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Electric Toothbrush Reviews

By: Kelly Burgess on September 26, 2016

Editor's Note:
We love our pricey electric toothbrush, but when it dies we're going to replace it with the Oral-B Pro 1000. That power toothbrush gets the most love from experts and owners of any other model. But if you're not sure if an electric toothbrush is right for you, we found some basic budget picks too.

Oral-B Pro 1000 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Timer - Yes Battery life - 7 days Warranty -2 years

Best electric toothbrush

There's no contest: the Oral-B Pro 1000 is a top pick of experts and owners for its superior cleaning, long term durability and versatile, affordable, line of brush heads. Users say they notice a difference when switching to the Pro from a manual toothbrush, and experts say that, while it's pretty basic, it has the most important features you need in an electric toothbrush, but without the high price of others in its class. See our full review »

Buy for $39.97
Spinbrush Truly Radiant Toothbrush
Runners Up
Specs that Matter Timer - No Battery life - N/A Warranty - Money back guarantee

Cheap electric toothbrush

Interested in trying out an electric toothbrush, but not interested in a double-digit price? Hundreds of happy owners agree and suggest taking a spin on the Spinbrush Truly Radiant Toothbrush instead. Unlike most electric toothbrushes that run on rechargeable batteries, the Spinbrush uses two replaceable AA batteries. Users love how well it cleans their teeth and say it's a great value. The Spinbrush comes in a wide variety of models to target various dental needs.

Buy for $8.50
Philips Sonicare for Kids Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Timer - Yes Battery life - 3 weeks Warranty - 2 years

Best electric toothbrush for kids

The Philips Sonicare for Kids is made especially for children ages 4 and up. It has smaller and softer toothbrush heads and gradually moves kids up to the recommended two minutes of brushing over a 90-day period. The Sonicare for Kids includes 10 different stickers to customize the handle as well as an interactive app that acts as additional incentive to keep kids on track. However, the app gets decidedly mixed reviews; especially the Android version. See our full review »

Buy for $34.95
Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Timer - Yes Battery life - N/A Warranty - 3 years

Best electric flosser

Thousands of satisfied customers agree: the Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser is a top performer for those who want the ultimate in home oral hygiene -- especially if your teeth are prone to staining. It's a great substitute for string flossing and is especially useful for those with braces or who otherwise struggle to floss correctly. Thanks to numerous pressure settings, it can work well even for those with sensitive gums. See our full review »

Buy for $59.99

Electric toothbrushes can help you brush properly

Think about it: How long do you brush your teeth? Thirty seconds? Maybe a minute? And how many times a day? Also, are you absolutely certain whether or not all parts of your mouth are getting equal time and attention?

So what does a good brushing routine entail? Dental experts say you should be brushing for two minutes at least twice a day, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly. Manual and electric toothbrushes are equally effective -- it's how you brush that is important, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), not necessarily what you brush with.

But, while experts agree that there is nothing wrong with standard toothbrushes, their downside is that people tend to lack discipline when brushing. A number of reports say most Americans brush for only 30 to 60 seconds, rather than the two minutes recommended by dentists, and that's not nearly long enough to enable the fluoride in toothpaste to do its job. Reviewers say the best electric toothbrushes come with a two-minute timer and are able to reach hard-to-clean areas better than most of us can manage with a manual brush. Many brushes also utilize lights or sounds to notify you to move to the next quadrant of the mouth (upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right) every 30 seconds.

One differentiator amongst electric toothbrushes is the type of movement the brush head makes. Rotating brush heads spin 360 degrees around while rotating-oscillating heads oscillate from side to side, not making a full circle. Sonic toothbrushes vibrate from side to side at a very rapid speed. While there are studies -- mostly sponsored by electric toothbrush manufacturers -- that claim one type or another is most effective, experts say that they all are effective, and the best one is ultimately a matter of personal preference. In other words, if you'll use the electric toothbrush to its full potential and it's comfortable for you to use, that's the type you should choose.

Types of Electric Toothbrushes


These are expensive compared to standard toothbrushes, but the payoff is more attractive designs and useful features like multiple cleaning modes or pressure sensors. You can expect to pay upward of $50 for a good power toothbrush and up to $200 for a top-of-the-line rechargeable toothbrush. Brush heads need to be replaced as often as you would replace a manual toothbrush, and generally cost around $10 each.

Replaceable Batteries

This type of power toothbrush is the least expensive. We found several good choices for less than $10. However, reviewers say they tend to be noisier and rougher than more expensive, rechargeable models. You also have to factor in the cost of replacing the batteries every four to six weeks.

For Kids

In addition to electric toothbrushes for adults, we look at electric toothbrushes for kids. Kids' toothbrushes are essentially mini versions of ones designed for adults (to better fit kids' mouths), with similar brush movements and timers, but with the addition of bright colors and sometimes characters or music to make brushing more fun. Our Best Reviewed pick even comes with an app so kids (and their parents) can track their brushing habits.

Electric Flossers

The name Waterpik has become nearly synonymous with electric water flossers, but several toothbrush manufacturers have also entered this product category in recent years. For those who don't like regular flossing, or who have braces, water flossers can be extremely useful.

