Old habits die hard, we know. You’ve been grinding away with a manual toothbrush since you first grew teeth. But that technology has been nearly unchanged for decades, and the evidence that electric toothbrushes are vastly superior for your oral health has been piling up forever. And while your old manual toothbrush is nearly identical to the ones you started using decades ago, electric toothbrushes have come a long way. They’re smaller, more effective, and more affordable than ever. So how do you choose the best electric toothbrush for your dental hygiene?
That’s a question where you’re a guaranteed winner — all of these electric toothbrushes are superior in their own way, so there are no wrong calls here. It all depends on what kind of toothbrush you’re looking for: rotating-oscillating vs sonic, entry-level vs high-tech, travel vs countertop. The one thing you can be sure of is this: regardless of which electric toothbrush you choose, you’re about to take far better care of your teeth and gums than you currently are with that worn-down manual toothbrush.
Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Toothbrushes
An electric toothbrush is one that's powered by a motor as opposed to a manual one you power yourself. The motor powers bristle movement that either goes back and forth or in circular motions to clean teeth. As you move the toothbrush over your teeth the micro movements of the bristles amplify your brushing power.
Yes, electric toothbrushes are more effective at cleaning your teeth and removing plaque. In fact, in a study over the course of three months electric toothbrushes were 21% more effective at removing plaque and 11% more effective at reducing gingivitis. Electric toothbrushes are also great for people with disabilities with limited mobility and have built-in timers that motivate you to brush for the full recommended two minutes.
Electric toothbrushes are pretty much universally more expensive than manual ones because of the motor, battery and added functionality. However, with the added features comes a more effective brush and healthier smile, which could save you money on dental bills later on. On average, electric toothbrushes range from $50 to $200 depending on how much power they have and how long they're built to last. Thankfully, now that there are so many options out there there are budget options available as well.
The changing of manual toothbrushes feels more straightforward because they're made to be disposable. With electric toothbrushes, you don't throw away the whole brush. Instead, you throw away the toothbrush head which is the disposable part of the brush. According to experts, you're supposed to change it out every 12 weeks, so make sure you buy extra brush heads when you purchase your electric toothbrush. Also, more advanced brushes include a feature that will tell you when it's time to change your brush head so you don't have to keep track.
The most recommended electric toothbrush is the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Sonic Toothbrush, which boasts more than 50,000 reviews and a 4.7-star rating on Amazon. While there are more expensive models with more advanced features, for the money, this is the best electric toothbrush for sale right now.
There Are 3 Types of Electric Toothbrushes
Before we break down our favorite electric toothbrushes, it’s important to understand the different types of products. In general, there are three categories of electronic toothbrushes:
- Standard electronic toothbrushes
- Sonic toothbrushes
- Rotating toothbrushes
A standard electronic toothbrush uses vibrations to provide a deep clean. These models are often battery-powered and much more affordable than sonic and rotating models. Some newer models provide a combination of vibration and rotation, but at a much lower level than the more advanced electronic toothbrushes available from brands like Philips Sonicare and Oral-B. For instance, this Arm & Hammer Pro Clean toothbrush vibrates at 3,700 strokes per minute.
A sonic toothbrush uses sonic technology that allows the brush head to vibrate much more quickly. Sonic toothbrushes typically offer 20,000 to 40,000 strokes per minute. Because these toothbrushes vibrate extremely quickly, they help clean away food debris, plaque and germs that manual toothbrushes can’t reach. The best sonic electric toothbrushes typically come with an oval-shaped brush.
Finally, a rotating toothbrush features a circular brush head and utilizes a spinning motion to clean your teeth. Rather than vibrating, these brushes spin to clean your teeth and gums. Rotating brushes typically boast 2,500 to 8,000 strokes per minute, but that doesn’t mean they’re less effective than sonic toothbrushes.
Multiple studies have shown that electric toothbrushes are more effective than manual toothbrushes at cleaning your teeth, controlling plaque and fighting gingivitis. However, the jury is still out on whether sonic or rotating toothbrushes are better. Ultimately, it comes down to user preference, as either type can vastly improve your dental hygiene.
Keep reading and check out our selections for the best electric toothbrushes for sale in 2020.
1. Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Sonic Toothbrush
This Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush offers an impressive 31,000 brush strokes per minute. If you’re not used to this kind of action in your mouth, it’ll tickle at first. However, you’re taking down plaque with seven times greater efficiency than a manual toothbrush. The Philips Sonicare HX6817/01 ProtectiveClean 4100 is on sale on Amazon now for $39.95, which is a total steal for a sonic toothbrush with such excellent reviews. It has the same 30-second and 2-minute as the Oral-B Pro 1000, a 14-day battery life, and BrushSync technology that alerts you when it’s time to replace the head.
