Looking to replace your old toothbrush or treat yourself to the latest tech? We’ve tested the best electric toothbrushes for every budget
The best electric toothbrushes are clinically proven to do a better job than the manual brushes of old and should be part of everyone’s everyday dental routine. After all, we would all like squeaky clean teeth and a whiter smile – and absolutely no-one enjoys fillings or root canal surgery.
However, finding the best toothbrush for you can be a minefield. Not only do all the toothbrushes look nigh-on identical, but the manufacturers seem to have decided that confusion is good for business, producing several different ranges with different characteristics all at the same time. It’s hard to distinguish between so many similar products, while the boxes and adverts bombard you with pseudo-science and marketing-speak.
Well, rest assured that we’ve done our homework to help you pick the right toothbrush. All the models reviewed here will get your teeth squeaky clean, even if they vary widely in terms of brushing technology, battery life, accessories, extra functions and price. Do you want a toothbrush that gives detailed real-time feedback via your smartphone? Do you want a choice of brush heads? Do you need a charging travel case? Or do you just want something simple that gets the job done? We’re here to help you work that out.
Best electric toothbrush: At a glance
- Best cheap electric toothbrush: Oral-B Vitality Pro | £25
- Best budget sonic toothbrush: Bitvae D2 Ultrasonic | £17
- Best electric toothbrush under £50: Oral-B Pro 3 3000 | £45
- Best non-smart electric toothbrush: Oral B iO Series 3 | £90
- Best high-end electric toothbrush: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 Special Edition | £150
- Best electric toothbrush for children: Philips Sonicare for Kids | £40
How to choose the best electric toothbrush for you
What types of electric toothbrushes are there?
Generally speaking, electric toothbrushes have settled down into two basic types. The first, as manufactured by Oral-B, has a small, round head that oscillates at high speed, rotating quickly one way then the other many thousands of times a second to scrub your teeth and gums. These toothbrushes combine this with a pulsating action, designed to break up plaque along the gum line, making it easier to brush away.
Alternatively, you can opt for the second type, a “sonic” or “ultrasonic” brush. These have heads that vibrate very quickly, at frequencies that buff the tooth surface, break up plaque and force toothpaste through the gaps between your teeth and around the gum line. This makes them more effective at cleaning around and in between your teeth where plaque and tartar tend to build up. Ultrasonic toothbrushes are even faster, creating millions of sound waves per minute to push a special “nano bubble” of toothpaste into your teeth and gums, helping to clean and protect them with even greater efficiency.
What features should I look out for?
Battery life is the biggie. It’s now unusual to get an old-school NiMH battery that runs out in less than two weeks and takes most of a day to charge, but they still exist. More modern lithium-ion batteries will give you two to four weeks of brushing – or more – without a recharge, and will take anywhere between three and 12 hours to reach full capacity.
That’s a significant difference. However, some toothbrushes drain their batteries faster than others, so if you haven’t got a convenient power socket in or near the bathroom, then you might want to look at a model that can handle a few weeks without a refuel.
Modes are increasingly a big deal, giving you different speeds and patterns optimised for whitening, deep cleaning or sensitive teeth and gums. It’s not clear that all of these make a huge amount of difference, but having a slower, gentler mode that you can switch to a faster, more intense mode can be useful when you’re getting used to a new brush.
Otherwise, it’s worth looking out for pressure sensors that can warn you when you’re pressing too hard while brushing – or not hard enough. Plus, a brushing timer that sends a pulse through the brush when it’s time to stop brushing (usually two minutes), or time to move to another quadrant of your mouth (roughly every 30 seconds).
Bundled extras such as a travel case can also come in handy, particularly if it allows the brush to charge in situ via an adaptor or a USB cable. Finally, you should check if the handle is comfortable to hold. Some of us can’t get on with a brush that’s too chunky or too thin, and you might want something with more grip around the handle.
Do I need a Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush?
Bluetooth-enabled “smart” toothbrushes are growing in popularity. They work with companion apps that time your brushes, keep a diary of your activity and provide oral hygiene tips or snippets of news. The more advanced models have sophisticated pressure and motion sensors to allow them to track your brush’s progress around the mouth and make sure you’re reaching every corner, and not skimping on the back teeth or the areas behind your teeth.
