Looking for a new Philips Sonicare brush or the most innovative brushes from rival brands? We’ve picked the top options for every budget
While Oral-B’s rotary brushes dominate the electric toothbrush market, they’re not the only option. Philips and Colgate have long offered their own Sonic toothbrush tech, and they’ve been joined by a gang of smaller manufacturers. Sonic toothbrushes work in a different way to Oral-B’s brushes, and some people prefer the way they look and feel. Some even find that they’re better at cleaning in-between the teeth and around the gumline, or in the hard-to-reach corners of the mouth.
There’s very little in the way of unbiased scientific research to push the case either way, but if you would rather use a sonic toothbrush, there are some great examples out there that you can trust to take care of your teeth and gums.
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How to choose the best sonic toothbrush for you
All sonic toothbrushes follow the same basic design. In the body there’s a metal rod driven by a high-speed vibrating motor, and when this clicks into place inside the brush head, the brush head vibrates at speeds of up to 62,000 movements per minute, depending on the brush.
The vibrating head and bristles don’t just clean the surface of your teeth, but also propel microbubbles of fluid across the gumline and in between your teeth, shifting any food debris and helping break down any plaque. This keeps your teeth squeaky-clean and your gums nice and healthy, although some floss and mouthwash will still help you maintain an effective dental regime.
Philips is widely seen as the technology leader with its Sonicare line of brushes, but we’ve also found several smaller brands that make excellent alternatives. As you move through the price range, you’ll generally find that you get higher speeds, quieter and more efficient motors, slimmer handles, and a longer battery life. Keep going, and you’ll also find additional features including Bluetooth connectivity, built-in sensors, and smart app support or a built-in screen. You don’t necessarily need these features to give your teeth a good, consistent brush, but they can help.
Is there anything else worth looking out for?
With any electric toothbrush, heads are a big deal. Philips manufacturers a range of different heads aimed at specific dental needs, ranging from the basic Plaque Defence and ProResults head to the Whitening heads, Optimal Gum Care heads, Intercare and A3 Premium All-in-One heads. Some other brushes may be compatible with Philips heads, but on others you’ll get a basic head with high-quality DuPont bristles, but nothing special. On the plus side, they’ll often throw in a replacement head or two, and you may find the heads cheaper to replace in future.
Also, keep an eye on the accessories. You’ll usually get a charger, but premium models will also throw in a travel case, a more sophisticated charging stand and other bonus items. We’re also seeing a growing number of toothbrushes where the charger – or the toothbrush itself – takes power from a standard USB socket, which can save you packing a separate charger or power supply when you’re away from home.
How we test sonic toothbrushes
As with every electric toothbrush, we put sonic toothbrushes through their paces by using them twice a day for at least one week to make sure we get a decent feel for how they handle and perform when cleaning. During the test period we will try any and all specific brush modes and attachments, as well as install any apps that are required to get the most out of built-in smart features. For at least one brushing session, we will use plaque disclosing tablets to check that all areas of the teeth are getting a proper clean, with some allowances for a little user error. We also check battery life by leaving the toothbrush running while standing up, and time how long it takes for the battery to run down. We then divide this figure by the four-minutes-per-day brushing time recommended by dentists, to get a fairly accurate idea of how many weeks and days a single charge will last.
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The best sonic toothbrushes you can buy in 2023
1. Colgate ProClinical 150: Best budget battery-powered sonic toothbrush
Price when reviewed: £14 | Check price at AmazonLight, slim, and powered by two AAA batteries, the ProClinical 150 makes a great travel toothbrush, and would have been an even better one had Colgate bundled a case or even a plastic cap to go over the brush head. The small size and compact head makes this an easy brush to work with, especially for younger brushers. It’ll squeeze into every corner of the mouth, while the quiet 20,000 motions per minute motor is easy to deal with if you find more powerful brushes disconcerting. The batteries seem to go on forever, and you can replace the heads with Colgate’s Deep Clean refills when they wear out, roughly every three months.
If you’re looking for a toothbrush for everyday use, then you might want to up your budget. The ProClinical 150 gives you a better clean than a manual toothbrush, but not the kind of in-depth clean you’ll get from rechargeable sonic brushes, nor the same smooth, polished feel on the surface of your teeth. What’s more, while you get a two-minute timer, there’s no battery indicator or even any extra cleaning modes. However, you’ve got to love the simplicity, and those with more sensitive teeth or gums may prefer its easy-going manner.
