The Oral-B iO has been announced, but not yet released for general sale.
It is expected to go on sale to the public in late summer 2020, approximately August.
This comparison has been written to highlight the differences, based on what information we already know.
It will be updated once I have hands-on time with the final production unit.
Which one would we choose?
Our choice: Oral-B iO
2nd choice: Sonicare DiamondClean Smart
If money is no object then the DiamondClean Smart is the brush I would go for. It feels a slightly more complete package.
However, as good as the DiamondClean is, the iO is an excellent brush. It really isn’t that far behind, particularly when you factor in the lower price point.
These are undoubtedly the two best brushes that money can buy, with the iO being the brush to go for because of the value for money it offers.
- Cleaning/brushing action
- The DiamondClean Smart uses sonic cleaning action and larger brush heads than the oscillating-rotating cleaning action and small round brush heads of the iO.
- Handle design & colours
- Similar, yet different handle designs.
- The DiamondClean Smart is available in black, grey and lunar blue.
- The iO is available in black onyx, white and rose quartz.
- An OLED display is built into the handle of the iO to display key data. The display enables easy navigation through the brush features and personalisation: welcoming greetings, choice of brushing modes, language settings and reminders to change the brush head. This is not included on the Sonicare.
- Cleaning modes
- The DiamondClean Smart comes with 5 cleaning modes (Clean, White+, Deep Clean+, Gum Health, and Tongue Care).
- The iO has 7 cleaning modes ( (Daily Clean, Sensitive, Super Sensitive, Intense, Whiten, Gum Care and Tongue Clean).
- Cleaning mode intensities
- The DiamondClean Smart offers 3 different intensities to the cleaning modes, low medium and high.
- Cleaning mode labels/icons
- The DiamondClean Smart has names of the cleaning modes on the handle. that are backlit when selected.
- The iO modes are shown on the OLED display.
- Automatic power off
- The DiamondClean Smart turns off automatically at the end of a cleaning cycle.
- The Sonicare DiamondClean Smart gradually increases the power of the brush over the first 14 sessions to help new users get used to the power.
- Brush heads
- The DiamondClean Smart comes with 4 brush heads (1 x Premium Plaque Control, 1 x Premium Gum Care, 1 x Premium White and 1 x TongueCare+ tongue brush).
- Brush heads supplied with the iO are TBC.
- BrushSync technology
- The Smart will alert you when it is time to change a brush head via an LED on the brush handle. This is not available on the iO.
- The DiamondClean will also select the most appropriate cleaning mode based on the brush head attached.
- Pressure sensor
- The DiamondClean Smart has an LED ring on the base of the handle that illuminates purple when too much pressure is applied.
- The iO has an LED ring at the top of the brush handle that lights up red when too much pressure is applied. It also lights up green, when just the right amount of pressure is applied.
- The DiamondClean Smart is quieter than the iO.
- Battery life
- The DiamondClean Smart has a battery life of 3 weeks compared to the 12.5 days of the Oral-B.
- Charging stands
- The DiamondClean Smart uses a more premium looking, but bulky charging glass.
- The iO has a smaller, magnetic charging stand.
- The iO takes 3 hours to charge compared to up to 24 hours of the DiamondClean.
- Bluetooth/smart technology
- The iO uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help track your brushing action to rate your overall clean.
- Travel case
- The DiamondClean Smart has a travel case that is finished with leather effect material and allows the brush to be charged in that case thanks to a USB cable hardwired into. It holds the handle and 2 brush heads.
- The iO travel case does not allow the brush to be charged in the case and holds the handle and 1 brush head.
- The Oral-B iO comes with a 2 year warranty, which can be extended to 3 years.
- The DiamondClean comes with a 2 year warranty, which can be extended by 6 months to 2.5 years.
- Box contents/extras
- The DiamondClean Smart (HX9954/53) comes with a brush head storage compartment.
- The DiamondClean Smart comes with a bottle of antibacterial spray.
- The DiamondClean Smart is generally more expensive.
These differences are explained at length later in this article. However, you might wish to learn more about each brush being compared. To do so, check out our hands-on reviews:
- Oral-B iO review – Coming soon
- Sonicare DiamondClean Smart review
Please note. Every effort is made to ensure the key differences listed are correct, but these differences are subject to change without notice. Products and the box contents can be changed without notice and different variants can exist.
