The Radiance from Waterpik is an excellent water flosser.
It cleans between the teeth really well and comes with a good box contents.
Manufactured by a leading brand it comes with a 3 year warranty.
At the time of review, it is really only the price that goes against it. It is a bit expensive when you consider the alternative options, from Waterpik themselves.
- Excellent cleaning performance
- Choose between 10 different pressure settings
- Various tips included for individual specific needs
- Rotating handle & nozzle for easier control
- Stylish design & compact footprint
- American Dental Association (ADA) approved
- Price – better value options exist
- Requires mains power to function
- Compact – but does require countertop space
Consider these other flossers
As a general rule, it works out as a more cost effective option.
Yet despite this, you are not losing out on any features and functions.
The difference between the Aquarius and this Radiance are very subtle. The differences that exist are not deal breakers for most people. In a way, the Radiance feels like the newer, and better version of the Aquarius.
For those wanting a travel friendly option, the WF-04 Sidekick is a very appealing option.
Waterpik WF-09 Radiance in-depth review
[insWith a long history of countertop water flossers, the Radiance is the next iteration to achieve the same end goal as all the other water flossers, but benefit from small little tweaks that make it a very functional and desirable unit to own.
Variants of this water flosser
At the time of review, just 1 variant of the Radiance water flosser exists.
It is white in color with model number WF-09CD010-1.
This is the model you see featured in the hands-on images throughout this review.
It is possible for other color variants to be launched, but it is unlikely for different versions to be offered with different specifications.
What’s in the box?
- 1 x Waterpik Radiance WF-09 water flosser
- 1 x DT-100E implant denture tip
- 3 x JT-100E classic jet tip
- 1 x OD-100E orthodontic tip
- 1 x PP-100E pik pocket top
- 1 x PS-100E plaque seeker tip
- Nozzle travel case
- Advanced pressure control system with 10 settings
- Reservoir capacity of 22 ounces/651ml lasting 90+ seconds
- On/Off water control on the handle
- 2 Modes – sensitive & clean
- 3 year warranty
- American Dental Association approved
Design, usability, clean & general use
Over the last few years Waterpik, to me at least, appear to be upping their game.
If you have bought and used one within the last 2 or 3 years you might know what I mean.
Fundamentally lots of things are the same, but there have been small tweaks that result in what appear to be better products.
For example, the design of the units look more modern. They are more compact, quieter and small elements feel better thought out.
The Radiance is another model that embraces these enhancements and a few more.
The Radiance comes sensibly packaged with the retail packaging highlighting a lot of the features it has to offer. There is nothing particularly outstanding or terrible about the box.
You do get a good number of items included, as listed above.
I must admit, whilst I welcome extra tips in the box, in recent years I have become more torn on whether including more or less is a good thing or not.
On one hand, it can add value to the package. In Watepik’s case, it ensures that any user is covered, because all tip styles are included.
However, if like myself, I have no need for these extra tips, they are just a waste. They will essentially find their way into landfill.
The Radiance, also known as the WF-09 is at the time of review available in just 1 color option, white.
White does tend to be the default color option for Waterpik, which isn’t at all surprising, but with quite a few models they do offer at least 1 other choice, usually black.
The Aquarius professional is a real exception to the rule available in a range of fun color options, which I really like.
To be fair the white is practical and unoffensive if perhaps a little clinical. The silver/chrome accents do give it a more premium look.
These accents are found below the water tank, at the top of the base unit. On the edge of the pressure control dial and then at the top of the handle.
The design of the Radiance is typical of Waterpik in the last few years, I like it. It looks relatively clean and modern and really should look at home in most bathrooms.
This is a countertop unit and will need to be placed near your sink. It will take up a space of about 5 x 5 inches. For some, this might be an issue if space is at a premium in your bathroom. But, the footprint is relatively compact given what is on offer.
There are 2 or 3 key parts to the unit.
The first is the main base unit. This is where the pump is located. Secondly, sitting on top of this is the removable water tank. And then attached via a hose to the base unit is the handle, the third key part to this setup.
The tank or reservoir, whatever you prefer to call it is of plastic construction like the majority of the unit. It is transparent so you can easily see the water in it.
It has a 22oz/651 ml capacity.
On the top is a removable lid, complete with a centrally placed hinge. You can flip it 180 degrees so the hinged door opens on either the right or left side if you have a preference.
It is nice and simple to remove and place back onto the base unit.
The bottom of the tank does have a sprung loaded plug which aligns with a hole in the top of the base unit. When sat in place correctly, the plug is essentially released so the water can flow into the pump.
