The conventional toothbrush has had its day: More and more people are turning to the electric toothbrush for dental hygiene. But not all models are good. Stiftung Warentest has been testing since 2013 electric toothbrushes and annually chooses a test winner. In the latest test from December, however, almost none of the new models was able to prevail. The top recommendation remains an electric toothbrush from the January test: the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart. But this is one of the most expensive devices on the market, you pay around 210 Euro for the tested variant. The testers also recommend good alternatives for around 60 Euro. In the discounter you will also find real bargains for under 10 Euro. Read here what you need to consider when buying.
The test was carried out by Stiftung Warentest and published in the edition 12 / 2019 released.
Electric toothbrushes are generally more thorough and effective than simple manual toothbrushes and are therefore often recommended by dentists. But not all electric toothbrushes are really usable: if the device's battery drains quickly or the toothbrush does not clean hard-to-reach areas in the mouth, the added value is low. Stiftung Warentest has over the years now 80 electric toothbrushes tested and the results collected.
The result: In the latest test from December, six of the eight new test devices achieved the Overall rating “Good”, but the best models of the previous test could not be exceeded with their grade. This means that the top recommendations from January are still in the top positions. Since the experts revised their test procedure last year, no electric toothbrush has been rated “very good”, the highest grade so far is 1.8.
You can read that in our article: You can see the top recommendations from Stiftung Warentest in an overview, afterwards we present the three best models and the price tip in detail and also discuss the special offers at the discounter. You will then learn the background to the test procedure and we will explain which types of electric toothbrushes are available. In the advisory section you will learn everything else about the purchase and we will answer frequently asked questions.
The best electric toothbrushes in the test by Stiftung Warentest
These are the best electric toothbrushes 2020
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart HX 9903 / 03 (test winner)
- Very good teeth cleaning
- Lush equipment
- Long battery life
- Quite difficult (141 grams)
- No brush storage
- High price
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart is a real premium product. The electric toothbrush is the most expensive model in the test, but it also cleans well and is generously equipped.
The sonic toothbrush from Philips achieved its effective Tooth cleaning a top 3 Scoring. In this category, the Sonicare is well worth the money. You can also choose from four cleaning settings from normal cleaning to gum care and also adjust the intensity. The toothbrush itself looks as noble as the accessories. The battery is charged inductively, to do this, place the Philips device in the supplied charging glass, which is connected to the socket via a cable.
Even with the Handling the Philips Sonicare reaches Top grade in the test. Although their handiness is not quite perfect, no other premium toothbrush model can match the functionality. The support by the cleaning time signal is excellent and the control is great overall, there is also an optical pressure control. The battery life is very long at almost two hours, the toothbrush is stable in the charging glass and is also easy to clean. The scope of delivery includes three brush attachments for different purposes and a travel case, but there is no dedicated storage option for the brushes at the charging station.
The device can even be connected via Bluetooth connect a smartphone app, but the experts rated it rather mediocre: brushing your teeth shows many quirks and the app collects sensitive activity data. The progress indicator can at least have a motivating effect.
Thanks to the solid workmanship and water resistance, the Durability of the Sonicare excellent. The battery also passes the aging test, in which it is continuously discharged and charged to simulate three years of operation. The battery life is only shortened by a few minutes after the procedure. However, because the battery is permanently installed and cannot be replaced, the experts give environmental compatibility no top marks.
for the high-quality test winner Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart pay around 210 Euro. This is twice as expensive as comparable premium alternatives. A replacement brush costs around 10 Euro.
Braun Oral-B Pro 900 Sensi UltraThin
- Good tooth cleaning
- Convenient control
- class accessories
- Not quite stable in the charging station
- Cleaning a little more laborious
- battery life could be longer
The runner-up in the test, the Braun Oral-B Pro 900 Sensi UltraThin , is significantly cheaper than the test winner. It doesn't quite offer the same rich functionality, but it performs well.
In terms of evaluating the Tooth cleaning for Oral-B it is not quite enough for the top grade, the plaque Removal with the oscillating-rotating and pulsating brushes is still good. Despite the alternative cleaning method, the difference to the test winner is not particularly big. The “pro-900 – Model offers three different brushing programs, including teeth whitening. The device shows no weaknesses in the drop test and the water resistance test. The non-exchangeability of the battery also gives a point deduction here, so that the toothbrush with durability and environmental properties receives the same grade as the test winner.
