Table of Contents
- Oral-B Vs. Sonicare Overview
- Brushing Technology
- Brush Settings
- Pressure Control
- Brush Heads
- App Pairing
- Battery Life
- Oral B Vs Sonicare: Final Verdict
Oral-B Vs. Sonicare Overview
So you want to try a premium electric toothbrush or upgrade your current model, but what are your options? While you can find many brands on the shelves today, Oral-B and Sonicare are recognized as the best in the business by users and experts alike.
For this review, we'll be looking at the Sonicare DiamondClean series and the Oral-B IO models. While each company offers a variety of brushes at varying prices, these two lines are the best of the best when it comes to dental health.
We'll provide our recommendation at the end of this review, but keep in mind that you should pay attention to what matters most to you.
If you travel, have kids, or want help building a better brushing routine, keep an eye out for the features of each brush that appeal to you.
Over the past few years, both Oral-B and Sonicare have worked hard to keep their brushing technology innovative. While both do a great job at cleaning your teeth, they do so in slightly different ways.
Oral-B io utilizes round brush heads, which vibrate in an oscillating motion. This circular vibration pattern is distinct from Oral-B's competitors and offers unique benefits.
In general, users recognize Oral-B as having a more intense brushing action, and we certainly agree. Depending on your preference and sensitivity, this could be a pro or a con.
These brush heads are also smaller, making them more comfortable in your mouth. They also make it easier to clean hard-to-reach spots.
It's worth noting that most experts agree that oscillating brush heads are more effective at removing plaque when used as part of a consistent dental routine.
Sonicare brush heads are also powerful, but they feature a different technology. These brushes use sonic vibrations, which move from side to side instead of an oscillating motion.
The brush heads are oval-shaped and larger, meaning they may be less comfortable or convenient for tight corners in your mouth. Larger heads also mean you can't as easily clean one tooth at a time, which may be a downside for some users.
Despite these possible cons, the DiamondClean brushes still deliver a powerful clean that you won't get with lower-quality electric brushes.
The sonic vibrations of the DiamondClean models aren't quite as powerful as the Oral B IO model's, but it still does an impressive job keeping your mouth clean and healthy.
Winner: Oral-B IO
With its oscillating motion and smaller brush heads, the IO excels at one of the most important aspects of a toothbrush: how well it cleans. For this category, we feel the Oral-B IO is slightly superior to the DiamondClean models.
Both Oral-B and Sonicare toothbrushes come loaded with settings designed to help you achieve your dental goals. Let's take a deeper look at what each model has to offer and which may be the superior choice.
The Oral-B IO electric toothbrushes feature up to seven different settings, depending on the exact model you get. These settings are:
- Daily Clean
- Gum Care
- Super Sensitive
- Tongue Clean
Each setting has its own intensity and designed purpose, so you can choose which works best for you depending on your needs and sensitivity.
The Oral-B IO will also help you improve your brushing game by breaking down the session into four 30 second intervals. At the end of each interval, the brush will vibrate to let you know it's time to move on.
The Sonicare DiamondClean series comes with five different settings, as well as three intensity levels. The settings are:
- Deep Clean+
- Gum Health
- Tongue Care
With each of these settings, you can choose an intensity level of low, medium, or high, which essentially brings your setting options up to 15.
The Sonicare DiamondClean also features guided brushing intervals, though it does so in a way slightly different from the Oral-B IO. Instead of 4 thirty-second intervals, the DiamonClean will provide you with 6 twenty-second intervals.
One feature that stands out to us is the Easy Start system you have the option of using. When this is enabled, the toothbrush will start at low intensity and gradually increase over the course of 14 sessions (about a week) to get you used to the sensation.
If you haven't used an electric toothbrush before or in a long while, this a great feature to use. It can also help you learn more about how much intensity you can tolerate and your sensitivity to the toothbrush.
The DiamondCleans take this category, as they feature more brush settings. The Easy Start system also makes Sonicare our pick for best brush settings.
How much pressure you apply when brushing can make a big difference. Without enough, you won't get as deep a clean, and with too much, you risk harming your gums.
