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Best Water Flosser 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Gemma Wheeler

(GDC Number: 259369)

Best Water Flosser 2021 1

In this post I run through my recommendations for the best water flosser, or oral irrigator as they are also known.

The recommendations are based on my own hands-on testing, completed as part of my water flosser reviews

My number 1 choice is the Waterpik WP-660, which I found to be excellent when testing. 

The Waterpik Cordless Advanced is the best cordless water flosser, based on cleaning performance. But I personally use the Sonicare Airfloss because it is not as bulky and it’s easy to use. 

However, I have rated the WP-660 as the best overall because Waterpik products have performed better than the Airfloss in clinical trials. 

But that’s not to say you should choose between those two electric flossers alone. All of the products below are excellent choices. 

The most important thing is that you floss regularly, so whichever tool makes that easiest to achieve is the best choice. 

Immediately below you can find a list of my recommendations, and further down the page I’ve included a detailed buyer’s guide, which was medically reviewed by our in-house dentist Dr. Gemma Wheeler.

There’s also a video review of our best choices. 

A quick note on terminology

Here in the US the terms Waterpik and Water Flosser are used interchangeably, but Waterpik is just one brand of water flosser — there are several alternative brands, as I explain below.

There several others terms that are also used to refer to these devices, including:

  • electric flosser
  • water jet flosser
  • oral irrigator
  • water toothpick

The name of one of the best known brands, Waterpik, is also used by some to refer more broadly to these products. 

But from a technical standpoint, they are all one and the same. 

Please note this article recommends a mixture of countertop and cordless flossers (we explain the differences in more detail below in our buyers guide). If you prefer the idea of a flosser without wires, see our best cordless water flosser roundup.

If you’re a braces wearer, you will likely find out best water flosser for braces article useful.

Our Top 10 Picks For Best Water Flosser 2021

In the sections below you can read a bit more about why we have included each water flosser on the list.

1. Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius

Best Waterpik

Best Water Flosser

It is the standard to beat and comes top of our water flosser ratings.  It offers all the desirable features with a 90 second run time, built-in timer/pacer, water control button on the handle, 10 pressure settings, 7 tips included in the box, a slimmer profile than many other models as well as now being quieter than other models too.

Preview Product Rating Price
Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius 74,723 Reviews $69.99 $62.96

What we like

  • Excellent cleaning offered
  • Good box contents
  • Various pressure settings
  • Large water tank given the units size
  • Water control button on the handle

What we dislike

  • The massage mode seems a little unnecessary
  • Not the largest tank given it’s one of the more premium models

Backed by many clinical studies and approved by the American Dental Association, the Aquarius is a great balance between features, size and price.

It comes in a range of colors, so you need not be stuck with the standard White color option.

Your choices are:

  • White – WP-660
  • Black – WP-662
  • Blue – WP-663
  • Orchid – WP-665
  • Mint Green – WP-668
  • Burgundy – WP-669

Read More: Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius Review

2. Waterpik WP-560 Cordless Advanced Water Flosser

Best cordless water flosser

No need to be bound by wires with the WP-560, this is a cordless flosser that has been approved by the ADA.

Preview Product Rating Price
Waterpik Cordless Advanced WP-560 Waterpik Cordless Advanced WP-560 11,639 Reviews $79.99 $69.99

What we like

  • Trusted brand
  • Cordless
  • Easy to rotate the nozzle
  • Grippy handle
  • 3 pressure settings
  • Easy to attach magnetic charger
  • Different color options available
  • Travel pouch included in the box

What we dislike

  • Expensive

The 360 degree rotating nozzle allows for excellent access to all areas of the mouth.

3 different flossing tips are included and 3 pressure settings allow up to 45 seconds of usage time from a full tank.

A new magnetic rapid charge system ensures you can easily recharge the unit when required too.

For those that travel a pouch is included too.

Not stuck with just 1 color choice you have the option of 5.

  • Pearly White – WP-560
  • Brilliant Black – WP-562
  • Classic Blue – WP-563
  • Radiant Orchid – WP-565
  • Rose Gold – WP-569

Read More: Waterpik Cordless Advanced WP-560 Review

Read More: Best Cordless Water Flosser

3. Sonicare Airfloss

Best air flosser

For convenience and ease of use, the Sonicare Airfloss is, in our opinion, the best option, and a good Waterpik alternative.

Preview Product Rating Price
Sonicare Airfloss HX8211/03 Sonicare Airfloss HX8211/03 3,467 Reviews

What we like

  • Simplicity of use
  • Less messy and takes less getting used to
  • Design
  • Portability
  • Battery life

What we dislike

  • Targets only in between teeth rather than along the whole gumline
  • Small tank

It is a lot less hassle and feels quicker and more convenient than all of the other options.

Strictly speaking it’s not a water flosser, but rather an “air flosser”.

Airfloss uses a combination of water and air to achieve a similar effect but delivers short sharp bursts getting in between teeth.

