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The Best Teeth Whitening Kits

Arturs Budkevics/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated September 2021

A dazzling smile isn't limited to Hollywood's richest celebrities and movie stars. An everyday person can enjoy beautiful pearly whites right at home with the help of teeth whitening kits.

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  Top Choice Best for Sensitive Teeth Best Fast-Acting Easy on the Wallet Best Natural Option
 
  Crest
3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips
AURAGLOW
Teeth Whitening Kit
iSmile
Teeth Whitening Kit
Crest
3D White Whitestrips
Oral Essentials
Lumineux Teeth Whitening Strips
 
Our SummaryA box of professional-level teeth whitening strips with a nonslip grip to keep them firmly in place.A gel, mouth tray, and LED accelerator teeth whitening kit that won't cause tooth sensitivity.A teeth whitening gel kit that can show results after just one session and get multiple shades whiter within a week.Easily take away years of stains with these no-slip white strips.These gentle whitening strips avoid the harsh chemicals of other products to give you a naturally whiter smile.
Pros22 treatments, easy-to-use, nonslip adhesive.Gluten-free formula, wireless LED light, automatic timer.Results within a week, short treatment period, BPA-free tray.Removes drink stains, safe for your enamel, flavorless formula.Non-irritating, no sugar, bleach-free.
ConsTeeth must be dry, sensitivity can occur.Might not fit all mouth sizes.Not suited for sensitive teeth and gums.Only 10 treatments, not as effective as other options.Takes longer to get results, whiteness fades over time.
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The Best Teeth Whitening Kits

A woman uses an LED light to whiten her teeth after a shower.
Arturs Budkevics/Shutterstock.com

Many people seek out teeth whitening for a confidence boost and the knowledge that their smile looks its absolute best. However, professional whitening treatments are expensive, especially if you want to whiten your teeth on a regular basis, and they require scheduling and taking time to go to appointments. Fortunately, there are plenty of over-the-counter whitening kits that are much more affordable and that you can apply in your home on your own time. If you aren’t sure where to start shopping for an over-the-counter tooth whitening kit, here are a few that we recommend.

Buying Guide for Teeth Whitening Kits

A man holds a blue LED mouthpiece in his mouth while reclining on a couch and working on a laptop.
SNOW

Why should you buy a teeth whitening kit?

There are plenty of reasons why people get their teeth whitened, and the added expense of a dentist appointment doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying the benefits. Some people find that their teeth become discolored due to plaque and tartar buildup, a long-term smoking habit, or frequent consumption of coffee and other foods or drinks that discolor teeth over time. Others want to brighten their smile to look their best for a special event like a job interview, a wedding, or a graduation. No matter the source of your off-white teeth, an at-home kit will give you gleaming teeth without the high price tag.

What should you look for in a teeth whitening kit?

Here are a few things to think about before buying a teeth whitening kit:

  • Type: There are two main types of over-the-counter teeth whitening kits you can purchase to use at home: whitening strips and gels. Whitening strips are small, thin strips of plastic covered with peroxide gel that are applied directly to the teeth and left on for the instructed length of time. Teeth whitening gels are used in tandem with a tray that’s very similar to a mouthguard. You fill the tray with the gel, slide it into your mouth, and leave it on for however long the instructions require. Some of these types of kits come with an LED light that’s meant to help speed up the whitening process. There are also teeth whitening toothpastes and rinses that contain a mild abrasive to remove tooth stains during brushing, but not everyone finds these to be effective, especially on bigger or deeper stains.
  • Tooth Sensitivity: It’s not uncommon for teeth whitening kits to cause slight sensitivity when you first start using them, but this problem will disappear over time. However, if you have sensitive teeth or gums, you’ll want to be careful about which teeth whitening kit you pick. Not all kits are suitable for people with heightened tooth sensitivity. They might irritate or make your teeth and/or gums even more sensitive. Fortunately, there are kits designed specifically to help avoid this problem. If you’re someone with sensitive teeth and/or gums, look for one of these kits so that you can whiten your smile without pain or irritation.
  • Time: It’s important to keep in mind that home teeth whitening kits won’t make your teeth drastically whiter after just one use. Whitening strips and toothpaste usually take a few weeks of daily applications to make a noticeable difference. Whitening gels tend to work a little faster than whitening strips, but they won’t produce instant results either. You’ll want to check how often you’ll have to use your teeth whitening kit before you start to notice a difference and whether they will require daily use for best results. If you simply want to add teeth whitening to your daily routine, the time that it takes for whitening kits to make a difference might not be important. If you want your teeth to be whiter and brighter for a special event, though, this is an especially important consideration so that you can plan ahead appropriately.

