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Sonicare Electric Toothbrush Comparisons

If you think the range of modern electric toothbrushes available is somewhat overwhelming, you are not alone.

We’ve spent hundreds of hours figuring out the differences, and still there are small details that are difficult to distinguish between.

To keep things simple (for ourselves and for readers!) , on this page we’ve included some resources that make it easy to tell the differences between the various Sonicare models available.

You can therefore find below:

For a broader comparison of things such as brushing modes and replacement brush heads, check out our comparisons hub page.

You can also find video comparisons on our YouTube channel.

And if there’s anything you’d like to ask, please leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

Our overall Sonicare recommendation

If you want a good Sonicare toothbrush that will get the job done without breaking the bank, we recommend the ProtectiveClean 4100.

Preview Product Rating Price
Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 49,928 Reviews $69.99

This is actually the cheapest brush in the ProtectiveClean range and the one we rate as best value for money, all things considered.

Naturally, as you move up the pricing range the number of brush features increases, but for us the 4100 more than covers the basics.

If money isn’t an issue, check out our other recommendations here.

Sonicare Comparison Chart

Below is a graphic that highlights and compares key features and functions of the current range of Sonicare brushes.

Click the image to enlarge it.

If you need more detail on any of the brushes, read on or leave a comment.

Sonicare Electric Toothbrush Comparisons 1

Sonicare brush vs brush comparisons

Below you can find similar Sonicare brushes that we have compared to one another, plus some that we have compared to their Oral-B equivalents.

We’ve also included some broader comparisons on our electric toothbrush comparisons hub page.

Overview of the Sonicare range

Within the Sonicare range are a number of sub-categories or series into which particular models fit.

Below we detail the names of each series and the key ways in which each differs.

This applies to most models, although odd models/exceptions may exist.

  • Essence Series ($)
    • The essential features you require and no more.
    • Satisfactory, but better options exist.
    • 1 cleaning mode.
    • Built-in 2 minute.
    • The most cost effective models.
  • DailyClean Series ($)
    • The essential features you require and no more.
    • Satisfactory, but better options exist.
    • 1 cleaning mode.
    • Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
    • The most cost effective models.
  • ProtectiveClean Series ($$)
    • The essential features, plus a little more.
    • Multiple cleaning modes.
    • Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
    • Pressure sensor built-in (not visible).
    • Affordable brushes.
  • Optimal Clean ($$)
    • The essential features, plus a little more.
    • Multiple cleaning modes.
    • Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
    • Pressure sensor built-in (not visible).
    • Often a package of 2 handles
    • Affordable brushes.
  • Perfect Clean ($$$)
    • Premium handles with more features and accessories
    • Multiple cleaning modes.
    • Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
    • Pressure sensor built-in (not visible).
    • Often a package of 2 handles
    • Higher mid-range prices.
  • ExpertClean Series ($$$)
    • Premium handles with more features and accessories
    • Multiple cleaning modes.
    • Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
    • Pressure sensor built-in (not visible).
    • Smart toothbrushes with Bluetooth connectivity.
    • Higher mid-range prices.
  • DiamondClean Series ($$$$)
    • Top of the lin handles.
    • Multiple cleaning modes.
    • Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
    • Pressure sensor built-in (not visible (with exceptions of DiamondClean Smart)).
    • Smart toothbrushes with Bluetooth connectivity (select models).
    • The most expensive of toothbrushes.
  • Prestige Series ($$$$)
    • Top of the line handles.
    • Multiple cleaning modes.
    • Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
    • Visible pressure and scrubbing sensor built-in.
    • Smart toothbrushes with Bluetooth connectivity.
    • Encourages a simple and effective approach to oral care.
    • Adapts based on your toothbrushing.
    • The most expensive of toothbrushes.

As you can see, as you go up through the range the features and the prices increase.

Whilst each has its place within the market, it is the ProtectiveClean series that is the most logical option for the majority.

As a consequence, the ProtectiveClean 4100 is our toothbrush of choice.

It offers a blend of features and functions that benefit us as users at a price that most will find affordable.

Sonicare Electric Toothbrush Comparisons 2

Hopefully, the list of points above gives you a good overview of where the various ranges fit within the Sonicare lineup of products both in terms of features and prices.

We are often asked for a more detailed explanation of the differences between ranges. To help, the following paragraphs give a little more insight, which we believe you will find useful.

