Which one would we choose?
Both brushes come with our recommendation.
Technically the DiamondClean Smart is the better toothbrush. However, when you consider what most need and want from a brush, the ProtectiveClean 6100 wins as it offers that balance between features and price.
If money is no object the Smart is a great toothbrush, but many of the things you pay for will unlikely be used on a daily basis.
ProtectiveClean vs DiamondClean
Before I get into all the differences between these 2 models, I want to give a brief, but a broader overview of the differences between the DiamondClean and ProtectiveClean range of brushes.
Both are a series within the Sonicare line up of electric toothbrushes and under each series are a number of different toothbrushes.
The ProtectiveClean is a mid-range series ($$) whereas DiamondClean is the premium range ($$$).
Within each series, the brushes differ in their features, with a bottom of the range and a top of the range. As you go up through the range, typically the more features and functions you get and the higher the retail price for each.
Sonicare’s more cost effective brushes ($) offer the very essentials of an electric toothbrush. You might not get a pressure sensor or a travel case in the box and these entry level models might have just 1 cleaning mode.
The ProtectiveClean beings to offer more and do have a pressure sensor and extras that might be appealing like multiple cleaning modes and a travel case (subject to model).
Within the DiamondClean range then you get even more extras, ‘bells and whistles’ if you like. Less of what you absolutely need, but more things that make for a more impressive experience.
Whilst it does not apply to all models within the DiamondClean range, some have Bluetooth and smart features whereas the ProtectiveClean brushes do not.
Which to choose will be up to you. From a feature and function point of view, DiamondClean is better than ProtectiveClean, but typically the ProtectiveClean offers better value for money.
This is why the first model in the ProtectiveClean range, the 4100 is one of our most recommended models.
The following table lists the key differences between each brush.
A more detailed list and explanation of the differences can be found beneath the comparison table.
|ProtectiveClean 6100||DiamondClean Smart 9500|
|Recommended Retail Price (RRP)||$129.99||$260|
|Number of Cleaning Modes||3||5|
|Timer & Pacer||Yes||Yes|
|Pressure Sensor||Yes |
|Battery Life (Days – Manufacturer claimed)||14||14|
|Number of Brush Heads Included||1||4|
(with in case charging)
|Position Detection Technology||–||Yes|
|Handle Color(s)||Silver White|
|Other Key Information||3 brushing intensities||Glass charging |
3 brushing intensities
- The DiamondClean Smart is available in 4 colors black, white, pink and silver. The ProtectiveClean 6100 is available in 3 colors silver white, pastel pink and navy blue.
- The names of the cleaning modes are lit on the DIamondClean, whereas there is an LED above the name on the ProtectiveClean.
- The DiamondClean Smart comes with 5 cleaning modes (Clean, White+, Deep Clean+, Gum Health, and Tongue Care) compared to the 3 cleaning modes (Clean, White and Gum Care) of the 6100.
- The DiamondClean Smart comes with 4 brush heads (1 x Premium Plaque Control, 1 x Premium Gum Care, 1 x Premium White and 1 x TongueCare+ tongue brush) compared to the 1 x W DiamondClean brush head of the 6100.
- The ProtectiveClean 6100 has BrushSync mode pairing that the DiamondClean Smart does not.
- The DiamondClean Smart has an LED ring on the base of the handle that illuminates purple when too much pressure is applied.
- The DiamondClean Smart has Bluetooth connectivity and associated smartphone app for tracking and logging the cleans of the user.
- The DiamondClean Smart has a premium glass charging stand compared to the more standard charging stand of the 6100.
- The DiamondClean Smart has a premium travel case that is finished with leather effect material and allows the brush to be charged in that case. The 6100 has a travel case with no option to charge it in the case.
- The DiamondClean Smart is more expensive.
These differences are explained at length later in this article. However, you might wish to learn more about each brush being compared. To do so, check out our hands-on reviews:
Please note. There are several different variants of the DiamondClean Smart. There is the 9300, 9500, 9700, and 9750 series. They are very similar, but subtle differences exist. You can learn about those differences here. For the sake of this comparison, I will be comparing our preferred model, the 9500.
Every effort is made to ensure the key differences listed are correct, but these differences are subject to change without notice. Products and the box contents can be changed without notice and different variants can exist.
Detailed comparison: what’s the difference between the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart and ProtectiveClean 6100?
Within the USA, Philips Sonicare have several ranges of electric toothbrushes.
The ProtectiveClean series is an example of their mid-range brushes. This means they are not the cheapest or most basic, but not the most expensive nor most feature rich.
The DiamondClean, on the other hand, is a premium range which commands a higher ticket price as a result of the premium features on offer.
Aesthetically both look very similar although on the 6100, there is a silver colored panel surrounding the power and cleaning mode button.
On the front of the brush handle are labels that give the name of the cleaning modes available on each brush.
On the DiamondClean, these labels are barely visible until they light up white when the mode is selected.
Implemented slightly differently on the 6100, there is an LED that lights up white above the name of the cleaning mode that is printed on the handle.
Both models come in a range of colors.
The DiamondClean Smart is available in 4 colors:
The 6100 comes in just 3 colors:
- Silver white
- Pastel pink
- Navy blue
The physical size is essentially identical, although the Smart weighs in a fraction heavier, 142g compared to the 132g of the 6100.
There are 5 cleaning modes on the DiamondClean Smart. These are:
- Deep Clean+
- Gum Health
- Tongue Care
3 cleaning modes are available on the ProtectiveClean 6100.
