You don’t have to spend a lot to get the best electric toothbrush – here are the top-scorers from our tests, and the best budget options

electric toothbrushes

Every electric toothbrush will clean your teeth, but some come with features and accessories that can enhance the brushing experience – and add to the price. Here you can read about the best electric toothbrush features on offer, and discover whether they’re worth paying more for. Our round-up of some of the best electric toothbrushes to pass our tough lab tests will also help make the most of your budget. Find the perfect electric toothbrush using our electric toothbrush reviews.

How to buy the best electric toothbrush

When buying an electric toothbrush, important factors to think about include:

Battery life Some electric toothbrushes have a battery that can hold a charge for six weeks, while the worst we’ve tested will provide just over a week of brushing time. Recharging times vary massively, too. The fastest will go from empty to full charge in less than 10 hours, but the slowest will have you waiting over a day-and-a-half before they’re fully charged.

Price Electric toothbrush prices range from less than £10 to over £300. Our reviews can help you save money by showing you the models worth paying more for and the ones that will leave you frustrated and out of pocket. We’ve found Best Buy electric toothbrushes for less than £50.

Brush head There is a wide range of brush heads available, especially among the leading brands Oral-B and Philips Sonicare. They’re each designed to offer a specific type of clean.  See our guide to electric toothbrush brush heads explained for more on this.

Electric toothbrush types explained
Man brushing his teeth

Rotating, sonic, pulsating, oscillating, counter-rotating… there are all sorts of electric toothbrushes available and they all work in slightly different ways.

Rotating – These have a set of bristles that turn. Bristles can be arranged in a circle that rotates, or individual tufts of bristles can spin. Rotating-only brushes are usually the cheapest type of brush you can buy.

Rotating-oscillating – These electric toothbrushes have small, round heads and are one of the most popular brushes in the Oral B range. The head oscillates – rotates in one direction and then the other – around one tooth at a time to sweep away plaque.

Pulsing – Some rotating and rotating-oscillating electric toothbrushes pulsate to make the head move backwards and forwards against teeth while it’s spinning. This helps dislodge plaque and is a technology that’s typically found on pricier rotating brushes.

Counter-oscillating – These electric toothbrushes have the same head shape as oscillating brushes, but the tufts of bristles rotate in different directions simultaneously – with each tuft rotating in the opposite direction to those next to it.

Dual head – As the name implies, these electric toothbrushes combine two heads in one – one part rotates and the other sweeps from side to side. Side to side – Rather than spinning, these toothbrushes sweep from side to side at such high speeds that they vibrate against your teeth. Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes clean in this way.

Sonic and ultrasonic – These are brushes that vibrate at certain high speeds and frequencies to help break down plaque. Manufacturers of sonic brushes claim that they also drive cleaning fluid (a mixture of toothpaste, water and saliva) between teeth to help dislodge plaque. Vibrating brushes are generally more expensive than rotating models.

Best electric toothbrush features to consider

Collection of electric toothbrush heads

Here are the features we think are worth paying more for:

Brushing timer – This helps ensure you brush for a full two minutes, which is the amount of time dentists recommend we spend cleaning our teeth. Some are auto-programmed to only brush for two minutes so you don’t need to think about the time. Others will beep or stutter when it’s time to stop.

Pressure sensor – Brushing too hard can damage your gums and tooth enamel and harsh scrubbing to remove plaque is not necessary – in fact, pushing too hard against your teeth can do more harm than good. Pressure sensors let you know if you’re pressing too hard, with either a light or beeping sound. Some Oral B models will stop pulsing and just rotate if you’re putting too much pressure on your teeth.

Soft-grip handles – The best electric toothbrushes have a soft grip which can make them more comfy to hold and use. Soft-grip handles also lessen the vibrations you feel in your hand while brushing.

Two-minute timer – This is a useful feature that will help you stick to the dentist-recommended two minute brushing time. Some models will also include an interval timer, which beeps every 30 seconds, to remind you to switch to a different quadrant of your mouth and achieve a more even clean.

How much should I spend on an electric toothbrush?

