The difference between a good toothbrush and a bad toothbrush is night and day. I should know; I’ve bought more than my fair share of dollar store toothbrushes. I always seem to forget to pack my toothbrush when I travel, and those cheap brushes always make me pay for it.
Granted, these budget toothbrushes aren’t electric, but the same principle applies. If you want bloody gums, buy a cheap toothbrush. If you want clean teeth, buy a good one.
But with so many electric options on the market, how can you tell the good ones from the bad ones? After all, a high price tag doesn’t necessarily mean better quality.
How to Buy an Electric Toothbrush
If you want to buy a good toothbrush, you need to know what features to look for. This is especially important if you’re buying an electric toothbrush at a retail store instead of online. You need to be able to tell the difference between essential features and those which are just convenient or nice to have.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important features for an electric toothbrush. If your brush doesn’t check all these boxes, it’s probably time for you to upgrade. After all, that’s why you’re here, isn’t it?
1. Comfortable to Use
This one might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s really important, and for multiple reasons. The most immediate measure of comfort is in how easy the toothbrush is to wield. Does your toothbrush feel clunky or cumbersome in your hand? Is it comfortable to hold?
You’ll notice that these are questions you can’t readily answer shopping for a toothbrush online. You can read customer reviews, of course, but if a toothbrush feels clumsy, that’s at least partially subjective. One way to circumvent this problem is to do some research online and then go to a local retail store to handle the toothbrush yourself.
The other issue of comfort is more complicated, because you won’t know how comfortable it is to use the toothbrush until it’s in your mouth – and that means you have to buy it first. There isn’t really any way around this one. If your electric toothbrush results in discomfort, stop using it and buy another one. You might lose a little money, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
2. Automatic Timer
Did you know that dentists recommend that you brush your teeth for two minutes at a time? I was disappointed to discover this, because it means that I’m not brushing my teeth for nearly long enough.
A lot of electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer for this very reason. Most of us aren’t going to use a stopwatch or keep a silent count in our heads each time we brush our teeth. Timers let you know when you’ve finished brushing, so you don’t have to check your watch or second-guess yourself.
Some toothbrushes even shut off automatically once your two minutes are up. While an automatic off-switch isn’t as critical as a timer, it’s still a nifty feature to have.
3. Power Settings
Most electric toothbrushes have more than one power setting. This makes it easy for you to go from gentle cleaning to a more vigorous scrub easily. Having a variety of power settings will be more helpful to some people than to others, but it’s always a good thing to look for.
Different power settings are especially important if you have sensitive teeth for any reason. In addition, if your toothbrush feels uncomfortable, it may just be that you’re using it on too high of a setting. Try turning down the intensity and go again.
Toothbrush settings vary greatly, but they might can include general cleaning, sensitive mode, massage, whitening and more. If you have specific dental needs, make sure you look for a toothbrush that is able to fit the bill.
4. Power Source
Generally speaking, electric toothbrushes are powered in one of two ways: either they use a standard alkaline battery or they run off of a rechargeable battery. Electric toothbrushes using regular batteries are often cheaper, but buying batteries can get expensive after a while.
Bear in mind that most toothbrushes can run for around two weeks on a charge. For rechargeable batteries, this means simply plugging your toothbrush can into its charger – something you’re likely to do after you finish anyway. But if you’re using disposable batteries, that cost can add up quickly, possibly negating any money you saved.
There may be times when using standard batteries is advantageous. It’s easy to carry a backup supply of batteries, but if you’re camping or traveling, it may not always be possible to charge your toothbrush regularly.
Why You Need an Electric Toothbrush
Despite the ready availability of electric toothbrushes, millions of people still use regular toothbrushes to clean their teeth. Just take a look at the supermarket. You’ll see dozens of varieties of toothbrush from more brands than you can count. Chances are there will only be a handful of electric toothbrushes to choose from.
This is unfortunate, because electric toothbrushes are unequivocally superior to standard toothbrushes. They are clinically proven to be more effective than regular toothbrushes. A good electric toothbrush removes plaque as much as three times faster than an ordinary toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are easier on the gums than traditional brushes and make it easier to clean your hard-to-reach teeth.
If you’re still on the fence about buying an electric toothbrush, don’t be. Once you find a toothbrush you like, you’ll never want to go back.
