Cheaper than the iO8, more able than the iO6, the Oral-B iO7 hits the one sweet spot your dentist will appreciate. If you can find it discounted, the iO7 is a great smart toothbrush with a wide range of brush modes and a fast-charge feature that is miles better than the iO6. It lacks the iO8’s color display and Super Sensitive mode but offers much better value for money for little compromise, and the same great brushing performance.
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Oral-B has so full a range of electric toothbrushes that deciding which one is for you would confuse even a dentist. At the last count, Oral-B has nearly 20 different brushes to choose from.
The advanced iO series, with a cleaning system powered by a quieter brushless motor, are the best models in the Oral-B line-up, but even then there are—depending on where in the world you are based—eight different models to choose from: starting at the budget iO Series 3 and ending with the top-end super-expensive Series 10.
All of the iO Series handles share many of the same features, including both oscillation and sonic “micro vibrations” as part of the cleaning process.
All have a two-minute timer to ensure you brush for the recommended time, pacer, smart pressure sensor to protect your gum line from over-brushing, and decent battery life.
Indeed, the basic cleaning action is the same irrespective of the iO model that you purchase.
If you are going to use only the basic Daily Clean mode, then you can safely ignore all the extra modes, but the later Series iO models do have a few other features to stop everyone choosing the cheapest Series 3, such as smart features and an integrated screen to display brush mode, duration, charging speed and battery life.
Our Best Value iO Series Oral-B electric toothbrush is the iO Series 6. Our Best Luxury model is the iO Series 8.
So what of the iO Series 7—could this be the sweet spot between affordability and premium features?
Black-&-white screen to show timer and battery life
3-hour fast charge
Light ring pressure sensor
The iO7 is the entry-level of the high-end iO models, fourth to the 1O8, iO9 and the iO10. It has all the key features of the top models, including three-hour fast charging and a full-colour OLED screen.
The iO7 has a monochrome display, compared to the iO8/9/10’s color OLED display. A color display looks nicer but doesn’t convey any new information than the b&w one. I wouldn’t pay the extra money just to have a color display on my toothbrush.
The screen gives you a little welcome icon—either sunshine, winky or a smiley face and a hello.
Once you start brushing, the screen displays the timer, showing you a ring that fills each quarter every 30 seconds—indicating time to move on to a new section of your mouth.
I found this display quite difficult to see during brushing, and mainly relied on the haptic vibration every 30 seconds.
However, it can be easy to miss these if your thoughts drift off to other matters, as can be common when performing a mundane task first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
The display comes into its own here. I found it easiest to check by looking at its reflection in the mirror rather than turn it round and look at the brush itself, spraying my face as a result.
The screen also shows you the remaining battery life—in increments of 5%—each time you finish brushing.
You can also open up the app and using the brushing feedback timer there.
You can personalise your iO7 brush by choosing from one of ten bright colors for the light ring around the brush’s neck. The light ring glows in your chosen color as soon as you begin brushing.
It switches to green when you assert the ideal amount of pressure. If you press too hard, the neck ring will glow red.
These are simple and effective ways to give you visual feedback on your brushing technique.
The iO7 comes in three handle color options: Black Onyx, White Alabaster, Purple Amethyst (US only) and Sapphire Blue (US only).
In the iO7 box there’s a fast-charging magnetic charging puck, a robust travel case, the brush handle and two brush heads. The case is useful for keeping your expensive brush safe, and it also stops the brush going off in your suitcase if accidentally bumped in transit—I once arrived at my destination only to hear a deep vibrating noise emanating from my baggage on the carousel, resulting in a dead battery when I most needed a brushing session after a long-haul flight.
Tech Advisor’s toothbrush aficionado, Emma Rowley, reckons that the Oral-B travel case is not as sharply designed as the one that comes with the Sonicare DiamondClean 9000.
The iO9 and iO10 come with a power2go charging case that can charge the brush inside, compared to the iO7 and iO8’s non-charging case-only option.
Excellent brushing performance
Five brushing modes
Two-week max battery life
Of course, the most important factor to consider when choosing an electric toothbrush is its cleaning performance.
Almost all Oral-B brushes both oscillate and sonically vibrate, removing plaque even more efficiently, but the iO brushes offer a superior motor and brushing action.
This dual-action cleaning works wonders, and my hygienist complimented me on the difference once I’d moved to the iO brush.
It can feel a little harsh at first, but you soon get used to the brushing and your teeth feel great after the regulation two minutes.
If you find the Daily Clean to be too light, try out the tooth-rattling Intense mode. My daughter immediately set hers to Sensitive.
The on-brush display is where you can see which brush mode you have selected. The default brush mode is Daily Clean, and is likely the main—maybe only—mode you use.
The iO7 has five cleaning modes: Daily Clean, Sensitive, Intense, Whiten & Gum Care. This compares to the six of the iO8: Daily Clean, Sensitive, Super Sensitive, Intense, Whiten & Gum Care.
What is Super Sensitive and do you need it? If your teeth are extremely sensitive, then you should consider the iO8 over the iO7. But most users, as expressed before, will likely stick to Daily Clean only, so could save money and buy the better-value iO6, although the charging time is considerably longer (12 hours rather than the iO7’s three).
If you want the 30-second Tongue Clean mode, you’ll need to consider the iO9 or iO10.
The cheaper iO6 can take up to 12 hours to charge its lithium-ion battery, so that’s the first benefit the iO7 has over the iO6. That model uses the standard charger with the pillar in the middle. The iO7, like the 8, 9 and 10, uses a newer magnetic charger in either white or black.
The iO7’s battery should last for two weeks. In practice, I found it lasted around 10-11 days. To be fair, I often brush for longer than two minutes as I like to focus on cleaning my gums as much as my teeth.
