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Published: June 7, 2024

Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons

Author: Jon Love (Leave a comment)
Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 1

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, on this page we've included some resources that make it easy to tell the differences between the various Sonicare models available.

Our overall Sonicare recommendation

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

It's our recommendation for the best Sonicare toothbrush, all things considered.

Our Choice
Philips Sonicare 4100 Series
Philips Sonicare 4100 Series
Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2

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

Sonicare comparison chart

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

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

Number of cleaning modes
Clean
Sensitive
Gum
White
Deep Clean
Tongue
Other modes
Brushing intensities
Timer
Pacer
Pressure Sensor
Pressure Sensor Additional information
BrushSync
Battery life
Travel case included
Charging travel case
Bluetooth connectivity
Position tracking
Find out more
Philips Sonicare 1100 Series
Philips Sonicare 1100 Series
Philips Sonicare 2100 Series
Philips Sonicare 2100 Series
Philips Sonicare 3100 Series
Philips Sonicare 3100 Series
Philips Sonicare 4100 Series
Philips Sonicare 4100 Series
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100
Philips Sonicare ExpertClean 7500
Philips Sonicare ExpertClean 7500
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9900 Prestige
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9900 Prestige
1 1 1 1 3 3 4 4 5 5
yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
- - - - - - - - - yes
- - - - yes yes yes yes yes yes
- - - - yes yes yes yes yes yes
- - - - - - yes yes yes yes
- - - - - - - - yes -
- - - - - - - - - -
- 2 2 2 - 3 3 3 3 3
yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
30 second quadpacer 30 second quadpacer 30 second quadpacer 30 second quadpacer 30 second quadpacer 30 second quadpacer 30 second quadpacer 20 second sextants 20 second sextants 20 second sextants
- - yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
- - - - - - - - - Scrubbing sensor.
- - Brush head replacement reminder Brush head replacement reminder Brush head replacement reminder Brush head replacement reminder & brush head mode pairing Brush head replacement reminder & brush head mode pairing Brush head replacement reminder & brush head mode pairing Brush head replacement reminder & brush head mode pairing Brush head replacement reminder
14 days 14 days 14 days 14 days 14 days 14 days 14 days 14 days 14 days 14 days
- - - - yes yes yes yes yes yes
- - - - - - yes - yes yes
- - - - - - yes yes yes yes
- - - - - - - - yes yes
Review Review Review Review Review Review Review - Review Review

The most popular models have been included in the table above — other variants exist.

The Sonicare range explained

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.

1100 Series ($)

  • A great budget choice.
  • The essential features you require and no more.
    • 1 cleaning mode.
    • Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.

2100 Series ($)

  • Cost effective option.
  • The essential features you require and no more.
    • 2 brushing intensities.
    • Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
A Sonicare 2100 Series toothbrush being held up in hand

3100 Series ($$)

  • Good value choice.
  • The essential features, plus a little more.
    • 2 brushing intensities.
    • Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
    • Pressure sensor built-in (not visible - vibrates handle).
  • BrushSync brush head replacement reminder.

4100 Series ($$)

  • Fantastic value and performance - our top pick
  • The essential features, plus a little more.
    • 2 brushing intensities.
    • Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
    • Pressure sensor built-in (not visible - vibrates handle).
  • BrushSync brush head replacement reminder.

ProtectiveClean Series ($$)

  • Enhanced functionality and performance for a reasonable price.
  • The essential features, plus more brushing modes
    • Multiple cleaning modes.
    • 3 brushing intensities.
    • Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
    • Pressure sensor built-in (not visible - vibrates handle).
  • Additional accessories such as brush heads and travel cases are included (subject to variant).
  • BrushSync brush head replacement reminder (all variants) and mode pairing (6100 Series and up).

Optimal Clean ($$)

  • Enhanced functionality and performance for a reasonable price.
  • Often the package contains 2 brush handles.
  • The essential features, plus more brushing modes
    • Multiple cleaning modes.
    • 3 brushing intensities.
    • Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
    • Pressure sensor built-in (not visible - vibrates handle).
  • BrushSync brush head replacement reminder.
  • Travel cases likely included.

Perfect Clean ($$)

  • Enhanced functionality and performance for a reasonable price.
  • Often the package contains 2 brush handles.
  • Normally exclusive to Costco.
  • The essential features, plus more brushing modes
  • Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
    • Multiple cleaning modes.
    • 3 brushing intensities.
    • Pressure sensor built-in (not visible - vibrates handle).
  • BrushSync brush head replacement reminder.
  • Travel cases likely included.
2 Sonicare electric toothbrushes being held up, 1 in each hand.

ExpertClean Series ($$$)

  • More features than you need with a higher price tag.
  • The essential features, plus more brushing modes and Bluetooth connectivity
    • Multiple cleaning modes.
    • 3 brushing intensities.
    • Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
    • Pressure sensor built-in (not visible - vibrates handle).
    • Log brushing sessions to the smartphone app and track performance over time.
  • BrushSync brush head replacement reminder and mode pairing.
  • Additional accessories such as brush heads and charging travel cases are included (subject to variant).

DiamondClean ($$$)

  • More features than you need with a higher price tag.
  • The essential features, plus more brushing modes and Bluetooth connectivity
    • Multiple cleaning modes.
    • 3 brushing intensities.
    • Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
    • Pressure sensor built-in (not visible - vibrates handle).
    • Log brushing sessions to the smartphone app and track performance over time.
  • BrushSync brush head replacement reminder and mode pairing.
  • Additional accessories such as brush heads, charging travel cases and premium charging stands are included (subject to variant).

