The 2100 Series from Sonicare is a slim handled brush that cleans the teeth well
It has a timer and pacer built-in, 2 essential features of any good electric toothbrush.
It is also very competitively priced. In our post on the best Sonicare toothbrush, we rate it as the best budget pick.
But, just because it’s cheap and made by a market leading brand, doesn’t mean you should buy it.
It lacks a pressure sensor, which in our opinion, is very useful.
For a little extra spend, you can get a toothbrush that comes with this and more. The Oral-B Pro 2 2000 is the best example of this.
- 1 cleaning mode makes it nice & simple to use
- Timer and pacer encourage brushing for the recommended time
- Slim handle design – stylish & easy to keep clean
- USB charging stand makes it more convenient for some
- Cleaning action not as good as premium models – brush motor configured differently
- No pressure sensor
- Battery life isn’t as good as most other Sonicare brushes
- Better value options exist
Where to buy the Sonicare 2100 Series
Here are some of the current prices and retailers stocking the Sonicare 2100.
It’s always worth checking eBay too.
Consider these other brushes
Unless you specifically want a sonic toothbrush, the Oral-B Pro 2 2000 is the brush to go for.
It has the essential features of a good electric toothbrush and it is affordable. It ticks the boxes the 2100 Series doesn’t. It is perhaps no surprise that it is our top choice for best electric toothbrush.
If you do want to stick with a sonic electric toothbrush, but wish to get maximum value for money, the 2100 is a good option, if you are happy with the limitations.
You could otherwise consider the Sonicare 4300 ProtectiveClean, which is a more capable brush.
All brushes, irrespective of type require you to use the correct technique.
Our guide to taking care of your teeth shows you all of the important things you need to know, irrespective of the toothbrush you use.
The following video is the UK version of the 2100. There are subtle differences, notably the included brush head and price. But the general message is the same.
Philips 2100 Series in-depth review
The more expensive a toothbrush is doesn’t necessarily make it any better.
Some of the cheapest toothbrushes on the market today are as capable as some of the more premium models.
But, that said, there is a sweet spot and when the budget is really tight there are sometimes compromises.
The 2100 Series really is an entry level toothbrush, it has been designed to hit a price point and be extremely affordable.
Don’t let the brand name and low purchase price distract you from investing in alternative products that will in the long term likely prove more beneficial.
Variants of this toothbrush
At the time of review, there are 2 different variants of the Philips Sonicare 2100 Series.
Technically, the models are the same. What differs is the colour of the brush handle.
Your options are:
- Sugar Rose – HX3651/31
- 1 x Sugar rose brush handle
- 1 x White W2 Optimal White brush head
- 1 x White USB charging stand
- Light Blue – HX3651/32
- 1 x Light blue brush handle
- 1 x White W2 Optimal White brush head
- 1 x White USB charging stand
It is the Light Blue variant that I have and is featured in the images throughout this review.
Please note that the brush head in the images is different to the one supplied. A UK variant of this brush was used for the hands-on images.
What’s in the box?
- 1 x Light blue Sonicare 2100 brush handle
- 1 x White W2 Optimal White brush head with travel cap
- 1 x White USB charging stand
- Sonic cleaning action – 31,000 brush strokes per minute
- 1 cleaning mode
- 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer
- Automatic power off
Design, usability, clean & general use
The 2100 Series comes in typical Sonicare packaging. It isn’t the most snazzy and eye-catching, but it fits in with the Philips theme and does the job it needs to.
It sounds daft, but it is nice that the box actually shows the brush and highlights the key features about it, so you know what you are buying. Believe it or not, many brushes have very little information on the box about what is inside. This is fine if buying online, but not quite so good for the shop shelves.
Another nice touch is the image on the box is colour matched to the handle inside.
Philips is working to improve their sustainability globally. This is a good thing. For quite some time their packaging has been mainly paper based as opposed to lots of plastics and materials like polystyrene.
As I will explain in more detail later, Philips has now even changed their conventional charging stand to reduce plastic use.
