The Best Tongue Scrapers of 2023

best tongue scrapers | left: collection of tongue scrapers on a bathroom counter right: woman holding mastermedi tongue scraper

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Your oral care routine is one of the most important aspects of your overall health. Most of us know that we need to be brushing twice a day and flossing “all the teeth we want to keep.” But what else contributes to a healthy mouth? Tongue scrapers have recently gained popularity as a simple and effective way to remove additional bacteria from your mouth and improve overall oral hygiene. But this mouth-cleaning practice isn’t actually new—tongue scraping is a key tenet of traditional ayurvedic medicine and self-care.

Looking for the best scraper for you and your tongue? You’ll want to think about ease of use, the scraper’s design, and the material you want. I ended up loving the budget-priced, simple-but-effective, stainless steel MasterMedi Tongue Scraper. If you want a copper scraper, the Keeko Copper Tongue Cleaner is a great option.

The Best Tongue Scrapers

Best Stainless Steel Tongue Scraper

MasterMedi Tongue Scraper

  • Stainless steel material
  • Two-handled design
Check price on Amazon

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product image, white background
  • Budget friendly
  • Durable, long-lasting material
  • Easy to clean and use
  • None that we could find

The MasterMedi Tongue Scraper comes in a pack of two, often for less than $10, making it one of the least expensive options we tested. The scrapers are constructed with stainless steel, which is easy to clean and lasts a long time. (Compared to plastic, metal is recommended for tongue scrapers because it’s less likely to retain bacteria.) Its two-handled build makes it easy to hold onto with one hand and pinch into a shape that’s suitable for your own tongue. Unlike many of its competitors, it does not have plastic handles (which is a win for cleaning and avoiding bacteria!).

As for the scraping instrument itself, the MasterMedi’s metal is thin enough to remove gunk from your tongue but not so thin as to be painful. And the MasterMedi has over 89,000 reviews on Amazon, with an average of 4.7 stars. That’s not surprising—the MasterMedi is the most efficient tongue scraper I tried for the lowest price. It left my tongue feeling clean and visibly free of any gunk after just a few swipes, and its simple design made it easy to clean and quick to dry.

The Best Copper Tongue Scraper

Keeko Copper Tongue Cleaner

  • Copper material
  • Two-handled design
$15 at The Detox Market

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product image, white background
  • Copper
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to use
  • Most effective for cleaning your tongue
  • May tarnish over time

If you want a copper tongue scraper—which has purported antimicrobial benefits that aren’t yet proven icon-trusted-source Journal of Hospital Infection “Application of copper to prevent and control infection. Where are we now?” View Source by researchers—consider the Keeko Copper Tongue Cleaner. It’s an incredibly lightweight tongue scraper with a two-handled build that’s so thin and sharp, it cleaned my tongue the most effectively out of any scraper I tried. The Keeko’s two-handed approach allows you to tailor the scraper’s width to your unique tongue shape, too. That said, the Keeko is expensive compared to other options and copper is likely to tarnish over time. While it takes about a decade for copper to tarnish in dry places, that process will happen much more quickly with frequent exposure to water and humidity. This can turn the copper a darker color, and, if untreated, eventually green. (Once it tarnishes to the point of being green or rusty, you’ll need to get rid of it for safety reasons. Most brands recommend using lemons, limes, or vinegar and salt to remove early signs of tarnishing so your scraper lasts longer.) Keeko’s manufacturers recommend changing out your tongue scraper every three months. 

That said, from an ayurveda perspective, copper is considered to be the ultimate antimicrobial choice icon-trusted-source Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition “Storing Drinking-water in Copper pots Kills Contaminating Diarrhoeagenic Bacteria” View Source for all devices, from drinking vessels to tongue scrapers. And I found that this scraper left my tongue feeling incredibly clean—the cleanest of any scraper I tried due to its thin edges. I loved how lightweight it felt in my hands, and using copper felt a bit fancier than the stainless steel of the other scrapers I tried.

Another Tongue Scraper to Consider

Vital Tongue Cleaner

Another decent copper scraper that’s great for wide mouths.

