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Medically Reviewed
Published: February 14, 2024

Best Sonicare toothbrush

Author: Jon Love (Leave a comment)
Medical reviewer: Dr Gemma Wheeler, BDS
Sonicare brushes stood next to each other

Our main recommendation

Our overall recommendation for the best Sonicare electric toothbrush is the 4100 Series. It has the essential features recommended by our in-house dentists — a pacer, a timer and a pressure sensor. 

If you’re on a tight budget our recommendation is the 1100 Series. It lacks a pressure sensor and the BrushSync technology of the 4100, but it is cheaper.

The very best Sonicare toothbrush you can buy in terms of technology is the 9900 Prestige. It is a smart (Bluetooth-enabled) sonic toothbrush. Typically we don’t recommend smart toothbrushes because they're expensive and include more features than the average person needs.

Best overall

Philips Sonicare 4100 Series

Philips Sonicare 4100 Series
Philips Sonicare 4100 Series
Best Sonicare toothbrush 1 Best Sonicare toothbrush 1 Best Sonicare toothbrush 1 Best Sonicare toothbrush 1 Best Sonicare toothbrush 1

Why we chose it: 

The 4100 from Sonicare is an all round excellent electric toothbrush.

It has a 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer (or SmarTimer as Philips call it). It also has a pressure sensor. 

These are features our dentists like to see included in a good toothbrush. Admittedly, the sensor isn’t visible, but it does instead generate an unmissable vibration alert through the handle. 

The sonic cleaning action provided by the 4100 is clinically proven and you do get a very good clean of the teeth. 

2 brushing intensity settings are available on the 4100.  The more powerful 'high' setting will help achieve the best results, but you have the choice of a slower and more gentle brushing mode if you prefer.

The brush offers up to 31,000 brush strokes per minute, compared to 62,000 movements of some premium Sonicare models. But, the amplitude (the maximum distance covered by the bristles during their cycle of movement) has been adjusted on the 4100 Series to ensure clinical efficacy and a deep clean sensation. I struggle to notice any difference.

The timer and pacer function during the cleaning cycle and it will automatically power off after 2 minutes of use.

Sealed inside the slim handle is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery.  It offers around 2 weeks of use on a single charge, longer if you use the lower powered mode. It is replenished via a USB charging stand.

The 4100 is available in a number of different color options and has a premium look. It lacks lots of raised gripping points, but the matt finish is more secure in the hand than you expect. The design also makes the brush easy to keep clean.

For those who forget to replace their brush head as regularly as they should, the 4100 has BrushSync technology. Using an RFID chip built into the brush head, the handle tracks its usage. When the appropriate replacement time arrives, an LED is lit on the handle to alert you.

Read our Sonicare 4100 Series Review.

What we like

Worth noting


Easy to use — 2 cleaning intensities


BrushSync technology is clever but not essential, and the heads are more polluting because they contain microchips


Timer and pacer encourage brushing for the recommended time


Pressure sensor isn’t visible


Pressure sensor — alerts you when brushing too hard


USB charger makes it less convenient for some


BrushSync technology — reminder when brush heads need replacing


Slim handle design — stylish & easy to keep clean


USB charging stand makes it more convenient for some

Best Sonicare toothbrush 6

Best top of the range

Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9900 Prestige
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9900 Prestige
Best Sonicare toothbrush 1 Best Sonicare toothbrush 1 Best Sonicare toothbrush 1 Best Sonicare toothbrush 1 Best Sonicare toothbrush 1

Why we chose it: 

Toothbrushes don’t come much more capable than the 9900 Prestige.

It offers far more than anyone needs to be able to brush their teeth, but it is without doubt the best smart toothbrush on the market today.

It includes a visible pressure sensor, which alerts you if you brush too hard. The timer and pacer help you to brush your teeth evenly, and for the correct amount of time. 

There is even an optional scrubbing sensor to warn you if you are moving the brush head too much.

The Prestige is a smart toothbrush that tracks your brushing and relays the data back to a smartphone app. From here you can gain insights into your habits and make improvements. 