With such a wide range of toothbrushes available at different prices, it can be difficult to decide how much to spend. But don’t be fooled into thinking a higher price means better cleaning. Our reviews reveal that there’s no direct link between price and quality – you can pay less than £50 for a Best Buy, or over £100 for an electric toothbrush that doesn’t reach that level. Unless you find these brushes on offer, the price can be eye watering. But what benefits are there to paying more?

  Brushing modes and heads – varied modes and heads can give you a tailored brushing experience. From those designed for whitening or sensitive teeth, to those aimed at people wearing braces, high-end brushes often come with a choice.

Smart functionality – connect the toothbrush with a smartphone app that allows you to see exactly where you’re brushing, and get real-time guidance to achieve better brushing results.

Accessories – travel cases or glass tumblers that double as chargers are just two of the fancy accessories available when you pay more. If you’re not interested in these sorts of features, and just want something simple but effective, we’ve found plenty of good toothbrushes for £50 or less.

  How long will my electric toothbrush battery last?

There’s a big difference in how long rechargeable batteries last. In our tests we found the best lasted for more than 184 minutes – that’s about six and a half weeks of brushing twice a day for two minutes before you’d need to top up the power.

But others won’t last as long – we found the least powerful brush needed recharging after just 16 brushes. Before you buy your electric toothbrush it’s worth considering how often you’re likely to charge it.

If you plan to keep the charger readily to hand and the battery constantly topped up then it’s less important to choose a model with a powerful battery. But if you prefer to keep the charger packed away, or you want to take your brush with you on long trips without the charger, look for a toothbrush with a long-lasting battery.

How often should I replace the brush head?
Electric toothbrush heads

You will need to replace electric toothbrush heads once the bristles are worn. Replacements are pricey and worth buying in multi-packs to keep the cost down. Most Oral B and Philips Sonicare brushes can be used with a range of different brush heads. These are designed to give a more specific clean, ie. whitening, flossing or multi-directional cleaning. They’re almost always more expensive than a standard brush head. Read more about electric toothbrush brush heads.

How we uncover the best electric toothbrushes

We carry out a set of ease-of-use assessments to find the electric toothbrushes that will make cleaning your teeth as stress-free as possible. We look at how easy the brush head is to attach and detach, how comfortable the toothbrush feels in the mouth, how clear the instructions are, and how it feels in the hand.

We take our testing seriously and each electric toothbrush we review goes through a full gamut of thorough tests at an independent lab. We focus on how good a toothbrush is at cleaning, how long the battery lasts and how easy it is to use.

We have a panel of triallists clean their teeth multiple times with every electric toothbrush we review, and we collect more than 2,200 before and after plaque readings to find out which toothbrushes get rid of the most. Ever experienced the slightly ridiculous feeling you get when manual brushing with an electric toothbrush that has no charge?

Well then, you’ll appreciate the importance of finding a model with a reliable battery. We test to see how many two-minute brushes you’ll get from a fully charged battery and check exactly how long each battery takes to recharge, too.

Electric Toothbrush Reviews

Oral B Pro 2000 CrossAction review

£35.00Typical price

Test scoreShow Context

78%
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verdict: Great where it counts

A build-up of plaque is no match for this electric toothbrush, as it’s great at cleaning teeth. You’ll have to have to top up the battery quite often, though. It’s been a while since we tested this model, but it’s still widely available and is a good choice.

Pros
  • Cleans well
  • Brush head is easy to change
  • Feels more comfortable and is quieter than some brushes
Cons
  • Battery doesn’t last long between charges

Oral B Pro 2 2000N CrossAction review

Test scoreShow Context

78%
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verdict: A very good electric toothbrush

This brush delivers results where it counts. It tackles plaque with ease and is pleasant to brush with.

Pros
  • Cleans well
  • Battery recharges quite quickly
  • Easy to change the brush heads
  • More comfy to brush with than some
Cons
  • Battery could last longer

    Oral B Pro 2 2500N CrossAction review

    Test scoreShow Context

    78%

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     verdict: A great choice

    This brush delivers results where it counts. It tackles plaque with ease and is pleasant to brush with.

    Pros
    • Cleans well
    • Battery recharges quite quickly
    • Easy to change the brush heads
    • More comfy to brush with than some
    • Travel case included
    Cons
    • Battery could last longer

      Oral B SmartSeries 4000 CrossAction review

      Test scoreShow Context

      77%

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      verdict: A sound choice

      This electric toothbrush does well at removing plaque and has some interesting features, but its poor battery could leave you frustrated. This isn’t one of Oral-B’s latest models, but it’s still widely available.

