- Compact & travel friendly
- Good size tank considering size
- 5 pressure settings
- Relatively quiet
- No 360 degree rotation of flossing tip
- No interchangeable tips
- No timer or pacer
The 3 BIG Questions about the Waterpik WF-04 Sidekick water flosser
If you are short of time, the answers to the following 3 questions should let you know all you need to about the Waterpik Sidekick. If I have missed something, let me know in the comments.
If you want more detail, you can read the full Waterpik WF-04 Sidekick review further down the page.
1. Is there anything drastically wrong with this water flosser?
Definitely not, it is a fantastic little product that has really impressed me.
|Waterpik WF-04 Sidekick Water Flosser||120 Reviews||$105.00 $101.85||View on Amazon|
2. Which other water flossers should I consider?
The answer to this question is really going to depend on your priorities and lifestyle.
If you want something that is portable, but you don’t wish to be restricted by cables, than you will want to take a look at the Waterpik WP-560.
However, if you like the best of both and don’t mind paying for it, then the Sidekick is the one to go for.
3. Where’s the best place to buy Waterpik Sidekick?
At the time of review, Amazon really is the best place to buy the Sidekick from.
Not only are they an approved stockist, but they are a fair few dollars cheaper than Waterpik’s own online store.
You get the same product, only cheaper when you buy from Amazon.
Why should you listen to us?
Electric Teeth is an independent organisation with a mission to simplify dental health.
Our team is a mixture of consumers and dental professionals.
We strive to create honest, informative content, telling you the facts, good or bad.
We are not sponsored by big brands or healthcare companies. Our site is funded by affiliate revenue and ads, but we only recommend products that we have tested and truly believe to be worth your money.
Why not watch this short video to find out all about us?
And now for a bit more detail…
If you visit the dentist regularly (like you really should) you more than likely get reminded to clean in between the teeth with products like interdental brushes or floss.
This advice is for good reason. Tooth brushing alone manages to clean only 60% of the tooth surfaces.
It is the interdental cleaning that reaches the other 40%.
Getting into a habit of cleaning these gaps between your teeth can be a difficult one to form, and many get put off doing so as it takes time and can hurt.
Believe it or not, the pain is often as a result of not cleaning regularly.
This is where products from Waterpik come in.
Whilst interdental brushes are the gold standard in the eyes of many professionals, if you struggle to floss regularly, the powered water flosser can make things easier and be a more enjoyable alternative.
Once you have mastered the technique it is simple and relatively quick to complete and in many people’s opinions less awkward and painful than the other options.
A powered water flosser like this is particularly useful for those that do not have the dexterity to handle regular flossing tools and is certainly a considerably better option for anybody, than choosing not to perform any interdental cleaning at all.
What is the Waterpik WF-04 Sidekick Water Flosser?
As our guide to the best water flosser explains, these products usually come in 2 distinct styles.
Technically the Sidekick is a corded countertop water flosser.
However, unlike most other water flossers of this type, it has been specifically designed with portability and travel in mind.
In many respects is blurs the boundaries between the two groups as it offers benefits of both.
The water tank is larger than most portable solutions, but is also big enough that it slides over the base of the unit, reducing the overall size for travel purposes.
A compact form factor it certainly has, it works just like any other countertop flosser with water being fed through a valve in the base of the tank/reservoir mounted on top of the unit.
The pump inside the flosser takes that water and feeds it out (at pressure) through a nozzle on the handle of the flosser.
Powered by mains electricity, it has to be connected to the power at all time to be used. There is no built in battery or power source.
It comes with a 2 pin US power adapter that fits into the socket found in your bathroom.
The flosser expels a jet of water that exits the flosser tip that should be directed in between the teeth and the gumline.
An alternative to string floss, the water passes in between teeth and gums as well as under the gumline to remove plaque, bacteria and food particles that exist.
Manufactured by the market leading brand, clinical trials confirm the usefulness and effectiveness of their products.
How to use the Waterpik WF-04 Sidekick Water Flosser
If you have not previously used a water flosser, it takes a little getting used to, as most new products and techniques do.
By no means is it difficult, it is just a little different. There might be some stray sprays of water, whilst you perfect the technique.
Whilst not specific to the Sidekick, the following video produced by Waterpik themselves gives you a good overview of how you should use the unit on a daily basis.
Variants of the Waterpik WF-04 Sidekick Water Flosser
At the time of review, there are three versions or variants of the Sidekick.
From a design, use, technical and capability point of view, all three are identical.
The only difference between the three models is the color.
The color options are:
- White with chrome
- Black with copper
- White with rose gold
Each has its own model number/part code to differentiate them.
