Which Sonicare model is best for you? - Comparing features.
This page isn't about making a specific recommendation about which Sonicare toothbrush model is "the best." It's about helping you decide which model makes the best choice, specifically for you (and anyone else who you share your brush with). This page is about making intelligent choices.
Picking out the best Sonicare means choosing the model that only has the features that you really need and will use.
For the most part, we think that the best Sonicare toothbrush is simply:
The least expensive model (new design or old) ...
that offers Sonicare's hallmark 31,000-brush-strokes-per-minute
brushing action (which is all of them) ...
and only has those
features that either specifically appeal to you
or you feel will make using your brush more convenient.
Of course, the trick is to understand which of the available options actually have value. Toward this goal, we offer the list below. Its links describe various Sonicare features and explain their comparative advantages and disadvantages.
Sonicare toothbrush features:
- UV brush head sanitizer. - FlexCare models.
- The standard, full-power Sonicare brushing mode. - All models.
- The Easy-start and Sensitive mode brushing options. - Assorted models.
- The Max Care and Go Care brushing routines. - FlexCare models.
- The Clean and White brushing routine. - HealthyWhite models.
- HydroClean, ProResults, e-series and a-series brush heads. - Assorted models.
- The Smartimer and QuadPacer functions. - Assorted models.
- Battery and recharger options. - Assorted models.
- Travel features. - Assorted models.
- Mechanical design. - Assorted models.
When you're to a point when you need information about what features are found on specific models, then use this link that leads to a listing of the Sonicare toothbrush reviews found here on Animated-Teeth.com.
Should you buy a new or "dated" model?
We're biased towards less expensive Sonicare models.
As you read our pages, you'll soon discover that we are, admittedly, biased towards the lower-end, some times dated, Sonicare models. We feel that these models typically represent the best toothbrush value.
Some people just need a good basic brush.
Brushing teeth shouldn't be thought of as a timed event. Instead, it should be considered a process that needs to be taken to completion, no matter how long it takes.
If this is your attitude, then pretty much any Sonicare model should be a good pick for you. That's because it's our opinion that you can accomplish the same brushing goals with either a newer or older-generation Sonicare. It just might take a few moments longer with the older-style brush. (See below.)
Some people need all of the brushing help they can get, no matter what the expense.
Other people (possibly even most) may look at tooth brushing quite differently. They may not view it in terms of completing a job but instead as a task to which they are only willing to dedicate so much time. If so, these people will need to accomplish as much tooth cleansing as is possible within their allotted time frame.
In this case, one of the newer, higher-end Sonicare models might make the best choice. Although we feel that both the old and newer-design brushes can be used effectively, the features of the newer ones have sometimes been improved or updated and therefore may offer some marginal increase in efficiency.
What does Sonicare's research say about the comparative effectiveness of their brushes?
Philips Sonicare sponsored a study (Milleman, 2007) that compared the plaque-removal capabilities of the Sonicare FlexCare and the Elite (an older-design Sonicare).
This study found that (when these brushes were used for a two-minute time period and both set to their full-power settings) the newer-design Sonicare accomplished more plaque removal, on the order of about 4%. So, technically, the newer-design brush is the more efficient brusher.
We can appreciate that any increase in brushing efficiency is desirable but one might consider how cost effective gaining this advantage is. There is over a decade of published research documenting the fact that (older design) Sonicare toothbrushes are effective teeth-cleaning devices.
We agree that the Milleman study documents that newer Sonicare models are more efficient brushers (plaque removal per two-minute brushing session). But we would anticipate that if the test subjects were allowed the option of using the older-style (less expensive) Sonicare toothbrush for just a few moments longer (brushing to completion vs. brushing for a set time frame), at a practical level doing so would likely produce an equally effective end result.
So, which should you pick, the latest-design or an older-style Sonicare?
It's our line of thinking that all Sonicare models are similar, in the sense that when used in their full-power mode (the important setting to use) they can all be effective plaque removers. The tradeoff, however, is that reaching this endpoint may take some moments longer with an older-style brush.
For the conscientious tooth brusher who is on a budget, we think that the lower-end Sonicares offer a great value and are a best-choice. However, for the undisciplined or uncooperative brusher, the more efficient brushing action of a newer-design model might provide a slight advantage.
You have an "out" if you've made the wrong choice.
We will mention that traditionally Philips Sonicare has always offered a money-back guarantee, allowing you to return yours if unsatisfied "for any reason." (You'll need to check the exact details of this offer for yourself.) That makes picking one out easier. If you ended up buying a (possibly low-end) model that you find really doesn't suit your needs, then just return it and get one that does.