What are the best teeth whitening strips in the UK? If you're looking to whiten your teeth from home, you'll find plenty of options to choose from, although chances are you've never heard of most of them. So how do you know which are best for you?
Everyone has different needs, so the best whitening strips for someone else may not be the best for you. That's why in this article we've reviewed some of the top options on the market today so you can make an informed choice.
We'll also talk a bit about the pros and cons of using strips to whiten your teeth, compared with other teeth whitening products like kits and pens. You may decide you want to give one of those a try instead. So without further ado, let's have a look at the best at-home teeth whitening strips!
Whitening strips work for some people, but they can be fiddly to use and give uneven coverage. For more convenient and consistent results, have you considered a whitening kit?
Smile Avenue uses LED technology to speed up the whitening process and deliver noticeable results in a few days. The remineralizing gel formula is safe for sensitive teeth, and the hands-free mouthpiece plugs into your phone for a convenient, 16-minute whitening treatment.
Table of contents
- 1 How do teeth whitening strips work?
- 2 What are the best teeth whitening strips in the UK?
- 3 Summary of the best whitening products
- 4 White strips alternatives
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 FAQs
How do teeth whitening strips work?
Let's go over some basics first.
Teeth whitening strips are thin, flexible, transparent or translucent strips that are coated on one side with a tooth whitening gel. You apply them directly to your teeth for a short amount of time each day, and gradually the bleaching agent gets to work.
In accordance with EU law, over-the-counter whitening strips in the UK may not contain more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide. It's possible to get a stronger formula, of up to 6%, on prescription from a dentist.
You may have heard of Crest whitening strips before, however, due to the fact they contain more than 6% hydrogen peroxide, you won't find them for sale in any UK outlets. These restrictions mean that the best whitening strips in the UK are quite different to American teeth whitening strips, and the product offering certainly isn't as rich over here.
In fact, most UK whitening strips contain sodium chlorite as the active whitening ingredient. This can have a whitening effect, but a study in the British Dental Journal found that it also may reduce the hardness of dental enamel and leave teeth more susceptible to surface abrasions. As such, the British Dental Association advises caution when using any whitening products containing sodium chlorite.
When researching whitening strips in the UK you'll come across various brands which all promise great results but vary in a few ways, including:
- Length of treatment time
- Number of strips included
- Extra ingredients
- Special features
In our teeth whitening strip reviews below we'll go over these points in more detail so you can understand what they mean in practice.
How to use whitening strips
Every set of teeth whitener strips will have their own set of instructions which you should follow. However, in general, to use a whitening strip you:
- Brush first: This removes plaque and allows the whitening ingredients to better penetrate your enamel.
- Identify top and bottom strips: Some brands have different sized top and bottom strips, so make sure you sort out which is which. Usually the top strip is longer than the bottom one.
- Apply the strips: You'll need to peel the strip off of its backing. The side that was attached to the backing is the side with the gel, and this is the side that needs to come in contact with your teeth. Press the strips to your teeth, making sure your teeth are completely covered, and smooth the strips down.
- Keep the strips on for the time indicated in the instructions (usually around 30 minutes).
- Remove the strips, brush and rinse well with water. Avoid eating or drinking for around an hour after treatment.
Please note that using your strips for longer than the time indicated won't make your teeth whiter, but the hydrogen peroxide could damage your enamel or gums.
Don't be alarmed if you notice white patches on your teeth immediately after using teeth whitening strips. These can occur because of the way the chemicals react with your enamel, but should fade straight away.
What are the best teeth whitening strips in the UK?
Alright! So we know what whitening strips are, and how they work, but which ones should you buy? To help you answer that, let's take a look at some of the best whitening strips for teeth available in the UK right now.
Do take the term ‘best' with a pinch of salt, as none of these products get more than a 4-star review on Amazon. Aside from them being fiddly to use, the regulations mentioned above mean you're not going to get drastic results. If you're really set on using whitening strips then by all means give one of the products below a try. But we also recommend you consider a teeth whitening kit for better results.
