Plenty of adults want a movie-screen smile but shudder at the expense and discomfort of traditional braces. Because they require regular dental visits and in-person care, traditional orthodontics (like braces and Invisalign) come with higher prices and longer timelines. Fortunately, by delivering treatment directly to your doorstep, home teeth aligners can craft movie-star smiles with less time and money.
But the UK home aligner landscape is strewn with new companies offering straight teeth solutions — like Straight Teeth Direct, WonderSmile, PlusDent, and Straight My Teeth. At first glance, they might seem similar, but each one has its own unique profile and perks.
To help you sort them out, we’ve reviewed and ranked the six best at-home teeth straightening services for price-conscious adults in the UK. Read on as we outline the important details that set these clear aligner companies apart, discuss the pros and cons of at-home treatment, and help you find the right option for you (and your budget)!
Best UK Home Clear Aligners (Ranked)
#1: Straight Teeth Direct
Leveraging the latest orthodontic technology, Straight Teeth Direct aims to ensure data-driven smile transformations. Their virtual check-ins and stellar satisfaction guarantee mean you can expect effective treatment and excellent results.
Straight Teeth Direct Advantages
- During Straight Teeth Direct treatment, you’ll use an app for monthly check-ins with your assigned dentist, who can adjust your treatment and aligners to match your progress.
- With Straight Teeth Direct, you will receive aligners produced locally in the UK. Most competitors import your aligners from other countries, and it’s not always clear where they’re coming from.
- Straight Teeth Direct’s price will cover all the aligners you need to achieve your perfect smile, so you won’t pay for any refinements.
- Straight Teeth Direct offers multiple payment plans, two of which do not require a credit check.
- The majority of Straight Teeth Direct’s online reviews are excellent, specifically highlighting their treatment effectiveness and customer service.
Straight Teeth Direct Drawbacks
- Straight Teeth Direct is focused on delivering a remote service and only partners with one physical location (in London) where you can get your teeth scanned. Other companies have locations in multiple cities, making it easier for customers to get started with treatment.
- For those who are looking for the fastest possible treatment option, Straight Teeth Direct might not be the right choice. Some of their competitors offer faster alignments than Straight Teeth Direct’s five-month minimum treatment time.
#2: Straight My Teeth
The biggest standout feature of Straight My Teeth treatment is its price. You’re unlikely to find a more affordable option anywhere else. Additionally, you don’t have to sacrifice quality, efficiency, or satisfaction in the name of financial savings.
Straight My Teeth Advantages
- Straight My Teeth easily has the lowest prices on the market. You’ll only pay £999 for your full treatment, and they occasionally run sales that drop it even lower.
- The £999 sticker price includes your impression kit, all of your aligners, one set of aftercare retainers, and all shipping costs — everything you need to transform and maintain your smile.
- Each Straight My Teeth aligner is manufactured with plastic from Raintree Essix, an established and reputable dental supply company.
- Online reviews consistently praise their customer service staff, noting their responsiveness and professionalism.
Straight My Teeth Drawbacks
- If you reach the end of treatment and you’re unhappy with your results, refinements cost an extra £150.
- Unlike some of their peers, Straight My Teeth doesn’t provide any remote oversight, so they won’t monitor your progress during treatment.
Straight My Teeth - The Bottom Line
When it comes to effective treatment on a budget, you won’t find a better option than Straight My Teeth.
With in-person clinics, remote check-ins during treatment, and scalable pricing, PlusDent seeks to personalise every home aligner treatment. They hit the market in 2017, but PlusDent has expanded quickly and served thousands of satisfied customers already.
- You’ll send photos of your teeth to your assigned dentist every eight weeks throughout treatment so they can monitor your progress and adjust your treatment as necessary.
- PlusDent has 22 clinics in cities across the UK where you can get free teeth scans from a dentist to begin your treatment.
- PlusDent offers several different financing plans (as low as £47.08/month), so you can choose the one that works best for your budget.
- With more than 50,000 successful smile transformations already, they’ve likely seen and treated a case just like yours.
- Most PlusDent treatments take 3–10 months, so there’s a chance that you might see results faster than you would with other companies.
- If you follow your treatment plan diligently and comply with their remote check-in schedule, PlusDent will provide refinements for free if your treatment doesn’t progress as expected.
- PlusDent doesn’t offer at-home impression kits, so you’ll need to visit one of their clinics to get started.
- PlusDent treatment has two different prices, depending on your condition’s severity. So, if you have a more serious case, you’ll have to pay more.
- PlusDent’s financing plans require a credit check, so not everyone qualifies.
PlusDent - The Bottom Line
PlusDent is a great choice if you want consistent dentist oversight and plenty of financing options, although their prices are higher than average, especially if you have a severe misalignment.
Wondersmile might not be the biggest aligner brand in the UK, but they have a solid all-around treatment and some attractive perks — like an orthodontist-only dental network, single-arch aligner sets, and a lifetime guarantee. They have hundreds of online reviews, and nearly all of them are positive. Wondersmile started in Australia, but expanded their operation to the UK in 2019 and has been consistently opening new clinics there ever since.
Aside from the prices, Wondersmile treatment in the UK doesn’t differ from treatment in Australia.
- Wondersmile only works with licensed orthodontists, while other home aligner companies have mixed teams of orthodontists and general dentists.
- If you have crowding or spacing in only one arch (top or bottom), you can get aligners for just that arch, and Wondersmile will reduce your price by £250.
- Wondersmile offers a nighttime-only treatment plan (NightClear) that’s only £40 more than their standard treatment.
