Performs as well as you would expect for a Sonicare product
The cordless power flosser 3000 is an excellent water flosser and takes the challenge to market leader Waterpik.
It lacks some textured grip on the handle and the nozzle isn’t the easiest to rotate. But this is more than made up for by the excellent cleaning performance and other features it offers.
The built-in pacer and large 250ml water tank are really useful.
3 pressure/intensity settings
The nozzle is a bit difficult to rotate
Built-in timer/pacer to encourage even flossing
Lacks gripping points
USB type c charger
Consider this other water flosser
The Waterpik Cordless Advanced is my top choice for a cordless water flosser today.
Make no mistake, this Power Flosser is very good and I could happily use it on a daily basis. Philips have done a great job.
But there are a couple of small factors that have me preferring the Waterpik. The main things being the ease with which you can rotate the nozzle and the textured handle that makes the flosser feel more secure in the hand.
How the cordless 3000 looks, feels and works
Out of the box, the cordless power flosser 3000 comes packaged with everything you need to get up and running.
In fact, it comes with 2 nozzle styles, when you might only need 1, but more on that shortly.
What is somewhat of a surprise is that you get a 2 pin power adapter. This is excluded from Sonicare’s 1000, 2000 and 3000 Series electric toothbrushes on environmental grounds. Why not follow the same approach here? Particularly as it is supplied with a USB charging cable. It seems like the environmental concern isn’t shared across all Sonicare product categories.
It’s bulky and not the most grippy, but it’s lighter than the competition
If you haven’t handled a water flosser before, you might be somewhat surprised by the size.
Despite cordless models being the more travel friendly option, they are a bit bulky.
They have to be to some extent due to the very nature of what they are. There is a water tank, battery and pump all built into the unit.
It is more travel friendly than a countertop unit, but if you are wishing to travel particularly light, with hand luggage or a backpack, this will take up a reasonable amount of space.
Most flossers are bulkier towards the base, thinning around the top of the unit where the control buttons are, before widening again at the very top where the nozzle attaches.
The 3000 is no exception, the thinner part of the handle makes it much easier to hold than if you gripped the water tank only.
The body of the flosser is made from a smooth touch plastic. There is a noticeable lack of textured gripping surfaces. It doesn’t feel overly loose in hand, but I don’t get the same secure feeling as I do with some other models.
Then again, the gripping area isn’t cramped like it can be on some other cordless flossers. I would rather have less grip than a cramped hand position.
The cordless 3000 is comparably sized to other wire free models. But it’s noticeably lighter by some 70 grams than the likes of the Waterpik Cordless Advanced.
The 3000 measures in at:
- Height (with nozzle) – 30.8cm / 12.13 inches
- Width – 6.5cm / 2.6 inches
- Thickness/depth – 6.5cm / 2.6 inches
- Weight (with nozzle) – 289g / 0.6Lbs
The water tank, or reservoir if you prefer, is at the bottom of the unit. The transparent plastic tank twists on and off from the bottom of the flosser handle.
The flosser handle comes in a 3 different colour options, white, black and mint.
Looking at the flosser head on, the Philips Sonicare logo is printed on the unit just under the top edge.
Beneath this is the rounded rectangular power button, with a power icon printed on it. There is a very slight concave design to it. When pressed you don’t get the most satisfying click or feedback.
3 LEDs are stacked beneath, the top being larger than the 2 below. This is to denote the intensity setting controlled by the next button on the flosser.
Circular with a concave design, your index finger can easily find this when in use. Again, this is not that clicky when pressed.
Beneath this sit a further 2 LEDs labelled with their respective cleaning mode name. Another circular button sits below these to allow the selection of the desired mode.
And finally, beneath this is the battery status LED.
The sides of the flosser are free of any ports and controls.
On the rear, at the very top edge, protruding slightly is the eject button to release the rotating nozzle fitted to the top of the flosser.
On the lower edge of the flosser handle, you have the removable rubber seal over the USB type c power connector.
