Should You Switch to an Electric Toothbrush? We Compared the Two Best Brands

oral b vs sonicare
Oral-B vs. Sonicare: Which is Better For You?

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When it comes to keeping your pearly whites, well, pearly white, not just any toothbrush will do. Compared to a manual toothbrush, the best electric toothbrushes will make it easier to gently remove plaque, reduce bacteria and polish your teeth while protecting your enamel. When deciding it's time to switch from a manual toothbrush to a high-tech electric model, there are many factors to consider.

If your dentist recommended using an electric toothbrush to improve oral health, Oral-B and Sonicare are two of the most popular brands for their ergonomic design, powerful brushing modes and effective cleaning power. Wondering which is best for your needs? Our experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute have tested nearly a dozen electric toothbrushes, evaluating everything from how well they clean to how quickly they charge.

That said, each toothbrush brand has its strengths and weaknesses, which is why we broke down the key differences between Oral-B and Sonicare, ahead.

Oral-B vs. Sonicare: Price

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Pro 1000 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush</p><p></p><p>$49.94</p>

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Pro 1000 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush


<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>4100 Power Toothbrush</p><p></p><p>$39.96</p>

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4100 Power Toothbrush


Price should be a huge consideration when picking out an electric toothbrush — and thankfully, both Oral-B and Sonicare offer a few different models to match your budget. Our pros tested an entry-level electric toothbrush and a high-end, investment-worthy model from each brand to compare overall value for shoppers with varying price points.

If cost is your number one concern when shopping for a new electric toothbrush, Oral-B offers more bang for your buck. The Oral-B Pro 1000 Toothbrush earned some of the highest overall scores from our consumer testers, and it costs $70 at full price — though, you can often find it on sale at Amazon. Plus, replacement brush heads start at $16 (cheaper than Sonicare's replacement heads, which begin at $30).

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>iO Series 9 Electric Toothbrush </p><p></p><p>$255.99</p>

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iO Series 9 Electric Toothbrush


<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>9900 Prestige Electric Toothbrush with SenseIQ</p><p></p><p>$329.96</p>

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9900 Prestige Electric Toothbrush with SenseIQ


When you're willing to splurge for a high-end model, our experts recommend Sonicare's 9900 Prestige — it was named the best high-end electric toothbrush. Despite being the most expensive toothbrush we tested, experts and users alike agreed it's well worth the price for its easy-to-use features and app-guided tools. It even comes with a travel case that will charge your toothbrush while on the go.

For a little less money, Oral-B's iO Series 9 also features an impressive suite of capabilities worth considering. While it had slightly lower performance and satisfaction scores than Sonicare, it's still a great option when you want a high-tech model while saving a few dollars.

Oral-B vs. Sonicare: Features

Whether you want a top-of-the-line electric toothbrush with all the bells and whistles or you're looking for a starter model to test the waters, considering the features of each option should help narrow your search.

The Sonicare 4100 Power Toothbrush is certainly pricey, but it earned the highest overall Lab score and the best consumer satisfaction score. Armed with the most comprehensive features of all the toothbrushes we tested, it can sense your brushing movements, adapt its vibrations to protect your teeth and gums, track which spots in your mouth you missed and more. Two different intensity settings let you customize your brushing experience, and the connected app helps improve brushing habits over time.

Even the Sonicare 4100 budget model offers all the must-have features you'd expect in an electric toothbrush, like a two-minute timer, a pressure sensor and two intensity settings. This model particularly stood out to our pros thanks to its ease of use, durability and quietness among our testers.

However, our best overall electric toothbrush is the Oral-B Pro 1000 for a reason: This model rings in at a fraction of the cost of many others, yet its features include an intuitive interface, three different brushing modes, a pressure sensor and more.

You can upgrade to one of Oral-B's advanced models for even more feature-rich functions. Its top-of-the-line model was named the best smart electric toothbrush by the GH Institute for its real-time "coaching" feature that leverages artificial intelligence to help guide you while you brush so you never miss a spot. It even has seven different clean modes and a colored interactive display to help track your brushing time for a more intuitive experience.

Oral-B vs. Sonicare: Design

oral b vs sonicare
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The design might seem like a frivolous feature to consider in an electric toothbrush, but the shape of your brush head and handle can make a big difference in how easily you can clean your teeth. In general, if you prefer the shape of a traditional toothbrush, you'll likely lean towards the elongated head from Sonicare. It has rows of bristles that move side to side, and its narrower shape makes it easier to access hard-to-reach spots in your mouth.

However, other shoppers might prefer the circular brush head on Oral-B's toothbrushes, which take inspiration from what you might find in a dentist's office. The brush head is a little bulkier, so it may require a little more effort to clean your molars. However, the oscillating design claims to help loosen plaque. It's worth noting: Not all Oral-B brush heads fit the same; the brand's iO Series 9 toothbrush requires iO brush heads, while all other series can be used interchangeably.

Oral-B vs. Sonicare: Charging Stands and Travel

Since you'll need to charge your electric toothbrush, it'll take up more space on your countertop or vanity than a manual toothbrush. The toothbrushes from both brands come with a compact charging stand to hold your brush when not in use, but we found Sonicare's stands to be superior in footprint and upkeep. Our testers found Oral-B's charging stand tends to build up residue, so you'll have to be more proactive about cleaning it than Sonicare's models.

If you travel frequently and plan on bringing your electric toothbrush, you'll want to opt for a model that comes with a travel case. While both Sonicare and Oral-B offer travel cases with several of their toothbrushes — including options that double as a charger — we found Sonicare's to be the most compact. This may not be a huge consideration if you don't travel much, but frequent fliers will want to accommodate a little extra space in their toiletry bag when buying an Oral-B model.

Bottom Line: Should You Buy Oral-B or Sonicare?

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If you're looking for a budget-friendly brand that still has all the necessary bells and whistles to keep your teeth clean, Oral-B electric toothbrushes are likely the way to go. Our experts and testing panel raved over the intuitive features and effective cleaning skills of the Oral-B Pro 1000 model, which rings in for under $50. You'll also be able to replace your brush head every few months for less. Should you choose to upgrade, the brand's AI-enhanced iO Series 9 toothbrush provides stellar features at a less expensive price than its competitors.

When top-of-the-line features, design and the latest technology are your biggest concerns, our pros recommend the Sonicare 9900 Prestige toothbrush. It earned the highest overall scores in our Lab tests and the highest customer satisfaction scores of all the electric toothbrushes we tested — making it well worth the higher price tag if you're willing to splurge. We also recommend Sonicare electric toothbrushes to anyone who prefers the traditional shape of a manual toothbrush, which could make it easier to fit in hard-to-reach spots in some shoppers' mouths.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?

At the Good Housekeeping Institute, we test all types of health and wellness products, including electric toothbrushes. When testing Oral-B and Sonicare products, our experts evaluated the performance, features, design, size and more to determine which brand suited different needs. We also culled feedback from our consumer testing panel to help guide our picks.

Samantha Jones is a commerce editor at Good Housekeeping, where she reviews products like running shoes, luggage, vacuums and more. To determine the best brand between Oral-B and Sonicare, she tapped GH Institute's Health, Beauty & Sustainability Lab results and leveraged GH consumer testers' feedback.

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