Picture of a Sonicare toothbrush.

Sonicare Electric Brush

A review of the Sonicare electric toothbrush line. - A step-by-step guide covering each model and its features, with differences and comparisons to other models pointed out. - (Updated May 2018)

- DiamondClean Smart, DiamondClean, FlexCare Platinum Connected, FlexCare+, HealthyWhite+, ProtectiveClean, 2 Series Plaque Control, For Kids, Essence+, Essence, PowerUp.

This review is a walk through of each of the models making up the current Sonicare product line.

For each brush, we report what features it has, point out how it's different from other models, and give you our opinion about its collection of features as a whole (pros, cons, what makes it unique, reasons why you would or wouldn't want it).

Additional pages you may want to read.
  • If you're interested, here's the same type of overview and comparison for Oral-B electric toothbrushes.
  • As companion information, don't overlook our Best Sonicares page. It outlines the reasoning and process we've used to pick out from the Sonicare lineup those models that seem to make a best-value choice in terms of features, capabilities and price.

What models make up the current Sonicare line?

Below is a listing of the brushes we found on the Philips Sonicare website (USA) on May 1, 2018 under the category "current products."

We elected not to include any combination offerings such as razor/toothbrush or multiple-handles products.

The Sonicare website ... ugh!

We find working with the Sonicare (USA) website abysmal. (Maybe you do too and that's why you're here.) Actually, we'd have an enormous amount more to express if it didn't involve having to put it in print.

Suffice it to say, there were numerous times when we found ourselves stymied by what we considered incomplete, poorly formatted, redundant and even suspect information.

Filling in the blanks.

Per those difficulties, in instances where we simply could not locate the information that we feel a person needs to know, we've placed the characters "????". If we've filled in what we believe is the correct information, we've provided an explanatory comment.

Our list: The members of the Sonicare electric toothbrush line that we review on this page.

  • DiamondClean Smart -

    9700 models: HX9957/51

    9500 models: HX9924/41, HX9924/21, HX9924/11, HX9924/01

    "????" models: HX9985/41, HX9985/21, HX9985/11, HX9985/01, HX9924/36

    9300 models: HX9903/41, HX9903/21, HX9903/11, HX9903/01

  • DiamondClean -

    Models: HX9393/90, HX9392/05, HX9372/10, HX9362/10, HX9352/10, HX9332/10, HX9391/90, HX9371/71, HX9361/69, HX9351/57

  • FlexCare Platinum Connected - Models: HX9193/04, HX9192/02, HX9192/01
  • FlexCare+ (plus) - Model: HX6921/04
  • HealthyWhite+ - Models: HX8911/02
  • ProtectiveClean -

    6100 models: HX6877, HX6876/21, HX6871/49, HX6871/41

    5100 models: HX6857/11, HX6850/60

    4100 models: HX6817/01, HX6810/50

  • Sonicare 2 Series plaque control - Models: HX6211/04, HX6211/07, HX6211/28, HX6211/46, HX6211/47, HX6211/48
  • Sonicare for Kids - Models: HX6321/02, HX6382/07
  • Essence+ - Models: HX3211/02, HX3211/17, HX3211/33, HX3211/45, HX3211/57, HX3211/62
  • Essence - Model: HX5611/01
  • PowerUp - Models: HX3631/06, HX3631/10
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Manufacturer suggested retail prices.

The toothbrushes on this page are listed according to their "manufacturer's suggested retail price" (MSRP), per the Philips Sonicare USA website, if stated. So as you work your way down through this page, you'll find that each next model is a little cheaper than the one before it.

Overall, prices range from around $330 all the way down to just $15. That amount of difference between top and bottom models is fairly astounding to us. Both in the sense that a brush could cost that little, or that much.

Be sure to shop around.

Remember, the prices we show are only MSRP's. We'd expect that with just a minor amount of comparison shopping you'll find that you can do better.

If you want to see these models first hand ...

We've noticed a few retailers who usually have at least a few Sonicare models (as well as other brands of electrics) on display so you can pick them up, hold them, touch their buttons, etc... so to get a general idea of what they're like. (They are just mockups however, they don't actually run). These stores are Walmart, Target, and Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Features that Sonicare models tend to have in common.

Rather than describe the same set of features for each of the models below, here's a list of items that most of the toothbrushes on this page share. For those that don't, we make mention of it both here and in their respective review.

a) Full-power brushing mode.

With the exception of the PowerUp toothbrushes, all of the models on this page feature Sonicare's "31,000 brushstrokes-per-minute" brushing action. (In some Sonicare promotional materials this is referred to as the equivalent "62,000 brush movement/minute.")

Animation showing the fluid-dynamics cleaning action of a Sonicare toothbrush.

Sonic toothbrushes can clean beyond where their bristles touch.

How important is this?
  • Probably the single issue we feel most strongly about is that any Sonicare model purchased should feature the company's hallmark "31,000 brushstrokes-per-minute" capabilities.

    This is the brushing action that Sonicare built their reputation on in scientific literature.

  • We are also of the strong opinion that this mode is essentially the only one that the vast majority of brush owners need to/should use.

    On nearly all Sonicare models this is "Clean" mode (the For Kids would be the exception). If the brush has Intensity settings, High needs to be selected.

  • There wouldn't be a question in our mind that a person using this mode alone would meet or exceed (especially in terms of brushing efficiency and effectiveness) whatever might be accomplished using any of their brush's other settings.

    That's why we think this mode makes the right, and usually only needed, choice. And why we place essentially no value in a brush having additional "novelty" modes.

b) Lithium-ion battery.

With the exception of the PowerUp, Essence, Essence+ and 2 Series models, the standard Sonicare rechargeable battery is a lithium ion one. PowerUp models use disposable off-the-shelf AA alkaline batteries. The remaining models have a NiMH battery.

Lithium ion technology offers some advantages over NiMH in regard to recharging issues. Probably more of a factor for most users is that the models that feature them tend to have a smaller, sleeker body style. (More about batteries.)

Note: None of Sonicare's rechargeables have a design that allows for battery replacement. And as such, battery failure typically equates with toothbrush death.

c) 110 - 220V charging.

The charging units that come with Sonicare rechargeables are designed to operate with either 110 or 220 volt electrical sources, a point that could be important for world travelers. (More about charging units.)

d) Smartimer / KidTimer.

All of the brushes on this page feature some sort of brushing timer. In most cases they run for 2 minutes but on some models this varies according to which brushing mode has been selected. (More about Sonicare timers.)

e) QuadPacer / BrushPacer

QuadPacer is a quadrant timer. It signals when each 1/4th of your brushing session has elapsed, so you know when to move on to brushing the next section (quadrant) of your mouth. (More about QuadPacer.)

Flexcare Platinum Connected and DiamondClean Smart models have a QuadPacer-like feature called BrushPacer. This references your mouth in sixths (instead of fourths) and integrates with the brush's smartphone app.

Historically we've found it difficult to cross reference what's stated on Sonicare's website vs. online toothbrush user manuals. We tend to show what the website states in regard to this feature. But be sure to check the packaging of the model you're considering so to make sure you know for certain what you're getting.

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f) Easy-start.

This feature is an introductory mode that helps you to get used to the sensation of using your brush by gradually increasing its brushing intensity. (More about Sonicare Easy-start.)

Many, but according to Sonicare's website not all, models have this feature. It was our impression that those that didn't tended to be those that had intensity settings, which conceivably could be used as somewhat of a substitute.

Check the packaging of the specific product you are considering to know for certain if you are getting this feature or not.

g) Brushing pressure sensing.

When excessive force is used the brushing action of Sonicare models tends to stall. Beyond that general characteristic, the Flexcare Platinum Connected, DiamondClean Smart and ProtectiveClean lines of brushes feature specific excessive brushing pressure indicators (more details about pressure indicators).

h) Click-on brush heads.

With the exception of the Essence models (not to be confused with the newer Essence+), all of the brushes mentioned on this page utilize click-on (snap-on) brush heads.

