Should you pick a Philips Sonicare or Oral-B electric toothbrush? It’s a question many people have. And in this article, we are going to explain some of the key differences and help you make that decision.
We’ve used many electric toothbrushes over the years, including those from Oral-B and Philips Sonicare as well as many other brands. And in this article, we are going to help you decide which brand is right for you.
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Choosing between Sonicare and Oral-B can be very difficult. There are pros and cons to either, while one might be more cost effective, the other may have a more appealing feature.
Only in certain circumstances will one stand out as the clear winner.
There may well be evidence that suggests Oral-B cleans the teeth better, but that only applies if you’re using the toothbrush correctly. Ultimately, both companies produce a number of really good products.
Our recommendation is worry less about the brand and worry more about how and when you use the toothbrush. Perfecting your brushing routine will deliver more positive results to your oral health, than selecting one particular brand over another.
So it’s more important to just pick a brush and use it than to worry too much about which particular electric toothbrush you use.
But we do have some key recommendations of brushes you should opt for depending on where you live.
If you live in the USA, we recommend you check out the Oral-B Smart 1500 and the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100.
If you live in Canada, we recommend you check out the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 and the Oral-B Pro 2000.
And if you live in the UK or Europe, select the Oral-B Pro 2 2500 or the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4300.
Those are our top recommendations of brushes from either brand based on your region.
Now, those recommendations can potentially change from one specific country to another, and models can change in time. But what we are ultimately saying is pick one of the better value option brushes from either of those companies because most of the time that’s going to do everything you need to help you achieve better oral health.
Then focus on correcting or perfecting your brushing technique, the amount of time that you brush for and your routine around your oral health and you will see many positive benefits.
So with that covered, we are now going to look at each brand in a bit more detail. Now, what we need to be aware of is we are comparing brands.
Both brands make a number of different electric toothbrushes and you can compare those individual brushes with each other, as you can compare these particular brands.
So there are definitely some sweeping generalizations we are going to have to make in the comparison, because we’re not focusing on particular brushes.
There’s going to be some element of personal opinion that comes in here, and there are arguments for and against both brands for all of the categories that we are going to cover in this article.
But what we’ve tried to do is pick out the key categories that might be most important to you and give you what we consider to be our recommendation of brand for that specific thing.
So if you’re specifically looking for a quiet toothbrush, we’ll recommend which brand to go for. If you’re specifically looking for a toothbrush that will work well for families, then we’ll recommend whether you should go for Oral-B or Sonicare.
So let us go through that list and give a little bit of context to each one as to why.
Which has the best brushing technology?
Well, that goes to Oral-B.
Now whilst both toothbrushes will clean your teeth really well, if the brush is used correctly, Oral-B tends to come out on top in most of the clinical data.
Now it is clear that more study is needed to actually determine which is better, but most studies do side with Oral-B in being the better option, thanks to its small oscillating, rotating and pulsating brush head.
We personally do prefer the cleaning action of Oral-B. It feels slightly more intense and thorough after use. And that might be a sensation that you don’t particularly like the sound of.
To us the Sonicare is a little bit more gentle. It certainly leaves our teeth feeling lovely and clean, but we don’t feel it’s quite as intense as Oral-B, but we’ve got no reason to doubt the cleaning capabilities of either of these brands of brushes.
Which has the best design?
Well, for us, that is Philips Sonicare. Of course, this is open to debate and more recent models from Oral-B including the IO, have significantly improved the design, but for a longer time now, in our opinion, the design of Philips Sonicare toothbrushes has been premium.
Now we will argue that the likes of Oral-B brushes had more grips on their handle and things like that. So they’re perhaps slightly more comfortable to hold, but Sonicare brushes have looked the classier, the more premium, the more desirable product to own.
They often feel a little bit better, the build quality and the way the handle has been designed is often better.
Simple things in terms of the design of having a dedicated cleaning mode button that’s more commonplace on Sonicare toothbrushes than it is Oral-B, and that’s a really useful addition.
Which has the most features?
Well, this is a bit of a closely fought one, but we think that goes to Sonicare.
They tend to have more features particularly on the top of the line brushes in terms of the technology and stuff that’s actually built into the brush. Be it the multiple cleaning modes, be it the Bluetooth connectivity, the ability to track individual brush heads.
Sonicare have upped their game in recent years that probably would previously have gone to Oral-B.
Both have lots of features. Absolutely. And a lot of these features are things that you don’t necessarily need. But in terms of the number of features, that goes to a Sonicare.
Which is the quietest?
Without a shadow of a doubt is Philips Sonicare. Oral-B have definitely got quieter with the new Oral-B IO, but it’s still much louder than the Philips Sonicare toothbrushes.
There’s much more of a mechanical sound that comes from a lot of the Oral-B electric toothbrushes, where the Sonicare brushes provide more of an audible humming sound.
And the way we can best describe it is if you’re brushing your teeth with an Oral-B toothbrush, and somebody is asleep in the room next to the bathroom, you’d want to shut the door with the Oral-B brush, but you could possibly get away with brushing your teeth with the door open with the Philips Sonicare.
