If you’re getting frustrated with your manual toothbrush, consider investing in one of the best electric toothbrushes. These bathroom essentials offer superior cleaning and plaque removal, as well as a sleek and elegant design. A lot of models also come with countless useful features that can transform your brushing routine. We’ve tested some of the best electric toothbrushes on the market, so you can find a model that ticks all your boxes.
Before you take the plunge into the world of dental gadgets, make sure you know how to use an electric toothbrush to achieve the best teeth cleaning results. You can also find out about the causes of bad breath, and how to whiten teeth naturally at home, right here at Live Science.
So what exactly makes electric toothbrushes superior to manual? Dr Mitul Shah, a specialist in periodontics at Chelsea Dental Clinic, explains: “Most will vibrate, which adds micro-movements as you move the toothbrush across the tooth surfaces. This added energy will aid in removing plaque deposits. Certain brands will also oscillate and rotate which may be more effective at disturbing the plaque biofilm.”
But a superior clean is not the only benefit. The best electric toothbrushes can come with many smart features, including built-in timer functions to make sure you brush your teeth for the recommended two minutes. Some also have smartphone apps that can track the effectiveness of your brushing and help you develop better habits. Thisl data can even be shared with your dentist or dental hygienist who can then give your tailored advice on how and where improvements can be made.
An electric toothbrush can also make life easier for individuals with reduced dexterity or limited mobility. The ease of using an electric toothbrush can greatly improve the effectiveness of brushing.
Ready to make the switch? We’ve rounded up a selection of our favorite products below. Each one has been through our thorough testing procedures, so you can weigh up the pros and cons of each to find a product that suits you.
For individuals with reduced dexterity or limited mobility (for example, those with arthritis), the ease of using an electric toothbrush can greatly improve the effectiveness of brushing.
Ready to make the switch? We’ve rounded up a selection of our favorite products below to help you choose the best electric toothbrushes for your needs.
Best Electric Toothbrushes 2022
The Oral B Genius X is the ideal next-level toothbrush for anyone wanting to improve and maintain good dental hygiene. An interactive app tracks and monitors your brushing habits and patterns using A.I. technology, while extra features help users set oral hygiene goals with coaching tips and tricks.
And if you’re not interested in using the app, there’s plenty to like about the Oral B Genius X itself. Featuring six cleaning modes, including tongue cleaning, sensitive, whitening, gum care and pro cleaning alongside standard daily clean, this toothbrush delivers on oral hygiene with a powerful oscillating-rotating brush head. A sturdy travel case is included, with a charging travel case offered on some models.
User reviews on Amazon for the Oral B Genius X are overwhelmingly positive, with an average of 4.5 stars out of five. Positive reviews mention a “glossy, smooth feeling” after cleaning, while many users enjoy the coaching aspects of the app. Many users express surprise at how much coverage they were missing during brushing sessions, before using the Oral B Genius X. However, some users report quickly becoming bored, and using the toothbrush as a regular electric toothbrush without the bells and whistles of the app.
Negative reviews, while few and far between, report instability of the app, problems connecting more than one user to the app and the volume of the toothbrush being too loud.
Users who prefer a quieter brushing session may find the Oral B Genius X a little noisy, given that it isn’t a sonic toothbrush. Operating at around 70 decibels, it’s similar to a dishwasher or washing machine. But for anyone who’s been advised by their hygienist to improve their brushing technique - it could be a game-changer.
In our testing, we found daily cleaning mode and pro clean mode to be very similar, but pro clean had the edge when it came to that clean-mouth feeling after brushing. Gum care mode had a gently massaging, rhythmic oscillation that moved up and down in intensity, while 3D white mode echoed that sensation of having a polish at the dental hygienist.
- Read our full Oral B Genius X review (opens in new tab)
One of Oral B’s most popular electric toothbrushes, the Oral B Pro 1000 is a budget-friendly electric toothbrush that does away with all the bells and whistles of its hi-tech neighbors and simply cleans well.
One cleaning mode is all you get with the Oral B Pro 1000, so it’s just as well the price point is low. But if you’re after simplicity, it could be the right toothbrush for you. Simply turn on and brush, without worrying about which cleaning mode to try, or how to connect your handset to your phone.
Despite its simplicity, this toothbrush also includes some helpful features, such as a built-in pressure sensor that alerts you to when you’re brushing too hard, and a timer that helps you remember when to move to the next quadrant of your mouth. It also alerts you when you complete the recommended two minutes of brushing time. Just like the handset itself, replacement brush heads are also very affordable.
