Your toothbrush is one of the first things you’ll add to your travel packing list, however, will likely be the one which you put the least thought into. Whilst maintaining basic oral hygiene is something most people keep up with regularly at home, maintaining this same routine whilst travelling can be problematic. You will need to consider the amount of luggage space you have, whether you’ll have access to a sink on long travels, or will there even be power outlets to charge your electric toothbrush?
Poor dental hygiene inevitably leads to the requirement for dental treatment. Dental costs can vary from country to country and in Australia can run into thousands of dollars. Not to mention the hassle you will have to go through; finding a suitable dentist and then booking an appointment which may take weeks; far from ideal when you are travelling around the country.
Travel is no excuse for poor dental hygiene. Finding the best travel toothbrush can save you money, time and most importantly your teeth! So in this post, we’ve reviewed the 10 BEST travel toothbrushes to suit a variety of needs, so you can keep your teeth looking their best while you are on the road.
Top 10 Best Travel Toothbrush: At a Glance
|All-Round||Phillips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000||$$$|
|Electric||Oral-B Genius 9000||$$$|
|Manual||Radius Tour Travel Toothbrush||$|
|Battery-Operated||Oral B Pro-Health Superior Clean||$$|
|Disposable||Colgate Max Fresh Wisp Mini Disposable||$|
|Eco-Friendly||Hello Boo Bamboo||$|
|Folding||GUM Folding Travel Toothbrush||$|
|Smart||hum by Colgate Smart Toothbrush||$$|
|Luxury||FOREO ISSA 3||$$$|
|Children||KKUYI 360° U-Shaped Cartoon Toothbrush||$|
Phillips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 Electric Toothbrush [Best Travel Toothbrush: All-Round Favourite]
- Powerful and effective brushing performance
- 4 cleaning modes
- Stylish, minimal design
- USB charging
- Excellent travel case
- Only one brush head included – and replacements are expensive
Features: Sonic cleaning action, 4 different cleaning modes, 2-minute timer, 14-week battery life.
The Phillips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 is an effective toothbrush that is hard to find flaws with, but be under no illusion – you are paying for the design as much as for the performance. Nonetheless, this range-topping Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 toothbrush is, in our view, narrowly the best travel toothbrush you can buy.
The brushing experience is completely in line with the high-class design and price. The movement of the brush is so fast it’s barely visible to the eye and gives extremely clean and smooth results. There are various different modes, however, the standard clean mode works very well. It also features a “polishing” mode which gave our teeth a nice squeaky-clean feel.
What we like: There are two charging options with this toothbrush; either charge it with the included puck base or alternatively, you can charge it inside the stylish travel case via USB, which is probably a better idea whilst travelling. Battery life was great in our test, lasting an impressive 14 weeks.
What we don’t like: You’re paying a premium for the design, especially considering only one brush head is included. There are different brush heads available that will activate various modes such as whitening mode however, you’ll need to purchase the different brush heads separately. Then again, the brush head that is included is very good for all-around cleaning and should suffice. Replacement heads are generally more expensive than other models on the market.
Best for: Those who travel regularly
- Excellent brushing performance
- Good battery life
- Smart bluetooth cleaning
- Sleek design
- Selection of brush heads
- Head-tracking isn’t consistently accurate
Features: Bluetooth, gum pressure sensor, USB Charging, travel case & smartphone holder.
Whilst the hefty price tag may leave some travellers baulking at the price, Oral-B has provided enough features and genuine quality to warrant splashing out.
Bluetooth is the star attraction of this toothbrush, as well as an accompanying app that is compatible with both iOS and Android devices to help users brush exactly as a dentist recommends. It will give you a live update whilst you brush, feedback on how you are brushing as well as maintain a log of your brushing history.
Oral-B claims the Genius 9000 can kill double the plaque compared to a manual toothbrush, thanks to six different brushing modes; which include whitening and sensitive modes, bringing you a brushing experience that is really second to none.
What we like: The accessories that come with the Oral-B Genius 9000 include a charging travel case and a smartphone holder – so you can stick your smartphone to your mirror to view the apps graphical feedback. Not many travel toothbrushes include a smartphone holder however, we feel the novelty may wear off if your phone doesn’t fit properly and crashes into the sink mid-brush.
