The WF-03 Cordless Freedom for Waterpik, does exactly what it was designed to do and offers a good clean of the interdental spaces.
The lack of a rotating nozzle is too potentially an issue for some.
The small water tank doesn’t allow for a long flossing time, but this is a problem shared by the vast majority of cordless options.
The Waterpik Cordless Advanced is a better cordless option, but it doesn’t benefit from the removable AA batteries like the Cordless Freedom.
- Cordless – not restricted by wires
- Excellent cleaning performance
- 2 pressure settings
- Grippy handle
- American Dental Association (ADA) approved
- No battery status feedback
- No rotating nozzle to give extra control
- Quite bulky in hand
|Waterpik WF-03 Cordless Freedom||4,784 Reviews||CDN$ 53.65||View on Amazon|
The 3 BIG questions about the Waterpik Cordless WF-03 water flosser
If you are short of time, the answers to the following 3 questions should let you know all you need to about the Waterpik Freedom. If I have missed something, let me know in the comments.
If you want more detail, you can read the full Waterpik WF-03 Cordless review further down the page.
1. Is there anything drastically wrong with this water flosser?
No, far from it.
The WF-03 packs a punch in cleaning performance an is cordless for ultimate portability.
2. Which other water flossers should I consider?
The Sonicare Cordless Power Flosser 3000 is also a very good option. It offers an X shaped water stream and has a built-in timer as well as a larger water tank for longer flossing times.
That said, the WF-03 is fairly unique in that it is powered by removable AA batteries, which might be more appealing for you.
3. Where is the best place to buy the Waterpik Freedom cordless?
There isn’t necessarily a best place to buy the WF-03 in particular. But because it is not that widely stocked, you are limited on where you can buy it from.
Waterpik’s own online store and Amazon are 2 great options.
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And now for a bit more detail….
I have yet to meet anyone who enjoys the process of flossing! It is a necessary evil.
When you think about flossing most of us tend to think about thin white string floss that gets in between the teeth and can cut up into your gumline.
Whilst string floss most certainly have a place, it is not suitable for all and there are some great solutions available today that make the process a little bit easier.
Interdental brushes are perhaps the all round ‘best’ in many dental professionals’ opinions. This is because of the various sized brushes that address different sized gaps in the mouth for different people. They can be reused too.
However, another alternative option is water flossers. In this review, I am taking a look at the Waterpik Cordless Freedom Water Flosser (model number WF-03).
Please be aware the model being reviewed is the WF-03 which is a cordless option powered off of user replaceable AA batteries rather than WP-450 which has a built-in rechargeable battery.
What is the Waterpik Cordless Freedom Water Flosser?
It is a handheld device that is made up primarily of a pump and a reservoir.
In the reservoir you place water and when powered on, the pump draws the water out and feeds it through a tube at the top of the flosser into the user’s mouth.
A powerful jet of water, it forces plaque and bacteria off and away from the teeth and gums.
The stream of water is often softer, less abrasive and a generally more enjoyable method of flossing for many.
How to use the Waterpik Freedom Water Flosser
Assuming the batteries have been installed in the flosser.
Step 1: Fill
Open the reservoir door and fill the compartment with water until it is a little less than full.
Close the door and ensure a tight seal.
Step 2: Position
Lean over the sink.
Place the tip of the flosser into your mouth.
Close lips enough to prevent splashing, while still allowing water to flow from mouth into the sink.
Step 3: Clean
Slide power switch to low (l) or high (ll) position. Start with lowest setting and increase to your liking.
Aim water at the gumline at a 90 degree angle. Follow the gumline and pause briefly between teeth.
Variants of this water flosser
There are 2 different variants of the Cordless Freedom.
The difference between these 2 is the colour and nothing else.
- White – WF-03CD010
- Black – WF-03CD012
It is the White variant that is shown in the hands-on images.
What’s in the box?