Towards the very bottom edge, on the removable reservoir is the hinged door to refill and empty it. The design is such that it is easy to open up with a nail or fingertip.
The base of the unit is flat, so it stands upright on a countertop.
The top of the flosser has an ovalish design. The rotating dial for the nozzle sits proud of the otherwise flat surface and has 8 fins that the fingertips grip to for enabling rotation.
With no nozzle fitted there is a hole in the top of the unit that the water comes out of.
Longer flossing times with the 8.4oz water reservoir
Clearly a small frustration in the scheme of things, but a small tank is a common complaint of these more compact options. By the laws of physics the smaller the tank, the less flossing time you will get from it, particularly when set to the highest intensity settings.
About 200ml seems to be the ideal capacity to still allow the unit to be portable and convenient.
Philips has gone a little larger at 8.4oz/250ml with the tank on this flosser.
This is more than enough to allow you to achieve a thorough floss, without having to refill the tank. You can achieve a complete clean in 60 seconds.
The exact running time depends on the cleaning mode and intensity selected. I achieved the following results:
- Clean mode
- High intensity - 1 minute (60 seconds) to drain the tank
- Low intensity - 1 minute and 15 seconds (75 seconds) to drain the tank
- Deep clean mode
- High intensity - 1 minute and 5 seconds (65 seconds) to drain the tank
- Low intensity - 1 minute and 25 seconds (85 seconds) to drain the tank
It is advisable to use lukewarm water when you floss. Using cold water can feel quite harsh on the teeth and gums and induce more sensitivity.
You could add a dash of mouthwash to the water if you wish, but Sonicare doesn’t recommend it.
You have 2 ways to fill the tank. You can either twist and remove it from the handle or open the hinged door on the tank. I think the hinged door is slightly more convenient in everyday use.
The door itself is easy to open and has a good seal.
It is a personal preference, but I like to remove the tank by twisting it to aid in letting it dry out more effectively when not in use.
You can switch between 3 intensities and 2 modes
The cordless 3000 water flosser offers 3 different intensities and 2 different cleaning modes.
The cleaning modes work slightly differently to deliver a different flossing experience.
- Clean - This offers a constant water pressure for a great clean.
- Deep clean - The flow of water increases and decreases in intensity for a thorough clean. Pulse Wave technology provides a brief pause in the jet of water to allow you to move the nozzle from one space to the next between teeth.
Whilst both modes offer a fairly constant stream of water, there is a slight pulsing to the flow as part of the way it works, but it is clearly noticeable how the intensity differs with the deep clean mode.
I can’t say I necessarily prefer one over the other, they are just different.
The Pulse Wave cleaning action available through the deep clean mode makes it a touch easier to move the nozzle from one interdental space to another, but it isn’t as pronounced as you might expect. There is still a consistent stream of water being pushed through the whole time.
You can change the cleaning mode at any time by pressing the lowest of the buttons on the flosser handle.
The LED will be lit above the cleaning mode name on the handle to show it has been selected. The flosser will also remember the last mode used and default to that the next time the flosser is turned on.
The intensity of the water jet can also be adjusted at any point, using the middle button on the flosser.
You have the choice of high, medium or low.
Depending on which intensity is selected, the number of lights lit on the handle will change too.
- 1 LED - Low intensity
- 2 LEDs - Medium intensity
- 3 LEDs - High intensity
I don’t know the exact PSI for each intensity, but I would suggest it is comparable to the Waterpik Cordless Advanced and its 3 intensity options.
The intensity or the cleaning mode can be set prior to turning on the flosser.
For new users of a water flosser, it is recommended to start using this power flosser on the lowest intensity and increase the intensity over the course of a few weeks.
Water flossing can be messy
This is because the flosser is pushing water into the mouth and against the teeth and the waste water has to go somewhere. You can retain some in the mouth, but most has to be dribbled out as you floss.
