This review also encompasses the Oral-B Vitality Plus, which is only different to the Vitality in terms of colour, and the fact that an extra brush head comes in the box with it.
If you want to know about the Vitality Pro, which is similar, with a couple of technical differences, read our Vitality Pro review.
The best cheap Oral-B electric toothbrush
The Oral-B Vitality provides benefits over a manual toothbrush.
Rated as our best cheap electric toothbrush, it's a solid choice for those on a budget. But, investing a little extra might well be worthwhile.
Simple to use – 1 cleaning mode
No battery status feedback
A small round brush head reaches tighter spaces
No pressure sensor
If you can stretch your budget
As our top pick for the best electric toothbrush today, the Oral-B Pro 3 3500 is my overall choice.
It is affordable with the features you need and overcomes some of the shortcomings of the Vitality.
It offers a better battery life and enhanced cleaning action. You do also get a pressure sensor and travel case. You don't get this with the Vitality.
The Vitality is cheaper. It is our budget recommendation for the best Oral-B electric toothbrush.
But, the extra cost of the 3500 should pay over the years of ownership.
Design, usability, clean & general use
The Vitality comes supplied in a quite annoying blister style plastic package, a cardboard box would be more convenient and probably a bit better for the environment too.
There are a couple of different variants/package options. The key difference is the colour of the grip on the handle and the brush head supplied.
Aside from this the toothbrush and its performance are the same.
Your choices are:
- Oral-B Vitality 100 CrossAction - The most common option, supplied with 1 x CrossAction brush head and usually has a black coloured rubber grip.
- Oral-B Vitality 100 3D White - Supplied with 1 x 3D White brush head and usually has a white coloured rubber grip.
Within the package is the brush handle, the brush head, a charging stand, and documentation.
For the price, you can't really complain. You get what you need.
If you opt for the Vitality Plus variant, you will get 2 brush heads in the box. Sadly, the Plus tends to be a couple of pounds more expensive, so although it could appear better value, the saving for 1 extra head, is generally negligible. The Plus typically has either a blue or pink coloured grip.
The brush is relatively easy to hold. It has a tapered design where it is thicker at the top of the handle and thinner towards the bottom. Oral-B’s more premium models tend to have a more uniform shape down the length of the handle, which I prefer personally.
The body of the handle is made from plastic, which is gloss white in colour. There is a rubber grip that is wrapped around the majority of the brush handle, which not only makes the brush look smart and easy to hold, it reduces the very clinical look of the white plastic.
The colour of the grip does depend on the variant you purchase. Black is the most common option, but there is too white (or arguably a very light grey) as an alternative.
Blue and pink rubber grips come with the plus variant.
It is a 360 degree grip with small dimples all over it that really give the fingers something to grip onto.
You might think how hard can it be to grip onto a toothbrush handle, but if you have limited dexterity or small hands, it can make a big difference.
The gloss white plastic is visible in the lower third of the brush handle and at the neck of the brush, where the brush head attaches.
In the lower third, on the front is the Braun Oral-B logo and on the back is some regulatory information.
Easily missed, but a potentially useful feature is found on the rear of the brush handle. A small raised piece of rubber extends very slightly just below the neck of the handle. This stops the toothbrush from rolling if laid on a countertop.
On the base of the Vitality is a recess into which fits the charging prong on the charging stand.
The Vitality toothbrush handle is sealed, meaning it is water resistant, ideal when it will be exposed to moisture in the mouth. You can happily rinse it under the tap to give it a clean, avoid complete submersion in water though.
The charging stand will resist a few splashes but avoid getting that wet, it is not designed to be water resistant.
Inside the handle is the battery and motor that makes the brush work.
The motor inside this handle is good enough. It provides significantly more movements to the brush head than a manual toothbrush to help you achieve a greater standard of clean.
However, do be aware that the motor is a little less powerful than the more premium models you can buy from Oral-B.
The Vitality offers a 2D cleaning action (oscillations and rotations), not the 3D cleaning action (oscillations, rotations and pulsations) of more premium models.
Now, to be honest, the clean provided by the Vitality is more than satisfactory and unless using side by side, you probably would not tell the difference. But there is a subtle difference between the Vitality and models within Oral-B's Pro series.
The whole unit is powered on by the one and only button on the front of the brush handle. In the upper third of the brush handle, the button, complete with a power icon, needs to be pressed to turn the brush on and off.
I should mention the button has a nice resistance. Not too soft that the brush is turned on very easily, but not too stiff that it feels hard work to use it.
This button stands out, because it is a small convex circular button, inside an oval shaped panel, framed with a white plastic oval ring.
When powered on, the brush will launch into the one and only cleaning mode available on the brush.
Unlike many toothbrushes that offer multiple cleaning modes, having 1 mode makes things nice and simple.
You don't necessarily need multiple modes, so points to the Vitality for simplicity.
Of course, to make use of the brush you need to have the brush head attached.
The detachable brush heads slide on and off the metal prong on the top of the handle. This prong feeds down inside the handle to the motor.
With the brush head attached and the brush powered on, the timer built into the brush begins to start counting down.
At the time of pressing the power button, you activate 2 different timing features that are built into the handle. The 2 minute timer and the 30 second pacer.
At 30 second intervals, and at the passing of 2 minutes (120 seconds) the brush motor will pause briefly causing a change in the sound and motion.
This is your cue to change quadrant or end the clean.
Brushing for the full 2 minutes is very important, but just as important if not more so, is the right technique. Make sure you learn how to brush your teeth properly, you don’t use an electric brush in the same way you do a manual toothbrush.
You get 16 cleaning sessions of 2 minutes from the battery built into the Vitality.
