6 Best Teeth Whitening Trays, Gels, & Kits of 2022

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Written by Whitney DiFoggio BS, RDH 🔬 Evidence Based

Best Overall

Burst Whitening Tray Kit

Ready-to-use easy whitening trays that work. And they're affordable!
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Best Custom Trays

Smile Brilliant Custom Whitening Trays

At-home custom molded tray kit with powerful whitening gels with a sensitive teeth option.
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Best Whitening Gel

Bite Whitening Gel

Easy to apply whitening gel that's 100% plastic free and has excellent results.
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Best Value

Sporting Smiles Whitening Trays

Custom trays and whitening gel for a fair price.
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Planning on whitening your teeth in the near future? While teeth whitening at the dentist’s office is always a great idea, there are still safe, effective options you can buy online or from a store. The best home teeth whitening kit—be it a strip, tray, or gel system—will be easy to use and lift at least a few shades of stain from your smile. But with such a saturated market, picking the best teeth whitening trays can be a little overwhelming. To help, I’ve ranked my favorite best teeth whitening products for whiter teeth below.

Why Whiten Your Teeth?

Teeth whitening is a cost-effective treatment that can help your smile look its best. By removing natural discoloration and stains from your tooth enamel, your smile looks healthier and younger. Maybe you have perfectly healthy, straight teeth, but their color is a little less-than-attractive. When you safely lift away stains, you give yourself an instant (and cheap) smile makeover. You’ll want the best teeth whitening gel to make sure the process is as effective as you want it to be. 

Most dentists recommend whitening your teeth before having any other cosmetic treatment. The best teeth whitening trays will establish a baseline color for updated dental work to match, such as new crowns, fillings, bonding, or even veneers. Since you can’t whiten dental materials after they’re placed, it’s important to start off with white teeth from the very beginning.

Talk To Your Dentist Before Teeth Whitening 

It is extremely—EXTREMELY—important that you talk to your dentist before using any type of teeth whitening kit. Even though you can buy some of the best teeth whitening trays over the counter, these products should not be used if you have active periodontal disease, untreated cavities, or tooth-colored restorations that you’re not planning on updating.[1]

Whitening your teeth with active cavities or gum disease can lead to serious side effects, including sensitive teeth, pain, or tissue damage. Even if you know you have a small cavity and it isn’t hurting, do not use any type of teeth whitening products on your teeth. 

Really the only thing you need to do is stay up to date on your dental checkups. During your exam (or between visits) you can ask your dentist if your teeth are healthy enough for whitening. Once they give you the all clear, you’re good to go![2]

6 The Best At-Home Teeth Whitening Products

Teeth whitening at home is convenient and super affordable. Especially if you don’t need really heavy-duty whitening that requires professional supervision. [3]

As a hygienist, I see people every week who are using over-the-counter teeth whitening products. If you’re not getting a custom whitening kit or having same-day whitening completes at your dentist’s office, there are still some pretty good teeth whitening kits out there to consider. 

Here are my top six best at-home teeth whitening kit options you’ll find on the market:


1. Burst Whitening Trays

Best Overall Whitening 

 

Burst Oral Care is a proven brand backed by thousands of dental professionals across the country. You’ve probably heard about their amazingly gentle toothbrushes, but Burst has great at home whitening products too. Their teeth whitening trays are even designed by a team of dentists and hygienists. They’re also made to be gentle enough that they’re less likely to cause any tooth sensitivity. Burst whitening trays are pre-filled with hydrogen peroxide gel so they’re easy to use. The initial kit is $69.99 and you can subscribe for a refill pack every 12 weeks for $42.99 per pack. 

Key Features
  • Wear the custom-fit feel trays for 15 minutes a day
  • 12.5% hydrogen peroxide
  • Whitens 3.5 shades or more in one week
  • 85% of users report zero tooth sensitivity
  • Natural mint flavor
  • Includes enough product for 7 treatments (one week)
Final Thought 

Bust is a reputable, dentist and hygienist-backed whitening kit that’s safe, gentle, and effective. Plus, it includes Xylitol which helps with sensitivity management as well as anti-cavity benefits. Burst has the best teeth whitening kit for first-timer since the moldable trays are pre-filled, there’s zero fuss or mess involved. Just pop them over your teeth and gently mold them right over your smile to make sure the gel comes into contact with all of the most visible tooth surfaces. 

