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Quip toothbrush review: Is it better than brushes twice the price?

To The Test: I spent 6 weeks trying this Instagram-famous toothbrush to see if it's as good as a Sonicare or an Oral-B.

Sarah Mitroff Managing Editor
Sarah Mitroff is a Managing Editor for CNET, overseeing our health, fitness and wellness section. Throughout her career, she's written about mobile tech, consumer tech, business and startups for Wired, MacWorld, PCWorld, and VentureBeat.
Expertise Tech, Health, Lifestyle
Sarah Mitroff
5 min read
Angela Lang/CNET

If you're on Instagram, you've probably seen ads for Quip. The company created a sleek and simple toothbrush to get you to brush your teeth the recommended two minutes twice a day.

Sure, there are plenty of electric toothbrushes you can buy (including ones trying to drastically reduce the time you brush). But what sets Quip apart is the design of its brushes -- they're slimmer and more stylish than most of the competition. Plus, Quip sends you replacement brush heads in the mail every three months.

Good looks only get you so far though -- are they enough to make Quip the right choice for your oral hygiene needs? I spent more than a month using Quip instead of my other toothbrush to find out.

To The Test is a series where we try out a product and share our experience with using it in our everyday lives.

What is it?

Quip is a battery-powered electric toothbrush that uses sonic vibrations to clean your teeth. The brush has a built-in 2-minute timer, and briefly pauses every 30 seconds to indicate that it's time to move to another quadrant of your mouth.

The brush heads are available in one size and softness, and can easily be replaced. You can sign up for a subscription with Quip for them to send you new heads (and a new battery) every three months.

The toothbrush also includes a holder that sticks to most flat surfaces (like your mirror) and doubles as a cover when you're traveling.

Read more: The best electric toothbrushes for whiter teeth and a healthier mouth

Watch this: This device could drill your cavities pain-free

How much is it?

Quip's toothbrushes cost $25 for a plastic model, which comes in blue or green. You can upgrade to a metal version -- available in silver, copper, gold or slate for $40.

New brush heads cost $5 each, and you can also get toothpaste from Quip for another $5. You can sign up for a refill program that sends you a new brush head, a new battery and toothpaste every three months for $10.

You can buy Quip brushes from the company's website, and in store at many Target locations.

What's the hype?

Quip's toothbrushes promise the same results as bigger, more expensive models, but in a less expensive and more compact design.

There have been plenty of battery-operated (I'm using that term to differentiate them from rechargeable models) toothbrushes on the market over the years, but Quip is one of the first to make them look stylish.


Quip's metal toothbrushes look great and are comfortable to hold.

Angela Lang/CNET

How I used Quip

I used the Quip toothbrush exclusively for two weeks, and then spent three weeks alternating between Quip and my current Oral-B model to compare.

In recent years, I've almost exclusively used electric toothbrushes, and have tried several different models -- from a Sonicare to the Crest Spin Brush -- over the course of my life.

I'll also admit that sometimes I don't want to go through the whole two-minute routine most electric options have, so I'll occasionally grab a manual brush and rush through the ordeal.

What I liked

To be honest, not much about the Quip brush I tried blew me away. That's not to say there's nothing I liked about it.

The brush is compact and sleek. It takes up significantly less room on my counter than my Oral-B brush, and frankly looks much better. It's also lighter than other electric models I've tried.

It does a fine job of cleaning my teeth and is comfortable to use. I tried out the gold metal version of the brush, and it's the nicest-looking toothbrush I've ever had.

It also has a built-in tongue scraper on the back of the brush head, which is a plus.

What I didn't

My main complaint about using Quip is that the brush head is too large for my mouth (and a coworker agreed). I found it harder to reach some of the more cramped areas of my mouth (mostly around my upper molars) with the Quip brush head. Granted, I don't have a roomy mouth, but it's not particularly tiny either. A spin-head brush like those made by Oral-B can reach those rear areas with ease.

I started testing out Quip before it launched a kid's version of its brush, which is specifically designed for kid's smaller mouths. But there's only one size for adults.


The soft bristle clean well, but I found that the brush head was too big to reach all the corners of my mouth.

Angela Lang/CNET

With all of the electric toothbrushes I've used before, I usually let the toothbrush do the hard work. I slowly move the brush head around my mouth and targeting specific areas rather than the rapid back and forth motions I make with a manual brush. But having used a brush that moves more quickly before Quip, I felt the need to scrub more to get the same clean feeling I get with my Oral-B. More on that next.

How does Quip compare to Sonicare and Oral-B?

Starting at $25, Quip is cheaper than popular alternatives from Sonicare (starting at $40), Oral-B (starting at $30) or Foreo (cheapest model is $50).

Brushes from Quip and Sonicare both vibrate to remove plaque and food from your teeth -- but the difference lies in how fast they move.

Quip's motor creates 15,000 brush strokes per minute, while Sonicare uses up to 62,000 brush movements per minute. Quip says it uses the industry standard and provides sufficient brush strokes to get your teeth clean.

Oral-B's brushes are a bit different than both Quip and Sonicare in that they pulse and also oscillate, mimicking the tooth polishing procedure you get during a cleaning at the dentist. Oral-B claims its brushes use 48,800 movements per minute.


Quip's subscription service sends new brush heads and toothpaste every 3 months.

Angela Lang/CNET

Are more brush strokes better? Not necessarily. I consulted with my mother, a registered dental assistant who's spent more than 40 years working in the field, about this and she explained that any brush can remove plaque, no matter if it's manual or electric. The American Dental Association backs that up too.

One more thing to note: Both Oral-B and Sonicare also offer a variety of brush heads for different needs. For instance, Oral-B has eight options, including a brush head that promotes stain removal to one designed to clean around braces.

Should you buy a Quip toothbrush?

So if a manual brush works just as well as an electric one, why bother? Because most of us don't brush correctly, or for enough time. Using an electric toothbrush, especially one that has a timer, helps ensure you are spending enough time cleaning your teeth.

If you've never made the leap to electric brushes, Quip is a good starting place. The brush is easy to use, looks nice in your bathroom and doesn't require charging. It works well to clean your teeth, gums and tongue, and it's inexpensive.

As for me, I plan to stick with my Oral-B brush for the long term because its smaller brush head -- that's also designed for sensitive teeth like mine -- works better for my needs.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.