Best Overall and Most Comfortable
Brio SmartClean Sonic
: 3 | # of Brush Heads
Insane battery life
Doesn't clean as well as rotation-oscillation types
Limited types of brush heads
Earning the top score overall, the SmartClean by Brio easily claimed the Editors' Choice Award and is our top recommendation. This toothbrush has an unparalleled battery life and is one of the most comfortable toothbrushes that we have tested to date. This makes it a perfect option for those with the most sensitive gums or for those that don't like the rougher feel of the rotation-oscillation brushes. This brush does an above average job of cleaning your teeth and is convenient and easy to use, lacking any unnecessary features that might make it a hassle to use.
However, this brush doesn't have the wide range of adjustment that other models have, with only three brush modes and three types of brush heads. This means you don't have the most room to adjust the brushing experience to match your personal preferences. The lack of smart features may also be a turn-off for some people, but if you want a solid, all-around electric toothbrush without a ton of fluff at a price that won't break the bank, then the Brio should be on your shortlist.
Read Full Review: Brio SmartClean
Another Fantastic Option
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100
: 1 | # of Brush Heads
Super convenient to use
Solid cleaning capabilities
Excellent battery life
Could be a little more comfortable
Matching the performance of the Brio SmartClean, the Sonicare Protective Clean 4100 also merited an Editors' Choice award for its awesome all-around performance. This electric toothbrush did a little better at cleaning than the Brio and is a bit simpler to use, mainly due to its bare-bones interface. The 4100 is also compatible with a much wider variety of brush heads, allowing you more option to perfectly match your personal preference.
However, a few of our judges did find the 4100 to be a little more uncomfortable compared to the Brio. Additionally, the 4100 can't even come close to matching the top-notch battery life of the SmartClean. Regardless, the 4100 still lasted for 28 days of normal use in our tests and the vast majority of our judges did find it to be quite comfortable. It retails for about the same as the Brio and we highly recommend it.
Read Full Review: Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100
Best Bang for the Buck
Oral-B Pro 1000
: 1 | # of Brush Heads
Fantastic cleaning performance
A wide variety of brush heads
Subpar battery life
Not very comfortable to brush with
Want to keep your teeth white while keeping your budget in the black? The Oral-B Pro 1000 earned our Best Buy award for being the best value, perfectly balancing performance and price. While the list price on this brush is comparable to our other award winners, it can usually be found at a steeply discounted price at most major retailers. The Pro 1000 delivered some of the best performances in our cleaning tests, all while being one of the most convenient and easy to use brushes that we have tested to date.
Unfortunately, this brush's bulkier rotation-oscillation brush head and more aggressive cleaning style severely dissuaded some of our testers, rendering it practically unusable for those with sensitive gums. Even for those without sensitive gums, it's not our favorite in terms of comfort and doesn't really impress with its battery life. However, it's inexpensive and should keep your pearly whites perfectly happy and healthy when used properly — everything you want in a value toothbrush.
Read Full Review: Oral-B Pro 1000
Some of the best electric toothbrushes you can get.
Why You Should Trust Us
Austin Palmer and David Wise have been leading our electric toothbrush program at TechGearLab for the past three years. Together, they have extensively researched over 100 different models and comprehensively tested the best of the best side-by-side to pick our award winners. We bought all of the toothbrushes we have reviewed and will never accept any sample or evaluation items, to ensure that you receive the most unbiased and trustworthy review around. Along the way, we consulted with dentists and dental hygienists about the design of our testing plans and our interpretations of the results. We also had a large sample of people use each toothbrush, aggregating their opinions when it came to how comfortable each brush is to use and using this wide sample of diverse sets of teeth to see how well each toothbrush cleaned. However, the most important thing to remember is that you brush for the American Dental Association's prescribed two minutes twice a day, regardless of what toothbrush you end up using.
Our review currently has 13 of the best electric toothbrushes on the market and our award winners were only picked after over 250 hours of testing over the past three years. In total, we have collectively brushed our teeth hundred and hundreds of times with these different products. We have also spent months and months conducting actual use battery tests, to see exactly how long you can expect each electric toothbrush to last for when taking their standby power draw into account. All in all, we are confident that our award winners are the best brushes you can get.
