Skip links

Best Electric Toothbrush of 2018

The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene

Brushing your teeth isn’t just about having nice smelling breath and white teeth. Good oral hygiene is one of the key components of keeping your mouth healthy, and a healthy mouth lowers your risk of other health problems.

Oral health problems are linked to serious diseases.

The bacteria and inflammation that cause tooth decay and gum disease don’t just cause issues in the mouth; they also increase a person’s risk for numerous diseases, some of which are potentially fatal. For instance, gum disease can increase the risk of a first heart attack by 28%.

Here are a few of the serious diseases that are linked to oral health problems:

  • Cardiovascular Disease (CVD): Studies have linked periodontitis (gum disease) and a total loss of teeth to heart disease.
  • Stroke: The inflammation associated with plaque build-up that causes tooth decay and gum disease can contribute to a person’s risk of having a stroke.
  • Oral Cancer: According to a 2016 study, periodontal disease increases the risk of cancer two-fold.
  • Dementia: A 2009 study shows that periodontal disease is linked to impaired delayed memory and calculation.
  • Birth Complications: Infections associated with the bacteria that cause gum disease can lead to complications such as preeclampsia (high blood pressure while pregnant), preterm birth, and low birthweight.

Many people don’t practice good oral hygiene.

Proper brushing habits are vital to maintaining good oral health, but unfortunately, many Americans fall short. A 2014 survey found that 30% of Americans don’t brush their teeth twice a day, and about one out of every four has gone two or more days without brushing their teeth in the last year. Additionally, the average length of time Americans spend brushing their teeth is 45 seconds, instead of the recommended two minutes.

Table of Contents

Manual Vs. Electric Toothbrushes
The Best Electric Toothbrushes of 2018
Best overall electric toothbrush: Oral-B Pro 3000
Best budget: Oral-B Pro 1000
Best alternative: Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control
The best 8 electric toothbrushes for 2018
How we started our review process
How we picked the final 8 toothbrushes to test
How we tested the final eight toothbrushes
How we decided on the best three overall

Manual Vs. Electric Toothbrushes

While there’s some evidence that electric toothbrushes are slightly better at removing plaque than manual toothbrushes, the reality is that the best toothbrush for you is the one you will actually use to brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, every day. That being said, there are advantages and disadvantages to both electric toothbrushes and manual toothbrushes.

Manual Toothbrushes

Benefits of Manual Toothbrushes
  • They are inexpensive
  • Available with a variety of styles, heads, and bristles
  • Easy to take on trips
  • No batteries or charging requirements
  • Easy to replace if damaged or lost
Drawbacks of Manual Toothbrushes
  • They don’t have timers, pressure sensors, or accountability features
  • They are difficult to use for people with certain disabilities
  • They require good brushing technique

Electric Toothbrushes

Benefits of Electric Toothbrushes
  • Easier to use for people with braces
  • Great for people with dexterity problems, such as children, the elderly or people with disabilities
  • Offers a variety of head movements, including circular, rotation oscillation, counter oscillation and side-to-side
  • Can increase enthusiasm about brushing
  • Pressure sensors let you know if you are brushing your teeth too hard
  • Smart toothbrushes can track behavior and provide accountability and rewards
Drawbacks of Electric Toothbrushes
  • Expensive initial investment
  • Replacing brush heads is more expensive than buying a manual toothbrush
  • Requires charging
  • Can be by broken by repeatedly dropping the unit
  • The battery will eventually wear out, and the whole unit will need to be replaced

The Best Electric Toothbrushes of 2018


After reviewing the 20 most popular electric toothbrushes on the market today, we found the cheapest models to be the best overall and definitely worth upgrading over a regular toothbrush.

The high end models didn’t clean any better and their advanced features weren’t worth the increase in price.

If you’ve never tried out an electric toothbrush, we think you really should for these four reasons:

They clean a lot better than regular brushes

Electric toothbrushes are shown to reduce plaque and gingivitis better than regular brushes. During our testing, every model proved this true and left our teeth a whole lot smoother than when we used a store bought regular brush.