If you open the app as you brush you can make real-time adjustments to achieve the best coverage and results. It is full of helpful information to make you a better brusher.

Like the 4100 Series, this has BrushSync technology and comes supplied with the most premium A3 brush head. It is an all-in-one head designed to clean plaque away, stimulate gum health and whiten the teeth.

The brush is every bit as premium as the name implies and even the travel case has been really well thought out. It is very slim and allows you to charge the brush whilst inside it, using a USB type-c cable.

There are 5 different brushing modes as well as 3 different intensity levels. 

One downside is that the new seamless button design requires a firmer push than other brushes and you don’t get the same reassuring feedback.

Read our Sonicare Prestige 9900 Review.

What we like

Worth noting


Timer and pacer encourage brushing for the recommended time




Visible pressure sensor alerts you when brushing too hard


No place to store the detachable USB cable


4 weeks use on a single charge


Bluetooth isn’t essential


Premium charging travel case included


Premium materials & design


Reminds you when to replace the brush head


Tracks & monitors your brushing

Sonicare 9900 Prestige Midnight Blue & Champagne stood side by side

Best budget

Philips Sonicare 1100

Philips Sonicare 1100 Series
Philips Sonicare 1100 Series
Best Sonicare toothbrush 1 Best Sonicare toothbrush 1 Best Sonicare toothbrush 1 Best Sonicare toothbrush 1

Why we chose it: 

The 1100 from Philips Sonicare packs a real punch for the price and truthfully there is little in the way of compromise despite being an entry-level model.

It includes a 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.

It does lack a pressure sensor, which is a shame. This means that there are no alerts when you brush too hard. Just remember to let the bristles skim the teeth and gum line — there is no need to scrub.

The handle is very slim and comfortable to use. Despite the lack of rubber grips and textured surfaces it doesn’t feel slippy in hand. The benefit here is that it is easy to keep clean.

The motor in the brush handle does only offer 31,000 brush strokes per minute compared to the 62,000 movements of the most powerful Sonicare brushes. But, used correctly the brush still provides a more than satisfactory clean. You just don’t get quite the same intensity with each brushing session.

The 1100 doesn’t offer BrushSync technology, which means it doesn’t track how long you have been using your brush head. For those who don’t need a reminder, you can save money as you don’t need to buy the premium brush heads.  The standard heads have fading indicator bristles, so there is still a visual reminder, if you know what to look for.

A full charge provides 2 weeks of use and you get a warning when the battery is getting low. The USB charging stand is a convenient option for charging, but it’s a shame that no 2 pin power adapter is provided. 

This is a really good option for those looking for their first electric toothbrush.

What we like

Worth noting


1 cleaning mode makes it nice and simple to use


1 cleaning mode makes it nice and simple to use


Timer and pacer encourage brushing for the recommended time


No pressure sensor to alert you when brushing too hard


Slim handle design – stylish & easy to keep clean


Cleaning action not as good as premium models – brush motor configured differently


USB charging stand makes it more convenient for some


Good value – get what you need at an affordable price

Best Sonicare toothbrush 16

Comparison of our 3 recommendations

The table below compares the features and cost of our 3 recommendations.

We have a more detailed comparison of the full range of Oral-B brushes in our Sonicare Comparison Chart.

Electric Teeth Rating
Retail price
Find out more
Approximate 3 year cost
Cleaning Action
Number of cleaning modes
Brushing intensities
Pressure Sensor
Battery life
Battery type
Number of heads included
Travel case included
Bluetooth connectivity
Position tracking
Philips Sonicare 4100 Series
Philips Sonicare 4100 Series
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9900 Prestige
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9900 Prestige
Philips Sonicare 1100 Series
Philips Sonicare 1100 Series
Best Sonicare toothbrush 17 Best Sonicare toothbrush 17 Best Sonicare toothbrush 17 Best Sonicare toothbrush 17 Best Sonicare toothbrush 17
Best Sonicare toothbrush 17 Best Sonicare toothbrush 17 Best Sonicare toothbrush 17 Best Sonicare toothbrush 17 Best Sonicare toothbrush 17
Best Sonicare toothbrush 17 Best Sonicare toothbrush 17 Best Sonicare toothbrush 17 Best Sonicare toothbrush 17
$80 $500 $30
Review Review -
$208 $543 $140
Sonic Sonic Sonic
1 5 1
2 3 -
yes yes yes
30 second quadpacer 20 second sextants 30 second quadpacer
yes yes -
14 days 14 days 14 days
Rechargeable Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) Rechargeable Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) Rechargeable Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
1 1 1
- yes -
- yes -
- yes -
60dB 71dB 57dB
2 years 2 years 2 years

