Editor's Note: This is the first installment in our new web series called 'The Fitness Test,' in which the Men's Fitness editors review the myriad gadgets, gear, and workout tech that comes across our desks.
Every so often we get a gadget we simply can’t resist giving a test run: The under-desk cycling pedals. The Jane Fonda-style headband with built-in speakers. The Shake Weight. Silly? Definitely. Dangerous? Sometimes. (See: last year’s exploding hoverboards.) But, as far as we’re concerned, they’re pleasant reminders that American ingenuity is anything but dead.
But rarely do we get a device so remarkably simple, clever, and practical that we can’t help but admire how damn well it works. That was the case with the Quip toothbrush.
The brainchild of NYC industrial designer Simon Enever and product designer Bill May, the Quip toothbrush is mercifully low-tech, with no whiz-bang gear mechanisms, no handles the size of track-and-field batons, no clunky (and, eventually, toothpaste-encrusted) bases. Instead, the Quip is minimalist and slender. And when it vibrates as it brushes, it does so gently, without skull-rattling force.
But here’s the kicker: It not only pauses every 30 seconds to signal when it’s OK to switch to a different quadrant of your mouth, it vibrates for exactly two minutes—exactly the length of time dental experts recommend you brush—before it shuts off.
Now, that may seem like a no-brainer, but as someone who routinely catches himself blazing through his morning teeth-cleaning session, I was amazed—and admittedly horrified—to discover how long a full two minutes of brushing feels. (Frankly, I think I’ve shaved in less time.) But ever since I welcomed my new little bathroom disciplinarian into my routine, my mouth has felt remarkably cleaner and fresher. The only drawback is that I’ve successfully annoyed everyone I know with my endless ravings about a toothbrush.
Though, of course, the Quip isn’t just a toothbrush—it’s a new subscription service (think: Dollar Shave Club or Birchbox) that starts you off with the essentials—a kit that includes a base, a disposable brush head designed to last for three months, a brush cover, and a toothbrush handle made of brushed aluminum (in silver, slate, copper, or gold, $45) or textured plastic (in blue or green, $30)—then every three months sends you a new brush head for just $5.
Or—because what good is a toothbrush if you don’t have anything to put on it?—you can also opt to pay $5-$10 every three months and get two tubes of toothpaste (a 4.7-oz tube that should last three months, and a travel tube) in the kit. Though the proprietary Quip toothpaste tastes a little closer to “dentist’s office standard” than the “fiery cinna-mint” I prefer (I know, don’t ask), I’m thrilled to know I’ll have a steady supply on hand and not have to squeeze every micro-drop of paste out of my regular tube of Crest.
All in all, you’re guaranteed not just a superfresh, clean-feeling mouth, but also a pretty handsome addition to your bathroom.
Then you can go start annoying your own friends.