It’s a good time of year to buy an electric toothbrush, with plenty of models on offer in seasonal sales. But which one should you buy? Read on for our recommendations.
If you’d like to check out the deals we’ve spotted, have a look at our round-up of the best electric toothbrush deals. All deals we find will reflect the actual prices that brushes are sold at, rather than the (often inflated) RRPs that retailers like to quote.
A number of studies have confirmed the benefits of using an electric toothbrush over manual brushing. Using an electric toothbrush will help you to remove more plaque and offer greater protection from gum disease. And if it prevents expensive dental work, it’ll more than pay for itself in the long term.
No one has ever regretted investing in looking after their teeth. But there are so many electric toothbrush options available that finding the brush that works best for you can be a complicated task. Some features will make a real difference, others you’ll quite happily live without.
There are key features that’ll be useful to most people. Some brushes have a timer to let you know that you’ve brushed a section of your teeth for long enough and that it’s time to move on, as well as a sensor that lets you know if you’re pressing down too hard and could damage your tooth enamel or gums.
Others will give you a number of brushing modes and optimised heads for polishing, tongue brushing or gentle cleaning.
Do you need a brush with an app? If you want to overhaul the way you brush your teeth, app-connected brushes will monitor your technique and feed back tips.
We test out and write full reviews of products, so you know what each brush has to offer and buy the right brush for you. We’ve tried out electric toothbrushes from the market leaders Oral-B and Philips Sonicare, as well as smaller and independent brands.
We’ll also provide information on battery life, charging times and methods (some brushes will charge via USB), as well as accessories and the price of replacement heads.
If you want more information on features, read our buying advice after our best-of list.
Oral-B iO6 – Best overall
- Excellent cleaning performance
- Monochrome display
- Smart features
- Shorter battery life
- Replacement heads expensive
The iO Series 6 (AKA the iO6) is the latest iO brush from Oral-B. The Series 6 is the most budget-friendly of the lot, as it has a monochrome rather than a colour screen and instead of a magnetic charging puck, it comes with a standard two-pin charger.
But for a less wallet-damaging price, you’ll still get Oral-B’s best-ever cleaning performance, as well as genuinely good brushing guidance from the accompanying app.
One note on the price: don’t buy it at its £300 RRP. You’ll often find it available for £110, so if you want one and can’t find a deal now, bide your time.
Read our full Oral-B iO Series 6 review
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 – Most brushing options
- Huge number of brushing options
- Good case & charger
- Limited app
- Average battery life
- Can be harsh on gums & teeth
This is one of the best brushes around for cleaning performance. It’s extremely powerful and provides a number of different brushing options and intensities.
In terms of features, it has a pressure sensor on the handle, as well as a timer to let you know when to move between sections of your mouth and when you’ve reached the end of the recommended brushing period.
Accessories-wise, it comes with a charging puck for a two-pin bathroom plug and a sleek travel case with a concealed USB lead.
It’s app-connected and, while the app can help you to keep your brushing schedule organised (keeping track of your brushing routine, scheduling dental appointments and re-ordering brush heads), it won’t offer advice on improving your technique.
Read our full Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 review
Oral-B iO9 – Best features
- Great brushing performance
- Colour screen
- Variety of brushing options
- Short battery life
- Limited app
- Cheap-looking case & no USB charging
The iO Series 9 is Oral-B’s best brush yet for performance, using micro-vibrations to remove plaque and polish teeth. It has seven brushing settings, a countdown timer and a pressure sensor, which makes it the most comprehensive brush for measuring your brushing performance.
It’s also app-connected, and you can get real-time feedback on how much coverage you’re achieving as you brush. The rest of the app’s features are much less useful, amounting to a series of different ways of logging your brushing sessions.
Of course, with the iO, it’s all about the full-colour OLED screen, which is both useful and somewhat ridiculous. But what you gain in display information, you lose in battery, with battery life lasting less than two weeks.
Read our full Oral-B iO Series 9 review
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 – Best non-connected brush
- Brushing options
- Brush head alert
- Solid battery life
- No app, but not everyone wants one
The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 is a toothbrush built and designed for people who want to spend a decent chunk of money on a top-of-the-line brush, but aren’t sold on the new fad for connected features and app support.
So yes, it won’t connect to your phone, but it’ll do just about everything else, with three brushing modes and another three intensity settings, which pair with the new BrushSync tech so that the brush will automatically adjust to the optimum setting for any given brush head. It’ll also use the same microchip tech to give an accurate assessment of when it’s time to swap to a new brush head that’s based on your actual usage.
Beyond that, the design is slick and modern, there’s a good choice of colours and brush heads available, and it comes with a sturdy travel case. Plus the battery life actually exceeds Philips‘ claim of 14 days – ours ran for over three weeks before it ran out of juice.
Read our full Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 review
Oral-B Genius X – Best mid-range smart features
- Great brushing feedback
- Variety of brushing modes
- Smart features can’t be personalised for couples/ families
Smart toothbrushes tend to over-promise and under-deliver, and to some extent the same is true with the Genius X. To bill this as AI-driven is really pushing it, especially since it doesn’t learn as it goes.