On the front of the base unit, there are 2 labels ‘Sensitive’ and ‘Clean’. Each has an LED to the left side. The LEDs get lit with a blue light when in operation subject to which mode is selected.
These mode names and LEDs sit off to the left side because centrally placed is the flosser handle.
The handle sits proud of the main base unit. The way in which the protrusion is designed means that the hose between the handle and the base unit wraps neatly around it. The handle magnetizes to this, which is a neat touch.
The left side of the unit has the rotating pressure control dial (more on this shortly). The right side is free of controls, as is the back of the unit.
The power cable does extend from the very bottom of the back of the unit. This is a white power cable that is about 4 feet (120cm) in length.
It is a bit tricky to explain, but the vast majority of the water flosser is not as deep as the very bottom of the unit. There is a deeper base plate to the unit. It makes more sense when you see the Radiance in the images. I do believe it serves a purpose. It gives the whole water flosser a bit more stability and it also offers a bit of a base under the handle that sits proud.
There is actually a hole in the base, below where the handle sits. It exposes the countertop beneath it. I think this is to allow any excess water from the handle to drain down onto the countertop, rather than on the water flosser itself.
On the very bottom of the base are 4 rubber feet which help prevent this from slipping when placed on a countertop and raise it just a couple of mm allowing air to flow under it.
The handle is where you control a lot of the water flossers functions from.
It isn’t too large or too small in hand in my opinion. It is neither super grippy nor slippy in the hand either. Of plastic construction, it has a matt finish to the handle.
On the front, you have 2 buttons, placed within a rounded rectangle.
The top button is the power button that turns the unit on and off. It has a raised lip around the edge of the button to make it noticeable to the fingertip.
The lower button is a rounded rectangle shape compared to the round power button. It has 4 raised dots on it that make it stand out from the power button too. It also helps give extra grip.
This button controls the cleaning modes. A simple press switches between the clean or sensitive mode on offer. As each mode is changed, the respective light on the base unit is lit.
The handle has a cylindrical design. On the upper left side is a slider switch that releases the nozzle that clips into the handle.
The right and backside of the handle have no additional controls.
At the bottom of the handle is where the hose is attached. The hose itself is not detachable.
A nice design feature is that the handle can rotate a full 360 degrees around this hose attachment. This prevents things from getting all twisted and in a muddle when in use.
At the other end of the handle (the top) is the removable and replaceable nozzle or tip. This clips into a centrally placed hole in the rotating module at the top of the handle.
Ridges around this upper part of the handle give a grippy and textured surface that the fingertips can push against to rotate the nozzle. This is independent of the rest of the flosser handle. This gives the finite control of the nozzle, meaning you can manipulate it to be in almost any possible position you could want.
As it rotates, you feel the clicks of the different positions of the wheel. It is smooth with a nice balance of travel and resistance.
Included in the box are 7 tips in 5 different styles.
- 1 x DT-100E implant denture tip
- 3 x JT-100E classic jet tip
- 1 x OD-100E orthodontic tip
- 1 x PP-100E pik pocket top
- 1 x PS-100E plaque seeker tip
There only other nozzles that Waterpik make, that are not supplied are the:
- TB-100E – Waterpik Water Flosser Toothbrush Tips
- TC-100E – Waterpik Water Flosser Tongue Cleaner
Either of these or more of the supplied tips can be purchased separately. They come in packs of 2 usually and cost around $10.
It is recommended the tips are replaced every 3 months, with the exception of the classic tip which should be replaced every 6 months.
Each tip works best in different scenarios.
The classic tip is best for most users for everyday use.
If you have braces, the orthodontic tip is ideal.
The pik pocket tip is suited to those with periodontal pockets and furcations.
Those with implants, crowns, retainers, and bridges will likely see the best results from the plaque seeker tip.
With the appropriate tip clipped into the handle, you can begin cleaning between the teeth and around dental restorations, you may have.
Between the base unit and the handle is a hose that gives in the region of 3ft of stretch. This gives quite a bit of flexibility in the position of the water flosser in relation to you and the sink.
You can then control pretty much everything right from the flosser handle.
If you have never used a water flosser before, the first few uses can be messy. Water will likely spray across your bathroom. Even an experienced user can slip or position the nozzle incorrectly and things go awry.
This is something that affects all water flossers and is not specific to Waterpik.
The water flosser is constantly pushing water out through the nozzle and into the mouth. With the Radiance there is a flow rate of 13 ounces per minute, which means you have to be lent over the sink to expel the waste water.
With practice you do master the technique, you learn button positions what pressure to use and how to move the lips, etc. This all helps limit the splashback that you might otherwise get from using it.
The included manual and videos on the Waterpik website explain how to use the Radiance, but essentially the nozzle tip should be held at a 90 degree angle to the spaces between the teeth. You allow a few millimeters between the tip and the gap. You then move from tooth to tooth, cleaning along the gumline as you go.
I like to do this in front of a mirror as this helps me make sure I am using the correct technique and hitting the right surfaces.
The rotating handle and nozzle allow you to easily position the tip in the exact position. But the Radiance also has on the handle the on/off control button, and a second button that adjusts the pressure. This gives you quite a lot of control.
On the left side of the base unit is a rotating pressure dial. This has 10 settings, ranging from 10 to 100 PSI. It is easy to rotate and find the correct setting for you.
10 is very intense and most will want to start out on a much lower number. I find around 7 or 8 is ideal for me as a more experienced user.
Once you are used to the water flosser, you probably won’t adjust the pressure all that often, although it is very easy to do, should you want to.
But it is a bit more tricky if you are mid-session. This is where the controls on the handle kick in.
Unlike the Waterpik Aquarius for example where you first switch the unit on from the base station and then control only the water flow from the handle, with the Radiance, all is managed from the handle.
As soon as you press the on button, the water begins flowing out, at the pressure set by the control dial on the base unit.
Where the mode button is particularly useful is if you want a lower a more gentle water flow at any point during your session. It reduces the need to touch the base unit.
Let’s say for example your pressure is set to 6. You are quite happy flossing the majority of the mouth this way, but you get to a more tender part of the mouth and 6 is just too intense. Just press the mode button and the pressure is reduced to offer a much more gentle and sensitive flossing experience. You then press the button again to switch back to clean mode, when you are ready.
Waterpik hasn’t been explicit as to what pressure it drops to, but it is significantly less than the setting you have selected. That said, if you normally have the pressure set to 10, the sensitive mode is more intense than if you normally have the pressure set to 5 for example and then press the button.
It is like the sensitive mode is still relative to the pressure setting selected by the dial on the side of the unit.
It is a very handy feature.
Once you are done flossing, you can mount the handle back on the front of the base unit. The handle has a magnet in it and magnetizes to the base unit. It is strong enough to keep it in place, but weak enough that the handly is easily lifted off the mounting point when you want to use it.
Whilst many dental professionals will recommend floss and interdental brushes as the ‘best’ products to use when cleaning the teeth, most would rather you do something than nothing.
Water flossers are a convenient and often easier tool to encourage you and me to do the cleaning between the teeth that many of us skip.
I have been very impressed with the performance of the Radiance. It is really evident just how effective these products are. Use just after eating and you can feel the debris being cleaned from between the teeth.
The Radiance along with other Waterpik models have been accepted by the American Dental Association. This means they have passed stringent tests to verify the product quality, reliability and it does indeed perform how Waterpik suggests.
If you want to learn more about the clinical data, then Waterpik has a page dedicated to all the research they have conducted.
To function, the Radiance must be connected to the power outlet. There is no battery or power source inside the unit itself. When in use the unit does make a noise, it isn’t silent, there is a pump inside the unit after all. It produces a sound in the region of 74 decibels.
A full tank can be drained in about 1 minute and 20 seconds (80 seconds) when the pressure is set to 10. Or you can get up to 2 minutes and 45 seconds (165 seconds) when the pressure is set to the lowest setting of just 1.
Although the water might appear like it is 1 constant stream, it is technically bursts of water or pulses. You get 1400 per minute.
It is advised you use luke warm water in the flosser. You can use cold water but it feels much harsher on the teeth and gums. You can also use mouthwash in the flosser if you wish. However, I recommend a dash or two of mouthwash in the water rather than filling the tank completely as this is quite wasteful and expensive to do.
Included in the box with the Radiance is a small opaque plastic case, this is a travel case for the nozzles/tips. You can store them here when not in use. There is no place to store them on or within the water flosser itself.
Whilst this unit is not specifically designed for travel, should you move across country borders, it is convenient that the power adapter supports 100-240v. If you were to travel to Europe for example, you would then require only a plug adapter and not a voltage adapter. This is because the voltage is already supported by the unit.
The unit does too come with a 3 year warranty. This is longer than most oral care products that typically have a 12 or 24 month guarantee. It is a little extra peace of mind you get for buying Waterpik.
This review is focused on the Radiance, but to be honest it is almost impossible to ignore the Aquarius model that Waterpik offers.
The reason being, they are so similarly featured. It is fair to question which should I pick.
It is the Aquarius that has for some time now been our top choice, and remains so, primarily based on price alone. The Radiance is more expensive for little in the way of additional benefits.
Technically there Radiance is the more premium model and I do think that the hose storage and rotating handle are slightly better.
I do too like how more control is placed on the handle of the Radiance, rather than on the base unit itself.
But, whilst the Radiance commands a premium of $20 or more over the Aquarius, for the vast majority, these differences are not significant enough to justify the premium spend.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Smart looking unit available in white color only
- Compact form factor all things considered
- Larger 22 ounce/651ml water tank
- 2 different cleaning modes – clean & sensitive
- 7 different tips included
- 10 different pressure settings – controlled via rotating dial
- Tips can be rotated 360 degrees via handle
- Handle rotates 360 degrees on the hose
- Hose has a length of approx 3 ft
- Handle magnetizes to the base unit
- Fairly quiet in operation at around 74dB
- Power cord supports 100-240v and is approx 4ft long
- American Dental Association approved
- 3 year warranty
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.
The retail price of the WF-09 Radiance water flosser is $119.99.
As prices of water flossers go, this is certainly at the higher end of the market.
Because Waterpik is a leading brand, their products do potentially (and arguably so) demand a premium over the lesser known options that exist.
You can purchase countertop units for as little as $30, but typically you are looking at the $50-80 region.
Our top choice, the Aquarius falls within this price bracket, often selling for about $70.
However, its retail price is around $100-120 subject to the variant. So there is a little discount at play here.
Waterpik prices tend to be fairly similar no matter where you shop, but the number of stockists can have a part to play in the actual selling prices. The Aquarius is widely stocked, whereas the Radiance is sold primarily by Waterpik themselves. The consequence is the price isn’t discounted quite as heavily or as frequently.
That said, I am aware, that Waterpik has offered discounts of $30 on the Radiance bringing it down to $89.99. This is certainly more favorable, even if it isn’t quite as competitively priced as some of the alternatives.
Assuming one user, with an average set of teeth, using the classic jet tip, over 3 years, you are looking at a total ownership cost of $105. This assumes a discounted purchase price of $90, plus 3 nozzles at $5 each.
Nozzles as usually sold in packs of 2, at $9.99 each.
If sold at the full retail price, this cost would increase to around $135 over 3 years.
The total ownership cost is affected somewhat by the type of nozzle you use. Those with specific oral care needs may need to replace their nozzle more frequently than the average user. As such the ownership costs are higher.
For example, for someone who makes use of the plaque seeker tip the ownership cost rises to $145. This assumes a purchase price of $90, plus 11 additional tips at $5 each.
The Waterpik Aquarius model on the other hand works out at $85, so about $20 cheaper.
For those thinking sticking with regular dental floss is cheaper, you are not wrong. Good old string floss is in the region of 8-10 times cheaper.
But, what price can you put on the convenience that comes as a result?
If you want to lower the cost of using it, sharing the water flosser amongst other users in the home will help. Just be sure you use your own nozzles.
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 $119.99
- Not the widest range of stockists
- Not heavily discounted – has sold for as low as $89.99
- Replacement nozzles cost $5 each – sold in a pack of 2 for $9.99
- Costs approx $105 to own over a 3 year period
- Increases to $145 if you have more specialized needs
- Expensive but more convenient for some
Reliability & long term use
I can’t say I have any immediate concerns about the reliability of the Waterpik Radiance.
It is simply not possible to suggest such a product will never go wrong, but the likelihood is low.
The unit appears well made and feels good quality. During my testing, everything has worked as expected.
Should the worst happen, it is nice to see that Waterpik offers a 3 year/36 month warranty.
Very few brands offer a guarantee for this length of time. For me, this is a sign of Waterpiks confidence in their own product, but also the level of commitment they wish to deliver to users.
I have no complaints about the Radiance water flosser.
It does what it is designed to do and does so well.
The water tank is large enough to give a good amount of flossing time and you have a variety of control options to get the best experience for you.
I like that the handle swivels 360 degrees around the hose and the nozzle can be rotated a full 360 degrees too.
Really, the only thing going against it at the time of review is the price. It is more expensive than the Waterpik Aquarius Professional which offers an almost identical feature set.
- Height (with tip) – 22.61cm / 8.9 inches
- Width – 12.03cm / 4.75 inches
- Depth – 11.43cm / 4.5 inches
- Weight – 862g / 1.90 lbs
All are approximates
- Does it come with a charger?
- Yes. The Radiance requires mains power to work. Attached to the unit is a power cord with a 2 pin US power adapter. It supports 100-240V.
- How often do the nozzles need replacing?
- Nozzles should be replaced every 3-6 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 651ml/22oz.
- My gums bleed when I use a water 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 Radiance?
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.