Philips Sonicare Toothbrush vs Oral-B Pro: Which One’s Best for You?

Here’s the thing with toothbrushes: what’s right for me won’t necessarily be right for you. We all have different mouths, different requirements, different needs, different habits. One toothbrush is never going to suit everybody. So this isn’t going to be one of those articles where the writer comes out firmly in favor of the Philips Sonicare toothbrush range or tells you that you can absolutely never go wrong with an Oral-B Pro Genius 8000. If you want that kind of review, there are plenty around.

No, instead, we’re going to focus on the most important feature of all toothbrushes: you—the user of the toothbrush.

A User-Focused Review

More specifically, we’re going to look at which toothbrush, from either the Sonicare range or Oral-B’s Pro range, is best suited to which kind of user.

Are you on a budget?  A coffee or tea addict? A smoker? Buying for your kid? Looking for a great travel option? Someone who needs a smaller brush head? A gadget-loving early adopter? Sensitive to noise? Do you have sensitive teeth or gum problems? And so on…

All those scenarios are going to mean different priorities in your buying choices. We’ll cover them all below.

And why only those two brands?

Because, whether it’s a Philips Sonicare toothbrush or an Oral-B Pro, they’re undeniably the market leaders, the most commonly recommended brands, the brands to come up with the newest technology (we hesitate to use the phrase ‘cutting edge’ in relation to something you stick in your mouth!) and most innovative features. On top of that, they’re trusted and they’re reliable.

But before we get to use case scenarios, here’s a general introduction to what electric toothbrushes have to offer and the main difference between the two brands.

What’s So Good About an Electric Toothbrush?

It’s very easy to see electric toothbrushes as gadgets for the lazy—how hard is it to brush your teeth anyway?

But the reason they exist isn’t to alleviate some sort of epidemic of wrist-specific laziness or dental-hygiene-induced RSI…

It’s because, yes, brushing your teeth is actually a little more complicated than many of us think.

Firstly, dentists recommend a 2-minute toothbrushing session. Ideally with a soft-bristled brush.

Next, they recommend against brushing too hard; sawing away at your gums and eroding your enamel. But what is too hard here? How can you easily tell? And do you get it right every time you brush? Not to mention that some people will need to brush harder/softer than others.

Then there are the various brushing techniques your hygienist will teach you to ensure you’re reaching the plaque building up around and under the gums, and so on.

Lastly, dentists recommend you replace your toothbrush around every three months, or whenever it seems to have worn out. Which all kind of depends on how hard you brush, how often, and how soft the bristles are…

Electric toothbrushes exist precisely to make all this much simpler and more consistent.

Electric Toothbrushes Make Oral Care Simple and Consistent

Are you pressing too hard? A good electric toothbrush has sensors to tell you.

Have you done your 2 minutes? Some brushes will not only tell you when 2 minutes is up, but also remind you every 30 seconds to move on to a new section of your teeth.

Are you reaching the plaque around your gums? Yep, your brush-head moves in that weird way to make sure you’re doing exactly that. (And whether it’s an Oral-B or a Philips Sonicare toothbrush, it works.)

You get the picture.

And not only do electric toothbrushes make brushing consistent and in line with dentists’ recommendations but different features and changeable brush heads make it possible to find one for pretty much anyone’s needs.

Which brings us to our use case scenarios…

However, first, there’s one last thing we need to cover.

Philips Sonicare Toothbrush vs. Oral-B Pro: The Main Difference

If you strip away features and price, the one really significant difference between a Philips Sonicare toothbrush and an Oral-B Pro is the brushing motion each manufacturer employs.

For a Philips Sonicare toothbrush, the brush heads and motion feel a bit closer to what you’re used to with a manual brush. The brush makes side to side motions—31,000 strokes per minute—vibrating at an ultrasonic frequency, which in addition to all that brushing helps break up plaque. In combination with Philips’s Easy Start feature, which gently gets you used to an electric brush, people tend to find this motion a bit more natural and comfortable (judging from the many online customer reviews of the two brands).

