The Best Electric Toothbrush


We tested the Willo, a mouthguard-style robotic toothbrush, and found the brushing experience to be subpar.February 24, 2022Save

If you find an automated 2-minute timer helpful, or you simply prefer the feeling of brushing with a powered assist, it could be worthwhile for you to upgrade to an electric toothbrush. After more than 100 total hours of research, interviewing experts, evaluating nearly every model available, and testing 36 toothbrushes ourselves in hundreds of trials at the bathroom sink, we’ve found that the Oral-B Pro 1000 is the best electric toothbrush for most people. Although it has the fewest fancy features of the models we tested, it does have the most important things experts recommend—a built-in 2-minute timer and access to one of the most extensive and affordable lines of replaceable toothbrush heads available—for the lowest price.

Our pick


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Oral-B Pro 1000

The best electric toothbrush

The Oral-B Pro 1000 has the most important features for the lowest price: a two-minute timer, an easy brushing process, and compatibility with the largest range of brush heads.$50 from Amazon$50 from Target

The Oral-B Pro 1000 brush comes with a minimal charging pedestal that simply requires dropping the brush onto a peg. Fully charged, it lasts for at least a week of twice-daily two-minute brushing sessions before needing a recharge, which is on a par with the other toothbrushes we tested in this price range and plenty for most people. The biggest drawback: It’s louder than other brushes we’ve tested.

Sample replacement brush head costs

Approximate cost of ownership ($45 brush handle + four Oral-B replacement heads) after

  • One year: $67
  • Three years: $111



Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100

A quieter brush

The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 is one of the least expensive brushes in Sonicare’s line, but it still has a two-minute timer and rechargeable battery, and it makes less noise than the Oral-B Pro 1000. This pick has a smaller range of brush textures and shapes, but they are all soft and serviceable.$50* from Amazon$50 from Bed Bath & Beyond

*At the time of publishing, the price was $40.

If you can’t find the Oral-B Pro 1000, or if you prefer a quieter brush, we recommend the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100. Like the Pro 1000, the ProtectiveClean 4100 is not trumped up with unproven features, and it includes everything you need in an electric toothbrush. The ProtectiveClean 4100 runs much more quietly, but unlike the Pro 1000, it comes to a full stop after two minutes of brushing (rather than restarting the cycle as the Pro 1000 does) and has a less diverse, more expensive range of brush heads, giving you fewer options for texture and shape. We’ve also found that, compared with the Pro 1000, the ProtectiveClean 4100 is a bit easier to wipe clean: Fewer ridges on the uniform plastic handle mean there are fewer spaces to accumulate gunk.

Sample replacement brush head costs

Approximate cost of ownership ($50 brush handle1 + four Philips Sonicare replacement heads) after

  • One year: $86
  • Three years: $158

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Our pick

Oral-B Pro 1000

The best electric toothbrush

The Oral-B Pro 1000 has the most important features for the lowest price: a two-minute timer, an easy brushing process, and compatibility with the largest range of brush heads.

Buying Options

$50 from Amazon$50 from Target


Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100

A quieter brush

The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 is one of the least expensive brushes in Sonicare’s line, but it still has a two-minute timer and rechargeable battery, and it makes less noise than the Oral-B Pro 1000. This pick has a smaller range of brush textures and shapes, but they are all soft and serviceable.

Buying Options

$50* from Amazon$50 from Bed Bath & Beyond

*At the time of publishing, the price was $40.

Looking for something else?

Read more from Health & Fitness

The research

Why you should trust us

We spoke with several experts on the subject of oral health, including dental school faculty at leading research universities, a professional dentist, and a consumer advisor appointed by the American Dental Association (ADA), which confers a Seal of Acceptance on dental care products that seek the certification and meet a set of agreed-upon criteria.

In addition, we invested more than 60 hours in researching, evaluating, and testing the best powered toothbrushes widely available to find the best one.

Should you upgrade?

Per the ADA’s recommendations, the only necessary thing in toothbrushing is a basic toothbrush that you use properly. Our pick was included in the first group of electric toothbrushes to receive the ADA Seal of Acceptance in September 2017.3 But regardless of the manufacturer, powered electric toothbrushes have been shown to provide superior dental care to manual toothbrushing—they remove more plaque and reduce gingivitis at statistically significant rates.3 If you find yourself struggling to meet two minutes, if you tend to brush unevenly, or if you find manual brushing to be too much labor, upgrading from a manual toothbrush to an electric one that automates these elements may make sense.

Electric toothbrushes cost about 10 times as much as a manual toothbrushes, and you have to replace the brush heads at the same frequency (every three months), each for about the same cost as a manual brush.

If you already have an electric toothbrush that performs these services, there’s no need to consider upgrading. If you use a manual brush and don’t struggle to maintain good habits, there’s little reason to consider upgrading in that case, either.

One thing worth pointing out about electric toothbrushes is that they are not cheaper in the long run. Electric toothbrushes cost about 10 times as much as manual toothbrushes, and you have to replace the brush heads at the same frequency (every three months), each for about the same cost as a manual brush. What you get for the higher cost is less friction in achieving good brushing habits, and, according to research, a significant reduction in plaque and gingivitis, even if that reduction may come only from having a brush that encourages good habits, like a full two minutes of brushing for each session.