They have helpful and alerts to encourage good brushing habits

Research shows most people aren’t brushing for the ADA recommended two minutes, so having a two minute timer is a really helpful feature to ensure a thorough clean. Before testing, we thought we were brushing for at least two minutes, but these alerts revealed we weren’t anywhere close.

They make brushing your teeth effortless

By design, electric toothbrushes do all the labor for you. All you have to do is move the handle around your mouth. We never realized how much extra work goes into scrubbing your teeth with a regular brush until we tried an electric model. We’d never go back.

The best models are actually the cheapest ones

We found the most affordable models have pretty much the same technology and specifications as the most expensive ones. Paying more only gets you fancy features you won’t be using.

The top three electric toothbrushes

Best Overall: The Oral-B Pro 3000

All the high end brushing power and necessary features you’ll ever need at the lowest price.

Best Budget: The Oral-B Pro 1000

If you don’t need the absolute most powerful brush on the market or a sensitivity mode, get this cheaper model.

Best Alternative: The Philips Sonicare Series 2 Plaque Control

If you prefer a quieter brush with sonic technology, get this model.

Summary of how we chose the top three

We spent over 50 hours researching, reviewing, and testing the most popular electric toothbrushes across this methodology

  1. Digging into the electric toothbrush industry and compiling data on the 20 most popular electric toothbrushes from the two most popular brands: Oral-B and Philips Sonicare
  2. Reading and analyzing the most popular dental studies from the American Dental Association and Cochrane Collaboration
  3. Consulting with dental expert Dr. Mark Burhenne from AskTheDentist.com to determine the four key features every electric toothbrush should have
  4. Selecting four low end and four high models that met our criteria
  5. Personally trying out and testing these eight models for two weeks to determine the differences between brand technology, features, price, and performance
  6. Choosing the top three smartest choices for most people

Our top three choices were based on this final criteria

The Best Overall was the Oral-B Pro-3000

  • We looked for the model that most people should get because it hits the sweet spot of price and performance.
  • Paying any more than this pick results in diminishing returns in terms of usefulness, performance, and comfort.
  • Even though the best overall is a little more expensive than the budget pick, we think the small increase in price is worth it for a few extra features like a sensitivity mode and faster brushing speeds that add peace of mind at the end of the day.

The Best Budget was the Oral-B Pro-1000

  • We looked for the model we’d recommend to people wanting to save the most money but still have a great toothbrush.
  • The budget pick will have at least the bare minimum features and a few drawbacks compared to our best overall like slightly lower brushing power, but its low price more than makes up for these shortcomings.

The Best Alternative was the Philips Sonicare Series 2 Plaque Control

  • We looked for the best model we’d recommend for people who want a different style and technology than the Oral-B brushes.
  • Philips Sonicare brushes are quieter and feel different in the mouth, so some people would prefer it over the Oral-B Pro-3000.
  • This was chosen because it was the best overall out of the alternative Sonicare models.

——–
Click here to read our complete methodology walk through and the key insights we learned from reviewing electric toothbrushes.
Or continue reading to learn about what makes these three models the smartest choices.
——–

Best overall electric toothbrush: Oral-B Pro 3000

All the high end brushing power and necessary features you’ll ever need at the lowest price.

The Pro-3000 is the second most affordable Oral-B brush we tested, but despite its low price it has everything you need and nothing you don’t.

The Pro 3000 has the exact same brushing speed and power as the top Oral-B brushes but for nearly a hundred dollars less

Like all Oral-B models, the Pro 3000 cleans by oscillating (or spinning) the brush head circularly back and forth across your teeth thousands of times per minute.

Our top pick is not only just as fast as the top models but has the same number of “3D” pulses that helps clean your teeth by vibrating the head on and off your teeth in addition to rotating across it.

It also has the only three extra features you really need in an electric toothbrush

These include a two minute timer, 30 second alerts to encourage brushing evenly in all four quadrants of your mouth, and the ability to use all the Oral-B replacement heads — which are also more affordable than competitor brands.

Even though there are more expensive models with extra features, none of them are necessary, ensure better cleaning, or worth the extra cost.

And our tests revealed it was just as comfortable and durable as the most expensive models

The only difference was the Pro 3000 had a little more handle vibration than the most expensive Oral-B models.

