There’s no doubt that oral hygiene is a necessary aspect of our overall well-being. One person may have a different oral care routine from the other; however, toothbrushes remain a staple. Studies show that the average person will use around 300 toothbrushes during a lifetime2.
Also, we can identify the importance of oral hygiene by examining the size of the oral care industry. This industry was worth 44.5 billion US Dollars in 2019 alone1.
Choosing can be difficult with various options for brushes - from selecting a manual or electric toothbrush to brush head types. However, one thing to consider to reduce your environmental impact is the eco-friendly nature of your brush. If you enjoy the comfort that electric toothbrushes bring, you’ll find our pick of the best eco-friendly electric toothbrushes in this article.
Related: When it comes time to replace those heads, check out our guide to the best eco-friendly electric toothbrush heads.
And, for those moments when you don’t have a charge or for more easy carrying, you might also like to check out our picks of more traditional zero-waste toothbrushes and bamboo toothbrushes. Meanwhile, grab some zero-waste toothpaste to complete your eco-dental routine.
The major challenge with the regular manual toothbrush is its short life span and disposable nature. As you can imagine, this leads to a lot of waste.
Studies show that in the United States alone, the population throws away about a billion toothbrushes yearly. Since brands make many of these brushes of plastic, they significantly affect the environment. Not only do they remain in landfills for years, but they also end up in oceans. As a result, plastic toothbrush waste also negatively affects marine life.
Since many people are switching from manual brushing to the automatic option, we must examine sustainability. On the surface, electric toothbrushes might appear eco-friendly by nature. After all, you have the opportunity to replace the electric toothbrush heads.
However, it can be a lot more complicated than that. Although replaceable heads can tackle the problem of tossing the entire brush away, many of them are not recyclable. Since we can’t recycle some toothbrush heads, they end up in landfills and waterways as well.
Another challenge with electric toothbrushes is the battery type that the manufacturers use. Some electric toothbrushes require disposable batteries, which are not environmentally friendly. Due to this disposable nature, you’ll find yourself purchasing and tossing out batteries frequently. The best options, in this case, are rechargeable batteries or rechargeable electric toothbrushes.
It can be hard to find a 100% environmentally friendly electric toothbrush. However, many brands in the oral health industry are making sustainable changes. Many are developing recycling programs to tackle the waste problem. Many are also ensuring the durability and energy-efficiency nature of their products. At the same time, many are switching from nylon bristles to eco-friendly brush bristles while embracing sustainable materials.
We’ve established that the sustainability of electric toothbrushes ranges from one toothbrush brand to the next. As a result, you’ll need to look out for certain things when shopping for your next eco-friendly electric toothbrush. These will help you curb plastic waste while embracing durable products.
Here are some factors to look out for to help you reduce your environmental impact and ensure eco-friendly dental hygiene:
Buying environmentally friendly electric toothbrushes also means looking out for those with a replacement brush head. This way, you won’t have to throw out the entire electric toothbrush but just replace the head.
Pay attention to the recyclability of your electric toothbrush choices. Factors like recyclable packaging, a recyclable head, and a recyclable toothbrush handle make a big difference. This assures you that the end of the life cycle doesn’t contribute to landfill waste. Eco-friendly toothbrush heads are important in the grand scheme. Check the label, and you should easily find out if you can recycle electric toothbrush heads from your current or new brand choice.
Disposable batteries pose significant environmental challenges. Besides, they aren’t durable at all. Choose electric toothbrushes with rechargeable batteries.
Apart from batteries that you can recharge, another option is to look out for brushes with long-lasting charge options. By paying attention to durability and longevity, you won’t have to be repurchasing so often.
It can be challenging to find an electric toothbrush that is 100% plastic-free. However, when shopping, look out for those that prioritize eco-friendly and durable materials. Many brands rely on nylon bristles, for instance. Thankfully, some brands are switching from this traditional option to BPA-free or recycled materials.
Another factor to look out for is the brand’s approach to sustainability. Do they offer a recycling program? Do they have plastic-free packaging? Do they encourage proper disposal of toothbrush heads? Do they use sustainable toothbrush material?
Ready to switch to lower waste toothbrushes? Below, you’ll find five eco-friendly electric toothbrush options to support your zero waste lifestyle.