The Best Electric Toothbrushes
Picking our top recommendation isn’t always easy, but sometimes the choice is as plain as day. Although it’s the cheapest toothbrush on this list, the Fairywill electric toothbrush has more upsides than hours in a day. And while it can’t quite compete with the best of Oral-B and Sonicare’s toothbrushes, it’s far and away more affordable. Take a look!
Best Electric Toothbrushes Under $50
Fairywill Sonic Electric Whitening Toothbrush
A good toothbrush doesn’t have to be expensive. The Fairywill Sonic Electric Toothbrush is a good reminder of that. It may not be a big name brand like Oral-B, but it delivers the kind of performance you’d expect from a big name brand. And that is no small accomplishment.
The Fairywill offers a sleek, ergonomic toothbrush every bit as stylish as the biggest brands in the world. The toothbrush offers three different settings: clean, sensitive and massage. So whether you just want to get the job done quickly or you have sensitive teeth, there are options for you.
One of the most desirable features of any electric toothbrush is the automatic timer. This might be a budget-friendly toothbrush, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deliver where it counts. With a two-minute automatic shutoff, you’ll get the perfect brush every time. In addition, the Fairywill has an incredible lifespan.
One four hour charge will power the toothbrush for up to a month, so you never have to worry about it running out of juice. And since it uses a USB charger, you can charge it with you wherever you go – even in your car while you travel!
As an added bonus, the toothbrush ships with two extra brush heads, giving you nine months worth of brushes and saving time and money. The toothbrush is completely waterproof and can be used safely in the shower. It comes with a one-year warranty and a 180 day money-back guarantee, so you have absolutely nothing to lose in trying it.
Long story short: there’s almost nothing this toothbrush won’t do. For a toothbrush that costs less than $25, that’s incredible. And when you do finally need replacement heads, you can get a four-pack for $9.99. That’s a years’ worth of brushed teeth for Alexander Hamilton. Not bad at all.
Philips Sonicare Essence 5600 Electric Toothbrush
Compared to the Fairywill toothbrush, Philips Sonicare Essence isn’t nearly as good of a value. That’s not a knock on this toothbrush, as it performs exactly as I’d expect it to, and at a very reasonable price to boot.
One of the biggest boons of the Philips Sonicare is the patented sonic technology. This enables the toothbrush to provide 31,000 brush strokes a minute, tens of thousands of times more than a manual toothbrush is capable of. This allows the toothbrush to provide a more thorough clean, even in areas where the brush has trouble reaching, fighting plaque and warding gum infections like gingivitis.
Like any electric toothbrush worth its salt, the Sonicare Essence comes with a two-minute timer and an automatic shutoff afterwards, ensuring you brush your teeth just the right amount. Another interesting feature of this toothbrush is its Easy-Start feature. This gradually increases the power of the brush over the first 12 uses, helping your mouth acclimate to the new brush and avoid bloody gums and other issues common with switching brushes.
The toothbrush is backed by a two-year warranty and runs for up to two weeks on a single charge. The toothbrush comes with a charging base that makes it easy to store when not in use. All in all, this is an excellent toothbrush.
Unfortunately, it does not come with replacement heads, and a two-pack costs between $20 and $30. I preferred the Fairywill to this, but if you’re looking for a toothbrush by a well-established company, this one is a great value.
Techege Electric Rechargeable iBrush
It seems like everything has an ‘i’ in front of it these days. You’ve got the iPad, the iPod, the iBook, the iPhone. Those are all Apple products, of course, but you have other brands like iHome speaker systems, as well as popular television shows such as iCarly (fittingly centered around a girl’s vodcast) and iZombie.
With all that going on, why not have an iBrush too? Developed by practicing dentist Patty Martin, DDS, the iBrush was designed with patients in mind to be as accommodating to different preferences as possible. With five different brush settings, there’s sure to be an intensity that’s right for everyone.
Like most electric toothbrushes, it has a two-minute timer for a better brushing experience. Unlike most electric toothbrushes, it also has a powerful UV sanitizer that kills 99% of harmful germs and bacteria. The iBrush is waterproof, comes with a water-resistant charger, and also includes three additional brush heads, giving you a whole year’s worth of brush heads with your purchase.
