Pros / This time-tested, solid performer is the most affordable electric toothbrush we tested.

Cons / Its design is old school and bulky, and it has limited features and accessories.

 Verdict / The Philips Sonicare Essence 5600 is an excellent first electric toothbrush that continues to rank in our top 10. If you’re unsure about making a switch from your manual toothbrush, this is an affordable place to start.

The Philips Sonicare Essence 5600 consistently ranks in our top 10 because it gives you all the cleaning technology of Sonicare’s 31,000 brush strokes per minute at a fraction of a higher-end product’s price. While it doesn’t have many features and accessories, it leaves your teeth feeling clean and provides up to two weeks of use between charges.

If you’re prepared to dive in a bit deeper, the Philips Sonicare 2 is our Best Overall pick. You also might like the Oral-B Pro 1000, our pick for Best Value.

Compared with newer electric toothbrush designs, the Essence 5600 is bulky. Its handle is cumbersome and wide, and changing its brush heads is taxing. Philips Sonicare recently introduced an upgrade, the Philips Sonicare Essence+, featuring a slim, ergonomic handle and more easily wrangled toothbrush heads. As the new entry becomes more widely available, it will likely replace the Essence 5600 in our review.

In the meantime, the Essence 5600 is simple and straightforward to use. It has a two-minute timer built in to its handle, and it introduces you to sonic wave technology gently. Its power gradually increases during your first 14 brushes until it reaches full intensity, which is nice if you have sensitive teeth. Sonic cleaning may be a new sensation, and it can sometimes take time to adjust.

The Essence 5600 comes with its handle, one e-Series standard brush head, a travel cap and a charger. It has one cleaning mode: Clean. Rubber grips on its handle ensure it isn’t slippery to hold, but it still feels unwieldy. If you’d like something sleeker, we recommend the Waterpik Sensonic SR-3000.

Like all Philips Sonicare brushes, the Essence 5600 is backed by a two-year warranty. You can reach customer service by phone, email and chat, and we appreciated the company’s responsiveness to our questions.

Philips Sonicare Essence 5600 Visit Site

Specifications and Benchmarks

Features & Accessories

2 Minutes, Resume Memory, Auto Shut-off
Pressure Sensor and Alert
Not Available
Cleaning Modes and Intensity Settings
1 Mode - Daily Clean
Bluetooth Capability with Brushing App
Handle, 1 Brush Head, Charging Station, 1 Travel Cap




Rounded, Rubber Grip
Ease of Changing Brush Heads

Warranty & Support

2 Years
Phone, Email, Chat
User Guide


Performance Cleaning Technology and Sonic Strokes per Minute
Sonic / 31,000
User Experience
Battery Life
14 Days
Battery Type and Recharge Time
NiMH / 24 Hours