- Gum Care
For the most part, the modes are the same. I cover all of Sonicare’s brushing modes more thoroughly in our post Sonicare Brushing Modes Explained.
Deep Clean+ and Tongue Care are a longer and shorter mode respectively and are not deal breakers in my opinion when choosing between these brushes.
As both of these brushes are Sonicare models, they can both use the same toothbrush heads, although the ones supplied in the box may well be different.
Sonicare offer a range of interchangeable heads, that simply pull off and push onto the brush handle.
The DiamondClean Smart comes with 4 brush heads:
- 1 x Premium Plaque Control
- 1 x Premium Gum Care
- 1 x Premium White
- 1 x TongueCare+ tongue brush
The 6100 comes with
- 1 x W DiamondClean
If you are keen to know more about how these brush heads differ, you may wish to read this guide to the different styles.
Both brushes have a technology designed by Philips called BrushSync.
BrushSync is formed of 2 parts.
There is a brush head replacement reminder system, which both brushes have as well as a cleaning mode pairing system, which only the 6100 is equipped with.
A microchip built into selected brush heads, including those supplied in the box, communicates with the brush handle and essentially tracks how long it has been used for.
When the brush head has gone past its designed usable life, an icon of a brush head lights up amber on the brush handle as an alert to you, to replace the head.
The 6100 benefits from mode pairing. This selects the most appropriate rushing mode for that brush head. You can override this if you like, but the idea is that this helps make your life easier and achieve the best cleaning results.
Both brushes have a built-in pressure sensor, however, they are implemented slightly differently.
On the 6100, when activated the sensor will cause the brush motor to slow down, the brushing sensation to change and a vibration is sent through the brush handle to alert you.
This is the same on the DiamondClean Smart, but the clear ring on the base of the brush handle will also light up purple to act as a visual indicator that the sensor has been triggered.
As the name implies, the DiamondClean Smart is a little bit more capable than the rest. It has Bluetooth built-in. This allows the brush handle to wirelessly communicate with a smartphone app.
Sensors in the brush handle relay key brushing information. This data is presented in the app and logged for your convenience.
Not everyone will appreciate the benefits, but it is designed to be a little like having a dentist on hand assessing your brushing performance.
This is a feature that the 6100 does not have.
Both brushes come with a charging stand that the brush handles sit on to replenish the built-in battery.
The difference here is that the 6100 comes with a standard white plastic stand which is perfectly functional. However, the DiamondClean Smart comes with a more premium, charging glass. It is heavier and bulkier, but it does look very smart.
A handy addition with both brushes is the travel case. This can hold the brush handle and up to 2 brush heads, protecting them when in a bag and stopping the dreaded accidental activation of the brush.
Coming with the 6100 is a fairly basic, but functional white plastic travel case. The DiamondClean Smart, on the other hand, benefits from a much more premium looking and feeling case.
Finished with leather effect material and allows the brush to be charged in that case, thanks to a hard wired USB cable that tucks away neatly in the base of the case.
A potentially useful addition for regular travelers.
The last significant difference then is the price. The DiamondClean Smart as you might imagine is usually more expensive as a result of all of the extra features. Their recommended selling prices are $129.99 and $260.
Several differences there may well be, but there are too a number of similarities. Full details of these are provided in the hands-on reviews available for each brush, but key similarities are:
- Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second quadpacer
- Automatic power off feature
- 31,000 brush strokes per minute/62,000 movements per minute
- 3 brushing intensities
- Built-in rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery
- A battery life of at least 2 weeks
- Easy-Start technology
- Water resistance
- 90 day money back guarantee
- 2 year warranty
Does one clean better than the other?
From what I can tell, neither brush actually cleans the teeth better than the other.
From a technical standpoint, the motor in both is the same, offering 31,000 brush strokes per minute or 62,000 movements per minute.
Both models come supplied with different brush heads in the box, but these heads are interchangeable and either handle can use any of the range of Sonicare heads.
The DiamondClean Smart does offer a couple of extra cleaning modes, which might suit selected users better but will not really result in any better cleaning performance.
An argument can be made that the DiamondClean Smart’s features, notably Bluetooth and associated app, allows you to become more educated about the way you brush and how you could become better at cleaning your teeth and maintaining your oral health.
However, it is possible to master and continue this technique without the app, although it does help.
Is one better priced than the other?
The DiamondClean Smart is the flagship model from Sonicare.
The 9500 Series that I have been comparing here has a manufacturer suggested retail price of $260.
At $129.99 the 6100 is half that.
Both brushes sell a little under their retail prices.
Expect to get the Smart for around $210 and the ProtectiveClean for $109.
Both brushes use the same type of brush heads so there is no cost difference to be had here.
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.
The ProtectiveClean 6100 is my recommendation.
Well in truth, both brushes come with the recommendation of myself and the team here at Electric Teeth.
However, the 6100 is a balance between features and price.
The DiamondClean Smart is technically the best, but has features that many will not make use of and there is little point paying for things you don’t need or want.
Even the 6100 is a bit more feature rich than what I would suggest most people need or want, but if you desire something a bit more capable, but wish for the package to remain fairly affordable, then this is it.
Ultimately, whatever brush you decide upon, it is you who needs to make the decision; but do so based on which is best for your needs or that of the end user.
Only pay the price you are happy with and do not be led into buying something if it is not right.
Hopefully, I have presented the facts and made the whole decision process that little bit easier.
If you found this useful, have any questions, thoughts or opinions, please leave them in the comments below.