The best electric toothbrushes for healthier, whiter, cleaner teeth

fitness

(Image credit: Future / Oral-B)

Editor’s note: December 2022

fitness

Electric toothbrushes are always super-popular purchases all through November and December as people buy for the holidays, and you can often find heavy discounts on (admittedly inflated) prices.   

The Oral-B iO series is a great buy if money’s no object, but the best discounts are often squarely in the middle of the range, such as Oral-B’s Genius X AI brush, which tends to run a little cheaper.

 These are the kinds of brushes that receive the best value discounts, and you can often snap them up for half of their suggested retail price. However, Ordo Sonic+ or Colgate Hum are solid budget picks if you just want a basic sonic toothbrush without the bells and whistles. 

Your call! Pick the best electric toothbrush for your budget, which can be a fairly simple sonic model providing your teeth aren’t extremely sensitive, you’ve got braces, or you have another reason to need a pressure-sensitive model.

Matt Evans, fitness and wellbeing editor

Choosing the best electric toothbrush is no simple task. Your toothbrush determines the future of your dental hygiene, and can even dictate your brushing behavior. Advancements in sonic and oscillating technology offer clinically-proven improvements to how we clean our teeth, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get the most out of any old electric toothbrush. 

Manual toothbrushes are becoming increasingly obsolete, especially now we know that electric tools are proven to improve your oral health habits. For example, you may benefit from a brush with an in-built timer to make sure you’re brushing for long enough, or a companion app to ensure you brush more thoroughly, hitting all the right ‘zones’ inside your mouth. 

This is why many peer-reviewed studies like this one have found that electric brushes are more effective than ordinary brushes at removing sticky plaque and preventing gum disease. But, with so many models and brands, how do you know if you’ve chosen the right tool for the job? Reading our comprehensive guide below can ensure you’re selecting the right brush to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. 

We’ve tested a wide variety of different toothbrushes, from relatively simple oscillating brushes right through to ones that work in the same way as the best fitness trackers or the best smart scales: by encompassing a smart element or integrating an app into their design. The best electric toothbrushes we picked below allow you to track your brushing sessions, monitor your progress, and receive alerts to remind you to brush regularly.

The best electric toothbrush 2022

fitness

(Image credit: Future)

1. Oral-B iO Series 10

The best overall electric toothbrush

Specifications

Modes: 7

Sensors: Pressure, direction

Alerts: Brush timer, brush head replacement

Heads: 1

Extras: Travel case, charger, brush head case

Reasons to buy

+

Thorough cleaning

+

Quiet, smooth action

+

Real-time smart feedback

+

Detailed brushing reports

Reasons to avoid

Expensive replacement heads

The Oral-B iO Series 10 takes our award for the best electric toothbrush, thanks to its valuable smart tech and real-time feedback that encourages you to improve your brushing technique. This is done with a neat chipset that calculates the position of the brush in your mouth, allowing it to read your technique and nudge you to thoroughly clean each “zone” of your mouth. 

We found the brush to be very quiet (much more so than a typical oscillating brush) and felt smooth as you work your way around your mouth. The in-built pressure sensor not only warns you if you’re pressing too hard, but also if you’re not applying enough pressure to get a good clean, helping you achieve an optimum result. The dock itself will connect to WiFi to display the time and date.

Once done, the Series 10’s bright color display will rate your brushing, and show the battery life remaining on the brush. It’s a quick way to get feedback on your technique, and surprisingly motivating, but for more in-depth guidance you can turn to the Oral-B app, which has heat maps of your mouth to show how thorough your clean was. This is updated in real-time. 

The downside of the Oral-B iO Series is that it’s one of the most expensive electric toothbrushes around, though its price has dropped significantly in the months since its release and you can now pick it up far more cheaply. Additional brush heads are also pricey. If your budget can stand it, though, this is an extremely well-designed electric toothbrush that will have a real impact on how you clean your teeth, and will help set you up with better habits that can have a long-term effect on your oral health.

