Our recommendations are independently selected and dentist-approved. We may earn a commission if you buy something. Why trust us?

Best Water Flosser 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Gemma Wheeler

(GDC Number: 259369)

Best Water Flosser

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 models 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

There are various terms that are used interchangeably to refer to these devices, including:

  • water flosser
  • 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. 

Our top 8 picks for the best water flosser you can buy in 2021

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

1. Waterpik WP-660UK

Short review: It is the standard to beat.  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.

Available in White and Black it connects to a 2 pin shaver socket and is backed by many clinical studies.

Preview Product Rating Price
Waterpik WP-660 Ultra Professional Water Flosser Waterpik WP-660 Ultra Professional Water Flosser 2,906 Reviews £79.99 £66.99

What I like

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

What I dislike

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

Read our full Waterpik WP-660UK review.

2. Waterpik WP-560 Cordless

Short review:

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

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 colour 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
Preview Product Rating Price
Waterpik Cordless Advanced Waterpik Cordless Advanced 276 Reviews £89.99

What I like

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

What I dislike

  • Expensive

Read our full Waterpik WP-560 Cordless Advanced Review.

3. Sonicare Airfloss

Short review: Perhaps not strictly a waterflosser, the 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.

There are 2 models, the Pro is the more expensive and desirable offering more different power settings and a larger reservoir.

Whilst the AirFloss is actually our preferred go to flosser, clinical studies show Waterpik models are better.

Preview Product Rating Price
Sonicare Airfloss Sonicare Airfloss 1,563 Reviews £78.39

What I like

  • Simplicity of use
  • Less messy and takes less getting used to
  • Various settings (pro model)
  • Design
  • Portability
  • Battery life

What I dislike

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

Read our full Sonicare Airfloss Review.

4. Apiker Countertop Water Flosser

Short review: This is a more cost effective alternative to the WP-660 that tops this list.

It offer many of the same benefits, but you don’t get the same peace of mind that it is made by the market leading brand. The benefit is the cost saving.

At half the price, it packs a punch, but there are some shortcomings in the overall product quality.

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

A large 600ml tank, multiple jet tips and 10 pressure settings. In fact, offering up to 150 PSI that is 50 PSI more powerful than Waterpik.

The nozzle can be rotated and there is a water flow control button on the handle.

Preview Product Rating Price
Apiker Countertop Water Flosser - White Apiker Countertop Water Flosser - White 6,495 Reviews £30.99

What I like

  • Larger 600ml tank
  • Pressure settings
  • Selection of nozzles included
  • Rotating nozzle
  • Tip storage
  • Great value

What I dislike

  • Quality isn’t the best
  • Noisy
  • Availability or replacement nozzles

5. Waterpik WF-03 Cordless Freedom Water Flosser

Short review: 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.

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

2 pressure modes is 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.

Preview Product Rating Price
Waterpik Cordless Freedom Water Flosser Waterpik Cordless Freedom Water Flosser 2,273 Reviews £44.99

What I like

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

What I dislike

  • Bulky
  • Feels a little cheap

Read our full Waterpik WF-03 Cordless Freedom Water Flosser Review.

6. Fairywill 5020E Portable Water Flosser

Short review: 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.

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 colour options.

Preview Product Rating Price
Fairywill 5020E Cordless Flosser - White Fairywill 5020E Cordless Flosser - White 5,300 Reviews £30.99 £26.34

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

Read our full Fairywill 5020E Water Flosser Review.

7. Panasonic EW1411W Cordless Oral Irrigator

Short review: Produced by a big trusted brand, the EW1411W has proven to be a little unreliable for some given the good reputation of the firm and the water tank is a little small.

However it is cordless and has a wall mountable charging stand and 3 different modes and 2 different jet types.

Preview Product Rating Price
Panasonic EW1411W Panasonic EW1411W 519 Reviews £42.23

What I like

  • Cordless
  • 3 modes
  • 2 jet types
  • Wall mountable

What I dislike

  • Very small tank
  • Quality concerns

8. Oral-B Oxyjet

Short review: From a trusted big brand and offers a good experience when working.  5 different pressure settings and the ability to change how the jet works by twisting the nozzle.  Looks a bit dated, build quality and reliability issues are a concern but supported by a good warranty should it go wrong.  You do pay a price for this though.

