Reviews You Can Rely On

Best Toothbrush Heads of 2021

Credit: Jason Peters
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 24, 2021
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
After researching dozens of models on the market, we purchased the 11 most promising electric toothbrush heads in 2021. If you are looking for the best toothbrush head for your electric toothbrush, we have you covered. Our team of experts rigorously tested each one to determine which left our pearly whites the cleanest and brightest, which lasted the longest, and which are the best bang for the buck. There is an overwhelming number of options out there, but in this review, we distill the information you need so that you can feel confident in your next purchase.

Top 11 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 11
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Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $26 List
$27 at Amazon
$25 List
$24.95 at Amazon
$12 List$30 List
$17.95 at Amazon
$20 List
$17.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Great cleaning capabilities, slender stem for smaller mouthsSoft and compact bristles for smaller mouths, wear indicator for bristlesThorough clean between teeth, versatileIndicator for bristles, compatible with many options, excellent price pointGentle brush action, brush handle versatility
Cons Costly, do not have color id ringsCostlyBristles are firmNot as secure on handles as someNo bristle cover
Bottom Line Our first choice is a crevice cleaning machine with a slender stem and soft bristlesA compact, soft bristle brush that works especially well for people with small mouthsA round head and affordable oscillating brush that effectively and easily navigates between teethAn inexpensive, off brand brush head that still gets the job done almost as wellThis is a perfectly adequate option worth exploring if you can find it for less money than one of the other Oral-B brand name award winners
Rating Categories Genuine Philips Son... Philips Sonicare HX... Oral-B EB50 Brushmo Replacement Oral-B Sensitive Gu...
Cleaning (55%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Comfort (45%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Genuine Philips Son... Philips Sonicare HX... Oral-B EB50 Brushmo Replacement Oral-B Sensitive Gu...
Toothbrush Compatibility Philips Sonicare HealthyWhite+, 2 Series plaque control, 3 Series gum health, DiamondClean, EasyClean, FlexCare, FlexCare Platinum, FlexCare+, for Kids, HealthyWhite All click-on Sonicare models All Oral-B electric toothbrushes except Pulsonic Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control, 3 Series Gum Health, DiamondClean, EasyClean, FlexCare, FlexCare+, FlexCare Platinum, HealthyWhite, HydroClean Brush handles Oral-B Genius 8000, Oral-B PRO 7000, 6000, 5000, 3000 and 1000, and Oral-B Vitality
Estimated Annual Cost $48.99 $40.00 $18.35 $15.00 $26.59
Advertised Firmness Soft Soft Medium Medium Extra Soft


Best Overall Toothbrush Head


Genuine Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Toothbrush Head


86
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cleaning 9
  • Comfort 8
Replacement Frequency: 3 months | Color ID Ring: No
Deep clean between teeth
Slender stem
Expensive
No way to differentiate between two heads

The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean HX6062/95 is a high-quality cleaning machine. As its name suggests, this model has a diamond-shaped bristle pattern that effectively navigates between teeth better than any other brush that we tested. Though it is labeled as a medium firmness, full-sized head, we found that the bristles are comparatively soft, and the stem is slender, which makes it a solid option for folks with smaller mouths. It has indicator bristles that fade when it is time to replace it. It also fits all Sonicare click-on handle electric toothbrushes.

There aren't a ton of downsides here. Having said that, it is a brand name replacement head, so it is generally more expensive than others. Though it didn't perform quite as well on molar chewing surfaces as it did between teeth, its performance is still excellent. One other minor inconvenience is that the heads lack a color ID ring at their base, and all look identical, so if you share a brush base with someone else, you'll have to find a different way to tell them apart. However, if you are a Philips Sonicare user (or would like to be), this brush head is our top recommendation for most people.

Best Bang for the Buck


Brushmo Replacement Toothbrush Head


70
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cleaning 7
  • Comfort 7
Replacement Frequency: 3 months | Color ID Ring: No
Blue indicator bristles
High compatibility
Inexpensive
Doesn't fit handles quite as securely

The Brushmo Replacement Toothbrush Head for Phillips Sonicare models has excellent performance at an affordable price. It fits on at least 13 different Sonicare toothbrush handles, and its cleaning performance is decent. It comes with a set of concave bristles that conform around curved tooth surfaces, and it models the flat shape of its bristle clusters after the brand name equivalent. During testing, it did better than a couple of name-brand models, and the price-per-brush is one of the lowest that we have seen.

