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The Best Philips Sonicare Toothbrush

After spending several hours researching the Philips Sonicare product line up, we feel like our brains have gone through a German sausage factory. There is no easy way to describe or define the incredible mish mash of models and variations that there are in the labyrinth that is Sonicare.

And why do we do all this work? So you can make a better decision when it comes time to choose the best brush for you!!

Sonicare's 4300 is as close to a perfect brush as we tested. Combining incredible cleaning effectiveness, a long-lasting battery, pressure sensor, and comfort, it is a brilliant electric toothbrush.



  • The best-tested cleaning performance 
  • Pleasure to use
  • Outstanding battery life (32 days after repeated testing)
  • Minimalist stylish design
  • Wide variety of brush heads available
  • Great customer service


  • Expensive replacement brush heads
  • Mode switching can be confusing
  • Included travel case is cheap (and ours did not work)
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The DiamondClean Smart offers excellent cleaning combined with premium style and comfort. Battery life is excellent, and the smart features and box contents are top notch. We love this travel case!



  • Excellent cleaning results
  • Comfortable 
  • Real-time brushing coach (great for first time electric toothbrush users)
  • Stylish travel case with USB charger
  • Luxurious design
  • Great customer service
  • Long battery life (29 days after repeated testing)
  • Wide variety of brush heads available


  • High Price
  • Expensive brush heads
  • App interface feels dated
  • Dirt can damage the button functions
  • First test model stopped working
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Why you should trust us

At TestHut, we take both our research and testing methods seriously. We have read thousands of articles about Philips toothbrushes including product reviews, professional reviews, and the Sonicare webpages and manuals.

We have ordered and tested their products both in our homes and at our TestHut lab to see the pros and cons of the Sonicare product line.

After all this research and testing of best electric toothbrushes, we are confident in our choices.

TestHut’s Top Choice: Sonicare 4300


The Sonicare 4300 is in the middle of the Sonicare line. It is not the flashiest, fanciest or most expensive brush that Philips offers, but we love it. It combines simple, modern design with efficient cleaning and does everything right. It has a pressure sensor, quadpacer, and two modes. We think that this is the only electric toothbrush you will ever need!

In our extensive testing, the 4300 model outperformed all the other brushes when it came to cleaning performance. It combines the power of 62,000 brush movements per minute with the excellent Sonicare brush head to remove plaque better than any other brush in our test.

The package came with a G2 (gum care) brush head, a travel case, charger, the black brush handle, and an induction charging base. The handle has one button for turning it off and on and also changing intensities. It also has a brush head indicator to let you know if you have been using the same brush head for more than 3 months and a battery indicator light to let you know when the battery is running low.

We love the comfortable, stylish handle that is ergonomic and simple to use. The brush has two intensities to choose from which is enough for most users.

It includes an accurate pressure sensor that was the most sensitive of any brush we tested. We think this feature is important to protect your gums as you brush.

It is relatively quiet, and the battery life is excellent. In our test, we got almost 50 days of cleaning from one charge which is quite a bit better than Philips’ claim of 2 weeks. It took about 13 hours to charge the battery fully, which was average for most brushes we tested.

Battery life testing results after three months of use

The only real downside of the 4300 package was the cheap travel case which does not latch properly or hold the toothbrush tightly.

You can use just about any Sonicare line brush head with the 4300, and we tested several varieties from the 2nd series (G2, C2, W2) to the 3rd series (G3, C3, W3) and found all of them to be excellent. The Gum Care (G) brushes are considered the softer, sensitive brushes. C stands for Plaque Control and is the one for general cleaning. W stands for Whitening.

Overall, this is a great electric toothbrush that will leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean. It comes with a 2-year warranty.

Toothbrush OVERALL SCORE Cleaning performance (40%) Comfort (25%) Features (10%) Build quality and design (10%) Battery life and charging (10%) Box contents (5%)
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4300 4.4 4.8 4.4 3.9 5.0 4.3 1.8

Premium Choice: DiamondClean Smart


If you are looking for luxury in a toothbrush, then this is the one for you. The DiamondCare Smart (HX9903/43) gives almost the same feeling of clean as the 4300, but it also includes more modes, more intensities, and an app with live coaching! You pay for all the added features, but you get a beautiful toothbrush that will do a great job cleaning your teeth for years to come!