While there are some convenience factors associated with this design, what's more important is that this gives you a very wide range of brush head styles and sizes to choose from when selecting replacements. All click-on heads are universally interchangeable between models that use them (with the exception of the PowerUp line).

For this reason, when selecting a toothbrush model, we place little emphasis on which types of brush heads it comes with because you'll be replacing them soon enough anyway (Philips recommends every 3 months). (If you'd like more information, we have an entire page that discusses Sonicare brush heads.)


The Sonicare toothbrush line: Our review of features according to model name and number.

Double check before you buy.

We've gone to a lot of effort in compiling information for this page, trying to make sure we got everything right.

But before you buy, do us a favor and just double check what we say you're getting versus what's stated on the packaging or description of the actual product you're planning to purchase. We don't want you to be disappointed.

Sonicare model differences and feature comparisons. -

a) The DiamondClean Smart electric toothbrushes -

Models:
DiamondClean Smart 9700 : HX9957/51 - (MSRP $330)
DiamondClean Smart 9500 : HX9924/41, HX9924/36, HX9924/21, HX9924/11, HX9924/01 - (MSRP $270)
DiamondClean Smart "????" : HX9985/41, HX9985/21, HX9985/11, HX9985/01 - (MSRP ???? - Our estimate based on model features is $270, see below.)
DiamondClean Smart 9300 : HX9903/41, HX9903/21, HX9903/11, HX9903/01 - (MSRP $230)

( Compare DiamondClean Smart prices and deals at Walmart.com and Amazon.com. )

Notes: About the "????" DiamondClean Smart models:

Up above we've labeled one group of brushes with the characters "????" because Sonicare's website does not provide a "series" number for them like it does the others. In regard to these brushes:

  • In terms of features, we couldn't identify any differences between these toothbrushes and the 9500 series models.
  • Since Sonicare's website doesn't, we've had to estimate a MSRP for these models. We've chosen $270, the same as the 9500 brushes.

While reading about the "????" brushes on Sonicare's website, we noticed their repeated use of phrases such as "your patient's," "a patient's," etc...

Based on this, we're pretty sure that these models are intended for sale to dentists, for resale to their patients. That would explain the lack of a regular series number like the other models have and a MSRP.

Comparing the members of the DiamondClean Smart line.

Overall, it's fair enough to consider this group of toothbrushes Sonicare's top models. But based on a comparison of their features and included accessories, these brushes can be considered to rank in the following order (from top-of-the-line on down):

9700 > 9500 and "????" > 9300
◀ higher end model - lower end model ▶

Note: When shopping, don't confuse the "DiamondClean Smart" and "DiamondClean" (non-Smart) lines. There are substantial differences in their features.

Differences among the DiamondClean Smart models.

  • Brush heads: The 9700 model comes with 8 brush heads (3 C3 Premium Plaque Control, 2 G3 Premium Gum Care, 2 W3 Premium White standard and 1 TongueCare+ tongue brush). (This seems the primary reason why it costs more.)

    The 9500 and "????" models come with 4 brush heads (1 C3 Premium Plaque Control, 1 G3 Premium Gum Care, 1 W3 Premium White and 1 tongue brush).

    The 9300 models come with 3 brush heads only (1 C3 Premium Plaque Control, 1 G3 Premium Gum Care, 1 W3 Premium White).

  • Brushing modes: The 9700, 9500 and "????" models feature 5 brushing modes (Clean, White+, Deep Clean+, Gum Health, TongueCare), and 3 intensity settings (High, Medium, Low).

    The 9300 DiamondClean Smarts also have the same three intensity settings to choose from but only 4 actual brushing modes (Clean, White+, Deep Clean+, Gum Health).

    Brushing routine durations: Clean = 2 minutes, White+ = 2 minutes 40 seconds, Gum Health = 3 minutes 20 seconds, DeepClean+ = 2 to 3 minutes depending on how its implemented, Tongue Care = 20 seconds.

  • Travel cases: The 9700, 9500 and "????" models come with Sonicare's deluxe charging travel case that doubles as a charging station. The travel case that comes with the 9300 line does not have this charging feature.
  • Color options: The 9700 model (HX9957/51) comes in Lunar blue. The remaining DiamondClean Smart models come in either white, black, pink or silver.

    9500 and "????" lines: HX9924/41 (9500) Silver, HX9924/36 ("????") Pink, HX9924/21 (9500) Pink, HX9924/11 (9500) Black, HX9924/01 (9500) White, HX9985/41 ("????") Silver, HX9985/21 ("????") Pink, HX9985/11 ("????") Black, HX9985/01 ("????") White, HX9903/41 (9300) Silver, HX9903/21 (9300) Pink, HX9903/11 (9300) Black, HX9903/01 (9300) White.

The DiamondClean Smart line features -

  • Color: See "differences" section above.
  • Top vibrational speed: 31,000 brush strokes/minute.

    Starting just a few years ago, Sonicare promotional materials started referring to this brushing action as the equivalent 62,000 brush movements/minute. (Their math: 1 Up and 1 Down MOVEMENT = 1 STROKE.)

    We find it sad that Sonicare feels a need to rephrase existing features so they seem "new and improved," at least to the uninitiated, when actually they are not.

  • Brushing modes: 4 or 5 total depending on model, see "differences" section above.

    Except for having Sonicare's "Clean" setting, which all of these models do, we place very little importance on a brush having any additional brushing modes. We explain our reasoning here.

  • Brushing intensities: The DiamondClean Smart brushes feature 3 intensity settings (high, medium, low). High = Sonicare's highest level of cleaning efficiency.

    Clean mode at High intensity = Sonicare's hallmark 31,000 brush strokes/minute brushing action. (This is the mode that that we feel is the most important to have, in terms of receiving maximum brushing effectiveness.)

  • Brush heads provided: Varies per model, see "differences" section above.

    While having a variety of heads is nice in terms of experimentation and figuring out which type you prefer, brush heads are just a disposable item that you'll be replacing every few months anyway (and with any other kind of head you want), so this difference between models isn't all that significant.

  • BrushSync brush heads - Sonicare's C3 Premium Plaque Control, G3 Premium Gum Care, W3 Premium White and TongueCare+ brush heads contain a micro-chip whose presence signals the brush handle to switch to the brushing mode that Sonicare considers optimal for the use of that head, or else the mode and intensity you have programmed. (Use the link for more details.)
  • Replacement brush heads: The full line of Sonicare's snap-on brush heads (both those that do and don't contain the above mentioned micro-chip) fit on and can be used with the DiamondClean Smart brushes. Some advanced features are only available when a micro-chip (Premium, BrushSync) head is used.
  • Easy-Start: Yes. (Does not function in TongueCare+ mode.)
  • Brush timers: BrushPacer - This is a beep and pause signal that reminds you when to move on to brushing other sections of your mouth. It also integrates with the Sonicare smartphone app. Its precise settings vary according to which brushing mode has been selected.
  • Smartphone app: Yes, Android and iOS. Bluetooth connectivity. (App details.)
  • Pressure sensor: Yes. - This feature signals when too much brushing pressure is detected in three ways. The brush handle will noticeably change its vibrations. A purple ring on the butt end of the brush will light up. A warning will appear on the phone app.

    Once you've reduced the amount of pressure applied, the light will turn off and the brush's vibrations will return to normal. The pressure sensor feature can be deactivated.

    (Generally we don't see a big need for buying a brush that has this feature. We explain why here.)

  • Scrubbing sensor: The phone app signals when too much scrubbing motion is detected in your brushing technique (a BrushSync brush head must be used).
  • Location/TouchUp sensor: The phone app can track your session's brushing activity and identify for you those areas that you have missed.
  • Brush replacement reminder: Based on your history of brushing duration and pressure, the brush replacement reminder light on the toothbrush's handle will blink when it's time to replace your brush head (a BrushSync brush head must be used). This feature can be deactivated.
  • Charger: All DiamondClean Smart models come with Sonicare's Glass charger. With the 9700, 9500 and "????" models, you also have the option of using the included travel case/charger.
  • Travel case: Yes, all models. - USB travel case charger. - 9700, 9500 and "????" models only. The case requires a USB (mini) connection for charging operations.
  • Operational voltages: 110-220V
  • Battery type: Lithium ion.
  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 2 weeks.