Oral-B, on the other hand, use mostly round brush heads that simultaneously rotate, pulse and oscillate to spin all the way around a single tooth at a time. Which is why Oral-B calls its brushing motion 3D. It creates 40,000 pulsations and 8,800 oscillations per minute, so also has a similar ‘ultrasonic’ effect.

Both motions have been found to be quite significantly more effective than brushing manually.

However, this study found Sonicare brushes were best for gum health. And another study reported that Oral-B’s 3D motion was marginally better for stain removal.

Those two studies are pretty old though.

The most recent and relevant study we can find pitting a recent Philips Sonicare Toothbrush against an equivalent Oral-B Pro (a DiamondClean with Premium plaque control head vs. the Oral-B Pro 7000 with a cross-action head) came out slightly in favor of the Sonicare for both gum health and plaque reduction.

Below are the two top models from Philips’ Sonicare range and the Oral-B Pro series:

Philips Sonicare ExpertClean 7500, Rechargeable Electric Power Toothbrush

Philips Sonicare ExpertClean 7500, Rechargeable Electric Power Toothbrush, Black, HX9690/05
8,939 Reviews
Philips Sonicare ExpertClean 7500, Rechargeable Electric Power Toothbrush, Black, HX9690/05
  • Removes up to 10x more plaque vs. a manual toothbrush
  • Pressure sensor lets you know when you're brushing too hard
  • Progress report gives you the guidance you need to improve and maintain healthy brushing...
  • BrushSync Technology lets you know when to replace your brush head
  • Personalized settings -- 4 modes: Clean, white+, Gum Health and DeepClean+ Care and 3...

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9750 Rechargeable Electric Power Toothbrush

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9750 Rechargeable Electric Power Toothbrush, Lunar Blue, HX9954/56
2,151 Reviews
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9750 Rechargeable Electric Power Toothbrush, Lunar Blue, HX9954/56
  • Complete oral care with smart sensor technology for an exceptional clean
  • Removes up to 10x more plaque and improves gum health up to 7x in just 2 weeks (in gum...
  • Removes up to 100% more stains in just 3 days (in white+ mode vs. a manual toothbrush)
  • 4 different smart brush head types automatically pair with the appropriate brushing mode...
  • 5 modes: Clean, White+, Deep Clean+, Gum Health, TongueCare & 3 intensity levels

Oral-B Pro 7000 SmartSeries Black Electronic Power Rechargeable Toothbrush

Sale
Oral-B Pro 7000 SmartSeries Black Electronic Power Rechargeable Toothbrush with Bluetooth Connectivity Powered by Braun with 2 CrossAction Replacement Brush Heads
38 Reviews
Oral-B Pro 7000 SmartSeries Black Electronic Power Rechargeable Toothbrush with Bluetooth Connectivity Powered by Braun with 2 CrossAction Replacement Brush Heads
  • Real time feedback with the Oral B app focuses brushing on your most important areas,...
  • Made of different high tech materials like silicon. Cross Action round brush head with...
  • Clinically proven superior 3D cleaning oscillates, rotates and pulsates to break up and...
  • Perfectly angled bristles to remove up to 100% more plaque vs. a regular manual toothbrush
  • Round brush head is inspired by dental professional tools for a tooth-by-tooth clean, with...

Oral-B Genius 8000 Electric Electric Toothbrush with Bluetooth Connectivity, Black

Sale
Oral-B Genius 8000 Electric Electric Toothbrush with Bluetooth Connectivity, Black
10,377 Reviews
Oral-B Genius 8000 Electric Electric Toothbrush with Bluetooth Connectivity, Black
  • The NEW Genius 8000 pairs with your smartphone to enable Position Detection which uses...
  • Customizable multicolor SmartRing provides real-time visual coaching on brushing time and...
  • Pressure sensor technology automatically slows brush speed and visibly alerts you to...
  • 6 cleaning modes allow you to brush based on your needs: Daily Clean, Gum Care, Sensitive,...
  • Smart Travel Case allows you to charge your toothbrush and your smartphone at the same...