Also, a note for any readers hoping to find Crest 3D White Whitestrips for sale in the UK… they are incredibly popular in the US, but over in the UK they are banned. Not because they are a bad product, but because the 10% concentration of hydrogen peroxide is well above the legal limit of 0.1% for over-the-counter whitening strips in the UK.
You can still find these and other American teeth whitening strips on sites like eBay, but there's no guarantee of the products being genuine. We recommend you stick to a regulated brand or – for stronger results – a teeth whitening kit.
Fairywill Gentle Whitening Strips
You might have heard of Fairywill before – they make one of our top picks for an affordable electric toothbrush and have a fast-expanding range of dental products available in the UK. But are Fairywill teeth whitening strips any good?
Well first of all, they offer the best value. Not only is their product one of the most competitively priced, you also get a generous 44 strips (22 treatments). Overall, this works out at less than 70p per treatment, and that's before you add in any discounts available on Amazon.
Other selling points include:
- Gentle, non-peroxide formula
- V-shaped design for better coverage
- Minty taste
- Results last up to 90 days
In the Fairywill teeth whitening strips review video below you can get a good idea of what it's like to use these (or any other) strips. Jane Ann Louise pops back after 3 days so you can compare her before and after shots after this short time.
And here are some comments from people who purchased these whitening strips on Amazon:
“This is my first time using teeth whitening strips so I didn’t know what to expect. These were really straight forward and simple to use. I have used these the last few nights and I can see a difference already.”
“My new go-to whitening strips. Such good value for the price. They're the only strips that make my teeth so much whiter without any of the uncomfortable sensitivity after use. I have used Crest strips in the past but these are so much better. Highly recommend”-Amazon reviewers
If you haven't used whitening strips before and are wary of spending too much on a product you won't get on with, Fairywill could be a good place to start.
Spotlight Teeth White Strips
Next up we have Spotlight Teeth White Strips, which have been developed by Irish dentists. They contain a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to help remove surface stains and whiten enamel. If you're specifically after peroxide teeth whitening strips, give these a go as they are some of the best-rated ones available in the UK.
“Very easy to use and taste was nice. I got a little sensitivity for a day after using these in one tooth but disappears when you stop. I would recommend as they worked for me even after a couple of uses. I will use the full 14 days and then top up once a week after that.”-Amazon reviewer
Most customers seem quite happy with the product, but a few are disappointed, saying they saw “no noticeable difference” or their teeth only become one shade whiter.
On the downside, these strips are more expensive than most others and you must keep them on for 1 hour for the best results. Depending on your daily routine, you may find this less convenient than the others featured here which only need 30 minutes.
Mr Blanc Teeth
Mr Blanc Minty Fresh Teeth Whitening Strips promise “eliminate stains without leaving any sensitivity” thanks to the peroxide-free formula. They make quite a few claims, including a “clinically proven average of 3 shades whiter in 14 days”. Since you don't get a shade guide in the box, it could be difficult to measure this at home.
Some users mention that they have to leave the strips on for longer than the recommended 30 minutes to get good results. We don't suggest doing this as you risk damaging your teeth. Pairing the strips with Mr Blanc Whitening Toothpaste could be a better way to boost your results.
As for the taste, not many people are raving about the promised minty freshness, but equally there aren't many complaints. “Don’t taste awful” and “neutral” are some descriptions that come up. And it seems that the company's claims about sensitivity hold up well, so that's good to know if you're worried about whitening sensitive teeth. Read our full review of Mr Blanc for more details.
Pro Teeth Whitening Co Charcoal Whitening Strips
Don't be put off by the idea of sticking something black to your teeth! Activated charcoal is used in many whitening products, although dental professionals have mixed opinions about it.
These activated charcoal teeth whitening strips have been formulated by dentists as part of Pro Teeth Whitening Co's product range. They use 100% naturally derived ingredients in their strips, including coconut oil and cellulose gum.
As with all the products we've reviewed here, some people are really impressed with their results while others have seen very little difference. Some people have mentioned sensitivity, which is interesting considering these strips don't contain peroxide.
