This Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review shows it’s a nifty, affordable electric toothbrush. One that’s 7 times more effective at getting rid of dental plaque than a manual toothbrush. It also comes with some handy features often seen only with premium models.
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review – read more
No wonder it consistently ranks among the best Sonicare toothbrush models of all time!
BEST Electric Toothbrush For 2024
(Last updated: February 17th, 2024)
TABLE OF CONTENTS: In This Review
- Quick Review – if you’re in a hurry
- About Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100
- How to decide
- Design Elegance
- Cleaning Efficiency
- Replacement Brush Heads
- A Travel-Friendly Toothbrush
- Buying Guide to Sonicare 4100
- Our recommendation
QUICK REVIEW: If You’re In a Hurry!
‘A Dentist’s Daughter’ Rating: (4.9/5)
The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 electric toothbrush is one of the best designed, easy to use and feature-rich models available today – with an excellent battery life and affordable price.
So, should you buy it?
If you’re in a rush, just check out the answers to 3 big questions in this Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review. They should be enough to make a smart choice.
For more details, read the entire Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review.
Other recommended reviews:
1. Is there any serious problem with the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100?
None at all.
In fact, this popular model has all the cleaning power needed to qualify as an excellent electric toothbrush. It’s a great choice even for a budget-conscious buyer.
The Protective Clean 4100 offers features not often found in low priced toothbrushes. This includes a built in timer, pressure sensor and an intelligent brush head reminder system.
No surprise, then, that every Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review shows that it is popular with discerning customers. Especially those who want quality at a great price.
3 Great Reasons To Buy The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Electric Toothbrush
2. What other alternatives exist to the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100?
In terms of specific functionality, the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 is pretty unique. That’s because of its BrushSync feature.
A few other models with comparable efficiency that you might consider are
- Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100
- Oral-B Pro 1000 (which is less expensive, but also has fewer features, by comparison).
3. Where to buy the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 electric toothbrush?
As with any other electric toothbrush, you have a choice. You can buy it offline in a store or supermarket chain, like Target, Walmart or any other. Or you could order it online.
We suggest Amazon for your best option since the prices are usually the best you can find anywhere online. Also there are frequent deals and discounts that can bring down your cost significantly.
You also can have your purchase delivered conveniently to your doorstep at no added cost!
If you shop around, you might find other sites offering coupons or special offers. This can add extra accessories or slash the price further.
Why Trust ‘A Dentist’s Daughter’?
The electric toothbrush reviews we publish – including this Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review – are unique. We craft them from your perspective, as a buyer.
We’ve reviewed a wide range of brands and models. The goal is to make you an empowered consumer. One who can get quick and easy information. So that you can decide intelligently about which electric toothbrush is right for your needs.
If you haven’t yet read it, check out our Buyers’ Guide for the Best Electric Toothbrush. You’ll learn all about the most vital features to consider before purchasing your toothbrush.
Now before we get any further,
A word of explanation.
We aren’t funded or sponsored by any big brand or corporation. We aren’t dentists or dental hygienists ourselves. This is not medical advice.
You should always go by what your dentist recommends for your oral hygiene. So please check with your dentist and only then make a final choice.
This becomes even more important if you have any dental problems or have had dental work done in the past.
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s dive deeper into this Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 electric toothbrush review.
You’ll see what makes it such a popular favorite of thousands of owners.
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Review : Let’s Get To Know It
Philips Sonicare is one of the best known brands in the oral hygiene marketplace.
Sonicare has been around for years and delivered consistently high value. The company manufactures a range of dental care and cleaning products. This includes some amazingly popular electric toothbrushes.
This Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review is no exception to the general rule. You can’t go wrong with a Sonicare toothbrush!
The ProtectiveClean 4100 model isn’t relatively new. It launched in the summer of 2018 after some major technological improvements to the earlier version.
And incredibly enough, after these enhancements the price was lowered!
What makes it so unique is that, over the years and while many new models have been introduced, it has kept up with the competition!
Through several minor tweaks and improvements, which fixed flaws and enhanced features, the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 continues to be a top-rated electric toothbrush even today.