Which has the most accessories?
Well, typically that is the Oral-B range of brushes. Of course it does vary from one model to another, but you can often purchase accessories separately, but a lot of Oral-B brushes come with more accessories.
In addition to the charging stands, you may get more brush heads, a brush head storage compartment, a holder for your smartphone, a travel case, a pouch case, there are various different accessories that will come provided. Some will have a smartphone holder that clips onto the wall or sits on the countertop.
There are lots of different potential accessories that can be provided with the different toothbrushes, but as a general rule, more accessories available for Oral-B electric toothbrushes.
Which has the best battery life?
Well that’s Sonicare again. Oral-B have upped their game and the vast majority now have two weeks of battery life. However, Sonicare typically claim a minimum of two weeks battery life, and more often than not, supply around three to four weeks, if not a little bit more.
We think Sonicare underrate the performance of their batteries. And you will find that you have to recharge a Sonicare toothbrush less frequently than you do with an Oral-B.
Which is the most innovative?
Well this is a closely fought race. For many years, it was actually Oral-B because they brought more smart technology to their toothbrush ahead of Philips Sonicare.
However, in more recent years that has gotten a lot better with Sonicare. We think they’ve surpassed Oral-B in terms of the technology and the technology they’re implementing is arguably more useful.
One of the more recent additions is brushing technology, which will actually remind you when you need to replace your brush head or it will select the most appropriate cleaning mode based on the brush head you select.
And we think that’s slightly more useful technology than we’re seeing with the likes of Oral-B at the moment. Of course that can naturally change with new models, but for us at the moment it’s Sonicare.
Which is the best quality?
We think that does go to Philips Sonicare. It depends how you define quality and reliability.
Often the two are linked, but we look at the quality of materials on the Sonicare brushes and they feel more premium, potentially a little bit more durable than some of the Oral-B models.
That’s not to say Oral-B is inferior by any means. It’s a really closely fought race. But we do think that the materials and quality
are a bit better on Philips Sonicare.
Which is the cheapest?
This does vary from model to model and from one country to another. But as a general rule Oral-B brushes are more affordable.
While Sonicare wins in a lot more categories than Oral-B at this time, this is where Oral-B actually becomes perhaps the go-to brand for many people, because of the overall value for money that they actually offer.
Whilst you may be able to pick up better technology in certain Sonicare hairbrushes, most people want a really good value offering. And this is where Oral-B excel at providing really good value products.
Sonicare do, but it is more common for Oral-B to be the better value option in most markets.
Best for Families
Which is best for families?
We think that goes to Oral-B again. This is linked to the number of accessories that are available in the box or available to purchase separately. It also goes to way in which the brush handles work, the cost of the replacement.
Brush heads for Oral-B tend to be a little bit cheaper. You also get colored rings on a lot of Oral-B brush heads or some form of indicator icons that allow you to easily identify whose brush is who’s. You don’t get that with Philips Sonicare.
So if you had multiple users of Sonicare brush heads in your family, it might be difficult to say whose brush head is who’s, because you haven’t got a colored ring or any clear identifiers to whose head is who’s.
So for us, Oral-B wins in terms of being best for families.
Best For Travelers
In terms of best for travel, that goes to the Philips Sonicare. This is based on a number of factors.
Firstly, being the battery life tends to be better than Oral-B models. So the extended battery life to these models means you can travel for longer, without needing to recharge or take your charging stand with you.
You also have more models that come with a travel case that you can actually charge the toothbrush inside. So that’s also quite convenient for those who do travel and those travel cases that Sonicare offer can be powered via a USB port.
When you compare that to the likes of Oral-B, they do provide travel cases that charge the toothbrush inside but they tend to require a proprietary power adapter, which is less convenient for those on the go.
Imagine you’re a backpacker, traveling through different countries. You don’t necessarily want to take a bulky power adapter. And when you use the Sonicare toothbrush, the fact that has a USB cable built into the case can be considerably more convenient because USB cables and USB connections are internationally accepted.
The last key category is which is best in terms of warranty?
Both typically come with a two year warranty but more often than not you will be able to extend your warranty with Oral-B. It does depend from one region to another, but in the UK, for example, you can extend it for an additional year.
So you get three years in total and you don’t see that so frequently with Philips Sonicare whereas you do with Oral-B. That adds to the overall value the Oral-B offers.
The fact that you can get essentially a free year, adds a real peace of mind for a lot of people. So in terms of the best for warranty, that is Oral-B.
We are acutely aware that we’ve covered a number of different topics or categories around these toothbrushes. Some of which may or may not be more appropriate for you.
We are also aware that we’ve made some generalizations and it could be argued for either brand and we don’t want to get bogged down in the detail.
What we really want to stress here is that both of these brands are really good. And for one person or another, there may be slight differences and one may stand out.
But for us, we could happily use both brushes on a daily basis. Just focus more on picking one brush, using it, improving your brushing routine, your technique, and your oral health will thank you.
We hope this comparison has made your decision a little bit easier.