Picture of a Sonicare toothbrush.

Sonicare Electric Brush

Which is the best Sonicare toothbrush? (Updated May 2018) -

a) Our take about which Sonicare models make the best choice in terms of value (features & function vs. price).   b) Which options are the most important ones to have?   c) Comparisons between models based on value.

This page walks you through the process we've used to compare the current Sonicare electric toothbrush line, so to drill down and single out those select models that we feel tend to make a best-buy choice in terms of value (features and function vs. price).

(If you're interested, we offer this same type of comparison work through for Oral-B electric brushes.)

How we conducted our evaluation.

a) We started off by making a features-based comparison of all of the models.

Our first step was to evaluate and make comparisons of all of Sonicare's current models strictly based on their capabilities and features, as documented by information collected from Philips Sonicare websites, publications, user manuals and support representatives (chat & telephone).

While performing this comparison process, the information we collected and sorted through allowed us to form a distinct opinion about which features are important to have versus those that seem to offer just limited value.

Then, based on these conclusions, we picked out which models come with the important Sonicare core features that we feel are a must, and at the same time as few unneeded extras as possible. To us, this is a fundamental aspect of picking out a "good value."

b) As a second step, we factored in reputation and perceived performance.

As it turns out, just comparing features really isn't all that's needed when trying to pick out the best Sonicares.

As you'll see below, there's an amazingly large price difference between the top and bottom Sonicare models (over 20 fold). And based on this factor alone, it's easy enough to anticipate that while some brushes may share similar features and specifications, they're probably not really equals in terms of quality and build.

(It's been our experience that some Sonicare support representatives are pretty quick to harp this you-get-what-you-pay-for attitude when you call with questions.)

Our proxy for judging quality and reliability.

As you might guess, our website doesn't have the resources of a big organization (like Consumer Reports for example) who might run dozens of each model for weeks on end to evaluate reliability. Or scientifically measure how the brushing action of one toothbrush compares to another. So, actually quantifying model quality and reliability differences isn't really something we can do.

But a basis of comparison that we can share is this: 1) Our opinion/impression of each of the models (admittedly however unscientific that is), 2) What people have posted in our comments section below about owning specific toothbrushes (thank you to those who do) and 3) What seems to be the collective opinion of consumers who have posted comments on retailer websites about their experiences.

So besides just a strict comparison of features, we've also incorporated these more subjective types of information throughout this page where we think it holds merit and therefore is important to do so. Not so much to steer you toward certain models but instead away from some clunkers.

Who will benefit from reading our Best Sonicares walkthrough?

Despite the title of this page, we don't really believe in labels like the "best Sonicare." After all, what's best for one person may not satisfy the requirements or expectations of another in the least. As possible differences in what people are looking for:

a) Are you just looking for the best Sonicare possible?

Some people may feel that they just want the absolute best Sonicare made, no matter what the cost.

For them we would suggest, why bother reading this page at all and just buy a DiamondClean Smart, DiamondClean or FlexCare Platinum Connected model?

While we certainly don't feel that any of these brushes even remotely make a "best value" buy, as the most expensive Sonicare lines they do offer these advantages ...

  • They come with all of the features you need. - Although unfortunately, they also come with a whole lot more.

    On this page, we explain our reasoning about which core Sonicare features are the important ones to have. And while these brushes do have them, you're also paying for a lot of fluff options too, most of which are likely to never be used again once the newness of your brush has worn off.

  • These brushes give the impression of having a superior design and build. - We clearly do consider this point one of the advantages of choosing a higher-end Sonicare. But we also feel that a reasonable build quality can be found in slightly lesser models too.
  • If you can get a good deal on one of these brushes ... - With just a little comparison shopping you may be able to find special deals on these higher-end models. And if so, that changes our opinion about them entirely. After all, it's only their price (lack of value) that we have an issue with.

So if cost is not a major concern for you, just getting a DiamondClean Smart, DiamondClean or Flexcare Platinum (just pick out the model that has the combination of special options you think you want) can make a reasonable choice.

b) Which brush has the best qualities overall, at a reasonable price?

Answering this specific question is the primary focus of this page. The goal of our comparison process is to identify which models seem to make a "best" (most reasonable) choice in terms of effectiveness, functionality, reliability and so forth ... while also keeping costs to a minimum.

That's because electric toothbrushes, on the whole, aren't exactly known for their ruggedness and longevity (at least not nowadays). So in this era of lowest-possible-cost manufacturing and planned-obsolescence product design, both initial and replacement costs should be important factors that are considered.

For this type of best-value pick, we generally lean toward the purchase of a HealthyWhite+ model. We think it makes a better, more predictable choice (both in terms of performance and reliability) than any less expensive Sonicare.

Having said that, the ProtectiveClean line of brushes has recently been introduced. And while they have no historic product track record to consider, we anticipate that the 6100, and possibly the 5100, also make reasonable value choices too. We explain in our model drill down below.

c) What are the best bargain Sonicares?

Some people reading this page might either: 1) Be ready to get on board with purchasing a Sonicare (as an improvement over their current brushing situation, manual or electric) but aren't so committed that they're ready to spend a lot of money. 2) Or feel that cost is a major consideration for them and it must be kept to a bare minimum.

We've already mentioned that Sonicares come in a wide range of prices, and you tend to get what you pay for. But that doesn't necessarily mean that reasonable bargain models don't exist.

With expectations kept in mind that they aren't high-end brushes, the Sonicare for Kids (yes, even an adult/parent might use this brush) and the Essence+ (slightly updated Sonicare technology from yesteryear) can make reasonable budget choices.

Which models does our evaluation include?

Here's the list of models we've included in our comparison process aimed at picking out the best Sonicares in terms of value:

  • DiamondClean Smart -

    9700 models: HX9957/51 ($330)

    9500 models: HX9924/41 ($270), HX9924/21 ($270), HX9924/11 ($270), HX9924/01 ($270)

    9300 models: HX9903/41 ($230), HX9903/21 ($230), HX9903/11 ($230), HX9903/01 ($230)

    Models: HX9985/41 (est. $270), HX9985/21 (est. $270), HX9985/11 (est. $270), HX9985/01 (est. $270), HX9924/36 (est. $270)

  • DiamondClean - Models: HX9393/90 ($250), HX9392/05 ($220), HX9372/10 ($220), HX9362/10 ($220), HX9352/10 ($220), HX9332/10 ($220), HX9391/90 ($200), HX9371/71 ($200), HX9361/69 ($200), HX9351/57 ($200)
  • FlexCare Platinum Connected - Models: HX9192/02 ($220), HX9193/04 (est. $220), HX9192/01 ($200)
  • FlexCare+ (plus) - Models: HX6921/04 ($150)
  • HealthyWhite+ - Models: HX8911/02 ($120)
  • ProtectiveClean -

    6100 models: HX6877 ($130), HX6876/21 ($130), HX6871/49 ($130), HX6871/41 ($130)

    5100 models: HX6857/11 ($90), HX6850/60 ($90)

    4100 models: HX6817/01 ($70), HX6810/50 ($70)

  • Sonicare 2 series plaque control - Models: HX6211/04 ($70), HX6211/07 ($70), HX6211/28 ($70), HX6211/46 ($70), HX6211/47 ($70), HX6211/48 ($70)
  • Sonicare for Kids - Models: HX6321/02 ($50), HX6382/07(est. $40)
  • Essence+ - Models: HX3211/02 ($40), HX3211/17 ($40), HX3211/33 ($40), HX3211/45 ($40), HX3211/57 ($40), HX3211/62 ($40)
  • Essence - Models: HX5611/01 ($25)
  • PowerUp - Models: HX3631/06 ($15), HX3631/10 ($15)

Pictures of Sonicare electric toothbrushes.

Our affiliate links can be used to shop  Sonicare toothbrushes  on  Amazon.com  or  Walmart.com

Tips:  As this page explains, we like the mid-priced models as a best-value (like the HealthyWhite+ or Protective Clean 6100). But if expense isn't a concern, any of the higher-end models can be considered very good brushes.

How did we select these models?

At the time of this update (May 1, 2018), the above toothbrushes constituted all of the models that Sonicare (Koninklijke Philips N.V) displayed on the USA version of their website as their "current" products, with the exception of combination offerings such as toothbrush/razor or "multiple toothbrush handle" offerings.

About the prices we show.

As you can see, our list contains brushes priced from around $330 all the way down to $15 (MSRP). This information also comes directly from the Philips/Sonicare (USA) website (May 1, 2018).

The Sonicare website did not state an MSRP for some models. In these cases, we've estimated one and identified it as such.

Our comparison process for picking out the best Sonicares.

Setting the criteria

As the basis for our evaluation, we set the following criteria: The "best" Sonicare toothbrushes are those that ...

  • Feature Sonicare's hallmark 31,000-brush-strokes-per-minute brushing action (you'll learn why in our next section) ...
  • Have Sonicare's basic core functions but as few additional features as possible (as you read on below we explain why we feel many of Sonicare's most promoted features aren't necessities at all) ...
  • Cost as little as possible (we tend to favor lower upper-end models but there are reasonable budget options too) ...
  • And seem to have a reputation for performance and reliability. (We're always interested in comments posted by Sonicare owners, especially those who have owned more than one model. So if you have something to say, please do.)

We set our criteria up this way because we wanted our conclusions to be ...

  • A balance between features and price. After all, why buy more toothbrush than you really need?
  • A recommendation for brushes that should make a good choice, in the sense that people who own them seem to be satisfied that they're good products and do a good job.

Sonicare's hallmark brushing Action - The most important feature.

You may not be aware of this fact but the whole reason to buy a Sonicare is because of its full-power 31,000 brushstrokes-per-minute brushing action. (In some promotional materials this may be stated as the equivalent 62,000 brush movements/minute.)

