best electric toothbrush

More than a few studies have confirmed the benefits of using an electric toothbrush over manual brushing. It’s safe to say that using an electric toothbrush will help you to remove more plaque and offer greater protection from gum disease. And if it prevents expensive dental work, it’ll more than pay for itself in the long term.

At the top end of the scale, you’ll find smart toothbrushes that – via a connected app – will monitor the way you brush and give you feedback to help improve your technique. But just how well do these work and will they really make a difference to you? You can find out in our reviews.

High-end electric toothbrushes will also give you a number of brushing modes and a sensor to let you know if you’re pressing too hard (a common brushing error).

We’ve tested a range of products to find the best. Our focus has been on smart toothbrushes, although we’ve looked at the more straightforward, non-connected electric toothbrushes as well.

We’ll also provide you with information on battery life, charging times and methods (some brushes will charge via USB), as well as accessories and the price of replacement heads. 

As well as reading the buying advice after our best-of list, you may want to have a look at our round-up of the best electric toothbrush deals for the latest offers. All deals we find will reflect the actual prices that brushes are sold at, rather than the (often inflated) RRPs that retailers like to quote.

1. Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100

2. Oral-B Genius X

Oral-B Genius X

3. Oral-B Genius 9000/8000

Oral-B Genius 9000/8000

4. Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum

Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum

5. Philips Sonicare DiamondClean

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean

6. Sanyei ION-Sei

Sanyei ION-Sei

7. Oral-B Pro 2 2000

Oral-B Pro 2 2000

8. Oral-B Pro 6000 SmartSeries

Oral-B Pro 6000 SmartSeries

9. Colgate E1

Colgate E1

10. Denvio Sonic Plus Toothbrush

Denvio Sonic Plus Toothbrush

Electric and smart toothbrush buying advice


Good electric toothbrushes feature a brushing timer. Not only will this ensure that you brush for the dentist-recommended two minutes, but it’ll alert you every 30 seconds to move on to the next quadrant of your mouth (upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right). Most people tend to spend longer on certain parts of their mouth (typically the front of the teeth) and neglect other areas. 

Cleaning modes

More sophisticated electric toothbrushes feature different modes for specific pats of the mouth or for polishing. Most will have a standard clean setting and a deep-clean mode. Some will have a special setting for brushing the tongue (see below) or for sensitive teeth, while others have a range of speed or intensity settings that can be used in a similar way.

Pressure sensor

They should also boast a pressure sensor to prevent you pushing too hard against your teeth, which can actually damage both the tooth and the gum.

Vigorous over-brushing can wear down the enamel on the teeth, and lead to sensitive teeth and receding gums, exposing the sensitive root area.

Tongue cleaning

Many of us neglect to clean our tongue as part of our dental regime. This is an oversight that can affect your sense of taste and contribute to bad breath. As much as half the bacteria in your mouth reside on your tongue. Look for white areas or desquamation (skin peeling) for signs that your tongue could be healthier.

The Oral-B Genius 9000 has a special tongue-cleaning mode, which is gentler than its tooth-brushing mode. This will eliminate the need for a separate tongue scraper.

Brush head replacement

It’s likely that most of us don’t change our toothbrush heads often enough. Both the Oral-B and Philips smart brushes will alert you when you need to switch to a new brush head. We suspect this is calculated by time since the previous replacement rather than wear.

Battery life

Almost all the products we reviewed charge via a standard two-pin charger. We’d love to see more toothbrushes charge via USB like regular devices (and there are a couple in this list) – but currently most manufacturers, despite their apps, still only think in terms of bathroom charging points.

Judging by battery life, the clear winner is the Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum, which can keep going for up to three weeks between charges (on a twice-daily, two-minute regime). Others typically give you between one and two weeks of battery life.

Electric toothbrush apps

Smart apps

The smart brushes we tested connect with a smartphone app to collect data on each brushing session, point out errors in your technique and help to change your technique.

In practice we found that these apps promised more than they delivered. But there was still a benefit: using an app for a few weeks really focused the reviewer on improving their dental hygiene regime. In other words, if you need help to get out of bad brushing habits, this could be very useful.

We expect such apps to get smarter and more accurate but for now you should use them to perfect your routine rather than expect a surrogate dental hygienist.


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