A million dollar smile is great and all, but what about getting one as an adult? No one past their teen years wants to deal with the “brace face” life (or relive it if the effects of their braces have worn off).
Thankfully, home teeth aligners make it possible to straighten your teeth from the convenience of your house. No braces, no wires, no office visits. These clear aligners have become a popular alternative to braces. Why? They’re much cheaper than braces and Invisalign. They’re also much more convenient.
There are a few popular home teeth aligner companies on the market today, including Byte and WonderSmile. In this comparison review, we’ll help you decide which of these two services is the better option for your unique circumstances
The rundown: How Byte and WonderSmile stack up
|Claim to fame||Fastest treatment time in the industry||Flexible treatment options|
|No food restrictions||✓||✓|
|No office visits||✓||✓|
|Start-up process||Impression kit only||Impression kit or 3D scan at a retail location|
|Treatment speed||Daytime treatment: 3-4 months |
Nighttime treatment: 5-6 months
|Daytime treatment: 6 months |
Nighttime treatment: 9 months
|Personalized customer service||✓|
|Price tag||Daytime treatment: $2,749 |
Nighttime treatment: $3,399
|Daytime treatment: $2,690|
Nighttime treatment: $2,760
|Financing||Daytime: $40 account setup fee, $8 monthly account maintenance fee, plus 30 monthly payments of $118 |
Nighttime: $40 account setup fee, $8 monthly maintenance fee, plus 30 monthly payments of $143
|20% downpayment, and then the remaining balance is paid off in 12 monthly payments|
|Free retainers||✓||First set costs $99|
Intrigued? That’s just the flyby! Let’s dig into the differences between WonderSmile and Byte in more detail.
Company Track Records
Home teeth alignment is a fairly new industry. Even so, it’s important to consider each company’s respective track record. Here’s how the two compare:
|Founded: 2018 (stateside start)||Founded: Tough to find their exact date, but we’ve found reviews from 2018|
|Customers served: Thousands||Customers served: No published number, but enough customers to have a decent number of reviews|
|Company focus: Correcting smiles in record time (half the industry average) thanks to their HyperByte technology||Company focus: Make treatment more flexible with single arch treatment and nighttime treatment|
Byte and WonderSmile are both pretty new, but so is the clear aligner industry. Honestly, both companies have done a pretty good job establishing an impressive reputation in a short amount of time. That said, Byte has a more substantial base of customer reviews, which makes it easier to tell the good from the bad (and there’s not much bad).
No two smiles are exactly alike. So, regardless of what company you choose for treatment, your treatment could be longer or shorter than someone else’s. Your treatment speed largely depends on the severity of your crowding or spacing.
That said, each company’s product affects your treatment speed as well. Here are the average treatment times for Byte and WonderSmile:
- Byte: 3-4 months for daytime treatment, 5-6 months for nighttime-only treatment
- WonderSmile: 6 months for daytime, 9 months for nighttime
WonderSmile isn’t a slow treatment, but to be honest, it’s just plain hard to compete with Byte in the speed department. They blow the competition out of the water thanks to the HyperByte system. This device uses tiny, rapid vibrations to gently move your teeth to their final destination faster than usually. It’s an integral part of Byte’s daytime and nighttime treatment regimens. By using the HyperByte, you can cut your treatment by nearly 50% in some cases.
Pricing & Features
Let’s talk about bang for your buck. In this section, we’ll dig into the details about the pricing details for impression kits, treatment, and whitening from Byte and WonderSmile.
With any home aligner company, you’ll kick off your treatment by taking impressions of your teeth. Most companies require you to use an at-home impression kit. However, a few companies, including WonderSmile, maintain retail locations that make the impression kit more convenient.
Here’s how the kit prices stack up:
- Byte, $95: Byte’s kit includes everything you need to take your impressions at home, including trays, putty, and, of course, a prepaid shipping label. If $95 gives you sticker shock, keep in mind that Byte sometimes runs sales on the kit. For example, as we’re writing this guide, Byte is running a sale for $47.50 off the kit.
- WonderSmile, $45 or $80: From a practical standpoint, the impression kit or scan is free if you choose to buy aligners; WonderSmile will deduct the cost of either from your treatment bundle. But you will have to make a small monetary investment up front. An impression kit costs you $45. If you’d rather have scans taken at a retail location, you’ll need to pay $80.
