So you’re in the market for an electric toothbrush, but you can’t decide between the Oral B 500, 1000, and 1500. Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Electric toothbrushes have come a long way since their invention in the 1960s. A lot of their modern features confuse consumers. It’s difficult to tell what you need and what you don’t. That’s where my review comes in.
In this head-to-head, I’ll explain what makes the three models unique. We’ll compare the similarities and the differences so you know what you’re getting with each product.
After extensive testing, I’ve decided that one of these Oral B options is easily the best. Continue reading to find out which one.
Table of Contents
- Oral B Pro 500 vs 1000 vs 1500 – Comparison Table
- Better Than a Manual Toothbrush: Oral B 500 Review
- A Well-Rounded Workhorse: Oral B Pro 1000 Review
- Stepping Up the Competition: Oral B Pro 1500 Review
- The Similarities Between the 500, 1000, and 1500
- The Differences Between the 500, 1000, and 1500
- Oral B 1000 vs 1500: Which is Better?
- How to Decide Between Oral B 500 vs 1500
- The Best Overall Choice for You
Oral B Pro 500 vs 1000 vs 1500 – Comparison Table
|Feature||Oral B 500||Oral B 1000||Oral B 1500|
|Cleaning Action||2 D||3 D||3 D|
|Battery Life||7 Days||10 Days||14 Days|
|30 sec Reminder||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Better Than a Manual Toothbrush: Oral B 500 Review
Our first product is the barest of bones, the entry Oral B electric toothbrush. I found the 500 to be exactly what it says on the box. But is that enough for you?
Like all the Oral B products in our comparison, the 500 is easy to hold in your hand, slim and lightweight. The rubber grip extends to the back of the toothbrush where you’ll find a few molded grooves.
The 500 series stands alone in the Oral B line because of 2D cleaning. 2D cleaning doesn’t pulsate as it brushes. Your other two options both manage 3D cleaning. I’ll explain more about this feature in the comparisons later in the review.
Another feature of the 500 is the 2-minute timer. The moment you turn on the 500, a timer begins. After two minutes the brush head vibrates, and you know you’ve brushed long enough. It’s a great feature and reminded me every time without fail.
However, this model does not have the quadpace technology like the 1000 and 1500. An addition to the 2-minute timer, quadpace signals you to change your brushing area every 30 seconds.
Most of us favor one side of our mouth while chewing and brushing. This leaves portions of your mouth vulnerable to cavities and plaque buildup. With quadpace you don’t brush one side longer than necessary. Sadly, the Oral B 500 lacks the feature.
One thing I liked about the 500? It’s compatible with the entire line of Oral B brush heads. Oral B named the included brush head “precision clean,” which is a great all-around brush head.
The standard charger is small and easy to set up. The battery is a nickel metal hydride cell. There’s nothing wrong with the battery at all, but I’d prefer a lithium-ion because it lasts longer.
My tests confirmed that you’re looking at about 6-7 days of charge, brushing twice a day for two minutes. However, no LED light is installed to let you know when the brush is low on battery. If you don’t always keep the device on the charger, you chance running out of juice.
Although not a deal-breaker, the lack of battery display can be annoying. If you are like me, you often rush around in the mornings. A dead toothbrush is the last thing you want to deal with when you’re an hour late for work.
Next, let’s talk oscillations, or how many rotations the brush head can do within a minute.
Lower end electric toothbrushes can vary significantly because of their less powerful motors. With the 500, the motor puts out about 7800 rotations a minute.
The motor works, but nowhere near as good as the other options on our list. Overall, I found the power output dull and disappointing.
The 500 lacks a pressure sensor. But if you pressed down hard enough while brushing, you’ll hear the motor stressing. This is not as precise as an actual pressure sensor. If you press down on your brushes, then this one may not be for you.
My Top Features with the Oral B 500
- Definitely cleans my mouth better than any manual toothbrush you can buy.
- I like the well-placed grips featured throughout the handle.
- The waterproof design means I can use it in the shower.
- Standard charger is small and easy to set up in my bathroom.
- 2-minute timer alerts me when I’ve brushed enough.
My Top Negatives with the Oral B 500
- 2D clean technology means it does not pulsate for a deeper clean like with 3D.
- No pressure sensor to tell me when I brush too hard.
- The battery has no LED indicator to notify me when it’s low.
A Well-Rounded Workhorse: Oral B Pro 1000 Review
Oral B would categorize the 1000 as a second tier, entry-level tooth brush. I’d call it the sweet spot. There’s a lot of value in the 1000.
Holding the device in my hand, I can tell it’s sturdier than the 500. The slim profile and rubber grips on the side are well designed.