Preview Product Rating Price
Oral-B Oxyjet Oral-B Oxyjet 8,928 Reviews £92.60 £75.99

What I like

  • Well-known brand
  • 5 pressure settings
  • Change the style of water jet

What I dislike

  • Dated design
  • Bulky
  • Quality concerns
  • Expensive

Read our full Oral-B Oxyjet Review.

Video Review

Best Water Flosser 2021

Water Flosser Buyer’s Guide

Mention flossing and most 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!

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 an electric water flosser.

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

What is an electric 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, with the intention of washing away plaque, bacteria and food debris that might reside on the teeth and along the gumline.

It is an additional or alternative 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.

Best Water Flosser 2021 1

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 sort of device.

You may also see them referenced as water irrigator or a water jet flosser.

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 benefit.

Best Water Flosser 2021 2

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 oral irrigators 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.

Best Water Flosser 2021 3
  • 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.

Best Water Flosser 2021 4

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 though a poor oral healthcare routine.

Best Water Flosser 2021 5

Flossing is often associated with bleeding and pain, but actually its 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 oral irrigator 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 have or use an electric flosser.

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

Best Water Flosser 2021 6

Unlike floss there has been more thorough research into the use of water flossers with Barnes 2005 study (1 & 2) being the overarching evidence users want.  His study 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 dental 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 I 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 dental floss and interdental brushes. No awkward hand trickery required to get to all the gaps in your teeth and mouth.
  • Comfort
    • The 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 gets 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 dental 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. May be more suitable if you have limited hand movement, e.g arthritis.

Negatives of an electric flosser

  • Cost
    • Considerably more expensive than a packet of string dental 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 dental floss is better for removing plaque than an electric water flosser.
Best Water Flosser 2021 7


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 Hoover have with vacuum cleaners.

Oral-B, Sonicare, Panasonic are other big names that exist in this space amongst others.

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.

Best Water Flosser 2021 8

The result is an 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 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 dental 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.

Best Water Flosser 2021 9

I believe Dr Terri Tilliss summaries 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 an electric 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.

Best Water Flosser 2021 10

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 to, 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 tank, but as a guide.

  • 150 ml = 30+ seconds of flossing time
  • 210 ml = 45+ seconds of flossing time
  • 450 ml = 60+ seconds of flossing time
  • 650-1000 ml = 90+ seconds of flossing time

You can refill the reservoir to extend flossing time.

Best Water Flosser 2021 11
  • 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:

Best Water Flosser 2021 12
  • 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.

waterpik close up
  • 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.

Best Water Flosser 2021 13
  • Price

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

You can pick up an electric flosser for less than £20.  For £40 you are on the road to a good quality product.

As a rough guide spending somewhere between £45-£70 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.

  • Colours

Some models come in a variety of colour 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 tooth flosser?

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.

Best Water Flosser 2021 14

Multiple users

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

Waterpik offer the biggest range of nozzles/tips and make 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 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 or 3 pin plugs

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

Most corded water flossers will come with a 2 pin connector, designed to be connected to the power socket found in a bathroom.  With use of an adapter (sold separately) you can connect these to 3 pin power supplies in the UK.

Best Water Flosser 2021 15

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 be aware of the different power requirements internationally.  As a quick reference guide:

  • Printed on base/plug – 100-240V
    • Where can it be used? Globally
    • Do I need a voltage convertor? 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 US/Canada)
    • Do I need a voltage convertor? Yes if the voltage of the country you are travelling to is less than 220V
    • Do I need a plug adapter? Subject to country
  • Printed on base/plug– 110 Volts 60 Cycles
    • Where can it be used? In countries with 110 volts (e.g. US/Canada)
    • Do I need a voltage convertor? Yes if the voltage of the country you are travelling to is higher than 110V
    • 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.

Best Water Flosser 2021 16


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 manufacturers respective customer service line but will likely need your original proof of purchase and once accepted arrange repair or replacement of the product.

