If you're reading this, chances are you are looking for the best electric toothbrush for 2020, and want to know how to keep your teeth clean and healthy. After all, nobody looks forward to having fillings and root canals at the dentist! But do you really need an electric toothbrush to maintain good oral hygiene?
The key to keeping your teeth clean is knowing how to brush properly and forming good habits. While this is possible with a manual toothbrush, the features available with many modern toothbrushes can be a big help. But with models costing anywhere from $20 to $200 or more, how do you choose the best electric toothbrush for you?
In this article, you will find out more about the benefits of powered toothbrushes as we compare features, reviews and consumer reports of some of the top brands available in the US, like Braun electric toothbrushes and Philips Sonicare toothbrushes. In just a few minutes you'll be better informed to find the best electric toothbrush for your needs. The following are the electric toothbrushes that we will review in this article:
- Quip electric toothbrush
- Braun Oral-B Genius Pro 8000
- Braun Oral-B Pro 1000
- Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart
- Fairywill electric toothbrush
Table of contents
- 1 Why use an electric toothbrush?
- 2 Choosing the best electric toothbrush for you
- 3 Braun Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 electric toothbrush
- 4 Braun Oral-B Pro 1000
- 5 Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart
- 6 Fairywill
- 7 Quip Toothbrush
- 8 Best electric toothbrushes for kids
- 9 Conclusion
- 10 FAQs
- 10.1 What is the best cheap electric toothbrush?
- 10.2 What is the best electric toothbrush under $50?
- 10.3 What is the best electric toothbrush for sensitive gums?
- 10.4 What is the best electric toothbrush for periodontal disease?
- 10.5 What is the best electric toothbrush brand?
- 10.6 What is the best electric toothbrush for whitening and plaque removal?
Why use an electric toothbrush?
Let's be clear on this from the get-go: if you can't be bothered to brush your teeth properly, it doesn't matter how much you spend on a fancy toothbrush. You're still likely to end up with dental problems like tooth decay, bad breath or gingivitis (gum disease), even if you own the best electric toothbrush on the market.
Common issues that affect oral hygiene include:
- Not brushing twice a day
- Not brushing for long enough (2 minutes is recommended)
- Limited dexterity which affects brushing movement
- Not focusing on cleaning each area properly
- Brushing too hard (which damages gums)
- Using toothpaste that doesn't contain enamel-protecting fluoride
- Rinsing after brushing (which washes away the fluoride in your toothpaste)
- Not replacing your toothbrush or toothbrush head often enough
- Not cleaning between teeth with floss or an interdental brush
Electric powered brushes can help with some, but not all, of these problems. Our guide to brushing teeth has a full description of the correct technique, and you can discover the best manual toothbrushes here.
If you have arthritis or some other condition that limits your movement, you will almost certainly benefit from a toothbrush that does most of the hard work while you just hold it against each tooth. But there are other features which can help anyone brush their teeth better.
For instance, most models come with timers that tell you when your two minutes is up. They often signal every 30 seconds so you can brush each quadrant of your mouth evenly.
Pressure sensors will alert you if you're brushing too hard and need to ease off a little. You can even get an app for your toothbrush which reminds you to brush and shows you which areas of your mouth to focus on.
Power toothbrush vs. manual
Although the quality of your oral hygiene is largely based on how you brush, not what you brush with, electric toothbrush reviews suggest that electric brushes do offer certain benefits.
A study published in 2014 by health researcher Cochrane found that patients who used a powered brush experienced a 21% reduction in plaque after three months, compared with those who continued to use a manual brush. There was also an 11% reduction in gum inflammation (gingivitis) after this time.
The advice from the American Dental Association is that it doesn't matter what type of brush you use as long as it is soft-bristled, you brush twice a day, clean every surface of each tooth, and use fluoride toothpaste.
Choosing the best electric toothbrush for you
Don't assume that a cheap electric toothbrush will do a worse job of cleaning your teeth than an expensive one. Some technology may help achieve a deeper clean, but other features are only worth paying for if you'll actually benefit from them.
