10 best electric toothbrushes 2021

27 November 2020

child brushing teeth

If you'd like you and your kids to have matching pearly-white smiles, take a look at our top 10 electric toothbrushes.

Feel like an army major getting the kids to put on their clothes, shoes AND brush their teeth every morning? We sympathise. Those daily battles activities can be a bit stressful, but it’s important to teach your child the benefits of oral hygiene from an early age.

Regular tooth brushing doesn’t just reduce the risk of cavities and keep your smile sparkling. It also promotes gum health – and healthy gums have been found to reduce the risk of strokes, heart disease and diabetes.

A groundbreaking study found that electric toothbrushes remove more plaque than manual toothbrushes. They should also make your life a bit easier on manic mornings – and prevent any issues arising from your child’s half-hearted brushing efforts.

Here are the best electric toothbrushes for adults and kids.

1. Best overall electric toothbrush: Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100

“My dental hygienist has Oral-B products for sale in her surgery reception, including electric toothbrushes. I pointed out that, after switching from Oral-B to Philips Sonicare, I felt my teeth were getting a better clean. She agreed and even admitted that she used a Phillips one!”

“Philips Sonicare. Only needs recharging every few weeks and does a great job. Last one lasted for around 10 years I think (I’m one my second one now).”

“I love mine. If I ever forget it when I’m travelling, I just don’t feel like a normal toothbrush cleans my teeth as well.”

1. Best overall electric toothbrush: Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100

Mumsnetters love this clever electric toothbrush – unsurprising, given that Philips are rivals to Oral-B in the electric toothbrush stakes. The Philips Sonicare 6100 is designed to give immediate results – healthier gums and whiter pearly whites in just seven days.

There are three cleaning modes and intensities as well as a built-in sensor to gently warn you if you’re exerting too much pressure. You’ll also get head reminder alerts to nudge you when you need to get a new replacement head.

As one convert on our boards enthused: “I LOVE my Sonicare. Charge lasts for over two weeks and my dentist always comments on how clean my teeth are. I have 10 crowns so it's super important to clean around them really well, and the Sonicare is brilliant for this. You can pick them up for a decent price during sales in Amazon, Boots, Tesco etc.”

2. Best budget electric toothbrush: Colgate 360 Whole Mouth Clean

“A dentist friend always says that Colgate does the best electric toothbrushes.”

“I’ve got a cheap Colgate electric toothbrush and it’s fine.”

2. Best budget electric toothbrush: Colgate 360 Whole Mouth Clean

You can’t complain about the cheap-as-chips price tag of this budget toothbrush. Reviewers rate Colgate’s 360 Whole Mouth Clean, which features a cheek and tongue cleaner and dual-action head.

It’s a great electric toothbrush for beginners because it allows you to sample the benefits of a powered toothbrush without making a serious dent in your bank balance.

Colgate is a well-trusted name when it comes to toothpaste and manual toothbrushes so we’re happy to accept their claim that 'It removes four times more bacteria than the leading battery toothbrush.' Of course, it doesn’t have any of the bells and whistles boasted by more expensive models but, for the price, we reckon it’s worth a try.

3. Best Oral-B electric toothbrush: Oral-B Genius X

“I'm testing the new Oral-B Genius X at the moment and it's incredible. You link it to an app and it tells you exactly where in your mouth you cleaned properly, where to improve etc. Lots of modes and it comes with a charging case with a USB for your phone too.”

3. Best Oral-B electric toothbrush: Oral-B Genius X

A favourite with dentists and dental health professionals alike, this new model from oral health giants Oral-B ticks every box. In a two-minute brushing session, the bristles oscillate 10,500 times and pulsate 48,000 times – pretty incredible compared to the 600 movements that a manual brush can manage.

It also has a USB phone charger so that you can connect to the Oral-B app for extra info on getting the best clean from your brush. Amazon is currently offering the Oral-B Genius X at a third of the price too.

4. Best electric toothbrush for pro results: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean

“Love, love, love my Sonicare. Normally when I go to the dentist he sees £££ and immediately books his Barbados holiday, but not anymore! The genuine look of disappointment in his face is hilarious. I'd never have anything else!”

“I have a Philips Sonicare one. Your teeth feel a whole new kind of clean.”