What makes it so good and desirable is the much smaller profile, it’s cordless, really easy to use and can achieve a clean in 30 seconds.

It makes for effortless everyday use.

Convenience and simplicity are one thing, but clinical studies show Waterpik options are better and in truth, you know this when you use them.

You need less time to get to grips with this.  It is a great option for those who know that they would still struggle with getting into a routine of using a normal water flosser.

Read More: Sonicare AirFloss Review

4. H2ofloss Water HF-9 Flosser

A budget countertop water flosser.

You can’t really argue with what you get in the box for the money.

Preview Product Rating Price
H2ofloss HF-9 Whisper H2ofloss HF-9 Whisper 12,467 Reviews $47.88 $36.99

What we like

  • 12 tips included
  • Tip storage unit
  • Large 800ml water reservoir
  • Long running time
  • Variable pressure settings
  • Price

What we dislike

  • Quality and reliability concerns

The water tank has an impressive 800ml capacity.  12 tips are included in the box and there is a storage unit for these provided.

The nozzles can be rotated a full 360 degrees like premium brand Waterpik.

Adjust the pressure from 5-110PSI via the button on the handle and you can get a minimum of 150 seconds running time, which is pretty is impressive too.

Quality is not the best and there are reports of some units failing early in the life of the product.

If you want to try a countertop option and can’t commit to spending a lot, this is an attractive option.

5. Burst Water Flosser

A relatively new oral care brand that takes the challenge to the market leader.

This cordless option produces 160PSI in the turbo mode. That is 60 PSI more than Waterpik.

Preview Product Rating Price
Burst Water Flosser - White Burst Water Flosser - White 239 Reviews $69.99

You can also purchase directly from Burst Oral Care using this link. Enter the code SAVE10 to get 10% off your first order.

What we like

  • Design
  • 3 pressure/mode settings
  • Interchangeable tips
  • Battery life
  • USB charging
  • Subscription

What we dislike

  • Water tank capacity
  • Water tank door 
  • Price

Burst have existed within the dental care space for a few years, but this is their their first water flosser. Wow, it does a great job.

It is stylish and has an amazing batter life of well over 80 days.

A 110ml/3.9 ounce water tank is really what lets it down. The tank is drained in as little as 20 seconds. This just isn’t enough time for most to clean thoroughly.

There are 3 different nozzles available, all of which can rotate 360 degrees. Unfortunately, they are a bit stiff and it is not really possible to twist when in use.

It looks good and feels good in hand. It also has some nice design touches which are consistent with the Burst electric toothbrush.

A pouch style case is included too.

There are 3 color options

  • White
  • Black
  • Rose Gold

And for those who want the convenience, you can subscribe for 6 monthly deliveries of replacement nozzles. As a bonus for subscribing your warranty is extended for the lifetime of the subscription.

Read More: Burst water flosser Review

6. Waterpik WF-03 Cordless Freedom

Cordless and powered by AA batteries this is a little more versatile for those away from power or do not have a power socket in the bathroom.

Preview Product Rating Price
Waterpik Cordless Freedom WF-03 Waterpik Cordless Freedom WF-03 7,697 Reviews $52.59

From the brand leader, Waterpik, the tank is a reasonable size with the option of using different tips.

What we like

  • Trusted brand
  • Cordless
  • Interchangeable tips
  • 2 pressure modes
  • Reasonably sized tank
  • Good battery life

What we dislike

  • Bulky
  • Feels a little cheap

2 pressure modes are appealing but the overall bulky size and the slightly cheap feel to it is disappointing.  Overall pretty good value when you compare to some of the other options.

Read More: Waterpik WF-03 Cordless Freedom

7. Fairywill 5020E Portable Water Flosser

Fairywill have made a name for themselves in the electric toothbrush market offering good value products.

The Chinese company have now taken that approach to the water flosser market.

No products found.

What we like

  • Good value
  • 3 modes
  • Good sized 300ml tank
  • USB charging

What we dislike

  • Quality could be better
  • The nozzle is difficult to rotate
  • Easy to lose charging port cover

I make no excuses in saying that it doesn’t feel in hand as good as some other units, notably those from Waterpik.  Nor is there the extensive clinical backing.

However, the 5020E is a functional piece of kit that offers 3 flossing modes, clean, soft and massage.  I think scientifically it probably cleans nearly as well as Waterpik.

You get 8 jet tips included in the box which represents excellent value for money.

The 300ml tank is basically double most other cordless flossers available today. You can complete a full floss of the mouth without needing to refill the water tank.

The rechargeable battery lasts up to 21 days on a single charge. It takes just 4 hours to recharge via the provided USB cable. Unfortunately, the port cover required for the flosser is small, fiddly and easily lost. It is a small complaint really.

You can too get this in a number of different color options.

Read More: Fairywill 5020E flosser review.