When you pay this much for a brush, you have high expectations. Initially the DiamondClean Smart was pretty impressive. It came with 4 brush heads along with a tongue cleaning kit, charging cup, deluxe travel case, and a stylish amethyst-colored handle.

Stepping up to the DiamondClean Smart line will give you 5 modes each with 3 different intensities. We think that this is way more than you will use, but you do have lots of options.

You also get a bluetooth connected handle that allows you to track your brushing habits using the Philips Sonicare app. We found that this app is a bit dated and hard to navigate. We like the brushing coach that shows you a 3-D model of your mouth as you brush and tries to teach you how to improve your brushing habits. It was not 100% accurate, and the guided session is a bit restrictive, but it can help you touch up spots you may have missed after a 2-minute cleaning.

It also has other features such as Goals that allow you to customize your brushing to try to improve a specific area of oral health like “Fresh Breath” or “Gum health.” We did not find these useful as we would prefer to brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes without following some app.

This high-end model also comes with brush matching technology which automatically senses which brush head you have attached and then changes the mode automatically. For example, if you have the W3 (whitening) brush head, the brush will automatically switch to Whitening mode. You can override this option by manually selecting the mode you want.

The chips in the brush heads also record the length of time that you have used the brush head, so the app can tell you exactly how long you have been using your brush head, and it even offers a service to order brush heads from the app. We did not test this feature, but it seems like a good idea!

Battery life for the DiamondClean was better than expected giving us 37 days of battery life which is well-above the advertised 2 weeks. The glass cup which doubles as an induction charger will take almost 18 hours to completely recharge the battery.

The travel case is excellent with a built-in USB cable for charging on the go. It is nice looking, holds the brush and two brush heads, and will keep your brush safe when you travel.

We did have an issue with our first handle. It stopped working after discharging and fully charging it. We took it in for service, and Philips sent us a replacement in less than 48 hours. The second handle has worked perfectly, so we think that we got a dud. We were very happy with the customer service, and the brush comes with a 2-year warranty.

Toothbrush OVERALL SCORE Cleaning performance (40%) Comfort (25%) Features (10%) Build quality and design (10%) Battery life and charging (10%) Box contents (5%)
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 4.4 4.3 4.5 5.0 4.7 4.3 4.7

The Sonicare line explained

Starting at the bottom and working our way up…

Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes

The first rule of Sonicare is that all of their products begin with an HX followed by a stream of incomprehensible numbers, a slash and another set of numbers. This is the only way you know exactly which product you have.

Each line has a numerical designation, but each of these has variations based on the secret product code. You can easily type in the product code and find exactly the brush, right down to the color, that you want. But the model number will only lead to confusion and betrayal if you try too hard to try to find logic in their system.


So, at the bottom of the Sonicare line is the DailyClean series. These are the most basic and inexpensive sonicare brushes you can buy starting at under 30 euros (310 SEK / 27 GBP). There are 3 main model numbers, 1100, 2100, 3100. You can also get the 3200 and 3500 which are 3100s with extra stuff. The 3200 comes with a whitening brush head and the *500 designation usually means you get a travel case.

Essentially, all of these brushes are identical in what they offer. They have one mode, 31,000 movements per minute, 1 brush head, and that is about it. They are a good starter model if you are trying an electric toothbrush for the first time. They all have 2 minute quad pacers with 30 second intervals, and when you first use them, they start in a gentle mode that gradually increases in power to help you get used to having a sonic toothbrush. When I first started, even the beginner mode was a bit harsh for me, but you do get used to it.

One downside of this series is that these have the old NiCad batteries which do not last as long as the newer Lithium Ion batteries, so we would recommend stepping up to the next run on the Sonicare ladder.


The step up from the DailyClean series is the ProtectiveClean model. This is where you start to see some newer technology and better overall brushing experiences from the Sonicare line. I would call this the sweet spot!