Given that most people tend to use just one or two cleaning modes on even the most sophisticated brushes, the Oral B Pro 1000 clears away the confusion and focuses on delivering a powerful clean with its round cross-action brush head. However, if you have sensitive teeth or gums, you may find it just a little too powerful. And if you want a toothbrush that promises to whiten teeth, or massage gums, you’d be better looking elsewhere.
- Read the full Oral B Pro 1000 review
Sleek and stylish, the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 features no less than 4 brushing modes - clean, white+, gum health and deep clean+. Each of these modes can be further tweaked to an intensity setting that suits you, giving you a wide range of brushing experiences to choose from.
We felt a definite difference between clean/deep clean+, the latter leaving our teeth feeling cleaner. However, over a few cleans, we didn’t notice an enormous amount of difference between the other modes, except that Gum Health was a bit softer on the gums.
The DiamondClean 9000, like the Oral B Genius, also comes with a free app to help you keep track of your oral hygiene and help you keep track of when you need replacement brush heads. You can even set up automatic re-ordering to keep your bathroom cabinet stocked up.
However, where the Oral B Genius app helps users actively improve their technique by identifying areas they’ve missed during brushing, the DiamondClean 9000 app simply charts your brushing activity, and how much pressure you apply during sessions. So unless you need to be reminded to brush your teeth every day, or to ease up on pressure while brushing, you might not get as much from the app as you’d like.
A huge plus point for the DiamondClean is that it comes with its own USB-charging case, perfect for travel, or if you like to brush your teeth after lunch, at the office.
Users rave about the DiamondClean too. It scores a huge 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon for its ability to deep clean teeth and remove stains, despite its almost silent operating volume. Battery life is also praised, while users love the convenient USB charging case. However, negative reviews point out the app’s limitations and the fact that the toothbrush doesn’t come with extra heads, which can be expensive to purchase further down the line.
Its high price point may be a deal-breaker for many users, but the DiamondClean 9000 has enough features to impress, with or without the app.
- Read our full Philips Sonicare DiamonClean 9000 review (opens in new tab)
The Waterpik Complete Care 9.0 delivers two oral hygiene must-haves in one fell swoop, by combining a separate sonic toothbrush and water flosser in one compact device, making it cost-effective and space-saving.
Offered with a host of extras, such as 5 water flosser tips, 2 brush heads, a storage case and travel case, the Waterpik Complete Care 9.0 also features 3 cleaning modes and a bevelled tongue-cleaning feature.
We tested each of the cleaning modes in turn several times. General clean mode operates at a slightly lower frequency compared to whitening mode, which adds extra polishing to a brushing session during the recommended two minutes. Massage mode was the most impressive mode to use, providing a gentle massaging pulse to stimulate the gum area, while giving that ‘deep clean’ feeling.
The Waterpik Complete Care 9.0 scores an impressive 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon.com, with a whopping 76% of users scoring it the full 5 stars. Users highly rate its ability to deep clean teeth, its ease of use and its timer function. Lots of users point to the Waterpik Complete Care 9.0 as resolving dental issues, such as gum infections or issues with cleaning caused by retainers.
Negative reviews mention problems with the battery if it is continually charging on the unit, leakage from the water reservoir and the water flosser itself being too noisy during operation.
Designed to be plugged into a bathroom socket near a basin, it may not be right for everyone, and a lack of extra features may disappoint some users. But when it comes to value for money, you could do worse than investing in the Waterpik Complete Care 9.0, rather than shelling out separately for an electric toothbrush and a water flosser.
- Read our full Waterpik Complete Care 9.0 review (opens in new tab)
Marketed as the ultimate clean electric toothbrush, the Oral B-io Series 9 offers a truly personalized brushing experience.
The Oral B-io Series 9 also features an in-built pressure sensor which flashes red when too much pressure is applied, white when brushing is too soft, and green when it’s just right, giving brushers the full Goldilocks experience when it comes to brushing. No less than 7 brushing modes include daily clean, sensitive, gum care, intense+, super sensitive, tongue clean and whiten.
Apart from a change in intensity between the daily, intense+ and sensitive/super sensitive modes, we didn’t notice a huge amount of difference between the modes. As this reviewer has sensitive gums, the only suitable mode was super sensitive mode. Even gum care was very harsh on our gums, and left us with an uncomfortable tingly feeling. If you’re looking for a toothbrush with a good amount of pressure, this is the choice for you, but if you’re a bit sensitive, there might be better options out there.
