Philips Sonicare Essence

Last updated date: February 18, 2021

DWYM Score

8.7

Philips Sonicare Essence

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We looked at the top Electric Toothbrushes and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Electric Toothbrush you should buy.

Update as February 18, 2021:
Checkout The Best Electric Toothbrush for a detailed review of all the top electric toothbrushes.

Overall Take

The Philips Sonicare Essence is able to hold a long charge, which means you'll only have to place it on the charger twice a month. The unit utilizes screw-on brush heads with soft bristles that are gentle on sensitive gums. The toothbrush's patented sonic technology ensures a deep clean that you can't get with a manual toothbrush. In fact, you'll be able to remove twice as much plaque as you would with a traditional toothbrush.


In our analysis of 105 expert reviews, the Philips Sonicare Essence placed 8th when we looked at the top 15 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Taking care of your dental health is easy with the Philips Sonicare Essence Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush. This rechargeable power toothbrush features an angled neck, soft contoured bristles, and patented sonic technology to gently remove plaque in hard-to-reach areas. An easy-start feature helps you adjust to the Sonicare experience, while the two-minute Smartimer ensures you brush thoroughly. Essence Rechargeable Toothbrush remains charged for up to two weeks.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

7.5
8 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

8.5
12,853 user reviews

What experts liked

Philips has gone into good detail in their instruction manual on how to get an effective clean with the Essence. I was impressed that they had even included brushing instructions for those of you with braces, dental restorations and periodontal pockets.
- Moo Review
September 18, 2018 | Full review
This toothbrush lasted for a whopping 29 days on a full charge, making it more than reasonable to travel with this brush and leave the charger behind for all but the longest trips.
- Tech Gear Lab
It is pretty easy to operate, due to the fact that the power button and charging mechanism is conspicuous in the middle and gives you the opportunity to access it whenever you would like. The brush is pretty easy to grip and comes with a charging station.
- Dental Dorks
The toothbrush is backed by a two-year warranty and runs for up to two weeks on a single charge.
- Much Needed
Battery life – 2 weeks battery life is pretty good, especially when you compare it to Oral-B’s offerings at this price point.
- Electric Teeth
January 25, 2019 | Full review
A screw on head is easy to fix to make it ideal for any user.
- Best Electric Toothbrush Club
The Sonicare Essence toothbrush has a battery life of 2 weeks, which is longer than the Essence+ model. While brands like Oral B having an average battery life of 7 days, Sonicare’s battery life is relatively high and more eco friendly than most electric toothbrushes.
- The Toothsayer
October 1, 2018 | Full review
Comes with all the accessories necessary for travelling.
- Get Healthy Teeth

What experts didn't like

As I turned on the Sonicare Essence for the first time I was greeted with a rather loud sound as the vibrating brush head jumped into motion. The sound is more of a loud humming sound as opposed to the churning gear sound you hear from the Oral-B range.The sound is loud enough that anyone sleeping one or two rooms over will be able to hear it, particularly if your bathroom echoes.
- Moo Review
September 18, 2018 | Full review
There is a little more effort to swap brush heads with their screw-on attachment system than the click-on system favored by most other models.
- Tech Gear Lab
One of the knocks against this particular toothbrush is that it does not come with a travel case. It also does not come with a travel charger.
- Dental Dorks
The replacement brush heads are expensive.
- Much Needed
Size & weight – This is not the slimmest of brushes.
- Electric Teeth
January 25, 2019 | Full review
Sometimes mildew percolates in the opening of between the brush head and its body.
- Best Electric Toothbrush Club
While Sonicare’s immediate battery life is usually praised, its longevity is sometimes criticized because most brushes only last 1-2 years.
- The Toothsayer
October 1, 2018 | Full review
Though mostly the reviews for Sonicare Essence are positive, there’re some complaints from users. One of them is the noise. Some of the users, though not many, have found the brush quite noisy.
- Get Healthy Teeth

An Overview On Electric Toothbrushes

Experts recommend brushing your teeth twice each day for two minutes at each session. If you brush too hard, you can irritate your gums. But if you don’t brush hard enough, you may not help with plaque buildup. Figuring it all out can seem complicated, but an electric toothbrush will be a big help.

Today’s electric toothbrushes have a variety of features that ensure you brush long enough at just the right pressure. The bristles on an electric toothbrush vibrate to boost plaque removal without excess pressure. In addition to that, you’ll also get features that will help you brush exactly the way you should.

A good electric toothbrush starts with the bristles. Each brush has its own way of moving in order to clean. For some people, the vibration can create a bit of a tickling sensation, causing the experience of brushing to be uncomfortable. Still others prefer the vibration to oscillation, and some dentists believe vibration does a better job at cleaning.