Replacement brush heads come in a pack of four. They are more expensive than Fairywill brushes but cheaper than Philips, offering a nice middle ground for those who enjoy the additional intensity settings the iBrush has to offer. It’s not quite a perfect brush – it’s a little bulky, and the charging station is unsightly – but it’s a great value for the price. Unfortunately, the toothbrush is not covered by a warranty of any kind.
SHAOJIER Electric Toothbrush Clean
The Shaojier is a sleek, stylish toothbrush that features both a slim body and an unobtrusive stand that takes up very little space on your kitchen sink. The brush is available in three colors – light pink, baby blue, white – making it perfect for girls and boys of all ages. The innovative brush positions guarantee a brushing like you’ve never felt before.
The toothbrush comes with three modes: cleaning, brightening and softening. So whether you’re just focused on removing plaque or you want to work towards a whiter smile, the Shaojier can help you get there. The toothbrush has an automatic two-minute timer with 30-second pulsating intervals, and a single six-hour charge lasts for up to a month, assuming you brush twice a day.
The toothbrush is waterproof for easy cleaning, and comes with two replacement heads for more use right out of the box. At less than 75 DB, it’s one of the quietest electric toothbrushes on the market. It offers speeds between 35,000 and 40,000 rates per minute, perfect for working with sensitive gums or aggressive cleaning.
The toothbrush is also backed by a two-year warranty and a 180 day money-back guarantee. Like the Fairywill, replacement packs cost about $10, making this toothbrush an affordable investment all year.
Best Electric Toothbrushes Under $100
Oral-B White Pro 1000 Power Electric Toothbrush
With the Oral-B White Pro 1000, I review the first of four straight electric toothbrushes from Oral-B. This has nothing to do with quality, of course. Oral-B toothbrushes tend to be fairly expensive, and most are similar in price.
If you’re looking for a good toothbrush for a real low price, Oral-B is not the best choice, as their cheapest toothbrushes are close to $50. But if you’re looking for a real powerful clean, then Oral-B has a lot to offer.
As one of their budget brushes, the White Pro 1000 doesn’t offer nearly as many features as their more expensive brushes, but it does delivers a solid, clean feeling. Nevertheless, I can’t help but feel like this brush is a bit of a disappointment.
Unlike the previous four brushes – all of which were less expensive – the White Pro 1000 offers just one single setting. It does have a two-minute timer with intervals, and a pressure sensor informs you when you’re pressing too hard, but the lack of settings, along with a single brush head, make it hard for this toothbrush to stand out, especially at its price.
However, I have to say the toothbrush looks and feels great. It’s attractive and easy to handle, and the charging station isn’t bulky and doesn’t take up a lot of space. Another huge point in Oral-B’s favor are the replacement brushes. You get an 8-pack of brush heads – a two-year supply – for less than $15. That is far and away a better value than any other brush on here, and that alone ensures the White Pro 1000 a place on this list.
Oral-B 3000 Smartseries Electric Toothbrush
The Oral-B Pro 3000 Series is a major step up from the Pro 1000 brush. Where the last brush offered the barest minimum of features, the Pro 3000 has a lot more to offer.
Like most good toothbrushes, the Pro 3000 provides three different settings to take care of all your needs. From the cleaning and whitening mode to sensitive mode and gum care massage, all of the essentials are right there.
What’s more, the toothbrush offers something most others do not: Bluetooth technology that connects to an app on your phone. This provides you real time information on your brushing routines and helps you to know if you get off track or off schedule.
In addition, this Pro Series also comes with three replacement heads for a full year’s supply of clean teeth. If you would rather purchase the replacement brushes separately, the brush itself is priced at around $75 – a reasonable markup for a vastly superior brush.
Oral-B Pro 5000 Smartseries Electric Toothbrush
For whatever reason, Oral-B likes to skip odd numbers in their series of toothbrushes. No matter; the Pro 5000 SmartSeries is a sleek, powerful toothbrush with even more improvements over the 3000 Series. Priced at just around $100, this is fairly expensive for a toothbrush, but then again, it does things no other toothbrush can.
The most notable difference between this and the Pro 3000 is once again the number of intensity settings. Where the Oral-B 1000 had just one basic setting and the 3000 had three, the Pro 5000 SmartSeries offers five different modes: daily care, gum care, deep clean, sensitive and whitening. With the Oral-B Pro 5000, you never have to brush your teeth the same way two days in a row.
