There are many different Philips Sonicare brush heads and each type varies slightly in features and actions so that they are ideal matches for users with specific needs and desires.
It’s difficult to pick a ‘best Sonicare toothbrush replacement head‘.
At the same time, for a busy person like you looking for quick recommendations on which Sonicare brush head to buy, a complex review won’t be very helpful.
That’s why this review of brush heads is structured to help you come to a quick decision.
Skim the sections in this detailed article.
Focus on the model or type of Sonicare toothbrush replacement head that you might want to purchase.
Then study it carefully to examine its pros and cons before making your decision.
As always, feel free to leave a comment or ask any questions that you couldn’t find answers to in this report.
Best Sonicare Toothbrush Replacement Heads
If there’s a model of Sonicare brush head that’s best for most users, then it has to be the ProResults. It’s perfect for almost everybody looking for an all-round teeth cleaning solution.
Also popular among Sonicare toothbrush replacement heads is the C3 Premium Plaque Defence brush head, which is specifically designed for brush handles with the BrushSync function.
However, this is not to say that you should only pick from these two models. There’s probably another kind that’s better suited to your unique situation.
So in the rest of this article, you’ll find in-depth explanations of other Sonicare toothbrush replacement heads that will help you understand the special features of each type and enable you to make an informed decision.
Best Sonicare replacement brush head for Sensitive Teeth
If you suffer from sensitive gums and teeth, it can be quite a challenge to use an electric toothbrush.
Sometimes the sensitivity is because of gum or tooth infections. Others have the problem because of prior dental work or surgery.
Whatever the reason, using a regular electric toothbrush can be painful or uncomfortable.
The bristles are softer than other brush heads, and also trimmed so that they won’t rub harshly against your gums. The overall cleaning experience should be gentler and painless, which matters a lot if your gums and teeth are over-sensitive.
Sensitive Sonicare toothbrush replacement heads are compatible with most models.
If your electric toothbrush has BrushSync functionality, you could get the G2 Optimal Gum Care brush head.
But it doesn’t really matter that much. Any of the Sonicare toothbrush replacement heads used with sensitive cleaning mode can deliver a gentle experience.
However, if even sensitive brush heads used with the correct brushing mode continues to be uncomfortable, you might have to consult a dentist for treatment, or modify your eating habits and the type of toothpaste you use.
Best Sonicare toothbrush replacement head for Braces
If you’re wearing braces, cleaning your teeth effectively around the braces can be quite a challenge.
You’ll also want to avoid the possibility of your teeth getting stained and looking ugly by the time you remove the braces.
Another problem is that food particles and grime tend to accumulate in the tiny crevices and nooks around and between your braces and teeth.
While there are some special electric toothbrushes for braces, you don’t really need one of them because there are Sonicare toothbrush replacement heads crafted to meet your needs.
The all-rounder ProResults is excellent for cleaning teeth while wearing braces.
It is also very cost effective and durable, as well as being extremely good at clearing off plaque and removing food particles after meals.
Ideal Sonicare replacement brush head for Teeth Whitening
Many users want bright, clean, gleaming teeth after a cleanse. It can feel nice to have someone compliment your lovely smile or healthy teeth.
With the right brush head and cleaning mode, you can achieve this with your Sonicare toothbrush.
When it comes to teeth whitening, the best Sonicare brush head is the DiamondClean head.
This brush head comes in Compact and Standard sizes and its compact diamond-shaped bristles deliver a fantastic cleaning effect while removing stains and leaving your teeth white and shining.
You’ll be amazed at how clean and white your teeth become in just a week of regular use.
If you already own a Sonicare electric toothbrush with BrushSync function, the W3 Premium White brush head will deliver a great teeth whitening effect.
The toothbrush will automatically select ‘Whitening‘ mode when it detects the W3 Premium brush head and delivers specially programmed vibratory effects and pulsations designed to eliminate stains and whiten your teeth.
As you combine this with whitening toothpastes that help improve stain removal, you’ll find your teeth whiter in record time.
Which Sonicare toothbrush replacement head is right for you?
The decision to pick the right Sonicare toothbrush replacement head is individual to you – and every other user.
It’s based on what you need.
All brush heads have some common features and benefits. They deliver a sweeping movement similar to a manual toothbrush, instead of the oscillatory motion of an Oral-B electric toothbrush.
Any brush head from the Philips Sonicare stable will work beautifully to remove plaque and improve dental hygiene and oral health.