How we picked and tested

After sorting through the dental care research, which is littered with clinical studies sponsored by the companies that make the toothbrushes being tested, we’ve learned that all you really need out of an electric toothbrush is a two-minute timer to make sure you brush your teeth for the right amount of time. Manufacturers have blown up the high end with scientific-sounding “features” like cleaning modes and UV lights; nothing proves these other features work, let alone that they are necessary. All an electric toothbrush can really offer is automation of the brushing process by adding a timer and easing some of the physical labor, according to the professors and dentist we spoke to.

“Average folks brush 46 seconds. With timers people will go to at least the two minutes,” said Dr. Joan Gluch, director of community health at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. “Clinically, we see patients do better with powered toothbrushes.” Dr. Mark Wolff, a professor emeritus at the New York University College of Dentistry, agreed: “It helps people that don’t brush well,” he said. “If you need the guidance, invest in the guidance.”

There are many types of brush heads, and they vary from brand to brand. Photo: Casey Johnston

None of the experts we spoke with differentiated between the plaque removal ability in any of the types or models of brushes available.

So we looked for, at minimum, brushes with a two-minute timer, but still wanted to test higher-end brushes to compare their usability against that of the simplest models. We eliminated brushes without rechargeable batteries because loose batteries are a hassle and a waste. We also eliminated models that were reviewed as overly loud or having either short battery life or a too-small range of compatible brush heads. If a brush was compatible with a wide range of brush heads, that was a small point in its favor.

All you really need out of an electric toothbrush is a two-minute timer to make sure you brush your teeth for the right amount of time.

Both Oral-B and Philips Sonicare make extensive lines of brushes and don’t exactly go to pains to make it clear what the difference is between all of them. Although the Oral-B 7000 costs more than the Oral-B 1000 because of added, unnecessary features, such as additional “cleaning modes,” we chose to test it to see if the user experience was better. It was not.

We applied the same buying model to the Philips Sonicare line and tried not to buy brushes that were differentiated only by their unnecessary features. We also bought one high-end brush, the DiamondClean, to assess if the cleaning experience was better. It was not.

Once we understood the features of all the products, it was a matter of getting them in hand and seeing what it was like to hold them, charge them, use them, replace their heads, and have our brushing sessions timed and monitored. To stress-test them, we also dropped our picks onto a tile floor from chest height to test for durability and submerged them in water while they were running for a full two-minute brushing cycle to test for water resistance. We compared the brushes on all these usability points to arrive at our conclusion.

In our experience, all of these brushes, even the top-end ones, did the same thing—moved toothpaste around in your mouth. Toothbrushes that identify as “sonic” like Philips and Waterpik models tend to be quieter and have a vibration-like movement, and oscillating brushes are louder. But this is a distinction between different types of brushes made by different manufacturers, not expensive brushes versus cheap ones.

The features you don’t need (what you get if you spend more)

The funny thing about electric toothbrushes is how similar a $70 model is to a $200 one. Once we get past the features mentioned above, there are precious few necessary value-adds to an expensive electric toothbrush: a travel case, a UV sanitizer (which is of negligible use), maybe a couple extra heads, a slightly sleeker body, a longer-lasting battery, auto-syncing with an app (See What about “smart” toothbrushes?). As for sonic cleaning, different cleaning modes, or pressure sensors, experts tell us they are not necessary.

All of our picks come with a two-minute timer. That’s the main benefit of having an electric toothbrush.

Spend more than $30 or so, and you typically get a quadrant timer. This element, though a nice option, isn’t strictly necessary unless you like that style of brushing or your dentist has noticed that you struggle with brushing evenness. “The time spent in each quadrant is just an aid to help ensure that you brush long enough to remove plaque on every tooth at the gum line and chewing surfaces, assuming you’re brushing properly,” said dentist Matthew Messina, a spokesperson for the ADA. “Plus, we are not aware of studies that show brushing longer in smaller areas has an added beneficial effect in removing plaque.”

Spend about $70, and your brush comes with a travel case and a few extra cleaning modes, which vibrate the brush at different patterns or frequencies. These brushes also tend to move at a higher frequency, to the tune of 30,000 to 40,000 movements per minute, as opposed to a lower-end brush’s 8,000 to 20,000 movements per minute. There isn’t a proven difference in effectiveness between faster and slower brush movements in existing independent research. We found only one small, old, imperfect study that compared brushes with 2,100, 2,500, and 3,500 brushstrokes per minute and found that the middle frequency was the most effective at removing plaque (“at most 1.5 times better” than the other frequencies and yielded “about 50 percent fewer plaque sites” than the highest frequency). Respondents also said it was the most comfortable frequency. However, there were only 10 participants, they brushed under supervision only some of the time, and they used each toothbrush for only three days.

Cleaning modes don’t matter, according to experts we spoke to and research we’ve seen. The only one that might help is “sensitive mode” for people who find the brush’s normal oscillations too jarring. “People with sensitive teeth may find that their teeth are less sensitive when the brush head moves slower or less pressure is applied,” said Dr. Messina. The average person doesn’t need it, though. “As far as whitening goes, all toothbrushes help remove surface stains when used with a toothpaste because toothpastes contain mild abrasives and detergents for this purpose,” said Dr. Messina.

In this price range, you’ll also get a small boost in battery life. That doesn’t matter much, as it’s easy to have your brush live on its charger in your bathroom.

Over $100 will get you a couple more modes on your brush, a travel case that can charge the brush on the go, and perhaps a pressure sensor that lights up once activated.

The pressure sensor is meant to alert the user when they are brushing too hard, something that dentists and experts agree is a bad thing. Our panel testers’ opinions on the utility of these sensors were mixed.