Overall, I like the aesthetics of the 1000. The model comes in two versions, pure white or black and white. I recommend the black and white model.
Maybe I’m crazy, but I can’t maintain a clean electric toothbrush handle to save my life. I rinse them after every use, but the full white brush handles get a brown ring around them within a week. The black and white model stays clean longer.
Plus, the 1000 is the only model to come in black and white until you reach the highest (and most expensive) tier Oral B electric toothbrushes.
The installed motor handles a steady 8,800 rotation per minute. Using the brush for a week, I found the clean to be deep and long lasting.
If you’re transitioning from a manual brush, you may find the oscillations strong. I did. But after a week I adapted.
The 1,000 comes with the two-minute brushing timer and quadpace technology. This feature tells you to switch sides every thirty seconds by varying the vibration from the brush head. After your fourth switch, the device will buzz again to power it down. Remember – the toothbrush does not turn off automatically, you do that.
In practice, I found quadpace works well, so long as you use the feature correctly. I have a hard time paying attention when I brush my teeth. But the option is handy.
The Pro 1000’s pressure sensor saves me from damaging my gums. When you brush too hard, the motor throttles the power to the brush head until you ease off. However, there is no LED indicator for the pressure sensor.
The charging stand is the same as most other Oral B brushes. But the battery, somehow, is a boosted nickel metal hydride battery. On the box, it advertises seven days of battery life. I found the brush lasts about eight days before I need to throw on the charger again overnight.
The front facing battery icon is a well-needed feature for me, too. The LED flashes red when the power is nearing depletion, and flashes green when charging. I never ran into trouble maintaining a charged battery in the Pro 1000.
Lastly, you get a cross action brush head with the 1000, which is my favorite of all the Oral B brush heads. Having used most of their brush heads, I find the cross action gets closest to the gumline.
My Top Features with the Oral B Pro 1000
- A stronger battery holds charge for around 8 days.
- Quadpace technology ensures I evenly brush my teeth.
- 3D clean technology pulsates as well as rotates to clean my teeth better.
- The pressure sensor notifies me when I’m brushing too hard.
- The front facing LED blinks at me when the battery is low.
- I love the black and white option with the Pro 1000.
My Top Negatives with the Oral B Pro 1000
- The batter may be better, but no lithium-ion battery means the charge only lasts a week.
- Even though I like the feature, the pressure sensor has no LED indicator.
- I only get one brush mode, Daily Clean. One more would be helpful!
Stepping Up the Competition: Oral B Pro 1500 Review
The all-white Pro 1500 may be the most expensive of the three electric toothbrushes I tested, but it’s also the most well rounded.
I found the style and grip placement reminded me a lot of the 1000. The side-grip rubber on the handle feels secure. The back grips slope to notch your finger or thumb easily.
I’m not the biggest fan of white toothbrushes though. For me, white products get dirty, it’s that simple. I like the design of the 1500, but I wish it came in black.
When I started this review, I didn’t think I’d care about different brushing modes. The other two models come with the basic mode, called Daily Clean. The 1500 also includes another mode, known as Sensitive or Massage.
You know what? The secondary mode comes in handy.
Ever floss too hard? Or bite on a sharp edge of some snack food and it scratches your gums? Well, I do. With Sensitive mode, the motor runs slower and with fewer rotations. That way I can let my mouth heal a few days without having to dote over using the regular Daily Clean mode on my sore spot.
NOTE: at the time of this review, the Oral-B 1500 product description states it only has one brush mode, Daily Clean. This is untrue. I called Oral-B and a customer service rep stated they are in the process of fixing the copy. Depending how thoroughly their marketing team corrects the mistake, keep in mind that the 1500 model has 2 brush modes.
The Sensitive mode also has a 2-minute timer and quadpace, so you can brush evenly and for the recommended about of time.
Another great improvement I found useful was the lithium-ion battery. You get roughly double the battery life of nickel metal hydride batteries. So, from the 8 days of a nickel metal hydride battery, to 12-14 days with the 1500.
This is especially important for people who travel, and people like me who forget that things with batteries need charging until they blink their red LED eye at you.
Speaking of LEDs, the light that wraps around the neck of the brush handle glows when the pressure sensor activates. Whenever you brush too hard, the motor throttles power and triggers the LED. I corrected my heavy-handed brushing quicker with the LED indicator than without.
If you’re told you brush too hard and need a proper pressure sensor, the 1500 is a great option.
My Top Feature with the Oral B Pro 1500
- The pressure sensor comes equipped with a LED to notify me instantly.
- Comes with all the features of the 1000 that I liked.
