Sonicare vs Oral-B: is one better than the other?

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Gemma Wheeler

(GDC Number: 83940)

If you want to know which is the best electric toothbrush brand, Oral-B or Sonicare, let me tell you:

There is no simple answer to this question.

Both have their pros and cons and will appeal to some more than others.

Sonicare vs Oral-B: the short answers

I know you might be short of time and want simple cold hard facts, so here we are:

  • Which has the best brushing technology? Oral-B
  • Which has the best design? Sonicare
  • Which offers the most features? Sonicare
  • Which is quietest? Sonicare
  • Which has the most accessories? Oral-B
  • Which has the best battery life? Sonicare
  • Which is the most innovative? Sonicare
  • Which is the best quality? Sonicare
  • Which is the cheapest? Oral-B
  • Which is best for families? Oral-B 
  • Which is best for travelers? Sonicare
  • Which has the best warranty? Oral-B
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Please note: Since recording this video in 2017, the toothbrushes Oral-B and Sonicare produce, along with their technology and features, have been updated. This has some influence on which might be considered the better brand.

Sonicare now (in my opinion) outranks Oral-B overall, when you consider all different elements.

However, Oral-B is still a very good option and the differences are in reality negligible. What is best or better for one person might not be for another.

NEW UPDATED VIDEO COMING SOON.

Sonicare vs Oral-B: which is best?

Sonicare is the best brand overall.

This is my opinion, based on the above categories/questions.  Sonicare scored 7 compared to Oral-B’s 5.

That said, you need to seriously consider your personal needs and wants.

Read on to really understand the differences.

Sonicare vs Oral-B: the long answers

Whilst I gave my answer to each of the questions presented above, the reality is that for some of those questions it is not quite as simple as selecting just one brand that is better.

Personal opinion, experience, need and wants all come into play, making giving a precise answer more difficult.

Why do some people drive a Ford and others a Chevrolet?  Why do some people go for designer label clothes over unbranded product?

The reality is there are different driving factors for us all in the decisions we make from quality, to budget, to need and wants.

I wish now to explain each answer with detailed reason so that YOU can make YOUR OWN conclusions with some facts and data to support.

Which has the best brushing technology?

In my short answers, I said Oral-B.

Both Oral-B and Sonicare use slightly different technology and engineering to do the same job.

It’s a bit like having a gas or electric heating in your home.  Both can heat your home but they do so in slightly different ways.

Philips uses Sonic technology whilst Oral-B uses an Oscillating-Rotating approach.

The following animation shows how the sonic and oscillating-rotating motions differ.

The sonic technology seen on Sonicare brushes uses 2 methods to clean the teeth.  The first is a mechanical side-to-side cleaning motion of the brush to remove plaque by essentially sweeping and scrubbing the surfaces, like a manual brush (although the motor moves the bristles, not you).

The second is a non-contact approach that uses the sonic technology that disrupts plaque beyond the tips of the bristles.

The strokes of the brush vary in speed with most Sonicare models achieving around 31,000 movements per minute, but the more premium and powerful models like the DiamondClean Smart range offer up to 62,000.  The number of movements is depicted by the cleaning mode.

Non-contact cleaning is all based on vibrations.  The brush head must vibrate at a speed that falls within the range of frequencies that humans hear (20-20,000hz).  This intense vibration agitates fluids that surround the teeth and can loosen and remove dental plaque in locations that are beyond the physical touch of the toothbrush.

The brush head on a sonic brush is a lot like a manual toothbrush in its size and shape.

How to brush with Sonicare DiamondClean | Philips | Sonic electric toothbrush | HX9332

Oral-B’s cleaning is completed via an Oscillating-Rotating series of movements.

Oral-B brushes have a small, round brush head that moves back and forth (side to side movements) in a circular motion to help remove plaque and dental debris.

When using an oscillating-rotating toothbrush, you should gently move the brush head from tooth to tooth, letting the brush do the cleaning.  The movement of the bristles and the head itself essentially scrubs the teeth clean. You don’t need to repeatedly move the bush up and down, back and forth.

This oscillating-rotating movement is referred to as ‘2D’ cleaning by the brand.

Add in Pulsations (essentially vibrations) and this now becomes ‘3D’ cleaning.

Pulsations offer a more sophisticated motion and gives another dimension to the brushing.

