If you care about the health of your teeth, you’ve probably seen TV and online ads for electric toothbrushes from companies like Quip, Goby, Sonicare and Oral-B. These companies are battling for your mouth – but what are the key differences between these electronic toothbrush providers? How different can their products really be? (Turns out, pretty different.) And can they really keep your chompers as shiny as Vanna Whites’? The answer is yes, depending on how you use them. Choosing the one that is best for you really depends on who you are. Skip ahead to find out if Quip, Goby or Sonicare is the right toothbrush for your mouth and budget.
First, do you really need an electronic toothbrush?
Powered toothbrushes have existed since the 1920’s, and it was GE who popularized the battery powered automatic toothbrush in the 60’s. (Can you imagine brushing your teeth while having the brush actually connected to a wall outlet? That doesn’t sound dangerous at all…) These tooth-tools were first recommended for people who had problems using a regular brush due to mobility/motion issues, but dentists gradually started to suggest that a broader population could benefit from the deeper clean via an electric brush.
Benefits of a powered brush
A meta-study of manual toothbrushes effectiveness vs. powered ones shows that electric brushes likely provide better cleaning. A great feature of this study is that it had a large sample size of 4624 participants, so the researchers had a lot of data to analyze before they reaching conclusions. This study, as reported in the Cochrane Library of clinical research papers, found that “powered toothbrushes are more effective than manual brushes in reducing plaque and gingivitis in the long and short term. An 11% reduction in plaque (Quigley Hein (Turesky) index) was shown at one to three months and a 21% reduction in plaque at longer than three months. With regard to gingivitis a 6% reduction (Löe Silness index) was seen at one to three months and a greater reduction of 11% in the long term.”
In other words, less plaque and a lower risk of gingivitis if you use an electric toothbrush. So, if you are worried about your mouth’s health, or just want to do everything you can to have a strong smile (and gums), you should consider getting one.
Quip vs. Goby vs. Sonicare: Electric Toothbrush Comparison
Quip, Goby, Sonicare and Oral-B all have competing products on the market, and choosing the right one for your mouth can be confusing. There are a number of factors that you’ll want to consider when deciding between Quip and Goby, which are only available online as a subscription, and more traditional providers like Sonicare. Here is a quick price comparison and more details on the key features in each company’s flagship products:
|Brush Replacement Price||$5||$6||$8|
|Handle size||Small (like a traditional toothbrush)||Wide||Wide|
|Battery||Replace AAA every 3 months||Recharge every two weeks||Recharge every two weeks|
|Timer||2 minutes with 30 second increments||2 minutes with 30 second increments||2 minutes with 30 second increments|
|Brush strokes per minute (~RPM)||15,000||9,000||31,000|
|Brush heads available||Oscillating||Oscillating||Oscillating|
|Design Options||Plastic, metal, and premium models. (metal and premium cost more)||Many cool designs||Several colors, although tough to choose on amazon|
|Travel features||Comes with travel cap||Comes with travel cap||Optional travel case for $12.99|
|Website||Visit Quip||Visit Goby||Visit Sonicare|
Does Quip, Goby or Sonicare get your teeth the cleanest?
Of the various toothbrushes we’ve reviewed, which gets your teeth the cleanest?
The easy answer is the one you are most likely to use! So, if Quip’s design and affordable price is what will make you most likely to actually brush your teeth, regularly, then it is the clear winner. That being said, many people like Sonicare’s high number of powerful brush strokes per minute, and if you can afford the premium starting price, it is a wonderful option for the person who wants the most powerful brush around.
Replacement Brush Heads: Quip vs Goby vs Sonicare
Various dentist groups strongly recommend changing your toothbrush, and electric brush head, every three months. Why would dentists recommend you change brush heads so regularly? Several reasons:
- Brush head wear down, resulting in a worse clean – and possibly hurting your gums! That’s right, supposedly the worn brushes can become jagged and damage your gums.
- Germs – this is the reason the American Dentist Association strongly recommends changing your toothbrush every three months. Bacteria and other nasties can build up on your brush, resulting in a clean that’s, well, not so clean.
- Using a toothbrush for more than 3 months might cause bad breath (also called halitosis)
Quip’s brush subscription – a cost effective option
Quip is different than most other providers, in that for $5 you can get a refill sent to your house every 3 months. The startup is trying to help consumers remember to change their brush head by making it dead simple to get a new head as the old one runs out. The $5 charge every three months also includes a new battery. The daily cost is five and a half cents a day for Quip’s replacement brush subscription.
Sonicare brush replacements – expensive for the official ones, but…
Sonicare’s official replacement brushes can be expensive, coming in at $29.99 for a three pack. That comes to about 33 cents a day – pretty expensive.