4. Best electric toothbrush for pro results: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean

The most expensive electric toothbrush on our list, the Phillips Sonicare DiamondClean usually retails for £200, but is currently being offered at a third of the price on Amazon.

It’s claimed to be the world’s most intelligent toothbrush and, with smart sensors, three premium brush heads and a connecting app, it’s hard to disagree.

Tech fans will love its three intensity settings and four brushing modes. It’s also a great electric toothbrush for teens and kids with small mouths (small but noisy, in most cases). As one Mumsnetter advises: “DD has a Phillips Sonicare as she has a very small mouth and the heads are better for her on that.”

5. Best electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth: Fairywill Sonic Toothbrush

“I’ve just started using the Fairywill following recommendations on Mumsnet and so far I prefer it to the Sonicare. Seems to hold a charge too.”

“We have Fairywill sonic toothbrushes. Teeth feel like I have had a dental clean and polish appointment – so smooth, clean and my gums have got healthier too. I’m not tempted by the £50 brand-name toothbrushes – my Fairywill does the job nicely. Oh, and it only needs charging every five to six weeks of daily use.”

“Fairywill – have found it much better than Oral-B and Philips Sonicare! I highly recommend it.”

5. Best electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth: Fairywill Sonic Toothbrush

A relatively new name on the electric toothbrush market, Fairywill has quickly become popular with Mumsnetters.

Reasonably priced, this electric toothbrush is available in a range of colours and you can also get a twin pack.

Lightweight and easy to hold with a range of different-sized toothbrush heads, it’s also ideal for children, and you can choose the strong or gentle mode if you have sensitive teeth and gums.

Battery life is impressive – charging it for four hours will power your brush for 30 days of daily brushing. There’s also a two-minute timer to ensure that you’re not cutting your brushing sessions short.

6. Most stylish electric toothbrush: FOREO ISSA2 Smart Sonic Electric Toothbrush

“FOREO. Needs a new head once a year and a charge once every six months. I love mine. I got the silicone cleaning spray with it.”

6. Most stylish electric toothbrush: FOREO ISSA2 Smart Sonic Electric Toothbrush

And now for something a bit different. Swedish company, FOREO, has produced a groundbreaking smart sonic electric toothbrush with a silicone/polymer hybrid brush head.

The dual bristles are strong on plaque but gentle on your gums, and it pulses 11,000 times per minute for really effective cleaning. With a range of eye-popping shades, it will look cool on your bathroom cabinet too. It’s also waterproof so you can use it in the shower to save time.

Batteries need changing after six months and the manufacturer advises that you should only use the brush for six months to maintain high levels of hygiene so it could get expensive, given that replacement heads are around £18. You can also buy tongue scrapers to fit your FOREO ISSA for an all-round clean.

7. Best electric toothbrush for couples: Oral-B Pro 2 2900 CrossAction

“I bought an Oral-B Pro 2 CrossAction, reduced from £79.99. I love it. It’s got a four-way split timer, so you know how long to spend on each of the four areas of your mouth. It’s fab!”

“Get an Oral-B round head. Beyond that it's all gimmicks. Oral-B is the highest rated year after year. Definitely worth it.”

7. Best electric toothbrush for couples: Oral-B Pro 2 2900 CrossAction

Available in a twin pack so you and your DP can both get a piece of the pearly white action, the Oral-B CrossAction is a hit with Mumsnetters. Brushes with round heads are popular on our forums, with many claiming that they’re the best shape for getting into all those awkward in-between spots in your mouth.

Oral-B says that this toothbrush removes 100 percent more plaque than a manual brush, while a pressure sensor alerts you if you’re pressing too hard on your gums. There are two brushing modes so you can choose between ‘daily clean’ and ‘gum care’ – great if you have sensitive gums. The battery lasts more than two weeks so you also won’t have to keep faffing about with charging it.

8. Best electric toothbrush for teens: Oral-B Teen

“We all have Oral-B ones.”

8. Best electric toothbrush for teens: Oral-B Teen

A great option for the teens in your family, this snazzy electric toothbrush for kids aged 13 plus certainly looks the part.

The specially-designed orthodontic heads are ideal for teenagers with braces, who can have a tricky time when it comes to tooth brushing. There’s also a two-minute timer and pressure control to ensure they’re not damaging their gums, and the round brush is effective at removing stains.