We didn’t find this to add any noticeable discomfort at all and definitely not reason enough to spend more money on a more expensive model.

Best budget: Oral-B Pro 1000

If you don’t need the absolute most powerful brush on the market or a sensitivity mode, get this cheaper model

The Pro 1000 is cheaper than the Pro 3000 with the exact same brushing speed but a lower rate of “3D” brush head pulsations.

In our personal testing, the Pro 1000 felt and sounded exactly the same as the Pro 3000

Other than a slightly lower brushing power, the only real difference between the Pro 1000 and Pro 3000 is that it lacks a sensitivity mode.

We think many people would never need or notice the additional power and likely never use the sensitivity mode, so this model is the best value if you want to save the most money.

Best alternative: Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control

If you prefer a quieter brush with sonic technology, get this model

The Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control is the best value out of the Sonicare lineup for having the same brush power as the top models without any of the expensive features and a more comfortable handle than the cheapest Sonicare brushes.

This uses sonic technology instead of oscillation

Which means it cleans your teeth by vibrating the brush head back and forth on your teeth instead of spinning across it like Oral-B heads. Although the best Oral-B models have “3D” pulses which also vibrate to their heads, they are not the same as Sonicare’s technology because they don’t vibrate back and forth across your teeth like a brush stroke, only on and off and at a much lower frequency.

There’s no scientific consensus that sonic is better or worse than oscillation, both can clean your teeth better than a regular toothbrush, so choosing this model or one of our Oral-B picks mentioned above is just a personal preference of style and comfort (which we discuss later on).

This was quieter but vibrated more in our mouth and the handle than our top two Oral-B picks

And compared to Oral-B’s small circular brush heads, Sonicare’s long rectangular heads made it easier to clean the front of teeth but more difficult to clean the back of them.

The only other drawbacks are more expensive replacement heads than Oral-B and no seal of acceptance from the ADA, an award that both our top two choices received in September 2017.

Despite these shortcomings, the Series 2 Plaque Control is great for people who want a sonic toothbrush over an oscillating Oral-B model.

The best 8 electric toothbrushes for 2018

  1. Oral-B Pro 3000
  2. Oral-B Pro 1000
  3. Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control
  4. Oral-B Genius Pro-8000
  5. Sonicare HealthyWhite+
  6. Sonicare Diamond Clean
  7. Oral-B Pro 7000
  8. Philips Sonicare Essence+

The only six things you need to know about electric toothbrushes

1. An electric toothbrush will cost more in the long run than a regular one

Buying an electric toothbrush is at least 10 times more expensive than buying a regular one.

You will also have to replace the brush heads every three months and these heads each cost a little more than replacing a regular brush. So in the beginning you will pay more but the upkeep isn’t much more than what you are already used to.

2. The extra cost is still worth it because they clean your teeth a lot better

Research shows that electric toothbrushes reduce more plaque and gingivitis than a regular toothbrush.

The study cited above was published by Cochrane, a health research organization, and the conclusions were based on reviewing the 56 most relevant studies regarding the effectiveness of electric toothbrushes.

Beyond cleaning better than a regular brush, electric models are a lot easier to physically use and because the best ones have two minute timers, you’ll be encouraged to brush for at least the ADA recommended two minutes.

3. You should choose one of these two brands: Oral-B or Philips Sonicare

These are the two most popular brands selling electric toothbrushes.

The difference is Oral-B uses oscillating brush heads and Sonicare uses “sonic” vibrating brush heads.

Both oscillation and sonic vibrations clean your teeth by brushing plaque away, but the sonic method also vibrates enough to agitate the fluid around your teeth, which helps remove plaque as well.

There are newer companies with similar brushes and prices but we think it’s safest to stick to the two companies with the best reputation

4. Both Oral-B and Sonicare are shown to clean better than a regular brush and the only difference is how they feel on your teeth

Both oscillation and sonic methods are more than good enough for everyone.

Even though many Oral-B models recently received the ADA seal of acceptance, there is still no scientific consensus on what is better. Both sides have competing studies that show one cleans better than the other.