Should you purchase strips or a gel-based whitener?

While both options will have a whitening effect, the different approaches can actually change exactly where the whitening takes place. Gel formula can reach into the crevices of your teeth as the tray pushes the formula into the tight spaces. Strips are less capable of making contact with these hard-to-reach places due to their shape. If you have a set of super-straight teeth, a whitening strip should reach most of your teeth, but people with any kind of angles in their teeth should opt for a gel to better whiten every surface.

Our Picks for the Most Effective Teeth Whitening Kits

Top Choice

Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips

A box of professional-level teeth whitening strips with a nonslip grip to keep them firmly in place.

Pros: If whitening strips are your preferred method for getting a whiter, brighter smile, these professional-level ones are an excellent choice. They’re equipped with an advanced seal nonslip technology to keep them firmly in place throughout the whole whitening session. You can talk, smile, and even drink water the whole time. If you use these strips once a day in 30-minute or hour-long segments, it’s possible to remove stubborn stains that have been around for years. These strips are flavorless, enamel-safe, and easy to use. All you have to do is peel an upper and lower strip, stretch, apply, and leave them on for the allotted length of time.

Cons: Your teeth must be completely dry for these strips to adhere, which might lead to frustration for some, as the strips are single-use. Sensitivity is likely to occur if you don’t use the product exactly as the instructions direct.

Bottom Line: These strips are friendly to teeth whitening beginners, as they’re simple to apply and don’t have any off-putting flavor. With the right technique, these strips should give you a brighter shade of white.

 

Best for Sensitive Teeth

AURAGLOW Teeth Whitening Kit

A gel, mouth tray, and LED accelerator teeth whitening kit that won't cause tooth sensitivity.

Pros: This teeth whitening kit is designed to be safe and gentle on your enamel in order to avoid creating sensitivity in your teeth. This kit consists of a pack of enough whitening gel for at least 20 treatments, two 5-milliliter gel syringes, a mouth tray, a tray storage case, an accelerator LED light, and instructions that detail how to use it. The gel is gluten-free and kosher, so it accommodates most dietary restrictions. The mouth tray doesn’t need to be molded or boiled to fit your mouth, so it can whiten the top and bottom rows of your teeth at the same time. The LED light is designed to accelerate the whitening process and has a built-in timer and beeper so that you can easily time the length of your whitening sessions. Use it for 30 minutes a day, and you can get rid of stains left behind by coffee, wine, smoking, and more.

Cons: Since this tray can’t be molded to your mouth, people with narrow or extra-wide teeth might struggle with getting the fit right. This can also cause the loss of gel product for small mouths since you’ll need extra product to fill the tray up in order to achieve complete coverage.

Bottom Line: This gel and tray combo will give you more direct contact with the lightening formula than a strip, leaving you with white teeth from all angles. While it won’t provide the ideal fit for all mouths, its formula will lift your everyday stains.

 

Best Fast-Acting

iSmile Teeth Whitening Kit

A teeth whitening gel kit that can show results after just one session and get multiple shades whiter within a week.

Pros: If you want whiter teeth sooner rather than later, this is the whitening kit that gives you the best shot at seeing whiter teeth within a short period of time. You might even get teeth up to eight shades whiter after only a straight week of use, with potential visible results after just one session. The gentle whitening gel formula is enamel-safe and takes only 10 minutes a day to work. Use the syringe to insert the gel into the universal silicone mouth tray that fits into any mouth size without being molded or shaped. The 100% silicone material is BPA-free and designed to be snug and keep the gel safely contained without feeling tight or irritating on your gums. It has integrated ventilation to prevent breathing issues during whitening. The LED light speeds up the process, fits right into the mouth tray, and comes equipped with a 10-minute timer and alarm so that you don’t cut your whitening treatment short or go over. An instructional guide with easy-to-follow directions comes included with your purchase.

