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Best electric toothbrushes 2021: From Oral-B to Philips

Best electric toothbrushes 2021: From Oral-B to Philips
(Image credit: Philips)

The best electric toothbrushes are essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy at home. What’s more, when it comes to removing plaque and food between your teeth, electric toothbrushes are far more effective than a manual toothbrush. But if you think electric toothbrushes are expensive, think again as there are plenty of good-quality ones available for less than $40.  

We all know we should brush our teeth for two minutes twice a day, as advised by the American Dental Association, and the best electric toothbrushes make this easier as most have built-in two-minute timers. Plenty of electric toothbrushes also come with different modes, including gum health and whitening modes, the latter being ideal for tackling hard-to-shift stains caused by drinking coffee for instance. And if things get really stubborn, you could always try one of the best teeth whiteners too.

How to brush using an electric toothbrush

The golden rule when brushing with an electric toothbrush is to hold it against your teeth at a 45-degree angle and, using a low pressure, let it do the brushing for you. In other words, don’t ‘scrub’ your teeth with an electric toothbrush. Why? Because you could your gums and enamel.

As well as removing harmful plaque and bacteria, the best electric toothbrushes are designed to gently clean beneath your gum line. This is essential as research shows that gum disease can lead to chronic health issues including diabetes and heart disease. 

When it comes to electric toothbrushes there are plenty of options, which is great if you like the choice, but not great if you don’t know which one to go for. The best electric toothbrushes are made by Oral-B, Philips, and Waterpik. You’ll also see that different toothbrushes use different tech too, with most Oral-B electric toothbrushes featuring rotating-oscillating brush heads that rotate around each tooth’s surfaces. Meanwhile, other brands like Waterpik and Philips have vibrating sonic brush heads on their electric toothbrushes that swish the water and toothpaste around for effective cleaning between your teeth. 

Here we’ve rounded up the best electric toothbrush options to help you decide, and once you’ve made up your mind, don’t forget to check out the best dental insurance to give your teeth the very best all-round care they deserve.

8 best electric toothbrushes to buy now

1. Oral-B Genius X 10000: Best electric toothbrush overall

Best electric toothbrushes: Oral-B Genius X 10000 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush in black

(Image credit: Oral-B)

Oral-B Genius X 10000 Electric Toothbrush

Simply the best Oral-B electric toothbrush you can buy

SPECIFICATIONS

Battery life: 14 days | Cleaning modes: Six | Features: Pressure sensor, app | Cleaning tech: Rotating-oscillating | Two-minute timer: Yes (with 30-second intervals)

Reasons to Buy

Excellent all-round cleaning
Plenty of cleaning modes

Reasons to Avoid

Expensive
App is overkill for some

With truly innovative tech and a slew of extensive research behind it, Oral-B’s 10000 Genius X goes above and beyond to provide you with the best possible experience you can get from a rotating-oscillating electric toothbrush. 

There are six brushing modes on offer: Daily Clean, Pro Clean, Sensitive, Whitening, Gum Care and Tongue Clean. Those, plus a sensor to protect your gums if you apply too much pressure. This is hands-down the best Oral B electric toothbrush you can buy, as it uses artificial intelligence to recognize your brushing style. 

It even connects, via Bluetooth, to the Oral-B app to analyze your brushing habits and give you feedback on how to improve your oral care, though you don’t have to use the app if you don’t want to.

While it’s fair to say not all the features will get used, even if you take away the fancy extras you are still left with a brilliant electric toothbrush that excels at cleaning away debris and plaque, and helps reduce staining. 

While the added features mean the Oral-B 10000 Genius X comes at a premium price, the included USB charging case and three brush heads help seal the deal, especially when you consider each brush head lasts up to three months. The toothbrush’s handle can also be used with a wider range of brush heads beyond the three provided.


