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Published: 29 May 2023

Waterpik Ultra Plus review

Author: Jon Love (Leave a comment)
Waterpik Ultra Plus review 1

A perfectly good countertop flosser

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The Ultra Plus is a great countertop water flosser. It cleans between the teeth and along the gumline well.

The slider switch on the handle works well.  The rotating the nozzle is simple to use. And the 10 pressure settings give plenty of choice.

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10 pressure settings

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A little noisy at 77 decibels in use

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Large tank for longer flossing time

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Slightly bulky

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360 degree rotating nozzle

Waterpik Ultra Plus
Waterpik Ultra Plus
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Consider this other water flosser

If I were to buy a water flosser, the Waterpik Ultra Professional would be my choice. It has a couple of extra features and it is our number 1 choice for the best water flosser.

The Ultra Plus is very similarly featured and a little bit cheaper and far from a bad buy.

Waterpik Ultra Professional
Waterpik Ultra Professional
Waterpik Ultra Plus review 2 Waterpik Ultra Plus review 2 Waterpik Ultra Plus review 2 Waterpik Ultra Plus review 2 Waterpik Ultra Plus review 2

How the Ultra Plus looks, feels and works

By the nature of a countertop water flosser, they are not all that small.  The Waterpik Ultra Plus measures 25.15cm/9.90 inches tall, 14.22cm/5.60 inches wide and 13.46cm/5.30 inches deep.

It does too need a power outlet to function.

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If you have very limited space in your bathroom, a countertop unit like this might not be for you.  The same can be said if you don’t have a shaver socket either.

And you will need to be mindful of the position of the water flosser in relation to the shaver socket. It may well be necessary for the power cable to trail across parts of your sink or bathroom shelves.

In fairness to Waterpik, that they have done a pretty good job on the design.

The Ultra Plus, looks cleaner and more modern than the Ultra that sits below it in the range.  The white with silver accents is a classic colour combination that works well.

Whilst talking about the 2 other models, it is worth noting that very little separates these 3.

The Ultra Plus reviewed here, sits in the middle, technically.

All have the same pressure settings, the same water tank capacity.

The main difference between the Ultra and the Ultra Plus are:

  • The Ultra Plus has a slider switch on the handle rather than a push button
Waterpik Ultra Plus review 12

The main differences between the Ultra Plus and Ultra Professional are:

  • The design of the units
  • The Professional has a massage mode
  • The Professional has a built-in timer and pacer
  • The Professional has LED’s on the unit
  • The Professional is quieter
  • The Professional comes with more tips included
  • The Ultra Plus has a more practical nozzle storage unit

In use, all 3 models work well.

I have been very pleased with how Ultra Plus cleans between the teeth and along the gumline.

I use the water flosser before brushing and it is amazing how much debris it removes. And that is the stuff I can see!

Although using a water flosser can be a little bit messy, I actually find it easier. This is compared to string dental floss and interdental brushes.  

It can be a bit messy, due to the amount of water used, you need to expel this from the mouth.  You are therefore going to be dribbling over the sink as you do this.

It still requires a technique, but it feels a little easier to master.

And I know I am not alone. I have learnt of many people who use a water flosser. Otherwise, they would not stick to an interdental cleaning regime otherwise.

Dental professionals see the brushes as the ‘best option. They will advise a water flosser to be used in addition to these.

Yet, almost all would prefer you use a water flosser instead of doing no interdental cleaning at all.

Waterpik Ultra Plus

Brushing alone leaves up to 40% of the tooth surface uncleaned.  Water flossers like the Select have been clinically proven to remove plaque.

There has been lots of research by Waterpik to show the effectiveness of their flossers. Impressive stats are available on the clinical research pages of the Waterpik website.

A 2016 study found the water flosser to be 18% more effective than interdental brushes.

The flow and pressure of the water reach bacteria deep between teeth and below the gumline. 

Brushing and traditional flossing can’t always reach this.

The unit itself comprises of several parts.

You have the main base unit.  This contains all the electronics.

On top of this sits the removable water reservoir/tank.

Waterpik Ultra Plus
Large removable water tank on the Ultra Plus

On top of the tank is the removable tip storage compartment come lid to the reservoir.

Sat on the front of the base unit is the handle.  This is connected to the base unit via a hose. The handle is the part you hold and position up to the mouth.

