Which are the best Oral-B electric toothbrush models? (Updated December 2019)
Our search for the best Oral-B’s.
Because our Best Sonicares page has been so well received, we decided to make the same type of features/value comparison for the current line up of Braun Oral-B rechargeable toothbrushes too.
And while this page does share the few select models that we feel make a best-choice in terms of function and value (Pro 6000, Pro 5000, Pro 3000 and Pro 1500), what it really does is this:
► It takes you through a look at all of the options and features that Oral-B offers.
► Explains why (or why not) each of them is important to have, or offers good value.
► And then identifies which brushes have these core features and as few extras as possible.
Who will benefit from our review?
This page is written with the dental needs of the average user in mind. And specifically, those people who must keep the expense of their purchase in mind.
Which models did we compare?
Here’s a list of the Oral-B toothbrushes we sorted through when looking for the best ones. It includes all of the models we found on the “Home >> Electric Toothbrushes” page of the Oral-B website (USA) on December 2, 2019.
- Oral-B Genius X Luxe – ($250 – See explanation about prices below.)
- Oral-B Genius X – ($220)
- Oral-B Genius 9600 – ($200)
- Oral-B Genius 8000 – ($180)
- Oral-B Pro 7000 – ($130)
- Oral-B Pro 6000 – ($120)
- Oral-B Pro 5000 – ($100)
- Oral-B Pro 3000 – ($90)
- Oral-B Pro 1500 – ($70)
- Oral-B Pro 1000 – ($50)
- Oral-B Pro 500 – ($30)
- Oral-B Vitality – ($30)
(FYI: We discuss each of these model lines individually on our Review of the Oral-B rechargeable toothbrush lineup page.)
About the prices we show.
We would have preferred to show Oral-B’s official MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price) for the models above. But we found this information incomplete on their website.
Instead, we’ve posted the “list price” of each brush, as stated on the website of a large online retailer. We feel this makes a reasonably good proxy for this information.
Disclosure: Sales stemming from our affiliate links earn a commission for our website, although without any additional cost to you.
Setting the criteria for our “Best” Oral-B’s evaluation.
We set up our evaluation essentially the same way we did for our Sonicare review. In our opinion, the best Braun Oral-B rechargeable toothbrush models are those that:
- Are the least expensive …
- feature “non-contact” brushing capability (we explain below) …
- can be used with a wide range of brush head styles …
- and only have those additional features that the person using the brush feels are especially important to them.
Features that Oral-B electrics tend to share.
a) Brushing and Quadrant timers.
What’s the purpose?
[More details about Oral-B brushing/quadrant timers.]
b) Excessive brushing pressure indicator.
This feature signals to the user (via various methods with different models: flashing light, brush handle vibrations, phone app notifications) when too much pressure is being applied as they brush. The low-end Vitality and Pro 500 lines do not have a pressure indicator.
[More details about Oral-B brushing pressure sensors.]
c) Rechargeable battery.
All of the toothbrushes we compare on this page are rechargeable. Generally, high-end Oral-B’s feature the preferred lithium-ion type. Lower-end brushes have NiMH ones. Mid-range models vary. (Which a brush has is specifically noted on our Oral-B lineup page.)
d) Toothbrush chargers.
A general criticism of Oral-B toothbrushes in the past was that their charging units were only designed for use with 120-volt electrical systems (US/Canada models), and not 220-volt ones. (Depending on the voltage standards in your country, the reverse may be true.)
Currently, a few high-end Oral-B models do feature multi-voltage chargers. (Once again, something we note on our Oral-B lineup page.) As an example, having this capability would be important for world travelers.
[More details about recharging Oral-B electrics.]
e) Brush heads.
All of the toothbrushes discussed on this page come with a handle (the part you hold that houses the motor) that can be used with any style of Oral-B brush head.
For this reason, in our model comparisons, we assign zero importance to which type of head comes initially packaged with a brush. The head is a disposable item and one that you’ll be replacing in just 3 months or so anyway. Then at that time, you can select a different style if you want.
We explain more about replacement options below, and provide specifics and comparisons of Oral-B brush heads here.
In case you don’t know, here’s how you brush with an Oral-B.
It’s important for you to realize that the way you brush with most Oral-B brush heads is different than you might expect. And this difference may be a determining factor in deciding if this brand is right for you or not.
