If you’ve been wishing your smile was a little brighter, you’re not alone. While there’s no shortage of over-the-counter and professional whitening options ranging from pens and gels to LED whitening kits and trays, whitening strips offer one of the easiest ways to score pearly (or, at the very least, pearlier) whites.
Because these strips break down stains chemically rather than scrub them off with abrasive ingredients (like whitening toothpaste), they can be less detrimental in the long run for people with sensitive teeth or gum recession, explains cosmetic dentist Dr. Lawrence Fung. Other pros include the convenience factor, not to mention that strips are generally a very wallet-friendly whitening option. At the end of the day, strips are a great first step into the world of tooth whitening and can be used to maintain the results of professional treatments, adds Dr. Fung.
So, to find the best options on the market, we put more than a dozen options to the test. Our testers used these strips for the full treatment time (about a week or two), noting how easy they were to apply, how comfortable they felt, how well they whitened and brightened their smiles, and whether or not they caused any sensitivity. Our team then combined these results with expert recommendations and our own thorough research to narrow down the list of available options.
Although whitening your teeth at home is just a fraction of the cost of getting a professional treatment done, some whitening strips are still pretty pricey. If you’re on the hunt for a budget-friendly option, these are for you. They’re affordable but they don’t sacrifice quality. During our test, we were especially impressed by how well they applied and adhered to the teeth without moving around. They were comfortable to wear for the directed 30 minutes at a time—we didn’t experience any pain or sensitivity with these. We also noticed brighter teeth after just a few sessions, and it’s nice that the kit comes with a color chart so you can keep track of your progress. Regardless of price point, these whitening strips are a great option for lifting staining and achieving a whiter smile.