Sonicare Optimal Clean vs ProtectiveClean

Where the ProtectiveClean range of toothbrushes is widely stocked across the USA, the Optimal Clean toothbrushes are not. 

Rather than multiple retailers selling these, Optimal Clean brushes are normally only available in select stockists.  Costco is one example and these brushes are exclusive to their members.

There is a great deal of similarity between these ranges of brushes, with the Optimal Clean really having been based on the ProtectiveClean series in terms of design and features.

Arguably, they are like for like but the advantage of the Optimal Clean range is that they can often work out better value financially.  

More often than not, you get a package that includes 2 brush handles, rather than the more typical 1.  

For example, the Optimal Clean HX6829/27 from a feature and performance point of view, is almost identical to the ProtectiveClean 5100.  

The 5100 does have an extra cleaning mode, but, the Optimal Clean comes with 2 brush handles in the box rather than 1.  It does too come with 3 brush heads rather than 1.  A  travel case and charging stand are supplied for each handle. 

Prices are subject to change, but the dual handled OptimalClean comes in at $100 compared to the $80 of the single handled ProetectiveClean 5100. For ~$20 you are getting another complete toothbrush.

Sonicare Optimal Clean vs Perfect Clean

Both of these ranges are sold only via select retailers, notably Costco.

You will not find the Optimal and Perfect Clean toothbrushes on the shelves of all the major grocers and pharmacies in the USA.

There is quite a bit of similarity between these two ranges. Typically, they will include 2 brush handles, 3+ brush heads and each handle will come with its own travel case and charging stand.

The Perfect Clean models do tend to be fractionally more capable and feature rich.

For example, where the Optimal Clean will come with 2 cleaning modes, the PerfectClean will likely come with 3 or more cleaning modes.  It may too have the ability to control the intensity of the clean, thus giving more finite control over the brushing experience.  

As a result of these little extras, the Perfect Clean will often command a slight price premium.

Sonicare Electric Toothbrush Comparisons 3

Sonicare Optimal Clean vs DiamondClean

The OptimalClean is a mid-range series ($$) whereas DiamondClean is the premium range ($$$$).

What this means is that the DiamondClean brushes will typically have almost, if not all of the features that Sonicare offer on their toothbrushes.

Rather than just 1 or 2 cleaning modes you will get 4 to 5 modes.

You still get the basic 2 minute timer and pacer, but any pressure sensor may now include a visible sensor to help alert you when brushing too hard.

The DiamondClean models do tend to have Bluetooth connectivity and smart features built-in, so these naturally give more capability to the toothbrush but add to the price.

And whilst an Optimal Clean brush may come with a travel case, it is very rare not to have one supplied with the DiamondClean. That case will likely to allow the brush to be charged inside, something that is not normally possible with the Optimal Clean range.

In the box with DiamondClean, you will usually get 1 brush handle, multiple brush heads and some other accessories.  WIth Optimal Clean you often get 2 brush handles, multiple brush heads and accessories.

DiamondClean models tend to be widely stocked and sold via a wide array of sellers, whereas the Optimal Clean models are sold through select channels and retailers.

Sonicare Perfect Clean vs DiamondClean

The PerfectClean brushes are the higher mid-range brushes ($$$) whilst the DiamondClean models are the premium range ($$$$).

Expect to benefit from even more features and functions from DiamondClean than you get with Perfect Clean.  More ‘bells and whistle’ if you like.  

The extras with the DiamondClean are far from essential but add to the overall user experience. 

For example, you will likely get a travel case included that allows the toothbrush to be charged whilst inside.  This is not something you will get with the Perfect Clean.

However, the PerfectClean is usually offered as a package of 2 brush handles and multiple accessories, whereas the DiamondClean is normally just 1 handle.

Despite this, the DiamondClean will still command the premium price.  This is in part because you do typically get extra technology such as Bluetooth connectivity, position detection and tracking technology.

DiamondClean models tend to be widely stocked and sold via a wide array of sellers, whereas the Optimal Clean models are sold through select channels and retailers.

Sonicare Electric Toothbrush Comparisons 4

In the sections below we compare Sonicare brushes that are close to each other in price and features. 

Model By Model Comparison

Essence vs DailyClean

Winner: DailyClean

Preview Product Rating Price
Sonicare DailyClean 1100 Sonicare DailyClean 1100 10,643 Reviews $24.97

2 entry level toothbrushes, both of these models offer what they need to a not a significant amount more.

