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Philips Sonicare C2 vs C3 Brush Heads (2020): What’s the Difference?

With a wide range of Philips Sonicare brush heads to choose from, it can be daunting to select the best one for your existing electric toothbrush and overall oral health. There are specific Philips brush heads designed for users with sensitive teeth, stained teeth, and gum problems, to name some. In particular, people get confused when deciding between the Sonicare C2 and C3 plaque control sonic toothbrush heads as they are more similar than different. We break down their similarities and differences so you can choose which one suits you better.

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Philips Sonicare C3

Boasting plaque removal that's 10x better than your normal toothbrush, the Philips Sonicare C3 Premium Plaque Control replacement brush head is great for optimal oral health.

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Sonicare C2 vs C3 Comparison Chart

ModelPhilips Sonicare C2 Optimal Plaque ControlPhilips Sonicare C3 Premium Plaque Control
 Philips Sonicare C2 brush headPhilips Sonicare C3 brush head
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SizeStandardStandard
Plaque RemovalCan remove up to 7x more plaqueCan remove up to 10x more plaque
Brush Head SystemClick-onClick-on
BrushSync TechnologyYesYes
Bristle StiffnessRegularMedium soft
Adapting Cleaning TechnologyNoYes
Recommended Replacement3 months3 months
ColorsWhiteBlack
CompatibilityClick-On Sonicare HandlesClick-On Sonicare Handles

Performance

Respectively, the Sonicare C2 and C3 can remove up to 7 and 10 times more plaque than a manual toothbrush

Unlike the Sonicare C2 (left), the C3’s rubber sides are flexible so it can reach more areas

The bristle patterns of the C2 and C3 sonic toothbrush heads are designed to remove plaque more effectively and clean hard-to-reach areas better than your regular toothbrush. Named Optimal Plaque Control, the Sonicare C2 promises to clean up to 7 times better than a manual toothbrush. Its bristles are tightly-packed to help make sure every surface of your teeth is scrubbed clean.

Meanwhile, the Sonicare C3 Premium Plaque Control can clean 10 times more than a manual toothbrush. Its bristle patterns and head work together for deeper cleaning. While it can remove more plaque than the C2, the C3 has softer bristles for gentler brushing. The C3 also has four times more surface contact compared to another popular brush head, the DiamondClean. This is because its rubber sides flex as you brush different areas of your mouth. Aptly called Adapting Cleaning Technology, the flexible rubber sides help minimize the pressure on your gums and clean areas in your mouth that are typically difficult to reach. 

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Philips Sonicare C2

Compatible with most Philips Sonicare click-on handles, the Sonicare C2 replacement brush heads can remove up to 7x more plaque than your regular toothbrush.

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BrushSync Technology

Both brush head types feature Philips’ BrushSync Technology

The electric brush handle can detect the mode that pairs the best with the brush head

Philips’ BrushSync Technology allows the Philips Sonicare toothbrush handle to detect what kind of brush head is currently attached. For instance, the C2 and C3 brush heads will activate the Clean mode, whereas the Sonicare Tonguecare will automatically change the setting to Tongue Care mode if your electric toothbrush has this setting.

Both the Sonicare C2 and C3 are equipped with a chip that can tell when you started using the brush head and monitors your tooth brushing frequency. To ensure optimal plaque removal, they will alert you once it’s time for a brush head replacement through the indicator on the handle. If you’d rather trust the bristle condition than their indicator, you can also just check the darker blue bristle whenever you brush your teeth. Once it turns white, that means it’s time to get a new brush head.

Compatibility

Both brush heads are compatible with most Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush

Notice the trackpoint and extra mouse buttons on the Latitude 5400 (left) which are absent from the Latitude 7400 (right).

The Sonicare C2 and C3 work with almost all of the click-on Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush lines. Changing your Sonicare brush head is quick and painless, thanks to their click-on attachment design. However, they are not compatible with models with screw-on handles such as the PowerUp Battery and Essence handles.

It’s worth noting that their BrushSync feature will only work with Sonicare toothbrush handles equipped with the same technology. Models that don’t have the BrushSync pairing technology, such as the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum line, won’t automatically detect the brush head that you’re using. 

Verdict

The Sonicare C2 is more budget-friendly, but individuals wearing braces or have more dental work done will find the C3 worth the price

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Philips Sonicare C2

Compatible with most Philips Sonicare click-on handles, the Sonicare C2 replacement brush heads can remove up to 7x more plaque than your regular toothbrush.

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Deal Finder
Philips Sonicare C3

Boasting plaque removal that's 10x better than your normal toothbrush, the Philips Sonicare C3 Premium Plaque Control replacement brush head is great for optimal oral health.

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We are reader supported. When you buy through our links we may earn an affiliate commission.

We’d like to reiterate that whichever you choose between the Sonicare C2 and C3, you’ll still end up with a brush head that can deliver better cleaning results than a manual toothbrush. We recommend focusing more on the proper brushing techniques before losing sleep over which brush head to get. 

With that caveat aside, the Sonicare C2 Optimal Plaque Control brush head offers excellent value for your money and can do the job well. However, if you wear braces, crowns, implants, and similar dental work, you’ll benefit from the Sonicare C3’s softer bristles and flexible rubber sides. These features of the C3 ensure deeper cleaning than what the C2 can offer.

FAQs

📌 What’s the difference between the Sonicare C2 and C3?

The Sonicare C3 has better plaque removal capability and has softer bristles than the C2. For more similarities and differences between the two brush heads, see our comparison chart above.

📌 What is the difference between the Sonicare brush heads?

The Sonicare brush heads differ in their bristles and brush head materials. There are brush heads designed only for cleaning plaque like a regular toothbrush while some are better-suited for whitening, gum care, sensitive teeth, and tongue cleaning.

📌 Do all Philips Sonicare brush heads fit the handles?

The click-on brush heads are compatible with click-on electric toothbrush handles. This is why the Sonicare C2 and C3 fit most electric toothbrushes, but they won’t work with screw-on models like the Essence and PowerUp battery.

📌 How long do Sonicare brush heads last?

Typically, brush heads should be replaced every three months. The Sonicare C2 and C3 can monitor how often you use your electric toothbrush and recommend the brush head’s replacement accordingly. 

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Rhodaline Escala-Phelps
Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.