While the Pro 1000 didn't claim one of the top scores overall, this budget electric toothbrush did distinguish itself in our tests, earning it a Best Buy Award. This brush does a phenomenal job at cleaning your pearly whites and is by far one of the most convenient and easy to use brushes that we have tested. On top of that, it can usually be found retailing for much less than its already low list price, making it a great choice for someone shopping on a budget. Unfortunately, this brush can be a bit too uncomfortable for those with sensitive gums or smaller mouths and it doesn't have a great battery life but is still a great brush if you don't have gums that are too sensitive for it.
Oral-B Pro 1000 Review
Pros: Good cleaning performance, easy to use
Cons: Not the most comfortable, subpar battery life
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This electric toothbrush finished just ahead of the Waterpik Complete Care 9.5 and behind the Sonicare HealthyWhite+. Both the Oral-B Pro 1000 and the HealthyWhite+ earned top marks in our cleaning test, but the HealthyWhite+ and the Waterpik Complete Care 9.5 are far more comfortable to brush with than the Pro 1000. The Oral-B also has a much shorter battery life than either of these brushes but does retail for at least $50 less.
To figure out which electric toothbrushes are actually the best, we did tons and tons of research over the past two years and bought all the best and most promising toothbrushes on the market and compared their performance side-by-side to pick our winners. We divided up our testing protocol into four weighted rating metrics — Ease of Use, Cleaning, Comfort, and Battery Life — each weighted proportionally to their importance, with the Pro 1000's results discussed below.
Responsible for the largest component of the total score at 40%, our set of comfort test have the most bearing on each brush's final score. We had a panel of testers rate and score how it felt to brush with each product and how loud they are. Additionally, we also awarded additional points if the toothbrush has an over-pressure warning sensor. The Oral-B Pro 1000 got off to a bit of a rocky start in this test, tying for the lowest score of the group with a 4 out of 10.
This model has a handle with a glossy finish and a rubberized grip on the front, weighing in at 4.5 ozs. Our panel was not thoroughly pleased with this toothbrush when it came to brushing comfort. The toothbrush head on this model is close to 50% deeper than other models we tested, which led to a noticeable difference when it came to the feel when actually brushing.
This larger brush head was too large to comfortably clean the back molars for some of our testers, as well as made them much more prone to drooling during testing, much to their chagrin. This would definitely be something to consider if you have a mouth on the smaller side, as those with larger mouths found the Oral-B less cumbersome. Even though this brushing head had soft bristles, we noted that the rotation-oscillation style of motion felt more abrasive and aggressive than other models, something that those with a history of sensitive gums felt was a dealbreaker.
This also caused this brush to be one of the loudest that we tested, with a much more "mechanical" noise than the side to side motion brushes. This noise felt decently loud to our testers when using this brush, and was the second loudest brush on the SPL meter. This model measured in at 74 dBa from 2" away, 16 dBa louder than the quietest model that we reviewed.
However, it did redeem itself a tiny bit by having an over-pressure sensor, slowing down the brush head if you press too hard, though there isn't any visual indication.
Our next most important test is our cleaning performance test, which is responsible for 30% of the total score. The scores for each brush are entirely dependent on their results in our plaque removal test. Our test highlighted how many spots an inexperienced user would miss with each model, and this model universally did well across the board with our panel of testers. Each tester in our panel refrained from brushing for a period of about 16 hours, then chewed a plaque disclosing tablet per the manufacturer's instructions. These tablets visually indicate where plaque resides on teeth by coloring it red, and then scores were determined by comparing the before and after photos of brushing. We used whatever toothbrush head came standard with the toothbrush, in this case, the Oral-B CrossAction brush head. The Oral-B Pro 1000 earned in one of the top scores of the entire group, receive an 8 out of 10 for its almost perfect plaque removal.
This brush uses a rotation-oscillation style brush head, which we found missed fewer spots than the side-to-side style brush head in our tests.
Most of our testers removed virtually all of the plaque when using this toothbrush. However, a few of our testers did tap out of this test, finding it to be too painful to use with their more sensitive gums.
Ease of Use
Next, we moved on to assessing how easy and convenient to use each of these toothbrushes actually are. We looked at a few different things for this metric, namely how intuitive and user-friendly the interface is, how easy it is to clean, and if there is a timer, as well as if there is storage for additional brush heads on the charging base. Altogether, these evaluations account for 20% of the total score. The Pro 1000 scored a 9 out of 10 in this metric, putting it right in the middle of the group.
To test ease of cleaning, we made a dilute solution of toothpaste ("toothpaste gruel") and sprayed this on each handle, and then cleaned each one to find problem spots and hard to reach places. We only had slight difficult cleaning around the power button, but did have some problems when it came to cleaning around the bottom of the brush and at the attachment point for the brush head. This brush was significantly easier to clean than we had originally thought, as the rubber grip provided plenty of grooves to collect grime. This brush also is water-resistant and can be used in the shower.
This model was not incredibly stable on its base, somewhat top heavy and easier to knock over. Unfortunately, there is no storage for additional brush heads on the base.
Having only a single cleaning mode, the one button interface simply turns the brush on and off, making it one of the easiest to use models that we have tested. This brush does have the standard two-minute timer, with 30-second intervals for pacing.
For the last 10% of the overall score, we evaluated the battery life of each brush. Battery life is an important aspect of an electric toothbrush, as the longer it is, the more flexibility and freedom you have. For example, you can feel free to leave the charger at home for short trips, and have confidence that the brush will last the duration of the trip. We ran each brush for two minutes each day, morning and night, and awarded scores based on when the brush died. The Pro 1000 again delivered a disappointing performance, earning it a score of 4 out of 10.
This brush lasted for 11 days (brushing twice a day for two minutes), which puts it at the bottom of the group.
The battery indicator blinks red when not in use to signal that charging is necessary.
This brush has the best value of all the models that we looked at, earning it our Best Buy award. The Oral-B Pro 1000 has an MSRP of $70, but usually retails for quite a bit less. Additionally, a pack of two genuine replacement brush heads costs about $22 — on the low end for these products. This model has all the features you need, and nothing extra, perfect for someone shopping on a budget.
This bare-bones toothbrush gave a strong performance, especially considering its price. It gets the job done, and we would recommend it to a friend. The only caveat we found is that people with smaller mouths or extra sensitive gums may benefit from one of the more comfortable models.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer