It does the job, but there are better options
The Cordless Plus from Waterpik is satisfactory.
The design is a touch dated, the lack of a battery status LED is rather frustrating.
Newer models make it easier to rotate the nozzle and address other shortcomings.
- Grippy handle
- Various tips included for individual specific needs
- American Dental Association (ADA) approved
- No battery charge indicator
- Exposed charging port
- The nozzle is awkward to rotate
- Quality isn’t the best
Consider these other water flossers
If I were to buy a water flosser, the Waterpik Cordless Advanced would be my choice.
It is by no means the cheapest, but it is our number 1 choice for the best cordless water flosser.
The Sonicare Cordless Power Flosser 3000 is also a very good option. It is similar to the cordless Plus and the Advanced, but it offers an X shaped water stream and has a built-in timer as well as a larger water tank for longer flossing times.
These are premium models, so the more affordable Cordless Select might be a better choice if you want to keep costs down.
|Waterpik Cordless Select - White||813 Reviews||$79.99 $69.98||View on Amazon|
Design, usability, clean & general use
The Cordless Plus looks like the vast majority of cordless water flossers.
It measures 29.59cm/11.65 inches tall, 6.96cm/2.74 inches wide and 9.65cm/3.8 inches deep.
Unlike the Cordless Select, this is quite easy to grip and feels comfortable in hand.
The contour to the flosser body is such that you can get a good hands grip around the unit.
The base of the unit is flat, which means it sits upright on a countertop when not in use.
Looking at the unit, it is made up of 3 key parts. The main flosser body, the water tank and the nozzle.
There are a number of different color variants. All look a little dated. Particularly the white variant shown in the hand-on photos.
The main body of the flosser is a gloss white plastic. Stretching two thirds of the length of the handle is a silver panel. Within this are 2 key switches.
The top slider switch is the power function. Slide it from ‘OFF’ to ‘ON’ to activate the flosser.
Below this is the mode switch, whereby you move between the 2 pressure settings on this flosser, low and high. Low is more gentle, lesser powered mode and high the most intense cleaning mode.
The power switch is the larger of the 2. The size allows you to differentiate between them when in hand.
Both protrude from the unit and have ridges upon them to give the fingertip something to grip onto.
Although both switches work, they feel a bit soft/spongy. They don’t give quite the satisfying sliding action you might expect. It is hard to explain. They work, but you expect more feedback from the switch that you don’t get here.
Beneath these buttons is the Waterpik logo.
At the very bottom edge is the charging port. 2 gold pins each in their own little channel are exposed. Into this fits the provided power cable.
There is no cover or port protector provided.
Whilst the WP-450 will resist splashes, it is not designed to be used in the shower. It is not water resistant.
The likelihood of water getting into the port is limited, but it could happen. The angle at which the flosser is held can cause water to run down the unit. A cover would solve this. Although, I will admit they can be fiddly and awkward.
On either side of the flosser there are no ports or controls.
On the back you have a large rubber/silicon grip. This sits below the top of the flosser and runs about halfway down the unit. It has ridges on it to give the fingers plenty to grip onto.
Beneath this is the detachable water tank. It has a 207ml/7 ounce capacity.
It is made of clear plastic. There is a hinged door on it that is used for filling it up and releasing any leftover water. On the side of the tank are measurements for the water. One side is ml whilst the other is Oz.
As I have mentioned, the base of the unit is flat, so it stands upright. A notable element here though, is the small plastic clip. This can be released to detach the water tank.
At the top of the water flosser is where the nozzle attaches.
These push into the hold at the top and lock into place. The nozzle can be released by pressing the eject button, which is located on the top edge.
When in place the nozzle can be rotated a full 360 degrees. The rotation helps get the perfect angle when in use.
The way it is implemented means that you have 8 positions in a 360 degree turn that it will position at. Models like the Cordless Select and Advanced offer much finer control.
It is quite hard to describe, but the dial that rotates the nozzle is quite small. It is much smaller than the Cordless Select for example. It means you have to finger gymnastics to try and actually get your hand in the right position to actually twist the nozzle. The larger dials on the Advanced and Select make nozzle rotation significantly easier.
Sturdy enough in hand, the quality of the WP-450 isn’t the best.
The water tank is clipped in place but there is a little ‘play’ or wobble in the tank. It is secure enough, but not fixed as securely as most other flossers.
The clip on the base of the unit does the job but doesn’t seem the most sturdy. I have no evidence to suggest it will break, but I would consider it a potential weak point.
