7 Sustainable Electric Toothbrush Brands For A (More) Eco-Friendly Buzz
Is a sustainable electric toothbrush a thing?
With its various materials and components (looking at you, battery), it’s not hard to see why they’re worse for the environment than their manual counterparts.
But what do you do if your dentist recommends one for your sensitive gums or you can’t imagine clean teeth without the buzz? Is there an environmentally friendly electric toothbrush?
Fortunately, some electric toothbrushes are better than others for cleaning our pearly whites without dirtying the planet in the process.
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The Best Eco-Friendly Electric Toothbrush For A Sustainable Smile
Sustainable Tomorrow’s eco electric toothbrushes reduce disposable waste by replacing plastic heads with compostable brush heads.
For a durable electric toothbrush that helps you cut down on e-waste, those from SURI are made with a repairable aluminum body and plant-based recyclable toothbrush heads.
To find out how we brushed up on finding the best sustainable electric toothbrush, (de)scale down to the bottom of the article.
The Full List Of Sustainable Electric Toothbrushes
- Sustainable Tomorrow | Visit Store
- etee | Visit Store
- Georganics | Visit Store
- FOREO | Visit Store
- SURI | Visit Store
- Fayet | Visit Store
- PearlBar | Visit Store
1. Sustainable Tomorrow
About Sustainable Tomorrow’s Eco Electric Toothbrush
Price Range: $100
Sustainable Tomorrow sells eco-friendly home accessories and personal care products including eco-friendly cutlery, beeswax food wraps, organic sponge loofahs, and more.
Their toothbrushes feature 5 different cleaning modes, three intensity levels that reach up to 40,000 VPMs, and a 2-minute timer.
Each brush comes with a year’s supply of compostable and biodegradable replaceable heads made from bamboo with castor bean oil bristles.
Sustainable Tomorrow’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices
Each FSC-certified bamboo brush head will last for three months and when you’re finished with it you can add it to your compost heap where it will decompose in around 6 months.
The rechargeable batteries last for up to a month in between charges.
Sustainable Tomorrow also sells bamboo eco-friendly electric toothbrush heads for Philips Sonicare models.
Toothbrushes are packaged and shipped in zero-waste, sustainable packaging.
About etee’s Best Eco-Friendly Electric Toothbrushes
Price Range: $100
etee is a one-stop shop for zero-waste cleaning, personal care, and home essentials.
Their zero waste online store offers everything from zero-waste dish soap to eco-friendly loofah alternatives, and an eco-electric toothbrush, of course.
It comes with three replacement heads and a matching USB charger you’ll only need to use once a month.
You can choose between several different cleaning settings and built-in timers and the brush comes with a one-year warranty.
etee’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices
On the hunt for a recyclable electric toothbrush?
The plastic and metal main body of etee’s brush as well as the charging dock are 100% recyclable.
The sustainable electric toothbrush heads are made from bamboo with castor-bean oil bristles. Altogether, they’re 98% compostable.
etee’s factory is powered by renewable energy and they always ship plastic-free.
About Georganic’s Sustainable Electric Toothbrush UK
Price Range: $85
Georganics is a UK zero-waste dental care brand and Certified B Corp offering zero-waste toothpaste, mouthwash, and other oral health essentials made out of natural, non-toxic ingredients.
Their electric toothbrush uses “sonic technology and high frequency vibrations” to get your teeth clean.
With different cleaning modes, three speed adjustments, and a built-in timer, it ticks all the tooth-techy options you’ll need.
A full charge lasts up to 5 weeks.
Georganics Ethical & Sustainability Practices
The toothbrush is made from plastic with nylon bristles and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. You can send both the brush heads and body back to Georganics for recycling with their ‘Zero-To-Landfill’ scheme.
Apart from their peace silk floss, all Georganics products are vegan.
Georganics uses zero waste packaging in the form of compostable cardboard printed with vegetable inks.
They give back via donations to various organizations, including dental charity Dentaid.
About FOREO’s Eco-Friendly Electric Toothbrushes
Price Range: $129–$215
Swedish brand FOREO brings to market the world’s first sustainable sonic toothbrush made of durable silicone (read: as close to a plastic-free electric toothbrush as you can get).
The ISSA™ 3 has 16 adjustable intensities, a smart memory feature, and a low battery indicator LED light.
While the front of the brush head cleans teeth and gums, the back cleans your cheeks and tongue, taking care of all your oral hygiene needs.
FOREO’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices
FOREO might just create the most sustainable electric toothbrush on the market.
Made from durable silicone, both the ISSA™ and ISSA™ mini come with Foreo’s 10-year quality guarantee.