To help you out, both Oral-B and Sonicare have designed their latest brushes to come equipped with pressure detection that will guide you to the right level. Like so much else with these competitors, their implementation differs slightly.
The Oral-B IO has the best pressure guidance systems available on the market. When you brush too hard, the LED ring around the neck of the brush will turn red. When you brush with the right amount of pressure, it will turn green.
This feature makes it easy to control how much pressure you're using, and over time it's quite easy to stay in the green. The placement of the indicator light is quite convenient, as it's far easier to see at the top of the brush.
You can also get more information about your pressure habits from the mobile app.
Sonicare DiamonClean models also track your pressure, but their technology in this regard seems a little less refined than the Oral-B IO. If you use too much pressure, the toothbrush will give you a slight vibration, and a light at the bottom of the brush will turn purple.
While the DiamondClean will tell you if you're brushing too hard, it doesn't give a green indicator like the IO. This makes it slightly harder to know that you're using the right amount.
The light's placement at the bottom of the brush may make it harder to see as well, especially depending on how you prefer to hold the toothbrush.
Winner: Oral-B IO
Oral-B iO takes the gold here, as its pressure dedication system is more useful than Sonicare's. The implementation of the LED neck ring is one of the major reasons we prefer Oral-B's pressure monitoring.
Both Oral-B and Sonicare offer a variety of brush heads. Part of the benefit of these electric toothbrushes is that the heads can be swapped out, allowing you to replace old ones and pick the type that works best for you.
Let's take a look at the options both of these brands offer when it comes to brush heads.
Depending on where you live in the world, you'll get a certain number of brush heads when your purchase your toothbrush. You can find sets that include 2, 3, or 4 brush heads in the US and Canada. In the UK and Europe, that number is just 1.
Unlike other models, however, the Oral-B IO toothbrush won't let you know when it's time to change the brush head. In general, experts recommended changing your brush head every three to four months.
Just like the Oral-B IO, the number of brush heads you receive will depend on where you live as well as which model you purchase. In the US and Canada, you will receive 3, 4, or 8 brush heads. In the UK and Europe, you will typically receive 4.
When it comes to brush heads, Sonicare DiamondClean models have something up their sleeve that Oral-B doesn't.
Each DiamondClean brush head comes equipped with an RFID chip. This means that the toothbrush can recognize individual ones and track how long they've been used. When it's time to change the brush head, a light on the brush handle will turn on.
Winner: Sonicare DiamondClean
Sonicare only slightly edges out Oral-B here, as it offers more brush heads at the time of purchase. The inclusion of the RFID is also a unique feature that Oral-B doesn't have.
If you haven't shopped for electric toothbrushes in a while, you may have missed some of the industry's biggest innovations. Like so much else in our lives, toothbrushes now feature Bluetooth technology. But which model does it best, and is it really that helpful?
Both of these toothbrushes are smart models, meaning that they can connect to a free app on your phone.
From there, you can see your brushing history, areas where you can improve, and even track your brushing in real-time. Both apps are meant to be used for reference as well as when you're brushing your teeth.
Let's take a deeper look at each model and its app and see how they compare.
The app for the Oral-B IO is attractive and quite easy to use, though it may not be quite as sleek as the Sonicare one we'll discuss shortly.
If you use the app while brushing your teeth, you can see where you've already brushed, where you need to brush more, and where you haven't yet brushed.
As you brush, the teeth on the screen will turn from a dark blue to a pearly white. This is a great tool for building a better dental routine and is one of the reasons smart electric toothbrushes are becoming so popular.
The Oral-B IO app will also provide an on-screen timer so you can see exactly how much longer you have in your brushing cycle.
One thing that sets the IO app apart is how much data it stores. It holds several weeks' worth of brushing history at a time, allowing you to view an in-depth analysis of your habits and how they're improving.
You can also use the app to build dental routines by assigning certain tasks, like tongue scraping, to different parts of the day.
Overall, the IO app is quite useful and can be very helpful when trying to boost your dental health.
There are some elements we feel may not stay useful, you may not feel like starting at your screen every time you brush your teeth, but the good news is that the toothbrush works perfectly well without utilizing the app.
When it comes to the apps, these two brands have only subtle differences between them.
