The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean is the top-recommended toothbrush brand by leading dentists and oral hygiene experts.
The brand has released several series of its most popular electric toothbrushes in the last years, all of which are designed to help improve your dental hygiene, remove the plaque, improve the health of your gums and whiten the teeth.
The question is – how to choose between these products, and how to find out whether the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 vs the ProtectiveClean 5100, vs the ProtectiveClean 6100 is better for your needs?
The three electric toothbrushes from this series are advertised as providing gentle and yet efficient care and protection for your teeth and added gum care thanks to the pressure sensor and sonic technology used.
There are some differences in the pricing and the features of these three models, which are worth mentioning, and each of these products has its pros and cons.
Here is a detailed review that compares the three versions of this bestselling ProtectiveClean series, and which will hopefully help you find the best option for your budget and your dental hygiene needs.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about Sonicare 4100 vs. 5100 vs.6100.
Philips Sonicare 4100 vs. 5100 vs. 6100 – what are the differences?
Philips Sonicare 4100 appeared on the market and is advertised with the catchy slogan – “Cleaner teeth. Gently does it.”
The Sonicare 5100 is more focused on gum health, and its slogan is “Healthier gums. Gently does it.”
The Philips Sonicare 6100 is focused on whitening the teeth with gentle care, and the slogan for it is “Whiter teeth. Gently does it.”
In general, the Sonicare 4100 is designed and made to enable effective plaque control and promote cleaner teeth. The electric brush has high-quality bristles which are thickly and firmly packed, which help remove up to 7 times more germs from the teeth than traditional toothbrushes.
The 5100 is designed to efficiently remove the plaque from the gums, and especially around the gum line, and is advertised as being 100% more effective than traditional toothbrushes.
The 6100 is promoted for efficient cleaning of the teeth from plaque, as well as for gum massaging and care, and for whitening the teeth gently by removing any surface stains, and leading to a whiter smile and 100% fewer stains on the teeth in just 7 days of use.
As for the different cleaning modes, the 4100 has one single cleaning mode, and the Protective Clean 5100 and the 6100 have three cleaning modes, including clean white and gum care.
The main difference between the newer ProtectiveClean 6100 and the other two models is the three intensity modes you can choose from.
This means that people with more sensitive teeth and gums can use it as well as the lower intensity setting.
Another difference between these three electric toothbrushes by Philips is their travel friendliness. While the Sonicare 4100 comes with a charger only, the Sonicare 5100 and the 6100 come with chargers as well as with handy travel boxes to store them hygienically and safely when you are on a business trip or a vacation.
Neither the 4100 nor 5100 have the latest BrushSync pairing mode, which the newer model 6100 has, though.
This nifty feature will detect which of the brush heads is in use at any given time and will synchronize the intensity and cleaning mode in accordance with the brush head for the best results.
All three of these toothbrushes will alert you when it is time to replace the brush head.
The ProtectiveClean 4100 has a program that allows you to gradually increase the brushing power of a new brush. The ProtectiveClean 6100 also has this easy-start feature, while the 5100 does not have this feature.
When it comes to the similarities between this review of Sonicare 4100 vs 5100 vs 6100, there are many significant ones which are worth mentioning.
All three of these ProtectiveClean Sonicare electric toothbrushes help reduce the cavities, but the 4100 is more efficient in removing the plaque, while the 5100 is a better choice for improving the gum health in just 2 weeks, while the 6100 helps remove the stains from the teeth in just 7 days of use.
All three have brush head speeds of up to 62,000 brush movements per minute, and QuadPacer reminders, which will alert you how long you should be brushing the different quarters of your mouth.
All three models from the ProtectiveClean series utilize the patented Philips Sonic cleaning technology, which pulses water in between the teeth, for plaque and germ removal, and better cleaning of the teeth.
They also have pressure sensors that will prevent you from brushing your teeth and gums too hard.
They have SmartTimers, which will ensure that you brush your teeth for the recommended 2 minutes. The 5100 and 6100 have other cleaning modes with added time for optimal gum care and massaging and whitening of the teeth.
