7 Reasons Why Electric Toothbrushes Are Expensive

When toothbrushes were invented, they were low-tech affairs that cost a few cents. Today, the toothbrush market is worth $2 billion and growing. It’s not surprising that electric toothbrushes are also becoming more expensive.

The high cost of these devices can be a bit of a head-scratcher. Especially when you look at the reasons behind their increased price tags. Many factors contribute to the higher costs of electric toothbrushes. And we’ll take you through them one by one.

Read on if you want to know why the expense of an electric toothbrush is so high…

Top-of-the-line Toothbrushes Are Expensive

As with many other things in life, the more you pay for something, the better it is. That’s the idea behind premium toothbrushes.

When manufacturers want to charge more for a toothbrush, they’ll often take steps to improve its quality.

For example, they may make the brush more durable. Or, incorporate features that allow the brush to clean better. This is why top-of-the-line electric toothbrushes can cost as much as $150.

Manufacturers that charge more often has costs associated with the design and marketing. They may have spent hundreds of dollars researching what features consumers want most out of an electric toothbrush.

Toothbrush Manufacturers Have To Be Paid Up Front

Electric toothbrushes are sophisticated pieces of equipment. They have to be: to provide the correct level of cleaning; the brush has to be programmed to know exactly what to do with each type of tooth surface. This is why toothbrushes are often very expensive to design. Moreover, the price tag doesn’t come down until they’re built and tested.

Manufacturers that want to charge more for their toothbrushes will sometimes require the buyer to pay a deposit upfront. This deposit acts as a kind of security. It ensures that the customer will have the money to purchase the brush when it arrives. There are other reasons why manufacturers charge a deposit.

The toothbrush market is growing so it’s hard for manufacturers to predict demand. If they’re selling a lot of brushes now, but they know that demand will be higher in a year. And they may decide to hold off on production until there’s more demand and charge more for their toothbrushes.

Toothbrush Features Take A Batch Of Time

Electric toothbrushes can have thousands of brush strokes per minute. This is necessary since each stroke has to be planned and executed. If manufacturers don’t spend time designing specific features, most brushes will fall short of the standards set by expensive models. Some brush manufacturers take advantage of this. They will design a brush with fancy features like a quadratic bristle pattern. Those features will be expensive, but the brush will be anything but effective.

For a toothbrush to be effective, the bristles need to be able to reach every section of your teeth. Those with quadratic bristle patterns can’t get into the grooves between teeth. To make an effective toothbrush, manufacturers have to take the time to redesign the brush. Or change the design of specific features. This means brushing costs money. As a consequence, the higher-end brushes are often more expensive than they have to be.

Toothbrush Heads Are Discarded After A While

In the past few years, toothbrush manufacturers have realized that the same brush heads have been used for years and years. Some brush heads can be used for up to 5 years! That means there’s no need to redesign the manufacturing process, and there’s no need to change the design. Some manufacturers are trying to solve this problem by recycling old brush heads. There are toothbrush recycling programs where people go to get their old brushes recycled. This is a good solution, but it’s not core to the toothbrush business model. The manufacturers who decide to charge high prices for their toothbrushes are still trying to solve the plastic problem. That means what happens to all that plastic after a few years.

Raw Materials For Brushes Are Very High In Demand

Electric toothbrushes are complex pieces of equipment. They have to be: to provide the correct level of cleaning. The brush has to be programmed to know exactly what to do with each type of tooth surface. So there needs to be a lot of engineering and design behind the brushes.

One of the things that drive the cost of designing and manufacturing an electric toothbrush is the raw materials. These raw materials are used to create the brush heads. To make a typical toothbrush head, manufacturers will extract the exact mineral content from a certain type of sand.

Unfortunately, this mineral content is often very rare. And extracting it from the sand is very expensive. It also means that the mineral content must be measured. If thieves break into the storage facility, they could have a very expensive haul.


Electric toothbrushes are growing in popularity, but they’re also becoming more expensive. This can be a bit of a head-scratcher since an electric toothbrush is a brush. And brushes are pretty cheap, to begin with.

Many factors contribute to the high cost of electric toothbrushes. Manufacturers will often add to the cost by designing more fancy brushes. They may require a deposit on the brush. And they may even have to take the time to redesign their brushes after the initial batch is used up.

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