So why then, does the brush handle, the brush head and charging stand all come in a plastic sleeve?! It is LDPE 4 plastic, which can technically be recycled, but it is still fairly difficult to do for most people.
I think on the whole Philips strategy is positive, but it seems a bit daft to wrap parts of the package in plastic when they don’t need to be. The brush head, I kind of understand, but the other parts?! It feels like they are missing some of the obvious bits here.
First impressions of the 2100 in hand are great. It is lovely and slim and fairly light too. It definitely isn’t the most grippy of all the toothbrushes I have used, but the matt coating to the handle means it doesn’t feel slippery to the touch.
There is certainly a feeling of quality when you handle this brush, which is a positive.
Like most toothbrushes, this is made up of 2 key parts, the brush handle and the brush head.
The handle itself is not a perfect cylinder. Although rounded, the edges are very slightly squared off which makes it feel solid and pleasant to hold.
The 2100 Series was introduced to the Sonicare range in late 2021. It technically replaces the DailyClean Series. It is considerably slimmer and lighter than its predecessor. And it is marginally thinner and lighter in hand, in comparison to most other Sonicare handles. This is a positive, but as I will explain shortly, it does have negative impacts, notably battery life.
It has a very typical Sonicare design to the handle, which is clean and practical in its approach. I can’t really fault it.
The 2100 Series is available in 2 different variants at the time of review. Technically they are all the same, the difference is the colour of the brush handle.
I have the HX3651/32 variant which is light blue in colour.
On the front of the handle, just below the metal shaft is the Philips Sonicare logo, in a grey font.
Beneath this within the upper third of the handle is the power button. It appears to have an almost seamless design, despite being rubber, compared to the plastic of the brush handle itself.
It is concave and has a power icon embossed on it. It is colour matched to the handle too. There is a nice clicky feedback to the button. It isn’t very firm, so it’s quite easy to activate. Great for those with limited dexterity.
It is hard to explain, but there is contouring to the plastic of the handle that creates a long oval shape around the power button. It adds a design cue to the handle and becomes a natural resting place for the thumb.
It is then in the lower third of the handle that you have any extra notable detail on the front of the handle. Here sits the LED and icon for the battery.
The DailyClean 1100 that the 2100 Series replaces didn’t have this battery status icon, so this is a welcome addition. I will discuss the battery in more detail soon.
The rest of the handle, including the sides and back are smooth to the touch, with no raised elements for grip etc. For some, this is a negative, but despite the lack of gripping points the 2100 doesn’t feel uncomfortable or like it will really slip in the hand. For those who particularly struggle with getting a tight grip, the slimmer handle of the 2100 might not be ideally suited.
The only exception to this smooth design is on the back of the handle, right at the bottom, is a small plastic notch extending from the handle. This is designed to prevent the handle from rolling about when laid on a countertop.
The base of the handle has a recess within it. This is a space into which the charging pin on top of the charging stand fits to provide the wireless charging of the internal battery.
The base has some regulatory information printed on it along with the model number.
The 2100 series does stand upright on a desktop.
The top of the handle tapers very slightly, just before flattening out to give a surface for the brush head to sit over. Extending from the top here is the metal shaft that connects to the brush motor inside the handle.
The provided brush head simply pushes onto and pulls off of this. There is no need to twist or lock any head in place.
Once fitted, if you take a look at the handle from the side, the head sits perfectly vertically. There is no angling of the brush head as is the case with some other models.
This is subject to change, but the brush head supplied with the 2100 series by default is the W2 Optimal White brush head.
It can be used every day, but it has been specifically designed to be more effective at stain removal, to make teeth appear whiter in just 7 days thanks to the diamond shaped bristle tips and ‘polishing pad’ in the centre of the brush head.
The head is interchangeable so you can replace it or switch it for another style of head from Philips if you prefer.
The range of heads is confusing. Our ultimate guide to Sonicare brush heads explains each in more detail.
Now, I need to make you aware of something which makes the situation potentially a little more complicated.
For a long time, the brush head supplied with the 2100 was named and known as DiamondClean or Optimal White. It has more recently had the addition of ‘W2’ to make it the W2 Optimal White. Same design, new name.
