A sonic toothbrush.

Sonicare Toothbrush

A review of current Sonicare models and their features. (December 2014) -

DiamondClean, FlexCare Platinum, FlexCare+ (plus), HealthyWhite, EasyClean, Sonicare 2, Sonicare for Kids, Essence, PowerUp  -  Features, by model.

This page outlines the Sonicare toothbrush models that are part of its current product line. For each brush, we review what features it has, and point out specifically how it differs from other models. (Here's a similar breakdown for Oral-B electrics.)

And while reserve most of our opinion for our Best Sonicare Toothbrushes page, we do discuss the various pros and cons of the features that these models offer.

What are the current Sonicare models?

Here's a listing of the Sonicare toothbrush product lines and model numbers we found on the Philips Electrons N.V. / Sonicare website on December 3, 2014, listed as their "latest" products.

  • DiamondClean (HX9362/68, HX9352/04 and HX9332/05).
  • FlexCare Platinum (HX9170/10 and HX9110/02).
  • FlexCare+ (plus) (HX6921/02).
  • HealthyWhite (HX6731/02).
  • EasyClean (HX6511/50).
  • Sonicare 2 series plaque control (HX6211/04).
  • Sonicare for Kids (HX6311/07).
  • Essence (HX5610/01).
  • PowerUp (HX3631/02, HX3631/03, HX3631/06 and HX3631/07).

For any one who knows the Sonicare brand, you'll notice that quite a few of these lines have been around for quite a while, so we interpreted the members of this list as being the "current" line up. The products that are currently made and marketed.

Models we didn't include in this review.

We did notice that additional models/model numbers are offered on the web.

These seemed to be products that: 1) Have slightly different features (possibly they're previous models). 2) Come in additional colors. 3) Are toothbrush "twin packs" and such. 4) Some online retailers seem to have brushes for sale that we didn't think were being manufactured any more.

For all of these reasons, we didn't include these additional brushes in our list.

Model prices.

The toothbrushes above are listed in the order of their "suggested retail price," once again, per information taken from the Philips Sonicare website. Prices range from around $220 all of the way down to $15 (yes $15). We list each model's price below along with the listing of its features.

Be sure to shop around.

We looked on the web to make certain that we could find all of the above models currently for sale, which we did.

During our search, we were a little bit surprised to find that some (very big name) online retailers listed a "suggested retail price" that was higher than the one shown on the Sonicare site. Of course, doing so makes their price look more heavily discounted.

We mention this simply to remind you to make sure you compare vendor prices.

Discounted models.

As we conducted our search, it was our impression that models of the older Sonicare toothbrush lines were more heavily discounted than the more recent ones. Thus making these comparatively less expensive models even more so.


Features Review

It's not necessarily so easy to wade through the list of features that each Sonicare model offers. Some options seem to skip a generation. Others seem to have been phased out totally.

Throughout this page, we link to other sections of our site that explain individual features (purpose, pros and cons) in greater detail. You can use one of those links or one of the tabs to the right, they all lead to the same places.

If you're interested in our opinion about the value of various options, we give it on our Which Sonicare models make the best buy? page. Or if you have a question that we didn't answer, you can post it as a comment at the bottom of this page.

Features that models tend to have in common.

Rather than describe the same set of options repeatedly, here's a set of features that most of the toothbrushes reviewed on this page share. For those that don't, we make mention of it both here and in their respective overview.

The fluid-dynamics cleaning action of a Sonicare toothbrush.

a) Full-power brushing mode.

With the exception of the members of the PowerUp line, all of the models on this page offer Sonicare's full-power 31,000 brushstrokes-per-minute brushing action.

This is an important feature to have. It's the setting that the vast majority of owners should use. On many models it is referred to as "Clean" mode. (More about Sonicare brushing modes and routines.

b) Lithium-ion battery.

With the exception of the PowerUp, Essence and Sonicare 2 Series brushes, the rechargeable battery these models feature is a lithium-ion one.

Lithium-ion does offer some advantages in regard to recharging properties. But probably more noticeable to the user is that these batteries tend to allow the brush body to be smaller in size. (More about batteries.)

c) 110 - 220V recharging.