Finding The Best Electric Toothbrushes
Our Sources
"The Best Electric Toothbrush"
"Electric Toothbrush"
"Electric Toothbrush"

There aren't a lot of expert reviews or professional tests of electric toothbrushes, TheSweethome.com being a notable exception. We found some great choices, though, based upon their recommendations, a few tests by writers at various other sites and publications, and by evaluating thousands of owner reviews. From there, we narrowed down our top picks based upon the brushes' effectiveness at cleaning teeth, ease of use, features, durability and the cost of ownership.

The best rechargeable electric toothbrushes

In the world of electric toothbrushes two manufacturers absolutely stand out: Oral-B and Sonicare. Each utilizes a very distinct brush movement: Oral-B's brushes use rotating-oscillating strokes, while Sonicare models use high-velocity lateral vibrations.

However, while Sonicare is undoubtedly a popular maker, its comparable models are pricier, and the reality of the research says that a higher price does not a better electric toothbrush make. As a result, the Oral-B Pro 1000 (Est. $50) is a logical choice as our Best Reviewed rechargeable power toothbrush in this category. The Pro 1000 is the top pick of experts, and owners give it high ratings across hundreds of reviews. It's a very basic manual toothbrush -- pretty much just off and on -- but most experts agree that that's all you need.

The Oral-B Pro does have one great feature though: a built-in pressure sensor that stops bristle movement when it detects that you're brushing too hard, something that's usually not found in power toothbrushes at this price point. The in-handle timer pulses every 30 seconds to remind you to switch to cleaning another area of the mouth; however, it does not shut off after two minutes as most other electric toothbrushes do. Most owners love this feature, saying it allows them to brush longer if they choose to do so, or to move to other areas of the mouth, like the tongue, without having to turn the toothbrush back on. Others say they lose track of how long they brushed and would prefer a two minute shut-off time.

If you prefer that two minute limit, we suggest you take a look at the Philips Sonicare 2 Series (Est. $50). The Sonicare was a runner up in TheSweethome.com's testing, coming in second to the Oral-B Pro, but it has a couple of popular features that the Oral-B lacks. One, of course, is that two-minute shut off time. The other is an easy start mode that gradually increases the brushing power over the first 14 uses, helping you to ease into using an electric toothbrush -- a transition that some do find jarring. However, one feature that the Sonicare lacks is the 30-second pulse that reminds you to move to a new quadrant -- something that keeps the Series 2 out of our top spot. The quad timer is available on the Philips Sonicare 3 Series (Est. $90), but at a premium price compared to the Oral-B.

Both the Oral-B and the Sonicare include a charging base and one brush head. Sonicare says the charge on the 2 Series lasts for 14 days. Oral-B says the charge on the Clean Sweep lasts for seven days, but, in testing, TheSweetHome.com found that both of these power toothbrushes held their charges longer -- the Oral-B 1000 for 11.5 days, the Sonicare 2 Series for 16 days.

If money is no object and you're all about total hygiene, we highly recommend the Philips Sonicare Flexcare (Est. $190). Users love the five modes -- gum care, daily clean, refresh, massage and sensitive. It can be a bit tricky to figure out which mode you're in at first, you have to learn to "read" the lights, but if you like a variety of brushing options, this is a great choice. It also includes two handles, two brush heads, a travel case and a travel charger.

However, the major selling point with the Flexcare is a UV sanitizer that kills the germs on your toothbrush between uses. A lot of owners say they don't even use it, but others say that the sanitizer offers them peace of mind, especially if they're recovering from a cold or another virus; they don't have to worry about re-infecting themselves and don't have to replace the brush head before its time. Keep in mind, the sanitizing claims have not been backed up by any independent, scientific studies.

Cheap electric toothbrushes are a good introduction to power brushing

If you're skeptical about how well you'll like an electric toothbrush, or are leery of spending even $50, much less upwards of $150, we highly recommend picking up a Spinbrush Truly Radiant Toothbrush (Est. $12) and giving it a spin. Obvious puns aside, this basic toothbrush gets hundreds of owner reviews that match or exceed those of the much more expensive Oral-B and Sonicare rechargeable toothbrushes.

Spinbrush Truly Radiant Toothbrushes (there are several different models with different purposes, such as deep cleaning, whitening, etc.) are not rechargeable; rather, they are power toothbrushes that operate on alkaline batteries, in this case two AA batteries. Otherwise, they work much the same as a rechargeable toothbrush.

The Spinbrush Truly Radiant is a fairly simple power toothbrush with a dual-action brush head. Like a rechargeable electric toothbrush, the brush heads are replaceable and should be replaced every three months. Replacement brush heads run about $6.00 each. Many owners say this electric toothbrush works just as well or better as much pricier models, and is outstanding among competing battery-operated power toothbrushes. A few note that this toothbrush is louder and seems to have a much rougher motion than the more expensive rechargeable toothbrushes, but most say they feel like it's a great value compared to rechargeable toothbrushes.

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Electric Toothbrushes buying guide

What every best Electric Toothbrushes has:

  • Simple operation.
  • Helpful features.
  • Good performance.

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