It’s definitely easier to do a smile scan with WonderSmile, but if you opt for an impression kit from either company, you’ll have a guarantee on your impression kit. If you send in impressions and it turns out that you’re not a good candidate for treatment, they’ll refund the kit price (and any aligner payments you’ve made in the meantime). If you are a candidate, though, the kit price is not refundable.
Once you complete your impressions or scans, Byte or WonderSmile will create your personalized treatment plan. This includes all of the aligners you’ll need to shift your smile from meh to wow. Regardless of how many aligners you need, your price will be the same. Let’s start out by discussing the base prices for each service.
- Byte, $2,749 or $3,399 for Byte At-Night: Byte creates a nice blend of value and affordability with their kit. You’ll get everything you need to straighten your teeth and keep them that way, including the HyperByte device and post-treatment retainers. Bought separately, the HyperByte costs a whopping $999, so you get a lot of value for your money.
- WonderSmile, $2,690 ($2,760 for NightClear): WonderSmile’s base price falls in the middle of the road; it’s not the cheapest, and it’s not the most expensive. They don’t throw in a ton of extras. Basically, you’ll get all of the aligners you need. The most notable price perk of WonderSmile is their single-arch treatment: qualifying customers who only need the top or bottom teeth treated will get $500 off their aligner kit. This isn’t an extremely common occurrence, but it’s worth noting for eligible customers.
On the surface, Byte and WonderSmile have pretty comparable prices. But in our opinion, Byte gives you a lot more bang for your buck. WonderSmile just gives you your aligners; Byte gives whitening, aligners, one set of post-treatment retainers, and the HyperByte. That’s a lot of value.
Can’t pay all at once? Thankfully, both services offer financing. And as long as you pay the down payment, there’s a 100% approval rate.
- Byte, $3,828 or $4,298 for Byte At-Night: Bytepay automatically approves every customer for financing. When you select Bytepay at checkout, you’ll agree to a $40 account set-up fee and an $8 monthly account maintenance fee. Then, you’ll pay thirty monthly payments of $118. If you opt for Byte At-Night, that monthly payment jumps up to $143.
- WonderSmile, $2,690: A big perk to WonderPay is that you won’t spend anything extra for financing; you’ll just spread it out. First, you’ll need to pay a 20% downpayment. For example, for daytime treatment, that would be $478. After that, you’ll pay the remaining balance over 12 months. There’s no credit check, either.
WonderSmile doesn’t offer whitening treatments, but Byte does. The first bottle is free, but after that, you’ll need to shell out a little extra cash:
- Byte, $49: The first bottle is included in your aligner kit for free. It’s safe to use during your treatment; in fact, it doubles as a cleanser for your aligners and a breath freshener. If you run out, you can buy a replacement bottle for $49.
If you’re a candidate for single arch treatment, then it’s definitely worth it to go with WonderSmile. But the majority of people aren’t, which makes Byte a more affordable option in the long haul. Thankfully, both companies have great financing plans that are buyer-friendly no matter what your credit score is.
No one anticipates having issues with their aligners, but stuff happens. That’s life. When it does, you’ll need to talk with customer support. We’ve tested them ourselves, and here’s how the two compare:
|Contact methods: Phone, email, & social media||Contact methods: Phone, email, & social media|
|Response times: usually pretty quick through phone, but email can take up to 24 hours||Response times: fastest by phone, but email and social media queries get replies relatively fast|
|Friendliness: Receptive, knowledgeable, individualized, & professional||Friendliness: Personal, professional, and helpful|
|Takeaway: Thanks to dedicated personal representatives, Byte truly shines in the customer service department. If you’re in a rush, call them.||Takeaway: Customer service is one of the categories where WonderSmile truly shines. Customers frequently thank their support reps by name.|
Frankly, we hope you won’t need to spend much time dealing with customer support; in an ideal case, you’ll only interact with them at the very beginning while you’re kicking off treatment! But if you ever need some help, you’ll be in good hands with both WonderSmile and Byte.
Ease of Getting Started
Ease is the name of the game when it comes to at-home aligner treatment. But not all aligner companies use the same process. Some are a bit easier than others.
