6 best teeth whitening kits for a brighter smile (2024)

6 best teeth whitening kits for a brighter smile (1)

Let's face it, Brits haven’t always had a great reputation when it comes to a Hollywood smile. Those daily cups of tea (or coffee or red wine), can take their toll, staining your teeth, and sometimes even the most diligent brushing routine can't undo it.

Professional whitening may seem like the best option, but with treatments starting in the hundreds, it’s also expensive. Enter the best teeth whitening kits that promise to help restore your pearly whites for a fraction of the price.

What is the most effective tooth whitening product?

The Good Housekeeping Institute put the most popular home teeth whitening kits to the test, to see if they were as quick and effective as they claimed. From pens to strips and mouthguards, we’ve tried all formats to find the best.

We always recommend having a consultation with your dentist before starting any new treatment, but once you get the go ahead, these are the treatments that impressed us the most.

Best teeth whitening kits of 2024

How we test

We asked 318 testers to try a range of teeth whitening products at home. We then asked a proportion of them to visit our lab where we took pictures of their teeth before and after treatment using our VISIA Complexion analyser. With a whiteness scale, we were then able to determine any difference in shade before and after treatment.

We also asked testers to assess the whitening products at home. They reviewed how easy each one was to use, how long the treatment took, whether there were any sensitivity issues, and their overall effectiveness.


Best teeth whitening strips

Spotlight Teeth White Strips

6 best teeth whitening kits for a brighter smile (8)

6 best teeth whitening kits for a brighter smile (9)


Best teeth whitening strips

Spotlight Teeth White Strips

Now 19% Off

Score: 75/100

These whitening strips are designed to reduce the appearance of tough stains that have built up over time. Its active key ingredient is hydrogen peroxide, which penetrates the top layer of the enamel to brighten teeth.

Testers found the strips simple to use and less messy than most other kits. On average, testers saw a difference to teeth in just eight days. They also said they didn't experience tooth or gum sensitivity after use.

Key specifications

Treatment time1 hour
Treatment duration14 days
Number of strips in the pack28 (14 upper and lower)


Best teeth whitening pen

Spotlight Oral Care Whitening Pen

6 best teeth whitening kits for a brighter smile (10)

6 best teeth whitening kits for a brighter smile (11)


Best teeth whitening pen

Spotlight Oral Care Whitening Pen

Now 10% Off

Score: 74/100

If you have just one tooth that’s duller than the rest, or you fancy a really convenient, on-the-go option, try this pen. It aims to target and dissolve stains, rather than just cover them up.

Testers gave it the thumbs up for how compact and quick it was to use, with one liking the “natural-looking whiteness” it left their smile with. It wasn’t messy to use either, and didn’t cause any teeth or gum sensitivity for our panel.

When it came to brightening, testers were left with a whiter smile by the end of the trial.

Key specifications

Treatment time5 minutes
Treatment durationInstant


Best vegan teeth whitening product

Moon Kendall Jenner Teeth Whitening Pen

6 best teeth whitening kits for a brighter smile (12)

6 best teeth whitening kits for a brighter smile (13)


Best vegan teeth whitening product

Moon Kendall Jenner Teeth Whitening Pen

Score: 72/100

The vanilla mint flavour of this vegan formula was a hit with our panel, while the simple brush applicator made it a handbag essential.

It didn’t cause any sensitivity, but only half felt their teeth looked whiter by the end of the trial. Some found it difficult to keep their mouth open for the required 30 seconds too, but overall testers were pleased with the shorter wait time. A good option for quick top-ups.

Key specifications

Treatment time10-30 minutes
Treatment durationInstant


Best for stain removal

Boots Expert Teeth Whitening Kit with Blue Light Activation

6 best teeth whitening kits for a brighter smile (14)

6 best teeth whitening kits for a brighter smile (15)


Best for stain removal

Boots Expert Teeth Whitening Kit with Blue Light Activation

Score: 72/100

Aiming to leave your teeth 10 shades whiter in just one week, this kit did a great job at brightening in our lab test, leaving our testers with a whiter smile.

The majority of our panel were impressed with how successfully it managed to remove existing stains, with one tester commenting on how comfortable the mouth tray was. It wasn’t the most straightforward or cleanest whitening process here, but it didn’t leave teeth feeling sensitive.

Key specifications

Treatment time15-20 minutes
Treatment duration7 days
FormatLED light and mouth piece


Best for travel

Mr. Blanc Teeth Whitening Strips

6 best teeth whitening kits for a brighter smile (16)

6 best teeth whitening kits for a brighter smile (17)


Best for travel

Mr. Blanc Teeth Whitening Strips

Now 64% Off

Score: 70/100

Ideal for travel, each set of strips in this kit is individually packaged, so you can chuck them in your wash bag and go.

The peroxide-free formula had a pleasant aftertaste and scent, which sparked neither teeth sensitivity for our testers, nor gum sensitivity. In our lab, it proved moderately effective at improving overall whiteness, and it left our panel satisfied too, making it a cost-effective top-up option.