Whereas the 2D cleaning requires the physical movement of the brush head against the teeth, pulsations are essentially a ‘non contact’ form of brushing and relies on pulsations/vibrations like Sonicare brushes do.

Clinical studies such as this one suggest a marked difference in the clean offered by the oscillating rotating brush compared to the sonic option.

That study was published by Procter & Gamble, the parent company of Oral-B, whilst an independent study completed by Cochrane suggests that there is some evidence oscillating technology used by Oral-B is more effective. However, the admission here is that the differences are small and clinically unclear with further studies required.

From a technological standpoint whilst the cleans may well be different, they are trying to achieve the same goal and the actual feeling in the mouth with the brush can often have a bearing.

Having used many different models and different cleaning modes from both brands, Oral-B’s clean can feel more abrasive/aggressive and whilst leaving you with a ‘clean’ feeling it can do at the expense of a slightly more uncomfortable clean for some.  Sonicare models feel softer and more delicate but still leaves your mouth clean and fresh.

Which has the best design?

In my short answers, I said Sonicare.

So this is perhaps one of the most personally influenced categories on which to judge a toothbrush.

Generally speaking, Sonicare brushes have a more clinical look and feel to them.  Many of them are a matte white with very mild/soft color accents on the power buttons and occasionally a rubber grip.

The most premium range, the DiamondClean series is much more focused on the design and whilst there is a white option there is a cashmere grey, pink and black too.

Oral-B brushes often have a gloss white plastic body that is accented by a large rubber grip that runs down the front handle.  The color of the grip depends on the model. From black to pink to blue to green.  With some models, you generally do not have much choice, but Oral-B have been improving the color options available, particularly at the higher end of their range.  The Genius models are often available in various colors.

Which offers the most features?

In my short answers, I said Sonicare.

In recent years, Oral-B was the winner here, but since Sonicare have introduced BrushSync, I feel they now have more features available on some of their brush handles. What you might class as a feature may differ, to me.

Despite claiming Sonicare win this category, Oral-B tends to offer more features on cheaper brush handles. Particularly in the mid range brushes, you generally get a pressure sensor and Bluetooth connectivity on models that are cheaper than Sonicare.

Most Sonicare brushes have 1-2 cleaning modes unless you go up to the most premium model which offers 3-5; whereas Oral-B has 1-4 modes until the most premium models that offer 5-6 modes.

A pressure sensor is something that you didn’t see all that often on Sonicare brushes, but newer brush handles come with it as standard. Although at present, the implementation is not quite as good as Oral-B.  With Oral-B, it is a light on the back of the brush handle that illuminates when the brush detects you are brushing too hard.  It is a simple and easy way to become aware of the issue that is brushing too hard. Sonicare have a vibration alert, whilst functional is less obvious.

A newer feature (although it has been around for a few years now) is Bluetooth connectivity which shares brushing data with your phone.  Sonicare have 2-3 models that can do this whereas Oral-B have 8.

Sonicare offers an Easy-Start mode which increases the power of the brush over the first 14 cleans, easing in a new user.

They do also offer an automatic power off feature which in my opinion is the best feature and most applicable of all additions over the basic cleaning mode.

What propels Sonicare forward is BrushSync, which I explain in detail here, but essentially it is a 2 part system that alerts you when it is time to change your brush head and selects the most suitable cleaning mode, based on the brush head fitted to the handle.

Whilst all these features are great, there is one thing that many of us, myself included forget or overlook and that is how we use them.  It is all very well having 6 cleaning modes, but what is the point if we only use them once or twice.  Most of us fall into the trap of just using the standard ‘Clean’ mode most of the time.  We either forget about the others or simply don’t bother.

The pressure sensor is great, but after about 2 weeks, you know how hard or soft to brush.

Sonicare’s easy start mode, brilliant.  Not really worthwhile after those first 14 cleans….

Box contents could also be considered here, however, I have given this its own category.

Which is quietest?

In my short answers, I said Sonicare.

No contest here, Sonicare brushes as a whole are much quieter.

Sonicare produce a strong vibration and humming sound, whereas the Oral-B brushes produce a much louder mechanical noise.  It is hard to explain the difference.

The best thing to do is to watch the following video.

