PROS / This brush slows down if you brush too hard.
CONS / The FlexCare Platinum is more difficult to wipe down than other brushes we tested.
VERDICT / This electric toothbrush is one of the most effective brushes we tested. The warranty and customer service are excellent, and it’s our top pick.
The Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum is a phenomenal electric toothbrush with solid performance, a comfortable and lightweight handle, and long battery life. It has a wide array of features, including a UV sanitizer, timer and travel case. The two-year warranty, pressure sensitivity and variety of brushing modes help make it our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner.
Our testers were consistently happy with the brushing experience provided by the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum. Like other Sonicare rechargeable toothbrushes, it gradually increases the brushing intensity so you can get used to it, which is helpful if you’re used to manual brushes. The first brushing feels almost like a tickling for your mouth, and over the course of two weeks, you gradually acclimate to the full power. Even though the FlexCare Platinum was gentle on our mouths, it left our teeth feeling polished and our mouths feeling clean.
The FlexCare Platinum’s body is among the lightest on our lineup. Made of white molded plastic, it has a metallic control panel with separate buttons for on and off, intensity, and mode. The thin body makes for an easy transition if you are used to using a manual brush. While some of the higher-end brushes we reviewed have a seamless finish, the FlexCare Platinum has an elongated control panel that can be more difficult to wipe clean than others, particularly around the three buttons. Still, it is one of the more comfortable handles of those we tested.
Like Philips’ other high-end brushes, the FlexCare Platinum has a three-week battery life, which is the longest brush life of the models we tested. This means you can leave the charger in a drawer for two or three weeks to save space. If you go on a short trip, you can give the brush a full 24-hour charge before you go and then leave the charger base at home.
Features & Accessories
The FlexCare Platinum has three cleaning modes: Clean, White and Gum Care. In each mode, you can vary the intensity of the brushing between three levels.
Philips also provides two charger bases. One is barely larger than the base of the toothbrush and fits on any vanity top, in a drawer or under the sink. The other base has a built-in UV sanitizer. The sanitizer holds two brush heads, which is helpful if you share a brush with another person or use two types of brush heads. It runs for only 10 minutes, and the manufacturer claims that it effectively kills 99 percent of bacteria on the toothbrush.
One of the biggest concerns for people transitioning from regular toothbrushes to electric brushes is gum recession. If you press the FlexCare Platinum against your teeth or gums too hard, it slows and reminds you to use a lighter touch. The brush also includes a two-minute timer with 30-second intervals, so you evenly brush the four quadrants of your mouth.
Philips includes a white plastic travel case with the FlexCare Platinum. It’s a simple oval shape, and it firmly holds the brush body and two brush heads in place so they aren’t jostled in a suitcase or carry-on. The case has perforations for venting on one end and clasps with a flip-up tab on the long edge. Philips includes a far more elaborate carrying case that doubles as a charger with some of its other brushes, but if you aren’t going to be away from home for longer than a couple weeks, the charger may be unnecessary anyway.
The brush only comes with two InterCare brush heads. They’re interchangeable with other Sonicare toothbrush bodies and are widely available when you need to find replacements. While some of the lesser-known brush brands provide one- or two-year supplies of brush heads, it’s common for big brands like Sonicare to only ship one or two in the box.
This brush doesn’t provide you with any form of progress notification. There isn’t a separate notification screen or Bluetooth-enabled app to provide feedback. While some of this technology goes unused, it can be useful if you are looking to improve your brushing habits. Likewise, the brush doesn’t come with any flossing alternatives like a water or air-jetted tool. The brush heads have staggered bristles to help reach between your teeth and along your gumline, but you shouldn’t consider this brush to be a replacement for flossing.
Warranty & Support
Philips warrantees the FlexCare Platinum for two years. We spoke to a customer service representative by phone who explained that if there are any issues with the brush in those two years, the company will replace it. The warranty doesn’t apply to normal wear and tear or user damage. You can find warranty information on the Philips website. The brush also has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
We had no problem contacting Philips’ customer service. We received quick responses to questions about brush head replacement, instructions for use and warranty details. We were able to reach Philips customer service by phone with little delay, even at unusual hours. Likewise, the chat function allowed us to gain instant access to a customer service agent. At the end of our chat, the customer service agent offered us a discount code to use at checkout. Philips also provides a list of frequently asked questions about each of its products, and if you misplace your manual, you can read a digital version online.
The Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum has an impressive array of features and a comfortable, lightweight handle. While it doesn’t have progress notifications, a smartphone app or a flossing alternative, it does have a timer and travel case. The pressure sensitivity monitor, brushing effectiveness and overall user satisfaction make this the best rated electric toothbrush we tested.