Another major advantage to Sonicare is that there are a variety of different brush heads – Sensitive, Plaque Control, Gum Health, and more.
Finally, generic knock off brush replacements are also available for a lower cost. You may be able to find a brush that meets your budget at a lower price than the name brand version
Goby brush replacements – a flexible subscription choice
Goby is like Quip, in that they offer a brush subscription and will deliver brushes to your house. However, Goby lets you choose to get a new brush every one, two or three months – quite a difference from Quip, which only gets you a brush every 3 months. It’s unclear if you really need a new brush every month, but, hey, if you are OCD about being clean maybe Goby’s one month plan is right for you! The cost comes in at a reasonable $6 per head when you subscribe, meaning that if you follow the standard every 3 month refills, you will pay just under seven cents a day – very reasonable.
Comparing Quip’s battery to Sonicare and Goby
A pretty massive difference between Quip’s toothbrush and the the others is the battery. Quip uses a standard AAA battery, that you can purchase pretty much anywhere around the world (a replacement is also included with your new brush subscription). The “old school” products have internal batteries that you recharge out of a wall socket.
So, this means that you don’t have to replace the Sonicare’s or Goby’s batteries. For many people, this is likely to be a huge convenience. All you have to do is regularly place the brush into its charging station, make sure the base is connected to the wall, and you are good to brush!
However, as we will discuss in the travel section of this review, a large charging station makes it harder to travel with a Goby or Sonicare. This is an extra toiletry to pack (and depending on which country you are traveling to, may require you to bring an outlet adaptor as well), which will take up space in your luggage. And worrying about your toothbrush running out of batteries while you are on a 4-week backpacking trip to Europe probably isn’t much worth the bother.
Since the Quip brush uses ordinary AAA batteries, you don’t need any special charging station or toothbrush base. In a small bathroom or on an extended vacation, this is a huge advantage. No extra space on your bathroom vanity taken up, no need to think about keeping a charge (just put in a new AAA when needed), no need to lug around a base station on a trip – all positives. BUT, buying external batteries is an extra cost, and does slightly increase the cost of operating one of these devices. And the environmentalist in you may not be excited about the waster of disposable batteries.
All in all, the battery question is one that really depends on your personal needs. Quip’s AAA batteries are clearly better for travelers, people who don’t like to think about regularly charging their equipment and those of us who have a tight/small amount of bathroom countertop. The traditional electric toothbrushes’ rechargeable batteries are going to be better for those of us who don’t want to deal with changing a battery, who don’t mind periodically putting their toothbrush into a wall-connected charging station and who have the space to place a base near an outlet in their bathroom.
Which is better for traveling, Quip, Goby or Sonicare?
If you are a frequent traveler, then your choice of brush matters. You’ll want a design that is easy to throw into your suitcase, that is lightweight and that doesn’t have a bothersome re-charging base station.
The hands down winner for the oral health focused traveler is Quip. Its battery outlasts the competition, so you don’t need to worry about lugging around a charging base. And even if your battery runs dry, you can easily just head to any drug, grocery, or corner store and get a replacement AAA.
Another key feature of Quip vs. competitors like Sonicare is that it comes travel ready. The brush comes with a plastic head cover and a slim plastic case for the handle. Goby does come with a plastic cover for the head, but Quip’s smaller design and travel case for the handle beats the competition. You can purchase some great looking travel cases for the Philips Sonicare 2 Series. The recommended Sonicare case is $12.99.
Quip vs Goby vs Sonicare: The Verdict
While there are some minor differences between these powered toothbrush providers, which one is the best? Can you choose one?
Well, yes – but it depends.
If price is not an option, you don’t mind bulky design, you don’t intend to travel, and you are not going to forget to pick up refill brushes, then Sonicare is likely the best bet for you. With the highest number of brushes per minute, it delivers powerful scrubbing action to your teeth – all for a bit of a premium price and a spot on your bathroom vanity.
Goby is a good call if you need a subscription for your brush heads, love cool design and don’t intend to travel very much. Plus, the new brush replacements are affordable.
If you are looking for an affordable, easy way to get the benefits of an electric toothbrush without having to worry about running out of brush heads or recharging a battery, then we recommend Quip. You’ll get the brushed delivered right to your door, have a slickly designed, easy to travel with brush to use everyday and get the benefits of a low cost, but effective, brush each and every day. You can get Quip starting at just $25 here.
The Best Direct to Consumer Dental Startups of 2020
We recently published an overview of the dental startup space in 2020. You can also read our reviews of teeth aligners made by Candid, Byte and Invisalign. These companies are making getting your teeth straightened easier and more affordable than ever. Not to be outdone, a different set of companies, SmileLove and SmileClubDirect also have aligner offerings.
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