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 1; Battery type: 2x AAA; Accessories included: Brush head; Battery life: Approx 2-3 months; Warranty: Not stated
2. Philips One Electric Toothbrush: Best sonic toothbrush for travel
Price when reviewed: £30 | Check price at AmazonThe Philips One is a great entry-level toothbrush that also doubles as a brilliant travel brush. Philips has effectively built its Sonicare tech into a brush that’s just 20cm long and weighs only 34g, with a grippy, moulded handle that packs neatly into a minimalist travel case.
With just the one setting, it’s pretty basic, but you still do get a timer – the brush pulses every 30 seconds and switches itself off after two minutes. We also like the unusual pink, blue and yellow colour options available. While the One doesn’t have the brushing power of the larger Sonicare brushes, it’s way ahead of other battery-powered electric toothbrushes, and does a great job of leaving your teeth feeling clean and looking shiny. The relatively gentle movement is also brilliant for massaging along the gumline.
The single AAA battery keeps the toothbrush going for up to 90 days, although Philips also sells a more expensive rechargeable version that boosts cleaning power and offers a 30-day battery life. We would opt for the latter if the One was your one and only toothbrush, but the battery-powered model is perfect for packing in your suitcase or weekend bag.
Read our full Philips One Electric Toothbrush review
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 1; Battery type: 1 x AAA NiMH; Accessories included: Travel case; Battery life: 6hrs; Warranty: 1yr
3. Bitvae D2 Ultrasonic: Best budget sonic toothbrush
Price when reviewed: £26 | Check price at AmazonIt’s not hard to find a Philips Sonicare clone for around £25 on Amazon, but the Bitvae D2 certainly kicks things up a notch. For a start, Bitvae’s budget brush uses a different mechanism, with a chunky plastic shaft to transfer the vibrations between the handle and the brush head. Plus, while the head pulsates at a speed of 40,000 strokes per minute, the handle doesn’t transmit as much buzz as similar brushes and remains comfortable in the hand.
Bitvae also throws in eight heads, which should keep you covered for up to two years of brushing, and the battery is charged by a USB cable, with a barrel-type plug that slots into a socket on the bottom.
Does it deliver a clean as good as the more expensive Sonicare models? Perhaps not. Even when you move beyond the Soft and Gum Care modes to the White and Polish options, you don’t quite get the power of a mid-range Philips brush, not to mention the alternatives from Oclean or Ordo. However, your teeth still feel clean after brushing, the Gum Care mode gives your gums a decent massage, and the Soft mode is ideal for first-time electric toothbrush users or those with sensitive gums.
Battery life is also solid for a budget brush, and only takes four hours to recharge. Most importantly though, this is a big step up in cleaning from manual brushes or the cheaper battery models, and you can kit out the whole family without breaking the bank.
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 5; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: 8 x brush heads, USB charging cable, holder; Battery life (tested): 93 minutes; Warranty: 1yr
4. Philips Sonicare 3100: Best value sonic toothbrush
Price when reviewed: £40 | Check price at AmazonWe’ve long had the Sonicare 3100 as the best Philips brush for those not bothered by extra brushing modes and smart brush bells and whistles. This hasn’t changed with the new version, which has slimmed down for a more comfortable handle, and switched to a USB powered charging cradle from the old 2-prong shaver socket adaptor. This is arguably more convenient for everyday charging and travel, but you’ll have to budget for a separate charger in the unlikely event that you don’t have a spare one handy.
As before, the 3100 is compatible with the full range of Sonicare heads, and now supports BrushSync tech, with an LED indicator that lets you know when the head needs changing. What’s more, the clean isn’t far behind what you’d expect from Sonicare brushes twice the price. Sure, you only get 31,000 motions per minute where the top of the range models hit twice the speed, but your gnashers still come away feeling clean across the surface, and you get a nice, deep sweep along the gumline and between the teeth. You’ll have to pay more for extra cleaning modes and the battery life – just over 60 minutes – is disappointing, but this is still the best entry-level brush.
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 1; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: Brush head, USB charger; Battery life (tested): 65 mins; Warranty: 2yrs
5. Ordo Sonic+: Best sonic toothbrush under £50
Price when reviewed: £40 | Check price at ArgosWhile there are dozens of cheap sonic toothbrushes for sale on Amazon, not all have the elegant design and rock-solid build quality to stand up to with the best from Oral-B or Philips. The Ordo Sonic+ is an exception, thanks to a mix of great design, good technology and some interesting options.
You can buy the brush and buy heads as normal, but Ordo also runs subscriptions, where you can have a new brush head and two tubes of toothpaste for £10 every 1 to 3 months, or a bigger bundle including toothpaste, mouthwash, floss and interdental brushes for £15 every 1 to 3 months. This isn’t for everyone – most of us would rather stick with our own favourite dental products – but it’s a nice way to make sure you have everything you need at a reasonable cost.