The ProtectiveClean series is a step up from the Daily Clean in three important ways:

  1. Brush movements double to 62,000 per minute.
  2. You get a pressure sensor.
  3. The batteries are Lithium Ion.

In fact, the ProtectiveClean 4300, also known as the HX6800/03 (black handle), was our pick of the best of the best electric toothbrushes we tested here at TestHut. We think it offers everything you need in an electric toothbrush at a good price point, usually around 60 euros (620 SEK/ 54 GBP).

The ProtectiveClean series also includes the 4500, 5100 and 6100. Note there is also a 4500 which does come with the travel case and two brush heads instead of just one.

In our tests, the 4300 cleaned better than any other brush we tested, so all of its brothers, the 4500, 5100, and 6100 should also do a great job as they all use the same cleaning action and brush heads.

These brushes all come with pressure sensors to let you know if you are pushing too hard, and this helps protect your gums from over brushing. When you do push too hard, the brush will buzz and the vibrations will ease up letting you know.

The differences between these brushes is in the mode options and intensity control. We do not think modes and intensity controls matter that much in your daily brushing routine, which is why we recommend the 4300 with just a high and low intensity setting, but if you are interested in more modes then you can pay a bit more for the 4500, 5100, or 6100.


The 4300 also comes with a chip detector built into the handle so it automatically keeps track of how long you have been using your brush head. This feature helps remind you to update to a fresh set of bristles after 3 months. It comes standard with the C2 Optimal Plaque Defense brush head.


The 4500 model is almost the same at the 4300, but instead of 2 intensities, it offers two modes: daily clean and gum care. It has a 2nd button and indicator light to let you switch modes and see which mode you are in. It comes with the G2 Optimal Gum Care brush head.


The 5100 offers 3 modes: clean, gum care and white. It has two buttons allowing you to easily switch between these modes to find the one that you like the best. It also comes with 2 W2 Optimal White brush heads, which is nice since Sonicare brush heads are some of the most expensive on the market.


The 6100 is a step up offering the same 3 mode options as the 5100 but also included 3 intensities for each mode: low, medium and high. Which means you can mix and match modes with intensities, theoretically finding the perfect brushing program for you. It also comes with 2 W2 Optimal White brush heads.

The 5100 and 6100 also include the BrushSync feature which uses the chip detection to not only tell how long you have been using the brush head, but also automatically matches whichever brush head you use to the right mode. So if you switch from the Gum Care brush head to the Whitening brush head, the mode on the brush will automatically detect this and change. You can override the automatic syncing if you want to. This is a cool feature, but again, we aren’t sure if any of these modes are better than the daily clean mode.

All of these brushes come with the basic travel case that is not the best that Sonicare has to offer. Ours was actually kind of broken—the latch would not stay closed. We hope that we just had a dud.


The next model in the Sonicare line up is a one-off. There is only one model that gets the “ExpertClean” moniker, the 7300 (HX9611).

The ExpertClean 7300 offers the exact same cleaning as the 6100 with 3 modes and 3 intensities, but it offers a couple of bells and whistles that make it a bit more of a luxury brush.

With this model, you do not get the cheap plastic case that comes with the ProtectiveClean; instead, you get the deluxe charging travel case which is much nicer, and it comes with a built in USB plug to charge your brush on the go.

This also includes the BrushSync feature of the ProtectiveClean brushes.

In addition, you get a bluetooth connection so that you can record and monitor your brushing sessions using the Sonicare app. So this is the first brush in the Sonicare line up that will give you some smart features.

Again, we think that most of these additions are unnecessary for a healthy oral care routine, but if you like to have more features and options, and like a more deluxe, premium brush, then maybe this one is for you.


This is where the Sonicare lineup gets a bit strange. Notice right away that there is a DiamondClean series and a DiamondClean Smart series, and if you look these brushes up, you will notice a huge difference in price. This is because they really are brushes of a different bristle.

In fact, the DiamondClean (HX9351/52) brush (prior to 2020) is actually a step down from the 7300.

One major problem with this brush is that it doesn’t even come with a pressure sensor. It is near the top-of-the-line brush that Sonicare offers, but it is missing a basic feature that we think is pretty important. Why did Philips not include one? We don’t know, but it means we wouldn’t recommend this brush.

The DiamondClean is all about design. The brush is nice looking with a satin finish in four different colors. It also comes with a charging puck instead of the standard induction charger. This is a clear plastic puck that looks a bit more premium.