Though it performed admirably, we noticed that it was not as effective at getting plaque between teeth as some others. It does have high compatibility with Sonicare brushes, but the head just doesn't fit as snuggly as name brand versions — there is a larger gap between the head and handle. All in all, if the cost of a name-brand brush head is prohibitive, this model will do the job at a fraction of the price.

Another Great Value Option


Voguish Replacement Heads Compatible with Oral B


55
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cleaning 5
  • Comfort 6
Replacement Frequency: 3 months | Color ID Ring: Yes
Inexpensive
Replacement indicator bristles
Great surface cleaning
No hygiene cover
Thick stem

The Voguish Replacement Toothbrush Heads for Oral-B models is a top contender. It has excellent versatility and is compatible with over 16 different toothbrush models. We also like that it comes with different color-coded rings at the base so that you can tell multiple brushes apart if family members have the same handle. Its round head oscillates around teeth to clean surfaces just as well as name-brand versions, and its price-per-brush is one of the lowest in the category.

The caveat with its cleaning is that it doesn't get in between teeth quite as well, leaving some noticeable plaque behind. During testing, the comparatively thick stem was also noteworthy — it's just more substantial than brushes meant for the Sonicare line, so this is not an excellent option for people with smaller mouths. Despite the claim, we didn't find that these bristles were exceptionally soft. However, if you are a committed Oral-B user and want a solid alternative to pricey name-brand brush heads, this is your best bet.

Best Oral-B Option


Oral-B EB50


76
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cleaning 8
  • Comfort 7
Replacement Frequency: 3 months | Color ID Ring: Yes
Excellent cleaning between teeth
Highly versatile
Firmer bristles

The Oral-B Cross Action EB50 is our top toothbrush head for the Oral-B brand. What initially seemed like a gimmick turned out to be a practical innovation to the bristle pattern. Namely, rather than sticking out of the brush at a 90-degree angle, most of the bristles are oriented, well, differently. It is compatible with most Oral-B handles, and the circular, oscillating head covers an entire molar. With just a slight wrist rotation, the bristles effectively find their way between teeth at the gumline.

Testers reported that the thicker stem of this brush left a wider opening in their mouths for toothpaste to drip out during brushing. Also, though it is an effective cleaner, we did note that the bristles are slightly firmer than those of the other award winners. This isn't inherently bad; it's just worth noting if you have sensitive gums. All in all, if you are an Oral-B enthusiast and you want the most effective brush for your handle, this is the one to try.

Best for Small Mouths


Philips Sonicare HX9023/65


80
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cleaning 8
  • Comfort 8
Replacement Frequency: 3 months | Color ID Ring: No
Soft bristles
Compact bristles and small head
Bristle replacement indicator
Expensive

The Philips Sonicare HX9023/65 C2 is a slender, compact brush head that is great for small mouths. We like the tightly clustered, soft bristles, which do an excellent job of navigating both broad tooth surfaces as well as between teeth at the gumline. This model comes with blue indicator bristles that fade when it is time to change the brush. It also slides onto a variety of brush handles quite easily.

The drawbacks of this brush are relative. During testing, we found that our two-minute timer wasn't always quite enough to get through a complete and thorough cleaning. We also noted that the head itself is comparatively small, so if you have large teeth, it's not going to cover all of that real estate very efficiently. However, if you have small teeth, a small mouth, or both, this model's comfort and cleaning capability are near the top of the pack.

Individual bristle clusters navigate teeth well, but their overall...
Individual bristle clusters navigate teeth well, but their overall shape makes it seem like it isn't brushing as efficiently as it could.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Why You Should Trust Us


Here, we buy the products that we test at retail prices. Austin Palmer and David Wise have been leading the electric toothbrush program at GearLab and lead reviewer, Ben Applebaum-Bauch has been testing and writing reviews for almost four years, testing dozens of oral hygiene products and bathroom accessories in that time. For this review, we consulted with dental professionals about our tests and results. For metrics like comfort, we also took an aggregate from a wide range of users to get a more accurate and holistic picture of how well each brush head performed. The most important thing to remember though is that you should brush for the American Dental Association's recommended two minutes, twice a day, regardless of what toothbrush head you end up using.

