Each year, over one billion toothbrushes are thrown away in the US alone. That’s 50 million pounds of plastic waste created and enough toothbrushes to wrap around the world four times. But if you’re here, you probably already knew that, and you’re looking for a way to help.
You’re not alone–a ton of companies have caught on to our waste problem and are trying to create solutions, so you have a lot of eco-friendly toothbrush options. In this guide, we’ll cover the factors you should consider when choosing a more environmentally conscious toothbrush. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started.
How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Toothbrush – Buying Guide
When choosing an eco-friendly toothbrush, much of the decision will likely come down to your priorities, so consider what would work best with your lifestyle when making your choice.
Handle Material Determines Eco-Friendliness and Durability
As the handle is the largest part of the toothbrush, what it’s made of is going to largely determine how eco-friendly your toothbrush is.
Bamboo and Wood are Sustainable and Biodegradable
It’s honestly hard to beat bamboo and wood when deciding on a toothbrush handle. Both materials are sustainable (though bamboo could be considered slightly more sustainable) and completely biodegradable.
The only real potential issue is that they can retain moisture, which could compromise the structural integrity of your toothbrush. But many wood and bamboo toothbrushes are heat treated to be more durable, and even if it isn’t, since you’re only using it for three to four months at a time, it shouldn’t be much of a problem.
Plant-Based Plastic Breaks Down Under the Right Conditions
Plant-based plastics are just as durable as normal plastic and feel really similar, too. Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re not adding to plastics in the environment. However, even though they are advertised as biodegradable, you have to send them to an industrial composter in order for them to break down.
Recycled Plastic Keeps Plastic Out of Landfill and Can Be Recycled Again
If you’re more interested in supporting companies trying to keep plastic out of landfills, recycled plastic handles might be what you’re looking for. These handles are usually made from recycled #5 plastics and can be re-recyled once you’re done.
Just be sure the packaging notes that it’s BPA-free!
Pick a Bristle Material Based on Your Priorities
When it comes to toothbrush bristles, there aren’t too many options, so you might find yourself settling one way or the other.
Nylon Is Proven to Clean and Can Be Recycled; Just Look for Nylon 4 or BPA-Free
To be honest, it’s going to be hard to avoid nylon plastic bristles. As of right now, they’re the only type of toothbrush bristles approved by the American Dental Association to clean your teeth gently and effectively.
Some companies do have programs where you can send your bristles back to be recycled, but even if the brush you choose doesn’t, you should still strongly consider continuing to use nylon as it’s such a small proportion of your brush.
There is one type of nylon that’s considered biodegradable, and that’s Nylon 4. However, it’s only been shown to biodegrade under lab conditions, so it isn’t a fool-proof answer, but it’s certainly better than nylon that doesn’t break down at all. Otherwise, look for BPA-free nylon for the most healthful option.
Boar Hair is Biodegradable but Rough and Definitely Not Vegan
If you’re looking for a fully biodegradable brush, boar hair is basically your only natural option. However, while it does do a fairly good job cleaning, it can be very rough on your teeth and gums and is not suitable for those with sensitive mouths.
Additionally, most boar hair used in toothbrushes comes from pigs raised for food in China and India, so even if you’re not vegan, you may still want to consider the food safety and animal welfare regulations of these countries before making your decision.
If You Travel, Look for a Brush with an Included (Eco-Friendly) Case
If you find yourself traveling a lot or needing to take your toothbrush out of your own home, you’ll probably need a travel case for it. However, the vast majority of travel cases are made from plastic, which isn’t really something that you want to support.
Luckily, some eco-friendly toothbrushes come in sets with equally eco-friendly cases. So if you’ll be buying a case anyway, might as well try to find a toothbrush that already comes with one.
Multi-Packs Save on Packaging and Delivery Emissions
Toothbrushes are something that you know you’ll need several of each year–more if you’re buying for your family. So if you’re looking for an eco-friendly alternative, it just makes sense to try to find one that comes in a pack.
This not only saves on packaging, but it also means that you’re not contributing to extra carbon emissions for deliveries of a single toothbrush three to four times a year.
Top 10 Best Eco-Friendly Toothbrushes to Buy Online
Now that you know what to look for, here are our 10 favorite toothbrushes in case you need a jump start on your search.
