Philips Sonicare 6100 Protectiveclean review

A slick electric toothbrush lacking in smart features but excelling in performance

Philips Sonicare 6100 Protectiveclean reviewPhilips Sonicare 6100 Protectiveclean review
(Image credit: Philips)
T3 Verdict

While it might be lacking connectivity (something we were expecting for a toothbrush at this price) the Philips Sonicare 6100 Protectiveclean does boast some impressive features, such as a slick design, awesome battery life and, more importantly, great tooth-cleaning performance.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Sexy design

  • +

    Super clever BrushSync tech

  • +

    Excellent sonic cleaning

  • +

    Three cleaning modes

  • +

    Quiet compared to Oral-B

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Disappointingly cheap travel case

  • -

    Black edition can easily stain

  • -


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Philips’ Sonicare range differs from your traditional electric toothbrush in that it more effectively eliminates plaque from your gnashers via a novel innovation called sonic tech.

While the likes of Oral-B utilise oscillating-rotating toothbrush heads, Philips toothbrushes essentially involve a vibrating brush head that moves bristles side-to-side at high speeds (up to 62,000 brush movements per minute, to be exact). 

The Dutch firm says these gentle vibrations create a dynamic fluid action that propels microbubbles between your teeth, giving you a deeper, clean feeling.

One of Philips’ most loved Sonicare toothbrushes is the Protectiveclean 6100. This is a pretty high-spec toothbrush despite lack of Bluetooth connectivity, packing three cleaning modes, a pressure sensor and a smart brush replacement reminder. 

It’s undoubtedly impressive on paper, but how does it fare in the mouth? Here’s our review...

Philips Sonicare Protectiveclean 6100: Price And Availability

The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 was first launched in April 2018 priced at £149.99. Despite being three years old, it’s still available to buy today and you might find that it’s come down in price a little in most places. On Philips’ official website, for example, it can be picked up for £125. In terms of colour options, you can buy the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 in black, white and pink. 

The ProtectiveClean 6100 ships with two of Philips’  W2 Optimal White brush heads, which have bristles around the outside for getting in between teeth, and a pad inside for whitening and polishing. These replacement brush heads, which are designed to last around three months, retail at about £16 for a pack of two but we were able to find a pack of four online for just £23 (5.75 a pop. If you like to buy in bulk, a pack of eight should set you back no more than £36 (£4.50 each) if you shop around.

Philips Sonicare 6100 Protectiveclean reviewPhilips Sonicare 6100 Protectiveclean review

(Image credit: Future)

Philips Sonicare Protectiveclean 6100: Design & Features

There’s one thing you cannot deny when it comes to the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100, and that it possesses a wonderful sleek and slender design. Our black review model has a fantastic premium look and feel to it thanks to the matte finish. 

However, we should note that this probably won’t last very long, especially if you don’t fully wash away all the toothpaste from the toothbrush after use. After a few weeks of allowing remnants of toothpaste to remain on the handle, our beautiful handle was soiled in white stains that we cannot scrub off for love nor money. This can be easily avoided, however, by simply giving it a good rinse after use. 

When you aren’t rinsing your toothbrush under the tap, you’ll find some easy-to-use controls on the handle of the ProtectiveClean 6100. While the top button turns the toothbrush on, the one underneath acts as a mode selector. 

When the brush is powered off, this button lets you choose the brush mode, alternating between clean, white or gum care. Once the toothbrush is powered on this same button adjusts the power, with three intensity settings available.

While Philips’ 6100 is an impressively-designed toothbrush, packing a host of innovative features, we were quite disappointed by the quality of the bundled accessories. The case looks a bit cheap to say the least and leaves a lot to be desired when compared to those shipped with Oral-B’s similarly-priced Genius series, for example. 

Philips Sonicare 6100 Protectiveclean reviewPhilips Sonicare 6100 Protectiveclean review

(Image credit: Future)

Philips Sonicare Protectiveclean 6100: Cleaning And Performance

Our experience with the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 was nothing but pleasant. Brushing performance is excellent, and the sonic vibrations do a great job cleaning your teeth and leaving you with a fresh-feeling gob. 

As with most electric toothbrushes, the ProtectiveClean 6100 has a built-in timer that will pulse every 30 seconds to encourage you to move onto the next quadrant of your teeth. It’ll turn itself off after two minutes of cleaning to tell you you’re done with brushing for now. The brush also sports a pressure sensor. Press too hard while brushing and this will give you pulse and red light on the brush handle warning you to ease off.

These are all pretty standard innovations in electric toothbrushes these days, but one super clever feature is the ProtectiveClean 6100’s EasyStart mode, which slowly increases power over your first 14 uses (one week) to help you ease you in. Saying that, this is nothing compared to the innovation built into the Sonicare toothbrush heads, which are each fitted with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags. These record when you attach the brush head for the first time and keeps track of how long you’ve been using it so the toothbrush can then give you a warning when it’s time to switch it out for a new one. Pretty neat.

Another thing to mention is that this toothbrush is super quiet, especially compared to some of Oral-B’s high-end offerings. Sure, it produces a high-pitched buzz, but that won’t prove too annoying during use.

In terms of battery life, we found the ProtectiveClean 6100 lasted around three weeks between charges, which - in our opinion - is superb.

Philips Sonicare 6100 Protectiveclean reviewPhilips Sonicare 6100 Protectiveclean review

(Image credit: Future)

Philips Sonicare Protectiveclean 6100: Verdict

We were a little disappointed to find that a toothbrush that retailed for around £150 doesn’t sport the connectivity options you’d find in competitor devices, nor a good quality carry case. However, there are still many great things about the Philips Sonicare 6100 Protectiveclean that by far make up for what it lacks, such as its impressive brush-head technology, brilliant battery life and, more importantly, excellent tooth-cleaning performance.

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Lee Bell

Lee Bell is a freelance journalist & copywriter specialising in technology, health, grooming and how the latest innovations are shaking up the lifestyle space. From national newspapers to specialist-interest magazines and digital titles, Lee has written for some of the world’s most respected publications during his 11 years as a journalist.