Oral-B vs Sonicare: Who Makes the Better Electric Toothbrush? | Gear Patrol (2024)

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The two biggest brands in electric brushing face off. Which one should you choose?

Oral-B vs Sonicare: Who Makes the Better Electric Toothbrush? | Gear Patrol (1)Oral-B, Sonicare

Oral-B vs Sonicare: Who Makes the Better Electric Toothbrush? | Gear Patrol (2)Oral-B vs Sonicare: Who Makes the Better Electric Toothbrush? | Gear Patrol (3)

By Tyler Chin and Jack Seemer

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You’re finally ready to invest in an electric toothbrush. Smart decision. Electric toothbrushes are proven to be better at removing plaque than their manual counterparts, and their built-in timers help ensure a thorough clean.

By now, you’ve probably also noticed that two brands rise above the rest: Sonicare and Oral-B. Sonicare is the electric-powered dental hygiene brand of Philips. Oral-B makes oral hygiene products as well as toothpastes and mouthwashes.

However, it’s not enough to just pick between the two brands. Sonicare and Oral-B both have a number of models under their belts, and each toothbrush carries its own set of pros and cons —not to mention an unwieldy number of different heads.

While both Sonicare and Oral-B offer excellent cleaning, there are some big differences between the two. So let’s break them down, shall we?

Oral-B vs Sonicare: Who Makes the Better Electric Toothbrush? | Gear Patrol (5)Phillips Sonicare

Our Sonicare Pick

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Electric Toothbrush

  • $79.96 at Amazon

    $99.99(20% off)

To learn more about our testing methodology and how we evaluate products, head here.

Sonicare vs Oral-B: Which brand makes the better electric toothbrush?

Studies comparing Sonicare and Oral-B in terms of teeth-cleaning effectiveness tend to contradict each other, so it’s hard for science to definitively name one brand superior.

Don’t get too caught up in the marketing terms that get tossed at your head, either. No dentist will ever notice the extra rotations or brushes per minute, as long as your teeth are clean.

No dentist will ever notice the extra rotations or brushes per minute.

Whichever brand you ultimately go for, switching from manual brushing to electric brushing will bring an immediate improvement to your overall oral hygiene.

Still, there are some key differences between the two brands that may make your decision easier.

Oral-B is cheaper

From a pure cost perspective, Oral-B offers better value than Sonicare. Not only do its toothbrushes skew cheaper, replacement brush heads cost less, too.

The Oral-B Pro 1000 is the company’s popular entry-level model and it offers similar specs and cleaning prowess to the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100, which costs significantly more.

Oral-B vs Sonicare: Who Makes the Better Electric Toothbrush? | Gear Patrol (6)Oral-B

Oral-B Pro 1000 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

Pros

  • Round brush head is easy to maneuver
  • Similar functionality to the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 at half the price
  • Replacement brush heads are affordable

Cons

  • Feels and looks cheaper than Sonicare
  • $49.94 at Amazon

Oral-B brush heads range anywhere between $6 and $20 each (though its more expensive heads are meant to be used with the most premium Oral-B toothbrush). Sonicare brush heads range anywhere between $10 to $15 a pop.

Sonicare brush heads are closer to a traditional toothbrush

The biggest difference between Sonicare and Oral-B lies in the style of brush heads. Sonicare toothbrushes feature elongated heads and their rows of teeth-cleaning bristles move side to side —similar to a traditional toothbrush.

Oral-B vs Sonicare: Who Makes the Better Electric Toothbrush? | Gear Patrol (7)Oral-B

Oral-B Cross Action Electric Toothbrush Heads (4-Pack)

  • $21.97 at Amazon

    $29.99(27% off)

Oral-B vs Sonicare: Who Makes the Better Electric Toothbrush? | Gear Patrol (8)Phillips Sonicare

Philips Sonicare C3 Premium Plaque Control Toothbrush Heads (4-Pack)

  • $54.96 at Amazon

Oral-B’s signature feature is its circular brush head, which looks more like a tool that you would see at the dentist’s office than sitting in your bathroom. These heads oscillate, as opposed to Sonicare’s side-to-side motion. While each brand offers different types of brush heads, the basics are very similar, and they effectively remove plaque from your teeth.