Around $150 puts you in the realm of Bluetooth brushes (and, generally, a dip in battery life). These typically come with several brush heads, in addition to a charging travel case, and even more cleaning modes.

Is “sonic” brushing better?

A point of order about the word “sonic”: Per advertising from Sonicare that is now close to two decades old, some people take this to mean that sonic toothbrushes “knock off plaque” with “sound waves.” This is not an effect proven in any research.

However, sonic toothbrushes can produce a secondary effect described in a handful of studies involving fluid dynamics. Independent research does show that the fluid dynamics generated by a toothbrush moving at high frequency can “remove bacteria in vitro even at distances up to 4 mm beyond the tips of the bristles” (Stanford, 1997). The efficacy of this movement varied depending on the distance and time spent, and nothing will remove 100 percent of the bacteria/plaque all the time, but this is a significant, if secondary, effect generated by a “sonic” toothbrush.

We could not find any independent studies comparing toothbrush models or brands, and all the ones tested for the fluid dynamics aspect are Sonicare brushes, which are all 31,000 movements-per-minute brushes. Other brands have toothbrushes that move faster, slower, and at roughly the same speed as this. Though the fluid dynamics effect exists, remember that it’s secondary to actual bristles scrubbing your teeth and gums.

Our pick: Oral-B Pro 1000

Our pick

Oral-B Pro 1000

The best electric toothbrush

The Oral-B Pro 1000 has the most important features for the lowest price: a two-minute timer, an easy brushing process, and compatibility with the largest range of brush heads.$50 from Amazon$50 from Target

The Pro 1000 is among Oral-B’s least expensive models, but it comes with all the features most of our experts recommended, for the lowest price—a two-minute timer (with a nice-to-have quadrant alert) and a wide selection of compatible and affordable brush heads. We’ve recommended this brush since 2015. In September 2017, the Pro 1000 was among the first five electric toothbrushes to receive the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The Pro 1000 has comfortable-feeling oscillating bristles, a simple one-button interface, and a battery that lasted 11½ days with twice-daily use in our tests. The body survived drop tests on the floor and into water. Best of all, you’re not getting overcharged for features like digital monitors, travel cases, or inductive chargers—none of which will actually get your teeth any cleaner than the Pro 1000 can.

The one-button simplicity is a great feature—there are no useless cleaning modes. The Pro 1000’s timer goes off every 30 seconds, alerting the user of the time by briefly pausing. After two minutes, the brush pulses three times to signal that a full cycle is up, but will continue brushing after if the user wants to keep brushing; it must always be manually turned off. This is nice for touching up on areas of your mouth you may not have given enough attention to. On many more expensive brushes, like the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean, pushing the button more than once activates different cleaning modes, forcing you to cycle through every option to get back to the simple default cleaning mode.

Oral-B’s brushes are also, on average, less expensive than replacement heads for other brushes.

Using the right brush head for your teeth and gums matters, and we like that the Pro 1000 can take advantage of Oral-B’s brush head line. The range is the widest of all toothbrush lines, making it easier to customize the brush for one user’s preferences and recommendations from their dentist. Bruce Schechner, a New York-based general and cosmetic dentist, said that “everyone reacts differently” to different brush shapes and sizes, and those factors don’t matter “as long as you’re using one you feel comfortable with.” Wolff said that whether a brush includes elements like rubber flaps doesn’t matter, but brushes should be “soft to medium, at hardest.”

Oral-B’s brushes are also, on average, less expensive than replacement heads for other brushes. Dentists recommend getting a new toothbrush every three months, so these cost savings can add up over time. The Philips Sonicare brush heads tend to be more expensive, but brands like the Waterpik and Dazzlepro have heads that are roughly the same price.

Higher-priced Oral-B models don’t have much more to offer than our pick. Investing $50 into the Pro 1000 gets you access to the same set of brush heads as buying the $150 Oral-B Black 7000 model (with the exception of a couple of less widely available models).

The Pro 1000 is rated to last for seven days of brushing sessions on one charge; in our real-world testing, it lasted for 11½ days, which is average for a brush in this price range. Like the more expensive models we tested, the brush survived its drop test, fits in its charging cradle well, and can switch out brush heads easily. Oral-B changes the name of this brush about once a year, but functionally the entire series remains pretty much the same.

The Pro 1000 was also quite comfortable to use. Oral-B models use rotation and pulsation, so its brushes don’t buzz as intensely when the brush’s head touches your other teeth. All Sonicares vibrate at the same (high) frequency and produce a more jarring sensation when the back of the brush collides with other teeth.

The Oral-B Pro 1000 has a limited two-year warranty that requires the buyer to retain the receipt and ship the product to an authorized service center if it needs fixing. This is typical for a product in this price range and category.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

Overall, we found the oscillating-format Oral-B toothbrushes to be louder and more sonically grating than the vibrating format of the Philips Sonicare brushes we tested. Without a point of comparison, it’s possible our slight annoyance would go away as we got used to it.

The other major flaw of the Pro 1000 is that the starter head is a departure from the usual rotating/pulsating motion of most powered Oral-B brushes. The head it comes with has two moving parts: one that moves up and down vertically and a longer set of bristles at the top that flop back and forth. Compared with other toothbrushes, the motion was a little violent.

Fortunately, if you do not like the Pro head, you can use any other Oral-B brush head on the handle. Toothbrushes are meant to be replaced every three months anyway, so buying new brush heads is an inevitability; you just have to eat the cost of the two Pro heads that come with the brush.

