Picture of a Sonicare toothbrush.

Sonicare Electric Brush

Which are the best Sonicare toothbrushes? (Updated Novemeber 2019) -

Our take about which Sonicare models make the best choice in terms of value (features and function vs. price).    Which features are the most important ones to have?   Which models have just these core features and little more?

This page is a walkthrough of a process that we've used for a number of years now to compare and then single out just those models of the Sonicare toothbrush lineup that seem 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 rechargeables.)

Our method for picking out the best Sonicares.

Step #1 - We take a look at all of the Sonicare models that are available.

As exhaustive as this process may sound, it really isn't all that time-consuming. Sonicare has their toothbrushes organized into product lines, and each one's member models usually share a core set of features and capabilities.

So in some instances, noting the difference between two brushes that have similar model numbers can be something as minor as the brush's color.

Where do we get our information?

The sole source we use for model information comes directly from Sonicare, via their (USA) website, promotional leaflets, user manuals, and support representatives (chat & telephone).

 

Step 2 - Once we know what features are available, we form an opinion about them.

While we do have high regard for the Sonicare brand, we're hardly Sonicare Kool-Aid drinkers.

  • We are avid believers that some of the features that their toothbrushes offer do provide a sound benefit for the user and therefore are important to have.
  • But the keyword in that statement is "some." Because we feel just as strongly that others do not, and that just piling on additional (frivolous, superfluous) features doesn't make a brush better.

 

So, after we've determined exactly what features are available, we look for reasons why we should feel that each one is important to have. The goal is to identify ones that can be considered relatively less valuable, so the expense of having them can be avoided to the greatest extent possible.

We look through dental literature.

We actually do look through published research to see if we can find documented evidence of a feature's worth. After all, if Sonicare's advertising copy harps on end about a feature, we'd like to think that that hype is based on some level of actual scientific evidence.

It's been our experience that it's easy to document the importance of having a brush that offers Sonicare's full-power hallmark brushing action. But beyond that single feature, the evidence for the significance of others is substantially more limited.

"Dental instinct."

To fill in where we find scientific documentation lacking, a lot of what we formulate our opinion on is simply "dental instinct." (As a dentist, does it make sense, or does it seem plausible, that this feature really has significant value for the brush user? ) Of course, this includes, admittedly, some level of personal bias.

Step 3 - We factor in perceived quality and reliability.

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

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

Our proxy for judging quality and reliability.

We'll be the first to admit that our company doesn't run dozens of each of Sonicare's models (there are 16 individual model lines) for weeks on end to evaluate reliability. Nor do we have the capability of scientifically measuring 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. (And we're not aware of any source that is.)

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) as developed over the 15-plus years that we've been reporting about Sonicares on our pages, 2) What people have posted in our comments section below about owning specific models (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 subjective types of information throughout this page where we think it holds merit and therefore is important to do. Not so much to steer you toward certain models but instead away from some clunkers.

Step 4 - With all of the above considered, the last step is to sort through the Sonicare lineup and pick out the best ones.

We simply rummage through the list of models available and look for those that have the core features we feel are important to have but also as few additional ones as possible. And performing that process is what's outlined on the remainder of this page.


Which models did we include in our evaluation?

The group of brushes we've considered is the same as those listed on our Sonicare toothbrush lines review page. Which is the group of brushes we found listed on the Philips Sonicare's (USA) website on November 16, 2019.

In terms of specific Sonicare toothbrush lines, the following were included in our evaluation.

  • DiamondClean Smart
  • DiamondClean
  • ExpertClean
  • FlexCare Platinum Connected
  • FlexCare Platinum
  • FlexCare+ (plus)
  • HealthyWhite+ (plus)
  • HealthyWhite
  • ProtectiveClean
  • Sonicare for Kids
  • 2 Series plaque control
  • 3 Series Gum Health
  • DailyClean
  • Essence
  • EasyClean
  • PowerUp
 

This is an amazing number of models and more than we've seen in a number of years. Some of them are comparatively new. Others are from lines that we thought had been discontinued.


Pictures of Sonicare electric toothbrushes.