Oral-B Vs Sonicare Sound & Noise Comparison

For a more detailed scenario, imagine cleaning your teeth in the bathroom of a house in the middle of the night when everyone else is asleep.  With an Oral-B brush unless you closed the bathroom door you would likely wake someone up.  With Sonicare you could leave the bathroom door open and probably nobody would hear you.

Some Sonicare models get close to the sound levels of the Oral-B brushes but this is usually on specific deep clean/power intensive modes.

Which has the most accessories?

In my short answers, I said Oral-B.

I stand by this as you do generally get more in the box with Oral-B brushes.  Be that brush heads or other useful items.

As you would expect, generally speaking, the more you pay, the more you get.

Take mid range Pro 5000, you get a brush handle, a brush head, a charging stand, brush head storage compartment and a travel case.

With the more premium Genius 8000, you get the handle, multiple brush heads, a charging stand, a brush head storage compartment, a travel case, and a smartphone holder.

The accessories often look to serve a purpose and tie in with the brush.  For example, the brush head storage compartment that can store up to 4 heads is normally provided with a brush that has different cleaning modes and in an ideal world a specific brush head would be used for each cleaning mode, thus the tray is provided to give a home to those heads when not in use.

For most, I think the travel case is most useful as it is one of those things we do not need every day, but when traveling it can be a great accessory to keep things together, protect the brush and the head and avoid accidental activation.

Sonicare brushes tend to be supplied less frequently with a series of accessories but the ones that they do, could be considered to be more useful, this is personal opinion of course.

For example, some models have the option of a UV sanitizer.  Not only does this provide a home for up to 2 brush heads, it cleans bacteria and germs off the brush head via a light bulb emitting UV rays.  To me, this has more perceived value and usefulness than a plastic molded tray that accommodates 4 brush heads.

The Sonicare travel case that comes with the Sonicare DiamondClean range can charge from a USB port on your computer, or connect to a charger like you might use for your smartphone, making it more versatile than the Oral-B equivalent.

Which has the best battery life?

In my short answers, I said Sonicare.

Oral-B falls a long way short of the mark set by Sonicare.

Typically Sonicare brushes last for up to 3 weeks, some only 2.

Oral-B’s longest lasting brush lasts just 14 days (2 weeks).  A significant difference.

How important this is will depend on your routine.  It is safe to leave either brand of brush on charge for a prolonged period of time but for frequent travelers, the extended life of the Sonicare may be preferred.

Although subject to model most in both ranges have battery indicators that give a guide as to when a charge is required.

The reason behind this power difference primarily is the battery technology used.  Sonicare have for a long time been using the more desirable lithium-ion batteries whereas Oral-B have used nickel-metal hydride batteries.  The latter being an older and cheaper battery that can suffer from a memory effect.

Oral-B have begun, with their current Smart and Genius range to move to lithium-ion, but at 14 days life, this is far from what Sonicare offers.

Some extra life is achieved by Sonicare I believe via the quieter and possibly more efficient motor as well as the automatic power off feature, something Oral-B does not have.

Which is the most innovative?

In my short answers, I said Sonicare.

This is one of the most difficult categories to pick a winner for and both Sonicare and Oral-B are innovative in their own right.

Oral-B was the first to introduce Bluetooth to the toothbrush and their implementation of the pressure sensor is more user friendly.

Oral-B does appear most innovative as its flagship Genius X has artificial intelligence.

This is very cutting edge and does work.  However, Sonicare toothbrushes offer a similar thing, with less prominent marketing and actually, in my opinion, is implemented better from a user perspective.

Sonicare have too introduced BrushSync technology which Oral-B have yet to match.

Is the more practical travel cases offered with some Sonicare toothbrushes innovation?  You decide.

There are limits to the innovation that can exist within a toothbrush, but Sonicare appears to be shaping change more than Oral-B.

Which is the best quality?

In my short answers, I said Sonicare.

This is much harder to quantify and say for sure.

I have an Oral-B electric toothbrush which is 5 years old and still works, is this a sign of quality?!

The reason I believe that Sonicare is the best quality is the feel and performance of them in hand.  They feel more robust and premium, the plastics look and feel stronger and the overall experience and feeling is that more effort has been put into the product than branding and selling the brush.

Attention to detail comes to mind.

Both brands offer a 2 year warranty to cover manufacturing defects.

My limited experience with customer service and support has within the US been better from Oral-B than Sonicare.