As with most of the toothbrush models we tested, the battery life indicator on the Pro 1000 is vague: It lets you know when the battery is full (a continuous green light for five seconds after you remove it from the charging base) and when it is “low” (a red flashing light after turning the brush off). Oral-B does not specify how long it takes to get the brush to a full charge, but you can charge it every day without significantly affecting the battery’s capacity as long as you fully deplete it once every six months.

Long-term test notes

The most significant thing about any powered toothbrush that might change over the course of its lifetime is the battery life; over the years, rechargeable batteries tend to lose capacity. In the case of a toothbrush, this might mean it becomes less powerful or not lasting as long while traveling.

Even with frequent cleaning, we’ve found that rubberized white surfaces of the Pro 1000 handle can become discolored over time.

Runner-up: Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100


Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100

A quieter brush

The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 is one of the least expensive brushes in Sonicare’s line, but it still has a two-minute timer and rechargeable battery, and it makes less noise than the Oral-B Pro 1000. This pick has a smaller range of brush textures and shapes, but they are all soft and serviceable.$50* from Amazon$50 from Bed Bath & Beyond

*At the time of publishing, the price was $40.

The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 is one of the least expensive Sonicare brushes, at around $50. This brush is quieter than our recommended Oral-B model, with a more subtle motion (though the vibrations can feel slightly more uncomfortable when the back of the brush knocks against your other teeth). The ProtectiveClean 4100, which has a two-minute timer with quadrant pacing, also has twice the battery life of the Oral-B, lasting two weeks on a single charge instead of one week (in our tests it lasted for 16 days of use), so it might be a better choice for travelers who don’t want to pack another charger.

A nice perk of all Philips Sonicare brushes, including the ProtectiveClean 4100, is that the brush heads come with a tiny plastic hood you can snap off and on to guard against the coliform sprays flying around the bathroom if you store your toothbrush in open air. The cap is easy to lose, but it’s a nice touch.

The replacement brush heads for the ProtectiveClean 4100 are slightly more expensive at $27 for three ($9 each); the Oral-B’s replacement heads can be as cheap as $5 to $6 each, making the Oral-B’s expenses a little lower in the long run. Per our testing, Philips Sonicare brush heads are interchangeable, and all the Sonicare brushes we tested were able to accommodate each other’s heads. Philips Sonicare does not make this explicit anywhere in its product materials. Most of Philips Sonicare’s brush heads are oblong with soft bristles and lack options for additional structural elements, like rubber flaps or “polishing cups,” so you get fewer options than you do with Oral-B.

Like the Oral-B model, the ProtectiveClean 4100 comes with a limited two-year warranty (PDF) that requires you to retain the receipt and ship the brush out if it needs service.

The ProtectiveClean 4100 is about the same price as the Oral-B Pro 1000, but online prices can fluctuate.

Like the Oral-B Pro 1000, the ProtectiveClean 4100 has earned the ADA Seal.

Care and maintenance

Because brush heads must be replaced roughly every three months, the total cost of owning an electric toothbrush adds up. Some retailers sell replacement brush heads in bulk, and some manufacturers regularly issue coupons, which can both help keep costs down. (See our blog post on the cost of replacement brush heads, including some generics we tried but ultimately didn’t like.)

Nearly every electric toothbrush we’ve tested requires rinsing and/or wiping down between each use. Otherwise, you may end up with dried toothbrush-spit residue gunking up any crevices—particularly where the brush head meets the handle. In addition to a quick rinse and wipe between uses, you may find it worthwhile to periodically remove the brush head to clean this junction. In our experience, a cotton swab is well-suited for getting gunk out of any small divots in the brush handle.

What about “smart” toothbrushes?

It’s been a couple years since the first app-connected, or “smart,” electric toothbrushes became available, but they still don’t offer enough features for the added cost for us to recommend them for most people. (Most are at least double the price of a standard electric toothbrush.) Smart-toothbrush capabilities vary widely, but mainly these devices automate the process of tracking your brushing habits, typically by connecting to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth. Some of the “smart” models, like the Quip Smart and Oral-B iO, attempt to track where the brush is in your mouth, with varying results.

“I think that one of the things that people look for with Bluetooth connection—or anything that connects to their phone—is confirmation that what they’re doing is enough, or good, or better than what they were doing before,” said Dr. Maria Lopez-Howell, a dentist and ADA spokesperson. “And I think that, if this gives the patient information that they’re brushing enough time, [and] if this is encouraging a patient to brush—this is something that the American Dental Association is wanting.”

There are plenty of free apps—including Oral-B’s for Android and iOS—that can be used with non-“smart” brushes, powered or manual, to help you time and track your toothbrushing, remind you to clean your tongue and floss, and so on. Dr. Lopez-Howell pointed to The Children’s Oral Health campaign’s 2min2x website, produced in collaboration with the Ad Council, which offers a series of two-minute videos kids can watch while brushing.

“Truthfully, at the end of the day, for pennies and minutes—you don’t need all of these more costly brushes—you can choose oral health,” Dr. Lopez-Howell said. No matter the toothbrush (manual or powered, “smart” or not), “brush twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste, floss once daily, and visit your dentist to make sure that you’re doing the right thing.”

For more information

Other good electric toothbrushes

If you’re looking for an electric toothbrush that costs less: The AquaSonic Vibe is the closest to a Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush dupe we’ve found. Although it is much more affordable than our picks, we’re not prepared to recommend it as a budget pick without continuing to long-term test it. It has so far survived our dunk and drop tests, plus more than three months of twice-daily use.