With practice, it gets less messy, learning to wrap the lips around the nozzle and closing the mouth a bit can help. But even with the most practice you still really need to be lent over a sink. This is why even this cordless model has limited benefits.
There is a correct technique when using a water flosser.
You want to position the nozzle tip just above the gum line at a 90° angle.
Starting from your back teeth in your upper or lower jaw, slide the nozzle tip along the gum line and pause briefly between each tooth.
Continue to clean both the inside and outside surfaces of your teeth, 15 seconds for each surface, for a total of 30 seconds, for that one arch of teeth.
Repeat in the other arch of your mouth for another 15 seconds on the inside surfaces and 15 seconds on the outside. Cleaning all the spaces around and between your teeth in both arches will take at least one minute. You can potentially do it in less time, but your clean will unlikely be as thorough.
If using the Quad Stream nozzle press this gently so that the nozzle tip is in contact with the gum line and the teeth.
And for those with orthodontic brackets, Philips advises using the Quad Stream nozzles and then placing the tip over each bracket, gently rotating the nozzle tip around the bracket, in a small circle before moving to the bracket on the next tooth.
Different nozzles types, but the Quad Stream tip is most impressive
Philips have designed 3 different nozzles or flosser tips for their range of water flossers.
Your options are:
- F1 standard
- A standard nozzle with a single stream of water for removing debris and plaque.
- F2 comfort
- A soft rubber nozzle for comfort and ease of positioning for those with sensitive gums.
- F3 quad stream
- A soft rubber nozzle that directs water into a crossshaped (x) stream that gently removes plaque for an effortlessly thorough clean.
All of these nozzles are interchangeable.
So although the cordless 3000 comes with 1 x F1 and 1 x F3, you can use the F2 with it.
The F1 is the classic nozzle tip that offers a single stream of pressurized water for effective spot cleaning. This is really great for cleaning out the debris between the teeth.
It is, however, the F3 tip, also known as ‘Quad Stream’ that is most hyped and quite different from other water flossers.
What happens here is that the rubber tip of the nozzle causes the water to create an X shape as it comes out of the tip, essentially giving 4 jets with a much wider and larger coverage area than the jet created with the F1 standard.
This can achieve up to 9 times more plaque removal than a single jet.
To me, the X pattern felt a little less intense and powerful, but at the same time, also more intense subject to where the X hit my gums.
The increased coverage gives a really different feel as you clean.
Post use the results to me felt comparable, but I do like knowing more surface area has been covered.
You can only use one nozzle at a time, so I guess it will be personal preference as to which you pick. The benefit of 2 styles being included is that you can choose between them. But, if you know what you want that extra nozzle might seem a bit wasteful.
Each nozzle is expected to be replaced every 6 months on average.
The power flosser 3000 has been equipped so that the interchangeable nozzles can be rotated a full 360 degrees. The rotation helps to position the nozzle in a better and more effective position for certain teeth. It is particularly helpful when cleaning the inside surfaces of the teeth.
Whilst it works, rotating the nozzle is very difficult, particularly when in use. The mechanism is really quite stiff and far from smooth, even when out of the mouth and with the flosser turned off.
Waterpik has definitely got a better rotating nozzle implementation.
They do too have a wider variety of nozzles than Sonicare.
Sonicare is newer to the water flosser market and they are aiming to serve the majority of users.
Waterpik does have some tips that might be preferred by you or your dental professional, but I don’t think this will be a big issue for that many users.
Unfortunately, Waterpik tips won’t fit the cordless 3000.
The cleaning results are great & clinically proven
I have been very pleased with the results I have achieved from the cordless 3000.
The X shaped water stream that is generated from the F3 quad stream nozzle is definitely very different from the normal jet tip.
For me the post use clean feels comparable with either the F1 or F3 nozzles.
Perhaps long term there will be a greater benefit to be gained from the X shaped stream, as some clinical testing by Philips has highlighted.
My hands-on testing is by no means scientific, but I can’t find a reason to complain about the results the power flosser has delivered.
