Best subscription electric toothbrush: Ordo Sonic+ (view on Boots.com)
Best subscription for Oral-B, Sonicare or Colgate brush heads: Amazon
Best manual toothbrush subscription: Bristle
There are a limited number of subscription toothbrush choices within the UK. The lack of choice helps make the decision process much easier.
Ordo is the best option for those wanting an electric toothbrush whilst Bristle, is best for those who would prefer a manual toothbrush.
For those simply requiring replacement brush heads for Sonicare and Oral-B toothbrushes, then Amazon’s subscribe and save wins.
The subscription model is by no means new, for many years people have subscribed to the likes of magazines, clubs or perhaps services associated with their bank.
However, over recent years the model has been rolled out to more and more products and services and is becoming a more popular and convenient approach for some consumers.
Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Spotify are just a few popular examples.
More recently, the humble toothbrush market has been disrupted by brands offering subscription brush heads or toothbrushes, delivered right to your door.
Whilst for the most part the principle behind these is convenience, they do also potentially have the likes of you and I considering our oral health more seriously.
I will go into more detail below about how the various subscription clubs and services work, as well as how you can save money without a subscription, but first I will jump straight in with the question many of you are probably asking…
Is a subscription toothbrush worth it?
This question is not necessarily one that can be answered for you.
For many the answer is yes.
But, it is a case of you making your own judgement based on the information available to you.
The biggest driving factor in deciding to go with a subscription service is the convenience that it brings.
A large number of us are guilty of not replacing our brush heads as frequently as we should and the arrival of a new one on our doorstep is a good catalyst to do just this, without having to remember or think about it.
Outlined below are some of the positive and negatives associated with a subscription service.
- Convenience – The desired items are delivered to your door as and when you request, without the need for you to do anything. You can be assured of always having the items you need in stock.
- Better oral health – Receiving regular brush head deliveries can encourage the replacement of brush heads sooner than if a new head was not delivered. Brushing is completed with a brush head that is in better condition and in turn better for your oral health.
- Flexibility – Most services allow some flexibility in when you receive your subscription with the ability to adapt plans as well as cancel when you like.
- Cash flow – Regular fixed costs can often be easier to manage and budget for allowing a better cash flow than if you have to purchase items on a more ad hoc basis.
- Cost – Subject to the plan and product chosen, you may pay a slight premium for the convenience that comes as a result. A non subscription model may allow for better prices through bulk purchases of the likes of brush heads and could work out cheaper in the long run.
- Flexibility – Subject to the company and products you might not be able to get the subscription to fit with the timescales and intervals for delivery that you desire.
- Adhoc needs – As the brush heads and services are configured on arriving just before you need them, should you lose a brush head or need a new item sooner, you may have to wait or go without as you do not have stock of spares or cannot easily obtain them.
- Delivery – Whilst most subscription plans are pretty robust and things like deliveries guaranteed or insured, the additional stages and parties involved could potentially cause delays and problems that might not come with buying from a normal retail store.
- Brands and commitment – At present the subscription services are run for the most part by smaller, newer companies rather than larger and more recognised brands that have the resources, including financially to scale and manage such services. Smaller companies may not hit numbers and reach to continue long term.
What is the best toothbrush subscription service in the UK?
The Sonic+ from Ordo (view it here on Boots.com) is, in my opinion, the best subscription electric toothbrush in the UK at present.
It cleans well, has a good battery life and the price of the starter kit and replacement refill package is reasonable.
Quip is a close runner. It is actually a better known service due to their popularity in the USA.
Quip offers a good number of options, and the brush itself is well thought out, particularly for travellers. The clean however is just not as invigorating as Ordo.
If you have an electric toothbrush already and want just replacement brush heads, then seriously consider Amazon’s subscription plan as this in our opinion, great.
Prices are very competitive and you struggle to fault the efficiency of the Amazon system for timely deliveries.
And for those wanting a manual brush, then Bristle has to be the option to go for. An eco friendly option, this bamboo toothbrush has a 100% biodegradable handle and is supplied in recyclable packaging.
Ultimately deciding which is the best subscription based service for you will be influenced by your personal preferences.
How do subscription services work?
As you are likely well aware, a subscription is an arrangement whereby goods or services are sold at predetermined intervals rather than as a one off or individual transaction.
Under the subscription banner are several different types of subscription services including fixed usage, unlimited usage and pay-as-you-go.
It is the latter that is most common in the electric toothbrush market.
As a general rule, you will pay a one-time higher fee to acquire an electric toothbrush and then at predetermined intervals (often 3 months), a payment will be made in exchange for replacement brush heads or associated accessories to be delivered to your door.