Still, the travel case is a huge bonus making the Oral-B genius 9000 the best electric travel toothbrush. It doubles as a charger and comes with its own two-pin travel adapter. There’s also a USB socket to provide power for another device and an integrated phone holder on the inside of the case.
What we don’t like: The Oral-B Genius 9000 is offensively loud. I suspect that you’ll get heads turning in the hostel bathroom when your fellow travellers look to see if you’re using a power drill on your teeth.
Best for: Travellers who are into their apps or who struggle to brush properly
- BPA, phthalates, lead and latex free
- Sleek and compact design
- Bristles may be too soft for some users
Features: Foldable, replaceable heads.
The USA-made Radius Tour Travel Toothbrush has some great features which make it the best travel toothbrush. The super-portable jack-knife design allows the head to be folded up inside the handle into a third of its size, allowing you to store it in the smallest of bags.
The bristles are soft, yet effective in removing plaque and are gentle on the gum line. They are sold in packs of three and six, so if you’re looking for the best travel toothbrush for the entire family, the Radius Tour Travel Toothbrush is a contender.
What we like: We love the eco-friendly factor of the Radius Tour Travel Toothbrush. The reusable handle is petroleum-free and made from 100% wood-based bioplastic and the heads are easily placed when the bristles wear out, eliminating the need to buy a whole new toothbrush. Even if you lose it or need to throw it away, it is much better for the environment than traditional plastic toothbrushes.
What we don’t like: We found the bristles to be far softer and produced a gentler brushing experience than other toothbrushes we tested. Nonetheless, we still absolutely love this eco-friendly travel toothbrush.
Best travel toothbrush for: Eco-conscious travellers and families.
Oral-B Pro-Health Superior Clean Battery Powered Toothbrush [Best Travel Toothbrush: Battery-operated]
- Long battery life
- Value for money
- No timer
- Battery cover stiff to remove
- Long term cost of batteries and brush-heads
Features: Replaceable brush heads, battery operated.
A basic but functional electric toothbrush, powered by removable AA batteries. Providing you are aware of its limited features, it works out as a great value travel toothbrush.
What we like: The Oral-B Pro-Health gives a quality all-round clean, with the bristles reaching deeply into hard-to-reach places. It takes two AA batteries, which can last 6-8 months based on tests, before needing to be replaced.
What we don’t like: The design of the Oral-B Pro-Health is quite bulky and cheap looking. This is not a toothbrush to impress, but rather one to do a better job than manual brushing.
Best for: Travellers on a budget who want the power of an electric brush without the hefty price tag.
- Sugar-free, gluten-free
- No water or rinsing needed
- Safely upcycle through the TerraCycle recycling programme
- Not individually wrapped
- Can feel quite flimsy to use
Features: Pre-loaded with toothpaste, disposable.
Imagine a travel toothbrush that didn’t need toothpaste or require you to rinse afterwards. Well, it already exists! Colgate has created a mini disposable travel toothbrush with a small bubble of toothpaste preloaded, which bursts when brushing is commenced. Since there is no water you won’t get the normal frothiness as you’re used to, but your mouth will still feel minty fresh. There is also a soft toothpick at the base of the toothbrush to help reach food particles you may have missed whilst brushing.
The bristles are soft and sparse, which are perfect for travellers who require gentle yet effective bristles for cleaning. The pack contains 24 brushes and comes in an easily packable pouch.
They are a brilliant travel accessory if you are intending to visit countries that do not have clean running water.
What we like: The Colgate Max Fresh Wisp Disposable Travel Toothbrush‘s best feature is the fact they come pre-pasted with a bead of toothpaste. This is convenient for brushing your teeth on the airplane and will negate the need to also carry toothpaste; as carrying it will be restricted to 100ml and will count towards your liquid hand luggage allowance. It also means you can avoid the chaos of travellers clambering over each other to freshen up, right before the plane lands.
They are also perfect to quickly freshen up before a date with a fellow traveller or perhaps before a job interview if that’s more your style.
What we don’t like: The Colgate Wisp Disposable toothbrushes were pretty small and it made them challenging to use effectively. The packaging also states that they are not to be used as a replacement for a normal toothbrush. Another thing we disliked was that if you accidentally leave the pouch open, they will dry out incredibly quickly and become completely useless.