How many kinds of Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 toothbrush are there?
The Philips Sonicare range is among the more diverse electric toothbrush brands. Each model has some unique features and specialties that set it apart from others.
Within the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 range, all the variants are technically identical. They differ only in the color of their brush handles or packaging/bundling.
You can get this toothbrush in a choice of the following colors:
- Black Grey
- Navy Blue
- Light Blue
- Pastel Pink or
- Deep Pink
Any Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review also mentions a pack with dual handles. So make sure when you’re ordering that it’s the right one you want.
The ‘family pack’ includes
- 2 brush handles,
- replacement Sonicare brush heads,
- a charging stand and
- travel case.
This is handy and helpful if you’re a family who loves to travel.
But when you analyze this package carefully, you’ll realize that it’s actually less expensive to buy two standard packages than the dual-handle one!
A word of caution: All color choices may not be available with a particular stockist. If you’re looking for a specific color, prepare to wait. Or shop online where most e-commerce retailers will have your preferred options in stock.
What’s included inside the package?
- Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 electric toothbrush
- One Optimal Plaque Control (C2) brush head
- USB Charger
- Travel case (in some packs only)
- Instruction manual
How To Decide
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Review : Key Features
- Cleans by ‘sonic’ action, the brush head vibrating 31,000 times per minute
- Offers only one cleaning mode, which runs at 2 levels of intensity
- Built in pressure sensor included
- Comes with a 2-minute timer and QuadPacer functionality
- Turns off automatically at the end of a cycle
- Has a brush head reminder system
What makes the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 a good choice?
- Design: The toothbrush feels comfortable in your hand. It comes in a range of appealing colors to match your taste.
- Cleaning: There’s just a single brushing mode. But you can run it at two levels of intensity. This depends on how much cleaning you desire.
- Timer: To ensure that you don’t miss out on any teeth, the inbuilt timer reminds you every 30 seconds to change quadrants.
- BrushSync: Reminds you that it’s time to change your brush head. Almost every Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review says this ensures you get the best value from your brushing.
- Battery Life: Excellent, and quite surprising for such an affordable toothbrush.
What’s not so hot about the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100, though?
- Pressure Sensor: It doesn’t offer a visible indication of excess pressure.
- Price: Though not very expensive, the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 is still on the higher side of a ‘budget’ toothbrush.
- Extras and Accessories: This is a no frills toothbrush. There’s not even a few spare brush heads thrown in.
ProtectiveClean 4100 : Design Elegance
The design excellence of this Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 electric toothbrush is apparent right from the packaging. It is made from recyclable material and wastes little, if any.
When you hold the Sonicare ProtectiveClean in your hand, it just feels right!
It’s the kind of sense you get from a premium product. And this model is distinctly superior to any of its competitors.
The detachable brush head and handle are nicely crafted. The handle is rounded. It looks just like any other electric toothbrush. And the brush is easy and comfortable to hold securely while cleaning.
There are 5 color options, although the charger and stand come only in white.
The power button is situated a third of the way down the handle. It is concave, made of rubber, and clearly labelled. Near the bottom is a BrushSync LED and below it the battery indicator LED.
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review : Functional Innovations
This model boasts of a neat design element. It is representative of the kind of thought and planning that goes into the creation of a Philips Sonicare toothbrush.
A great example is a ridge or notch on the back of the handle. This helps keep the brush from rolling off the counter. Especially, when you leave it lying flat on a table or sink. Or even if you accidentally knock it.
The handle’s flat base lets the toothbrush stand erect. There is a recess in it for the charging stand to fit. Near the top of the handle is a metal shaft. The Sonicare brush head must be attached to this by clipping it into place.
The shaft is attached within to the rotatory motor. This powers the toothbrush.
The brush head itself is angled slightly. This allows easier access to the area behind your last molars.
- Comfortable, stylish and slim brush handle
- Choice of 5 different colors
- Travel case included
- Handle is water resistant
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review : Superior Cleaning Efficiency
The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 electric toothbrush only operates in one cleaning mode. For most users, this is adequate. Having extra options only makes operating the electric toothbrush more complicated.