Key specifications

Treatment time30 minutes
Treatment duration14 days


Best brush-on teeth whitening treatment

Pearl Drops Professional 3 Step Whitening Treatment

6 best teeth whitening kits for a brighter smile (18)

6 best teeth whitening kits for a brighter smile (19)


Best brush-on teeth whitening treatment

Pearl Drops Professional 3 Step Whitening Treatment

Now 48% Off

Score: 70/100

Claiming to remove deep-rooted stains and restore natural whiteness, this treatment includes a brightener serum, tooth polish and a whitening activator serum that can all be applied with your regular toothbrush.

Our testers liked how quick this kit was to use, taking just three minutes a day, but they found steps one and two slightly messy – as the serum must be left for 30 seconds without being removed. That said, it has a pleasant taste and left little to no tooth or gum sensitivity.

Key specifications

Treatment time3 minutes
Treatment duration10 days
Format3-step brush-on treatment

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How do teeth whitening kits work?

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Teeth whitening products aim to remove surface stains on the tooth and penetrate the enamel, to break down the discoloured molecules within. This leaves teeth looking whiter overall. The solutions often contain active bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which remove the deeper stains from your teeth.

Dr Hanna Kinsella, cosmetic dentist and founder of Icy Bear Dental, explains: "Hydrogen peroxide is a weak acid with strong oxidising properties, meaning it steals the electrons that hold the staining molecules together, causing them to fall apart. It will change the colour of your teeth, rather than simply removing surface stains. Carbamide peroxide is another similar ingredient."

Other ingredients such as sodium bicarbonate, sodium perborate, activated charcoal or even coconut oil offer a more natural alternative, although these are usually considered less effective, as they mainly only remove surface stains.

In the UK, teeth whitening kits can be bought over the counter but only if they contain less than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide. This means they aren't as strong as professional whitening treatments, as a qualified dentist can legally use up to 6% hydrogen peroxide.

"Speak to your dentist, as it's often helpful to use DIY treatments alongside any ongoing professional plan," says Dr Kinsella. "In-clinic whitening will always give you the best results because we can legally use products with higher percentages of bleach. The at-home alternatives can still be effective, but they're usually much weaker and best used as a top-up."

Are teeth whitening kits safe?

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Using teeth whitening kits at home is safe, provided the ingredients don't exceed the maximum percentage allowed.

Note that some salons may offer teeth whitening but this is illegal if not performed by a qualified dental professional. If you have any doubts, the NHS recommends visiting a dentist to talk about your options.

"Home teeth whitening kits have come a long way in the last few years," says Dr Kinsella. "That said, it's still important to exercise caution and make sure you purchase a reputable kit from a trusted seller, as some can do more harm to teeth than good by damaging their enamel.

"Your gums may also be sensitive to the chemicals, particularly if you already have sensitive teeth. "I would always recommend choosing a tooth whitening product that contains fluoride, as this is essential for fighting decay and protecting against cavities."

Can anyone use teeth whitening kits?

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Whitening kits do not work on false teeth such as veneers and crowns. Those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or under 18 years old shouldn't use them either. If you have sensitive teeth or gum concerns, speak to your dentist first. You may need to address them before whitening, or alternatively have the procedure performed by a professional.

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How do I use a teeth whitening kit?

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The kits often contain a whitening gel formula, plastic tray (to insert into the mouth) and an LED light, which helps to speed up the whitening process. Whitening strips or pens, on the other hand, already contain the formula so can be applied directly to the teeth. Some strips dissolve on the teeth, but most can be removed and disposed of after use.

Each product will come with its own instructions but in general you should see results at least two weeks after routine use, with top-ups usually required every six months.

Dr Kinsella's buzz word is 'consistency'. "To minimise the risk of a shoddy DIY job, always follow the treatment programme for the number of days advised on the packet," she advises.

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Florence Reeves-White

Senior Beauty Writer

Florence is our Senior Beauty Writer, specialising in expert-tested beauty and grooming reviews — from toothbrushes to the latest skincare launches. She’s committed to sharing recommendations for products that truly work and make people feel confident and healthy. Prior to this she was at Tropic Skincare, where she worked closely with biochemists in the lab, delving into the functions of each fresh, natural ingredient and conveying its efficacy to her audience in easy-to-digest terms.

With over five years’ experience in beauty and health journalism, Florence has written for ELLE, Women’s Fitness, Sister Magazine, National Geographic Traveller and many more, with a strong sustainability angle thread through much of her work.

When she isn’t packing for a trip away, working out, eating out or reading up on retinol serums, you’ll probably find her experimenting with her film camera and building her portfolio of portraits. Florence’s photography can be found at florencereeves-white.com, her Instagram is @florencereeveswhite and her twitter is @floreadsnwrites

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Tested byOrla Badger

Senior Beauty and Grooming Tester

Orla is our Senior Beauty and Grooming Tester and has extensive knowledge of skin and hair composition thanks to her first class bachelor's degree in cosmetic science from the Universy of the Arts London. She also spent time as a Formulation Chemist intern at Amelia Knight Cosmetics.