Philips has conducted various testing with their flosser range, and the cordless 3000 has been proven to remove 99.9% of plaque.
Who is the cordless power flosser 3000 for?
Anyone can benefit from what the power flosser offers. It is a useful additional tool to help you clean more effectively between the teeth.
However, it is particularly useful for those that have no interdental cleaning habit.
The convenience and ease of use can help you establish a more regular cleaning routine.
Even I as a regular flosser appreciate the convenience this brings. It is easier to get right each time and know it is doing a good job, even if it is still technique sensitive.
It is also very useful if you have periodontal conditions. The water helps disrupt and flush out debris from periodontal pockets.
It is too useful for those who struggle with manual floss or interdental brushes due to dexterity. The design of the nozzles allows you to reach areas of the mouth that would otherwise be more challenging, particularly the teeth at the back of the mouth.
Brace wearers will benefit too as will those with crowns and implants and other dental restorations. The powerful water jets reach into, disrupt and blast away debris and bacteria you might otherwise be struggling to clean away.
The water flosser can be a useful tool to use at times when regular flossing tools are inconvenient.
The pacer helps you floss for the right amount of time
As soon as you power the flosser on the pacer built into the 3000 helps encourage you to clean the spaces between the teeth evenly.
The idea is you spend 60 seconds cleaning between all the teeth.
That is 30 seconds per arch of teeth, with 15 seconds on the front surfaces and 15 seconds on the inside surfaces.
The pacer in the cordless 3000 is configured to 15 second intervals.
When triggered there is a slight pause in the water flow, sensation, and change in sound. This is your cue.
So it looks like this:
- Tun on the power flosser and clean between the front tooth surfaces in upper arch for 15 seconds
- Pacer alert
- Floss the inside tooth surfaces in the upper arch for 15 seconds
- Pacer alert
- Floss the front tooth surfaces in the lower arch for 15 seconds
- Pacer alert
- Floss the inside tooth surfaces in the lower arch for 15 seconds
- Pacer alert
- Turn the flosser off
The pacer continues to activate at 15 second intervals until 120 seconds, or 2 minutes have passed, at which point the flosser will turn itself off.
However, you will have likely turned it off manually at around 60 seconds, because your cleaning will be complete.
Leave it for the full 2 minutes and all the water will have drained from the reservoir.
If using the deep clean mode, the pacer is still active but you benefit from ‘pulse wave’ technology’.
The pressure of the water alternates with a slight pause. The pause is the moment you move from one interdental space to the next. It does exist, but in my opinion, it doesn’t provide quite the seamless water free transition between teeth that you might expect.
The pacer can be disabled if you prefer.
Accessories and extras
Included in the box is a simple, yet perfectly usable travel pouch for the 3000.
Black in colour, irrespective of the unit colour, the drawstring pouch is just larger than the unit itself.
It is made from a wipe clean plastic material.
It doesn’t provide lots of protection, but more than anything it will reduce the chances of residual liquid spilling out.
A clever little touch with the power flosser 3000 is that you can store the nozzle inside the reservoir when travelling.
Unscrew the tank, turn the flosser upside down and push the nozzle into the hole on the base of the handle.
Replace the water tank and now the nozzle is securely fastened inside.
It is a really simple and clever way to stow the nozzle and not have it loose within the pouch.
Worth noting that when in use this is not silent. The exact noise will vary depending on the intensity, but it generates sound at around 77 decibels.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
Battery life is 4 times better than claimed
Philips states within the marketing materials and on the box that the cordless power flosser 3000 has a 14 day battery life.
This is satisfactory in my opinion.
I generally desire cordless water flossers and electric toothbrushes to last for around about 2 weeks on a full charge. This allows most people to travel and go on vacation without having to worry about power cords etc.
In the manual, it states the battery should last at least 25 days. A discrepancy with the 14?!
This claim is based on a usage time of 1 minute for each flossing session. It then assumes 1 flossing session per day.
