*As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. The price to you remains the same.
Did you know that brushing your teeth could be contributing to around 50 million pounds of plastic entering landfills each year?
Don’t worry this is not an article advocating for dental negligence! I certainly support good dental hygiene and the good news is that it’s not too late to switch to a more eco-friendly bamboo toothbrush!
If you’re looking for the best all-around bamboo toothbrush, we recommend the Brush with Bamboo Toothbrush. This straightforward toothbrush is made entirely of plant-based materials and features compostable packaging.
Of course, this is just one of many bamboo toothbrush brands we love. So keep reading to find the best bamboo toothbrush for your dental hygiene routine.
Best Bamboo Toothbrush in 2021
Best Overall – Brush with Bamboo Toothbrush
Touted as the world’s first plant-based toothbrush, this is a top choice for the eco-conscious.
When it comes to personal hygiene, simple is often best. The Brush with Bamboo Toothbrush might look basic but it’s one of the most sustainable toothbrushes currently available.
This toothbrush features a handle made of Moso bamboo — a species not eaten by wild pandas. Since Brush with Bamboo uses wild-grown bamboo, it contributes minimally to deforestation for farmland.
The bristles are made with castor bean oil instead of petroleum-based plastic. While the bristles are plant-based, they do not qualify as biodegradable.
- Entirely plant-based and vegan
- Compostable packaging
- Bristles are USDA-certified biobased
- Made from wild Moso bamboo
- Bristles are not biodegradable
- Bristles prone to falling out
Most Sustainable Materials – Gaia Guy Bamboo & Boar Toothbrush
With a bamboo handle and natural boar hair bristles, the Gaia Guy Bamboo & Boar Toothbrush is the greenest option.
We’re a long way from inventing a truly sustainable plastic alternative. So if biodegradability is your top priority, we recommend going for the Gaia Guy Bamboo & Boar Toothbrush.
This all-natural bamboo toothbrush features boar hair bristles instead of nylon ones. Not only is boar hair completely biodegradable. It doesn’t require a potentially harmful manufacturing process like bioplastic.
Depending on your values, this toothbrush might come with one major drawback. Since boar hair bristles are animal-derived (often as a byproduct of the meat industry), they are not considered vegan or cruelty-free.
- 100% compostable and biodegradable
- Made without plastic
- Naturally derived materials
- Sustainable packaging
- Boar hair bristles are not vegan
- Bristles may be too stiff for some users
Best Budget Option – PLUS ULTRA Bamboo Toothbrush
The best cheap bamboo toothbrush for anyone on a budget who wants to brush sustainably.
For years, there’s been this prevailing belief that eco-friendly products are always more expensive. This isn’t always true, as proven by the affordable PLUS ULTRA Bamboo Toothbrush.
PLUS ULTRA uses Moso bamboo, one of the most sustainable bamboo species in existence. The company also prioritizes green packaging, using Forest Steward Council-certified paper and plant-based inks for all of its products.
While the bamboo handle is compostable, this toothbrush does use nylon bristles. You must remove the bristles and metal staples from the brush head before it can be recycled or composted.
- Extremely affordable
- Made with sustainable Moso bamboo
- Convenient subscription available
- Plant-based packaging
- Features nylon bristles
- Bristles not as soft as expected
Best for Kids – Greenzla Kids Bamboo Toothbrush
Whether you have one child or a full house, these colorful bamboo toothbrushes are great for the entire family.
Green living isn’t just for grown-ups. The Greenzla Kids Bamboo Toothbrush is a great way to get children involved in sustainable choices at a young age.
Each set of bamboo toothbrushes comes in different colors. You can use the color-coded handles and bristles to differentiate one child’s toothbrush from another’s. Or let your kids pick their favorite color for a more engaging dental hygiene experience.
One thing to note about this kid-sized toothbrush is that the bristle material is not clearly labeled. Greenzla claims that the bristles are made with bamboo fiber and activated charcoal. However, it’s extremely likely that the bristles also include nylon (we recommend disposing of used bristles as you would 100% nylon ones).