Each company or brand offering subscription based services have different packages, pricing and terms associated with their subscription model, but most allow for cancellation and amendments to the subscription to be made at any time.
Who offers subscription toothbrushes and brush heads?
As the demand for subscription based products increases, so do the number of brands or suppliers who offer such.
There are those companies who have their own toothbrush and brush head subscription services as well as those that offer just brush heads accessories such as floss for existing brands.
- Ordo – available on Boots.com
Ordo offer a couple of different toothbrushes, but it is the Sonic+ that is the one to go for.
A very capable electric toothbrush, you purchase this for £50 or £55 with a starter kit.
As the name implies, it is a sonic toothbrush with 40,000 pulses per minute.
It has a claimed 3 week battery life, but lasted 6 weeks in my hands on testing. There are 4 brushing modes, a built-in timer, USB charging and 60 day guarantee. It is too available in 3 different colours
For the extra £5, in addition to the toothbrush, you get a starter kit which includes:
- 8 x interdental brushes
- 80ml toothpaste
- 25ml toothpaste
- Reusable mouthwash bottle
- Mouthwash concentrate
- 25m floss
If you opt for the starter kit, you then subscribe to the Sonic+ refill plan at 1, 2, or 3 month intervals with a price of £15 (£5 per month).
If you go for the brush on it’s own, there is no option to subscribe to the brush heads only, but they cost £5 per time.
Ordo Life is a UK based service.
Read our Ordo Sonic+ review.
- Quip – Website Here
One of the most comprehensive subscription toothbrush services, there are packages for individuals, families and groups.
Quip make both an adult and child’s toothbrush.
Plastic, or more premium metal, handled brushes exist in different colours to suit your style and budget.
You can buy products individually or on a subscription basis.
Quip offer fluoride containing toothpaste and a manual toothbrush in addition to their electric models.
There is no flexibility in the frequency of delivery.
Although they are US based, Quip do ship internationally. At the time of writing this was a one of $15 fee. Quarterly brush head shipments incur no shipping fees.
Read our Quip review.
- The Hapi Company – www.thehapicompany.com
Hapi Company offer a Sonic toothbrush which you pay £59.99 for.
Available in 3 colours, it cleans the teeth well, but offers features including 3 brushing modes, a 2 minute timer and pacer, a long lasting battery and USB charging.
You then subscribe to their subscription refill pack.
In the pack you get a single brush head and 2 tubes of Hapi Whiten & Protect toothpaste each containing 50ml.
Priced at £9.00 and you can be subscribed on a 1, 2 or 3 month interval.
This is a UK based service.
- Amazon – www.amazon.co.uk
This massive online retailer has a subscribe and save option whereby many products, including toothbrush heads from leading brands are available to buy.
Whether its for Oral-B, Sonicare, or Colgate, Amazon have the broadest range to subscribe to and one of the best subscription models with the ability to change how frequently you receive deliveries.
Rather than individual heads, these are usually packs of 2 or more, so you need to make your own informed judgement on setting the schedule you want or desire.
Amazon have international sites who may or may not offer this option. Subscription is available in the UK and US.
To find out more about the brush heads of a particular manufacturer, see our following posts:
- Bristle – www.wearebristle.com
A natural manual toothbrush that can be purchased as a pack of 3 for one time purchases or you can subscribe and have a toothbrush delivered every 1, 2 or 3 month’s, it is entirely up to you.
You can even choose the firmness of the bristles.
It is a UK based service.
- Bamboogaloo – www.bamboogaloocom
Focused on sustainable oral hygiene products, you can choose between 1, 2 or 3 month subscriptions, for both adults and children.
These are manual toothbrushes and as the company name implies, they are made from bamboo, which can be composted.
There are accessories such as biodegradable dental floss too, all at very competitive prices.
It is a UK based service.
- Brushbox – www.brushbox.com
A manual toothbrush subscription service with no option for one off purchases.
You have the choice of the regular plastic manual toothbrush or a more environmentally friendly bamboo option.
In addition to the brush you get a toothpaste included. You can opt to add in floss and a tongue scraper too.
The box is delivered every 2 months.
It is a UK based service.
- Pearly White Club – www.pearlywhiteclub.co.uk
Bamboo toothbrushes are all that the Pearly White Club offer.
You choose whether you want a new toothbrush every month or every other month.
There is a choice of an adults or kids toothbrush.
The lack of choice makes is quite appealing.
Where many companies charge you a fee per month, or every time a toothbrush is shipped, Pearly White charge you a one off annual fee, with deliveries taking place at the intervals you requested. The downside, is that this one off fee can appear quite expensive as most others charge on a monthly basis.
It is a UK based service.
- The Bamboo Toothbrush – www.thebamboo.com
Primarily offering a bamboo toothbrush on subscription, a number of other sustainable products are offered alongside.