They can even connect to the Oral-B app on their phone to check that they’ve done a good job of brushing. Perfect selfies await – no filters required!

9. Best electric toothbrush for kids: Philips Sonicare for Kids

“Sonicare definitely. We’ve not had to use a hygienist since we got one, so that’s a saving. They do kids’ ones too. Teeth feel amazing.”

9. Best electric toothbrush for kids: Philips Sonicare for Kids

No doubt about it – this is a very pricey option for a kids’ toothbrush. That said, the Philips Sonicare for Kids Electric Toothbrush is certainly worth the investment, judging by the love for it on review sites and the Mumsnet forums.

Suitable for children aged four to 10, this electric toothbrush boasts rubberised brush heads, making them extra gentle on children’s teeth and gums.

Great for reluctant brushers, the brush also has a clever built-in timer that gradually increases length of brushing time over 90 days, to the recommended time of two minutes. There’s even a quadpacer with fun sounds to make brushing almost as fun as playing. Best of all, it comes with decorative stickers!

10. Best Oral-B electric toothbrush for kids: Oral-B Junior

“Oral-B Junior has no frills, is cheap and comes in bright colours. It does the job.”

10. Best Oral-B electric toothbrush for kids: Oral-B Junior

Oral-B have pulled it out of the (wash) bag again – this time for kids aged six to 12. This Junior toothbrush offers all the benefits of the brushes for teens and adults, but the bristles are softer to protect developing teeth and gums.

Available in a range of bright colours and with a rechargeable battery that only needs a once-a-week boost, the Oral-B Junior is ideal for your child to take with them for sleepover parties – once they’re allowed again, of course.

Is it worth buying an electric toothbrush?

There’s no getting away from the fact that electric toothbrushes are more expensive than manual toothbrushes – considerably so in most cases. But the benefits of electric toothbrushes have been verified by dental health experts who say that they get rid of much more plaque than manual brushes. So your teeth and gums will thank you for making the investment.

You will have to replace heads fairly frequently (once every three months, most dentists say), but with the average brush lasting three to five years, you’ll get value for money. And just think of all the dental work you’ll be avoiding by keeping your mouth in fresh, sparkling condition.

How do I choose an electric toothbrush?

Ask the experts! Next time you see your dentist, ask them which electric toothbrush they recommend. You could also ask the opinion of the Mumsnetter dentists on our forums (we know that there are a fair few) and see what they think about the latest electric toothbrushes by Oral-B, Philips, Fairywill and Colgate.

It’s also a good idea to consider what you need from your electric toothbrush. If you don’t want to break the bank, a budget electric toothbrush is a good idea. If you can’t be bothered with having to charge it regularly, choose a powered toothbrush with a long battery life.

If you’re looking for the best electric toothbrush for couples, you could look for a handy twin pack online – it’s a great way to save money. If you’re choosing an electric toothbrush for a child or teenager, make sure that you’re choosing an appropriate model for the age group. A two-minute timer function can be really helpful for all ages so that you – and your kids – know how long to brush.

What's the best electric toothbrush?

The best electric toothbrush is the Philips Sonicare 6100 thanks to its three cleaning modes, clever pressure sensor and effectiveness at achieving quick, noticeable results.

Which toothbrush do dentists recommend?

Dentists recommend the Oral-B Genius X Electric Toothbrush citing its impressive plaque-busting abilities. Experts also report that it’s more effective than its closest rival, the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean, although that comes highly recommended too. Your own dentist may of course say different and their opinion is worth taking into account because, in many ways, they know your mouth better than even you do.

How we chose our recommendations

All our electric toothbrush suggestions came from recommendations on the Mumsnet forums. We also checked independent health sites in order to get the latest expert dental health advice from dentists and other dental health professionals. Finally, we consulted independent review sites for opinions about each product to ensure we were bringing you an honest, detailed summary of powered toothbrushes for adults, teens and kids.

Why you should trust us

Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and, in those years, we’ve seen, tried and reviewed thousands of products.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.

If you decided to buy something that we recommended as a result of our research, we usually (not always) get paid affiliate commission from the retailer where you make a purchase. But, if you weren't impressed with the product and decided to return it, we wouldn't make a penny (more details here).