Philips Sonicare 2 Series vs 3 Series Electric Toothbrush: Brutally Honest Comparison!

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If you’re reading this article then you’re probably thinking about upgrading your toothbrush, either from manual to electric, or from an old electric toothbrush to a more modern one.

The question is, which one should you get, and is it worth the money? In this article we are going to explore the differences between the Sonicare 2 Series and the Sonicare 3 Series electric toothbrushes.

Cleaning your teeth is a daily task that you might not give much thought to. However, oral hygiene is essential for so many reasons. Not taking care of your teeth can lead to bad breath, loss of teeth, gum disease, and even mouth cancer.

This means that it’s really important that you find the right toothbrush for you, which will help to keep your teeth and gums nice and healthy. Remember, it’s not just about what you can see.

Plaque is clear but can still cause a lot of damage. So whether you’re bored of your manual toothbrush and looking for something more modern, which goes around six times faster than you can do yourself, or whether you’re looking to upgrade or replace your current electric toothbrush, you’ve come to the right place.

Take a look at our comparison for all the answers you need for buying your next toothbrush.

Sonicare 2 Series vs 3 Series At A Glance

Sonicare 2 Series Advantages:

  • Cheaper
  • Lots of colours available
  • 31,000 brush movements per minute

Sonicare 2 Series Disadvantages:

  • Heavier
  • Shorter battery life
  • Only one setting

Sonicare 3 Series Advantages:

  • Three different intensity levels
  • Two minute timer with an in-built quadrant timer
  • 21 day battery life

Sonicare 3 Series Disadvantages:

  • More expensive
  • Only comes in one colour
  • No additional bluetooth option

What’s The Difference Between Them?

Purpose

Although these two toothbrushes come from the same company and have many similarities, they actually have different aims. You might be wondering how different they can be when they’re both toothbrushes.

Of course, they both have the ultimate aim of keeping your teeth clean, but each brush has a different focus area. The Sonicare 2 Series is designed to manage plaque and tartar control. Dental plaque is the colourless film of bacteria that forms on teeth and makes them feel fuzzy.

It then goes brown or yellow when it forms tartar. This Sonicare 2 Series electric toothbrush is designed to fight against the development of plaque or tartar on your teeth.

It delivers 31,000 brush strokes per minute, which makes it around six times better at removing plaque than a manual toothbrush. So if you want to keep your teeth pearly white, then it definitely worth considering getting yourself one of these toothbrushes.

In contrast, the Sonicare 3 Series is designed to maintain and improve the health of the gums. When plaque builds up under and along the gum line, it leads to gum disease, infections and tooth decay.

It can be harder to fight against gum disease, as it is usually painless, but the consequences are really bad for your teeth and mouth.

Signs of gum disease include consistently bad breath, gums that easily bleed or are swollen, gums that have pulled away from the teeth, or separating or loose teeth.

Luckily, the Sonicare 3 Series electric toothbrush is designed to prevent gum disease and keep your gums nice and healthy.

It does this through the offering of different settings, which we will explore in more detail down below. But suffice to say that the “low” setting that it offers, helps to give a more gentle clean to sensitive teeth and gums.

Verdict?:

This one is a bit of a personal choice, depending on what your main priority is in terms of your own oral hygiene.

If you are just looking to keep them clean of plaque and tartar, then the Sonicare Series 2 should be fine for you.

But if you require more from your toothbrush, or if you are concerned about your gums, the Sonicare Series 3 would be better.

Philips Sonicare 2 Series plaque control rechargeable electric toothbrush, HX6211/30

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Design

In terms of size, the two toothbrushes are both very similar. Including the toothbrush head, both are 25cm high and 3.2cm wide. The 2 Series is very slightly thicker, at 3.3cm, compared to 3.2cm for the 3 Series.

It is also a bit heavier, as the 3 Series is 132g (including the head), compared to 140g (including the head) for the 2 Series. That new, lighter, model goes to show how quickly technology is advancing.

The main reason for the difference in weight is down to the difference in battery, which we will discuss below.

Both toothbrushes have a main brush handle that is white, and it has a number of raised dots on the back to help you grip, rather than a rubber grip which some toothbrushes have, but after that is where the differences really lie.

The 2 Series comes in quite the variety of colours, so you can pick from one of six options, which are otherwise the same.