How we think the DiamondClean Smart line of brushes compares.

This is basically Sonicare's top product line. And as such, there's no question in our mind that they're good toothbrushes. But beyond that we're not so sold on these models.

Probably the biggest barrier for us is simply their cost. In an era dominated by planned obsolescence and lowest-cost manufacturing, we can barely fathom a scenario where we would consider paying more than $200 for an electric. To us, a price in the range of $300 seems totally absurd.

Considering that we only value having Sonicare's "Clean" brushing mode and so very few additional features, so much of what this brush line has to offer is a moot point for us and easily duplicated by much less expensive models.

However, if your situation is one where you want or need a brushing app (we assume for motivation or discipline purposes), this and the Flexcare Platinum Connected are your only adult Sonicare options.

Overall, and simply from a standpoint of value (meaning both features and price considered), the DiamondClean Smart brushes will never have a chance of making our Best Sonicares list.

Features to keep in mind about this product line:
  • The DiamondClean Smart and ProtectiveClean models are the only ones that switch mode according to BrushSync brush head. If that feature appeals to you, this is one of your options.
  • Once started, the brushing modes featured by this line run for a longer duration than those of many other models.

    (Generally speaking, we consider brushing for longer a good thing. However, you don't need a brushing mode to give you permission to do that. You can just restart your toothbrush and brush for longer on your own.)

  • This is one of only three Sonicare lines that can be used with a brushing app (Flexcare Platinum Connected and For Kids are the other two).
  • Except for Clean mode, we generally consider other Sonicare brushing modes just to be novelty settings. However, we can envision how having a choice of intensity level (like these brushes do) could be an asset. (Like when a frail or debilitated person needs a less aggressive brushing action.)

b) The DiamondClean electric toothbrushes -

This branch of the DiamondClean line is less sophisticated. These brushes don't have the same advanced sensing capabilities that the above models do, don't auto-sync their brushing mode to the brush head selected, nor do they have the ability to integrate with Sonicare's smartphone app.

Additionally, and something more important to us, they also lack the option to change the intensity level of their brushing motion.

Models:
DiamondClean HX9393/90 - (MSRP $250)
DiamondClean HX9332/10, HX9392/05, HX9362/10, HX9372/10, HX9352/10 - (MSRP $220)
DiamondClean HX9391/90, HX9371/71, HX9361/69, HX9351/57 - (MSRP $200)

( Compare DiamondClean prices and deals at Walmart.com and Amazon.com. )

Comparing the members of the DiamondClean line.

Differences within the lineup.

  • The HX9393/90 (the most expensive model) features a wireless charging pad and deluxe travel pouch. Sonicare refers to this model as its "wireless charging edition."

    The mid-priced models come with Sonicare's glass charger and USB travel charger/case. (See below for more details about each of these features.)

    The least expensive models come with Sonicare's standard charging base and premium travel case (no charging capability).

  • The HX9393/90 comes with 2 DiamondClean (standard) and 1 AdaptiveClean brush heads.

    The mid-priced models come with 1 DiamondClean (standard), 1 AdaptiveClean and 1 InterCare (standard).

    The least expensive models comes with a single DiamondClean (standard) head.

  • Color options : HX9393/90 (black), HX9392/05 (rose gold), HX9372/10 (amethyst), HX9362/10 (pink), HX9352/10 (black), HX9332/10 (white), HX9391/90 (rose gold), HX9371/71 (amethyst), HX9361/69 (pink), HX9351/57 (black).

DiamondClean features -

  • Color: See "differences" section above.
  • Top vibrational speed: 31,000 brush strokes/minute. (Equivalent to 62,000 brush-movements-per-minute.)
  • Brushing modes: 5 total - Clean, Deep Clean, Gum Care, Sensitive, White.

    Note: There's no option to change the intensity of the brushing action.

    Clean mode = Sonicare's hallmark 31,000 brush strokes/minute brushing action. (This is the mode that we feel is the most important to have, in terms of receiving maximum brushing effectiveness.)

  • Brush heads provided: Varies by model, see above.
  • Replacement brush heads: The full line of Sonicare universally interchangeable click-on heads can be used with these models.

    This includes: DiamondClean (standard, compact), Adaptive Clean (standard), Intercare (standard), ProResults Plaque Control (standard), ProResults Gum Health (standard), Sensitive (standard) and SimplyClean (standard), as well as the BrushSync heads (standard). (More about brush head options.)

  • Brush timers: Yes, Smartimer and QuadPacer.

    QuadPacer can be thought of as the non-Smart, near equivalent of BrushPacer. It divides Smartimer's 2 minute duration 4ths, therefore signaling when you should switch to brushing the next quadrant of your mouth. (More about Sonicare's QuadPacer vs. BrushPacer.)

  • Integrates with a Sonicare smartphone app: No.
  • Charging: The HX9393/90 comes with Sonicare's wireless charging pad. This unit uses the Qi standard, like that used to wirelessly recharge many smartphones.

    The HX9332/10, HX9392/05, HX9362/10, HX9352/10 and HX9372/10 features Sonicare's glass charger, and they also come with a USB travel charger case (see below).

    The HX9391/90, HX9371/71, HX9361/69 and HX9351/57 come with Sonicare's standard charging base.

  • Operational voltages: 110-220V
  • Travel case: The HX9393/90 comes with Sonicare's deluxe travel pouch, which does not have charging capabilities.

    The HX9332/10, HX9392/05, HX9362/10, HX9352/10 and HX9372/10 come with Sonicare's USB travel charger case. It functions as a charging unit so you don't have to take your "glass" one when you travel. Using it requires a USB (mini) port connection.

    The HX9391/90, HX9371/71, HX9361/69 and HX9351/57 come with Sonicare's premium travel case. It does not have charging capabilities.

  • Battery type: Lithium ion.
  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 3 weeks.

    (It's our impression that with higher-end Sonicares, phone-app models are generally stated as giving 2 weeks of use and non-phone app ones 3.)

How we feel the DiamondClean line compares with other Sonicares.

While these are all good brushes, you can probably get all of the features that you really need, and will tend to use (especially over the long term, after the novelty of your brush has worn off), in a lesser model for a lower price. (Figuring all of that out is what our Which are the best Sonicares? page is all about.)

But if you're interested in owning what can be considered to be a top Sonicare model but don't want to spring for the phone app feature, fancy sensors and auto brush head/brushing mode syncing, then a regular DiamondClean can make a good option.

Factors to keep in mind about this product line:
  • In terms of being unique, the DiamondClean HX9393/90 is the only Sonicare model that comes with a wireless (Qi) charging pad. If your phone is compatible, it can be charged using this charger too.
  • If you travel and think that the USB travel charging case would be convenient to have, make sure you purchase the right model. Only some come with it.

c) The FlexCare Platinum Connected electric toothbrushes -

  • This, the DiamondClean Smart and the For Kids are the only Sonicare lines that integrate with a smartphone app.
  • This is the only line that offers the option of a UV brush head sanitizer.

You might notice that with the exception of one less brushing modes (3 vs. 4) and no BrushSync features, the FlexCare Platinum Connected brushes are relatively comparable to the lower-end DiamondClean Smart models (the same: 3 intensity settings, phone app integration, fancy sensors, non-charging travel case), plus you get a UV sanitizer too, for about the same price.

Models:
FlexCare Platinum Connected HX9193/04 - (MSRP ???? - estimated at $220)
FlexCare Platinum Connected HX9192/02 - (MSRP $220)
FlexCare Platinum Connected HX9192/01 - (MSRP $200)

( Compare FlexCare platinum prices and deals at Walmart.com and Amazon.com. )

Comparing the members of the FlexCare Platinum Connected line.

Differences within the lineup.