Best travel toothbrush for: Frequent fliers or travellers who will find it difficult to find a sink and clean water on their travels.
- At first, bristles can be rough however soften with use
Features: 100% Bamboo, bamboo toothbrush travel case.
Hello Boo is good for your mouth and great for the environment. They come in a range of colours and a slimline bamboo toothbrush holder, which is great for keeping your toothbrush clean whilst travelling. The toothbrush head is slightly angled to allow proper cleaning of the back teeth and to clean under hard-to-reach gum lines with ease.
What we like: We love that Hello Boo toothbrushes are crafted from 100% eco-friendly Moso Bamboo, which is a renewable material that repels water. The whole toothbrush is biodegradable and should decompose in around 9 months. The toothbrush was comfortable to hold and easy to grip.
What we don’t like: We found the brush head was too big and the bristles too hard for children however, in all fairness this toothbrush is marketed towards teens and adults. Wild & Stone do a great children’s version! Unfortunately, though, these do not come with a case.
Best Travel Toothbrush for: Eco-conscious travellers
- Anti-bacterial coating
- Sturdy handle
- Multi-level bristles to clean different parts of your teeth
- After time, the bristles stick out of the case when folded up
Features: Foldable, tongue-cleaner
The GUM folding travel toothbrush doesn’t make any sacrifices to be portable. It is an ideal companion for trips where luggage space is a premium. The brush head folds down to 4.5 inches and fits securely into the handle, so it won’t unfold in your luggage bag. There is an anti-bacterial coating on both the brush head and the surface of the handle/case which will keep your toothbrush hygienic, especially on a longer period of travel.
What we like: This toothbrush does not compromise quality for portability, like many other travel toothbrushes. The bristles are thick, yet are soft and easy-going on the teeth. It feels like a normal-sized toothbrush yet is compact and sturdy.
What we didn’t like: After a period of use, the bristles started to fray and thus would stick out when folded into the case. There were also a few occasions where the toothbrush would try and fold back into itself whilst brushing, which was to some extent frustrating.
Best for: Short getaways or when luggage space is a premium.
- Reasonably priced
- Earn points on the app & cash in for brush heads
- Travel case included
- Battery life shorter than competitor brands
Features: Smart app, 3 brushing modes, sonic vibration.
We’ve been conditioned to think that for a better cleaning experience, you have to spend more money. However, that’s simply not true, and the Hum can vouch for that.
The Hum goes hand-in-hand with the a complimentary app, which helps promote better brushing habits. The app, which is extremely accurate, managed to log all our brushstrokes on testing and offered helpful advice, suggesting to tilt the brush at certain angles to reach certain areas for better cleaning.
The Hum is significantly lighter and smaller than other electric toothbrushes, making it an ideal candidate to pack in your luggage for travelling. It has the feel of a manual toothbrush, being less bulky and cumbersome than some electric models.
There are three different cleaning modes available; normal, sensitive and deep clean. Whilst this is far less than other electric toothbrushes, having more modes can be somewhat unnecessary.
We were worried initially about the smaller brush head but quickly realised that the small brush head enabled us to reach areas of our mouth that a big round head couldn’t, without bashing our gums in the process.
What we like: We absolutely love the fact you can collect “smile points” for brushing, which can be cashed in and used towards purchases such as replacement brush heads. The way we see it, it’s a nice way to save money by doing something you have to do anyway.
What’s more, you don’t have to physically open the Hum app every time you brush your teeth, which is great if you are travelling and run out of data! Hum will hold the data for 10 days and upload brushes when you connect to the app again. So you’ll be able to collect those smile points whilst offline!
Whilst the “smart” features of this toothbrush are not revolutionary, what makes the Hum special is that it is super affordable, and far more accurate than other smart models on the market. It also comes with a sleek travel case making it the ideal travel companion.
What we didn’t like: The only fault we could really pick with the Colgate Hum was that the battery life was comparatively shorter than other brands.
Best for: Travellers who want a smart toothbrush on a budget
- 365 uses on one 2-hour charge
- Brush head lasts 6 months
- USB chargeable
- 4-in-1 complete oral care: teeth, gums, cheek & tongue.
- Travel pouch included
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
- Doesn’t have specific cleaning modes
Features: Smart Memory – with 16 adjustable intensities, built-in 30-second timer, low battery indicator, made from medical-grade silicone.