- Waterpik Cordless Freedom Water Flosser – White
- 3 x AA batteries
- 2 x Classic water flosser tips
- 1 x Orthodontic tip
- 1 x Travel pouch
- 1 x Travel plug
- An easy and more effective way to floss
- Healthier gums and brighter teeth in just a minute a day
- Battery operated, portable design is perfect for travel or small bathrooms
- Waterproof, may be used in the shower
- 2 pressure modes
- 3 water flossing tips
- Additional specialist tips available
- Travel bag included
Design, usability, clean & general use
If you are new to the concept of water flossers, one of the first things you will notice is the size. I know how my first impressions some years ago were that these cordless options are bigger than I was expecting.
This isn’t necessarily an issue, it is just the nature of the product. They have to be quite big to accommodate the water tank and the pump etc.
I think Waterpik has managed to achieve a fairly good balance. This size vs portability question is an issue all cordless water flosser manufacturers have.
You just need to be mindful if you struggle to hold onto larger items like this. Those with limited dexterity or weaker grips may find using such a bit challenging.
The other factor at play here, is that because a cordless option is wire free, it is more travel friendly than a countertop alternative. But, if you are packing light for a weekend or a few days away it can take up a reasonable amount of space in a bag and might be something that needs to be left at home if space is at a premium when on the go.
There are essentially 3 key parts to this cordless unit.
You have the main handle/flosser body. Then you have the removable water tank (reservoir) and then you have the flosser tip or nozzle.
The nozzle on the top that feeds the water into the mouth almost looks lost against the tall flosser body.
The overall design of the WF-03 is fairly smart. The primary colours used on the plastic body are white and silver.
On the front of the flosser is a large silver panel insert which at the bottom has the logo in black coloured text, with nothing else on the panel until you reach the top of the flosser where the silver panel surrounds a power switch with 3 positions.
The rounded rectangle shaped power slider has a raised bar across the middle which gives a grip/natural rest for the finger to interact with the switch. Defaulted in 0, for the off position, move to I for the first power setting and II for the most powerful water jet.
The sides of the flosser are a matt white with a smooth finish. The front silver panel had more of a glossy finish.
On the rear, the upper third is finished with a series of raised dots. Of 2 different sizes these form a good grip to hold the flosser with.
The size and positioning are such that you can get a pretty good grip on the unit. It doesn’t feel all that awkward.
It is not as comfortable in hand as the Cordless Advanced, but more comfortable than the Cordless Select.
Immediately below this is a translucent plastic water compartment/reservoir that runs down to the bottom of the flosser. It is a bulbous design making for a thick and protruding section on the back of the flosser.
This compartment has a small hinged door on it that allows you to fill the tank when opened. A black rubber seal helps avoid any leaks when closed.
Removable the compartment is, for cleaning and refilling purposes, a white tube does get inserted into the compartment from the water flosser when refitted. This is the tube that takes the water from the storage area into the pump.
On the top of the flosser, centrally located is a hole into which the provided flosser tips fit into. Simply clipping into place they can be removed and replaced by pressing down the kidney shaped button that sits directly behind.
The reservoir holds 150ml. That is about 35 seconds of flossing time (subject to mode).
The base of the unit is flat, so the Cordless Freedom will sit upright on a countertop. It is essentially split into 2 parts. You have the bottom of the water reservoir and the compartment to access the batteries.
Padlock icons and arrows on the base depict how to lock and unlock it to gain access.
Remove the unlocked cap, to insert or replace the batteries. Fit the removable cap by aligning the icons shown and flicking the switch to the locked position.
3 x AA batteries are required to power the flosser, Waterpik includes their own branded ones at the time of purchase.
When you fill the tank, the idea is you fill it with water, this can be cold or lukewarm if you prefer. The advice is to use warm water. You could add a dash of mouthwash too if you wanted an extra burst of freshness.
Once powered on the pump inside the flosser will draw the liquid from the tank up and out through the nozzle on the top. It does this in a constant stream until the power is turned off or the liquid runs out.
It holds 5 ounces (148ml) and ideally, you want to use luke warm water rather than cold because it makes for a more pleasant flossing experience.
How quickly the water drains from the tank is depicted by the mode you are using.