Unfortunately, there is no warning from the brush when the battery is low. There is no battery icon, so it's up to you to recharge it regularly if you want to avoid it going flat mid clean.
Whether you opt for the CrossAction or 3D White variant of the Vitality, both brush heads are designed to clean the teeth well, cleaning the tooth surface, including in between teeth and along the gumline where bacteria likes to reside.
There is a range of brush heads available from Oral-B. They include:
- 3D White
- Precision Clean
- Sensi UltraThin
Any of these can be used on the Vitality brush handle if you choose. They are interchangeable.
Remember to replace your brush head at least once every 3 months or 90 days, if not sooner.
An Oral-B brush head will actually fade in colour as it ages giving you another visual indicator that it is time to replace the brush head.
The waterproof handle needs little in the way of maintenance, but to prolong the life of the brush you should make sure that it is given a good wipe every so often to remove any grime and dirt build-up and it will continue running well.
If for any reason the toothbrush does stop working, there is a standard 24 month guarantee that comes with it.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
Given the price point, I nor you should expect an exceptional battery life from this brush.
Oral-B claims that the Vitality 100 will offer 8 days of use.
That is 16 brushing sessions.
Each brushing session should last 2 minutes, so that gives a total running time of 32 minutes.
During my hands-on testing, I actually managed to achieve up to 46 minutes of brushing time. That equates to an extra 3.5 days or an extra 7 brushing sessions.
I can't say all will benefit from such extra battery life, but it confirms that the Vitality & Vitality Plus should easily achieve a minimum of 8 days.
If you brush for longer than 2 minutes or you share the brush handle with another user, you will get the same usage time, but you may need to recharge more frequently.
It would be nice if it lasted a little longer, many competing brushes offer at least 2 weeks, if not longer.
The Oral-B Pro 3 3500 offers 2 weeks of use between charges, which is a bit better, but sadly Oral-B does lack compared to a lot of the competition.
Brands like Sonicare make look Oral-B look inferior, lasting 3 if not 4 weeks, or in many cases even longer than that.
Part of the reason is the battery technology. The Vitality still uses a Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery compared to many others that have Lithium-Ion.
It is a shame this latest variant of the Vitality did not gain a new battery. I imagine price has something to do with why it was excluded.
The other big issue here is that you get no feedback from the brush in terms of how much power is left. There is no battery or charging icon.
It is a bit of a guessing game.
It is a bit of a first world problem, but it is also very frustrating.
If you leave the brush on the charging stand all the time it is not in use, then no problem, but for some, this isn't an option.
We can probably all remember roughly when the brush was last charged, but when using the Vitality, there is a real danger it runs flat during use because you actually last charged it 7 or 8 days ago rather than the 5 days you thought it was.
A battery icon with a flashing reminder when the battery is low would be nice. This is one of the appeals for sure of the premium models Oral-B offers.
When you do need to replenish the battery, you can recharge the Vitality on the provided charging stand.
It will generally recharge in full if left overnight.
The stand is a fairly typical Oral-B charger with a 2 pin power adapter hardwired into it.
The stand itself supports voltages of 220-240v, so fine for the UK. This voltage is supported in Europe too, but you will need a plug adapter as the 2 pin charger is designed for UK bathrooms and not EU plug sockets.
Summary of battery life
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.
The Vitality has a recommended retail price of £35 but there is no need to pay this much.
Discounts are commonplace and although the Vitality and Vitality Plus were selling at around £25 on average, this has dropped to about £20 now with the introduction of the Vitality Pro. £20 or £25, this is much lower than the RRP.
This brush like every other requires replacement brush heads for each user every 3 months. Replacement heads can be purchased in various pack sizes, but you are looking at about £3 per brush head on average.
Using the average cost (based on one user) and ownership over 3 years , the Vitality will cost £53, whilst the Plus variant will cost about £50.
This price does exclude the cost of water, toothpaste and electricity to charge it, but you get a rough idea of how much you will be paying for it over the whole 3 years.
There is a good chance the brush will last longer than the 3 year period and using the same brush handle but switching heads with other users in your household will only help bring the cost down and drive more value from it.
The Vitality Plus works out marginally more cost effective as you get an extra brush head in the box, yet sells for the same price.
For the sake of comparison, the more premium, Pro 3 3500 works out at 7p per day.
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
Reliability & long term use
As is standard for any brush that comes into Electric Teeth HQ, we will test it.
The experience may be similar to other brushes in the Vitality series range but we like to ensure we give you the facts.
A few weeks is not really long enough to say how well it will stand the test of time, but all Oral-B brushes go through a strict quality control programme.
Unable to do long term tests on all the brushes we do have some other models that are going through such.
When buying Oral-B you are getting a good quality brush.
To prolong the life of any brush giving it a rinse and a wipe down to remove grime that builds up is a must.
The weakest point is the battery. After repeated charges and discharges it can fail and should it, they are not easy to replace. Remember, register your brush online to get that third years warranty, because should it fail in this time it will be covered.
The Vitality is a step up from a manual toothbrush and will likely bring improvements in your oral care.
It has the essential features you need and does the job on a budget.
However, for not a lot extra you can get the likes of the Oral-B Pro 3 3500.
The 3500 delivers a better clean, improved battery life and pressure sensor. It comes with a travel case too.
- Toothbrush height with head - 22cm / 8.7 inches
- Toothbrush height without head - 18cm / 7.1 inches
- Width - 3.2~2.5cm / 1.3-1 inches
- Depth/thickness - 3.2~2.5cm / 1.3-1 inches
- Weight with head - 105g / 3.7oz
- Weight without head - 99g / 3.5oz
- Package weight - 249g / 8.8oz
Country of manufacture