The FOREO ISSA Sonic toothbrush will undoubtedly brighten up your travel bag as well as your smile. The Swedish modern and minimal design stands out from other competitor toothbrushes that currently line the shelves.
The brush handle is encased in silicone which not only makes it comfortable to hold but also allows the user to maintain grip, which stops it from smashing into the bathroom sink as soon as it gets wet. The ergonomic feel of this toothbrush would make it a great choice for anyone who struggles with strength in their hands and fingers.
The combination of rounded PBT polymer bristles at the centre of the head, surrounded by medical grade silicone bristles certainly felt less abrasive on the teeth and kinder on sensitive gums. There is no pressure sensor however, the silicone has lots of give in it that even the hardest of brushes would be able to feel when they are brushing too hard.
The battery life is incredible, and if charged for the appropriate amount of time you might not even need to take the charger with you as it is powerful enough to last for 365 brushes, dependent on your length of travel of course.
What we like: We love that this toothbrushes claim to fame is that it was chosen by the makers of the Star Trek Discovery TV series to be used by their characters on screen, as it would not look out of place in the year 2255, which is pretty cool and an awesome story for your fellow travellers who will be envious of your toothbrush.
What makes this one of the best travel toothbrushes is the lock feature, which will enable you to rest easy knowing that it can’t be activated and drain the battery whilst it is in its travel pouch.
What we don’t like: The FOREO ISSA Rechargeable Sonic Toothbrush does not have any specific cleaning modes such as whitening, gum care etc. There is also no way to tell what level of intensity you’re at unless you count along as you press the buttons however, it does start at the intensity you finished your last brush on, which is pretty handy.
Best for: The trendy backpacker, people who have poor hand strength, those who are going on an extended period of travel.
KKUYI 360° U-Shaped Cartoon Toothbrush [Best Travel Toothbrush for Children]
- 45 Second Timer
- 3 cleaning modes; daily cleaning, whitening and massage
- USB chargeable
- 20 day battery life
- U-Shaped brush head
- Battery runs flat if not used frequently
This travel toothbrush for children is sure to add fun to the adventure. The unique U-shaped brush head fits the shape of a toddlers mouth which helps to deliver an all-around clean.
What we like: The KKUYI kids toothbrush comes with a protective cover to keep the brush clean; which also doubles up as a cup for rinsing!
What we don’t like: If you do not use this toothbrush regularly the battery will drain flat pretty quick. The good thing is that it charges via USB, which most travellers will have in their luggage.
Best for: Small Children, Children with special sensory needs
Why You Need The Right Travel Toothbrush
Most travellers are guilty of negotiating items to take on their travels. You don’t want to risk ruining your favourite pair of jeans so you pick a pair from the back of the wardrobe, or you don’t want to take your best toiletries so you buy cheap travel-sized ones instead.
However, you do not want to be compromising on your oral health, which becomes even more important whilst travelling if you want to avoid hefty dental costs.
Planning ahead and researching the best travel toothbrush (such as reading this article) will ensure that you will be buying the best toothbrush for your oral hygiene needs whilst travelling. You’ll want to make a particularly strong effort to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent getting sick on your travels.
The best travel toothbrushes are designed to prevent the risk of bacterial contamination and mould growth, particularly since they will be stored close to all your personal belongings.
Lastly, it is important to have the right travel toothbrush for ease of transport. A normal everyday toothbrush is often bulky, does not fold away and has no protective case to stop germs from getting to it. Travel toothbrushes are designed to be convenient and compact, taking up as little room in your luggage as possible.
Not only are travel toothbrushes great for travel, but they are also handy to put into your work bag so you can stay fresh during the day. Your toothbrush is an indispensable personal item that will help you maintain fresh breath and healthy teeth wherever you are. You will never be without a travel toothbrush again.
What to Look For in a Good Travel Toothbrush: A Buyers Guide
Different travellers require different things from their toothbrush. For some, portability is all they require however, the more discerning traveller will seek a model with more robust features. When it comes to finding the best travel toothbrush, features are integral.
Here are the most important things to consider when you are looking for the best toothbrush to travel with you.