But, in addition, the head has also had a technology upgrade. It has gained an RFID chip.
This chip makes the head BrushSync compatible.
Our BrushSync technology article explains what this means in some detail. But essentially, this chip allows a compatible handle, which the 2100 is not, to do some clever things.
The chip has no benefit to you if you are using the 2100 Series. But, the head does still technically work on the handle; the BrushSync features won’t function.
You may end up paying a slight premium for the heads with the RFID chip in.
You should on average replace your brush head every 3 months, sooner if they show obvious signs of wear. To remind you to do so, built into the brush head are ‘fading indicator bristles’. These are usually blue in colour, but over approximately 3 months they will become much paler, turning a white/translucent colour. This is a visual clue the head needs replacing.
The 2100 is nice and simple to use. There is only 1 cleaning mode on this brush handle.
There is no facility to change the power or intensity.
This one mode, known as clean, is all you really need, making for a really simple to use toothbrush.
Yes, potentially there are benefits from different cleaning modes, but for the vast majority of users, 1 mode like this is more than adequate.
It is worth mentioning that the motor in the 2100 isn’t the same as that used in the more premium Sonicare models.
The 2100 motor does offer up to 31,000 brush strokes, but it doesn’t achieve the 62,000 movements often quoted with the more expensive models. It is configured differently.
As a result, the 2100 does feel less powerful/intense compared to some other Sonicare toothbrushes.
Technically, more power or movements does mean better cleaning results. But, it isn’t quite as simple as this, there are more factors at play.
The lesser power on offer here isn’t immediately obvious. Even for me and I have tested hundreds of brushes. The brushing sensation is slightly different. It is most noticeable if you have used other premium Sonicare toothbrushes before.
The 2100 still does a very good job. My teeth feel clean after each brushing session. It is just a bit of a shame that you are not getting the ultimate Sonicare cleaning experience.
As with any toothbrush, be that manual or electric, it is important that you use the correct tooth brushing technique. There is a different technique to using an electric toothbrush to a manual brush. Did you know the brush should be held at 45 degrees to the gumline?
Our helpful guide explains the correct ways.
Be sure to learn the best approach, so that with each brushing session you are maximising the benefit you get.
The cleaning mode is activated by a single press of the power button. A second press will stop the toothbrush.
You should brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time. That is the recommendation of the vast majority of dental professionals.
Sadly, too few of us brush for this time, so the 2100 has a timer and pacer built into the handle to help encourage longer brushing sessions.
These are activated the moment the brush is powered on.
As the bristles move the timer counts and once it hits 30 seconds, it pauses the brush motor briefly.
This pause changes the sound and brushing sensation. It is your alert to move from one quadrant of the mouth to another.
This then repeats every 30 seconds, until the brush gets to 120 seconds (2 minutes) at which point it will turn itself off.
If you are not familiar with the concept of quadrant and 30 second intervals, allow me to explain.
Whilst dentists recommend 2 minutes of cleaning twice a day, what this does not help with is ensuring you and I brush our teeth evenly.
The idea is that you break the mouth up into 4 sections:
- upper right
- upper left
- lower right
- lower left
You spend 30 seconds cleaning each section. As you do, you try and give equal attention to the front, back and biting surfaces of the teeth. If you do, come the 120 seconds (2 minutes) of brushing time, you should have achieved an even clean to the teeth and gums.
The pacer acts as an alert to you, to change the quadrant as you brush to encourage this even clean.
Of course you don’t have to follow it, but it is good practice.
When brushing your teeth, the bristles need only really skim the surface of the teeth. You need just a little bit of pressure, not lots. Too much pressure can cause wear on the teeth and gums and in the long term result in irreversible damage.
Unfortunately, the 2100 has no technology built in to help prevent forceful brushing, or at least alert you to it.
Brushes like the Sonicare 4300 and Oral-B’s Pro 2 2000 do.
We feel a pressure sensor is a key feature of a good electric toothbrush, and advise where possible to opt for one that does have this included.
