The Best Cheap Electric Toothbrushes of 2019

Researchers can't agree whether electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque than manual toothbrushes, or, which type of toothbrush is best:

  • This 1997 paper says electric toothbrushes are better; this 2011 paper says they aren't;

  • This 1996 paper says that rotating brushes are more effective than sonic brushes; yet

  • This 2011 paper says that sonic brushes are more effective than ionic brushes; however

  • This 2012 paper says that ionic brushes are most effective.

Basically, anyone can tell you anything about an electric toothbrush and point to a clinical study to support his or her point. Unless your dentist has recommended a toothbrush for its health benefits, it's safe to assume that most marketing claims are just puffery.

Good electric toothbrushes are waterproof, quick to charge and have reasonable operating costs (replacement brush heads can be expensive, so check before you buy).

Here are the best-reviewed electric toothbrushes that have sold for $30 or less in the last 12 months:

Good Price: $29 | Great Deal: $25

A majority of Amazon customers like or love Oral-B's Dual Clean electric toothbrush, but this brush did draw some criticisms. Several customers (even happy ones) wish that the brush had a low-battery indicator; some reviewers describe the brush as big and bulky.

Good Price: $20 | Great Deal: $6

This AA-battery-powered toothbrush is a good value, but it isn't as powerful as a rechargeable electric toothbrush, according to several Amazon customers. Many reviewers say that changing this brush's batteries is more difficult and frustrating than it should be; others say that replacement brush heads are too expensive relative to the price of the brush.

Good Price: $25 | Great Deal: $15

This Sonicare toothbrush is powerful, but gentle on the gums, according to several Amazon customers (many of whom appreciate this brush's 2-minute timer). Unhappy customers were disgusted to find mold growing inside the handle of their Sonicare, however, other reviewers say this problem can be avoided by regularly cleaning and drying the brush.


John DeFeo