The long-lasting brush head is made from a combination of medical-grade silicone (for gum massage) and PBT polymer bristles to clean off your plaque. They only need to be replaced once per year.
That’s as tough as they come (er, gum?).
The whopping battery life means that the ISSA™ only needs to be charged twice per year.
FOREO doesn’t currently offer a recycling service and recommends visiting your local electronics recycling center. If they don’t accept the unit whole, FOREO says it’s easy to dismantle into smaller pieces.
FOREO’s factories run on solar power and no products are tested on animals, including the cruelty-free electric toothbrush.
About Suri’s Environmentally Friendly Electric Toothbrushes
Price Range: $140
SURI (short for “Sustainable Rituals”) helps us with our twice-daily teeth cleaning needs.
Designed for a powerful deep clean, these eco-friendly electric toothbrushes offer up to 33,000 sonic vibrations per minute with two speed modes and a two-minute timer.
The brush heads have medium/soft bristles for a gentle (but thorough) clean, ideal for sensitive teeth and gums.
The rechargeable batteries last for over 40 days on a single charge, and the brush includes a one-year warranty.
SURI’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices
The plant-based brush heads on this vegan electric toothbrush are made from corn starch with castor oil plant-based bristles. They can be sent back for recycling in a prepaid return mailer.
The durable aluminum body is easily recyclable and also designed for easy repair.
SURI is carbon-neutral via a partnership with ClimatePartner and their B Corp certification is pending.
About Fayet’s Environmentally Friendly Electric Toothbrushes
Price Range: $140
Fayet’s Bamboo Smart Sonic is a lightweight brush with five cleaning modes and a long battery life.
Each brush includes a set of three replacement brush heads. The plastic body is water-resistant and can be used in the shower.
Fayet’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices
The replaceable heads are made from 100% bamboo bases with PBT, charcoal, or nylon bristles (depending on the head type). This means the bristles would need to be removed in order to compost the bamboo head.
The plastic body can be recycled, and the battery lasts 40 days on a single charge.
Each toothbrush set comes in a biodegradable cardboard box.
About PearlBar’s Best Eco-Friendly Electric Toothbrush UK
Price Range: $120
PearlBar will help you look after your pearly whites with its range of oral health care products.
Their sonic-powered eco toothbrush has five brushing modes and three cleaning speeds. For those looking for a quiet sustainable electric toothbrush, “clean” mode works best.
Each unit comes with 3 replaceable heads made from bamboo and a 1-year warranty.
You can get specific with each toothbrush head designed for a different function: whitening, sensitivity, and plaque removal.
Pearlbar’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices
Once the nylon bristles and cornstarch plastic insert in the brush head have been removed, the rest of the bamboo replacement toothbrush heads are 100% biodegradable and can be composted at home.
The “bamboo-look” of the main body and charging dock are thanks to recyclable plastics and metals.
PearlBar donates 10% of all profits to charity, like the Salvation Army and Love Without Boundaries. They also donate toothbrushes to people in need.
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Why Choose An Eco-Friendly Electric Toothbrush
If everyone in the US replaced their toothbrush every 3-4 months (the recommended time frame), over one billion toothbrushes would be thrown away every year—the majority of which are plastic.
Unfortunately, going electric isn’t the solution. The main body is usually made of plastic and most replacement heads are also plastic with nylon bristles.
A compostable manual toothbrush is still the best option for eco-friendly toothbrushes.
But can’t you recycle an electric toothbrush?
While it’s true that some components can be recycled, many Material Resource Facilities (MRF) won’t be too pleased with teeny-tiny components—especially if they have to dismantle it themselves.
Even TerraCycle has yet to accept electric toothbrush heads.
Then there’s the battery which requires difficult-to-mine metals like lithium (with often questionable workers’ rights) and it isn’t always easy to recycle either.
Design Life-Cycle did a lifecycle analysis on electric toothbrushes and flagged various issues regarding materials, energy use, and waste.
With around 55 million US brushers using electric toothbrushes, the toothbrush industry is in desperate need of a sustainability overhaul.
How We Found The Best Eco-Friendly Electric Toothbrushes
The same considerations apply to sourcing electric toothbrushes with a lower environmental impact.
Admittedly, the options on this list aren’t perfect and there’s a long way to go to create a truly sustainable electric toothbrush. That said, some brands are moving things in the right direction.
So, what makes an electric toothbrush sustainable?
Sustainable electric toothbrush heads that are mostly made of compostable materials help to curb the amount of plastic waste going to landfill.
Although the castor-oil bristles used by some brands aren’t technically “compostable” (because they take too long to break down in your home composter), they are at least plant-based and biodegradable and will eventually break down without leaving microplastics behind.
