the 250 series has on the whole been a very reliable range and generally it would appear that you can expect the brush to last 3+ years.
Of course, being an electrical product and one that is exposed to moisture, it is perhaps more susceptible to failure, but it does come with a 2 year manufacturer warranty should something go wrong.
Should it fail within this period, Colgate will either repair or replace the handle in most instances.
We tend to live in a throwaway society. Opinions and attitudes are changing and more users are calling for electric toothbrushes like the ProClinical 250R to be user repairable. It is not designed to be this way. In part, this is to do with safety and the exposure to water, another is cost.
Ultimately, as I see it, the 250R should last a good few years. But, should this fail outside of the 2 year warranty period, whilst it might last less than you ideally want, for the price, you will have had your value from it.
All things considered the 250R from Colgate is a good electric toothbrush and if you are on a relatively tight budget then you could do a lot worse.
It cleans the teeth well, looks good and has a satisfactory battery life.
Unfortunately, it is a bit of a disappointment when you know what came before it.
The predecessor, the 250+ had a useful travel cap/case and a better battery life. Yes, the design was a bit dull, but it was functional, which is the most important thing.
The 250R is not ideally suited to travellers and I think many will feel investing in a brush like the Oral-B Pro 3 3500 will be a better buy.
- Height (without head) – 17.5cm
- Height (with head) – 20.5cm
- Width – 2.5cm
- Thickness – 2..2cm
- Weight (without head) – 47g
- Weight (with head) – 52g
All are approximates
Colgate ProClinical 250+ vs 250R
The 250R was introduced in the summer of 2019, to replace the 250+ that was launched in 2017.
The 2 brushes are very similar, but there are some subtle differences that you might like to know.
- The 250R does not come with the travel cap/cover that the 250+ did to protect the brush head/handle when travelling.
- The design of the 250R is different from the 250+, a little more curvy and sleeker, with a bold, red power button.
- The battery life is 10-12 days on the 250R compared to the 14 of the 250+.
- The charging stand on the 250R has been improved. It supports 100-240v. It is now smaller and the brush a bit more stable on the stand than the 250+.
- The 250R comes in black (charcoal), white and red colour options. There is no pink handle as was available with the 250+.
- The 250R comes with either a deep clean or whitening brush head, whereas the 250+ always came with a deep clean head.
- There is no branding or reference to ‘Omron’ with the 250R, which was the case with the 250+.