It's important you take the time to work out which features you really need and which are just nice to have. Otherwise, you could end up paying more than you need to for your electric brush. So here are some factors to consider when deciding what kind is the best electric toothbrush for you.
Battery-powered vs. rechargeable
The cheapest electric toothbrush you'll find is probably a battery-powered one that takes regular AA or AAA batteries. These are essentially the same as manual brushes, but with a vibrating head. Although these may still offer some benefits over manual brushes, they don't compare to rechargeable models in terms of the power and features they offer. Battery-powered brushes might be a good option for kids who need some extra motivation to brush. However, if you're looking for an electric-powered toothbrush to take your oral hygiene to the next level, it's worth investing in a rechargeable model.
One exception might be the Quip electric toothbrush, which you'll read more about below.
Know your oscillating from your ultrasonic
When you start to research rechargeable electric toothbrushes, one of the first things you'll notice is the variety of different heads available. Different manufacturers use different technologies in their brushes, and one isn't necessarily better than the others. Some promise a better clean, but independent research on this matter is limited. In the end, it may just come down to choosing the one that you find most comfortable.
Here is a quick explanation of some different terms you might come across regarding toothbrush heads:
- Rotating: The bristles turn, either as one whole circle or in individual clusters. Brush heads are usually quite small and are designed to clean one tooth at a time.
- Rotating-oscillating: Rather than spinning round and round in one direction, oscillating brushes rotate one way and then back again very quickly – as many as 8,000 times a minute.
- Counter-rotating: The head contains 6-10 tufts of bristles, each one spinning in the opposite direction to its neighbor. This style was considered revolutionary in the 90s but has since been overtaken by newer technology.
- Pulsing: The head moves back and forth against teeth to help dislodge plaque, even between teeth where the bristles can't reach. This is often paired with rotating-oscillating heads to deliver a more thorough clean.
- Vibrating: Rather than rotating, the head moves from side to side very quickly to vibrate against teeth. These are usually shaped like ‘normal' toothbrush heads.
- Dual-head: The head has two parts; one which oscillates and one which vibrates from side to side.
- Sonic/ultrasonic: High-speed movements create vibrations at certain frequencies which help with the breakdown of plaque. The vibrations can also push fluid between teeth to achieve interdental cleaning – this is known as a “non-contact brushing effect”.
Three of the biggest brands on the market are the Braun electric toothbrush, Quip and Philips Sonicare toothbrushes. In the video below you can see how these brushes make use of different technology, as well as some other things you should consider when making your choice:
More features for best electric toothbrushes—useful or gimmicks?
As we mentioned above, a timer and pressure sensor will both help with proper brushing. Some brushes signal halfway through the two minutes while others signal four times. They might automatically shut off after two or three minutes so you don't brush for too long.
If you travel frequently you may appreciate a brush which comes with a lid or travel case to keep it clean and safe. If you'd prefer not to take the charger with you when you travel, you should look for a brush that has a longer-lasting battery. Alternatively, you might prefer a model which charges directly with a USB cable, which is easier to carry around than a charging dock.
You'll also find brushes which feature:
- Different cleaning modes and vibration speeds
- Different brush head attachments (for whitening, flossing, etc.)
- Bluetooth connectivity (to connect to a mobile app)
- Phone holder
- Lock button
- LED display
- An all-in-one unit with a toothbrush and water flosser
It's really up to you to decide whether these features are useful additions to your tooth-brushing routine.
Below is a comparison table for some of the most popular models available in the US (note that each manufacturer offers other models, too). Following this, you'll find detailed descriptions of each of these and other brushes, along with information from electric toothbrush reviews.
Braun Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 electric toothbrush
If you're in the market for an electric toothbrush, or anything to do with oral hygiene for that matter, you've probably read some Oral-B electric toothbrush reviews. That may be because Oral-B electric toothbrushes were the first power toothbrushes to receive the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Braun Oral-B electric toothbrushes use small round brush heads with rotating-oscillating technology, and some models also offer pulsing heads for deeper cleaning. Different types of brush head are designed for whitening, sensitive gums, and use with braces. There is even a compatible brush head made with charcoal fiber.