We found the major differences come down to personal preference:

  • Oral-B models are louder but vibrate less in the handle than Sonicare
  • Oral-B models feel like they “scrub” your teeth smoothly and Sonicare feels like they “glide” over them but with more intense vibrations
  • Oral-B models have circular heads which make it easier to clean the back of your teeth and fit in small crevices, while Sonicare’s long rectangular heads make it easy to clean big areas but harder to clean small ones

Beyond brushing mechanism and replacement head cost, both brands offer models with pretty much the same extra features.

5. You don’t need to buy anything more expensive than a low-end model

Both brand’s most affordable models almost always have the exact same brushing power as their most expensive models.

Low-end models have a little more handle vibration than their more expensive counterparts but in our testing this was very minor and almost unnoticeable.

Also, the low-end models almost always have the only four features you really need:

  1. Either oscillation or sonic technology: Either method can clean better than a regular brush and the differences are a matter of personal preference.
  2. Two minute timer: This encourages you to brush for at least the ADA recommended two minute length.
  3. Quadrant alert: This encourages you to clean each quadrant of your mouth evenly.
  4. Access to the full line of replacement brush heads: With the ability to swap out brushing heads, you’re able to equip a cheaper model with the exact same heads that come packaged with more expensive ones.

6. The more expensive models only add extra features that aren’t necessary or worth the money

The extra features fall into these categories

  • Slight improvements: Longer battery life or a slimmer handle that vibrates less
  • Overpriced add-ons: Travel cases
  • Options most people will never use: Various brushing modes and bluetooth app tracking

We explain why these features aren’t important down below in our research re-cap.

How we started our review process

1. We started by researching the 20 most popular models from the two biggest brands in the market: Oral-B and Philips Sonicare

These two brands dominate the market and also have the longest running reputations.

Since both brands do not have very helpful websites and lack any useful comparison chart or table to help consumers, we manually researched each model’s specifications and recorded them on this spreadsheet.

There are plenty of other companies popping up that offer cheaper models with similar technology but we recommend sticking to Oral-B or Philips Sonicare because they have the best reputations. So try out these other brands at your own risk.

2. We learned the only real difference between the two brands is that Oral-B oscillates its brush heads to clean and Sonicare vibrates its brush heads

Both oscillation and sonic vibrations clean your teeth by brushing plaque away, but the sonic method also vibrates enough to agitate the fluid around your teeth, which helps remove plaque as well.

Both methods are more than good enough to clean your teeth, with no clear winner. We explain why later on.

3. We found out within each brand, an increase in price rarely equates to stronger brushing power or faster speeds

All the Oral-B models except the lowest three models (Pro 500 and both the Vitality models) have the exact same 8,8000 oscillations per minute rating.

And every Oral-B model, except the lowest three models, also have “3D” pulses, which is a fancy word for making the brush head vibrate (though at a lower frequency) like Sonicare in addition to oscillate.

All the Sonicare models had 62,000 brush movements per minute.

Despite the speed differences, there is no clear consensus that the higher speed Sonicare brushes clean better than the slower oscillating models from Oral-B. We explain why later on.

4. We also found out both brands have pretty much the exact same available features but with different names

The only real differences between the low end and high end models were premium features and options.

These were the most common features:

  • Ability to swap out brushing heads for different styles: You can swap out the stock head and find another head that you prefer
  • Multiple cleaning modes: These include modes that are longer than two minutes, slower than the standard mode, or a combination of slow and standard cycles
  • Two minute timer: This encourages you to brush for at least the ADA recommended two minute length.
  • Quadrant alert: This encourages you to clean each quadrant of your mouth evenly.
  • Pressure sensor: Notifies you if you’re applying too much pressure on your teeth or gums
  • Bluetooth app tracking: Allows you to link your toothbrush to an app to track your brushing habits
  • Longer battery life: Usually only a few extra days
  • Travel cases: Some cases even act as portable charging stations
  • Sleeker and improved handle: Usually slimmer and vibrate less

Descriptions from both brands were unclear on how exactly these features are worth the money and whether or not they really help clean your teeth better, so we still needed to perform our own research and consult with a dental expert on what matters.

