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Quip vs. Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100. Here's how two popular electric toothbrushes compare.


Quip vs. Sonicare 4x3

Summary List Placement
  • Both the Quip brush and Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 use sonic vibrations for a clean that's better than a manual brush.
  • Stylish and minimalistic, the Quip is cheaper and a better option for anyone with sensitive teeth or gums.
  • The Sonicare ProtectiveSlean 4100 is a more powerful brush, offering a stronger clean and a much smaller brush head.
Product Card (small)Product Card (small)Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Brushing your teeth does more than just keep your pearly whites clean — it also works to remove plaque and biofilm while stimulating your gums, both of which help prevent issues like gingivitis or cavities.

Though using a manual brush is a time-honored method for doing this, using an electric toothbrush is a much more thorough process, André V. Ritter, DDS, PhD, professor, and chair of the Department of Cariology & Comprehensive Care at NYU Dentistry, told Insider. As the industry for electric toothbrushes continues to grow, so, too, does the variety of both the brushes themselves and the brands that offer them.

Two of the most popular companies selling electric toothbrushes right now are Quip and the Sonicare line from Philips. Not only do both brands offer their own take on an affordable and effective brush, but their products have proven to be an ideal way to keep your teeth clean — in addition to daily flossing, of course. 

But although the end goal of each is the same, the two brands do offer a slightly different approach to electric brushing.

Quip offers two options: A standard electric toothbrush and a smart electric toothbrush. The smart option offers the benefit of tracking your brushing sessions and learning your habits, including how long you brush for and your average brushing acceleration. Though there are just these two variants available via Quip, what the company lacks in options it makes up for in simplicity and beautiful, minimalistic design.

Philips, meanwhile, has long been a leader in the electric toothbrush industry with the Sonicare line, and as such, offers many electric toothbrush options. I decided to test the 4100 series for this comparison, as it most closely compares to Quip's offerings.

Quip's electric toothbrushes start at $25 while the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 comes in at $50, and both are accepted by the American Dental Association (ADA) to remove plaque and prevent and reduce gingivitis when used correctly. Here's how the two compare. 

Quip vs. Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100: Which is best?


Quip offers a sleek and minimalistic design, something I didn't even know I needed in a toothbrush until this was in my hands. It comes in three plastic colorways (green, blue, and white) and five in metal (silver, slate, copper, gold, and black).

The handle on Quip is thin, round, and smooth, and it slides nicely into a case that sits on the countertop or sticks to the mirror. Because the bottom of the brush is rounded, it won't stand on its own, so it always needs to be either laid flat on the counter or returned to its case. For travel, the case also fits over the brush head, which is similar in size to a manual toothbrush and larger than the Sonicare brush head.

The Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 has a wider and bulkier base compared to Quip, but this only comes into play when you're traveling; this wider base is actually very convenient at home as the brush doesn't need the case to stand on the countertop. The ProtectiveClean 4100 also comes with a small, clear cover for the brush head. The toothbrush is only available in plastic but comes in a lot of color options: white, mint, deep pink, navy blue, turquoise, pastel pink, and black and white.

Because Sonicare's brush head is smaller than Quip's, it's slightly easier to reach rear molars for most people. Dr. Ritter explained, "As a general rule, the brush head should be small enough to reach the back teeth without difficulty." While I could reach my back teeth with both brushes, I definitely got a better angle on those hard-to-reach areas with Sonicare's smaller brush head.

If I could, I would combine Quip's overall aesthetic with Sonicare's smaller brush head.


"The bristles of the brush should effectively contact the surfaces of the teeth for an adequate amount of time so that the dental plaque/biofilm can be brushed off," Dr. Ritter explained.

He noted that two minutes typically provides adequate time to thoroughly brush each tooth surface. The Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 and Quip electric toothbrush both have a two-minute timer with 30-second intervals that signal you to move to the next quadrant of your mouth — so they both pass Dr. Ritter's standards on that front.

Quip's minimalistic toothbrush includes no additional features. The Smart toothbrush, however, does include a few more perks, including an app that tracks brushing duration, top and bottom coverage, strokes per minute, average acceleration.

This is all nice information to have if you're trying to improve your oral hygiene and looking for areas to get better but for the most part, a standard toothbrush timer is enough to make sure you're brushing long enough in all areas of your mouth.

The Sonicare 4100, meanwhile, offers a few additional features you won't find with Quip. First, it has a pressure sensor that alerts you in real-time if you're brushing too hard. In my experience, you would need to be a very aggressive brusher to make the sensor go off. Sonicare also has a light and sound reminder when it's time to replace your brush head. 

Cleaning power

There is a clear power difference between these two brushes as both use sonic vibrations. Quip's registers roughly 15,000 rotations per minute while Sonicare gets up to 62,000 brush movements per minute.

As you may guess from the discrepancy, Quip is much gentler than Sonicare, and I found that I still needed to brush my teeth the way I would with a manual toothbrush (as in, scrub back and forth). Because of the increased power of Sonicare, however, I can simply hold that brush on each tooth surface and they feel adequately clean afterward.

But stronger is not always better — if you're switching from manual to electric for the first time, Quip makes for an easier and less-jarring transition, which can make it easier to stick to the habit.

Those looking for strong and intense cleaning action that leaves their teeth feeling like they just left the dentist will prefer Sonicare. Don't let that intimidate you, though; the brush gently works up to that intense brushing power over the first 14 brushes so you can get used to the sensation.

Personally, I have mildly sensitive teeth. Though it's not realistic for people to have two options on hand, I did have both available during testing and preferred using Quip in the morning while I was still waking up and Sonicare at night to make my teeth extra super clean before bed. 

Battery life

Sonicare has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts 14 days. When the brush alerts you that the battery is almost dead, simply set it on the charger.

Quip uses a removable AAA battery that lasts three months. If you sign up for the $5 subscription plan, you can get a new battery delivered with your brush head every three months.

Sonicare has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts 14 days. When the brush alerts you that the battery is almost dead, simply set it on the charger.

Quip uses a removable AAA battery that lasts three months. If you sign up for the $5 subscription plan, you can get a new battery delivered with your brush head every three months.


Quip is known for being inexpensive compared to other brands — the standard electric toothbrush starts at $25 with $5 brush head and battery refills available every three months.

The Sonicare 4100 is a bit pricier; the brush starts at $49.95, and the cheapest replacement brush head is $8.32. Philips also has a brush head subscription service starting at $7.99 every three months.

Both are available at most major retailers including Target, Walmart, and most major grocery stores.

Which model should you buy?

If you're looking for a traditional electric toothbrush with powerful cleaning and more movements-per-minute, go with the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100. However, if you're on a tight budget or have very sensitive teeth or gums, Quip is an excellent and visually appealing option.

As someone who's used a Sonicare for over 10 years, I was surprised at how much I liked the Quip. My teeth tend to get sensitive and Quip is a happy medium for people like me.

But those who are used to a powerful electric toothbrush and are looking for that same intensity, however, will likely be disappointed by Quip. Overall, Quip seems to function more like a manual toothbrush with a little extra oomph, while Sonicare has the power of a traditional electric toothbrush.

Ultimately, it comes down to preference and price, a sentiment Dr. Ritter echoed: "The important thing is to use the toothbrush correctly, spend time in each section of your mouth, and don't rush. Also, don't forget to floss once a day," he said.

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