 

2. Smile Brilliant Custom Whitening Trays

Best Custom Trays

 

Smile Brilliant offers custom molded whitening trays delivered to your door. Almost exactly like what you see in a dentist’s office. Like Remi, Smile Brilliant sends you a DIY impression kit in the mail to take your own molds of your teeth. But with Smile Brilliant you have three tiers of whitening options to choose from: T3 Non-Sensitive for light stains, T6 Non-Sensitive for average stains, and T9 Non-Sensitive for heavy stains. 

Key Features

  • Custom molded whitening trays
  • 22% carbamide peroxide
  • Choose from various system levels
  • Options for stronger whitening and sensitive teeth
  • Kit options include 9, 18, or 27 applications
  • Trays are crafted in a dental lab

Final Thought 

Smile Brilliant teeth whitening trays are great if you want the custom fit of a professional teeth whitening kit with the versatility of whitening at your current color level. When you need to touch up, you can order a few syringes of whitening gel for just $30 or up to nine of them for $59. Since they use carbamide peroxide, full stain penetration occurs after 40 minutes, so they aren’t a “quick” option that you only wear for 15-20 minutes. 

It’s better if you have some extra time set aside in the evenings or even want to sleep in them overnight. They recommend wearing them for at least 1-3 hours a day for one week. Oh, and extra impression material is included if you need it.

 

3. Bite Whitening Gel

Best Whitening Gel

 

Bite is 100% plastic-free teeth whitening system. This whitening gel is an alternative to custom-fitted trays or whitening strips. The whitening kit includes a carbamide peroxide whitening solution that is applied with a brush to just the right spots.

Key Features
  • $24 for 14 day supply
  • Carbamide peroxide gel
  • 100% Plastic free
  • Baking soda–free
  • Cruelty-free & Vegan
  • Money back guarantee
Final Thought

Bite's whitening kit is perfect for a quick application and full coverage across your entire smile with the applicator brush. With zero plastics and clean ingredients, bite it a no-brainer. Bite also offers a subscription for new whitening products every 4 months.

 

4. Sporting Smiles Whitening Trays

Best Value Trays 

Sporting Smiles is another custom molded tray whitening kit that’s an affordable alternative to professionally fitted kits. The whitening kit uses a foaming gel so you won’t have to worry about whether you used enough gel or applied it in the right spots. 

Instead, the whitening gel squishes and squeezes around all of your teeth as soon as you put the trays on. Sporting Smiles is also one of the cheapest custom teeth whitening kits, as it only costs $80 for a set of two (upper and lower) whitening trays. If someone else in your family or a friend wants a pair, you can bump your order up to two separately fitted kits for just $125. 

Key Features

  • $80 for one set or trays or $125 for two
  • Choice of 22% or 35% carbamide peroxide gel
  • Foaming gel
  • Peppermint flavor
  • Patented adjustable impression tray
  • Enough product for 20-25 treatments
  • Strong whitening gel may cause sensitive teeth

Final Thought 

Sporting Smiles uses a foaming gel to make sure you get full coverage across your entire smile with the least amount of product necessary. The stronger concentration of gel ensures great results, even for tough stains on yellow teeth. An extra set of impression materials comes with your kit. If you mess up your impressions too many times, you can order another container of impression material for $15.

 

5. Remi Whitening Trays 

Best Subscription 

 

Remi products are a direct-to-consumer customizable solution for both teeth whitening and mouthguards for teeth grinding. Since the Remi system comes with a DIY impression kit, you’re able to get custom whitening trays created to specifically fit your own individual smile. That means maximum contact with whitening gel for even results across all of your teeth. The whitening kit costs between $108 and $185 depending on which one you’re getting.