10. Cebra Wooden Toothbrushes with Natural Hog Hair Bristles
All-Natural, Biodegradable Boar Hair Toothbrushes
This toothbrush is just about as all-natural as you can get. The handle is made from wood, the bristles are boar hair, and even the plastic it comes in is made from corn. It has a larger than average head, and the bristles are around medium hardness.
However, you do need to take care of it in a particular way in order for it to work for as long as you need it to. For example, you should leave it resting lying down rather than standing in a cup or stand. It’s also quite expensive at $14 per brush.
|Bristle Material||Boar hair|
9. SimpliGood Plant-Based Plastic Toothbrushes
Cost-Effective, Plant-Based Plastic Toothbrushes
These simple toothbrushes are made from BPA-free, plant-based plastics that are biodegradable under the right conditions. They have super soft, super fine bristles that are gentle on your gums and reach even the smallest nooks and crannies.
It comes in all-paper packaging, and each purchase goes towards providing dental products to children in need. However, you should check with your local recycler to see if they accept bioplastics before you purchase.
|Handle Material||Plant-based plastic|
8. Ecoture Biodegradable Bamboo Toothbrushes
Bamboo Fiber and Nylon Composite Bristles
These toothbrushes have a pleasant, sturdy feel in your hand and are made from sustainable bamboo. The bristles are made from a bamboo fiber and nylon composite and are soft without being too soft.
However, some reviewers note that the handle can feel unfinished and rough and may require some sanding in order to be fully comfortable. If that’s not a risk you’re willing to take, it might make sense to look elsewhere.
|Bristle Material||Bamboo and BPA-free nylon|
7. Himalayan Blue Bamboo Natural Toothbrushes
Medium Firm Bristles that Don’t Fall Out
These bamboo toothbrushes are on the firmer side compared to other eco-friendly toothbrush options. They also feature a design that helps to prevent the bristles from falling out during use.
Each brush has a different image on it so that everyone in your family can use one without getting mixed up. The handle is sanded smooth, though after a few uses, you may start to feel some texture in the grip.
|Bristle Material||BPA-free nylon|
6. Preserve Recycled Toothbrushes, Soft
Recycled Plastic that Can Be Re-Recylced
These toothbrushes are made from recycled #5 plastic. They’re durable, shaped to fit your mouth, and don’t take any getting used to. They come in three different levels of bristle firmness and are made in the USA.
Though they aren’t biodegradable, the company will recycle them once you’re done–just drop them off at a “Gimme 5” bin at your local Whole Foods or mail them in.
|Handle Material||Recycled BPA-free plastic|
|Bristle Material||BPA-free nylon|
5. Leafico Bamboo Toothbrushes with Travel Case
Super Soft Bristles for Sensitive Gums
These ergonomically shaped toothbrushes have super soft bristles that are great for even the most sensitive gums. Each toothbrush is numbered so that multiple people can use them at once without getting mixed up.
This pack comes with one bamboo case that is naturally bacteria-resistant so that you can travel with some peace of mind. They also come in compostable, waste-free packaging.
|Bristle Material||BPA-free nylon|
4. Bootrybe Eco-Friendly Bamboo Toothbrush Set
All in One Eco-Friendly Dental Care Kit
These toothbrushes each come with beautiful laser-engraved designs that’ll make you eager to brush your teeth every day. They feature contoured, medium soft bristles that might appeal to those who find other bamboo brush bristles too soft.
On top of that, these toothbrushes come with a travel case and also a spool of eco-friendly bamboo fiber floss that comes in a reusable, refillable container.
|Bristle Material||BPA-free nylon|
3. Bamboo Earth Biodegradable Toothbrushes
Completely Compostable Brushes
These toothbrushes feature medium soft bristles made from nylon 4 and are thus completely biodegradable–you can even toss them into your home compost pile.
The handles are numbered for easy identification, and if you’re unhappy with your brushes, the company offers a 100% money back guarantee.
|Bristle Material||BPA-free nylon 4|
2. ZeroBrush Bamboo Toothbrushes
Hefty Brush with a Robust Recycling Program
These brushes are great for those who like a little more heft in their hand–in fact, they can even stand on their own. They’re also designed to shed water more quickly as they’re drying in order to improve durability and longevity.