Sealed inside the 2100’s brush handle is all the technology that makes this brush function, which includes the user rechargeable, but not user replaceable lithium-ion battery, which should give 14+ days of use on a full charge.
When the power is low, the brush will indicate this through the battery indicator LED. Just pop it on the provided charging stand for up to 24 hours to fully recharge. You can get more information in the ‘Battery Life’ section of this review.
The handle is water resistant, which means it has been designed to resist the water, toothpaste and saliva that it will inevitably come into contact with. A rinse under the tap to clean it is fine. Sonicare tends not to advise use when bathing, but I know many do brush their teeth whilst in the shower. The important thing here is to avoid full submersion in water.
Sonicare does offer a 2 year warranty that covers any mechanical or workmanship faults, but not user damage.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Slim and comfortable brush handle
- Different colour options
- Sonic cleaning action isn’t quite as good as more premium Sonicare models – motors configured differently
- 1 cleaning mode
- 1 brush head included
- Various styles of brush heads available separately
- Built-in timer and 30 second pacer
- No pressure sensor to stop you brushing too hard
- 2+ week battery life
- Water resistant handle
- 2 year warranty
It is common practice for many people to pop their toothbrush right back on the charging stand once they have finished using it, irrespective of whether it actually needs recharging or not.
To be honest, I can’t fault anyone for doing this. It is logical and the stand is a natural home for the toothbrush when not in use.
From a purists perspective, this might not be optimum for the long term battery health, but there is little evidence that I know of that really suggests we should do otherwise. The toothbrush actually has technology built into it to help prevent overcharging anyhow.
The point I am making here is that for many of us, we don’t need weeks of use from a single full charge of our toothbrush. But, there are no doubt times where lasting a more than a few days can be useful.
Of course, your lifestyle will have a bearing on things, but generally, I feel a rechargeable toothbrush like the 2100 should really last a minimum of 14 days with a fully charged battery.
This should then allow for 28 brushing sessions, each 2 minutes long.
So, should you go away on holiday etc, you need not be worried about having to take the charging stand with you or running out of power.
Sonicare has a good reputation with battery life in my experience. They often exceed their claimed battery life by quite some margin.
It isn’t quite the same story with the 2100.
The claimed battery life is 14 days. Brilliant, that hits my target then.
But, in real world usage, at least from my hands-on testing, you will find it lasts up to 17 days (34 brushing sessions). That is an extra 3 days. It’s good, but not quite the 5 weeks that their more premium models offer.
The battery is sealed inside the brush handle and is not user replaceable, although it is user rechargeable with the supplied charging stand.
It is a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery, which are used in the vast majority of Sonicare brush handles.
Some competing brands use Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries which are often considered inferior.
The 2100 Series predecessor didn’t have a battery indicator icon on the brush handle. This was a real annoyance because it wasn’t possible to know when the battery would run out, until it did.
Thankfully this has been rectified with the 2100 so you can get feedback on the power within the battery.
The indicator changes colour and moves between solid and flashing lights subject to the power remaining.
- A solid green LED means a full battery.
- A flashing green LED means a partially full battery.
- A flashing amber LED and three beeps means a low battery.
- A flashing amber LED and five beeps means it is empty. There are no brushing sessions left, you need to charge the toothbrush.
Provided in the box is a charging stand.
White in colour, the stand allows the brush to sit on top of it. A prong on the stand fits into the recess on the base of the brush handle.
However, unlike most toothbrush charging stands that have a power adapter hardwired into it, this has a USB connector.
It is a male, USB Type-A connector. This is designed to fit into a USB port on your computer, laptop, battery bank, USB plug adapter or wall socket if you have one.
No separate USB to plug adapter comes included.
So, if you want to charge this toothbrush from a 3 pin socket in Australia, you will need to use a USB plug adapter you already have or source one.
Sonicare includes a leaflet in the box that says by dropping out the power adapter, results in reducing plastic use equivalent to 19 million plastic bottles.
I am all for reducing plastic, but I think many will take issue with this.
For me personally, this is less of an issue as I don’t actually have a power socket in either of the 2 bathrooms in my home. I have to charge my toothbrush elsewhere. But, this isn’t the same story for many others.
