The 6 Best Electric Toothbrushes of 2022, Tested by Health

The Oral-B Genius 9600 excelled in our test; it’s easy to use, cleans thoroughly, and has great accessories

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best electric toothbrushes
Health / Tamara Staples

Electric toothbrushes use rotating movements, oscillating technology, or sonic vibrations to help remove bacteria, plaque, and food debris. Many even have features—from pressure sensors to facial recognition—that deliver real-time feedback and provide guidance as you brush. To find the best electric toothbrush for maintaining oral health, we tested 13 models under the supervision of a licensed dentist, evaluating each one for ease of use, functionality, and overall value.

In our tests, the Oral-B Genius 9600 Electric Toothbrush came out on top, thanks to its six cleaning modes, intuitive controls, and thoughtful accessories. We also like the budget-friendly Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100, which has a smart timer and a two-week battery life.

It's important to note that the American Dental Association (ADA) maintains that, when used properly, a manual toothbrush is all you need. Still, the ADA has awarded its Seal of Acceptance to select electric toothbrushes that have proven safe for use through extensive lab testing. And the Journal of Clinical Periodontology found that people who use an electric toothbrush may have healthier gums and experience less tooth decay over time.

Whether you're looking for a basic model or want something with all the bells and whistles, here are the best electric toothbrushes, according to our testing.

Our Recommendations

Best Overall: Oral-B Genius 9600 Electric Toothbrush

Electric Toothbrush
Amazon

Why We Like It: The base is compatible with any Oral-B electric toothbrush head and replacement heads are relatively affordable.

It's Worth Noting: If you aren't interested in features like a pressure sensor or brushing feedback, you'll be paying for features you don't need.

In our test, the Oral-B Genius 9600 Electric Toothbrush ranked best overall after impressing our tester with how easy it was to switch between the cleaning modes and how thoroughly it cleaned her entire mouth—including her tongue. "I loved the round brush head on this toothbrush, which made it easy to get all around my teeth and even into hard-to-reach places at the back of my mouth," our tester said. "I also liked the tongue brushing setting, which was much softer and made it easy to clean my tongue without using a super rough setting."

Using Bluetooth and facial recognition technology, this high-tech toothbrush records your brushing habits and delivers feedback in real time. That way, you don't brush too hard or brush under the recommended time of two minutes—two features our tester appreciated.

It also comes with a base, three brush heads, a sleek travel case with a USB port, and a suction base, which our tester really liked because it kept the brush in place, even on a slippery countertop. Plus, the hard-sided travel case has room for two brush heads and can charge both the brush and your phone at the same time. We also like that you have options when it comes to color: black, rose gold, orchid purple, sakura pink, and white.

Although the toothbrush has a heftier price tag, our tester noted that it's made of quality materials and is designed well. We think that if you intend to use all of the features and accessories—the Bluetooth connectivity, six brushing modes, timers, pressure sensors, detailed feedback from the app, suction cup holder, and multi-use travel case—the price is worth it.

Price at time of publication: $300

Product Details:

  • Features: Built-in timers, position detection, facial recognition, app, Bluetooth connectivity
  • Includes: 3 brush heads, travel case with USB port, charger, base
Electric Toothbrush Testing
Health / Vicky Wasik

Best Budget: Phylian Sonic Electric Toothbrush

Electric Toothbrush
Amazon

Why We Like It: Not only is the Phylian effective at cleaning food from your teeth, it comes with eight brush heads to save you money.

It's Worth Noting: The vibration on this brush may too harsh for people with sensitive teeth.

For the price, our tester noted that the Phylian Sonic Electric Toothbrush was easy to use, highly functional, and effective at cleaning their teeth, all for a fraction of the price on comparable Oral-B and Philips Sonicare options. When brushing, our tester said that she could easily switch between five modes: sensitive, clean, white, polish, and massage. When fully charged, the toothbrush offers 60-days of brushing between charges (a feature we're continuing to test in order to verify).

It also comes with eight flexible brush heads, which, since you should change them out every three months, will last you two years. Our tester appreciated that the built-in timer reminds you to switch sides every 30 seconds—a feature that puts it on the same level as even the most expensive brushes on this list.

