Many adults wish they had straighter teeth, but don’t have the time or money to spend on traditional orthodontic care. If that sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve reviewed & ranked the 5 best at-home teeth straightening services for cost-conscious adults. Read on as we outline the important details that set these clear aligner companies apart, discuss the pros & cons of at-home treatment, and help you find the right option for you (and your budget)!
5 Best Home Clear Aligners (Ranked)
#1 byte: Best Overall Value
byte is our top-recommended home teeth-straightening solution. Though newer and less established than SmileDirectClub, byte has made some impressive moves since they entered the scene mid-2018.
The company’s top priority is providing an excellent customer experience that includes personalized support and the industry’s fastest treatment times. Using unique vibration technology, byte’s custom treatment plans deliver impressive results twice as fast as other clear aligner brands.
- Thanks to the HyperByte vibration device, byte users finish treatment in just 3 months on average. Dentists charge upwards of $1,000 for similar vibration devices, but byte includes it for free in your aligner bundle.
- Users consistently praise by the quality of byte’s 100% US-based customer support. In addition to being accessible via phone, email, and social media, byte’s customer service team also puts each patient in contact with their own byte advisor to be their go-to for any questions or concerns.
- byte’s “At-Night” plan provides an even more flexible and discreet treatment option by requiring only 10 hours of continuous wear per day. byte At-Night aligners are made of a thicker, grind resistant material to deliver safe and efficient results even with less daily wear time.
- Their byte-for-life guarantee promises that if your teeth shift back after completing treatment, even years down the road, they’ll give you new aligners to realign your smile for free.
- Unlike many companies in this space, byte’s financing plan doesn’t require a credit check. This means you can get started with treatment faster and without impacting your credit score.
- While some providers have physical locations where customers can get their teeth scanned, byte doesn’t offer this service yet. To get started, you’ll need to complete an impression kit from home.
- byte has only been around since 2018, so they aren’t as well-established as industry giants like SmileDirectClub.
Ready To Get Started With byte?
If you like the idea of straightening your teeth ASAP without sacrificing treatment quality, byte’s team of licensed dentists & orthodontists can design your ideal treatment plan.
#2 Candid: Premium Service
Candid is another relative newcomer to the home aligner space, but they’re growing rapidly in popularity and earning lots of positive reviews. Since hitting the market in 2017, they’ve continuously gone the extra mile to deliver a quality product.
Candid is the only company to guarantee orthodontist-overseen treatment. And recently, they became the first to offer virtual check-ins with your orthodontist throughout the process. In our opinion, Candid’s dedication to product quality makes them stand out from the bunch.
- Candid works exclusively with orthodontists (rather than general dentists) to offer the highest possible treatment quality.
- Based on our research, Candid appears to have partnered with ClearCorrect, the second-largest manufacturer of invisible aligners in the U.S. You can feel confident that your aligners will be well-designed and high quality.
- Candid holds video interviews with all new customers prior to treatment. This is to ensure the orthodontist overseeing your care gets a complete picture of your bite and dental health, enabling them to design the most effective treatment plan. Other providers simply ask for photos of your teeth.
- With CandidMonitoring, you’ll share scans of your progress with your doctor every 10-14 days — the most oversight in the industry. And because your doctor sees your teeth so frequently, they may be able to accelerate your treatment time.
- Candid’s upfront price is significantly higher than byte’s (or any other provider for that matter).
- Because they don’t integrate dental vibration technology in their treatment plans, Candid’s average correction time is much longer than byte’s.
Interested in Candid?
If you like the idea of completing treatment from home, but are willing to pay a premium for direct access to an orthodontist throughout the process, Candid is an excellent option.
Special Offer: $65 off your Candid Starter Kit
#3 AlignerCo: Lowest Prices
Like byte, AlignerCo is another brand new home aligner company that’s turning heads in the industry. Unlike byte, they’re not doing it with treatment time, but with the industry’s most affordable prices. AlignerCo is perfect for budget-keepers and bargain hunters. They offer amazing prices without sacrificing quality and customer service.
- At $1,145, AlignerCo’s aligner package is significantly less expensive than all of its competitors. Plus, they occasionally run sales that discount that price even further.
- Like byte and SmileDirectClub, AlignerCo approves every customer for financing with the SmileFlex Easy plan (their standard SmileFlex plan requires a soft credit check).
- Customers enjoy the personal care they receive from AlignerCo’s support team, who provide effective and timely solutions.
- AlignerCo doesn’t include free whitening products with your treatment (although this cuts costs and helps them offer their low prices).
- They have fewer customer reviews than larger companies like byte and Candid, so it’s difficult to get a reliable gauge of the customer experience.