Oral-B Deep Sweep and Floss Action (rotary-style) brush heads.
Most Oral-b brush heads are rotary style.
Rotary brush heads.
The Deep Sweep.
As an alternative, Oral-B has designed the Deep Sweep head. It’s shaped and used more like a traditional toothbrush. So, with the Oral-B brand, you do have both options if you want them.
However, you do need to keep in mind that while there are 7 styles of rotary heads, you’re limited to just one choice with the Deep Sweep. There’s not even a miniaturized version of this head for those who need a smaller brush.
Tip: When looking at Oral-b’s, don’t be overly concerned about which brush head it comes packaged with (so go ahead and buy the version of the model that’s currently on sale). Later on, you can just swap it out with the design you prefer.
Oral-B features that we don’t feel are all that necessary to have.
One of the criteria for picking out what we consider is the Best Oral-B is sorting out those models that are loaded up with options that we don’t think the average user really needs, or will get much value out of having.
Toward that goal, there are two features that are found on higher-end Oral-B’s that we feel warrant discussion.
Oral-B Smartguide unit.
a) The wireless SmartGuide.
[This page outlines and discusses the features of this unit in greater detail.]
Is the Smartguide important to have?
It’s pretty easy to dismiss a true “need” for having this unit. That’s because the information it displays is already relayed to you (although admittedly more crudely) by your toothbrush via various vibrations, lights and sounds. (And the phone app too, see the next section.)
b) The Smartphone brushing app.
This feature puts your toothbrush in communication (via Bluetooth technology) with Oral-B’s app that’s been installed on your smartphone.
- It relays the current status of your brush’s brushing/quadrant timer, pressure sensor and brushing mode.
- The app allows you to lengthen the duration of the toothbrush’s brushing/quadrant timer.
- The app allows you to review details about your brushing history.
- Higher-end models interact with the app and keep track of where you have already brushed, so it can notify you in real-time if you have missed any areas.
- The app displays entertainment items on your phone (news, weather, calendar) for you to view while you’re brushing.
[This page explains the use of this option in greater detail.]
Is the brushing app important to have?
We don’t really think so. We consider it to be a motivational feature. (It doesn’t help your toothbrush brush better. Instead, it influences you in how you use it.)
As such, the importance of having this option is simply a personal choice. But in terms of being a “must-have” for the average user, we definitely don’t feel that it is. You can brush your teeth just as effectively whether using the app or not, if you choose to.
Issues we should mention about the brushing app.
Contrary to what we think, it’s clear that Oral-B has decided that brushing app integration is important for the user (or at least an important point in selling toothbrushes), and therefore the large majority of models do interact with the app to some degree.
If you too feel that using the app is important, you need to be aware that the level of its integration varies significantly according to model. For example, only high-end Oral-B’s feature real-time mouth-map reporting as you brush.
So, the specific model you buy does matter in regard to the app experience you get. So pay attention when selecting. (We note differences in app capabilities with each model on our Oral-B lineup page.)
The first paring down our list of Best Oral-B candidates.
Based on the opinion that we don’t feel that the SmartGuide or brushing app features are vital to have (and therefore pose an unneeded expense for those looking for a best-value buy), at this point in our evaluation we’ll remove some models from consideration.
Toothbrushes we’ll take off our list.
- The Pro 7000 – This model features both the SmartGuide and app capabilities.
- The Genius X Luxe, Genius X, Genius 9600 and Genius 8000 – These models offer the highest level of integration with the Oral-B brushing app, a capability that we feel adds too much to their expense to qualify them as a best-value toothbrush.
Models still under consideration.
- Pro 6000 (app capable)
- Pro 5000 (app capable)
- Pro 3000 (app capable)
- Pro 1500
- Pro 1000
- Pro 500
You’ll notice that some of the models still under consideration as a best-buy do feature app capabilities. As mentioned above, most Oral-B’s do offer some level of app integration, so it’s difficult to avoid this feature entirely.
What the above app-able models above have in common is that their level of integration with it is just very basic and therefore (we estimate) adds little to the cost of the brush.
Oral-b 2D brushing.
The 2D brushing action consists of a back-and-forth oscillate-rotate motion.
“3D” brushing action – This is why you buy an Oral-B electric.
- 2D movement (oscillating-rotating) is the more primitive of the two. The brush head’s bristles rotate back and forth as they scrub the user’s teeth.