8. Waterpik Complete Care 9.5

An all in one oral healthcare unit, the Complete Care 9.5 is made up of a water flosser and electric toothbrush.

Preview Product Rating Price
Waterpik Complete Care 9.5 Waterpik Complete Care 9.5 1,778 Reviews $210.00

What we like

  • All in one solution
  • Large water reservoir
  • 5 different tips included
  • 10 different pressure settings
  • Electric toothbrush included
  • Built-in timer and pacer with the toothbrush
  • Toothbrush travel case

What we dislike

  • Not the best electric toothbrush

Not combined, like the Waterpik Sonic-Fusion, the products can be used independently, but the toothbrushes charging station is the main water flosser unit rather than a separate stand which is more conventional.

From a convenience point of view, this is great as it offers a neat countertop solution and is even 40% smaller than the previous generation.

Better electric toothbrushes are available from Sonicare and Oral-B, but this does a decent job. It has a built-in pacer and 2 minute time and comes with a travel case for those times you need it.

You even have the choice between a high, low and massage mode on the toothbrush, so you choose the setting that is perfect for you.

The water reservoir gives in excess of 90 seconds of usage and 5 different tips are in the box making it suitable for various users without the need to buy extras. 2 toothbrush heads are included too.

10 different pressure settings are available on the water flosser, all controlled by a rotary dial so that you can get the perfect pressure for you and your teeth.

One of the only all in one solution available, from a trusted brand

9. H2ofloss HF-6 Mini

H2ofloss may not be a household name, but they are gradually building themselves a solid reputation in the water flosser market.

Key to that success if exceptional value for money. The HF-6 Mini is no exception.

Preview Product Rating Price
H2ofloss HF-6MINI Cordless H2ofloss HF-6MINI Cordless 233 Reviews $33.99

What we like

  • Good value
  • 5 pressure settings
  • Collapsible
  • Multiple tips included
  • 2 color options
  • USB charging

What we dislike

  • Small tank
  • Quality could be better

What stands out about this model is the collapsible design, making it a real must for those frequently on the go and traveling.

Lovely and compact, this measures just 5.9 inches by 2.36 inches when collapsed.

Admittedly that compact size excludes the nozzles and USB charging cable, but they don’t take up much space. All of these things can be stored in the provided drawstring pouch.

Available in 2 colors, each comes with 5 different nozzle attachments, 2 of which are the classic jet tip style. All can rotate 360 degrees.

When expanded the tanks size is 200ml, which is a little smaller than is ideal, but it is functional.

A rechargeable lithium battery is built into the flosser and is recharged via the provided USB cable.

You will get up to 15 days from the battery when using it on the highest power setting of the 5 available.

A dedicated mode button changes the power and LEDs on the unit make it clear which is selected.

10. Belmint Home Sleek Home

Whilst the countertop water flossers can not exactly be re-designed to look too much different from each other, you would be forgiven for thinking this looks like a market leading brand.

The big difference here is the price.

Preview Product Rating Price
Belmint Home Sleek Home Water Flosser Belmint Home Sleek Home Water Flosser 1,416 Reviews $45.49

What we like

  • Good value
  • Various pressure settings
  • Built-in timer
  • Storage area for tips

What we dislike

  • Replacement nozzle availability
  • Lesser known brand
  • Quality is not the best

Basically half the typical price for a product like this, the Belmint offers a variable pressure from 0 to 90 PSI, selected through 10 water pressure settings, controlled by a rotatable dial.

3 nozzles are included along with a tongue scraper.

The handle allows for the nozzle to be rotated 360 degrees, there is a storage area for those nozzles and the reservoir has a 600ml capacity.

There is even a 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer for those wanting to engage in thorough and even water flossing.

A great value option for those not wanting to spend a lot on a product of this type.

Read More: Belmint Home Sleek Home Review

Video Review

Best Water Flosser 2021

Water Flosser Buyer’s Guide

All you need to know about electric flossers

Mention flossing and most people shudder at the thought.

It is awkward, a hassle, it hurts and recent news articles suggest it might not be as effective as we once thought!

But, despite the lack of real evidence to show the benefits, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing at least once a day.

Brushing your teeth only cleans 60% of the tooth surface, some 40% goes uncleaned unless you partake in interdental cleaning whether that is flossing or using interdental brushes.

If flossing or interdental brushes are not for you, there are alternatives! One such solution, backed by clinical evidence is the use of a water flosser.

Read on to get extensive information on electric flossers and understand why we have picked the devices recommended below.

What is a water flosser?

An electric water flosser, or an electric flosser/water flosser as they are also known, is an oral hygiene product that pushes water (or mouthwash) into the mouth at pressure through a nozzle.

The intention is that the pressure of the water dislodges and washes away plaque, bacteria and food debris that might reside on the teeth and along the gumline.

It is an additional or alternative choice to the more conventional flossing you may be familiar with.