There are 2 pressure settings. The lower setting, labelled as I on the handle is 45 PSI, whilst the higher power mode, labelled as II on the handle is 75 PSI.
You are not getting the 10 different settings you often get on the countertop units, but this is more than good enough. Essentially you have a powerful and gentle mode.
Set to the lower pressure setting the tank drains in approx 45 seconds.
Set to the higher pressure mode and the tank drains in approx 35 seconds.
To an experienced user, you might just manage a full floss. I can generally get a good clean in 45 seconds. However, many will find that a refill of the tank is necessary.
I do like the slider switch. It is easy to use and you can quite quickly change between pressure settings as you floss, if you desire.
I found that I preferred the more powerful setting of the two offered, but those with sensitive gums may find the lower power setting to be better.
Despite my preference for the more powerful option, my mouth did feel clean after use with either mode.
It is amazing just how much debris these water flossers blast out from between the teeth.
Water flossing isn’t a new thing, it has been around for years. But, it isn’t something that is all that heavily promoted by dental professionals. Many tend to recommend dental floss or interdental brushes over water flossers.
This is typically because these tools are considered more effective because of the physical contact they have with the spaces between the teeth.
But, many people don’t floss and this isn’t good for anyone’s oral health.
Therefore, most dental professionals will agree that doing something is better than nothing. Water flossers are a more convenient approach and are clinically proven.
Waterpik has plenty of clinical evidence to prove that their products are more effective than string floss.
The Freedom has also earned the American Dental Associations (ADA) seal of acceptance. To do so, it has to pass stringent tests and proof must be shown that it can achieve the results the manufacturers claim.
Such certification brings peace of mind to you and me as users.
I feel it important to note how messy water flossing can be. This applies to all water flossers, irrespective of brand and whether it is a countertop or cordless option.
You have to be lent over a sink really. This is because the volume of water pushed into the mouth during use means you have to expel it somewhere.
It takes practice to master the technique of a water flosser.
The suggested approach is:
- Lean low over sink and place the tip in mouth.
- Aim the tip towards the teeth, and turn the unit on (l or II).
- For best results, start with the back teeth and work toward the front teeth. Glide tip along gumline and pause briefly between teeth. Continue until you have cleaned the inside and outside of both the upper and lower teeth.
- Direct the jet stream at a 90-degree angle to your gumline. Slightly close lips to avoid splashing but allow water to flow freely from mouth into the sink. Keep unit upright during use for best results.
Even experienced users will slip up at times and you will end up spraying their bathroom mirror etc with water. It is worse for new users. It gets easier quite quickly, but just be aware that this is something to contend with.
REMEMBER, do not switch this on until it is in your mouth, failure to do so will result in a stream of water being shot out across the area around you!
As I intimated earlier although cordless, the overall size and design of this makes the WF-03 quite cumbersome to use. You can use one hand, but some might find 2 easier for controlling the weight and positioning.
In fact really, if my bathroom could accommodate a cable optioned water flosser, I would be more inclined to go for that as I see limited benefits of the cordless, given the overall sie and water tank size. The Waterpik Aquarius might be one you want to check out.
3 nozzles are provided with this cordless option these are:
- 2 x JT-100E – Waterpik Classic Water Flosser Tips
- 1 x OD-100E – Waterpik Orthodontic Tips
There are 4 extra/optional nozzles.
- PS-100E – Waterpik Plaque Seeker Tips
- PP-100E – Waterpik Pik Pocket Tips
- TB-100E – Waterpik Water Flosser Toothbrush Tips
- TC-100E – Waterpik Water Flosser Tongue Cleaner
For the vast majority, the classic tips are fine. Any of the others can be used for those looking for alternative options or to address more specialized needs.
For example, the Pocket Tips are specifically designed for those with Periodontal Pockets and the Plaque Seeker for those with dental implants.
You can find more information on each of the different tips over at Waterpik’s website.
Replace the classic and tongue tip every 6 months and all others every 3 months.