If you're into the charcoal whitening trend then these are probably the best teeth whitening strips to try, as they're from a well established brand. Just make sure you don't leave behind any of the black gel when you brush your teeth after using them!
Summary of the best whitening products
To help you digest the above information and select the best option for you, we've summarised details of these four dental whitening strips in this table:
Since prices on Amazon change regularly, it's worth clicking through to see what offers are available right now on the products you're interested in.
White strips alternatives
There are a zillion ways to whiten teeth: strips, gels, oils, toothpaste, trays, pens, LEDs… they all vary in cost and effectiveness. For the best results you'll probably want to see a dentist for professional in-office whitening, but be prepared to pay hundreds of pounds for this. If you're looking for a more affordable option that still delivers professional-looking results, we recommend an at-home whitening kit. Here are a couple of great ones to consider:
Designed in France and made in the US, the Smile Avenue whitening kit is safe and effective, even for sensitive teeth. The active ingredient, Phthalimidoperoxycaproic Acid (PAP), is a proven teeth whitener. Hydroxyapatite remineralizes your enamel, and LED technology speeds up the process so you get results faster.
The generous four pens of gel will get you through 24-30 days of treatment, and after that you can purchase affordable refills.
Unlike most whitening strips, Smile Avenue's kit comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you're not happy with the results you'll get a full refund. Click through to their website where you'll get free shipping, and use discount code DENTA10 for 10% off your whole purchase!
You can also read our full review of Smile Avenue if you want to know more about this product.
Snow, an American brand that really made a name for itself in 2020, is a premium whitening system with revolutionary technology. You can read our review of Snow whitening to find out what all the fuss is about, but here's a quick overview:
- Gives you affordable, professional results
- Uses advanced technology like blue and red LED light to accelerate whitening and kill bad bacteria
- Has a hands-free, wireless and waterproof option – whiten while you shower!
- Uses a special combination of carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide for optimum results
- Delivers a whole year's worth of results in one kit
- Has refills and other products available
Their kits ship internationally from the US, and they often have special offers running. So why not jump over to their website and take a look?
We could say that even the best teeth whitening strips in the UK leave a lot to be desired when compared to those available in the US. This is mainly because of the regulations in place on these products in the UK. Still, plenty of people seem happy using them and get decent results.
If you've tried whitening strips and been dissatisfied with the outcome – whether because of uneven coverage or just minimal effect, consider trying a home whitening kit instead. Although they are not quite as convenient as strips, they use more effective ingredients so you might get better results.
Whichever product you try, remember that perfectly white teeth don't mean that you have a healthy smile, and vice versa. Your first priority should be to take care of your oral health and get in to see the dentist regularly.
How often should you use teeth whitening strips?
You should always follow the instructions that came with your kit. Most strips are meant to be used once a day, every day, for a period of anywhere from two weeks to a month. Using your strips more often than instructed probably won't help whiten your teeth more, and might result in tooth sensitivity, or even damage to your enamel or gums.
Do whitening strips really work?
They can work, and some that work for some people don't work for others, so you may want to try a couple of brands with different ingredients before giving up. You might get better and more consistent results with a teeth whitening kit, though.
Are teeth whitening strips safe?
Yes. Unless you have an allergy to one of the ingredients, there is no reason to consider that whitening strips are unsafe. Just be sure to follow the usage instructions and don't leave the strips on for longer than stated. If you experience any adverse reactions aside from minor tooth sensitivity, stop using them and consult your dentist.
Can you buy peroxide teeth whitening strips in the UK?
Yes, you can, but these products are regulated so cannot contain more than 0.1% peroxide unless prescribed by a dentist. This renders the peroxide content almost useless. Instead, most UK strips use Sodium Chlorite, an ingredient which can whiten teeth but has also been shown to reduce the hardness of enamel.
Are American teeth whitening strips available in the UK?
Technically yes, you can buy Crest Whitestrips and other American brands over here from certain sellers. But any over-the-counter strips containing more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide are not allowed to be sold in the UK. For comparison, Crest strips have 10%. Anyone selling these products is not operating legally.