If you've been considering making the leap from a manual brush to an electric toothbrush, price may have been holding you back. But you don't have to spend hundreds to reap the benefits. Electric toothbrushes are pricey but if you're willing to do without a few frills, you can get a high-quality brush, often with a surprising number of features.

More and more, studies confirm the benefits of using an electric toothbrush over brushing manually, so if you've recently received a ticking-off from your dentist, it might be time to go for it. 

The most important parts of an electric toothbrush are a decent motor and a well designed cleaning head. We've tested all of the brushes we recommend below, to make sure that – even though their prices are lower – their performance is solid. 

Beyond that, there are factors like battery life and charging options, as well as more advanced features such as brushing modes, a timer and pressure sensor. Not all of the budget-friendly brushes below will have all of these features, so to find out which ones are important to you, check out our buying advice after the chart.

If you decide you want to spend a bit more, have a look at our round up of the best electric toothbrushes we've tested at all price ranges. Otherwise, see our best budget options below. 

1

Oral-B Pro 3 3000 - Best buy

Oral-B Pro 3 3000
  • Pros
    • Two week battery life
    • Pressure sensor
    • Brushing timer
    • Good cleaning performance
  • Cons
    • Shaver socket plug only
    • One button operation
    • Noisy

For a very reasonable price, the Pro 3 3000 has everything you need in an electric toothbrush.

What's most important is its excellent cleaning performance. But it also has all the features we think you need. Its timer will tell you to move on to a new section of your mouth every 30 seconds and let you know when your two-minute brushing time is up.

It also has a bright red pressure sensor that lights when you press too hard.

The only design issue is that its shiny on/off button is inset and can get a bit slippery when wet. Since it has a single-button operation, you'll have to press it hard so that you don't wind up scrolling through its other brushing modes to switch it off.

There's no USB charging plug but its two-week battery life means that you should be able to get through a holiday without having to recharge it. But the battery warning light won't give you much time before you need to plug it in.

Read our full Oral-B Pro 3 3000 review

2

Moon electric toothbrush - Subscription only

Moon electric toothbrush
  • Pros
    • 6-week battery life
    • 5 brushing modes
    • Timer
    • USB charger
  • Cons
    • No pressure sensor
    • Replacement brush heads only available by subscription

This stylish brush packs in a lot of features for its price point, with five brushing modes. That's pretty unusual, but its six-week battery life has to be its outstanding feature.

If you wanted to bring a charger along when you travel, just to be on the safe side, the petite stand and USB plug make it a portable option.

But it's not flawless. It lacks a pressure sensor, so you should avoid this product if you tend to press too hard when you brush.

And, perhaps most importantly, replacement brush heads are only available by subscription. This may make it a convenient option for people who often forget to change their brush heads every three months, but it's certainly not cheap.

Read our full Moon electric toothbrush review

3

Oclean X Pro Elite - Smart features

Oclean X Pro Elite
  • Pros
    • Excellent battery life
    • Magnetic wall mount & USB charger
    • Slim, well designed brush head
  • Cons
    • No pressure sensor
    • App sometimes unpairs
    • Mouth quadrant visual a bit off

It's a little pricier than some of the other brushes in this round-up, but it's absolutely feature-packed and represents one of the best value ways to get incredible battery life, a colour screen and smart functionality in one slim package.

It's currently better value in the US where you can buy directly from Oclean. Its UK price tends to jump around a bit, so it may not be as budget-friendly.

But for your money, you'll get a quiet sonic brush with 32 possible brushing settings. If that seems a bit daunting, an in-app quiz will help you to choose the right settings for you, depending on whether you're a coffee or wine drinkers, smoker or wear braces.

Its battery life will last for over a month and when it's time to charge, it fast charges via wireless USB in just 3.5 hours.

It also has a full colour screen on its handle, with a brushing countdown timer and brushing feedback delivered both via the screen and the app. 

We didn't find the app feedback to be as reliable or accurate as Oral-B iO models, but we thought it was a pretty good add-on feature for this price point.

However, there's no pressure sensor, which is the only reservation we have in recommending it.

Read our full Oclean X Pro Elite review

4

Oral-B Pro 2 2000 - With a pressure sensor

Oral-B Pro 2 2000
  • Pros
    • 2 brushing modes
    • Pressure sensor
  • Cons
    • Shaver socket plug only

The Oral-B Pro 2 2000 is a straightforward brush.

Its features are simple: there are only two brushing modes and a pressure sensor, with no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth features, and no app support. However it works well, is comfortable to use, and boasts a two-week battery life – not bad for the price.

A spare brush head or two in the pack would have been welcome, along with a more detailed battery indicator, but these are small complaints about a brush that does a very good job for a very low price.

Read our full Oral-B Pro 2 2000 review

5

Ordo Sonic+ - Subscription option available

Ordo Sonic+ toothbrush
  • Pros
    • Good battery life
    • USB charger
    • Subscription option
  • Cons
    • No pressure sensor
    • No battery light
    • Pricey replacement brush heads

The Ordo Sonic+ is good value, although replacement brush heads can be expensive. However, if you get the subscription service, it may be worth it to get a delivery of toothpaste, floss, interdental brushes and mouthwash.