These features are fun and can be genuinely useful if you sometimes neglect your dental workouts. The apps from Oral-B and Philips have had some time to mature, and they can guide you towards a better technique that could keep your teeth and gums healthier for longer. All the same, these features aren’t essential, and not everyone is prepared to take their smartphone to the bathroom twice a day or check their app to monitor their brushing. If you can develop a good routine that covers all your teeth and around the gums, then you arguably don’t need a smart brush.
READ NEXT: The best Sonicare electric toothbrushes
What about replacement heads?
The upfront cost of buying a brush isn’t the only expense you’ll have to consider: you’ll also have to buy replacement heads two or three times a year. These generally come in packs of two, four or six, with the standard Oral-B heads the cheapest, and those used in Philips Sonicare and Oral-B’s iO-series brushes coming in at a higher price – typically from around £15 for two, or £25 for four.
To make things more complicated, brush heads come in different types designed for different dental requirements, so you’ll find Sonicare heads for gum care, deeper cleaning or plaque defence, and Oral-B heads with slightly different brushing actions. Any Sonicare head can be used with any Sonicare brush, but Oral B’s standard heads can only be used with its Pro-series brushes, while its iO heads only work with iO series brushes.
If you want to save some money, you’re not restricted to the manufacturer’s own heads. A few smaller, third-party manufacturers make Sonicare- or Oral-B-compatible brush heads, which usually sell for much less than the real deal. Philips and Oral-B will tell you that you’re not getting the same quality or clean from these cheaper heads, but in our tests some have been perfectly effective.
We’ve included links to compatible brush heads in the reviews below, so you can stock up when you run out.
How we test electric toothbrushes
To test electric toothbrushes, we use them twice a day over a period of at least one week, making sure we get a feel for how they handle and perform when cleaning. During the test period, we will try any specific brush modes and attachments, and install any apps required to get the most out of built-in smart features. For at least one of those brushes, we will use plaque-disclosing tablets to check that all areas of the teeth are getting a proper clean (allowing for a little user error). To check battery life, we also leave the toothbrush running while standing up and time how long it takes for the battery to run down. We then divide this figure by the four minutes per day recommended by dentists to get an accurate idea of how many weeks and days a single charge should last.
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The best electric toothbrushes you can buy in 2023
1. Oral-B Vitality Pro: Best cheap electric toothbrush
Price when reviewed: £25 | Check price at AmazonThe Vitality Pro is as basic as electric toothbrushes get, but it’s still a better option than your average manual or battery toothbrush. You don’t get much in the way of features, although the latest version features three brushing modes along with a 30-second pulse timer. If you’re looking for a pressure sensor, for instance, you’ll need to go further up the range. What’s more, this is one of the few Oral-B brushes that doesn’t feature any vibrating 3D action to break down plaque and work in between your teeth, just a simple, back-and-forth oscillation to clean the surface.
All the same, while the action feels a little rough and rattly in comparison to the brand’s more expensive models, it still gives your gnashers a thorough clean, which you can tailor by switching out the CrossAction brush head for a Sensitive or Precision Clean head. And while we feared the worst from the NiMH battery, it actually lasted a reasonable 43 minutes in our tests. We would like to see a pressure sensor and a charging indicator, but if you only have around £25 to spend on a toothbrush, this is as good as it gets.
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 3; Battery type: NiMH; Accessories included: One brush head, charger; Battery life (tested): 43mins; Warranty: Two years
2. Philips One Electric Toothbrush: Best electric travel toothbrush
Price when reviewed: £30 | Check price at AmazonThe Philips One is a great entry level toothbrush that doubles as a brilliant travel brush. Philips has effectively built its Sonicare tech into a brush just 20cm long and weighing only 34g, and the grippy, moulded handle packs neatly into a minimalist travel case.
It’s basic, with just one setting, but you do get a timer, with the brush pulsing every 30 seconds and switching itself off after two minutes. We also like the unusual pink, blue and yellow colour choices.
The One doesn’t have the brushing power of a larger Sonicare brush, but it’s ahead of other battery-powered electric toothbrushes and does a great job of leaving your teeth feeling shiny and clean. The relatively gentle movement is also brilliant for massaging along the gumline.
The single AAA battery keeps it going for up to 90 days, although Philips also sells a more expensive rechargeable version that boosts the cleaning power and boasts a 30-day battery life. We would go for the latter if the One was your one and only toothbrush, but the battery-powered model is perfect for packing in your suitcase or weekend bag.
