Beauty editors are blessed with access to virtually every new product and gadget that’s about to hit the market—and that includes teeth-whitening kits. And over the years we've tested a bunch, which makes us the unofficial authority on all smile-related things. Science says that the simple act of smiling has the power to positively impact your mood, lower stress levels, boost your immune system, and possibly even prolong your life. If that doesn't make you want the whitest teeth of your life, I don't know what will.
If you don't want to go the professional route, which can get costly, there are at-home alternatives that deliver professional-level results without your having to sacrifice your savings. And no, they don't require excessive amounts of time and effort. Peroxide, the most popular whitening ingredient, is what makes up most in-office treatments in highly-concentrated doses. However, at-home options also contain peroxide with the same whitening powers. Most of these options ask for 10 minutes or less of your time to grant you lifelong improvements. So to help you get your pearliest whites in the shortest time possible, ahead are the best teeth whiteners on the market that actually, truly work.
You’ve probably already tried the OG Crest Whitestrips, and you probably already know that, yes, they do work, but ugh—how does anyone remember to do them every single damn day? Cue: the next best thing. These white strips (which have been redesigned to really adhere to your teeth without any slipping) also come with a handheld blue light that helps the gel penetrate your enamel, making the whitening powers way more effective (fact: I noticed significantly brighter teeth after one session).
Just apply the white strips for 60 mins—I know; there’s the annoying part—and then hold the light up to your teeth for a few minutes until it beeps. Peel the strips off, rinse your mouth out, and boom—you’re good.
There's a high level of effort involved here—okay, so by “high” level of effort, I really just mean “more annoying than the other methods.” But this little kit is pretty much the best at-home whitener I’ve ever tested, so you weigh the pros with the cons. Just squirt the pre-loaded syringe of gel into the silicone mouth guard, insert it the guard (that has a light attached to it) into your mouth for 30 mins, and you’re done! Hella, bright, hella fast. The only downside is the fact that you’re biting down on oozy mouth guard for 30 straight minutes. But still, if you can handle the annoyance and discomfort, this kit will take you to tooth heaven.
I'm sure you won't mind carving just 10 minutes out of your day for teeth that are professionally proven to look six shades whiter in 10 days, right? Thought so. This simple kit features a comfortable mouthpiece equipped with LED Blue Light technology, which erases stains using the power of hydrogen peroxide. Colgate claims that it can even lift stains from your teeth that are 10 years old. And if you're on the sensitive side, you'll appreciate its enamel-safe benefits.
Meet teeth whitening 2.0. This forward-thinking, Bluetooth-enabled device is what you call whitening of the future. First, you download and sync the app with the device, which allows you to track results, preview your pearly whites after future usage, and customize your experience. Then, apply the gel and pop in the mouthpiece, which uses LED lightening and heat to grand you "lit results," as the brand says.
The claim on the box is that it whitens "six shades in only three days." The claim made by this beauty editor: not really, but close. This two-step system includes a pre-treat mouth rinse and a clear whitening gel that you paint over your teeth after you finish brushing with your usual toothpaste. The result: crazy-bright teeth in under a week, with zero sensitivity.
The OG, if you will. When it comes to whitening your teeth with minimal time, effort, and $$, Crest Whitestrips get the job done. Just slip them over your teeth once a day while you watch TV—this one comes in a pleasantly minty flavor—and you'll notice whiter teeth in weeks.
A combination of blue light and teeth whitening strips à la Crest Whitestrips, this (relatively) affordable kit is an effective way to whiten your teeth several shades in as little as two weeks. Reviewers say that the strips stay on your teeth better than competitors' strips, and that teeth look noticeably brighter after just a few uses. One caveat: It's an intense formula, so you have sensitive teeth, consider using a treatment only once or twice a week to avoid that horribly tingly feeling.
This nifty LED light is smartphone-powered, so you can whiten on the go. Smile Direct already boasts a legion of fans for its teeth straighteners—so if you're in the market for straighter, whiter teeth, this is the perfect add-on product. Plus, the pen lasts for six months, so you'll be able to keep whitening until you're satisfied.
This clean and vegan teeth whitening kit was created by a husband-and-wife team who couldn't find a cruelty-free, gluten-free, non-GMO formula that whitened teeth effectively. Plus, the LED light comes in a sweet palm tree case that'll look adorable in your bathroom.
If you really, really want whiter teeth but can't bear the tooth and gum sensitivity that comes with it, these are the strips for you. Plus, the mint taste is nice—and they don't break the bank, to boot. Like the sensitive teeth-version of Crest Whitestrips.
If you're dealing with teeth staining from red wine or coffee and want a long-term fix, the SNOW kit is a treatment you can come back to over and over again. It's a little pricier than some of its competitors, but it can be used over braces and teeth aligners, and you can use the device for as little as ten minutes at a time.