Pearlbar is one of the electric toothbrush brands that doesn’t offer eco-friendly solutions simply by accident. Instead, the company has dedicated its eco-conscious range to reducing the overall environmental impact.
One of its popular offerings is the sonic-powered electric toothbrush. The manufacturers designed this product not only to clean the surface of your teeth but also to address gum health. The gentle vibration cycle is ideal for sensitive teeth as it massages the teeth, gum, and tongue without pain.
Pearlbar’s electric toothbrush features 5 brushing modes and 3 intensity levels, giving you the freedom to choose. It has a low-profile USB charging base that you can easily store at home or carry around with you.
One of the top features of this electric toothbrush is that it comes with 3 biodegradable brush heads. Although not entirely considered a bamboo toothbrush due to other materials, it features bamboo heads. The addition of the brush heads makes it certain that you won’t have to worry about buying new products for a while.
This rechargeable electric toothbrush is easy to power on with a simple press of a button. To further enjoy your brushing experience, Pearlbar gives you 3 brush head options. You can select from the Tynex bristle, Spiral bristle, and Binchotan Charcoal bristle based on your oral hygiene needs.
The company designs these toothbrush bristles to support the ultimate care of your teeth and gums. The activated charcoal brush head supports whitening, the spiral supports sensitivity, and the tynex brush head supports plaque removal.
Apart from features like sonic technology and intensity options, this eco-friendly electric toothbrush offers a sustainable solution. Pearlbar created a solution to plastic toothbrushes with this option.
Although it’s not entirely a plastic-free toothbrush, the handle comes from recycled plastic materials and metals. The top sustainable feature of Pearlbar’s electric toothbrushes is the bamboo brush heads with biodegradable properties.
Pearlbar states its commitment to improving the sustainability levels of its products over time. According to the brand, you can watch your brush heads decompose within 3 to 4 months. You should, however, remember to remove the bristles. Furthermore, you can recycle the handles of these rechargeable toothbrushes.
The Foreo Issa 3 toothbrush with sonic pulse technology offers you 4-in-1 features for total oral care. The manufacturers designed this electric toothbrush to tackle gum, teeth, cheek, and tongue care.
Advertised as the “brush that lasts a whole year,” the company mentions that Issa 3 offers a 2-hour charge that accommodates up to 365 uses. In addition, you’ll find this toothbrush packed with 16 speeds of sonic pulses to choose from. Generally, this elevates your brushing experience.
Rather than using traditional nylon bristles, Foreo uses medical-grade silicone and PBT polymer bristles. The hybrid brush heads feature bristles at the front and a tongue cleaner at the back. The company packaged these features with not only the intention to keep teeth clean but also to ensure gentleness. As a result of the soft bristles, this electric toothbrush is gentle and suitable for people with sensitivity concerns.
This toothbrush is durable from cool features like indicator lights and interchangeable brush heads. The brush head design allows it to cover a wide area of your mouth when brushing. This offers 360 degrees cleaning feature.
When shopping, you can choose from four colors: pink, fuchsia, mint, and black. A single charge can last several months, although it may not be up to 12 months. Additionally, the use of silicone instead of nylon bristles supports its longevity and reduces your need to change your brush often.
From the silicone brush head to the ergonomic handle, this electric toothbrush from Foreo is powerful. You can enjoy features like a built-in timer, rechargeable battery, smart memory, and bounce-back bristles.
Although silicone might not top the list of eco-friendly materials, this material choice tops nylon bristles. This is a toothbrush you can use over and over again as it stands out for its durability. You can always send it to a recycling program for conversion at the end of its lifecycle.
The Georganics eco-friendly electric toothbrush uses advanced sonic technology to support your oral routine. The high-frequency vibrations that the brush produces support teeth cleaning while removing plaque.
Georganics made this electric toothbrush with people going through orthodontics procedures in mind. As a result, you can select from 3 brush stroke speed adjustments to suit your needs. The auto-stop timer supports your teeth care by helping you ensure you’re brushing each section properly. Georganics has assured you that the entire toothbrush is waterproof, meaning you can use it even while in the shower.
Although made from plastic material and featuring nylon bristles, this company has ensured its products are recyclable. In addition, each eco-friendly electric toothbrush comes in plastic-free packaging as part of the company’s sustainability commitment.