  • In terms of core features and function, we couldn't ascertain any differences between the HX9192/02 and HX9193/04. For this reason, while the Sonicare website doesn't show a MSRP for the HX9193/04, we've estimated it at around $220.

    Just like with some of the DiamondClean Smart models above, we're guessing that the HX9193/04 is intended for sale to dentists, for resale to their patients. (Hence the duplication of features and no MSRP mentioned.)

  • The difference between the HX9192/01 and the other two models is that it does not have a UV brush head sanitizer.
  • The HX9193/04 comes with 3 brush heads (1 AdaptiveClean, 1 InterCare standard,
    1 ProResults gum health). The HX9192/02 and HX9192/01 both come with 2 (1 AdaptiveClean, 1 InterCare standard).

FlexCare Platinum Connected features -

  • Color: White.
  • Top vibrational speed: 31,000 brush strokes/minute. (Equivalent to 62,000 brush movements/minute.)
  • Brushing modes: 3 total - Clean, Deep Clean, White.
  • Brushing intensities: 3 total - Low, medium, high.

    Clean mode at High intensity = Sonicare's hallmark 31,000 brush strokes/minute brushing action. (This is the mode that we feel is the most important to have, in terms of receiving maximum brushing effectiveness.)

    While we don't generally see great value in having a brush that features multiple brushing modes, the ability to change brushing intensity can be a valuable option in special cases (i.e. debilitated or elderly brush users).

    The DiamondClean Smart, HealthyWhite+, ProtectiveClean and For Kids models (see below) also share this capability.

  • Brush heads included: Varies according to model, see above.
  • Replacement brush heads: The full line of Sonicare universally interchangeable click-on heads can be used with these brushes.

    From information gathered from the brush's timer and pressure sensor, the integrated smartphone app notifies you when your current brush head should be replaced.

  • Brush timers: Yes, Smartimer and BrushPacer. (How BrushPacer differs from Quadpacer.) BrushPacer can be deactivated.
  • Smartphone app: Yes, Android and iOS. Bluetooth connectivity. (App details.)
  • Pressure sensor: Yes. - This feature signals that too much brushing pressure has been detected in two different ways. The brush handle gently pulsates to alert the user. The phone app shows a warning on its screen.
  • Scrubbing sensor: The phone app signals when too much scrubbing motion is detected in your brushing technique.
  • Location/TouchUp sensor: The phone app can track your session's brushing activity and identify for you those areas that you have missed.
  • UV brush head sanitizer: Models HX9193/04 and HX9192/02 only. The sanitizer is incorporated into the brush's charging stand.

    We don't see a great need for using a sanitizer. We outline our argument here.

  • Charger: Traditional charging stand. The small core charging apparatus of this unit can be removed and used for travel.
  • Operational voltages: 110-220V
  • Battery type: Lithium ion.
  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 2 weeks.
  • Travel case: Yes.

Our opinion about the FlexCare Platinum Connected line.

Based on their features, the Platinum Connected brushes have to be considered another of Sonicare's top models. But for a person who just needs a good electric toothbrush as opposed to all of the bells and whistles possible, there are other fully capable and less expensive choices.

Features to keep in mind about this product line:
  • The FlexCare Platinum Connected and the DiamondClean Smart are the only two "adult" brushes that integrate with a Sonicare smartphone brushing app.
  • This line and the DiamondClean Smart are the only ones to feature scrubbing sensors.
  • This line, the DiamondClean Smart and ProtectiveClean are the only ones to feature a specific excessive pressure sensor.
  • The FlexCare HX9192/02 and HX9193/04 are the only Sonicare brushes that have an asssociated UV brush head sanitizer.
  • While we feel that the use of Clean mode alone almost always makes the best brushing choice, we can see how having the option of intensity settings (a feature this line has) might be beneficial in some situations.

d) The FlexCare+ electric toothbrushes -

This is one of of Sonicare's higher-end brushes from yesteryear.

As compared to the Flexcare Platinum Connected, this line does not have an associated phone app, have Sonicare's more advanced sensors, nor does it feature brushing intensity settings. Surprisingly however, it has 5, versus just 3, brushing modes.

Models:
FlexCare+ HX6921/04 - (MSRP $150)

( Compare FlexCare+ prices and deals at Walmart.com and Amazon.com. )

Comparing the FlexCare+ line.

Brush features -

  • Color: Cooper Frost (white)
  • Top vibrational speed: 31,000 brush strokes/minute. (Equivalent to 62,000 brush-movements-per-minute.)
  • Brushing modes: 5 total - Clean, Gum Care, Refresh, Sensitive, Massage.

    Note: There's no option to change the intensity of the brushing action.

    Clean mode = Sonicare's hallmark 31,000 brush strokes/minute brushing action. (This is the mode that we feel is the most important to have, in terms of receiving maximum brushing effectiveness.)

  • Brush head provided: 1 total. ProResults Gum Health.
  • Replacement brush heads: The full line of Sonicare universally interchangeable click-on heads can be used with this brush.
  • Smartimer and QuadPacer: Yes. (Quadpacer can be deactivated on this model.)
  • Integrates with a Sonicare smartphone app: No.
  • Charger: Traditional charging stand. The smallish core charger separates from this unit for travel.
  • Operational voltages: 110-220V
  • Battery type: Lithium ion.
  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 3 weeks.
  • Travel case: Yes.

Our opinion about the FlexCare+ line.

Except for the ability to deactivate the QuadPacer (which evidently is an annoyance for some people), there's nothing especially noteworthy about this brush. We consider it a reasonable choice because it offers Sonicare's iconic Clean mode (with 31,000 brush strokes-per-minute) but cheaper alternatives still exist lower on down this page.

Features to keep in mind about this product line:
  • This and the HealthWhite+ are the only Sonicare models we're aware of that allow you to deactivate the QuadPacer function.
  • The FlexCare+ is different from other Sonicares by way of having "Refresh" and "Massage" brushing modes. However, we see no particular value in having them.

e) The HealthyWhite+ electric toothbrushes -

We consider this brush line to be the one that sits firmly on top of the boundary separating Sonicare's higher and lower-end models, which to us is an important point.

Models:
HealthyWhite+ HX8911/02 - (MSRP $120)

( Compare HealthyWhite+ prices and deals at Walmart.com and Amazon.com. )

Comparing the HealthyWhite+.

Picture of a Sonicare HealthyWhite+ sonic toothbrush.

Sonicare Healthy White+ HX8911/02

Brush features -

  • Color: Frost White
  • Top vibrational speed: 31,000 brush strokes/minute. (Equivalent to 62,000 brush-movements-per-minute.)
  • Brushing modes: 2 total - Clean, White.
  • Brushing intensities: High, medium, low.

    Clean mode at High intensity = Sonicare's hallmark 31,000 brush strokes/minute brushing action. (This is the mode that we feel is the most important to have, in terms of receiving maximum brushing effectiveness.)

  • Brush head provided: One DiamondClean (Standard).
  • Replacement brush heads: The full line of Sonicare universally interchangeable click-on heads can be used with this brush.
  • Smartimer and QuadPacer: Yes. (Quadpacer can be deactivated on this model.)
  • Integrates with a Sonicare smartphone app: No.
  • Charger: Conventional charging stand.
  • Operational voltages: 110-220V
  • Battery type: Lithium ion.
  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 3 weeks.
  • Travel case: Yes.

Our opinion about the HealthWhite+ line.

As mentioned above, as you descend down this page this brush line seems to us to be the last of the higher-end, as opposed to budget-oriented, Sonicares. And as such, we consider it a good choice for those looking for a comparatively less-expensive but better-quality product.

We essentially never receive feedback from people who have purchased this brush and are markedly dissatisfied with it. This seems to be true even for those who have previously owned other (more expensive) brushes from the Sonicare lineup.

Features to keep in mind about this product line:
  • This is one of the Sonicare lines that features switchable brushing intensities.
  • With this line, it's possible to turn off the QuadPacer feature.

About the rest of the toothbrush lines on this page.