The varieties of brush heads offer extra advantages for certain kinds of users, and you’ll learn about them next.
Brush Head Varieties
DiamondClean brush heads offer better cleaning and gum health along with whiter teeth.
ProResults brush heads give the best all-round cleaning effect and great plaque removal.
AdaptiveClean brush heads deliver a deeper cleanse, reaching more surface area than other models because it has bristles that can adapt to the shape of your teeth
InterCare brush heads have extra long bristles to access hard-to-reach areas inside your mouth.
Sensitive Sonicare toothbrush replacement heads have extra-soft bristles that won’t hurt your sensitive teeth and gums while cleaning effectively.
W2 Optimal White toothbrush heads are great for stain removal and teeth whitening.
C2 Optimal Plaque Defence replacement heads are 7 times better at plaque removal than a manual toothbrush and is designed to reach behind your molars also.
C3 Premium Plaque Defence brush heads offer the deepest cleaning of all Sonicare toothbrush replacement heads, boasting of 4 times more surface area reach than others.
G3 Premium Gum Care toothbrush heads protect the gums by buffering any excess pressure applied on the head. It also automatically selects the optimum brushing mode to avoid injury to your teeth and gums.
W3 Premium White Sonicare toothbrush replacement heads are compatible with handles that have Brush Sync technology and can whiten teeth in just 3 days.
Regardless of which kind of brush head you choose, you must understand that the degree of effectiveness depends also on how regularly and thoroughly you clean your teeth.
Most dentists recommend cleaning your teeth twice in a day, for 2 minutes each. The optimal brush head can make this easy by turning the experience pleasant and pain-free.
Understanding Sonicare Brush Heads
At first glance the diverse range of Sonicare toothbrush replacement heads can seem overwhelming. There are different styles, designs, bristle arrangements, number of heads in a pack.
Then, there’s the question of whether or not a particular brush head is compatible with your Sonicare electric toothbrush handle.
There are 11 distinct Sonicare brush heads, in addition to the separate Sonicare kids brush heads range:
W2 Optimal White
C2 Optimal Plaque Defence
G2 Optimal Gum Care
W3 Premium White
C3 Premium Plaque Defence
G3 Premium Gum Care
Each of these Sonicare brush heads come in two sizes – Standard and Compact.
The Standard brush head looks just like a manual toothbrush head and covers a larger surface area with each sweep.
The Compact brush head is smaller and better suited to those with smaller mouths or if they have special needs. The head covers a smaller area, but can be more easily manipulated within the mouth and reach into crevices and behind your back teeth.
The smaller brush head is comparable to Oral-B brush heads that are smaller than Sonicare heads.
Sonicare toothbrush replacement heads come in packages containing varying numbers of heads. Smaller packs have 2 heads.
The most popular sellers are 4-pack brush heads, though there are also jumbo packs containing 6 or 8 brush heads.
The bigger packs of 6 or 8 brush heads are usually limited to select models and Standard brush sizes, not Compact ones.
However buying these larger packs can help lower your overall cost because the per brush head expense is lesser.
Special Brush Heads
Although each of the types of Sonicare toothbrush replacement heads are indeed special in some way, there are a few that are designed primarily to carry out a certain action.
In fact, you could even think of them as specialized instruments rather than just ‘brush heads’.
The Air Floss and Air Floss Pro are dental flossers that pulse jets of water into your mouth to flush away debris and clean hard-to-reach corners of your mouth.
After the embedded chip senses this duration of use, it will turn on the BrushSync LED on the handle, which glows orange/amber to serve as a visual indication to you that the brush head must be changed.
But this isn’t just an automatic time-keeper.
It’s actually a ‘smart’ technology.
If you brush using more pressure, or if the frequency is higher (say three times daily), then because your bristles will wear out sooner, the Brush Sync is activated sooner and tells you to replace the head – even ahead of the usual 3 month deadline.
On the other hand, if you are a less vigorous user who only brushes once in a day, you won’t receive an alert to replace the brush head until it has been used for the equivalent of 360 minutes.
Another function of this ‘smart’ technology is that it pairs the appropriate cleaning mode to your brush head.
The biggest advantage from this is that you can switch between different brush heads based on your needs, or even try out another kind to see if it’s better for you without having to buy a new electric toothbrush.
Another benefit is when a family shares a single brush handle, just by switching to different brush heads.
While third party manufacturers do make Sonicare compatible brush heads, it is generally advisable to use only Philips Sonicare brush heads for the best results and long life of the brush handle.