The Vibe, which like our picks has earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance, has three superfluous cleaning modes and comes in a starter kit with a travel case and eight brush heads. Usually these features make for a more-expensive brush, but not in this case: At this writing, the Vibe starter kit comes with eight brush heads and costs $37. Assuming you change the brush head every three months, and the brush handle lasts at least two years, the annual cost would be $18.50 for the first two years. (That’s more than 3.5 times less than our Oral-B and Philips Sonicare picks cost for the first year.) You need to register the brush to receive one year of warranty coverage.

One tester, a self-described aggressive brusher, found that she had to replace the Vibe’s original brush head in just two months. Even if you find yourself burning through Vibe brush heads more quickly than you would Oral-B or Philips Sonicare heads, the potential savings add up—again, assuming the brush handle lasts long enough to prove its value. AquaSonic currently sells Vibe-compatible replacement heads only in a two-pack that costs $10 ($5 apiece, which is more expensive than Oral-B and Philips Sonicare heads bought in more-economical packs).

The Vibe’s charging stand is similar to those of the Oral-B Pro 1000 and Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100. In our experience, the Vibe battery lasts well over three weeks on a single charge, with twice-daily use.

The competition

Smart toothbrushes

Generally speaking, we do not recommend smart toothbrushes for most people. And generally speaking, they are pricey.

The Oral-B iO is a very expensive smart toothbrush: It regularly costs $300 (with four brush heads—roughly a year’s supply—included). Like other electric toothbrushes in Oral-B’s line, this model has earned the ADA Seal. Unlike other electric toothbrushes in Oral-B’s line, the iO is compatible only with iO-specific replacement brush heads, which cost $13 apiece when purchased in the most economical pack (a set of three). It has an onboard two-minute timer and seven total brushing modes (six more than needed). It connects wirelessly to an app that tracks your brushing duration and brush head location within your mouth, among other things. The idea behind this and several other smart toothbrushes is to provide you with an overview of which teeth you’re cleaning well and which teeth you may want to pay more attention to. Many other pricey smart toothbrushes and their apps do this, some better than others (read on). We briefly tested the iO at the January 2020 Consumer Electronics Show. It runs much more quietly than nearly every other electric toothbrush we’ve tested. Predictably, brushing with it feels high tech: The onboard digital display smiles at you. And the brush head location tracking was, in our limited experience with the device, accurate. Still, we would not recommend that most people pay considerably more than the cost of our picks for this (or for any other) smart toothbrush.

The Oral-B Pro 3000 3D White Smart Series is another smart brush that has earned the ADA Seal. It is similar to our top pick in form and function, except it has three cleaning modes (two more than necessary), and connects to an app via Bluetooth. It’s also twice the price. Though this model does not offer brush head position detection, it stores brushing time and pressure data from the last 30 brushing sessions, which you can sync to the app later, should you prefer not to bring your phone or tablet into the bathroom every time you clean your mouth. If you find reviewing your basic brushing performance motivational, and would rather not need an app or pen and paper handy each time you brush, consider the Pro 3000 Smart Series.

The Oral-B Genius 8000 can track the brush’s position in your mouth, thanks to on-board location sensors and access to your phone’s front-facing camera. Smart capabilities aside, the brush itself, like our pick, is a reliable tool. Like other models in the Oral-B line, it has more cleaning modes than necessary and is compatible with any of the company’s replacement heads. And like the Pro 3000, the Genius has an on-board pressure sensor that flashes red when you brush too hard (no app necessary). If you travel with an electric toothbrush, you’ll appreciate the included case, which can charge the brush handle and a phone. Still, unless you find that being “watched” helps motivate you to thoroughly brush regions in your mouth you’d usually miss, you could spend half the cost of this brush for another habit-tracking smart model, such as the Pro 3000, or less than a quarter of the cost for an equally great clean with our top pick.

The Oral-B Genius X, like the Genius 8000, has extraneous cleaning modes and can connect to your phone. Rather than using your phone’s front-facing camera, however, the Genius X uses on-board sensors and “artificial intelligence” to track the brush head’s location as you move it around your mouth. We found the tracking spotty; the app counted some unbrushed teeth as “clean.”

Philips Sonicare’s 9900 Prestige, new in 2021, also connects to your phone—to track your brushing habits—and has extraneous cleaning modes. We chose not to test this ultra-expensive ($400) brush.

The Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected not only has far more cleaning settings than you need (three total, each with multiple speeds), it can also connect via Bluetooth to a mobile app that’s meant to track whether you’re adequately brushing every part of your mouth. In our experience, the location tracking wasn’t accurate enough to give us much useful information. The app, which divides the mouth into six areas, could reliably tell if a tester was neglecting either the front or back of her teeth, but not if she was missing one specific tooth. The app also expects you to brush the parts of your mouth in a specific order, and if a tester moved the brush to an area of her mouth where the app didn’t expect it to be, it didn’t pick up on that.

The Colgate Smart Electronic Toothbrush E1 also uses on-board sensors and “artificial intelligence” to track the brush head’s location as you move it around your mouth. The E1 vibrates but does not oscillate, and does so more quietly than most electric toothbrushes we’ve tested. Although it does have an on-board two-minute timer with quadrant pacing, this device lacks a pressure sensor (a possible dealbreaker for some), and it is compatible with only a single style of replacement brush heads, which can be purchased only from the Colgate website. Factoring in shipping costs, these replacement heads are among the most expensive we’ve considered, by far (a definite dealbreaker, in our opinion). The handle itself is among the lightest and most streamlined we’ve tested, featuring a single on-off button (Colgate doesn’t offer superfluous cleaning modes). As with other smart toothbrushes, we believe the E1 is overkill for most. However, we found its brush head position detection to be on par with similarly priced competitors.