Just like the Oral-B app, the Sonicare version will guide you through your brushing session by showing where you've brushed and where you need to. The app will also tell you when to reduce pressure.
One of the few differences between the apps is that the Sonicare version holds just 7 days of brushing history, though we feel that's more than sufficient to keep track of your progress.
Like Oral-B, this app allows you to set dental health goals and helps you along as you shoot for them.
Overall, the preference between the apps is very personal, as both have the same functionalities and only slight differences. We find the user interface of the Sonicare app to be more elegant and intuitive, however, which is why this round is going to the DiamondClean series.
That said, both apps are beneficial and a huge part of what makes investing in a smart toothbrush so appealing.
Winner: Sonicare DiamondClean
Both apps do a great job, but the DiamondClean brushes feature a more intuitive UI. Overall, we prefer the look and usability of the Sonicare app to the Oral-B version.
Both of these toothbrush models use rechargeable lithium batteries, and both claim a battery life of about two weeks. But does one have a better battery life than the other? Let's check it out.
Oral-B's IO model brushes have a battery life of around two weeks, though some users report getting a few more days than that. The Oral-B IO charges on a magnetic stand, which you simply place the brush on top of.
On its charger, the toothbrush stands straight up, making it appear attractive and sleek. If you don't want to worry about a dead battery, you can simply store the brush on its charging stand when you're not using it.
It takes up to three hours for the toothbrush to fully charge from empty, which, as we'll see shortly, really outdoes the DiamondClean.
The Oral-B IO also has a leg up in this category because of its LED screen. From the screen, you can view the exact remaining percentage of your battery at any time, and it will alert you when it gets low.
This makes it very easy to keep your battery charged up.
In this category, Sonicare DiamondClean brushes seem to be far and away the superior model. While Sonicare also claims its brushes last on a charge for two weeks, most last up to three or even four weeks.
The Sonicare DiamondClean brush also comes with a charger that looks like a small glass. You simply place the brush in the cup to charge it. However, this charger does not look quite as sleek as the Oral-B's, and the brush won't stand straight up while charging.
It can take up to 24 hours for the DiamonClean to fully charge from empty, which is far longer than the IO.
Unlike the IO, however, the DiamondClean won't get you an exact battery percentage. When the charge is low, the brush will vibrate, and a small light at the bottom of the handle will turn on.
You can check your app to see how much battery is left on the DiamondClean, but this number is;t nearly as accurate as the one provided by the IO's screen. Still, the DiamondClean's superior battery life makes it the clear winner for this category.
Winner: Sonicare DiamondClean
Though the Oral-B features an on-screen battery indicator, the Sonicare battery life is simply far superior. It may take longer to charge, but it also needs to do so far less frequently.
For quite a few years, Sonicare brushes seemed to dominate when it came to designing, but Oral-B has worked hard to play catch up. Though they differ in subtle ways, both of these toothbrush lines are sleek, modern, and attractive.
They both feature a power button and a mode-switching button, and of course, both utilize interchangeable brush heads. That said, there are some differences between the DiamondClean and the IO that we want to cover here.
The Oral-B IO series features an LED screen, which makes the design much sleeker than its previous models by minimizing the space used on the brush handle. Right now, the IO is one of the only models to feature a screen, though with the growing popularity of smart home products this could certainly change.
The small screen will display battery levels as well as the mode the brush is on. It will also display emojis like smiley faces and messages like “Good Morning.”
While this feature may seem too high-tech for a toothbrush, we didn't find it distracting at all. In fact, the LED screen is a unique bonus that the Sonicare DiamondClean simply doesn't have.
The IO series also features an LED ring around the neck of the brush which can be customized to the color of your choosing. You can select your preferred color from either the toothbrush itself or from the accompanying app on your phone.
Besides being an aesthetic choice, this color ring can also help differentiate between brushes if multiple people in the same home have one.
Depending on which IO model you purchase and where you live, there are various color options for the body of the toothbrush.
Its body is heavy and features a sleek matte, making the brush appear very premium. You'll definitely feel that you're holding a high-end brush when using the DiamondClean.