Oral-B is better for beginners (and kids)

Sonicare heads are a little more difficult to maneuver in the mouth. Though they’re built to feel like “regular” toothbrushes, the longer heads can take some getting used to when navigating across your teeth.

Oral-B’s smaller, rounder brush heads, on the other hand, are easier to use, especially if you or your kids are new to using an electric toothbrush.

Sonicare toothbrushes are quieter

Electric toothbrushes essentially clean in two ways: contact cleaning, which is when the toothbrush makes contact with your teeth, and non-contact cleaning, which is cleaning that’s done without the bristles even having come into contact with your teeth.

Oral-B vs Sonicare: Who Makes the Better Electric Toothbrush? | Gear Patrol (9)Phillips Sonicare

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Electric Toothbrush

Pros

  • Sleek design that feels good to hold
  • Quieter than Oral-B toothbrushes

Cons

  • Expensive replacement heads
  • $79.96 at Amazon

    $99.99(20% off)

Sonicare employs the latter through sonic technology —fast vibrations that recirculate foam and water between the teeth and along the gum line —but little research exists to support the idea that this removes more plaque than non-sonic brushing. One noticeable benefit of sonic technology, however: Sonicare toothbrushes are much quieter than those offered by Oral-B.

Oral-B doesn’t use sonic technology, but its oscillating, rotating and pulsing movements meet a similar end. Oral-B calls this “3D cleaning action,” and it’s designed to dislodge plaque and agitates the liquid in the mouth.

Sonicare designs look, and feel, better

We know, we know. We’re talking about toothbrushes here. But design is important for a toothbrush that’s going to sit out on the counter all day. Plus, feel is an important factor.

Sonicare toothbrushes, from the budget level to the high-end models, have a similar sleek aesthetic with few extraneous details. Some models are available in multiple colors. They’re also weighty, which contributes to the feeling of holding something built well.

Oral-B’s entry- and mid-level models, like the Pro 1000 and Smart 1500, don’t feature a similar streamlined design as Sonicare, and they look and feel less streamlined.

While Sonicare’s toothbrushes have grippy bodies, Oral-B toothbrushes feature ridges, which also take away from the aesthetic. The higher-end Oral-B toothbrushes, like those in the brand’s iO series, start to enter Sonicare territory in terms of aesthetics.

Sonicare vs Oral-B: Our Verdict

Both Oral-B and Sonicare make excellent electric toothbrushes.

Oral-B represents the better value; the brushes themselves and replacement heads are cheaper than those sold by Sonicare. And they’re easier to use for beginners and kids.

Sonicare is the sleeker option and the design of its brush heads look, feel and function more like a traditional toothbrush. Its electric toothbrushes are also quieter, for users sensitive to noise. No matter which one you pick, rest assured: you’re making a smart longterm investment into your oral hygiene.

Oral-B vs Sonicare: Who Makes the Better Electric Toothbrush? | Gear Patrol (10)Oral-B

Oral-B Pro 1000 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

  • $49.94 at Amazon

Oral-B vs Sonicare: Who Makes the Better Electric Toothbrush? | Gear Patrol (11)Phillips Sonicare

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Electric Toothbrush

  • $79.96 at Amazon

    $99.99(20% off)

Oral-B vs Sonicare: Who Makes the Better Electric Toothbrush? | Gear Patrol (12)Oral-B

Oral-B Cross Action Electric Toothbrush Heads (4-Pack)

  • $21.97 at Amazon

    $29.99(27% off)

Oral-B vs Sonicare: Who Makes the Better Electric Toothbrush? | Gear Patrol (13)Phillips Sonicare

Philips Sonicare C3 Premium Plaque Control Toothbrush Heads (4-Pack)

  • $54.96 at Amazon

Related Topics

Head to Head, Reviews

Oral-B vs Sonicare: Who Makes the Better Electric Toothbrush? | Gear Patrol (2024)

FAQs

Oral-B vs Sonicare: Who Makes the Better Electric Toothbrush? | Gear Patrol? ›

Sonicare vs Oral-B: Our Verdict

Do dentists prefer Sonicare or Oral-B? ›

Sonicare's heads are large and flat compared to Oral-B's small round brushes, and they're long-lasting, according to Wellspring Dental dentist Mandy Nebel, who prefers Sonicare over other brands. This specific model — one of two from the brand accepted by the ADA — is a more entry-level Sonicare.