Kind of like a jet wash or pressure washer (albeit smaller and less powerful) the water is a soft, yet effective option for achieving a cleaner and healthier mouth.

A water flosser, in reality, is taking advantage of modern technology to help you achieve good oral health with an emphasis on convenience and comfort.

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What’s the difference between a water flosser and oral irrigator?

Nothing aside from the name.

These are two terms often used interchangeably, but they describe the same type of device.

You may also see the referenced as water irrigator or a water jet flosser, a cross between both terms.

How does a water flosser work?

The flosser has 2 major parts, the water tank/reservoir and the pump.

The tank is normally visible and easily accessible whilst the pump is situated inside the body of the flosser unit.

Powered by electricity (be that mains power or power stored in a battery) when the power is switched on, the pump draws water from the tank/reservoir through pipes and tubes, pulled into and out of the pump and up through the the tip of it through a nozzle at the end of the flosser at a higher pressure to deliver a stream of water into the user’s mouth.

Subject to the model of water flosser, this stream of water can be switched on and off, delivered at higher and lower pressures and oriented at different angles to be more effective.

For the best effect, it is advised to fill the tank with lukewarm water, although cold is fine.

Also acceptable is a splash of mouthwash in with the water for added freshness and potential health benefits.

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Types of water flosser

Electric flossers can come in various shapes, sizes and designs.  Whilst they aim to do the same job there are either designed to be countertop mounted or portable.  In other words one needs mains power all the time whilst the other is cordless.

Corded (countertop)

Typically the more feature rich water flossers, they must be sat on a countertop or work surface because they are larger and less portable and require mains power to function.

A larger water reservoir for multiple or longer one time use, extra power settings and accessories are common features of this type of flosser.

Corded water flossers tend to be the most capable and effective.

To give you an idea of size, they typically take up a surface area similar to a kettle would in a kitchen.

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Cordless (portable)

Powered by batteries, this type of flosser is smaller for one handed use and is not tied to mains electricity via a power cable.

Ideal for those who do not have a power socket in the bathroom, a portable flosser has the water tank built into the handle, which means less usage time and tend to have less control on the power of the water flow.

We’ve looked at these in more detail in our best cordless water flosser post.

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Why do electric flossers exist and do I need one?

Oral health is a massive issue globally.  Even in the most developed countries too few are taking good enough care of their mouth and teeth.

In 2010 a study by the Centre for Disease Control and  Prevention (CDC) found that 47.2 of Americans over 30 years old had some form of gum disease.  That is 64.7 million people in the USA alone.

Gum or periodontal disease (as it is otherwise known) is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue and bone supporting the teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss.

Want the cold hard facts? Check out this infographic you will no doubt understand the importance of some kind of flossing regime having read it!

Typical signs of periodontal disease are red or swollen gums, tender or bleeding gums.

Sadly this is an all too common situation and the reason the gums and teeth get like this is through a poor oral healthcare routine.

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Flossing is often associated with bleeding and pain, but actually it is normally due to a lack of proper care that blood and pain present themselves most often when flossing.

Gum disease is reversible however if caught early enough.

This is where the water jet flosser then comes in.

It has been developed to be a more comfortable, enjoyable and effective way to clean in between the teeth and along the gumline.

The pulsating action of a dental water flosser creates a small-scale compression and decompression effect that forces disease-causing subgingival bacteria out from deep within gum pockets (the spaces created around teeth when gum tissue and bone are destroyed), where ordinary floss can’t reach.

You do not have to use an electric flosser.

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Many people choose to because of the benefits (shown below) that these devices bring.

Unlike floss, there has been more thorough research into the use of water flossers.

A 2009 study (1 & 2) by Gorur and a team at the University of Southern California found that 99.9% of plaque biofilm could be removed by a Waterpik water flosser in just 3 seconds.

A few years earlier in 2005, a study by Barnes (1 & 2) found that the addition of a water flosser to a daily oral healthcare routine resulted in a 93% reduction in bleeding and up to 52% better at reducing gingivitis (inflamed gums) than traditional dental floss.

Pros and cons of water flossers

Like most things in life, there are pros and cons to using a water jet flosser.

Not everyone will agree with the benefits and drawbacks and not all points raised will apply to all users.

Oral irrigator manufacturers primarily ‘sell’ them on the convenience and comfort of using one in comparison to regular floss which is something many of us are drawn to.  But in this instance, there is clinical evidence to support the sale.

Here is what we believe to be the main benefits and negatives when it comes to living with and using an electric flosser.