While the bristles are made from un-compostable nylon, the company encourages you to mail back the nylon portion (as well as any other plastic dental device you might have) for recycling.
|Bristle Material||BPA-free nylon|
1. Doc Omega Biodegradable Bamboo Toothbrushes
Color Coded Biodegradable Brushes
These bamboo toothbrushes feature medium firm biodegradable nylon 4 bristles. They come as a set with four different naturally dyed heads so that each member of your family can easily tell theirs apart.
The handle is well sanded, so you never have to worry about rogue splinters, although it’s still important to let the brush air dry fully between uses to maximize its lifespan.
|Bristle Material||BPA-free nylon 4|
Even though toothbrushes may seem really small, if you consider how many we go through in our lifetimes, it’s easier to see the impact that a seemingly tiny change can make.
By Jacqueline Oshiro
For many of us, using an electric toothbrush has become almost a necessity for feeling clean. But as we become more environmentally conscious, it’s hard to ignore the fact that they’re not very eco-friendly. Luckily, there are increasingly more energy efficient, less plastic intensive options. Electric toothbrushes are still far from being inherently eco-friendly, so it’s important to know what to look for when trying to distinguish what’s better. In this guide, we’ll go over a few things to keep an eye out for when choosing a more eco-friendly electric toothbrush. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started on your search. How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Electric Toothbrush – Buying Guide Unfortunately, as of right now, there are no 100% plastic-free or eco-friendly electric toothbrush options quite yet. However, there are some features that make some toothbrushes more eco-friendly than others. Battery Type Determines Energy Use and Environmental Impact
It’s crazy to think about how many natural resources we go through on a daily basis. It can sometimes feel like we’re literally flushing trees down the toilet because, well, we are. Toilet paper is one of the most unnecessary uses of a resource that takes over 30 years to grow. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are quite a number of eco-friendly, tree-free toilet papers available now. The only issue is finding the right one. In this guide, we’ll go over the factors you should consider when choosing the right eco-friendly toilet paper for you. At the end, we also have a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started. How to Choose Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper – Buying Guide Picking toilet paper is a very intimate decision, so keep your own situation and preferences in mind as you consider your options. Look for Tree-Free Materials Like Recycled Paper and Bamboo When it comes to the materials eco-friendly toilet papers are made from, there are two main options: recycled paper and
It’s easy to see excessive plastic use when we go food shopping, but one area we might not pay as much attention to is in our shaving habits. Think about it: whether you use disposable razors where you throw away the whole thing or cartridge razors where the disposable blades are encased in plastic, if you shave a few times a week, all that waste can really add up. Luckily, all-metal, reusable razors are making a comeback, making it easy for you to get an eco-friendly shave. But it can be hard to figure out where to begin when you’re starting from scratch. In this guide, we’ll go over the major points to look for when buying an eco-friendly razor. At the end we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to get you started on your search. Should I be Looking for a Razor Specially Made for Men or for Women? Ladies, it’s time to banish those pastel-colored, floral-scented razors. One of the best things for women about eco-friendly razors is that you no longer have to deal with the infamous
Any cat lover will know–there’s nothing like the feel of silky, glowing, warm, sweet-smelling (healthy!) fur beneath the fingers. So get a good brush. It’ll make sure your cat doesn’t freak out during grooming sessions and cut down on random hair lying around the house. Pet stores have an extensive list of hairbrushes for your feline companion: short hair brushes, long hair brushes, flea and tick removal brushes, and shedding brushes, to name a few. And a whole lot are really colorful and cute. But, here comes the old adage: don’t judge a book by its cover. For the sake of your cat, read on. How to Choose a Cat Brush – Buying Guide There are many kinds of brushes, and there are just as many ways to mess up when purchasing a cat brush. Give your cat and good, hard look before going shopping. Choose Something That Suits Your Cat’s Hair and Your Purpose Brushes come, surprisingly, in all shapes and sizes, so which one is best for your feline friend? Let’s break down what you can find an
Mops aren’t really something that you think of as eco-friendly or not–after all, you can use the same mop for years at a time. But when making a conscious effort to make your home more environmentally friendly, it’s important to think about all areas of your life, especially when it’s time to replace old items. In this guide, we’ll talk about what exactly makes a mop more or less eco-friendly, as well as the factors you should look for when deciding what works best for your situation. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you to start your search. How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Mop – Buying Guide There aren’t too many big, glaring differences when it comes to eco-friendliness, so it may work out better for you to keep your personal needs in mind first. Choose a Type Based on Flooring and Mess Size Choosing a mop type goes beyond just preference, and depending on what kind of flooring you have and how much of a mess you regularly have to clean, one may be much be