Our affiliate links can be used to shop for Sonicare products. We participate with both Amazon.com  and  Walmart.com programs.

Disclosure:  Sales stemming from our affiliate links earn a commission for our website, although without any additional cost to you.


So let's get started ...

Our comparison process for picking out the best Sonicares.

Setting the criteria.

As the basis for a best-value evaluation, we set the following criteria: The "best" Sonicare toothbrushes are those that ...
  • Feature Sonicare's hallmark 62,000 brush-movements-per-minute brushing action (you'll learn about this in our next section) ...
  • Have a majority of the basic core functions discussed below 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. (However, it's our opinion that you tend to bet a better brush and brushing experience if you don't go too far toward the bottom of the Sonicare lineup. A cut off around $100, plus or minus, tends to make a safe choice.) ...
  • 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 at the bottom of this page.)

 

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 62,000 brush movements-per-minute brushing action. (Historically, Sonicare has stated this as the equivalent 31,000 brush strokes/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 so important to have?
  • As a primary cleaning action, toothbrush bristles scrubbing against the surfaces of your teeth at this rate of speed constitute a very effective brushing motion.
  • Additionally, brush vibrations at this (sonic) frequency are also able to create a secondary (not as effective but still valuable) cleansing action that extends beyond where the brush's bristles actually touch. (Yes, beyond.)

    This secondary cleaning effect 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 how sonic toothbrushes work, use this link.)

 

 

Which models offer Sonicare's hallmark setting?

This used to be a very simple criterion for us to report about. But currently, we find we have concerns about the information that the Sonicare (USA) website contains because it seems to contradict what's been stated there in previous years.

We can report with confidence that these toothbrush lines do feature Sonicare's 62,000 brush movements-per-minute brushing action ...
DiamondClean Smart, DiamondClean, ExpertClean, FlexCare Platinum Connected, FlexCare Platinum, FlexCare+, HealthyWhite+, HealthyWhite, ProtectiveClean, Sonicare for Kids

So these models are still candidates in our "best Sonicares" evaluation.

And can state with confidence that these lines don't ... and therefore are no longer in contention in our evaluation.
PowerUp, DailyClean

(If the DailyClean is really just the old Essence+, which we think it possibly may be, we would instead place it in the group below.)

And these models lie in question to us ... and therefore have been cut from contention in our evaluation.

2 Series plaque control, 3 Series Gum Health, Essence, EasyClean

Our concern - This last group of toothbrush lines includes ones that in previous years Sonicare has reported do feature their hallmark 31,000 brush strokes/minute (equivalent to 62,000 brush movements/minute) brushing action but currently do not. (A fact that seems questionable to us.)

But we don't consider not including these lines to be all that much of a loss - That's because these are some of Sonicare's lowest-end models. And as such, it's our impression that most users, especially those who have owned Sonicares before, are more favorably impressed with the brushing experience delivered by the models still included in our evaluation. And some of these have a low price too.


Sonicare features we tend to 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 are worth having.
In many ways, we're probably too critical. But we have high regard for sonic toothbrushes in general, and Sonicares in particular. And therefore feel that the features they offer should be more about substance than hype. Based on science more so than marketing schemes.
[If you want additional details about a particular feature (both pros and cons), select from the buttons to the right.]

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

Some 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 a few FlexCare 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, a few more models must 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 FlexCare models that have the UV sanitizer off our list.

b) The Sonicare smartphone app - We just don't feel that this is a must-have.

We really do think that Sonicare did a pretty good job with their smartphone app. (Especially as implemented with the DiamondClean Smart and FlexCare Platinum Connected lines.)

But we primarily only see it as a brushing discipline or motivation aid. (Having it doesn't make the toothbrush brush better. It makes you brush better.) And if you are seeking that type of help, having it may make a good choice.

But in terms of identifying best-value models for people who just need a good effective electric toothbrush, and not really any coaching, it's hard to justify this option.

So in light of that opinion, at this point we'll also mark the remaining FlexCare Platinum Connected models off our list, as well as the DiamondClean Smart and ExpertClean brushes too.