Sadly the nozzle does not rotate as it does on most other models. This is by no men’s a deal breaker, but it does make getting to parts of the mouth a little easier with other models.
It is worth noting that the flosser is water resistant and Waterpik advise that you can use it in the shower, should you choose to.
The flosser comes with a smart drawstring travel pouch to hold the flosser and nozzles when traveling. It provides minimal protection.
It does come with a plastic plug that goes into the tip attachment and prevents water leaking when travelling. This is a small but potentially very useful features that is easily overlooked.
The overall quality of the Freedom is satisfactory. It is hard to really explain how or why, it doesn’t feel great. I think the plastics feel a bit cheaper on the Freedom, like the gloss silver panel on the font. To me, some other models just feel a bit better. Perhaps I am being a bit fussy and forgetting the health benefits!
It does come with a 1 year guarantee though, so should the worst happen you are protected.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Cordless – not bound by wires
- Larger than some might expect
- Fairly grippy and comfortable in the hand
- Powered by 3 x AA batteries
- 5 ounce/150 ml reservoir
- 2 pressure/mode settings
- 45 seconds of usage time on the low mode
- 35 seconds of usage time on the high mode
- Good cleaning results – backed by clinical evidence
- American Dental Association (ADA) approved
- Multiple tips included – more sold separately
- No ability to rotate the nozzle
- Water resistant – can be used in the shower
- Travel pouch included
- Quality datisfactory – but other units feel more premium
- 1 year warranty
The Cordless Freedom is one of very few water flossers to be powered by removable AA batteries.
It requires 3 to function and you get some included in the box.
They are fairly easily inserted into the base of the flosser via a locked and watertight compartment.
You need to slide the switch on the bottom edge of the flosser to lock or unlock the cap to the compartment.
This switch is very tactile and there are large padlock icons on the base that make it very easy to know which way to lock or unlock it.
There are also clear icons inside the compartment that shows which way to align the batteries.
The batteries are NiMH and although the supplied batteries are not rechargeable you can use rechargeable ones if you wish. This is one way of reducing the longer term ownership costs.
Waterpik makes little mention about the batteries or the expected battery life you should get from the Cordless Freedom. Different brands of batteries will have an impact as will the power setting used and your total flossing time.
My hands-on testing is by no means conclusive, but the WF-03 Cordless Freedom managed 100 flossing sessions on the highest power setting. That is a little over 14 weeks and is more than I had expected.
I think this is more than good enough battery life.
One of the biggest downsides to this battery setup is that there is no way to tell how much power remains in them. When the batteries are low the pressure drops off or the unit stops completely. It will then be time to change.
I would suggest keeping a set on standby as it were, just in case.
You may find as a course of habit you replace every 3 months for example.
Another point is that AA batteries do negatively impact the ownership costs.
The counterargument to this is that AA batteries are easy to source when you need them, almost wherever you might be.
If you don’t particularly need removable batteries, models with a rechargeable battery inside are often more convenient, because you get that feedback on the remaining power.
Summary of battery life
- Powered by 3 x AA batteries
- 1 set of batteries included in the box
- Easy to install
- Acieved 100 uses from the batteries
- No battery status feedback
- AA batteries adds to the cost
- Easy to source spare batteries when needed
Price & where to buy
CDN$73.06 is the official RRP for this product.
Most of the time it is sold at this price too.
You may secure a few dollars saving, but I am talking about less than $5 off the retail price.
Primarily available from Waterpik themselves as well as select other sellers, the price appears to be relatively well controlled and the likelihood of significant discount is low.
Given what it is supposed to offer and the suggested health benefits, the price is on the face of it justifiable.
To get a true idea of the cost, here at Electric Teeth we like to price things over a 3 year period, to give a benchmark for comparison.
What needs to be factored into the cost is replacement tips.
A pack of 2 costs CDN$12 and lasts 6 months, so they should cost around $6 per tip.
Given that 2 classic jet tips are included in the box, over 3 years, you will need to purchase 4 more at a cost of CDN$24.
Assuming a purchase price of about CDN$70, add the $24 on and you have a total cost of $94.