How we researched what matters

1. We consulted dental expert Dr. Mark Burhenne DDS to answer these questions


Our dental expert was Dr. Mark Burhenne DDS from AskTheDentist.com.
Dr. Burhenne has been practicing as a dentist for over 30 years and has been featured on CNN, Fox, and CBS.

Does an electric toothbrush clean better than a regular one?

Research shows that electric toothbrushes reduce more plaque and gingivitis than a regular toothbrush.
The study cited above was published by Cochrane, a health research organization, and the conclusions were based on reviewing the 56 most relevant studies regarding the effectiveness of electric toothbrushes.

Dr. Burhenne agreed, “They can clean faster and can be more efficient for the time used for brushing. They can be safer and more effective depending on how they are used.”

But it really boils down to your current habits and how well you are using a regular brush. “There are people that are very skilled at brushing that can do the same job with a manual toothbrush. However many patients do derive a benefit from electric toothbrushes,” said Dr. Burhenne.

Is oscillation or sonic technology better?

We couldn’t find any independent studies that showed oscillation was better or worse than sonic toothbrushes.

Even though oscillating brushes have slower speed specifications than sonic brushes, it isn’t correct to compare the two technologies by speed alone. Dr. Burhenne clarified, “you are not comparing apples to apples. Sonic and oscillatory pulses are different.”

It really seemed more of a matter of personal preference. “People choose based on listening to their dentist and to marketing. Oscillatory is better at removing biofilm and stain and sonic is better at removing plaque in little crevices and hard to get to areas,” said Dr. Burhenne.

What features matter? How do they help?

Two minute timer: Research shows most people are only brushing for 45 seconds so we figured this would be a very important feature. “It is definitely one of the bigger benefits,” said Dr. Burhenne.

Quadrant alerts: Since most people aren’t brushing long enough, a quadrant alert would seem helpful to ensure you clean all areas evenly. “For some people this can be beneficial if they are brushing in an unconscious way and not keeping track of the time spent on each quadrant,” said Dr. Burhenne.

Ability to swap out brush heads: You should get a model that allows a wide range of replacement heads for customization. “The toothbrush head that comes with the toothbrush is likely not the one that you’ll love at first so you have to go shopping for another head,” said Dr. Burhenne. It’s also important to make sure you replace it every 1-3 months. ” Change out your heads more often if you brush more than twice a day or if you are an aggressive brusher.”

Pressure sensor: This vibrates the handle when you brush too hard. Dr. Burhenne said that “it could be helpful but most aren’t sensitive enough.”

Fancier handles: “While the ergonomics of the grip are important, all handles are still pretty much the same,” said Dr. Burhenne.
Dr. Burhenne agreed the remaining features on expensive models such as bluetooth functionality and LED smartrings were not very useful or “total fluff.”

Do cleaning modes matter?

According to manufacturer specifications, there isn’t anything special about additional brushing modes. Some simply last longer than two minutes and others, such as a sensitivity mode, are slower than normal.

When asked about brushing modes, Dr. Burhenne said “most regular daily options are still too aggressive for most people,” which means a sensitivity mode may actually be a useful feature.

2. We finally agreed upon four features that every electric toothbrush should have

Our minimum criteria was:

  1. Either oscillating or sonic technology
  2. Two minute timer
  3. Quadrant alert
  4. Ability to swap out brushing heads for different styles

How we picked the final 8 toothbrushes to test

1. We narrowed our list down to the four lowest priced models that met our minimum criteria

Each model in this group has the three minimum features we believe are necessary and represent the bare minimum entry-level models we’d recommend.
We selected two low end Oral-B models and two low end Sonicare models:

  • Oral-B Pro 1000: The most affordable Oral-B model we reviewed
  • Oral-B Pro 3000: This is the next step up from the Pro 1000 and has the same speed and power specifications as the most expensive models
  • Philips Sonicare Essence+: The most affordable Sonicare model we reviewed
  • Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control: This is the next step up from the Essence+

Keep in mind, all of these models except the Pro 1000 have the exact same brushing power and speed specifications as the most expensive models in their respective brand. So in theory these should clean as well the top models but at a much smaller cost.