  • Copper material
  • Two-handled design
$10 at Vital

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product image, white background
  • Copper
  • Great design for wider mouths
  • Comes with a linen travel bag
  • May be too wide for people with small mouths
  • Tough to pinch

The Vital Tongue Cleaner is another copper option that provides to-notch cleaning. It’s also the widest of any of the tongue scrapers I tested, so it’s ideal for someone with a larger mouth. Because it’s two-handed, you can pinch it to make it more narrow—but it springs back with such force that this is tough to maintain that thinner position for long. That said, it’s lightweight, has a sharp edge that cleans well without causing pain, and, like other scrapers that don’t use plastic, it’s easy to wash because there aren’t many nooks or crannies where bacteria or food can get stuck. It also comes with a linen bag that’s useful for storage and travel.

Is Tongue Scraping Healthy?

woman holding mastermedi tongue scraper
Jenni Gritters for The Nessie

Tongue scraping icon-trusted-source The Journal of the American Dental Association “Oral hygiene: a history of tongue scraping and brushing” View Source has been around for a long time in many non-Western cultures, and have been made from metal, wood, bone, shell, ivory, and beyond. In the Ayurvedic tradition, tongue health is paramount to overall health, as it reveals any imbalances in your digestion, hydration, and well-being. Also known as jiwah prakshalan in ayurveda, tongue scraping with a U-shaped tool is recommended to remove debris and bacteria and to clear the surface of the tongue. In ayurveda, tongue scraping is meant to be complementary to brushing and flossing.

Recently, tongue scraping has become trendy in Western cultures as a way to banish bad breath and give your mouth an “extra-clean” feel. Research supporting tongue scraping is still early, but our tongues do harbor a lot of bacteria. One study icon-trusted-source ResearchGate “Tongue scraping for treating halitosis” View Source found that using a tongue cleaner or tongue scraper reduced volatile sulfur compounds in the mouth, which are tied to bad breath. Another icon-trusted-source Journal of Periodontology “Tongue-Cleaning Methods: A Comparative Clinical Trial Employing a Toothbrush and a Tongue Scraper” View Source followed 10 subjects who used both toothbrushes and tongue scrapers, and found that tongue scrapers performed better than toothbrushes at reducing volatile sulfur compounds on the tongue. Other studies have found that tongue scrapers help to reduce common bacteria icon-trusted-source Odonto-stomatologie tropicale = Tropical dental journal “The effect of tongue scraper on mutans streptococci and lactobacilli in patients with caries and periodontal disease” View Source , which improves the likelihood of dental decay. Scraping your tongue may help to improve your sense of taste icon-trusted-source Journal of Clinical Periodontology “Impact of tongue cleansers on microbial load and taste” View Source , too.

In most cases, using a tongue scraper can’t hurt and is likely to reduce bad breath. I’ve been scraping my tongue for almost a decade and I’ve found, anecdotally, that my mouth feels cleaner overall because of this habit. When I don’t scrape my tongue, I go to bed with a bit of a sweet taste in my mouth, like the food I’ve eaten that day is still lingering. When I scrape my tongue, followed by a session with mouthwash, my breath feels much more fresh.

Be careful not to scrape too hard, though. Several reviewers of the tongue scrapers we evaluated warned of scraping off taste buds and developing sores because of overly aggressive scraping! If that happens to you, stop your practice until the sores heal and check in with your dentist.

The Nessie Rating: Healthy

How to Use a Tongue Scraper

how to use a tongue scraper

On the subject of not eroding your tastebuds in the name of bacteria eradication: What’s the best way to use a tongue scraper?

After brushing your teeth, open your mouth and stick out your tongue. If you’re using a one-handed scraper (which looks like a lasso) simply scrape along your tongue, starting at the back, using a gentle sweeping motion to pull the scraper forward. If you’re using a two-handed scraper (which looks like a horseshoe), squeeze the handles closer together for a more narrow fit. Here, the method is the same: Start at the back of your tongue and gently scrape your tongue until it feels clean, which will usually only take a minute or two.

When you’re done, clean off the scraper completely with warm water and soap. Then, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash.

How To Clean a Tongue Scraper

You should be rinsing your tongue scraper after each use. For a deeper clean, pay attention to your scraper’s materials. If it’s made of copper, you can create a solution made of white vinegar and salt (or lemon and salt), and use a soft fabric to work it gently into the scraper. Then, rinse and dry it off.

