Best electric toothbrush: 7 top buys for clean teeth

We can help you find the best electric toothbrush around. For clean teeth, little plaque and healthy gums...

Best electric toothbrush: Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 in hand
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(Image credit: Philips)

Searching for the best electric toothbrush? Buying one of these should keep your teeth looking white and feeling clean. Whether you have receding gums, a little more plaque than you would like, or, perhaps you are after an electric toothbrush for kids? Keep reading to find out the top seven buys for everyone, no matter your budget or the condition of your teeth. Because electric toothbrushes are much better for you than manual versions. How do we know this? We've spoken to an Orthodontist (below) all about toothbrushes and she has explained the difference.

If you are in the market for more health and beauty buys – flat irons, hair dryers – then check out our dedicated health and beauty page.

The best electric toothbrushes

Best electric toothbrush: Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Plaque Control

(Image credit: Philips)

1. Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Plaque Control

Best electric toothbrush: squeaky clean teeth for a reasonable price

Specifications
Modes: 1
Colors: 5
Timer function?: Yes
Battery life: 14 days
Pressure sensor: Yes
App compatibility: No
Reasons to buy
+Pressure sensor+Alerts you when you need to replace the brush head+Mid-range price tag
Reasons to avoid
-No app compatibility-Only one mode-Comes with just one head

If you have fairly good dental hygiene that you want to kick up a notch, the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Plaque Control is an ideal entry-level, daily-use electric toothbrush.

What we like about it
It doesn’t get simpler than this rechargeable toothbrush — simply press the only button on the device to start the vibrations. According to Philips, the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 can remove seven times more plaque than manual brushing thanks to its fine bristles and its sonic technology that blasts plaque right off your tooth.

The toothbrush is, however, outfitted with some bonus features, including a pressure sensor that lets you know if you’re brushing too hard and BrushSync, which alerts you when you need to change out the brush head.

Things to note
The toothbrush doesn’t come with extra heads — you’ll have to buy those separately. And it only has one mode.

Best electric toothbrush 2020: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

(Image credit: Phiips)

2. Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

Best electric toothbrush 2020: ideal for the dental hygiene obsessed

Specifications
Modes: 5
Colors: 5
Timer function?: Yes
Battery life: 14 days
Pressure sensor: Yes
App compatibility: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Bluetooth enabled to monitor brushing habits via app+Four different brush heads+Travel case+Automatic brush head renewal 
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush is the Tesla of the electric toothbrush world.

What we like about it
What don’t we like about it? This incredibly high-tech product has bells and whistles we never even dreamed were possible for a toothbrush. For starters, it has Bluetooth capabilities that allow it to pair with smartphones. Download the Philips app and you’re able to get a personal analysis of your brushing habits — it’ll even let you know if you’ve missed a spot. Beyond that, it has a number of different brushing modes that accomplish different goals, from gum care to whitening.

We’re also impressed by the bonus items that come along with the toothbrush, like four different brush heads (including a tongue brush), a glass holder, and a travel case. And finally, the toothbrush comes with an automatic brush head renewal that’ll have a new item shipped to you when the old one is running out of steam.

Things to note
All these features mean the toothbrush is expensive!

Best electric toothbrush for kids: Philips Sonicare for Kids Electric Toothbrush

(Image credit: Philips)

3. Philips Sonicare for Kids Electric Toothbrush

Best electric toothbrush for kids: make brush time a breeze thanks to this Philips model

Specifications
Modes: 2
Colors: Blue (different colour stickers available)
Timer function: Yes
Battery life: Up to 3 weeks
Pressure sensor: No
App compatibility?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+App available+Two modes+Stickers for customisation+Comes with 4 heads+Long battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Nothing!

Looking for the best electric toothbrush to buy for your child? The Philips Sonicare for Kids is it.

