Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases.

Last Updated on February 20, 2023

Philips Sonicare C2 vs C3: Which Brush Head is Better?

Philips Sonicare C2 Vs. Philips Sonicare C3

It goes without saying that Sonicare has carved out a niche for itself in the oral hygiene market. Working to ensure we have award-winning smiles and an array of teeth that make self-respecting dentists despair of ever being able to land us with hefty bills, their products are the first that come to mind when your cleaning routine leaves you feeling less than clean.

However, as Sonicare markets more new products, we, the people who want poster girls’ and boys’ smiles, can end up confused.

Which product should we use on our precious teeth, and which product is the most deserving of our hard-earned cash?

That is the dilemma the C2 and C3 brush heads have left consumers to deal with. To help solve that problem for our readers, we have put together a comparison of the two brush heads with the purchaser’s needs firmly to the front of our minds.

In this article, we compare these two products made by the leading dental care provider, Philips Sonicare.

The Sonicare C2 brush head and the Sonicare C3 brush head are both touted as masters in the never-ending battle against plaque. Even their names tell it all. The C2 carries the slogan of Optimal Plaque Control, and the newer C3 is described as Premium Plaque Control.

If you don’t want to read the full article, the following points should help you come to a decision.

Philips Sonicare C2 Vs. Philips Sonicare C3 at a Glance

Philip Electric Toothbrush and Battery

Sonicare C2 advantages:

  1. Smart heads – Clicks onto the Philips Sonicare toothbrush handle and works with Philips BrushSync Technology which allows the brush handle to deduce what type of brush head is in use.
  2. Removes 7% more plaque – Known as the optimal plaque defence toothbrush, the Sonicare C2 promises to remove 7% more plaque than a manual toothbrush.
  3. Thorough clean – Tightly packed bristles work to deliver an intense clean.
  4. Power tip – This helps you to easily reach those out-of-the-way teeth at the back of your mouth.

Sonicare C2 disadvantages:

  1. Too firm – Some buyers report that the tightly packed regular bristles are too hard and can hurt gums.
  2. Bristle loss – Buyers have claimed that bristles fell out while using the brush.
  3. Breaking heads – Some customers report having problems with the replacement toothbrush heads breaking or slipping off the brush handle.
  4. Compatibility – The C2 is not compatible with toothbrushes that have screw-on handles, and the BrushSync feature will not work with handles that don’t have the same feature.

Sonicare C3 advantages:

  1. Smart heads – Like the C2, the C3 brush head clicks easily onto the Philips Sonicare brush handle and works with the Philips BrushSync Technology.
  2. Removes 10% more plaque – Branded as a “Premium Plaque Defence,” Philips claims the brush head removes 10% more plaque than a manual toothbrush.
  3. Adaptable bristles – C3 brush heads have soft flexing sides allowing the brush head to adapt to the contours of your teeth and gums and reach difficult areas. Philips term this as their new Adapting Cleaning Technology.
  4. More surface contact – The C3 brush head has four times more surface contact with your teeth during brushing, allowing it to deliver that deep clean feeling.
  5. Smooth brushing – Bristles are described as “Medium soft” and glide over your teeth without affecting fillings and implants.

Sonicare C3 disadvantages:

  1. Compatibility – Like the C2 brush head, the C3 is incompatible with toothbrushes that have screw-on handles, and to avail of the BrushSync feature, you must use a handle that has the BrushSync feature.
  2. Price – If price can influence your decision, the £27.99 price for the C2 on Amazon may make it more attractive than the C3 brush heads that are quoted at £43.99 by the same retailer.

Don’t want to read the full article? The editor’s choice is the C3 brush head.

Philips Sonicare Genuine C3 Premium Plaque Control Toothbrush Heads, 4 Brush Heads, White, HX9044/65

What’s The Difference Between Them?

Black Electric Toothbrush


There’s an obvious price difference, with the C2 being the more budget-friendly option.

If the cost of the replacement brush heads is your primary cause for concern, then you may decide to opt for the C2 brush head. The C2 comes in at £27.99 on Amazon for a pack of 3 brush heads, while the C3 is quoted at £42.99 for a pack of 4.

Given the recommendation that you should change your brush head every three months, the C2 is going to cost you approximately £9 for one month’s usage, while the C3 is going to cost slightly more than £10 for the same period.

Hardly a mind-boggling difference, yet when you are buying several brush heads together, it can tip the scales in favor of the cheaper option.

Verdict: The C2 wins our vote here.

Philips Sonicare Genuine C2 Optimal Plaque Control Toothbrush Heads, 3 Brush Heads, White, HX9023/65
Buy on Amazon

Plaque Control

If you can ignore the price difference and look at the impact your choice can have on your oral health and your smile, you may find some other differences that will influence your decision.

When you think about why you are torn between the C2 or the C3, you are obviously concerned about which of them will clean your teeth most effectively.

Both claim to work effectively against plaque, with the C2 claiming to give “optimal plaque defence” and the C3 claiming to deliver “premium plaque defence.”

The manufacturer states that the C2 works 7% better on clearing plaque than a manual toothbrush. However, the C3 is a whopping 10% better.

If plaque is your problem, and who doesn’t have plaque problems, then the C3 may be better suited to your needs.

Verdict: The C3 wins our vote on this one.

Philips Sonicare Genuine C3 Premium Plaque Control Toothbrush Heads, 4 Brush Heads, White, HX9044/65

Bristle Strength

Nobody wants to face their tooth brushing routine expecting to have an uncomfortable experience. And the bristle strength of your brush head is what can make a difference between a comfortable experience and one that can have you gritting your teeth! (Pun intended). The bristles used and how they are packed on the brush head is one of the major differences between the C2 and the C3.