Our choices explained

Like a lot of things in life, you ultimately need to pick the right toothbrush for you, your needs and your budget.

Unfortunately manufacturers like Sonicare make it more challenging than it needs to be, because of the incredible number of options they offer. 

Choice is good, but there are really too many options, with too few differences between them.

Myself or any other members of the Electric Teeth team will be the first to tell you that a £1 manual toothbrush is perfectly adequate if you use it correctly. But there are, without doubt, benefits to going electric.

Years of testing toothbrushes and speaking to people has confirmed that the vast majority of users are looking for a toothbrush that cleans your teeth well, has a reasonable battery life and is good value for money.

If this is what you are looking for, then the Sonicare 4100 Series is the best choice. 

Best Sonicare toothbrush 31
The Sonicare 4100 and its box contents

It offers the core features you need and not lots of unnecessary extras, all at a justifiable price.

You are typically going to pay around $65 for the 4100.

Our budget recommendation, the 1100 Series, is virtually half this price at $30. Yet, you still get many of the benefits of an electric toothbrush. 

It does lack the pressure sensor, but as long as you know not to brush with too much force, then you are not really missing out.

If you have regular dental check ups, you can ask your dentist to check whether you are brushing too hard. 

The brush motor of the 1100 is tuned a little differently to the 4100.  The brushing intensity is weaker, but it doesn’t result in significantly different cleaning results. It is more than good enough.

Best Sonicare toothbrush 32
The Sonicare 1100 and its box contents

At the other end of the scale we have the 9900 Prestige.

Make no mistake, this is a very expensive toothbrush at $400. That is a staggering 13x more expensive than the 1100 series. And I can tell you it certainly doesn’t clean the teeth that much better.

Nobody needs such a premium toothbrush. 

Don’t get me wrong, there is some amazing technology included with it.

If you commit to using the brush and the smartphone app, you can make improvements in your brushing routine and technique.

The handle looks and feels more premium than other brushes and the travel case is the best I have ever used.

But, this extra tech potentially does come at an environmental cost too. It is a bit of a waste if you use the smart features for just a week or 2 and never again.

I review these products and I can honestly say I don’t go into the app every week. I have also had many others tell me they have invested in the premium models, only to rarely use the extra features they desired when they bought the brush.

Sonicare 9900 Prestige Box Contents
Sonicare 9900 Prestige Box Contents

Buyer's guide: useful pre-purchase advice

In the sections below we've shared additional advice and insights based on our hands-on testing of many Sonicare products and sonic toothbrushes from other brands.

In our more generalized best electric toothbrush post, we include more evidence-based advice on choosing an electric toothbrush, from our in-house dentists Dr. Gemma Wheeler and Dr. Chhaya Chauhan.

Sonicare cleaning action explained

The sonic technology seen on Sonicare brushes uses two methods to clean the teeth. 

The first is a mechanical cleaning. The toothbrush head vibrates. This causes the bristles to move side-to-side and remove plaque by scrubbing the surfaces. This is similar to a manual brush except the motor moves the head, not you.

To be called a sonic toothbrush this vibration must be at a speed that causes an audible hum. This is up to about 20,000 Hz (or vibrations per second). Vibrations faster than this are "ultrasonic" and can not be heard by the human ear.

The second method is a non-contact approach. The vibrations or sound waves themselves disrupt plaque beyond the tips of the bristles without the bristles actually touching that area.

The exact way that this happens is not fully understood, but it is thought that very high frequencies cause liquids to move and create "hydrodynamic forces" which damage the plaque layer in hard to reach areas (1). This intense vibration agitates fluids that surround the teeth and can loosen and remove dental plaque in locations that are beyond the physical touch of the toothbrush. To have this effect the waves actually need to be working at a much higher speed, in the ultrasonic range, greater than 20,000 Hz.