There were a few lower priced models but they didn’t make our cut:

  • Oral-B Pro 500: This doesn’t have Oral-B’s “3D” brushing technology, which combines vibration and oscillation to clean your teeth. We felt this was important to have for Oral-B brushes have because it provides the same technology as the top models and is worth paying a little extra for it for that piece of mind.
  • Oral-B Vitality models: These also don’t have Oral-B’s “3D” brushing technology or quadrant alerts.
  • Philips Sonicare Essence: Although this has the same brushing power as the top models, the regular Essence does not accept the full universal line of Sonicare’s replacement heads.

2. We also chose four higher priced models to test if their premium features were worth the cost

We selected two high end Oral-B models and two high end Sonicare models:

  • Oral-B Pro 7000: This is two tiers higher than the Pro 3000 and three tiers higher than the Pro 1000. This has six cleaning modes and bluetooth functionality.
  • Oral-B Genius Pro 8000: This is the most expensive Oral-B model with the same six cleaning modes as the Pro 7000, bluetooth functionality, and the addition of a SmartRing to notify you about your brushing habits.
  • Philips Sonicare HealthyWhite+: This is two tiers higher than the 2 Series Plaque Control and three tiers higher than the Essence+. It has an additional cleaning mode with an intensity setting.
  • Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean: This is one of the most expensive Sonicare models and has the same five cleaning modes and intensity settings as the highest end models but without the bluetooth functionality.

Even though there were more expensive Sonicare models, we didn’t feel the need to test them:

  • Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Connected and Diamond Clean 9300: These actually have less cleaning modes than the regular Diamond Clean and the only changes are a different travel case, more included replacement heads, and bluetooth functionality.
  • Sonicare Diamond Clean 9500 and 9700: This has the same cleaning modes as the regular Diamond Clean but the only changes are a different travel case, more included replacement heads, and bluetooth functionality.

3. The final eight models we tested

  1. Oral-B Pro 1000
  2. Oral-B Pro 3000
  3. Oral-B Pro 7000
  4. Oral-B Genius Pro 8000
  5. Philips Sonicare Essence+
  6. Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control
  7. Philips Sonicare HealthyWhite+
  8. Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean

How we tested the final eight toothbrushes

We personally tested them for two weeks

Even though on paper and in theory each model should perform about the same, we still wanted to see if it’s worth paying extra for an expensive toothbrush.

So we tested the final eight against this criteria:

How “clean” do my teeth feel?

Overall cleanliness: Across all the models we found no difference in “cleanliness.” After brushing, we felt all the models did a great job and cleaning and left our teeth really smooth, much smoother than when we compared it against a regular toothbrush.

Ease of use: While we felt both brands cleaned our teeth equally, it was a lot easier to clean our teeth with the circular oscillating heads than the long rectangular sonic heads. The small circular heads were easy to fit in behind our teeth and in the back of our mouth. In our opinion, the only advantage Sonicare had was being easier to clean the front teeth due to its longer shape.

Additional brushing heads: We also tried a variety of replacement heads and didn’t notice any difference as well.

How noisy is it?

Within each brand, we found no difference in noise in any of the models, so the most expensive brushes were no quieter than the cheaper ones.

However, there is a noticeable difference between brands.

The Sonicare models were noticeably quieter than the Oral-B models and this was because the oscillation mechanism is louder.

How comfortable is it to use?

Brushing comfort: We preferred the Oral-B oscillating heads in terms of brushing comfort. The Oral-B models felt like they were “scrubbing” our teeth instead of “gliding” over them and this helped us feel the exact area where we were brushing.

Also, due to the high frequency of vibrations in Sonicare models, they aggressively splashed toothpaste out of our mouth much more than the oscillating brushes and overall created a noticeably strong buzzing feeling against our teeth — all which made us like Sonicare less than Oral-B.

Handle vibration: In the Oral-B models, we noticed a minor reduction in handle vibration between the two low models compared to the two high end ones. And only the Pro 8000 had a more comfortable handle than any of the others because of a rubber grip — which is still not reason enough to pay so much for it

In the Sonicare models, the handle vibration also decreased as we went up the lineup. There was a slight decrease in vibration between the cheapest Essence+ and Series 2 and another decrease when we tried the HealthyWhite+ and Diamond Clean. The handles also got slimmer as we went up the lineup, with the most comfortable handles being the two high end models.