- Treatment with AlignerCo might take longer than some of their competitors.
Thinking about AlignerCo?
If price is your top concern, AlignerCo is worth considering. Although they aren’t as well-established as some of their competitors, they’ve shown a ton of promise and their industry-low price is tough to turn down.
*Discount only applies to SmileAdvantage payment option*
#4 SmileDirectClub: Best-known
SmileDirectClub was one of the first companies to offer at-home clear aligner treatment and continues to be the most popular option. Founded in 2014, SmileDirectClub has treated over a million patients to date.
- SmileDirectClub has over 300 locations across the U.S. You can visit one of these “SmileShops” to get a 3D image taken of your teeth, which will be sent to one of their dentists to determine whether or not you’re a candidate for treatment. This provides a convenient alternative to taking impressions at home, which some users find to be a cumbersome process.
- Since they’ve treated such a high volume of cases, they’ve dealt with a wide variety of conditions, questions, and complications.
- SmileDirectClub offers guaranteed treatment financing through Smilepay, no credit check required.
- According to our research, SmileDirectClub’s customer support seems to be hit-or-miss. They’ve accrued a significant number of complaints about shipping delays and inconsistent communication when issues arise during treatment.
- Their 4-6 month average treatment time is longer than byte’s (our #1-rated provider).
#5 NewSmile: Best Industry Newcomer
NewSmile is a newer and less expensive option than many of their competitors, and they also offer the second-fastest alignments in the industry, behind only byte. They also offer a nighttime-only alignment option with the same low price point as their standard alignment plans.
- NewSmile offers super-low prices (and frequent discounts that drop those prices even lower).
- They include your impression kit, retainers, and three months of whitening products at no extra charge. Many competitors charge extra for any or all of these items.
- They provide a nighttime-only plan that only requires you to wear your aligners for ten hours per day, and they don’t charge extra for this option like most competitors do.
- NewSmile’s payment plans don’t require a credit check, so all customers will qualify.
- NewSmile does not currently have any retail locations where you can get an in-office teeth scan. Their at-home impression kits are your only option.
- NewSmile is a relatively recent addition to the at-home alignment market, and they don’t have as much customer feedback as their competitors.
Which Clear Aligner Option is Best for You?
We totally understand if seeing all of these options feels overwhelming, especially since they look so similar at first glance. At the end of the day, we believe that two online clear aligner services stand above the rest: byte and Candid.
These are the two clear aligners that offer the most bang for your buck, straightening your teeth quickly without sacrificing service quality.
Choose byte if:
You want the best overall value, excellent customer support, and the fastest treatment time.
Choose Candid if:
You want premium remote monitoring service & are willing to pay extra for it.
Pros & Cons of Home Teeth Straightening
As we’ve discussed, online clear aligners are more convenient and affordable than in-office options like braces or Invisalign. But this doesn’t mean they’re an appropriate choice for everyone. If you have a severe case of misalignment or a complicated bite condition, you may benefit from face-to-face dental care.
To help you decide if at-home teeth alignment is right for you, take a moment to evaluate these pros and cons:
- At-home clear aligners cost significantly less than traditional orthodontic treatment. They're typically somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 the cost of braces or Invisalign.
- By eliminating the need for monthly office visits, home aligners free up some time in your schedule. However, you should still go to the dentist before beginning treatment to make sure you don’t have any cavities (or anything else that needs addressing).
- Treatment only takes around six months to complete, which is significantly shorter than the average duration of in-office treatment.
- Home aligner treatment is designed to be as discreet as possible. Some providers have even started offering a nighttime-only option for people who want to keep their treatment truly under wraps.
- Home aligners are only designed to treat mild to moderate cases of spacing and crowding, and minor bite issues. They aren’t effective for severe cases of misalignment.
- Your provider won’t take x-rays of your teeth before creating your treatment plan. Before getting started, we recommend visiting your local dentist to make sure there isn’t anything problematic going on beneath the surface of your teeth or gums.
Other Factors to Consider
Reading through this review, it’s possible that one aspect of at-home clear aligner treatment sticks out to you. Perhaps you like the idea of getting the lowest-possible price point, or maybe you’re looking for the most convenient option available.
As you evaluate all these providers, we recommend considering five factors: Effectiveness, Affordability, Convenience, Appearance, and Customer Support. Our above rankings are based on all of these criteria combined, but we’ve also ranked them based on each factor individually.
When you’re on a tight budget, orthodontic treatment can seem financially out of reach — but home aligners are surprisingly affordable. Because they take office visits out of the equation, home aligners eliminate the costs associated with face-to-face dental care. However, cost varies from provider to provider, so some home aligners may be a better fit for your budget than others.
