Which one would we choose?
Small differences between these 2 electric toothbrushes there might well be, but for the typical selling price, the 3 Series is hard to justify.
Both perform well and appeal to slightly different audiences.
The 2 Series does though have all the boxes ticked on what makes a great basic electric toothbrush. You do not necessarily need more from a toothbrush, unless you particularly demand it.
If the longer battery life and travel case are features you command, the 3 Series is the one offer this, but you pay a premium for it.
- There are 6 different color options available with the Series 2 (Sky Blue, Black, Ultra Coral, White on Guacamole, White on Coral and White on Steel Blue) compared to 1 with the 3 Series (Persian Green).
- The 3 Series has 3 brushing intensity settings.
- The 3 Series offers 21 days of battery life compared to the 14 of the 2 Series.
- The 3 Series uses a lithium-ion battery compared to the Nickel Metal Hydride in the 2 series.
- The 3 Series comes with a travel case included in the box.
- The 2 Series comes with 1 x Pro Results Plaque Control brush head, whilst the 3 Series comes with 1 x ProResults Gum Health brush head.
- The 2 Series is often half the price of the 3 Series.
- The 2 Series has a special variant HX6218/10 which comes with a 2oz antibacterial spay and 1 x tongue brush in the box.
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:
- Sonicare 2 Sereis review
- Sonicare 3 Series review
Please note. 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 Sonicare 2 and 3?
As the list above shows, there are a few key differences between these 2 electric toothbrushes.
Let’s explore these in a bit more detail for you to better understand what this all really means.
Starting with the design. They 2 brushes look fairly similar, although the 3 Series has a larger Green colored panel on the front of the brush handle that contains the LEDs for the intensity settings.
The 2 Series is available in an array of colors, 6 to be precise, that allows you to pick one that matches a little more with your taste and style.s
The color options are:
- Sky Blue
- Ultra Coral
- White on Guacamole
- White on Coral
- White on Steel Blue
The 3 Series comes in just 1 color option, Persian Green.
The main brush handle is White, it is the plastic front panel that is Green, as you will see in the hands-on images.
The physical size of the brushes are basically identical with slight variance in the weight.
- Height (with head) – 25cm
- Width – 3.2cm
- Thickness – 3.2cm
- Weight (with head) – 132g
- Height (with head) – 25cm
- Width – 3.3cm
- Thickness – 3.3cm
- Weight (with head) – 140g
Both handles are fairly smooth to the touch with a single power button on the front of the brush handle.
Both offer a battery status icon in the lower third of the brush handle on the front.
There are no rubber grips, just a number of raised dots on the back of the brush handle that offer up plenty of grip.
Stand upright on a worktop both brush handles do. They both have a recess in the base of the handle into which the prong on the provided charging stand fits.
1 cleaning mode is available on both brushes. This is the default clean mode, that offers up to 31,000 movements per minute.
Differentiating the 2 models is the fact that the 3 Series can have the intensity of the clean changed between low, medium and high. This affects the power used from the brush motor and how invigorating the clean is.
It’s much like having different cleaning modes, albeit they are not labeled as such.
Set the intensity to low (1 Green LED) and it is essentially a sensitive cleaning mode.
The power button is used to toggle between these intensity settings.
One of the biggest differences between these 2 brushes which will likely appeal to travelers is the battery life.
The 3 Series offers 21 days of battery life compared to the 14 days of the 2 Series.
Given that there is virtually no difference in the size of the handles, it is down to the battery inside.
The 3 Series uses a lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery, whereas the 2 Series uses a Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery.
It is the Li-Ion that is the more desirable as they tend to offer a better power and usage time than the older technology that is the NiMH.
This usage time is based on the brush handle being used twice a day for 2 minutes at a time.
When the do require charging, they should be sat on the provided charging stand. With a 2 pin US power adapter, the charging stands support 100-240V making it possible to use in places where the voltage is different.
Both will give warnings via the battery icon as to when the power is low.
It takes up to 24 hours to fully charge them too.
The longer battery life of the 3 Series is complemented by the travel case that comes in the box.
It will hold the brush handle and 2 brush heads.
A fairly basic travel case. Rounded in its design, it does a good enough job of protecting the heads and handle.