Which is the cheapest?

In my short answers, I said Oral-B.

The gap is closing here and the difference is not as great as it once was.

Both start around about $40 for an entry level brush.

Oral-B rushes tend to be about 10-20% cheaper for like equivalents as a rough benchmark.  Seasons, retailers and models all influence this.

There is a perception of better value for money with Oral-B brushes that is often justified.

However, matters like battery life have a personal value that is not equal for all.

Whilst both brands are subject to discounts and typically can be purchased for 30+% off their RRP with a little shopping around, it is Oral-B brushes that are more heavily discounted on the whole and more actively marketed as being on offer, particularly around Christmas.

Which is best for families?

In my short answers, I said Oral-B.

Neither Sonicare or Oral-B are perfectly suited to families in my opinion, but out of the two, Oral-B is certainly the better for a couple of reasons.

Often budgets kick in more frequently with a family as does the likelihood of different users having different needs.

On this basis Oral-B brushes offer more cleaning modes at a cheaper price, meaning it is more cost effective for a family.

Many Oral-B models come packaged with a number of different brush heads, and acquiring new ones is often a few dollars cheaper per head for an Oral-B compared to Sonicare.  As a rough guide, an Oral-B replacement head may average around $5 compared to the $8 of a Sonicare.

There is often the inclusion of a brush head storage tray which can accommodate up to 4 brush heads, whereas Sonicare models do not tend to come with any storage compartment for brush heads.

One thing to point out is that brushes with Bluetooth can only support one user.

Which is best for travelers?

In my short answers, I said Sonicare.

If compact and lightweight is the biggest draw as a traveler then neither brand really have that box ticked.  Ok, they are not huge or mega heavy but there are lighter and thinner options such as Quip. But a knock-on effect is a lack of features.

For me, Sonicare wins because of battery life primarily.  With up to 3 weeks on most models, that covers most people for more than enough time when traveling.  Just take the brush and no charging stand. With Oral-B, even with the most premium brush, you would need to take a charger for a 2 week vacation.

If you invest in the Sonicare DiamondClean model you get provided with an excellent quality travel case that allows the brush to be charged in that.  Just an extra cable is required and this connects to USB ports, meaning no real need to take a charging adapter.

Other models that do not come supplied with a case offer a charging stand that supports voltages from 110-240 volts whereas the Oral-B models typically only support 110 volts if purchased in the USA.  This means it is more difficult to travel with an Oral-B brush as there is less global support for different voltages used around the world.

With either, you will often need an adapter to connect them to different power sockets and that adapter will often regulate the voltage but with Sonicare, you have peace of mind that it will work safely because of the support for the broader voltage range.

Which has the best warranty?

In my short answers, I said Oral-B.

As standard both brands come with a two year warranty.

Sonicare put a clause in their warranty that the battery is only supported for twelve months (one year) whereas no such clause exists for Oral-B models.

In most instances warranty issues are dealt with on a case by case scenario and it would appear that Sonicare are more likely to replace than repair should something go wrong, but Oral-B does have quite a slick warranty repair process with quick turnaround times.

Communication from Sonicare customer service has in my experience not been as efficient or helpful as Oral-B.

Brush Comparisons

At the time of writing, both Sonicare and Oral-B have about 15 different models each, in their ranges.

That excludes the different color options and those that come packaged with different brush heads in the box.

I am commonly asked, what are the equivalent brush within the Sonicare and Oral-B ranges.

For example, readers may ask, I am looking at the Sonicare 2 series, which is the equivalent from Oral-B.

I am looking at the DiamondClean from Sonicare, which is the best from Oral-B?

There is never an exact like for like, there are always differences between the models.

The following table gives my opinion on which models most closely match between the 2 brands.

Oral-B Sonicare
Closest Equivalents
Stages Power Kids - Dory Kids Bluetooth Connected
Pro-Health Clinical PowerUp
Pro 500 Essence
Pro 1000 ProtectiveClean 4100
Pro 1500 ProtectiveClean 4100
Pro 3000 ProtectiveClean 5100
Pro 5000 ProtectiveClean 5100
Pro 6000 ProtectiveClean 6100
Pro 7000 FlexCare Platinum Connected
Genis Pro 8000 DiamondClean Smart
Genis 9600 DiamondClean Smart
Genius X 20000 DiamondClean Smart

You may wish to factor this into your consideration when choosing which brush to buy.