The toothbrush set features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and charging stand. According to the company, a full lithium-ion battery charge should give you around 5 weeks of usage. For anyone looking to improve their oral hygiene, the company has incorporated features to support this. Specifically, the 2-minute auto-timer setting will assist you as you navigate all corners of your mouth.
Georganics’ eco-friendly toothbrushes form part of the company’s sustainable culture. The company offers one of the best recycling programs of an electric toothbrush company.
Naturally, using plastic for the electric toothbrush handles might not be the most sustainable toothbrush material. As a result, Georganics created a zero-to-landfill recycling scheme. With this program, you can send your old products back to the company for recycling. This way, you no longer have to worry about whether your local recycling centers will accept old Georganics products.
Apart from toothbrushes, the company also offers zero-waste packaging. Its materials are either biodegradable or recyclable. You can also reuse the cardboard box your product comes in. Generally, this company supports a zero-waste lifestyle.
Quip designs sleek electric toothbrushes that support good brushing habits. With each adult electric toothbrush, you get a product that offers a sleek handle and gentle bristles. Each charge is designed to give you 3 months of battery life. Furthermore, you get timed sonic vibrations to ensure all corners of your mouth are clean and plaque-free.
This toothbrush offers the simple and lightweight nature of manual toothbrushes but in an eco-electric toothbrush. The soft bristles provide gentleness to people with sensitive gums and teeth. The toothbrush has a 2-minute built-in timer with 30-second pulses. This feature ensures that you spend at least 30 seconds on each area of your mouth.
You can replace the Quip electric toothbrush heads, which is a significant longevity feature. This way, you don’t have to throw out the whole brush when you need new bristles. A replaceable battery runs the brush. The replaceable batteries offer an eco-friendly option since you’re not limited to locked-in batteries that may spoil after a while. As a result, the replaceable option may allow you to extend the lifespan of your brush. Alternatively, you can also opt for rechargeable batteries.
Environmentally, Quip is taking steps. The company gives you two electric toothbrush handle options. You can choose a metal-handled toothbrush or one they make from recycled plastic. Also, you can recycle the brush heads of these Quip brushes. A unique feature that Quip offers is its subscription model to replace brush heads and batteries.
This eco-electric toothbrush comes with the option for you to subscribe for replacements. The company has a subscription model to make it easy to switch out parts like brush heads and batteries. The plan starts from $5 to get a refill of a brush head and battery every 3 months. After serving their purpose, you can pluck the bristles and send the toothbrush heads to a recycling program.
For people who are simply looking for eco-friendly replaceable heads, Lezhisnug is proving a solution. This range of brush heads is compatible with Oral-B electric toothbrush handles, except the sonic brushes range. So, if you already own such handles, you can simply switch to these activated charcoal electric toothbrush heads.
This product features bamboo charcoal bristles and a recyclable head. This way, you can divert your products from landfills and send them for recycling instead. This 8-piece set has color-coded rings at the bottom to easily identify each head. Lezhisnug infuses the bristles with Binchotan charcoal. This addition aims to aid in cleaning teeth discoloration while getting rid of impurities.
These replacement heads are an easy swap for anyone already using Oral-B electric toothbrushes or other name brands. All you have to do is ensure that your toothbrush handle is compatible with these brush heads by checking the compatibility list.
You might attract many people to the fact that the company infuses the bristles with charcoal for thorough cleansing. Best of all, you can prevent adding to landfill waste by recycling your used brush heads. You also get recyclable packaging to avoid waste, apart from the recyclable heads. Since Oral-B brushes are quite popular, these heads can serve as a good swap for many people.
These eco-friendly electric toothbrushes represent improved guilt-free and deep-clean brushing. These brushes are changing the electric toothbrush scene from sleek designs to power modes and increasing the use of sustainable materials. If you’re looking to switch to an electric toothbrush or searching for a sustainable one, you’ll find options.
Sabanoglu, T. (2022, January 13). Size of the global oral care market from 2019 to 2025 (in billion U.S. dollars). Statista
Borunda, A. (2019, June 14). How your toothbrush became a part of the plastic crisis. National Geographic
Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.
Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.