- WF-04CD010-1 is the white with chrome
- WF-04CD012-3 is the black with copper variant
- WF-04CD010-9 is the white with rose gold variant
It is the black with copper that I have been testing and is photographed throughout.
Officially the price of each unit is the same, however the ever changing market may mean that one variant might well be priced differently to another.
What’s in the box?
- Waterpik WF-04 Sidekick water flosser (base unit & reservoir)
- 1 x water hose with handle
- 1 x power supply
- 1 x power supply cord
- 1 x travel case
- Quick start guide
- Compact & portable
- Effective plaque removal
- 5 pressure settings
- 13oz reservoir for 60+ seconds of usage
- Compact and travel friendly
- Global voltage support
- Three year warranty
Pro & Cons
The following are what I consider to be the pros and cons for the Sidekick water flosser from Waterpik.
- Compact & travel friendly – The inversion of the reservoir for compact storage and transport is genius.
- Stylish – A very smart looking unit that looks at home even in the most modern home.
- Good size tank considering – A decent sized 13oz (400ml) tank considering the overall unit size and the desire to be portable.
- 5 pressure settings – An array of pressure settings from gentle to really powerful.
- Relatively quiet – Much quieter than older models of Waterpik units.
- Expensive – You are paying for the innovative design and compact form factor.
- No 360 degree rotation of flossing tip – No longer do the tips rotate like they did on older variants of Waterpik water flossers.
- No interchangeable tips – Just the one style of tip, suitable for the average user. Brace wearers and those with periodontal pockets may need to look at other options.
- No timer or pacer – There is no assistance when it comes to pacing your flossing session.
Design, Usability, Clean & General Use
One of the newest products to be launched by Waterpik there is a definite feeling and sensation of premium with this product.
As I write in the price section of this review, the Sidekick is certainly not cheap, but from the moment you unbox it, you kind of see why.
Given the overall size of the unit, I was surprised by how large the actual box was, but this is part of the experience and premium feeling you get. The unboxing process is almost like a grand reveal.
I have listed above what you get in the box, but essentially you get all you need and not much more.
It is the black with copper model I have bought to test and it looks fantastic.
Whilst I knew the unit would be small, it is not until you get hands on do you appreciate the size and quality of the product.
The base unit is the brains of the operation if you like. Inside this is the pump and electronics that draws the water from the reservoir that sits on top and feeds it out through the detachable handle.
I have included a list of the dimensions at the end of this review, but to give some context to the size, the base unit is about as wide as a CD case or a postcard.
It is a little wider that it is tall. It has a bit of weight to it, and feels solid.
4 rubber feet help keep it in place on a countertop.
Plastic is the main construction material, the majority is all black with the copper accents being reserved for the top edge of the unit, the power button, Waterpik logo and the ring on the top of the flosser handle.
The power button is large and slightly concave and sits centrally on the top of the unit.
On the front is the Waterpik logo and what could be mistaken for a power button, but is actually the release button for the handle/hose that clips in to the right hand side.
The hose is fixed into the handle, but detaches from the base unit.
The right hand side of the unit itself has a slider that allows you to adjust the pressure of the water flow. There are 5 different pressure settings.
The whole concept here is about portability and convenience.
Ingenious design means the power brick/adapter actually pulls out from the base of the unit and tucks back in securely for transportation.
The reservoir is large enough that the base unit slides inside it when transported.
Somewhat separate is the cable that fits to the power brick and runs between it and the base unit to deliver the power.
All these items fit nicely into the provided soft touch travel case which is the size of a small washbag.
When in the travel case, whilst it is not really small and compact it is the best example I have seen when it comes to a portable water flosser.
Cordless water flossers are generally appealing for travellers, but they tend still to be quite bulky and rounded. The unit has a lot of soft sweeping curves to it, but when all packed away it is a squarer and more convenient shape for transportation.
Whilst it still might not tick the box for the backpacker, for a regular traveller or those going away on vacation for a couple of weeks with a suitcase, this is by no means bulky and should fit happily in most people’s luggage.
When all pieces together and connected to the power it looks much like a small version of any regular countertop water flosser.
The power cable runs from the back of the unit and is approximately 3.9ft (47 inches/120cm) and the hose on the handle 3.2ft (39 inches/100cm).
It is worth noting whilst it is a US 2 pin power adapter, it has support for 100-240v, so international travellers need only a plug adapter and not a voltage converter.
When all setup and ready to go, there is no place for the hose to tuck into like there is on many other units, but it comes out the box very tightly coiled.
For those who need the length of the hose, you may have to fight a little with it to release some of the tension installed in the coiling.