DiamondClean Smart & Prestige Series ($$$$)

  • Top of the line and most capable handles with a price tag to match.
  • The essential feature plus more brushing modes, Bluetooth connectivity with real-time tracking and the premium extras the company offers.
    • Multiple cleaning modes.
    • 3 brushing intensities. (Adaptive on the Prestige 9900)
    • Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
    • Visible pressure sensor built-in.
    • Visible scrubbing sensor built-in (Prestige 9900)
  • Real-time tracking and feedback on brushing habits, with the ability to log brushing sessions to the smartphone app and track performance over time.
  • BrushSync brush head replacement reminder and mode pairing.
  • Additional accessories such as brush heads, charging travel cases and premium charging stands are included (subject to variant).
3 Sonicare toothbrushes with premium charging travel cases

The best Sonicare brushes by category

These are the three main Sonicare brushes that we recommend, depending on your budget. Keep reading for an explanation of why we chose each one.

Best overall: Sonicare 4100 Series / Amazon, Philips / ~$39.96

Best budget: Sonicare 1100 Series / Amazon, Philips / ~$19.96

Best top of the range: Sonicare 9900 Prestige / Amazon, Philips / ~$329.96

Best overall

Philips Sonicare 4100 Series

Philips Sonicare 4100 Series
Philips Sonicare 4100 Series
Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2

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. 

More on why we chose it...

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

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Easy to use — 2 cleaning intensities

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

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Timer and pacer encourage brushing for the recommended time

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Pressure sensor isn’t visible

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Pressure sensor — alerts you when brushing too hard

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USB charger makes it less convenient for some

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BrushSync technology — reminder when brush heads need replacing

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Slim handle design — stylish & easy to keep clean

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USB charging stand makes it more convenient for some

Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 12
The 4100 Series is an excellent all-round toothbrush

Best budget

Philips Sonicare 1100

Philips Sonicare 1100 Series
Philips Sonicare 1100 Series
Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2

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.

More on why we chose it...

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.

Read our Sonicare 1100 Series Review.

What we like

Worth noting

check-icon

1 cleaning mode makes it nice and simple to use

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1 cleaning mode makes it nice and simple to use

check-icon

Timer and pacer encourage brushing for the recommended time

cross-icon

No pressure sensor to alert you when brushing too hard

check-icon

Slim handle design – stylish & easy to keep clean

cross-icon

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

check-icon

USB charging stand makes it more convenient for some

check-icon

Good value – get what you need at an affordable price

Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 17
Despite its lower price tag, the 1100 Series is a reliable electric toothbrush.

Best top of the range

Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9900 Prestige
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9900 Prestige
Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 2

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.

More on why we chose it...

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

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Timer and pacer encourage brushing for the recommended time

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Expensive

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Visible pressure sensor alerts you when brushing too hard

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No place to store the detachable USB cable

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4 weeks use on a single charge

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Bluetooth isn’t essential

check-icon

Premium charging travel case included

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Premium materials & design

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Reminds you when to replace the brush head

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Tracks & monitors your brushing

Sonicare 9900 Prestige Midnight Blue & Champagne stood side by side
The Prestige 9900 is one of the best brushes we've ever tested, but it's expensive

A comparison of our 3 recommendations

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

Electric Teeth Rating
Retail price
Find out more
Approximate 3 year cost
Cleaning Action
Number of cleaning modes
Brushing intensities
Timer
Pacer
Pressure Sensor
Battery life
Battery type
Number of heads included
Travel case included
Bluetooth connectivity
Position tracking
Noise
Warranty
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
Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 23 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 23 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 23 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 23 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 23
Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 23 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 23 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 23 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 23 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 23
Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 23 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 23 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 23 Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 23
$50 $400 $25
Review Review Review
$150 $430 $113
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

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.

Sonicare electric toothbrush comparisons 37
Sonicare app feedback from a brush without real-time tracking (left) vs a brush with position tracking technology (right)

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.

Product
Bluetooth connectivity
Position tracking
Philips Sonicare ExpertClean 7300 yes -
Philips Sonicare ExpertClean 7500 yes -
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 yes -
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9300 yes yes
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 yes yes
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700 yes yes
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9750 yes yes
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9900 Prestige yes yes

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 4100 Series 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.

Our Choice
Philips Sonicare 4100 Series
Philips Sonicare 4100 Series
Our Choice
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9900 Prestige
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9900 Prestige
Electric Teeth Rating
rating-star-filled
rating-star-filled
rating-star-filled
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rating-star-filled
rating-star-filled
rating-star-filled
rating-star-filled
rating-star-filled
rating-star-filled
Amazon $39.96 $329.96
Philips View price View price
Author: Jon Love

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Leave a comment

R
Rivka
January 12, 2024

I’m really frustrated that no reviews compare or hardly even mention the handle size/weights? I’ve been hunting for days for which Sonicare model has slimmer lighter weight handles and travel cases and cant find the info anywhere!

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
January 12, 2024

Hi Rivka, We include the size and weight specifications at the bottom of many of our reviews. This is informaiton not typically offered by Sonicare themselves. We are starting to add the weight and size of travle cases too, but this is a more recent addition for us. Rarely is one brush much lighter or slimmer than another that it becomes a signficant talking point. However, the Philips One is the slimmest and lightest brush the company produces. Weight 1.4 oz / 39g. Weight in case 2.4 oz / 69g. But the cleaning power is weaker and the brushing technique more like a manual brush than a regular electric. The Sonicare 4100 Series is our top pick and weighs – 97g/3.4oz. Compare this to the ProtectiveCLean 5100 for example at 130g/0.29lb.

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