Foreo Issa 3 review: incredible battery life and brilliant clean feeling

Is the beauty brand’s dental offering worth it? Spoiler: yes, but for the long answer read T3's Foreo Issa 3 review

Foreo Issa 3 review
(Image credit: Foreo)
T3 Verdict

Slickly designed and with a battery life that wipes the bathroom floor with the competition, the Issa 3 is an impressive piece of kit. The silicone brushes and sonic pulsations deliver a brilliant clean feel and the timer light is handy too.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Charge lasts 365 uses

  • +

    Great clean feeling

  • +

    Brush head lasts a year

  • +

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No Bluetooth/app connectivity

  • -

    No indicator as to what setting you’re on

Swedish brand Foreo is best known for its range of smart facial beauty tech but, given the proximity of our teeth, it makes sense that it would have branched out into dental care. The Issa 3, not unsurprisingly going by the number, isn’t the first of Foreo’s toothbrushes but it is the most feature rich, combining medical grade silicone with an impressive battery life and 16 different sonic settings. 

At T3 we’re big on helping you find the best electric toothbrush for you. With so many on the market, especially at such high prices, you need to make sure you’re getting the right one that suits your needs. Whether that’s with a connected app performing 3D tooth tracking, a pressure sensor, or just an ultra-long battery life and something that can fit easily into a travel bag.

The Issa 3 is minimalist in design but that doesn’t mean it lacks in functionality. There’s no connected app but the big draw here is the 365 use battery which pretty much means six months of continued brushing, and the medical grade silicone bristles and sonic pulse tech make for a unique brushing experience. Let’s break everything down now in this Foreo Issa 3 review.  

Foreo Issa 3 review: Price 

Foreo Issa 3 review

(Image credit: Foreo)

Price-wise, the Foreo Issa 3 sits at £149 / $149 which puts it on par with a number of electric toothbrush offerings from the likes of Oral-B and Philips. Unlike a lot of the competition though, it doesn’t have a Bluetooth connection to an app so it might initially seem steep for what looks like a minimalist offering. This really isn’t the case. Given the six-month battery life, you’re paying for an awful lot of rechargeable juice and, as we’ll get onto, a lot of other useful functionality.

There’s even better news when it comes to interchangeable heads. Foreo recommends changing the head after between six months and a year condition dependent. To switch out the included Hybrid Wave Brush head, a new one is £21.90 / $22 which doesn’t feel too egregious. You can also add on a specific tongue cleaner for £17 / $17 if you don’t feel like the brushes or waves on the back of the head are quite enough to make things feel less fuzzy. 

Foreo Issa 3 review

(Image credit: Foreo)

Foreo Issa 3 review: Design & features  

Let’s talk about that design, shall we? After almost three months of having it on the bathroom shelf, we’re still getting “is that your toothbrush?!” questions from visitors. Once you get used to the fact that it looks like it could easily have another useful purpose - do check out our best sex toys if you’re on the hunt - the Issa 3 is an impressively designed piece of kit and feels great in your hand. Despite being USB chargeable, the silicone design means it’s fully waterproof and there’s a handy cover on the charging port. 

The Issa 3 comes in a choice of four colours; fuchsia, mint, pink, and black which means you can choose to make it blend or stand out as a bathroom feature. In the box is a pouch for travel as well as a wire for USB charging. Chances are you’ll have to really remember where you put it because you aren’t going to need it for six months or so. With 365 uses inside, it’s an incredible piece of tech that removes any of the panic of packing a charger for travels, and it even charges fully in two hours. We’re trusting Foreo on this because, after almost 3 months, we still haven’t had to charge it.

Starting from the top, the head that the Issa 3 comes with is the Hybrid Wave Brush which is a combination of medical-grade silicone and stiff polymer bristles. The controls are simple with a large power button in between a plus and minus symbol to change between the 16 sonic pulsation settings. These go up to 11,000 per minute to make sure your teeth and gums are fully cleaned. Foreo says these create what are called ‘Micro sweeps’ to ensure the full break up of plaque. 

On the bottom of the device is a handy light. This flashes in thirty-second increments to let you know when to change quadrants of your mouth and after two minutes it glows solidly to let you know you can stop. To make sure you’re not having too much fun brushing your teeth, the whole brush cuts out after three minutes. Yes, it seems you can have too much of a good thing.       

Foreo Issa 3 review

(Image credit: Foreo)

 Foreo Issa 3 review: Cleaning & performance 

But how does it actually perform as a toothbrush? Well, exceptionally. The silicone bristles do take a little while to get used to and the shape of the brush feels very different compared to the standard spinning circle of traditional electric toothbrushes, but the Issa 3 has brilliant coverage and a great overall clean sensation. The sonic pulse tech feels like your teeth are being properly buffed but without feeling the aggressive layer stripping effect of other toothbrushes. 

Those with sensitive teeth will be glad to hear that we’ve experienced little to no sensitivity and a reduction in bleeding gums. That’s not to say we haven’t been brushing hard enough as there’s even a slightly improved whiteness here too. On the sensitivity front, there’s also a more sensitive head available to buy separately if you’re still experiencing discomfort.   

Scrolling through the settings is easy enough but it’s a little disconcerting that there are 16 settings and no way to know which one of them you’re at. Once you find the right one though - whether you’re happy at 11,000 or not - the Issa 3 always remembers so there’s no need to mess with any settings once you have found your Goldilocks option. It’s just a case of turning it on and then brushing. 

The design makes this feel a little more like using a traditional toothbrush but with all the added support of an electric version. The addition of the silicone brushes really deliver a thorough cleaning experience for your gums and the Issa 3 feels like it gets to those hard to reach areas without ever being uncomfortable. There’s a real feeling of sparkling toothpaste ad clean afterwards that we genuinely thought was fully made up at this point. Also, the handy light and an extra vibration is a great reminder of when to change positions and whether you’ve been brushing for long enough. It’s also not aggressively noisy which is a welcome touch.    

Foreo Issa 3 review

(Image credit: Foreo)

Foreo Issa 3 review: Verdict 

It’s not quite as connected as other electric toothbrushes in this price bracket but the battery life and sheer high-quality cleaning experience make the Issa 3 shine. Six months of charge and a great daily experience make this an exceptional smart toothbrush with an interesting design and unique brush feel. If you’re looking for smart tech to talk to your phone, this isn’t the one for you but for a pickup and go electric toothbrush, this should be high on your list. 

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Louise Blain
Louise Blain

Louise Blain is a journalist and broadcaster specialising in technology, gaming, and entertainment.  She has a weekly consumer tech slot on BBC Radio Scotland and is the presenter of BBC Radio 3's monthly Sound of Gaming show. She can also regularly be found on BBC Radio 4, BBC Five Live, and The Evolution of Horror podcast as well as writing for GamesRadar and NME. Louise loves finding ways that tech can make our lives better every day and no, she doesn't have enough smart lighting yet.