The ultrasonic (non-contact) method of cleaning is good, but not effective enough by itself. This is why Sonicare (and similar toothbrushes) work at a range of vibrations that also includes speed which physically remove debris. Because you can hear the vibrations, these brushes are called sonic brushes. Purely ultrasonic brushes should not be used on a day to day basis because they do not remove all the plaque.

Many brushes in the Sonicare range offer up to 31,000 brush strokes/62,000 movements per minute. The exact number of movements depends on the cleaning mode and intensity selected. Not all brushes have different cleaning modes or intensity choices.

The brush head on a sonic brush is a lot like a manual toothbrush in its size and shape. They cover 1-2 teeth at a time compared to the 1 tooth only of small round brush heads.

There is plenty of clinical evidence that supports the sonic cleaning action over manual toothbrushes.

Clinical reviews that assess all the studies have concluded that Oral-B’s cleaning action does remove more plaque. However whether this has any real life obvious benefit is not actually known. More research is required.

The vast majority of Sonicare brushes offer 62,000 movements per minute, which is equivalent to 31,000 brush strokes per minute.

But some newer brushes, such as the 1100, 2100, 3100 and 4100 Series, have only 31,000. They don't achieve the 62,000 movements because the motors are configured differently.

The number of movements may also be influenced by the cleaning mode chosen. From our own hands-on testing, it is clear that the ‘power’ of the brush differs, depending on what mode is selected.

For example the sensitive cleaning mode, is more gentle than the clean mode. Philips however doesn’t disclose exactly how these differ, but they have explained about the amplitude and frequency of the brushing, details of which can be found in our Sonicare cleaning modes article.

It is assumed that more movements get better cleaning results, but this is not necessarily true. In reality, there is little data to confirm this.

The biggest difference in how well an electric toothbrush works comes from your brushing time, technique and frequency, rather than the specific brush you are using.

Does Sonicare make the best sonic toothbrushes?

Yes, it is probably fair to say that Sonicare makes the best sonic toothbrushes.

They are definitely the market leader and pioneer when it comes to sonic brushes. For a long time, they were the only choice.

This is because it was Philips who popularised sonic toothbrushes after they bought the company that designed the original Sonicare toothbrush.

But, just to be clear here, we are referring specifically to sonic toothbrush technology. This is the way the motor and bristles of the toothbrush work to clean the teeth.

The other type of technology commonly used in electric toothbrushes is oscillation-rotation, sometimes referred to as 'spinning'. This technology has been championed by Oral-B.

A more simplistic way to look at it is that sonic brushes vibrate and sweep, whereas oscillation-rotation brushes spin.

Sometimes the label 'sonic toothbrush' is used to refer generally to all electric toothbrushes. But this can be confusing because a sonic toothbrush is actually just one type of electric toothbrush.

Not many companies other than Oral-B make oscillation-rotation brushes. Conversely, many of the new challenger brushes that have emerged in recent years use sonic technology.

Philips Sonicare sonic toothbrushes are generally the best because there is a long history of research, development and incremental improvement that finds its way into the latest brushes.

When buying a Philips Sonicare toothbrush, you are essentially investing in a product from the company that developed the sonic toothbrush.

Philips offer a wide range of sonic brushes with differing features at different price points. They have something to serve almost every user's needs. They are well designed and reliable, backed by global warranties and support. We go into more detail about this in the next section.

But many of the challenger brushes are worthy competitors, and can offer something different depending on what you are looking for.

To name a few of them specifically:

  • SURI is a sonic toothbrush that has focussed on improving sustainability credentials
  • The Oclean X Pro Elite is the quietest toothbrush we have tested
  • Burst is a sonic toothbrush offering a subscription model
  • Quip is compact travel friendly subscription based toothbrush

If you're not shopping specifically for toothbrush with sonic technology, you may want to check out the recommendations in our best electric toothbrush article — it includes both sonic and oscillating-rotating brushes.