With the exception of the ProtectiveClean 6100, the For Kids and possibly the ProtectiveClean 5100, the brushes below this point can generally be considered to be Sonicare's economy offerings.

To their credit, all but the PowerUps still feature Sonicare's all-important 31,000 brush-strokes-per-minute brushing action. But as lower-cost alternatives, their mechanisms tend not to be as refined (smooth) or powerful as the models above.

There seems to be two classes of economy brushes. Those that are simply older technology (Essence, Essence+) that have depreciated into their diminished position in the lineup, and separately those that seem to have been designed as cheaper Sonicares just to fill a price point (3 Series [evidently now discontinued], 2 Series, PowerUp).

It's our impression (from feedback and comments posted on our website, and comments and user reviews found on online retailer websites) that with the latter group build quality is sometimes an issue. We reflect on these concerns on our How to pick out the best Sonicare value page where these individual models are discussed.


f) The ProtectiveClean electric toothbrushes -

This is Sonicare's newest line of rechargeable toothbrushes. Each member features an excessive brushing pressure sensor and limited BrushSync capabilities.

Models:
ProtectiveClean 6100 : HX6877, HX6876/21, HX6871/49, HX6871/41 - (MSRP $130)
ProtectiveClean 5100 : HX6857/11, HX6850/60 - (MSRP $90)
ProtectiveClean 4100 : HX6817/01, HX6810/50 - (MSRP $70)

( Compare DiamondClean Smart prices and deals at Walmart.com and Amazon.com. )

Comparing the members of the ProtectiveClean line.

Differences between models.

While grouped together as a single toothbrush line, the ProtectiveClean models are surprisingly different in their features. Here's how they vary:

  • 6100 - This is the "full featured" model. It has 3 brushing modes and 3 intensity levels. It automatically changes its brushing mode when the different BrushSync brush heads are placed on it (see below). It comes with one W DiamondClean head and a travel case.
  • 5100 - This model has 3 brushing modes but the intensity level can't be adjusted. It comes with one G2 Optimal Gum Care head and a travel case.
  • 4100 - This model has just 1 brushing mode with no intensity adjustments. It comes with one C2 Optimal Plaque Control head. No travel case is included.

Brush features -

  • Color : Varies by model.

    6100 - HX6877 (white silver), HX6876/21 (pink), HX6871/49 (navy blue), HX6871/41 (navy blue).

    5100 - HX6857/11 (white and mint), HX6850/60 (black gray).

    4100 - HX6817/01 (white and mint), HX6810/50 (black and white).

  • Top vibrational speed: 31,000 brush strokes/minute. (Equivalent to 62,000 brush-movements-per-minute.)
  • Brushing modes and Intensity settings:

    The 6100 features 3 brushing modes (Clean, White, Gum Care), and 3 intensity settings (High, Medium, Low).

    The 5100 has the same 3 brushing modes, but the intensity of the brushing action cannot be changed.

    The 4100 only has one brushing mode (Clean) and no options for changing the brushing intensity.

    Clean mode (and when set to High intensity with the 6100) = Sonicare's hallmark 31,000 brush strokes/minute brushing action. (This is the mode that we feel is the most important to have, in terms of receiving maximum brushing effectiveness.)

  • Brush heads provided: Varies per model, see differences section above.
  • BrushSync brush heads - Sonicare's C2 Optimal Plaque Control, G2 Optimal Gum Care and W DiamondClean brush heads contain a micro-chip whose presence signals the 6100 brush handle to switch to the brushing mode that Sonicare considers optimal for the use of that head.

    The 5100 and 4100 models to not have this feature.

  • Replacement brush heads: The full line of Sonicare's snap-on brush heads (both those that do and don't contain the above mentioned micro-chip) fit on and can be used with the ProtectiveClean brushes.

    Some advanced features are only available when a micro-chip/BrushSync head is used (mode switching, brush head replacement reminder).

  • Brush timers: Smartimer and QuadPacer.
  • Integrates with a Sonicare smartphone app: No.
  • Pressure sensor: Yes. The brush handle vibrates differently and makes a pulsing sound when the use of excessive brushing pressure has been detected.
  • Brush replacement reminder: Yes. Requires the use of BrushSync brush heads.
  • Charger: Conventional charging stand.
  • Operational voltages: 110-220V
  • Battery type: Lithium ion.
  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 2 weeks.
  • Travel case: The 6100 and 5100 both come with a travel case but the 4100 does not.

How we think the ProtectiveClean line of brushes compares.

As we stated initially, we were surprised at the broad range of differences in features found on the various versions of this brush, as well as their wide range of prices. And as such, we would more or less consider the 6100 to be more akin with the higher-end Sonicares (like the HealthyWhite+ is). The 4100 more like an economy model. And the 5100 lying somewhere in between.

To be perfectly honest, based on our experiences with the Sonicare 2 and 3 series brushes, we're generally a little leery of suggesting the purchase of a sub $100 (MSRP) "modern" Sonicare.

It's been our impression that the newer introductions inserted into the lower end of the Sonicare line exist solely to target specific price points (as compared to older/established designs depreciating into these slots as their less sophisticated technology becomes somewhat dated). And as such, their build quality and mechanism refinement tend to suffer.

Within the ProtectiveClean line, the 6100 ($130) seems a reasonable brush to us both in terms of refinement and power. But with fairly similar features and price, and a much longer product track record, we find the idea of purchasing a HealthyWhite+ the easier pick to make (it's still our preferred pick on our Best Sonicares page).

To the 6100's defense, we spent a lot of time reading owner/user comments on major retailer websites. And we paid particular attention to any poster who made mention of previously owning other Sonicare models. It was our impression that we found very little stated in terms of criticism or dissatisfaction with this brush.

The same can be said for the reviews we found for the ProtectiveClean 5100. As mentioned above, it's sub $100 MSRP makes us a little leery, but possibly Sonicare finally got things right with a newly-introduced lower-end model. Only time will tell.

In the mean time, in terms of making the most predictable choice from this line, we think the 6100 is the way to go right now.

Features to keep in mind about this product line:

If you're considering the ProtectiveCleans, make sure you keep track of which model is which (6100 vs. 5100 vs. 4100) because their features vary substantially.

It seems the two gimmicks most associated with these models is their excessive brushing pressure sensor, and then features tied to the use of BrushSync brush heads.

  • As stated elsewhere on this page, we generally don't see a giant need for buying a brush that has a pressure sensor.
  • In regard to the BrushSync features possible with these brushes, we see no great benefit in having a brush head replacement reminder. (Simple visual inspection and watching the calendar can suffice just fine.)
  • And since we have the opinion that full-power Clean mode essentially always makes the best brushing option (especially in terms of effectiveness and efficiency), the last thing we really want is a brush handle that overrides our choice. Of course, simply using a non-BrushSync head would make this issue a moot point.

g) The 2 Series Plaque Control electric toothbrushes -

At this point on our page you're clearly in the territory of Sonicare's economy models. And as a line that seems to have been developed just to fill a specific price point, we're generally leery of these brushes.

Models:
2 Series Plaque Control : HX6211/04, HX6211/07, HX6211/28, HX6211/46, HX6211/47, HX6211/48 - (MSRP $70)

( Compare 2 Series prices and deals at Walmart.com and Amazon.com. )

Comparing the members of the 2 Series line.

Differences between models.

  • These models only vary by way of their color: HX6211/04 (sky blue), HX6211/07 (black), HX6211/28 (ultra coral), HX6211/46 (white on steel blue), HX6211/47 (white on ultra coral), HX6211/48 (white on guacamole).

2 Series Plaque Control features -

Picture of a Sonicare 2 Series sonic toothbrush.

Sonicare 2 Series HX6211/04

  • Color: See above.
  • Top vibrational speed: 31,000 brush strokes/minute. (Equivalent to 62,000 brush movements/minute.)
  • Brushing modes: 1 total - Clean.

    Clean mode at High intensity = Sonicare's hallmark 31,000 brush strokes/minute brushing action. (This is the mode that we feel is the most important to have, in terms of receiving maximum brushing effectiveness.)

