If you want to brush up on your oral hygiene routine and make those pearly whites sparkle, then an electric toothbrush is a must. When used correctly, an electric toothbrush can help whiten teeth and remove plaque faster and more efficiently than a manual toothbrush.

Alongside the standard brushing motions, many electric toothbrushes have additional features and accessories, such as timers and different cleaning modes, to give you the best clean possible. However, these features can influence the price of an electric toothbrush, so it’s important to know what you can get for your money.


So, if you’re thinking of swapping out your manual toothbrush for an electric one, keep reading to find out everything you need to know.

What should I look for when shopping for electric toothbrushes?

When looking for the right electric toothbrush for you, there are many things to consider. But with so many different brands and models available, choosing the right one can feel like a challenge.

Electric toothbrush heads

Electric toothbrush head
Many electric toothbrushes offer a variety of cleaning modes.

The usual movements of an electric toothbrush are rotating or vibrating at different speeds.

Rotating heads – most commonly found on the cheaper, more basic models, rotating heads work to clean one tooth at a time. With bristles that spin either individually or together, they can also change direction to give you a better clean. More expensive brands with rotating heads sometimes also have a pulsating function, which helps remove even more stubborn plaque.

Vibrating heads – usually labelled as ‘sonic’ or ‘ultrasonic’, these electric toothbrushes are typically more expensive than their rotating competitors. They work by moving side-to-side at high speeds to sweep away plaque from your teeth. The super fast motion of the vibrating brush head also forces water and toothpaste between teeth for a deeper clean in less time.

Battery life

Most electric toothbrushes are powered by built-in, non-removable batteries, although a few cheaper models operate on standard AA batteries. The battery life of an electric toothbrush varies depending on the model, speed and features. The battery life on a few premium electric toothbrushes may last up to six weeks between charges (if used the recommended twice a day). However, many models’ battery life typically lasts two to three weeks between charges.

Additional features

Many electric toothbrush brands include additional features. The more features an electric toothbrush has, the more expensive they tend to be compared to cheaper models with a single cleaning mode and brush head. Some top-of-the-range premium models even have Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to wirelessly connect your electric toothbrush to an app, providing feedback on your brushing.

What features should my electric toothbrush have?

Different models and brands of electric toothbrushes come equipped with a variety of features. Basic models may only have a single cleaning mode and detachable head, while more premium models offer multiple cleaning modes and additional accessories. When buying an electric toothbrush, it’s important to understand what features are available to make the purchase that’s right for you and your budget.

Cleaning modes – many electric toothbrush brands offer a range of cleaning modes, including deep clean, daily polishing, sensitive, and massage cleaning modes. To perform these cleaning modes effectively and to better fit the area being cleaned, the toothbrush head can change between oscillating, rotating, vibrating and pulsating motions.

Brushing timer – dentists recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes, and to help ensure you stay the course, many electric toothbrushes include a timer. Some models beep when the allotted time is complete, while others will turn themselves off after two minutes.

Interval timer – many electric toothbrushes come with an interval timer to help ensure your entire mouth is thoroughly cleaned. The brush will beep or buzz every 30 seconds to prompt you to move on to clean another section of your mouth.

Pressure sensor – brushing your teeth too hard or for too long can damage your gums, causing them to recede over time. Many electric toothbrushes have a pressure sensor that lets you know if you are applying too much pressure when brushing. This usually involves a flashing light or a louder buzzing noise.

Soft-grip handles – most electric toothbrushes have soft-grip handles for a more comfortable brushing experience.

Replacement heads – toothbrush heads wear down or split with use over time, and it’s recommended that you replace them every three to six months. But replacement heads can be expensive, so before selecting a specific brand or model of an electric toothbrush, look into how much the replacement heads will cost, their availability and if they’re available in a multipack to reduce costs.

Changing electric toothbrush heads

Power charger – an electric toothbrush’s most essential accessory is a power charger. Rechargeable models usually come with a stand charger that plugs into the mains or a USB port for when the battery runs out. More basic models may run on easily-replaceable AA batteries. Some brands may even have a cable for the power charger to be plugged into bathroom wall sockets.

Travel case – an easy and hygienic way to take your electric toothbrush with you wherever you go.

The best 5 electric toothbrushes on the market

OralB iO6 electric toothbrush

Labelled as providing OralB’s “best ever clean”, the iO6 uses AI technology to recognise your teeth brushing habits and tailors its prompts and cleaning modes to match, ensuring you get a professional-level clean every time. The iO6 comes with five smart cleaning modes – Daily Clean, Sensitive, Gum Care, Intense Clean and Whitening, which OralB claims will deliver “100% healthier gums” in one week. Its interactive display shows helpful information, such as which cleaning mode is being used, when to replace the brush head and a pixellated smiley face for a job well done.

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Philips Sonicare Advance Whitening electric toothbrush

Promising “whiter teeth in one week of use”, the Philips Sonicare Advance Whitening electric toothbrush has four cleaning modes (Clean, White+, Gum Health and Deep Clean+) at three intensities. With Bluetooth connectivity, the toothbrush’s smart sensors connect with the official app and help you stick to your brushing routine, improving your oral health in just two weeks with tips and alerts. With a chargeable travel case and four additional brush heads, it’s easy to keep your Sonicare Advance electric toothbrush clean and in perfect condition.

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PHYLIAN sonic electric toothbrush

With 60-day battery life, fast charge capabilities, unique W-shaped bristles, 40,000 vibrations per minute and five cleaning modes, the PHYLIAN sonic electric toothbrush provides a deep clean, removing plaque and staining. Its two-minute timer also reminds you every 30 seconds to move to the next area of your mouth to clean. At the same time, you can tailor the type of clean you want with its interchangeable cleaning modes – Sensitive, Cleaning, Whitening, Polishing and Massage. Guaranteed to last at least 24 months with eight additional brush heads, this electric toothbrush qualifies as a bargain.

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OralB Pro 3 electric toothbrush

Removing up to 100% more plaque than manual brushing, the Pro 3 has 360-degree pressure sensors that alert you if you’re brushing too hard, a two-minute timer and three cleaning modes – Daily Clean, Whitening and Sensitive. Its round brush head surrounds each tooth for a deeper clean and gently cleans your gums at the same time. With a small charger, two-week battery life and travel case, it makes the perfect practical gift on a medium budget.

Oral-B Pro 3 Electric Toothbrushes For Adults, Valentines Day Gifts For Him / Her, 1 3D White...
  • REMOVE UP TO 100% MORE PLAQUE even in hard-to-reach areas for HEALTHIER GUMS (vs. a manual toothbrush) with Oral-B's deep-cleaning 3in1 technology
  • PROTECT YOUR GUMS with the special Sensitive cleaning mode and 360⁰ VISIBLE GUM PRESSURE CONTROL that lights up when brushing too hard
  • MAXIMISE CLEANING performance with 3 EASY-TO-USE CLEANING MODES + a handle-integrated quadrant timer that alerts you every 30 seconds to change your brushing zone

Last update on 2024-02-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Oclean X Pro electric toothbrush

Waterproof with three modes, a smart timer and an LCD touchscreen, the Oclean X Pro can deliver 42,000 brush strokes per minute for a powerful and thorough deep clean. The three cleaning modes are adjustable from an intensity of one to 32, and the Oclean app offers 14 pre-made cleaning programmes to fit your preferences. The X Pro automatically generates brushing reports that are automatically sent to the app, scoring your cleaning, time spent and any spots you missed. Fully chargeable in two hours and lasting 30 days between charges, this is the reliable choice for homebodies and those who love to travel.

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