The company doesn’t guarantee performance when you use other alternatives.
Diamond Clean Sonicare toothbrush replacement head
These brush heads are unique in being able to remove stains and leave your teeth gleaming white in record time. In many trials, the DiamondClean Sonicare toothbrush replacement head removed 100% of stains in just 7 days.
The diamond-shaped bristles are specially designed to whiten your teeth. There’s a stain removal pad in the middle of the brush head that’s comprised of dense diamond-shaped bristles.
If your teeth have stains due to smoking or the kind of food you eat, this brush head will clean them up quickly.
The design team has done a great job of matching the sonic cleaning effect of a Sonicare toothbrush replacement head to the desired result of stain removal.
The high-speed vibration of the brush head drives fluid streams deep in between teeth and along your gums, cleaning even hard to access areas effectively.
The head has ‘reminder bristles‘, which are blue colored when new but fade away to white – which lets you know its time for a replacement.
As you use the brush head, the bristles lose their stiffness and wear down. For the best results, plan on replacing it with a new head every 3 months.
Adaptive Clean Sonicare toothbrush replacement head
This model has a larger head which allows for four times more surface contact than other kinds like the DiamondClean. The head is designed to allow good contact with your teeth and gums all along the jaw line for the best cleaning effect.
The brush head is made of soft rubber that allows better adjustment of bristles to the surface of your teeth.
As a result, the Adaptive Clean brush heads are nearly ten times more effective at plaque removal than any other kinds. The design is such that reach is maximal, letting you clean effectively even behind your back teeth.
The bristles also absorb a certain amount of pressure, guarding your teeth against too much pressure while brushing.
But to take the best advantage of its 31,000 oscillations per minute, you must combine this brush head with the perfect handle and the right toothpaste.
It’s easy to snap the head on and off after use. It fits any handle securely and is easy to clean and store away. The only Sonicare models it doesn’t fit are the Essence and PowerUp Battery.
Like the DiamondClean Sonicare toothbrush replacement head, this one also has ‘reminder bristles’ that fade with use, and indicate that it’s time for a new one when the blue color changes to almost white.
InterCare Sonicare toothbrush replacement head
The InterCare brush head’s special feature is being able to reach into areas of your mouth that other models cannot comfortably manage.
Its high density bristles are longer than other brush heads and this enables removal of dental plaque from between and behind teeth.
InterCare Sonicare brush heads come in two sizes – standard and compact.
Combined with the Sonicare electric toothbrush’s rapid 31,000 strokes per minute brushing action, the InterCare head is able to effectively transmit the power to the tip of the brush head to deliver an excellent cleaning and whitening effect.
This head is suitable for those who wish to enhance gum health. The effects are quick to show up and most users agree that they notice significantly better gum and oral hygiene within a couple of weeks.
It’s easy to snap the InterCare brush head on and off a handle, and the head is compatible with all Sonicare brush handles except Essence and PowerUp Battery.
Like many other Sonicare heads, the InterCare also has ‘reminder bristles’ which indicate through a color change from blue to white that the time has come for replacing your old, worn out brush head. Ideally, you should change heads once in 3 months.
ProResults Sonicare toothbrush replacement head
Unless you have special needs for your oral hygiene, the ProResults brush head is probably the best choice for most users. It delivers an overall good cleaning action without any discomfort or pain.
The design of the ProResults bristles helps to remove dental plaque, enhance gum health and access even difficult-to-reach areas in your mouth.
It is contoured to fit the gum and teeth in a manner that achieves excellent cleaning. The head clicks on and off any Sonicare electric toothbrush handle.
‘Reminder bristles‘ change color from blue to white as the brush head wears out, indicating that it is now time for a replacement. Typically, a new brush head will last for 3 months of regular use.
The ProResults Sonicare toothbrush replacement head is compatible with all handles except the PowerUp Battery and Sonicare Essence models.
Like other Sonicare brush heads, the ProResults also delivers 31,000 oscillations per minute, generating enough power to thoroughly clean your teeth and remove any food debris that might accumulate between teeth.
The brush head comes in standard and compact sizes to suit your requirements.
Sensitive Sonicare toothbrush replacement head
You may have sensitive teeth and gums as a result of infections or previous dental procedures.
Whatever the cause, sensitive teeth and gums can make it painful or uncomfortable to use an electric toothbrush. That’s where Sonicare’s Sensitive brush head comes into the picture.