As you might expect the brushes come with a brush head in the box.
The 2 Series comes with 1 x ProResults Plaque Control brush head, whilst the 3 Series comes with 1 x ProResults Gum Health brush head.
What this means is that the style and cut of the bristles on the 2 heads are slightly different.
The head supplied with the 2 Series is designed for all round cleaning with a contoured profile to naturally fit the shape of the teeth and improve overall plaque removal.
The 3 Series is more focused on gum health with densely-packed, tufts that easily reach teeth at the back of the mouth. The head also features a gentle trim profile to cushion teeth for an extra gentle brushing experience.
Either will give a good overall clean.
Both these heads are just 1 of a range available from Sonicare.
This range is fully interchangeable with the brush handles, so you can try other styles and find the one that is right for you.
Most important is getting a brush that works for you and you are happy using. You do not have to buy the most expensive to achieve this, but sometimes spending more can be necessary.
The 3 Series is typically double the price of the 2 Series.
I have explained what you get extra for that.
Personally I cannot justify the extra spend for those features unless you desire such. Even if you do, there are then other options you could consider.
Price does always change, but typically the 2 Series is $40-50 whilst the 3 Series is $80-90.
One final noteworthy point is that there is a special variant of the 2 Series, model number HX6218/10 which comes with a 2oz antibacterial spay and 1 x tongue brush in the box.
Technically everything else is the same, it’s just the box contents that then differs.
Just be aware of this when making your purchase. It’s not all that common, but hopefully, you will be less confused by this, should you see it, now I have mentioned it.
So what about the similarities then?
Well, both have a built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer. These help you brush for the right amount of time and evenly in the mouth.
Both handles are water resistant and can be rinsed under the tap.
Both will automatically power off at the end of 2 minutes.
Solid and well built, the brushes feel great and perform well too.
A neat feature they both enjoy is an ‘Easy-Start’ mode that will gradually increase the power of the brush over 14 cleaning cycles to ease you into the increased power an electric toothbrush delivers.
2 years warranty is provided with each too.
Does one clean better than the other?
My comparison and hands-on testing has not been conducted in any clinical way to say whether one cleans better than the other.
I felt they cleaned equally as well. Both motors are capable of delivering 31,000 movements per minute.
Both brushes offer 1 cleaning mode.
The big differentiator is that the 3 Series offers the ability to change between 3 different intensity settings.
Essentially you have a low, medium and high power.
Low is great if you have sensitive teeth and gums and want a more gentle clean, whilst the high setting gives the most invigorating clean.
I can see the appeal of the intensity settings, but in some respects, the intensity is a bit like selecting a different cleaning modes.
What differentiates most cleaning modes is the intensity at which they work. For example, a ‘sensitive’ mode does not make use of all the power from the motor, whereas a ‘whitening’ mode tends to use full power.
They do have different brush heads that can, in theory, achieve different results and brushing experiences, but acknowledging the difference in everyday use is hard.
Ultimately the 3 Series does give more flexibility because of the changeable intensity settings. It will be more suitable for some, but seeing as many of us stick with the default mode, how useful will be a question or consideration for yourself.
Is one better priced than the other?
Yes, the 2 Series is cheaper.
In fact, it is roughly half the price of the 3 Series.
Now, let’s be clear here, prices are always changing, but as a general rule, the 2 Series is around $40-50 whereas the 3 Series is $80-90.
The 3 Series does come with a travel case and the ability to change the cleaning intensity, along with an extra weeks battery life, but that is quite a sizeable price difference.
$20 more may well be ok, perhaps $30 at a stretch, but I feel double the price is too much.
There is not enough extra value, given that the 2 Series is an excellent overall brush.
If you like what the 3 Series offers, look at the ProtectiveClean 5100, which offers that and more for the same price and is arguably worth the difference.
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 2 Series is the brush to buy.
There are clear differences between these 2 models, make no doubt about it.
Both perform really well and the 3 Series does offer some extra value.
However, that extra value is hard to justify, particularly when there is the likes of the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 that is newer, with more features, for what is essentially the same price.
Whichever you opt for, both will do a good job of cleaning the teeth.
Solid, reliable toothbrushes, the 2 Series feels like it offers more for your money and comes in a wider variety of colors.
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.