Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Electric Toothbrush Review
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 3rd Generation is an elegant and stylish electric toothbrush that has a unique charging station and travel case. The features are disappointing on such a high priced electric toothbrush particularly the lack of a visible pressure sensor. This electric toothbrush is the embodiment of the saying “style over substance”.
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean has always been one of Philips best performing electric toothbrushes. It is elegant, stylish and comes with some a great battery life. Is the high price justified or would be better to buy it’s main competitor the feature rich Oral-B Genius 9000? Find out more in the detailed article below.
1) Features – Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 3rd generation Electric Toothbrush Review
Different Versions of Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Electric Toothbrush
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean actually comes in a few different versions meaning it can be confusing when shopping for one.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 3rd generation is the electric toothbrush that we are reviewing today. It is the newer version of the DiamondClean 2nd generation and was released in 2016. It comes with a more practical plastic charger and the Philips AdaptiveClean brush head. The choices of colour are:
- Black Edition – HX9351/52
- Pink Edition – HX9361/62
- Rose Gold Edition – HX9391/92
- White Edition – HX9331/32
Before choosing a colour, remember that when the most common brush head replacements are white. Thus if you buy an alternative colour you may be at risk of not finding an appropriately coloured brush head. If this does not bother you then go ahead, if it does then it is definitely something to bear in mind.
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 2nd generation is the “old” version of the electric toothbrush and was released in 2014.It comes with a classy glass charger and the DiamondClean BrushHead. This is no longer actively sold because it has been superseded by the 3rd generation DiamondClean.
The final version is the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart, this is currently the most expensive Philips Sonicare and comes with all the bells and whistles. I will be reviewing this at a later date. It comes with BlueTooth Connectivity, smart sensors and connects with the Philips App.
What’s in the box?
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 3rd generation comes in a nicely presented but quite simple box. Inside it contains:
- A DiamondClean Electric Toothbrush Handle
- An AdaptiveClean Brush Head
- Charging Station with 2 pin plug which supports 100-240V
- Charging Travel Case with space for the electric toothbrush handle and two brush heads
- USB Travel Case Charger
- Travel Cap
- User Guide in a variety of languages
- Quick Start Guide
- Product Registration documentation
Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Handle
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean is very elegant in design. The white comes in a slight matte effect which adds to the luxurious feel of the electric toothbrush. Although the handle does not feel slippery, it would have been nice if there had been a textured, rubberised surface added to the rear of the handle to make it feel more grippy.
The feature that is glaringly missing on the handle is a visible pressure sensor. This is all the more surprising because it is an expensive electric toothbrush. Even basic electric toothbrushes like the Oral-B Pro 2 2000 has a pressure sensor. A visible pressure sensor is key to prevent people from pressing too firmly with their electric toothbrush and I view it as a “must” feature. It is really common for people to press too firmly when brushing and this results in unnecessary toothwear and gum recession. I think the designers were too preoccupied by the minimalist design and this is one example where style definitely does not beat practicality.
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean handle is not waterproof, it is only water resistant. This again is surprising to me especially for the cost of the electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are always around water whether it be washing off grubby toothpaste stains or accidentally dropping it in the sink. Also some people (myself included) like to brush whilst in the shower to save a little bit of time. A water resistant electric toothbrush handle does not cut it for me especially if replacing it is expensive.
Top part of the handle
At the top of the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean handle there is a metal prong that links the electric toothbrush handle to the brush head. This connection feels sturdy and the brush head is easy to put on and easy to take off.
Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Buttons and Battery Indicator Lights
There is only one button the handle. This is the on/off button which is ergonomic however not back lit. It is easy to press with your thumb. Pressing the on/off button multiple times allow you to change cleaning modes. The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean comes with 5 cleaning modes however more on this later.
When the handle is powered on the cleaning modes are back lit to let you know which one you are on. If you have a preferred cleaning mode when the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean automatically powers off , the brush will remember your selection and automatically select next time. A neat feature that saves your thumb from pressing the on/off button multiple times.