2. Gleem Rechargeable: Best electric toothbrush on a budget

Best electric toothbrushes: Gleem Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

(Image credit: Gleem)

Gleem Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

The best cheap electric toothbrush for affordable oral care

SPECIFICATIONS

Battery life: 14 days | Cleaning modes: Two | Features: Quiet motor | Cleaning tech: Sonic, 36,000 strokes per min | Two-minute timer: Yes (with 30-second intervals)

Reasons to Buy

Cheap replacement heads
Quiet in use

Reasons to Avoid

Flimsy fabric travel case 
Quite a basic design

This smart and simple electric toothbrush gives you what you need for healthy teeth and gums, and doesn’t bother with any unnecessary frills. The rechargeable handle includes two modes: one standard, and one with a little extra power. These clean your teeth with sonic bristle vibrations. There’s also a built-in timer to keep your brushing on track.

The action of the brush is smooth and quiet, and, with only two options on offer, it’s straightforward to use. The Gleem Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush should also keep you brushing twice a day for two weeks before it’s time to charge it again.

Included are one brush head, one charging base and a basic travel case. The compact nylon brush replacements are inexpensive, so combined with the initial spend, this makes the Gleem a smart choice if you’re on a budget. 

This cheap electric toothbrush might be low on fancy features, but it’s high on style, with a pleasingly streamlined handle and four colors to pick from: Coral, Aqua, Slate or Pearl. 


3. Oral-B Kids: Best electric toothbrush for kids

Best electric toothbrushes: Oral-B Kids Electric Toothbrush featuring Disney Pixar Toy Story

(Image credit: Oral-B / Pixar)

Oral-B Kids Electric Toothbrush

The best Oral-B electric toothbrush for kids has plenty of Buzz…

SPECIFICATIONS

Battery life: Five days | Cleaning modes: One | Features: App, stickers, soft brush | Cleaning tech: Oscillating-rotating | Two-minute timer: Yes (with 30-second intervals)

Reasons to Buy

Grippy handle
Fun stickers and app
Other Disney designs too

Reasons to Avoid

Perhaps too noisy for small kids

Because not all children have the manual dexterity (or patience) to thoroughly brush their teeth, this Oral-B electric toothbrush, aimed at kids aged 3 years or older, is designed to make light work of brushing. 

The colorful Toy Story design and extra-soft brush head means it’s fun and easy to use, with a special gentle mode ideal for super-sensitive gums (or wobbly teeth). 

The handle is nice and grippy and comes with a set of interchangeable stickers as a cool little touch. There is also an interactive Disney Magic Timer app so kids can brush along with their favorite characters. In addition to the fun stuff, there is a charger and brush head included, as well as a two-minute timer. 

The small rotating brush head provides a thorough clean, but very young kids might find the handle a little bit too noisy. 


4. Foreo ISSA 2

Best electric toothbrush: Foreo Issa 2 Electric Toothbrush in Blue

(Image credit: Foreo)

Foreo ISSA 2 Electric Toothbrush

The longest battery life of any electric toothbrush

SPECIFICATIONS

Battery life: 365 days | Cleaning modes: 16 | Features: Soft silicone brush head | Cleaning tech: Sonic, 11,000 pulsations per minute | Two-minute timer: Yes

Reasons to Buy

Unbeatable battery life
Sleek design
Wealth of cleaning modes

Reasons to Avoid

Silicone brush won’t suit everyone

It’s always frustrating when your electric toothbrush runs out of charge halfway through a cleaning session, or, worse still, when you’re running late for work. While it’s a fact that rechargeable electric toothbrushes need to be topped up regularly, it’s always a bonus when you don’t have to do it very often.

The Foreo ISSA has an astonishing 12 months on a single charge – yes, you read that right – which will soon banish any frustrations associated with running low on battery. 

With a sleek Swedish design and soft silicone brush, this medium-priced electric toothbrush is a joy to use. Add in the fact there are 16 intensity controls, and the brush only needs replacing once a year, then it’s fair to say this brush doesn’t do things by halves. 

Also included is a charging port, USB charger and travel pouch. Brush head longevity is great, too, although this would be more impressive if the brush heads were cheaper to replace.