It brushes well and has a brilliantly designed head that gives great coverage. And you can choose from four brushing modes. Battery life is good as well, with comfortably over the promised three weeks if you brush twice a day for two minutes.

However, there's no pressure sensor and no battery warning light, which are features we missed while using it.

Read our full Ordo Sonic+ toothbrush review

6

Usmile Roman Column sonic brush - 6-month battery life

Usmile Roman Column electric toothbrush
  • Pros
    • Phenomenal battery life
    • 3 brushing modes
    • Travel case & spare brushing head
  • Cons
    • No pressure sensor
    • Divisive design

If battery life is key, this Usmile sonic toothbrush should be a contender. Usmile says that the battery can last up to half a year. We can confirm that it’s still going strong after several months.

It charges via USB-C cable. The port is protected, so a bit of splashing won’t be a problem, but you shouldn’t immerse it or use it in the shower.

It has a maximum speed of 38,000RPM, but feels on the gentler side. In terms of features, it has three settings: Clean, White and Soft. It also has a two-minute brushing timer, with alerts every 30 seconds, and a battery indicator light.

There’s no pressure sensor, however.

The colour options are pink, green and blue. It comes with a suede-effect travel case, USB charging plug and two toothbrush heads.

The unusual column design could prove divisive. Still, it has a matt finish, feels solid and well-made and is pleasant to hold, if on the heavier side.

The only snag is replacement brush heads, which can be £5/$5 each, unless you find a deal.

7

Quip - Gentlest electric toothbrush

Quip electric toothbrush
  • Pros
    • Attractive design
    • 3-month battery life
    • Brushing timer
  • Cons
    • Vibrations extremely gentle
    • No pressure sensor
    • No battery light

Quip isn't a plug-in-and-charge electric toothbrush. It's battery operated (although it's not disposable – the battery can be changed when it runs out) and as such, its vibrations are so gentle that it's more of a manual-plus brush.

It would be a good option for people who find electric toothbrushes too intense but who want to take better care of their teeth.

It has a brushing timer that will help to ensure that you're brushing for long enough, although it doesn't have a pressure sensor.

But it's travel-friendly and comes with a toothbrush holder you can stick to a mirror or tile, remove and re-use. It's beautifully designed and you can separately buy matching dental care accessories – including gum, mouthwash and floss – that may encourage you to improve your dental care regime.

Read our full Quip electric toothbrush review

8

Oral-B Vitality - Best price

Oral-B Vitality
  • Pros
    • Budget-friendly
    • Brushing timer
    • Grippy handle
  • Cons
    • Oscillates only
    • Short battery life
    • No battery light
    • No pressure alert

If your budget is tight but you want to upgrade from a manual brush, this is one of the most budget-friendly options. However, you'll have to make a couple of compromises.

On the plus side, it has a brushing timer, a thick, grippy handle and you can buy generic replacement heads very cheaply. But it's lacking a pressure sensor.

It doesn't feature any kind of battery lights. We can manage without a battery warning indicator but we really missed the battery charging light: it would be nice to know if it's charging properly.

It also only oscillates, rather than oscillating and vibrating, like Oral-B's higher-tier brushes, so it doesn't give such a powerful clean.

Read our full Oral-B Vitality review

9

Oclean Air 2 - Quietest electric toothbrush

Oclean Air 2
  • Pros
    • Quiet
    • USB charging
  • Cons
    • Extremely gentle brushing performance
    • No pressure sensor

The Oclean Air 2 is a small, slender electric toothbrush with an attractive appearance. It's light, pleasant to hold and quiet when switched on, which is one of its key selling points.

It comes in white, pink, purple and dark green (pictured) and on some sites, the price varies depending on the colour.

The Air 2 is quite basic in terms of functionality. There is no pressure sensor or battery light and it only has two brushing modes: gentle and clean – and both are very gentle indeed. I found them to be too gentle, but people with sensitive teeth and gums might find them ideal. 

However, it does pause to let you know when you've brushed for long enough in one section of your mouth and stops after two minutes.

It charges in 2.5 hours on a tiny, very portable magnetic disc with a USB lead. Its battery is promised to last for 40 days. We can't confirm that but when we tested it, we used it for over a month and it was still going.

Electric toothbrush buying advice

If you're buying a budget electric toothbrush, there are certain features to look out for – and some that you’re unlikely to find in a budget brush, such as app-compatibility.

The most important features are battery life, different brushing programmes (or at least a way to change the brushing intensity), a timer and a pressure sensor. You might not find every feature in every budget brush, so it’s a good idea to decide what’s important to you before you buy.

Some of the brushes we've recommended have a USB charger, rather than the traditional two-pin shaving plug. This makes them easier to charge if you’re travelling, as well as if you don’t have a dedicated socket in your bathroom at home, so it may make a shorter battery life less of a deal breaker.

A timer is very important. You should brush your teeth for two minutes, twice daily, but it’s easy to lose track of time and think you’ve brushed long enough. The brushes we’ve recommended will let you know after two minutes, so you'll always brush for long enough.

Some will also pause every thirty seconds to let you know to move on to the next section of your mouth, so you don’t brush one area for too long or neglect another part of your mouth.

A pressure sensor will alert you if you’re brushing too hard. Of all the most important features on an electric toothbrush, this is the one most likely to be absent from a budget brush.