Water flosser reviews

I have tested many water flossers, and as time goes on I will test many more.

The best electric flossers make it to this list.

Below is a list of all of those that I have currently reviewed:

Where to buy

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

You are less likely to see a wide range in your local supermarket, but chemists like Boots and Superdrug do offer them.

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

I have to suggest Amazon as the ‘best’ option given their very competitive prices, broad range and rapid delivery options.

This probably isn’t the kind of product you want to pick up second hand, but it’s also worth checking eBay for a bargain on an unopened box.

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.

Read More

Leave a comment or question

51 thoughts on “Best Water Flosser 2021”

  1. I just purchased a waterpik cordless, I do not find the water as powerful as I expected after seeing videos on it. It doesn’t really clean the plaque off as much as I had expected. It is ok but not amazing. Does anyone know if there is one with more powerful jet of water, even if a different make or model. Also I am searching for a comparison with the watts or power but cannot find one

    • Hi Emma. Is it the cordless advanced that you purchased? There are a few different models with cordless in the name. Generally, the power they offer is very similar.
      You don’t need a really powerful jet to remove plaque, harder and faster jets are not always better. Most water flossers water pressure is measured in PSI.

      Most plaque you can’t actually see. It is a colourless sticky substance. Do you have hard lumpy spots on the teeth and along the gumline that you think should be removed with this? It could be you have tartar otherwise known as calculus which is hardened plaque. This cannot be removed at home with such tools, you will need to see a dentist/hygienist.

      • Hello Jon, Many thanks for your reply and advice it is much appreciated and has helped me with my purchase of the Waterpik Cordless Plus Water Flosser WP-450UK. I do not have hard lumpy spots on the teeth/ but I do on the gums which I see a hygienist to remove. My issues are possibly hormone changes, as I’m 53, my bone density has reduced significantly in last 2 years. So trying everything to save teeth. Allergic to chlorhexidine so using home mouth wash e.g aloe vera , salt water,

        • Thanks for the info, Emma. I would advise having a chat with your hygienist to get their input then based on your personal circumstances. They are better placed to advise.

  2. Thank you for a useful article. I have a question about replacing the jet tips: why is it needed every three months? I understand how toothbrush heads wear out, but (having never used water flosser) can’t see how plastic tube that carries water does too? I am reducing plastic in my life so switched to bamboo interdental brushes but still conscious that wire and bristles do not degrade. I am considering ordering a Waterpik, but can’t see anything online about recyclable jet tip replacements.

    • Olga. Thanks for your question it is a good one.

      The advice does change from one manufacturer to another. The recommendations tend to vary from 3 to 6 months.

      I do agree that the jet tip is not going to wear like the bristles of a brush head might. I believe there are 2 parts to the recommendation.

      The first being hygiene. Even though it is water going through the nozzle over time bacteria etc can buildup within the nozzle.

      The second part is the manufacturers make money from the nozzles, so it is in their interest to promote replacements.

      I hear of many using their nozzles for much much longer.

      I do personally believe, if cleaned regularly there is no reason the classic jet tip can’t last longer than advertised and in turn help reduce the plastic waste.

      It would in time be great to see these made available for recycling too. All schemes I have seen have excluded these so far.

  3. Are the cordless advance and cordless plus build quality significantly better than cordless freedom? The replaceable battery of the freedom is a really useful feature, I wish the top 2 models have it

    • Hi Lan. Build quality is subjective, but yes I do believe the Waterpik Cordless Advance is better build quality than the WF-03 Freedom. The Cordless Plus is comparable to the Freedom.

      If removable batteries are your preference, then go for one powered by these. Products like the Freedom are still good enough and do the job well. They just don’t always have that sense of durability or feel in hand you might hope for, in my opinion.

    • Hi John.

      This is not a model I have tested to be able to make comment on. As I understand it, it is an older model and although functional doesn’t have quite the same level of control over the pressure settings as newer models.

  4. Is one of these of models particularly better for a 13-year old with braces?

    Note: he has poor dexterity with his hands and is rather clumsy.

