If you're in search of the best sonic toothbrush on the market, look no further than Philips Sonicare. Philips Sonicare is one of the biggest names in electric toothbrushes in the UK, with their flagship product the DiamondClean Prestige 9900 leading the way in toothbrush tech.
While there are other brands to consider, none can match the quality and innovation that Philips offers. So, to make the decision a bit easier for you, we've compiled this article with Sonicare toothbrush reviews.
We'll compare and review different models so you can find the best Sonicare toothbrush for you, but we've also included some lesser-known sonic toothbrush brands which you might want to consider.
Table of contents
The best sonic toothbrushes
Best for on the go
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4300
SmileTime Sonic Smile Electric Toothbrush
Best for noise reduction tech
Sonicare 9900 Prestige: Best sonic toothbrush overall
We hope this guide helps you understand your options so you can make a more informed decision about your oral care.
Best Sonicare toothbrushes for 2023
The best sonic toothbrush for you will depend on a few factors, including your budget and the number of features you want.
We aren't going to cover all the different Sonicare models here, but we are going to look at some of the most up-to-date and popular Sonicare toothbrushes for 2023. These are roughly sorted according to their pricing and features, starting with the top-of-the-range Sonicare DiamondClean Prestige.
Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige
The Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige is the latest addition to the Sonicare electric toothbrush range, and it comes packed with advanced technology to improve your oral health.
Here's a list of some of its key features:
- Philips' patented sonic technology for superior cleaning
- Advanced sensors that provide personalised feedback and detect missed spots
- 5 cleaning modes: clean, white+, deep clean+, gum health & sensitive
- 1 brush head: 1 x A3 Premium All-in-One
- Compatibility with the Philips Sonicare app for real-time guidance and personalised recommendations
- 62,000 movements/minute
- Battery life: 2-3 weeks
- Try and Buy a subscription service for a 12-month trial period
- Automatic brush head delivery every 3 months
- Monthly payments end after 12 months or when you cancel.
Of course, this all comes at a cost. While the Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige toothbrush offers advanced features for comprehensive dental care, it does come with a higher price tag – but let's not forget the Try and Buy option.
This allows you to try the toothbrush before you commit to buying it, then you have 12 monthly payments which makes the toothbrush much more affordable if you want to spread out the cost!
So is it worth paying this much for a smart toothbrush with an app? A fair few Philips Sonicare reviews say the app is a bit of a gimmick, but others find it really helpful. Here's one DiamondClean reviewer explaining why:
“Although initially it seemed overkill having so many features on a toothbrush, this is by far the best I’ve owned. Pressure sensors, guided brushing (using the iOS app), customisable profiles (speed, vibration etc). Great product.”– Michael Eason
If you truly love Sonicare brushes and have the money to spend then you probably won't be disappointed by the DiamondClean Prestige 9900.
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100
Next up, let's look at a more mid-range sonic toothbrush, the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100. With three cleaning modes and one intensity, you still get quite a lot of control over your brush. It also has a pressure sensor and BrushSync technology.
This brush doesn't have Bluetooth connectivity or a USB charging case. You just get a standard charger stand in a colour to match your brush (it comes in black, pink and white).
The ProtectiveClean 5100 comes with two Optimal White brush heads, so it's designed to whiten your teeth as you brush. Pair with a whitening toothpaste for better results. But if you prefer another type of Sonicare head, you can easily switch to another kind (more details on these below).
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4300
Probably the best value Sonicare toothbrush if you don't need too many bells and whistles is the ProtectiveClean 4300.
It has all the basics to help you brush better: a pressure sensor, timer, 2 intensity settings, and the BrushSync technology. With brushing speeds up to 62,000 movements per minute, you get the power of the DiamondClean without the price tag.
On the downside, there's only one brushing mode and it just comes with one Optimal Plaque Defence brush head. You still get a travel case, but it doesn't double up as a charger. In terms of colours, you can choose from black, pink and blue.
One reviewer gives some useful insight into how this model compares to the DiamondCare:
“Bought to replace a diamondcare brush that I had for two years but took a few too many knocks, I never used the 6 different settings on the diamondcare and the intensity that this more basic model is the same as what the diamondcare provides just without the bells and whistles.”
Philips One Toothbrush
The Philips One is the latest Sonicare toothbrush to hit the market. It is their most colourful toothbrush and is designed to be a step up from a manual toothbrush that is convenient, portable and simple to use.