The models in this review have been through it all. We use a rigorous side-by-side process, and our testers brushed and brushed with each one, noting how much plaque each one removed under varied conditions and how comfortable the brushes are to use. We employed plaque-disclosing tablets that highlight plaque and make it possible to see what a brush has removed.

Comfort and cleaning ability are impacted by factors like head shape...
Though brand name toothbrush heads for this model also leave a small...

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price Our Take
86
$26
Editors' Choice Award
Our first choice is a crevice cleaning machine with a slender stem and soft bristles
80
$25
Top Pick Award
A compact, soft bristle brush that works especially well for people with small mouths
76
$12
Top Pick Award
A round head and affordable oscillating brush that effectively and easily navigates between teeth
70
$30
Best Buy Award
An inexpensive, off brand brush head that still gets the job done almost as well
66
$20
This is a perfectly adequate option worth exploring if you can find it for less money than one of the other Oral-B brand name award winners
66
$49
If you are a Philips Sonicare user and you are still looking for that just right toothbrush head, this one could fit the bill
65
$9
For people with large teeth that want to brush efficiently, this could be one head that is worth checking out
60
$20
If you have a Sonicare E-Series and are tired of spending top dollar for brand name replacement heads, this model would be an adequate substitute
60
$10
If you want to split the difference between cleaning quality and price, this is potentially a model worth checking out
58
$25
If you already own a Waterpik brush or are fascinated by the novelty of a brush and floss combo, it could be worth trying out
55
$7
Best Buy Award
An affordable model that performs just as well as some of its name brand counterparts

Analysis and Test Results


We assess the toothbrush heads in this review in a couple of metrics. Each model has gone through the same hands-on, real-world testing to determine how it ranks in cleaning capability as well as comfort for the brusher.


Value


When we talk about value, we are referring to the overall score that a product earns in our testing relative to its cost. When a product scores high and has a lower price, the value is greater. In this case, there are a couple of models that stand out to us. The Brushmo Replacement Toothbrush Head offers excellent cleaning at a bargain price point for an electric toothbrush head, and the Voguish Replacement Toothbrush Heads are not far behind. In terms of brand names, the EB50 is the most cost-effective offering from Oral-B and Phillips-Sonicare has the DiamondClean.

A few replacement options for Oral-B brand brush heads.
A few replacement options for Oral-B brand brush heads.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Cleaning


Cleaning capability is defined as the degree to which a toothbrush head can remove visible plaque between teeth and at the gumline. After three meals and 12 hours of not brushing — for each model --testers chewed a plaque indicator tablet, then brushed and compared before and after results.


Is there a noticeable difference in performance between brand name and off-brand replacement toothbrush heads? Based on our testing, our answer is "it depends". The best cleaning performers in our tests are indeed brand-name models. However, there are plenty of off-brand brushes that do just as well or better than some brand-name versions. Our takeaway is that the specifics matter. If you are looking for the best of the best, chances are that it is a brand-name version, but simply buying a brand-name without knowing its performance does not ensure that you will do better than an off-brand model (which are almost always much less expensive).

Before brushing, plaque is visible &amp;#40;in pink&amp;#41; on the teeth...
After brushing, the Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean brush head...

Top performers in this metric thoroughly removed visible plaque. The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean HX6062/95 uses a unique diamond bristle pattern and fine-tip point that did indeed make a difference and resulted in the least visible plaque after use. It was especially effective in hard-to-reach areas at the back of the mouth and between teeth at the gumline. The bristle clusters at the top and bottom come to fine points, making it possible to maneuver the brush between teeth with precision.

Pictured here is the Philips DiamondClean.
Pictured here is the Philips DiamondClean.
Credit: Jason Peters

In the second tier, the Oral-B Cross Action EB50 and the Philips Sonicare HX9023/65 C2 also knocked it out of the park. The Cross Action was a pleasant surprise, removing almost all of the visible plaque with its firmer bristles and efficient circular head, which did a thorough job of surrounding each tooth. The unique angle of the bristles also helps cover more surface area efficiently. The HX9023/65 C2 has soft bristles and uses a similar bristle cluster style as the DiamondClean; namely, they are flatter and gently fan out to cover the surface area. Though this model performed very well, it just didn't quite hit all of the same nooks and crannies as the DiamondClean.