However, in my testing, the device lasted a staggering 54 days. That is nearly 4 times the claimed 14 days and double the 25 days stated in the manual.
I was using the most powerful clean mode and had the intensity set to high.
It is safe to say, as with the cleaning results, I am very pleased with this.
USB type c charging
The rechargeable Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery is sealed inside the handle and is not user removable or replaceable.
To recharge the battery you use the supplied USB cable and power adapter.
You get a USB type A to USB type c cable and a USB to 2 pin power adapter.
Place the USB type A end of the cable into the power adapter. Plug the type c connector into the flosser and the 2 pin adapter into the wall socket.
The flossers type c charging port, on the back of the handle, is protected by a rubber cover that must first be removed to access the connector.
Whilst I would prefer not to have to deal with fiddly little port covers, this is one of the better configurations. The cover is physically attached and there is enough play within the cover that it does not get put under too much strain. I have no real concerns about this breaking, even with repeated use.
It can take up to 8 hours to fully charge the battery, but you can use the Cordless Power Flosser before it is fully charged.
Be sure to replace the charging port cover, once the cable has been disconnected and the device is no longer charging, otherwise this will compromise the water resistance of the unit.
This is the first water flosser I have used with a USB type c connector. It is the same connector used with the Sonicare 9900 Prestige toothbrush travel case.
USB c is the new standard in USB connectivity and is very convenient due to its design. It also works well for travel because the flosser can be recharged from other power sources, not just the wall socket.
Even if you do want to power from a standard power adapter, the included adapter supports 100-240v, so even when travelling internationally, you likely only need a plug adapter and not a voltage adapter too.
What the battery LED notifications mean
The handle of the flosser has a battery icon and LED to give feedback on the charge level. This is so very useful.
The indicator shows the battery status when you complete the 1 minute flossing session, or when you pause the power flosser.
When the flosser is not on charge the LED colours and their status is as follows:
- Full battery - Solid green LED
- Medium battery - Flashing green LED
- Low battery - Flashing amber LED
- Empty - Flashing amber for 5 seconds and the power flosser turns off automatically
When the low battery indicator appears, the Power Flosser is designed to provide at least 3 flossing sessions, each session lasting 1 minute.
When the flosser is connected to power and on charge, the LED colours and their status is as follows:
- Full battery - Solid green LED
- Charging battery - Flashing green LED
The battery indicator will flash until the battery is fully charged. When it becomes fully charged while plugged in, the light will turn solid green for 30 seconds, and then it will turn off.
Summary of battery life
Price & where to buy
The Philips Sonicare Cordless Power Flosser 3000 has a retail price of $189.
You can buy direct from Philips, but you will generally be paying full price. Although they do offer promotional pricing from time to time.
It is worth shopping around to get the best deal. Prices do vary between the colour options and retailers.
It is by no means a guarantee, but it isn’t uncommon to save a little on the retail price.
You might at times get discounts of up to 20% but this isn’t as commonplace with water flossers as it is sonic toothbrushes.
At the time of review, the lowest price I could find was $142.
The average price is likely going to be around $150.
How it compares to other water flossers
Waterpik is the leading brand within the water flosser market.
Although Philips is less experienced, they are a premium brand and their price reflects this.
They often don’t set out to be the cheapest and this does often show within the products through premium materials and well thought out features.
Should Philips be cheaper than Waterpik? Possibly, yes to carve out some market share, but I don’t think they want to achieve this based on price alone. They want the product to do the talking, and that is fair.
The Cordless Advanced from Waterpik is the most comparable product, to the Cordless 3000. It is better in places, but the 3000 is better in others.
The Advanced retails for $150 on average despite the $199 retail price.
Thus the power flosser is almost identically priced.
On top of the initial purchase price of approx $150 you need to factor in replacement nozzles (jet tips).
There are 3 types.
The F1, F2 & F3 tips have the same retail price of $39.95 for a pack of 2.
That makes each nozzle $20 each.