While there are more advanced electronic toothbrushes for sale today, this product combines an affordable price tag with powerful dental cleaning technology. As such, it wins out over the best electric toothbrushes from brands like quip and Oral-B. With more than 50,000 reviews on Amazon (including 40,000 5-star reviews), this brush boasts an overall 4.7-star rating.
2. Oral-B Pro 1000 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
BEST STARTER ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH
Rotating oscillating electric toothbrushes don’t pack the punch of their sonic counterparts, but they’re still plaque-busting wonders compared to manual ones. Oral-B was the first brand to be accepted by the American Dental Association, and the Pro 1000 is one of their better and more affordable models. The Pro 1000’s handle pulses every 30 seconds to remind you to move to another part of your mouth, and after 2 minutes it gives you a longer pulse to let you know you’ve done your dental duty. It also stops pulsing if you’re applying too much pressure, in order to spare yourself from damaging your gums or overbrushing your pearly whites. Oral-B also makes a variety of brush heads that fit the Pro 1000 and accomplish different oral hygiene goals. If you’re still using a manual brush and considering making the switch, this is a great entry point.
3. Philips Sonicare 6100 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
The key to a great electric toothbrush is a gentle but effective brush that cleans your teeth without wearing down your gums or damaging your enamel long-term. This gentle yet effective toothbrush from Philips is a bit more expensive than the #1 pick on our list, but it’s got built in technology that whitens and protects your teeth. It has a pressure sensor that alerts you when you’re brushing too hard, and it’ll alert you when you should replace your brush head for the most effective clean possible. It has three different intensities to choose from as well as three different modes to choose from — Clean, White and Gum Care. Like many other electric toothbrushes, it also has a two-minute timer with a QuadPacer that’ll ensure you get a professional-approved clean and reach every nook and cranny of your mouth on the first go.
4. Oral-B Genius 9600 Electric Toothbrush
RECOMMENDED BY DENTISTS
Even with the upgrade from manual electric toothbrushing, you could always use an assist to make sure you’re doing the best possible brushing job The Oral-B Genius 9600 is probably the smartest toothbrush ever made. The Bluetooth-enabled brush pairs its Gum Protection and Position Detection with its free app and facial-recognition technology to give you real-time personalized feedback on how well you are brushing and how you can improve.
The lithum-ion battery gives you 14 days of brushing on a full charge, which means it’s also great for travel. And the travel case charges both your toothbrush and your phone (via USB). Six brushing modes (illuminated with their own icons on the handle) and LED lights with 12 different colors let you further personalize your brushing experience, and the toothbrush itself comes five different colors. Oral-B has six different refill heads that fit the Genius 9600. There are other app-connected electric toothbrushes out there, but none that coach your brushing habits as effectively as this one. That being said, we know that not everyone wants to pay nearly $200 for a toothbrush.
5. Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Gum Health Electric Toothbrush
BEST FOR GUM HEALTH
Gum health is crucial to your overall health and this electric toothbrush has the ability to improve yours up to 100%. It’s tough on plaque, debris and other potential gum hazards and also provides a safe and comforting experience. It has a brush head reminder so you’ll always know when it’s time to replace and has three different modes so you can choose the brush experience you’re in the mood for that day. Choose between cleaning, whitening and straight up gum care and this brush will clean for two minutes with a QuadPacer that alerts you to shift to the next part of your mouth — ensuring a dentist-recommended thorough clean. It also has a 14 day battery life on a single charge and comes with a sturdy, protective carrying case.
6. quip Metal Electric Toothbrush
BEST FOR TRAVEL
Sonic toothbrush? Check. Built-in quadrant timers? Check. ADA accepted? Check. Big recharging base which makes it hard to take on the road? Nuh-uh, this is the quip, where one AAA battery gives you three months of charge, and the hard metal body makes it drop-proof and also able to take a jostling in your dopp kit. The quip has a more-famous plastic model for $25, but we say spring the extra $15 for the metal version, which looks as good as it cleans. It’s also waterproof in case you want to multitask by brushing in the shower. The travel cover also doubles as a stand and mirror mount. You can buy the quip in person or online at Target, and you can also sign up for quip’s refill program and browse for deep-cleaning accessories on quip’s website.
7. Oral-B Pro 7000 SmartSeries Electric Toothbrush
BEST MODE OPTIONS
This toothbrush is smart, and for the extra bucks it comes with some bells and whistles your dentist will appreciate. It connects to an app that gives you real time feedback on your brushing and provides helpful oral care tips as well as notifications if you’re brushing too hard. Everything about this toothbrush is designed to be exact — it’s made of high-tech materials like silicone and has a cross round brush head with angled bristles that can reach every corner of your mouth easily. It has clinically-proven 3D cleaning capabilities with a head that rotates, pulsates and removes 100% more plaque than manual toothbrushes. It has speeds up to 800 brush movements per second and it can sync up with Amazon Dash to automatically order new brush heads as soon as you need them. High tech, huh?
