The best teeth-whitening strips in 2021 – CNET

I’m unabashedly obsessed with having white teeth. I drink coffee daily and enjoy red wine, so brushing alone doesn’t cut it to keep my teeth pearly. Whitening strips are a simple, easy and widely available way to brighten teeth and remove stains from your favorite vices, like coffee. 

I’ve used many whitening strips in my quest to achieve white teeth, and I compiled my experiences in this guide to the best whitening strips you can buy right now.

Because I tested these products in succession and also while testing whitening toothpastes, gel pens and LED kits, I can’t accurately judge these products for whitening capabilities. Instead, I tested whitening strips against criteria such as fit, coverage (how many teeth it covers), ease of use, sensations (such as burning gums) and length of wear. 

Rembrandt

I tested a fair amount of home tooth-whitening strips and Rembrandt whitening strips struck me as the best for a number of reasons. As a disclaimer, these strips are not my personal favorite because I have super sensitive teeth. But I think these strips are going to prove the best for most people, thus their spot at the top. (Keep reading for my personal favorite and the best option for sensitive teeth).

The Rembrandt website describes the whitening strips as having “maximum coverage to whiten the front and back of teeth” and that’s no lie: The width of these whitening strips is impressive, as is the length. They stretched far past my canines on both top and bottom, and the strip fully folded over to cover the backs of my teeth. The strips also have little divots that prevent any air bubbles or uneven coverage. 

Rembrandt’s whitening strips are also much thicker than those of most other brands, which I think prevents them from sliding around while you’re wearing them. The hydrogen peroxide gel on the strips also seems to be thicker than that of other brands and that helps with the stickiness, too. 

One other big reason I loved these Rembrandt whitening strips: You wear them twice a day for seven days, rather than once a day for two weeks or once a day for a month. I’ve almost never successfully made it through a 14-day or 30-day pack of whitening strips. But one week? I can definitely manage that.

Fairywill/Amazon

These Fairywill teeth whitening strips did not strike me as spectacularly great or bad. They have some favorable qualities and some “eh” qualities, but they come at a great price point, which makes those “eh” things all right. 

I had no problems with these whitening strips in terms of coverage. They completely covered my canines on top and bottom, and were wide enough that they folded over the entire back sides of my teeth. On top of that, the Fairywill strips stuck to my teeth well and didn’t shift around — basic things you want in a whitening strip. 

However, I can’t recommend the Fairywill strips as the best, because they had a mildly weird taste (not so bad that I couldn’t handle them, but noticeable), and they left a persistent residue on my teeth. With other whitening strips, I can get away with a quick swish of water, but with these, I had to fully brush my teeth to get rid of the residue.

Lumineux/Amazon

Anyone who has sensitive teeth should check out Lumineux. Of all the whitening strips I tested, these were the only ones that didn’t leave little white spots on my gums. 

After some research, I discovered that those little white spots are chemical burns from the ingredients in whitening products — usually hydrogen peroxide. Lumineux products don’t include hydrogen peroxide and instead use a combination of dead sea salt, essential oils, coconut oil and aloe vera. 

Despite the natural combo of ingredients, Lumineux whitening strips didn’t give off “trying too hard to be healthy” vibes like some other natural products I’ve tested (see my guide to whitening toothpastes for more on that). The fit and coverage were great, although they did slip around a bit. 

I tested these for three consecutive days, so I can’t speak to the long-term efficacy compared with other brands, but Lumineux did conduct a clinical trial that concluded Crest 3D Whitestrips were no more effective than Lumineux natural whitening strips. The study was, of course, funded in part by Lumineux, so keep that in mind. Still, I think they’re worth a shot for people with sensitive teeth and gums.

I’d have to try the Lumineux strips for longer — i.e., finish the entire box without using any other products intermittently — to see if they work as well as products I used in the past. I’m all for natural alternatives to cosmetic products, but expectedly, all-natural products sometimes don’t work as well as conventional ones.

Crest/Amazon

Crest 3D Whitestrips are truly a classic. They’re easy to find and easy to use, and I’ve used them many times in the past — it had been years since I used them, so I decided to give them another try to see how they compared directly to other, less popular products on the market.

I didn’t choose this teeth-whitening option as the best for a sole reason: The coverage kind of blows. Especially compared with the Rembrandt strips, Crest 3D Whitestrips just don’t offer great tooth coverage. I find they cover the minimum and that’s it — they just barely reach over my canines and they tend to shift a lot because they’re thin and don’t wrap around the back side of my teeth. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

Leave a Comment