Also, it is powered by a forceful internal motor. This ensures that the brush head vibrates at 31,000 times a minute.
Some users might consider the lack of advanced brushing modes to be a drawback. Still there’s something to be said for the simplicity of having just one mode.
Also, there are no complex LED indicators or design intricacies to let you know which mode is currently active.
You can run the Sonicare ProtectiveClean in one of two intensity settings – high and low. This gives you some control over the vigor with which you’ll clean your teeth.
Other brands use the catchier names ‘Clean‘ and ‘Sensitive‘ for similar settings. The gentler low setting is particularly helpful for those with sensitive gums or teeth.
Easy To Use
It’s simple to turn on the toothbrush. You just press down the power button. Another push changes the intensity setting.
To turn off the toothbrush, press the power button and hold it for a few seconds. Even if you don’t, the brush will turn off automatically after some time.
As any Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review confirms, everything is intuitive and easy to learn.
A nice feature is the inbuilt timer. It helps ensure that you follow a typical dentist’s recommendation to clean your teeth for two minutes, twice every day.
The Quad-pacer function indicates when 30 seconds have passed. So you can shift from one quadrant to the next. This helps make sure that all your teeth are equally clean.
Once you learn the right technique to clean your teeth using the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100, you’ll begin to enjoy the real cleaning efficiency of this brilliant device.
The brush head is best held at a 45 degree incline to your teeth.
As the sonic effect set up by 31,000 oscillations per minute, the bristles skim the surface of your teeth. This dislodges food particles and germs from in between and behind teeth.
A pressure sensor serves to let you know when you’re pressing too hard on the teeth. So you can ease up and avoid damage to the enamel.
You’ll quickly learn how much pressure to exert for optimal cleaning. If you ignore the warning, the toothbrush will automatically turn off. Or reduce the power intensity.
The only minor drawback according to several Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 reviews is that there isn’t a visible indicator of too much pressure. A blinking or bright light is easy to notice, as with the Sonicare DiamondClean toothbrush.
Brushing too hard also wears out brush heads faster.
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review : Replacing Brush Heads
The average Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 brush head lasts 3 months.
This means you’ll replace them 4 times in a year. With most Sonicare toothbrushes, the fading of bristles to a very pale near-white color signifies that it’s time to replace the head.
But the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 also has a stunning BrushSync feature. It is based on a microchip embedded in the brush head. The BrushSync system informs you when it’s time to swap brush heads.
When you first attach a new head to your Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 electric toothbrush, the handle detects a chip in the brush head. You’ll see 3 brief flashes of a warning light flash. Now the system’s electronics will begin to monitor usage.
When the technology measures that the brush head has been used for 3 months, the LED on the handle lights up an orange color. This tells you that the brush head needs changing.
When Should You Replace Brush Heads?
This isn’t just a ‘duration‘ based measurement.
- brush more frequently on a regular basis, or
- use excessive pressure while cleaning your teeth, or
- run the electric toothbrush continuously at higher speed settings,
then BrushSync will alert you sooner as the bristles will wear out sooner.
In the same way, if you use the toothbrush more sparingly and gently, then it might not suggest a replacement for 4 months, or even longer.
This is a great example of how technology can be harnessed for a user’s benefit and is the focus of many Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review reports.
Speaking of brush heads, there are different kinds that are compatible with the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 toothbrush.
Some are specifically tailored for effective plaque removal. Others are best suited for whitening teeth, or keeping your gums healthy.
So how does it feel to brush with the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100?
Your teeth will feel super clean. And this effect usually continues for months of using this lovely toothbrush.
No wonder so many delighted owners use their device daily for extended periods of time.
- Sonic cleaning action, 31,000 movements per minute
- Single cleaning mode
- Two levels of brushing intensity
- Includes a brush head in the pack
- Compatible with other Sonicare brush heads
- BrushSync reminds you when it’s time to change brush heads
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review – Comfortable To Use
It’s a pleasure to clean your teeth with the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 electric toothbrush.
A large part of this is because of tiny tweaks designed to help a beginner get used to the instrument. EasyStart is one of these systems.
