Electric toothbrushes have worked their way into our hearts, and onto our bathroom sinks, for years. It’s easy to see why. The best electric toothbrush helps you easily hit your recommended 2-minute brushing time. It also provides a deep clean for healthy teeth and gums, including sensitive ones. We’ve rounded up Australia’s top electric toothbrushes, pulling data from a wide range of sources and being informed by real customer reviews.
Table of contentsIntroductionHow we pickedBest electric toothbrushesFeatures to considerUpgrade features
How we picked
Electric toothbrushes all do the same thing: clean your teeth and gums. The top 8 that we found are ones that stood out from the thousands available. You’ll notice that some brands dominate, like Oral-B and Philips. That’s because as veterans of the industry, they both consistently deliver top-performing toothbrushes that are enjoyed and trusted by dentists and people worldwide.
To begin our search, we turned to the world’s favourite search engine to see what electric toothbrushes are loved the world over. From there, we discounted any toothbrushes that weren’t available in Australia. Even if our blinding-white-teethed American neighbours loved them.
That left us with literally hundreds of toothbrushes.
So, we looked to expert research, including Choice – Australia’s leading consumer advocacy group – and Consumer, the New Zealand equivalent. We also looked at Consumer Reports, the American version, but they don’t currently test electric toothbrushes. Yep, it’s that hard.
Any electric toothbrush that was independently tested and reviewed by Choice or Consumer became a contender.
But we wanted real customer insight – how did the toothbrush feel, look and perform in Australians’ mouths? We took our list of contenders and turned to ProductReview.com.au – Australia’s most comprehensive consumer opinion site. We were looking for highly rated toothbrushes that had lots of consistently good reviews.
By now we had a list of independently reviewed and rated toothbrushes that were also highly rated by Aussies.
To narrow it down further, we looked for features that we felt were must-haves. Every one of our contenders had to have a timer, the ability to replace brush heads, and a reasonable price point.
We didn’t look specifically for toothbrushes suitable for sensitive teeth. That’s because everyone’s pain threshold is different. What feels like a pleasant tickling to one could feel like a million tiny needle jabs to another. This comes back to our must-have feature – replacement brush heads.
Finally, we discounted anything that was far too expensive to be accessible to most Aussies, think $500+, or had too many unnecessary features.
That left us with the 8 best toothbrushes, including our top 3 picks.
The 8 best electric toothbrushes in Australia
Important features to consider
These are standard features we’d expect every decent electric toothbrush to have.
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends you brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes, morning and night. A built-in timer makes it easy for you to brush for the right amount of time. A toothbrush might beep, vibrate or pulse to let you know when you’re done.
Replacement brush heads
Dentists and manufacturers recommend changing your brush head once the bristles are worn. This is about every 3-4 months. It’s important you check that you can replace the brush heads, rather than having to replace the entire toothbrush which can be expensive.
Check the price of the replacement heads. They can be pricey, especially for higher-end toothbrushes. You’ll need to factor in buying them regularly. Consider how wide a range of brush heads are available, especially if you have sensitive teeth. These tend to have even softer bristles and a smaller head size. If you’re sharing your electric toothbrush handle with the family, different head options can cater for different needs.
Brush heads are a great way of expanding an electric toothbrush that only has 1 cleaning mode. Different brush heads offer different cleaning experiences, such as whitening or enhanced plaque removal.
Storage for brush heads
Rather than cluttering up the bathroom sink, see if the charging stand includes a place to keep spare brush heads. This is also handy for families who share the same toothbrush handle but have different brush heads.
It’s not essential but is a basic nice-to-have.
Good size charger
The point of an electric toothbrush is that it’s rechargeable. Ensure its charger isn’t too big or bulky. You don’t want it to take up too much space on a crowded sink. Plus, a smaller, lighter charger makes for easier travelling.
Consider an electric toothbrush that offers different cleaning modes, like sensitive, deep clean or whitening. These can make your toothbrush more versatile to suit multiple family members.
Bear in mind that there is no impartial research that proves that cleaning modes are important to the quality of the clean. Although a sensitive mode can be helpful for people who find the brush’s normal movements too quick or uncomfortable.
One cleaning mode is completely acceptable.
Regardless of how many cleaning modes there are, you’ll notice that brush heads claim to do different things:
Rotate – a circle of bristles may rotate, or individual bristles may spin.
Pulsate – the head moves backwards and forwards against teeth to help dislodge plaque.
Oscillate – small, round heads which oscillate, which means it rotates in 1 direction then the other.