      Pros
      • Cleans well
      • Easy to detach and reattach brush head
      • Good brushing instructions
      Cons
      • Battery isn’t great
      • Takes long to recharge

        Foreo Issa 2 Cool Black review

        £119.00Typical price

        Test scoreShow Context

        76%

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        verdict: Impressive

        This impressive electric toothbrush does a very good job of removing plaque and has a superb long-lasting battery. But the large brush head might feel awkward in the mouth for some.

        Pros
        • Cleans well
        • Battery lasts for months between charges
        • Fully recharges in just a couple of hours
        Cons
        • Not as comfortable to brush with as some others
        • Expensive
        • No pressure sensor

        Oral B Vitality CrossAction review

        Test scoreShow Context

        76%
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        verdict: A high-performing budget option

        A build-up of plaque is no match for this electric toothbrush, as it’s great at cleaning teeth. You’ll have to top up the battery quite often, though. It’s not one of the latest models on the market, but it’s still widely available and remains one of the best cheap electric toothbrushes around.

        Pros
        • Cleans well
        • Easy to use
        • Clear instructions
        Cons
        • Battery doesn’t last long between charges
        • Takes ages to recharge

          Oral B Vitality Plus CrossAction review

          Test scoreShow Context

          76%

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          verdict: A high-performing budget option

          A build-up of plaque is no match for this electric toothbrush, as it’s great at cleaning teeth. You’ll have to top up the battery quite often, though. It’s not one of the latest models on the market, but it’s still widely available and remains one of the best cheap electric toothbrushes around.

          Pros
          • Cleans well
          • Easy to use
          • Clear instructions
          Cons
          • Battery doesn’t last long between charges
          • Takes ages to recharge
          • No battery level indicator

          Oral B Vitality Plus White & Clean review

          Test scoreShow Context

          72%

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          verdict: Worth a look

          This electric toothbrush is better at removing plaque than several more expensive rivals. The battery is unimpressive, though. It’s not one of the latest models on the market, but it’s still widely available and remains among the better cheap electric toothbrushes.

          Pros
          • Good at removing plaque
          • Easy to change the brush head
          Cons
          • Battery doesn’t last long between charges
          • Slow to recharge

          Colgate Proclinical 250R Deep Clean review

          Test scoreShow Context

          71%

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          verdict: Worth considering

          This brush will clean your teeth OK, but isn’t quite as good at cleaning as some other models in our latest tests. The battery life is good, though, and it recharges more quickly than almost every toothbrush we’ve ever tested.

          Pros
          • Good battery life means you won’t need to recharge for around three weeks
          • One of the fastest-charging electric toothbrushes on the market
          • Lightweight and easy to change the brush heads
          Cons
          • Not quite as good at removing plaque as some
          • Brushing instructions not very clear
          • No pressure sensor

            Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4300 review

            Test scoreShow Context

            87%
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            verdict: Phenomenal

            Quite simply fantastic. Brilliant at plaque removal and has one of the longest-running batteries in any electric toothbrush we’ve tested. A very worthy Best Buy, albeit a fairly pricey one.

            Pros
            • Excellent at removing plaque
            • Battery lasts for more than six weeks between charges
            • Quick to recharge
            Cons
            • Expensive

            Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 review

            £105.00Typical price

            Test scoreShow Context

            86%
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            verdict: Fantastic

            This brush excels where it counts. It tackles plaque with ease and has a battery that will last for weeks before it needs recharging. It has lots of useful extras, but they make this toothbrush expensive.

            Pros
            • Excellent at removing plaque
            • Battery lasts for weeks between charges
            • Quick to recharge
            Cons
            • Pricey

            Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 review

            £105.00Typical price

            Test scoreShow Context

            86%
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            verdict: Fantastic

            This brush excels where it counts. It tackles plaque with ease and has a battery that will last for weeks before it needs recharging. It has lots of useful extras, but they make this toothbrush expensive.