Over the first 14 times you brush with a new Sonicare ProtectiveClean, the intensity of your brushing will gradually increase – automatically. This is in order to help new, first-time users of an electric toothbrush to gradually accomodate to the novel experience.
Some people are scared at the ‘buzzy’ noise or vibration felt inside their mouth. They may lose interest entirely by starting off with too powerful a setting.
- EasyStart program for new users
- Inbuilt 2-minute timer with 30 second quad pacer
- Pressure sensor guards against brushing too hard
Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 : Makes Travel Fun
This toothbrush comes with a plastic travel case. It has interior mounting points to which the brush heads and handle can be affixed.
Therefore it’s small enough to fit comfortably into travel bags. And the plastic shell is hard enough to protect your toothbrush against any injury and accidental turning on.
Battery power is decent.
A rechargeable lithium ion battery typically powers the brush for around 56 minutes of usage. With regular use, this translates into 2 weeks of activity following a full recharge.
This is fantastic, and adequate for most kinds of regular use.
Waning battery power is indicated by an LED on the brush handle.
- When the battery is full, it glows a solid green.
- Flashing green light indicates the battery is half-way charged.
- Flashing amber and three beeps remind you that the battery is down and needs early recharging.
As soon as you’re notified of the weak battery, pop the brush handle onto a charging station and leave it overnight. Two beeps inform you that the recharge is underway.
Throughout the time it’s charging, the battery level indicator will flash. The battery fully recharges in less than 24 hours. The light glows a solid green for 30 seconds before turning itself off.
- Lithium-ion battery
- 2 week battery life (56 minutes of brushing)
- LED lights indicate the level of battery charge
- Includes a USB charger, and takes 24 hours for a full recharge
Other Special Features
The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 electric toothbrush is water resistant, but not completely waterproof.
The manufacturer (as well as Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review reports) recommend against using the device in a bathtub or shower.
A two year warranty safeguards you against manufacturing errors and other flaws. However, it will not usually cover user induced damage from accidentally dropping or immersing the toothbrush in water.
Sonicare 4100 Buying Guide
Where can you buy the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 electric toothbrush?
This electric toothbrush is available in stores like Target and Walmart, as well as online retail e-commerce platforms like Amazon and eBay.
Price is usually a sticking point for many buyers. Online vendors generally beat out offline stores because they offer year-round discounts on retail price that range from 25% to 65%.
However, you might get great rates even in offline stores around the holiday season.
A slightly different question (but one just as important for a buyer) is whether the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 is worth the price.
It’s a market polarized between the sub-$30 basic electric toothbrush models like Oral-B 1000 Pro and the super-premium Philips Sonicare DiamondClean. So you wonder if you’re really getting extra value from a device somewhere in between these extremes.
This may even explain the price drop of certain Sonicare models. It’s an effort to make them more affordable to a consumer in search for some features and benefits, yet unwilling to spend $200 or more on a toothbrush.
The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 is priced in the sweet spot, where innovation comes at a cost – but not a very high one.
Many newly launched models cost more than you’d expect.
If a model you like seems too expensive for your budget, a good plan is to wait for 3 or 6 months and then check back again. Chances are you’ll find it available at a lower price than before, even upto 60% lesser at times.
So should you buy one at current prices?
That’s a question only you can answer, and hopefully this Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 electric toothbrush review was helpful in making your decision.
Whenever evaluating the cost of ownership of a new electric toothbrush, don’t forget to factor in the expenses of replacing brush heads.
As we’ve already discussed in this Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review, expect to replace brush heads every 3 months or so – and add this projected cost to your estimate. Expect to pay around $7 per replacement head for the ProtectiveClean 4100, and nearly twice as much for premium BrushSync heads.
Your toothbrush itself will last for around 5 years, maybe even longer if you take good care of it. Assuming that your brush will last for only 3 years, the average cost of ownership works out to roughly 15 cents per day.
If multiple users share the same toothbrush handle, this cost drops further.
It’s Solid and Durable
Your Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 electric toothbrush will last for a good 3 to 5 years with proper use, just like the Sonicare Essence electric toothbrush most other models in the Philips Sonicare stable.