Sonic – vibrate at high speeds and frequency to help break down plaque.
The major brands prefer 1 style over the other: Oral-B offers oscillation action, Philips sonic. Is one better than the other?
Oscillating toothbrushes rotate back and forth about 8,800 times per minute (and pulsate at around 40,000). They can be kinder to sensitive teeth because they don’t give a ‘tickling’ sensation. But they can be louder.
Sonic toothbrushes can vibrate up to 62,000 movements per minute to help break down plaque, but it can feel uncomfortably ticklish.
There is some evidence that rotation oscillation is better than sonic. Non-profit Cochrane reckons “rotation oscillation brushes reduce plaque and gingivitis more than side to side brushes”. A 12-week clinical study of 130 adults found that “an advanced oscillating-rotating power toothbrush produced substantial, statistically superior reductions in plaque and gingivitis … compared to a new sonic toothbrush”.
We reckon they’re both valid cleaning methods. What you choose depends on your level of sensitivity to a tooth-tickling feeling.
If you regularly unplug your charger or are frequently on-the-go, opt for a charge indicator. It’ll alert you when your brush is almost dead and it’s time to recharge.
Another basic nice-to-have is a travel container. It’ll safely store your brush away when you’re travelling, keeping your brush heads clean and everything in one handy place.
What you get if you spend more
Does spending more get you a better brush and clean? Honestly, we’re not convinced. They might make the brush look prettier or swank it up with some modern technology, but that doesn’t mean they’re better for your mouth health.
You might think that pressing harder on your teeth makes a better clean. But according to the ADA, too much pressure can damage your gums and tooth enamel. A pressure sensor warns you if you’re pressing too hard. It might beep, vibrate or turn off.
Another way to work this out without paying for a pressure sensor? If your brush head’s bristles are wearing out or start to spread apart before the 3-month mark, you’re pressing too hard.
Bluetooth connectivity and app coaching tools
Ever wondered if you’re brushing your teeth the right way? A Bluetooth-enabled coaching tool can help. It might feature a position sensor that tracks how long you brush a certain area of your mouth. This could be helpful if you don’t have a quad timer. But if you do, you’ll know exactly how long you’re spending (30 seconds). Or it might tell you if you’re using too much pressure. Which again, is also done by a pressure sensor.
If you’re a super tech type who loves stats and tracking stuff, this may be appealing. For other people, the use is limited.
Premium storage case and charger
A premium storage case may have room for multiple brush heads, or be enclosed in premium material, like leather. Or the charger may come with a USB port and a built-in smartphone stand for use with the toothbrush’s app.
Fancy, yes. Necessary, no.
A quad pacer tells you when you’ve spent 30 seconds on one quadrant of your mouth. Currently, there are no studies that show brushing longer in smaller areas makes any difference to plaque removal. So, again, a quad pacer isn’t necessary but it does help you avoid overbrushing in certain areas.
You might get a slightly longer battery life with a premium model. But if you’re planning on leaving your toothbrush on its charger, there’s no need to upgrade. If you’re travelling off-grid for a while, it may be worth considering.
Best All-Rounder: Oral-B PRO 1000
In our research, we came across the same feedback repeatedly about the Oral-B PRO 1000: it has the features you need, and none you don’t, for a budget price.
Those features are 1 brushing mode, a pressure sensor that stops the pulsation movement if you brush too hard, a 2-minute quad timer and a standard battery that Oral-B reckons lasts about 10 days. Because it’s Oral-B, you get access to the widest, and most affordable, range of brush heads.
It has the standard Oral-B 3D cleaning action, which means the head oscillates, rotates and pulsates to break up and remove plaque effectively. With 8,800 rotations per minute and 20,000 pulsations per minute, it provides less of a ‘tickling’ sensation than other electric toothbrushes. This makes it a good choice for people with sensitive teeth.
Real customer feedback on ProductReview.com.au confirms what we found: “It’s good quality without any extra features that I wouldn't use.”
It can be tempting to think for this price point that you need to upgrade to get a better brush. You don’t. Upgrading to the PRO 1500 gets you a visible pressure sensor and slightly longer battery life (14 days), but still 1 brushing mode. Upgrading to the PRO 3000 gets you 3 brushing modes, a visible pressure sensor and Bluetooth connectivity but the same battery life.
Why buy the Oral-B PRO 1000
Suitable for sensitive teeth – thanks to the Oral-B oscillating action, rather than sonic, you won’t feel an intense tickling sensation. This tickling can be a bit much for people with sensitive teeth.