When consciously cutting down on plastics and making more Earth-friendly choices, it’s important to analyze even the small things. Plastics have a way of sneaking into even the most benign-sounding items. Sponges, for example, are named after an animal, but most of our cleaning sponges are actually made up of plastics. Luckily there are a number of new–as well as very, very old–options that are just as good at cleaning and infinitely better for the environment than typical plastic-based sponges. In this guide, we’ll go over the factors you should look for when choosing an eco-friendly sponge. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started. How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Sponge – Buying Guide Eco-friendly or not, sponges vary in texture, size, and durability to meet specific cleaning needs, so be sure to keep in mind your own situation when picking out a sponge. Pick a Material Based on Toughness and Disposal The material your eco-friendly sponge is made
In 2018, there was a lot of news about plastics and the environment. In short, we’re all better off using less wherever we can. Many have taken to switching to biodegradable and compostable trash bags, including several city- and state-wide regulations on organic trash. But with all this hype, there’s also naturally a ton of misleading information and marketing out there. In this guide, we’ll cut through the rubbish and break down exactly what you should look for when choosing a biodegradable or compostable trash bag. At the end, if you’re still stuck, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites for you to start your search. How to Choose a Biodegradable or Compostable Trash Bag – Buying Guide Picking a biodegradable/compostable trash bag has a lot of things in common with finding a normal trash bag–you need to consider things like size, features, and price. However, there are a few extra things that you need to look for when picking out something more eco-friendly. Get Your Priorities
Everybody knows that single-use plastics are bad for the environment, but in reality, all plastics are pretty terrible. So when it’s time to replace your food containers, instead of reaching for the first plastic container you see on the shelf, it might be a better idea to think about the wider impact your purchase will have. But even if you exclude plastics from your search, there are still so many options when it comes to food storage containers. So in this guide, we’ll go over the different things you should look out for when picking an eco-friendly food storage container. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites for you to start your search. How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Food Storage Container – Buying Guide Deciding what to bring into your home is a multi-faceted, personal decision that requires you to weigh your priorities and convenience. And if that means going for something that’s more or less eco-friendly, then that’s completely fine. In either case, this guide w
It’s summer, it’s hot, and you don’t want to turn on the stove to make dinner. Sushi sounds great, but that can be expensive. Not to fear! You can make your own sushi at home, and pretty easily too, thanks to sushi making kits that come with all of the tools you’ll need. Granted, there are a number of different types of sushi and seemingly just as many kits. But don’t let that stop you. This guide will help you comb through the options and figure out exactly what you’ll need to look for when choosing a kit. And if that’s not enough, we’ve also got 10 of our favorites for you to look through as well. How to Choose Sushi Making Kits – Buying Guide When looking for a kit, the key considerations are what kind of sushi you want to make and how easy the tools are to use. Below, we’ll give you the low-down on what to look for to suit your needs. Tools for Making Maki Maki sushi is the most versatile type of sushi, giving you everything from inside out rolls to fun shapes to gigantic “sushi bu
If you’re just getting into gardening, you’ll probably need to pick up a few different tools, and the easiest way to do so is by finding a garden tool set. That’s why we searched the internet and pored over reviews to figure out what makes a great set. We found that the best sets include every piece you need, are built for comfort and longevity, and come with a case for storing or carrying. Most sets include shovels, rakes, and shears, and many have several other useful tools as well. Keeping these things in mind, we’ve picked out some of our favorite garden tool sets available online. Top 10 Best Garden Tool Sets to Buy Online When deciding on a set, remember to consider the quality of the pieces and not just how many different tools there are. You can always add on separate pieces if you need them later. 1. OCALiving 6-piece Garden Hand Tool Set Visit Amazon for more details Price: $29.99 Best High-Quality Set that Lasts Decades This high-quality, Australian-made garden tool set is