A classic jet tip from Waterpik usually costs about $9.
At $20 the Sonicare tips are approx $11 more expensive.
This is a considerable premium to be paid.
In time, discounts might be applied to the nozzles, but even then it looks like Sonicare’s tips will still command a sizeable premium.
The recommendation is to replace them every 6 months. So it is not like they need replacing all that regularly, but despite this the premium does mean they have a significant impact on the total ownership costs.
How the long term ownership costs work out
Based on 1 user, over 3 years, wishing to use the F1 tip, you will need to purchase a further 5 tips.
This adds $100 on top of the purchase price.
Assuming you can buy the cordless 3000 for $150, add $100 and the total cost is $250 over 3 years.
The Cordless Advanced costs $186.
I don’t think the Sonicare is that much better to make it worth the additional $60 spend.
Compare this to traditional string floss that works out at about 2-3 cents per day and it’s quite a bit more expensive.
There is a price to be paid for the convenience and effectiveness though.
Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and should be used only as a guide during your decision process.
Summary of price & where to buy
My thoughts on reliability and repairability
During the weeks I have been using this device, I haven’t encountered any reliability issues. Everything has performed as expected.
It feels solid and durable in hand. The seal on the reservoir door is good, the reservoir locks in well to the handle also.
Even the flappy rubber cover over the USB c port has a nice amount of play in it and shouldn’t break off.
My testing is by no means scientific and I am not subjecting the 3000 to durability tests. But the overall build quality appears to be very good.
Over the years of using Sonicare products, I have experienced little in the way of faults or causes for significant concern.
Yes, inevitably some products will fail. This is their first cordless water flosser, so there isn’t quite the same history to the product. But, all appears to be good.
And, it does come with a 2 year warranty as standard, so should the worst happen you are covered.
Unfortunately, no parts on the flosser are designed to be user serviceable. This isn’t uncommon for a product of this type, but when there is a need to move to more sustainable approaches this is disappointing.
There is limited data to really determine the environmental impact of a water flosser, but it is likely similar to an electric toothbrush.
With regards to the power flosser 3000 specifically; it has limited box contents which reduces its weight during transportation compared to others that come with more items in the box. The box and inner tray are easily recyclable cardboard.
The handle and power brick do come wrapped in LDPE 4 plastic, which seems a little unnecessary.
Arguably, the USB power adapter isn't needed. Many people own such adapters and some of Sonicare's toothbrushes don't come with them.
It has not been designed to be repaired, the manual specifically states this. Trying to replace parts like the battery will break the flosser. This makes it more likely to be discarded rather than repaired if broken.
While Philips has partnered with schemes such as TerraCycle in some countries, it does not yet have its own recycling scheme for used tips or faulty products.
Its nozzles are made from petroleum-based plastic, which uses up the planet’s finite resources compared to using plant-based plastics.
Summary of reliability, long term use & sustainability
For what is Sonicare’s first proper attempt at a cordless water flosser, the 3000 is excellent.
There isn’t much to dislike about it.
I don’t think it is as comfortable in the hand, or as easy to use as the Waterpik Cordless Advanced. Rotating the nozzle in use is much more difficult.
But, it is a very good alternative. And in fact, the pacer and larger water reservoir are better.
The USB type c charging is also very convenient.
If you are looking for a cordless water flosser, you could do a whole lot worse.
The power flosser 3000 gets my approval.
- Width - 6.5cm / 2.6 inches
- Depth/thickness - 6.5cm / 2.6 inches
Country of manufacture
- How to activate or deactivate the pacer on the cordless 3000?
- With the Cordless Power Flosser off, press and hold the intensity selection button for 3 seconds.
- When deactivated, the battery indicator light will flash amber once.
- When activated, the battery indicator light will flash green twice.
The Sonicare Cordless Power Flosser 3000 spoken about in this review was provided by Philips PR department. Electric Teeth did not purchase this model. No financial reward was provided to conclude the review the way that we did and Philips had no editorial control over the content.