A smart, connected app completes the brushing experience, offering a 3D A.I. view during brushing to ensure no areas are missed out on. Users can also track brushing data and gum health over weeks, months, and years.
Available in 3 colorways, rose quartz, white alabaster and black onyx, the handset also features a magnetic charger for easy docking. The handle powers up quickly too, with a full charge in just 3 hours.
The Oral B-io Series 9 also comes with a handy travel case that doubles up as a charger, and a travel refill holder, although just one brush head is provided with the starter kit.
A whopping 85% of users on Amazon give the Oral B-io Series 9 the full 5 stars, rating its powerful cleaning ability and app functionality. Negative reviews mention little difference between cleaning modes and problems connecting to the app.
If you’re after a super smart, connected clean, with a brush that looks sleek and stylish on the bathroom shelf, the Oral B-io Series 9 could be the perfect electric toothbrush for you.
- Read our full Oral B-io Series 9 review
Sleek and stylish, the Foreo ISSA 3 has innovated the design of electric toothbrushes. With a curved ergonomic handle and a 365-day battery life, this 4-in-1 toothbrush is designed to clean the teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue. Made from bacteria-resistant silicone and using silicone bristles as well as thermoplastic bristles, this sonic electric toothbrush goes easy on gums while delivering a whole mouth ‘deep clean’ feel.
16 intensity settings allow users to set the level of cleaning, while an angled brush head and extended bristles let you access those hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. A ridged panel at the back of the toothbrush head allows for cheek and tongue cleaning.
Although we worked our way through the 16 levels of intensity, we tended to find that the highest level setting gave the best results, or results closest to that of a regular sonic toothbrush, while the lower levels were largely redundant. However, users with sensitive teeth or painful gums may prefer operating this toothbrush at a lower setting.
Amazon.com reviews for the Foreo ISSA 3 are largely very positive, with users citing improved gum health and cleaner-feeling teeth after use. They also rate the longer battery life over several weeks, the stylish ergonomic design, and ease of use.
Negative reviews criticize the high price point of the Foreo ISSA 3 as being too expensive. Others say they’re not sure how well the toothbrush is cleaning their teeth, as they don’t have that ‘clean feeling’ after brushing.
While it might not have the extra features found in Philips and Oral B models, such as a pressure sensor or a sturdy travel case, the Foreo ISSA 3’s futuristic style will certainly give your bathroom shelfie the wow factor. And the 365-day battery life cuts down on energy, time and money.
- Read our full Foreo ISSA 3 sonic toothbrush review (opens in new tab)
This sonic toothbrush is Colgate’s answer to providing an accessible smart brush at a low price point. Users can choose from a rechargeable or battery-operated model and a range of colors, including blue, green, purple and black. The design differs slightly from the rechargeable to the battery models.
Featuring three brush modes, normal, sensitive and deep clean, the brush also has an in-built timer and an ergonomic handle, designed for comfort and accuracy while brushing.
The toothbrush also connects to the smart Hum app by Colgate, which allows users to track their brushing progress, and target brushing to neglected areas, helping you to brush your best. You can even earn points towards rewards, which you can redeem in the app’s shop towards replacement brush heads.
A starter kit comes with a toothbrush handle and head, a charger, a convenient travel case and an extra brush head for up to six months of brushing.
It took our tester just five hours to fully charge the battery, which is impressive given other brands can take over 20. However, the rechargeable toothbrush does hold less charge than some other electric toothbrushes, lasting only 10 days when others might last weeks or months between charges. If you were going on a long holiday, you would definitely need to pack the charger.
Amazon users love the Hum by Colgate, giving it 4.5 stars out of 5 on the online retailer. They rate the connected app experience as easy-to-use and operate, while many praise the toothbrush’s ability to give a powerful clean. Negative reviews say the bluetooth connection can be intermittent, and the case is a little on the flimsy side.
Based on its low price point and connected, smart features, we think you could spend a lot more cash on a toothbrush and still get the same experience. The Hum by Colgate is great value for money and fun to use.
- Read the full Hum by Colgate review
The Spotlight Oral Care Sonic Toothbrush is an affordable option for those switching from manual to electric for the first time. Designed by dentists, it uses sonic technology to mimic the gentle feel of a manual toothbrush with a deep-clean effect.