The design of the Philips Sonicare 4100 vs. 5100 vs. 6100
All three toothbrushes from the Philips Sonicare line are sleek and slender, which not only looks quite nice but also makes holding them and using them more comfortable and easy, even by children or people with weak hands.
The Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 comes with a single on and off switch on the handle and comes in white, pink, deep pink, or black color options.
The Sonicare 5100 has an extra button that allows for switching among the three available brushing options – clean, gum care, and whitening. It is available in black and white color options.
The Sonicare 6100 comes in silver white, pastel pink, and navy blue handle color options. It has three cleaning modes to choose from, including white, clean, and gum care. It has a button for choosing one of the three intensity settings (low, medium, and high) and three LED indicators that display the intensity with one, two, or three lights.
Their battery life
All three models from the Sonicare ProtectiveClean series run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which will last for about two weeks with normal use, which includes brushing twice a day for the recommended time of 2 minutes.
They come with dual voltage chargers, so you can take either on a trip abroad with you to ensure that your teeth are clean, no matter where you happen to be.
All of these appliances need to be charged for 24 hours before being used for the first time. After that, you can safely leave them on the charger base after use.
As with most battery-operated appliances, it is recommended that you let the li-ion battery wear off completely at least once in every three months, in order to prolong the longevity of the battery.
All three toothbrushes have LED indicators on the front, which will alert you when the appliance needs to be charged, and also what the status of the battery is, including full, medium, low or no battery.
The added accessories
Each of these high-speed toothbrushes from the Sonicare ProtectiveClean line comes with different brush heads from the series.
The Sonicare 4100 is sold with a C2 Optimal Plaque Control brush head, the 5100 comes with a G2 Optimal Gum Care brush head, and the 6100 comes with a DiamondClean brush head.
The good news is that all three of the toothbrushes are compatible with any of the ProtectiveClean brush heads offered on the market, so you can pick the one which suits your needs, or buy more than one of the different brush heads and interchange them depending on the cleaning mode used.
The Sonicare 4100, 5100 and 6100 come with useful charging stands, which you can use for storing your toothbrushes as well as charging them. They have small footprints, so they will not take up too much space in your bathroom, and will keep your toothbrush standing upright for space-saving and hygienic purposes.
The charger bases are interchangeable with the other Philips battery powered toothbrushes, so you can use the same charger if you have more than one at home.
The Sonicare 5100 and the 6100 are sold with a compact and useful travel case, so you can safely store your electric toothbrush when traveling, or carry it with you wherever you want.
The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 toothbrush is an affordable basic model from the ProtectiveClean series, which has the same sleek design as the higher-end models from the series, and the main features which will ensure that your teeth are clean from plaque and microbes.
The 4100 toothbrush costs about $50 and has a special start-up feature, which will let you get used to high-speed tooth cleaning if you are not used to using electric powered toothbrushes. This electric toothbrush will gently introduce it to the new feeling by gradually increasing the speed of the brush for the first 14 days of use.
This makes it a perfect choice for first-time electric brush users, kids, and others.
It is a model that is the number 1 recommended one by dental professionals and will help remove 7 times and more plaque from your teeth than a regular manual toothbrush.
It has an integrated pressure sensor, which will alert you if you are pressing against your teeth and gums too hard.
There is also a BrushSynch reminder, which will let you know when it is time to replace the brush head with gentle vibrations of the handle.
Plus, it has a SmartTimer and a QuadPacer, which will ensure that you clean all of your teeth and areas of your mouth properly. Thanks to these features, you will remember to brush your teeth for 2 minutes per time, which is what the dentists around the world recommend as the optimal time for brushing.
Overall, the Sonicare 4100 is an excellent option for people looking for a budget-friendly option for a good quality and efficient electric brush which will help them maintain better hygiene and plaque removal, and thus reduce the risks of cavities, bad breath, and stained teeth.
It is also a perfect choice if you have no experience with high-speed toothbrushes, as it has a 14 day Easy Start mode, which will gradually increase the speed and intensity of the brushing every day during the two weeks of use. This will help you get used to the sensation, and to the high speed of the brush when used in full capacity.