- 3D movement (oscillating-rotating + pulsating) is a more sophisticated motion and creates an important brushing difference.
Oral-b 3D brushing.
The 3D brushing action consists of a back-and-forth oscillate-rotate, and also pulsating, brushing motion.
It’s important to note that non-contact brushing doesn’t remove as much dental plaque as plain old tooth scrubbing (bristles scouring tooth surfaces). But it is a valuable secondary mechanism. And for that reason, for our Best Oral-B’s list, we’re only going to consider models that have it.
Which Oral-B models feature 3D brushing?
Actually, this is only a portion of the question that actually needs to be asked. The full question should read, which models offer 3D movement at a frequency that creates non-contact cleaning?
20,000 vs. 40,000 pulses per minute.
When you evaluate the specs of Oral-B 3D brushes, you’ll find that some of them can generate in the range of 40,000(+) pulses per minute, whereas others have a top frequency of only 20,000.
You can think of the latter as a low-power action. And for our Best list, we’re only going to consider the high-power models because they make the most effective/efficient brushing devices.
[Use the following link if you’d like to read more about how Oral-B’s work and their brushing settings.
It’s time to trim our Best Oral-B’s list again.
Using our high-frequency, 3D brushing mode criteria, we need to remove some more brushes from our list of candidates. You may notice that it’s all of the less expensive models.
Brushes we’re removing from consideration.
- Pro 500
- Pro 1000
The list of candidates we’re still considering.
Based on just choosing models that feature an acceptable Oral-B brushing action, this is the list of candidates still in contention. They are:
- Pro 6000
- Pro 5000
- Pro 3000
- Pro 1500
(In case you’re wondering, all of these models except the Pro 1500 do integrate with the Oral-b brushing app.)
Comparing the brushing modes of our remaining candidates.
The biggest difference between all of the models still in our running for best-value Oral-B is the number of brushing modes each of them has.
- Pro 6000, 5 modes: Daily Clean, Pro-Clean, Sensitive, Whitening, Gum Care
- Pro 5000, 5 modes: Daily Clean, Deep Clean, Sensitive, Whitening, Gum Care
- Pro 3000, 3 modes: Daily Clean, Sensitive, Gum Care
- Pro 1500, 1 mode: Daily Clean
Which of these brushing modes are important to have?
By far, we think that Daily Clean is the most important one to have and use.
In our group of candidates above, this is the one that operates each brush in its hallmark 3D highest-oscillations-and-pulsations mode. Or in other words, it creates its best, full-power, most-effective brushing motion.
Why just use Daily Clean mode?
It’s our impression that other Oral-B modes are generally just contrived variants of the core brushing action provided by Daily Clean. And some of them even reduce the brush’s brushing motion, and therefore reduce its plaque-removing effectiveness.
We take the stance that:
- For the vast, vast majority of people, they should simply concentrate on removing as much dental plaque from their teeth as they can during the brief period of time they are willing to dedicate to brushing. (Yes, we’re of the opinion that most people don’t brush often enough or for long enough.)
- And if a person has been really effective in removing plaque from around their teeth (which is most readily accomplished by using their brush in its full-power mode), those additional issues that their brush’s other modes address (gum health, whitening, etc…) will likely be taken care of too.
We find it hard to believe that anyone’s own dentist wouldn’t agree with this opinion too. You should ask.
Other brushing modes that bear mentioning.
There are two brushing settings that some models have that might be used as an alternative to Daily Clean. They are:
- Deep Clean – This setting runs the brush in Daily Clean mode but resets its timer to 3 minutes instead of just two.
We think that brushing for longer is a great idea. But you don’t have to go to the expense of buying a particular model to do it. You can just brush for longer on your own, using any Oral-B.
- Pro-Clean – Oral-B user manuals state that this mode runs the brush head at a higher frequency. That sounds good, and if we owned a brush that had this setting we’d probably tend to use it.
But the problem we have with Pro-Clean is this. We did a Google search of Oral-B’s entire English version website and really found no pages that provided any detailed or substantial information about this mode. So if Oral-B doesn’t promote the benefits of using this setting, how can we?
So, which is the best Oral-B model?
In terms of best-value (features and function vs. price) we think that any of the brushes still in our list of contenders makes a reasonable choice. They are:
- Pro 6000
- Pro 5000
- Pro 3000
- Pro 1500
Of course, specifically which one makes the best choice for you is a decision only you can make. (Read on, we’ll give you some help in deciding.)