A lot of people have been conditioned to charge their toothbrushes in the bathroom.
If you are an existing Sonicare electric toothbrush owner, you might be pleased to know that the 2100 will work/charge from your existing charging stand. With the exception of the charging stand for the DiamondClean Series.
The USB stand potentially makes for a more convenient option for frequent travellers who do need to take their charger with them. USB charging is an international standard. There is no need to worry about voltages and plug adapters in quite the same way.
Compared to previous/other charging stands, this one is circular and has a similar overall footprint to previous Sonicare chargers. It is a little wider than the typical charging stand you would expect, but then again it isn’t quite as deep.
There are 3 small rubber feet on the base to help prevent movement on a countertop.
The toothbrush can be placed in any position on top of the stand, providing the pin on the top fits into the base of the toothbrush. The handle can actually rotate a full 360 degrees on the stand.
The cable that extends from the stand is approximately 110cm/43.3 inches in length.
It supports an input of 4.75-5.25v / 0.3A / 1.5W.
Once placed on the charging stand, the toothbrush can take up to 24 hours to charge fully.
When on a working charging stand a flashing green LED means it is charging, whilst a solid green LED means it is full. It will turn off after 30 seconds.
Summary of battery life
- Lithium-Ion battery technology
- Sonicare suggest 14 days/2 week battery life
- Achieved 17 days usage based on 2 cleans per days for 2 minutes
- Comes with a USB charging stand
- 3 pin USB plug adapter provided
- Takes about 24 hours to charge fully
- Battery status indicator on the brush handle
- A solid green LED means a full battery
- A flashing green LED means a partially full battery
- A flashing amber LED and three beeps means a low battery.
- A flashing amber LED and five beeps means no brushing sessions left.
Price & where to buy
I have included links to buying options here at the start of the review.
In the section below, I discuss the price more generally and in relation to similar products.
If possible, try not to let price be the overriding factor in your decision when choosing a good electric toothbrush. It can limit your options and mean you get an inferior product when spending just a few pounds more could really transform your daily brushing experience.
For some, I understand that this will be, due to limited budgets.
But, if price really is the primary concern, at least hear me out as to how a more expensive toothbrush can actually work out cheaper.
It may just pay you to continue using a manual brush for another month or two until such times as you can afford that more expensive model.
As is the case with a lot of products, there is the retail price, that the manufacturers recommend and then there is the selling price which the product is actually sold at.
Electric toothbrushes seem to be subject to much more significant discounts than most.
You won’t likely achieve the 50% discount that is possible with Oral-B brushes, but there is certainly a bit to be saved. 10-20% is a fair expectation.
At the time of review, the retail price of the 2100 is $69.95.
Although there are some stockists selling it at retail, the price is as low as $55, a $15 saving.
It really isn’t too hard to achieve a saving of $10 minimum, bringing the cost down to about $60.
In time, it may drop a little further to have an average selling price of $55 of less.
However, there is the purchase price and then there is the actual cost of owning the product.
Here at Electric Teeth, we like to price products over a 3 year period to give an approximate benchmark of what it costs to own.
If we assume a purchase price of $60 for the 2100, we then need to add on the cost of replacement brush heads. In addition to the 1 supplied in the box, a further 11 heads are required over 3 years. Each head costs on average $12. This gives a total additional cost of $132.
This gives a total cost of $192 or $0.18 per day.
This is certainly on the lower end of the price scale compared to all the electric brushes on the market today. But, it isn’t close to the best value options.
These prices do exclude the cost of water, toothpaste and electric to charge it, and do work on some assumptions, but you get a rough idea.
But, here is where things get more interesting.
My top pick over and above the 2100 Series is the Oral-B Pro 2 2000. It costs in the region of $80 to buy. That is $20+ more than the 2100. But, each brush head is around $7 compared to the $12 of a Sonicare head.
Over 3 years, the Pro 2 2500 costs $157, or just $0.14 per day.
It has a visible pressure sensor that the 2100 is missing. It also has an extra cleaning mode and a travel case.
