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Philips Sonicare HealthyWhite+ Review

This brush is a good bet if you want maximum adjustability when it comes to brushing modes
Philips Sonicare HealthyWhite+
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Price:   $120 List | $81 at Amazon
Pros:  Comfortable, exceptional cleaning power
Cons:  Little less convenient to use, lackluster battery life
Manufacturer:   Philips
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Oct 10, 2018
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 14
  • Comfort - 40% 6
  • Cleaning - 30% 8
  • Ease of Use - 20% 5
  • Battery Life - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Sonicare HealthyWhite+ is marketed directly as improving the whiteness of your teeth. While it would be necessary for clinical trials conducted by dental professionals to verify or refute the authenticity of these claims, we did find that this model performed extremely well throughout our testing process. It delivered one of the best cleaning scores we have seen and is quite comfortable to use. On top of that, it offers some of the finest control out of all the brushes we tested with respect to regulating intensity. Unfortunately, it is still on the expensive side and was overall outmatched by a handful of much less expensive toothbrushes.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Editors' Choice Award  
Price $120 List
$80.93 at Amazon
$70 List
$39.95 at Amazon
$270 List
$239.95 at Amazon
$68 List
$68 at Amazon
$70 List
$44.99 at Amazon
Star Rating
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Pros Comfortable, exceptional cleaning powerVery easy to use, solid battery life, great cleaning powerGreat cleaning power, stylish, solidly comfortableExceptional battery life, comfortableLow list price, lots of colors available, comfortable
Cons Little less convenient to use, lackluster battery lifeOnly a single cleaning modeExorbitantly expensiveNot the best at cleaningLimited brushing modes, shorter battery life than other Sonicare models
Bottom Line This brush is a good bet if you want maximum adjustability when it comes to brushing modesThe 4100 is an excellent all-around toothbrush that cleans well and is particularly easy to useThis top-notch toothbrush is packed with smart features but comes at a hefty priceIf you want a solid, all-around toothbrush with an outstanding battery life, then the Brio is the brush for youThis budget toothbrush is another great option for those that want a more comfortable brushing experience on a budget
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Rating Categories Sonicare... Sonicare... Sonicare... Brio SmartClean... Philips Sonicare...
Comfort (40%)
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
Cleaning (30%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
6
Ease Of Use (20%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
0
8
Battery Life (10%)
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
6
Specs Sonicare... Sonicare... Sonicare... Brio SmartClean... Philips Sonicare...
Charger Info 100 - 240V a.c.
50/60Hz
0.4 - 1.4W
100 - 240V a.c.
50/60Hz
0.4 - 1.4W
100 - 240V
50/60Hz
0.5 - 1.3W
100 - 240VA
50-60Hz
0.9 - 1.3W
100 - 240V a.c.
50/60Hz
0.4 - 1.4W
Estimated annual brush head cost $40 $50 $50 $24 $40
Waterproof/ Resistant Can use in shower Can use in shower Can use in shower Yes, up to 1 meter up to 30 min Can use in shower
# of different brush heads 11 8 11 + tongue brush 3 11
Replacement cost of brush heads (standard head) 3 for $30 4 for $50 2 for $30
4 for $49
2 for $12 3 for $30
Measured Battery Life 22 days 28 days 24 days 70 Days 26 days
# of brushing modes 2 modes: Clean and White
3 Intensities (6 combinations)
1 Clean 9500 & 9700 Series - 3 intensities and 5 Modes: Clean, White+, Gum Health, Deep Clean+, and tongue care
9300 - does not have tongue clean
5 modes: Clean, White, Polish, Massage, Sensitive 1 Clean
Pressure sensor No Yes Yes No No
30 second reminder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
2 minute alert Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Travel case included Yes No Yes, Charging Case No No
Weight 4.9 oz. 4.3 oz. 5 oz. 4.0 oz. 4.9 oz.
Color(s) Frost White White
Black
9300 & 9500 seriew: White, Black, Pink, Silver
9700: Lunar Blue
White Black
Ultra Coral
Sky Blue
White on Guacamole
White on Ultra Coral
White on Steel Blue
App No No Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The HealthyWhite+ outmatched the performance of the Sonicare DiamondClean and scored just a little bit better than the Oral-B Pro 1000. The HealthyWhite+ and the DiamondClean are quite a bit more comfortable than the Oral-B, but all three of these brushes clean about the same. The HealthyWhite+ does have the best battery life of this group and has a list price of $120, which puts it right in the middle, costing about $80 less than the DiamondClean and about $50 more than the Pro 1000.

The HealthyWhite+ offers some of the most adjustability out of all the models that we looked at.
The HealthyWhite+ offers some of the most adjustability out of all the models that we looked at.

Performance Comparison


To pick our award winners and find out which toothbrushes really swept away the rest, we bought all the most promising models that have been available on the market in the last two years or so and ranked and scored their performance side-by-side in a comprehensive series of tests. We grouped these tests into four weighted metrics, with the HealthyWhite's results explained below.

Comfort


Comfort is our most important testing metric, constituting 40% of the overall score for each electric toothbrush. The HealthyWhite+ scored well, earning a 6 out of 10 for this metric, which consisted of grading how comfortable it is to brush with, how loud it is, and if there is an over-pressure sensor.