The same goes for Byte and WonderSmile, and WonderSmile takes the win here. Thanks to their retail locations that offer 3D scans, it’s fairly easy to get started. There are more than a dozen locations across Australia, too. Plus, it’s a nice way to get quick answers to any questions you have before committing to treatment.
Byte doesn’t have retail locations. If you’d rather use Byte (or you can’t get to one of WonderSmile’s locations), you’ll need to order an impression kit and complete the process from home. Thankfully, Byte makes up for their lack of physical locations with video call “impression sessions,” where an assistant will help walk you through the process to guarantee success.
What if I get it wrong?
Impression kits are a tad tricky, so don’t panic if you mess them up. If the impressions are iffy—they could work, but you’re not sure—send them in. The orthodontists will let you know if you need to try again.
If you’re sure you’ve botched the impressions, contact customer support at Byte or WonderSmile. They’ll get another kit sent your way. This will delay your start-up process a bit since you’ll have to wait for shipping both ways. But it’s essential to get a good impression to ensure your aligners fit perfectly once they’re manufactured.
For many shoppers, customer reviews can make or break purchase decisions. If you’re one of those shoppers, we’ve got you covered. We’ve done the legwork for you to see what customers across the web are saying about Byte and WonderSmile.
|Top loves: excellent customer service; visible, quick results; fantastic lifetime guarantee||Top loves: friendly customer service; minimal discomfort; simple adjustment process|
|Top complaints: mix-ups with reimbursements for private insurance; financing adds a significant amount to the cost||Top complaints: sometimes retainers break; mix-ups sometimes occur during account set-up|
|Average score: 4.7/5||Average score: 4.6/5|
Technically, both Byte and WonderSmile have a great online reputation. Sure, there are negatives here and there, but for the most part, they’re overwhelmingly positive. That said, we have a slightly higher degree of confidence in Byte’s total score simply because they have a lot more reviews, especially on 3rd-party websites. But either option has a great reputation.
Refund Policies & Satisfaction Guarantees
As with any purchase, there’s always the nagging question: what if it doesn’t work out? Byte and WonderSmile both have very individualized approaches for refunds and satisfaction guarantees.
The “Byte-for-Life Guarantee”
Strictly speaking, Byte has only one refund policy: their impression kit. If you’re not a candidate for treatment, you’ll be refunded for the impression kit. However, Byte stands by their product with their “Byte for Life” guarantee.
This guarantee is essentially a lifetime warranty. If your teeth ever shift after treatment, even years down the road, Byte will send you new aligners to correct it. Similarly, if you reach the end of your treatment and you’re not satisfied, you can request a re-evaluation. As long as you follow your prescribed treatment plan, Byte will make adjustments to achieve the results you’re after.
WonderSmile’s Lifetime Guarantee
WonderSmile’s lifetime guarantee works a lot like Byte’s: they’ll correct your smile at no extra cost if your teeth ever shift back out of alignment. To be eligible for this guarantee, you must wear your aligners and post-treatment retainers compliantly. Additionally, this guarantee only applies to the teeth originally treated by WonderSmile. Implants, bridges, or similar dental procedures may void the guarantee.
Which Is the Best Home Aligner for You?
When it all comes down to it, Byte and WonderSmile are both good options. But at the end of the day, you can only pick one.
If you want our honest opinion, we prefer Byte. WonderSmile is a great service, but Byte just takes our overall top pick. We love their lifetime guarantee, their treatment efficiency, and their excellent customer service.
Choose Byte if:
You want to perfect your smile ASAP with top-quality customer service. Byte is twice as fast as all of the other companies on the market and offer personalized customer support.
Choose WonderSmile if:
You want an easy start-up process, or you think you might be a good candidate for single-arch treatment and you’d like to save $500.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does either home aligner kit offer discounts?
Technically, both services offer discounts. For example, while we’re writing this guide, Byte is running a sale for more than $100 off their aligners and impression kits. They also have a year-round discount for students, teachers, and military. Meanwhile, WonderSmile will occasionally offer discounts for $100-$200 off their aligners, but you’ll need to subscribe to their email list.
Are Byte and WonderSmile legit?