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 a Sonicare toothbrush can be a valuable product to own. But just for one main reason, its full-power 62,0000 brush-movements-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, or reduced-intensity setting). But these cases are the exception. For the vast majority of users, the best, most effective, most efficient brushing mode they can use is their brush's constant full-power one.

  • This is the mode that Sonicare invented and has built its reputation on.
  • This is the mode that has been used to establish the benefits of using sonic toothbrushes in scientific research.
  • Read your brush's manual. Many literally state: "When the Philips Sonicare is used in clinical studies, the default 2-minute Clean mode with high intensity must be selected." To us, that's confirmation of how valuable using this mode is.

(We explain the basis of our opinion in further detail on this page.)

It's only human nature that you won't really use all of the modes.

We find it hard to believe that over the long-term a brush's multiple brushing mode options will continue to be used.

We'd anticipate that even those people who originally enjoyed this novelty will have long since forgotten that these options exist once the newness of their brush has worn off.

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

We do have to note, however, that as mentioned elsewhere on this page, we do feel that there are some advantages to purchasing a mid-range Sonicare as opposed to the lowest-end ones (better build, design and brushing experience).

And those models characteristically do feature more than one brushing option. So in practice, totally escaping this point isn't entirely possible.

Trimming a few more model lines from consideration.
Considering that Sonicare's all-important Clean mode is a feature shared by all of it's high and mid-ranged toothbrush lines, in terms of identifying best-value models, it's hard to recommend the former. And as such, at this point we'll go ahead and remove the following additional lines from consideration in our evaluation:

DiamondClean, FlexCare Platinum, FlexCare+

Note: We're not suggesting that these aren't good toothbrushes.

We want to point out that we consider all of the higher-end Sonicare models that we've nixed so far from our evaluation (DiamondClean Smart, DiamondClean, FlexCare Platinum Connected, FlexCare Platinum, FlexCare+, ExpertClean) to be superior brushes.

And if their expense was not a consideration, all would make excellent choices. But in terms of a best-buy (in terms of features, performance, AND price), they are not contenders.


Basic features that are common to most Sonicares.

At this point in our evaluation, we're just down to four Sonicare toothbrush lines:

HealthyWhite+, HealthyWhite, ProtectiveClean, Sonicare For Kids

(The lower-end models have been culled from consideration because they aren't reported as having Sonicare's hallmark brushing action. And we've decided, rather arbitrarily, that the higher-end lines don't really represent a best-buy opportunity, based on their high prices and an overabundance of features.)

As a last section of FYI details, the remaining group of brushes still being considered in our best-Sonicares evaluation has the following features in common.

  • SmarTimer (or KidTimer) - All of the models come with a 2-minute brushing timer.

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

  • Quadpacer (or KidPacer) - This is basically a brushing timer too. It signals four times as you brush your teeth, indicating when you should move on to cleaning the next quadrant of your mouth (UL, UR, LL, LR).

 

  • Excessive pressure indicator - The brushing action of all Sonicare models will tend to stall when the user applies too much force. And then beyond that, the ProtectiveClean models offer a dedicated excessive pressure indicator.

    We're of the impression that studies tend to show that the use of excessive pressure isn't generally a major concern with Sonicare use. And for that reason, we don't place great emphasis on having this type of feature. (More about Sonicare brushing pressure indicators.)

 

  • 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. (The Sonicare For Kids does not have this feature.)
  • 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.

 

Some model differences.

Pictures of Sonicare brush heads.

Sonicare DiamondClean and original ProResults brush heads.

a) Brush heads.
You'll find that the different Sonicare models still in contention in our evaluation come packaged with different styles of brush heads.
For us, this is a non-issue because they all utilize Sonicare's click-on (snap-on) design. That's a really big deal because it means that you'll be able to select from their whole assortment of click-ons when you buy replacements.
For this reason, we don't place any emphasis on which type(s) of head(s) comes with any models. You can just switch to whatever one you prefer later on.

(We discuss Sonicare brush head options in greater detail on this page.)

b) Battery type.

