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Published: December 20, 2023

Philips Sonicare 2100 Series review

Author: Jon Love (Leave a comment)
Philips Sonicare 2100 Series review 1

A good option, but there is a better choice

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The slim handled 2100 Series cleans the teeth well. 

It boasts a 2 minute timer and pacer, which are essential features of any good electric toothbrush.

The biggest downside is that it lacks a pressure sensor, which is a useful feature for preventing you from brushing too hard. 

Philips Sonicare 2100 Series
Philips Sonicare 2100 Series
Philips Sonicare 2100 Series review 2 Philips Sonicare 2100 Series review 2 Philips Sonicare 2100 Series review 2 Philips Sonicare 2100 Series review 2

Pros

Cons

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2 intensity settings – choose between low and high power

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No pressure sensor

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Slim, stylish handle – easy to keep clean

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USB charger makes it less convenient for some

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USB charging stand makes it more convenient for some

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Sonic motor configured differently to premium models

Similar brush but better value

The 2100 is far from a bad brush, but the 1100 Series is essentially the same, with just 1 brushing intensity rather than 2. It’s normally cheaper and is our best budget Sonicare toothbrush.

Philips Sonicare 1100 Series
Philips Sonicare 1100 Series
Philips Sonicare 2100 Series review 2 Philips Sonicare 2100 Series review 2 Philips Sonicare 2100 Series review 2 Philips Sonicare 2100 Series review 2

Simple to use with a slim and minimal design

The 2100 feels surprisingly premium despite the affordable price.

Durable and quality feeling in the hand

It is slimmer and lighter in the palm than previous cheap Sonicare brushes and it looks more appealing too.

The water resistant white plastic handle has a slightly squared design to it. This helps give a secure in hand feel and allows the palm to grip the brush better given the lack of textured surfaces on the handle itself.

The matt finish to the plastic looks smart and there is a distinct lack of gloss finishes, which can make a brush look cheap. Aesthetically, it looks better than comparable Oral-B models in my opinion.

Able to stand upright on a countertop, the brush shouldn’t roll easily when laid flat thanks to 2 raised mouldings on the back of the handle.

Squeezing the handle doesn’t result in any dubious sounding creaks or groans from the plastic.

The minimal design looks good and does make it easier to keep clean.

Sonicare 2100 Series heald between 2 hands above a sink
A simple, but clean looking handle with a single function button

You can switch between 2 brushing intensities

It only has 1 cleaning mode, but with the choice of a high or low intensity. Just press the power button to switch between them. Unfortunately, there are no labels or icons on the handle to show which you have selected. You can tell the difference between them based on the sound and intensity. 

The high mode is my preference as it delivers the most satisfying clean. 

Low is a welcome option and ideal for when your teeth and gums feel a bit tender or inflamed. It’s good for helping first-time electric toothbrush owners get used to their new brush. 

The 2100 also has an EasyStart mode, which gradually increases the brushing intensity over the first 14 sessions to ease you in.

There is no whitening or gum care mode. Despite the common misconception that additional modes bring extra benefits, they rarely do.

2100 Series electric toothbrush plased on a countertop
The 2100's handle is slim and lightweight with a cylindrical design

The power button gives a nice clicky feedback

The only button on the handle has a concave shape, with a rubber finish and power icon embossed. It’s easily detected by the fingertip and when pressed gives reassuring feedback whilst producing a clicky sound.

It isn’t very firm, great if you suffer from arthritis and painful joints. 

Close up of the single power button on the 2100 Series
The power button gives good feedback to the fingertip

2 minute timer and pacer encourage even brushing of the teeth

Brushing time and technique are more important in achieving clean teeth than any particular brush. Therefore the 2 minute timer built into the 2100 Series is very helpful.

If you turn the brush off yourself, you haven’t brushed for long enough. It turns itself off automatically at the end of a cleaning cycle.

1 of the 3 features our in-house dentists recommend, the 2nd is a pacer.

Encouraging you to brush all the teeth evenly, the 2100 will, at 30 second intervals pause the bristle motion. It creates a change in sound and brushing sensation. This is your cue to move between the 4 sections of the mouth until all have been brushed.

Brushing the inner, outer and biting surfaces of the teeth is vitally important. Don’t spend 2 minutes brushing only the front teeth you see when you smile.

The lack of pressure sensor is the main downside

No pressure sensor built into the 2100 Series is my main complaint. It’s the 3rd feature dentists recommend be present.

You don’t need it to brush your teeth well, but it can help prevent you from damaging the teeth by brushing them too hard.

Scrubbing doesn’t clean the teeth better. It will, in time, wear the teeth and gums. If you know you’re an aggressive brusher, pick the 4100 Series instead.

It’s less powerful than most sonic brushes but still cleans well

The motor that moves the bristles of the brush head is tuned differently to the motors found in premium Sonicare models. It doesn’t achieve the 62,000  movements of some of Sonicare's more expensive brushes.