When you buy a Philips One toothbrush you have the option of either the rechargeable version or the battery-powered version.
While it is not their cheapest toothbrush, it is definitely not the most expensive and with its bright fun colour scheme, it will make you smile every time you use it!
It is slim, compact, easy to grip and comes in a range of different colours for you to choose from depending on whether you go for the battery or rechargeable variant.
The colours of the battery variant include Miami (coral pink), Mango (yellow), Mint, and Midnight (dark blue). If you go for the rechargeable toothbrush the colour options are Shimmer, Shadow and Snow.
The Philips One is, as mentioned above, meant to be a step up from a manual toothbrush. It has only one cleaning mode, but it does pulse when it's time to change the area in your mouth that you are cleaning.
When you buy this toothbrush it comes with either a built-in rechargeable battery and a USB-A to USB-C cable or a replaceable AAA battery depending on which variant you go for. It also comes with the following:
1 x Philips One electric toothbrush
1 x Philips One brush head
1 x Philips One travel case
1 x Information guide
There are some downsides to the Philips One, due to the fact that the bottom of the toothbrush is rounded, you cannot stand it up in the bathroom. This isn't a major issue and is easily resolved by keeping the toothbrush in its case or in any store-bought toothbrush holder.
The motor is also less powerful than other electric toothbrushes, but as this toothbrush is designed to be a step up from a manual toothbrush this is to be expected.
But, if you're looking for something in between a manual toothbrush and an electric toothbrush, this could be the toothbrush for you.
You can easily take it wherever you go and the travel case helps make that easier by just snapping on. It's also fun looking and does the job so if you're interested in checking out Sonicare's latest toothbrush click here to learn more!
What is the best Sonicare toothbrush?
That's a lot to take in, and we haven't even gotten onto other sonic toothbrush brands yet! There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the best Sonicare toothbrush. The decision all comes down to what you are looking for in a toothbrush. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you want a low price, a high price, or a mid-range price?
- Do you want something with a lot of modes?
- Does style matter to you?
- Will an app help you brush better?
Have a look at the following Sonicare toothbrush comparison table so you can figure out what may be the best model for you.
Brush heads included
Yes, USB charging
Yes, USB charging
Timer and quadpacer?
Where to buy?
It's worth noting that all of these come with the standard Philips Sonicare warranty of 24 months, plus a 28-day satisfaction guarantee. Although they may be more expensive than some others we mention below, you know you are getting a high-quality product from a well-known brand.
- 20 x more efficient than competitors
- Luxurious leather-look USB travel charging case
- 1 x all-in-one brush head that adjusts automatically
- 90-day risk-free trial
- “Try & Buy” option available
Philips Sonicare toothbrush heads
If you thought the choice of Sonicare toothbrushes was confusing, wait until you see the range of Philips Sonicare heads to accompany them! They currently make seven different types of brush heads for adults (and one for kids).
You might have noticed that Sonicare brush head replacements are quite expensive compared to Oral-B and other brands. Some of those listed below have an RRP of around £13 per head!
One of the reasons they cost so much is that they use BrushSync technology so the brush automatically knows which mode to use depending on the type of head you attach.
It also reminds you when it's time to switch to a new head, although these features are only available on more advanced compatible Sonicare models. Even if your toothbrush isn't smart enough to remind you to change your brush head, they all feature special fade-away bristles to indicate when it's time to bin your current one.
Most Philips Sonicare brush heads are available in black or white to match your toothbrush and in packs of 2, 4 or 8. They are compatible with all the Sonicare toothbrushes we featured here but check compatibility if you have an older model.
One annoyance some people have with these heads is that they don't give you a way to distinguish whose is whose. Whereas Oral-B and some others have coloured bands to personalise the heads, Sonicare toothbrush heads all look the same.
Best of the rest: sonic toothbrush reviews
Obviously, Sonicare is not the only sonic toothbrush out there. In fact, there are many great brands on the market today, including some that send you replacement heads on subscription. Here's a brief summary of just some of the best alternatives to Sonicare.
SmileTime Sonic Smile Electric Toothbrush
SmileTime's Sonic Smile Electric Toothbrush features the latest sonic technology to help you have a clean and healthy mouth. With five different modes and up to 40,000 brush strokes per minute, this toothbrush will gently remove plaque, discolouration and bacteria while massaging the gums with DuPont Bristles.
The Sonic Smile Electric Toothbrush is simple to use with only one button power and mode selection and a 1-minute smart timer so you know how long to brush. Your teeth will never look or feel better.