  • Brush head provided: 1 ProResults Plaque Control.
  • Replacement brush heads: The full line of Sonicare universally interchangeable click-on heads can be used with this brush.
  • Smartimer: Yes. Note - Does not have QuadPacer.
  • Integrates with a Sonicare smartphone app: No.
  • Charger: Conventional charging stand.
  • Operational voltages: 110-220V
  • Battery type: NiMH. - This is the slightly less advantageous type of battery. Also, notice a lower operating time of two weeks (vs. three for many other Sonicares).
  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 2 weeks.
  • Travel case: No.

Our opinion about the 2 Series Plaque Control line.

The 2 Series probably has all of the brushing options you really need. But we don't really think it makes a good choice.

  • It only features a NiMH battery (see above).
  • Does not have the QuadPacer feature. (Some people would consider this a positive.)
  • More important to us is the issue of the build quality, power and refinement of these brushes.

    There was a time when we actually listed this line as one of our selections on our Best Sonicares page. But spurred by user comments and feedback about the above concerns with this line, we've since reconsidered.


h) The Sonicare for Kids electric toothbrushes -

This brush has been a standard in the Sonicare lineup for a number of years.

Models:
Sonicare for Kids HX6321/02 - (MSRP $50)
Sonicare for Kids HX6382/07 - (MSRP ????)

( Compare Sonicare for Kids prices and deals at Walmart.com and Amazon.com. )

Picture of a Sonicare For Kids sonic toothbrush.

Sonicare For Kids HX6321/02

Comparing the members of the For Kids line.

Differences between models.

  • The HX6321/02 is Bluetooth enabled, meaning it can interface with Sonicare's corresponding smartphone app.

    The HX6382/07 (which we think is the reintroduction of a years-previous version of this brush) has the same features, with the exception that it has no Bluetooth capabilities. Sonicare's website doesn't state a MSRP for this model.

  • The HX6321/02 comes with 1 Sonicare for Kids (standard) brush head. The HX6382/07 comes with two heads: 1 Sonicare for Kids (standard), 1 Sonicare for Kids (compact)

Sonicare For Kids features -

  • Color: Aqua, with 10 different "jazzy" stickers you can apply.
  • Top vibrational speed: 31,000 brush strokes/minute. (Equivalent to 62,000 brush-movements-per-minute.)
  • Brushing modes: This brush features 2 settings: High and low. The lower setting is intended for use by smaller, younger children.

    High mode = Sonicare's hallmark 31,000 brush strokes/minute brushing action. (This is the mode that we feel is the most important to have, in terms of receiving maximum brushing effectiveness.)

  • Brush head provided: Varies according to model, see above.
  • Replacement brush heads: The full line of Sonicare universally interchangeable click-on heads can be used with these models.

    For-Kids brush heads come in both Standard and Compact sizes and feature softer bristles than the adult ones. The Compact heads are intended for use with smaller, younger children.

  • Brush timers: KidTimer and QuadPacer.

    (If you're an adult and are considering using this brush yourself, you must read this section that describes how these functions work and how annoying they can be to some.)

  • Smartphone app: HX6321/02 only. (See below about For Kids smartphone app.)
  • Charger: Conventional charging stand.
  • Operational voltages: 110-220V
  • Battery type: Lithium ion.
  • Operating time after fully charged: Non-Bluetooth version, "Up to" 3 weeks. Bluetooth version, "Up to" 2 weeks.
  • Travel case: No.
The For Kids Smartphone brushing app.

Via Bluetooth connectivity, this brush can communicate with an app installed on your smartphone (free - iOS and Android).

The app tracks each brushing session and its duration, gives brushing tips and provides games that can help to increase brushing motivation.

Our opinion about the Sonicare For Kids line.

This model makes a good choice for children, or a reasonable one for families that would like to share a single brush handle. It can also make an acceptable budget choice for an adult (if you don't mind using a toothbrush that's designed for children).

Features to keep in mind about this product line:
  • This brush offers two brushing intensities.
  • Just like with "adult" models, the For Kids can use the full range of Sonicare click-on brush heads.

i) The Essence+ electric toothbrushes -

This line can be thought of as updated old-Sonicare technology.

Models:
Essence+ HX3211/02, HX3211/17, HX3211/33, HX3211/45, HX3211/57, HX3211/62 - (MSRP $40)

( Compare Essence+ prices and deals at Walmart.com and Amazon.com. )

Comparing the members of the Essence+ line.

Differences between models.

  • These models vary by color: HX3211/02 (light blue), HX3211/17 (mid-blue), HX3211/33 (dark blue), HX3211/45 (pink), HX3211/57 (black), HX3211/62 (dark blue).
  • They each come with 1 brush head, that varies by model: HX3211/02 - Sensitive (standard) | HX3211/17,HX3211/45, HX3211/62 - SimplyClean (standard) | HX3211/33 - ProResults gum health | HX3211/57 - DiamondClean standard

Essence+ features -

  • Color: Varies by model, see above.
  • Top vibrational speed: 31,000 brush strokes/minute. (Equivalent to 62,000 brush-movements-per-minute.)
  • Brushing modes: 1 total - Clean.

    Clean mode = Sonicare's hallmark 31,000 brush strokes/minute brushing action. (This is the mode that we feel is the most important to have, in terms of receiving maximum brushing effectiveness.)

  • Brush head provided: One brush head, varies by model (see above).

    Note: This brush has a snap-on brush head design that means it can be used with the full line of Sonicare universally interchangeable click-on heads. That's a nice advantage over the regular Essence model (discussed next).

  • Brush timers: Smartimer and QuadPacer.
  • Integrates with a Sonicare smartphone app: No.
  • Charger: Conventional charging stand, similar in design to more modern Sonicares.
  • Operational voltages: 110-220V
  • Battery type: NiMH. - The non-lithium ion battery option.
  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 10 days.

    Note: In comparison, the specs for the standard Essence say "up to 2 weeks."

  • Travel case: No.

Our opinion about the Essence+ line.

Even though this brush is the old (ancient but proven) Essence design, because it's been updated to use Sonicare's modern click-on brush heads it makes a reasonable choice.

However, it must be said that as compared to all of the more modern brushes above, this unit is a bit larger, heavier, louder and its handle vibrates more. It may not make the right choice for debilitated or elderly users.

j) The Essence electric toothbrushes -

This group of models is old Sonicare technology that still exists in the product line.

Models:
Essence HX5611/01 - (MSRP $25)

( Compare Essence prices and deals at Walmart.com and Amazon.com. )

Comparing the members of the Essence line.

Essence features -

  • Color: White with blue rubber grips.
  • Top vibrational speed: 31,000 brush strokes/minute. (Equivalent to 62,000 brush-movements-per-minute.)
  • Brushing modes: 1 total - Clean.

    Clean mode = Sonicare's hallmark 31,000 brush strokes/minute brushing action. (This is the mode that we feel is the most important to have, in terms of receiving maximum brushing effectiveness.)

  • Brush head provided: One e-Series (Standard). - This is the older screw-on type head.
  • Replacement brush heads: Only e-Series brush heads can be used with the Essence. That means you have a much more limited choice than with other models, however they do come in both Standard and Compact sizes.

    (Possibly e-Series heads are less efficient brushers than other styles. This page provides more information.)

  • Brush timers: Smartimer only.
  • Integrates with a Sonicare smartphone app: No.
  • Charger: Conventional charging stand.
  • Operational voltages: 110-220V
  • Battery type: NiMH. - The non-lithium ion battery option.
  • Operating time after fully charged: "Up to" 2 weeks.
  • Travel case: No.

Our opinion about the Essence line.

For anyone who has used Sonicare toothbrushes over the years, you'll recognize this model as "newer" old-style technology. It's a decent brush, just very dated.