Key Features
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Comes with enough gel for 14 days
  • Uses 10% carbamide peroxide
  • Made to wear overnight
  • Gel can also be used in Remi custom night guards
  • Gel price starts at $15
  • Custom whitening trays are $108.75 to $185, depending on your membership level
  • Subscribe to have gel refills delivered every three months
Final Thought 

Remi is a reputable product line that also creates custom mouth guards without having to go to your dentist for impressions. They use FDA-approved products and pride themselves as being 80% less expensive than similar products available in dentist’s offices. Personally, I love that you can have custom trays fitted for your teeth because it ensures the best results without using too much gel or the whitening active ingredients spilling onto your gums. The one downside is that you have to take your own impressions, and it’s pretty easy to screw those up if you’re not too careful. 

 

6. Opalescence Go

Best Non-Custom Trays

 

Opalescence manufactures some of the same teeth whitening gel that you’ll find in your cosmetic dentist's in-office treatments. With the Opalescence Go product line, you get pre-filled whitening trays that contain a special teeth whitening product that you “suck down” onto your own teeth to mold it around them properly. Just put it in, suck down, remove the tray, suck down again, and wear it for up to an hour. 

Key Features

  • Whitens in 15-20 minutes
  • 15% hydrogen peroxide
  • Potassium nitrate added to reduce sensitivity
  • Fluoride for anti-sensitivity and tooth enamel strengthening
  • Contains 10 upper and 10 lower whitening trays
  • Price averages around $80-85

Final Thought 

Opalescence gel products are great for teeth whitening and you’ll find them sold in dental offices across the United States. The Opalescence Go whitening kit is ideal for someone who doesn’t want to fill trays with hydrogen peroxide gel or has trouble with getting strips to fit over their teeth correctly. That being said, they’re a fairly unique delivery system where you have to “suck down” hard enough to get them to conform to your teeth properly. Some people don’t like that, while others aren’t bothered by it whatsoever. 

 

If Your Teeth Are Too Sensitive, Then Stop!

Teeth sensitivity is the biggest issue with teeth whitening products. Even with the best teeth whitening strips, tray, or gels, you need to listen to your body. Are your teeth sensitive? Do your gums burn? Does it hurt to eat or drink anything? Then stop using the teeth whitening products! Do not attempt to just tough it out just because you think, “You have to suffer for beauty.” That’s not the case when we’re talking about your mouth. 

There could be a chance that the whitening solution has found its way onto your gum tissues or irritated some of the nerves inside of your teeth. Continuing to use it could cause serious gum sensitivity and other problems. [4]

 To ward off minor tooth sensitivity and gum irritation, consider alternating which days you whiten your teeth (instead of every day back to back) and also using a sensitive whitening toothpaste. But if it's more than just sensitive teeth and actual pain is involved, call your dentist ASAP.

Types Of Teeth Whitening Kits

The best teeth whitening kits are generally in the form of...

  • Teeth whitening strips
  • Teeth whitening pens
  • Teeth whitening trays

Not all teeth whitening kits are created equally. That’s why you see some at the dollar store and others for hundreds of dollars. When you’re considering investing in a teeth whitening treatment, be sure to check which type of gel it uses, how the gel is applied to your teeth, and then rank them by price. Starting with teeth whitening strips or teeth whitening pens is a great option for beginners before trying professional whitening at the dentist.

Whitening Agent Type (Carbamide Peroxide vs. Hydrogen Peroxide) 

When you’re looking for the best teeth whitening gel, it’s all going to be peroxide based. Teeth whitening products work because they have two types of peroxide: carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide. The concentrations of each one is different, so a larger number on one doesn’t necessarily mean it’s stronger than the other. What’s the difference between the two? Hydrogen peroxide only works for 30-60 minutes. Carbamide is best during the first two hours but can work for up to six, making it better for people who prefer to sleep in their whitening trays. 

