Skip To Content
    Updated on Apr 10, 2020. Posted on Apr 10, 2020

    You Won't Bristle At These Electric Toothbrushes We Reviewed

    Think of how excited your toothpaste will be!

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    Whether you’re a long-term electric toothbrush user seeking an upgrade or transitioning from a manual brush, sifting through the overwhelming array on the market — sonic vs. rotating, fancy features galore vs. simpler models — can be daunting. We tried a handful of top-selling brushes and weighed the pros and cons to help you find the best pick for your lifestyle.

    Heyday Films / Via giphy.com

    Editor's Note: We're currently updating these picks! Check back soon for more.

    Quip Electric Brush

    BuzzFeed

    Delivered-to-your-door convenience may seem like a trite way to acknowledge the perks of our pick for this price point, the Quip — but convenience is especially important when it comes to a product that’s going to help you stay on top of your dental routine. Echoing the sentiments that many dental professionals are likely to respond with when posed with the “Are electric toothbrushes really more effective than manual ones?” question, the American Dental Association (ADA) posits that “either manual or powered toothbrushes can be used effectively.” So the real question is: Are you going to use your toothbrush effectively?

    BuzzFeed

    That said, the Quip’s subscription-based model not only earns it the millennial stamp of approval, but it also makes it a damn good choice for an electric toothbrush. It’s particularly good for those who aren’t diligent about swapping out their brush heads regularly — it keeps track of that for you, sending a new one to your door every three months. For $25 for the plastic version (or $40 if you want to splurge on a metallic finish), you’ll receive an electric toothbrush set, which includes the Quip brush, travel cover mount, a large toothpaste, and a travel-sized toothpaste. Then for $10 every three months, you’ll be sent a new brush head, AAA battery, and two different-sized toothpastes. You can also choose to prepay for a year, buy a couples’ (two brushes) or a family (four brushes) set, or purchase supplies piecemeal. There’s a plan for refills of just the brush head and battery for $5 every three months as well, with the initial brush priced at $5 more (i.e., $30+ instead of $25+).

    The soft-bristled brush (the bristle texture, it’s worth noting, recommended by the ADA) operates using sonic vibrations and, compared with our picks for the $$ and $$$ price categories, is super-duper quiet when in use. As BuzzFeed staffer Rachel Miller mentioned in her review of the Quip, according to its founders, “it’s quiet enough that parents can brush their teeth without waking up any little ones sleeping in the next room.” While that sounds quite plausible (its sound, as Miller describes, being similar to a “purring cat”), unfortunately we were not able to confirm the validity of this due to the absence of said little ones in our homes. Like most basic electric toothbrush models, it features a two-minute timer that buzzes every 30 seconds to signal moving to another quadrant of your mouth (or what’s known as a quadpacer).

    BuzzFeed

    Superficially speaking, the Quip’s clean, sleek aesthetic is what hipster dreams are made of. At roughly 7.5 inches tall by half an inch wide, it’s significantly shorter and narrower than any of the clunky major electric toothbrush players on the market. And because it’s battery-powered with a regular ol’ AAA battery that’s said to last three months, it doesn’t take up very much precious real estate on your bathroom sink. In fact, it doesn’t have to take up any space at all, if you make use of its wall-mount feature, a sticky strip on the tube portion of its stand that also doubles as a travel cover. Given that it doesn’t require a charging station, it’s also super easy to travel with; just pop on the cover and you’re ready to go.

    Additionally, this tiny little powerhouse has earned itself an ADA Seal of Acceptance, meaning it “has shown efficacy in removing plaque and helping to prevent and reduce gingivitis, when used as directed.” The Quip has proven itself to be more than just chic branding, at a price point that’s as inviting as its design — something all generations can appreciate.

    Get it from Quip for $25+.

    Oral-B Pro White 1000

    BuzzFeed

    Do a preliminary search for “best electric toothbrush,” and you’ll find that the Oral-B Pro 1000 makes it to the top of more lists than it doesn’t — including Health’s, Wirecutter's, and Business Insider’s, to name just a few — which isn’t surprising. It’s a solid toothbrush with all the features you’d expect in an electric model from a renowned brand in the dental hygiene space: Similar to the Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control toothbrush, this rather simple Oral-B model has one brushing mode with a two-minute timer and quadpacer. Unlike its sonic counterpart in this price range, however, it features a handy pressure sensor that buzzes when you’re brushing too hard, a feature that may be especially useful for anyone with tooth or gum sensitivities — and one that can potentially help prevent irritation in the long run.

    BuzzFeed

    The Oral-B model operates using oscillating, rotating, and pulsating motion — with a circular brush head containing bristles angled at 16 degrees to surround each tooth. That brings us to the million-dollar question: Which is better, an oscillating model (read: Oral-B) or an ultrasonic one (read: Sonicare)? After you’ve found yourself going down several internet rabbit holes, you’ll notice a common refrain among experts — one that Dr. Lillian Mittl, a practicing dentist in New York City, echoed when we spoke with her: “The bottom line is that if a person loves their brush and is motivated with their brush, I’m not going to say you must get the Sonicare or the Oral-B.”