5. Waterpik Sonic-Fusion Flossing Toothbrush: Best for water flossing too

Best electric toothbrushes: Waterpik Sonic-Fusion Flossing Toothbrush

(Image credit: Waterpik)

Waterpik Sonic-Fusion Flossing Toothbrush

The best electric toothbrush that doubles as a water flosser

SPECIFICATIONS

Battery life: Varies | Cleaning modes: Three (Brush, Floss, Brush+Floss) | Features: Water pressure control system with 10 settings | Cleaning tech: Sonic fusion | Two-minute timer: Yes (with 30-second intervals)

Reasons to Buy

Accepted by ADA
Water pressure control system
Cleans between teeth too

Reasons to Avoid

A little messy at first

Waterpik makes some of the best electric toothbrushes money can buy, and we love the Sonic-Fusion Flossing Toothbrush, as it really doubles down on your tooth and gum cleaning. 

This particular electric toothbrush is designed to be used in addition to flossing your teeth, and could help to remove up to twice the amount of plaque compared to normal brushing and flossing alone.

Waterpik has designed it with three cleaning modes: Brush, Floss, or Brush and Floss. When flossing, it moves water between your teeth and below the gumline where the bristles on the toothbrush can’t reach. The water pressure can be controlled via ten different settings, depending on the level of cleaning you need.

It comes with one patented flossing brush head, plus a luxury toothbrush case for travel use. Oh, and the American Dental Association (ADA) like it too.


6. Oral-B Pro 1000: Best electric toothbrush for gum health

Best electric toothbrushes: Oral-B Pro 1000 Electric Toothbrush in white

(Image credit: Oral-B)

Oral-B Pro 1000 Electric Toothbrush

The best Oral-B electric toothbrush for no-frills cleaning

SPECIFICATIONS

Battery life: Seven days | Cleaning modes: One (Daily Clean) | Features: Pressure sensor | Cleaning tech: Rotating, oscillating, pulsating | Two-minute timer: Yes (with 30-second intervals)

Reasons to Buy

Recommended by dentists
Built-in pressure sensor

Reasons to Avoid

Just one mode
No travel case

The Oral-B Pro 1000 rechargeable electric toothbrush is a great option when it comes to providing a really thorough clean. Included is a CrossAction brush head that not only rotates, but oscillates and pulsates, to remove plaque and keep your teeth shining. 

And if all that sounds like it’s a bit too much, rest assured a pressure sensor will cut out the pulsation feature if you press too hard. 

This brush only has one mode – Daily Clean – which, as the name suggests, provides a straightforward no-nonsense action. There is also a timer, for the standard recommended two minutes. 

One of the biggest draws of this toothbrush though is its ability to fit a wide range of Oral-B replacement brush heads, so you can use heads with different functions such as ‘Floss Action’ and ‘3D White’. The handle itself is relatively inexpensive, which leaves you free to treat yourself to some of the fancier brush heads if you wanted to.


7. Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9300: Best electric toothbrush for whitening

Best electric toothbrush: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9300

(Image credit: Philips)

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9300

A clever electric toothbrush for premium cleaning at home

SPECIFICATIONS

Battery life: 14 days | Cleaning modes: Four, with three intensities | Features: Sensors, app, charging glass | Cleaning tech: Sonic, 62000 brush movements per minute | Two-minute timer: Yes (with 30-second intervals)

Reasons to Buy

Pressure and scrubbing sensors
Smart charging glass

Reasons to Avoid

Not suited to sensitive teeth
Expensive

Philips claims its Sonicare DiamondClean Smart is 'the world’s most intelligent toothbrush' and to add to this buzz, it also delivers an impressively thorough clean.

The DiamondClean has sensors and a dedicated app to help you perfect your brushing technique. Also included is a stylish charging glass, as well as a deluxe travel case to keep your electric toothbrush fully protected.

The experience of using this sonic brush is undeniably smooth, and the ability to control the intensity (choose from High, Medium or Low) of the brush makes it ideal for even the most sensitive of gums, with cleaning modes that range from Clean to Deep Clean with options for White and Gum Health in the middle. 

The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9300 comes with three premium brush heads, which makes up a little for its higher price point. But, if you wanted to ramp things up even further, the DiamondClean Smart also comes in 9500 and 9700 versions that include extra features such as tongue care and USB charging – top-notch options that are great for your oral hygiene.