Philips Sonicare Toothbrush or Oral-B Pro? It Depends…

Each heading below is a different scenario, a specific occasion when you’ll want not just a standard electric toothbrush but one with certain special features. For each scenario, we’ll recommend a particular Oral-B Pro or Philips Sonicare toothbrush, whichever model in their range best fits the task.

Best Electric Toothbrush for a Frequent Traveler

Sale
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700 Rechargeable Electric Power Toothbrush, Lunar Blue, HX9957/51
1,884 Reviews
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700 Rechargeable Electric Power Toothbrush, Lunar Blue, HX9957/51
  • Complete oral care with smart sensor technology for an exceptional clean
  • Removes up to 10x more plaque and improves gum health up to 7x in just 2 weeks (in Gum...
  • Removes up to 100% more stains in just 3 days (in White+ mode vs. a manual toothbrush)
  • 4 different smart brush head types automatically pair with the appropriate brushing mode...
  • 5 modes: Clean, White-plus, Deep Clean-plus, Gum Health, TongueCare & 3 intensity levels

Philips Sonicare DiamondCare Smart 9700

If you travel a lot, you’re going to want a brush that’s compact, works well with international power outlets and preferably holds a charge well or charges super-fast.

Oral-B Pros need an adapter to work with different voltages. However, a Philips Sonicare toothbrush can be used with 110V or 220V outlets. So the question is: which Sonicare is best for travel?

We’ve picked the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700 or 9500 (they’re both the same, except the latter comes in different colors and with fewer spare heads in the box). Whichever you pick, one charge lasts up to 3 weeks (or 42 uses) and it comes with its own sleek travel case. But what’s more, the case doubles as a USB charger, so no packing (or losing) yet another charger. And better still, USB charging means you won’t have an extra problem if you’re in one of those annoying hotel rooms with not enough sockets.

As well as being excellent for travel, Philips also claims the DiamondClean Smart is their best electric toothbrush ever. So it should cover any other requirements you might have too (check out the PDF user’s manual here). It even has movement and pressure sensors and connects to a smartphone app via Bluetooth (of course) to teach you how to use it and monitor exactly how and where you’re brushing.

(Looking for a makeup brush kit that’s good for travel? Check out our reviews here.)

Best Electric Toothbrush for Sensitive Teeth

Philips Sonicare FlexCare+

Sensitive teeth and gums need slightly different brushing—slightly slower, less intense. So the question here is: does the brush have a ‘Sensitive’ mode?

Well, sensitivity isn’t too uncommon, so if that’s you, most of the Sonicares and Oral-B Pros have settings and brush heads that should help.

However, according to this comparative study of the two brands, the Sonicare brush motion is the one that’s best for gum health. So really any Philips Sonicare toothbrush that suits your budget is the one to go for. Especially ones that have the Easy Start feature to get you slowly and gently acclimatized to using an electric toothbrush—such as the DiamondClean or FlexCare+.

Philips Sonicare Flexcare Plus Sonic Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush, HX6921/31
192 Reviews
Philips Sonicare Flexcare Plus Sonic Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush, HX6921/31
  • Improves gum health up to 100% vs. a manual toothbrush
  • Patented sonic technology: With up to 62000 brush strokes per minute, dynamic fluid action...
  • Five different modes for a better cleaning experience: Clean, GumCare, Refresh, Sensitive,...
  • Up to 6x more plaque removal vs. a manual toothbrush
  • Quadpacer help ensure Dental Professional recommended brushing time and a consistent clean...

Best Electric Toothbrush for Children

Oral-B Pro Health Jr.

When buying an electric toothbrush for children, you want one that’s as simple and fun to use as possible—not just something small. Kids just aren’t going to use a brush that’s a pain to use.

The Sonicare for Kids brush connects directly with an app to encourage kids to brush for long enough and teach them good brushing habits. It comes with stickers, too, to customize the handle. Suitable for ages 3 and up.

Finally, there’s a slightly cheaper Frozen-themed Pro Health Jr., which is apparently intended for tweens.