Detailed comparison: what’s the difference between the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart and Oral-B iO?
Given that at the time of writing the iO is not actually available for sale and I have not had any extensive hands-on time, I am not in a position to write a detailed comparison between these 2 models.
The bullet point list should give you a good overview of the differences.
I will update this section of the comparison once I have the additional information and hands-on use to be able to give you the feedback you require.
Does one clean better than the other?
The answer to this question will only be known when I get to go hands-on with the iO later in 2020.
If you asked the respective brands directly, they would each suggest their model does.
Studies have historically shown that Oral-B generally speaking have the edge here.
This is because of the smaller brush head size and the motion it results in greater improvements of users oral health than a Sonicare model.
The cleaning actions are different, with Sonicare using a sonic brushing technology compared to the oscillating-rotating of the iO.
My general preference has been for the cleaning action offered by Oral-B. I generally have the sensation that my teeth are cleaner than they are when having used a Sonicare toothbrush.
The inclusion of OLED screen on the handle of the iO will provide information that has never before been so easily accessible.
What this means that there is a very strong argument that users like you and I will be able to achieve a better clean with the iO as we have more data and information at our fingertips.
Ultimately, whilst different, the results are usually similar.
For most users, more positive effect can be seen and felt from perfecting their brushing technique and routine than picking 1 toothbrush over another.
Is one better priced than the other?
Yes, I expect the iO by Oral-B to be quite a bit cheaper than the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart.
The official price of the iO has not been confirmed, but based on historic price information, I can say with some certainty that the iO will command a lower price than the Sonicare.
That said, I think the iO will be priced higher than most premium Oral-B toothbrushes because of the new design and technology built-in.
The recommended retail price of the Genius X, the current flagship Oral-B model is between £339.99 and £359.99 depending on the variant.
The actual selling price tends to be around 50% less at £165 and £169.
I anticipate that the iO will be priced at around £350-375. But, factor in the likely 50% discount and a price of £150-175 seems realistic.
The Sonicare DiamondClean Smart has had a retail price of £360-380 until 2019 when the DiamondClean Smart 9100 was introduced with a price of £250.
The 9100 offers less in the box, hence the lower retail price.
However, the actual selling prices of the DiamondClean Smart are quite interesting.
The 9100 remains at its £250 price point, whilst the other variants have taken approximately a 20-30% drop in price and sell at around £250-280.
Prices are always subject to change, particularly the actual selling price when comparing retailers etc.
But, what this means is that on the whole compared to the IO they are likely to be commanding a premium of £75, if not more.
There is a lot to like about the DiamondClean Smart, but that is quite a premium to pay.
This does not take into account the cost of the brush heads either.
Sonicare does offer some innovation here, but as a general rule is commanding approximately £10 per brush head more.
Over the typical life of a toothbrush handle that is in excess of £100 extra spending on brush heads alone.
With even the most creative reasoning this is not justifiable.
Of course, we will only know for sure when the iO goes on sale later this year.
Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and will vary based on location, supplier and time of purchase. These figures were correct at the time of writing and should not be relied upon as hard fact, but used as a guide during your decision process.
For many years, it has been a contest to some extent between Oral-B and Sonicare.
One companies premium toothbrush has always offered something the other hasn’t and deciding which to buy has never been the simplest of decisions.
Sonicare have always offered the more complete and refined package and this remains true when comparing the Oral-B iO and the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart.
But, Sonicare have too always commanded a sizeable price premium that for many has been more difficult to justify, making the Oral-B toothbrushes the better buy.
Oral-B have really upped their game with the iO, compared to the previous Genius models.
The iO is sleeker, more refined, with innovative touches. In many ways, it challenges the DiamondClean Smart more than any other toothbrush.
Sadly it still fails to outperform the DiamondClean in terms of battery life and certain convenience features make the Sonicare more appealing.
The DiamondClean Smart retains the crown as the absolute best in my opinion. BUT, yet again price makes the iO the brush to buy.
It is available for a fair amount less and the benefits of the Sonicare are not worth the price premium.
Ultimately, whatever brush you decide upon, it is you who needs to make the decision; but do so based on which is best for your needs or that of the end user.
Only pay the price you are happy with and do not be led into buying something if it is not right.
Hopefully, I have presented the facts and made the whole decision process that little bit easier.
If you found this useful, have any questions, thoughts or opinions, please leave them in the comments below.