The Oral-B Pro 900 shows up in the Handling handy and easy to control. Some additional functions are missing compared to the test winner, but essentially the toothbrush does a good job. The cleaning time signal fits and the battery life is with 45 minutes significantly less than that of the Philips model, but still satisfactory. The Oral-B is not quite stable on its charging station and cleaning is a bit tedious. However, there are no real shortcomings. The two supplied brushes can be stored at the base station.
The Braun Oral-B Pro 900 Sensi UltraThin currently costs around 55 euros, a good mid-range price. The toothbrush has become more expensive since the test. You pay around 3 euros per replacement brush.
Edel + White Sonic Generation 8 Winner
- Very good teeth cleaning
- Strong equipment
- Long battery life
- Use could be more convenient
- Quite loud operating noise
- tickle the thin bristles
The electric toothbrush Edel + White Sonic Generation 8 Winner is similar to the test winner in both the elegant design and functionality. It shares second place with the Oral-B.
Like the test winner from Philips, Edel + White works with sound vibration and thus shows a comparably excellent result at teeth cleaning . At the same time, you can choose between four cleaning settings, in addition to strong and gentle plaque removal and tooth whitening, there is also a “yoga” program, which is supposed to improve the breathing rhythm with breaks during cleaning. Regarding durability and environmental properties the Sonic Generation 8 shows no abnormalities. It is solidly processed and splash-proof. Because of the non-replaceable battery, there is no perfect grade here either.
The experts believe that handling the teeth is not quite perfect with the model, according to experience reports, the Edel + White quite loud and some users find the thin bristles uncomfortable. The handpiece is easy to clean and is stable in the base station, which also offers storage options for three brush attachments. However, only two are included. The battery life of the Sonic Generation 8 Winner is almost two hours, the device is charged via USB cable and mains adapter. The toothbrush has a travel lock for transport and can be inserted into the included storage bag. The cleaning time signal works reliably.
For the very good tooth cleaning of the Edel + White Sonic Generation 8 Winner are currently paying around 100 Euro – half as much as for the test winner. The replacement brushes are available for around 8 euros each.
Cheap alternative from the drugstore
The toothbrush dm Dontodent Active Professional from the drugstore dm, the testers attested that the teeth cleaning was comparable to that of the Oral-B model – at less than a third of the price: around 16 Euro. You will find certain restrictions in handling and equipment, here the dm model does not come close to top devices. In the customer rating, the device also scores rather mediocre, frequent criticisms are a fault-prone battery and the fluctuating reliability of additional functions such as the optical pressure control. Still, you get a good device for an affordable price. You pay around 2 euros per replacement brush.
The battery-operated price-performance hit from the discounter
The discounter Lidl also temporarily offers electric toothbrushes as a special offer. The testers surprised the model Lidl Nevadent Professional Care battery-operated toothbrush NZB 3 C1 with its very good teeth cleaning, which can compete with the test winner from Philips and the premium device from Edel + White. Instead of 200 or 100 Euro you pay in Discounters but only 8 euros for the toothbrush. You won't get a charging station because the Lidl model works with replaceable batteries, although you can of course also use rechargeable batteries.
This is practical because the toothbrush is battery-operated is flexible and the operating time with two batteries is over six hours. Be However, if you do not use rechargeable batteries, only normal batteries, you produce significantly more waste. Due to the batteries, the device is also significantly heavier: round 180 grams. In addition, the Nevadent Professional Care comes with four brush attachments, but you can only buy replacement brushes if the toothbrush is currently available as a promotional item. If this is the case, you pay less than 1 euro per replacement brush.
How much do I have to spend on a good electric toothbrush?
The range of electric toothbrushes is large and the prices are wide: from below 10 Euro up to 200 Euro everything is included. You can find cheap models as promotional goods in discounters or as own brands in drugstores. For these devices you pay between 10 and 20 Euro. Teeth cleaning is usually good, but the equipment is rather poor. You can get mid-range toothbrushes for 50 to 100 Euro. Not all models in this price range perform satisfactorily, but good devices are convincing in terms of both cleaning and equipment. From 100 You come to the area of premium devices, here you will find models with particularly effective tooth cleaning, several cleaning programs and practical additional functions. However, you must note that you have to change the brush attachments regularly and therefore have running costs. Depending on the model, you pay for a replacement brush suitable for the device under 2 to over 10 Euro.