Sonic brushes generate a cleaning effect beyond where their bristles actually touch.

Animation showing the fluid-dynamics cleaning action of a Sonicare toothbrush.
Why is this brushing action important?
  • As a primary cleaning action, toothbrush bristles vibrating at this rate of speed constitute a very effective brushing motion.
  • Brush vibrations at this (sonic) frequency are also able to create a secondary cleansing action that extends beyond where the brush's bristles actually touch. (Yes, beyond.)

    This secondary cleaning action is termed "fluid dynamics" and it's something that sets a sonic brush apart from other electrics. (If you'd like to read more about sonic toothbrushes and how they work, use this link.)

Which models offer Sonicare's hallmark setting?

As the most important criteria of our comparison, of course we took a look at all of the models in our list to make sure that each one offered it. Here's what we found:

  • Yes, has it. - The DiamondClean Smart, DiamondClean, FlexCare Platinum Connected, FlexCare+ (plus), HealthyWhite+ (plus), ProtectiveClean, Sonicare 2 series plaque control, Sonicare for Kids, Essence+ and Essence models all feature this mode.

    (The 31,0000 strokes-per-minute setting is most commonly referred to as "Clean" mode in Sonicare manuals and literature.)

  • No, doesn't have it. - The PowerUp model doesn't have this capability... so it's out of our running for a Best Sonicare.

    (The top speed on a PowerUp brush is only 15,000 strokes-per-minute. And unless you have a specific reason why you would want a brush that can only operate half speed, that's a big deficiency.)

Sonicare features we usually feel aren't needed, or don't offer much value.

Our pages have always expressed a fairly strong opinion about which of the Sonicare features we feel have value, and which ones not so much.

In many ways, we're probably too critical. But we have high regard for sonic toothbrushes in general, and Sonicare in particular. And with that opinion, we feel that the features they offer should be more about substance than hype. Based on science more so than marketing ploys.

[If you want additional information and details about a particular feature (both pros and cons), use the buttons to the right.]

a) The UV brush-head sanitizer - Hype not science.

Just several years ago this was one of Sonicare's newest, most-promoted options. At this point in time:

  • Rather than growing in prominence, it just comes on two of the FlexCare Platinum Connected models.
  • It's not featured by the newer, higher-end DiamondClean or DiamondClean Smart product lines.

We'd take that as evidence that consumers generally didn't find it to be an especially important feature or good value.

We had always stated on our pages that we saw no purpose for it. We based our opinion on that of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) whose website states that toothbrush sterilization holds little benefit.

So, two more models fall off our list.

Since one of our core comparison criteria is not to include brushes that feature unneeded options, we'll go ahead and scratch the two FlexCare Platinum Connected models that have the UV sanitizer off our list.

b) The Sonicare smartphone app - We get it, but just don't feel we need it.

We'll go ahead and mark the other FlexCare Platinum Connected model off our list, as well as the DiamondClean Smart brushes too. That's because they're teched-up to interact with Sonicare's smartphone brushing app, and we don't feel that that's a vital feature to have.

We really do think that Sonicare did a good job with the app, but ...

  • We primarily see it as a tool for discipline or motivation. And definitely think that anyone who just pays a little attention to what they are doing when they clean their teeth will be just as effective in their routine whether they have it or not.
  • It does provide some notifications to the user as they brush. But some of this is redundant with what the toothbrush's handle does on its own anyway.

From the standpoint of the average person who just needs a good, effective electric toothbrush, we feel the app contributes too little at too much added cost in getting a model that features it.

Having said that, if having an app to use is important to you then the DiamondClean Smart, FlexCare Platinum Connected and the For Kids (one of our budget picks) are the options you have.

c) Additional brushing modes - What's the purpose?

You couldn't have found a website that has less faith in the importance of the various (and ever-changing on each new model) Sonicare brushing modes.

Just one mode (Clean) is all most people need.

We do think that Sonicare toothbrushes are great and important products. But just for one main reason, their full-power 31,0000 brush-strokes-per-minute brushing action. This is labeled as "Clean" mode on almost all models.

Yes, we'll concede that a few people may have special circumstances (like the need for a "sensitive" mode). But for the vast majority of users, the best, most effective, most efficient brushing mode they can use is the constant full-power one.

  • This is the mode that was used to establish the benefits of using sonic toothbrushes in scientific research.
  • This is the mode that Sonicare invented and has built its reputation on.

(We spend a lot of words documenting the basis of our opinion on this issue here.)

You're not going to use all of those modes, that's just human nature.

Beyond feeling that Clean mode makes the most beneficial brushing selection for most people, we find it hard to believe that over the long-term the other ones will even be used.

We'd suggest that six months out or so that even those people who originally enjoyed the novelty of having more than one brushing mode to choose from will have long since forgotten that these options exist, and often even how to activate them.

It's not so much we think a brush shouldn't have multiple modes, we just wouldn't buy one just because it does.

In light of this opinion, it's pretty easy for us to dismiss the importance of buying a Sonicare model that features a lot of different brushing modes. But having said that, we're not going to nix any models specifically because they do.

As explained below, we find that there are some advantages to purchasing a mid-range Sonicare as opposed to the lowest-end ones. And the ones we like the best do happen to feature more than one brushing option.

Basic features that are common to most Sonicares.

The toothbrushes remaining as potential candidates in our Best Sonicares comparison tend to have some features in common. Per the Philips (USA) website, each of them has:

  • A charging unit that can run on both 110 and 220 volt electrical systems.

    This capability can be an important one for world travelers. However, you will need plug adapters for the various types of outlets you encounter.

  • Brushing timers - Smartimer / KidTimer - All Sonicare models come with some type of brushing timer, which usually runs on the order of two minutes or longer.

    Some people like having a timer because it helps them to achieve a higher level of brushing discipline. Others (like us) find them annoying because they may turn the brush off before they feel they have completed their duties. (This feature typically cannot be deactivated.)

  • Many Sonicare brushes feature Quadpacer or BrushPacer. These functions signal when you should move on to cleaning the next portion of your mouth. Not everyone values this type of indicator. We state below which models allow you to deactivate it.
  • Except for the PowerUps, all Sonicare models have the availability of standard or compact brush heads. Depending on your needs, this can be a very important consideration.
  • Excessive pressure indicator - All Sonicare models will tend to stall out or stutter when the user applies too much force. Beyond that, some models offer more sophisticated pressure and even scrubbing indicators (we've made note of them below).
  • Easy-start - The Easy-Start feature helps you get used to the vigorous nature of a Sonicare by gradually ramping up its power over a period of several brushing sessions.
Pictures of Sonicare brush heads.

Sonicare DiamondClean and original ProResults brush heads.

Some model differences.

Brush heads.

Different Sonicare models come packaged with different styles of brush heads. We list the specific head(s) provided (type and quantity) with each brush's listing below.

This is important to know -

Most Sonicare models have a design that uses click-on (snap-on) brush heads, and therefore can be used with any of the brush heads that are part of Sonicare's click-on line. That's a really big deal because it means that you'll have a wide range of options to choose from when you buy replacements.

For this reason, we don't place great emphasis on which type(s) of head(s) comes with which model. You can just switch it out with whichever one you prefer.

The exceptions to the above rule are the Essence and PowerUp models. These lines each use their own specific type of head. (We make note of all of this below. We explain Sonicare brush head options in general, on this page.)

Pictures of Sonicare toothbrush brushheads.

Our affiliate links can be used to shop  Sonicare replacement brush heads  on  Amazon.com  or  Walmart.com

Tip:  With Sonicare, you have a big selection. The full line of Sonicare's click-on brush heads can be used with most Sonicare toothbrush models.

Battery type.

Sonicare rechargeable models come with either a NiMH or lithium-ion battery. We make note of which in each brush's listing below.

Lithium-ion batteries offer some advantages. Due to their smaller size, the bodies of models that have them tend to be lighter and sleeker. Additionally, the nature of these batteries offers recharging and performance advantages.

To us, the battery type isn't an insignificant consideration. But if a particular model met our needs in all other ways, we'd let this one slip by. This page discusses the subject of battery options in greater detail.

Our Best-Sonicare list.

Here's where we finally cut to the chase. Based on what's been stated above, the brushes listed below are those Sonicare models that we consider to be the best ones in terms of a good-value pick, arranged from least to most expensive.

For each brush, we've listed its general features. And also provide a link to it on our Sonicare models reviews page where you can learn even more details about it.

Have questions?

If you have a question about something you see on this page, or Sonicare models in general, leave a comment below and we'll see if we can get an answer for you.

Double-check brush features before you buy.

We've gone to a lot of effort in compiling this information, trying to make sure we got everything right. But before you buy, do us a favor and just double-check what we say against the packaging or description of the actual product you plan to purchase. We don't want you to be disappointed.

You may have an out if you've made a poor choice.

Philips Sonicare has traditionally offered a 90-day money-back guarantee with their toothbrushes, allowing you to return yours if you're unsatisfied with it.

On the Philips website we've seen this guarantee worded as: "If within 90 days of your original retail purchase you are not satisfied with your product, we will refund your money."

Obviously, we don't speak for Philips. So if having this option is important to you, you should contact them or read the packaging of the product you're considering before making your purchase, just to make sure you have all of the details straight.

The best Sonicare toothbrushes - From cheapest to more expensive.

Picture of a Sonicare Essence sonic toothbrush.

Sonicare Essence HX5611/01

#1 - The Sonicare Essence: HX5611/01 (MSRP $25).

( Compare Essence prices and deals at Amazon.com or Walmart.com using our affiliate links. )

This is a bare-bones Sonicare that doesn't really have any unique options or features. It's basically just an old design that happens to still be sold.