For those who want a little more detailed comparison, between particular models, read on.

Oral-B Pro 1000 vs Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100

Our pick: Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100

The truth of the matter is, you do not need to spend a lot of money to get a very good electric toothbrush.

Yes, the more you spend, the more features and in box contents, you will get.

However, once you start spending upwards of about $80, you get a lot less in my opinion for ever $1 spent.

The 4100 ProtectiveClean from Sonicare and the Pro 1000 from Oral-B are 2 superb electric toothbrushes for the price at which they are sold.

Generally available for around $40, the 4100 has a marginally thicker handle but does offer at least double the battery life of the Pro 1000.

It is this extra battery life, that ultimately wins out between these two.

Both look good and feel good in the hand, the 1000 is the slightly more grippy, thanks to the white rubber that runs down the front of the brush handle.

That said, the ProtectiveClean 4100 comes in a few color options which is perhaps more appealing to some.

Offering just 1 cleaning modes each, they provide a reassuring clean.

The smaller round brush head on the 1000 is our overall preference, particularly when reaching to the back of the mouth.

For the budget conscious the cost of replacement heads is also cheaper when you buy the Oral-B.  Not a significant difference, but the dollars add up over the years.

Oral-B Pro 3000 vs Sonicare ProetectiveClean 5100

Our pick: Pro 3000

A tough decision to pick between these 2 as there are another 2 fantastic toothbrushes, offering a bit more than the most basic electric brushes, but a few features that might be desirable to some.

Both look good and feel good in the hand, the 3000 is the slightly more grippy, thanks to the White or Blue rubber that runs down the front of the brush handle.

The ProtectiveClean Series offers 3 cleaning modes, Clean, Gum Care and White.

The Oral-B Pro 3000 also has 3 modes, Daily Clean, Sensitive and Gum Care.

Essentially both a good for users looking for something more than the 1 standard cleaning mode, particularly those looking for something effective, but gentle on the gums.

The smaller round brush head on the 3000 is our overall preference, particularly when reaching to the back of the mouth.

The 5100 comes with a handy travel case, something that the Pro 3000 does not.

It also puts the Pro 3000 to shame, with at least double the battery life.

However, the 3000 is a smart electric toothbrush and has Bluetooth connectivity.

Whilst this will not be for all, the innovative addition is a smart solution to help you take more interest and better understand your habits.

It will log your cleans, give tips, advice, and guidance on what to do better.

As it learns, you will too.  Within a matter of weeks, you can radically improve your regime and get a seal of approval from your dentist.

The 3000 also offers a brush head storage compartment, for up to 4 brush heads as well as having a built-in pressure sensor, that lights up red when you brush too hard.

Oral-B Pro 7000 vs Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected

Our pick: Pro 7000

2 seriously capable brushes, both will impress without a doubt.

When it comes to value for money though the Pro 7000 wins out in our opinion.

You get a lot in the box and the small round brush head has won lots of fans worldwide and is arguably easier to clean right at the back of the mouth, a place where many of us miss.

A key selling feature of both brushes is the Bluetooth connectivity.

Both work and although Oral-B were first to launch, Sonicare’s implementation is better and feels a little more polished.

The FlexCare Platinum is the smarter of the 2 in my opinion, feels a little more quality and offers an extra 4 days battery life over the Pro 7000.

Certain models of the Platinum come with a UV sanitizer, which can be used to clean bacteria off the brush heads.

Whilst it’s not all about the extras, the 7000 comes with more cleaning modes, more brush heads, a brush head storage compartment and something called a wireless Smart Guide.

Best described as a small countertop clock, it connects to the 7000 and gives visual feedback on your cleaning time and performance.  It essentially does a bit of what the smartphone app can do, although without the smartphone needing to be present.

Oh, and the 7000 does to have a visible pressure sensor built-in.  This shines Red when brushing too hard, encouraging you to stop doing so.

Purchase costs are comparable, the 7000 typically a few dollars cheaper, as are the brush heads.

Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 vs Sonicare DiamondClean Smart

Our pick: DiamondClean Smart

There are few brushes as perfect as the DiamondClean Smart from Sonicare.

When it comes to the top of the line toothbrushes, this is it.

It does come at a price though, but for those wanting the very best that will likely be justifiable.