Philips Sonicare for Kids 3+ Bluetooth Connected Rechargeable Electric Power Toothbrush, Interactive for Better Brushing, Turquoise, HX6321/02
19,106 Reviews
Philips Sonicare for Kids 3+ Bluetooth Connected Rechargeable Electric Power Toothbrush, Interactive for Better Brushing, Turquoise, HX6321/02
  • 98% of parents say it’s easier to get kids to brush longer and better
  • 91% of dental professional parents prefer Sonicare for Kids for their own children
  • Interactive free app educates and gets kids excited about brushing. Exciting rewards for...
  • Patented sonic technology. Is 75% more effective than manual toothbrushes in hard to reach...

Best Electric Toothbrush for a Small Mouth or Difficult to Reach Back Teeth

Oral-B Pro Series

A children’s brush might be one option…

However, while the size might be right and that smaller brush head could help you get at less accessible parts of the mouth, the oscillations just aren’t calibrated for adult teeth. So what you’re looking for here is a brush with brush heads and angles that will suit.

Oral-B has the wider range of brush heads available, so with a little bit of experimentation there’s a good chance you’ll find something that suits your mouth.

However, the Philips Sonicare toothbrush range also has compact versions available of all their brush heads.

So whichever brand you go with, you should be able to find a brush head that works for you.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 Rechargeable Electric Power Toothbrush, Black, HX9924/11
3,570 Reviews
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 Rechargeable Electric Power Toothbrush, Black, HX9924/11
  • Complete oral care with smart sensor technology for an exceptional clean
  • Removes up to 10x more plaque and improves gum health up to 7x in just 2 weeks (in gum...
  • Removes up to 100% more stains in just 3 days (in white+ mode vs. a manual toothbrush)
  • 4 different smart brush head types automatically pair with the appropriate brushing mode...
  • 5 modes: Clean, White+, Deep Clean+, Gum Health, TongueCare & 3 intensity levels

Best Electric Toothbrush for Smokers

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700

We all know smoking can stain teeth, so whitening is a handy feature here. Likewise surface stain removal. Gum health can be a problem too. But a toothbrush that can clean your tongue too would jump straight to the head of the queue.

From Oral-B, the Pro 7000 and Genius Pro 8000 both have tongue cleaning modes.

However, you can get a tongue cleaning attachment quite cheaply for pretty much any Philips Sonicare toothbrush and the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart comes with both a tongue cleaning mode and attachment.

There are also modes and heads for surface stain removal, gum health and whitening, to give you up to 100% more stain removal than manual brushing. And the DiamondClean promises up to 7x better gum health within 2 weeks, compared to manual brushing.

For us, the Philips Sonicare toothbrush just scrapes it. It does everything the Genius Pro 8000 does and a little more. However, if you’re on a tighter budget, or you just prefer round brush heads, the Oral-B’s an excellent option too.

Best Electric Toothbrush for Coffee or Tea Addicts and Red Wine Lovers

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9300 or Oral-B Pro 7000

Again, potential staining is the problem here. You want something with a good whitening setting to prevent discoloration building up. So you could just go for our smokers’ recommendations—it makes sense to go for the best available.

However, if it’s only getting the best stain prevention and whitening that concern you here, there are a few other options.

If you want a Philips Sonicare toothbrush, the DiamondClean Smart 9300 is another variation of Philips Sonicare’s flagship Smart model: it’s basically the same as the 9700 and 9500, but a little cheaper and without the tongue cleaning mode. And if you don’t care to take your phone into the bathroom and monitor everything with an app, here’s another simpler DiamondClean to check out.

In the Oral-B Pro range, the 5000, 6000, and 7000 are all smart brushes with whitening and deep clean modes, and in all honesty the only really significant difference between them is that the 7000 has a tongue cleaner mode.