Colgate’s Hum is a lower-cost smart toothbrush with uniquely designed brush heads and the option of a rechargeable or replaceable battery-operated handle. It is streamlined and beautiful, with a slimmer handle than both our picks and most other smart brushes (the Quip Smart excluded). Like our top pick, the Hum has quadrant pacing and does not automatically shut off at the two-minute mark. Because the back of this sonic toothbrush’s head is a soft silicone, it doesn’t produce the same rattling effect as the hard plastic backs of other brush heads when it comes in contact with your teeth. That alone may be worth the increased price of entry for some people (replacement brush heads, specific to this device, cost roughly $5 apiece in the most economical pack). In our experience, the Hum’s vibrations aren’t as strong as the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100’s and not as weak as the Quip’s. You can use this toothbrush without ever connecting to the app, which, like others, tracks brushing data. (The only way to opt out of your anonymized data being disclosed with affiliates and third parties is to not download or use the app at all.)

Online subscription toothbrushes

For years, we recommended Goby as our pick for people who prefer an electric toothbrush with replacement brush heads available through a subscription. When it works, it’s an elegant brush with a USB charging option that feels as powerful as our Oral-B pick. However, we’ve heard an increasing number of complaints from readers and long-term testers regarding this brush’s durability, with multiple people reporting that their brushes conked out within a year of use. It also otherwise did not outshine our picks in terms of user experience. We also recently tested the revamped version of the Goby, and found that it became especially hot during charging. Although Goby is quick to replace malfunctioning brushes under its lifetime warranty (one of our long-term testers made use of this warranty twice in a single year, going through three brushes in as many months), we think that, compared with our other picks, the brush’s higher price point is no longer justifiable. “The most common issue we hear from customers usually has something to do with their battery after many years of use,” Goby CEO Benjamin Goldberg wrote in an email. “Relative to the hundreds of the thousands of brushes we have sold over the years, I would not say it’s a common issue though.” If you have trouble with your Goby brush, email [email protected]: “99.9% of customers get a response within 24 hours during the week,” Goldberg wrote, “and if a replacement is required, the replacement is delivered within 2-5 business days.” Like our top pick and runner-up, the Goby toothbrush has earned the ADA Seal.

The Quip is a no-frills toothbrush with a single brush-head style and a simple timer that indicates each 30-second interval, shutting off at the two-minute mark. It uses replaceable batteries instead of a built-in rechargeable battery. Like Goby, Quip offers an optional subscription for replacement brush heads (though Quip’s plan also includes a replacement battery). Although the stylish design (of the more expensive metal model) and the quiet operation are both impressive, we found the Quip toothbrush’s vibrations to be weak. (In fact, we like the Quip Kids model as an electric toothbrush for children pick because of this gentler brushing motion.) The Quip could be a nice option for someone who travels a lot and prefers the freedom of no charger, but it doesn’t have the brush head options or wide availability of our main pick. Like our picks, the Quip toothbrush has earned the ADA Seal.

We also tried the Quip Smart shortly after it launched in 2020. It’s the same brush as the not-smart version, except it connects wirelessly with an app. As with other smart toothbrushes, we found this capability and the accompanying app unnecessary. We also encountered issues pairing our brush to the app on several occasions.

The Burst is a sleek toothbrush with quadrant pacing that you may have seen advertised on Instagram. It has three brushing modes (two more than necessary) and can charge via USB. In our testing, the battery lasted more than four weeks on a single charge with twice-daily brushing. Unfortunately, the “charcoal-infused” bristles didn’t last as long—on each of the two heads we tested, the bristles became bent out of shape in as few as three weeks. A company spokesperson said that our tester may have been applying too much pressure while using these brush heads. Burst offers an optional subscription program for replacement brush heads (which at this writing cost the same as subscription-only replacement heads for our former also-great pick, the Goby).

Similarly, Shyn offers an optional subscription program for replacement brush heads made for its four-brushing-mode, quadrant-pacing toothbrush. Purchased individually, the least expensive replacement heads cost $5, which is generally more than what Oral-B heads cost but less than the price of Philips Sonicare heads. Although you can adjust the intensity of the brush’s vibrations in each of the modes, in practice we found no appreciable differences between the intensity levels; they felt the same. When activated, the ultrasensitive pressure sensor alerts you with a beep that we found overly loud compared with alerts from the competition (fortunately, you can turn the pressure-sensing beeps off). In our twice-daily brushing test, the Shyn’s battery lasted 3½ weeks.

Bruush, too, has an optional subscription program for its replacement brush heads ($6 each, shipped in packs of three). The brush itself offers six cleaning modes—five more than needed—and quadrant pacing, plus optional USB charging. Compared with other sonic brushes we’ve tested (including the Burst and Shyn), on the default setting the Bruush was a touch quieter, and its vibrations felt more gentle. We found that its battery lasted more than 3½ weeks on a single charge. The topmost and bottommost bristles on the Bruush head are longer than those in the center, creating a sort of flared shape; depending on your preferences, this head design may feel like a feature or a bug.