Be aware there are 3 versions of the DiamondClean Smart, so get the one that is right for you.  Our recommendation is the 9500.

Both brushes offer multiple cleaning modes, a pressure sensor, Bluetooth connectivity, in the case charging, multiple brush heads and more.

The Genius Pro 8000 is a lovely electric toothbrush but as the name implies, the Smart is just that.

The overall design, feel and quality is better.

It comes in a range of colors with color matched travel cases and brush heads.

A very new feature is a microchip built into the brush head, that tracks how long each brush head has been used for.  It then illuminates an LED when a brush head change is required. This gives a reminder like no other we have seen to date.

That same brush head can even automatically change the cleaning mode upon being fitted.

The Bluetooth app is well implemented.  Whilst Oral-B were first to market, the Sonicare offering is more reliable and polished.

In case charging is a novel feature and has been implemented better by Sonicare too.  The charging cable is built into the case and connects to USB, no proprietary cables needed.

Other information

I believe that the twelve categories on which I have used to judge Sonicare vs Oral-B covers most instances and consideration factors.

However, there will often be differences and other factors considerations to make as these can be personal or model specific.

For example if you are specifically looking for something with a sensitive cleaning mode and that comes in at less than $60 and has a pressure sensor; despite what might be a personal desire to go for Philips because you trust the brand and like the quality etc, your only option is likely to be an Oral-B model.

Water Resistance

Whilst both brands typically are designed to resist water and can safely be rinsed under the tap and used in the shower, neither brand would really recommend or advise prolonged exposure to water and certainly advise against immersion/submersion in water.

Timers

Most Oral-B and Sonicare brushes have timers built-in. These come in two forms, a timer that tells you when to change quadrants in the mouth and a timer that tells you the clean is over.

A normal clean lasts for 2 minutes and you should spend 30 seconds cleaning each of the 4 quadrants of the mouth.  Most Oral-B and Sonicare brushes have both timers built-in. The 30 second pacer is a pause in the brush head motion that in turn changes the sound emitted from the brush.

The 2 minute timer on Oral-B is a longer/different pause pattern whereas with Sonicare the brush usually automatically turns off. Nether are essential, but both go a long way in making sure you clean your teeth for the right amount of time.

Advice from your dentist

Advice from your dentist can always be helpful in choosing the right electric toothbrush for yourself and helping choose between brands; but do be aware some dentists are influenced by the support they get from brands for selling and promoting their products.  Not all but some dentists will be keen to sell you a very good toothbrush but perhaps one that is overkill for what you need or a particular brand when another is better suited.

Beyond the Sonicare v Oral-B argument

Despite the long history of the toothbrush, it is within the last one hundred years or so that we have witnessed the introduction of the electric brush.

Whilst electric toothbrushes offer consistent power delivery and a host of features that can improve how effective our toothbrushing regime is; nothing can actually beat regular cleaning, with the right technique with any form of brush, be that manual or electric.

Electric toothbrushes are advised and studies (1 & 2) have shown them, as a better option, but simply brushing your teeth correctly is one of the best things you can do.

Other considerations:

Clean and brush your teeth properly

Whether you are using a $10 AA battery brush or a $200 lithium battery brush, neither are any real use unless you use it twice a day for a minimum of 2 minutes.

Just as important is the technique you use.  Anyone can put a brush in their mouth but move it around like a mad man with no real order and that has no benefit.

Simply buying and using an electric toothbrush will not instantly improve the cleanliness or health of your teeth.

Learn how to clean your teeth properly.

Toothpastes

A toothbrush can clean the tooth surfaces but the effectiveness of the clean is helped massively by using a toothpaste in addition to the brush.

There are hundreds of different toothpaste options and in truth, it is more complicated than choosing a toothbrush, but fundamentally pick up and use a fluoride based paste and you are on the right track.

Change your brush head/toothbrush every 3 months

You would unlikely keep a pair of wellington boots with a hole in them as they would no longer be doing their job properly.

Keep a toothbrush or brush head for more than 3 months and the same principle applies.  The use of the brush wears the bristles down and reduces the effectiveness, to the point the bristles may do more damage than good

Fading bristles and in app reminders can help with this.

Flossing

There are ongoing debates (Chochrane report 1 & 2) as to whether flossing is beneficial or not.