They offer many of the benefits of an electric toothbrush at a price that works for almost anyone.

Function is the aim of the game here and there are no unnecessary extras which is both a positive and a negative.

The Essence has been a popular brush for a long time, but the newer DailyClean is really the model to go for.

Both clean the teeth well, thanks to the 31,000 brush strokes that are delivered to the brush head, but the DailyClean allows you to get an overall better user experience.

Lighter in hand, the DailyClean is. It does too look a little sleeker with a more rounded handle and a less dated design.  It is only available in 1 color compared to the 2 of the Essence.

The brush head supplied is a push on and pull off style head, rather than the screw on style of the Essence.

Not only are replacements of these easier to source, there are too a few different styles that may suit some users better than others.

Heads used on the DailyClean are interchangeable with all other Sonicare handles, not something that can be said about the Essence brush heads.

Whilst both have a 2 minute timer built-in, it is the DailyClean that has the addition of the 30 second pacer.

At 30 second intervals pauses in the brush head motion act as a notification that it is time to change quadrant.  This is to encourage us to brush all 4 sections of the mouth evenly, so the teeth get equal attention in addition to the right amount of time.

This is quite important in our opinion to achieve the best standards of oral health.

Both have a built-in rechargeable battery with the same battery life, but the DailyClean has a more compact charging stand.

DailyClean vs Protective Clean 4100

Winner: ProtectiveClean 4100

Preview Product Rating Price
Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 49,928 Reviews $69.99

Make no mistakes, both of these brushes offer a perfectly satisfactory clean of the teeth.

But, the ProtectiveClean is in our view is quite a significant jump up in terms of design, and the convenience you get in everyday use.  It is the toothbrush the vast majority will really benefit from and be pleased they purchased.

It does come in at twice the price of the DailyClean, but over the years you own the brush, this should be well worth it.

Slimmer and more comfortable in hand, the 4100 comes in a wider array of colors than the DailyClean allowing you to find a handle that suits you a little bit more.

The brushes both have a powerful motor that delivers 31,000 brush strokes but with the 4100 you will get considerably more usage time from the built-in rechargeable battery.

Compared to the NiMH battery in the DailyClean, the 4100 has a Lithium-Ion battery.  Both are advertised to last for 14 days, and both surpass this, but the 4100 can last for up to 5 weeks which is really impressive.

There is more impressive technology built into the 4100.

A pressure sensor detects when you are applying too much force as you brush and alerts you via a vibration that can be easily felt through the handle.  When the pressure is relieved, the brush stops the vibration.

A simple but effective tool, this helps prevent any unnecessary damage to the teeth and gums.

All brush heads should ideally be replaced every 3 months, but with 4 in 10 people not doing so according to statistics, the BrushSync technology built-into the handle gives you the prompt you need to do this.

An RFID chip in the brush head is tracked by the handle, logging how frequently and for how long the head is used.  Once the 3 months of recommended usage time passes, an LED on the handle is lit and remains lit until the head is replaced.

Protective Clean 5100 vs ExpertClean 7500

Winner: ExpertClean 7500

Preview Product Rating Price
Sonicare ExpertClean 7500 Sonicare ExpertClean 7500 5,976 Reviews $167.00

The ProtectiveClean and ExpertClean are both mid range to higher mid-range electric toothbrushes and are both offering more than what most of us actually need.

What the ExpertClean does is allow those who are really serious about their oral care routine to take it to the next level.

The ExpertClean arguably offers a middle ground between high end features and accessories, with little in the way of significant compromise, to be able to remain a relatively affordable price.

The handle design between these 2 brushes is almost identical, although there are a few more icons on the front of the ExpertClean handle to accommodate the 2 extra cleaning modes and the brushing intensities it offers.

Both brushes offer the standard Clean mode and both have a more gentle gum health mode.  However, the ExpertClean 7500 also benefits from a Deep Clean and White mode.

On top of this, the 7500 has the choice of 3 different brushing intensities.  Choose from low, medium and high and combine this with the 4 modes and essentially there are 12 different brushing configurations to the 5100’s 2.

You will find the perfect brushing mode with the ExpertClean!

