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Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 Review

Its performance fades into the background, somewhat overshadowed by the top brushes
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Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 Review
Credit: Jenna Ammerman
Price:  $130 List
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Manufacturer:   Philips
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jan 5, 2022
61
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 17
  • Cleaning - 40% 7.0
  • Comfort - 30% 6.3
  • Ease of Use - 20% 5.5
  • Battery Life - 10% 3.0

Our Verdict

Finishing in the middle of our electric toothbrush review, we weren't overly impressed with the performance of the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100. This toothbrush did do well in our cleaning assessments, removing the vast majority of the accumulated plaque in our tests, but isn't the most convenient to use and has a mediocre battery life. It also got a bit of a mixed response from our judges when it came to comfort — have of them were so-so, while the other half felt it was reasonably comfortable. On top of that lukewarm performance, this toothbrush is also a bit on the more expensive side, making it overall somewhat unappealing to recommend.
REASONS TO BUY
Strong cleaning performance
REASONS TO AVOID
Somewhat confusing interface
Expensive

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Price $130 List
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$100 List
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$40 List
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$60 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
61
81
75
68
66
Star Rating
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Bottom Line It failed to distinguish itself from the rest of the pack with its lackluster showingNearly flawless, this model offers everything you need with minimal drawbacksInexpensive yet fully capable, this electric toothbrush is a solid choice for just about everyoneAn inexpensive minimalist toothbrush with a long-lasting battery that cleans wellAffordable, effective, and user-friendly — this device offers value with good cleaning and extra brush heads
Rating Categories Philips Sonicare Pr... Philips Sonicare Pr... Philips Sonicare 4100 Philips One Aquasonic Black Series
Cleaning (40%)
7.0
9.0
7.9
6.8
6.8
Comfort (30%)
6.3
7.9
7.7
7.0
6.1
Ease of Use (20%)
5.5
8.0
7.8
8.0
8.0
Battery Life (10%)
3.0
5.5
5.0
3.5
4.0
Specs Philips Sonicare Pr... Philips Sonicare Pr... Philips Sonicare 4100 Philips One Aquasonic Black Series
Measured Battery Life 23 days 46 days 49.5 days 30 days 31 days
Pressure Sensor Yes Yes Yes No No
Number of Brushing Modes 3 modes:
Clean, White, and Gum Care. 3 Intensities (9 combinations)
3 modes:
Clean
White
Gum Care
1 mode:
Clean
2 sensivity levels
1 mode:
Clean
4 modes:
Clean, Soft, Whiten, Massage
Estimated Annual Brush Head Cost $44.96 for (1) four pack $44.96 for (1) four pack $44.96 for (1) four pack $15.92 for (2) two packs $19.90 for (2) two packs
Charger or Battery Info 100 - 240V a.c.
50/60Hz
0.4 - 1.4W
100 - 240V a.c.
50/60Hz
0.4 - 1.4W
USB
(block not included)
USB 100 - 240VA
50-60Hz
0.8 - 1.6W
American Dental Association accepted? Not Listed Not Listed Not Listed Not Listed Yes
Waterproof / Resistant Yes, can use in shower Yes, can use in shower Yes, can use in shower No, cannot be used in the shower Yes, can use in shower
Number of Brush Head Styles Available 9 styles, most available in 2 colors 8 styles, most available in 2 colors 8 styles, most available in 2 colors 1 style available in multiple colors 3
Number of Included Brush Heads 1 1 1 1 8
Thirty Second Reminder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Two Minute Alert Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Travel Case Included Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Measured Handle Weight 4.3 oz 4.4 oz 3.2 oz 1.4 oz 3.6 oz
App No No No No No
Available Colors 4 2 3 4 1

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 finished in the middle of the group overall and just behind the Oral-B Pro 1000. The Oral-B Pro 1000 cleaned a lot better than the 6100 in our tests and is a lot simpler to use, but it can be a bit a bit aggressive and uncomfortable for anyone with sensitive gums and has an inferior battery life.

philips sonicare protectiveclean 6100 - the sonicare protectiveclean 6100.
The Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Performance Comparison


philips sonicare protectiveclean 6100 - the protectiveclean 6100 lets you adjust the intensity of its...
The ProtectiveClean 6100 lets you adjust the intensity of its vibrations.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Comfort


The first thing we scored for each electric toothbrush is how comfortable it is to brush with, which is responsible for close to half (40%!) of the final score for each toothbrush. We compared the noise level of each toothbrush and if it had a sensor to detect if you are brushing too hard to determine points, but the bulk of the score for this metric depended on the opinion of our panel of judges after they had used the 6100.