Like the Pro 3000, the 5000 SmartSeries offers a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone, giving you real-time updates and feedback, helping you to brush smarter and take better care of your oral health and dental hygiene.
Another added bonus of the Oral-B 5000 is that it comes with a travel case, making it more convenient for you to take your toothbrush with you when you’re not at home. This isn’t a toothbrush to buy lightly – it represents a serious investment. But if you’re hesitant about your dental health, you can’t go wrong with this.
Best Electric Toothbrushes Under $150
Oral-B 7000 Power Electric Toothbrush
There’s one major problem with reviewing the same basic toothbrush four times in a row. What can I say about the Oral-B Pro 7000 SmartSeries that I haven’t already said about the last three? Oral-B isn’t reinventing the wheel each time they release a new series. Rather, they make a handful of specific but valuable improvements.
The big changes this time include a sixth brush setting: tongue cleaner. This is an awesome feature, as your tongue can collect a lot of food particles, bacteria and other nasty stuff as you eat. (There are more bacteria in your mouth than any other organ, after all.) By cleaning your tongue regularly, you can take steps to improve both your breath and your overall oral health.
The other major addition to this SmartSeries is the Braun wireless Smart Guide. This real-time piece of electronics serves as a real-time hub, providing visual feedback while you brush. This is helpful because, while you can’t readily stare at your Android while you’re brushing your teeth, you can look at a little computer screen.
All of the other things you’ve come to expect, including Bluetooth capabilities and a travel case, are all included with the Pro 7000. At nearly $150, this is a lot more toothbrush than most people need. But if you insist on having the best, this is a good place to start.
Best Electric Toothbrushes Under $200
Philips Sonicare CleanCare HX5910 Power Toothbrush
If you’re wondering why this toothbrush is so expensive, you can relax. This is actually a two-pack of electric toothbrushes, making this both an excellent value and a great investment for a couple to begin taking better care of the teeth together.
The Sonicare Elite HX5910 is the complete package. The brush comes with a number of great features, including three different brush modes, a two-minute timer with intervals, and a two-year warranty that guarantees lasting satisfaction from your toothbrush.
Since this is a two-pack, you’re getting a lot more value as well. Included are two charging stations, two travel packs and three standard brush heads, so you’re getting quite a lot of value with this purchase.
Sonicare claims to be the #1 toothbrush recommended by dentists, but Oral-B also makes that claim, so I don’t really know who’s right or wrong here. I’m also not really sure it matters. While the Sonicare Elite doesn’t come with built-in Bluetooth that connects with a smart app, that isn’t exactly a must-have for a toothbrush.
If you’re looking for a high-end toothbrush, I’d say this is pretty much exactly on par with the Oral-B Pro Series 3000. Even the replacement brush heads are a competitive price.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9300 Electric Toothbrush
The Sonicare DiamondClean 9300 is Philips’ answer to the Oral-B SmartSeries. This exceptional electric toothbrush offers not just four different user modes (clean, white, deep clean, gum health) but also three different intensity settings, giving you unparalleled control over your brushing experience.
In addition, the DiamondClean 9300 has three different types of brush to compliment the different settings, and also includes smart sensors that provide you with real-time feedback as you brush. Like the Oral-B SmartSeries, DiamondClean connects directly to your smart phone, monitoring your brushing habits and offering feedback to help you to a healthier smile.
Perhaps what’s most impressive about the DiamondClean are the accoutrements. The charging station offers style like you’ve never seen it before: a stylish glass charger that classes up your bathroom vanity. Also impressive is the premium travel case that is as white as your smile is going to be. Both of these accessories help elevate the DiamondClean to a whole new level.
Most people are probably not interested in spending nearly $200 on a single toothbrush. But if you really want an exceptional brushing experience, Sonicare DiamondClean 9300 is an awesome ride.
If you’ve ever thought about switching over to an electric toothbrush, there has never been a better time to do it, or a better selection of high quality products to choose from.
Whether you want an all-star affordable toothbrush like the Fairywill or go all out for the Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries or Sonicare DiamondClean 9300, we feel confident that you will walk away with a quality toothbrush. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.