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Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 Review

The ProtectiveClean 6100's performance fades into the background, thoroughly overshadowed by the top brushes
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Price:   $130 List | $100 at Amazon
Pros:  Strong cleaning performance
Cons:  Somewhat confusing interface, expensive
Manufacturer:   Philips
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Feb 11, 2019
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61
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 13
  • Comfort - 40% 6
  • Cleaning - 30% 7
  • Ease of Use - 20% 5
  • Battery Life - 10% 6

Our Verdict

Finishing in the middle of the group, 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.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $130 List
$99.99 at Amazon
$68 List
$68 at Amazon
$70 List
$39.95 at Amazon
$70 List
$62.97 at Amazon
$120 List
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Pros Strong cleaning performanceGreat battery life, waterproof, inexpensive replacement brush headsVery easy to use, solid battery life, great cleaning powerLow list price, lots of colors available, comfortableComfortable, exceptional cleaning power
Cons Somewhat confusing interface, expensiveLess customization availableOnly a single cleaning modeLimited brushing modes, shorter battery life than other Sonicare modelsLittle less convenient to use, lackluster battery life
Bottom Line The ProtectiveClean 6100’s performance fades into the background, thoroughly overshadowed by the top brushesThe best brush for most people with a great battery life and all the features you need without any fluffThe 4100 is an excellent all-around toothbrush that cleans well and is particularly easy to useThis budget toothbrush is another great option for those that want a more comfortable brushing experience on a budgetThis brush is a good bet if you want maximum adjustability when it comes to brushing modes
Overall Score Sort Icon
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61
100
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68
100
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68
100
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64
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Rating Categories Sonicare... Brio SmartClean... Sonicare... Philips Sonicare... Sonicare...
Comfort (40%)
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
Cleaning (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
8
Ease Of Use (20%)
10
0
5
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
5
Battery Life (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
5
Specs Sonicare... Brio SmartClean... Sonicare... Philips Sonicare... Sonicare...
Charger Info 100 - 240V a.c.
50/60Hz
0.4 - 1.4W
100 - 240VAC
50/60Hz
0.8 - 1.2W
100 - 240V a.c.
50/60Hz
0.4 - 1.4W
100 - 240V a.c.
50/60Hz
0.4 - 1.4W
100 - 240V a.c.
50/60Hz
0.4 - 1.4W
Estimated annual brush head cost $50 $24 $50 $40 $40
Waterproof/ Resistant Can use in shower Yes, up to 1 meter up to 30 min Can use in shower Can use in shower Can use in shower
# of different brush heads 8 3 8 11 11
Replacement cost of brush heads (standard head) 4 for $50 2 for $12 4 for $50 3 for $30 3 for $30
Measured Battery Life 22 days 64 days 27 days 26 days 22 days
# of brushing modes 3 modes: Clean, White, and Gum Care
3 Intensities (9 combinations)
3 modes: Normal, Soft, Massage 1 Clean 1 Clean 2 modes: Clean and White
3 Intensities (6 combinations)
Pressure sensor Yes No Yes No No
30 second reminder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
2 minute alert Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Travel case included Yes No No No Yes
Weight 4.3 oz. 3.7 oz. 4.3 oz. 4.9 oz. 4.9 oz.
Color(s) White Silver
Navy Blue
Pastel Pink
White White
Black
Black
Ultra Coral
Sky Blue
White on Guacamole
White on Ultra Coral
White on Steel Blue
Frost White
App No No No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

This electric toothbrush finished in the middle of the group overall, ahead of the Waterpik Complete Care 9.5 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. However, the Pro 1000 usually retails for about $50 less, making it a much better value. The Waterpik costs about the same as the ProtectiveClean 6100, but it does include an integrated water flosser, so you do get all the increased functionality from that. It's about the as comfortable as the 6100 and also has a better battery life, but doesn't clean as well.

The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100.
The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100.

Performance Comparison


In our crusade to crown the best electric toothbrush of them all, we researched over 50 different products over close to 3 years, consulting with dentists and dental hygienists about our testing plans and procedures. We bought all the most promising brushes, then tested them side-by-side in tons of different tests to pick our award winners. We grouped these tests into four weighted rating metrics, with the results and our analysis of the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 described below.

The ProtectiveClean 6100 lets you adjust the intensity of its vibrations.
The ProtectiveClean 6100 lets you adjust the intensity of its vibrations.

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. It did alright, earning a 6 out of 10 overall for its level of comfort.

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.

The ProtectiveClean 6100 comes stock with the diamond clean brush head.
The ProtectiveClean 6100 comes stock with the diamond clean brush head.

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 the ProtectiveClean 6100 did at pulverizing plaque. Overall, we thought it did quite well, earning a 7 out of 10.

We felt the ProtectiveClean 6100 did well at removing plaque.
We felt the ProtectiveClean 6100 did well at removing plaque.

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.

The ProtectiveClean 6100 has a handy 2-minute timer and quad timer.
The ProtectiveClean 6100 has a handy 2-minute timer and quad timer.

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 ProtectiveClean 6100 delivered an overall lackluster set of results, earning it a 5 out of 10 in this series of evaluations, which account for 20% of its final point total.

This brush's 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.

The ProtectiveClean 6100 has 9 different setting combinations to choose from.
The ProtectiveClean 6100 has 9 different setting combinations to choose from.

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.

The ProtectiveClean 6100 has a fancy feature that notifies you when you should change out the brush head.
The ProtectiveClean 6100 has a fancy feature that notifies you when you should change out the brush head.

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 6100 didn't do the best, earning a 5 out of 10 in this test, which is responsible for the leftover 10% of its final score.

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.


David Wise and Austin Palmer