From the top of the handle extends the removable and replaceable nozzles/tips. It is the tip that direct the water into the mouth.

The base of the unit has 4 rubber feet that help prevent it from slipping on a countertop.

On the front of the unit, to the left side, you have 2 main controls.  There is the power on/off switch. This is white in colour. It does the job but isn’t as firm or clicky as you might expect.

Under this a rotating pressure control dial.  White in colour it is accented with a silver trim around the edge.

Waterpik Ultra Plus review 13

Ridges on the dial, make it easy to grip.  A slight depression on the dial acts as an indicator to which pressure setting is selected.  When rotated it aligns with the markings above the daily. These denote the pressure level.

In the middle of the base unit is the mount for the removable handle.

Under the mount is a recess into the body of the unit that the hose cable for the handle coils up into for neat storage. The hose is white in colour and measure approximately 90cm in length.

The Waterpik logo is in the lower right corner on the front of the unit.

The sides of the unit are free of ports and controls and curve towards the rear.

On the rear, the only notable element is the power cord that extends from it.  It is on the lower right edge. 

The cable has a length of approximately 130cm. The unit itself supports voltages from 100-240v.

Waterpik Ultra Plus review 14

Sitting on top of the base unit, is the removable water tank with a 651ml/22 ounces capacity.  It is made of a clear plastic. On the right side of the tank are measuring markers in both oz and ml for the water in the tank.

On the top of the tank is a removable storage compartment for the nozzles that come included in the box.  It acts as a lid for the tank too.  White in colour like the base unit the compartment is hinged to the rear for access. It holds 4 nozzles.

The handle is lightweight and has an easy to use slider switch on it.  Move the slider between the on and off positions to control the water flow.

Waterpik Ultra Plus review 15
Easy to use slider control switch on the Ultra Plus handle

Even when you power the main unit on, the water will only come out of the handle, if the switch on the handle is set to ‘ON’.  This is a  useful feature to more easily control the water when in use.

The handle tapers towards the bottom where the hose joins the handle.

At the top of the handle is the nozzle.  You can fit any of those offered by Waterpik. They push into place and are released by pressing the button on the side of the handle.

All nozzles can be rotated a full 360 degrees to help position the tip in the right place when in use.

It is easy to control and you have the ability to make very small changes or much greater via the rotating dial.  It is easily accessed when in use. A series of ridges make it easy to detect and use.

When in use, the flosser produces a sound in the region of 77 decibels. This is a bit louder than some other units, but comparable to the vast majority.

A full tank can be drained in 90 seconds when the pressure is set to the maximum of 10.  

Set it to the lowest, 1, and it takes 4 minutes and 45 seconds to drain completely.

The WP-150 offers 10 settings via the rotating control dial, these range from 10 to 100PSI.

Waterpik Ultra Plus review 16
Rotating pressure dial with 10 settings

You can set the pressure to the one you find most comfortable. I prefer the higher end of the scale, setting around 7-8, which is 70-80PSI.

With a proficient technique, you can clean the teeth in 45 seconds.  The beauty of the larger tank is you have more time if you need or want it.  And for many, you may get more than 1 session from the tank due to that capacity.

Unlike an electric toothbrush, there is no timer/pacer built in to help you ensure an even clean.  

It is recommended to use lukewarm water rather than cold. The WP-150 continues to function, even if the tank is drained of all the water.  It will only turn off when you turn it off.

6 tips are included in the box.  These are:

  • Classic jet tip – For general use offering twice as effective results as string.
  • Toothbrush tip – For brushing and flossing at the same time
  • Plaque seeker tip – Ideal for those with implants, crowns, bridges or veneers. It targets plaque in hard to reach areas.
  • Orthodontic tip – Great for those with braces. It offers up to 3 times more effectiveness than traditional floss
  • Pik pocket tip – It helps rinse deep below the gumline. Ideally suited to those with periodontal pockets and furcations.
  • Tongue cleaner – Freshens the breath by removing bacteria from the tongue’s surface.
Waterpik Ultra Plus review 17

In many respects, it is positive to get so many styles included, so you can try a few out. But, not everyone will need specific tips. Some are designed with individual circumstances in mind.

For the majority, it is the classic jet tip that you would want to use.  You only get one of these included.

The toothbrush tip is interesting. It isn’t a replacement for regular toothbrushing with a manual or electric brush.  It does give you a different option to use at times if you would like to.