It does come with the USB charging travel case, which is nice.

It offers 5 modes with no intensity options: clean, white, sensitive, gum care, and deep clean. Again, most of the modes are pretty meaningless in practice. We would pretty much always default to the clean mode for the best daily cleaning. The deep clean mode is touted by Sonicare, and gives you a 3-minute brushing session instead of the normal 2. Wow!

The weirdest thing is that the standard DiamondClean does not give you access to the Philips Sonicare App. Only two brushes do that, the 7300 and the final brush in the Sonicare line—the DiamondClean Smart.

Update: Philips released the new DiamondClean 9000 (HX9911/53) for 2020 which is the DiamondClean Smart rebranded. It seems that they are eliminating the confusion between the DiamondClean with its lack of features (pressure sensor, bluetooth), and the DiamondClean Smart by making just one DiamondClean branded brush that has all the high-end features.

DiamondClean Smart

So now you see how confusing this is. The DiamondClean and DiamondClean Smart are not the same brush, and once you add the “smart” behind the name, the price basically doubles.

Now, there are multiple versions of the Sonicare flagship brush out in the wild, so take a close look at what they offer.

The original DiamondClean Smart, which we tested, comes with a lot more features than the newer model which we think is kind of ironic. The newer models come with a number, 9000/9300/9500/9700, so if you see one of these numbers, you know you are getting the one without all the goodies, albeit at a lower price.

The old models with all the bells and whistles are the HX9924/14 (black) or the HX9954/53 (lunar blue) HX9924/44 (grey). Based on our research, these models that come with everything are a bit hard to find and quite pricey starting at over 200 euros (2072 SEK / 180 GBP).

All of these DiamondClean Smarts offer everything the 7100 has in a beautiful satin-finish like the DiamondClean. They give you 5 modes to choose from with 3 intensities for a grand total of 15 options when you brush, which is more than anyone needs.

With the original package you get four brush heads, a glass charging cup, a deluxe travel case, and a tongue cleaner with a little bottle of mouthwash. You also get the DiamondClean Smart handle.

With the newer 9300 (HX9903) you get 3 different brush heads, the charging cup, travel case and 4 modes: Clean, White, Deep Clean, and Gum Health along with 3 intensities for each mode. You also have 5 colors to choose from: Black, grey, white, pink, and rose gold.

Both the 9500 (HX9924) and 9700 (HX9957/51) offer the premium USB charging case and 1 more mode than the 9300 adding the Tongue Care mode. The 9700 is identical to the 9500 except for the color, Lunar Blue, and it comes with 7 total brush heads while the 9500 comes with 4. You can get the 9500 in pink or black.

You can also find a 9750 which is the 9700 plus the deluxe brush head storage case. You can buy this accessory separately.

The main feature this brush offers, which is why it is so much more expensive than any of the others, is the “smart” coaching feature with the app.

The Philips Sonicare app is not the best electric toothbrush app on the market, but none that we tested are that great. One thing that this does do pretty well is give you real-time feedback as you brush to show you which teeth are being cleaned, and where you need to improve. It shows a 3-D display of a mouth and then shows you where to brush. As you do so, the teeth in the app will get cleaner, and at the end of the session, the app will allow you to touch up areas you may have missed, and give you a score with encouragement to do better next time.

It also keeps track of your brushing sessions and offers some custom modes to help you with specific oral health problems you might have like stained teeth or bad breath. Overall, the app is okay, but we feel like there are still lots of kinks to be worked out. Honestly, all the smart brushes we tested felt like beta versions with good ideas, but imperfect solutions.

We are not sure how effective these tools are for the average user. Overall, we do not think that smart features are worth the premium price that you pay. Basically they will show you how you are brushing and track your habits, but this isn’t something we see people using over the long run. The other issue is that Philips will collect your brushing data, so you might also think about that. However, if you want all the things that an electric toothbrush can offer with bragging rights, this is the brush to have!

Legacy Models

Because the world is a messy place, the product line that Philips offers is not cut and dry. It is hard to tell (even after hours of research and direct email contacts) which products have been discontinued.

