Which one would we choose?
Both of these ‘Smart’ models are very capable electric toothbrushes that I could happily use on a daily basis.
But, assuming you are looking for a more premium, feature rich model then the Smart 5 5000 is the option to go for. It is the all-round better package.
- The Smart 5 5000 offers 5 cleaning modes (Daily Clean, Gum Care, Sensitive, Whitening & Pro Clean) compared to the 3 (Daily Clean, Sensitive & Whitening) available on the Smart 4 4000.
- 3 brush heads are included with the 5000 compared to the 2 with the 4000.
- The 4000 comes with a brush head stand that holds 2 heads, whilst the 5000 comes with a brush head storage compartment that holds 4 heads.
- The 5000 comes with a travel case.
- The Smart 5 comes with a desktop smartphone stand.
- The Smart 5 5000 has a slightly more powerful brush motor.
These differences are explained at length later in this article. However, you might wish to learn more about each brush being compared. To do so, check out our hands-on reviews:
Please note. 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 Oral-B Smart 4 4000 and 5 5000?
I am going to explain in more detail, the differences that are summarised above.
However, what I would like to make clear, is that there are a number of different models/variants within the Smart 4 and the Smart 5 range of electric toothbrushes.
Some of the variants are as follows:
- Smart 4
- Smart 4 4000N
- Smart 4 4000W
- Smart 4 4500N
- Smart 4 4900
- Smart 5
- Smart 5 5000N
- Smart 5 5900
Whilst technically the toothbrushes within each range are the same, what can differ is the box contents, handle colour and the number of handles in the box.
For the purpose of this comparison, I am comparing the Smart 4 4000N against the Smart 5 5000N.
Just be aware, that if you are looking at the Smart 4 4900, for example, there may well be additional differences.
More information on each variant is provided in the hands-on reviews of each toothbrush.
So, to the differences then.
The first significant difference is the number of cleaning modes each toothbrush has.
The Smart 5 5000 has 5 cleaning modes. They are:
- Daily Clean
- Gum Care
- Pro Care
The Smart 4 4000 has 3 cleaning modes, 2 less than the 5000. The modes available are:
- Daily Clean
My article on Oral-B brushing modes explains precisely how each mode differs, but in summary, the Smart 5 could potentially be more effective for those that want to achieve a deep clean of their teeth or are focusing on achieving better gum health.
I will be the first to tell you though, that all of these extra modes are not necessarily essential, and for the vast majority, 1 cleaning mode (Daily Clean) is good enough. The Sensitive and Gum Care mode are similar and both would pass as my desired choice for a second cleaning mode that is a little more gentle.
Accessing the cleaning modes on both models is the same process. You have to first press the power button to turn the toothbrush on, then press the power button again to begin cycling through the modes.
Neither brush has any clear indicator on the brush handle to show which mode is selected and you cannot change the mode before turning the toothbrush on.
Both models come provided with brush heads in the box.
The Smart 4 4000 comes with 2 brush heads compared with the 3 included with the Smart 5 5000.
Provided in the box are:
- Smart 4 4000
- 2 x CrossAction brush head
- Smart 5 5000
- 1 x CrossAction brush head
- 1 x 3D White brush head
- 1 x Sensi UltraThin brush head
These brush head are just 3 different styles from a range of brush heads Oral-B offer.
A little like the cleaning modes, they are quite confusing and my Oral-B brush heads page goes into more detail on how each of these compare.
The CrossAction is typically the ‘default’ brush head offered and gives a very good overall clean.
What you get with the Smart 5 5000 is the inclusion of extra heads that can potentially deliver better results when used on specific cleaning modes.
The 3D white can potentially have a more positive effect when used on the whitening mode, whilst the soft bristles of the Sensi UltraThin brush head works well on the Gum Care and Sensitive cleaning modes.
Any of these heads can be used on any cleaning modes and although different styled heads are not in the box with the 4000, they can be purchased and fitted to the Smart 4 4000 without issue.
Both models come with a place to store additional brush heads, what differs is how many you can store and how this is achieved.
The Smart 4 4000 comes with a moulded piece of white plastic that clips around the charging stand. On either side is a small prong, that gives a place onto which up to 2 brush heads can be stood upright. Essentially you have a brush head sat either side of the charging stand.
Perfectly functional this is, the Smart 5 5000 comes with a larger brush head storage compartment.
It too clips around the charging stand, but offers to the right side a tray, complete with a lid that will hold up to 4 brush heads that lay almost flat in the compartment.