Like the more expensive models from this series, the Sonicare 4100 has a brushing speed of 62,000 movements every minute. Plus, it features the patented and recommended sonic technology, which gently cleans and sweeps away the plaque.
Its battery life is as long as that of the more expensive versions of the ProtectiveClean series and will last for about 2 weeks with normal use. It comes with a charger base, which can be used as a toothbrush stand as well.
The 4100 is suitable for use by people with braces, veneers, fillings, and crowns.
The 4100 works on dual voltage, so you can take it with you when traveling abroad as well.
The toothbrush can be purchase in white, black, pink, or deep pink color options.
It is sold with a C2 optimal plaque brush head, and is compatible with all other brush heads from the line.
It may not have the bells and whistles of the later models, but it is reasonably priced and does what a good toothbrush is meant to do – it will help clean your teeth and will remove 7 times more plaque than a regular toothbrush will.
The Sonicare 4100 has just a few cons. One is that the brush head lasts for just about as long as a regular toothbrush will, so it will need frequent replacements. The other potential problem is that its vibrations can be a tad too strong and painful for people with sensitive or painful gums and teeth.
And, unlike the other two toothbrushes in this review, it has one cleaning mode only.
The ProtectiveClean 5100 Sonicare electric toothbrush costs about $30 more than the previous model, and has all the basic features of the latter, but with some added extras.
The Sonicare 5100 comes with a G2 Optimal Gum Care Brush instead of the Plaque Control brush of the older model. Plus, the 5100 has 3 cleaning modes you can choose from – clean mode, gum care, and white cleaning mode.
Thanks to its sonic vibration technology, it will provide up to 31,000 brush strokes or 62,000 movements of the brush head every minute.
The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 also has a Pressure sensor for protecting the teeth and gums and the BrushSync reminder for brush head replacement of the previous version. The pressure sensor will also inform you if you are applying too much pressure on your gum line or teeth.
Thanks to the QuadPacer, you will be reminded to pay attention to every single tooth, gum care, and part of your mouth every time you brush your teeth for the recommended two minutes of time.
The main difference between the two is that the ProtectiveClean 5100 is mainly focused on improving the gum health, while the 4100 has the main objective of optimal plaque removal and cleaning the teeth.
In fact, the manufacturer of the Sonicare 5100, claims that this toothbrush is capable of improving the gum health by 100% as compared to manual toothbrushes.
The toothbrush itself has a slip-proof brush handle and easy to use as the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100, and has curved power tips which will allow you to reach all of your teeth, even the ones in the back of your mouth.
The Sonicare 5100 comes with a charger stand, as well as a travel case for portability and hygiene. The battery life is about 2 weeks per charge.
It is available in black and white color options, and too can be used with all of the different types of brush heads offered for the Sonicare Protective Clean line.
The Sonicare 5100 is a perfect choice if you are looking for a toothbrush with added gentle gum care. This electric toothbrush by Philips is specially designed to resolve such problems, gently and efficiently. It will not only help promote your gum health, but it will also clean and whiten your teeth as well, thanks to its customizable clean, white and gum modes.
The cons of the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 are that you cannot adjust the intensity level of the brushing, which means that the vibrations and speed may be too intense for people with sensitive or painful gums.
The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 is the costliest of the three models reviewed in this post.
It costs just under $110, and has all of the features of the other two previous models from the line, but with some added bonus features.
The ProtectiveClean 6100 is designed and advertised as the bets option for whitening your teeth. It is sold with the most advanced DiamondClean brush head, which is made for use with the “white” cleaning mode, and which can help reduce the staining from the teeth by 100% after only 7 days of use, as compared to a traditional non-electric toothbrush.
Like the ProtectiveClean 5100, the Sonicare 6100 has three cleaning modes to choose from, including clean mode, white mode, and gum care.
But unlike the other two older models from the line, the 6100 comes with three intensity settings you can choose from for every cleaning mode. This makes it perfect for people with sensitive gums and teeth, as well as for first-time high-speed electric brush users or for children.