This is why I say that spending more can actually be a better decision in the long run.
The more powerful Sonicare 43000, with twice the battery life only costs a couple more cents per day.
Sharing the 2100’s brush handle, but switching heads with other users in your household is one way to help bring the cost down and drive more value from it if you are set on going for this model.
Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and will vary based on location, supplier and time of purchase. These figures were correct at the time of writing and should not be relied upon as hard fact, but used as a guide during your decision process.
Summary of price & where to buy
- List of buying options included here
- Recommended retail price of $70
- Expect discount in the region of 10-20% on average
- Expect to pay around $55-60 for the 2100
- Brush heads vary in price, on average $12 each
- Works out at around $0.18 per day over 3 years
- Oral-B Pro 2 2000 is better and cheaper
Reliability & long term use
I am unable to test the 2100 for extended periods of time to really say how well it will fare over months and years of use.
However, from my experience and having analysed the brush as best as I can, I see no immediate cause for concern.
The handle appears well constructed and although this is a newer and slimmer handle profile than we are used to from Sonicare, it is based on similar handle designs.
As one of the leading brands within this space, many years of experience have gone into designing the 2100.
Any electrical product is prone to breaking, it isn’t possible to have a 0% failure rate. But, if the worst should happen you do have the 2 year warranty to fall back on.
If you are on a tight budget and want a toothbrush from a leading brand, the 2100 Series is worth considering.
It does the basics well and feels like a quality product.
But, assuming you are not brand sensitive, the Oral-B Pro 2 2000 is a much better value purchase when you price it over the years you might own it, even if it is marginally more expensive to buy initially.
With the average brush head price twice that of Oral-B it doesn’t take long for the 2100 to work out as a more expensive option.
On top of this, you also don’t have the extra features that the Pro 2 2000 has.
By opting for the 2100, you will be missing out on a visible pressure sensor, additional cleaning mode and travel case.
- Height (without head) – 17.3cm/6.8 inches
- Height (with head) – 23.4cm/9.2 inches
- Width – 2.5cm/0.9 inches
- Thickness – 2.7cm/1 inches
- Weight (without head) – 93g/3.3oz
- Weight (with head) – 98g/3.5oz
All are approximates
- Is the 2100 Series an oscillating brush?
- No. It is a Sonic electric toothbrush.
- How many cleaning modes does the 2100 have?
- The 2100 has just 1 cleaning mode known as ‘Clean Mode’. It lasts for 2 minutes.
- Learn more about Sonicare electric toothbrush cleaning modes.
- What brush head does it come with and what alternative ones can be used?
- The brush head supplied with the 2100 is the W2 Optimal White head. You get 1 included in the box.
- Sonicare offers a total of 10 different brush heads, each of which can be purchased separately and used with this toothbrush. Those options are:
- A3 Premium All-in-One
- I InterCare
- S Sensitive
- C2 Optimal Plaque Defence
- G2 Optimal Gum Care
- W2 Optimal White
- C3 Premium Plaque Control
- G3 Premium Gum Care
- W3 Premium White
- T1 Tongue Care+
- You can find out more about Philips Sonicare brush heads here.
- Does the 2100 have a pressure sensor?
- No, it does not.
- Does the 2100 have Bluetooth?
- No, it does not.
- Does it come with a travel case?
- No, it does not.
- Does it come with a charger?
- Yes, a charging stand is included. It is a USB charger.
- How long does the battery last?
- The battery lasts up to 68 minutes, which if used on the standard clean mode is 17 days based on 2 cleans per day.
- Can I use the 2100 in the shower?
- No. Although the handle is designed to be water resistant, Sonicare do not advise use in the shower.
- Does the 2100 come with a warranty & how long is it?
- If purchased new from an approved retailer the brush will come with a 2 year warranty.
- Register within the first 90 days and there is the option to extend it by a year.
- Find out more about the Sonicare warranty.
Do you own or have you used the 2100 Series?
Are there certain features that you really like or dislike?
Let us know what you think about this brush and let others who may well be considering purchasing one know your opinions before they do.