- Wondersmile’s Lifetime Guarantee promises to provide new aligners if your teeth ever shift after treatment, as long as you purchase new retainers from them every year and wear them as prescribed.
- With hundreds of reviews available online and highly positive average rating scores, Wondersmile has an outstanding customer feedback reputation.
- Wondersmile’s standard treatment costs £2,250, and their nighttime-only plan costs £2,290 — both are much higher than their competitors.
- WonderSmile doesn’t include a set of retainers in your treatment price, so you’ll need to purchase them separately for £60.
SmileLife began in Ireland and has since expanded their reach throughout the UK. They’re known for providing great customer support, flexible financing, IPR plans, and a “Smile Guarantee.”
- As part of their Smile Guarantee, if you followed your prescribed treatment plan but your smile doesn’t match your initial treatment preview, SmileLife will provide additional aligners for free.
- SmileLife offers multiple payment plans, including one that doesn’t require a credit check. So, you can choose the option that best fits your budget.
- If you only need treatment on your top or bottom teeth, SmileLife offers a single-arch option that costs less than their standard plan.
- Most of SmileLife’s online reviews are positive, particularly regarding customer service, and it appears that they respond quickly and thoroughly to customer complaints.
- SmileLife includes an IPR plan and tools in each treatment, which helps reduce plaque between your teeth. The company says this allows the teeth to move easier.
- SmileLife requires photo check-ins every 30 days so their dental team can make sure that your treatment stays on track.
- SmileLife doesn’t have any physical clinics in the UK where you can receive teeth scans, so you’ll need to use an impression kit to get started.
- Unlike some of their competitors, SmileLife doesn’t include a set of retainers in your treatment price, so you’ll need to purchase them separately. It’s £197 per year to enroll in their SmileCare subscription, which provides new retainers and whitening every year.
SmileDirectClub was one of the first companies to offer at-home clear aligner treatment and continues to be the most popular option. Founded in 2013, SmileDirectClub has raised over $60 million from investors and has treated more than 1.5 million patients. And in 2019, they made their treatment available in the UK, quickly establishing multiple SmileShops thanks to a partnership with Well Pharmacy.
They offer more physical locations than most of the competition (along with impression kits), and they’ve got a lot more experience, so you can expect a consistent, streamlined customer experience.
- They have experience treating hundreds of thousands of cases, so they’re familiar with various conditions, questions, and complications.
- SmileDirectClub has seven SmileShops throughout the UK, plus multiple pop-ups throughout the year. You can visit one of these retail locations to have your teeth scanned and get approved for treatment. Other providers require you to mail in an impression of your teeth — a slower and more cumbersome process.
- If you’re unsure about wearing your aligners 22 hours per day, SmileDirectClub also has a nighttime-only plan that only requires ten hours of overnight wear.
- SmileDirectClub offers full refunds if you change your mind within 30 days of starting treatment, prorated refunds for unopened aligners after that, and a lifetime guarantee on your smile.
- SmileDirectClub’s mobile app allows for streamlined remote monitoring and communication with customer support.
- SmileDirectClub has a below-average track record for service quality and customer support. Online reviews warn of long delivery delays and inconsistent communication when issues arise during treatment.
- SmileDirectClub once had a manufacturing partnership with Invisalign, but since that partnership dissolved, they’ve been producing their aligners in-house.
- SmileDirectClub only requires you to submit photos of your teeth every 90 days, which is less often than other companies that offer remote monitoring.
Which Home Aligner Option is Best for You?
Choose Straight Teeth Direct if:
You want consistent dentist oversight, guaranteed treatment success, and the latest in orthodontic technology all for a reasonable price.
Choose Straight My Teeth if:
Affordable prices are your top priority, but you still want quality products and good customer service, and you don’t mind a lack of remote oversight during treatment.
Pros and Cons of Home Teeth Straightening
Faster treatment? Lower prices? Better looking? All of this might have you saying “sign me up.” But no teeth straightening method is perfect, and home aligners aren’t ideal for everyone. People with more severe conditions, for example, might be better off with braces or Invisalign. This is an important decision, so make sure you look at your options from all angles before diving in.
To help you decide if home teeth alignment is right for you, take a moment to evaluate these pros and cons:
- Home teeth aligners cost significantly less than traditional orthodontic treatment — typically somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 the cost of braces or Invisalign.
- By eliminating the need for monthly dental 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-person 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do home aligner companies prepare my treatment plan?
After you submit your impression kit or teeth scans, a dental professional will analyse them and use specialised software to create digital models of your teeth and aligners for every stage of the process. The company 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 is six months. However, your treatment might be longer or shorter depending on your condition’s severity and how diligently you follow your prescribed wear schedule.
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 moulds of your top and bottom dental arches, then mail them to the company. This process can be difficult, so most companies 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 need.
How often do I need to wear my home teeth aligners?
You’ll need to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours per day, removing them only to eat and drink. If you choose the nighttime-only plan from SmileDirectClub, Wondersmile, or Straight My Teeth, you’ll only have to wear them for ten consecutive hours overnight.
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 third-party companies that provide financing but require credit checks to qualify. SmileDirectClub and Straight My Teeth both offer their own financing options for which everyone qualifies.
What are home teeth aligners made of?
All the home 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 need to wear custom-fit retainers to keep your teeth from shifting back to their original positions. Most providers recommend wearing your retainers for close to 24 hours per day for around two 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 £50-100 for them after treatment is finished.
Does it hurt to wear home teeth aligners?
Customers often report experiencing tightness or discomfort during the first 1–2 days of 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.