For stainless steel or plastic tongue scrapers, you can use warm, soapy water or a glass of water with a denture or retainer tablet. Then rinse and dry it off.

How We Found The Best Tongue Scrapers

woman holding tongue scrapers in her hand
Jenni Gritters for The Nessie

Meet Your Guinea Pig

Hi, I’m Jenni! I’m a journalist with a decade of experience focused on parenting, purchasing, and psychology. I’ve written product reviews for many publications, including Wirecutter, Forbes Vetted, Reviewed, and beyond. I’ve also spent quite a bit of time covering dental care products, and have a 200-hour yoga teacher training certification. During my training program, we studied Ayurveda.

Our Testing Process

First, I spent several hours researching tongue scrapers. I dug through product lists, read customer reviews, perused dental blogs, learned about the history of tongue scraping within Chinese medicine and ayurveda, and brushed up on best practices for dental hygiene.

Eventually, I narrowed my list to 12 top contenders, and picked seven of those to test. I used the seven tongue scrapers over the course of two weeks. First, I removed them from their boxes and compared the materials. Then I used one tongue scraper each night before bed, after brushing my teeth. Once I’d narrowed it down to the top three choices, I used each for several more nights. I set them out to dry, noticed their effectiveness at cleaning my tongue and how easily they could be cleaned after scraping, and took notes on the whole process.

The Tongue Scraper Buying Guide

Which Features Matter Most When Buying a Tongue Scraper?

  • Ease of use: The vast majority of tongue scrapers (and all the ones we tested) are either one or two-handled. Some people find the one-handle construction easier because it allows them to reach further back into their mouth without bothering their gag reflex. Others prefer the two-handle construction which allows you to control the width of the scraping plane. (Our top picks are all two-handlers.)
  • Material: Tongue scrapers are made with plastics or metals. Metal options, including stainless steel and copper, are both known for being studier and easier to keep clean. I vastly preferred these options during my testing. That said, plastic tongue scrapers may provide a more gentle clean which some users prefer, and they’re usually less expensive.
  • Design: Perhaps the most important part of the tongue scraper is the portion that actually does the scraping. For some users, a thin metal scraper will feel sharp or painful, or a thicker metal scraper could cause discomfort along your cheeks. This comes down to individual preference and how the product feels in your mouth. It might take a few tries before you land on a tongue scraper you love!
  • Ease of cleaning: It goes without saying that tongue scrapers can accumulate substantial residue; that is the purpose of using them, after all. Thus, you’ll want to be sure that your scraper is easy to clean. If it has multiple pieces or crevices, it may not be easy to get clean and could be harboring bacteria you certainly don’t want to be introducing to your mouth. Many experts recommend switching out your tongue scraper every three months, especially if it’s made with copper or plastic. Stainless steel scrapers can be washed in the dishwasher on the top rack, on a hot cycle.


  1. Tongue scraping has been around for a long time in many non-Western cultures: “Oral hygiene: a history of tongue scraping and brushing,” Journal of the American Dental Association (February 1978).
  2. Tongue scraping, also known as jiwah prakshalan: “Ayurveda 101: The Benefits of Tongue Scraping,” The Art of Living Retreat Center (August 2020).
  3. One study found that using a tongue cleaner or tongue scraper reduced volatile sulfur compounds: “Tongue scraping for treating halitosis,” Cochrane Library (2010).
  4. Tongue scrapers performed better at reducing volatile sulfur compounds: “Tongue cleaning methods: A comparative clinical trial employing a toothbrush and tongue scraper,” Journal of Periodontology (July 2004).
  5. Tongue scrapers help to reduce common bacteria: “The effect of tongue scraper on mutans streptococci and lactobaccilli in patients with caries and periodontal disease,” (March 2005).
  6. Scraping your tongue may help to improve your sense of taste: “Impact of tongue cleansers on microbial load and taste,” Journal of Clinical Periodontology (May 2004).
  7. Copper’s purported antimicrobial benefits that aren’t yet proven by researchers: “Application of copper to prevent and control infection,” Journal of Hospital Infection (2012).
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