Read our full Oral-B iO Series 10 review

fitness

(Image credit: Matt Evans)

2. Colgate Hum Smart Rhythm

The best smart electric toothbrush if you’re on a budget

Specifications

Modes: 2

Sensor: Pressure

Alerts: Timer

Heads: 1

Extras: Batteries and travel case

Reasons to buy

+

Good design

+

Interfaces with Colgate app

+

Super-low price

Reasons to avoid

Batteries need replacing

‘Points’ rewards system is deceptive

The Colgate Hum Smart Rhythmic Sonic toothbrush is the cheapest brush on our guide, and a great way to pick up a smart toothbrush for less. It interfaces with the Colgate app on your phone, which can tell when the brush is turned on, and guides you through cleaning the zones of your mouth for a more effective, thorough clean.

It’s not a true smart brush like the above Oral-B, as it has no sensor to detect mouth position, but it will flash if you put too much pressure on your gums and has both regular and sensitive modes. For thirty dollars, or the equivalent? It’s excellent.

The brush comes with a travel case and AAA batteries. its biggest downside is the need to replace batteries, along with brush heads, every few months, which isn’t particularly eco-friendly nor cost-effective in the long run. However, each replacement will last at least three months, as the brush isn’t particularly power-hungry. If you’re looking to travel frequently and want a spare toothbrush, or you’re looking for an affordable way to start smart-cleaning, this is the brush for you.  

Read our full Colgate Hum Smart Rhythm review

fitness

(Image credit: Future)

3. Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige

The best premium electric toothbrush for frequent travelers

Specifications

Modes: 5

Sensor: Pressure, direction

Alerts: Timer, pressure, scrubbing

Heads: 1

Extras: Travel case, charger, cable, brush head cap

Reasons to buy

+

Highly customizable

+

Real-time brushing guidance

+

Extremely quiet

Reasons to avoid

Expensive for a smart brush

Heavily reliant on mobile app

The Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige is another impressive electric toothbrush designed to improve your technique long-term by monitoring your brushing and giving real-time feedback. If you make too much of a scrubbing action, the app will display an alert advising you to reduce your movements, and the handle will buzz gently. Press too hard, and the handle will pause, then resume with lower intensity in reaction to your technique.

The Sonicare app monitors the brush’s position in your mouth, helping ensure you clean every surface thoroughly, with on-screen graphics and timers to ensure you don’t miss a spot. The app is less kid-friendly than the Oral-B equivalent and won’t shower you with emojis and awards for a job well done, but it will give you personalized tips, track your brushing technique and allow you to monitor it over time.

It’s a seriously stylish electric toothbrush, too, with a sleek, minimalist design and chic carry case to keep it charged on the go. It’s also the quietest electric toothbrush we’ve tested to date, emitting only a subtle hum.

The only downside is that there are no controls for adjusting modes or choosing an intensity setting on the brush itself. Instead, all the customization is done through the mobile app. That’s not an issue once you’ve set it to your exact preferences, though; provided you don’t like to switch modes on the fly, it’s a superb brush.

Read our full Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige review

fitness

(Image credit: Future)

4. Ordo Sonic+

Another superb budget electric toothbrush

Specifications

Modes: 4

Sensor: None

Alerts: Timer

Heads: 1

Extras: Brush head cover

Reasons to buy

+

Premium design

+

Good value subscription packs

+

Gentle sonic cleaning

Reasons to avoid

No shaver socket adapter

No pressure sensor

The Ordo Sonic+ works on the same principle as Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes, sending rapid pulses of water between teeth to dislodge sticky plaque, but in our tests we found it delivered a more gentle clean – something helped further by its soft bristles, which help avoid damage to your gums.

This isn’t a smart toothbrush – there’s no Bluetooth connectivity or smartphone app – but it’s very impressive for the price. Not only does it have a premium design that’s just as smart as a top-end brush from the likes or Oral-B, but during our test we found it held its charge for weeks, cleaned thoroughly, and could be supplemented by great value subscription packs containing mouthwash concentrate, toothpaste, replacement heads, and dental floss.

These packs also include three packages of interdental brushes that, combined with the gentle brushing action and small head, make the Ordo Sonic+ a particularly good choice for anyone with braces. There’s no need to worry about damaging wires or brackets.