- 5 modes: Clean, white, polish, soft and sensitive
- Smart timer: 2-minute brushing
- Battery life: Up to one month
- Bristles: DuPont Bristles, which gently massage gums and whiten teeth as they polish
- Brush Strokes: 40,000 strokes/min
- Easy to use: One button power and mode selection
With the SmileTime Sonic Smile Electric Toothbrush, you can subscribe to replace your heads every 3 months and save 10%.
Oclean X Pro Elite toothbrush
If you like the idea of a smart sonic toothbrush but don't have the budget for the big names, give the Oclean X Pro Elite a try. Retailing at under £125, you get a lot of great features for the money, including:
- A built-in touchscreen to control settings
- 4 brushing modes
- 32 intensity levels up to 42,000 strokes/minute
- An app with 20 brushing plans to help you achieve your goals
- A low-noise motor
- 35-day battery life
- 3.5 hour charging time
Although you can use the app to track your brushing and improve your technique, one cool feature of the Oclean X is that the built-in display instantly shows you your ‘brushing blind spots' so you can go back over any bits you've missed without having to consult your phone.
“Great quality and really good cleaning results. I used to have Philips (a £100 version) and this is as good if not better. I love that you can set the brushing strength to almost nothing and start with gentle vibrations and build it up as you keep getting used to it,” says one happy user.
Here's a short video to show how it works:
Oclean Flow toothbrush
Oclean has a few budget toothbrushes in its range of sonic toothbrushes, the latest one being the Oclean Flow. It's a classic style toothbrush with a fun wavy design on the handle that costs less than £60 for those not looking to spend a great deal of money.
And, if you aren't looking for a sonic toothbrush with all the smart features and just want a simple, no-fuss option then the Flow could be a good choice for you. But, don't worry it still has a few great features, such as:
- Pure Tone™ ultrasonic active noise reduction technology
- 5 modes: morning, night, standard cleaning, whitening and gentle
- 2 minutes Smart Timer and 30 second Reminder
- 38000 RPM Motor Cleaning Power
- 2.5 hours charging time
- 180 Days Long Standby
- IPX7 Waterproof
If you want to know more about Oclean's range of electric toothbrushes, you can read our full review here.
Truthbrush Bamboo Sonic Electric Toothbrush Heads
If you want a sustainable replacement toothbrush head that is fully recyclable and made from bamboo, then Truthbrush's Bamboo Sonic Electric Toothbrush Heads are a perfect choice.
Truthbrush has been around since 2015, and they know what they're doing when it comes to oral care. Their bamboo toothbrush heads fit Philips Sonicare 9 series brush so no need to buy a new base.
Other ‘recyclable’ heads on the market are still plastic which can only be recycled once into a lower-grade product. Some other bamboo heads even contain a hidden plastic core.
Truthbrush Bamboo Toothbrush Heads are made of sustainably sourced bamboo with medium plant-based bristles, which means you won't have to worry about the impact of your toothbrush on the environment.
They're fully recyclable, vegan-friendly and come in 100% recyclable packaging. And, the company donates 1% of its profits to environmental non-profits that are creating positive change around the world.
What is a sonic toothbrush?
A sonic toothbrush is any kind of electric toothbrush that relies on very fast movements to clean the teeth. We feel these movements as a vibration because they occur between 10,000 and 60,000 times per minute.
Sonic toothbrushes typically fall into one of two categories based on the movement they make: rotating-oscillating and side-to-side.
These can be paired with a pulsing motion for more thorough cleaning. Oral-B sonic toothbrushes are an example of rotating-oscillating brushes, while Philips Sonicare brush heads use a side-to-side motion.
Which is better? Although some research points towards rotating-oscillating (e.g. Oral-B) brushes providing a better clean, the reality is that both types will clean your teeth well if you use them correctly.
This means brushing twice a day, including once before bedtime; brushing for at least two minutes; using fluoride toothpaste, and flossing once a day as well. There's more on how to brush teeth properly in our separate guide.
We have a separate guide dedicated to Oral-B electric toothbrushes so we haven't included those here. Instead, we will focus on Sonicare toothbrush reviews and other sonic brushes which use a similar side-to-side vibrating motion.
Sonic vs ultrasonic toothbrushes
But what about ultrasonic toothbrushes? These use ultrasonic waves to break up plaque, rather than a physical brushing motion, with a much higher speed of around 1.5 million movements per second. This is sometimes combined with the more traditional sonic movements as well.