Huge range of brush heads – which means you can change your clean to what suits you best. Even better, Oral-B replacement heads are affordable.
Simple features – the 2-minute quad timer means you get a thorough mouth clean - exactly what you need from an electric toothbrush. It’s very easy to operate. One button starts the toothbrush and you don’t need to cycle through multiple cleaning modes. A light shows when the battery is getting low. The 1 cleaning mode suits everyone. Again, if you want something more, you have the chance to switch to another affordable brush head.
The not-so-good bits
The pressure sensor – an advanced feature for this price, but it does appear to be inaccurate. The sensor needs excessive force to activate. Which means you might brush too hard without being warned.
Gum irritation – Oral-B’s oscillating action is less ticklish than sonic action. The pay off? The vigorous movements can irritate gums.
No automatic shut-off – Oral-B toothbrushes don’t shut off after 2 minutes. Instead, they pulse and buzz. If you miss this, you can over-brush. Given the ADA recommends brushing for at least 2 minutes, we don’t think this is a deal-breaker. Plus, it gives you a chance to redo any missed areas.
Battery life – The battery lasts about 44 minutes. This is plenty if you keep the brush on its charging stand. If you want to travel, it may be an issue.
The Oral-B PRO 1000 is a great budget option with everything you need, especially if you have sensitive teeth. Its main advantage is you’re not paying for a bunch of features that won’t give you a cleaner mouth, like an impressive travel case.
Also Great: Philips Sonicare 2 Series
The Philips Sonicare 2 Series is more expensive than our top pick, the Oral-B PRO 1000. That’s why it’s our runner-up. Otherwise, both brushes are very similar, and it’ll come down to your personal preference of oscillating action versus sonic.
Like the Oral-B PRO 1000, it’s minimalist. It has 1 cleaning mode and a 2-minute quad timer plus a smaller, more expensive range of brush heads to choose from. It does end your cleaning cycle after 2 minutes, unlike the Oral-B PRO 1000. Which is good if you’re a stickler for the rules and sticking strictly to the 2-minute brush time.
Why the Philips Sonicare 2 Series is worth considering
Simple features – 1 brushing mode with a 2-minute quad timer is all you need for a decent clean.
Easy brush head replacement – although not as extensive a range as Oral-B, this brush is still compatible with a wide range of heads. This includes brush heads with soft bristles, especially suitable for sensitive teeth. It’s also very easy to replace the head.
Transition – when you begin using this brush, it starts off with lower vibrations. This helps you adjust to it better and quicker, especially if you’re coming from using a manual toothbrush or are swapping from another cleaning action, like Oral-B’s oscillating movements.
The not-so-good bits
Lack of pressure sensor – given that the cheaper Oral-B PRO 1000 has this feature, it’s surprising the 2 Series doesn’t. However, a pressure sensor isn’t a must-have in our book.
Not great for sensitive teeth – the 2 Series has up to 31,000 brush movements per minute. Compare this to the PRO 1000’s around 8,800 rotations and 20,000 pulsations per minute. The 2 Series’ faster pace can be more uncomfortable for sensitive teeth.
The Philips Sonicare 2 Series is simply a great toothbrush with all the features you need, including 1 cleaning mode and a 2-minute quad timer. However, you pay more to get less – unlike the PRO 1000, it doesn’t have a pressure sensor. That’s why it’s our runner-up.
Best for Kids: Philips Sonicare for Kids
If getting your kids to brush their teeth regularly and effectively is a struggle, you’ll love the Philips Sonicare for Kids. It’s a smart electric toothbrush that has built-in Bluetooth and a coaching app. It’s this that we feel will really appeal to kids.
This app features a cute character called Sparkly in an interactive game where kids subtly learn better brushing techniques and healthy food tips. They also win awards for consistent brushing. This helps build life-long brushing habits, as evidenced by a customer on ProductReview.com.au who explains how their child is “learning how to brush according to the app provided … she will aim for the two minutes mark in order to get the reward. [I’ve] never seen her brushing so diligently before”.
It comes with 1 brush head and 2 modes; a low mode for young children (the toothbrush is suitable for ages 3+) and a high mode for older ones. There are also 8 different handle stickers so kids can customise their brush.
Why buy the Philips Sonicare for Kids
The mobile app – which is basically a game. It provides a good incentive for kids to brush daily and to get them excited about brushing their teeth.
Transition – like the Philips Sonicare 2 Series, the Sonicare for Kids has a transition feature, but this one is about time. It starts off with 1-minute and gradually builds kids up to 2 minutes of brushing over time. Easing kids into 2 minutes, rather than expecting that from day 1, can be easier.