Classic tips should be replaced every 6 months, whereas other tips should be replaced every 3.

Prices do vary, but a pack of 2 usually costs around $18, so $9 per tip.

You can find more information on each of the different tips here.

Summary of design, usability, clean & general use

Corded water flosser
Slightly bulky unit by the nature of the product
Nicely designed
Clinically proven to be effective & good for gum health
The technique takes time to perfect and can be messy
651ml/22oz tank will last for a minimum of 90 seconds
Storage container for tips included on the top of the unit
Good choice of tips included in the box
10 pressure settings
Rotatable nozzles
Slider switch on the handle to control water flow

Price & where to buy

$199.95 is the suggested retail price of the Waterpik Ultra Plus.

Waterpik Ultra Plus

This is only $20 less than the slightly more premium Ultra Professional.

However, the difference here is the discounts that kick in with the Plus compared to the Professional.

At the time of review, the average selling price is $55 less at $145.  That is a very reasonable saving.

To give a benchmark of the cost, we like to price products over a 3 year period.

I am going to presume for the sake of this calculation that you will be using the classic tip. Although the WP-150 comes with 6 tips, only 1 is a classic tip.

They should be replaced every 6 months, so a further 5 will be needed over a 3 year period.

A pack of 2 retails at $18, making a nozzle $9 each. 

With a $145 buy price, plus a further cost of $45 (5 x jet tips at $9 each) gives a total cost of $190 or $0.17 per day.

This is a pretty fair price all things considered.

The Ultra Professional is quieter in operation. It has a timer built-in as well. However, that is more expensive at $0.23 per day.

Waterpik Ultra Plus

If you want a countertop water flosser, but are on a budget, then the DentJet DJ-169 countertop flosser is a solid option.  It isn’t clinically backed like the Waterpik, but it is half the price with all the same features.

Of course, this is more expensive than regular string floss that works out at just 2-3 cents per day.  However, it is easier to use. There is a price to be paid for convenience.  It could well be worth it because you might make more use of it than regular floss.  

Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and should be used only as a guide during your decision process.

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

Recommended retail price of $199.95
Small discount available - buy for $145
Replacement nozzles sold in packs of 2 for $18
Costs about $0.17 per day over 3 years

My thoughts on reliability and repairability

In the few weeks I have been testing the WP-150, I have not encountered any reliability issues.  It has performed as I would expect.

The build quality appears to be solid. And I couldn’t say that reliability should be something to be concerned about.

Should you encounter issues, you do have the 2 year warranty you can take advantage of.  

Sustainability

There is limited data to really determine the environmental impact of a water flosser, but it is likely similar to an electric toothbrush.

Dr. Gemma Wheeler has looked in detail at the environmental impact of electric toothbrushes. Our guide to eco-friendly dental health offers advice on steps you can take to reduce your own impact.

With regards to the Ultra Plus specifically; it has more tips included in the box than most will need or want to use, given their specialist design. This is rather wasteful.

Its nozzles are made from petroleum-based plastic, which uses up the planet’s finite resources compared to using plant-based plastics.

Waterpik have not created as yet its own recycling scheme for used tips or faulty products.

Summary of reliability, long term use & sustainability

Waterpik are a recognised brand
2 year warranty included
More flossing tips than you really need included
No recycling scheme for used parts

Conclusion

Make no mistake about it, this is a great water flosser.

The WP-150 does everything you would expect of a product of this type. I  do have little in the way of complaints.

The cleaning action is thorough and I love the large capacity reservoir.  It allows you to continue for a little longer if you want to get that perfect clean.

Rotate the nozzle to get the perfect cleaning angle and adjust the pressure to find the one that is right for you. What is not to like?

It is a touch noisier than I would like.  By the very nature of the product, it does take up some space in the bathroom.

I do prefer the Waterpik Professional, but it is more expensive. I would happily use the Ultra Plus on a daily basis.

Size guide

  • Water Flosser Height With Nozzle - 25.2cm / 9.9 inches
  • Width - 14.2cm / 5.6 inches
  • Depth/thickness - 13.5cm / 5.3 inches
  • Weight with nozzle (no water) - 671g / 23.7oz
  • Package weight - 916g / 32.3oz

Noise

  • 77dB

Country of manufacture

  • China
Author: Jon Love

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