Come for its sustainable design and recyclable brush heads, stick around for the comfortable handling and brilliant clean
- Stylish and comfortable design
- Long battery life
- Recyclable heads and lifetime warranty with subscription
- No pressure sensor
- Comparatively expensive
Electric toothbrushes are scientifically proven to be better for your teeth, but they’re not generally good news for the planet. A study for the British Dental Journal by researchers at University College, London, found that of the four types of toothbrush that are widely available – standard plastic brushes, electric brushes, bamboo brushes and manual brushes with replaceable heads.
Not surprisingly, the electric toothbrush had the biggest environmental impact, due to their materials, manufacturing processes and non-recyclable heads.
Around 34 million people now use an electric toothbrush in the UK, and when you think that each of them should be replacing their toothbrush heads three or four times a year, that’s a lot of heads going into landfill, and a lot of toothbrushes once their average three to five-year lifespan is up.
A new manufacturer, Suri, thinks it has a better way forwards. The Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush is designed to last a lifetime, with a durable aluminium body that is itself recyclable. The brush heads are made from cornstarch and the bristles from castor oil, and can be returned for recycling free.
What’s more, Suri will sell you the Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush solo, but also in a subscription package, where two heads are sent to you every six months (for £9.60 plus shipping), and the toothbrush is covered by a lifetime warranty while you subscribe.
In theory, Suri claims, this should be the last toothbrush that you ever need to buy.
Recyclable heads are also available for Philips and Oral-B toothbrushes, while Brushd’s slightly cheaper but excellent electric toothbrush (£60) also has its own scheme for buying and recycling heads by post. However, as a great electric toothbrush with green thinking factored in, the Suri is the best sustainable toothbrush that we’ve tested.
Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush review: What do you get for the money?
Firstly, you get a slimline sonic toothbrush with a replaceable and recyclable head that’s probably the best toothbrush design I’ve seen this year. It’s roughly 224mm long and 24mm wide, with a flattish 17mm profile that makes it feel about as close as you can get to a manual brush. There’s enough handle to get a decent grip, but none of the bulk you’ll find on many electric brushes.
The controls are simple, with just the one button and a single LED indicator, and the only other thing worth mentioning are the charging contacts at the bottom of the handle. It’s a thoughtful, refined design with nothing extra that you’re not going to need.
Suri also bundles in a USB charging stand and a magnetic mount for tiles or a mirror, along with an (optional) UV Clean and Charge case which charges up your toothbrush while in situ and bathes it in bacteria-killing UV light. It also comes in four pretty colours – Winter Fern, Midnight Black, Morning Waves and Sea Mist – so you can even coordinate it to your bathroom (or pyjamas).
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Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush review: What’s it like to use?
It’s a comfortable toothbrush to hold, and – on the standard setting – nice and easy on the teeth and gums. The head is a little large by some sonic toothbrush standards, if no bigger than your average Philips Sonicare head, but the thin shaft and rounded shape make it easy to get into the corners of all but the most crowded mouths.
The slim design doesn’t make hard work of getting to the back teeth or the rear of the incisors and canines at the front.
Pressing the button twice switches the brush to a lower pitched and more intense vibration for removing stubborn plaque and debris, and in either mode it’s one of the quietest brushes around; Suri puts the noise level at 54dB, but we’d put it closer to 42dB outside the mouth.
Our only grumble is that there’s no visual pressure indicator, and so no warning if you’re pressing too light or too hard. You do, however, get a 30-second pulse timer to help you brush, along with an automatic shut-off to tell you when your recommended two minutes is up.
Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush review: How well does it clean?
Very effectively. The default brush mode is a little light, though perfect for more sensitive users. The secondary brush mode is just a bit fiercer, but very good at pushing foam between the teeth and scrubbing plaque off the surface.
The Suri can’t provide as intensive a brush as some of the Philips Sonicare brushes or Oral-B’s iO range, but with its motor delivering 33,000 vibrations a second, it’s in a different league to the Philips One, which can only manage 13,000 vibrations per second.
If I was worried about whitening or stain-removal I might look for a brush with slightly more power, but the Suri is going to be great for most people, with its two modes enough for cleaning teeth and gums in style.
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Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush review: How long does the battery last?
Suri claims the battery is good for at least 40 days of use from a single charge, and from our tests we’d say it could go even further; you’re looking at around 96 minutes of brushing from a four-hour charge. Once a month will probably do it, and it’s very convenient via the slimline charging case, particularly as it has a USB Type-C port.
Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush review: Should I buy it?
The Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush shows that sustainability doesn’t have to mean any compromise on design or on performance. This is a fine-looking brush that handles well during daily cleaning, and it does an excellent job of removing plaque and grime.
It’s expensive for a non-smart toothbrush, though the subscription (£9.60 every six months, plus shipping) is very reasonable compared to the cost of some replacement heads alone.