If you are using one of the more specialist tips, many of these require replacement at 3 monthly intervals, affecting the ownership cost.
However, something to factor in here too is the cost of replacement batteries. This isn’t something that impacts most other cordless water flossers.
Let’s assume you replace them every 3 months. With a typical cost of about $0.75 per battery, this means a cost of $2.25 each time you change the batteries.
Over 3 years this adds $24.25 to the price.
Thus, a more accurate ownership cost is CDN$118 over 3 years.
Yes, you could use rechargeable batteries to help save money here. And you may too be able to source cheaper batteries, but it gives a benchmark.
Compare this to traditional string floss and there is no denying that floss is considerably better value for money. But there is a price to be paid for the convenience and effectiveness of the Express.
Waterpik’s top of the line Cordless Advanced costs around CDN$119 over 3 years. Unless AA batteries are an absolute must, I think for what is just a couple of dollars in the price you are getting some nice extras with the Advanced.
Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and will vary based on location, supplier and time of purchase. These figures were correct at the time of writing and should not be relied upon as hard fact, but used as a guide during your decision process.
Summary of price & where to buy
- Recommended retail price of CDN$73.06
- Litle in the way of discount available
- Replacement tips cost $6 each – sold in packs of 2
- Replacement batteries add about $24 to the cost
- Costs approx CDN$118 over 3 years to own
- Premium cordless advanced is worth consideration
Reliability & long term use
Having been testing this for a month, I have not had anything go wrong as yet.
It is difficult to really describe how or why, but the Freedom doesn’t feel quite as good or as durable as some other units. Perhaps it is the material finish, there is just something about it to me that isn’t quite as satisfying as newer models.
I have read reports of others suffering with durability issues. I can’t speak first hand about these.
The nature of a physical product is at times they will go wrong, we hope they won’t but nobody can give these guarantees.
A 1 year guarantee is provided and they make it clear they are available to help, you just need to call them. It is a shame you don’t get a 2 or 3 year warranty like some other Waterpik products.
Not that I have been in a position to test, but being an American firm I would suspect their customer service to be very good.
I honestly believe the Waterpik Cordless Advanced is an all round better cordless water flosser. It feels more natural in hand, giving more control and marginally longer usage times.
But, both can clean the spaces between the teeth and along the gumline very well.
For some, there is a stand out reason to pick the Cordless Freedom and that is the power source. It is powered by AA batteries, which is somewhat of a rarity today.
Electric Teeth Rating
- Height (without nozzle) – 23.2cm
- Height (with nozzle) – 29.6cm
- Width – 6cm
- Thickness – 9cm
- Weight (without nozzle) – 342g
- Weight (with nozzle) – 345g
- Weight (with nozzle & water) – 506g
All are approximates
- How long does the battery last?
- Waterpik does not specificy an exact battery life, but you should get 3-4 months from my testing.
- Does it come with a charger?
- No, it is powered by AA batteries and does not require a mains charger.
- How often do the nozzles need replacing?
- Nozzles should be replaced every 6 months if using the classic or tongue cleaner. All others should be replaced every 3 months.
- Can I use mouthwash in the Waterpik?
- You could, but it would be expensive and wasteful. Best adding a dash into the water used in the reservoir for a burst of freshness.
- How much water or mouthwash does it hold?
- Approx 150ml which will last for approximately 35 seconds.
- Can I use the Waterpik in the shower?
- Yes, it is water resistant.
- Does it come with a travel case?
- Yes a microfibre drawstring pouch is included to put the flosser in when travelling.
- My gums bleed when I use cordless flosser. Is that normal?
- Bleeding gums may be a sign of infection and a little bleeding can be normal when starting a new oral care routine, as you may be cleaning in areas not previously reached. However, if bleeding is excessive or does not stop within a few days of regular use, consult a dental professional.
Do you own or have you used the Waterpik WF-03 Cordless Water Flosser?
Are there certain features that you really like or dislike?
Let us, and others who may well be considering purchasing this flosser know your opinions before they do.