Sonicare brushes tend to have more features built-in by default

It can vary from one model to another, but as a general rule, even the most basic or cheapest Sonicare toothbrush comes with some technology and well thought out implementation that you don’t get on brushes from other brands.

Some might sound a bit simple or gimmicky, but it isn’t until you use a brush regularly do you realize that these are actually very useful modifications that make daily interactions with the brush more enjoyable.

Automatic power off

All Sonicare toothbrushes (that I can think of) automatically power off after their set brushing cycle. 

It is a simple, but very effective alert that you have completed your brushing session. 

It saves you a button press. If you have to turn the brush off yourself, you know you haven’t brushed for long enough.

It might be an annoyance for those who do want to brush for longer, but you can turn the brush right back on again by pressing the button.

Defaults to the last used mode

The brush will default to the last used mode and intensity automatically. 

There is no need to change or set the mode each time you turn the brush on, unless you specifically want to make alterations.

The better value Oral-B models don’t do this.

Easy Start

This is a feature whereby the brush gradually increases the power of the brush motor available over the first 14 brushing sessions. 

It is designed for new electric toothbrush users. It limits the shock of the increased brushing power and intensity of an electric brush over a manual.

It allows you to slowly be eased in and become accustomed to how it works.

Often turned on by default, it can be turned on or off if required.

Beeps/vibrations for low battery

When the rechargeable battery is low on power and in need of a recharge, the handle beeps and vibrates at the end of the brushing session.

The number of beeps/vibrates depict how much power remains.

If the brush has an LED battery indicator this will be lit too. But, even those brushes without LED indicators often vibrate.

3 beeps usually means the battery is low and needs to be recharged soon.

2 sets of 5 beeps, means the battery is empty and requires recharging to be functional again.

Beeps/vibrations when placed on the charging stand

When placing a toothbrush on a charging stand, you often want confirmation that the brush has actually begun charging. 

Sonicare brushes offer this in a number of ways.

Those with LEDs for the battery will usually flash as they begin charging.

But, Sonicare brushes, including those without a battery status LED, are normally enabled to emit 2 beeps and vibrations when the toothbrush is placed on a working charging stand.

These act as additional confirmation that your toothbrush is now being recharged.

Turn features on and off

Don’t want the Easy Start feature?  

Would you rather not get a reminder when you need to replace your brush head?

Don’t want notifications when brushing too hard?

Whilst it is certainly subject to model, Sonicare often offers the ability to enable and disable features that particular brushes offer.

International voltage support

In most instances, the charging stand supplied with a Sonicare toothbrush will support international voltages, 100-240v.

So if you are in Canada, your charger will have a 2 pin power adapter, but with support for 100-240v, if you travel to Europe, all you need is a plug adapter and not a voltage adapter.

It makes traveling with a Sonicare toothbrush easier and more convenient.

What features do you get if you go higher in the range than the 4100 Series?

The 4100 is our main recommendation because it has the essential features our dentists recommend without costing a fortune. 

Once you start to spend more than the price of the 4100 Series, brushes come with more features.  They tend to be more expensive too.

These features tend to bring with them diminishing returns.

Fundamentally the cleaning experience and results are comparable between models.

I have described a bit more about each of these in case you think any of them would be useful to you.

Cleaning modes

As you go up through the range extra cleaning/brushing modes are offered.

Sonicare brushes offer up to 5 different modes in total. 

You only really need 1, or possibly 2 cleaning modes. 

The standard ‘clean’ is generally enough.

Although a second slower mode such as ‘sensitive’ can be appealing for a more gentle clean.

Find out more in our article on Sonicare Cleaning Modes.

Brushing intensities

Premium models tend to offer up to 3 different brushing intensities.

Low, medium and high.

Some lower end models offer 2.

Low or high.

In many respects an intensity is like another cleaning mode.

It gives another element of control to your brushing experience.

Intenties are often controlled with dedicated buttons and have LEDs on the handle to show what intensity has been set.


A simple addition of a button dedicated to changing the cleaning mode, rather than having to use the power button only to cycle through the options.