As for the brush itself, it feels and works much like a mid-range Sonicare toothbrush, with four brushing modes designed for cleaning, whiting, sensitive teeth and a gum massage, and a nice, slim handle with a grippy, rubber feel. It switches itself off when the usual two-minute brush is done, and pulses every 30 seconds during use to remind you to brush another quadrant. Battery life is brilliant, with enough charge to get you through a good month of brushing before recharging via the USB cradle. Whether or not you fancy the subscription, this is a great sonic toothbrush at a very competitive price.
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 4; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: Brush head, charging cradle, travel cap; Battery life (tested): 2hrs 27mins; Warranty: 1yr
6. Brushd Electric Toothbrush: Best sonic toothbrush for style
Price when reviewed: £60 | Check price at BrushdTwo things make the Brushd Electric Toothbrush compelling. First, the toothbrush heads are completely recyclable; just stick them in the pre-paid postal bag and Brushd will take care of the rest. Second, this is one very stylish toothbrush, with a comfortable, rounded shape and a rather lovely eggshell blue colour. The rounded base means it won’t stand upright on a shelf, but Brushd bundles in a magnetic charging cradle you can attach to the bathroom wall, which connects to a USB power source through a Type-C socket.
You get three brushing modes – Clean, Sensitive, and White – with the Sensitive mode particularly easy going. The Clean and White modes give you a more in-depth clean, similar to what you’d get from a mid-range Sonicare brush. Just be aware that there’s no pressure sensor to stop you brushing too softly or too hard, and the brush shuts off automatically when your two minutes of brushing time is up. Battery life is roughly in line with the Philips Sonicare at just under 70 minutes, but that’s still more than enough to get you through a month of use without a recharge.
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 3; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: 2 brush heads, wireless charger; Battery life (tested): 68 mins; Warranty: 1yr
7. Oclean X Pro Elite: Best mid-range sonic smart brush
Price when reviewed: £80 | Check price at AmazonCan’t stretch to one of Oral-B’s iO Series brushes? Don’t panic. It’s not the only brand with an OLED display and a quiet, magnetic motor. In fact, you could describe the Oclean X Pro Elite as an iO Series/Philips Sonicare mash-up. Like the Oral-B, it has a 0.96-inch colour OLED touchscreen with which to monitor your brushing, along with Bluetooth connectivity and a smartphone app. Like the Sonicare brushes, its brushless magnetic motor keeps the brush head vibrating 42,000 times per minute. As well as four modes (standard, delicate, whitening and gum massage), you can also set the duration and the intensity of your brush, giving you plenty of ways to customise your routine, while the screen gives you feedback on where you’re brushing and how long you’ve been brushing for.
Oclean’s controls and software aren’t quite as polished as Oral-B’s. The OLED touchscreen can be unresponsive, while the app simply tracks the frequency and efficiency of your brushing, and sometimes struggles to make a stable connection to the brush. The iO Series brushes do a better job of actually monitoring where you’ve brushed and where you haven’t. As a toothbrush, though, the Oclean is a real contender; it’s quiet but surprisingly powerful, working effectively along the gumline and doing a fine job of keeping the teeth feeling fresh and clean. As a bonus, you can charge it using nearly any wireless charger – not just the USB pad provided – and the battery lasts for over 160 minutes. That’s enough to maintain your routine for a solid 40 days or more.
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 4; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: One brush head, charger, magnetic wall mount; Battery life (tested): 167 mins; Warranty: 2yrs
8. Oclean X10: Best high-tech sonic toothbrush
Price when reviewed: £85 | Check price at AmazonGiven that it doesn’t have the smart app features or Bluetooth connectivity of the X Pro Elite, it’s hard to work out at first why the Oclean X10 is a tenner more expensive. However, the new Maglev brushless motor and lithium ion battery give it double the battery life of the other model, while the larger colour OLED display and improved visual feedback mean you don’t need to reach for your smartphone. Instead, the built-in sensors and display tell you where you’ve brushed and for how long – and even recommend a catch-up plan if you continue brushing. You also get five modes – Clean, White, Massage, Sensitive, and Polish – plus five intensity settings for each, and switching between them using the two buttons is easier than on the X Pro Elite’s tiny touchscreen.
When it comes to cleaning, the X10 is noticeably quieter than rival brushes, particularly on its Sensitive and lower-intensity settings, yet it still does an excellent job of cleansing, polishing, and moving debris from in between the teeth. And while you need to plug the USB cable into a socket at the bottom of the handle to charge it, a single three-hour charge lasts for up to 60 days, with a week’s worth of brushing barely making any impact on the battery meter. If you’re not bothered with smart features but want a superior sonic toothbrush, the X10 is right up there with the best.