Except for the PowerUps, the chargers that come with these units can operate on both 110 and 220 volts. (More about chargers.) PowerUp models use replaceable, off-the-shelf AA batteries.

d) Smartimer / KidTimer.

These are simple 2 minute brushing timers. (More about Sonicare timers.)

e) Easy-start.

This feature helps you get used to the sensation of using a Sonicare. (More about Sonicare Easy-start.)

f) Snap-on brush heads.

With the exception of the Essence, all of the models mentioned on this page utilize snap-on brush heads.

While there are some convenience factors related to this design, what's more important is that this gives you a very wide range of brush head styles to choose from when selecting replacements (with the exception of the PowerUp models).

For this reason, when selecting a toothbrush model, we place little emphasis on which type of brush head it comes with because you'll be replacing it soon enough (3 months) anyway. (More about brush heads.)


Sonicare models and a review of their features lists.

a) The DiamondClean product line -

This seems to be what Sonicare considers their "top" toothbrush line (has their newest features and most expensive price).

DiamondClean - HX9362/68 - $220

Features -
  • Color: Pink.
  • Brushing modes: 5 - Clean, Gum Care, Polish, Sensitive, White.

    Except for "Clean," we place very little importance on the option of different brushing modes when selecting a brush. We explain our reasoning here.

  • Brush heads: 2 DiamondClean, white (Standard).
  • QuadPacer: Yes. - This feature divides Smartimer's 2 minute time frame into 4ths, signalling when you should switch to brushing the next quadrant of your mouth. (More about Sonicare QuadPacer.)
  • Charger: Glass charger. - Just a new, fancy style of charging unit, nothing more. You also have the option of charging your brush in it's travel case, see below.
  • Travel case: Yes. - USB travel charger, pink case. - The case acts as the charger, so you don't have to take your "glass" one. It hooks up to a USB port. Use the link above for more info.
  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 3 weeks.

DiamondClean - HX9352/04 - $220

Features -

This model seems to have identical features as the pink version above.

  • Color: Black. - Evidently this is the "his" model.
  • Brush heads: 2 DiamondClean, black (Standard). - We're under the impression that this is the only style and size of brush head that comes in black. So, if you prefer to use a different type of head, you'll be using a white one.
  • Travel case: Yes. - USB travel charger, black case.

DiamondClean - HX9332/05 - $220

Features -

Once again, this model seems to have identical features as the pink and black versions reviewed above.

  • Color: White.
  • Brush heads: 1 DiamondClean, white (Standard), 1 DiamondClean, white (Compact). - Using a compact brush head can have advantages. This model makes it easy for you to try one out.
  • Travel case: Yes. - USB travel charger, white case.

b) The FlexCare product line -

This is the premium line of yesteryear that was superseded by the DiamondClean brushes.

FlexCare Platinum with UV Sanitizer - HX9170/10 - $200

Features -

There was a day when this model was the top-of-the-line Sonicare. It still offers more bells and whistles than any other model.

  • Color: White / Metallic.
  • Brushing modes: 3 - Clean, Gum Care, White. - 3 Intensity settings: Low, medium, high.

    While we don't see great value in having multiple brushing modes in general, the ability to change brushing intensity can be a valuable option for some special cases (i.e. debilitated or elderly people).

  • Brush heads: 2 InterCare (Standard).
  • QuadPacer: Yes.
  • UV brush head sanitizer: Yes. - The only Sonicare to have this add-on. We don't see great value in having this feature. We outline our argument here.
  • Charger: Charging stand with attached UV brush head sanitizer. A smaller travel charger separates from this unit.
  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 3 weeks.
  • Pressure sensor: Yes. - This feature causes a change in vibration and sound of the brush handle if it detects that you are using too much force. FlexCare models are the only ones to offer this feature.

    We don't think it's an especially important feature to have to have. Notice it wasn't carried over into the newer DiamondClean line.

FlexCare Platinum - HX9110/02 - $180

Features -

This is the same as the FlexCare model above, but without the UV brush head sanitizer and the addition of a travel case.