AlignerCo easily takes the crown for initial affordability — but there’s more to the equation than a provider’s upfront price-point. We dive into the nitty-gritty details in our review of The Most Affordable Clear Aligners to help you get the most bang for your buck.
Compared to traditional orthodontic treatment, home teeth straightening is highly convenient because the process is entirely remotely. Still, some at-home clear aligner services are more convenient than others. When you dig into the various providers, you’ll notice some variation in their service offerings that make starting or completing treatment quite a bit easier — such as free teeth scanning or expedited treatment times.
When it comes to convenience alone, our top-rated providers are SmileDirectClub and byte. For a detailed look at how all the details shake out, check out our review of The 3 Most Convenient Clear Aligners.
With any orthodontic treatment, you want to be sure you’ll get the results you’re after — otherwise, what’s the point of pursuing treatment at all? For this reason, we consider effectiveness above all other factors when making our home aligner recommendations.
Your provider’s product design, level of expertise, and quality of materials all play a role in the effectiveness of your treatment. (And of course, so does the condition of your teeth!)
We compare the most effective at-home clear aligners alongside in-office treatment options like Invisalign in our review of The 3 Most Effective Clear Aligners.
Every home aligner company we reviewed makes their aligners from clear, BPA-free plastic, but each one uses a slightly different process and design. Consequently, certain brands can be more or less visible than others. These discrepancies are small, but might influence your decision if your goal is to find the most discreet treatment option out there.
For an in-depth look at these aesthetic differences, check out our review of The 4 Best-Looking Clear Aligners.
You never want to think about something going wrong with your treatment, but if something does, it’s important to know your provider will take care of it in a kind and timely manner.
Even if you just have a simple question or concern about the treatment process, it’s comforting to know you have a responsive customer support team to lean on. We took thousands of user reviews into account to determine which companies offer the most responsive and caring customer service.
Still not sure which option is right for you? Looking for a second opinion? Check out how the top home teeth aligner companies stack up according to our friends over at clearalignerhub.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions we get about home teeth aligners.
How do home aligner companies prepare my treatment plan?
After you submit your impression kit or teeth scans, a dental professional will analyze them and use specialized software to create digital models of your teeth and aligners for every stage in the process. Then, your provider will send you digital images of the treatment plan for your approval before beginning production.
How long does home aligner treatment take?
For most companies, the average treatment time for most cases is six months. byte is the exception, as their HyperByte technology allows for a faster 2-4 month treatment window.
How do I get started with home aligner treatment?
You will need to order an impression kit from your chosen home aligner company. The kit includes putty and trays, which you’ll use to make molds of your top and bottom dental arches, before mailing them to the company. This process can sometimes be difficult, so certain companies (Candid and SmileDirectClub) offer physical locations where you can get free teeth scans from professionals.
Which conditions can home aligners treat?
Home aligners are primarily designed to treat mild-to-moderate cases of crowding and spacing, along with some mild bite issues. If your case is severe or includes a jaw misalignment like overbite or underbite, home aligners might not have the capacity to induce the larger tooth and jaw shifts you’re after.
How often do I need to wear my aligners?
You’ll need to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours per day, removing them only to eat and drink. The exception to this is if you pursue nighttime-only treatment with SmileDirectClub or byte. This alternative treatment schedule only requires you to wear the aligners at night (10 hours total).
What if my treatment doesn’t go as planned?
Each home aligner company has different refund and warranty policies. In most cases, you cannot receive a refund after you begin treatment, although the company may work with you to adjust your plan and develop new aligners.
Are financing/payment plans available?
Most home aligner companies offer both financing and payment plans. A few partner with a third-party company called Affirm, which provides financing but requires credit checks to qualify. SmileDirectClub, byte and NewSmile all offer their own financing options for which everyone qualifies.
What are clear aligners made of?
All the clear aligner companies we reviewed use clear, BPA-free plastic to make their products.
What happens after my home aligner treatment is complete?
At the end of your home aligner treatment, you’ll receive custom-fit retainers to keep your teeth from shifting back to their original positions. Your provider will recommend wearing your retainers for close to 24 hrs per day for a period of about 2 weeks. After that, you’ll only have to wear them at night. Some providers include retainers with the initial cost of treatment, while others charge an additional $80-100 for them after treatment is finished.
Does it hurt to wear clear aligners?
Customers often report experiencing tightness or discomfort during the first 1-2 days wearing a new set of aligners, after which the discomfort subsides. Some companies provide “chewies” or other devices to help ensure a more comfortable aligner fit.