We rated the Phylian toothbrush no less than a 4 out of 5 on every attribute, but what stood out most was the overall quality. "It cleaned my teeth and got the sticky dried mango out in a single two-minute brushing session," they said.

Price at time of publication: $19

Product Details:

  • Features: Built-in timer
  • Includes: 8 brush heads, USB charge cord
Electric Toothbrush Testing
Health / Vicky Wasik

Best with Extra Brushheads: AquaSonic Vibe Series Ultra Whitening Toothbrush

Electric Toothbrush
Amazon

Why We Like It: The eight brush heads and travel case are notable accessories.

It's Worth Noting: The toothbrush requires charging before use.

Get the most bang for your buck with the AquaSonic Vibe Series Ultra Whitening Toothbrush. Our tester brushed their teeth for two minutes and noted that the toothbrush was effective at cleaning their teeth even after consuming sticky snacks that got stuck in the deepest corners of her teeth.

We gave this brush top marks for both overall quality and value because it comes with accessories that command a higher price from brands like Oral-B and Philips Sonicare. Impressively, the AquaSonic Vibe includes eight brush heads, a sleek travel case (with storage room for two brush heads), and a charging base and cord.

Our tester gave the AquaSonic Vibe a 5 out of 5 for ease of use, but a 3 for functionality. She noted that it was easy to switch from one brushing mode to another with the push of a button and that the setup was simple. "I ate gummies and dried mango and after a two-minute brushing on the clean setting, my teeth look clean and my breath fresh!" The only hiccup is that you have to charge it before you brush for the first time.

Price at time of publication: $40

Product Details:

  • Features: Notification timer, wireless charging
  • Includes: 8 brush heads, charging stand, travel case
Electric Toothbrush Testing
Health / Vicky Wasik

Best Budget Sonicare: Philips Sonicare 4100

Electric Toothbrush
Amazon

Why We Like It: It's easy to use, cleans teeth thoroughly, and comes with a portable charging stand.

It's Worth Noting: Since the bristles are stiffer, this toothbrush would be best suited for people with little to no teeth sensitivity.

The most affordable toothbrush of the Sonicare rechargeable line, the Philips 4100 has all the features you need to keep your teeth clean. Using pulsing and side-to-side movements, the toothbrush thoroughly cleans your teeth, said one tester. "I felt like it was effectively cleaning my teeth and left them feeling shiny and free of gunk," they said. Our tester was also impressed with the 4100's high-quality feel and how its ergonomic design made it easy to handle.

Overall, the toothbrush scored a 4 or 5 across all attributes, including overall quality and value. One tester said that the price was extremely fair, especially considering how portable the toothbrush was. While the toothbrush doesn't come with a carrying case, "it has a very light and small charger that's easy to transport."

Price at time of publication: $69

Product Details:

  • Features: Built-in timer with alerts every 30 seconds
  • Includes: Charging stand, travel cap, 1 brush head
Electric Toothbrush Testing
Health / Vicky Wasik

Best for Sensitive Teeth: Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean Toothbrush at Bed Bath & Beyond 5100

Electric Toothbrush
Bed Bath & Beyond

Why We Like It: The pressure sensor and strong vibration prevent over brushing and excessive pressure.

It's Worth Noting: The three cleaning modes are a nice addition, but the settings can't be changed while brushing.

If you have sensitive teeth, we recommend the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean Toothbrush. What makes this toothbrush perfect for you if you have sensitive teeth is the pressure sensor, which alerts you when you're using excessive brushing pressure. This feature helps to protect your teeth and gums. Our tester noted that the vibration is stronger than on other models she tested, so "you really don't need to use a lot of pressure."

You can also customize your brushing experience with three settings: clean, white, and gum care, and the pulsing movements will change depending on the mode you choose. One thing to consider is that the modes can't be changed during the middle of brushing. "You have to stop brushing, change the setting, then hit the power button again," our tester noted.

Our tester gave the brush a 3 out of 5 score for portability. Since the toothbrush doesn't come with a carrying case, it may be worth the investment to buy one. "That being said, it has a very light and small charger that's easy to transport."