It is designed to make cleaning comfortable and pleasant, even if you suffer from hypersensitive teeth and gums.
The bristles are softer by 20% than regular brush heads and don’t feel as abrasive when they skim over the surface of your teeth or when they touch your gums.
As a further design addition, the Sensitive Sonicare brush head has a trim profile. This cushions the teeth and prevents rough contact between the toothbrush head and sensitive tissues.
All Sonicare electric toothbrush handles can accommodate the Sensitive brush head except Essence and PowerUp Battery models. Paired with brushing modes like Sensitive, Massage or Gum Care, you’ll enjoy the greatest cleaning benefit without any harmful side effects.
The brush head is easy to click on and remove to replace with another head. This makes maintenance and cleaning simple. You also have visual indication of whenever it’s time to replace the head with a new one when the ‘reminder bristles‘ turn from their original blue color to a paler blue or white.
It regularly takes 3 months of use for this change to happen, but depending on your intensity of usage, could be shorter or longer than that.
Cleaning Modes of Sonicare Toothbrush Replacement heads
Different models of Sonicare brush heads offer a range of cleaning modes to operate. Which ones you are able to use will depend upon the kind of brush head you choose, as well as the model of electric toothbrush handle you’ll fit it to.
All Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes offer the basic ‘Clean‘ mode. Other options that are available with specific models include:
How To Make Sense of Brush Head Model Numbers?
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Philips Sonicare uses unique serial numbers internally to differentiate its range of brush heads.
However, this numbering isn’t intuitive and makes it difficult to know what the combinations stand for.
The part numbers typically begin with HX, with a string of 4 to 6 numbers that follow. Some figures represent how many brush heads are in a pack. Others are to reference a specific model of brush head.
But whatever the internal logic behind the naming system, it is of little help to a consumer.
So ignore the model number when it comes to purchasing brush heads and look at the features and specifications instead to help you decide.
Where to buy Sonicare toothbrush replacement heads?
You can order most models of Sonicare brush heads online from retailers like Amazon, Ebay, Boots, Walmart and Target. These businesses have robust websites offering home delivery of your online purchases.
Of course you’ll also find these brush heads in larger retail chains and supermarkets offline. The downside is that at times these outlets may run out of stocks of the specific model of brush head you’re looking for and will have to order it specially for you.
Pricing is usually better online, with special deals and discount coupons further lowering the amount you’ll pay for comparable items offline.
Which Sonicare brush heads are compatible with your toothbrush?
All Sonicare models are interchangeable with the others when it comes to brush heads. So you won’t have to worry too much about whether or not a specific brush head will fit your brush handle.
The only Sonicare toothbrushes that have compatibility problems with brush heads are the Sonicare Essence (E-Series) and the Sonicare PowerUp toothbrushes.
These require the specific brush handle to fit on, which is sensible because a kids electric toothbrush has unique requirements that can’t be fulfilled by an adult brush head.
When do your Sonicare toothbrush heads need replacement?
Despite appearing normal, your brush heads undergo constant wear and tear. After a while, the cleaning efficiency drops. This is because stiffer bristles get softer and less effective at removing food debris or clearing away plaque.
That’s the reason why Sonicare brush heads are best replaced every 3 months. At typical usage of 2 minutes per brushing, and two cleaning sessions every day, this adds up to around 120 minutes in total.
The bristles grow frayed and soft over use. If they are not promptly replaced, this can actually harm your gums and teeth. The closely knit bristles tend to separate and this lowers cleaning effectiveness.
You’ll know it’s time for a change when the ‘reminder bristles’ on a Sonicare brush head turn white from the initial blue color.
If your electric toothbrush comes with BrushSync technology, a glowing LED will indicate when it’s time to replace your brush head with a new one.
The condition of your bristles also give you an indication of when to replace a head. If all the bristles look uniform, closely packed, and point in the same direction, you’re good.
But if there’s splaying and fraying, or some bristles appear faded and worn, then you’re better off changing to a fresh brush head.
How to replace Sonicare brush heads?
It’s extremely easy to replace an old Sonicare electric toothbrush head… just two stages.
1. Use a bit of force to pull the head off from the brush handle. With a click, you’ll feel the head release off the toothbrush, exposing a metal prong. This prong is the link between a motor inside the handle and your brush head.
2. Fit the metal prong into a hole in the replacement brush head base and push them together. Again, with a gentle click, the head will snap into place. The head is now attached.
It is perfectly normal to have a tiny gap between the head and handle after attaching them together.