Does Sonicare or Oral-B remove more plaque? ›

The award-winning Oral-B iO Series Electric Toothbrush is clinically proven to remove more plaque vs. Phillips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart toothbrush. Oral-B is the first electric toothbrush brand to be accepted by the American Dental Association for effectiveness and safety.

What is the number 1 recommended toothbrush? ›

Our tester recommends the Oral-B Pro Health All In One Soft Toothbrush for gentle cleaning action that still gets the job done. The rounded, angled bristles clean deep between teeth and along the gum line, while the gum stimulators help improve blood flow—leaving you with healthy, happy gums.

What is the best electric toothbrush for periodontal disease? ›

We frequently get asked which Sonicare toothbrush is best for gum recession. This is our recommendation. This Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 allows you to change intensities to allow you to brush with less intensity if your gums are feeling sensitive. It also alerts you if you're brushing too hard by pulsing.

Which type of toothbrush is recommended by dental professionals? ›

Although toothbrushes with medium bristles have been shown to be effective at biofilm removal, the ADA recommends use of a toothbrush with soft bristles because they minimize the risk of gingival abrasion.

Is vibrating or rotating toothbrush better? ›

From the data of this study, researchers concluded that to maintain good plaque control and improve gingival health, the oscillating rotation electric toothbrush offers clinically relevant advantages compared to the sonic toothbrush, albeit with a small but significant difference.

What is the best toothpaste according to dentists? ›

The Top Toothpastes
  • Colgate Total. ...
  • Crest Pro-Health. ...
  • Sensodyne ProNamel Gentle Whitening Toothpaste. ...
  • Arm and Hammer Dental Care Advance Cleaning Mint Toothpaste w/Baking Soda. ...
  • Tom's of Maine Natural Anticavity Fluoride Toothpaste. ...
  • Crest Tartar Protection. ...
  • Tom's of Maine Simply White Clean Mint Toothpaste.

Are Philips or Oral-B better? ›

Oral-B and Philips's Sonicare are two of the most widely recommended toothbrush brands by dentists, but there's no industry consensus on which electric toothbrush is best. Dentists recommend a wide range of electric toothbrushes, and depending on which brand you ask, you'll get a different answer.

Is Sonicare bad for receding gums? ›

Conclusion. If you are suffering from receding gums, using an electric toothbrush can be a great way to help improve your gum health. They help remove plaque and bacteria from teeth and gums, which can help reverse receding gums.

Why is a Sonicare toothbrush better? ›

In fact, a study shows that people using this toothbrush had higher plaque reduction, a lower gingival index, better pocket depth reduction and less bleeding upon probing when using a Sonicare toothbrush.

Which Oral-B electric toothbrush do dentists recommend? ›

If a simple dental-care routine is your thing, or you're an electric toothbrush newcomer, the Oral-B Pro 1000 is a great option. Its less-is-more functionality, combined with its accessible price point, makes it a super place to enter the world of electric brushing.

Are more expensive electric toothbrush worth it? ›

Dental experts often recommend expensive electric toothbrushes for those seeking advanced oral care solutions. However, experts underscore that while the price of the toothbrush plays a role, it's not the sole determinant of its effectiveness.

How to pick an electric toothbrush? ›

Capabilities
  1. Timer: If you need help brushing for the dentist-recommended two minutes, it's a good idea to select a toothbrush with a built-in smart timer. ...
  2. Intensity levels: If you have sensitive teeth or sensitive gums, consider looking at the types of brush heads you can get for your electric toothbrush.
May 12, 2024

Do dentists recommend Oral-B? ›

Plus, Oral-B® is the #1 brand used by dentists themselves worldwide*. No matter which brush you choose, you can expect a quality clean every time you brush. Check out the chart below to compare our Oral-B Electric Toothbrushes and find the one that best meets your needs.

Is Oral-B better than Sonicare for gum disease? ›

In this 8-week randomized controlled clinical trial, Oral-B® iO showed statistically significantly greater gingivitis and plaque reductions than an advanced model sonic toothbrush, consistent with numerous published studies evaluating base oscillating-rotating toothbrushes with various sonic control brushes.

Is Sonicare really better than regular toothbrush? ›

In fact, a study shows that people using this toothbrush had higher plaque reduction, a lower gingival index, better pocket depth reduction and less bleeding upon probing when using a Sonicare toothbrush.

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