And with Amazon and other online retailers, you may find brushes that have been out of production for years, but still for sale. With that in mind, here is a quick overview of some of the brushes you may find that are no longer in the official Sonicare production line.

Sonicare Essence 5600

I was very surprised to find that this brush is still available. This brush is interesting because rather than just having a replaceable brush head, the entire brushing mechanism is replaced each time you put on a new brush head. This was the first kind of sonicare toothbrush I owned circa 2012.

Some people love this brush because they claim it will last longer than the newer Sonicare brushes since the mechanism that creates the vibration is built into each new brush head. I can attest to the longevity of the brush because mine lasted for about 5 years before I finally said goodbye. The newest Sonicare brush that I bought only lasted for 2.

Philips charges an arm and a leg for replacement brush heads for this type of brush (about 10 euros apiece) but you can find reasonably priced generics that might make it worth giving it a try.

I would not recommend this legacy brush. One problem with this design was that water and gunk would accumulate in the base where the brush head would screw off and on. This black moldy gook seemed to be not only gross, but perhaps toxic. That fact alone would make me either avoid this brush completely or clean it diligently between each use.

FlexCare Platinum

This brush is intriguing because despite being discontinued, it is still one of the most expensive brushes available in the Philips line.

It offers a feature that no other Sonicare brush has: A brush head base that includes a UV sanitizer. We had explored a few of these types of brushes in our initial research, but found that most reputable studies show no significant benefits from having a UV sanitizer for brush heads. But it seems like a cool idea.

The Platinum is basically a precursor to the DiamondClean Smart series with 3 modes and 3 intensities and a pressure sensor. It also claims to connect to the app and have real-time brush coaching. We have not tested it, but it seems like a very advanced brush!


This is basically the precursor to the DailyClean series offering one mode and the most basic cleaning of any Sonicare brush.

Philips Sonicare brush head guide

If you go to the Philips website and look at brush heads, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. I counted 22 distinct brush head offerings, so how can you know which one to choose?

I know that in the past, when I tried to find replacement brush heads for my Sonicare, I just looked in the local electronics store and tried to find the most brush heads for the best price without worrying which ones they were. I was surprised to notice that I had bought Whitening brush heads without even noticing.

Once you know what to look for, the system is pretty easy to understand. In general, there are 3 series of modern Sonicare brush heads. The first series which are called ProResults have no numbers, and the brush heads do not come with chips, so you will not get the benefit of brush syncing, but you may save some money as they are less expensive.

The second series all have a letter followed by the number 2. These include C2 (Optimal Plaque Defense), G2 (Optimal Gum Care) and W2 (Optimal White). They all come with chips and come in both black and white colors. We tested these with our 4300 and found that they did an excellent job of cleaning, and they are comfortable to use.

Philips Sonicare series 2 heads

The current brush heads are series 3 which follow the same pattern as the second series. You have the C3 (Premium Plaque Defense), G3 (Premium Gum Care) and W3 (Premium White). You can tell the difference between the 3 and 2 series because these are a bit larger and include a silicone bumper on the sides for comfort.

Brush heads that come with the Sonicare DiamondClean

We didn’t feel or see much of a difference while testing in terms of cleaning effectiveness between the 2nd and 3rd series brush heads. We would recommend that you choose the one that best fits your budget and personal taste. For sensitive teeth, we recommend the Gum Care brush heads, and for general cleaning, the Plaque Defense heads are the best.

You can also find a tongue cleaner starter kit that comes with a special tongue cleaning brush and bottle of mouthwash. But it is a bit overpriced at 21 pounds.

Another specialized brush head is the Intercare brush head which is more compact than the standard brush heads, and may be more comfortable for people with smaller mouths. They claim that it reaches between teeth and hard to reach areas better than the larger brushes.

You can also buy off-brand brushes at Amazon and other outlets, but based on our research, we would recommend getting the genuine Philips brushes for best results.


Electric toothbrush Philips Sonicare vs manual

It took a time, sweat, tears, and frustration to work out the Philips product line and give you a guide that will help you choose the best Sonicare brush for you. In the end, we hope that this helps you make sense of it all.

After testing the Sonicare line up, we are confident that any brush you choose will do a great job of keeping your teeth clean.

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