    • Luca,

      I can’t say 1 is significantly better. But the Waterpik WP-660 still stands out as being a ‘better’ option all round. The Sonicare Airfloss for example does not have a rotating nozzle and a smaller water tank, so this might not be quite as well suited to your daughter.

  5. I talked to my dentist last night about these water flossers. An hygienist joined the discussion.
    They only recommend the models that has both water and air because air is very efficient at killing bacteria, water is not, at all.

    Also, water flosser are very poor at removing plaque. So, you still need to use interdental brushes. Too many people believe one replace the other.
    I have 2 comments to your article:

    I was upset to read this website writing “clinical studies show Waterpik models are better”
    There is every reason to doubt that these are actual clinical studies let alone several of them. the vast majority of these studies are not run following a proper scientific protocol and are not peer reviewed. The author get paid and write what the company would like to read.
    My dentists unequivocally confirm that these studies are biased at best and often fake and marketing driven.
    The “studies” are run and paid by the company that sell the products.
    You’re basically endorsing the study. Most people won’t see the trap.
    At the very least you should write a very visible note that the study was paid by the company with all the caveats implied.

    secondly, you wrote:
    “If flossing or interdental brushes are not for you, there are alternatives! One such solution, backed by clinical evidence, is the use of an electric water flosser.”
    “backed by clinical evidence”? I already see where this is going….
    my dentists said without hesitation that water flossers are not capable of removing plaque and therefore can “NEVER” replace interdental brushes.

    • Largo.

      Thanks for the comment.

      You make valid points, which are not lost on us.

      The problem is, in many fields (not just dentistry) the studies are financed by companies, often looking to garner results for use in the marketing their products. This is because they have the money to fund them. There are not many independent organisations that can allocate the massive funds needed to run such trials.

      Whilst it might be fair to say the results are interpreted or presented in a way that might be favourable, I think it is a little unfair to suggest they do not follow proper scientific protocol. From time to time there is truly independent research, that can be considered more trustworthy but sadly it is not as common as we would like to see. We would welcome more studies, particularly those that are not as favourable for Waterpik, but as it stands this is what data we have.

      It is quite a bold statement for your dentist to ‘unequivocally’ confirm this unless they were privy to all stages of the trial. What evidence does your dentist have to say that water flossers cannot remove plaque?

      We do recommend interdental brushes and string floss over water flossers, these remain the gold standard due to the physical contact that they have.

      Your feedback does highlight some areas where there are perhaps small improvements that can be made to this article to make certain points clearer. I will look at ways of updating this page to reflect that.

      • > What evidence does your dentist have to say that water flossers cannot remove plaque?
        They didn’t say. I’ll remember to ask them at my next appointment.

  6. How do the Waterpik options compare to the Panasonic EW1511? Panasonic says they have an ‘ultrasound technology’ and it seems to be more pressure/pulse per minute. Thanks again!

    • Hi, I haven’t yet tested the Panasonic EW1511 to be able to comment. I think it is likely that the cleaning experience is going to be comparable, with little meaningful difference between them.

  7. May be why your linked clinical study is favours Waterpik:
    “Chhaju Ram Goyal, co-founder and researcher at All Sum Research Center (an independent research lab that tests oral health care products), and the man whose name is on much of the scientific research on water flossers (though problematically, that research was paid for and designed by none other than Waterpik).”

    • Yes indeed this was the case. It is the case with a large number of studies on oral care products unfortunately. We do consider this as part of our reseach.

  8. I have used WaterPik for about 4 years now, based on recommendations from my dentist. My opinion is they are extremely poor quality.
    I have had a cordless version. This was replaced under warranty and that again failed so I bought the updated model. That also gave up. The units would not charge.
    I now have a corded version with a large reservoir. The button on the handle stuck, now the handle falls apart. The reservoir leaks.
    WaterPik may have a clinically good result, but their design and manufacturing quality is very poor.
    After 4 years of persistence I am very happy to abandon this brand.

  9. That’s a great and in depth article on water flossers over the internet thanks for sharing it. I wanted to ask a question in how many days i can see the results?

    • Hi Sanjay.

      Results can be immediate, but within 2 weeks usually, the best results are achieved. For most this is the reduction or stopping of bleeding when flossing.