Still, tracking is more accurate than any other smart brush I’ve tested so far, with feedback at the end that really is useful – all in the sort of premium package you’d expect from a brush at this level. We just wish that syncing the brush to the app was easier, and that there was better support for couples or families sharing the same brush handle.
The average user will probably stop bothering with the smart features eventually anyway – but even if you do, at least you’re still getting a top quality electric brush with a range of options and modes.
Read our full Oral-B Genius X review
PomaBrush – Best battery life
- Phenomenal battery life
- Bacteria resistant
- Great case & charging
- No pressure sensor
- Few other features
This light, all-silicone, sonic brush has been designed with style and simplicity in mind. There’s no app, no screen, no sensors or lights and no way to change brushing modes.
The silicone bristles are gentler on gums and tooth enamel than standard nylon and make a real difference to the brushing experience.
It’s also waterproof and, in conjunction with its sleek charging case, claims to give you an incredible four months of battery life, so it would be a good buy for frequent travellers.
However, the very fact that it’s so light on features means that it won’t be right for everyone. The brush pauses every thirty seconds to let you know you should move on to the next section of your mouth and it switches off automatically after two minutes. But that’s all the feedback you’ll get.
Read our full PomaBrush review
Oral-B Genius 9000/8000 – Best value mid-price brush
- Good brushing performance
- Variety of brushing modes
- Smart features
We were impressed with the Oral-B Genius 8000 and 9000 for many reasons: excellent plaque cleaning, comfortable brush and handle, brush-head options, travel case, and long battery life.
However, we found the app’s functionality didn’t live up to its promise. The Position Detection is a great idea, but we found it tricky to get right. When used just to advise and monitor mouth-quadrant brushing it was more successful but not as sophisticated as it thinks it is.
But as a premium electric toothbrush both the Genius 8000 and 9000 certainly live up to the hype. Neither is cheap but compared to the cost of a visit to the dentist, using a quality toothbrush is a wise financial decision as well as a healthy one.
Read our full Oral-B Genius 9000/8000 review
Sanyei ION-Sei – Ionic technology
- Ionic technology
- USB charging
- Bigger brands have more options for cheap compatible brush heads
A combination of Japanese technology and German design, the ION-Sei certainly looks good. Of the two colours, go for Lake Blue as it should make a stylish addition to your bathroom.
Fashion is, of course, secondary to actual teeth cleaning and it’s here that the tech lies. Unlike other sonic toothbrushes – or any other electric toothbrush we’ve seen – this one generates a stream of ions and a weak electric charge which actively stops bacteria growing in your mouth. When combined with the sonic mechanism, it makes your teeth feel exceptionally clean even if that’s partly psychological since you can’t feel the bacteria in the first place.
You pay a steep price for the tech: not only is the ION-Sei expensive but it doesn’t come with a travel case or have some expected features such as pressure detection or a head-replacement indication.
It is rechargeable via USB though, which is handy.
Read our full Sanyei ION-Sei review
Oral-B Pro 2 2000 – Best budget brush
- Good quality
- Basic features compared to rivals
- No USB charging
The Oral-B Pro 2 2000 is a straightforward brush.
Its features are simple: there are only two brushing modes and a pressure sensor, with no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth features, and no app support. However it works well, is comfortable to use, and boasts a two-week battery life – not bad for the price.
A spare brush head or two in the pack would have been welcome, along with a more detailed battery indicator, but these are small complaints about a brush that does a very good job for a very low price.
Read our full Oral-B Pro 2 2000 review
Oral-B Pro 6000 SmartSeries – Best value smart brush
- High quality
- App helps with brushing performance
- Newer rival brushes are beginning to come down in price
The Oral-B Pro 6000 and Pro 6500 SmartSeries electric toothbrushes use wireless technology to sync with a neat smartphone app. The most important thing is to brush each section of your mouth without too much pressure and for the right length of time.
The brushes are top quality, and now that the price has come down they represent good value.
We’d also love to see the app get a bit smarter about brushing techniques, as opposed to just duration and frequency of brushing.
Read our full Oral-B Pro 6000 SmartSeries review
Electric and smart toothbrush buying advice
If you’re buying an electric toothbrush, there are certain features you should look out for.
It’s all too easy to forget how long you’ve been brushing, which is why the best electric toothbrushes will have a brushing timer. Dentists recommend two minutes, which feels much longer than it sounds. These brushes will do the hard work for you by letting you know when you can (finally) stop.
They’ll also alert you to move onto a new section of your mouth every 30 seconds. Most people spend longer on certain parts of their mouth and neglect other areas. Typically, they’ll focus on the front of their teeth and the easier-to-reach sections of their mouths. This can lead to gum disease and tooth decay in other areas.
A timer may be the most important feature on your electric toothbrush, except perhaps for a pressure sensor.
A good electric toothbrush should also feature a pressure sensor to prevent you pushing too hard against your teeth. This bad brushing habit can…