Benefits of an electric flosser

  • Ease of use
    • Very simple to use and more enjoyable to use than regular string floss and interdental brushes. No awkward hand trickery required to get to all the gaps in your teeth and mouth.
  • Comfort
    • They often offer adjustable pressure and angled tips, which typically means a much more comfortable experience to use with a lot less pain.  Bleeding is much less common It is a more gentle approach and works well for those with sensitive gums.
  • Speed
    • Once perfected in the technique it is often quicker than regular flossing.
  • Enhanced clean
    • The jets of water get into even the smallest gaps and can even flush out food particles bacteria under the gumline which traditional flossing cannot reach.
  • One product that does the job of many
    • You might currently have string floss and interdental brushes.  Potentially a water flosser could replace these.
  • Braces
    • Exceptionally good for those with braces as the water is more effective and easier to use than traditional flossing techniques.
  • Dexterity
    • If you have limited dexterity a flosser can really help make the process of interdental cleaning easier due to the design and electronic assistance. It may be more suitable if you have limited hand movement, e.g. arthritis.
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Negatives of an electric flosser

  • Cost
    • Considerably more expensive than a packet of string floss and a lot less portable. Consideration needs to be made for the ‘lifetime’ value as over time their cost is significantly reduced when you compare to buying a reel of floss at a few pounds (£) each time.
  • Size/Portability
    • Whilst smaller cordless options exist the counter top flossers are reasonably large and when space is limited can feel like an unnecessary item or a waste of valuable shelf space.  Even the portable options are larger than might be ideal for a weekend travel bag for example.
  • Power
    • They require mains power and this can limit where they are positioned and will not work for all.  For those with no mains power in a bathroom the cordless options exist.
  • Technique
    • It does initially take a little getting used to and can be messy until you perfect the method.
  • Effectiveness
    • Plaque sticks to the tooth and floss scrapes this away, some suggest traditional floss is better for removing plaque than a water flosser.
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Whilst a variety of brands exist within the water flosser market, it is predominantly dominated by a company called Waterpik.

A US brand, the company has the most extensive range of products to suit different users needs and budgets and really sets the standard.

In fact, many will suggest buying a Waterpik. Waterpik is a brand and not a product type.

Due to their dominance, Waterpik have become synonymous with this product much like Coca-Cola have with Cola.

Panasonic and Sonicare are other big names that exist in this space.

There are to an increasing number of far eastern brands that have emerged.  The ease of international trade is offering US consumers more choice and often more products, often for less money.

A word of caution though.  On the whole, the products are great and offer a lot considering the price.  However, some of the lesser known brands do not necessarily have the same level of quality and reliability as market leaders like Waterpik.  Whilst often cheaper to begin with, the long term cost may be higher as it may need replacing sooner.

We have seen higher instances of complaints and negative comments about some of these brands.

Make sure you do the research before committing to buy.

What do the facts and clinical studies say

The results of clinical studies and what advice you get from dental professionals often depends on a number of circumstances.

Many major dental brands have financed clinical studies.  Whilst the results have to an extent be justified and fair, there is inevitably some influence over the reported results if their own product is being tested.

Brands ideally want compelling statistics to help sell their products, thus focusing on the positive results is important; often being creative in the way statistics are reported to allow quotes such as X%, but perhaps not making clear how big the trial was etc.

However, in the water flossing market, market leader Waterpik has set a standard, not only conducting its own studies but opening up to independent bodies and industry professionals to test and challenge the products to really show whether it does or does not work.

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The result is overwhelming support for their products and an industry wide acceptance that a Waterpik Water Flosser is a viable product for interdental cleaning.

A 2005 study by Barnes (1 & 2) of 105 participants found that the addition of a water flosser to their routine resulted in a 93% improvement in reducing bleeding and up to 52% better at reducing gingivitis than traditional dental floss

A 2009 study by Gorur at the University of Southern California Centre for Biofilms found that a three second water flossing application removed 99.9% of plaque biofilm.

Dr. David Jolkovsky, a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, wrote a literature review that addressed the safety of the water flosser.

The studies unequivocally showed that a Waterpik Water Flosser reduces inflammation, removes bacteria from deep periodontal pockets, does not cause damage to mouth tissues and is in the same range as brushing teeth, flossing, and using wooden sticks in the incidence of bacteremia.

Strong praise for these products, whilst the evidence is present to show the benefits there will always be those who still advise on a traditional string floss or interdental brushes.  There are still valid arguments for its use. Most notable is the ability for floss and interdental brushes to actually scrape plaque away, giving an extra or enhanced contact point for more efficient removal.

For ‘most’ people a combination of the both works well if you are already in the routine of flosser a water flosser can further aid your oral health.

However, one of the biggest overriding problems is the failure of the general public to adopt flossing as part of the daily routine.

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We believe Dr Terri Tilliss summarizes the situation best. “To achieve optimal oral hygiene, the key is an effective device that people will use long-term… since traditional string floss has negative associations, patients are often receptive to learning about alternatives. It seems futile to continue to hope for floss compliance in patients who have never developed daily flossing behaviors.”

But Dr Tilliss is not alone in his comments.  Hygienist Susan Clark remarks “One key to prevention is finding delivery systems and techniques that patients will feel comfortable performing on a daily basis. It becomes a win-win situation for the dental hygienist and dental patient when they work together as a team to find solutions for improved home care. “

If you want to know more, do check out Waterpik’s clinical research that is available.