8. Philips Sonicare Protective Clean 5100

Best electric toothbrushes: Philips Sonicare Protective Clean 5100

(Image credit: Philips)

Philips Sonicare Protective Clean 5100

A smart toothbrush that knows when it’s time to change brush heads

SPECIFICATIONS

Battery life: 14 days | Cleaning modes: Three (Clean, White, Gum) | Features: BrushSync tech, pressure sensors | Cleaning tech: Sonic, 62,000 strokes per min | Two-minute timer: Yes (with 30-second intervals)

Reasons to Buy

Excellent cleaning
Three cleaning modes

Reasons to Avoid

Flimsy travel case
No automatic mode selection

The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 is a reasonably priced electric toothbrush capable of cleaning your teeth and gums effectively, but without aggravating them. It has plenty of smart features to its name, include a pressure sensor that alerts you if you're brushing too hard. 

One of our favorite features is the BrushSync Notification, which not only recognizes when you have fitted a new brush head, it also lets you know when it's time to change your brush head so that it's more effective at cleaning. 

The number of accessories in the box is a little stingy compared to some of the more luxury models in our best electric toothbrushes line-up, and we particularly don't like the lack of a decent travel case with charging function, but overall there's enough here to justify the price

Today's cheapest electric toothbrush prices

Best electric toothbrushes FAQ

How to use an electric toothbrush

If you’ve never used an electric toothbrush before, it could take a few days to get used to the cleaning movements – unlike a manual toothbrush it’s best to avoid any scrubbing motion, as this could irritate your gums. Simply hold the brush to your teeth and gently move it along the surface. It’s as easy as that.

The handle of your electric toothbrush should have a comfortable grip that feels steady in your hand. Meanwhile, the brush heads should be easy to swap, especially if you plan on sharing handles with another member of your household. 

If you have specific needs for your toothbrushing, such as to accommodate dental issues, sensitive gums or orthodontic hardware, choosing an electric toothbrush with different cleaning modes will be helpful. But, if you just need a regular brushing routine, then a single cleaning mode should work just fine. 

Higher end electric toothbrushes, including those from Philips Sonicare and Oral-B come with technology such as Bluetooth and downloadable apps – features that are reflected in the premium price. Other add-ons to consider include interdental brush heads, tongue cleaners, flossers, smartphone-integrated travel cases and rinsing glasses.

Best electric toothbrushes: A blue and white toothbrush photographed on its side

(Image credit: Getty)

The benefits of using an electric toothbrush

When choosing which electric toothbrush is right for you, it’s worth deciding beforehand which technology you prefer. Rotating-oscillating brushes clean your teeth by hugging each tooth in fast-rotating spins to ensure the surface is thoroughly covered. 

Sonic wave toothbrushes, by contrast, use a brushing mechanism powered by high-frequency vibrations to clean your teeth. This action drives the water and toothpaste between the teeth to clean beyond where the bristles actually touch.

The American Dental Association has given specific toothbrushes with both these technologies its seal of approval. This accreditation means a product has passed lab tests and met standards to demonstrate that, based on the ADA’s guidelines, it "is safe and has shown efficacy in removing plaque and helping to prevent and reduce gingivitis, when used as directed."

As a result, you can feel confident that each technology is as effective as the other, leaving you to base your choice on personal preference. If you’re not sure which style is right for you, then both types of electric toothbrush have cheaper options to help you decide. 

Either way, the biggest benefits of using an electric toothbrush over a manual toothbrush is more thorough and effective cleaning. Also look out for models with a built-in two-minute timer, as this is a sure-fire way to make sure you are getting your recommended quota of cleaning time.

Choosing the best electric toothbrush for you

Beyond the research and testing we conducted in our lab, we reached out to dentists and dental hygienists to learn what’s important to consider when you’re looking for an electric toothbrush. Dr James Doll, of Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health, advised the following...

"Talk to your dentist about your particular situation," he said. "If you’re more prone to gum recession, I’d suggest something that cleans well but is ultra-gentle to the gums. At the same time, some people may build up plaque or debris that is thicker or more difficult to remove, and a different brush may work better to get between the teeth or to remove difficult types of build-up. 

"There are a number of excellent choices out there and a number of excellent brush heads. Asking your dentist or hygienist is always an excellent way to go."