The different colour options are: White on Steel Blue, White on Guacamole, White on Coral, Ultra Coral, Sky Blue, or Black. This is particularly handy if you want to purchase for the whole family, and want to be able to tell the difference between each person’s toothbrush.

In contrast, the 3 Series currently only offers one colour option of Persian Green. If you’re buying for yourself then that should be fine, but if you’re looking to buy for two or more people, that could quickly get quite confusing.

The other difference in terms of the design lies with which toothbrush head is included. The Sonicare 2 Series electric toothbrush comes with one ProResults Plaque Control brush head. It is contoured to fit the shape of the teeth and, of course, it is designed to improve the removal of plaque.

In contrast, the Sonicare 3 Series comes with one ProResults Gum Health brush head. This brush head has densely-packed bristles and a gentle trim profile, which should help to cushion the teeth if you need to be extra gentle while brushing.

However, if you feel like you would benefit from a different toothbrush head, these are interchangeable, so you could always buy, separately, the one that suits you best.

Verdict?:

The Sonicare 2 Series is definitely the winner for this round. Although the 3 Series is lighter, which is definitely a positive, other than that the dimensions are very similar.

However, it really is useful that the 2 Series comes in an array of colours, especially if you’re purchasing for the whole family. No one wants to end up with Dad’s toothbrush by mistake!

Philips Sonicare 2 Series plaque control rechargeable electric toothbrush, HX6211/30

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Timer

You’ve probably heard people say that you should brush your teeth for two minutes, but do you know why? Well, there are two main reasons. One reason is to clean them.

This means getting rid of the plaque on the teeth and around the gums, plus getting the bacteria off your tongue.

All of this helps with keeping the breath fresher too, which is probably one of the main reasons why people want to use their toothbrushes in the first place! But it was my dentist who recently told me the other reason.

This second reason is because two minutes is how long it takes to sufficiently protect your teeth with fluoride for the following twelve hours. If you brush your teeth for less time then they won’t be protected, and they won’t be as clean.

Despite knowing all of that, sometimes it can be hard to remember to brush for the full time. Two minutes can feel like a long time when you’re just standing there brushing, wondering if you’ve done it yet.

In fact, a study from 2009 found that most people were only brushing for around 45 seconds. But these toothbrushes make it easier as both of them have an in-built 2-minute timer. This means that you’ll know if it’s been enough time, or not.

However, while both toothbrushes have a 2-minute timer, it is only the Sonicare 3 Series toothbrush which also has a quadrant timer. This means that it lets you know when each 30 second time period has elapsed.

With this quadrant timer, you are able to make sure that you spend enough time on each quarter of your mouth, so you don’t end up with one corner that’s pearly white, while another one has an increase in plaque growth.

Verdict?:

It’s great that both electric toothbrushes have a 2-minute timer built into them, but there is one clear winner for this section.

The Sonicare 3 Series is a better option as it also has the quadrant timer. However, if you feel like you already balance your teeth-cleaning in a way that looks after each section of your mouth equally, maybe the Sonicare 2 Series would be enough for you.

Philips Sonicare 3 Series gum health rechargeable electric toothbrush, HX6631

Buy on Amazon

Settings

We mentioned earlier that the two toothbrushes have different purposes, and this is something that we really see in terms of the settings. The Sonicare 2 Series has just one setting, but it’s a powerful one.

With 31,000 movements per minute, the 2 Series is ideal for a good clean, removing plaque and tartar. However, in contrast with the 3 Series, and many other models out there, it is a little bit basic.

The Sonicare 3 Series, in contrast, has three different settings. You can change the intensity of your clean between low, medium, and high.

These different settings affect the power of the brush motor, so that you can clean different parts in different ways, as required. The low setting is great as a sensitive cleaning mode.

In particular, this works really well if you have sensitive gums, or need to work more on keeping your gums clean to avoid gum disease.

Verdict?:

The Sonicare 3 Series is the stand-out winner for this section. Its three settings mean that you can really tackle the different issues that your mouth might have, and to help you achieve better oral hygiene.

The Sonicare 2 Series is still much more effective than manually brushing your teeth, but with just the one setting, it can’t compete with the 3 Series.