Another sign of the quality is the nozzle eject button. Where most buttons you press on, push down and into the body of the unit, the configuration of this means it slides into the body horizontally. But the button has a bit of a rough edge and can catch on the fingertip slightly.
I am perhaps being a bit picky. But these things don’t instal the user confidence I would hope for.
Once switched on, the Plus works well.
I have been very pleased with how it cleans between the teeth and along the gumline.
I use the water flosser before brushing and it is amazing how much debris it removes. And that is the stuff I can see!
I found that I preferred the more powerful setting of the 2 offered. Those with sensitive gums may find the lower power setting to be better.
Countertop units do offer softer and more intense modes, but I don’t think you necessarily need them.
Although using a water flosser can be a little bit messy, I actually find it easier. This is compared to string dental floss and interdental brushes.
It still requires a technique, but it feels a little easier to master.
And I know I am not alone. I have learnt of many people who use a water flosser. Otherwise, they would not stick to an interdental cleaning regime otherwise.
Dental professionals see the brushes as the ‘best’ option. They will advise a water flosser to be used in addition to these.
Yet, almost all would prefer you use a water flosser instead of doing no interdental cleaning at all.
Brushing alone leaves up to 40% of the tooth surface uncleaned. Water flossers like the Select have been clinically proven to remove plaque.
There has been lots of research by Waterpik to show the effectiveness of their flossers. Impressive stats are available on the clinical research pages of the Waterpik website.
A study by Guror in 2009 found just a 3 second treatment can remove 99.9% of plaque biofilm amongst other research documented on the Waterpik clinical research pages.
The effectiveness and suitability for a water flosser as part of your daily healthcare routine is given further credibility by the American Dental Association (ADA).This and other Waterpik flossers have been awarded their ‘Seal of Acceptance’.
The flow and pressure of the water reach bacteria deep between teeth and below the gumline.
Brushing and traditional flossing can’t always reach this.
A full tank will last up to 60 seconds.
The WP-450 offers 2 pressure settings or cleaning modes if you prefer.
The default mode is a low pressure setting and there is too a high pressure option.
The low mode empties the tank in 60 seconds, whilst the high mode takes 45.
The pressure of the 2 modes are 45 and 75 PSI respectively.
Unlike an electric toothbrush, there is no timer/pacer built in to help you ensure an even clean.
It will take a bit of trial and error to perfect the technique.
If you have perfected your flossing technique you should manage it in this time. But, for some, the high powered mode might not offer quite enough using time and a refill may well be necessary.
The WP-450 continues to function, even if the tank is drained of all the water. It will only turn off when you turn it off or it runs out of power.
During use, it is a bit noisy producing a sound of up to 78 decibels.
4 nozzles come provided in the box.
4 nozzles come provided in the box.
- 2 x JT-100E – Waterpik Classic High Pressure Jet Tip
- 1 x OD-100E – Waterpik Orthodontic Tip
- 1 x PS-100E – Waterpik Plaque Seeker Tip
For the vast majority, the classic tips are the best option to use.
If you wear braces, then the Orthodontic tip is useful. Those with dental implants will find the Plaque Seeker tip most useful.
There are other tips you can get and use with this if you choose. These include
- PP-100E – Waterpik Pik Pocket Tips
- TB-100E – Waterpik Water Flosser Toothbrush Tips
- TC-100E – Waterpik Water Flosser Tongue Cleaner
Each is designed with specific use cases in mind.
You can find more information on each of the different tips here.
If you use the Classic tip, you should change this every 6 months on average.
The other tips should be replaced every 3 months.
A benefit of the cordless options is that they are more suitable for travel.
Sadly, the Cordless Plus does not come with a travel pouch in the box, which is disappointing.
A concern I have is the size. The anticipation might be that this will fit nicely in a bag when I go away for business or pleasure.
It will fit. But, if you are travelling light, say for a weekend break; this is a bulky unit to have in the bag.
Overall the Plus does the job it is designed to do. I prefer the build quality and usability of other Waterpik models.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Cordless so you are not bound by wires
- Built-in rechargeable battery
- Nicely shaped grippy unit
- Exposed charging port
- No travel pouch included
- 4 different nozzles included
- Holds 207ml/7 ounces in the reservoir
- 2 pressure modes
- 60 seconds of usage time on the low mode
- 45 seconds of usage time on the high mode
- Impressive clinical results
- Nozzle rotates 360 degrees, but a bit tricky to do so
- Potential build quality issues
To enable the flosser to be cordless, it requires a power source. In this instance, it is a built-in rechargeable battery. It is not powered by removable batteries such as AA or AAA. If you want a removable battery option, consider the Waterpik Cordless Freedom.