Our only real complaint about the Ordo Sonic+ is that its charger has a USB connector, but no adapter for a standard shaver socket. There’s no pressure sensor either, but aside from that, it’s a superb option if you’re looking for an entry-level electric toothbrush that doesn’t skimp on features or performance.

Read our full Ordo Sonic+ review

fitness

(Image credit: Future)

5. Oral-B iO Series 6

More affordable than the iO Series 9, but just as effective

Specifications

Modes: 7

Sensors: Pressure, direction

Alerts: Brush timer, brush head replacement

Heads: 1

Extras: Travel case, charger, brush head case

Reasons to buy

+

Near-silent motor

+

Real-time feedback

+

Smart pressure sensor

+

More affordable than Series 9

Reasons to avoid

Very basic travel case

If the Oral-B iO Series 9 is a little beyond your budget, this is an excellent alternative. The Oral-B iO Series 6 is essentially the same as the top-end brush but with a lower price tag, thanks to fewer fancy accessories.

The iO Series 6 has the same near-frictionless magnetic motor as the Series 9, resulting in a quiet and effective cleaning action. The toothbrush also has the same intelligent pressure sensor, plus an accelerometer to detect its position as you brush. Install the Oral-B app on your phone, and you can get real-time feedback as you make your way around your mouth.

The main difference between the two is the travel case. While the Series 9 has a luxurious case that’ll keep your brush charged while you’re on the road, the Series 6 has a much more basic plastic holder. The charger is also different; rather than a stylish magnetic puck, it’s a standard charger that holds the brush in place using a prong that fits into a recess in the handle. We found it easy to use and very secure, even though the case and charger don’t look as good as their premium sibling.

It’s not quite as chic. However, if you want a brilliant toothbrush and aren’t a frequent traveler, it’s one of the best options around.

Read our full Oral-B iO Series 6 review

fitness

(Image credit: Future)

6. Oral-B Genius X

A smart toothbrush that you can use with or without an app

Specifications

Modes: 6

Sensor: Pressure, direction

Alerts: Timer

Heads: 1

Extras: App support

Reasons to buy

+

Works well with or without app

+

Very accurate position detection

+

Excellent charging case

Reasons to avoid

Rather noisy

May be too vigorous

If you’re not sure whether you’ll make full use of a ‘smart’ electric toothbrush but you’re interested in the idea, the Oral-B Genius X could be the perfect choice for you. The Oral-B app tracks the brush’s location in your mouth with impressive accuracy, helping ensure you clean each surface thoroughly before moving on to the next, and once you’re done, you’ll receive a score for your efforts. It’s a handy way to keep you motivated (or encourage kids to brush more thoroughly), but the Genius X also works exceptionally well without it.

Whether you’re using the app or not, the pressure sensor will alert you if you begin pressing too hard, helping avoid gum damage. The brush vibrates when it’s time to switch to the next part of your mouth and powers off after two minutes by default. 

In our tests, it gave a good, thorough clean on the everyday setting, though it’s pretty vigorous, so we’d recommend trying out the sensitive mode first to see how you find it; you might not need to try the more intense settings. The brush’s well-designed charging case is another highlight worth mentioning and offers a choice of charging options to keep your brush powered up on the move.

The Oral-B Genius X doesn’t have the advanced frictionless magnetic motor of the iO Series 9, which means it’s a little noisier. However, it’s still an excellent electric toothbrush. 

Read our full Oral-B Genius X review

fitness

(Image credit: Future)

7. Oclean X Pro Elite

A powerful electric toothbrush that’s astonishingly quiet

Specifications

Modes: 4 on brush, 12 in app

Sensor: Direction

Alerts: Timer

Heads: 1

Extras: App support

Reasons to buy

+

Extremely quiet

+

Thorough cleaning action

+

Responsive touchscreen

Reasons to avoid

Confusing mobile app

No shaver socket plug

The Oclean X Pro Elite is the quietest electric toothbrush we’ve tested. In fact, when you close your mouth, it’s barely audible – but don’t let that fool you. This is still a powerful sonic toothbrush that delivers thorough cleaning on par with much more expensive brushes.