Below the cleaning modes there is a battery status icon, that does a good job indicating when you need to put the Philips Sonicare Diamondclean back on to the charger. Some people leave their electric toothbrush handles on charge all the time when not in use, I would not recommend this because it will quickly drain the capacity of your battery.
2 Minute Quad Pacer Timer
An essential feature for all electric toothbrushes and thankfully the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean has one. Brushing twice a day for 2 minutes is one of the keys to a healthy mouth so having a timer to let you know when two minutes up is essential. The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean does this by completely turning off the brush after two minutes. It also indicates at 30 second intervals to let you know when to change are of your mouth. This is a very handy feature.
Easy start feature
The easy start feature is something that is unique to Philips Sonicare and is meant for people moving over from manual toothbrushes. During the first 14 sessions of using the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean, the electric toothbrush handle will gradually ramp up the power until after the 14th session it is working optimally at full power. This is a great feature especially for new electric toothbrush users.
If you are not a new electric toothbrush user and want to switch off the easy start feature, this can be done by placing the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Electric toothbrush in the charging station or travel case (the plug has to be on) and then holding the on/off button for 2 seconds. If it beeps once this means that the easy-start feature is deactivated and two beeps means the easy start feature is activated.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Missing Features
As already discussed above there is no visible pressure sensor on this model, which is surprising. It also does not come with BlueTooth connectivity, which is where the electric toothbrush connects to a smartphone app. If you want this in a Philips Sonicare DiamondClean, you will have to upgrade to the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart Electric Toothbrush. The Oral-B Genius 9000, which is the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean’s direct competitor does come with Bluetooth connectivity and a visible pressure sensor.
2) Mechnism of Action – Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Electric Toothbrush Review
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean uses a sonic movement to clean your teeth. This is where the bristles of the brush rapidly sweep backward and forward to break up the plaque biofilm. If you would like to find out how to use an electric toothbrush properly click here. The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean cleans at 31,000 strokes per minute, which is roughly 258 hertz. This translates into about a noise of about a middle C on a piano.
The Sonicare brush movement works in two ways:
- Mechanical scrubbing – the physical brushing of the bristles on the teeth backwards and forwards
- Fluid dynamics – due to the high number of rapid brush strokes, it agitates the saliva and water which cleans away plaque in areas where the bristles may not have touched. This is unique to sonic movement and is known as “non-contact” brushing.
Unfortunately for Philips Sonicare, Cochrane did a systematic review which included 17 clinical trials and 1369 participants. This review concluded that the Oscillating-rotating electric toothbrushes (such as the Oral-B) reduced plaque and gingivitis more than sonic electric toothbrushes in the short term. Although Cochrane did admit that the difference was small and the clinical importance unclear. What does this mean for us? Oral-B’s tends to clean very slightly better than Philips Sonicare.
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean is surprisingly quiet for an electric toothbrush and only has a slight middle C hum when in operation. It is definitely less noisy than it’s Oral-B Counterparts.
Personal Clean Test
After cleaning my teeth with the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean in the standard “clean” mode which lasts for 2 minutes, my teeth definitely felt squeeky clean and it was much better than a manual toothbrush. I would still give a slight edge to the Oral-B Genius 9000 if I was being picky.
Accessing the Cleaning Modes
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean comes with five different cleaning modes which are backlit on the front of the handle. To access these, you just have to press the on/off button to change between the cleaning modes. The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean will also remember the last cleaning mode you were on providing you let it automatically switch off. If you have a preferred cleaning mode, this will save you time.
The five Cleaning Modes
The five cleaning modes are:
- Clean – This is the standard mode which cleans your teeth for 2 minutes and then automatically switches off. I would recommend this mode for the vast majority of people to use on a regular basis.
- White – This is a specialist mode for the one off occasions when you want your teeth to look tip top. This cleaning mode brushes your teeth for 2 minutes 30 seconds. It allows an extra 30 seconds to polish your front teeth. Over brushing teeth can lead to toothbrush abrasion and gum recession.