Water flosser v manual flossing

Let’s be clear, the intention between both a water flosser and traditional string style floss is the same; to remove the plaque, bacteria and food debris that isn’t or wasn’t removed during brushing for a cleaner mouth and improved oral health.

However, water flossing typically has the benefits outlined earlier in this article that make it a more appealing option than traditional floss.

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Hygienist Jamie Collins writes at Dentistry IQ, “I have spent years encouraging many, many individuals who are not ever going to be flossers to try different products for interproximal care. Flossing is a hard habit to get into, and an easy one to drop. The key is to find something patients are willing to use. Through trial and error, I have found that one product does not work for all; if patients don’t like it, they won’t use it.”

She believes flossing is still the gold standard though.

Therefore, really the decision is personal, but if you are one who has not established a habit of flossing regularly already a dental water flosser might just be the answer to establishing a routine for good oral health.

Is water flossing messy?

Initially, yes, but with a little practice, it is easily mastered.

If you try to look at yourself in the mirror when doing it, you may end up with a splashed mirror, water all over the sink and down your top.

Practice makes perfect and many products come with some good instructions.

The best way to show you is to watch someone else.

The following video from Waterpik gives a good demonstration.

How to Use a Waterpik® Water Flosser (UK)

There is also a written guide on offer.

What to look for in an electric flosser

The deciding factors with an electric tooth flosser are thankfully a lot less when compared to choosing an electric toothbrush.

Here are the key things you want to consider.  Different models may offer different features and box contents, so do consider what is most important to you.

  • Portability/Space

The first major consideration is whether you want or need a portable flosser.

A portable flosser works best if you do not have a power outlet in the bathroom (or any other room you intend to use it in) and if you travel frequently.

Another consideration at this stage might be surface space.  If you have particularly limited countertop or storage space for the flosser.

Countertop water flossers are generally better.

  • Water tank/reservoir size

Portable flossers have a small tank suitable for one, possibly two flossing sessions.

They will require refilling more frequently and can be a little more awkward to refill too, due to their shape and size.

A traditional flosser will offer a water tank that will last multiple cleans or allow for extended flossing time without fear of running out of water.

Waterpik for example, their cordless flossers hold up to 210ml and the countertop up to 1,000ml.

The amount of flossing timer varies on the pressure and size of the tank, but as a guide.

  • 150ml/5oz = 30+ seconds of flossing time
  • 210ml/7oz = 45+ seconds of flossing time
  • 450ml/15oz = 60+ seconds of flossing time
  • 650-1000ml/22-33oz = 90+ seconds of flossing time

You can refill the reservoir to extend flossing time.

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  • Adjustable pressure settings

Countertop water flossers will often offer a wider range of pressure settings from very soft through to a harder and more powerful water jet.

Measured in Bar the pressure there may be anywhere between 2-10 pressure settings from .68 through to 6.89 Bar.

Portable flossers do sometimes offer different pressure settings but this is often high or low rather than a more accurate level of control, typically measuring at 3.1-5.2 Bar.

  • Different tips

The more premium models, particularly those from Waterpik offer a range of different styles of interchangeable tips.

The range of tips are shown in the following image:

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  • Classic jet tip – The Classic Jet Tip is the standard tip for everyday use. It cleans deep between teeth and below the gumline to help prevent gum disease and improve your oral health.
  • Plaque seeker tip – The Plaque Seeker Tip removes plaque around all types of dental work and hard-to-reach areas. It has 3 thin tufts of bristles that gently access stubborn plaque around dental implants, crowns, bridges and veneers.
  • Tongue cleaner tip – The spoon-like shape of the Tongue Cleaner effectively traps and removes bacteria from the tongue to help prevent bad breath.
  • Pik pocket tip – The Pik Pocket Tip is specifically designed to deliver water or anti-bacterial solutions deep into periodontal pockets as prescribed by your dental professional.
  • Orthodontic tip – The Orthodontic Tip has a tapered brush on the end to help remove plaque from braces and orthodontics. It also helps flush out bacteria and food debris from around teeth and under the gums.
  • Toothbrush tip – The Toothbrush Tip is similar to a manual toothbrush (it is not an electric or sonic toothbrush). It attaches to the Water Flosser handle and allows you to manually brush your teeth as you water floss.

Click here to find out more and see each in action.

  • Adjustable/rotatable nozzle

The neck of the plastic nozzle that comes out from the flosser will not normally be adjustable.  The plastic body of the nozzle tube itself will have been set during the design and manufacturing process.

However, some models allow you to rotate the nozzle head to adjust the position and resulting angle allowing you to better target certain sports in the mouth.

The nozzle can often rotate a full 360 degrees thanks to a click wheel style adjustment.

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  • Noise

Like an electric toothbrush, the pump inside does make a noise.  This might not be something you want to use in the middle of the night if others are asleep around you.

