Philips sonicare protective clean 5100
This brush really hits the sweet spot between delivering the most useful advances in toothbrush tech at a really good price. It has just three brushing “modes”, which is practically basic these days when some of the more expensive brushes pack in seven and upwards. However, the “clean”, “white” and “gum care” modes cover the range of gum and teeth sensitivities, so you will be able to find the right mode for your mouth.
The “quadpacer” timing system divides your mouth into quarters and buzzes when it’s time to move on to the next quadrant and the pressure sensor makes sure you’re not damaging the gum line. The manufacturer claims the 5100’s li-ion battery gives you two weeks of brushing on one charge, although we found that it actually gives more than that and were able to brush twice daily for two minutes each time and had to charge it only after the third week.
Oral B iO series 9
A well designed, lightweight, smart brush with modern looks that is, quite literally, bristling with tech from its “frictionless magnetic drive”, to the “gentle micro-vibrations”. This did translate into a really effective, squeaky clean feel after we’d finished brushing with one of the seven modes available.
As you’d expect from the price there is a pressure sensor, colourful LED graphics on the handle which make it easy to track brushing performance and the effectiveness of each session and the whole process is backed up with an AI-enabled app, which prompts you to get full coverage so that no tooth is left behind.
You also get a choice of three handle colours and a magnetic charger, which is nicely designed, easy to use and gives you weeks of brushing time on a full charge.
Foreo issa 2
This one is different to many of the tech brushes that populate the rest of the round-up, both in its futuristic looks and how it feels both in the hand and in the mouth, because it has silicone bristles which combine with polymer to target stubborn plaque, while being kinder to sensitive gums. It still relies on that sonic pulse effect to get the job done and comes with 16 speeds and a built in timer encased in the minimalistic handle.
We found the brush head was nice and flexible, so we didn’t really miss a sensitivity sensor and the issa 2 packs a punch when it comes to charging as Foreo claims that one hour’s worth of charge from a USB port will provide you with a year’s worth of usage.
We didn’t have the brush long enough to test this claim, but it certainly wasn’t starting to flag for the time that we used it.
Oral B genius X 20000
The manufacturer has focussed on the fact that even if you’re brushing for two minutes, it’s very likely that by the time you finish you will still have missed an area of your mouth. The genius X has an AI-enabled companion app that gives feedback on the areas that you need to concentrate on the next time. A dentist had told our tester they had been neglecting some of their back teeth and the app identified exactly the same area.
Overall, teeth felt thoroughly cleaned by the genius X, which has six different cleaning modes, including one for sensitive teeth and the fact that it’s powered by a lithium-ion battery gives two full weeks of brushing on one single charge. We also liked the phone cradle built into the brush case, so we didn’t have to precariously balance our phone against the hand wash while we brushed.
Philips sonicare diamondclean
The diamondclean is Philip’s sleek looking addition to the high profile Sonicare range, so called because it aims to pulse and move the brush head with dizzying rapidity as it moves over the teeth. It sends toothpaste and water between the teeth, while the brush head gets busy on any plaque build up, which is probably why we were very impressed with the professional quality of the clean, particularly on “deep clean +” mode.
A clear light up display on the handle indicates which of the four cleaning modes you’re in and there’s connected back up from a very thorough app.