Oral-B offers a wide range of brushes, with basic models being more affordable and its most advanced Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 brush currently retailing at a couple hundred dollars (although the suggested retail price is even higher). Many models come with Bluetooth connectivity (featured in the table above).
By connecting to the Oral-B electric toothbrush app you can receive real-time brushing guidance to ensure you're reaching every part of your mouth. Your dentist can even adjust your brushing plan if there are certain teeth or areas you need to focus on.
What's more, the Oral-B Genius has a pressure sensor that slows down the brushing speed if you are brushing too hard. You also get a handy travel case from which you can charge your smartphone as well as your toothbrush.
Another Cochrane study, this one about the best type of powered toothbrush heads, found a slight reduction in plaque and gingivitis levels in the short term when using a rotating-oscillating head as opposed to a side-to-side head. Oral-B, of course, pounced on this data, but the study stated that the difference was small and further studies were required.
All in all, whether you want a budget powered toothbrush or a more premium one loaded with features, there is most likely an Oral-B electric toothbrush that will suit you and your oral hygiene needs.
In one of the electric toothbrush reviews for this brush, a customer, although admitting he's not a dental professional, gives this model a stellar review, saying:
“The Oral-B works really well and not only gets my teeth and gums clean and stimulated, but my gums, which had started showing signs of receding, are now on their way to becoming very healthy (my unprofessional opinion).”
Braun Oral-B Pro 1000
As mentioned above, in the review for the Oral-B Genius, Oral-B offers a range of toothbrushes depending on the price range and amount of features you are looking for. If you aren't convinced that the Genius is the best Oral-B electric toothbrush for you because you just can't justify spending that much on a toothbrush, you may want to consider the Oral-B Pro 1000.
Similar to its Upper East Side sibling, the Braun Oral-B Pro 1000 can be used with a variety of Oral-B electric toothbrush heads. It features oscillating, rotating and pulsating motion, with a built-in timer and pressure sensor. The design of this Oral-B electric toothbrush is otherwise free of frills—where the Pro 8000 has six different cleaning modes, this model just has one, and it has a battery life of 10 days compared to the 8000's two+ weeks.
The cost of its replacement heads is another point of interest; they average only $30 for a pack of 10 replacement brush heads. One downside that reviewers mention is that this brush can be quite loud, so may not be ideal if you have a roommate or young children with early bedtimes.
One reviewer says that if you don't mind that it has very basic functions compared to more expensive models:
“This is the best toothbrush I have ever used! It gets the job done, it notifies you via vibration when you've completed 2 minutes of brushing, and it's very sensitive on the teeth.”
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart
The Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush range offers a large number of options. All Sonicare toothbrushes use patented sonic technology with a side-to-side brushing motion.
At the basic end of the scale, you can pick up a no-frills Sonicare toothbrush for a little bit more than the Oral-B electric toothbrush equivalent. This has one brushing mode, a timer, and not much else.
At the other end of the scale, there is the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart (not to be confused with the plain old Philips Sonicare DiamondClean). This top-of-the-line Sonicare toothbrush seems to be considered the best Sonicare electric toothbrush on the market, based on Sonicare electric toothbrush reviews. With three built-in sensors and Bluetooth connectivity, it tracks every movement of your brushing and tells you if you've missed a spot or if you're using the wrong technique—a bit like a personal dental hygienist.
It also comes with four different brush heads which you can use for plaque removal, teeth whitening, gum care and tongue care. Each head of the Philips Sonicare toothbrush has a microchip so the brush automatically knows which settings to use for each head. To charge your Philips Sonicare toothbrush, you place it in a stylish glass rather than a traditional holder. It also comes with a travel case that allows USB charging.
Many reviews of the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart state that the app has helped the user learn how to brush their teeth properly. However, some users experienced technical problems with the app, and without that, it's really no different from much cheaper models.
In between these two Philips Sonicare toothbrush models, there are numerous options with varying levels of smart technology and other features. The regular Philips Sonicare DiamondClean range, for example, comes with five different cleaning modes and a range of colors, including pink.