What we like about it
It can be used in conjunction with an app to help make brush time slightly more enjoyable. Using a tablet or smartphone, the toothbrush connects via Bluetooth to your device so that your child can play games and watch tutorials on how to brush your teeth properly and will be rewarded after every brush. Much like other toothbrushes, this one has a timer too, which works to extend brush time every day until your child is brushing for the recommended two minutes per day. It also has two child-friendly brush modes. Boasting a two-week battery life, it's great for taking on holiday. With this electric toothbrush comes stickers so they can customize their new electric toothbrush, too.

Things to note
It doesn't have a pressure sensor – you will need to encourage them to brush their entire mouth. 

Best affordable electric toothbrush: Oral-B Pro 1000

(Image credit: Oral B)

4. Oral-B Pro 1000

Best affordable electric toothbrush: a strong (and cheap) contender to become your daily-use toothbrush

Specifications
Modes: 1
Colors: 2
Timer function: Yes
Battery life: 7 days
Timer: Yes
App compatibility: No
Reasons to buy
+Multiple brush heads for teeth, flossing, and whitening+Mid-range price point
Reasons to avoid
-No app compatibility-Comparatively short battery life-Only 1 mode

Another solid entry-level electric toothbrush, the rechargeable Oral-B Pro 1000 has a brush head that moves in multiple directions, ensuring that its bristles fully cover each tooth.

What we like about it
Well obviously the price, but also what makes the Oral-B Pro 1000 stand out among its competitors is its brush head which rotates, spins, and pulsates to rid your teeth of plaque (many others simply vibrate). The bristles are inserted into the brush head at a 16-degree angle, which is prime for enveloping a tooth to lean it.

We also love that Oral-B offers a variety of different brush heads that can be swapped out across devices. The standard brush head is the CrossAction, but you can also buy FlossAction or 3D White.

Things to note
The battery life is a little short on this toothbrush — it only lasts seven days. If you plan on leaving your charger out in your bathroom regularly so you can top up the toothbrush’s energy levels, however, the battery life won’t be a problem.

Best electric toothbrush and water flosser combo: Waterpik Sonic-Fusion

(Image credit: Waterpik)

5. Waterpik Sonic-Fusion

Best electric toothbrush and water flosser combo: combine brushing and water flossing

Specifications
Modes: 10
Colors: 2
Timer function?: Yes
Battery life: 30 minutes of continuous use
Pressure sensor: No
App compatibility: No
Reasons to buy
+Brush and floss+2 modes+Great if you have sensitive gums+Brilliant for braces
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive piece of kit

You get the best of both worlds with Waterpik’s Sonic-Fusion, a combination electric toothbrush, and water flosser.

What we like about it
People have been raving about Waterpik’s water flossers for years — they’re the at-home version of the high-pressured tools dental hygienists use to clean your teeth at your annual dental appointment. 

Waterpik has made it easier than ever to brush and water floss by combining both tools into a single device. Turn on brushing mode for a classic brush, then turn on flossing mode to spray water along your gumline to flush out some plaque. It’s also super helpful for those with sensitive gums that get irritated by regular floss, or those who have braces or other orthodontic appliances.

Things to note
While water flossing is no substitute for actual flossing, it’s definitely a solid addition to your oral healthcare routine. 

Best travel electric toothbrush: Quip Electric Toothbrush

(Image credit: Quip)

6. Quip Electric Toothbrush

Best travel electric toothbrush: very stylish, and easy to grab and go

Specifications
Battery life: 3 months
Pressure sensor: No
App compatibility: No
Reasons to buy
+Sleek design+Cover/mirror mount that works well for travel+New brush heads can be mailed out quarterly
Reasons to avoid
-Not very powerful-No rechargeable batteries (but replacements are mailed quarterly)

Don’t want to bring your bulky electric toothbrush on the road? Try Quip.

What we like about it
It’s without a doubt the sleekest, most design-forward toothbrush on the market, with a slender handle made of metal that comes in different colors. Quip is also primed for traveling: it has a cap to protect its bristles that actually doubles as a mirror mount through an adhesive strip. (We love the idea of not haphazardly leaving our toothbrush on a bathroom counter in a hotel.)