This brush isn't quite as minimalist as the IO models, as it features a few more illuminated portions that will indicate which setting the brush is on. While the IO does all of that on its small screen, the DiamondClean employs more of the brush's body to complete the same task.
Despite that, the DiamondClean still comes out on top when it comes to design.
While it certainly is a personal preference, we think the DiamondClean's weight and material make the brushing experience seem far more luxurious than the IO does. Using this model truly makes you feel like your getting your money's worth, even if it doesn't feature a screen.
Winner: Sonicare DiamondClean
We love the LED screen on the Oral-B IO, but the DiamondCleans both look and feel is more premium. Though Oral-B has done a great job improving its brush designs, Sonicare is still producing the more expensive feeling models.
If you live with someone else or travel with others, you know how nerve-wracking it can be to use a noisy electric toothbrush when they're sleeping.
While some users may not mind the buzzing noise of a toothbrush, others would like to minimize it as much as possible.
So, which model is the quietest? Let's find out.
When it comes to noise, the Oral-B IO can't compete with the DiamondClean. The IO isn't loud enough to be truly irritating, but it is loud enough to warrant closing the bathroom door when others are sleeping.
Unless your partner sleeps with headphones, you may want to shy away from this model.
If you don't have to worry about noise, then don't let this slight con deter you. But if you're looking for a quiet model, this isn't the one.
Hands down, the Sonicare DiamondClean is far quieter. Unlike the IO, you can easily brush your teeth with the bathroom door open without worrying that you'll wake up whoever is still in bed.
Winner: Sonicare DiamondClean
If you're looking for a quiet electric toothbrush, the DiamondClean is far and away the better choice.
If you travel often, you know how important the little things can be. Both of these toothbrush series come with travel cases, but does one do it better than the other?
The Oral-B IO comes with a travel case, but it, unfortunately, has its drawbacks. Unlike the Sonicare model, the Oral B travel case uses a proprietary adapter that could be inconvenient went traveling.
Not only can you not easily buy a replacement cord, but the charger may not work depending on where you are in the world.
The case is made of plastic and holds one brush head as well as the body of the brush.
That said, the Oral-B travel case can still charge your brush while it's in the case, so if you're not someone who travels a lot, this could still be the brush for you.
When it comes to travel convenience, the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean models are the clear winner.
Sonicare travel cases are sleek and look very high-end, and feature a soft leather-like cover. They also include a USB charging cable built-in.
This is a huge plus for travelers because USB charging is internationally used, so you don't need to worry about purchasing expensive adaptors.
Sonicare DiamondClean travel cases will fit the body of the brush as well as two brush heads.
Winner: Sonicare DiamondClean
It's no competition here: The DiamondClean travel cases are far nicer. But if you don't travel often, you may not need to pay attention to this category.
Both of these toothbrush lines come with warranties of two years, which can bring some peace of mind to buyers. These are, after all, investments in your health.
While they both start at two years, you can opt to add more depending on the model.
The IO's warranty can be extended by up to 3 years, giving you a total of 5 years of protection.
The DiamondClean can only acquire an additional 6 months of warranty, putting the total possible time of protection at 2.5 years. Clearly, the IO wins out here.
We've gone over lots of information in this review, so before we give our final recommendation, let's recap some of what was discussed.
While each of these brushes will deliver a powerful clean and various features, both have their pros and cons.
Let's begin by reviewing what the Oral-B IO series excels at.
In the past few years, Oral-B has really stepped up its game when it comes to competing with Sonicare, and their hard works definitely shows. The IO is the best Oral-B electric toothbrush on the market, and with good reason.
Though this brush may not feel as heavy or as premium as the DiamondClean from Sonicare, its LED screen and colored neck ring give it an added sense of tech and usability. The IO certainly doesn't feel cheap, and you will notice a difference between this brush and other lower-priced options.
The IO also features a robust pressure tracking system with red and green indicator lights to help you improve your brushing routine. On top of that, the brush can fully charge in just three hours.
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the IO's smaller, oscillating brush head as well. This unique feature makes it far easier to use and much more comfortable. And of course, oscillating vibrations are recognized for being more effective at removing plaque when used correctly.