Sonicare rechargeable models come with either a NiMH or Lithium-ion battery. A Lithium-ion one offers some advantages:

  • Due to its smaller size, the handles of models that have one tend to be lighter and sleeker.
  • The nature of this type of battery offers some performance and recharging 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. However, as a point of convenience, it just so happens that all of the models we're still considering have a Lithium-ion one.

(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 discussed above, the brushes discussed below on this page are those Sonicares that we consider to be the best ones, in terms of features and function vs. price. The product lines represented are:

HealthyWhite+, HealthyWhite, ProtectiveClean, Sonicare For Kids

For each, we list what distinguishes that line from others. More importantly, we also provide a link to our Sonicare Toothbrush Lines page where you can learn specific details about that group of brushes.

Have questions?

If you have a question about something you read 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 state 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.

Obviously, we don't speak for Philips. So if having this option is important to you, use the link above 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.


Pictures of Sonicare electric toothbrushes.

Our affiliate links can be used to shop for Sonicare products. We participate with both Amazon.com  and  Walmart.com programs.

Disclosure:  Sales stemming from our affiliate links earn a commission for our website, although without any additional cost to you.


The best Sonicare toothbrushes - From highest MSRP to lowest.

Per all of the discussion above on this page, we think it's easy enough to make the case that the following Sonicares make the best choice when features, function and price are all taken into consideration.

Picture of a Sonicare HealthyWhite+ sonic toothbrush.

Sonicare Healthy White+ HX8911/02

▶ The Sonicare HealthyWhite+ (plus).

Regular MSRP: $120.
Associated model numbers: HX8911/02
( Compare HealthyWhite+ prices and deals at Amazon.com or Walmart.com using our affiliate links. )
This is one of the more expensive models that has made its way onto our best-Sonicares list. And we generally like this brush, and have in fact included it as a finalist on this page for some years now.
Brushing experience vs. cost.
We generally feel that it's money well spent to splurge for a mid-range Sonicare.

That's because we think that within their lines, a model's price makes a reasonably good proxy for its level of design, build quality and refinement (all of which directly influence the user's brushing experience). (Right around $100, plus or minus, seems to be the comfort spot for us in regard to this issue.)

Based on the comments we've seen posted on both our own and retailer websites, it seems to us that the HealthyWhite+ is one that most purchasers are happy with.

First-time Sonicare buyers, and those who previously owned lower-end models, are usually favorably impressed. Those who previously owned higher-end models seem to notice a difference. But in light of the substantially lower price they have paid, find it understandable and just minimally objectionable.

Reliability.

With the current era's emphasis on planned obsolescence and lowest-possible-cost manufacturing, we don't consider the electric toothbrushes made by any brand, including Sonicare, to be notably reliable. And feel that what any one owner can expect to experience in terms of product longevity/reliability to simply be a roll of the dice.

Reliability vs. cost.

We also don't really feel that spending more on a Sonicare improves the owner's outlook substantially. (This is easily confirmed by reading reviews on retailer websites.)

All of this simply means that only you can determine at what price point you should buy. If you feel that the sting of having a brush die prematurely would be too great at this level, we discuss cheaper models below that we feel can make a reasonable choice too.

Details about the HealthyWhite+.

The features that the HealthyWhite+ shares with the other "best Sonicares" below have been outlined above.

This brush differs from others by way of having:

  • 2 brushing modes and 3 intensity settings.
  • A (non-charging) travel case.
  • Sample promotional leaflet: HealthyWhite+ toothbrush.

 

The following link provides a full outline of the HealthyWhite+'s features, more opinion from us about it, and information about other Sonicare lines for comparison.

 


▶ The Sonicare HealthyWhite.

Regular MSRP: $90.

Associated model numbers: HX6732/33, HX6721/45

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

This is the less-featured member of the HealthyWhite line. This model seemed to have been discontinued for a while but is now back in Sonicare's lineup.

We've taken a look at this brush in years past.

We checked our archive and found that a few years ago, when this brush was previously a member of the Sonicare lineup, that we did not include it in our best Sonicares list.

It seems that we considered this brush too loaded up with features back then. And it had a price tag that was $30 more. Those symptoms together made us feel that it didn't make a best-value option.