Related: How We Tested Electric Toothbrushs
Analysis and Test Results
We've spent the past three years researching the features of these products, directly analyzing performance relative to each other, and comparing results to determine awards and overall scores. We have updated the review each time a promising new product has been released, comparing its performance against its peers.
A selection of the best electric toothbrushes around.
We broke our testing process up into four weighted metrics: Cleaning, Comfort, Ease of Use, and Battery Life. We conducted over a dozen individual tests spread across these metrics.
Just to be clear, we are neither dentists nor dental hygienists, and even though we consulted with them about this review, reliance should not be placed on this review for medical advice. Everyone's teeth are different, and you should always consult your personal dentist first and foremost when making decisions regarding your periodontal health. Our guide is a great place to start, but it's worth checking in with your dentist before you make your final decision, especially if you have or have had any dental/periodontal/orthodontic issues
Related: Buying Advice for Electric Toothbrushs
While you can't put a price on your periodontal health, you might balk at spending hundreds of dollars on a toothbrush, regardless of what smart features it has. Luckily, plenty of lower cost toothbrushes delivered excellent performance. All of our award winners — the Brio SmartClean, the Oral-B Pro 1000 and the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 — scored quite well, all while remaining on the lower portion of the price spectrum. The Brio has the best battery life we have seen and is by far the most comfortable. Its performance is matched by the Sonicare ProtectiveClean but swaps some comfort for improved cleaning performance. The Pro 1000 by Oral-B is our top recommendation when shopping on a budget, matching the best of the best when it comes to cleaning, but it isn't the most comfortable, especially if you have sensitive gums. All three of these brushes should be more than capable at keeping your teeth cavity-free if used properly, so don't fret if you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a toothbrush and still want the best.
The DiamondCare scored the highest when it came to holding comfort.
An electric brush is something you most likely will be using on a very regular basis, making the comfort of the brush its most important aspect. This rating metric comprised 40% of our overall score, as it makes it significantly more difficult to establish good brushing habits if the toothbrush is uncomfortable to use. The best toothbrush for you is one that will make it as easy as possible to maintain good habits and a model that is awkward to hold, annoyingly loud, or feels uncomfortable to use while brushing will definitely discourage them.
For this first series of tests, we scored and compared how comfortable it is to use each of these dental cleaning products and if they have a pressure sensor that will alert you when you are brushing too hard, avoiding all of the detrimental gum and dental problems that can cause. Additionally, we also measured and judged the sound output of each brush — both how loud it is and how annoying it is in terms of pitch. To score brushing comfort, we had our testers rate it throughout the cleaning test, as well as followed up with sequential, side-by-side comparisons with each brush.
The Brio SmartClean earned the top score in this set of evaluations, meriting a 7 out of 10 for its results. We especially liked that this brush felt very quiet while brushing, and is easily maneuverable to reach all of your teeth, even for people with smaller mouths.
When it came to comfort while brushing, the Brio is our absolute favorite, helping it earn the top score in this metric. It comes standard with a soft bristle brush head and clocks in at 31,000 movements per minute, and solely relied on vibrating bristles for cleaning action. This brush head measures about 0.5" deep, allowing you to reach your molars without too much issue. However, it does lack a pressure sensor.
Following the Brio, the Sonicare DiamondClean, the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart, the Sonicare Series 2, the HealthyWhite+, the ProtectiveClean 4100, the ProtectiveClean 6100and the Waterpik Complete Care 9.5 all earned a 6 out of 10 when it came to comfort.
Both of the DiamondClean are just a little bit less comfortable to brush with than the Brio and are both a bit louder, with the DiamondClean Smart being even louder than the standard DiamondClean. The Series 2 and the HealthyWhite+ feel about the same to brush with and are quieter than the DiamondClean Smart, but louder than the DiamondClean.
The Series 2 is quite comfortable to hold and to brush with.
The 4100 and the 6100 didn't receive comfort ratings as high as the other four Sonicare models but wasn't that far behind. Opinions were split, with some finding the intensity or frequency of the vibrations to be a bit vexing, but none found it too rough — even those with sensitive gums. Both of these brushes have pressure sensors and are much quieter than the DiamondCleans, the HealthyWhite+, or the Series 2, but both are louder than the Waterpik Complete Care 9.5.