The back of the handle had a clip, which allows it to attach/rest on the edge of the reservoir.
13oz or 400ml is the capacity of the water tank. There are no measurements on the plastic unit, but it is enough to get 60 seconds or so of flossing time.
This is one of the biggest draws about this unit.
Many of the cordless options have smaller tanks and it can be a struggle to complete an interdental clean without needing to refill the reservoir.
With the Sidekick, you can floss knowing you will not have to rush and can complete the job properly without needing to refill in most cases.
A single press of the power button switches the unit on and instantly water is pushed out the tip of the handle. There is no on/off switch on the handle to control the water flow.
There are no additional cleaning modes, like some other models.
The pressure can be set to one of five different settings on the right side of the unit, by sliding the switch.
Ranging from 10 to 100 PSI, I had not expected this unit to produce as much power as it did considering its size.
Whilst you don’t have the ten pressure settings that are common on the larger units, five is good enough for most and there is no compromise on the power at which the water is expelled.
You choose the power that is right for you. Just bear in mind, the more power, the quicker the water is used. However, to gentle and you won’t necessarily stimulate the gums.
I would suggest that most people set the pressure to around three or four.
The handle comes with a jet tip fixed into it.
Unlike many other Waterpiks where the tip is removable and replaceable, this is not.
This means that approximately every 6 months you have to replace the handle or as Waterpik call it the ‘stylus’.
It is available in Black or White to match the color of your unit and can be purchased online from Waterpiks website.
The part code is WF-04-STYLUS-WC for the white color and WF-04-STYLUS-BC for the black.
$10 is the price for just one.
The pre-fitted classic jet tip means that this flosser is suitable for the average individual, but those wearing braces, with dental restorations and periodontal pockets will unlikely get the benefits that you would with other Waterpik flossers.
The aforementioned often require more specialist tips, which are not available for the WF-04 Sidekick model.
For those who have previously used a Waterpik, you may be away that the tip could often be rotated 360 degrees on many models.
This is no longer the case here. However, achieving the same sort of thing, the whole handle swivels independently of the hose to which it is attached.
So essentially you can swivel the handle 360 degrees in hand instead of rotating the tip. Similar, just different.
Squarer in design is the handle, with a very slight tapering towards the top and the bottom, there are no control buttons on the handle to stop and start the water flow, this is all controlled from the power button on the base unit.
The steps required to complete the flossing are outlined in the video provided earlier in this review, however there are some things to note and be aware of that help you and improve your use.
It is not essential, but recommended to use lukewarm water. This is because it is more pleasant on your gums when flossing.
You can use mouthwash but it would be expensive and wasteful. If you want to add an extra shot of freshness or flavour to the flossing add a capful or two to the water tank.
Direct the jet at a 90 degree angle, working along the gumline with a brief pause between teeth.
The idea is that you spend 1 minute flossing, 30 seconds on the lower arch of teeth and 30 seconds on the upper arch.
There is no timer or pacer built into the WF-04 like there is on some other models.
Now make no mistakes if you are new to this, it is more messy than regular flossing and it will take some getting used to. Don’t be surprised by a lot of dribbling and maybe a bit of spray (it’s only water). But soon it will be easier and more enjoyable.
Many people suffer with red, swollen or bleeding gums, which is often a sign of gum disease and that is believe it or not as a result of not cleaning correctly. It is the bacteria buildup that causes the gums to react.
Regular use will lead to healthier gums as the bacteria is removed and the gums begin to recover.
Countless studies have been completed to verify cleaning that Waterpik can provide and with 99.9% of plaque removed from treated areas, it is probably no surprise that it has been awarded the American Dental Associations (ADA) seal of acceptance.
How often you use this is up to you. Once a day is the minimum you should use it really, but twice a day would be ideal to help with any red gums you may have.
When running, the unit is pretty quiet too.
If you have used models that are more than 3 years old you will notice how much quieter this is.
There is definitely an audible ‘pumping’ sound that comes from it, but it is not too loud and similar volume to an Oral-B electric toothbrush. It is not quite as quiet as a Sonicare brush.
In my opinion, everything about the WF-04 has been geared towards one user. Often sharing flosser with another person, be that a husband, wife, partner or the kids will allow you to get more value from it. Although possible, it is not the best product to achieve this.
A cracking product, that I would happily use on the daily, particularly when I know it is backed by a 3 year warranty.
Summary of Design, Usability, Clean & General Use
- Smart and compact looking unit
- Available in just 3 colors
- Base unit fits inside reservoir
- Power adapter fits into base unit
- Travel case provided
- 13oz (400ml) reservoir
- 1 jet tip only
- 5 adjustable pressure settings
- American Dental Association approved
- 3 year warranty
Price & Where To Buy
As the market leader, Waterpik have always commanded a premium for their water flossers in comparison to the lesser known brands/manufacturers that exist.
