Most yellowing teeth can be attributed to staining from tobacco, red wine, tea, coffee and other dark or tannin-rich food and drink, or your genes – some people just naturally have more discolouration than others. If you have damaged enamel, your teeth are more porous, so are more susceptible to staining. But the good news is that staining can be lifted, either by forking out for the dentist, or with a home teeth whitening kit.

At-home kits aren’t allowed to contain more than 0.1 per cent hydrogen peroxide (the legal limit for dentist use is six per cent), so the reality is that you won’t see the same results at home as you would in a dentist’s chair. However, if professional whitening is prohibitively expensive for you, the right at-home solutions can make some improvement.

We’ve tested a mixture of strips, pens and gels, powders and pastes, and toothpastes with added whitening powers. Some of our choices rely on hydrogen peroxide, but many use natural solutions such as charcoal, which strips surface-level impurities (ie staining) – these are a great option for those nervous about whitening at home.

All our picks noticeably improved the overall look of our testers’ smiles, without being excessively fiddly or uncomfortable to use, and with minimal reports of sensitivity.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

The verdict: Teeth whitening kits

We love that Regenerate’s kit provides a whiter, brighter smile by improving the overall health of teeth rather than penetrating the enamel with peroxide. For a simple, everyday and affordable switch, you can’t go wrong with our favourite whitening toothpaste, Pearl Drops pure.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.