Price at time of publication: $72

Product Details:

  • Features: Pressure sensor, timer
  • Includes: Charger, 1 brush head
Electric Toothbrush Testing
Health / Vicky Wasik

Best Smart Toothbrush: Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900

Electric Toothbrush
Amazon

Why We Like It: The Prestige 9900 syncs to an app that allows you to track your brushing habits and change settings.

It's Worth Noting: The luxurious feel is nice but it comes with a high price tag.

The Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900 is in a class of its own when it comes to smart technology. Using sensors, the toothbrush identifies your brushing style and provided our tester with subtle, but helpful alerts when she was brushing too hard or scrubbing (the brush will pulse a light and vibrate once, quickly). The bristles are longer, so you can reach hard-to-reach areas, and it comes with a portable leather charging case for your travel needs.

Our tester said the brush was easy to use and scored the brush a 5 out of 5. Not only was it simple to turn on and get brushing, you can also change the intensity levels with a push of a button or on the app. While the app isn't necessary to use the toothbrush, if you choose to use it, you can learn more about your brushing habits, play with brush settings, and change your brushing time.

In terms of overall quality, the Prestige 9900 has few competitors. It includes an attractive leather travel case that can charge the toothbrush, as well as a separate charging stand with its own cord. The colors—champagne, midnight, and pink— are beautiful, if that matters to you. And in a particularly nice design touch, we like that the brush handle has a seamless design (which means no liquid or toothpaste mixed with saliva won't get stuck in any crevices).

The biggest downside, however, is the price. At upwards of $400, we were disappointed that this brush only comes with one brush head (especially when two replacement brush heads cost about $30 for the pair, which is definitely on the steep end of what you'll pay for replacement heads). If you want a luxury toothbrush and will use all of the extra features (most of which are housed in the app), the price tag may be worth it.

Price at time of publication: $380

Product Details:

  • Features: Scrubbing and pressure sensors, 3 brushing intensities, 5 cleaning modes with different timers and alerts, app connectivity
  • Includes: Charging travel case, charging stand, two charge cords, 1 brush head
Electric Toothbrush Testing
Health / Vicky Wasik

Our Testing Process

The Health team tested 13 electric toothbrushes in our testing Lab. Before the initial lab test, each tester consumed sticky foods like dried mango, gummy candy, and caramels. Testers used each toothbrush for a two-minute brushing session and evaluated how effective each brush was at removing food and how clean their teeth felt after brushing under the supervision of Marc Schlenoff, DDS, FAGD.

We also evaluated the toothbrushes based on the following attributes: ease of setup and use, functionality, technology, and overall quality, and narrowed down our list from there. Our testers looked specifically for timing and brushing cues, as well as app functionality.

After the lab tests were complete, we took the top models home for long-term testing. In the coming weeks and months, we'll provide insights on attributes like battery performance, feature functionality, and ease of use over time.

Electric Toothbrush Testing
Health / Vicky Wasik

What to Know About Electric Toothbrushes

Technology & Features

The technology & features vary from brush to brush, and often indicative of the price point. While more inexpensive models may have one brushing mode and a two-minute timer, higher-end models can be outfitted with everything from facial recognition to pressure sensors and Bluetooth connectivity.

  • Built-in timers: This is one of the more basic features on an electric toothbrush. Most on this list have two-minute timers, many with notifications at 20- or 30-second intervals to guide you as you brush your teeth.
  • Brushing modes: According to Dr. Schlenoff, who joined our testers in the lab, a good electric toothbrush will do all the work for you. The sonic vibrations and pulsating movements of the brush head move quickly to remove plaque and debris to clean teeth—all you need to do is place the brush against your gum line and move it around your mouth. To do this effectively, you really only need one brushing mode, but some of the more advanced models offer multiple brushing modes with different intensities. The biggest differentiators will be faster and slower vibrations. The brush manufacturer may label these different modes with words like "whitening" or "gum health". Dr. Schlenoff says this is marketing. The right mode will all come down to your personal preference.
  • Scrubbing and pressure sensors: To get an effective clean, you only need to place the brush against your gum line—you shouldn't apply any pressure to the brush and you don't need to scrub your teeth. Electric toothbrushes with pressure sensors will monitor how much pressure you apply and alert you to ease up. The ones with scrubbing sensors will do the same if they notice you're scrubbing your teeth too much. This will help protect your enamel and gums. Don't worry, your teeth and gums will get perfectly clean without any of that pressure.
  • Bluetooth connectivity and apps: Smart toothbrushes will pair with a companion app to track and store data on your brushing habits. With some of these models, like the Oral-B Genius 9600 Electric Toothbrush and Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900, you'll be able to see how thoroughly you cleaned all of your teeth, how much time you spent in the different quadrants of your mouth, as well as if and when you applied too much pressure or scrubbed too hard. The apps may even give you helpful tips and recommendations to improve your brushing routine. And for many, you can use the apps to change the various settings (such as brushing modes and timer lengths).
  • Brush head replacement indicators: You're supposed to change your brush heads every three months. Some of the more advanced toothbrushes will have replacement reminders and indicators—either on the brush handle or on an accompanying app.