Like the other two toothbrushes, the 6100 has a Quad Pacer, which will ensure that you brush every single tooth in your mouth for the recommended time.
It also will alert you if you are putting too much pressure on your teeth as you are brushing them via the gentle pulsations and sound alert, thanks to the built in pressure sensor.
The toothbrush has BrushSync mode pairing, so it will automatically set the most suitable cleaning mode and intensity setting depending on the brush head you are using. This smart feature is something that neither the 4100 nor the 5100 have.
Like the other toothbrushes in this review, the ProtectiveClean 6100 has a BrushSync replacement indicator. It will sense when it is time to replace the brush head with a new time in order to get the best results. The indicator light will switch on, and a beeping sound will be made to alert you when you should attach a new brush head.
Like the other two toothbrushes from this list, the 6100 features the patented Philips sonic technology. It uses high-speed vibrations allowing for up to 31,000 brush strokes every minute and also ensures that the bubbles which appear form the vibrations get every single bit of plaque from all sides of your teeth, and even from the spaces in between them.
Like the previous two models from the line, the Sonicare 6100 is powered by a lithium-ion battery, which can last for up to 2 weeks when used twice a day for the recommended two minutes of time per brushing session. It, too, supports dual voltage, so you can use it when traveling abroad. The toothbrush also has a battery status light indicator, which will let you know how much battery you have left, and when it needs to be charged.
It is sold with a charger and a travel case for safe and sanitary portability.
It is available in three different color options of the handle, including silver-white, navy blue, and pastel pink.
Having 3 cleaning modes, including clean, whit and gum, as well as three intensity settings, including low medium and high, makes the Sonicare 6100 the most versatile of all of the three toothbrushes being reviewed in this article.
Thanks to its clean white mode, and the fact that it comes with a DiamondClean head, you can achieve dramatic results if you use the white cleaning mode for whitening your teeth and an overall better cleaning experience.
With the different intensity settings, you can customize the speed and intensity of all three modes clean, white or gum to fit your preferences, which is good news for first time users, children, and people with sensitive gums and teeth.
It is a suitable choice if you are planning on sharing the toothbrush handle with other family members who will be using different types of brush heads.
The Sonicare 6100 is significantly more expensive than the 4100 and 5100 models, and the only big advantages it offers are its adjustable intensity settings, and the BrushSync pairing mode, which automatically recognizes and adjusts the settings to the brush head you are using.
This means that if you don’t have a problem with high-intensity vibrations and speeds of the older Sonicare rechargeable toothbrushes, and don’t mind adjusting the three modes for intensity and cleaning manually, you do not really need to pay more money for this specific model.
How to pick which one is better for you – Sonicare 4100 vs 5100 vs 6100?
There are some main features which you need to keep in mind when picking the one rechargeable electric toothbrush from the Protective Clean line which is more suitable for your needs. These include:
Your dental health
If your main goal is to clean the plaque off of your teeth and gums, remove the microbes from your mouth, and to keep your teeth protected from cavities, then you may want to opt for the basic Sonicare 4100 version. It has one cleaning mode which is focused on removing the plaque and getting the teeth clean.
The 5100 will clean your teeth as well, but its basic function is to keep the gums healthy and well.
This means that if you want a toothbrush that will help strengthen your gums, and make them healthier, then you may want to opt for the 5100, which comes with a gum care mode and a gum care brush head.
The 5100 is also more suitable for those of you looking for a more versatile rechargeable electric toothbrush because it has 3 separate brushing modes – clean, gum care, and white.
The Sonicare 6100 has the same 3 cleaning modes as the 5100, but it also provides you with an option to adjust the cleaning intensity for each mode. It comes with a DiamondClean brush head, which is designed for whitening the teeth and for stain removal. So, if you want a toothbrush which can help make your smile whiter, or if you want an toothbrush which you can adjust in accordance with your sensitive teeth or gums, then the 6100 is the most suitable option for you.
For people with sensitive gums, getting a high-speed rechargeable electric toothbrush may be challenging, as some people are more sensitive to the high vibrations than others.