Although you can technically use the sleek Oclean One without any of its smart functions (the associated Oclean Pro app for iOS and Android offers brushing analyses), this sonic toothbrush does not have an onboard timer. As a result, if you don’t connect the brush to your mobile device, it’s up to you to determine the pacing. In its promotional materials, Oclean promises that people who “use the app to maintain good brushing habits” are eligible to receive “free replacement brush heads in the mail every three months for the life of the brush,” which is covered by a two-year warranty. A company spokesperson confirmed that the earned heads are indeed free; no shipping or handling costs are associated with this offer. We can see why this program might be tempting: For one year of ownership, replacing the brush head ($9 each) every three months, the One costs $102. At three years, the cost is $174 (a touch more than the three-year ownership cost of our runner-up pick). If the company’s “free” head-replacement offer holds true, and the brush lasts long enough, the one- and three-year ownership costs are both $75—a bargain. But to earn the brush heads, you need to check in to the app every day and achieve a “brushing score” of 50 or above each time you use it. Is the inconvenience of a daily check-in worth the potential cost savings? Probably not. On top of all that, the One can charge only via USB.

Standard rechargeable electric toothbrushes

The Fairywill 507 and the Fairywill 508 are around the same price as the AquaSonic Vibe, but they don’t feel as sturdy or look as nice as the Vibe. Like the Vibe, the 507 and 508 are each covered by a one-year warranty, and their starter kits come with eight brush heads. Like our picks and the Vibe, these Fairywill brushes have earned the ADA Seal.

Hamilton Beach’s new Brightline electric toothbrushes come in two versions: the perfectly functional 86700 base model, which has three brushing modes (two more than needed), and the 86710, which has two additional superfluous modes (for a total of four more than needed) as well as a control panel. For people who like to toggle between modes, having to press the 86700’s power button for a few seconds is slightly more inconvenient than using the 8710’s mode-selection button. Both models remember the last selected mode for future brushing sessions, and come equipped with two-minute quadrant timers. Brightline’s replacement heads are not interchangeable between models, though, and they typically cost more per head than the replacements for our top pick (they cost about the same as those for our runner-up). Both brushes have earned the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance.

Greater Goods’s Sonic Electric Toothbrush costs less than any brush we’ve considered so far. However, the replacement heads come in only one style. And though heads are about half the price of those that accompany our top pick, I found myself needing to replace them in about half the time (the bristles got smashed down), virtually negating the long-term savings for this brush.

The Philips Sonicare 3 Series Gum Health feels similar to and works much the same way as the ProtectiveClean 4100, with a glossy plastic handle and minimal gripping ridges. Now that our runner-up comes with a quadrant timer, this toothbrush has no features that we think are worth spending extra on. It’s currently unavailable.

The Waterpik Sonic Toothbrush Sensonic Professional Plus (SR-3000) has a bulky base with grippy rubber panels, a single button, and smaller range of heads than Oral-B or Philips. This brush’s higher price gets you one extra cleaning mode, two extra battery level indicator lights, and a travel case. It claims to give better results by moving the brush head faster than Philips Sonicare models do, but according to all the research we could find, faster doesn’t mean better. This brush is currently unavailable.

The battery in the Oral-B Healthy Clean + Pro White Precision 4000 lasts about three days longer than that of the Pro 1000, and the base is a bit chunkier than our pick’s. The brush has four cleaning modes (programmed to a separate button) and includes a pressure sensor, though to activate it you have to really cram the brush into your teeth, making it ineffective. The additional cleaning modes are extraneous, so there’s no reason to pay for them.

The Dazzlepro Elements Sonic’s handle is a little large and unwieldy, a satiny plastic tapered toward the middle of the handle, and the charging base is hefty, but this brush does a reasonable approximation of the Philips Sonicare brushes’ motion. The Dazzlepro brush has a separate “sensitive” cleaning mode. However, the company has a lower profile, and the warranty lasts only one year (compared with Philips Sonicare and Oral-B’s two years), so if you need support you may be left wanting.

The Oral-B SmartSeries Black 7000 comes with a “digital guide,” another (unnecessary) abstraction of a timer, and six brushing modes programmed to a separate power button. The base is very heavy, with large rubber panels in black and silver plastic, and weighted toward the bottom, with the same light-up pressure sensor as the 4000 model. The 7000 comes with a travel case and a charging stand that can hold four extra brush heads encased in a little plastic dome.

The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean is pretty sleek with a matte plastic finish, and it has some real luxury features, like an inductive charging glass and travel case, but its price is a lot to spend for those items. The DiamondClean has five cleaning modes (four too many) that you must manually cycle through if you need to turn the brush off before reaching two minutes. It also has some of the most expensive brush heads, at around $11 apiece.

If you typically use an electric toothbrush and a water flosser, replacing two separate tools with a combination electric toothbrush–water flosser like the Waterpik Sonic Fusion SF-01 might seem appealing. But in practice, we preferred using our electric toothbrush pick and our water flosser pick separately. The Sonic Fusion SF-01’s water-flosser nozzle is built into the toothbrush head. In brush-only mode, the Sonic Fusion SF-01, which is warrantied for three years, has quadrant pacing. Replacement heads cost $12.50 each, making them some of the most expensive we’ve considered. Both of Waterpik’s Sonic Fusion models have earned the ADA Seal.

The Conair Opti-Clean is cheap for a rechargeable brush, but it did not survive a dunk in the water.