What's different now?

As mentioned above, this toothbrush line is now more favorably priced. And over the years, our inclination toward lower-end Sonicares has waned (per the brushing experience discussion above).

Details about the HealthyWhite.

The features that the HealthyWhite shares with the other "best Sonicares" on this page have been outlined above.

This brush differs from others by way of having:

  • Either 2 or 3 brushing modes (lesser models don't have Sensitive mode)
  • Unlike the HealthyWhite+, it does not feature intensity settings.
  • Some models come with a (non-charging) travel case.
  • Sample promotional leaflet: HealthyWhite toothbrush.

 

The following link provides a full outline of the HealthyWhite's features, more opinion from us about it, and information about the other Sonicare lines for comparison.

 


▶ The Sonicare ProtectiveClean.

Regular MSRP range: $170 to $50.

Associated model numbers: HX6481/13, HX6481/12, HX6481/11, HX6877/21, HX6876/21, HX6871/49, HX6871/41, HX6857/11, HX6850/60, HX6817/01, HX6815/01, HX6810/50, HX6463/50, HX6462/05

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

This is a relatively new Sonicare line. It's been around for about 2 years or so.

When we first started reporting about this line, we were generally leery of it. That's because Sonicare has a history of introducing new models to meet specific price points in their lineup, and in some cases, we haven't been so favorably impressed by them.

Now, with a longer history, we feel more comfortable with the ProtectiveCleans. And the statistics found on retailer websites seem to confirm that owners tend to consider these reasonable brushes.

There are a plethora of ProtectiveClean models.

This toothbrush line has a number of member models (the 4700, 5100, 6100 and 6500). And each one of them has its own unique features list and price, which makes keeping things straight about this line difficult.

The 6500.

At a price of $170 (MSRP), and considering that the lesser models also have the brushing action we feel that's important to have, we don't really consider the 6500 to meet the criteria of a best-value toothbrush.

The 6100.

The typical price for the 6100 is $130 (MSRP), which puts it slightly above the HealthyWhite+.

A part of the expense of this model seems to be due to its having BrushSync (brushing mode pairing) and advanced sensing (brushing pressure sensor, brush head replacement reminder) capabilities, which are features that we don't feel add much value.

We'll also point out that for these functions to work, the microchipped BrushSync type of Sonicare brush head must be used, which means an added expense with owning this brush.

The 5100.

With a reduction in its number of features and a cost of $90 (MSRP), this model falls back into what we consider best-value territory. And it still resides at a level within the Sonicare lineup (low end of the mid-range models) where we feel brush design and build quality aren't terribly compromised.

Once again, it must be pointed out that for this model to function fully (pressure sensor and brush replacement features) it must be used with the more expensive BrushSync brush heads. (So owning a HealthyWhite, or even a HealthyWhite+, would likely prove less expensive in the long run.)

The 4100.

At a price of $50, the 4100 falls well into that category where we have concerns about the refinement of the user's brushing experience. This would tend to be most notable to previous Sonicare owners, especially those who have used high-end models.

However, new-to-Sonicare users may find this brush to be an improved experience over their current situation. (We will state that online reviews seem to suggest this.)

Details about the ProtectiveClean models.

The features that the ProtectiveCleans share with the other "best Sonicares" on this page have been outlined above.

These brushes differ from others (depending on model) by way of having:

  • 1 or up to 3 brushing modes. 0 or up to 3 intensity settings.
  • Requires the use of BrushSync (microchipped) brush heads for full functionality.
  • Excessive brushing pressure sensor. (We don't feel strongly about a need for this feature. But we will note that this is the only one of our best-value lines that has it.)
  • Brush head replacement reminder. (We consider visual inspection to be a perfectly adequate way to evaluate the status of a brush head.)

 

  • BrushSync brushing mode paring (6500, 6100). (The brush automatically switches to the brushing mode matched to the installed brush head. Without this feature, you would simply switch modes manually, if you chose to do so at all.)
  • Not all models come with a travel case. The 6500 comes with a USB charging travel case.
  • Sample promotional leaflet: ProtectiveClean toothbrush.