Given that the Smart 5 5000 comes with 3 brush heads, the ability to hold 4 in the tray is nice, as is the lid to cover the heads from splashes or debris.
Having a place to store brush heads is very useful and works particularly well if you intend to share the brush handle with other users.
There are then a few more subtle differences between these 2 brushes, that potentially make the Smart 5 5000 the more attractive option.
Included in the box with the 5000 is a travel case.
It is fairly basic, but it is perfectly functional. It is a clear plastic case that holds the brush handle and up to 2 brush heads.
This is useful if you travel as it not only stops the handle and heads from becoming damaged in transit, it also stops the toothbrush being turned on accidentally, as it becomes virtually impossible to do so, when secured inside the case.
You can buy travel cases separately, but they can be quite expensive and work out cheaper when bought as a package with the brush handle.
Also included in the box with the Smart 5, is a smartphone holder.
Both these toothbrushes are ‘Smart’ equipped with Bluetooth connectivity to log your brushing habits (more information available in the hands-on reviews). However, it is only the Smart 5 that comes with a stand to actually hold your smartphone.
If you are going to use the smartphone app, it makes sense to have a secure place to mount your phone and this holder allows just this, allowing the screen to be tilted to an ideal angle for viewing. It also means you don’t have to hold your phone the whole time you brush.
The white coloured holder is not all that sophisticated, but it does the job it needs to.
And then to the last difference, the motor in the brush handle.
Both brushes offer an oscillating-rotating and pulsating motion via the small round brush head.
However, the Smart 5 offers up to 10,500 oscillations and 48,000 pulsations compared to the 9,900 and 45,000 of the Smart 4.
In theory, this means the Smart 5 can clean the teeth better, but this small power difference, in reality, has very little real-world bearing on how clean your teeth are.
That then concludes the key differences between these 2 models.
There are not as many differences between these as some others, in fact, there are more similarities than differences and even in hand, you would be hard pushed to know which is which, because they look the same.
Here is a quick summary list of the way in which these 2 brushes are the same:
- Slim brush handle with white rubber grip on front and raised plastic ridges on the back for grip
- Small round brush head with oscillating-rotating and pulsating (3D) cleaning action
- Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer
- Built-in visible pressure sensor
- Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery offering 2 weeks battery life
- Battery charge/status light on the front of the brush handle
- Comes provided with a 2 pin (UK) charging stand supporting 220-240V
- Water resistant brush handle
- Bluetooth connectivity to share brushing data with FREE Oral-B smartphone application
- 2 year warranty
Does one clean better than the other?
The short answer is no, both clean as well as each other.
However, because the Smart 5 5000 has a more powerful brush motor and additional cleaning modes there is a potential that it can clean the teeth and gum tissues better than the 4000.
But, the difference in cleaning performance is minimal and would be very difficult to actually quantify even for a dental professional.
Even then, our individual oral health has a part to play. As everyone’s teeth are different, what improvements I might get may be different to you, even though we might be using the same toothbrush.
Greater impact or improvement in the overall cleaning ability would be achieved by perfecting your brushing routine.
For example, if you brush twice a day, but for only 1 minute each time, you would gain more improvement in your oral health by increasing the brushing time to the recommended 2 minutes, than you would, opting for the Smart 5 over the Smart 4.
Is one better priced than the other?
Most of the time, the Smart 4 4000 is the cheaper brush.
The recommended retail price (RRP) of the Smart 4 4000 is £129.99 compared to the £169.99 of the Smart 5.
Typically neither sell at this price though, you can often buy both at significantly discounted prices. In fact, don’t ever pay the full RRP, they are not worth it.
As a guide, expect to pay about £60 for the Smart 4 and £85 for the Smart 5.
Prices are of course subject to change and will vary from one seller to another.
As both of these models are from Oral-B, the cost of replacement brush heads are the same.
Priced over a 3 year period, owning a Smart 4 will typically work out at 8p per day compared to the 11p per day of the Smart 5.
The price difference of about £25 might be too much for you and the extras included in the box might not be worth it.
However, this premium you pay for the Smart 5 is less than what it would cost you if you wanted to buy these extras separately.
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 Oral-B Smart 5 5000 is my pick between these 2 very capable toothbrushes. It is ever so slightly better, primarily because of what you get included in the box.
There isn’t a great deal to set these 2 brushes apart, so should the Smart 4 4000 be available at a particularly good price, or you can’t see the value in the 5000, then the 4000 will still be a very solid choice.
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.