You are given the choices you need.
Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 monthly deliveries.
Choose between and adults or kids toothbrush as well as the firmness of the bristles and even the colour of the bristles on the brush!
Based in Portugal, they ship internationally.
- Boie USA – www.boieusa.com
An environmentally considerate toothbrush, it is made from recyclable plastics.
The brush heads are interchangeable and able to be recycled too.
Available for purchase on an ad hoc or subscription basis, whilst the brush heads can last 6 months, you can chose to subscribe to the 3, 4 or 6 month plan.
One delivery is made each year containing all the brush heads you need for the following 365 days.
They are US based, but Boie do ship internationally.
Subscription toothbrushes we have reviewed
We have had hands on with a few of the subscription based toothbrushes and have written detailed reviews of each.
Here is a list of those we have tested with a brief summary of them.
Perhaps the best known and one of the pioneers within this space, Quip is a stylish electric toothbrush that offers good value for money, particularly to those within the USA.
It is not the best performing electric toothbrush and feels more of a crossover between manual and electric.
A variety of different packages at different price points exist. This is probably the most comprehensive and well managed subscription based toothbrush service to date.
They do ship internationally, but the benefits are less due to the associated costs.
- Design – The Copper Metal handle I had looked and felt really good. Solid, but light and there are some small but neat touches in the construction of the brush.
- Packaging/experience – Tying in with the design, the packaging and whole user experience is very good and slick, offering a very premium feel from ordering through to the delivery and use.
- Travel cover mount – So simple, yet ingeniously effective at holding and protecting the brush head when in transit but also keeping the brush out of harms way when when not in use.
- Automatic power off – The brush automatically turns off after a 2 minute clean.
- Cleaning experience – Feels somewhat odd. Potentially better than a manual toothbrush but far weaker and less effective than a conventional electric toothbrush. A kind of hybrid that for me just didn’t deliver.
- Design – As smart as it looks, the position of the power button for me was not natural and a little awkward to get used to.
- Battery Status – No indication of how much power is in the brush.
Read our quip toothbrush review.
Unlike the other options we have listed, Boie is a manual toothbrush.
It aims to cut down on pollution in two ways:
- Using plastics that are easier to recycle than those in a standard toothbrush
- Only disposing of the head of the brush, not the handle as well.
This seems like a step in the right direction compared to regular toothbrushes and even electric toothbrush heads, but there is more to consider and we cover this in our Boie Review.
- Design – Slim in the hand and lightweight too.
- Brush heads – Change less frequently and less abrasive on the teeth and gums.
- BPA free
- Subscription – A useful option for some for regular brush head delivery.
- Packaging – Simple and environmentally friendly.
- Design – The flat profile is a little odd in hand and not necessarily as strong.
- Brush head – It is larger than most other brushes I have used. Bristles flex a lot and not sure how well they will retain their structure.
- Concept – Great concept but needs millions to adopt to have impact.
- Comparison to others – lack of detail in the Boie FAQ about how the recycling of this brush compares to mainstream brushes
Read our Boie Review
Save money without a subscription
Many believe you will save money by going on a subscription plan, and you most certainly can, subject to what you opt for.
But, in some instances, you do pay a premium for the convenience that they offer.
The prices are influenced by what it is you want and need from the services. We all buy different products at different price points, so to make a fair comparison is difficult.
For the sake of example, let’s take the UK subscription service The Hapi Company.
Buy the brush and subscribe to their 3 month refill pack and the cost for this will be £89.96 or 8p per day over 3 years.
Oral-B’s Pro 2 2500 works out at just £74 or 7 p per day over the same period.
Whilst for an extra 1p a day you get convenience offered by the delivery of replacement brush heads with The Hapi Company, you don’t get a pressure sensor, travel case and brand leading name.
That said, you do get 2 tubes of 50ml toothpaste with each brush head delivery, so maybe it all equals out?!
From our research and comparisons, we have calculated that the price differences between subscriptions and non subscription models are not really that great, typically within a few pounds of each other, if you compare like for like.
If you do not want to go on a subscription model that is perfectly understandable.
You can save money, particularly buying brush heads. Our article how to get cheap replacement brush heads is a must read.
You then need to take the old tried and tested tips of shopping smartly, finding the best price from a retailer you trust and perhaps waiting for particular times of the year where sales or offers are run. Christmas is a popular time in the dental health space.
Subscriptions can offer convenience, but financially they are not always a better offering.
Furthermore, the technology being offered in subscription toothbrushes isn’t always as good as traditional electric toothbrushes.
All of the current services have their pros and cons.
No one company in our minds is really winning on all counts, but a few are progressing nicely.
Consider what it is you want and make an informed decision.