- Sensitive – A reduced power, gentle cleaning mode for people who have sensitive teeth or press too firmly with the electric toothbrush. This is a mode that can be used on a regular basis and cleans for 2 minutes before automatically switching off. If you are a normal user (i.e. do not have sensitive teeth and do not press too firmly) then I would stick to the standard “clean” cleaning mode because it has more cleaning power.
- Gum Care – A specialist mode which lasts for 3 minutes. The first 2 minutes is the standard “clean” mode and there has been an additional 1 minute added on to gently massage the gums. This cleaning mode is a waste of time.
- Deep Clean – There are times when you want to give your teeth a “deep clean”. I am thinking about when you get back from a long haul flight. On these occasions, you may want to put the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean into deep clean mode. This is effectively a standard clean mode that lasts for 3 minutes. I would not recommend using this on a daily basis.
Philips Adaptive Clean Brush Head
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 3rd Generation actually comes with an Adaptive Clean Brush Head instead of the DiamondClean Brush head. This may come as quite a shock given the name however the adaptive clean brush head is actually the better brush head. This is because it has 4 x more surface contact vs a DiamondClean Brush Head.
The AdaptiveClean Brush head actually gently flexes when pressure is applied to it. This allows the brush head to absorb excessive brushing pressure and thus it “adapts” to your teeth. Another neat feature is the blue reminder bristles that fade after use. The blue bristles are designed to fade after 3 months indicating that it is time to replace your brush head. As a general rule, brush heads should be replaced after 3 months or the bristles start fraying. This is to ensure that your electric toothbrush cleans at optimal efficiency.
The AdaptiveClean Brush Head is on the larger side and I would have preferred it, if it were smaller. Also the long oval brush head shape is a little awkward to use especially when reaching back to the far back molar teeth. The larger brush head size does affect maneuverability especially in comparison to the smaller Oral-B brush heads (If you want to find out more about Oral-B Brush Heads click here).
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Compatible Brush Heads
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean electric toothbrush handle is compatible with all Philips Sonicare Brush heads including:
- AdaptiveClean Brush Head (Recommended for most electric toothbrush users)
- DiamondClean Brush Head
- InterCare Brush Head
- ProResults Brush Head
- Sensitive Brush head (Recommended for electric toothbrush users with sensitive teeth)
- C3 Premium Plaque Control Brush Head
- G3 Premium Gum Care Brush Head
- W3 Premium White Brush Head
3) Battery Life – Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Electric Toothbrush Review
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Battery Life
This is one area where the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean particularly shines. The Philips DiamondClean features a fantastic lithium ion battery that holds enough charge to last for 3 weeks of brushing. This means if left on continuously it would last for 84 minutes which is 3 weeks of brushing twice a day for 2 minutes. This battery life has been verified with my testing. 3 weeks of battery life is class leading and far outshines the Oral-B Genius 9000 battery life of 2 weeks.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Charging Time
Unsurprisingly due to the high capacity of the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean lithium ion battery, it takes a while to charge. From completely flat to fully charged, it takes 24 hours which is a considerable amount of time.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Charging Station
I was a big fan of the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean’s 2nd generation glass cup charger. It was sleek, elegant and luxurious. However, Philips on the 3rd generation has decided to replace this with a plastic charger! The plastic charger does still look attractive and is perhaps more practical, the glass cup charger was always at risk of shattering if dropped. It does feel like a downgrade though.
The charging station comes with a 2 pin 100-240v plug. This means that if you do not have a shaving plug in your bathroom, you will need a 2 pin to 3 pin adapter. This can be picked up from any decent hardware store, a large supermarket or Amazon.