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 5; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: One brush head, USB Type-C cable, magnetic wall mount; Battery life: 240 mins predicted; Warranty: 2yrs
9. Philips Sonicare ExpertClean 7300: Best sonic toothbrush for most people
Price when reviewed: £100 | Check price at John LewisPhilips’ ExpertClean 7300 is arguably the best sonic toothbrush you can buy without paying over £200 – and you can often find it for around £100 during seasonal sales. Like the top-of-the-range DiamondClean models, it works with the Sonicare app to track your brushing and dish out reminders, guidance, and tips. It can tell you whether you’re not brushing for long enough or you’re applying too much pressure, and with three different cleaning modes – Clean, Gum Health and Deep Clean+ – it’s easy to vary them or find the ideal mode for you.
It’s a very comfortable and well-designed brush as well, with pulse alerts to help you keep track of your brushing if you’re not using the app, and a clear battery indicator to let you know when it’s running down. Not that this is too much of an issue; Philips states that the battery should last you three weeks of brushing, and our tests put that on the conservative side.
Plus, while you don’t get all the extra brushes or charging glass of the flagship model, it does still come with a handy USB charging case, which makes this a fantastic toothbrush both for home and for travel. It’s still not what you might call cheap, but it’s a premium brush at a price you might find easier to swallow.
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 3; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: 2 brush heads, charging travel case, charger; Battery life (tested): 1hr 33mins; Warranty: 2yrs
10. Evowera Planck 01: Best futuristically-advanced sonic toothbrush
Price when reviewed: £148 | Check price at AmazonJust as we’ve seen the likes of OnePlus, Oppo and Xiaomi prove that Chinese manufacturers can do more than produce budget iPhone clones, so Oclean and Evowera seem intent on proving they can do the same for the electric toothbrush. The Planck 01 – full name Planck 01 Leading Servo Motor Driven Electric Toothbrush – is every inch a high-end brush, combining the OLED screen, sensors and smart app functionality of Oral-B’s iO brushes with an advanced magnetic motor and a sonic style. You can switch between the six modes – Adaptive, Clean, White, Sensitive, Comfort and Therapy – with the top button, or vary the intensity by holding it down. The second button turns it on and off, and you can use the pulse timer and the visual feedback on the colour display to keep track of how long you’ve cleaned and where you need to clean before you finish.
If we have a criticism of the Planck 01, it’s that it captures a lot of information but isn’t so good at telling you what it all means. The built-in display gives you simple feedback, but the accompanying app could be clearer. What does Amplitude Deviation even mean? However, the brush itself is fantastic, even if you might want to dial down the power in Adaptive and Clean modes, where the sheer force of the vibration threatens to send flecks of toothpaste flying every time you brush. On gentler settings it’s extremely gentle, but turn it up and you get a superb in-depth clean that’s as good as anything I’ve had from the major manufacturers, with the Adaptive mode using the sensor data to adapt the power and brushing pattern as it cleans. While this isn’t exactly the most affordable toothbrush, its big brand competitors are roughly twice the price and, in some respects, not as good.
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 6; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: Two brush heads, charger, magnetic wall mount; Battery life (tested): 69 mins; Warranty: 2yrs
11. Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 Special Edition: Best high-end sonic toothbrush
Price when reviewed: £185 | Check price at AmazonThe DiamondClean 9000 is a step up from the ExpertClean 7300, adding important features from Philips’ flagship Prestige series, but without all the gimmicky extras that really add to the cost. The slim handle, clear indicators, and easy-to-find tactile buttons make it a very easy brush to use and, while you don’t get the position-sensing features of the Prestige brushes, you can still track your brushing habits through a companion smartphone app, receiving tips on how to improve them.
However, the top reason to get the DiamondClean 9000 is that you’ll be getting the best clean available in the Sonicare range, and one of the best from any electric toothbrush. The Deep Clean+ mode might be too much for some people, but, with three intensity settings, you can adjust the brush to suit your teeth, or simply switch to the regular Clean mode, or the White+ mode that will leave your teeth feeling polished. Meanwhile, the Gum Health mode is brilliant for treating soft, sensitive gums.
Throw in the epic battery life and a neat charging cradle, and this is a fantastic package. If you’re looking for a quiet and comfortable, but powerful toothbrush then this is the high-end model to buy.
Read our full Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 review
Key specs – Cleaning modes: 4; Battery type: Li-ion; Accessories included: 4 x brush heads, travel case, charger; Battery life (tested): 1hr 52mins; Warranty: 2yrs