Handle size – it suits both adults and kids, meaning you can hold it with them as they learn how to use it. Because of its larger size, it’s easier and more comfortable for kids to hold. Plus, they won’t outgrow it too quickly.
The not-so-good bits
They’ll outgrow it – as your child’s mouth and teeth develop, they’ll need an adult-sized electric toothbrush, rendering this one obsolete. But the same can be said for every child’s toothbrush. The Sonicare for Kids has the extra bonus of the app to keep kids engaged for longer and helping them develop healthy brushing habits.
Tickling – because it’s a sonic toothbrush, it may tickle sensitive teeth. This could discourage your child from using it.
The Philips Sonicare for Kids is a kid-friendly electric toothbrush that uses a fun app to teach correct brushing technique and build life-long healthy habits. It’s easy to use, has beautifully coloured stickers for your child to customise their brush, and gradually gets them hitting that 2-minute brush time. It could be a worthwhile investment if you have an unenthusiastic brusher.
It was difficult to narrow down our top picks, because of the similarities between electric toothbrushes. These are the ones that nearly made the cut, and are still worthy of your consideration.
Oral-B Vitality Precision Clean
The Oral-B Vitality Precision Clean is a cheap basic electric toothbrush. It’s very simple: you get 1 brush mode and a 2-minute timer. That means no charging status light or quad timer. It’s highly rated on ProductReview.com.au by customers who love how it’s no frills. It’s perfectly adequate for at-home use, as the battery life isn’t highly rated.
New to electric toothbrushes or want to upgrade from your manual? The Oral-B Vitality Precision Clean is worth a go.
Oral-B GENIUS 9000
The Oral-B GENIUS 9000 is jampacked with features. This includes 6 cleaning modes, such as PRO Clean, Whitening, Gum Care and Sensitive, and a smartphone app that tells you if you’re missing any spots while brushing.
It also boasts Pressure Control which reduces brushing speed and ultimately stops if you brush too hard. This is combined with SmartRing, which glows when it detects too-hard brushing. Together, they help protect your gums from over-brushing.
It comes with a dual-charging travel case that charges both your toothbrush and phone and 3 toothbrush heads. Because it’s Oral-B, you get access to their huge range of affordable brush heads. It’s available in on-trend rose gold, plus black and white.
Ultimately, we feel like the GENIUS 9000 has too many unnecessary features (ref: that smart travel case) for too high a price point.
Colgate ProClinical C250
The Colgate ProClinical C250 is a sleek and simple electric toothbrush. It has the standard features you’d expect, such as a 2-minute quad timer. It also includes a travel cap to keep your brush clean when you’re on the go.
Like Philips, the Colgate ProClinical C250 uses sonic vibrations to clean, rather than Oral-B’s oscillating action. For sensitive teeth, sonic can be more tickly and uncomfortable.
Its sleek design means no ridges or rubbery parts for dirt and toothpaste to catch in. The included charger is small and easy to store. However, it doesn’t hold its charge very well with vibrations noticeably less strong when not 100% charged.
Ultimately, it’s an affordable yet basic option that’s loved by Aussie customers on ProductReview.com.au.
Oral-B PRO 700
It was really close between the Oral-B PRO 700 and our top pick, its sister PRO 1000. PRO 1000 got the edge because of the huge number of positive customer reviews.
It has the same features as the PRO 1000: the 2-minute quad timer, 1 brushing mode, pressure sensor and travel case. They’re also very similarly priced.
You’d be hard pressed to pick between these 2. For us, it came down to how loved the PRO 1000 is by Aussie customers.
Philips SONICARE Diamond Clean Smart
At the very top end of the price scale, Philips SONICARE Diamond Clean Smart was always going to be an outlier. This toothbrush has all the bells and whistles. We’re talking 5 clean modes and 3 intensity settings; and 5 different brush heads included – not to mention the extra ones you can access in the wider Philips range. These brush heads are smart: they automatically select the best brushing mode and will even tell you when you need to replace them
It also has a sensor to reduce your scrubbing and improve your brushing technique, plus a pressure sensor. Then there’s the Bluetooth connectivity and app. Real-time tracking shows you where you’ve brushed and where you haven’t, to ensure you’ve cleaned your whole mouth. This is topped off by a sleek charging glass.
This is the top-end of toothbrushes. Available in lunar blue only, it’s attractive and different. But all its flashy features aren’t going to impact on your mouth health. If you have the cash to spare and like the latest, shiniest gadgets, give it a go.