The biggest difference here is that all the Sonicare models had more handle vibration than any of the Oral-B brushes. So if you want or require a brush that’s the easiest to move around, consider going Oral-B.

How durable is it?

We found all models to be tough and sustain many drops from bathroom sink and standing height.

How long does the battery last?

All the models lasted as long or longer than their advertised duration.

One key difference between the two brands is that Sonicare brushes last a longer. So if you’re traveling for many weeks and for some reason unable to charge, you may want to consider Sonicare over Oral-B.

How useful are the brushing modes?

We also tried out all the brushing modes and didn’t prefer any of them over the regular modes.

The only mode we thought people may use is the sensitive mode because this reduces the speed of the brushes for a softer clean. All the other modes seemed like gimmicks that set the timer longer than two minutes or added weird cycles that slowed and then increased the speed instead of keeping it constant.

Inconveniences: One drawback of having so many brushing modes is that it makes turning off the brush an extra hassle. The Diamond Clean required five additional presses of the power button to turn off (it has to toggle between all modes before turning off) and you can’t even tell what mode the Pro 7000 is in without checking the bluetooth app.

How useful are the features?

Pressure sensors: A big difference between the brands in terms of features was that the Pro 1000 and all Sonicare models took a lot more pressure to trigger their pressure sensor than the top Oral-B models. Not only did the Pro 3000 and higher Oral-B models have more sensitive pressure sensors, they also lit up to tell you when you were brushing too hard. We found this to be preferable to the heavy warning buzz from the other brushes.

Quadrant alerts: Another small difference is the quadrant alerts were easier to recognize in the Oral-B models, meaning their handles vibrated a little more to tell you when to switch quadrants.

Travel cases: While many of the high end models also had travel cases — and some of them even acting as portable chargers while you’re on the go — we admit they are still not great reasons to pay more than the lowest models we picked.

And what about that bluetooth app?

As for the fancy bluetooth apps that allow you to track your brushing habits, we definitely don’t think this is worth the extra money.

After the initial fun wore off, using the app became more of a hassle and annoyance. Since most people have a hard enough time brushing for a full two minutes, they likely wouldn’t want to spend any more time after that analyzing an app.

How we decided on the best three overall

We preferred Oral-B

Their quadrant alerts were easier to notice, had less handle vibration, and circular brush heads were easier to use for the backs of our teeth than the Sonicare models.

We also liked the feel of oscillating heads compared to sonic. They were easier to fit around our teeth and get the hard to reach parts. They also didn’t vibrate as heavily in and around our mouth, making the experience a tad more pleasant.

The only drawback is the Oral-B models buzz a bit louder than Sonicare brushes.

We chose the two most affordable Oral-B brushes as our favorites

We chose the two most affordable models, the Pro 1000 and Pro 3000 because the high end ones didn’t offer any significant improvement in terms of usability, performance, or convenience.

We also chose the best value Sonicare model as an alternative

Some may prefer the sonic heads or quieter experience, so we chose our favorite Sonicare model the Series 2 Plaque Control.

This was the second most affordable Sonicare model we tested and chosen over the cheaper Essence+ because the slimmer and more comfortable handle is worth the $10 difference.

The remaining five brushes were pretty much a tie but we still ordered them based on our personal testing:

  • Oral-B Genius Pro 8000
  • Philips Sonicare HealthyWhite+
  • Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean
  • Oral-B Pro 7000
  • Philips Sonicare Essence+

The Best: Oral-B Pro 3000

This was our top choice because it’s the lowest priced model that has the exact same brushing power and speed specifications as the most expensive Oral-B brushes.

So you get all the power at the lowest price and also the piece of mind knowing there’s really nothing to be gained by going any higher in the lineup.

It even has a sensitivity setting, which is the only other mode some people would ever need.

In our testing, this also felt pretty much the same as the more expensive models but was louder than any Sonicare model due to its oscillating heads.