It means the 2100 doesn’t offer quite the same intensity and deep clean feeling when in use. But, unless you have used a Sonicare toothbrush before, you’d have no reason to question it. The sonic vibrations give a thorough and clean feeling.

Cleaning results are not impacted. They are most definitely comparable and perfectly satisfactory. 

I’ve got no complaints and your dentist won’t either, providing you use the brush correctly

Man holding and pointing to the 2100 Series electric toothbrush
Pleasing cleaning results - good plaque removal

The C1 SimplyClean brush head does a good job of cleaning all over the tooth surface and along the gumline. 

Different styles of Sonicare brush heads are available and compatible with the 2100 Series. You’ve got a choice if you desire such, but the ProResults/SimplyClean is one of our preferences. 

If you have a small mouth, a sonic toothbrush might not be right for you. The oval heads tend to be larger than the oscillating-rotating counterparts from Oral-B.

Satisfactory 2 week battery life on a full charge

17 days is the average usage time I’ve achieved with the 2100.

A few days longer than the 14 claimed by Sonicare, this is perfectly satisfactory. Yet, the performance of the rechargeable Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery is below the market average of 3-4 weeks.

The slimmer profile likely has a bearing but isn’t necessarily justification alone. Other slim handled brushes outperform here, but they may cost more.

An LED in the handle of the brush changes colour and flashes to give feedback on the remaining charge. This is very valuable in daily use. Previous affordable Sonicare models have lacked such.

2100 Series electric toothbrush on USB charging stand
USB cable is hardwired into the charging stand

USB charging has some advantages

A new style of charging stand is included. Compared to previous stands with a 2 pin power adapter, this has a USB type A male connector. The cable is hardwired into it and measures 43 inches (110cm) long. The footprint of the stand is smaller too with a more rounded shape.

A protuberance on the top of the stand still exists. This fits into the base of the brush handle.

A full charge can take up to 24 hours. 

USB connectivity allows us to take advantage of powering it from more sources such as a computer or portable battery bank. It arguably makes it more travel friendly too

It’s for environmental reasons that no 2 pin USB power adapter is provided. Many of us now have such we can use to connect the 2100 to a power outlet. Although I know some will be frustrated you don’t get one included.

Close up of the battery LED on the 2100 Series
Color changing LED provides feedback on the remaining battery power

A fair price with few compromises

$40 is about what you should pay. That’s a small discount on the $45 retail price.

Replacement brush heads cost around $10 each. This makes the 3 year ownership total about $150. It’s not bad value.

Our top recommended electric toothbrush, the Oral-B Smart 2000 works out at $168. You get the pressure sensor the 2100 lacks.

If you want a sonic toothbrush and you’re on a budget, the 1100 Series is typically better value. You’ll save $10 on average.

Close up of the battery LED on the 2100 Series
Color changing LED provides feedback on the remaining battery power

2 year warranty included as standard

An industry average 2 year warranty against defects and workmanship is provided. 

Budget brushes like the 2100 can often come with compromises. Thankfully reliability doesn’t appear to be one that applies. It seems well built with no reason to suggest it wouldn’t last a good few years.

Disappointingly, in an era where environmental impact is important, the 2100 has no serviceable parts. There is no ability to undertake a repair without rendering it useless.

Environmental impact

We don’t know the exact environmental impact of the 2100, the data isn’t available. However, as a general rule, the impact of electric toothbrushes is around 11 times more than a manual brush.

Given the lack of unnecessary extras, the 2100’s impact shouldn’t be much different to the average brush.

It doesn’t have smart features or use Sonicare’s RFID enabled brush heads that use more of the planet's resources.

Impact is further reduced by excluding a 2 pin power adapter. But at odds with this is the lack of repairability and the fact that the handle and stand come wrapped in plastic.

Where some manufacturers now use plant based plastics, Philips heads primarily use petroleum based, thus using more of the finite resources,

Philips has partnered with schemes such as TerraCycle in some countries, but doesn’t have its own scheme.

Conclusion: functional and affordable

If you are on a budget and want a toothbrush from a leading brand, the 2100 Series is a good choice.  

It looks good, cleans the teeth well. The main downside is the lack of a pressure sensor.

I’d pick the 1100 Series though. It’s typically cheaper with just 1 brushing intensity rather than the 2 on the 2100. It’s our choice for a Sonicare toothbrush on a budget.

Size guide

  • Toothbrush height with head - 23.4cm / 9.2 inches
  • Toothbrush height without head - 17.3cm / 6.8 inches
  • Width - 2.5cm / 0.9 inches
  • Depth/thickness - 2.7cm / 1 inches
  • Weight with head - 98g / 3.5oz
  • Weight without head - 93g / 3.3oz
  • Package weight - 255g / 9oz

Noise

  • 60dB

Country of manufacture

  • China
Author: Jon Love

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