  10. I had two Waterpik WP-660UK. It is very easy to use and having different power level makes it very versatile for the whole family. However, my first one died six months after my first use and the second one died after just three weeks. Inasmuch as I like this brand and model, I am now searching for something that will last for longer time. I have seen a review that reflects similar experience to mine.

  11. Hello! Thanks for this very helpful article.
    I used to have bad breath issues from time to time and i take antibiotics for that. So my GP recommended having an air floss for me as it will help in this in case any food is still stuck between my teeth.
    I have a big bathroom but with no electric socket inside, yet i can use the extension cable from the near by socket in case you suggest using the counter one rather than portable.

    PS. I live in Bahrain, if it might has anything to do with the recommendation.

    • Hi Rana.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Countertop units do offer a potentially better cleaning and tend to be more versatile with more control over things like the pressure.

      However, it seems like the suggestion is the water flosser is just a nice addition to your routine to help remove debris and is not an essential part, therefore I would not be too concerned about going for a countertop unit.

      The airfloss is a good option, especially if you do not have power in the bathroom. I would avoid running an extension cable as this poses risks.

    • Hi Rana,
      Try some ground cloves for the bad breathe.. I don’t know what u call it Bahrain.. قرنقل مطحون أو مسمار مطحون
      U just take very very little amount, and rinse then throw it away don’t swallow it.. u will say good bye to the bad breathe…👍🏼
      Believe me .. try it .. nothing to lose.. cloves are good for both gum and teethe .. remember very little .. as a tip of a teaspoon..

  12. Hello, I have a partially erupted wisdom tooth and currently suffering pericoronitis. I would like a water flosser to help keep the teeth clean rather than extract it. I am UK based with no pin in the bathroom. What’s the best option please? Thanks so much!

  13. Hi 🙂
    I am planning to buy a waterpik water flosser and would really appreciate assistance! Having used a countertop waterpik in the past and loving the results, I am planning on purchasing a waterpik water flosser. Unfortunately I can’t use a countertop because my previous waterpik broke because of the difference in voltage (I live in NZ) and therefore the warranty did not apply. Therefore I need a cordless version. Looking at reviews, it seems that the cordless waterpiks have very low pressure in comparison to the countertops. In your opinion, would the pressure of cordless waterpiks be around medium/medium-high pressure of the countertops? because the pressure is the most important factor for me. Also, at high power, would you say that the cordless freedom and cordless advanced are similar? I have an eye on the cordless advanced but comparing the features to more budget friendly versions, I just can’t justify the price difference. I really want this waterpik to last instead of breaking like my pervious one, so I am also concerned that the cordless freedom would stop working, especially looking at the reviews, although there did seem to be quite a few reviews on the cordless advanced where people have experienced issues with the batteries….I would appreciate any help to solve my indecisiveness 🙂

    • Hi Laura,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I am more than happy to help if I can.

      Before getting into the details of my recommendations, I would like to understand what you are saying initially about the voltages and your previous countertop model breaking.

      Had you purchased a 100-130v model and were using it with the 230/240 NZ power supply? I would like to know why the voltage posed an issue, because there are ways around this to ensure the model does not break as a result of the voltage (in my opinion).

      Unless going for a removable battery powered cordless flosser, the majority of cordless options have built in rechargeable batteries that need recharging from the wall socket and may incur this voltage issue you speak about.

      Are you actually travelling with the flosser at any point or is it being used mainly at home and a countertop would actually be preferred?

      • I had purchased a 100-130v model and had been using a voltage adaptor. I am not entirely sure if it was the voltage that was the problem, as I was using an adaptor, but seeing as the rest of the waterpik was extremely well cared for and still did not work with replacement parts, I ruled it down to an issue with the voltage.
        I have looked into the waterpik cordless models and as they are designed to be travelled with, they have universal voltage and therefore even if I were to use it in NZ, it would be covered by the warranty.
        I won’t be travelling with the flosser. While I would really want a corded waterpik, I also have an issue where there are no power plugs close to the bathroom. Therefore in order to use a corded waterpik, I would need to have extension cords running through my house.
        So although I would love a countertop waterpik and would be willing to pay extra for waterpiks with global voltages, it seems overall that it would be a better decision to purchase a cordless one.