The portable options tend to be quieter than a countertop option.

  • Timer/pacer

Select models have a built-in timer like an electric toothbrush that helps ensure you floss for an equal amount of time in different parts of the mouth.

The suggestion is up to a minute spent flossing.

The pacer comes at 30 seconds via a pause in the flow of water and then again at 60 seconds.

  • Internal/removable battery

Mains powered oral irrigators are most powerful but if opting for portable options, think about the internal battery or removable battery if these are used.

How long will the battery last for, how quickly does it recharge.

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  • Price

Naturally subjective you do in some respects get what you pay for.

You can pick up an electric flosser for less than $35.  For $45-80 you are on the road to a good quality product.

As a rough guide spending somewhere between $45-55 is going to get you a decent water flosser with a good range of features.

Spending more will likely result in diminishing returns for every pound spent, whilst spending less may leave you short of desirable features and quality might be an issue.

  • Colors

Some models come in a variety of color options.  Sadly the choice is limited, so don’t go in expecting this as a feature.

With all this information in mind, what is the best water flosser?

Additional information

Extra useful information when it comes to considering and purchasing an oral irrigator.

Replacement nozzles

It can vary from brand to brand, but the general advice, much like a toothbrush head is to replace the tip/water flosser nozzle every three months.

Most brands will offer spares that can be purchased, often in packs of two.

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Multiple Users

One of the benefits of most flossers is that the nozzles are detachable and interchangeable.

Waterpik offers the biggest range of nozzles/tips and makes it easiest to actually change tips.

The ease with which they can be changed means one water flosser can be used between multiple people, but do ensure that the tip is changed.

Water resistance

Always refer to the particular models instruction book for confirmation, but the handles of most flossers are water resistant and designed to survive exposure to water.

Cordless models are often safe to use in a shower, if you chose.

Do be aware that corded models are connected to power and have safety measures built-in, but avoid excessive moisture and submersion.

At all costs avoid the plug coming into contact with water or touching the plug with wet hands.

Voltage and 2 pin plugs

Depending on the model you choose will depend on the exact power and connector that comes supplied with it.

Normally when you buy a water flosser from a US store it will come with the standard 2 pin power cord and plug suitable for the power socket found in your bathroom.

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Cordless models will often have the same 2 pin connector on the charging stand, unless the model is powered by removable batteries in which case no charging stand will be provided.

If you intend to travel with the flosser or buy it from overseas be aware of the different power requirements internationally.  As a quick reference guide:

  • Printed on base/plug– 110 Volts 60 Cycles
    • Where can it be used? In countries with 110 volts (e.g. USA/Canada)
    • Do I need a voltage converter? Yes if the voltage of the country you are traveling to is higher than 110
    • Do I need a plug adapter? Subject to country
  • Printed on base/plug – 100-240V
    • Where can it be used? Globally
    • Do I need a voltage converter? No
    • Do I need a plug adapter? Subject to country
  • Printed on base/plug – 220-240V
    • Where can it be used? In countries with 200-240V (e.g. most European countries, NOT USA/Canada)
    • Do I need a voltage converter? Yes if the voltage of the country you are traveling to is less than 220V
    • Do I need a plug adapter? Subject to country

Long term maintenance/replacement parts

Generally speaking, a water flosser will need little in the way of replacement parts or maintenance.

They are designed to last several years and require little user involvement outside of doing their job.

Good practice is to wipe the flosser clean occasionally with a damp cloth and dry off excess moisture.

If not being used empty the tank/reservoir and allow it to dry.

Lukewarm water and antibacterial mouthwash can be used through the system to help kill off any germs and keep the system operational.

For those with lids look to place those on top of the tank to preserve the unit.

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Subject to change between models and manufacturers, most come with a 2 year (24 month) warranty that will cover any faults that are not as a result of user damage.

An example might be the pump failing to push water through.

You will need to contact the manufacturer’s respective customer service line but will likely need your original proof of purchase and once accepted arrange repair or replacement of the product.

Where to buy

Due to the size and slightly more specialized nature of the electric flosser, the availability is not quite as great as most other dental products.

You are less likely to see a wide range in your local grocery store, but bigger stores and pharmacies do offer them. Our top pick, the Waterpik WP-660, is available from the following, for example:

And it’s always worth checking out eBay, too.

Many manufacturers offer their own online stores and then there are the other retailers like Amazon and Walmart who offer a wide portfolio of products.

Water Flosser Reviews

We have linked to some of our water flosser reviews throughout this post, but here is a complete list of them in case there is a particular model you are interested in researching further.

About Jon Love

Jon is a leading voice on electric toothbrushes and has been quoted by mainstream media publications for his opinions and expertise.

Having handled & tested hundreds of products there really is very little he does not know about them.

Passionate about business and helping others, Jon has been involved in various online enterprises since the early 2000s.