Your mom warned you about things that sound too good to be true, right? Thankfully home aligner companies like Byte and WonderSmile aren’t. These companies leverage a competitive product with competitive prices. But they don’t sacrifice quality to do it. How? They don’t have the overhead costs of a physical office like a traditional orthodontist’s office, so they can invest those savings in measures that ensure treatment quality.
Which home aligner is more customer-focused?
Byte is a bit more customer-centric than WonderSmile in a couple of different ways. They assign a personal care assistant to each customer. That said, WonderSmile does a really good job caring for their customers, so we have no real complaints.
How exactly do at-home clear aligners work?
They’re nearly invisible, but they’re not magical. Technically speaking, at-home clear aligners use roughly the same technology that Invisalign uses. This starts with your impressions or scans; a dental professional analyzes those impressions to design a series of clear trays that gently and gradually move your teeth to their final destination.
How do Byte and WonderSmile compare to Invisalign?
They’re distant cousins, really. Invisalign pioneered the clear aligner alternative to traditional braces. However, Invisalign adds one aspect to the aligners: devices affixed to your teeth to secure the aligners. Those devices have to be attached in-office by a qualified orthodontist. Home aligners don’t use those, allowing you to complete your entire treatment at home.
How do these home aligners compare to Smile Direct and SmilePath?
WonderSmile and Byte are pretty similar to both Smile Direct and SmilePath, although these competitors have their own perks. SmilePath is the most affordable option on the market. Smile Direct has a much bigger customer base (especially in the U.S.) than both Byte and WonderSmile. A third competitor, EZ Smile, offers the most flexible financing options on the market.
Is there an age requirement for using either Byte or WonderSmile?
With both Byte and WonderSmile, you must have all permanent teeth present to begin treatment (you don’t want to dump thousands into teeth that will just fall out, anyway). Both Byte and WonderSmile will treat ages 12 and up. That said, minors must get parental consent prior to getting treatment.
Does either service give free whitening treatment?
Byte includes one free bottle of their whitening treatment with your aligners, and you can use it simultaneously with the aligner treatment. A replacement bottle will cost you $49. WonderSmile doesn’t offer any whitening treatments, but if you’re desperate for some, you can buy it from a competitor like Byte. Just be sure you get an aligner-safe blend.
Do Byte and WonderSmile have aggressive upsells?
Thankfully, no. Byte gives you a mild one by giving you one set of their whitening treatment for free. But since there’s no obligation to buy a replacement bottle once yours runs out, it’s not a true upsell.
How do I know if at-home aligners are right for me?
Many people are good candidates for at-home treatment. In general, the only people who should automatically steer clear of at-home aligners are people with significant bite issues. If a condition like overbite or underbite is the cause of your teeth’s misalignment, then clear aligners likely won’t be able to permanently correct your issue.
Individuals with implants may still be able to get treatment. To know for sure, you’ll need to take an impression kit with either service. They’ll let you know for sure if you are a candidate or not. If you are not a candidate, you’ll get a refund for the price of the impression kit.
Will either of these home aligners make me talk less funny?
Most people take a few days to adjust to the feeling of aligners—after all, there’s a foreign object in your mouth—but very few experience long-lasting issues. The average observer can’t detect that you’re wearing aligners, even while talking.
If I lose my aligners during or after treatment, do I have to pay for new ones?
Byte will send you a replacement aligner for $169. Usually, WonderSmile will recommend that you move on to your next aligner (or go back to the previous one) until you’re scheduled to move to the next step. If you’d still like (or need) a replacement, you’ll need to pay $50. With either aligner, though, you should wear your previous aligner until a replacement arrives. That will keep your teeth from shifting too far back.
Can I drink coffee when using Byte or WonderSmile?
You can, but you shouldn’t. Aligners from Byte and WonderSmile are fairly stain-resistant, but you should generally avoid eating or drinking colored liquids and foods while wearing your aligners. Water is a safe bet, though.
Are there any hidden costs?
Byte doesn’t really have any hidden costs since you get your first set of post-treatment retainers for free. Yes, you’ll have to purchase new ones occasionally, though; they wear out. Replacements will cost $169. WonderSmile also provides post-treatment retainers, but you’ll have to purchase every set—even the first. Each set costs $99.