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 1; Battery type: 1 x AAA NiMH; Accessories included: Travel case; Battery life: 6hrs; Warranty: One year
3. Bitvae D2 Ultrasonic: Best budget sonic toothbrush
Price when reviewed: £17 | Check price at AmazonIt’s not hard to find a £25 Philips Sonicare clone on Amazon, but the Bitvae D2 takes things up a notch. For a start, Bitvae’s budget brush uses a different mechanism, with a chunky plastic shaft to transfer the vibrations between the handle and the brush head.
While the head pulsates at a speed of 40,000 strokes per minute, the handle doesn’t transmit as much buzz as similar brushes, and it’s comfortable when gripped in the hand. Bitvae also throws in eight heads to keep you covered for up to two years of brushing, while the battery is charged by a USB cable, with a barrel-type plug that slots into a socket on the bottom.
Does it deliver as good a clean as the more expensive Sonicare models? Maybe not. Even when you move beyond its Soft and Gum Care modes for the White and Polish options, you don’t quite get the power of a mid-range Philips brush, not to mention alternatives from Oclean or Ordo. However, your teeth feel clean after brushing and the Gum Care mode gives your gums a decent massage, while the Soft mode is ideal for first-time electric toothbrush users or those with sensitive gums.
Battery life is also solid for a budget brush, while it takes just four hours for a recharge. Most importantly, though, this is a big step up in cleaning from manual brushes or cheaper battery models, and you can kit out the whole family without breaking the bank.
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 5; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: 8 x Brush heads, USB charging cable, holder; Battery life (tested): 1hr 33mins; Warranty: One year
4. Oral-B Pro 3 3000: Best affordable brush
Price when reviewed: £45 | Check price at BootsThe new version of Oral-B’s most affordable mid-range brush, the Pro 3 3000, is a winner. The sleek new design drops the rubber grip of the old model, but it’s still easy to handle and easier to rinse clean. The rear pressure sensor is now a 360-degree ring, which makes it a little more visible while you’re brushing, and Oral-B’s timer works as well as ever. If you don’t need Bluetooth or smart features, this brush covers all the fundamentals in style.
What’s more, it delivers an excellent clean, with three modes – Sensitive, Daily Clean and Whitening – that take you all the way from a softer brush that’s easy on the gums to a more intense polish that should help get rid of staining. Battery life, meanwhile, is exceptional; you will easily get through two weeks of brushing and probably three without a recharge. It’s the new king of sensibly priced brushes.
Read our Oral-B Pro 3 3000 review
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 3; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: One brush head, charger; Battery life (tested): 1hr 27mins; Warranty: Two years
5. Ordo Sonic+: A serious challenger to the big-name brands
Price when reviewed: £40 | Check price at BootsWhile there are dozens of cheap electric toothbrushes for sale on Amazon, there still aren’t many serious alternatives to Colgate, Philips and Oral-B. The Ordo Sonic+ makes a pretty good case for itself, though, thanks to a mix of great design, good technology and an interesting subscription model.
You can buy the brush and buy heads as normal, but Ordo also offers a starter kit with toothpaste, floss and mouthwash for £55. Meanwhile, you can subscribe to ongoing refills, either giving you an extra brush and two tubes of toothpaste for £10 every two or three months, or £15 for the whole kaboodle, including toothpaste, mouthwash and floss. This isn’t for everyone – most of us would rather stick with our own favourite dental products – but it’s a nice way to make sure you have everything you need at a reasonable cost.
As for the brush itself, it feels and works much like a mid-range Sonicare toothbrush. It has four brushing modes designed for cleaning, whiting, sensitive teeth and a gum massage, and a nice, slim handle with a grippy, rubber feel. It switches itself off when the usual two-minute brush is done, and pulses every 30 seconds during use to remind you to brush another quarter of your mouth. Battery life, meanwhile, is brilliant, with enough charge to get you through a good month of brushing before recharging via USB. A great electric toothbrush for not a lot of money, even without the subscription plans.