Name brand models often have very similar off-brand counterparts...
Name brand models often have very similar off-brand counterparts that may or may not perform equally well.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Remaining models like the Oral-B Sensitive Gum Care, Arm & Hammer Spin Brush Pro, Voguish Replacement Heads for Oral-B, and Oral-B Precision Clean all take a similar approach to the Cross Action and to each other. They have circular oscillating heads that cover teeth well, just not quite as thoroughly.

The Spinbrush Pro Clean covers a lot of tooth area with every stroke. The toothbrush head itself is large, and its dual-action motion of rotating and sliding is at least a psychological boost that it is getting the job done well and provides options for brushing teeth effectively at different angles. The Sensitive Gum Care proved to be more effective than generic brush heads at cleaning, especially when for reaching in between teeth. It feels relatively similar to the rounded attachment dentists use to polish teeth. The Oral-B Precision Clean removed more visible plaque than the generic Oral-B compatible brush heads, and the Voguish Replacement Toothbrush Heads actually performed even more effectively.

The Oral B Cross Action is very capable at cleaning.
The Oral B Cross Action is very capable at cleaning.
Credit: Jason Peters

The Waterpik SFRB-2EB falls to the back of the pack in cleaning performance. It is certainly unique among the models that we tested. Its big differentiator is that it is compatible with Waterpik brushes, meaning that you can turn on the toothbrush's floss function, and a jet of water will pulse through it for targeted cleaning. However, it has a standard bristle pattern and small head, leaving us with final results that were noticeably less complete than any other model.

Credit: Jason Peters

Comfort


Comfort is the other primary factor we took into consideration when evaluating toothbrush heads. After all, the more comfortable a brush is, the less likely you will forget to do it twice a day. We pay attention to things like bristle softness, shape, and brush head size. Testers also note any tooth or gum irritation that they experience during or after brushing. Another factor that came up a few different times was the thickness (or thinness) of the brush stem; some models made it easier to keep our mouths fully closed so we didn't drip toothpaste everywhere.


The Oral B Cross Action has unique, effective bristles that get...
The Oral B Cross Action has unique, effective bristles that get deeper between teeth.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

When all was said and done, we noticed that brand strongly correlated with comfort. Our testers found that the Philips Sonicare HX9023/65 C2 and Philips Sonicare DiamondClean HX6062/95 are the most comfortable to use. We were pleasantly surprised by the Arm & Hammer Spinbrush Pro, and the Waterpik SFRB-2EB also snuck into the mix. All of these models have soft bristles that yield to pressure, so they didn't leave us with any gum irritation, even when pressing more firmly than we should have. They also each have relatively narrow and compact heads, with the Philips Sonicare models also offering especially slender stems that make it easier for someone with a small mouth to brush without dripping toothpaste everywhere (though the Philips Sonicare HX9044/45 has somewhat firmer bristles, not ideal for sensitive gums).

The Brushmo is an affordable choice for Sonicare models and are in...
The Brushmo is an affordable choice for Sonicare models and are in the second tier of comfort.
Credit: Jason Peters

The Oral-B Cross Action EB50 and Brushmo Replacement Head for Phillips Sonicare are in the second tier. The former covers a lot of real estate quickly and can get between teeth easily. It does, however, have a thicker stem, so some toothpaste may drip out during brushing. The Oral-B Sensitive Gum Care, Voguish Precision Clean Replacement Head for Oral-B, Aoremon (for Philips Sonicare E-Series HX7022/66), and Oral-B Precision Clean follow closely behind. The Sensitive Gum Care has the unusual combination of a small head combined with a thicker stem, making it best suited for folks with a larger mouth but smaller teeth. As with other Oral-B models, the bristles are labeled as soft, but in practice, we found that they feel firmer than other brands. The same goes for the Voguish head. The Precision Clean has a small round head that feels very much like the tooth polisher attachment at a dentist's office. The Aoremon comes with the same angled stem as brand-name models for the Philips Sonicare screw-on handle. We found that this design makes it easier and more comfortable to hold while brushing.

Credit: Jason Peters

Conclusion


Even once you have the electric toothbrush of your dreams, you still have options for which toothbrush head you use once you need to replace the original. We hope that this review from our experts leaves you more confident than ever to select the replacement head that is right for your smile and budget.

Ben Applebaum-Bauch