The ProtectiveClean 4100 scored above average for cleaning.
The Waterpik Complete Care 9.5 isn't as comfortable to brush with as the Brio or the above quartet of Sonicare models — matching both of the ProtectiveClean models when it comes to comfort — but is almost silent in operation, being by far the quietest toothbrush of the bunch. Again, none of these brushes except the DiamondClean Smart possess a pressure sensor to notify you that you are brushing too hard.
Next, the Colgate E1, the Oral-B Pro 5000, and the Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 all earned a 5 out of 10 for their middle-of-the-road comfort levels. The Colgate E1 is the most comfortable to use out of this trip — and also is the only product of this group that utilizes a side-to-side motion.
The E1 was very quiet.
It is also one of the quietest models we tested but again lacks a pressure sensor.
Both the Pro 5000 and the Pro 8000 are rotation-oscillation toothbrushes, so the brush heads are a bit larger and the brushing aggression is quite a bit more aggressive. All of the Oral-B models have a brush head measuring about 0.75" deep — about 0.25" deeper than the side-to-side models — contributing to the fact that they were the least liked when it came to brushing comfort. Consequently, our testers found these to be slightly below par in terms of brushing comfort. Additionally, they are also noticeably louder, a more mechanical noise, compared with the buzzing of the other models. However, they both do have a pressure sensor, slowing the brush down and lighting up red.
The rotation-oscillation style brush head performed better in our cleaning test than the side to side motion heads.
This is an important aspect to consider if you have a mouth on the smaller side, or have a limited range of jaw motion, as the deeper brush head can make it more difficult to reach the back molars. We also found that the deeper brush head made drooling much more likely, something to keep in mind if you will have an audience while brushing.
Rounding out the bottom of the group, the Sonicare Essence and the Oral-B Pro 1000 both earned a 4 out of 10 for comfort. The Sonicare Essence was average to brush with in terms of comfort but was a little on the loud side. The Pro 1000 is a little less comfortable to brush with than the Essence, but is a tiny bit quieter. However, the Pro 1000 does have a pressure sensor and will slow the brush down if triggered, whereas the Essence does not.
The Pro 8000 scored high in our cleaning test.
Accounting for 30% of the final score for each brush, our cleaning metric is next in terms of overall weight. While your initial impression might be that cleaning should be the most important metric — as it is basically the entire point of these products — all of the products in this review should clean more than well enough to maintain proper dental health-- if used correctly. Hence, we place comfort over cleaning as a comfortable toothbrush helps you maintain the correct brushing regimen. Most of us have had a twice-daily tooth brushing ingrained into us from as far back as we can remember, to promote good dental hygiene, prevent tooth decay and gum disease, to get that nice, clean feeling on your teeth, and to keep your pearly whites — well — white. We started off by doing extensive research, talking to dental hygienists, dentists and toothbrush experts to figure out what is really necessary to get the most out of your toothbrush and to find out what features and functions are important to have in an electric toothbrush.
Each tester would refrain from brushing for a period of 12-16 hours, eating as much sugary food and soft drinks as possible in that time period, and would then use a Butler GUM Red Cote Dental Disclosing Tablet, following the manufacturer's instructions. These tablets will turn any plaque on the surface of your teeth red and are usually used by dentists to show what parts of the teeth they are missing when you brush. Documenting the entire process with before and after photos — as well as in the mouth photos taken with a 360° camera — we compared the performance of each toothbrush across the board to determine our scores.
The top performers in our cleaning test were the Oral-B Genius Pro 8000, the Pro 5000, the Pro 1000, the DiamondClean Smart, the Diamond Clean, and the Sonicare HealthyWhite+, all earning an 8 out of 10. The Pro 1000 and the Pro 8000 both come standard with the CrossAction head. For the majority of our testers, these brushes completely removed or removed the vast majority of the visible plaque in our test. As you can see in the photos below, there is a noticeable difference between the visible plaque, before and after brushing with the Pro 5000
The Pro 5000 removed almost all of the plaque.
The Pro 8000 also removed practically all of the visible plaque, as shown in the photo below.
The Pro 8000 removed almost all of the plaque in our cleaning test.
We also got similar results with the Pro 1000. Most of the top scoring brushes in our cleaning tests use a rotation-oscillation method of cleaning, and while our test was not a clinical trial, we did find some that aligned with our results. In 2005, the Cochrane Library published a review of Manual versus powered toothbrushing for oral health . This review found that: "Brushes with a rotation oscillation action removed plaque and reduced gingivitis more effectively than manual brushes in the short term and reduced gingivitis scores in studies over 3 months."
The trial states that it was too short to determine if this would cause a reduction in destructive periodontal disease. However, we did find that a trio of side-to-side electric toothbrushes, the HealthyWhite+, the Sonicare DiamondClean, and the DiamondClean Smart held their own against the Oral-B models, removing a comparable amount of plaque.
The Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 and the 6100 both cleaned almost identically, each earning a 7 out of 10. These both got the bulk of the plaque from all of our judges, but both missed a few more spots than the top models, with most of our judges having at least one spot with plaque that remained visible — usually by their back molars or on the inside surfaces of a tooth.
Next, the Brio SmartClean, *the Philips Sonicare Essence, Colgate E1 and the Series 2 — all scored a 6 out of 10. These electric toothbrushes all use a side-to-side motion as their main cleaning mechanism, substantially more similar to a manual brush than the oscillation-rotation style. These brushes all tended to miss plaque in harder to reach places and there was noticeably more plaque remaining than when we used the rotation-oscillation toothbrushes. The manual toothbrush also easily matched the performance of this group, even exceeding them for a handful of our testers.
These results surprised us, as we initially thought the manual toothbrush would score much lower, but upon consulting the Cochrane Library review again, we found an interesting comparison: "There was no statistically significant difference between powered toothbrushes whose action was side-to-side and manual brushes with regard to the removal of plaque or reduction of gingivitis for both time periods"
Finally, the Waterpik 9.5 scored the worst in this metric, meriting a 5 out of 10. We found it to be very easy to miss spots when using this toothbrush, with almost none of our testers succeeding in removing all of the stained plaque.
We weren't too impressed with the Waterpik's performance.
One key thing to remember is that every toothbrush that we tested scored at least a 5 when it came to cleaning, and as we previously mentioned, all of these toothbrushes, when used correctly, can do an adequate job of maintaining good oral hygiene. As stated by the Cochrane Library: "Individuals who prefer to use a powered toothbrush can be assured that powered toothbrushing is at least as effective as manual brushing and that there is no evidence that it will cause any more injuries to the gums than manual brushing."
We weren't too impressed with the position sensing feature on the Pro 8000.
Ease of Use
Next, we moved on to assessing and scoring how easy to use and convenient each electric toothbrush — another important trait, as a product that is a hassle to use correctly makes it much less likely that you will use correctly and dissuade you from making brushing your teeth a routine. For this metric, which accounts for 20% of the total score, we checked if the toothbrush has a 2-minute timer — bonus points for indicators every 30 seconds for quadrant brushing — if there is storage for additional toothbrush heads on the charging base, and how much work it is to swap between brushing modes, as well as how easy it is to clean away the toothpaste and water residue that inevitable with accumulate.
Claiming the top spot in this set of tests, the Oral-B Pro 1000 earned a 9 out of 10 for its stellar performance. This model doesn't have any additional modes, so it is essentially a one-button interface that turns it on and activated the timer. This timer will alert you when it is time to move the brush to a different zone of your mouth, as well as when two minutes have elapsed. This brush is also waterproof enough to use in the shower, making it very easy to clean. However, the charging stand doesn't have any storage for additional brush heads.
The Best Buy award winner, the Oral-B Pro 1000 toothbrush.
Following the Pro-1000, the Philips Sonicare Series 2, the ProtectiveClean 4100, and the Colgate Smart Electronic Toothbrush E1 came next, each earning an 8 out of 10. These brushes again only have a single cleaning mode, giving them a very simple and easy to use interface. Each of these three brushes also has a two-minute timer that will notify you every 30 seconds so you can evenly space out your brushing. Unfortunately, neither have storage for additional brush heads on their charging base or include a travel case. However, we did like that the Series 2 and the 4100 are waterproof enough to use in the shower or to rinse off quickly, whereas the Colgate is not, making the pair of Sonicare brushes much easier to clean.