Happy reviewers agree that the professional clean you get with the Philips Sonicare toothbrush is worth the price, with one of them saying:
“Overall very pleased. It is a toothbrush that feels like what a dentist uses when I get a check-up. Expensive most definitely but it gets the job done very effectively.”
Fairywill's electric toothbrush is an all-in-one style of brush that offers different settings and brushing styles to suit the condition of your teeth and gums.
The Rechargeable Sonic Toothbrush with Smart Timer has five different brushing modes to whiten, clean, polish or massage, as well as a setting for sensitive teeth. The toothbrush has the added benefit of being waterproof, so you can use it while in the shower or bath. It's also less than half the weight of a regular electric toothbrush, making it comfortable to hold.
Delivering 40,000 micro-brush strokes per minute, it has two power levels; a strong mode for adults and gentle mode for children/kids and seniors.
The 2-minute timer and 30-second interval pacer help you brush well, and the low-charge indicator offers a helpful reminder to dock the toothbrush on its USB charger. Fairywill claims that a 4-hour charge will last 30 days, however, some users have complained that this is not the case.
If you're after a light-weight brush with multiple settings, then this could be a good choice. The Rechargeable Sonic Toothbrush with Smart Timer's affordable price point is further enhanced by a 180-day guarantee, so you can return the product if you're not happy with it for any reason.
One dental hygienist approves it by saying:
“The brush itself is a bit lighter than the Sonicare. It is also a little louder than the Sonicare. However, I believe this is a great brush for the money. I believe the brush works just as well as the sonicare. My teeth feel very clean, slick, and tingle clean afterwards.”
If you're a regular podcast listener, you'll surely have heard some clever Quip toothbrush advertising recently. This modern and affordable electric toothbrush is sweeping the Millenial oral health niche by storm. But you don't have to have been born in the 90s, nor be a podcast enthusiast to use this toothbrush.
So what's all the fuss about?
The main thing that makes the Quip toothbrush different, according to Quip toothbrush reviews, is convenience. Here's how the Quip toothbrush works:
You purchase your quip toothbrush (the plastic version for $25 and the metallic one for $40) and then you can choose to sign up for a subscription plan. The subscription plan price is based on the features you want to include, but it ranges from $5 to $10 every three months. With the $10 plan, you receive a new brush head, an AAA battery and two tubes of toothpaste (different sizes) delivered to your door every three months. With the $5 plan, you receive just the brush head and the battery, although if you choose the cheaper subscription, you'll pay $5 more for your brush upfront.
According to many Quip toothbrush reviews, this takes the guesswork out of figuring out when to change your brush head and you don't have to remember to charge your Quip toothbrush.
Some other features of the Quip toothbrush are:
- American Dental Association accepted
- Travel cover
- Suction mirror or wall mount
- Sensitive, silent sonic vibrations
- 2-minute timer with 30-second pulses
So, what's the downside of the Quip electric toothbrush?
Some Quip toothbrush reviews aren't completely positive, saying that the vibrations don't feel nearly as powerful as other electric toothbrushes.
That being said, many people are happy with their Quip toothbrush, with one of the Quip toothbrush reviews saying:
“The bristles on this brush don't move but vibrate about 20,000 times a minute. You still brush your teeth like you normally would but it's the vibration that does most of the cleaning…The size, the design, the battery, no moving parts, the subscription.. all make this the best toothbrush ever invented.”
Want to know more about the Quip toothbrush to find out if it's the best electric toothbrush for you? Check out this Quip toothbrush review from the same dentist as in the video above:
Best electric toothbrushes for kids
Tooth brushing can become less of a chore when children have the fun of an electric brush with a timer. However, most adult brushes are not suitable for children or toddlers to use because the brushing action is too abrasive for young mouths.
Instead, some manufacturers produce children's electric toothbrushes which are specially designed to be gentler on teeth and gums. Here are some of the best electric toothbrushes for kids:
- ISSA Mikro: The Foreo ISSA toothbrush wasn't mentioned in our main reviews, but it merits being brought up here. The Mikro is very small and suitable for use on babies as soon as their teeth start coming through. The brushes come in a range of vibrant colors.