            Pros
            • Excellent at removing plaque
            • Battery lasts for weeks between charges
            • Quick to recharge
            Cons
            • Pricey

            Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900 HX9992/12 review

            Test scoreShow Context

            84%

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            verdict: Excellent but extremely pricey

            This Best Buy electric toothbrush has an array of smart features and functions to help you achieve a better brushing experience. It does a great job of removing plaque and has a long-lasting battery, but comes with a jaw-dropping price.

            Pros
            • Effective at removing plaque
            • Battery recharges quickly
            • Features a wide range of cleaning modes
            • Pressure sensor and two-minute timer
            • Smart features can help you achieve better brushing habits
            • USB charging travel case included
            Cons
            • Very expensive
            • Battery needs recharging sooner than some other Best Buys
            • Quieter models available

            Oral B Smart 5 5000 review

            Test scoreShow Context

            84%
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            verdict: Great at cleaning teeth

            This impressive electric toothbrush has plenty of features to help enhance your dental-hygiene routine. The battery could be improved, but it’s still a Best Buy.

            Pros
            • Cleans well
            • Features a varied range of cleaning modes and brush heads
            • Easy to change the brush heads
            • More comfy to brush with than some
            • Smartphone app compatible
            Cons
            • Battery doesn’t hold charge for as long as some
            • Recharging time not among the best

              Oral B Genius 8000 review

              Test scoreShow Context

              83%
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              verdict: Impressive but expensive

              This smartphone-compatible electric toothbrush comes with a host of unique functions and brushing modes. It will do a super job of cleaning your teeth, but comes with a hefty price tag.

              Pros
              • Effective at removing plaque
              • Easy to use
              • Features a varied range of cleaning modes and brush heads
              Cons
              • Expensive

            Oral B Genius 9000 Black review

            Test scoreShow Context

            83%

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            verdict: Impressive but expensive

            With a host of unique functions and features, this Best Buy electric toothbrush takes personal dental care into the future. It will do a super job of cleaning your teeth, but comes with a hefty price tag.

            Pros
            • Effective at removing plaque
            • Easy to use
            • Features a varied range of cleaning modes and brush heads
            Cons
            • Expensive

            Oral B Genius 9000 White review

            Test scoreShow Context

            83%
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             verdict: Impressive but expensive

            With a host of unique functions and features, this Best Buy electric toothbrush takes personal dental care into the future. It will do a super job of cleaning your teeth, but comes with a hefty price tag.

            Pros
            • Effective at removing plaque
            • Easy to use
            • Features a varied range of cleaning modes and brush heads
            Cons
            • Expensive

            Oral B Genius 9000s review

            Test scoreShow Context

            83%
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            verdict: Impressive but expensive

            With a host of unique functions and features, this Best Buy electric toothbrush will do a super job of cleaning your teeth, but comes with a hefty price tag.

            Pros
            • Effective at removing plaque
            • Easy to use
            • Features a varied range of cleaning modes and brush heads
            Cons
            • Expensive
            • Not as quiet as som

            Oral B Pro 3 3000 CrossAction White review

            Test scoreShow Context

            83%

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            verdict: Great where it counts

            A build-up of plaque is no match for this electric toothbrush, as it’s great at cleaning teeth. We’ve seen longer lasting and faster charging batteries, though.

            Pros
            • Cleans well
            • Pressure sensor
            • Three brushing modes
            Cons
            • Mediocre battery life
            • Takes quite a while to fully recharge

            Philips Sonicare ExpertClean 7300 HX9611/22 review

            Test scoreShow Context

            82%

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            verdict: Another winner from Philips Sonicare

            This excellent Best Buy electric toothbrush will do a great job cleaning your teeth and the battery holds its charge for a decent time too. It’s a solid option if you want some smart functionality and a bunch of features without completely breaking the bank.

            Pros
            • Effective at removing plaque
            • Battery holds its charge for a good time before it needs to be recharged
            • Doesn’t take ages to recharge
            • Multiple cleaning modes and intensities provide a range of brushing options
            • Brush head replacement reminder system
            • Connects to Philips Sonicare app so you can improve your brushing habits
            • USB charging travel case included
            Cons
            • Not cheap
            • Instructions could be more comprehensive
            • No real-time brushing feedback in the app as found with the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart range