We Tested 9 Electric Toothbrushes to Find the Best Ones: Starting at Just £34

Perdita Nouril, Jess Denham
·7-min read

From Women's Health

They say you’re never fully dressed without your smile, but if your teeth are in need of a little TLC, you’re unlikely to want to flash those less than pearly whites.

The good news is that the best electric toothbrush could save you from an eyewateringly high cosmetic dentistry bill. There are a lot of options on the market, but we’ve found the best after rigorous real-life testing.

Is an electric toothbrush better than a manual toothbrush?

Ultimately, this choice comes down to personal preference, but celebrity dentist Dr Richard Marques recommends going electric.

'Electric toothbrushes are more effective because they take a lot of the work and worry out of your hands,' he says. 'Many modern models have variable functions so you can control the speed and intensity to suit your needs. They also have the edge over manual brushes because the oscillation (that’s the rotating and pulsating movement of the brush), removes surface plaque from teeth much more effectively.'

How should I use an electric toothbrush?

The beauty of electric toothbrushes is that they do most of the work for you! That said, Yusra Al-Mukhtar, dental expert and founder of dryusra.com, insists that holding your toothbrush at the right angle is key for achieving a proper clean.

'Hold the brush head at 45 degrees to the tooth, aimed towards the gum, and apply minimal pressure,' she says. 'Focus on each tooth surface for three to five seconds before moving onto the next one.'

Most electric toothbrushes have multiple settings and brush heads that are designed for specific purposes like whitening or freshening breath. Look for rubber sections to help with stain removal and softer bristles if your teeth are sensitive.

Sonic toothbrushes vibrate the fastest, but they tend to cost more than a standard oscillating toothbrush and there is little evidence to suggest that they are much more effective at cleaning.

Which electric toothbrushes do dentists recommend?

You’ll find our favourites below, but Dr Marques recommends Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes to his clients. 'They’re tough on plaque but gentle on the gums, and are a lot quieter than most other electric models,' he says. 'They’re at the higher end of the price bracket but they provide a superior clean.'

How we test

We asked 66 people to trial electric toothbrushes for a fortnight, judging each model on its ease of use, design, features, battery life and overall performance. They used a disclosing tablet before and after brushing their teeth to determine how effective their toothbrush had been at removing plaque.

1. Best electric toothbrush: Spotlight Sonic Brush, £110

Our panel unanimously raved about this toothbrush, finding it gentle and fuss-free to use with a slim oval brush head that comfortably reached to the back of their mouths. It left their teeth feeling as deeply clean as if they’d just been to the hygienist! The three cleaning modes and long-lasting battery impressed, with everybody planning to keep using it. It comes with three brush heads and a travel case, too.

Key specifications

  • Brush action: Sonic

  • Number of cleaning modes: 3

  • Features: Charge light, a two-minute timer

  • Included accessories: Three brush heads, travel case

2. Runner-up electric toothbrush: Oral-B Genius 9000 Electric Toothbrush, £109.99

This toothbrush offers great value for money for an Oral-B. It cleans brilliantly, successfully reducing plaque, and its six cleaning modes make it a trusty buy for tackling all teeth concerns. Our testers loved the accompanying free app that offers real-time personalised brushing advice and reminders to change your brush head. It even lets you change the colour of the LED battery life indicator!

Key specifications

  • Brush action: Oscillating

  • Number of cleaning modes: 6

  • Features: Charge light, two-minute timer with a quad pacer, pressure sensor

  • Included accessories: Four brush heads, chargeable travel case, phone holder

3. Most hi-tech electric toothbrush: Oral-B iO9 Ultimate Clean Electric Toothbrush, £250

If its luxury price tag doesn’t put you off, this top-of-the-range toothbrush is a solid all-round choice. Simple to use, it was one of the quieter and more comfortable models that we tried. Our testers found it powerful and effective, giving a big thumbs up to its sleek design and hi-tech interface. Its flashing pressure sensor warns you when you’re brushing too hard, which those with sensitive teeth will appreciate.

Key specifications

  • Brush action: Oscillating

  • Number of cleaning modes: 7

  • Features: Charge light, a two-minute timer, timer display, pressure sensor

  • Included accessories: Magnetic charger, chargeable travel case

4. Best electric toothbrush for design: Philips DiamondClean Sonic Electric Toothbrush, £99.99

This powerful toothbrush comes with a travel case that doubles up as a charger, but its battery lasts ages. Our panel liked its size and shape, finding it straightforward to use with plenty of speed settings to suit all cleaning needs. Their teeth felt noticeably cleaner after using it, though some would have appreciated a pressure sensor to keep them from over-brushing.

Key specifications

  • Brush action: Sonic

  • Number of cleaning modes: 5

  • Features: Charge light, two-minute timer with quad pacer

  • Included accessories: USB travel case

5. Best electric toothbrush for braces: Curaprox Hydrosonic Pro, £149

If you’re struggling with braces, implants or sensitive gums, this toothbrush has been designed with you in mind. It comes with three different brush heads, including one especially for gums, while seven cleaning modes make reaching every nook and cranny a breeze. It’s a tad noisy and the battery life could be better, but it cleans well with an attractive, modern design that our testers rated highly.

Key specifications

  • Brush action: Sonic

  • Number of cleaning modes: 7

  • Features: Charge light, a two-minute timer

  • Included accessories: Three brush heads, charger, travel case

6. Best electric toothbrush for travellers: Ordo Sonic+ Electric Toothbrush, £50

This good-looking toothbrush boasts a generous three weeks of battery life, making it a smart buy for frequent travellers. It offers a customisable clean with four brushing modes, including whitening and sensitive, and our testers found it easy to control. Gentle yet effective, it is also available as part of a monthly oral care subscription. It comes with a travel cap for tossing into your overnight or weekend bag, too.

Key specifications

  • Brush action: Sonic

  • Number of cleaning modes: 4

  • Features: Charge light, two-minute timer with quad pacer

  • Included accessories: Travel cap, USB charger

7. Best electric toothbrush for teeth whitening: Stylsmile Sonic Blue Light Toothbrush, £75

If you want to get your smile sparkling without the use of harsh chemicals, look to this teeth whitening set. The toothbrush vibrates powerfully, working hard to banish stains, while blue light activates the whitening gel to help neutralise discolouration. It shuts off automatically after two minutes, taking the guesswork out of brushing, but some testers found the brush head too bulky. It could be better at cleaning in between teeth, but it’s a saviour for big coffee drinkers!

Key specifications

  • Brush action: Sonic

  • Number of cleaning modes: 2

  • Features: Charge light, a two-minute timer

  • Included accessories: Travel cap, replacement brush head, USB charging lead, toothpaste, LED accelerator tray with batteries, silicone mouth tray, three 3ml whitening gel syringes

8. Best budget electric toothbrush: Colgate ProClinical 250+ Electric Toothbrush, £17.99

If you don’t fancy forking out for a toothbrush (we get it!), you could do much worse than this affordable Colgate model. Its spiral polishing bristles get rid of five times the plaque of a manual toothbrush and it switches itself off after the recommended two-minute brushing time. Our testers liked its quad pacer, which tells you when to move to the next quarter of your mouth, and appreciated the battery indicator and travel cap. It only has one cleaning mode, but it’s a no-nonsense bargain.

Key specifications

  • Brush action: Sonic

  • Number of cleaning modes: 1

  • Features: Two-minute timer with quad pacer

  • Included accessories: Travel cap, charger

9. Best electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth: Oral-B Pro 2 2000N CrossAction Electric Toothbrush, £34.99

This entry-level Oral-B lowers its speed if you start scrubbing too hard, quashing your sensitivity qualms. Our testers praised it across the board, finding it a doddle to use and control. Its round brush head cleaned hard to reach areas effectively, with overall plaque levels much reduced. It’s not pretty, it only has two cleaning modes and the charge drops after only a few days, but it’s hard to argue with its very reasonable price tag.

Key specifications

  • Brush action: Oscillating

  • Number of cleaning modes: 2

  • Features: Charge light, two-minute timer with a quad pacer, pressure sensor

  • Included accessories: Charger

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