A quick online search will bring up a number of ‘ultrasonic' toothbrushes which are simply incorrectly labelled. If they provide anything up to around 60,000 movements per minute, they are sonic rather than ultrasonic.
At the time of writing, the Emmi-Dent Professional Toothbrush is the only truly ultrasonic toothbrush available on Amazon. Megasonex is another brand to look out for.
Since ultrasonic toothbrushes are really not a mainstream product in the UK, from this point we will just look at the best sonic toothbrushes available today.
Philips Sonicare Toothbrushes
Sonicare electric toothbrushes, made by health technology company Philips, are electric toothbrushes that combine two methods to brush teeth:
- A high-speed brushing motion that scrubs away plaque
- Sonic technology that pulses water between teeth and around the gumline to disrupt plaque beyond where the bristles actually reach
Sonicare toothbrushes are clinically tested and most models have built-in smart sensors to help you improve your brushing technique.
The best Sonicare toothbrushes have 62,000 brush movements per minute, which they claim gives you the equivalent of a whole month's worth of manual brushing in just two minutes. No, this doesn't mean that you only have to brush your teeth once a month if you have a Sonicare brush, it's just a bit of hyperbole on the part of Philips to really drive home the point.
Plus the majority of dentists would say that it's not so important what brush you use, the most important thing is that you brush twice a day, every day, and floss daily as well. Read about how to floss and the best products to use if it's something you've never quite got the hang of.
How to use a Sonicare toothbrush
If you've never used a Sonicare toothbrush before, the good news is it's not all that different to a manual toothbrush. It just does some of the hard work for you! We recommend you check the instructions to see whether you need to charge the brush before its first use, etc. But in terms of how to use a Sonicare toothbrush, here are the basic steps to follow:
- Wet the bristles
- Apply your toothpaste
- Place bristles against teeth at a 45-degree angle towards the gum line
- Press the power button
- Applying light pressure, move the brush head slowly across your teeth
- You don't need to scrub, the toothbrush will do this for you
- Make sure you cover all surfaces of each tooth as you brush
Here's how it looks in practice:
The best sonic toothbrush is not necessarily the most expensive. Market leaders Sonicare and Oral-B make some excellent brushes with advanced technology to help you see how to improve your technique.
But if you don't have the budget for their high-tech toothbrushes, you can still get a great clean and improve your oral hygiene with a more basic version.
To decide which sonic toothbrush is right for you, begin by choosing your price range and deciding which features you'd like.
Ultimately, the important thing is that you keep up with proper brushing habits. You can achieve stellar oral health with either a manual or electric toothbrush. It's just up to you to decide whether you also want some extra features to help with your brushing.
Our top pick is the Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900, you can see prices on the Philips website and check out the Try and Buy subscription option!
Are sonic electric toothbrushes really better?
Although you should be able to clean your teeth perfectly well with a manual brush, most of us struggle with the optimal technique recommended by dentists. Electric toothbrushes help make brushing more effective and added features like timers and apps help you ensure you're brushing evenly and for the right amount of time.
So ultimately, having a sonic electric toothbrush may well help you keep your teeth cleaner than a manual brush. If you're really unsure whether to make the switch, ask your dentist what they recommend based on your current oral health.
Can sonic toothbrushes damage teeth?
If used properly, a sonic toothbrush won't damage your teeth. Just like with any toothbrush, you should make sure that your toothbrush head has bristles that aren't too hard on your teeth and gums and you shouldn't apply too much pressure while brushing. Also, replace your brush head every three months so that the bristles don't become too frayed.
Is Sonicare or Oral-B better?
There has been some research into which type of brush head does a better job, and rotating-oscillating ones like Oral-B often come out slightly ahead. However, the results aren't drastic.
Ultimately, both Sonicare and Oral-B will do a great job cleaning your teeth if you use them correctly. And both offer basic models and super ultra-luxe brushes. You could argue that Oral-B tends to offer better value when compared with Sonicare, but your choice may just come down to whether you prefer a rotating-oscillating motion (Oral-B) or back-and-forth brushing motion with sonic vibrations (Sonicare). Both will get the job done!
NCBI: A six-month clinical comparison of the efficacy of the Sonicare and the Braun Oral-B electric toothbrushes on improving periodontal health in adult periodontitis patients. Consulted 29th June 2020.
Oral Health Foundation: Electric toothbrushes win the head-to-head against manual in record breaking new study. Consulted 29th June 2020.