Things to know about the Essence:
  • Its body is big to hold (probably in part due to the fact that it has the NiMH style of battery) and it's a little bit noisier than other models. As compared to the sleeker, more-modern Sonicare designs, this unit is old fashioned.
  • Replacement brush heads: e-Series, which do come in Standard and Compact sizes. However, those are the only options you have.

    These heads screw-on rather than snap in place (the only model in our Best list to use this type). This design tends to accumulate gunk and makes the brush slightly less convenient to use if it's shared. [More details.]

    Possibly e-Series heads are less efficient brushers.

  • Operating time after charging: - "Up to" 2 weeks (NiMH battery).
  • EasyStart and Smartimer: Yes.
  • QuadPacer: No.
  • More specifications about the Essence.

Comments: The Essence isn't as glamorous a brush as the more modern Sonicares but it creates the same 31,000 brush-strokes-per-minute brushing action they do. However, as compared to higher-end models, this one's mechanism seems to be less powerful. And from what we've read in terms of user comments, people who have owned other models may not be satisfied with the brushing experience this one delivers.

Having said that, while never a "top" model itself the Essence represents some of the original Sonicare technology that this line built its reputation on (both in the marketplace and dental research). That means you can be effective with this brush. And for people stepping up from a manual one, the difference should be noticeable.

The biggest problem with the Essence is that you're severely limited in the available styles of replacement brush heads. And for that reason the Essence+ (while newer and less tested but seemingly the same mechanism) to us seems to make the better choice.

Take note!

All of the models below use Sonicare's interchangeable, click-on style brush heads. This is an important point because despite whatever type your brush came with originally, you can switch to any other.

The range of available brush heads includes: DiamondClean (standard & compact sizes), Adaptive Clean (standard & compact sizes), Intercare (standard), ProResults (standard & compact sizes), ProResults Plaque Control (standard), ProResults Gum Health (standard), Sensitive (standard), Simply Clean (standard & compact sizes) and For Kids (standard & compact sizes), C3 Premium Plaque Control (standard), G3 Premium Gum Care (standard), W3 Premium White (standard).

That's an incredible number of options. (More information about brush heads.)

#2 - The Sonicare Essence+: HX3211/02, HX3211/17, HX3211/33, HX3211/45, HX3211/57, HX3211/62 (MSRP $40).

( Compare Essence+ prices and deals at Amazon.com or Walmart.com using our affiliate links. )

This model appears to be the older Essence brush (see above) but redesigned so it can accept click-on style brush heads.

Things to know about the Essence+:
  • This brush has the same thick/large body design as its predecessor (the regular Essence). And we're assuming the same internal mechanism, in the sense that it vibrates more and is noisier and less powerful than more modern, higher-end Sonicares.
  • Replacement brush heads: This model can be used with the full line of Sonicare snap-on heads.

    That's a big deal. It gives you a much wider range of styles to choose from. And these heads are more convenient to change (a nice feature if you share a brush), and make it easier to keep things clean.

  • Operating time after charging: - "Up to" 10 days (NiMH battery). Curiously, the older Essence model provides more brushings between charges.
  • EasyStart and Smartimer: Yes.
  • QuadPacer: Yes.
  • More specifications about the Essence+.

Comments: For Sonicares at this end of the price range, the fact that the Essence+ can use the full line of Sonicare's click-on brush heads makes this brush a pretty attractive choice.

We'd also suggest (although it's just conjecture on our part) that Sonicare technology of yesteryear carried forward (which is what this brush seems to represent) may offer design and build-quality advantages over newer "economy" models (2 Series, 3 Series [now evidently discontinued]) that seem to have only been designed as less expensive Sonicares.

#3 - The Sonicare For Kids: HX6321/02 (MSRP $50), HX6382/07 (est. MSRP $40).

( Compare For Kids prices and deals at Amazon.com or Walmart.com using our affiliate links. )

Picture of a Sonicare For Kids sonic toothbrush.

Sonicare For Kids HX6321/02

This is Sonicare's toothbrush for children but in theory, it could make an acceptable budget choice for an adult.

Things to know about the Sonicare For Kids:
  • There is no question that everything about this brush is geared toward children. That includes the way it looks (although you can just leave the decorative stickers off), and the way its brushing timer (which you can't turn off) functions and sounds.

    So if as an adult you're considering this brush, you really must use the link below to learn more about it so to make sure you want to put up with these features.

  • It has KidTimer (a brushing timer) and features a QuadPacer-type function (KidPacer).
  • The Sonicare website says these models do not have the EasyStart function (but they do have a low-intensity setting that could help to serve as a substitute).
  • It has two brushing settings, High and Low. The Low setting is intended for use by smaller children.
  • The HX6321/02 (only)syncs via Bluetooth to a brushing app on your smartphone. (This is the only brush in our Best Sonicares list that features the phone app.)
  • Replacement brush heads: The full range of universally interchangeable snap-on heads listed above. (Confirmed by a phone call to Sonicare on 8/1/2016.)

    If an adult chooses to use this brush with either of its stock brush heads, they will find the For Kids Standard brush to be "smallish" (about the same size as the DiamondClean, which is one of the smaller adult brush heads). The For Kids Compact sized head in comparison would be significantly smaller. Both heads have softer bristles than their adult-sized counterparts.

  • These brushes feature a lithium-ion battery, one of the few budget models that do.
  • More specifications about the Sonicare For Kids.

Comments: Clearly these models have been designed as kids toothbrushes. But for people who can overlook that fact, this is a way of getting a relatively modern, full-fledged (31,000 brush-strokes-per-minute) Sonicare at a low price.

The fact that it can be used with Sonicare's click-on brush head lineup, makes it a reasonable option for parents that might want to share a brush with their children. Or test out the use of an electric before moving on to getting their own.

#4 - The Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control: HX6211/04, HX6211/07, HX6211/28, HX6211/46, HX6211/47, HX6211/48 (MSRP $70).

Picture of a Sonicare 2 Series sonic toothbrush.

Sonicare 2 Series HX6211/04

( Compare Sonicare 2 Series prices and deals at Amazon.com or Walmart.com using our affiliate links. )

This is a "sleeker," more refined alternative to the heftier Essence and Essence+ brushes. The individual 2 Series models only differ by way of their color.

We allow the 2 Series to be on this Best Sonicares list because notably, it is a line that only comes with those very few features we think are necessary. But as we discuss below, these models aren't ones we would choose for our own use.

Things to know about the Sonicare 2 Series:
  • Replacement brush heads: The full range of universally interchangeable snap-on heads listed above.
  • Operating time after charging: - "Up to" 2 weeks. (NiMH battery.)
  • EasyStart, Smartimer and QuadPacer: Yes. (According to Sonicare website.)
  • More specifications about the Sonicare 2 Series.

Comments: When compared to the Essence and Essence+ models above, you're basically buying a smaller, easier to hold brush, which is nice.

As compared to the regular Essence alone, you get the advantage of using the more convenient, wider selection and easier to clean around click-on brush heads.

2 Series disadvantages.

This brush seems to have been introduced into Sonicare's lineup simply to fill a price point. And as such, some owners we've heard from seem to feel that its design, performance and durability tend to reflect that.

As compared to higher-end Sonicare's, this brush's mechanism seems noisy and less refined. Some commenters on this page have complained that they consider this brush underpowered as compared to models they have owned before (they don't get the same "clean" as with more expensive Sonicares).

Overall (primarily based on what we've read in the comments found on large retailer websites) it's our impression that first-time Sonicare owners are generally satisfied with this brush (as an improvement over their manual one) but previous owners tend not to be.


If you're willing to consider a non-Sonicare model, click to open these drop-down boxes.

Pictures of Sonicare electric toothbrushes.

Our affiliate links can be used to shop  Sonicare toothbrushes  on  Amazon.com  or  Walmart.com

Tips:  We consider the mid-priced models to be best-value buys (like the HealthyWhite+ or Protective Clean 6100). Some inexpensive models are reasonable choices for some people but stick to the more established lines (Essence+, For kids). The more expensive models (DiamondClean, Flexcare) are very good brushes, just not best-value purchases.

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

( Compare ProtectiveClean prices and deals at Amazon.com or Walmart.com using our affiliate links. )

The ProtectiveClean is Sonicare's newest toothbrush line. And as a group, the unique characteristics that thread through these models are that they all have an excessive brushing pressure indicator, and some limited BrushSync capabilities (see below for an explanation).

That's all fine, although of limited interest to us. Instead, what we find so unique about these brushes is the giant difference in the set of features each of them comes with (see below). So if you're considering one, pay attention.

With those feature comparisons in mind we'll say, we consider the 6100 to be the lowest end of the comparatively higher-end Sonicare's (that's a good place to be). We think the 4100 is more akin to the economy models already discussed. And not surprisingly, feel that the 5100 lies somewhere in between.

Things to know about the ProtectiveClean line:
  • All models feature an excessive brushing pressure sensor. (The brush handle vibrates differently and makes a pulsing sound when your use of excessive brushing pressure is detected.)
  • The different models feature a wide range of different combinations of brushing modes:

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

    We absolutely feel that almost all users should just use Clean mode (at the highest intensity setting). But for people who can't tolerate that much brushing activity (like elderly or debilitated persons), this model gives the user additional options.

    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.

    All models feature Sonicare's hallmark 31,000 brush-strokes-per-minute brushing action.

  • The 6100 features BrushSync brushing-mode switching capabilities. (When a BrushSync brush head is placed, the handle switches its mode to match.)
  • All models feature a brush replacement reminder (if a BrushSyn brush head is used).
  • Replacement brush heads: The full range of universally interchangeable snap-on heads.
  • Operating time after charging: - "Up to" 3 weeks.

    These brushes feature a lithium-ion battery, which has advantages.

  • This line has Sonicare's EasyStart, QuadPacer and Smartimer features.
  • The 6100 and 5100 come with a travel case.
  • More specifications about the ProtectiveClean.