  • Color: White / Metallic.
  • Brushing modes: 3 - Clean, Gum Care, White. - 3 Intensity settings: Low, medium, high.
  • Brush heads: 2 InterCare (Standard).
  • QuadPacer: Yes.
  • Charger: Typical charging stand. A smaller travel charger separates from this unit.
  • Travel case: Yes. - Just a case, without the USB charging feature. (You'll have to take your charger along with you.)
  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 3 weeks.
  • Pressure sensor: Yes.

Comment: From this point on down, the brushes tend to feature fewer and fewer superfluous options (obviously our opinion). The first few models, however, still feature more brushing modes than we think are necessary for the vast majority of users.

FlexCare+ (plus) - HX6921/02 - $150

Features -
  • Color: White / Metallic.
  • Brushing modes: 5 - Clean, Gum Care, Refresh, Sensitive, Massage.
  • Brush heads: 1 ProResults (Standard).
  • QuadPacer: Yes.
  • Charger: Typical charging stand. A smaller travel charger separates from this unit.
  • Travel case: Yes. (No USB feature.)
  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 3 weeks.
  • Pressure sensor: Yes.

c) The HealthyWhite product line -

HealthyWhite - HX6731/02 - $120

Features -
  • Color: White.
  • Brushing modes: 3 - Clean, Sensitive, Clean & White.
  • Brush heads: 1 ProResults (Standard).
  • QuadPacer: Yes.
  • Charger: Typical charging stand. A smaller travel charger separates from this unit.
  • Travel case: Yes. (No USB feature.)
  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 3 weeks.

Comment: From this point on down, the models get even more basic in the features that they offer. This is a good thing if you don't want to buy more toothbrush than you really need.

d) The EasyClean product line -

EasyClean - HX6511/50 - $90

Features -

A very basic brush that probably has all of the features that you really need, assuming that you don't need a "sensitive" mode (which the majority of users don't).

  • Color: White / Glacier Green.
  • Brushing modes: 1 - Clean.
  • Brush heads: 1 ProResults (Standard).
  • QuadPacer: Yes.
  • Charger: Small-sized charging stand.
  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 3 weeks.

e) The Sonicare 2 Series product line -

Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control - HX6211/04 - $70

Features -

This model has similar features as the EasyClean, but with a NiMH battery (see link below). The Sonicare website say it doesn't have QuadPacer. (Neither issue would be a big deal to us.)

  • Color: White / Sky Blue.
  • Brushing modes: 1 - Clean.
  • Brush heads: 1 ProResults Plaque Control (Standard).
  • Charger: Small-sized charging stand.
  • Battery type: NiMH. - This is the slightly "less advantageous" style of battery, resulting in a slightly larger brush body. Also, notice a lower operating times of 2 weeks.
  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 2 weeks.

f) The Sonicare for Kids product line -

This model is marketed as a reduced power, kids brush.

Sonicare for Kids - HX6311/07 - $50

Features -
A Sonicare For Kids sonic toothbrush.

Sonicare For Kids HX6311/07

  • Color: 8 different wild-pattern stickers to choose from. (If you don't apply any of them, its white.)
  • Brushing modes: This is a reduced-power brush that features 2 settings: High and low. The lower setting is for smaller, younger children.
  • Brush heads: 1 Sonicare for Kids (Standard).

    While not recommended for kids use, adults using this brush have the full line of snap-on brush heads to pick from when choosing replacements.

  • QuadPacer: Yes, but actually with this brush the timers are called KidTimer and KidPacer. - If you're an adult and are considering this brush, you must read this section.
  • Charger: Typical charging stand.
  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 3 weeks.

Comment: At this point, the following models tend to be somewhat primitive in nature, both from a standpoint of design and function.

g) The Essence product line -

For anyone who has used Sonicares for a long time, you'll recognize this as "newer" old-style technology. It's a decent brush, just dated.

Essence - HX5610/01 - $40

Features -
  • Color: White / Blue.
  • Brushing modes: 1 - Clean.
  • Brush heads: 1 e-Series (Standard). - This is the older screw-on type head. Replacements are available in both Standard and Compact sizes.

    If you're considering this model, keep in mind that you'll be limited in choices of replacement brush heads. Also, possibly these brush heads are less efficient brushers than other styles. You'll need to read this page for more information.