Fully recyclable plastic heads (which can be sent back for recycling) are also a more eco choice.
The main body of the toothbrush needs to be easily recyclable so that it doesn’t add to the growing amount of e-waste. Metal is the current best option, followed by recycled plastic.
The jury’s still a little out on the eco-friendliness of silicone. To a large extent, it depends on how it was manufactured. It’s potentially a great way to cut down on plastic waste, as it’s much more durable.
But would the other components of the toothbrush last this long?
If not, silicone isn’t biodegradable, nor is it widely recycled.
Long-lasting and rechargeable battery life is a big plus. The most energy-efficient brushes only need to be charged twice a year.
Like battery life, the most eco-friendly electric toothbrushes should last a long time. Warranties are a good indicator of durability and how willing a brand is to stand behind its products.
Whilst not all brands have one yet, those that do offer a recycling program make it easier for customers to properly recycle their old units.
The Future Of Eco-Friendly Electric Toothbrushes
So, is there an eco-friendly electric toothbrush?
Compared to conventional electric toothbrushes, yes, but there’s a lot to unpick here. The ecological impact of electric toothbrushes can’t be brushed off easily.
And to tell the tooth, there’s a fair bit of greenwashing in the world of toothbrushes. We’d love to see brands being open and honest about the trials and tribulations of creating an eco electric toothbrush so that there can be more conversation to further the eco-efforts in the industry.
These are the changes we need to see to achieve the tricky task of (almost) perfecting a truly environmentally friendly electric toothbrush.
Innovations in sustainable materials—like moving away from plastic to bio-based and biodegradable heads—makes the most sense for consumable parts like toothbrush heads.
If plastic is used, it needs to be recycled plastic that’s non-toxic and easily recyclable.
The main body of an eco-friendly electric toothbrush needs to be as durable and long-lasting as possible—and ideally compostable, biodegradable, or at least 100% recyclable.
Whether that’s bamboo, stainless steel, or something else, a true zero waste electric toothbrush must be able to be responsibly disposed of at the end of its useful life.
But given the difficulty of recycling a lithium battery and other electronic components, there is no such thing as a truly zero waste electric toothbrush (yet?).
Supply chain & labor practices:
Eco-friendly electric toothbrush brands are generally quiet regarding manufacturing and supply chains. We’d like to see more information about material sourcing, factory-specific details, and codes of conduct.
Green business practices:
To keep e-waste to a minimum, repair services are essential for prolonging the life of electrical appliances. Compared to other electronics, the small size of electric toothbrushes mean they’re much easier to send back for repair.
For when repair isn’t possible, brands need to be offering recycling services, even for compostable components because not everyone has access to composting.
Offsetting carbon emissions via carbon offset programs, plastic-free packaging, and use of renewable energy encourages us to brush for at least two minutes. We’re seeing some of this already, but more is always encouraged.
Community & charitable giving:
Nearly all brands on our list donate products and/or profit to charitable organizations, making us grin a little wider.
How To Properly Recycle Electric Toothbrushes
So you’ve done your homework and invested in a recyclable electric toothbrush.
Properly disposing of electronics is important if we’re going to tackle the increasing amount of e-waste.
Before recycling your toothbrush, consider first if it can be repaired either through the company or at a local repair shop. If you enjoy a challenge, have a go at a DIY repair (with YouTube’s help).
If your toothbrush is still working, consider selling or giving it away.
Once repair and re-sell options are exhausted, it’s time to recycle:
- Check to see if the company offers a recycling service.
- Check for local recycling options. You might have a local drop-off point (or you can start your own and raise money for schools or charities).
- TerraCycle has free, company-sponsored postage options for sending in bases and handles.
- Visit your local recycling center to see if they have a recycling bin to dispose of electronics. Some electronic stores also have bins you can use.
Final Thoughts On Sustainable Electric Toothbrushes
So, is an electric toothbrush eco-friendly?
Well, just like you might dread a dental appointment, our planet isn’t a big fan of electric-powered brushing.
That said, if you’re wondering “what can I use instead of an electric toothbrush?”, the answer’s simple.
A plastic-free manual toothbrush that is compostable or biodegradable is hands-down a better deal for the planet.
If you already have an electric toothbrush, keep it in use for as long as possible by repairing, reselling, and finally recycling it.
If you’re looking to buy, second-hand or refurbished models on platforms like eBay or Facebook Marketplace are a good start. Maybe one that’s compatible with biodegradable bamboo toothbrush heads is better still.
If you’re buying new, consider brands that are making conscious efforts to reduce their products’ environmental impact.
We’ll grin from ear to ear if you share this article with family and friends. Let’s spread the word about the eco-nsiderations involved with keeping our planet as squeaky clean as our pearly whites.