Cons: The speed of this whitening product comes from an intense formula, which might not be suited for people with sensitive mouths. Burning gums can happen when the gel makes contact.

Bottom Line: This product features some serious whitening power that’s not suitable for everyone. However, it’s ideal for a tight timeframe for people who need a quick fix to their yellowing teeth.

 

Best for Budget

Crest 3D White Whitestrips

Easily take away years of stains with these no-slip white strips.

Pros: This pack of Crest whitening strips packs a smaller punch than our first option from this brand, but it provides the same easy-to-use procedure with a budget-friendly price. When properly used, the Vivid Plus strips can remove up to five years of stains from coffee, wine, or smoking in 10 days. Do you need something a little faster? This package also comes with four one-hour express strips that can brighten your smile in just seven days. The formula is safe for your enamel and is completely flavorless for a non-invasive experience.

Cons: This package has fewer strips than the larger ones mentioned earlier, which means that you might not achieve as bright of a white with the limited amount of strips offered. This can seem misleading since the box advertises 24 strips, but that’s just an overall total. For both your top and bottom teeth, you’ll get 10 regular treatments out of this product.

Bottom Line: For the low price, these Crest strips can offer a noticeably brighter smile that’s easy to achieve. The strips can offer a quick fix for people who need to get white teeth within a week.

 

Best Natural Option

Oral Essentials Lumineux Teeth Whitening Strips

These gentle whitening strips avoid the harsh chemicals of other products to give you a naturally whiter smile.

Pros: With the help of Mother Nature, these nontoxic whitening strips can give you whiter teeth without irritation. The formula is completely free of harsh chemicals, making this product great for people with highly sensitive mouths or people who are avoiding preservatives, bleach, and sugar. The white strips are enamel-safe and can be used daily due to their gentle ingredients. As a bonus, these strips have a coconut and lemon flavor that comes from their natural ingredients, so you’ll feel fresh after each use.

Cons: The naturally derived formula won’t work as fast as hydrogen-based products, so it won’t work for people who are in need of a quick fix. The whitening appears instantly after use for most people, but it tends to fade with time.

Bottom Line: This product is ideal for people who are avoiding harsh chemicals that cause pain in their teeth and gums or for vegans who are looking for a plant-based formula. It might not whiten as fast, but you can achieve brighter teeth with consistent use.

 

Best Premium

SNOW Teeth Whitening Kit with LED Light

This kit gives you everything you need to create a brighter smile.

Pros: This complete kit can give you the dentist’s whitening results without the office visit. It includes three whitening wands, one extra-strength wand, a shade guide, and an LED mouthpiece. This kit is designed for speed, allowing you to do a treatment in just nine minutes. And with up to 75 treatments in the wands, you might achieve that ultra-white smile that’s so sought after. SNOW created the formula to be safe for people with braces, caps, crowns, and more so that they can achieve a brighter smile, too.

Cons: This kit isn’t going to offer you instant results. The high amount of product that you get allows you to slowly remove stains and add brightness over an extended period of use. Additionally, the USB cord on the light is slightly short, so it might be difficult for you to comfortably watch TV, use your phone, or read without staying close to the power source.

Bottom Line: With so much whitening product, this kit offers you a longer-lasting result than previous whitening options. While it might take some time to see your pearly whites shine brighter, the end results cause less sensitivity.

Final Thoughts

If you want your smile to truly dazzle, investing in whitening kits can help you catch the eye of more people. While they’re not for people with extremely sensitive teeth or compromised enamel, teeth whiteners can help most people achieve the pearly whites that they’ve always wanted. Whether you’re looking for an alternative to your dentist’s expensive treatments or you want a quick fix before an important day, whitening kits will brighten your teeth while removing stubborn stains.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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