    As we mentioned above, there's a lot of differences among the individual ProtectiveClean models. So if you're considering any of them, you really need to use the link above to learn about their comparative features.


We generally like the 6100. To us it seems a reasonable brush and on par with the HealthyWhite+ (the next brush mentioned below). With both occupying a position at the lower end of the higher-end Sonicare models. (That's the location where we think the best value Sonicares lie.)

What we don't like most about the 6100 (and this line overall) is simply that it doesn't yet have a long product track record to take into consideration (like the HealthyWhite+, Essence and For Kids lines do).

We think the 6100 has more features than you really need, many of which we assign no real value in having. But as we discuss next, when it comes to brushing power, build quality and mechanism refinement, we're a little leery of sub $100 models (especially with newly-introduced Sonicare lines). And that means to ensure that you get these things, we favor buying a little more toothbrush (in terms of features) than you really wanted to.

So, having just said that, and just like with the 2 Series above, you won't be surprised in our saying that we're hesitant to suggest the 4100 model. In comparison, the 5100 seems like it makes a reasonable budget selection. But its lack of a long track record puts us off. (We expound on all of these issues here.)

What you don't get with cheaper Sonicare models.

With the Sonicare line, buying a higher-priced toothbrush doesn't equate with getting a different brushing action. But there are some design and performance differences that may make a noticeable difference in your overall brushing experience.

Evidently, this is by design. The Sonicare representatives we've talked to readily state that there are differences between models (batteries, motors). Considering the price range involved with their rechargeables product line ($25 to $330), one would have to be relatively naive to expect differently.

Probably the best way to explain things is to say that with the lower-end models you're not buying a Cadillac.

Differences in design and engineering.

To follow through with our car analogy, if you buy an economy car you can expect that it will get you to your destination. But your experiences during your trip (acceleration up hills, smoothness of ride) aren't going to be the same as if you had bought a Cadillac.

That's pretty much what you'll notice with the cheaper Sonicares. They will deliver the promised 31,000 brush-strokes-per-minute. But the power of the brush won't be the same as the higher-end models, nor will the smoothness of their brushing action.

This may be especially apparent to those who have had a higher-end model before and have replaced it with an economy model.

Do these differences matter in cleaning your teeth?

We'd suggest that they do and don't.

a) Brushing experience.

It's easy enough to say that using a brush that has a more refined design (less noise, less handle vibration) makes for a more pleasant brushing experience. But how important those characteristics are for you to accomplish the act of brushing your teeth would simply be up to you.

b) Brush power.

It's probably also easy enough to state that having a more powerful brush is generally a plus. But related to this issue, we think that many people don't understand how a Sonicare is meant to be used.

How to use a Sonicare.

The unique characteristic of a sonic toothbrush is the way it creates a secondary cleaning action (one that helps to clean beyond where the brush's bristles actually touch) due to the manner in which it agitates the fluids that surround your teeth. (Here's how this works.)

That action is created by the frequency (rate of vibration) of the brush. And the way that's best generated is by using a light touch of the brush against your teeth.

Here's a link to a video on Sonicare's website that explains how to use their brushes. (Look for the link titled "Philips Sonicare -- Top tips for getting the best clean.")

The two phrases in the video that stand out to us are: "gently and lightly hold (the brush) for a few seconds on each tooth" and "the movement (of the brush) needs to be light".


To this point, we'll mention a research study (Lea 2007) published during the heyday of the Essence brush mentioned above. [Page references.]

The purpose of this study was to determine to what degree the vibratory action of powered toothbrushes was dampened when applying brushing force. The specific Sonicare tested was the Elite (a model similar in design to the Essence).

  • The study concluded that a load of 1 Newton didn't significantly affect the brushing amplitude of this model (the back and forth swing of its brush head), whereas a load of 2 Newtons did.
  • 1 Newton is roughly the amount of force that an object weighing 1/5 lbs. places on the surface it is resting on, such as the palm of your hand. (A smallish apple is often given as an example of something that weighs about one-fifth of a pound.)
What might you conclude from all of this?

A person could conclude that the best brush to buy is simply the one that can best overcome any damping effect. And due to the constant improvement of products, that's most likely to be the newest, latest model available.

It seems to us that you could make that case. But we'd also suggest that setting that requirement might indicate that the way the brush is being used isn't the manner for which it was designed. We'll also state that the purpose of our review is one of making reasonable choices, balancing cost and capabilities.

An example of what we mean.

As an example of what we consider to be a reasonable choice, take the Essence+ model mentioned above.

Is the Essence+ old and dated Sonicare technology? - Yes. In its era, wasn't this the technology that Sonicare continued to build its reputation on? - Yes. Considering that this brush only costs $40, plus the fact that it can use a wide array of current Sonicare brush heads, does this brush make a reasonable choice, especially as compared to brushing manually? - We think it does. Is this the absolute best Sonicare brush and a best-choice for everyone? - No.

The grey area in the Sonicare lineup. - The 2 Series, the ProtectiveClean 4100 and possibly the 5100 too.

Probably the biggest quandary in the Sonicare lineup is those models initially introduced just as "cheaper Sonicares."

The current brushes in the top half of the Sonicare lineup either started off as top-of-the-line models, or at least a vehicle that introduced some new brushing feature. Then from that point, a natural migration seems to occur where each respective model moves on down one notch as each newer brush is introduced.

The Sonicare 2, the now evidently discontinued 3 Series, and the ProtectiveCleans don't fit that same mold. These models were introduced as cheaper alternatives, evidently just to cover specific price points in the lineup.

  • In the case of the 2 Series (and the same with the now-defunct 3 Series), it seems that its design (per the discussion above) tends to reflect that.
  • In comparison, with the ProtectiveClean 4100, 5100 and we're anticipating not so much with the 6100 (based on our impressions, its features and price), because of their newness the jury is still out.

The obvious way to sidestep this issue entirely is simply to look at the next brush on up the Sonicare line, which is the HealthyWhite+.

Picture of a Sonicare HealthyWhite+ sonic toothbrush.

Sonicare Healthy White+ HX8911/02

#6 - The Sonicare HealthyWhite+ (plus): HX8911/02 ($120).

( Compare HealthyWhite+ prices and deals at Amazon.com or Walmart.com using our affiliate links. )

While we don't ever remember the HealthyWhite line as being Sonicare's top one, we do remember a big push about the original version of this brush being their "whitening" model. (We assign no special value to that.)

Based on comments we've seen posted on our and retailer websites, it seems that there's a general consensus that this brush is a step above the Sonicare 3 (evidently now discontinued) and 2 Series brushes in terms of power and refinement, and therefore occupies a transition point in the Sonicare lineup (possibly along with the ProtectiveClean 6100 too).

This may be evidence of this line's original purpose, the introduction of new features as opposed to just a cheaper model.

Things to know about the HealthyWhite+:
  • Replacement brush heads: The full range of universally interchangeable snap-on.
  • Operating time after charging: - "Up to" 3 weeks. (Lithium-ion battery.)
  • It has Sonicare's EasyStart, QuadPacer and Smartimer features.
  • The HealthyWhite+ comes with a travel case.
  • This brush has two brushing modes (Clean, White) and 3 brushing intensity settings (high, medium, low). (Clean mode at High intensity = 31,000 brush strokes/minute.)
  • More specifications about the HealthyWhite+ models.


Purchasing the HealthyWhite+ clearly crosses the line into purchasing more toothbrush features than you really need. But in doing so you get a brush design, function, and refinement that seems more akin to Sonicare's higher-end models.

We think that's important both in terms of value, and simply ending up with a brush you'll be happy with.

What about the other Sonicare models?

The remaining brushes in our list were the FlexCare+ (plus), FlexCare Platinum Connected and the DiamondClean and DiamondClean Smart models.

We don't feel that you can go wrong with purchasing any of these brushes. But at the same time, we don't think that they justify their expense.

As discussed above, it's only realistic to assume that with increased cost comes a higher build quality. But considering the planned-obsolescence, disposable nature of this type of product (for example, the failure of their non-replaceable battery equates with toothbrush death), we've decided that for us the line delineating what makes a reasonable purchase decision or not, lies below these models.

Pictures of Sonicare electric toothbrushes.

Our affiliate links can be used to shop  Sonicare toothbrushes  on  Amazon.com  or  Walmart.com

Tips:  The only thing we don't like about the higher-end Sonicares is their price. However, when they come bundled as a pair, or when they're on sale, they can be a bargain and a great choice.

What to read next?

If you have any questions about the features of any of the models mentioned on this page (which you should), our Models Reviews page will likely answer them.

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



Sonicare model comparison - thanks!

This article approached the topic exactly as I would have and was so helpful! I had started to get confused about the subtle differences between models I was considering; your summary and all the related info was just the ticket. Thanks for taking the time to create it--a very valuable service.

Thank You!

I was searching all over the internet trying to find a real honest comparison of all the Sonicare models. This was so helpful,easy to understand and practical.

Thank You !!!

Thank you for the time you took to research and write this article. You answered every question I had and would have taken me hours to research on my own. I now know what I need and more importantly what I don't need. Thanks again for all your help.

You're welcome Donna.

"know what I need and more importantly what I don't need" - That's exactly what we were hoping visitors would take away from this page. Thanks for posting.

sonic care review

The best review I have read so far. This is the type of factual information I was looking for to make my buying decision. I am now a fan and will return to this site for further reference. Thank you.

Best ultrasonic brush with NO auto-shutoff timer?

I really appreciated the clear logic of this comparison, but ultimately I decided I couldn't pay good money for a brush that shuts off automatically after two minutes. As someone who routinely brushes more than two minutes, I just know I would find the shutdown annoying every time it happened. I do favor the ultrasonic over rotating models, so I'm wondering - what is the best ultrasonic toothbrush (for <$100) that does not shut off automatically after two minutes?