Previous purchasers of the C2 report finding the bristles too tightly packed. Others report bristles falling out while they are cleaning their teeth. The bristles in the C2 are described as being of regular stiffness, allowing you to give your teeth a good scrub.

The C3 also uses tightly packed bristles, but in this case, the bristle stiffness is described as “Medium soft.” The soft bristles glide easily over teeth, giving a deep but comfortable clean. The types of bristles used can have a major impact if you have had work done on your teeth.

If you have had a lot of fillings or implants or wear braces, you may want to avoid the stronger bristles on the C2 and opt instead for the softer cleaning power of the C3. Just remember to work on sensitive mode for your first few uses of the brush.

Verdict: The C3 is a clear winner when thinking about the bristles used.

Philips Sonicare Genuine C3 Premium Plaque Control Toothbrush Heads, 4 Brush Heads, White, HX9044/65

Adapting Cleaning Technology

Have you ever had that feeling of not having quite cleaned those out-of-reach teeth at the back of your mouth or not managed to dislodge those last food vestiges from between your teeth? The materials used in your brush head may have given rise to that feeling.

To be effective, a toothbrush needs to be able to reach those out-of-the-way places at the back of your mouth. These include behind your teeth and underneath the gum line, and it needs to do this without making your mouth feel like it has been subjected to an assault.

One can only imagine that Philips must have had these thoughts in mind when they decided to apply their new Adapting Cleaning Technology to the C3. As the term suggests, you have a brush head that is adapting to your specific needs. Essentially you are using a brush that is unique to you!

The C3 has rubber sides that help it to easily adapt to the contours of your mouth. The rubber sides allow your brush head to adjust to your own unique tooth pattern minimizing pressure on your gums and reaching out of the way places.

Equipped with a power tip that can reach between teeth and along the gumline, favorite hangouts for plaque, and food debris, the C3 works on removing these harmful objects that can lead to time being spent in the dentist’s chair.

The C3 brush head and bristle patterns work together for a deep clean. The C2, however, doesn’t have Adapting Cleaning Technology.

Verdict: The use of Adapting Cleaning Technology makes the C3 a clear winner here.

Philips Sonicare Genuine C3 Premium Plaque Control Toothbrush Heads, 4 Brush Heads, White, HX9044/65

Surface Contact

To clean your teeth, the brush has to make contact with them. However, some brush heads do this better than others. And if they don’t, you can still be left with that grainy feeling.

With the rubber sides of the brush head, the C3 has four times more surface contact than other brushes and thoroughly cleans each individual tooth. This feature will leave you feeling your cleaning routine has been more productive.

You can face the world knowing that each tooth is equally clean. And nobody wants a less than pearly tooth standing out in a row of pristine teeth!

Verdict: Once again, the C3 is a clear winner.

Philips Sonicare Genuine C3 Premium Plaque Control Toothbrush Heads, 4 Brush Heads, White, HX9044/65

BrushSync Technology

BrushSync Technology is a term referring to how your brush head works in tandem with your brush handle. C2 and C3 brush heads both work with BrushSync Technology if you attach them to a handle that recognizes the technology.

When using BrushSync technology, the handle will detect which brush head is being used and activate the mode that pairs the best with the brush you are using.

If you want to use the regular cleaning mode or the tooth whitening, gum care, sensitive teeth, or tongue cleaning modes, using a handle with BrushSync Technology will allow both the brushes to deliver the cleaning experience you want.

Verdict: In this case, it is a tie. With the right handle, each brush will be able to use the technology.

Changing Your Brush Head

philips sonicare toothbrush

The biggest mistake most of us make with our toothbrushes is using them beyond their “best before” date. This can be due to human laziness or a simple oversight. Whatever the reason, it is not good for our teeth.

Both the C2 and the C3 brushes are equipped with a chip to monitor how often you use the brush and when the time to replace it has come. However, the C3 brush head will not allow us to ignore that information.

Coming with a built-in reminder, the C3 reminds us when we need to change the brush head. The C2 doesn’t have this reminder, but you know when the blue bristles turn white that the time for replacing the old brush head with a new one has come.

Verdict: For forgetful human beings, the C3 has to be the clear winner here.

Philips Sonicare Genuine C3 Premium Plaque Control Toothbrush Heads, 4 Brush Heads, White, HX9044/65


The aesthetics of a toothbrush do not worry very many people. After all, it has a purpose to serve, and if it can do that, you should have little else to worry about. But if color and appearance are your concerns, both brushes come in neutral colors, with the C2 coming in white and the C3 in black.

Verdict: It’s a tie in this situation.


Both brush heads have a lot to offer the consumer. Produced by Philips Sonicare, that should not surprise us. Using either brush head, you can expect superior cleaning.

However, the C3 is an obvious step up from the C2. For an extra £1 a month, the C3 delivers a thorough clean thanks to the Adapting Cleaning Technology. The rubber sides of the head will see you leaving the bathroom knowing that every tooth, even the hard-to-reach ones, has been given individual treatment.

And if plaque is one of your concerns, you will know that brushing your teeth with the C3 has played its part in keeping it at bay.

Used in conjunction with a Sonicare handle, the C3 delivers the optimal care it promises.

Philips Sonicare Genuine C3 Premium Plaque Control Toothbrush Heads, 4 Brush Heads, White, HX9044/65

Rate this post