Sale
Electric Toothbrush, Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries Black Electronic Power Rechargeable Toothbrush with Bluetooth Connectivity Powered by Braun , 8 Piece Set
14,163 Reviews
Electric Toothbrush, Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries Black Electronic Power Rechargeable Toothbrush with Bluetooth Connectivity Powered by Braun , 8 Piece Set
  • Real-time feedback with the Oral-B app focuses brushing on your most important areas,...
  • Made of different high-tech materials like silicon. Cross Action round brush head with...
  • Clinically proven superior 3D cleaning oscillates, rotates and pulsates to break up and...
  • Rechargeable with 6 modes: Daily Clean, Gum Care, Sensitive, Whitening, Deep Clean, and...
  • Speed, Up to 800 brush movements per second , Features, Specially designed seals and...

Best Electric Toothbrush If You’re On a Budget

Oral-B Pro 1000

A top of the range Oral-B Pro or Philips Sonicare toothbrush isn’t going to suit everyone’s wallet. However, let’s be honest, most of us can do without things like Bluetooth, wireless charging and sleek aesthetics. What matters most is that your brush does a better job than manual brushing.

When it comes to bang for your buck, Oral-B tends to win out over Sonicare. The Pro 1000 is the most basic model we recommend—it’s the cheapest that has Oral-B’s 3D brushing motion (oscillates, rotates and pulses). Or if you need a sensitive setting, the Pro 3000 is the next cheapest. Oral-B’s replacement brush heads also tend to be cheaper, so could save you even more money long term.

Why does a Philips Sonicare toothbrush tend to be more expensive?

Especially at this lower end, you’re mostly paying for more brushing time per charge, 110V/220V capability and slicker aesthetics. However, if you prefer the Sonicare brushing motion —and that’s the real differentiating factor between the two brands, whatever the given price point—the Philips Sonicare Genuine C2 Optimal Plaque Control brushes are probably Philips’ best budget offerings.

Philips Sonicare Genuine C2 Optimal Plaque Control Toothbrush Heads, 3 Brush Heads, White, HX9023/65
55,470 Reviews
Philips Sonicare Genuine C2 Optimal Plaque Control Toothbrush Heads, 3 Brush Heads, White, HX9023/65
  • Genuine Philips Sonicare rechargeable electric toothbrush replacement heads compatible...
  • Number one recommended power toothbrush brand by Dental Professionals
  • Up to 6x more plaque removal versus a manual toothbrush
  • Power Tip targets plaque along the gum line. Size: Standard, Bristle stiffness: Medium
  • BrushSync mode-pairing and replacement reminders when used with a BrushSync compatible...

Best Electric Toothbrush If Noise Annoys

Philips Sonicare Essence

Some of us are more sensitive to noise and vibration than others. And while you won’t find a silent electric toothbrush, certain models are definitely quieter than others.

The consensus seems to be that a Philips Sonicare toothbrush is your best option, compared to the Oral-B Pro range. They’re less noisy and some find the vibrations from the Sonicare brush motion easier to cope with too.

Best Electric Toothbrush for Gadget Lovers / Early Adopters

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9700 or Oral-B Genius Pro 8000

Here, we’re talking the latest technology, the most unusual or unique features, beautiful design. Cost isn’t necessarily an obstacle. For the early adopter type it’s trying something new—and hopefully better than anything else out there— that’s the attraction.

If you love design, and specifically Apple design, a Philips Sonicare toothbrush is worth the extra money. The Oral-B Pros are much more functional looking.

For novelty and innovation, Oral-B’s top-of-the-range Genius Pro 8000 or Sonicare’s DiamondClean 9700 are both worth exploring for their smartphone app integrations. Sonicare’s glass tumbler style charger is pretty cool too—you can even use it to rinse your mouth.

Summing Up: Philips Sonicare Toothbrush vs. Oral-B Pro

The true, key difference between an Oral-B Pro and a Philips Sonicare toothbrush is the brushing motion. If you prefer one motion over the other (some find Oral-B’s more difficult to get used to), then it doesn’t really matter what features the other brush has. Just go for that brand, and then look for whatever other features best suit your lifestyle, your budget, your routine and any existing oral health issues. Because, Philips Sonicare toothbrush or Oral-B Pro, either way it’ll be a big improvement on manual brushing.

Last update on 2022-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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