Both brushes have push on and pull off brush heads and BrushSync technology. But the ExpertClean has Brush Mode Pairing, an element of BrushSync not available on the 5100.

What this means is that the brush handle will automatically select the most appropriate cleaning mode based on the brush head attached.

So for example it will select Gum Health mode when the G3 Premium Gum Care brush head is attached.  You get 2 brush heads in the box with the ExpertClean compared to the 1 with the ProtectiveClean.

Although both come with a travel case, it is the ExpertClean that has the extra features here. Both will hold the handle and 2 brush heads, but the 7500 comes with a detachable USB to microUSB cable.  Connect this to a USB power socket and the handle can actually be charged whilst inside the case.

The final significant difference is that the ExpertClean has Bluetooth technology built into the handle.

It tracks the brush handles use and relays this information back to a free Sonicare application for your smartphone.  It does not transfer this data in real-time.  However, post brushing you can assess your brushing time and pressure, comparing it to other days/sessions in the last week and look for areas of improvement.

ExpertClean 7500 vs DiamondClean Smart 9700

Winner: DiamondClean Smart 9700

Preview Product Rating Price
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700 Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700 7,012 Reviews $229.99 $179.98

The DiamondClean Smart is really best described as the ‘ultimate’ in electric toothbrushes.

It has all the essential features you need, plus a lot of nice-to-have extras.

It is a premium product, that looks great, feels good in hand and cleans the teeth really well.

It offers that premium user experience and it does so at a price.  A price that the vast majority will find no justification for.

You do not need to spend this much, but if you do, you get the experience to match.

In comparison to the 7500, there are quite a few subtle differences, but the most significant is the Bluetooth technology.

The DiamondClean Smart 9700 has real-time position detection technology.  This means that when you brush your teeth, whilst using the smartphone application you can clearly see what tooth surfaces you have and have not cleaned.  It allows you to correct any mistakes much quicker and with more accuracy than you can with the likes of the ExpertClean 7500.  You can also retain that data for longer.

The 9700 does come with a 5th cleaning mode, Tongue Care, which the ExpertClean does not have and that is complemented by the TongueCare brush that comes included in the box.

In fact with the 9700 you get 8 brush heads in total (3 x C3 Premium Plaque Control, 2 x G3 Premium Gum, Care, 2 x W3 Premium White & 1 x TongueCare+ tongue brush) compared to the 2 (1 x C3 Premium Plaque Control & 1 x G3 Premium Gum Care) with the ExpertClean.

The 9700 does too come in a rather special ‘Lunar Blue’ color option not seen on any other models.  

The handle itself has a little bit of a cleaner look doing away with the color accented panel found on the handle of the 7500.  The 9700 just looks more classy.

Both have BrushSync technology, a built-in timer and pacer and a pressure sensor.  However, the DiamondClean Smart does too have a visible pressure sensor, that emits a purple light from the base of the handle when activated.

In the case charging is possible with both of these toothbrushes, but the 9700’s travel case has the USB cable hardwired into it and is not detachable.  It is stowed in the bottom of the case via a removable panel.  The case itself has a leather-effect lid to it compared to the all plastic construction of that supplied with the ExpertClean.

The retail prices of these units are $180 and $360 respectively, but both sell below retail most of the time.

Conclusion

The range of brushes on offer from Sonicare, as well as the slight variations between models, can make it a daunting task to choose the right brush.

For this reason, we try to keep our recommendations straightforward and recommend brushes based on overall value for money.

Ultimately, all of the brushes will provide a very good clean to the teeth and gums if used correctly.

Perfecting your brushing routine, including the brushing time, technique and frequency will bring more positive benefit than any particular toothbrush.

Premium models may bring benefits for some. However, for the vast majority, the prices are prohibitive and the benefits for every dollar ($) spent certainly reduces.

For the majority of people, myself included, the ProtectiveClean 4100 is the toothbrush to go for. It offers a balance of cleaning performance and features at a price most will find affordable.

If you really do desire the absolute best, irrespective of price, then it has to be the 9900 Prestige.

Preview Product Rating Price
Philips Sonicare Protectiveclean 4100 Sonic Electric Toothbrush Philips Sonicare Protectiveclean 4100 Sonic Electric Toothbrush 49,928 Reviews $69.99
Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush with SenseIQ, Champagne Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush with SenseIQ, Champagne 101 Reviews $399.99 $349.99