The mid range models will have cleaning mode name labels on the handle that get lit to show which mode is selected.

BrushSync technology

Get reminded when to replace a brush head. 

An RFID chip in the head is tracked by the handle to alert you at the most appropriate time.

Have the brush automatically change the cleaning mode.

Based on the head attached the brush will automatically select the most appropriate cleaning mode.

Bluetooth connectivity

The ability to connect your toothbrush to a smartphone, via the Sonicare application.

The facilities available via Bluetooth vary by model.

At the most basic level you get a timer that is in sync with the handle and logs when you brushed and how long for.

The most capable allow the handle to be configured and log extra data such as pressure and the coverage achieved.

Real-time tracking

The ability to see and record what areas of the mouth you have and have not brushed.

Offers the ability to take corrective action immediately.

Encourages better brushing habits.

Ideally requires you to use your smartphone at the same time you brush for best results.


The power and intensity of the brush motor is adapted based on your brushing habits.

Brush heads

As you go up through the range extra brush heads of differing styles are offered.

Alternatively, multiples of the same styles.

Some heads pair better with particular cleaning modes.

More than 11+ styles of heads to choose from.

C2 Optimal Plaque Control or G2 Optimal Gum Care are the best options. 

Find out more in our article on the Best Sonicare Brush Heads.

Travel case

A protective case is included to offer a place to stow the handle and up to 2 heads when traveling.

Most cases hold the handle and the heads only, but some allow the toothbrush to be charged inside the case.

There are a few different versions of the powered travel cases, but all use USB connections rather than a proprietary power adapter. The vast majority are microUSB with the Prestige 9900’s case using USB type c.

The USB cable must be connected to power for the brush to charge. There is no battery in the case itself.

Other accessories

Brush head storage - Stands or storage compartments are offered to make the box contents more comprehensive.

These can be useful for families where the handle is being shared or if you make use of multiple brush head styles.

Premium charging stands - A different configuration, no charging pin on the top of the stand, so the toothbrush has a flat base with no recess for the pin.

What about mid-range brushes? Does it make sense to pay more?

Mid range brushes are perfectly good at cleaning the teeth. But they tend to be 'lost' between the good value models, lower in the range, and the feature rich options, higher in the range, which are often promoted by Philips.

These mid-range models don’t necessarily stand out amongst all the other choices. They either offer only a little bit more than the entry-level models or just a bit less than the top of the line options.

These extras can sound more appealing and useful than they really are. Few really get the benefit of them long term.

And to complicate matters further there tends to be just a few dollars price difference between them all.

The ExpertClean is a great example. 

It is far more capable, technically, than the 4100 Series.

It is a premium model, with Bluetooth technology, multiple cleaning modes and brushing intensities etc.

It is cheaper than the likes of the Prestige 9900. But the price difference isn’t that great when you have models like the DiamondClean Smart, which offers everything the ExpertClean does, plus extra brush heads and real-time tracking for just a few dollars more.

If you are considering the ExpertClean, you are likely willing to pay a premium and want extra features. To not get the real-time tracking and extra box contents feels like you are selling yourself a bit short and thus other models become better choices.

In my opinion, Sonicare produces far more toothbrush models, and as a result choices, than the average consumer needs. It only complicates the decision making process.

Philips really does have options fitting budgets from $30 all the way up to $400.

We wouldn’t criticize you for buying a mid range option, but unless you have a specific requirement, other models will likely serve you better.

How do brush heads differ?

Sonicare offers a wide range of brush head choices. Like the toothbrushes, there is in reality more choice than you actually need.

The first and most important thing to be aware of is that the vast majority of the heads have a ‘click-on’ style design and are compatible with most brush handles. 

You don’t need to twist them on or off the handle. Push them on and pull them off.

The main exception is the E-Series, a screw on brush head that fits and works only with the E-Series/Essence toothbrush from Philips.

The click-on design means that the heads are interchangeable with the different handles.

So, whether you have a Sonicare 1100 series, 4100 Series or a Prestige the heads will fit and work.

You then have those heads that BrushSync enabled and those that are not. 

The BrushSync enabled heads have an RFID chip in them. They work best with BrushSync enabled handles.