- A long-lasting lithium-ion battery holds a charge for two weeks.
- Two brushing modes lets me switch whenever I need the Sensitive option.
- Highest output motor cleans my teeth better with 40,000 pulsations.
My Top Negatives with the Oral B Pro 1500
- The most expensive option, it’s less budget-friendly than the competition.
- I’d rather a black and white design instead of the all-white.
The Similarities Between the 500, 1000, and 1500
- While the models may come with different brush heads, they are compatible with Oral B’s entire line. They range from sensitive gums, to whitening, and even one for dentures. You can also purchase universal brush heads. However, I would recommend the ones made by Oral B. I find the universal ones don’t clean as well and wear out much faster.
- The two-minute timer comes installed in all three models. It’s a fantastic feature. I have a hard time remembering when to stop brushing and rarely brush long enough. When you’re doing something you want to get over with and start (or end) your day, you often think more time has passed than it has. Dentists recommend 2 full minutes of brushing, and you’ll get that every time.
- Independent research has proven oscillating technology cleans better than sonic technology. No matter which model you choose, you’re cleaning more plaque and maintaining a healthier mouth than with other leading brands. Not only that, a manual tooth brush oscillates at around 300 times a minute. So making the commitment to purchase an Oral B electric toothbrush is a great step towards a healthier, plaque-free mouth.
- Like me, you may be a multi-task expert. If so, Oral B’s water resistant design is a huge plus. I usually shower with my electric toothbrush in one hand, and my razor in the other. But keep in mind, water resistant doesn’t mean water proof. Soaking any electrical device under water for over thirty seconds is a terrible idea.
- The included charger is identical. It’s small, white, with a cord about two feet long. I noticed it requires a smooth surface, and because it has no flat base, it tips over easily. I’d have preferred a wall mount because my bathroom is small. But if you have shelf space that’s tall enough for the device, keep it on the charger.
- Oral B’s design and ergonomics are renown for a reason. I found all three models easy to hold and easy to use. They are slim and lightweight. The grip points on the side and back of the device mean it won’t slip out of your hand. More importantly, they maneuver around your mouth with no problem. The slim neck design affords easy reaching to your back molars, too.
The Differences Between the 500, 1000, and 1500
- Depending on how diligent your oral care skills, you may need quadpace. It comes installed in the 1000 and 1500 models. Quadpace is a vibrational timer, which means it does not beep. Dentists recommend you brush each section of your mouth for thirty seconds. If you have trouble balancing your brushing time, you’ll want quadpace.
- Only the Pro 1500 comes with a second brush mode, known as Sensitive. If you’re worried about your gums receding, or if your dentist told you to pick up a sensitive-capable toothbrush, you’ll want the sensitive brush mode available on the 1500. And if you’re worried, Oral B also has a sensitive brush head. But you buy that separately.
- Batteries! The batteries in each model holds different charges. The 500’s nickel metal hydride battery holds a charge for about five days. The beefed-up nickel battery in the 1000 runs for seven or eight days. And the 1500’s lithium-ion battery holds the longest charge of all three at 14 days. Keep in mind that’s running the device twice a day for two minutes.
- I ended up finding Oral B’s pressure sensor technology useful. I didn’t realize I pushed so hard on my teeth as I brushed. The 500 lacks a pressure sensor. The 1000 does, but it’s only a variable change in the motor. The 1500 slows down the motor like the 1000, but it also has a red LED on the device’s neck.
How Do the Oral B 500 vs 1000 Stack Up?
If you’re making the switch from manual to electric, I understand the temptation to buy the basic model. With some products that logic works. Here, I’d recommend against it.
With the 500 you get the basic electric toothbrush. It will clean better than a manual, no doubt. But it’s also limited in several ways when you compare it to the 1000. And I argue many of the ways its limited harm your potential for a clean, healthy mouth.
First off, the 500 has 2D cleaning capability. 2D stands for “oscillating-rotating.” It’s essentially the quick rotating action all the Oral B electric toothbrushes have. The 1000 comes equipped with 3D cleaning.
In fact, the 500 is the only Oral B model that doesn’t have 3D cleaning. 3D cleaning introduces a pulsating action into the toothbrush head. This helps to reach plaque beyond where the bristles touch. You get a deeper clean with 3D technology.
Beyond the 3D cleaning, the 1000 also features quadpace and pressure sensitivity. Sure, you get the basic two-minute timer with the 500. I found the quadpace helpful, but the real value rests in pressure sensitivity.
When I’m stressed or just gapping out, I brush too hard. Using the 500, I found it difficult to know when I overdid my brushing. With the 1000 you feel the motor reduce its power. It helped me a lot to control how much pressure I used when brushing.