We agree, when it comes to usability Sonicare's auto-shut off feature is a real "turn off" (pun intended).
Basically, they're not encouraging you to brush for 2 minutes, they're encouraging you to brush for only two minutes.

Rubber Backing

One thing to consider is the comfort level of the handle and grip. I had a FlexCare+ handle which has a slim profile and a rubber grip on the entire back. It broke so I replaced it with a Sonicare 2 Series, which is a larger unit with no rubber grip. I'm not sure what all models have the rubber grip, but it made controlling the handle easier and more comfortable.

Which is quietest

I tend to brush my teeth when everyone else in the house is sleeping in the wee hours of the night, past midnight. I was wondering which electronic toothbrush is the most silent yet effective.

Thanks for posting Ceiver,

The more expensive Sonicare brushes are more refined.

So, you can expect that the DiamondClean and Flexcare models (both of these models at one time were Sonicare's "top" brush) run more quietly than brushes at the other end of the price scale like the Easy Clean or Sonicare 2.

We contacted a Sonicare rep and based on noise, they ranked the brushes in this order: DiamondClean, Flexcare, Sonicare 2, Easy Clean (we were surprised they listed Sonicare 2 before Easy Clean).

The Easy Clean and Sonicare 2 were introduced as "middle" range models, they were never "top" ones. The Essence above is Sonicare's older design (although a "top" model in its day) and we'd expect it to be the noisiest of all those listed on this page.

Keep in mind, our page is about buying Sonicare funtionality. Refinement is a different issue and certainly might be a reason to buy a higher-end brush.

Quiet Sonicare

I have been using Sonicare Essence for the last decade and was looking for a quieter model. Thank you for the analysis and helping me pick the right model to upgrade.

Incredibly comprehensive and well done review. Thank you

Thank you!!!

I am not a gadget kind of person. I like things to be practical and valuable so I don't like bells and whistles necessary, especially when they will cost more and I won't get a lot of use from them. So thank you for making it so straightforward to understand the options that are truly valuable. I've ordered my sonicare and am really looking forward to receiving it. Thanks so much for your help!!

Thank you!

Thanks for a really excellent breakdown of a surprisingly confusing range of products. Your review was exactly what I was looking for to make my decision. Thanks for writing it!

SonicCare Review

An absolutely brilliant and very useful review. Be very proud of yourselves!

Excellent Review

Really good review I love it .. your review is extremely useful ...

Waterpik Brand Sonic Toothbrush

I've decided to go all-out and use a combination of electric (sonic) toothbrush and a Waterpik. I noticed that Waterpik sells a combo package that appears to be targeted at consumers like myself. Do you have any comments on the Waterpik brand sonic toothbrush?

Barry, we've added info about that brush.

Per your request, we've added information about the WaterPik above.
Use this link.

RE: Waterpik brand toothbrush

Thank you for adding the link about the waterpik toothbrush, above. I bought the Waterpik about two years ago because there was a 50% discount at the store... I really like it, and it is quieter than the the Sonicare I use for travelling. I do not use the Waterpik for travelling, because you need to pack the whole unit (waterpik, toothbrush, and holding container) which takes up a lot of space. Additionally, once the battery goes, you need to replace the whole unit if you want the toothbrush back—you cannot buy one separately—or you buy an independent sonic toothbrush anyway (or break into the unit and solder in new batteries, like I did...) Also, you may have difficulty finding the brush heads; I live in Canada and must order them through a US post-box, even though the units are sold in Canada! Would I do this again, I would buy an independent sonic toothbrush that has all parts available locally, and a compact waterpik unit. That said, my dentist thinks my teeth & gums are the best they have ever been.


Thank you for posting.

Thank you.

Thank you for the concise review. You've told me exactly what I needed to know.

HX6511/50 discontinued

Thank you for your helpful site. I appreciate it so much.
I was just checking Amazon for the HX6511/50. It has one left and says that this model has been discontinued and replaced by the HX6631/30 model. What do you think? Should I buy the 6631 model instead? Thanks so much


The HX6631/30 ( Sonicare 3 Series gum health) seems to have very similar characteristics as the Easy Clean, although it comes with different brush heads (a non-issue to us).

It has Clean mode (the one we feel is most important to have), and has the added flexibility of 3 brushing "intensities" (high intensity being the one we would use). It seems likely that the 3 Series is intended to replace the EasyClean in the Sonicare line up.

thanks from Poland!

Hi, thank you very much for this review. The web is full of chaos, because comments and reviews are not reasonable or someone paid for lots of them among the genuine ones. I appreciate your review very much.

Thank you!

Thank you for this no nonsense comparison. I don't need toothbrushes with LCD readouts and 5 different settings. Simpler is better. Because of this article I am getting the EasyClean. After 10 years with my basic Essence model, I need an upgrade and the DiamondClean brush heads will be an improvement too. Again, thank you so much!

EasyClean v more expensive models.

On their website Phillips claim that the EasyClean removes 2 x plaque while more expensive models remove up to 7 x plaque. Do you think this claim stands up? If it does, then, although I much prefer not to have the extra modes it looks like I must!


We'd be of the impression that at least a part of what you mention is a reference to Sonicare's rating of the brush head that comes with the Diamond Clean as compared to the Easy Clean's ProResults head. Those are the exact numbers (7x vs 2x) that are stated on the Sonicare website for those respective heads.

Both brushes offer Sonicare's best brushing action (31,000 brush strokes/min), although we will concede that users seems to state that they get a better "clean" with Sonicare's higher-end brushes (we'd mainly just contest the 7x vs 2x comparison). Keep in mind that both brushes can utilize the Diamond Clean (7x) brush head.

We're not so convinced with the validity of Sonicare's rating system (7x, 2x, etc..) for heads. We discuss that issue here.

What an amazing resource...

Thank you so much for compiling this information!!! SO IMMENSELY HELPFUL.

A great help

A fantastic article. Helped me choose the right model in minutes. Thanks!

Sonicare 3 Series

I've been reviewing all of the various Philips Sonicare models to determine which features I think have value and are worth paying for and I agree with your assessment regarding the 3 series, however I have visited a retailer who has all of them on display. The one thing that jumped out at me was how noisy the 3 series is compared to the other higher end models. No mention of this was made in your assessment of the different models. Are you aware of this and if so, why would this model have a different motor that produces so much more noise. It's a significant difference and seemed annoying.
I've read comments on other sites and this seemed to be a complaint. I have tried contacting a representative of Philips but have had no luck yet reaching them.

Thanks for posting Ron,

At your suggestion, we've added a section to this page that should help to make other readers more aware of this issue. Reports like this are important to us so thank you for posting.


You should do reviews for absolutely everything in life. absolutely everything!!

Sincere gratitude

You have provided the exact information I have been looking for in a simple, user-friendly manner. Having already put some time into trying to compare some of these models on my own, I can easily tell you that you have saved me a great deal of time and trouble in laying things out as you have. I cannot thank you enough for being so clear, informative, and prompt (in regards to your post replies) with what you have done here. Finding this has just made my day better and I really value and appreciate that. Cheers, all. :)

VERY helpful

Thank you for this no-nonsense report on Sonicare toothbrush. I get all the information I need on this webpage, that not even the online big shops care to provide. Brilliant !!!

With Appreciation

Thanks, I finally got clear answer

Thank you very much for sharing all of your interesting and helpful research. Using your site, I was able to select the best Sonicare for me. I couldn't have done it with you!!


Thanks! That was very helpful!!
Your presentation of the different types turned a complex problem into a more manageable one!

Do all of them whiten the teeth?

Hello guys! Thank you so much for all of the reviews about the Sonicares. However I still don´t know which one to buy. My main reason for buying a Sonicare is because it should whiten the teeth. Should I get the Healthy White or all the other similar ones will do the job?


When it comes to "whitening teeth" all any toothbrush can do is either: 1) Remove surface staining that has built up on the tooth's surface (accomplished by the actual scrubbing action of the brush on the teeth) or 2) Prevent surface staining from forming (prevent the build up of debris on the tooth's surface, which then stains - two separate events, that might occur concurrently).

As far as actually whitening teeth (changing the actual intrinsic color of the tooth's enamel) toothbrushes on their own do nothing.
Any toothbrush can prevent tooth surface build up that might then stain, if you use it in a manner that effectively cleans your teeth.

To accomplish this with a Sonicare, you simply need to: 1) Pick a brush that has Sonicare's best brushing action (as discussed above), so this task is as easy for you as possible. 2) Use the brush until that point when you have effective cleaned your teeth (stop when your teeth are clean, not necessarily once the two minute timer has signaled).
In terms of removing existing surface staining, Sonicare seems to imply (at least by the way they have named them) that some of their brushing modes have a superior ability to accomplish this task.

This discussion however relates how two Sonicare publications reported that two different models whitened teeth to the same degree, yet at that point in time when the separate studies were done, only one of the brushes actually featured a fancy whitening mode. The other just the standard 31,000 stroke/min mode.
We take a pretty dim view of any and every toothbrush manufacturer who hawks their products based on their ability to "whiten" teeth.

Incredibly Helpful

This was the most helpful website I've found so far to get information to help decide what sonic toothbrush to buy. It had exactly the information I was looking for to narrow down the choices.

Amazingly informative!

This is hands down the best review of a product I have ever seen/read online, I must thank you for this!

My flexcare finally died after 5 years of use (best brush ive ever owned, though the uv bulb cleaner died after only less than 2 years) , so ive been to both target and bbb and came home to compare the models, hoping i didnt need to get the top model anymore, and wow was this so informative, kinda sad the series 2 doesnt have the quadpacer or that would easily be the best buy, but i do need that option.

Looks like it will be the series 3 now for me instead!

Model 2 vs 3

Is the plaque control the same for both models or better for model 2 since that is listed specifically in that model?