- Oral-B rechargeable brush: This Oral-B electric toothbrush features bright colors and fun characters to encourage children to brush (Disney's Frozen or Cars, anyone?). It has a built-in timer but also works with a special timer app. Suitable for ages 3+.
- Philips Sonicare toothbrush for Kids: This is one of the best-rated electric toothbrushes. These rechargeable toothbrushes are more feature-packed than the Oral-B electric toothbrush offering but cost more. They come with customizable stickers and programs to get kids used to brushing for 2 minutes. The two different brush sizes are suitable for ages 4-6 and 7+. A more expensive version is Bluetooth connected.
- Battery-powered toothbrushes for kids: Battery-powered toothbrushes are, in general, more affordable. They are also available from a number of manufacturers, including Colgate and Quip. The downside is that the toothbrush heads aren't usually replaceable (except for with Quip). When it's time for a new one, you'll have to buy a whole new brush.
If you have young children, find out more about the best electric toothbrush for kids and toddlers and compare different models in detail in our full article on this topic.
Feeling spoiled for choices and need help narrowing down your options based on your specific needs? Don't know if you should choose the Oral-B Pro 1000 or the Oral-B Genius? Or what about the Philips Sonicare toothbrush. Or the Quip electric toothbrush, don't forget about that!
It could help to choose a toothbrush based on your main dental concern. Check out this table to help choose the best electric toothbrush based on consumer reports and your personal needs:
Remember, you don't need to spend a fortune to get cleaner teeth. Even with a manual toothbrush and good brushing techniques, you can keep your teeth clean and help prevent future dental problems.
However, there are many affordable electric brushes for people who want that extra motivation to brush well. Fairywill offers great value in terms of price and functionality, while the Oral-B electric toothbrush comes in many models to suit every budget and need, like the Oral-B Genius 8000 and the Oral-B Pro 1000.
The Quip toothbrush model is designed for convenience with its brush heads brought right to your doorstep.
Alternatively, if you have a larger budget and you love technology, the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart could be the one for you.
Failure to look after your teeth now may mean expensive dental care later in life, such as dentures or tooth implants. So, even a pricier toothbrush could be worth the investment if it helps you improve your oral hygiene.
What is the best cheap electric toothbrush?
The best budget electric toothbrush for you may be the Fairywill electric toothbrush. What makes this the best value electric toothbrush? This brush is under $30 and features five brushing modes and 30-day battery life. What's more, nearly 80% of customers on Amazon gave it a 5-star review.
What is the best electric toothbrush under $50?
The Oral-B Pro 1000 takes the gold for this category. Some say it is the best electric toothbrush for the money spent because it is powerful, offers a deep clean and doesn't have any extra and unnecessary features while managing to stay not only under $100, but under $50.
What is the best electric toothbrush for sensitive gums?
The Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 uses oscillating and rotating technology which may be better for sensitive and receding gums. It also has various settings and compatible heads so you can find the way to brush your sensitive gums.
What is the best electric toothbrush for periodontal disease?
In the same vein, the Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 could also be considered the best electric toothbrush for gingivitis and the best electric toothbrush for gum disease and gum recession as well. It has a plethora of settings and brush heads including a brush head for sensitive gums which could lead to gingivitis or periodontal disease if not cared for.
What is the best electric toothbrush brand?
Every brand offers its own special functions, so you'll have to decide which is the best electric toothbrush on the market for you. If you want to go for trusted household names, you may want to try a Philips Sonicare toothbrush, or an Oral-B electric toothbrush. If you want to branch out and try something new, but also with good reviews, try the Fairywill or Quip toothbrush.
What is the best electric toothbrush for whitening and plaque removal?
If your greatest concern is whitening and plaque removal, you may want to go all out with the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart electric toothbrush. This bad boy doesn't skimp on features: Each head has a microchip so the brush knows what setting to use, and an app creates an interactive cleaning experience. Plus, the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart definitely doesn't want for style.