Philips Sonicare 3 Series gum health rechargeable electric toothbrush, HX6631

Buy on Amazon

Battery

The battery life of the electric toothbrush is one of the main concerns for a lot of people who are considering switching from a manual toothbrush to an electric one. In a way, this is a peculiar concern as it could still be used manually if it ran out of battery for a day, but it does also make a difference.

The Sonicare 2 Series uses a Nickel Metal Hydride battery, often known as NiMH. This is older technology that doesn’t last for as long. Having said that, it does still last for a whopping two weeks, on just a single charge. Of course, this is based on brushing your teeth twice-a-day for two minutes each time.

It’s worth remembering that the toothbrush does take up to 24 hours to reach being fully charged. However, both toothbrushes can be left to charge the whole time you’re not using them. This might drain the battery somewhat in the long-term, but does mean that you won’t need to worry about them running out of battery.

The Sonicare 3 Series uses a Lithium-ion battery instead, or Li-on. This is newer technology and part of the reason why this toothbrush is that bit lighter than the older model. It still takes 24 hours to be fully charged, but this toothbrush lasts for three weeks, or twenty-one days, at two, 2-minute brushes per day.

The Sonicare 3 Series electric toothbrush also has a two-colour battery indicator, which tells you when it needs to be charged again.

Verdict?:

Again we are going to declare the Sonicare 3 Series toothbrush the winner of this round. For most people, being able to last for 14 days will be plenty of time between charges.

However, if you often find yourself on the road, or you’re just forgetful, then the Sonicare 3 Series can be a really great choice for keeping those teeth clean without running out of battery.

Philips Sonicare 3 Series gum health rechargeable electric toothbrush, HX6631

Buy on Amazon

Price

When it comes down to it, there is one major factor that tends to influence people’s purchasing decisions, and that’s the price. Needless to say, the Sonicare 2 Series, which is the older model, costs more than the Sonicare 3 Series.

The price does tend to vary a little, but generally the Sonicare 2 Series is around half the price of its newer model. For a lot of people, that can be the deciding factor. But you have to consider if you would be happy to pay more for the extra battery life and the special, gum-sensitive settings, or whether you just want a basic teeth clean.

Verdict?:

The Sonicare 2 Series is the hands down winner here. It is a fairly competitive price compared to other similar models, although it does lack some of the more modern features, which the Sonicare 3 Series has.

Philips Sonicare 2 Series plaque control rechargeable electric toothbrush, HX6211/30

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Extra features

While both toothbrushes have their strong points as they are, there are also some additional factors that we should consider. There is a variant of the Sonicare 2 Series, which comes with an extra tongue brush in the box, as well as a 2oz antibacterial spray.

This is a great addition as the tongue holds a lot of bacteria, and most people are quite neglectful of it. The Sonicare 2 Series also has an “easy start” feature.

This just means that for the first two weeks, the toothbrush is more gentle than it will be later, while your teeth adjust to your new, electric routine.

In contrast, the Sonicare 3 Series has three different intensity settings, so you can just start it on a lower setting yourself. The additional feature that the Sonicare 3 Series has is a handy travel box.

It can fit your toothbrush plus two brush heads. So if you’re a regular traveller, it’s not just the long battery life that makes this Sonicare 3 Series electric toothbrush a good choice for you.

Verdict?:

This last round is pretty close, but probably has to go to the Sonicare 3 Series.

It’s really great that the Sonicare 2 Series has these additional features and variants, but the Sonicare 3 Series doesn’t need them, because of its inbuilt settings. Plus, who doesn’t want a handy travel case for their toothbrush?

Philips Sonicare 3 Series gum health rechargeable electric toothbrush, HX6631

Buy on Amazon

Conclusion

After looking at all the different features that these two toothbrushes have to offer, we think that the Sonicare 3 Series is the better choice. It’s lighter, the battery lasts for 50% longer, it has a two-colour charge indicator, a quadrant timer, and most importantly, it has three different intensity levels.

That’s not to say that the Sonicare 2 Series is a bad choice. On the contrary, the Sonicare 2 Series is a great electric toothbrush for people who have regular cleaning needs. It’s also better for if you’re purchasing for a whole family, as it is cheaper and has a range of different colours.

But if you have any problems with your gums, or if you are looking for a toothbrush that offers more or lasts for longer, then you’ve got to go with the Sonicare 3 Series electric toothbrush.

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