The Sonicare Essence and the Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 came next, both receiving a 7 out of 10 for their performance. These both have 2-minute timers, but the Essence doesn't have any indicators for quadrant spacing, leaving it up to you to regulate your pace.
These brushes are both relatively easy to clean, able to be used in the shower without issue, but there is a slight gap around the power button on the Essence, making it a bit more likely to accumulate toothpaste residue.
The Essence is a bit harder to clean than some of the other brushes in the review.
The Genius Pro 8000 has 6 different cleaning modes, but does have a mode select button, making it decently easy to switch between them — especially with the light up indicators. It also has storage for up to 4 brush heads on the charging base and for 2 in the travel case.
The Pro 8000 has a convenient storage solution for additional brush heads.
The Essence is a little easier to use, having only 1 brushing mode, but lacks any onboard brush head storage.
A trio of toothbrushes came next, with the Waterpik Complete Care 9.5, the DiamondClean Smart, and the Brio SmartClean all meriting a 6 out of 10. Both the Waterpik and the Brio have 3 separate cleaning modes, while the DiamondClean Smart has 5 modes and the option to switch between 3 different intensities for each mode. All of these brushes have indicators showing what mode you are in as you cycle through, while the DiamondClean and the Waterpik also have a secondary mode select button — the Brio uses a single button as an interface for both mode select and powering the brush on or off.
The DiamondClean Smart has one of the sleekest interfaces of the group.
All three of these brushes are rated for use in the shower, with the Brio having the additional rating of being able to be totally submerged in water up to a meter in depth for 30 minutes, making it by far the easiest of these products to clean. The Brio is also the only one of this group that has storage for additional brush heads on the base, but all three of these products do have a timer with notifications for quadrant spacing.
Finishing at the back of the group, the Oral-B Pro 5000, Sonicare DiamondClean, the ProtectiveClean 6100, and the HealthyWhite+ all earned a 5 out of 10 for their results. Both the DiamondClean and the HealthyWhite+ are about average to use to switch between modes, but it is actually a bit confusing to do so when using the Pro 5000, mainly due to its lack of indicator lights.
We missed the indicator lights on the Pro 5000.
The 6100 has three cleaning modes with three selectable intensities, which can make the interface a little confusing. You use the secondary button to select the mode before hitting the power button and then use it to adjust the intensity once the brush has started, but it at least has indicators to let you know what settings you have picked.
The ProtectiveClean 6100 lets you adjust the intensity of its vibrations.
All three of these products can be used in the shower, but the DiamondClean, the ProtectiveClean 6100, and the HealthyWhite+ have some small crevices that can be a bit difficult to clean — particularly with all the buttons on the HealthyWhite+ and the base of the 6100.
The multiple button interface on the HealthyWhite+.
None of the Sonicare models have space for extra brush heads on their base, but their included travel cases can store up to two.
The ProtectiveClean 6100 has a fancy feature that notifies you when you should change out the brush head.
The Pro 5000's travel case can also store two brush heads and its charging stand can store up to four. All four of these brushes do have a timer with interval spacing.
To test the battery life, we ran each toothbrush for two minutes on a standard mode, both in the morning and in the evening, scoring each one on how many days it lasted. Due to the smart features causing some of these brushes to essentially be always on, we had to revamp our test from running each brush continuously to running them on a more realistic schedule, as the standby power draw of each brush is becoming more significant.
Delivering an unmatched performance, the Brio SmartClean earned a 10 out of 10. This toothbrush lasted for an astonishing 64 days — more than long enough to allow you to go on most vacations without bringing the charger.
This was followed by the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100, the Essence, and the Waterpik Complete Care, which all earned a 7 out of 10 for lasting for 28, 29, and 30 days respectively.
Most of the other toothbrushes have a battery life between 16 and 26 days when used twice a day, with the exception of the Oral-B Pro 1000. This toothbrush earned the lowest score of 3 out of 10, lasting for only 11 days.
Hopefully, this review has helped highlight some of the difference in the huge selection of different electric toothbrushes out there and helped you pick out the perfect model.