What you're referring to is a marketing issue, not one based on the ability of the brush.

The Sonicare 3 Series comes with a "ProResults Gum Health" brush head.
The Sonicare 2 Series comes with a "ProResults Plaque Control" head.

If you want to make your own "Sonicare 3 Series Plaque Control" brush, just buy a "Plaque Control" brush head and snap it on your Series 3 brush.

Brilliant site

This information was exactly what I was looking for and this site is probably the best product comparison website I have ever seen. Keep up the good work! I couldn't find any affiliate links so that I could order through the site however...but maybe I missed them?


Thanks for asking. We participate in both the Amazon.com and Walmart.com affiliate networks.

Sonicare Smart timer and quad pacer

Thanks for your very helpful articles on the Sonicare models. They were really useful for cutting through the fat so to speak. I ended up purchasing the series 3 gum health. Unfortunately I didn't realize that the user can't disable smart timer or quadpacer on this model if desired (others with mode button can disable quad pacer). I also didn't realize that the toothbrush shuts off after two minutes (smarttimer). Not sure if i just missed out on this, or if it needs to be added. Not a huge problem; i may actually need these timers to brush properly for at least two minutes.


If you had followed the link in our Smartimer paragraph above you might have stumbled across our mention that this feature can't be deactivated. (We've add this info to this page now so it's easier to find.)

In regard to the Quadpacer, we were under the impression that you can only turn this off on the Flexcare line.

Sonicare purchase

Thank you for sharing your knowledge about sonicare brushes. It sure helped me decide what to buy.

What a great site. All this

What a great site. All this time I was wondering if the brush heads for Philip brands were compatible with one another. You clearly explained that and saved me time! Great site!


What would be the recommended replacement for the HX6511/50? Preferably using the same heads. Personally, I find it more confusing than helpful to have all these models.


Our #4 and #5 picks above would be similar in nature to the EasyClean. Just read through their respective features and make a decision. The brush heads you own will work with either of these brushes.

#4 - The Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control: HX6211/04, HX6211/07, HX6211/28 - $70.

#5 - The Sonicare 3 Series Gum Health (HX6631/02) - $90.


If you had read a lot of reviews of Sonicare toothbrushes at Amazon,like I did,I don't think you would be recommending the Series 2 and 3.Apparently,from what I can tell,Philips came out with these,which are lower quality, much noisier,more vibration,to offer a lower price point.Seems like the best choices would be the older,proven Essence or higher end,like Healthy White,etc.Also,don't drop the Healthy White,or similar models,on the brush end or a metal piece will break(very common problem) and Philips won't sell you that part.So,my conclusion is that the older Essence with the screw on head would be the absolute most reliable,best choice.


We'd like to think that the information we present on this page does a fairly decent job of pointing out both brush strengths and deficiencies, and in a manner that helps the reader to then make a decision about what level of brush seems to best serve their needs.

We get your point about frailty but will also point out that you can break your Series 2 and replace it again for about the same cost as one HealthyWhite. And in an era of planned obsolescence (including the situation where battery failure = toothbrush death), investing as little as possible has advantages.

We'll also state that today when looking at the overall "star ratings" on Amazon for the Sonicare Series 2 and 3 as compared to the higher-priced models, the 2 and 3 (each having hundreds, if not thousands of reviews) have been rated just as positively, if not more so, than the higher-end brushes, so at least some users consider those brushes a reasonable choice.

In regard to the Essence, we follow your train of thought with the exception that the Essence+ (while a less-proven redesign of the old Essence) offers the big advantage of being able to use the fully array of Sonicare snap-op brush heads. With the regular Essence (screw-on heads) you only have the option of one style, in either Standard or Compact size.

Your website ...

Is awesome. Thank g-d for your website. It's gorgeous with clear, concise, accurate information. A consumer's dream. I did about 3 days worth of research on electric toothbrushes before I found your site, and I saw that your research and findings matched mine exactly. I cannot find a better reason to trust your information. Thank you so very much. Wow.

Best for elderly

What is the best electric toothbrush flr the elderly. My Mother is 90 years old. She has been
wanting an electric toothbrush. I want to get one for Christmas.


We have a page about issues and brushes to consider for elderly brushers.

As that page discusses, if your Mom is frail give some thought to if you may need a lower power setting.

Or that the cheaper Sonicare's will buzz and vibrate more than the more refined higher models.

If you are both getting a brush, buy one of the cheaper models on this page. If she can't tolerate it, keep it for yourself (or take advantage of the money back guarantee). Then go from there.

After using both Series 3 and

After using both Series 3 and Diamond Clean, I do no notice Diamond Clean's vibration is way more powerful. Thus easier cleaning.


Thanks for the input. Reports like yours are important to have. Both new for Christmas?

Yes. Both were new. However

Yes. Both were new. However being stronger might not be a good thing. My gum feels more comfortable when using Series 3.

Performance of Series 2

I bought myself a Series 2 during the holidays as my own treat. I love it. My teeth have never felt so clean.

However, I love it so much that I started to be tempted by other models such as HealthWhite+ or DiamondClean.

I love that your site points people towards the unit that has what they truly need. I only need the one mode in truth.

HOWEVER, if you read reviews at sites like Amazon, long time Sonicare users are fairly passionate in their opinion that the Series 2 and Series 3 do not have the performance of older models nor the HealthyWhite+ and above models. They seem very definitive in this opinion and yes they say they turn off the "easy start." Some even say the Essence makes their teeth feel cleaner than the Series 2.

Another reviewer stated that they contacted Philips and they admitted the change and swapped hers for an Easy Clean (older model).

Has your team compared a fully charged, pretty new Series 2 with one of the higher end models? You truly see no difference with the same brush head in equal modes?



We've revised the content of this page to point out yours and others concerns and to more fully elaborate our position about the position/usefulness of the lower-end Sonicares.

Essence+ : the best model for the buck

All essence+ models have same specifications. They only differ in color and included starter brush type. They all have QuadPacer and it beeps when battery is low. LED battery indicator is bit hard to see (too dim) but it's minor issue.

They are actually quieter and vibrates less than older models including DiamondClean. I do not know if they simply swapped connecting part or they did redesign entire upper half; but it is smooth. It may be that since it is bigger, it acts as a better counterbalance to vibration.

I noticed they changed design of rubber bushing on top from previous brushes (including DiamondClean). It is now easier to clean it (no black gunk anymore)

This is definitely the best brush for the buck since it uses new click style and have full cleaning power. I wouldn't consider older Essence model at all due to lack of brushhead choices and difficulty of cleaning. I'm surprised they are still selling them considering Essence+ is out.

Thank you!

This was very helpful, since I was just about to buy a new Sonicare toothbrush. I appreciate all the work that went into this evaluation of the different Sonicare models.

I actually purchased the kids model for myself - it actually looks quite good without the stickers and comes at a low enough price for the 30k vibration.

To - Dental Staff

Hi Dental Staff - I wanted to reply to your message as I have now tried out the other models after initially getting a 2 Series. The 2 Series was nice, but I got the feeling it was not the full experience.

Wow. I have now bought and own both a FlexCare and a DiamondClean model. The difference in vibration between these models and the 2 Series is many times over. My teeth feel much cleaner, the strength/power of the vibrations is much more intense with these higher end models.

You notice it immediately upon switching them on. You notice the difference in your hand, out of your mouth, and in your mouth.

They obviously took a step back in the 2 Series to have a stylish entry level product at a very attractive price. Many will still be happy with it considering the price and comparing it to a manual toothbrush. I also notice the 2 Series ships with the Plaque Control head. This head is small. I had noticed when I moved to the slightly larger DiamondClean head, the 2 Series felt even more underpowered. Therefore, if someone is going to use the 2 Series, I recommend sticking with the Plaque Control head, it makes the most out of the lower power 2 Series.

However, for the full experience I highly recommend one of the higher end models. I loved my 2 Series but I immediately gave it away to family once I had my FlexCare and DiamondClean. The performance difference is not even close. Honestly, not making it up, the difference is big.

This surprised me because when I bought the 2 Series I assumed the performance / cleaning ability was equal between all models, I can assure everyone, it's not.

To Steve (To Dental Staff) 02/02/2017

Hello Steve,

You are absolutely right.

These are my aditional comments.

The Flexcare+ and Diamond Clean are like a completely another world and could not be compared. I have used my Flexcare+ (HX6922) for more than 2 months and it is fantastic. I still look forward to brush my teeth with it and it is not to be compared with Oral B or lower end Sonicare. I had the Oral B Triumpf 5000 (Top model when I bought it) and it is not to be compared. It creates more noice, more vibrations in handle, is less sofisiticated and much lower efficiency (teeth does not feel silky smooth after brushing) and needs to be charged more frequently and have a clearly more noticeable difference in performance when newly charged.

As I also thought as some other here in the discussion, that it might be only design differences for the premium Sonicare models compared to lower level models, I got curious if you could get this excellent brushing experience for less money, to recommend friends and found the Sonicare 3 series gum health HX6631 with 3 intensity levels (for around half price of Flexcare+) where Philips claimed 7 times better plaque removal compared with a regular tooth brush for the gum health at maximum cleaning mode and the 6 times for the Flexcare+ that I first had bought.

I thought maybe it was just a design difference and not a performance difference, as the gum health is not very good looking compared to the Flexcare+ and that the 31000 vibrations were what counted, but the gum care model was a big disappointment. Unpleasant noise and lower amplitude at the strokes compared to the Flexcare+ and also the handle vibrated, so more an experience like the Oral B, though I think it is still cleaning better than the Oral B.

An advice to the Flecare+ is to also buy the diamond clean brush heads for even a smoother cleaning feeling or even the adaptive clean brush heads (The adaptive clean heads I think are very good but those I have not tried yet). The Flexcare brush head is very good to remove tartar, but the diamond clean makes your teeth even more silky and glossy and maybe slightly more comfortable to brush with, but already the Flexcare brush head is extremely good for the silky feeling.