This is how Stiftung Warentest tests electric toothbrushes
Stiftung Warentest tests the electric toothbrushes in the laboratory and evaluates the test devices in different weighted categories. If the device fails in one of the categories, this results in a devaluation, which affects the overall grade. The effective tooth cleaning flows to 60 percent in the quality assessment. The testers use a jaw model with artificial teeth for the test. The electric toothbrushes are attached to a toothbrush machine and have to remove a deposit of titanium dioxide. The result is analyzed using digital photo recordings.
The assessment of handling makes 30 percent of the overall grade. Among other things, the experts evaluate how well the toothbrush cleans hard-to-reach areas and how well the device can be controlled. The accessories, the instructions for use, the charging station and the battery are also carefully examined. The remaining 10 percent of the total judgment is due to the durability and environmental properties. The processing of the device plays a role here, which is also put to the test in the drop test and leak test. Among other things, the interchangeability of the battery plays a role in environmental compatibility. The judgment takes the form of a school grade.
What is an electric toothbrush and how does it work?
When brushing your teeth with a brush, you remove dental plaque, which damages the teeth and can have health consequences. The conventional toothbrush can only loosen the covering slowly with muscle strength alone. The electric toothbrush uses very fast movements to remove the plaque more effectively and quickly. The energy is supplied either by batteries or a rechargeable battery. Due to the required technology, the handle of the electric toothbrush is much thicker than with a conventional toothbrush, the brush itself is placed on the handpiece. You replace the brush attachment when the bristles are rubbed. So you do not dispose of the entire toothbrush, as with the non-electric models, but only the brush.
What types of electric toothbrushes are there?
- Oscillating-rotating toothbrushes
With the round rotating brushes each tooth is cleaned individually. In operation, the bristles swing quickly from side to side, the movements per minute can range from a few hundred to several tens of thousands, on average around 9. 00 0 movements per minute. At the same time the brush rotates in 50- to 70 – degrees angle back and forth. Some oscillating-rotating toothbrushes combine this with additional pulsating movements. The tooth plaque is reliably removed by this brushing method, but you have to press the tooth with the brush and can damage the enamel. This is remedied by an optical cleaning pressure control.
- Sonic toothbrushes
With sonic toothbrushes, the brush head is not round, but rather resembles a manual toothbrush. It does not rotate, but vibrates. As a result, tens of thousands of vibrating movements are achieved per minute, with so-called “ultrasonic toothbrushes” even more, but these are still quite rare. The sonic toothbrush does not require a lot of pressure to loosen the plaque and is therefore gentler on the tooth enamel. The cleaning effect of the sonic toothbrush is usually better than that of the oscillating-rotating toothbrushes, but the differences are not too great. Sonic toothbrushes are usually more expensive, this also applies to the additional brush attachments.
What should I look for when buying an electric toothbrush?
- cleaning method
With the electric toothbrush, you can choose between models with an oscillating-rotating brush head or vibrating sonic toothbrushes. There are top models with good teeth cleaning in both categories. As a rule, the sound technology is more effective and gentle, but the models and matching replacement brushes are more expensive. Brushing teeth works differently with both methods and feels different. There is no clear recommendation.
- cleaning time signal & pressure control
Many electric toothbrushes have a timer that supports brushing their teeth with acoustic signals. So you get information on how long you should clean individual quadrants of your dentition and a tone tells you when you are finished cleaning. The cleaning time signal is now part of the basic equipment, even in most affordable models. Nevertheless, you should make sure that the sound signals are clearly audible and understandable. The pressure control also signals, acoustically or visually, and warns you if you press too hard on the enamel. Only individual models, mostly the more expensive ones, have an optical pressure control.
- Programs & functions
In addition to the normal cleaning of the teeth, the electric toothbrushes offer a different selection of alternative and additional programs. There are settings for a gentle cleaning of sensitive teeth, in the teeth whitening program, teeth can be polished to a high gloss. In addition, variations of massage and gum care programs are offered. Above all, it is the more expensive models that offer three to five settings. You get plaque removal with every toothbrush, but if you have special requirements, a comparison is worthwhile.
- battery & charging accessories
Most newer models of electric toothbrushes come with a non-replaceable one Battery powered, only occasionally you will find devices with battery operation. The latter are a bit more flexible and you can use rechargeable batteries instead of single-use batteries. However, since wear is relatively low even with the permanently installed batteries, there are hardly any differences in the service life. The engine is more likely to break and you have to replace the entire device anyway. But what you should pay attention to with battery models is the charging method. This ranges from the normal mains plug to a USB interface that is particularly useful for travel to wireless inductive charging.