Battery Life

All of the electric toothbrushes on our list are rechargeable and come with charging cords. It's common for electric toothbrushes to last for two to three weeks on a single charge.

Electric Toothbrush Testing
Health / Vicky Wasik

Lifetime Costs

You're supposed to change your toothbrush every three months. When it comes to electric toothbrushes, that means changing your brush head every three months. Most electric toothbrushes come with at least one brush head (but the Phylian Sonic Electric Toothbrush and AquaSonic Vibe Series Ultra Whitening Toothbrush both come with a whopping eight brush heads!). Replacements vary in price by brand and can be as inexpensive as $1-2 per brush head or as pricey as $15 or more per brush head.

Accessories

While accessories are not necessary, having them can save you money and improve your overall experience. For example, some electric toothbrushes come with a charging stand, which can give your toothbrush extra fuel to last several days and even weeks between charges. Others come with travel cases that allow you to take your toothbrush with you wherever you go. Some of the toothbrushes on our list have travel cases that can charge your toothbrush (and even your phone). Whether your toothbrush includes these accessories likely comes down to the brand and how much you're paying.

More Electric Toothbrushes to Consider

We also tested these toothbrushes but ultimately decided not to include them in our list above. They fell short in our test when it came to technology, features, and functionality:

Your Questions, Answered

How often should brush heads be changed?

Experts recommend changing your brush heads every three to four months. That's because bristles start to wear out and become more abrasive on your gums.

How do you pick an electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth?

If you suffer from sensitive teeth or gums, look for toothbrushes that have a sensitivity setting, according to Melissa Seibert, DDS, CEO of the Dental Digest Institute. Some electric toothbrushes have AI technology or pressure sensors that teach you how to brush the right amount and apply the right amount of pressure, says Dr. Seibert. "Brushes with oscillating-rotating technology are a very effective mechanism for delivering a safe, but effective clean," she adds.

To further accommodate sensitive mouths, you can also look for soft or gentle brush heads. Dr. Seibert also recommends using a toothpaste or fluoride or one that has been formulated for sensitive teeth.

How much should you expect to pay for an electric toothbrush?

The price range for electric toothbrushes varies wildly, so what you decide to spend should be based on the features you're looking for and your budget. You can score a basic, no-frills model like our best budget pick, the Phylian Sonic, for less than $20. If you're looking for bells and whistles, you can invest hundreds of dollars in a model like the Oral-B Genius 9600, which has app connectivity for real-time feedback and a premium travel case that charges the toothbrush and your phone. 

Is an electric toothbrush better than a manual toothbrush?

According to Dr. Schlenoff, if used properly, both manual and electric toothbrushes can be effective. He says it's really a matter of personal preference. While they can both do a good job cleaning your teeth, an electric toothbrush comes with smart technology like pressure sensors, facial recognition, and brushing timers. If those features are appealing to you, you may prefer an electric toothbrush.

Who We Are

Receiving her master's degree in public health in 2020, Kayla Hui is a seasoned public health practitioner and health journalist. She has interviewed dozens of experts, reviewed numerous research studies, and tested a plethora of products to deliver well-researched product reviews and roundups. Her goal is to help readers make more informed decisions about their health and well-being.

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