The Flexcare+ model is expensive, but it is really worth the (extra) money. It is rarely I am so happy with a product. The only negative things about it is that the charging time is little long, but on the other hand the time between the charging is around the 3 weeks claimed from Philips, which is excellent. The dropping in performance is not disturbing at all. You will notice a powerup after charging, but it runs very good until you need to charge it and the brushing experience is at an extremely high level all the time.

Then you have another small negative thing is that if you open your mouth too much during brushing, it might splash out considerable amount of liquid from mouth at the mirror, but that is just a sign how efficiently the brush works and it is the same that if you touch your teeth with the plastic part of brush head it feels quite drastic in head, but that is also a proof of the good amplitude and high efficiency of the tooth brush.

Then there is another thing in the beginning, but not really negative, that you get a tickling feeling when you use the toothbrush. The feeling is really surprising, but after a while of using the brush it almost disappears completely. It is quite drastic in the beginning, but in a way I am missing the feeling a bit. After charging the feeling comes back a bit :-).

If you do not press the Flexcare+ to hard against your teeth it feels like a really professional cleaning tool at the dentist in a positive way, 2 times every day. Buy!! I will be very surprised if you ever regret it. Most probably you will think, why did I not buy this before and why does not more people know about it as it is such a difference. This product is crazy good I would say and I am picky about products and Philips have made me disappointed several times last 10 years, but not this time. It is an amazing product.


Thank you for taking the time to write. Your input is much appreciated.

To Canucks

Canucks - I wanted to reply to you real quick too. That's an interesting model. I have never tried an Essence +. I will say that the 2 Series is also much quieter than the DiamondClean and FlexCare I own. You can use it not far from people sleeping and it does not awake them.

The DiamondClean and FlexCare are loud by comparison, but for them, the performance is truly there and that's the reason.

I truly recommend people try more than one model if they have any reservations/questions about what's best for them.

Essence+ is rated at 31,000

Essence+ is rated at 31,000 brushstrokes and I have no material reason to believe cleaning power is lesser than DiamondClean, which is also rated at 31,000 brushstrokes.

Even my several years old Flexcare has stronger vibration than both Diamondclean and Essence+. That is a mid range model and I can only assume they improved design to reduce this unwanted vibration. Some people may take this as having less cleaning power, however I do not agree on this view. Even old essence model is rated at 31,000 and only reason it gets negative points is due to lack of brushhead options.

I sold my DiamondClean and now using two Essence+. While material of DiamondClean (ceramic paint) is nice, as long as it gives same cleaning I could care less. I also love travelling with inexpensive full powered electric toothbrush than DiamondClean.

Good Model

Hi Canucks, I think you must be right that Essence+ is a good model. 2 Series came out after it, so Essence+ may still be the older system.

There must be a factor beyond the brush stokes per minute though because I can assure everyone the 2 Series 31,000 brush strokes per minute is weak, weak compared to the 31,000 DiamondClean and Flexcare I have.

It's very strange I agree.

I also agree traveling is better with a more affordable model, I even take manual toothbrushes traveling sometimes, my teeth feel so bad on trips.

I think it's a rare person who needs/wants DiamondClean. I will say on the newest DiamondClean, the "Deep Clean," mode uses a particular pattern of vibrations combined with the Adaptive Clean head that is the best clean I have ever had, but we're talking small details and not important to 99.9 percent of folks.

Until recently, I always used the lower or mid tier models and it still makes the most sense, I just don't recommend 2 Series. And I've had two of the 2 Series, so it's not that I got a bad unit. It's very tame.

Thank you!!!

Standing at bed and bath because my old sonicare died and so did he one my friend gave me so I could use up my old brush heads and I was overwhelmed by too many choices!! You helped me make up my mind so quickly and I really appreciate it. Healthy white for me!!!


Hi all, I am sure that it is a money thing when it comes to the cost of the lower end brushes to the upper-end ones. I am sure that there is a difference but not that much. Also, when looking at when to replace a brush, I believe it went from 6 months to 3 months, umm, because they make more money. I find it hard to believe it is because the brushes wear out that fast.

Great job of working thru the clutter about differences

Thanks for setting up sensible criteria and cutting thru the clutter!

Very helpful review

Thank you for this comparison. Very helpful for someone who is new to the world of electrical toothbrushes.

check with your dentist

Your website is a model for all such consumer product reviews. Thank you!

At my last teeth-cleaning the hygienist recommended use of a sonic toothbrush and showed me a Sonicare as an example. She also told me that the office had them for sale at a significant discount. I'll admit the cynic in me took over, so after I left I went online to check out what a toothbrush cost on the market. Bewildered by the range of models and their prices, I found this review and it helped me to decide on the Sonicare 3. I was just about to pull the trigger with Amazon when I thought I'd check back with my dentist's office and see which model they were offering and for how much. Turns out they were selling the top-o-the-line DiamondCare for $85. No-brainer there! The box it came in was marked as "Dentist's Promotional - Not for Resale" or something like that, so I'd guess that Phillips is providing these at this price for dentists' offices only. So if you're thinking of getting one, check with your dentist first. They may be offering this deal.

A Sonic Toothbrush not listed

The Sensonic® Professional Plus Toothbrush from Waterpik is also a very good toothbrush and cheaper than the Phillips.


We do cover the Sensonic on this page. It's information can be found in this drop-down box.

We agree that the Sensonic is a good brush, hence we have included it on this page. But we've given it a lesser positioning because this page is specifically about Sonicare toothbrushes and ciphering through their line up.

I was overwhelmed by all the choices

I finally decided to board the Sonicare train and thought I just have to go to Amazon, click on "Sonicare", and buy one. Who knew there were so many different models? I despaired of ever figuring out which ones had which features until I found this site. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Bookmarking the page so I can send other people to it when they have questions.


Thank you for your comments.

Repeat Buyer

My dentist recommended a Sonicare to me after a horrendous cleaning back in late '99/early '00. It must have been the top-of-the-line at the time, as it was $90 his price to clients and he said that was heavily discounted. It lasted about 2 weeks between chargings (lithium ion) for years, but has slowly degenerated to requiring almost daily charging. So now I'm in the market for a replacement, and, like other commenters, can't believe the number of models available! Having gotten great value out of the last one, I'll definitely buy another Sonicare, probably the HealthyWhite+. Your research and approach are much appreciated, so a big thank you!


I found your analysis really helpful. I was looking at the sonicate EssentialClean at Costco. Where does this fit in in your analysis since it was not on your list.


Sonicare's website (USA) equates the Essential clean with the Sonicare 2 Series (HX6253).

As discussed above, this brush has the needed "Clean" brushing mode but there are concerns about brush power and build quality.


Like many others, I just want to thank you for all your time in putting this together. Wish I'd found this before I spent the HOURS I did trying to research all these models on the web and in the stores. Needless to say I was pleased to see that the Healthy White+ which I ended up buying was your "best buy". Like another reviewer said, you should review everything in the world.


The compliment is appreciated.


Many thanks for your helpful website. Out of the FlexCare+, FlexCare Platinum Connected, DiamondClean and DiamondClean Smart, which has the slimmest body?

Also, do you test battery recharge times?


The DiamondClean and DiamondClean Smart lines are the slimmest/sleekest of the Sonicares. However, all of the more modern Sonicares (including the models you mention) are much slimmer than the models of yesteryear (some of which are still sold). Many retailers have "dummy" Sonicare models on display so you can hold them (Walmart, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc...).

We don't have information about charging times. Having a lithium ion battery would be an asset in that regard. All of the models you mention do.

Sonic Care toothbrush

One Concern I have with the high end toothbrush is that the small metal point that you snap the toothbrush on after awhile comes out. It is impossible to re-insert and therefore I have to throw the entire unit out.
Is this normal wear and tear?
I have had this one for a year.
The High cost of the Sonicare would make me think that it should last longer.
When reading the information I did not come across this problem.
Hope you can help me out.


We're simply not going to have any information about repair. We Googled "sonicare metal shaft loose" and some YouTube videos came up. We're assuming they are discussing a problem similar to yours.

At minimum a concern involving the possibility of repair would be if the water-tight nature of the brush is compromised. If so, it's only a matter of time until internal problems develop. We would think Sonicare customer service would be the right place to start with your issue.

This entire page is about trying to identify the cheapest Sonicare that can meet the brusher's needs, in part precisely for the reason you state. In todays world of lowest-possible-cost construction and plannned obsolescence, spending hundreds of dollars for an electric toothbrush seems a questionable act (no matter the brand). And at least with a cheaper brush there's a chance you can replace it and still stay within the same budget.

Good luck.

thank you

Thank you SOOOOO much! You did my research for me, and you did it so well! Healthywhite it is!

All-inclusive research!!

After hours online trying to follow-up on my dentist's directive to buy a Sonicare--how hard could that be?--I finally ran across your page. What a relief! You verified much that I'd read but filled in some much needed gaps. I was all set to purchase a 2 Series until I read your info about its vibration levels, and how long a charge lasts in comparison to the HealthyWhite+. Now it's the HealthyWhite+ for me.

Thanks for your great work.

Thanks; most helpful!

My current sonicare died and I was very confused about the differences between the many, many models. Your excellent review helped me make up my mind as to a replacement. After perusing ebay (be careful about "used!") I've ordered a replacement that was a good bit less expensive than the price quoted in your article. Thanks again!

new protective clean plaque models

What do you think of the new line of protective clean plaque models? I'm deciding between the 4100 of that line or one of the healthy white models. thank you.


Sorry about the delay in responding. Related to our editorial calendar, its still going to be a week or two before we have our Sonicare page updated to include the new models.