4) Portability – Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Electric Toothbrush Review
Dimensions and weight with Brush Head
- Weight – 141g
- Height – 25.5cm
- Width – 2.7cm
- Thickness – 2.8cm
Dimensions and weight without Brush Head
- Weight – 134g
- Height – 19.3cm
- Width – 2.7cm
- Thickness – 2.8cm
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Travel Case
The travel case that the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean comes with is one of the best on the market. The travel case is usually colour matched to the colour of the electric toothbrush handle. This is the case for the black edition, rose gold edition and pink edition. The exception to the rule is the white edition that comes with a silvery case. In my view the silver case is much more practical than having a white case.
On all the travel cases, they have a soft touch outer material which covers a solid inner shell. The case also has a magnet on it which helps keep the lid shut. This is a classy touch on a very well presented case. Inside the case, there is space the Philips Sonicare Diamondclean electric toothbrush handle and two brush heads. On the outside of the case, there is a mini USB port that allows your electric toothbrush handle to be charged whilst away from home. Just plug in the mini USB cable into the travel case, find a suitable power source and away you go. This means that you do not need to carry your charging station whilst on holiday, another great design feature.
5) Value For Money – Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Electric Toothbrush Review
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Price
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean currently costs £99.99. Whether this is good value for money depends on how much you value style. The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean is most certainly one of the most elegant electric toothbrushes on the market however it is lacking in features, especially for this price bracket. It’s direct competitor the Oral-B Genius 9000 is a similar price yet contains position detection, 3D oscillating-rotating motion, Bluetooth connectivity, visible pressure sensor and more. Admittedly the Oral-B Genius 9000 is not as elegant as the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean so it depends on what you value.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Warranty
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean comes with a manufacturer’s 2 year limited warranty, which is good for an electric toothbrush.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Running Costs
The Philips range of brush heads are expensive compared to Oral-B. This means that the running costs for Philips Sonicare DiamondClean is high. For a four pack of adaptive clean brush heads the current price on Amazon is Out of stock. This works out at around £5 a brush head which is almost double the cost of the Oral-B brush head. Philips brush heads are of good quality so you should be able to get a good three months out of them. This means that the monthly cost is just over £1 for the brush heads.
The only other running costs to keep in mind other than the brush heads is the minimal cost of water and electricity.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Reviews
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 3rd generation has widely been reviewed positively with a 4.4 star rating on Amazon (at the moment of writing) and 4.7 star rating on Google (again at the moment of writing). Although rare, the main issues have been with build quality especially a screw that attaches the sonic mechanism to the metal tip. This gradually loosens over time and starts producing a rattling sound and eventually stops working. If this happens during the 2 year limited warranty then Philips should help you out, if not it may mean a costly replacement.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Main Competitors
The main competitor to the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 3rd generation is the Oral-B Genius 9000 which received a fantastic 95% rating from me. I would thoroughly recommend checking out the Oral-B Genius 9000 before purchasing the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What is the best electric toothbrush?
Is the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean noisy?
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean is actually surprisingly quiet for an electric toothbrush. It is of course still noisier than a manual toothbrush but not by much.
Is the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean waterproof?
Unfortunately it isn’t. It is only water resistant so do not use it in the shower.
Does the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean come with a travel case?
Yes and a great one at that. Possible the best travel case on the market at the moment. The travel case also charges the electric toothbrush handle when plugged in.
Is the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean suitable for dental restorations/bridge/dental implants/crowns?
Yes it is. The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean is suitable for use with dental restorations/bridges/dental implants/crowns. If a dental restoration/bridge/dental implant/crown fails when using a Philips Sonicare, it would have likely failed the next time you ate. Eating puts far much more force on your teeth than an electric toothbrush.
Is the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean suitable for children?
It has not been specifically designed for children. If you want to buy an electric toothbrush for your child, I would highly recommend checking out my post on the best children’s electric toothbrush.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Electric Toothbrush Review Summary
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean electric toothbrush puts in a solid effort however ultimately does not have enough features to be one of my favorite electric toothbrushes. It is definitely a stylish toothbrush but substance beats style in my eyes.