All three of these toothbrushes utilize the same sonic technology, which allows for 62,000 movements or 31,000 brush strokes a minute, and the same vibrations, but the 5100 and 6100 have three different brushing programs which you can choose from including clean, white and gum care.
The 6100 is the only one with adjustable intensity, so it is the best option for children, first-time high-speed toothbrush users, and for people who find the intensity of the older models from the line too harsh for their teeth and gums.
The 4100 and the 6100 toothbrushes feature the Easy Start program, which will help you get used to the process of high speed brushing gradually.
Your experience with high-speed toothbrushes
If you have been using electric powered toothbrushes for a long time, you can just jump in and get the one which you like the most, but in case this is going to be your first one, you may want to opt for the Sonicare 4100 or the 6100 because of its unique Easy-Start program.
This program will allow you to get used to the vibrations and the sensations of using a fast-speed electric brush on your teeth and in your mouth. When you use this program, the brush will gently and gradually introduce you to these new sensations by starting with low intensity, and then by increasing its level only slightly every time for the first 14 consecutive uses.
Also, if you are unsure about how your teeth and gums will handle the high speed and vibrations, you may want to choose the Philips Sonicare 6100 which has adjustable intensity levels and can be customized to fit your preferences.
If you want a good quality Protective Clean electric brush which doesn’t have multiple smart or other features which you probably will never use anyway, then the best choice is the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100. It costs quite a bit less than the 5100.
Still, it has all of the basic features which make the Philips Sonicare toothbrushes stand out from the rest – including a protective pressure sensor, a Quad Pacer which prompts you to clean all areas of the mouth thoroughly every time, the 62,000 brush movements per minute, the sonic technology for removing 7 times more plaque gently, the BrushSync which will remind you when it is time to replace the brush head, and the smart timer.
If you want to spend more for a more versatile toothbrush with several brushing modes, including gum care, and with a complimentary travel case, then you should opt for the Sonicare 5100 or the 6100.
If you prefer to invest in a smarter and more versatile rechargeable electric toothbrush, then you may want to opt for the Sonicare 6100 or the 6500, which come with two smart BrushSync functions, have variable intensity modes and other added features, but costs significantly more than the other two products examined in this article.
Our advice is to stay as close to your budget as possible when deciding which one is better in this Sonicare 4100 vs 5100 vs 6100 comparison, and make sure that you buy the one which offers the best value for the price asked.
When comparing the ProtectiveClean 4100 vs. 5100 vs. 6100 and deciding which one is better of the three, there are multiple factors that you need to keep in mind.
The main differences between these toothbrushes by Philips are the brush head types they are sold with, as well as the brushing modes they offer, and the adjustable intensity which only the 6100 has.
The other feature which makes the Philips Sonicare 6100 smarter than the 4100 and 5100 is the BrushSync pairing, which automatically recognizes which brush head is being used and automatically adjusts the settings to the most appropriate brushing and intensity modes.
Otherwise, these Protective Clean toothbrushes have pretty much the same features which have made the Sonicare products so popular and highly recommended by dentists around the world.
All three feature the sonic patented technology, the pressure control sensor, a QuadPacer, a timer, a BrushSync reminder for replacing the brush head, a 14-day battery life, and a sleek, space-saving, and ergonomic design.
The 4100 Sonicare is a more basic appliance and costs about $30 less than the 5100, which is another essential factor to take into consideration. The 6100 costs significantly more but has customizable intensity levels, and a smart BrushSync pairing function.
The 5100 and 6100 have three cleaning modes to choose from, including a clean mode, white and gum care mode. They also come with a travel case, which is not included with the 4100.
The 6100 is the most versatile and is the most suitable brush handle to share with other members of the family, including children.
Overall, all three of these high-speed Protective Clean toothbrushes, the 4100, 5100 and 6100 are capable of cleaning your teeth much better than a traditional manual toothbrush, thanks to their high-intensity 31,000 brush strokes per minute.
So, take a look at their added features, in order to decide which one of the three is the best option for you.
Last update on 2020-09-26 at 13:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API