  • It should be mentioned that this unit is a bit larger, heavier, louder and vibrates more so than the newer Sonicare designs, so it may not be the right choice for elderly or debilitated brushers.
  • It uses the less convenient (and less diverse in available designs) e-Series style brush heads.

k) The PowerUp electric toothbrushes -

Because the top brushing action featured by this group of models is only 1/2 the vibrational speed of every other line of brushes on this page, we generally do not consider them to make a good choice.

Models:
PowerUp HX3631/06, HX3631/10 - (MSRP $15)

( Compare PowerUp prices and deals at Walmart.com and Amazon.com. )

Comparing the members of the PowerUp line.

Differences between models.

  • The HX3631/06 is White/Scuba Blue in color and comes with a Medium PowerUp brush head.
  • The HX3631/10 is White/Pink in color and comes with a Soft PowerUp brush head.

PowerUp features -

  • Color: See above.
  • Top vibrational speed: 15,000 brush strokes/minute.
  • Brushing modes: 1 total - Clean. IMPORTANT: Clean mode = 15,000 strokes-per-minute. That's 1/2 the speed of the other models 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 a Sonicare because of its exceptional cleaning ability, these models don't make the right choice.

    Having said that, as compared to other low-end toothbrush brands, the PowerUp probably makes a reasonable choice.

  • Brush head provided: One PowerUp (soft or medium, see above).
  • Replacement brush heads: Only PowerUp brush heads can be used with these brushes. Two styles are available, Medium and Soft.
  • Smartimer and QuadPacer: Smartimer only.
  • Integrates with a Sonicare smartphone app: No.
  • Battery type: Powered by 2 AA alkaline disposable batteries. - 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 on fresh batteries: 120 two-minute brushings.
  • Travel case: No.

Our opinion about the PowerUp line.

For the vast majority of users, any other brush on this page would make a more effective brushing choice than a PowerUp (due to the low vibrational speed of their brushing action).

Features to keep in mind about this product line:
  • This is the only Sonicare electric that uses replaceable, off-the-shelf batteries. (That can be advantageous for travelers.)

Too much information? Still need help in deciding?

We've pointed out throughout this page that we have a Best Sonicares Page. You should take advantage of it.

On it, we explain our thinking in how to weed through all of Sonicare's features to arrive at a selection of models that can be expected to deliver all of the brushing effectiveness that you need, a the lowest possible brush cost.

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

 

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Topic Menu ▶  Powered Toothbrushes

  • Sonicare Toothbrushes Pages -
    • All Sonicare models - A comprehensive review of the features/prices of all of the current models of the Sonicare lineup. Some comparisons between each of the individual product lines are made.
    • The best Sonicare models - A narrative that outlines how to determine which Sonicare model makes the best choice for you. It discusses Sonicare features, which of these features we think are important to have, and which models seem to offer a reasonable manifestation of them.
    • How sonic toothbrushes work. / Effectiveness. - If you're wondering how sonic toothbrushes work and what's special about the brushing action they create, this page explains.
  • Sonicare Features Pages -
    • Brush Heads - Information about Sonicare brush heads, including: What styles of heads are available, in which sizes? Which heads can be used with which models? Comparative cleaning efficiency. How long does a brush head last? Screw-on vs. Click-on design. Standard vs. Compact sizes.
    • Sonicare brushing features - An outline of the various brushing modes different Sonicare models have, and what we think of each of them. It explains the importance of having the 31,000 strokes-per-minute brushing action.
      We also explain details about the Easy-start, Smartimer, KidTimer, QuadPacer, BrushPacer and Smartphone App functions (how they work, what we think of them).
    • Additional Sonicare features - We discuss Sonicare's UV brush head sanitizer in this section. We also explain features and issues associated with Sonicare battery types, charging units, working voltages, battery replacement and travel features.
  • Oral-b Toothbrushes Pages -
    • All Oral-B rechargeable models - A comprehensive review of the features/prices of all of the current Oral-b rechargeable models. Some comparisons between each of the individual toothbrush lines are made.
    • The best Oral-B models - Our narrative outlining how to figure out which model makes the best choice for you. It covers Oral-b features, which of them we think are important to have, and which models seem to offer a reasonable manifestation of them.
  • Oral-b Features Pages -
    • Brush heads - Details about Oral-B replacement brush heads: styles, options, differences. Which are the best ones?
    • Brushing modes - An explanation of the different Oral-B brushing modes found on various models. The importance of 3D vs. 2D brushing action.
    • Additional Oral-b features - Information about the Oral-b Bluetooth/Smartphone app and the wireless Smartguide, as well as what we think of them. Also details about Oral-b brushing timers, quadrant timers and brushing pressure indicators, as well as charging units, operating voltages and battery types.
  • More about electric toothbrushes Pages -
    • Powered vs. Manual toothbrushes - Do you really need an electric toothbrush? This page can help you to decide. Advantages and potential benefits of electrics. What does research say?
    • Rotary electric toothbrushes - Types and brands of rotary-brush head powered toothbrushes (Rota-dent, Interplak, Braun Oral B). Pros and cons of their design differences.
    • The best electric toothbrushes for Senior Citizens. - Elder persons in different age groups, with differing situations, need different features. This page discusses the pros and cons of various models in meeting those needs.
  • Page reference sources.
 
 
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Comments

Is Sonicare really that good?

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.

Did you call Sonicare?

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.

they all die pretty fast

2 of my Philips brushes died after 1.5 years of use. Water gets inside them....

POOR Quility POOR company service

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.

Thank you!

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

Your information couldn't

Your information couldn't have been more helpful. Terrific research. Saved me $110 !!!
Thanks so much!!

This site is a gem

My wife had an ancient Essence type Sonicare brush which she wanted to replace. In checking the current Sonicare product line we were baffled by all the various Sonicare models, brush heads and features. Then your wonderful web site came to the rescue, cleared away all the verbiage and made it crystal clear what characteristics are the important ones. As a result my wife bought a simple Series 2 brush on sale which we are sure will suit her needs. Thanks for your help!

Holder for the brush heads

The older screw on brush head models included a holder that allows you to store two brush heads in the upright position. Other than the UV models, do any of the newer click on Sonicare models include a similar brush head holder? If not, how are you supposed to store them between brushings?

Roxanne

You'll need to look closely at the packaging of the products you are comparing.
The charging bases of some Sonicare models have an extra numb (one, possibly two) sticking up that you can store extra brush heads on.
We see storage nubs on the Flexcare models as well as some of the HealthyWhites.
The DiamondClean, since it features the "glass" charger doesn't offer this feature.
We don't believe you'll find it on the lower-end Sonicares either but to be sure you'll simply have to look.

HX6211 is US only

The HX6211 model seems to be US only. The nearest I can find in the EU is the HX6231, which seems to come with Quadpacer. Philips, what a bunch of idiots - make a great brush and then annoy the hell out of everyone with two annoying features which I am putting some serious effort into trying to *avoid*.

Private

Look for a FlexCare model in your country. Then Google around for its user manual. Check to see if with this line you can't deactivate the QuadPacer. (You should be able to on the FlexCare+ and FlexCare Platinum Connected)

Healthywhite+ Quadpacer can be deactivated

I just got a Healthywhite+ from Amazon and I wanted to let you know that the Quadpacer can be deactivated by pressing and holding the intensity level down button while it's on the charger. Thanks for all the good information on this site!

Thanks SL,

We've confirmed what you report and have edited our pages accordingly.

Pink toothbrush

Bought on 6-3-17 and no longer holds a charge; 7-7-17. Replace it or do so buy a new one? Thanks.

Judi

One of the premises of this page is that in a era of lowest-cost manufacturing, getting the cheapest model that serves your needs (the main subject of this page) may be your best overall protection.

HX6970 versus HX6960

Has anyone noticed or is it factual that the HX6970 black Philips is more powerful than HX6960? I was sent a replacement for one of my Black HX6970 handles (two in the set with charger from Costco) The white replacement HX6960 seems far less powerful. I was thinking of sending it back and asking for a replacement of my exact model if there is a power difference . Is it just me or is there an actual difference in power? It seems to be not as intense of brushing on the identical "clean" setting and the other settings are worthless and it's missing the max and go care.