Even if you use the electric toothbrush every day, it is practical Storage is an important point. Cordless tools usually come with a charging station, on which you put the handpiece to charge it between uses. There are often slots on the charging station for storing two or more brush attachments – but not always. A suitable case for traveling or longer storage can also be included to store the handpiece and brushes. In addition, some models have a travel lock so that the toothbrush in the pocket does not accidentally react to the push of a button. The scope of delivery fluctuates strongly.
- Spare Parts
The brush attachment of the electric toothbrush must be replaced regularly. On the one hand, dirt and bacteria collect, on the other hand the bristles wear out. All manufacturers of electric toothbrushes offer suitable replacement attachments, but the price fluctuates greatly: you pay between under 2 euros and over 10 Euro. The running costs are added to the purchase costs of the device. Buying the replacement brushes in packs with a larger number is usually cheaper. Spare parts such as charging stations or power cables are often only available to a limited extent. The battery can usually not be replaced anyway and in the event of a motor defect it is almost never worth repairing, because you can get a new device for the same money.
What do I have to consider when brushing my teeth?
Experts advise you to brush your teeth after every meal, but very few do. The majority of Germans brush their teeth twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. That is sufficient, but the bare minimum. When cleaning itself, it depends on the right technology. This varies depending on the methods: With conventional toothbrushes, you have to loosen the dental plaque with shaking movements and then brush away from the gums to the tooth crown. With a rotating electric toothbrush, it works more effectively and thoroughly. Place the round brush on the gum line and run it along to clean each tooth individually. The sonic toothbrush does not rotate, but loosens the coating through vibrations. You therefore put the brush head in 45 – Degree angle at the gumline and scrape the dirt downwards.
Regardless of the method, however, you must always pay attention to the pressure. Pressing the brush too hard can damage teeth and gums. Some electric toothbrushes therefore have an optical pressure control that warns you if you scrub too much. Otherwise you have to be careful not to overdo it yourself. The sonic toothbrush loosens the base with its vibrations even at low pressure, but the oscillating, rotating round head only has to sit on the tooth with the bristle tips. In general, a fixed cleaning sequence is useful, for example, you first clean the front and then the back so that you don't forget a tooth.
What else belongs to oral hygiene?
The electric toothbrush cleans more effectively than the conventional toothbrush, but still only cleans the tooth surface. Whatever type of brushing you choose, the interdental spaces need extra attention. You cannot do without the regular use of dental floss or interdental brushes. For additional oral hygiene, you can also use an oral irrigator. This can be used to clean hard-to-reach areas in the mouth. You can find more about this in our Oral Irrigator Purchase advice . For the complete effect, you should also clean your tongue separately.
But even if you clean thoroughly in all accessible places in the bit, small residues always remain. So professional tooth cleaning has its benefits. For perfect dental health, experts recommend the procedure twice a year. Professional teeth cleaning removes stubborn deposits and thoroughly cleans the interdental spaces. In addition, the teeth are polished to give bacteria less hold and treated with fluoride gel, which means that the tooth surface retains minerals. Some health insurance companies cover at least part of the costs for tooth cleaning, but you usually have to dig into your own pocket.
The best electric toothbrushes in the test by Stiftung Warentest
The most important questions about electric toothbrushes at a glance
Which is the best electric toothbrush?
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart shows the best Quality. It cleans very well and is lavishly equipped. With more than 200 Euro, however, it is expensive. A comparable tooth cleaning is possible with the Edel + White Sonic Generation 8 Winner for round 100 Euro. There are alternatives from Braun Oral-B.
How does a sonic toothbrush work?
With a sonic toothbrush, tens of thousands of vibrating movements per minute are generated by sound waves. These vibrations loosen the plaque so that you can gently clean it. Sonic toothbrushes are usually more effective than oscillating-rotating toothbrushes, but they are also more expensive.
How often and for how long should I brush my teeth?
Experts recommend brushing your teeth after every meal as a minimum however, brushing your teeth applies in the morning and evening for around two minutes each. In order not to damage the enamel and to give your teeth time to relax, you should not brush for too long and not excessively often.
How long can I use a toothbrush? ?
The toothbrush must be replaced about every three months because the bristles wear out and the cleaning effect deteriorates as a result. This applies to both conventional manual toothbrushes and the brush attachments of electrical devices. Good care increases the longevity of the brush.