Next up are the sensors and alerts. Pressure sensors notify you when you’re brushing too hard, with some even stopping the vibration to let you know. Still others have a built-in alert for when it’s time for a brush head change, which can keep you from using a brush with worn-out bristles.

Another feature that can help make your dentist happy is timing. Some electric toothbrushes even have quadrant timers to let you know when it’s time to shift from one area of your mouth to another. You’ll find others shut off at the two-minute mark, which can be annoying if you aren’t completely finished when the shutoff happens.

Electric toothbrushes typically run off a battery, so you’ll need to factor battery life into your decision. You’ll likely set it back on a charging base between uses, so you shouldn’t have a problem getting the two minutes of use you need twice a day, but the charging base will also take up space. Keep that in mind as you consider where you’ll set it so that it’ll be close enough to a power outlet.

Chances are, you aren’t changing your toothbrush as often as you should. Electric toothbrushes feature interchangeable heads at a far lower cost than what you spent on the base. Some toothbrushes build in alerts to let you know when it’s time to change your brush heads. This is based on wear on the bristles, which reduces the effectiveness of each cleaning.

The Electric Toothbrush Buying Guide

  • Any good toothbrush starts with the bristles. This is especially true of electric toothbrushes, which use movement to get the job done. Some models use the power of sonic technology to make as much as 31,000 brush strokes per minute, driving fluid between your teeth. Others use 3-D cleaning action to surround each tooth, providing around 8,800 rotations and 20,000 pulsations per minute.
  • When shopping for electric toothbrushes, you’ll want to look for a model with a movement that doesn’t tickle when you use it. This makes the toothbrush more comfortable for brushers who are sensitive to that.
  • Most electric toothbrushes follow a similar design, with a base that’s far wider than a standard toothbrush. Looks are a matter of personal preference, but there are electric toothbrushes that have a full black design that are a refreshing departure from standard white toothbrushes. Some use that same solid black design for the brush’s base, but then have heads that are white. Although some models look similar, their bases are slightly thinner, which can make them easier to hold.
  • One thing to note on the rechargeable models is that they work with a variety of snap-on toothbrush heads, so you can choose the one you prefer.
  • Not every person needs the same level of cleaning each day. In fact, even you may need more on one day versus another. Some electronic toothbrushes have many options with up to five modes: clean, white, sensitive, gum care and deep clean. Others only provide three modes: clean, white and gum care.  There are even models that are limited to only one option, daily clean.
  • Most electric toothbrushes run on a battery, which you’ll need to recharge between uses. You may be given the option of charging either via a wall outlet or a USB outlet, which can come in handy while you’re traveling. With this type of toothbrush, you also get a strong battery charge that can last for weeks of normal use, also great for traveling. It’s possible to find an electric toothbrush that has a long battery life, going as long as 11 days with twice-daily use between charges.
  • Check to see how useful the toothbrush’s charging base is. There are models with a glass base that can also serve double duty by holding your rinsing water.
  • Look for models that have an indicator to let you know when the battery needs to be recharged. While many electric toothbrushes have this feature, some don’t offer this.
  • It can be tempting to bear down when you’re brushing your teeth. The practice of overbrushing can cause something called “toothbrush abrasion.” Over time, it can wear down the protective enamel on your teeth and cause your gums to recede. For this reason, dentists often recommend electric toothbrushes for those who have the tendency to overbrush. A pressure sensor will take the overall benefits of electric toothbrushes one step further by alerting you if you press too hard. Some models make a pulsing sound to alert you when you’re brushing too hard. You’ll also get a pressure sensor with other models. However, that one may be a little less convenient since it temporarily stops pulsing altogether when you brush too hard.
  • The American Dental Association recommends consumers change their toothbrushes every three months. Unfortunately, many wait far longer than that. Unfortunately, frayed bristles aren’t as effective at cleaning your teeth. There are electric toothbrushes on the market that are designed to alert you when it’s time to change your brush head based on wear on the bristles.
  • Dentists recommend you brush for two minutes, twice a day. But how do you know when the two minutes are up? With an electric toothbrush, you’ll have the benefit of a timer. Some models offer a feature that forces the toothbrush to pause slightly every 30 seconds to remind you to remove to the next quadrant.
  • Electric toothbrushes are, of course, more expensive than traditional brushes. But sure you’re to find one that fits your budget either way.
  • If you’re concerned about noise, look for an electronic toothbrush that runs quietly. Some models are naturally more noisy than others.
  • One way to get your toothbrush extra clean is to use one of the UV sanitizers that have become popular. You can buy UV sanitizers made specially to work with your electric toothbrush head.