VLC

The model numbers HX6970 and HX6960 don't appear in the current line up of Sonicares on their official site but generally speaking the HX69 portion of a number typically indicates a FlexCare+ model. That's a relatively higher-end Sonicare. At one time it was the top of the line model.

Model numbers that close together (70 vs. 60) typically does just indicate a very minor difference, such as color. It would be our expectation (unless you noticed something on the packaging that indicated differently) that the two brushes would be pretty much identical mechanically.

We wonder if the replacement brush you received is a "refurbished" one, and while mechanically functional not truely up to snuff.

Excellent

Your site provided excellent information on the various (way too many) models available. Using your review I think I made a good choice while replacing four old Sonic models - and you saved me money too. Thank you!

AA Battery powered model discontinued

The original battery powered unit I have using AA batteries cleans at 31,000 strokes. I can't seem to find a replacement. What happened? This power up model is sluggish and doesn't seem to do as good a job at cleaning. Why doesn't Sonicare produce the better quality AA battery powered model any longer? When trveling the charging model is toast.

JT

We remember the Sonicare Xtreme, and like you suggest, since it used off-the-shelf AA batteries a fresh charge was always possible, no matter where your were.

We assume you've read what we state about the PowerUp above (it's a 15,000 brush not a 31,000 one) and how we don't think it makes an acceptable choice.

The rechargeable Sonicares that would be better at sustaining a charge are the lithium ion battery models. We show "operating time" estimates above.

Are the New Models Weak?

It was finally time to retire my original Sonicare. I think its an A-Series (I cut it open and replaced the batteries). I got an Essence+ and Adaptive Clean brush heads. It was very underwhelming, the old Sonicare feels like a jack-hammer compared to the new one.

Its fully charged and the easy start is turned off. I tried the brush head supplied with the Essence+ and it feels a little stronger but still not as good as the old.

I tried placing the old and new in a bowl of water and turning them on. There is absolutely no comparison.

Did I happen to get a dud or are they really just weaker?

Thanks!

Rob

Sonicare's trend ever since the Elite replaced the A-series has been toward smaller, lighter brush heads, which require a less powerful motor to create their brushing action.

In fact, we ran across a web page that described rigging Elite heads to work on A-series handles. And it describes how much more powerfully that smaller head is driven when that is done. So the reduction in power (level of agitation) is by design, and should not necessarily be confused with the brush's inability to clean effectively (plaque is a soft substance and harsh scrubbing isn't required to remove it).

As side from that, and as we describe elsewhere on our pages, higher-end Sonicare products tend to have "stronger" motors. A difference that is most noticed by previous Sonicare owners when buying economy models.

Yup, I have been using E

Yup, I have been using E-Series brushes on the old handle. I'll read through the pages again to see how much I have to spend for a stronger one. I called Sonicare and was told they all have the same power but the customer service agent probably was confusing power with frequency.

I have some small accelerometers and am tempted to actually measure the difference between the old and Essence+ and the one I try next. But like you said, it only need to be strong enough to do the job.

Thanks

Rob

Rob

After you go through your investigation please post again.

We're not so sure your expectation of the experience of an e-series head running on an a-series handle is a realistic one. That was never a configuration Sonicare intended (sold as a toothbrush unit).

Generally speaking, the Healthywhite+ seems to us to be the low end of the more powerful Sonicares. Although most people seem to notice a difference in power between that level of brush and the DiamondClean (for example). It just gets to a point where you have to decide how much you are going to spend on one of these devices.

It is the brush frequency that has to do with the brush's "sonic" cleaning abilities (cleaning beyond where the bristles touch). We're convinced enough that in the sense of just letting the brush run as you gently work it around, all of these brushes can be effective cleaners despite their differences in "power."

While we rather imagine you know, you should be able to return your Essence+ to Sonicare for a refund.

I made some relative

I made some relative measurement between the hand pieces and brushes. An accelerometer was located mid brush-head behind the brush. These are no-load measurements (other than the mass of the accelerometer and mounting block) so they do not simulate brushing pressure. They also don't assess the different bristle designs.

Essence+ = 0 dB (set as baseline), fundamental frequency = 270 Hz (32,400 strokes / min)
Original handle with currently available brush head = +5 dB (1.9 times stronger), Fundamental = 260 Hz (31,200 strokes / min)
Original handle with original A-Series brush head = +7.3 dB (2.5 stronger than Essence+), Fundamental = 260 Hz (31,200 strokes / min)
HealthyWhite+ = +10 dB (3.2 times stronger than Essence+), Fundamental = 260 Hz (31,200 strokes / min)

Notes:
- A-series brush total length is shorter than current brushes.
- HealthyWhite only examined at full power
- Harmonic content not quantified but it appeared similar between configurations

My guess is the Essence+ that I had was defective and not necessarily designed to be that weak. The slight frequency shift might also be indicative of an issue.

If I was doing this "for real" the brush would have been modified (sanded flat, tri-axial accelerometers epoxy mounted) and a simulated brush force applied. Would be interesting to measure the signal transmitted through the bristles to a simulated tooth!

I've been using the HealthyWhite+ for about a week. The AdaptiveClean brush head feels significantly stronger than the SimplyClean brush, buts its big. With a manual toothbrush I like smaller brush heads but it doesn't seem to be a problem with it on the Sonicare. I have not yet tried the DiamondClean brush that came with the HealthyWhite+.

Thanks for taking the time to

Thanks for taking the time to experiment and post (Rob?).

It'd be appreciated if you could help with some clarification.

You compared:
Essence+
An old A-series brush handle with an A-series brush head.
An old A-series brush handle substituting an e-series brush head.
HealthlyWhite+

When running, the Essence+ vibrated at 270hz, all of the others at 260hz (the 31,000 strokes per minute that Sonicare usually states).

Beyond that, your decibels number is a measure of power ... and you found the HealthWhite+ to be the most powerful (stronger) of the lot? You also found that in the case of the A-series brush handle that it with the original A-series brush head made a more powerful combination than it with the e-Series (a smaller, lighter brush head).

You also make mention of a subjective comparison of the Adaptive Clean vs. Simply Clean brush heads when mounted on the HealthyWhite. What you have noticed seems to correlate with the grading scale that Sonicare assigns to their brush head lineup.

Thanks again for posting your information. Please point out my errors in interpreting what you have posted if needed.

You got it!

You got it!

I was measuring acceleration which is related to velocity, displacement, and power. When you turn up the volume on your stereo, the speaker cone vibrates at the same frequency but it moves a greater distance so its acceleration and speed also increase.

Thanks again Rob.

Thanks again Rob.

Diamond clean

Had a Essence for years....loved it. When it died I bought Diamond Clean. What a piece of crap. Does not charge well. I get one brushing between charges. Travel with it? No way. I would never ever under any circumstances recommend this product. I would give it 0 stars as a rating.

Thank you for this very informative website. I appreciate the info very much.

Wes,

Thank you for posting.

At times Sonicare customer service can be accommodating. You should call them with your complaint to see if they will offer you a replacement. Their stats say that that model should hold a charge for "up to 3 weeks." Let them know what's going on and see if they'll offer a solution.

7 1/2 years later: Philips Sonicare HX6932/10 FlexCare RS930

I've owned this Philips Sonicare HX6932/10 FlexCare RS930 for 7 1/2 years now. It has served me well. They don't make that particular model anymore. It still works great and holds a long charge (more than 10 days for sure). The only issue is that the "on" button is covered with a silicone type material that has started to peel off and deteriorate. That made turning it on and off difficult as the material is clogging the mechanism on the inside. I fixed it once but it got clogged again so I'm finally replacing the brush. Based on your thorough reviews (thank you so much for that) I just bought a HealthyWhite +. I hope that the quality will be as the old FlexCare. 7 1/2 years of service is great for a toothbrush, don't you think?

IK

Yes it was. We find it so sad that that doesn't seem more of a goal for electric toothbrush manufacturers (all of them) than just adding more gimmicks to each new model.

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