Read our Ordo Sonic+ review
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 4; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: Brush head, charging cradle, travel cap; Battery life (tested): 2hrs 27mins; Warranty: One year
6. Oral-B iO Series 3: Best non-smart electric toothbrush
Price when reviewed: £75 | Check price at Amazon
Not everyone wants the bother of an app-enhanced dental routine, so if you’d rather spend a little less but still get a great toothbrush, then the iO Series 3 could be for you. It delivers the same magnetic drive technology as the other brushes in Oral-B’s flagship iO-Series range, but comes without the advanced sensors and Bluetooth connectivity to monitor your brushing and send the data to your smartphone. In practice, that means a quieter brush with a more comfortable vibration, and one that still leaves your incisors feeling polished and your molars super-clean, as well as doing a fantastic job of clearing plaque from between your teeth.
What’s more, you still get effective pressure-sensing, with an indicator ring on the handle that glows blue to green to red, to let you know if you’re brushing too hard, or not hard enough. The 30-second pulse timer also makes it easy to track how long to spend in each quadrant of your mouth. Meanwhile, the battery life is a little better than many of the other iO-Series brushes, with our test brush clocking 2 hours and 19 minutes of action before running flat. If you must have the smart app features then step up to the slightly more expensive iO Series 4, but if you want the best “dumb” toothbrush, this is it.
Read our Oral-B iO Series 3 review
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 3; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: 1 x brush head, charger, travel case; Battery life (tested): 2hrs 19mins; Warranty: 2 years
7. Oral-B iO Series 6: Best mid-range electric toothbrush
Price when reviewed: £130 | Check price at BootsYou might call Oral-B’s iO9 the Tesla supercar of toothbrushes, but it also has the price to match. The newer iO6 is a different story, with nearly all the same core technology, but at a much more approachable price point.
You don’t get the full suite of sensors of the iO9, but the iO6 still does a great job of tracking where and how you’re brushing and relaying it back to the Oral-B app. Plus, like the more expensive iO brushes, its pressure-sensing indicators and built-in OLED screen give you instant feedback on your brushing and whether you’ve done the full two minutes or slinked off early. Thanks to Oral-B’s magnetic motor technology, the clean is as quiet as it is impressive, with five different brush modes to cover gum care, whitening and sensitive teeth as well as intense and daily cleans. As long as you can live without fast charging, it’s arguably the best-value smart brush out there.
Read our Oral-B io Series 6 review
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 5; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: One brush head, charger, spare head holder, travel case; Battery life (tested): 14 days minimum; Warranty: Two years
8. Oclean X Pro Elite: A quiet, effective and affordable smart brush
Price when reviewed: £80 | Check price at OcleanCan’t stretch to one of Oral-B’s iO Series brushes? Don’t panic. It’s not the only brand with an OLED display and a quiet, magnetic motor. In fact, you could describe the Oclean X Pro Elite as an iO Series/Philips Sonicare mash-up. Like the Oral-B, it has a 0.96-inch colour OLED touchscreen with which to monitor your brushing, along with Bluetooth connectivity and a smartphone app. Like the Sonicare brushes, its brushless magnetic motor keeps the brush head vibrating 42,000 times per minute. As well as four modes (standard, delicate, whitening and gum massage), you can also set the duration and the intensity of your brush, giving you plenty of ways to customise your routine, while the screen gives you feedback on where you’re brushing and how long you’ve been brushing for.
Oclean’s controls and software aren’t quite as polished as Oral-B’s. The OLED touchscreen can be unresponsive, while the app simply tracks the frequency and efficiency of your brushing, and sometimes struggles to make a stable connection to the brush. The iO Series brushes do a better job of actually monitoring where you’ve brushed and where you haven’t. As a toothbrush, though, the Oclean is a real contender; it’s quiet but surprisingly powerful, working effectively along the gumline and doing a fine job of keeping the teeth feeling fresh and clean. As a bonus, you can charge it using nearly any wireless charger – not just the USB pad provided – and the battery lasts for over 160 minutes. That’s enough to maintain your routine for a solid 40 days or more.
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 4; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: One brush head, charger, magnetic wall mount; Battery life (tested): 2hrs 47mins; Warranty: Two years
9. Philips Sonicare ExpertClean 7300: Best mid-range sonic toothbrush
Price when reviewed: £100 | Check price at John LewisFancy the performance and app-enabled features of the DiamondClean Smart? Not quite so keen on the price tag? Well, the ExpertClean 7300 gives you most of the good stuff for a bit less money. Like the DiamondClean Smart, it works with the Sonicare app to track your brushing and dish out reminders, guidance and tips. It can tell you whether you’re not brushing for long enough or you’re applying too much pressure, and with three different cleaning modes – Clean, Gum Health and Deep Clean+ – it’s easy to vary them or find the ideal mode for you.