6 best teeth whitening kits for a brighter smile (2024)


What is the most effective over the counter teeth whitening? ›

  • Opalescence Go 15 Percent Kit. $84. ...
  • Bite Whitening Gel. $24. ...
  • Auraglow Teeth Whitening Pen. $20. ...
  • Crest 3D Whitestrips Professional Effects Whitening Strips. $41. ...
  • Burst Coconut Whitening Strips. $20. ...
  • Lumineux Teeth-Whitening Strips. $23. ...
  • Colgate Optic White Toothpaste. ...
  • Arm & Hammer Advance White Baking Soda and Peroxide Toothpaste.
Jan 12, 2024

Is there any teeth whitening that actually works? ›

If you're looking for long-lasting results, Bianca Velayo, DMD of Green Valley Smiles Dentistry, recommends looking for peroxide-based products if you're hoping to whiten tooth enamel. You can opt for either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide as both will reverse internal and external stains on teeth, she notes.

How do you get a super white smile? ›

Seven Ways to Naturally Whiten Teeth
  1. Eat Strawberries. One of the simplest ways to naturally whiten your teeth is just by eating strawberries. ...
  2. Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables. ...
  3. Brush After You Eat or Drink. ...
  4. Rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar. ...
  5. Apply Coconut Oil. ...
  6. Brush Your Tongue. ...
  7. Use Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide.

What is the fastest teeth whitening at home? ›

A mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide has been proven to work in some cases for instant results in a pinch. Combine two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide with one tablespoon of baking soda. Mix it until it becomes a paste and use it to brush your teeth.

What is the highest percentage of hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening? ›

The American Dental Association has recommended a maximum of 10 percent for teeth whitening. Gels that are available for at-home trays have a concentration of 22 percent. The maximum that can be used is 35 percent, which is approximately what you will find at the dentist's office.

How can I whiten my teeth at 60? ›

Bleaching Trays

They are an easy and quick way to enhance your smile. Compared to commercial products, whitening trays from your dentist are stronger and much safer for seniors in particular. As you age, your gums and teeth can become more sensitive.

Can yellow teeth become white again? ›

What Can Be Done to Whiten Yellow Teeth? If you're looking for a radical change in the coloring of your teeth, you need professional-grade whitening to get the job done. Your cosmetic dentist can provide treatment that penetrates deep into the enamel and removes years of stains with a powerful bleaching agent.

Can old yellow teeth be whitened? ›

Dentistry for seniors suggests tooth whitening can be done at any age of adulthood. Tooth whitening products remove built-up stains and brighten the enamel. They are affordable and easy-to-use solutions to the problem of aging yellow teeth.

Do home UV teeth whitening kits work? ›

The light itself does nothing to whiten the teeth, and kits like these are only as good as the photocatalytic additives that they come with. Photocatalysts such as titanium dioxide, ferrous gluconate and zinc oxide are a few of the ingredients commonly found in tooth stain removal products that you can buy anywhere.

Does apple cider vinegar whiten teeth? ›

Apple cider vinegar as a whitening rinse won't lead to immediately brighter, whiter teeth. Consistent use over time – making sure to dilute to avoid enamel erosion – can eventually lead to a whiter smile. Always be sure to consult a dentist first to make sure it's the best choice.

What do celebrities use to whiten their teeth? ›

Veneers are another common celebrity teeth whitening procedure. Veneers are thin tooth-colored shells or coatings placed on the front of a tooth to hide stains and make them sparkling white. A veneer contains tooth-colored materials like composite and porcelain.

What whitens teeth in one day? ›

Hydrogen Peroxide

Using a strong concentration can irritate gums, lead to tooth staining, or cause tooth sensitivity. But highly diluted hydrogen peroxide can work wonders at whitening your teeth. A 1.5% to 3% solution is recommended for best results.

How can I make my teeth super white in 5 minutes? ›

One-part salt and three parts mustard oil is all you need. So, if you are taking one teaspoon of salt, use three teaspoons of mustard oil, and rub it on your teeth for a few minutes. You can either use your finger to massage it on your gums and teeth or gently use your toothbrush.

What whitens teeth overnight? ›

No treatment can whiten teeth overnight, but some options are faster than others. Natural or over-the-counter treatment may take longer than treatments at the dentist's office. Even in the latter case, whitening is likely to require several treatment sessions of several hours each.

Does any over-the-counter teeth whitening work? ›

Then, over-the-counter whitening agents can work effectively. But because it's not dentist-monitored, many of them don't do anything. For instance, a mouthwash containing a whitening agent such as hydrogen peroxide probably is not going to be very effective.

Do any over-the-counter teeth whiteners work? ›

It depends on what the active ingredient is in this over-the-counter. There are two types, two versions of peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, and carbamide peroxide, that are used for whitening. And they are effective. They do work.

What do most dentists use for teeth whitening? ›

Carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are commonly used in whitening interventions and can readily permeate dental hard tissues. Temporary tooth sensitivity and gingival inflammation are the most common adverse effects of vital tooth whitening.


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