BrushSync heads typically command a slight price premium. So, if your handle doesn’t have this, then opt for the standard heads and save some money.

And then you have the premium versions of the Sonicare heads. The ‘Premium’ versions have a rubber coating to the back and side of the brush head, so they are softer on contact with the teeth and gums. These too can cost more.

Therefore the range looks something like this:

  • Standard Sonicare brush heads - no BrushSync technology
    • C1 SimplyClean
    • S Sensitive
  • Standard Sonicare brush heads - with BrushSync technology
    • C2 Optimal Plaque Control
    • G2 Optimal Gum Care
    • I Intercare
    • W DiamondClean
  • Premium Sonicare brush heads - with BrushSync technology
    • A3 Premium All-in-One
    • C3 Premium Plaque Control
    • G3 Premium Gum Care
    • W3 Premium White

Although there is a lot of choice, the C2 Optimal Plaque Control and the G2 Optimal Gum Care brush heads are our preferred options.

If your Sonicare handle doesn’t have BrushSync, opt for the C1 SimplyClean and S Sensitive.

Like the toothbrushes themselves, it is better to pick a head and use it properly, rather than worrying too much about the style. Sonicare will claim each has benefits, but truthfully side by side the cleaning experience is comparable.

Heads should be replaced on average every 3 months. Worn bristles clean less effectively and can potentially damage the teeth and gums. 

Built into the heads are fading indicator bristles that change from (usually) a blue color, to a pale blue/translucent color to alert you it is time to change.

Of course, BrushSync enabled heads and handles will alert you when it is time to be replaced.

Our comprehensive guide to Sonicare brush heads explains each in more detail.

What's the difference between Sonicare's smart toothbrushes?

Sonicare does have quite a bit of technology built into each and every one of their brushes, which could be defined as smart. But, when it comes to electric toothbrushes, generally speaking ‘smart’ refers to those brush handles with Bluetooth.

The features of a Bluetooth enabled Sonicare toothbrush differs between ranges and models. 

It is potentially a bit more complicated than this, but in a nutshell, you have 2 key options.

  • A Sonicare smart toothbrush without real-time position tracking
  • A Sonicare smart toothbrush with real-time position tracking

The key difference here is that the brush either does or does not track and record the areas of the mouth you have and have not brushed during the cleaning cycle.

Those without real-time tracking will record a brushing session, including when and for how long you used the toothbrush.

During a brushing session, it will show a timer on the screen along with other data like an alert if you brush too hard.

Those with real-time tracking do the same, but with the additional data, which includes detailed visuals for review at a later time.

All this data is tracked by specialist sensors in the brush handle. It is then relayed back to the smartphone application for processing and presentation in a more visual and interactive format.

During a brushing session, the app is highlighting which areas to brush and changing the visuals to denote those teeth you have brushed, in addition to the brushing time and pressure applied.

Both provide dashboards and charts with useful information to promote better habits.

Whilst we like many of the features and functionality that smart toothbrushes offer, we don’t believe they are essential. And, for most people, smart toothbrushes are best avoided. Doing so saves you money and reduces the environmental impact of your dental health.

For many, ourselves included, we don’t stick to using these long term. Some will. If this is you or you think a Bluetooth enabled toothbrush will really help you, then by all means purchase one. You will be better served by the top of the line models.

If you wish to learn more about how each smart toothbrush works with the Sonicare app, it is best to refer to hands-on reviews we have available of each.

The following table summarizes the key differences between smart models.

Bluetooth connectivity
Position tracking
Philips Sonicare ExpertClean 7500 yes -
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 yes -
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9350 yes yes
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9750 yes yes
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9900 Prestige yes yes

What do the different names mean? DailyClean, ProtectiveClean, DiamondClean etc.

Philips produces a number of different sonic toothbrush models. These are grouped into ranges, or families of brushes if you prefer.

Each range tends to have one or two significant differences between them. For example better battery life, or additional cleaning modes.

As more features and functions get added, the price of the brushes tends to increase too.

Within each range, there are usually a number of different models. The differences amongst these tend to be subtle. They are often technically the same, but one might come with a travel case whilst another doesn’t.