The HealthyWhite+ was well liked among our panel. The majority of our judges found that the brush head is on the shallower side, making it quite maneuverable and relatively easy to reach even the hardest to clean spots in your mouth, without being uncomfortable at all.

This brush stood out from the rest as being one of the favorite options for those testers that have sensitive gums. The side-to-side cleaning motion is much less abrasive than the rotation-oscillation brushes and found that this brush had one of the gentlest brushing modes we have seen so far. While this brush doesn't have a dedicated sensitive mode, it does have plus and minus buttons to adjust the intensity of both of its cleaning modes — Clean and Whiten. Our testers with the most sensitive gums found that the Clean mode on the lowest intensity to be less abrasive than the sensitive modes on other models, making the HealthyWhite+ their preferred brush.

This brush was also one of the quieter models. Our sound meter recorded this at 58 dBa about 2" away from the mouth when the user was brushing. However, a few testers did feel that the tone is slightly annoying and loud enough to be distracting.

It also lacks a pressure sensor, leaving it up to you to regulate your brushing pressure and make sure you aren't pressing too hard.

Cleaning


Next on our testing docket, we moved on to evaluating the cleaning and plaque removal performance of each of these products. This accounts for 30% of the final score, with the HealthyWhite+ earning an 8 out of 10 — holding its own with the top toothbrushes.

For our cleaning tests, evaluation of the brushes was based on before and after brushing photos, when the user had used a plaque disclosing tablet to identify where there were significant accumulations of plaque.


Ready to test out the HealthyWhite+ with some freshly stained plaque!
Do you think the HealthyWhite+ made these whiter?

These tablets would stain plaque a vivid red color, allowing us to clearly see which portions of the mouth had been cleaned effectively, and which portions had been missed.

The HealthyWhite+ did a great job, missing very few spots. This performance tied with the DiamondClean (making sense, as both brushes use the same brush head).

The HealthyWhite+ had a matte finish  making it comfortable to hold.
The HealthyWhite+ had a matte finish, making it comfortable to hold.

Ease of Use


Constituting one-fifth of the overall score, our ease of use tests are the next most important to the overall score. We compared the user-friendliness of the interface on each toothbrush, if there is an easy way to store additional brush heads, how hard it is to clean the toothbrush, and if there is a timer to make sure you hit that two minutes of brushing, twice a day goal. The HealthyWhite+ did a decent job, earning a 5 out of 10.

Using the same snap on/snap off attachment style as the majority of the brushes that we reviewed, it was easy to change out brush heads. While this model only has 2 different cleaning modes (clean, and whitening), you are able to adjust the intensity between 3 different levels, giving you 6 possible unique combinations to find the perfect feel for you. The interface is split between 2 buttons: power/ mode select, and a plus/minus rocker button to select the intensity. This was intuitive from the start, and gives you the option to adjust the intensity while brushing.

The multiple button interface on the HealthyWhite+.
The multiple button interface on the HealthyWhite+.

Unfortunately, this additional button and the presence of a large number of cracks and crevices around the handle do a fantastic job of trapping toothpaste grime, making this product much more difficult to clean. The charging base for this model is on the small side, making it somewhat prone to being accidentally knocked over. It also lacks any additional toothbrush head storage.

The small charging base on this brush makes it prone to being tipped over.
The small charging base on this brush makes it prone to being tipped over.

This model also comes with a travel case (non-charging), though there is space to store two toothbrush heads.

The HealthyWhite+ comes with a convenient travel case.
The HealthyWhite+ comes with a convenient travel case.

This brush does have a two-minute timer, with notifications every 30 seconds to help you pace out your brushing evenly. The visual appeal of the HealthyWhite+ doesn't quite stack up to the DiamondClean, with the latter coming in a wider variety of colors and having a much sleeker, more polished overall appearance.

The HealthyWhite+ has a snap-on/snap-off brush head attachment system  and is compatible with a variety of brush heads to match your preferences.
The smooth  matte finish on the DiamondClean gives it a great ergonomic feel.

Battery Life


For the leftover 10% of the final score, we evaluated and scored the battery life of each brush. To take both the brushing and standby power draw into account, we ran each toothbrush for a full cleaning cycle, morning and night, waiting until it completely died. The HealthyWhite+ did about average, earning a 5 out of 10.


It lasted for 22 days in out test — more than enough to take a short trip and not have to worry about bringing the charger with you.

Value


This model performed well in our testing, but it isn't necessarily a great value. It has an MSRP that is about $50 higher than the top scorer.

Conclusion


While this brush seems to be primarily marketed at whitening your teeth, we would suggest consulting with your dentist before purchasing this model solely for that reason. Upon consulting with our dental experts, they stated that toothbrushes only will really remove surface stains, but to look at a dedicated whitening product when it comes to actually whitening your teeth. Aside from that, this brush might be a good bet if you have extremely sensitive gums, but at that point, you may also want to consult your dentist about whether or not you should even be using an electric toothbrush in the first place.


David Wise and Austin Palmer