It’s a very comfortable and well-designed brush as well, with pulse alerts to help you keep track of your brushing if you’re not using the app, and a clear battery indicator to let you know when it’s running down. Not that this is too much of an issue; Philips states that the battery should last you three weeks of brushing, and our tests put that on the conservative side.
Plus, while you don’t get all the extra brushes or charging glass of the flagship model, it does still come with a handy USB charging case, making this a fantastic toothbrush for both home and travel. It’s still not what you might call cheap, but it’s a premium brush at a price you might find easier to swallow.
Read our full Philips Sonicare ExpertClean 7300 review
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 3; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: 2 brush heads, charging travel case, charger; Battery life (tested): 1hr 33mins; Warranty: Two years
10. Oral-B iO Series 9: Best high-end rotary toothbrush
Price when reviewed: £250 | Check price at BootsThis is the priciest toothbrush we’ve ever tested, but with bundles of smart features, a new design, significantly improved charging and a new drive system, it’s a step up from the brand’s previous flagship, the Genius X. While the bristle heads remain the same, the new magnetic iO drive system transfers motor energy directly to the bristle tips. So not only does the motor power the bristle rotation, but it also uses some of that energy to gently vibrate the brush head at the same time. This is, in theory, meant to improve how well it brushes your teeth.
Like its predecessor, there are multiple brushing modes to choose from, including whitening, intense and tongue clean. It uses granular mapping that’s been upgraded since the Genius X, so you can pinpoint specific areas of your mouth more accurately and follow progress live via the app. Progress is tracked using sensors in the brush that have been trained via an algorithm and, when used in tandem with the app, can highlight areas for improvement over time.
Then there’s that improved charging. The Oral-B iO’s magnetic charging dock provides a full charge that lasts up to two weeks in just three hours. While it won’t replace your dentist, this is as close to a professional clean at home as you’re going to get.
Read our full Oral-B iO9 review
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 7; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: One brush head, brush head refill holder, magnetic charger, travel case with integrated charger; Battery life (tested): 14 days minimum; Warranty: Two years
11. Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 Special Edition: Best high-end sonic toothbrush
Price when reviewed: £300 | Check price at John LewisThe DiamondClean 9000 is a step up from the ExpertClean 7300, adding important features from Philips’ flagship Prestige series without the gimmicky extras that add to the cost. The slim handle, clear indicators and easy-to-find tactile buttons make it a very easy brush to use, and while you don’t get the position-sensing features of the Prestige brushes, you can still track your brushing habits through the companion smartphone app and get tips on how to improve them.
However, the best reason to get the DiamondClean 9000 is that you’re still getting the best clean available in the Sonicare range. The Deep Clean + mode might even be too intense for some people, but you can turn down the intensity or switch to the regular Clean or White + mode to enjoy a clean that will leave your teeth feeling polished, and even get rid of much of the plaque and debris that can accumulate between your teeth. Meanwhile, the Gum Health mode is brilliant for treating and toughening up soft gums.
Throw in epic battery life and a neat charging cradle, and you’ve got a fantastic package. If you’re looking for a quiet, comfortable but powerful toothbrush, this is the high-end model to buy.
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 4; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: 4 x brush heads, travel case, charger; Battery life (tested): 1hr 52mins; Warranty: Two years
12. Philips Sonicare for kids: Best electric toothbrush for children
Price when reviewed: £40 | Check price at AmazonGetting kids to clean their teeth well is rarely easy, but a decent electric brush can help, and this one will make it fun, too. The interactive Bluetooth app puts the character Sparkly, who loves nothing more than cleaning his teeth, at the centre of the action on your device. Not only can kids mimic Sparkly cleaning his teeth in real-time, focusing on different sections of the mouth, but they can gain rewards including food, accessories and new skills for him by cleaning as they should and for the required two minutes.
Even if you don’t use the app, it’s a hit with kids thanks to the replaceable stickers and the built-in timer and jingle. It’s durable, lasts well and has a good battery life. A great way to transform your children’s teeth-cleaning.
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 2; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: One brush head, charger, 8 customisation stickers; Battery life (tested): 56mins; Warranty: Two years