Yet another positive with the 1000 is what’s inside the handle. Although both models are nickel metal hydride batteries, the 1000 lasts a few days more on average per charge.
The 1000 also includes LED indicators for low battery and active charge. Day to day, I find the low battery indicator helpful. I don’t have room in my bathroom to keep the toothbrush on a charger. So knowing when I’m almost out of battery saves me headaches.
My mouth feels cleaner with the cross-action brush head that comes with the 1000. The precision clean head packaged in the 500 is fine, but nowhere near as helpful.
Between the 500 and 1000, I’d buy the 1000 every time. Even at regular price, the 500 lacks too much to be worth the money.
Oral B 1000 vs 1500: Which is Better?
When choosing between the 1000 and 1500, your decision comes down to feature sets.
Both models come equipped with 3D cleaning, which is great. But they clock in at different speeds. The Pro 1000’s motor operates at 8,800 rotations and 20,000 pulses per minute. The Pro 1500’s motor operates at 9,900 rotations and 45,000 pulses.
What does this mean to you? I found the 1500 cleans better and faster than the 1000. The downside is the 1500 takes more getting used to than the 1000, because of the beefier motor.
Adjusting to the 1500 isn’t difficult though. I took maybe a few days of brushing to acclimate to the 1500’s stronger motor.
Plus, if you’re worried about the faster oscillations, you can always switch to sensitive mode. Unlike the 1000, the 1500 has two clean modes, Daily Clean and Sensitive. The Sensitive mode drops the motors power down to around 8,000 rotations, a similar power to the 1000.
I like the black and white color scheme of the 1000. Sadly, the 1500 only comes in white. So that sucks.
The 1500 ditches the nickel metal hydride battery and swaps in lithium-ion. I found I got 14 days of normal use from the 1500 until it required charging. That’s an average of 6 or 7 days more use than the 1000. At nearly double, it’s something to consider, especially if you travel.
Then there’s the pressure sensor. Both models warn you when brushing too hard. However, the 1000 does this mechanically, by throttling power to the brush head. The 1500 does the same thing, plus it features a red LED to let you know.
I liked the LED pressure sensor indicator on the 1500. It’s useful. But it’s not mandatory. What matters is that you know when you’re brushing too hard. And they both do that.
Between the 1000 and the 1500, I’d chose the 1500 if it’s on sale, or you can afford it. Otherwise, the 1000 is a good choice for an electric toothbrush.
How to Decide Between Oral B 500 vs 1500
Oh man, where to begin? I noticed the most significant difference in brushing experience between the 500 and 1500.
The 500 does nothing well. It gets by on existing, on being a cheap option. If you’ve already owned electrical toothbrushes in the past, stay away from the 500. The only reason I see anyone purchasing it is because of budget.
You get a better brushing experience with the 500 when compared to a manual toothbrush. But side by side with the 1500? It’s no contest.
When I went back to brushing with the 500 after a week with the 1500, my mouth wept, and my teeth mourned. Joking aside, I noticed a difference.
The 2D cleaning capabilities of the 500 don’t hold up to the 3D features of the 1500. When I flossed, I noticed more plaque with the 500. That’s not a good sign.
Testing the oscillation efficacy of all three, I found the most significant difference between the 500 and the 1500. The 500 is a softer experience, but I don’t think you look for a softness in a toothbrush. Instead, you look for effectiveness. And the 1500 is more effective.
Really, everything I noticed when comparing the 500 with the 1000 magnified when I compared it to the 1500. You get a lot less with the 500.
It seems like Oral B keeps the 500 around as an entry level product. It’s there to ease consumers into the electric toothbrush market. The 500 works. It’s well built and will last you years. But the price difference between the 500 and other models isn’t significant enough to justify what it lacks in benefits.
The Best Overall Choice for You
As a consumer, I know you want the best quality for your money. But that doesn’t always mean you buy the cheapest option. Case in point: Oral B electric toothbrushes.
After my extensive comparison, I can’t recommend the 500 for anyone other than the absolute budget buyer. The 500 is better than a manual toothbrush, but moving up to the 1000 reveals plenty of value.
The real struggle rests between the Oral B Pro 1000 vs 1500.
In my opinion, the 1000 does everything I need it to do. It comes equipped with a pressure sensor, an 8-day long battery, and 3D cleaning.
However, if the 1500 is on sale or you require a sensitive cleaning mode, the upgrade provides decent value. You get the lithium-ion battery and the stronger motor, too.
Overall, I recommend the Oral B Pro 1000. It’s a great electric toothbrush and well worth your money.
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