This is what makes the brand so reliable and popular among customers.
By its nature, an electric toothbrush is exposed to constant motion and dampness/moisture. This can damage internal parts in the long run. The design of ProtectiveClean 4100 is so good that leaks are rare.
And in the off chance of a manufacturing defect, the toothbrush comes with a 2 year manufacturer warranty.
All you have to do is register your purchase online, and in case something goes wrong, the company will replace your faulty device with a better one.
The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 is a simple, elegant and easy to operate electric toothbrush. No fancy features but great value for money.
It cleans well, is comfortable to use, durable and sturdy, is backed by a trusted and reliable company and offers enough features to keep the most demanding buyer happy.
Several innovations and improvements keep it firmly on the top-rated electric toothbrush recommendations.
Of unique value are the inbuilt timer, Quad-pacer technology, EasyStart functionality, and BrushSync replacement reminder. Also, excellent battery life is just icing on the cake.
And if you can afford the mid-level price, this is an excellent option for most users.
- Single cleaning mode
- Inbuilt 2-minute timer
- Pressure sensor
- BrushSync technology to remind about changing brush head
- Long battery life
- Travel case included
- No extra brush heads
- Height: 19 cm
- Width: 2.8 cm
- Thickness: 3 cm
- Weight: 125 grams
- Material: Plastic and rubber
What others are saying in their Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review:
“For the price I wouldn’t change a thing. Great product. Go with this one since it has the same battery and power as a Sonicare DiamondClean toothbrush without unnecessary features.”
– from a Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review by Adarbonne, which over 900 customers found helpful on Amazon.
“You can pay 4 times more for all the bells and whistles. But if your goal is to clean your teeth, the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 does it well.”
– from Tom Barrister‘s Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review on Amazon, that has 700+ user likes.
“My teeth have never felt this clean at home! It’s amazing. Great little tool, SUPER clean teeth.”
– from Amazon.com’s Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review by JL Vice (over 1,000 upvoted it!)
Frequently Asked Questions
on the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review
Q: Is this an oscillating toothbrush?
A: No, the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 is a sonic electric toothbrush that cleans through a vibratory ‘vortex generating’ action.
Q: Are there multiple cleaning modes for specific needs?
A: The ProtectiveClean 4100 has only a single mode, but can run at two levels of intensity – high and low.
Q: Do you get extra brush heads?
A: No, there’s only one brush head in the package, a C2 Optimal Plaque Control brush head. But you can purchase extra brush heads separately.
The instrument is compatible with a range of other Sonicare brush heads.
Q: Is there a pressure sensor?
A: Yes, the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 comes with a pressure sensor. However, it doesn’t give a visible indication, but simply reduces power when you press too hard.
Q: Is there Bluetooth?
A: No, this doesn’t have Bluetooth.
Q: Does it have an automatic timer?
A: Yes, the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 electric toothbrush has an inbuilt timer. So it will indicate every 30 seconds that it is time to shift to another quadrant (QuadPacer).
Also it will let you know after 2 minutes (which is what most dentists recommend for cleaning teeth).
Q: How long is the manufacturer’s warranty?
A: As the Philips Sonicare warranty is for two years, it safeguards a buyer against manufacturing flaws and defects.
Q: Does the battery hold charge well?
A: Yes, you’ll get around 2 weeks of active brushing (56 minutes, on average) for each full recharge. Also, the device comes with a charging station included.
Q: Can you mount the charger on a wall?
A: No, it must rest on a flat surface.
Q: Can I use the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 in the shower?
A: While the toothbrush is water resistant, it is advisable not to use it in a shower or bathtub.
Q: Is this toothbrush travel friendly?
A: Yes, it is easy and convenient to carry along with you on trips. And as you’ll haPhilips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 reviewyou get a travel case in the package.
Q: Is it easy to operate the Sonicare Protective Clean?
A: It’s simple to turn the ProtectiveClean on and off. All you have to do is press the button on the front of your handle.
The motor turns on with a short beep. Indicator LEDs also will blink thrice and then glow to confirm activation.
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