- Small size is great for kids
- Color-coded design
- Packaged with sustainable materials
- Bristles likely contain nylon
- Not as durable as expected
Best Low-Waste Design – The Humble Co. Replaceable Toothbrush
This bamboo toothbrush combines the simplicity of a manual handle with the sustainability of replaceable brush heads.
If minimizing the amount of trash you produce is the goal, then look no further than The Humble Co. Replaceable Toothbrush. This toothbrush includes a handle and three brush heads (more heads can be purchased separately).
While replaceable brush heads are quite popular for electric toothbrushes, they’re not as commonplace in the world of “normal” toothbrushes. This unique design lowers the amount of bamboo consumed every time you replace your toothbrush.
The Humble Co. toothbrushes do feature nylon bristles but they use the most sustainable type of nylon currently available. You will still need to remove and recycle your old bristles separately from the compostable handle.
- Replaceable brush head design
- Minimal waste every 3 to 4 months
- Supports the Humble Smile Foundation
- Developed by real dentists
- Bristles made from nylon 6
- Each brush head does not last long
Best for Travel – The Humble Co. Toothbrush + Case
This eco-friendly toothbrush comes with a convenient travel case made entirely of compostable bamboo.
Whether you’re a frequent flyer or a busy commuter, travel-friendly products are a must. The Humble Co. Toothbrush + Case set is an excellent option without any of the plastic.
This toothbrush set includes one of The Humble Co.’s classic toothbrushes with a convenient travel case. Both the toothbrush handle and case are made of sustainably grown bamboo.
To get the most out of this set, we recommend ensuring the toothbrush and case are completely dry before storing. Letting moisture build up inside the case will increase the risk of mold growth.
- Perfect for brushing on-the-go
- Made from compostable bamboo
- Case fits most manual toothbrushes
- Included toothbrush has nylon bristles
- Must be kept dry
Best Charcoal-Infused Bristles – Bamboozled Toothbrush
With this charcoal-infused toothbrush, you can explore the potential benefits of activated charcoal while still supporting the planet.
Anyone who likes to stay on top of health and beauty trends has heard of brushing with charcoal. If you want to try this oral hygiene fad out for yourself, you can do so sustainably with the Bamboozled Toothbrush.
Why are charcoal bristles so popular right now? Some sources claim that activated charcoal can help whiten teeth, deter bacteria, and remove built-up plaque. (However, not all dentists support the use of charcoal bristles.)
As with any charcoal toothbrush, it’s important to note that the bristles are not made entirely of charcoal. Instead, they are made of charcoal-infused nylon. In other words, the Bamboozled Toothbrush bristles are neither compostable nor biodegradable.
- Made with charcoal-infused bristles
- Easy-to-read numbered handles
- Ergonomic design
- Nylon-based bristles are not biodegradable
- Benefits of charcoal might not outweigh the risks
What to Consider When Buying a Bamboo Toothbrush
Take a stroll down the supermarket toothbrush aisle and you’ll find a variety of bristle styles and textures.
Bamboo toothbrushes might not feature brightly colored bristles and fancy tongue scrapers like plastic ones often do. But there’s a lot more variety out there than you probably realize!
Make sure to check the bristle softness of your current and new toothbrush. Some (but not all) bamboo toothbrushes are available in soft, medium, and hard versions.
Bristle softness isn’t just about personal preference, either. Most dental professionals recommend soft bristles to protect the gums and tooth enamel from excess pressure.
Nylon is the standard for toothbrush bristles. With that said, we could not find any solid research showing that nylon is better or worse for dental hygiene than popular alternatives.
If you choose to switch to natural or bio-based bristles, be aware that it might take some time for your gums to adjust. Try to choose alternative bristles with the same level of softness as your old toothbrush.
One argument against nylon bristle alternatives is that they don’t last as long. This is not a huge concern if you replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
Of course, your dentist is the best source of information when making changes to your oral hygiene routine.
Toothbrushes often feature bristles of different lengths, thicknesses, and angles. Some dental experts believe that these variations clean between the teeth better than uniform bristles.
Adult toothbrushes are, more or less, one size fits all.
Usually, small toothbrushes are marketed for kids. However, there’s nothing stopping adults from using these smaller toothbrushes if they are more comfortable.
