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Brio SmartClean Sonic Review

The best brush for most people with a great battery life and all the features you need without any fluff
Brio SmartClean Sonic
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $68 List | $68 at Amazon
Pros:  Great battery life, waterproof, inexpensive replacement brush heads
Cons:  Less customization available
Manufacturer:   Brio
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Oct 10, 2018
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 11
  • Comfort - 40% 7
  • Cleaning - 30% 6
  • Ease of Use - 20% 6
  • Battery Life - 10% 10

The Skinny

The Brio SmartClean claimed the top score in our testing process, netting it the Editor's Choice award. This electric toothbrush has a phenomenal battery life, making it a fantastic option for someone who travels a ton and doesn't want to have to deal with the extra hassle of carrying an additional charger with them. This, coupled with a strong showing in our comfort, cleaning, and ease of use tests combine to make the Brio our top recommendation for most people and our favorite brush that we have tested to date. Even better, this is one of the less expensive brushes, with an MSRP of $68.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

This model finished at the top of the group, narrowly outperforming the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart and the Sonicare Series 2. The Brio costs about the same as the Series 2, but is almost $200 less than the DiamondClean Smart. The Brio is more comfortable and has a far better battery life than both of these brushes, but it can't quite match the convenience of the Series 2 or the cleaning power of the DiamondClean.

Our Editors' Choice award winner  the Brio has a one button interface and a snap-on brush head attachment system.
Our Editors' Choice award winner, the Brio has a one button interface and a snap-on brush head attachment system.

Performance Comparison


To rank and score these products, we bought all the best products out there and tested their performance side-by-side, rating their comfort, cleaning performance, and ease of use, as well as their effective battery life. Each of these rating metrics is weighted based on their overall importance, with the Brio's award-winning performance described below.

The brush head for the Brio  utilizing a side to side cleaning motion.
The brush head for the Brio, utilizing a side to side cleaning motion.

Comfort


Responsible for 40% of the total score for each electric toothbrush, comfort is our most important metric — even over cleaning performance. We compared and scored how it felt to brush with each toothbrush and how loud it is, as well as if there is a pressure sensor to detect overly vigorous brushing. The SmartClean delivered the best performance of the group, earning it a 7 out of 10 when it comes to comfort.


The Brio had a fantastic reception when it came to actual brushing comfort, earning the highest rank among our testers. This model operates at 31,000 movements per minute and comes stock with a soft bristle brush. It also features a soft mode for sensitive teeth. Our testers felt that this model was comfortable while brushing, even when trying to get the hard to reach places around the back molars. Testers that had a history of sensitive gums felt that the soft mode on this toothbrush was extremely gentle, while still noting that their teeth felt very clean.

This model was one of the quietest models that we tested, both in tester ratings and by the SPL meter. Our panel of testers rated this as the second quietest brush when they were using it, and noted that the tone of the sound was not particularly vexing. This was also one of the quietest toothbrushes on the SPL meter, measuring in at 60 dBa from 2" away, definitely a product worth considering if you are worried about waking up your roommates or bothering anyone else that you cohabitate with.

This toothbrush weighed in at 3.7 ozs, with a handle diameter of 3.625" and a rather glossy surface finish and a sleek design, making it an attractive addition to the aesthetics of most bathrooms.

Unfortunately, this toothbrush does lack a pressure sensor.

Cleaning


Moving on to how well the Brio actually brushes, our cleaning metric is responsible for 30% of its overall score. The side-to-side cleaning SmartClean did fairly well, meriting a 6 out of 10.


This metric is entirely based on the results of our plaque removal test and scored based on before and after photos from a variety of angles, including photos inside the mouth taken with a 360° camera.

The plaque accumulations before a test with the Brio.
Nice and clean after two minutes with the Brio!

Some members of our panel missed a significant number of spots with this brush, while others did an exceptional job brushing with this model.

It was this mixed performance that led to the lower score, compared with the top scoring models in this metric. Those top scoring models had a universally good performance among our users.

Ease of Use


Next, we looked at how easy it is to use the Brio on a day-to-day basis, focusing mainly on how much of a hassle it is to swap between brush modes, how easy it is to clean, if there is a 2-minute timer, and if there is storage on the charging base for extra brush heads. Altogether, these tests account for 20% of the overall score, with the Brio scoring quite well and receiving a 6 out of 10.


We particularly liked the simple interface to change between modes. The Brio has 3 cleaning modes: Normal, Soft and Massage, with a one-button interface to switch between them. Each mode has an LED indicator at the base of the brush, as well as a charge indicator. The brush has an integrated 2-minute timer that is divided into quadrants to improve the pacing and evenness of your brushing. The powered brushing will turn off for a brief moment every 30 seconds, alerting you that it is time to move on to the next section of your mouth. This model gives you five seconds to toggle between modes using this button, and will simply turn the toothbrush off after the five seconds have elapsed.

The Brio charging base can hold two additional brush heads.
The Brio charging base can hold two additional brush heads.

The standard Brio Replacement Brush Heads cost about $15 for a pack of two, with the manufacturer recommending replacing the brush head every 3 months. To test the ease of cleaning each brush, we sprayed each one with a diluted toothpaste solution and looked for problem spots that were difficult to reach. We found that it was a little more difficult to clean around the power button on the Brio, with some leftover "toothpaste gruel" remaining around the button, even after spending some time on it.

The power and mode select button  as well as the cleaning mode indicators.
The power and mode select button, as well as the cleaning mode indicators.

This model is one of the more stable when it is resting on its inductive charging base, with the 100-gram base weighing it down nicely. There is storage for two additional toothbrush heads using the small plastic protrusions on the base, as well as the one stored on the toothbrush handle itself. However, we did notice that this brush has a tendency to fall over if you try and stand it up off of the base.

Battery Life


This toothbrush had a phenomenal performance in our battery life test, lasting significantly longer than any other model and earning a solid 10 out of 10 for its stellar results in this test, which account for the remaining 10% of the total score.


For this test, we ran each toothbrush for a full cleaning cycle, morning and night until it died. While this test did take a little over two months in the case of the Brio, it is the best way to capture both the standby and brushing power draws. This brush lasted for significantly longer than any other brush we tested.


This makes the Brio a particularly great choice for the frequent traveler who doesn't want to be encumbered by an additional charger on their trip.

Value


This toothbrush has a great value, being one of the best toothbrushes we have seen to date and having one of the lower list prices, easily holding its own against significantly more expensive products.

Conclusion


This was the top scoring model of electric toothbrush in our tests and the one that we would recommend to a friend. The Brio isn't the fanciest toothbrush that you can purchase, but it has all the features that count and an absolutely remarkable battery life.


David Wise and Austin Palmer