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Philips Sonicare 4100 vs 5100 (2021): Which Electric Toothbrush Should You Get?

Because merely brushing twice a day is not enough, electric toothbrushes like the Philips Sonicare 4100 and 5100 help us consistently observe recommended brushing techniques. With features such as a quad pacer and timer, these electric toothbrushes make it easier to follow the dentist’s recommended brushing time.

The Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 is more affordable while the 5100 offers more features, but which one suits your needs better? To help you choose between the two, we hone in on their similarities and differences below.

Philips Sonicare 4100 vs 5100 Comparison Chart

ModelPhilips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100
 Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Rechargeable Electric Power Toothbrush, Black, HX6810/50Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Gum Health, Rechargeable Electric Power Toothbrush, Black,...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Cleaning ModeCleanClean, Gum Care, White
Cleaning Mode IndicatorNoYes
Brush HeadC2 Optimal Plaque ControlG2 Optimal Gum Care
Travel CaseNoYes
Battery LifeUp to 14 daysUp to 14 days
BrushSync TechnologyYesYes
ColorsWhite and mint, navy blue, turquoise, pastel pink, black and whiteWhite and mint, light blue, black and gray
Warranty2 years (limited)2 years (limited)


The Sonicare 4100 only has one cleaning mode while the 5100 has three

Sonicare 4100 vs 5100
The Sonicare 4100 (left) and the 5100 (right) in black

Both electric toothbrushes have a standard cleaning mode that lasts for two minutes. They will also pause every 30 seconds to signal that it’s time to move on to another quadrant, just as what dentists recommend. If you’re brushing your teeth too rigorously, their pressure sensor will vibrate to warn you to brush more gently.

What makes the Sonicare 5100 more expensive than the 4100 is its additional cleaning modes. It features a White cleaning mode that lasts for 2 minutes and 30 seconds and helps remove stains from coffee, tea, red wine, and the like. Another setting you can use is the Gum Care mode, where your Sonicare will massage the gums for three minutes without applying excessive pressure.


The Sonicare 4100 and 5100 have different brush heads, colors, and control buttons

The 4100 (left) comes in more colors while the 5100 (right) includes a travel case

The Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 and 5100 share the same sleek, lightweight build. You will only notice their subtle differences when you take a closer look at their handles and brush heads. With only one cleaning mode, the Sonicare 4100 only has a power button on its handle and its attached C2 brush head is designed for optimal plaque control.

On the other hand, the Sonicare 5100 has an extra button for changing between its three cleaning modes. There are also LED indicators on its handle to help you check which cleaning mode you’re currently using. Its G2 Optimal Gum Care brush head is also designed not just for general plaque control, but more importantly, to help keep your gums healthy. Another addition to the Sonicare 5100 is the travel case that comes with the toothbrush so you can maintain your tooth brushing routine while on the go.

Battery Life & Maintenance

A single charge of either Sonicare model can last for up to two weeks

Both models come with a two-year limited warranty

Both the Sonicare 4100 and 5100 boast a battery life of up to 14 days, although that still depends on your usage. When it’s almost time to charge, their battery indicator will let you know.

They are also equipped with BrushSync technology that monitors your usage of the electric toothbrush. This feature alerts you when it’s time for a brush head replacement through an indicator on the handle. The BrushSync technology also automatically sets the cleaning mode depending on the brush head you’re using. For example, you changed the 5100’s G2 Gum Care brush head to the Sonicare W DiamondClean, the 5100 will automatically set the electric toothbrush to the White cleaning mode.

If you encounter issues with your Sonicare ProtectiveClean, you can contact Philips as these electric toothbrushes have a two-year warranty. This is why we recommend keeping your receipt upon purchase just in case.


The Sonicare 4100 is more than enough for most users, but the 5100’s additional features make the extra cost worth it

The Philips Sonicare range has been synonymous with the electric toothbrush that it has led many companies to imitate its features. While Philips has premium electric toothbrushes, even its low-tier models, the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 and 5100, are reliable options that don’t break the bank.

If you’re looking to save, the Sonicare 4100 offers great value for your money despite the lack of all the bells and whistles that the 5100 has. It may only have one cleaning mode, but you can always just turn it on again for the extra 30 seconds that the White cleaning of the 5100 does. If you don’t mind forking out a bit more or want the Gum Care mode, choose the Sonicare 5100. With its additional cleaning modes, G2 Optimal Gum Care brush head, and travel case, the 5100 will still be an excellent investment for your oral health.


📌 What’s the best Sonicare brush head?

The C2 Optimal Plaque Control brush head that comes with the Sonicare 4100 is the best brush head overall while the G2 Optimal Gum Care brush head is best for individuals with gum health problems.

📌 Does the Philips Sonicare remove plaque?

Yes, the Sonicare 4100 and 5100 electric toothbrush can help remove up to 7 times more plaque than a regular toothbrush.

📌 Can I leave my Sonicare on the charger?

Yes, you can leave your Sonicare ProtectiveClean on its charging dock when not in use. 

📌 How long is the battery life of the Sonicare 4100 and 5100?

Their battery life can last for up to two weeks on a single charge.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

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