However one thing can’t be denied, although the scientific research may be lacking into the actual effectiveness of flossing, nobody can outrightly say that there are not benefits to be had.

I think we have all had times where food gets stuck between our teeth and only flossing gets it out, not even brushing will get some stuff out.

Thus, flossing once a day is recommended.

Regular dental visits

Whether you opt for Oral-B or Sonicare you should regularly visit your dentist.

Whilst you may have a good routine, a professional inspection can offer advice and spot issues early.

Shop around

Always shop around to find a price you are happy to pay for a brush.

Purchase from a location you know and trust and pay what you are prepared to pay.

Many dental offices, pharmacies, grocery stores, and online retailers stock them.

Which one to buy?

This is by no means a simple answer and there is not a right answer as personal needs and desires come into play as well as budget.

I think personally the decision is either feature led or price led.

What I mean by this is, if you particularly need a feature, such as a Whitening mode, you will pay what you need to, to get a brush that offers this. Whilst, if you have $50 to spend you will try to get the best for this money.

Therefore from this recommendation, I can only go on price and I present two options for both brands.  The best brush when on a budget and the best brush that gives overall value for money.

  • The best Sonicare when on a budget: Sonicare Essence
  • The best Oral-B when on a budget: Pro 1000
  • The best value Sonicare: FlexCare Platinum Connected
  • The best value Oral-B: Pro 3000

If you need further information or options why not take a look at our lists of best electric toothbrushes.

Conclusion

As I suggested at the start of this article, there is no simple answer to this question.  Both Sonicare and Oral-B have their pros and cons and will appeal to some more than others.

This article has explained in detail how some may favor Oral-B for reasons like budget, whilst Sonicare might be the best choice because of the battery life.

Whatever your decision make sure it is one you are happy with and do let me know what you go for and why.

Jon Love

About Jon Love

Jon is a leading voice on electric toothbrushes and has been quoted by mainstream media publications for his opinions and expertise.

Having handled & tested hundreds of products there really is very little he does not know about them.

Passionate about business and helping others, Jon has been involved in various online enterprises since the early 2000s.

After spending 12 years in consumer technology, it was in 2014 that he focused his attention on dental health, having experienced first-hand the challenge of choosing a new toothbrush.

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6 thoughts on “Sonicare vs Oral-B: is one better than the other?”

  1. Oral B brushes are very loud and the intense , rough vibrations are annoying. If an inanimate object can have finesse, Sonicare has it. Also the battery life, brush head covers, packable chargers and storage cases make it a winner.

    Reply
  2. The NIH actually compared them in a 6-month clinical trial, concluding: “Overall, this study demonstrates that long-term use of these two electric toothbrushes improves periodontal health in adult periodontitis patients, and that the Sonicare brush is superior to the Braun brush in reducing gingival inflammation and probing depth. Moreover, 6 months’ use of Sonicare led to actual improvement in probing attachment levels of periodontal pockets.”
    If you read the full abstract, you’ll see the Sonicare was significantly better in every aspect. See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9487838

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing this study Rusty.

      In this particular study, Sonicare has come out on top. In others, it might be the other way around.

      However, as this abstract does confirm, both have benefits.

      Reply
  3. In the extremely long article, I still never learned which one actually cleans better. Isn’t that the ultimate thing vs. the colors it comes in?

    Reply
    • Hi Laura.

      Thanks for the comment.

      I am sorry you did not feel the article actually gave the answer to which is better.

      If you look at this purely from the ability to clean the teeth, then Oral-B is the best at cleaning the teeth. I covered this in the brushing technology section of the article.

      The reality of the situation is that although technically, when you look at the clinical data, Oral-B is best, both are excellent and help provide a better cleaning than a manual toothbrush. In day to day use, not under clinical trial conditions, it is not quite as black and white and either are very good options.

      Some people have more specific needs or desires as part of their purchasing decision, so this is why I have broken it down into other sections and consider things like color etc.

      I hope this helps. If you have any further queries, please let me know.

      Reply
  4. Thanks. My dentist says it doesn’t matter what I get, but Sonicare’s his choice even though he sells Oral b as well. I’ve always been weary about dentists, but I like these new smart brushes. My first electric brush was a Sonicare and I’ll probably go that route after your review.

    I’ll keep smiling!

    Sincerely,
    Oz

    Reply
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