In addition to the non-smart Quip, in 2019 we tried two other $25-plus battery-powered toothbrushes, from Gleem and Smile Direct Club, plus three sub-$10 ones: the Arm & Hammer Spinbrush Pro Series, the Colgate 360 Total Advanced Floss-Tip Sonic, and the Oral-B Pro-Health Battery Toothbrush. We wouldn’t recommend any of these brushes over our rechargeable picks, which produce stronger-feeling vibrations. Over the course of two years of use, the price difference between the sleek battery-powered brushes with optional brush head and battery subscriptions and the less-expensive models commonly found in most drugstores shrinks—in one case, substantially so. (See our blog post on these battery-powered toothbrushes for more.)

We tested the Philips One, Sonicare’s battery-powered brush with a subscription (required) for replacement brush heads, after its 2020 launch. It comes in four colors and, like most in this category, has a single brush-head style and an onboard two-minute quadrant timer. As with the other battery-operated brushes we tried, we think most people will be happier with one of our rechargeable picks.

We were surprised by how much we liked brushing with the Triple Bristle Go, another $25-plus disposable-battery-powered brush that has an onboard two-minute timer. But its unconventional brush heads, however effective they may be, cost $10 each when purchased in the most economical pack—nearly double the cost of replacement heads for our top pick. (The brush is also available in a rechargeable version.)

We also eliminated a few other models without testing:

The Foreo Issa 2 is a silicone brush with a sleek and unusual look, but customer reviews suggest that the all-silicone brush tips lack the ability to clean as thoroughly as plastic bristles, and that this brush has a tendency to stop working not long after purchase.

The Cybersonic 3 Complete Sonic and Cybersonic Classic came up in our product searches, but we decided not to test them because they have a very limited selection of brush head options (with an optional and dubious-looking “free” replacement program that winds up costing $10+ in shipping per brush head).

Mouthguard-style toothbrushes

Mouthguard-style automatic toothbrushes are a burgeoning kind of toothbrush. Rather than a standard brush head on a handle, these apparatuses look like mouthguards lined with bristles. In promotional materials, the companies claim their devices can simultaneously clean all of a person’s teeth in mere seconds. Questions of efficacy aside, a single user could expect to pay hundreds of dollars for the starter kit for one of these devices. And all of the replacement mouthguards cost more than $10 apiece, making these types of toothbrushes far more expensive than any of our other picks.

We did not test mouthguard-style automatic toothbrushes made specifically for adults, such as the Y-Brush and the AutoBrush Pro. But for our guide to the best electric toothbrush for kids, we tested the AutoBrush Kids, which was unimpressive. Not only did it leave behind specks of food, it was also difficult to clean and required a special kind of toothpaste made by AutoBrush.

After seeing it splashed around on social media—and even on Time’s 2020 best invention list—we also tested the Willo. Marketed at the time as a $250 family-friendly toothbrush for up to five people, it has since pivoted to be a $150 kid-centric toothbrush (it still comes with multiple mouthguards for family usage, however). Like the AutoBrush Kids, the Willo was disappointing. It is an expensive, inconvenient, and ineffective toothbrush that was uncomfortable to use and did not thoroughly clean teeth. The silicone mouthguard had a strange aftertaste, even after multiple washings, and did not adequately remove plaque or food specks from teeth. It’s also difficult to clean, heavy, and requires a lot of bathroom counter space.

We don’t recommend mouthguard-style brushes for kids or adults. They are simply less effective and much more costly than our picks.

This article was edited by Tracy Vence and Kalee Thompson.


  1. List prices; electric toothbrushes frequently go on sale, so these are upper-limit estimates. Jump back.
  2. The American Dental Association has a set of criteria to give products its Seal of Acceptance. Many companies don’t seek this certification for its products, but a product can’t receive the recognition unless the ADA has independently verified and approved its claims. In September 2017, Oral-B became the first electric toothbrush brand to receive the ADA seal, with five series of the Oscillating-Rotating-Pulsating Power Toothbrush earning this distinction. (The ADA has since given the seal to other manufacturers.) However, the only factors that the ADA has found necessary to mouth health are brushing for two minutes with a reasonably soft brush and using proper techniqueJump back.
  3. This was the conclusion of the study published in 2003 and its iterations since then. But there are two caveats to this conclusion. One is that a powered toothbrush is equipped to make brushing easier, and therefore good dental health easier to achieve—they require less physical labor to use, and can have built-in mechanisms, like a timer, to make good habits more concrete. Another is that the Cochrane report, which is a survey of randomized controlled trials, also specifies that the studies used were reporting on unsupervised brushing sessions—essentially, participants were sent a toothbrush, either manual or powered, and expected to report back on results. Self-reporting of habits in scientific studies, as a type of information is not as high-quality as observations by scientists in a lab setting, but so far science has not compelled people to quarantine themselves for observations of their toothbrushing habits, nor has the funding materialized to compensate them for their time. Hence, self-reporting is as good as it’s going to get on this scale of habit studying, but it’s far from perfect.The other problem with the Cochrane report is that though it’s conducted by a nonprofit, it includes in its survey studies that are conducted by companies testing their own toothbrush products. Unsurprisingly, we’ve never found a study published by P&G’s Oral-B that has found its electric toothbrushes inferior to another brand; the same goes for Philips’s Sonicare. This doesn’t necessarily apply to every study, but it applies to a gross majority of the toothbrush research available. But caveats about biased research aside, scientists do consistently find that an electric toothbrush is significantly better at removing plaque and reducing gingivitis in the average person’s mouth.

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