Hands-on review: Suri sustainable electric toothbrush
Image credit: Suri
Want a more environmentally friendly way of keeping your teeth clean, but prefer to let the brush do the hard work? Suri may be the answer.
Too many gadgets claim to be revolutionary but Suri (it stands for sustainable rituals) has a good go at reinventing the electric toothbrush. The focus is sustainability, but it also feels as though every element of its design has been thought through anew.
One aspect of sustainability is the materials: Suri features an aluminium handle and plant-based heads (sustainably sourced cornflour with castor oil bristles). Another is minimising: it’s about one-third the size of standard electric toothbrushes, so it uses far less materials. Another is repairability: the body is designed to be easily opened, without the need for specialist tools. This allows for repair and also makes it easier to recycle at the end of its life. That’s a refreshing change when other brands make it almost impossible, for example, to replace a dying rechargeable battery, so otherwise working products get scrapped.
Unboxing is classy. The packaging is plastic-free, modern and sets Suri out as different. Like most electric toothbrushes, there’s the official price and then there’s the real price. It’s one of those gadgets no one ever buys at full price. Officially, at the time of writing, it cost £90 (for toothbrush, charger and mirror mount) and £120 (ditto, plus a high-tech travel charger case). Discounted prices are available nearer to £60 and £90 respectively.
We tested the model with all mod cons. Its stick-on magnetic mirror mount is simple and works well. The charging base is also magnetic, so the toothbrush automatically sits in the right orientation to charge. The base has a built-in USB cable. Our Suri also came with a slim travel case that’s USB charged (with a separate cable, supplied). The case does more than charge the toothbrush; it also contains a UV-C LED light that kills off bacteria on the brush head at the touch of a button.
The toothbrush’s slim, lightweight body feels lovely in the hand. A single button turns it on, off or onto a second mode for polishing. Brushing is the tickly sensation and high-pitched buzz you’d expect from a sonic toothbrush – it vibrates 33,000 times per minute and doesn’t spin. It feels very different to a rotary brush. Despite the slim design, the battery lasts for 40 days’ use on a single charge.
Our testers found it compelling to use. It’s refreshing to have a high-end toothbrush that doesn’t try to make you use an app; it just brushes your teeth. It simply vibrates every 30 seconds to remind you, then stops after two minutes. One tester enjoyed using it so much that he’d sometimes turn it back on for longer - not bad for a teenager who doesn’t usually manage more than a minute.
Another tester’s priority was hygiene. For them, the UV cleaning case appealed, but she also loved the simple design that does away with weird holes and cut-outs in the brush head that always get gunked up. Suri's brush stays gunk-free. Slide off the brush head and you’ll find flat surfaces that are dry and clean.
We were pretty sold. A manual, bamboo toothbrush is an even more sustainable option, but if you prefer the cleaning of an electric toothbrush, then Suri impresses.
The one-year guarantee is less sustainable, but subscribe to get regular new heads (send the used ones back via Freepost for composting and recycling) and you get a forever guarantee.
From £90 trysuri.com
A sonic electric toothbrush with a difference. UV light strikes a titanium dioxide bar (photocatalysis) to produce ions that suppress bacterial growth for teeth that stay clean longer. You can use it with or without toothpaste. Charging is via USB and it weighs just 90g.
From £99.99 ion-sei.com
OralB iO Series 10
The price tag for the top-of-the-range OralB is huge, but - as with any electric toothbrush - the real-world price is much less. Sensors detect where you’re brushing and a gizmo, which doubles as a charging base, guides you. You get a travel charging case and an app, too. The brush has a colour display to indicate mode and a round head with vibrating, rotating bristles.
Sonic cleaning with up to 62,000 brush head movements per minute, to create microbubbles that help clean between teeth. Philips has partnered with TerraCycle to arrange drop-off points for brush heads (they take manual toothbrushes too) for recycling, ultimately turning them into plastic pellets for reuse in manufacturing.
From £124.99 philips.co.uk
Details of the recycling scheme
The Humble Co Electric Toothbrush Heads
Another option if you want to go electric less wastefully, these are eco-friendly brush heads that work with the Philips Sonicare range. The heads are made from 100 per cent biodegradable, sustainably grown bamboo with nylon-6 bristles from Dupont, in eco-friendly packaging of course. In all, they use 88 per cent less plastic than regular Sonicare heads.
€25 for four thehumble.co
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