Which Philips Sonicare toothbrush should you buy?

Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige next to charging case
(Image credit: Future)

Philips makes some of the best electric toothbrushes around, but is its Sonicare range good, and which brush the right one for you?

First, the basics: all Sonicare toothbrushes use a sweeping motion (unlike the oscillating movement of many other brushes) and move up to 62,000 times per minute. The idea is that these high-frequency movements gently drive water between your teeth to remove plaque and food without hard brushing that can damage your gums.

Philips isn't the only company whose toothbrushes are designed to protect your gums (higher-end Oral-B brushes automatically reduce speed if you press too hard) but you'll find the sonic tech in the entire range of Sonicare brushes, from the simple DailyClean through to the DiamondClean 9000.

All Sonicare toothbrushes also have a two-minute timer, and will pulse to alert you by pulsing every 30 seconds so you know how long to spend brushing each quadrant of your mouth, but there are many differences across the range as well.

Here we've rounded up the key difference between the various Sonicare electric toothbrushes so you can make an informed choice and decide which is right for you.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 series

The Sonicare DiamondClean 9000, 9300, 9500 and 9750 are Philips's top-end electric toothbrushes  with Bluetooth connectivity so you can link the handle to the Philips app on your phone. That might sound like overkill, but it's actually a very handy feature if you want to improve your brushing technique, giving you guidance to help you clean your mouth more thoroughly.

There's also a pressure sensor to warn you if you're pressing too hard with the brush, plus three brushing intensity levels and four modes.

When you connect a Philips 'smart' toothbrush head, brushes in the DiamondClean 9000 line will automatically pick the most appropriate mode, then you can dial the intensity up or down to suit your preferences. The handle also logs how long you've been using the head for, and warns you when it's time for a replacement.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean series

The regular Philips Sonicare DiamondClean is a stylish electric toothbrush that's a particularly good choice for frequent travellers thanks to its carry case and 14-day battery life. Its smart charging puck is powered up via USB, so there's no need to worry if your hotel bathroom doesn't have a suitable power outlet.

It has five brushing modes (clean, white, sensitive, gum care and deep clean), but is only supplied with a single brush head.

This is the best-looking Sonicare brush, and is available in black, pink, rose gold and white to suit your bathroom.

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean series

There are several ProtectiveClean brushes, but all have similar specifications. Unlike the DiamondClean, toothbrushes in the ProtectiveClean range have a pressure sensor, and will warn you if you're applying too much force when you brush. This is great for anyone who tends to be a bit heavy-handed, and has been warned that they're at risk of damaging their enamel.

ProtectiveClean brushes have fewer cleaning modes than the DiamondClean (between one and three), though most have several intensity options so you should still be able to find one that suits you.

Philips Sonicare DailyClean series

The DailyClean line is the most affordable range of Sonicare toothbrushes. Whether you choose the DailyClean 1100, 2100, or 3100, you'll get a single brushing mode and a timer to help you spend 30 seconds brushing each quadrant of your month.

All Sonicare DailyClean brushes are supplied with one brush head and last up to two weeks on a single charge, but only the DailyClean 3100 has a light to indicate the current battery status, which is a very useful feature. The 1100 and 1200 may be cheaper, but we think it's worth paying a little extra for the battery indicator so your brush doesn't run flat.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)