But when using the criteria of choosing a model that has the feature we think is most important to have (Oral-B’s hallmark 3D brushing action), and as few additional options as possible, we feel that all of these brushes qualify.
The Pro 1500 – ($70)
If you want to consider our criteria at their minimalistic extreme, you should consider the Pro 1500. It has:
- The lowest price of any model in our list.
- Essentially no added features – Just one brushing mode, no smartphone brushing app integration, no travel case, no extra brush storage.
- Surprisingly, it does feature a lithium-ion battery, which is the preferred type.
► More details about the Pro 1500. (This link will take you to our “All Oral-B Models” page where we describe this and all other brushes in greater detail. Scroll up and down the page to compare the features of specific models.)
Oral-B Pro 3000
The Pro 3000 – ($90)
- Of our best-value brushes, this is the least expensive one that has brushing app capabilities.
- As compared to the Pro 1500, it’s charging stand does provide for additional brush head storage.
But this model only features a NiMH battery. (That’s not a deal-breaker, just not a plus.)
- This brush has 3 brushing modes. – One of them is Sensitive which could be an important feature if the brush is used by an elderly or debilitated person who can’t tolerate the use of a full-power brushing setting.
The Pro 5000 – ($100)
The more expensive models in our list don’t offer quite the same level of value as the cheaper ones. But they may offer some added features that you consider desirable.
- Like the Pro 3000, this model has brushing app capabilities, provides for extra brush head storage, and has the less desirable NiMH type of battery.
- This model has 5 brushing modes, which by now you should realize is a moot point to us. However, we will point out that it does feature the Sensitive and Deep Clean modes we’ve discussed above.
- This is the cheapest of our best-value models that comes with a travel case.
The Pro 6000 – ($120)
At around twice the cost of the Pro 1500, this is the most expensive Oral-B we still consider to be a best-one in terms of value (a good brush with minimal extras).
- Like the Pro 5000, this model has brushing app capabilities, provides for extra brush head storage, comes with a travel case, and has 5 brushing modes (including the before-mentioned Sensitive and Pro-Clean ones).
- This toothbrush has the preferred lithium-ion type of battery.
► More details about the Pro 6000. (As mentioned above, you really should take advantage of each toothbrush’s link so you can learn more about it, and make comparisons with other models.)
Higher-end models seem to have a higher-quality build.
When determining which model makes the best one to buy, we will state that it’s our impression that more expensive Oral-B’s generally do have a higher-quality feel and more refined experience associated with using them. (We feel this way about all electric toothbrush lines.)
Of course, in an era of lowest-possible-cost manufacturing and non-replaceable batteries, it’s not prudent to buy “more toothbrush” (features, functions, accessories) than you really need because you never know what the future holds in regard to toothbrush life.
Between any two adjacent models in the Oral-B lineup, it’s doubtful that anyone would notice much of a difference between them. But at about twice the cost, it’s not so hard to imagine that you would between say the Pro 1500 and 6000.
Possibly this point is reflected in the online review ratings we see on a major retailer’s website. The Pro 6000 seems to have accumulated substantially fewer 1-star reviews than the Pro 1500. (FYI: We discuss the issue of electric toothbrush brand reliability on this page.)
In light of this issue:
- Possibly the Pro 1500 end of our list makes the better choice in situations where a person has a very strict budget, or wants to test out owning an electric toothbrush at the least expense possible.
- The Pro 6000 end probably makes the better choice for those who are now replacing their previous, comparatively higher-end, Oral-B with a more value-oriented brush.
Need more information?
Just in case you haven’t followed a link to it yet, we have an overview of all current Oral-B models and their features on this page.
Double-check brush features before you buy.
Just so there’s no question about what you’re getting, do us a favor and double-check what we’ve stated on our pages versus what features are listed on the packaging of the brush you plan to buy. That way there won’t be any question that you’re getting everything you expect.
Options you have after you’ve made a purchase.
If you’ve bought and are disappointed, or encounter problems with your new brush, don’t overlook that Oral-B has historically offered a Satisfaction Guarantee, and of course product warranties. This page provides links and details.
Disclosure: Sales stemming from our affiliate links earn a commission for our website, although without any additional cost to you.
Page references sources:
All reference sources for topic Electric Toothbrushes.