It’s well designed, too. A bright touchscreen display built into the brush handle allows you to choose from various modes and intensity settings, with a timer that counts down as you brush. It works surprisingly well with wet hands and is more intuitive than pushing a series of physical buttons.

The Oclean X Pro Elite might not come with a charging case (the simple carry case supplied with our review unit is sold separately), but at an extremely reasonable price of $99.99 / £75 / AU$141 for the handle and one head, it’s hard to complain.

Unfortunately, the brush doesn’t come with a charging cable or adapter for a regular shaver socket – only a USB connector – and the mobile app is excessively confusing. Whereas Philips and Oral-B have created apps that are as simple as possible, Oclean overwhelms the user with a barrage of options that should have been pared back.

The X Pro Elite is an excellent brush by itself (it really is astonishingly quiet). But, in our opinion, it’s best when used without its ‘smart’ functionality.

Read our full Oclean X Pro Elite review

Electric toothbrush FAQs

How to choose the best electric toothbrush for you

When choosing an electric toothbrush, the most important factor to consider is its effectiveness at removing plaque. The difference is sometimes small, but the brush heads’ design, the motor’s power, and the type of movement (oscillating or sonic vibration) can all have an effect. The most powerful or fastest vibrating/oscillating brush isn’t necessarily the best, though, particularly for people with sensitive gums. If that’s you, for a brush with a ‘gentle’ mode, which will dial down the intensity.

It’s also important to consider whether you want something that will help you improve your technique or you’re confident that you’re doing a thorough job. Most premium electric toothbrushes (such as the Oral-B iO Series 9 and Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige) include position sensors and Bluetooth units that detect which part of your mouth you’re currently brushing and provide real-time feedback in a smartphone app. That could be extremely useful if you’re concerned that you’re missing spots (something that your dentist may have pointed out), but it adds to the cost.

Another factor is how frequently you travel. Most of the electric toothbrushes we’ve tested come with a travel case, but the higher-end brushes have cases with rechargeable batteries, so your brush doesn’t run flat during long trips away. A typical electric toothbrush won’t need charging more than once a week, so if you’re rarely away from home longer than that, you could save money by skipping the fancy case.

Noise is another consideration that’s easy to overlook and tends to correlate with price; a cheap electric toothbrush might be effective, but paying more will get you a higher-end motor that won’t wake a sleeping partner in the morning.

Is an sonic or oscillating toothbrush better?

There are two different kinds of motion in most modern electric toothbrushes; sonic and oscillating. 

Sonic toothbrushes are engineered to vibrate the brush filaments from side to side, and often resemble manual brushes with oval or diamond-shaped heads. These brushes are capable of vibrating up to ~40,000 per minute, depending on the model   –  meaning they move more rapidly than oscillating toothbrushes. Powerful vibrations force toothpaste and fluid between the teeth, granting a more comprehensive clean. 

Oscillating toothbrushes feature rotating and pulsating round brush heads  that can rotate up to ~8,000 times per minute, depending on the model. While they’re slower in this department, oscillating toothbrushes benefit from the rotating head, which is fantastic for fighting plaque.

As of writing, no clinical evidence suggests either type of toothbrush is definitively better for your dental hygiene.

How we test

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

We test each electric toothbrush by using it twice a day for two weeks, brushing for two minutes morning and night, then using a disclosing tablet at the end of weeks one and two. Disclosing tablets help to reveal how much plaque remains on our teeth after our final brushing session by coating your teeth with a harmless dye. If the toothbrush has a smartphone app, then we use that to guide our brushing.

We compare the results against a benchmark set by using a disclosing tablet after cleaning with a manual toothbrush for two weeks. 

Matt Evans

Fitness & Wellbeing Editor

Matt is TechRadar’s expert on all things fitness and wellness. A former staffer at Men’s Health, he holds a Master’s Degree in journalism from Cardiff and has written for brands like Runner’s World, Women’s Health, Men’s Fitness, LiveScience and Fit&Well on everything fitness tech, exercise, nutrition and mental wellbeing.

Matt’s a keen runner, ex-kickboxer, not averse to the odd yoga flow, and insists everyone should stretch every morning. When he’s not training or writing about health and fitness, he can be found reading doorstop-thick fantasy books with lots of fictional maps in them.

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