Single-use packaging is one of the biggest contributors to plastic waste. So there’s no excuse for a sustainable bamboo toothbrush to come packaged in plastic or another non-renewable material.
Fortunately, the vast majority of bamboo toothbrushes come packaged in recyclable paper.
Some companies even put in the extra effort to use recycled cardboard or eliminate unnecessary materials like tape from their product packaging.
Aside from keeping your teeth sparkling clean, the best bamboo toothbrushes boast features that help them fit into your day-to-day life.
These features can include numbered or color-coded handles for multi-person households. Manual toothbrushes with replaceable brush heads are also growing in popularity.
If you’re constantly on the move, you’ll want to look for an eco-friendly toothbrush that comes with a case or collapses for easy storage.
The sustainable oral health market is constantly evolving, so even if you can’t find the perfect toothbrush design now it might be available in the near future!
If you’re shopping for a bamboo toothbrush, it’s safe to say that you care about the environment.
We all like to know that our hard-earned money is going to causes we believe in. Many bamboo toothbrush companies devote a portion of profits to ecological causes.
Before buying a new bamboo toothbrush, it’s also a great idea to look into where the company sources its bamboo. By doing a little research, you can support companies that only source responsibly grown bamboo and limit their contribution to deforestation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Bamboo Toothbrushes Hygienic?
Bamboo is porous. Plastic is not. This leads many consumers to believe that bamboo toothbrushes harbor bacteria.
The truth is that all toothbrushes carry germs. These germs are generally harmless and — without medical sterilization — completely unavoidable.
With proper care, using a bamboo toothbrush poses no greater risk than using a plastic one.
Is Bamboo Naturally Antimicrobial?
Live bamboo is naturally antimicrobial. However, there’s some debate over whether these qualities transfer over once the fibers are turned into a toothbrush handle.
How Do I Take Care Of My Bamboo Toothbrush?
Protect your bamboo toothbrush from germs and dirt just as you would a plastic toothbrush.
Keep your bamboo toothbrush dry between uses to discourage mold production. Store your toothbrush upright in a cup to prevent moisture buildup.
Disinfecting your toothbrush isn’t necessary. However, you can use antibacterial mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide to wipe down your bamboo toothbrush if desired.
How Long Do Bamboo Toothbrushes Last?
Most bamboo toothbrushes will last just as long as a plastic one as long as you follow the proper care instructions.
Just like plastic toothbrushes, bamboo toothbrushes should be replaced every three to four months. If your toothbrush features non-nylon bristles, the manufacturer might recommend a different schedule.
Are Bamboo Toothbrushes Expensive?
While bamboo toothbrushes are more expensive than plastic ones, the difference is relatively small. There are many budget-friendly bamboo toothbrushes available for $5 or less.
Do Bamboo Toothbrushes Harm Wild Pandas?
Despite what many concerned consumers fear, the bamboo species most often used to make toothbrushes and other products is not the same species eaten by giant pandas.
You don’t need to worry about brushing your teeth with bamboo that could have been a panda’s dinner.
The biggest threat to wild pandas related to bamboo is deforestation. Look for products that support anti-deforestation initiatives to minimize the impact your own purchases have on pandas and their natural habitats.
Can I Compost My Old Bamboo Toothbrush?
Yes! Composting (either at home or through an outside service) is one of the best ways to discard your old bamboo toothbrush.
Before composting your used toothbrush, it’s important to remove any non-biodegradable materials. Bristles are the biggest culprit — except for boar hair, all toothbrush bristles should be removed before composting.
How Do You Remove Bristles From A Bamboo Toothbrush?
The easiest way to remove the bristles from a natural toothbrush is with a set of small pliers. Grip each bunch of bristles firmly and pull them straight out of the toothbrush head.
Set aside the removed bristles to recycle separately.
Remember that nylon cannot be placed in most residential recycling bins. One of the easiest ways to recycle used toothbrush bristles is through a special mail-in program.
How Long Does Bamboo Take To Decompose?
While bamboo takes a bit longer to compost than grass cuttings or orange peels, most bamboo toothbrush handles will completely break down within 3 to 6 months.
Last update on 2021-04-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API