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Can a £5 electric toothbrush clean as well as a £360 model?

The cheapest and most expensive electric toothbrush on the market go head to head, plus all the reviews from our latest test

A fiver won’t get you much these days, but can it buy you a brilliant electric toothbrush?

We’ve pitted the Colgate 360° Whole Mouth Clean (£5) against the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart HX9924/44 (£360), to find out how they match up.

£360 really is a lot to spend on a toothbrush. But we’ve reviewed eight other electric models from Oral-B and Philips Sonicare, ranging in price from a more affordable £15 to £87. Our test uncovered a new Best Buy, plus some electric toothbrushes that really aren’t up to scratch.

Read on to find out more about the electric toothbrushes we’ve just tested. Or head straight to our electric toothbrush reviews to find models to suit every budget.

Cheap vs expensive electric toothbrushes

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart HX9924/44
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart HX9924/44

Feature-rich, smart electric toothbrushes tend to steal the headlines from their budget-friendly cousins. That’s no surprise when you consider what the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart HX9924/44 has to offer.

There’s plenty to potentially justify the high price: three built-in sensors, five cleaning modes, a rinsing glass that doubles as a charger and the ability to connect to a smartphone app that provides real-time brushing guidance.

But cheap electric toothbrushes can remove plaque just as well as more expensive models, and some still include useful functions such as a battery gauge, two-minute timer and pressure sensor.

For £5, you probably wouldn’t expect the Colgate 360° Whole Mouth Clean to have many features, and you’d be right.

Powered by two AAA batteries, it has a dual-action brush head, with a tongue and cheek cleaner on the back – that’s your lot. The absence of those useful, but non-essential, features could be forgiven if this budget brush can remove plaque as well as more expensive models.

Our in-depth tests examine how well each toothbrush cleans teeth, how easy it is to change the brush head, how noisy it is, how long the battery lasts and lots more.

The Colgate 360° Whole Mouth Clean actually did well in some parts of our test, holding off competition from all other electric toothbrushes. Read our review of the Colgate 360° Whole Mouth Clean to find out if it scored well where it counts.

To see whether any of the budget models we just tested made their way to the top of our ratings, check out our electric toothbrush Best Buys.

Electric toothbrushes tested

Below are all the electric toothbrushes we’ve just tested. Follow the links to read our reviews:

Prices correct as of 2 March 2018.

55 years of testing electric toothbrushes

We did our first test of electric toothbrushes back in December 1963, and although prices and technology have changed a fair bit since then, our dedication to rigorous testing has remained the same.

During our tests we collect over 2,000 before-and-after plaque readings, so we can tell you exactly which toothbrushes will do the best job of keeping your teeth clean and healthy.

One brush we’ve just tested only managed a paltry two stars in this part of the test, while the best brushes achieved four-star ratings.

We also check to see how long it takes for the battery to recharge. The fastest went from flat to full charge in under 11 hours, while the slowest took over 32.5 hours to fully recharge.

Read our guide to find out more about how we test electric toothbrushes.

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