 

The link below provides a full outline of the ProtectiveClean line's features (according to model), more opinion about the line from us, and information about other Sonicare lines for comparison.

 


Picture of a Sonicare For Kids sonic toothbrush.

Sonicare For Kids HX6321/02

The Sonicare For Kids.

Regular MSRP: $50.
Associated model numbers: HX6351/41, HX6321/02, HX6352/42
( Compare For Kids prices and deals at Amazon.com or Walmart.com using our affiliate links. )
This is Sonicare's toothbrush for children, and it's a model that's been around for many many years. It's also been on our list of best Sonicares ever since our first rendition of this page.
We'll also mention that this toothbrush could conceivably make an acceptable budget choice for the entire family.

Details about the Sonicare For Kids.

The features that the For Kids shares with the other "best Sonicares" on this page have been outlined above.

This brush differs from others by way of having:

  • A single (preset) brushing mode and two brushing intensity settings (High, Low).
  • KidTimer and KidPacer (features that correspond to SmarTimer and QuadPacer found on other Sonicares).
  • This line supports integration with a smartphone brushing app. (This is more limited than Sonicare's app for "adults." However, it does aid with brushing fun and motivation, and tracks brushing sessions.)
  • This line does not feature the EasyStart function.
  • No travel case is included.
  • Sample promotional leaflet: Sonicare For Kids toothbrush.

 

The link below provides a full outline of the Sonicare For Kids line's features, more opinion about the line from us, and information about other Sonicare lines for comparison.

 

If you're an adult considering using a For Kids.

There's no question that everything about this brush is focused on children. That includes the way it looks, and the way its timers (which you can't turn off) function and sound. (So familiarize yourself with them before buying.)

As one of Sonicare's models that utilize click-on brush heads. An adult using this brush will be able to choose from any of Sonicare's line of click-on heads. Not just the ones designed for children.


What about the other Sonicare models?

Higher-end Sonicare lines.

Except for their price, we don't think you can go wrong with buying any of the higher-end Sonicare models. They are generally exceptional toothbrushes (design, build quality, brushing experience), they're just not best-buys in terms of value (features and function vs. price).

Additionally, as a reminder to what's stated above, we don't really feel that spending more for a Sonicare brings you any substantial benefit in terms of improved product reliability or longevity. That, in our opinion, still remains a wild card with all lines and models. And if you've chosen to buy one that's comparatively more expensive, it will just sting that much more if it dies prematurely.

Lower-end Sonicare lines.

Purchasing low-end models can be problematic. We feel that even in the $70 to $50 range that the brushes seem to noticeably operate more crudely, and don't deliver the same polished brushing experience that even the $100 to $150 brushes do.

And based on the primary tenant of this page, we wouldn't consider buying any Sonicare model that can't be documented as featuring their full-power, 62,000 brush-movements-per-minute brushing action. And at this point in time, it seems that many of them don't, or at least can't be confirmed that they do.


Pictures of Sonicare electric toothbrushes.

Our affiliate links can be used to shop for Sonicare products. We participate with both Amazon.com  and  Walmart.com programs.

Disclosure:  Sales stemming from our affiliate links earn a commission for our website, although without any additional cost to you.


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 "Review of the Sonicare toothbrush lines" 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.]

 
 
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Comments

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?
Thanks!

JP

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.

Antony

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

Nancy,

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!

Mike,

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.

Bravo!

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!!

Elite

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?

Juliana

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?

Karen

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?

Lena

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.

David

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!

HX6511/50

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.

Madrugada

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.

Quality?

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.

jrj

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.

Judy

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.

Annonymous

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?

Thanks!

Steve

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.

Daniel

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

To Canucks

Hi
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!!!

Corruption

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.

Jcdew

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.

Ginger

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!

EssentialClean

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.

RM

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.

Thanks

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.

Jude

The compliment is appreciated.

Size

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?

BL

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.

Joanne

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.

Betsy

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!

Kathleen

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.

IR

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)?

Cheers

IR

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.

Thanks

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?

Horace

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?

Horace

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.

MBren

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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