The key ranges are:

  • Essence ($)
    • The essential features you require and no more.
    • Satisfactory, but better options exist.
  • DailyClean ($)
    • The essential features you require and no more.
    • Satisfactory, but better options exist.
  • 1100 Series ($)
    • The essential features you require and no more.
    • Satisfactory, but better options exist.
  • 2100 Series ($$)
    • The essential features, plus a little more.
    • The ideal brushes for the vast majority.
  • 3100 Series ($$)
    • The essential features, plus a little more.
    • The ideal brushes for the vast majority.
  • 4100 Series ($$)
    • The essential features, plus a little more.
    • The ideal brushes for the vast majority.
  • ProtectiveClean Series ($$)
    • The essential features, plus a little more.
    • The ideal brushes for the vast majority.
  • Optimal Clean ($$)
    • The essential features, plus a little more.
  • Perfect Clean ($$$)
    • Premium handles with more features and accessories
    • Offer what you need and a little of what you don’t
  • ExpertClean ($$$)
    • Premium handles with more features and accessories
    • Offer what you need and a little of what you don’t
  • DiamondClean ($$$$)
    • Premium handles with more features and better box contents.
  • Prestige  ($$$$$)
    • Top of the line with the most advanced toothbrush technology.

Although this is the general rule, be aware exceptions do exist.

Our Philips Sonicare Toothbrush Comparison describes and compares the range in more detail.

What's the quietest Sonicare toothbrush?

The vast majority of Sonicare brush handles produce about the same amount of noise upon use.

In our hands-on testing the Kids toothbrush from Sonicare proved quietest, producing 58 decibels.

The 4100 ProtectiveClean follows closely behind at around 60 decibels.

Cleaning modes, brushing intensities and the environment in which you use the brush will impact the exact sound, but the vast majority are around or below the 70dB level.

They are quieter than the oscillating and rotating options available from the likes of Oral-B.

If noise is really important to you, this quietest electric toothbrush article gives you more options, and information.

What's the best Sonicare toothbrush for travel?

All Sonicare brushes now offer a minimum of 2  weeks use on a full charge.

The best toothbrush for travelers depends on how long you will be away from power for.

If you are backpacking around the world for months on end, the Philips One by Sonicare is likely your best choice. 

Branded with the Sonicare name, this is a bit of a crossover toothbrush. It is electric, but you brush with it like you do a manual. It doesn’t provide the same intense clean, but the results are satisfactory. 

Powered by AAA batteries it is a convenient option because they are easy to source and last a long time.  It also comes with a really compact travel case.

Should you be going away on vacation for a week or 2, then the 4100 Series is still likely your best choice. It doesn’t come with a travel case, but you can buy a Philips or aftermarket case for a few dollars.

If you are traveling for a bit longer, but want some versatility in the way you use and charge the brush, the ExpertClean or DiamondClean ranges are worth considering. They have a solid battery life, plus come with a case that allows them to be charged inside too.

What's the best Sonicare brush for sensitive teeth?

The ProtectiveClean 4500 is our top choice.

Similar to the 4100, it has extra cleaning modes, notably the gum care mode which is slower and more gentle.

It comes supplied with the G2 Optimal Gum Care brush head which is engineered to be effective and gentle.

How does Sonicare compare to Oral-B?

This is a commonly asked question that is difficult to give a straight answer to.

Both Oral-B or a Philips Sonicare toothbrush can clean your teeth really well. Both do the job better than a manual toothbrush.

If we consider the cleaning results alone, there is evidence that supports both brands being good. But in a review of all the pre-existing clinical evidence, Oral-B has the slight edge.

Of course, cleaning results are important, but there are other factors that come into play when making a choice between models or brands. Things like usability, features, box contents and price all have a part to play.

Sonicare wins in categories like design, noise, and suitability for travel.

Our Sonicare vs Oral-B toothbrush comparison goes into more detail on a number of different factors, and we also have a post looking at the best Oral-B electric toothbrushes.

Author: Jon Love
Medical reviewer: Dr Gemma Wheeler, BDS

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