Whilst the competition may offer better value, with Waterpik you can generally be assured of the quality, reliability and the performance.
Few other companies that I know of, actively conduct so many clinical studies to verify the performance and efficiency of their products.
Even by the pricier expectations I had, the Sidekick is most certainly a premium product, with a suggested retail price of $139.99.
My favorite countertop water flosser is the Waterpik Aquarius has a retail price of $90 but sells for around $70.
The Sidekick commands a premium of $50, which I think is on the high side.
Yes, no doubt it has required quite some investment to make the Sidekick what it is, but I think Waterpik are being a bit greedy here. There is absolutely no denying here that you pay a premium for the form factor.
It can certainly be argued that what price can you put on your dental health…
Thankfully, online retailers in particular are very good at ensuring prices remain competitive, so if you head to places like Amazon to buy the Waterpik you should save at least $30-35.
I still think $105-110 is quite expensive, but $30-35 off the cost is a fair saving.
A product like a water flosser tends to last many years, so the cost is not all that bad when you think about it.
To give you an idea of costs though, we like to price a product over 3 years here at Electric Teeth, to give a basic benchmark for comparison.
Aside from the initial purchase price, you do need to factor in the cost of replacement handles/tips, which ideally need replacing every 6 months.
The water flosser stylus for the Sidekick costs $10.
So, assuming you can pick the WF-04 Sidekick up for around $110 you then have a further cost of $50 for replacement stylus over a 3 year period, making the total ownership cost $160 or $0.16 per day.
For the sake of comparison, the not so portable Aquarius model comes in at 8 cents per day whilst the cordless WP-560 is 9 cents per day.
Ultimately, whether you think it is worth this price will be personal opinion.
I don’t travel all that frequently, so I don’t think I could justify the price, but if I was staying elsewhere 1 or 2 nights a week for work for example, my thinking might be quite different.
Please note that all costs quoted are approximates and prices will vary based on location, supplier, time of purchase. These figures should not be relied on as hard fact but as a guide, based on real information at the time of writing.
Summary of Price & Where To Buy
- Recommended retail price of $139.99
- Average selling price of approx $110
- Replacement nozzles retail for $10 each
- Daily cost as of approx 14 cents per day over 3 years
Reliability & Long Term Use
My hands on experience with Waterpik products has never really left me feeling disappointed and the WF-04 Sidekick is no exception to that rule.
Several weeks of testing and it is working as you would expect.
It feels solid in hand and built to a high standard.
The unit is certainly a new design for the company, a different form factor, and I suspect configuration of electronics inside.
Only time will tell how well this survives long term use and transportation, but with a rich heritage of water flossers I am not concerned, especially when you get a 3 year (36 month) warranty.
This is longer than many other companies who typically offer just 1 year (12 months).
The Sidekick from Waterpik is an absolutely genius piece of kit, I like it a lot!
It is a balance of power and features whilst remaining portable.
Many people opt for cordless water flossers, just because they are more travel friendly than most other corded/countertop water flossers, but this breaks that mold.
The 13oz tank allows for a proper flossing session without interruption and the power range is simply superb.
The kicker is the price. It is not a cheap product and I understand why.
Whether you can justify this is personal opinion.
For those always on the go, that want the conveniences that come with a corded water flosser, the Sidekick has you covered.
|Waterpik WF-04 Sidekick Water Flosser||120 Reviews||$105.00 $101.85||View on Amazon|
Electric Teeth Rating
- Height (with tip) – 12.3cm / 4.84 inches
- Width – 14.5cm / 5.7 inches
- Depth – 9.9cm / 3.9 inches
- Weight (excluding water) – 478g / 1.05 Lbs
All are approximates
- Does it come with a charger?
- Yes, a 2 pin US power adapter. The power supply supports 100-240V.
- How often do the tips/nozzles need replacing?
- Nozzles should be replaced every 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 13oz (400ml) which will last for 90 seconds.
- My gums bleed when I use cordless flosser. Is that normal?
- Bleeding gums may be a sign of infection and a little bleeding can be normal when starting a new oral care routine, as you may be cleaning in areas not previously reached. However, if bleeding is excessive or does not stop within a few days of regular use, consult a dental professional.
Do you own or have you used the Waterpik WF-04 water flosser?
Are there certain features that you really like or dislike?
Let me know what you think about it, and let others who may well be considering purchasing one know your opinions before they do.
Last updated: 2019-03-20 at 17:13 // Source: Amazon Associates