The American Dental Association found that both types of gel produce the same overall results, but people who use carbamide peroxide tend to see more visible results at the very beginning of their treatment. [5]

Best Teeth Whitening Systems 

Ok. Technically you can whiten your teeth with teeth-whitening trays OR whitening strips OR whitening pens. But I can’t lie: whitening trays are my favorite. Mainly because they keep the whitening gel against your teeth longer than teeth whitening pens, and typically provide better contact with your teeth. Teeth whitening strips are a close runner-up, but you still have to shape them around every single tooth and the edges of your gums to make sure you’re getting proper contact on every surface. 

1. Teeth Whitening Trays

Not all whitening trays are created equal. For example, custom trays from your dentist are molded to your unique teeth and require minimal gel. But a wider one-size tray may need more gel and not contact all of your teeth as well. It can take some trial-and-error work to find which teeth whitening kit is going to be best for your unique smile shape. Having the option of a custom-molded tray makes a world of difference.

2. Teeth Whitening Strips

Whitening strips are my second favorite whitening option. Each package has two strips, one for the top, and one for the bottom teeth. Teeth whitening strips generally have lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide compared to trays but they are great for touchups.

3. Teeth Whitening Pens & Gels

Teeth whitening pens and gels are fairly new types of teeth whitening products. A teeth whitening pen delivers the whitening gel directly to the tooth. Some whitening kits have a pen or a little paintbrush to apply the hydrogen peroxide solution to your teeth.

4. Whitening Toothpaste

Tooth whitening toothpaste doesn't really whiten teeth. Whitening toothpaste does help at keeping your teeth white by removing surface stains but it will not whiten teeth. If you have sensitive teeth, they do make sensitive whitening toothpaste to help manage surface stains.

Teeth Whitening Kit Costs

From commercial to professional teeth whiteners, the best teeth whitening treatments can fluctuate between $20 or $30 to $600 or more. [6]

Teeth Whitening ProductAverage Price 
Whitening Toothpaste $4 to $12
Whitening Pen$8 to $40
Whitening Strips$12 to $60
Pre-filled Whitening Trays$50 to $120
Custom Whitening Trays$80 to $600
In-office Whitening Treatment$200 to $1,000

If you’re able to get a direct-to-consumer product that’s somewhere between $40-$180, it’s a really good deal. Especially since your trays can last a really long time and you’ll only need a tube or two of gel a couple of times a year for touchups. And the fact that professional whitening costs can reach up to $1,000 dollar per treatment.

How Often Can I Whiten? 

Always whiten as directed. There IS such a thing as over-whitening your teeth. If you’re using excessive amounts of teeth whitening agents, you could get sensitive teeth or potentially jump-start demineralization or hypocalcification in your teeth.

Normally the best home teeth whitening kit is meant to be used once a day for up to two weeks during the initial application. For touch-ups with whitening strips or pens, you typically need to use it for a few days or up to a week every 3-6 months. Personally, I like to touch up after my dental cleanings when my smile is extra clean. But if you drink a lot of coffee, tea, or have red wine stains you might want to use a teeth whitening pen or whitening strips in between checkups.

Other Teeth Whitening Treatment Options

Let’s say you don’t have time for the whitening process, there’s serious internal staining in your teeth, or you’ve got existing dental work that won’t respond to whitening gels. What other options do you have? Several! You can talk to your dentist about porcelain or composite veneers, for example. These cosmetic treatments cover the front of your healthy teeth to instantly change their color AND shape. Which is perfect if you want a straighter-looking smile at the same time. Teeth that darken over time can also be internally whitened by a cosmetic dentist. If that isn’t effective, they may recommend placing a dental crown over your tooth.[7]

The Best Teeth Whitening Kits

Investing in the best teeth whitening kit can help your smile look its best and boost your self-confidence. Some of the best teeth whitening trays can be bought online and delivered straight to your door. Just be sure that you always clear it with your dentist first, to make sure your smile is healthy enough for teeth whitening. Always use the products as directed, since it is possible to burn your gums or over-whiten your teeth if you’re too overzealous! If you have extremely sensitive teeth or are in pain, stop using the product immediately. Most at-home whitening kits can be used for touchups every 3-6 months as needed. 

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