It is a Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery that is inside it.
Waterpik suggests around 2 weeks of battery life on a full charge.
In my hands-on testing, I achieve double this at around 4 weeks. This is based on 1 flossing session per day, of 45 seconds in length.
I think this is a fair amount of battery life.
Those who floss more frequently, or refill will need to recharge more frequently.
One of the biggest frustrations with the Cordless Plus is related to the battery.
There is no LED on the handle to give any sign of the battery life.
You don’t know whether the battery is 100% charged, 75% or 10%. Most products of this type have an indicator to give you a clue.
Even if you know when you last charged it and roughly how many times you have used it, you don’t have any sure-fire way of knowing it won’t cut out mid-session. This is very irritating.
Ok, this is a bit of a first world issue, I admit. It isn’t that hard to put it on charge. But, it just makes daily use more awkward, should you run out of power.
Included in the box is a 2 pin US power adapter. It supports 120v.
It means that if you were to take this with you when you travel, you need potentially a plug and voltage adapter.
At the other end of the power cable is a 2 pin configuration that only fits into the flosser 1 way round.
You push it into the exposed charging port on the front of the handle.
You then leave it on charge. For how long, I am not entirely sure.
Waterpik does not state in the manual how long it takes to charge. And, because there is no battery status LED you don’t actually know if and when it is charged. I left it charging overnight.
Summary of battery life
- Built-in NiMH rechargeable battery
- Claimed approx 2 weeks of battery life
- Achieved around 4 weeks in my hands-on testing
- No battery status LED
- No way of knowing when power is low or fully charged
- Power adapter supports 120V
Price & where to buy
I have included links to buying options here at the start of the review.
In the section below, I discuss the price more generally and in relation to similar products.
$69.99 is the suggested retail price of the Cordless Plus.
This is certainly one of the more cost effective options that are on offer from Waterpik.
There are more affordable options still from other brands.
Water flossers tend not to be discounted as heavily as other oral care products.
You can save on average $14 on the retail price.
To give a benchmark of the cost, we like to price products over a 3 year period.
Although the WP-450 comes with 4 different tips, I am going to presume for the sake of this
calculation that you will be using the classic high pressure tip. 2 are included in the box.
They should be replaced every 6 months, so a further 4 will be needed over a 3 year period.
A pack of 2 retails at $10, making a nozzle $5 each.
With a $55 buy price, plus a further cost of $20 (4 x jet tips at $5 each) gives a total cost of $75 or $0.07 per day.
This is more cost effective than the Waterpik Cordless Select and Cordless Advanced. But, the Advanced would still be my choice overall, because of the benefits it brings.
If you have a stricter budget then do seriously consider the Fairywill 5020E. It works out at half the price of the WP-450.
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
- List of buying options included here
- Recommended retail price of $69.99
- Sells on average for $55.99
- Replacement nozzles retail for $10 for a pack of 2
- Costs $75 or $0.07 per day over 3 years
- Better value than other Waterpik models
- Waterpik Cordless Advanced would still be my pick
Reliability & long term use
In the few weeks I have been testing the WP-450, I have not encountered any reliability issues. It has performed as I would expect.
The overall build quality is satisfactory. But there are small things that might long term pose an issue.
For example, the water tank doesn’t feel like it locks in place really securely. There is a little play in the fitting and a small clip appears to be the only thing holding it in place.
The slider switches feel a bit soft. You don’t get a reassuring switching motion as you might expect.
There is then too the exposed charging port I have mentioned in this review.
These are all things that I would not consider as issues on models like the Cordless Select and Advanced.
I have read reports of the battery failing too.
Should you encounter issues, you do have the 2 year warranty you can take advantage of.
The WP-450 does the job it has been designed to do.
My teeth and gums felt clean after each use and that is the most important thing to consider.
But, the Cordless Plus feels a little dated compared to alternative options.
It doesn’t look quite as slick or stylish as the Cordless Select or Advanced.
The lack of battery charge status is frustrating.
No cover over the charging port is a concern too.
I also find it awkward to twist the nozzle. It is better implemented elsewhere.
Clinically backed this product is. I don’t question its effectiveness.
I ultimately feel compelled to pick one of the other flossers as my daily go-to option.
- Height (with nozzle) – 29.59cm/11.65 inches
- Width – 6.96cm/2.74 inches
- Thickness – 9.65cm/3.8 inches
- Weight (with head) – 336g/0.74lbs
All are approximates