We like the ethics of the company, which has a number of sustainable and ethical policies. They are certified carbon neutral and water neutral, as well as having a number of charities that they regularly support.
This comes at a reasonable cost, although the brush can be a little hard to source. Postage and packaging from the hydrophil website is expensive, but these brushes can be found in UK based eco stores.
The brush itself is comfortable to use and is made from bio-based plastic rather than traditional nylon. It also has a range of colours and a kids version.
- Affordable brush
- Multiple colour options
- Multiple bristle hardness available
- Kids option available
- Eco-friendly and sustainable product
- Plastic free packaging
- Transparent website
- Ethical company
- Gives to charity
- Bamboo not easily recyclable for everyone
Consider these other brushes
The bamboo toothbrush from Hydrophil balances cost, sustainability and ethical policies.
If your priority is the environment, see our guide to picking the best eco-friendly toothbrushes.
If you want to stick to bamboo, there are other options listed in our best bamboo toothbrush article.
Hydrophil bamboo toothbrush in-depth review
Hydrophil is a German brand, not well known in the UK. They specialise in environmentally friendly personal care products.
The bamboo toothbrush is one of their oral care products. The rest of their range includes interdental brushes and toothpaste.
Read on to find out if Hydrophil could be the replacement for your traditional toothbrush.
Variants of this toothbrush
Hydrophil bamboo toothbrushes come in adult and kids options.
The kids option has a smaller handle and smaller head. They have soft bristles and the paint colour options are red or dark blue.
Adult bristle hardness and colour options vary. At the time of writing the colour options available include light blue, dark blue, red, green, purple, or natural (no paint).
Bristle hardness or firmness is medium, soft, and extra soft.
The brushes can be bought in a pack of one or a pack of four. There is also the option for a family box of 6 brushes. The Family Pack is available in these combinations:
- 2x adult light blue medium + 2x adult red medium + 2x children blue extra soft
- 2x adult light blue medium + 2x adult green medium + 2x children blue extra soft
- 3x adult light blue medium + 3x adult red medium
Other options for purchase include a bamboo travel case and a ceramic toothbrush holder.
There is no subscription option.
What’s in the box?
This is a very simple brush!
The brush comes in a recycled cardboard box.
There is no plastic packaging.
You get one brush per box in the colour of your choice.
- Manual toothbrush
- Bamboo handle
- Bio-based plastic bristles
- Kids and Adults options
- Different bristle hardnesses available
- Different colours available
Design, usability, clean & general use
The exact design and colour of the Hydrophil bamboo toothbrush depends on the variant selected, but for this review I have been testing the adult dark blue brush with soft bristles.
Refer to the variants section of this review to see the other designs.
The brush has a round handle made from bamboo. It is a comfortable thickness to hold and most people should get a good grip with this brush.
The end of the handle is flat, so the brush can be stood upright to dry between uses. This is especially important when using a bamboo brush.
The Moso bamboo is biodegradable because it is a plant, although oils used may affect the rate of breakdown. The bamboo sourced by Hydrophil does not use artificial irrigation, cultivation, pesticides or other chemicals, in an effort to be as sustainable as possible. This is a renewable resource, used as an alternative to traditional plastic handles.
The paint covers approx 5cm/2 inches at the bottom of the handle and is made from a solvent free paint from Auro.
The bristles are bio-based plastic, made from castor oil. This is instead of traditional petroleum made bristles.
The bristles are white in colour and do not have indicator bristles. You will need to remember to replace your toothbrush every 3 months, or sooner if the bristles are visibly frayed or worn.
There are approx 34 tufts made up from multiple bristles. They are arranged in an oval pattern and are on a flat plane – there are not multiple heights of bristles.
The product report from Hydrophil reports that organic ingredients are used, although these are not certified by COSMOS.
The brushes are made in China, in a factory selected by Hydrophil, and which is regularly monitored for ethical working practices. Hydrophil also offset the carbon emissions for transportation from China.
The brushing experience of this brush is pretty average. There is nothing to set it apart from many other manual toothbrushes. But there is also nothing wrong with it.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Bamboo handle
- Round handle
- Flat end to stand upright
- Paint on the bottom half of the brush
- Bio-based bristles
- Bristles on a flat plane
- Reasonable cleaning ability
About Hydrophil as a company
What really stands out about the Hydrophil bamboo toothbrush are the sustainable policies of the company. This is the first climate-neutral toothbrush in Europe, as well as being water neutral and carbon neutral.
This is very different to mainstream oral healthcare brands, which still have a lot of room for improvement.
The company has strong ethical policies, including fair pay and working conditions throughout the supply chain.
10% of all profits from this brush are given to charity Viva con Agua St Pauli, a charity that supports projects involving water, around the world.
Price & where to buy
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.
An individual brush is €2.90 (€9.90 for pack of 4) on the Hydrophil website, but P&P is €15.90.
Local retailers in the UK do stock the brush and shipping changes and charges vary. Options I have seen include:
Big Green Smile £3.49
Ethical superstore £3.99
Here at Electric Teeth, we price the brush over three years to give some benchmark for comparison.
It is recommended that you change your manual toothbrush every 3 months.
You would need four brushes per year, 12 in total.
At an average of £3.50 per brush, this is £42.
This is more expensive than a multipack of unbranded toothbrushes, but the planet does benefit.
Reliability & long term use
I used this brush twice daily, for two minutes, for a week.
I didn’t continue to use it beyond this as there are numerous other brushes to test.
But it held up well over the week and there is nothing to suggest there will be any problems over three months in terms of cleaning ability.
There are two potential problems with this brush though.
Firstly, if bamboo isn’t thoroughly dried between uses it can start to get a bit…mouldy. Make sure you stand the toothbrush upright and allow it to air dry after use to avoid this.
Secondly, the paint is water based. There is the potential for it to wear off if the brush is stored in a cup or on a stand.
Neither of these factors would affect the cleaning ability of the brush.
How to recycle
Bamboo toothbrushes can sometimes be recycled whole via TerraCycle, but check with your local scheme to make sure they do accept bamboo handles.
Alternatively, remove the bristles from the brush — you can find out how in our post on recycling a toothbrush. You can then add the handle to your home compost pile or garden collection.
The bristles are not biodegradable or compostable. They also cannot be recycled with household plastic, they need to go to a specialist recycling facility e.g. via Terracycle, as explained in our article about recycling toothbrush bristles. Otherwise, they go with your general waste.
This brush is one of Hydrophil’s ”range of water neutral, vegan & fair products”.
The brush itself does not have any particular features that make it stand out from other bamboo toothbrushes in terms of cleaning ability.
What stands out for me with this brush is the fact that the company has multiple environmentally friendly policies as well as ethical working practices. The company and website are very transparent, with clear information on their website.
These brushes are at the cheaper end of the niche scale, especially when purchased through UK based eco retailers where shipping charges are not applied.
If you want to buy one, see the options we have listed above.
- Height – 7.44 inches/18.9cm
- Width – 0.4 inches/12mm
- Weight – 0.4oz/11g
All are approximates
Do you own or have you used the Hydrophil Bamboo Toothbrush?
Are there certain features that you really like or dislike?
Let us know what you think about this brush and let others who may well be considering purchasing one know your opinions before they do.