  • Charger: Typical charging stand.
  • Battery type: NiMH. - The non-lithium ion battery option, resulting in a hefty brush body.

    We should also mention that this unit is a bit louder and vibrates more so than newer designs. It may not be the right choice for especially elderly or debilitated persons.

  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 2 weeks.
  • Travel case: Yes. (No USB feature.)

h) The PowerUp product line -

PowerUp - HX3631/02, HX3631/03, HX3631/06, HX3631/07 - $15

Features -
  • Color: Orange, Blue, Green, Scuba Blue (depending on model number) - and White.
  • Brushing modes: 1 - Clean. - IMPORTANT - The brushing action of this toothbrush is only 15,000 strokes-per-minute. That's 1/2 the speed of every other model on this page.

    There can be applications where a low-power brush is desirable (use with elderly or debilitated persons who can't handle full-power mode). But if you're looking to buy true Sonicare, this isn't the right choice.

  • Brush heads: 1 PowerUp (Medium). - Although it uses the preferred snap-on design, the only style of brush heads that fit this model are the PowerUp. This is a limitation.
  • Battery type: 2, Replaceable AA (Alkaline). - This is the only Sonicare on this page that has replaceable batteries. Depending upon your application, you may find this to be an advantage.
  • Operating time after fully charged: 120 two-minute brushings.

Still need help deciding?

If you've read this page and still don't know which model suits you best, read this page.

[Philips and Sonicare are registered trademarks of Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Easy-start and QuadPacer are registered trademarks of Philips Oral HealthCare, Inc.]

 
 

 
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Comments

Thanks for your information
In reviewing the Easy clean it appears it tips over easily - consistnet comments form reviewers . Do you know if all the other modles share this issue. It comes with a 4 foot cord and the solution is to twist the cord or prop it up against something else. any information wiht tother models
Thanks

When you look at the pictures of the EasyClean vs. other models, you can see that the size of its charger base is smaller than some other models.

The charger bases themselves generally have little weight, so while we don't know first hand, it's easy enough to see how with its small footprint it might tip over easily if the cord is stiff. (We certainly had this nuisance with an older Sonicare Elite.)

The HealthyWhite and Flexcare lines seem to offer a slightly larger footprint charger. And then the DiamondClean features the "Glass" charger which probably has a fair amount of weight to it.

Hope this helps Laura.

My Sonicare just died. It was a good brush except for the fact that it didn't last very long. Do other people complain about this? I'm looking at these prices and wondering if it's really worth it.

Reliability is a hard thing to judge. We consider Sonicare and Oral B to be reputable manufacturers but don't have any hard statistics to back that up.

We've read some pretty interesting user reviews where Sonicare owners called the company and told them their complaints (evidently politely). And as a result had their broken units unexpectedly replaced, evidently for free. It's worth a try. It seems if the customer has a legitimate complaint that Sonicare listens (at least sometimes).

If you want to consider an Oral-B instead, we have a whole section on them that could help you get started picking one out.
Good luck. Report back if you don't mind.

We have owned many sonicare toothbrushes in the past. All USED to be a very good product. I think they have tighten their belt and outsourced to the CHEAPEST manufacturer possible. Being a dental professional we USED to buy these in numbers and use as giveaways/promotional to patients. This is NO LONGER the case. They are a piece of junk now. Had problems with the "new" brush head falling off. I was basically told your problem.. NO, not my problem any longer. I attend many dental meeting with other dentist. I have been a one man wrecking crew telling my story.. I WONT EVER recommend the Phillips Sonicare to ANYONE again. I hope you will boycott this product too.

I have been using the Sonicare Essence for many years now. My first one lasted about 8 years before it finally stopped holding a charge. Got a new one and it died within warranty so they replaced it, no charge to me, with the same model but it had the quad pacer, which my broken one did not have. It's still working fine after 3 years but I am looking at getting the Series 3 as I was told my gums are getting "soft". I had been looking at the more expensive models but thanks to your information I see I'd be paying for things I wouldn't really be needing or using. Thanks for saving me some $$ that will be put towards dental visits for replacing ancient fillings! I appreciate all the information I found here-thank you!

Thanks for posting Laura. Thanks for mentioning your experience with Sonicare and how their replacement policy worked out for you.

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