Buy in the US and Oral-B’s charging puck has a standard two-pin plug. Buy in the UK, however, and you’ll get a shaver socket plug.
In my (UK) bathroom, this can be a hit-or-miss affair when charging as I often need to keep the shaving plug pushed to one side to operate. To be fair, this is likely just a wiring fault in my home, but I ended up buying the same charger with a standard UK plug and charged out of the bathroom. (If any reader shares this problem, I’d love to hear from you.)
A simple solution would be to offer USB charging of the brush, although I understand the old-school bathroom/shaving socket thinking.
Oral-B iO7 vs Oral-B iO8
The simple differences between the Oral-B iO7 and iO8 are the iO8’s color display and extra Super Sensitive brushing mode.
if you don’t need a Super Sensitive brush mode—the iO7 does has a Sensitive mode—the color screen isn’t worth the extra cost of the iO8. It’s nice but in no way essential.
There’s no difference in brushing performance, charging speed or accessories between iO7 and iO8. As such, we recommend the cheaper Oral-B iO7 over the iO8.
Oral-B iO7 vs Oral-B iO6
If the iO7 beats the iO8 on price, then maybe the iO6 will suit you just fine, too.
The only real difference between the Oral-B iO6 and iO7 is the iO7’s faster charging. The brushing modes and performance are the same and both have the same monochrome display.
If you can live with the 4x longer toothbrush charging, then the iO6 will save you $50 in the US. UK prices are so volatile that you’ll need to check on the day. Oral-B’s UK RRPs are stupidly overpriced but it also offers big discounts—at the time of writing the iO7 is cheaper than the iO6 on Oral-B’s store and on Amazon!
Personally, I appreciate the faster charging time, so recommend the iO7 over the iO6.
Not designed for sharing
App features will be limited
Brush heads feature symbols to differentiate them
With the top-end iO brushes priced at a premium, the idea of sharing the same handle but swapping out the brushes for each individual is economically appealing.
The iO7 can be used as a shared brush, although you’ll lose some of the smart features in the app as it won’t keep track of your individual brushing records.
If you do share the same brush, the brush head replacement reminders in the app won’t work properly.
Some retailers sell a value-pack box that includes two handles, but only one charger and case. As most families will likely share a charger, this way of saving on costs is appreciated.
You can always buy another charger or travel case separately if you decide you need two of everything.
Connected features and app
Real-time brushing feedback
Brush head replacement reminders
The iO7 connects via Bluetooth to the free Oral-B mobile app, available for iOS and Android. The app offers interactive real-time brushing feedback. Note, though, that you have to watch your phone screen while you brush if you want to track the coverage as you go.
While this works well, I suspect that most users will prefer to just brush their teeth without having to stare at their phone—although some people will jump at any chance to stare at a phone at any time of the day!
You don’t need to open the app to use the toothbrush, and most users won’t bother, although you’ll learn more about your brushing skills if you use it at least to begin with.
The more expensive iO9 and iO10 offer 3D surface AI brushing tracking if you really need to get the fullest representation of your brushing performance and technique. Those models monitor 16 zones rather than the six of the iO7.
You can also use the app to adjust brush settings, set brushing goals, go on “dental care journeys”, see past brushing performance, collect badges and get reminders to replace your brush head.
The Oral-B iO7’s price point varies wildly depending on where you’re based.
In the US, it’s widely available direct from Oral-B, and from other retailers such as Amazon, Target and Best Buy for around $219.99.
In the UK, the iO7 has a ridiculous RRP of £454, which is certainly well overpriced. However, in reality you’ll find the iO7 much cheaper at various retailers, such as Amazon, Boots and Currys, and even at Oral-B’s own online shop—at the time of writing it was on sale for £150 at those retailers, without refills.
That’s still expensive but remember how much a trip to the dentist costs and the initial outlay fades into insignificance. Use this toothbrush correctly, and those trips to the dentist should be rarer and cheaper than if you use a manual or much-cheaper electric toothbrush.
As mentioned earlier, look out for twin packs that offer two brushes but just one charger. These can make buying multiple brushes much more viable. Oral-B US is selling the Twin Pack (one black, one white) for $299, at the time of writing—that’s $150 per iO7 toothbrush. Oral-B UK is selling the Twin Pack for £235 instead of the ludicrous £560 list price. That’s just £117.50 per iO7 toothbrush. Amazon UK has the same iO7 Twin Pack deal.
As the magnetic charger will likely differ from the old traditional pronged charger, a family will find it more convenient to all be able to use the same charger—although clearly this significantly increases the outlay.
Remember that to keep it effective, a brush head should be replaced every three months, as after this time it tends to become less effective.
The iO brushes require specific brush heads that cost $17 / £15 each. When you buy the brush, check how many heads are included as some packs included two or more; others just the one.
While we rated the Oral-B iO8 as one of the best electric toothbrushes around, the iO7 is notably less expensive and all you sacrifice is the color display and the Super Sensitive brushing mode.
Just like the pricier iO8/9/10, the well-made and good-looking iO7 boasts all the features you need to take good care of your teeth–a visible pressure sensor, clear timer and vibrating nudges, wide choice of brushing modes (although not as wide as the 8/9/10) and premium brushing performance–as well as fast charging and a nice, if monochrome, display.
For more electric toothbrush buying options, have a look at our round-up of the best electric toothbrushes we’ve tested. If you’d like to see how the iO7 measures up against other iO models and other Oral-B brushes in general, have a look at the best Oral-B brushes we’ve tested.
Simon was Editor of Macworld from the dark days of 1995 to the triumphant return of Steve Jobs and the launch of the iPhone. His desk is a test bench for tech accessories, from USB-C and Thunderbolt docks to chargers, batteries, Powerline adaptors and Fitbits.