We'll mention that we actually consider price to be a valid way of making comparisons among the Sonicare brushes. Some years ago we leaned toward the lower-priced Sonicare 2 and 3 Series brushes as being best choices/best values. But website visitor feedback regarding their opinion about mechanism refinement and reliability helped to guide us toward deciding that the HealthyWhite made the better choice.

You mention the 4100, which seems to be priced (on the Sonicare website) more along the lines of the Sonicare 2 and 3. Sonicare has a history of producing toothbrushes aimed at specific lower-end price points and we're not so sure those are the right brushes for us. We'll have more to say in a week or two.

Thank you!

Just arrived home with an unopened Protective Clean 6100 and usually research 1st but not this time. Can return and replace so may not open at all. My old Flexcare with UV Cleaner (just read not helpful really) just died and loved it... should I do the Healthy White+ you suggest or has the updates you checked on suggest another great option now? You are amazing the research which I used to do but delighted to find your info. which seems beyond my scope! Fabulous work and an amazing service you've given to those of us wanting the best advice! All the best!


At this point in time, we're of the opinion that a choice between the Protective Clean 6100 and Healthwhite+ is pretty much a toss up. Since the features of these two brushes are slightly different (with the 6100 being the more modern model), we'd base our purchase choice on whatever your preferences are in regard to those issues.

Kids or 4100 for kids. Same price online.

Hello, great review!

What would you recommend for kids (age 4-5), the Sonicare Kids or 4100 Series? The price is the same at Walmart.

Thanks in advance.


We'd probably lean toward the For Kids model. The main reason would be because that model has two brushing intensity settings. An option that might be important for a small child. Also, the For Kids has been in the Sonicare line up for a long time and is therefore somewhat of a "tested" model, as opposed to the newer 4100. And finally, the For Kids is probably more fun for children to use.

Thanks for the quick response

Thanks for the quick response! Are there any big differences in dimensions/weight between the two models (ie. would the Kids one be any easier to handle)?



No, the for Kids is similar in size to the other more modern Sonicares.
As far as handling the brush, the lower power possibility with the For Kids might make it more manageable for a smaller child.

Thanks for the help! Not sure

Thanks for the help! Not sure where else I could've got this information without buying the product and testing it myself. :)

Thanks--still useful in 2019

Thanks very much for providing this detailed comparison of the Sonicare models (as well as the rest of this site). This site was the most valuable source in 2019 when I sorted through the thicket of offerings to settle upon a new electric toothbrush.


I too found this no-nonsense page very helpful to sift through the growing list of Sonicare models and choose a model offering the features I need/want without spending extra for features I don't need/want.

EasyClean model

Like many others, I found your site hugely helpful to slice through the morass of options and conflicting information out there. I'm looking for a no frills device that gets the job done. Even the HealthyWhite+ which you rate highly seems over-gimicky to me with its multiple modes and intensity settings.
My dentist sells Sonicare’s EasyClean model which is on the Sonicare site, but not included in your review. EasyClean appears to be an older model, yet still of the more contemporary slim design using Li batteries, not NiMH. I'm generally partial to older models, having more confidence in their build quality.
In previous responses (Staff Dentist - 08/22/2015 and 11/05/2016) you suggest EasyClean has been functionally replaced by Series 2 and 3, which are basically "throw-away" models. I'm hoping the EasyClean predates the "lower quality, much noisier, more vibration" and planned obsolesce complaints of Series 2 & 3 and ProtectiveClean 4100 & 5100, while at the same time has improved upon the "less powerful mechanism" associated with Essence and Essence+. Is that too much to hope for?


I went back to look at the version of this page that existed in Novemeber 2014. At that time the EasyClean was the brush that to us that seemed to make the best choice (reasonable product, just basic features), so you'll probably do fine.

The EasyClean was dropped from the Sonicare line up sometime in 2015. Now that brush, previously priced around $90 (MSRP), seems to be back in at around $50 (MSRP).

EasyClean model

Based on its slim handle design--even slimmer than Series 2 and 3--EasyClean appears most similar in design to the DiamondClean models. I'm wondering if it could be the same interior mechanism too, merely stripped down to the most basic function people actually need. If that's the case, makes sense that the company would discontinue it when bringing on newer models in the under >$100 price range. Any thoughts about that? Now that EasyClean is back in the lineup, might you also bring back your 2014 comments?


We have no first hand information about a comparison of the mechanics of the two models. And yes, if that brush is still in the Sonicare line up whenever this page is updated, it will be included.

Healthy White+ vs ProtectiveClean 6100 - Which Is More Powerful

Wish I'd found this website weeks ago -- before I bought & returned several models of Sonicare toothbrushes.
I've had the Healthy White+ brush for over 3 years now & it has been the best toothbrush I've ever used - far better than an Oral-B - but I've always bought my brush heads from Costco because they are so much cheaper. However, I recently ran out of my last non-syncying brush head and put on one of the ones I bought recently from Costco -- which has the sync symbol on it -- which I didn't initially notice. It seemed a little harder to push onto the handle shaft, which is what made me notice the sync symbol, but it seemed to work OK once I got it on -- the shaft on the Healthy White+ is different than the newer sync models (6100, etc.). Because I didn't want to pay the higher cost to purchase just 2 or 3 brush heads of the old style I decided to try out the newer model while they were on sale at Bed, Bath & Beyond. After much research it looked like the ProtectiveClean 6100 was as close to the Healthy White+ as I could get in similar features - namely the 3 intensity settings. After using it for a few days I found I really didn't like the mode it chose when I put on my Premium Plaque Control head or the Diamond Clean, even when I set it to the highest intensity, so I returned it and exchanged it for the ProtectiveClean 5100 -- which I hated even more -- not only did it not have the intensity setting (which I knew in advance), but it seemed very much less powerful regardless of which setting I had it on -- so back it went. I'm now hoping my Healthy White+ will last a while longer and the Costco brush heads will not fail me -- or damage the brush handle shaft if I keep having to push the brush head down so hard.
Do you have any data that would indicate if the ProtectiveClean 6100 set on high intensity - regardless of which mode it is set on or any brush head being used -- would compare in power compared to the high intensity I use on the Clean mode of my Healthy White+? I just want to be prepared in case my Healthy White+ dies on me -- it just looks like the 6100 is going to be the closest I can get to it & I want to watch for a good sale coming up, but I also don't want a less powerful brush. Thanks.


No, we don't have any technical data to share about the comparative power of the different Sonicares. This is not information that Sonicare reports.
We think what you state about your experience with the 5100 reflects the general state of affairs. You found a $90 brush (the 5100, MSRP) to have less power than what you were used to with the HealthyWhite+ ($120 MSRP). We think MSRP price is the best indicator of relative performance.

UPDATE: Bought Sonicare 6100

While shopping this morning at Costco I broke down & bought the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 (2 to the box w/3 brushes for $149.99 + Ga. tax for a total of $160.49). One brush at Bed,Bath & Beyond with 20% discount would have totaled $102.72, so I consider this a pretty good deal - although it will likely go on sale again at Costco within the next couple of months - usually about $30-$35 off.

I'd originally wondered about the 5100 & its power comparison to my old HealthyWhite+, but after further research & reviewing owner reviews on many websites, I decided I really would not be happy without the 3 intensity feature my HealthyWhite+ has. I'm really glad I chose the 6100 over the 5100 as quite a few reviewers had indicated they regretted buying the 5100 for the same reason.

I just compared my HealthyWhite+ and the 6100, both set on the Clean mode and the highest intensity mode, using my Premium Plaque Control brush head and found that the 6100 actually feels slightly more powerful. As I'd said in my previous post, I had bought the 6100 and returned it because I didn't like the fact the handle chose which mode & intensity to use based on which brush head I installed -- but foolish me, I'd not played with it to know that I actually could set my own choices of intensity and mode -- it had chosen the White mode when I installed my Premium Plaque Control brush head and I didn't want that mode -- I wanted the Clean mode & highest intensity and the owner manual didn't really give very good instructions on how to accomplish that setting.

I'm very pleased with the 6100 -- it really is the updated HealthyWhite+. And if you want to do so you can deactivate the brush replacement & pressure sensing modes, but not the feature that lets the handle choose the mode based on the brush head --but remember that you can still override that by simply hitting the power button until the light under the mode you want lights up, and by hitting the intensity button until you get the level you want.

Update #2 - Returned Sonicare 6100

Day 2 of using the Sonicare 6100: both handles began to make a very loud tinny sound. One handle stopped making it only when the brush head was attached (when I get a new brush I always test how it sounds without the brush head on for several days just to make sure it's working OK -- I don't want to find out after it's turned on in my mouth that it's going to go crazy). Having paid full price for these 2 brushes I was not prepared to settle for using only one. Decided a few hours ago to return the set to Costco & exchange for the 5100. I'd previously purchased & returned this brush from BB&B a couple of weeks ago & didn't like the fact I didn't have the option of setting the intensity I wanted & the fact it didn't have the same power as my HealthyWhite+. However, after trying this morning to decide what I wanted to do I suddenly realized that I had never deactivated the Easy Start feature on the 5100 before I returned it -- so decided to exchange the 6100 for the 5100 set from Costco. Got it home, deactivated the Easy Start feature on both handles and found that the intensity & power pretty much equals that of the HealthyWhite+ -- although the power/intensity on the gum mode seems the same as on the clean mode & I would have thought it would be slightly less powerful. NOW THE BAD PART: one of the handles has that loud tinny sound, which again stops only when the brush head is attached. I'm going to contact Sonicare before I decide if I want to try exchanging it at Costco. It seems it's not unusual for the 2 pack sets sold at Costco to have one brush with this problem. Wonder if Sonicare makes products only sold at Costco that are not of the same quality as those sold at non-discount/warehouse stores? If I can get this tinny sound resolved on the 5100 I'll be happy -- especially considering the price difference between it and the 6100.

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