To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 Special Edition review: Sonicare revamped

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £249

It isn’t the smartest Philips brush, but who cares when the cleaning is this good?


  • Effective cleaning
  • Time and pressure tracking through app
  • Excellent battery life


  • Basic charger and case
  • Lacks the full set of smart app features

Philips’ DiamondClean 9000-series brushes sit near the top of the Sonicare range, just above the ExpertClean and Advanced Whitening 7000 brushes and just below the Prestige and DiamondClean Smart lines. The DiamondClean 9000 Special Edition, or the HX9911/88, is something of a revamp, and while you don’t get the mod cons of the flagship models, it still retains the most important features while revising the design and controls. The result is a state-of-the-art toothbrush at a slightly more affordable price tag – but does it still feel and clean like a high-end brush?

View deal at John Lewis

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 Special Edition review: What do you get for the money?

The DiamondClean 9000 Special Edition can be purchased with a single brush head for around £250 to £300, or with three brush heads for £20 or so more. Either way, you get the 9000-series brush, one or more Premium Plaque Control heads, a travel case and a two-part USB charger. The latter is a wireless effort comprising a charging pad and a washable clear plastic holder that fits on top to hold the brush in place. It isn’t as elegant a solution as the charger and glass tumbler combo arriving with the Prestige models, and the case is just a case, rather than a USB travel charger. If you want the most luxurious extras, you’ll still need to invest in one of Philips’ flagship brushes.

Our review sample was in the rather lovely ombre Aquamarine finish, with a dark blue fading into black as you move up the handle. It’s also available in a pink that fades into white. Indicators on the front show the current mode and intensity settings, while the top button powers the brush on and the lower button switches cycles between intensity settings and modes.

The DiamondClean 9000 Special Edition supports Philips’ Sonicare app, but it doesn’t have the full range of sensors to make maximum use of its features. You can track how regularly you brush and how long you brush for, and the app will actually alter the length of its countdown depending on the mode selected.

In Clean mode, for example, you’re looking at two minutes; but in Gum Health mode this increases to three and a half minutes to make sure your gums get a proper going over. The sensors will also track and offer advice on the pressure with which you’re brushing. However, there’s no tracking of where you’re brushing or any real-time advice to help you improve your technique. For that, you’ll need a Prestige or DiamondClean Smart toothbrush.

You should also keep in mind that Philips’ brush heads don’t come cheap; you’re generally looking at somewhere between £20 and £35 for a pack of four. However, they come in a range of types to cater to different needs, from simple cleaning to gum treatment and whitening, and Oral-B’s equivalent iO brush heads aren’t any cheaper to buy.

READ NEXT: The 10 best electric toothbrushes

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 Special Edition review: What’s it like to use?

While it doesn’t have the fancy OLED display of Oral-B’s iO series or some of OClean’s brushes, the clear indicators and easy-to-find, tactile buttons make the Diamond Clean 9000 Special Edition an easy toothbrush to use. In addition, it’s comfortable to hold: neither too slim nor too chunky, with a nice, grippy surface and no annoying gaps or ridges where waste toothpaste can dry and accumulate over time.

You don’t actually need the app to time your brushing, since the brush pulses every 30 seconds to indicate that it’s time to move to another quadrant of your mouth and then turns off after the current mode’s preset time. However, there’s no visual indicator on the brush to let you know if you’re using too much pressure.

Pairing the app with the brush is a quick and pain-free process, with the two connecting flawlessly during our week or so of testing. What’s more, you don’t have to keep your phone with you every time you brush; the brush is able to fill in gaps in the app’s record the next time it connects.

By default, the brush uses Philips BrushSync technology to set the mode and intensity according to the fitted head. For example, on the Plaque Control head, it will switch automatically to Clean. However, you’re free to flick to the White+, Gum Health or Deep Clean+ modes manually, depending on your current dental needs.

Check price at Amazon

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 Special Edition review: How well does it clean?

The DiamondClean 9000 provides one of the best cleans of any brush, and with its four modes and three intensities, the toothbrush is easy to tune to your personal needs. The Deep Clean+ mode, for instance, is a little too intense for my requirements, even if it left my front teeth feeling incredibly smooth; however, dialling it down to medium intensity or switching to Clean mode worked a treat. I also found the Gum Health mode useful for giving the gums a thorough clean and massage after the initial brush, although the three and a half minutes involved proved a bit too much before the school run on a weekday morning.

READ NEXT: The best mouthwashes for fresh breath

The design of the handle and the compact brush head also helps when you’re trying to reach the trickier corners of the mouth, not to mention behind the front teeth. Having used the excellent ExpertClean 7300 as my daily brush for a couple of years, I’d say that the DiamondClean 9000 is even better – but it does come at a more expensive price.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 Special Edition review: How long does the battery last?

The answer is “too long when you’re trying to test it”. I kept the brush running continually to drain the batteries, starting it up every time it stopped, and it kept going for 1hr 50mins before the battery low indicator lit up. That’s enough to keep you going for over 50 two-minute brushes, so you’ll only need to recharge it once or twice a month. Note that it isn’t particularly quick to charge, though; you’ll need to plug in overnight rather than for just a couple of hours.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 Special Edition review: Should I buy it?

It’s hard to fault the DiamondClean 9000 Special Edition. True, it doesn’t have the accessories or full smart app features of the premium Prestige and DiamondClean Smart brushes, but it has all the features you really need, while delivering a superior clean. If you have the budget for a high-end electric toothbrush, but don’t want to pay extra for the most advanced smart features, then this is arguably the best Sonicare option out there – and one of the few sonic brushes that can go toe-to-toe with the best of Oral-B’s iO-series models.

View deal at John Lewis

Read more