Manual toothbrushes are characteristically uncomplicated to travel with. Depending on the number of accessories an electric toothbrush comes with, it may be more of a challenge whilst travelling. A big thing to consider will be whether the toothbrush comes with a durable travel case. This will be particularly important if you are the traveller that tends to throw your toothbrush in your bag in a hurry, which may lead to missing/ broken parts.
If you are searching for the best travel toothbrush the first thing you will take into account is whether or not the toothbrush comes with a travel case. This is crucial, especially if you are buying a pricier model. If the toothbrush comes with a low-quality case, it will break easily and thus you will end up losing or damaging parts of the toothbrush, which is not acceptable. In the long run, toothbrushes that don’t come with a case at all are not ideal for travelling and will leave you searching for a suitable travel case, at an additional cost.
Consider a case that is built with high-quality materials and a large zipper. This will ensure your case will endure travelling on the road. Also, make sure the case is not air-tight, as without ventilation bacteria will grow on your toothbrush.
Having a case for your toothbrush will also mean you don’t need to store it in a plastic bag which inevitably will find itself in the landfill at the end of your trip.
Before charging options are considered, you will want to ensure that the battery life of the toothbrush is long-lasting. That way, if you don’t have access to a plug socket or you simply don’t have time to charge your toothbrush every day you won’t have to stress about how you’re going to brush your teeth at your next destination.
There are two different methods of charging that you can use for a toothbrush, which is listed below:
USB – A toothbrush that charges by a USB cord is extremely convenient. You will probably already be carrying one for another device such as a mobile phone, therefore this is an ideal way to charge your toothbrush. You also have the option of connecting it to a laptop to charge, meaning you won’t have to rely on getting adapters for foreign plug sockets.
Plug – Whilst a toothbrush that charges with its own plug is still convenient, it does have drawbacks that a USB charging toothbrush does not have; if you lose the plug, you will have to find the same plug to charge it whereas a USB cord is easily replaced and your fellow travellers will likely carry one too. Moreover, if you travel abroad, you will also have to carry a plug adaptor with you.
Characteristically, there is not much variation in the design of an electric toothbrush; they tend to be the same length, slim in design, and come in two parts. Because of this, packing them for travel isn’t a big issue, especially if they come with a durable travel case.
Manual toothbrushes on the other hand have more flexibility in their design and one key feature they can offer is fold-ability. The benefit of a toothbrush being foldable is that it allows the bristles to be protected in the handle. This will save you space in your wash bag as well as making sure the bristles are kept clean.
Toothbrushes being made from plastic have been the norm for quite some time however, it doesn’t mean it should stay the norm. Bearing in mind that dental associations recommend replacing our toothbrushes every three months, the plastic waste adds up rapidly.
Progressively more people have been ditching plastic in favour of more eco-friendly options. If that is something you are interested in, consider purchasing a toothbrush made from bamboo, wood or other recyclable materials.
Whilst you may think a built-in timer is not a deal-breaker when it comes to must-have features of an electric toothbrush, brushing with a timer will ensure you are brushing from the optimum amount of time.
One of the biggest causes of tooth decay is not brushing for long enough. Studies have shown on average people brush for approximately 46 seconds and often overestimate the time spent brushing. If you need this guidance, it is well worth investing in and will save you costly dentist trips in the long run.
When it comes to electric toothbrushes, there are two different types of brush styles to choose from oscillating and sonic. The main difference between the two is the speed of brushing and coverage. Electric toothbrush heads rotated at an approximate rate of 2,500 to 7,500 strokes per minute. In comparison, brushing with a manual toothbrush would achieve 300 strokes per minute. Sonic toothbrushes are around 10 times faster than an electric toothbrush managing an impressive 30,000 strokes per minute.
Another benefit of sonic toothbrushes is that they can produce a secondary cleaning effect described as fluid dynamics. Due to the higher rate of brush speed, sonic toothbrushes agitate the fluids in the mouth, effectively turning them into cleaning agents that reach into crevices that brushes cant access, like between the teeth and below the gum line. An independent study has shown that sonic toothbrushes can remove bacteria at distances up to 4 mm beyond the tips of the bristles.
The price of a travel toothbrush can vary dramatically, especially if you opt for an electric toothbrush with extra features.
There are obvious differences between a good value travel toothbrush and a top of the range model. Ultimately the best travel toothbrush will be the one you use. If you are not going to utilise the features they come with; ask yourself is it worth paying more for?