    The argument has been made that ultrasonic brushes are more conducive to reaching areas that electric brushes — which are “purely mechanical,” as Dr. Mittl notes — cannot. This is thanks to sonic waves that can break up plaque even in areas the toothbrush doesn’t necessarily hit on the money. However, a 2013 study showed that an oscillating-rotating power brush “produced substantial, statistically superior reductions in plaque and gingivitis” compared with a sonic model. All that to say, in reality it comes down to a matter of personal preference. Or, as Dr. Mittl put it: “The person using the brush is the biggest factor — are they using it properly, and are they putting it in the right spots?”

    BuzzFeed

    If the sonic vs. rotating dilemma is really eating away at you, here’s another reason we decided to name the Oral-B Pro 1000 our top pick for the $$ category: how much more affordable Oral-B’s replacement brush heads are. We’re talking $30 for 10, compared with $70 for just four of the Sonicare’s. It’s also compatible with 11 varieties of Oral-B brush heads (including those designed for sensitivity and for flossing), in case you’d like to target a particular dental issue.

    The Oral-B Pro 1000’s design is simple and unremarkable, its size and shape not unlike other leading electric toothbrushes on the market, and its front rubber grip is a godsend for clumsy hands — though grooves in the handle may lead to toothpaste buildup you’ll want to wipe away regularly. Battery life is decent, with one full charge lending itself to a week’s worth of twice-daily brushing; so prepare to take your charger on the road should you be heading out of town with your Pro 1000 for more than six or seven days.

    One caveat that bears mentioning: When in use, it is quite a bit louder than both our $ and $$$ picks, so light-sleeping roommates and partners in small shared spaces beware. (Oh, and cats too, according to one Amazon reviewer: “It really freaked out my cat. Apparently this is a thing — there are videos of cats getting freaked out by the Oral-B sound.”) That aside, the Oral-B Pro 1000’s cleaning power and features, paired with its budget-friendly replacement brush heads, undoubtedly make it the best electric toothbrush money can buy in this price range.

    Get it from Amazon for $50.

    Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500

    BuzzFeed

    If you’ve planned to drop three figures on an electric toothbrush, you’d better damn well make sure it pulls out all the stops in the fancy features department and looks sleek as hell. Enter: the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500, the latest in the high-end DiamondClean line.

    Like all Sonicare models, the brush operates using a vibrating motion, which sends sonic waves on a mission to break through moisture and help sticky plaque matrices fall away from your teeth. The DiamondClean Smart 9500, as you might imagine for a brush with a $200+ price tag, delivers on all the essential features you’d expect: standard two-minute timer and quadpacer, a sensor to tell you to chill out when you’re brushing too hard, and compatibility with a range of brush heads in its line. The product comes with four heads — including a tongue-scraping brush — and when one starts to wear, an icon on the handle lights up, signaling it’s time to replace it. The brush continues to roll out the red carpet for your mouth (sorry, that kind of conjures up a gross visual, but we stand by my choice of phrasing), offering five cleaning modes with names like Clean, White+, Deep Clean+, Gum Health, TongueCare, and three intensity levels for each, so you can choose the brushing style you’re most comfortable with. Oh, and there’s a freakin’ microchip in each brush head that tells the toothbrush which one you're using (e.g., when you pop on a gum-care brush head, the DiamondClean Smart 9500 will select the optimal mode and intensity for it). Welcome to the future, folks!

    BuzzFeed

    We’d be remiss not to acknowledge that the “whitening” capability of any electric toothbrush, as Dr. Mittl told us, “is a misnomer — basically you’re just getting off all the plaque, which makes your teeth look dingy.” But if you’re looking for optimal plaque removal, as she explains, the sonic waves from a sonic toothbrush “are a clear advantage” over brushes that merely rotate.

    Unlike older Sonicare models, this one features two buttons — one for power and one to switch between modes — so you’re no longer forced to go through *all* the cleaning modes while the brush is still in your mouth (truly, first-world problems) to avoid splattering toothpaste all over your bathroom while it continues to vibrate. The sleek and shiny brush (available in five chic, subdued hues) comes not only with a standard charging dock, but also a chargeable travel case and charging cup — after a 24-hour charge, it should last up to two weeks of twice-daily use. Grippability, however, isn’t its strong suit. The handle is quite smooth, so those with motor issues might want to take note. When in use, the brush is relatively quiet, rivaling — though not quite as quiet as — the Quip. 

    BuzzFeed

    And then there’s the clincher: The brush connects via Bluetooth to the Sonicare app (boasting an impressive 4.8-star average with more than 10,000 reviews), which allows users to set goals, track progress, address missed spots while brushing, and more. If you’re a diehard Oral-B stan, the Bluetooth-powered Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 packs a similar punch at a similar price; unlike Oral-B models, however, Sonicare’s (not inexpensive) brush heads come with a snap-on plastic cover, poop particles meandering through your bathroom be damned.

    No, you don’t need Bluetooth compatibility, a travel case, and a glass that will charge your toothbrush, or five cleaning modes — but marketing gimmick or not, if you’re spending more than $50 for an electric toothbrush, you should be benefitting from a gaggle of bells and whistles. And if you want to throw down the cash to have a little more fun with your toothbrush than you would with one like our $$ pick (or this similarly priced Sonicare 2 Series model, if a sonic brush is more your speed), then the DiamondClean Smart 9500 is our clear favorite.

    Get it from Amazon for $240.