        • Hi Laura,

          Thanks for the reply and additional information.

          Whilst neither of us can probably be sure, it sounds quite plausible that the voltage that was the cause of your last unit failing. As I understand it the voltage is 230/240v in New Zealand, so using the 100-130v through a converter that may have failed all makes sense.

          I understand all your other comments, so I hope the following is helpful.

          Whilst the power of the cordless options are less than the countertop alternatives, it is not all about power.

          It is my understanding that both the cordless freedom and cordless advance offer modes that are powered at 45 to 75 PSI ( 3.103 to 5.171 Bar ). Therefore both are as powerful as each other.

          Any product can go wrong, and many complain more than they praise (as a general rule) so I wouldn’t be too worried, as you say you have the warranty.

          So, I think the cordless freedom could be a good option for you.

  14. Hi Jon,

    Thanks for the article, it’s really useful. Might be worth mentioning that the clinical study that says Waterpik is better than airpick is funded by Waterpik, and not in a peer-reviewed journal.


    • Hi Chris.

      Yes, this is something that has not escaped our attention. I do believe other brands are guilty of this too. 🤔

  15. Hi.. Are there any newer compact/waterproof /travel size models that beat the Panasonic ewdj10 which you rated as best in 2017 or is it still best match to those requirement.. Thanks

    • Hi Liz.

      In a word no. How waterproof and compact do you need/want it to be. I know this might sound a bit of a daft question, but if I can understand your needs a little more this may help me point you in the right direction of a better product if one exists.

      Is this for with use within the UK?

  16. Have you reviewed Mornwell water flosser D50 . I’m tempted to buy this due to much more affordable price and reading reviews on water pic and soni air flosser having issues with breaking down after a few months and difficulty with warranty. Does the Mornwell do a good job?

    • Hi Susan,

      This is not a product we have reviewed as yet.

      There are lots of lesser known brands like Mornwell that produce very good value options. This can be a positive and a negative, depending on your viewpoint.

      I suspect the performance & build quality to be similar to the Broadcare model that we list at number 6.

      Sorry I cannot be more helpful.

  17. You say in your review that a hand-held flosser will last for one or two cleans. If you are going to do a proper clean, then you’ll need to re-fill the tanks on a portable flosser 2-4 times. Also, knowing that a flosser has x number of power settings means nothing unless you know the power range and the max power. A higher power jet will clean more. I’ve seen ranges advertised from 90-130 psi, but many models don’t state the power. It makes it very difficult to choose.

    • Nick,

      Some very valid and fair points made.

      For a deep clean, it is indeed likely you need to refill the tank a couple of times, but it does depend on how often you use it and how thorough you are. I have certainly found I can do a quick/rapid floss with 1 tank if I am wanting to refresh my mouth and remove the worst of the plaque in interdental spaces.

      I would generally suggest a countertop flosser is best for most people as there is less need to refill.

      In regards to the power most models will provide a power range that is sufficient to provide adequate cleaning at the highest power along with typically a more gentle mode that are suitable for most. The PSI will certainly give an extra steer in the decision making process, but many are not familiar with how powerful 130 PSI is on the gums compared to 90 PSI for example, so it is often not until you really use it do you fully understand the power.

      • Thanks for this site and all inforation Jon. Still dithering over which to buy frkm an older lady, husband, no mortgage, two young adult offspring and a life of experience which complucates making informed decisions.

  18. Battery on rechargeable waterpik not very good and guarantee only applies to first bought, not replaced. Ie, warranty is for two years from time of buying first model. My unit was replaced after about 18 months leaving only 6 months warranty for the replacement. Of course, the battery has failed within two years but not covered by warranty. So my choice is to buy a new one or change manufacturer. I’ve tried Philips but not the same cleanliness.

    • Hi Alan.

      Thanks for the comments.

      The warranty conditions you speak of are standard across many product categories, not just water flossers, but I do hear the frustration.

      Interesting you should feel that the Wateprik is the better product for cleanliness results.

Leave a comment