After spending 12 years in consumer technology, it was in 2014 that he focused his attention on dental health, having experienced first-hand the challenge of choosing a new toothbrush.

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10 thoughts on “Best Water Flosser 2021”

  1. Hi Jon,
    Wow, we love the videos and your blog. My wife and I have just spent 2 hours at our kitchen table reviewing all Waterpik products and plan on buying a flosser tomorrow. We really like your insight and feel so grateful for this information. Can we ask you something? We have searched and searched for any reviews on Waterpik’s Radiance Water Flosser and cannot find anything. What do you know about Waterpik Radiance model? Would you recommend this model over the Waterpik Aquarius Professional? Do you know when the Radiance model came out? Maybe its brand new?

    We are torn between Radiance and White Aquarius Professional. It seems as though the Radiance is a newer version of Aquarius with just better upgraded button feature, however there is no reviews and they don’t even sell this model on Amazon. So we thought we would reach out to you since we both agreed you are an expert and we respect and value your insight.

    Hope you are having a great start to your 2021!

    Kimberley & Zachary

    This link is to comparison page

    • Hi Zachary & Kimberly.

      Thanks for your question.

      Although I don’t know exactly when the Radiance was launched I do understand it to be a newer model launched, I believe within approximately the last 6 months.

      I have not had hands-on time with this model or reviewed it as yet.

      The lack of reviews is likely because it is a newer product, it is sold only via Waterpiks own online store (so fewer people will even come to learn it is available) and well, not many people review a water flosser! Reviewing water flossers for most isn’t quite as exciting as the latest smartphone for example.

      Because I have not had hands-on time with is, I can’t honestly say that you most definitely should or should not purchase it.

      However, based on my knowledge of Waterpik and the specifications I have absolutely no reason to doubt its ability and I feel it would perform as well as the Aquarius WP-660.

      It has the same size water tank and the same pressure settings.

      The most significant differences as I am sure you have seen are:

      – Different design
      – The lack of color options for the unit itself
      – No massage mode (not essential)
      – The button on the handle – a push rather than slider found on the Aquarius
      – Ther way you can rotate the nozzle/jet tip

      A little further explanation on that last point. With many Waterpik models, you can rotate the nozzle a full 360. You do this by twisting the attachment at the bottom of the nozzle. The hose that fed into the handle was fixed and the handle itself does not rotate.

      However with newer models like the radiance, instead of the nozzle being rotated at the top of the handle, the whole handle now rotates because the way the hose attaches to the handle is slightly different. Therefore by rotating your hand (with the handle in it) creates the 360 rotation that you would have once gotten from twisting the nozzle at the top of the handle. I hope that makes sense!

      Ultimately it is your decision, but most importantly I do believe the flossing/cleaning experience will be basically the same with no discernable differences.

      Whilst the Radiance is newer you may get a better value deal on the Aquarius.

      I sincerely hope that helps.

  2. I have gone through more than 8 water flossers of various brand names in the past 10 years. In my opinion, even the most highly rated brands and models are poorly made. That includes larger separate tank models as well as cordless ones. One is very lucky to get 6 months of daily use for any of them, and, sometimes less. They just stop doing their job. Either the pump goes or the electronic parts crap out. I have taken most of them apart after they quit. I admit total ignorance of how to repair anything more complicated than a leaaky hose or connnection. What strikes me as both obvious and a bit odd, is the fact that these devices, made to work in a wet environment, all showed major areas of oxidation/rust on their interior metal parts. My last failed flosser, was one I took very speciial care to dry out after each and every use…as much as I was able to dry. That one, a “Usable” brand, of course, made in China like they all are, was the first one, After 4 Waterpik brand devices failed within 6 months of purchase, and each was corroded inside. Whenever a water flosser manufacturer, effectively protects the metal innards of the device from moisture, maybe the will then have a moderately long service life. Presently, though, no brand or model can be trusted to work longer than a few months even with care. And since the average price for these pieces of junk seems to be about $45 online, per unit, and water flossing is something one learns to value highly, and miss when the device just lies there taking up space, replacements become something of a priority…and there goes another good piece of change for a new one. But, I am afraid that buying any water flossser at a reasonable price which will last enough to prove it’s value is a fairy tale.

    • Thanks Neil for the feedback on your experience. With any of these that have failed, have you gone back to the manufacturer to ask for a repair/replacement under the warranty?

    • Hi Barry.

      I am sorry to say that we have not written a full review of this product, so I have no link to provide you.

      It is still a functional model that at the right price could make for a good buy.

    • Hi Cindy.

      Thanks for the comment.

      I am pleased to read that you think the Sonic-Fusion from Waterpik does a good job. Personally I was not so impressed, particularly when you take into account the price. I felt a separate electric toothbrush and flosser would be better.

      If however you got a discount, that can make a bit of a difference on the judgement.

      Here is my review of the Sonic-Fusion flossing toothbrush.

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