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.
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 10,000 reviews on Amazon, this brush still boasts a 4.5-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. Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 Toothbrush & Water Flosser
BEST TOOTHBRUSH WITH WATER FLOSSER
Electric toothbrushes on their own are tremendous for gum health. An electric toothbrush combined with a Waterpik water flosser is a savage one-two punch to knock out any plaque or bacteria even thinking about taking up residence in your gumline. This sonic toothbrush has three brushing speeds and three brushing modes, and the water flosser has a 90-second refillable water supply had 10 different pressure settings to knock loose debris between your teeth or in your gums, and wash it away safely. The base is 13 inches by 13, and 11 inches tall, which means you are packing a lot of oral hygiene into a relatively small amount of counter space.
4. Oral-B Genius 9600 Electric Toothbrush
BEST APP-CONNECTED TOOTHBRUSH
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. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Philips Sonicare HX6321 Electric Toothbrush for Kids
BEST FOR KIDS
10. Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Gum Health Electric Toothbrush
BEST FOR GUM HEALTH
11. 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.