8. hum Electric Toothbrush by Colgate
BEST SMART TOOTHBRUSH
This brand new smart toothbrush from Colgate was released this year and has some impressive features. SPY received the hum electric toothbrush for testing, and it’s definitely a solid toothbrush. What it lacks in the power of other sonic toothbrushes it makes up for with a lightweight design, portability, comfortable handle and impressive smart technology. The hum toothbrush does more than just guide you and time your brushing (which it does quite well), it also hooks up to an app that tracks the amount of time you’re spending on different parts of your mouth and coaches you to improve on areas where you’re missing. It has multiple vibration levels and smart sensors for targeting areas that need more attention. The app also has rewards so you can celebrate your dental hygiene wins with your new favorite brush. Again, it’s not quite as powerful as more expensive options, but the functionality does help you improve the quality of your brushing while you’re using it. We’ve enjoyed using the hum so far, and it works especially well as a lightweight travel toothbrush.
9. Fairywill D3 Sonic Electric Toothbrush
BEST FOR BRACES
Brace face? Don’t worry about it — this electric toothbrush will keep your teeth clean without messing up those painful metal brackets and causing you most stress than you’re already experiencing. This toothbrush provides an ADA-accepted clean and cleans your teeth like a dentist would with W-shaped bristles and 40,000 micro brushes per minute. One 4-hour charge gives you 30 days of use so it’s perfect for traveling without the charger, and it has a 2-minute built-in timer that keeps track of your brushing for you. The bristles also have a fading reminder for when they need to be replaced — blue will fade to white when it’s time to change out your brush head for one of the other three it comes with.
10. BURST Electric Toothbrush
CHARCOAL ANTIMICROBIAL BRISTLES
BURST is another electric toothbrush brand making a splash in the space for their innovative toothbrush head design. Each toothbrush head on a BURST toothbrush has whitening charcoal PBT nylon bristles that are soft, cleansing and antimicrobial. This toothbrush also has a super strong brush motor that generates 33,000 sonic vibrations per minute. It can also last for four weeks on a single charge and has three different brushing modes — whitening, sensitive and massage. The sensitive is a unique mode and useful for folks with sensitive teeth or weakened enamel they’re trying to build back up. This toothbrush comes in a few different colors but we love the sleek all-black look.
11. SmileDirectClub Electric Toothbrush
BEST SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE
quip is not the only subscription electric toothbrush in town. We touted the SmileDirectClub Electric Toothbrush a few months ago, and we’re still loving it. The 3-in-1 case, which acts as a counter stand, magnetic mirror mount or travel cover, is a great innovation. The brush head is designed to work well around braces or retainers or other appliances, which is no small wonder considering SmileDirectClub got its start by developing and releasing a less-expensive alignment alternative. And the subscription service provides an automatic brush head and battery replacement subscription service for just $5 per refill, which is the best plan we found.
12. The Fairywill 507 Sonic Toothbrush
BEST BUDGET OPTION
If you’re looking for an affordable and rechargeable electric toothbrush, then you should consider the Fairywill 507 sonic brush. This electric toothbrush offers up to 40,000 brush strokes per minute, which rivals more expensive products from brands like Oral-B. Like the best electric toothbrushes, the 507 comes with a built-in timer to help you optimize your cleaning routine. There are also five different brushing modes to choose from. The color-changing bristles let you know when it’s time to replace the brush head, which is a nice feature. The brush is a little bulky, but this is a powerful sonic toothbrush at a very reasonable price point.
13. Philips Sonicare HX6321 Electric Toothbrush for Kids
BEST FOR KIDS
This high-power electric toothbrush from Philips Sonicare is designed for kids’ mouths and to motivate them to take care of their teeth. 98% of the parents who have used this brush say it’s easier to get kids to brush their teeth better and for a longer period of time. It has an educational free app that will get your kids excited about brushing, and gives them rewards after each successful brushing session. It has a “kidpacer” and “kidtimer” that goes for two minutes and alerts them to change quadrants of their mouth to ensure a thorough cleaning.
14. AquaSonic Black Series Ultra Whitening Electric Toothbrush
LONG BATTERY LIFE
This sleek black AquaSonic electric toothbrush has 40,000 VPM, four modes and a smart timer all built right in and ready to get your oral hygiene back on track. This world-class toothbrush features the most up to date technology including wireless charging, a lithium-ion battery that lasts up to 30 days on a single charge, 8 DuPont brush heads and bristles and a stylish travel case. It removes 10x more gum plaque along the gum line than a manual toothbrush and up to 3x as much as its competitors. The hardshell travel case is made of BPA-free plastic and the smart vibration timer will keep your brushing on track for a thorough clean in just two minutes.