Quip has also launched an upgraded model called the Smart Electric Toothbrush, which has a Bluetooth chip embedded in it that syncs with an app. As with the most high-end toothbrushes, the app will track your brushing activity — but at a fraction of the cost.

Things to note
The toothbrush isn’t as powerful as some of the others on this list, so it’s not a bad idea to keep this one as a travel toothbrush rather than your main daily-use toothbrush.

Also, it doesn’t run off rechargeable batteries, so you’ll need to replace the AAA battery every so often! You can also subscribe to have Quip send you new batteries and a brush head every three months.

Best electric toothbrush for sensitive gums: Oral-B Gum and Sensitive Care Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

(Image credit: Oral B)

7. Oral-B Gum and Sensitive Care Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

Best electric toothbrush for sensitive gums: keep things gentle yet effective

Specifications
Modes: 3
Colors: 4
Timer function?: Yes
Battery life: 14 days
Pressure sensor: Yes
App compatibility: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Designed for users with sensitive teeth and gums+Comes with two brush heads and a travel case+Three modes of operation
Reasons to avoid
-Fairly expensive

If you have sensitive teeth or gums, a full-strength electric toothbrush might be too much for you. Oral-B Gum and Sensitive Care Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush gives you all of the clean at a gentler pressure.

What we like about it
This toothbrush is specifically designed for those with sensitive mouths. It has three modes: Daily Clean, Gum Care Mode, and Sensitive Mode. As with the mid-range Oral-B products, the Gum and Sensitive Care Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush also has a pressure sensor to alert you if you’re brushing too hard. It also uses Bluetooth to connect to Oral-B’s tracking app, allowing users to monitor their brushing habits over time.

Things to note
Pair this toothbrush with Oral-B’s Sensi Ultrathin brush head for the gentlest clean — it’s designed to reduce gum inflammation while removing plaque from your teeth.

What is the best electric toothbrush?

Our favorite electric toothbrush for everyday use is the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100, which isn’t prohibitively expensive — it’s one of Philips’ mid-range options. 

Want to splurge on one of those toothbrushes that comes with an app to teach you all about your brushing habits? Try the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500.

How to buy the best electric toothbrush?

Need some pointers for shopping for an electric toothbrush? Here are the factors you should consider.

Budget
When it comes to picking an electric toothbrush, start by setting a budget. This will determine how many bells and whistles you’ll be able to get. Even the most basic models of electric toothbrushes have timers, but as you add more features on from there, the price goes up.

Pressure sensor
One of the most commonly sought out features on electric toothbrushes is a pressure sensor, which activates when you’re brushing too hard. Many of us are over-brushers, so this is a helpful tool to remind you to take it easy.

Bluetooth App
High-end toothbrushes come with Bluetooth devices so they can sync to a monitoring app that tracks your brushing habits. If you take your dental hygiene very seriously, you might want to spring for this upgrade.

Brush head replacement subscription
With regular toothbrushes, you simply toss them out when they get worn. That’s not the case with electric toothbrushes — you only need to replace the brush head. If you’re the type to forget to do so every few months, opt for a toothbrush that has a subscription service for brush head replacements.

Electric toothbrush or manual toothbrush?

We spoke to an orthodontist from King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust –Helen Tippett – to discuss the actual difference between an electric toothbrush and a manual version. Apart from the obvious – electricity – she told us that when advising her patients on the "best toothbrush" she always answers saying electric. We know that electric toothbrushes can be either oscillating – this means they rotate – or sonic (the models that vibrate). Oscillating toothbrushes are best for plaque removal. Sonic toothbrushes such as the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean boast an interactive element to provide brushing feedback. This improves your brushing habits.

However, it isn't just down to the toothbrush, she assured us. It's also to do with technique and time. "All patients should be taught the appropriate technique with a manual toothbrush before using an electric one". Brushing for two minutes and covering each area of your mouth makes for a better job at cleaning – whether you have a manual or electric model.