Although fairly basic, there is plenty to like about the Spotlight Oral Care Sonic Toothbrush. It's has an elegant, minimalistic design, available in three stylish colors - white, graphite grey and rose gold (and a limited edition Pride print) and three cleaning modes (sensitive, clean and white). A sturdy travel case is also included, as well as a charging dock. One drawback is that whilst this toothbrush is widely available in the US, the charging plug is designed for the UK, so you will need an adaptor in order to use it. However, the brush does come with an impressive three toothbrush heads, with replacements costing only $30 for a pack of three.
We worked our way through all three cleaning modes in our at-home testing. Whilst sensitive and clean gave good results, we tended to find that the highest setting - white - gave the best results. However, users with sensitive teeth or painful gums may prefer operating this toothbrush on the sensitive mode. We found the brush to be highly effective in removing plaque and discoloration, providing a clean finish that felt not too dissimilar to a deep clean you might receive at a hygienist.
User reviews of the Spotlight Oral Care Sonic Toothbrush are very positive, with the majority of users also citing a really deep clean. Negative reviews focus on the 3-pin charging plug. It's also worth noting that there is no accompanying Bluetooth app with this toothbrush, so if you're really looking to upgrade your oral hygiene routine, you might want to invest in a more premium option.
That being said, the Spotlight Oral Care Sonic Toothbrush offers a professional-standard deep clean for an affordable price tag.
- Read the full Spotlight Oral Care Sonic Toothbrush review
The Oclean X Pro Elite electric toothbrush is a budget-friendly option for those who want to try out a sonic toothbrush. The sleek gray design will compliment any bathroom, and the built-in touch-screen gives users insight into their brushing time. The app offers a more in-depth analysis of brushing and also offers the option to monitor children’s brushing through ‘family mode’.
With 32 intensity levels and four brushing modes, you can find a setting that works for you whether you have sensitive teeth, or want a deep clean. The standard brushing time is set for two minutes, but you can change this if you want, with the touchscreen giving the option to customize the mode, duration and intensity from the brush itself. The Oclean app has a quiz to help you find the right brushing settings for your needs. We had ours on white mode, intensity four and set for three minutes of brushing time.
User reviews were mostly positive, with users praising the extended battery life and smooth, clean feeling of teeth after use. The charger is USB compatible, which makes it convenient for travel, and the battery life lasts over a month, taking just 3.5 hours to reach a full charge from empty – one of the fastest brushes we’ve tested.
- Read the full Oclean X Pro Elite review
How to choose the best electric toothbrushes
After price, there are several factors to think about when choosing the best electric toothbrush, but it’s worth thinking about comfort first as, if you’re caring for your teeth correctly, you’re going to be using the device a lot, up to twice daily or more. Look for an ergonomic handle that sits nicely in the palm of your hand and offers a firm but comfortable grip.
A key factor for many users is battery life. If your electric toothbrush spends most of its life in a charging dock by your bathroom basin, then battery life is not much of a problem. But if you travel regularly, then you may benefit from an electric toothbrush with a long-lasting battery. Look for toothbrushes that carry an internal lithium battery, as these can often hold their charge for several weeks.
Many electric toothbrushes come loaded with all sorts of technological bells and whistles, and while these can be great, the simplest features are often the best. These are pressure sensors which alert you when you press too hard on your gums or teeth, and automatic timers which can be set to ensure you clean your teeth for the recommended amount of time, usually 2-3 minutes.
Where things get really clever is when electric toothbrushes carry advanced smart features, cleaning modes and Bluetooth app connectivity. How useful you find these apps depends on the individual user, but the smartest apps can map your mouth to provide real time feedback and encourage you to make sure you don’t neglect any areas of your mouth. Kids especially can enjoy that kind of interactivity.
Electric toothbrushes usually come in two forms: oscillating and sonic. Oscillating toothbrushes have been around longer, and feature round brush heads that rotate at high speeds – anywhere between 2500 – 7500 BPM (brushes per minute) – to remove plaque and buff teeth to a shine.
Sonic electric toothbrushes feature brush heads that more closely resemble traditional manual toothbrushes but employ sonic technology that vibrates the head up to an incredible 60000 BPM for a truly thorough clean. That said, there is little evidence to support one method over another, so your choice could come down to whether you enjoy the slightly less intense oscillating brush head over the sonic brush.
- Related: How to floss your teeth (opens in new tab)