Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Review
Pros: Sleek, stylish, great cleaning power
Cons: Pricey, lackluster battery life
Our Analysis and Test Results
The standard DiamondClean scored about the same as the Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 and just a few points behind the HealthyWhite+. All three of these brushes clean about the same, tying for the top score, but the DiamondClean and the HealthyWhite+ both are undoubtedly much more comfortable to use. The Oral-B is a little easier to use, while the HealthyWhite+ has the best battery life of this trio. However, these are all pricey products, with the DiamondClean being the most expensive with a list price of $200, followed by the Pro 8000 with a list price of $180 and the HealthyWhite+'s list price of $120. For comparison, our highest scoring brush overall costs about $70.
In our quest to find the best electric toothbrush of them all, we have been buying all the best brushes available on the market over the last two years and testing them head-to-head to see which ones are really worthy of an award. We have refined our testing process along the way to best score and compare these products, dividing it into four different rating metrics, each weighted with respect to their significance.
Responsible for the largest portion of the overall score, our Comfort metric accounts for 40% of the overall score for each of the electric toothbrushes in our review. The bulk of this metric's score is based on how it felt to brush with each toothbrush, as rated by our panel of testers. Additionally, we also compared and scored how loud each brush is and if there is a pressure sensor to alert you to back off when you are applying too much pressure. The DiamondClean did quite well, earning a 6 out of 10 for its better than average comfort levels.
None of our testers felt that it was at all uncomfortable to use this toothbrush, with the bulk of our testers rating this brush very close to the top when it came to comfort. The DiamondClean uses a side-to-side cleaning motion and has a much shallower brush head than some of its competitors, making it a bit less abrasive for sensitive gums and a little less cumbersome to clean the teeth in the back of your mouth. The presence of a sensitive mode is also extremely beneficial for those with sensitive gums.
The DiamondClean sounded in at 57 dBa on the sound level meter, measured 2" away from the mouth when brushing. This makes it one of the quietest brushes we have tested and neither the brusher nor the bystander found the tone of the toothbrush to be particularly annoying or distracting.
Surprisingly, the DiamondClean lacks a pressure sensor, hurting its score slightly.
Following our set of comfort tests, our cleaning challenge came next in terms of importance, constituting 30% of the total score for each electric toothbrush. For this test, we scored each brush on how much plaque each one removed for our panel of testers. The plaque removal consisted of our testers forgoing brushing for a period of about 16 hours, then chew a plaque disclosing tablet. This would dye all of the accumulated plaque bright red. After brushing, before and after photos were compared to see which spots were missed with each model of toothbrush.
The DiamondClean tied for the top performance in this test, meriting a 6 out of 10 for its results. This brush removed virtually all of the plaque for most of our testers.
For the testers that didn't get all of the plaque removed by the DiamondClean, there were only a few tiny spots that remained.
Ease of Use
Next, we moved on to evaluating how easy to operate and how convenient to use each brush is, as it makes it quite hard to establish good brushing habits if the brush is a pain to use. We looked at how user-friendly the interface is, how hard the brush is to clean, if there is an easy way to store multiple brush heads, and if there is a brushing timer. This metric accounts for 20% of the total score for each brush, with the DiamondClean doing decently well, meriting a 5 out of 10.
As noted previously, this model appears to have had significant effort put into its ergonomic and visual aesthetic and was the clear winner when it came to visual appeal. The brush head has an easy to use, push-on attachment method, as well as five different cleaning modes to select from. There is a one-button interface to toggle between modes, with the brush giving you a five-second window to switch between them when first powered on.
This model also has an extremely unique charging base: an actual glass cup that fits over an inductive charger, allowing you to simply place the toothbrush in the cup to recharge. This makes the brush extremely stable on the base, and exceptionally difficult to knock over accidentally.
Unfortunately, there isn't a handy way to store additional brush heads with this charging base. However, this brush includes a USB-powered charging travel case, which does have spots for 2 brush heads.
We also found this brush to be one of the easiest to clean, with only a little extra effort required to remove any toothpaste residue from the area around the interface button. Finally, this brush does have a two-minute timer, split into 30-second segments for quadrant brushing, with the brush stopping after two minutes.
For our battery test, we ran each toothbrush for four minutes a day, two in the morning and two in the evening, and scored each brush on the number of days that it lasted. This metric is worth the last 10% of the total score, with the DiamondClean performing slightly below average, earning a 4 out of 10 for its results.
This brush lasted for 18 days in our test, which you can compare with the rest of the brushes below.
This is an extremely expensive toothbrush, with an MSRP of $200. For many, that would instantly preclude purchasing it, especially as it was outperformed by much less expensive toothbrushes, but it may be worth it if you put a high value on the visual aesthetic and the additional accessories.
All in all, this is a strong performer and fits in its place as one of the highest-end models of all the Sonicare toothbrushes, It looks great, and has some neat additional accessories like the rock-solid charging base and travel case with integrated charger. Unfortunately, this is an expensive product, and you end up paying for some luxury features that aren't really necessary or helpful in maintaining your dental health.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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