There are a few things that IO lacks, however, so let's take a look at the list of cons:
- Less intuitive app
- Louder than other models
- Travel case that could be inconvenient
- Shorter battery life (around 2 weeks)
- Feels slightly less expensive than the DiamondClean series
Sonicare has outpaced Oral-B in style for years, and it is continuing to do so ever so slightly. The DiamondClean feels extremely premium, and its weight and sleek look will certainly make you feel that you're holding a top-of-the-line toothbrush.
The DiamondClean's battery life is far superior to that of the Oral-B IO, and the app is more intuitively designed and user-friendly.
This electric toothbrush also comes with a convenient and expensive-seeming travel case, making it the better option for those who are on the go regularly.
The DiamondClean features more settings and an Easy Start system to help you get used to the electric brushing sensation. That said, there are a few places where DiamondClean could find improvement.
- Lacks LED screen
- Less intelligent pressure monitoring system
- Sonic vibrations that may not be as effective as oscillating ones
- More expensive than the IO
- Less robust warranty system
Oral B Vs Sonicare: Final Verdict
Ultimately, each of these brands makes great electric toothbrushes. So, when it comes to Philips Sonicare vs. Oral-B, what is the best electric toothbrush?
The model you choose will come down to the features that matter most to you and how much you're willing to spend.
Taking into consideration features, design, and price, we have selections for both premium and budget-friendly brushes.
With its oscillating brush head, LED screen, quick charge time, and LED neck ring, this model seems to be the best bang for your buck.
The brush looks and feels premium, and it has a few key features that make it a great option if you're looking for a high-end electric toothbrush that won't break the bank.
Because what you get out of your brush has so much to do with what you put in, we feel you can get all the benefits that the Sonicare DiamondClean series provides while spending less money.
If you use all the features the IO has to offer and practice good brushing habits; there's no reason to assume that this model will underperform the DiamondClean at all.
If money isn't an issue, the Sonicare DiamondClean 9750 should be your first choice. While Oral B has great features and better pricing, top-of-the-line Sonicare brushes are simply the best of the best.
As a whole package, the DiamondClean 9750 feels the most premium and comes loaded with useful features, all implemented in intuitive ways.
We feel that the DiamonClean is a slightly more expensive version of the IO, meaning that it has almost all the same great features with a few high-end extras.
For those seeking a sleek, quiet, and powerful toothbrush, the Sonicare DiamondClean 9750 electric brush is our choice.
If you truly have the money to spend, then you may consider purchasing the best Sonicare toothbrush, the brand new Prestige 9900.
Released at the beginning of 2021, this is undoubtedly the best electric toothbrush on the market today, though it will set you back $400 in the US and £300 in the UK.
The Prestige 9900 is quite similar to the DiamondClean series in many ways, but one key thing sets it apart.
Its new, revolutionary brush head is said to remove 20 times more plaque than other leading models. On top of that, the unique design of this brush head eliminates the need for multiple head types, and it can be used for any dental purpose.
This brush head will likely be featured in all further Sonicare products for some time.
If you have the dough and are looking for the absolute best that money can buy, take a more in-depth look at the Prestige 9900.
That said, this is a costly toothbrush, and you can find many other cheaper options that work just as well, including the picks we mention above.
If you're looking for a great electric toothbrush that doesn't cost hundreds of dollars, we recommend going for the Oral-B Pro 7000.
While this model doesn't look nearly as premium as the IO 8, it still has great features like 3 adjustable settings, pressure monitoring, and built-in timing mechanisms.
The Pro 7000 is also a smart model, so it connects to an app that will let you monitor your brushing habits and track your progress. If you're looking for something like the more cost-effective IO, this could be the perfect brush for you.
What Is The Best Electric Toothbrush?
Electric toothbrushes are one of the best and easiest investments in your health you can make. When it comes to Oral-B vs. Sonicare, remember to focus not just on the model but on your brushing habits.
Whether you opt for the travel benefits of the Sonicare DiamondClean or the small brush head of the Oral-B IO, what matters most is that you brush with regularity and good form. Your mouth, and your dentist, will thank you!
Looking for more recommendations? We've got you covered. Check out more reviews for advice on everything from smart locks to coffee makers!