Most of our judges rated this toothbrush very highly, finding it to be solidly comfortable, with even our judges with sensitive gums giving it their stamp of approval. However, there was a small minority of judges that weren't the biggest fans of this brush. They didn't think that it was overly abrasive, like some of the oscillation-rotation models from Oral-B, more than the frequency of the vibration to be high enough to be slightly off-putting.

This brush did earn some points by being one of the more silent models, lacking any overly irritating or annoying tones and being quieter on the whole than many other brushes. It also has a pressure sensor that will slow the vibrations of the brush down if you are brushing with too much force — something that is surprisingly easy to do.

philips sonicare protectiveclean 6100 - the protectiveclean 6100 comes stock with the diamond clean brush...
The ProtectiveClean 6100 comes stock with the diamond clean brush head.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Cleaning


Moving on to the primary function of these products, our cleaning assessment accounts for 30% of the final score for each toothbrush. We had the same panel of judges skip brushing their teeth in the morning to let a substantial amount of plaque accumulate, then used a chewable plaque disclosing tablet to stain it bright pink. Each judge then used the ProtectiveClean 6100 with the standard brush for the recommended two minutes and compared the before and after results to see just how well the ProtectiveClean 6100 did at pulverizing plaque.

philips sonicare protectiveclean 6100 - the protectiveclean 6100 did well at removing plaque.
The ProtectiveClean 6100 did well at removing plaque.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

This toothbrush did remove the majority of the plaque for every single one of our judges. However, there were a few judges that missed significant amounts of plaque in the harder to reach areas of their mouths, such as the inner surfaces of their teeth or back by their molars, precluding the 6100 from one of the top scores in this test.

philips sonicare protectiveclean 6100 - the protectiveclean 6100 has a handy two-minute timer and quad timer.
The ProtectiveClean 6100 has a handy two-minute timer and quad timer.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Use


Following cleaning, our next series of tests focused on how intuitive and easy to use the 6100 is. We looked at the ease of swapping cleaning modes and using the interface, as well as how much work it is to clean the toothbrush handle, if there is an integrated timer, and if there is an easy way to store extra toothbrush heads on the docking base. The interface can be slightly confusing, as it has three cleaning modes — Clean, Whiten, Gum Care — that can each be ran in three different intensities. You use the secondary mode select button to pick the cleaning mode before you hit the power button, then use the same button to adjust the intensity after the brush has started. Needless to say, it takes a little getting used to.

philips sonicare protectiveclean 6100 - the protectiveclean 6100 has nine different setting combinations to...
The ProtectiveClean 6100 has nine different setting combinations to choose from.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The brush is fairly easy to clean and water resistant enough to briefly rinse or use in the shower, but we did notice that toothpaste residue accumulates at the base of the handle and can take a little effort to clean. The 6100 also has a built-in two-minute timer that is divided up into 30-second intervals and will automatically stop after a full brushing cycle has elapsed. The charging base does lack any sort of storage options for other brush heads, but the included travel case can store two brush heads and the handle.

philips sonicare protectiveclean 6100 - the protectiveclean 6100 has a fancy feature that notifies you when...
The ProtectiveClean 6100 has a fancy feature that notifies you when you should change out the brush head.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Battery Life


Lastly, we ranked and scored the battery life of each toothbrush by running them for a standard cleaning cycle twice a day until they died. The ProtectiveClean 6100 lasted for 23 days before quitting, with a low battery indicator triggering on the 19th day of our test, which put it roughly in the middle of the group.


Value


This brush isn't a great value, as there are cheaper options that vastly outperformed it.

Conclusion


Overall, you could do much worse than the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100, but you also could do a lot better. Check out our full toothbrush review, which includes electric and manual models, to see our favorites.

David Wise and Austin Palmer