What you get

The Pro 3000 comes with a handle, one brush head, and a charging dock.

The primary features include a two minute timer, quadrant alert to tell you when to move to another area of your mouth, pressure sensor, and ability to use any of the Oral-B replacement heads.

The handle buzzes for a second to notify you of the timer and quadrant alerts and for the pressure sensor, the handle lights up at the top. We found the light notification to be more useful than other models that only buzz when you apply too much pressure.

Extra features

The only extra features are three cleaning modes: standard clean, sensitive, and gum care.

We tried them all out and preferred the standard clean although it’s worth noting the sensitive would be useful to people who had sensitive gums.

Included brush head

The included brush head is the 3D White head.

This is a slight departure from the other Oral-B heads because it has a rubber polishing cup in the center to supposedly help whiten your teeth.

While we didn’t really believe this would help whiten our teeth, we still felt the head cleaned as well as any of the other replacement heads.

We think that most people should also try out the standard CrossAction head (which is stock on almost every other model) because it has extra bristles in the center instead of the cup.

Oral-B replacement heads are more affordable than Sonicare replacement heads. They are priced around $5 per head (compared to $5-$10 per Sonicare head) and come in packs of three or four.

Runner-Up: Oral-B Pro 1000

This was the most affordable Oral-B model we tested and only has a slightly lower power rating than the Pro 3000 and higher models.

It only has a lower rate of “3D” pulses (20,000 per minute versus 40,000 per minute) than the other models but has the exact same rate of 8,800 oscillations per minute.

And unlike the Pro 3000 or higher tier models, it doesn’t have any additional cleaning modes.

If you don’t mind having a slightly less powerful brush, this is what we would recommend from a pure value standpoint.

What you get

Like the Pro 3000, you get a handle, one brush head, and a charging dock.

The primary features are also the same with a two minute timer, quadrant alert to tell you when to move to another area of your mouth, pressure sensor, and ability to use any of the Oral-B replacement heads.

A small drawback is the Pro 1000 does not have the same light-up notification for its pressure sensor, so the handle vibrates instead. In our testing this was less helpful and also required a bit more pressure to trigger, meaning you may accidentally brush harder with this compared to our top pick.

Extra features

The Pro 1000 doesn’t have any additional cleaning modes like the Pro 3000. All you get is the standard cleaning mode.

Another small drawback for some is the lack of a sensitive mode. Most people, however, probably don’t need it so it’s not a big deal at all.

Included brush head

The Pro 1000 comes stock with the CrossAction head.

This is the most common head packaged with Oral-B models and also the one we preferred the most.

Like the Pro 3000, its handle can accept all of the Oral-B replacement heads so you can try out different heads to find the one you like.

Alternative: Philips Sonicare Series 2 Plaque Control

This was the second most affordable Sonicare model we tested and has the exact same speed and power as the top models.

We chose this over the cheaper Essence+ because that model uses an older, fatter handle and we felt the slimmer Series 2 is worth the $10 difference.

The biggest differences between this model and our top two is a matter of personal preference.

This model is quieter than the Pro 3000/1000, has more handle vibration, and long brush head feels differently in your mouth than an oscillating head.

What you get

The Series 2 Plaque Control comes with a handle, one brush head, and a charging dock.

The primary features are the same as the Pro 3000/1000: a two minute timer, quadpacer, and pressure sensor.

One difference here is unlike the Pro 3000/1000, the Series 2 turns off after the two minutes are up, making it a little inconvenient if you wish to brush longer.

The quadrant alert didn’t buzz as strongly as the Oral-B models and the pressure sensor wasn’t as sensitive as the Pro 3000 but the same as the Pro 1000.

Extra features

The Series 2 does not have any additional brushing modes and all you get is the standard clean mode.

Included brush head


The included brush head is the ProResults plaque control head.

In our testing, we felt this cleaned as well as the other Sonicare heads. If you don’t prefer this head, it’s easy to try out a different head because the Series 2 accepts any Sonicare head.

It is important to note that Sonicare heads are more expensive than Oral-B heads. They average $5-$10 per head compared to $5 per head for Oral-B.