The 7 best eco-friendly toothbrushes

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ByRachel Bar-Gadda

Whether you’re looking for a toothbrush that you can fully toss in the compost or one that’s made with basic sustainability in mind, the best eco-friendly toothbrushes are effective for oral care and will help you create less waste. Here’s what to keep in mind while shopping.


Most traditional toothbrushes have plastic handles and nylon bristles, both of which are derived from fossil fuels and are not biodegradable. But a quality eco-friendly toothbrush has a plant-based and sustainable bamboo handle that is compostable and naturally antimicrobial. As for bristles, even many eco-friendly options worth your consideration rely on nylon, but for the most sustainable option choose plant or animal-based materials, such as boar bristle (which is fully biodegradable) or a castor bean oil bristle (which is biodegradable but not home compostable).


A manual toothbrush made with sustainable materials may be all you need. But there are also other interesting options on this list, including one with a reusable handle that helps save waste by only requiring you to replace the head. And, for a completely natural alternative, a bristle-less miswak brush is entirely biodegradable and compostable, on top of working as effective dental care.

Many of the companies listed below also commit to reducing their carbon footprint through biodegradable, compostable, or recycled packaging. One brand even stands out for its social responsibility practices by donating some of its proceeds to children in need.

Read on to find the best eco-friendly toothbrushes on offer and show your love to the environment one brush at a time.


The one with a cult following

This eco-friendly toothbrush is an obvious fan favorite on Amazon, with 13,000 reviews and a 4.6-star overall rating. The handle is made of sustainable and durable bamboo that’s water-resistant and won't splinter, and it features a comfortable, contoured grip. The soft toothbrush bristles are constructed of BPA-free nylon and infused with charcoal to help brighten and whiten teeth. Though you’ll have to pull out the bristles before you compost the handle, the brand does make sure that all of its packaging is made of recycled, biodegradable craft paper, so as to not be adding any unnecessary waste. This option is also a steal — you’ll get four toothbrushes for less than $10.

One reviewer wrote: “I'm in love with these toothbrushes. I know it's a little silly to feel so strongly about a toothbrush but as they are 100% sustainable AND they clean my teeth better than any toothbrush I’ve ever used, I'm pretty excited about this find! And the bristles are SO SOFT. Wonderful.”


The one with plant-based bristles

For those committed to a completely plant-based brush, this toothbrush fits the bill with its bamboo handle and bristles derived partially from castor bean oil and partially from nylon. Though unfortunately not home compostable, the soft bristles are made without fossil fuels and are conveniently recyclable. The brushes come in a pack of four and arrive in compostable, plant-based packaging. This product boasts over 1,000 fans on Amazon and comes in both adult and kid sizes.

One reviewer wrote: “In an ongoing effort to ditch the plastics - it is SO hard to find a natural toothbrush where the bristles aren't plastic! While this is partial plastic, the fact that there was some plant-based material there was great. We LOVE these brushes. The head is a great size, bristles perfect softness, and the handles are great size-wise to hold.”


The color-coded toothbrush set

If you love the idea of wooden toothbrushes for everyone in your home but need a way to easily distinguish whose brush is whose, this color-coded toothbrush set is the perfect solution. Each set comes with five toothbrushes in an array of different-colored bristles, such as purple, yellow, and blue. Every handle is made from biodegradable bamboo, and the bristles are composed of non-toxic, BPA-free nylon (note: they are non-compostable).

Choose from several different bristle styles, from ultra-soft and soft to medium and even a kid’s version. The set has over 1,300 positive reviews, and shoppers love that every bit of packaging is 100% recyclable and that the plant-based inner wrapping can even be composted. As a bonus, this brand goes above and beyond by donating a toothbrush or oral care product to a child in need for every toothbrush sold.

One reviewer wrote: “Handed these out to quite a few people in my household. Different ages and not one complaint from ages 3-30. The soft bristles make it easy to use and the handle is made perfect even for smaller hands.”


The reusable toothbrush with disposable heads

A great way to create less waste is to simply have a reusable toothbrush handle and change out the head when it gets worn. This reusable toothbrush provides an ergonomically designed aluminum handle and two replaceable brush heads to get you started. Choose between a shiny blue or sleek black handle, and simply snap your brush head in place when the time comes. The soft bristles are made of BPA-free nylon and, as a bonus, the black version comes with charcoal-infused brush heads. Though the brush heads are not biodegradable, you can still feel better knowing the bulk of your toothbrush will be reusable for the foreseeable future.

One reviewer wrote: “Changing the head is very easy, just pull off and push on until it clicks into place [...] Honestly, I like this manual brush system more than I thought I would. I tried it mostly out of curiosity, but I really enjoy the feel of the heavier handle and the environmentally friendly aspect of switching the heads, rather than the whole brush. Definitely recommend these based on both design and quality.”


The bamboo toothbrushes for travel

With around 3,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, people love this complete toothbrush travel set that includes four brushes, dental floss, and a travel case. The toothbrush handles and handy travel case are both made of bamboo, with the case featuring small holes at the top and bottom for extra air circulation. The soft bristles are constructed of BPA-free nylon and come charcoal-infused for stain-lifting power. An accompanying set of dental floss is composed of charcoal-infused bamboo fiber, candelilla wax, and mint essence and even comes in its own refillable glass jar with a cutter at the top. As a bonus, the brand’s packaging is made from recycled materials and is biodegradable.

One reviewer wrote: “This was my first foray into zero waste stuff, honestly. I was quite impressed by the cardboard packaging these toothbrushes and the floss came in. The bamboo toothbrush holder is beautiful and really convenient for travel. The brushes themselves are also lovely.”


The charcoal-infused toothbrush set

These charcoal-infused toothbrushes come in a budget-friendly pack of six. Each one has a plant-based handle and brush head that boasts soft nylon bristles that include activated charcoal derived from bamboo. You can even take your charcoal-based routine to the next level with the brand’s charcoal toothpaste. The entire toothbrush is BPA-free, but keep in mind it is not fully biodegradable.

One reviewer wrote: “In love! Slim modern toothbrush design, bristle strength makes teeth feel clean and the handle material helps reduce plastic waste. I couldn't be happier with this purchase. Plus the all-black look is very chic. I am so happy with this toothbrush, now I'm curious to try out their toothpaste!”


The natural miswak toothbrush set

This all-natural wooden toothbrush made from the roots of the Arak tree is completely free of plastic and synthetic material. Proven to provide excellent natural oral care, with this option, you simply scrape off the bark from the tip and chew the end gently until you create a brush-like texture. Then brush as normal (no toothpaste required), and when the “bristles” are worn, simply cut them off and repeat the process. These come in a pack of 10 and have 2,000 reviews on Amazon, many of which laud their efficacy and eco-friendliness. The entire brush is compostable and biodegradable, with no synthetic bristles to dispose of.

One reviewer wrote: “My new favorite toothbrush. Goodbye nasty toothpaste. Goodbye needing water to brush my teeth. Goodbye to brushing being a chore — I actually enjoy using these things! They have some pretty awesome naturally occurring compounds that aid in dental hygiene and oral health and some of those compounds have an interesting smell. This does not bother me in the least and I'm sensitive to a lot of perfumes, cleaners, etc. [...] My mouth has never felt this clean from just brushing my teeth!!”