Best Water Flossers of 2017

| Comparison
4 reviews
2701 words
Waterpik WP-660
Waterpik WP-660
best value
  • Corded
    Type
  • 90
    Water capacity (s)
  • 10
    Pressure settings
  • 7
    Number of tips
  • Tip storage
  • Toothbrush included
  • Budget

Best Water Flosser - Reviews

Waterpik WP-660

Best value: Waterpik Aquarius WP-660 Water Flosser Review

Waterpik is the water flosser brand to a lot of people, and with good reason. The Waterpik Aquarius WP-660 is attractive, compact, and modern (a huge plus for something that’ll be sitting on your counter all the time). But it also has the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance, which gives consumers peace-of-mind that the device really does what it claims.

This mid-range water flosser has most of the bells and whistles at a great price point and an excellent standard of quality. Its tank is rated for 90 seconds of run time (enough for a very thorough floss), and users frequently call it a “game changer” for their oral health. It removes plaque far easier than brushing and scraping could hope to, and it comes with a whopping 7 water-flossing tips to get just the right clean for your needs.

Two flossing modes (floss and gum massage) set this Waterpik above the rest for us, but its huge range of accessories and easy-to-use design really seal the deal to make the Waterpik Aquarius one of the best water flossers available.

Pros

  • It comes with a full line of seven tips to get the perfect clean for you.
  • The in-handle on/off switch makes it simple to control.
  • The ten customizable pressure settings are great for individuals and families alike.
  • The Aquarius is equipped with a tip container to keep your cleaners clean.

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with an electric toothbrush, so those looking to make a comprehensive upgrade will need to buy separate devices.
Waterpik WP-900

Also great: Waterpik Complete Care WP-900 Water Flosser & Sonic Toothbrush Review

Coming in close second is the high-value Waterpik Complete Care WP-900. We love it because of its simplistic, easy-to-use design and flosser-toothbrush combination. For those with limited space, the Complete Care is great: now one platform holds both of your oral hygiene products.

Like the best-value flosser, the Complete Care has a 90-second run time (although, of course, the actual run time depends on the settings you select). It’s just as easy to maneuver, offers a strong range of seven tips, and a pause button (though, admittedly, not a full on/off switch) on the handle.

So what’s the catch? This device is really only for those looking to make the transition to fully electric oral care, as the higher price tag is due solely to the extra device you get, and you do sacrifice a few niceties for the convenience. Still, this high-quality Complete Care Water Flosser is one of the best electric flosser choices on the market.

Pros

  • This model also offers 10 pressure settings for a customized clean.
  • The electronic toothbrush maximizes your cleaning potential in a single product.
  • Convenient tip storage keeps all of your accessories in one place.
  • The unit comes with a toothbrush travel case for care on the go.

Cons

  • It only comes with five tips, so there’s a little less choice available in the initial package.
H2ofloss Dental Flosser

Budget choice: H2ofloss Water Dental Flosser Review

With the rise in water flossing popularity has come competition for Waterpik, and that’s great for consumers: it means high-quality products at a range of price points. The H2ofloss Water Dental Flosser is a strong contender in the world of quality cleans with a lower price-point and a wide range of features.

Its water reservoir is rated for 150 seconds or more of use, making it one of the longest-lasting models we’ve seen. Plus, it’s easy to use, just as highly rated as Waterpik models, and equipped with a range of bonus features: namely the convenient tip rotation knob, the organization-friendly tip storage container, and on-handle pressure control—something that many other models don’t offer.

Of course, with high value at a low price comes a trade-off: it’s undeniably less chic than its name-brand competitors, and some users may experience quirks like the occasional dripping tank. Still, for the price and number of features, the H2ofloss is the undeniable best budget water flosser available today.

Pros

  • It’s delivered with an impressive 12 tips, so you’re essentially guaranteed a good fit for you.
  • It’s got a large, high-efficiency tank for extended use.
  • The on-handle pressure adjustment (5-110 PSI) allows you to slide gradually up to your ideal pressure.
  • This model also comes with nose irrigation tips if you also struggle with congestion issues.

Cons

  • Those with aesthetics in mind may find the H2ofloss a little lacking.
  • The sliding pressure control is easier to “overshoot” than a step-up knob.
Waterpik Wp-952

Best-in-class: Waterpik Wp-952 Water Flosser & Sonic Tooth Brush Review

Waterpik has really outdone itself with the high-quality Wp-952 Complete Care. This attractive, modern flosser-toothbrush combination comes with the best of everything Waterpik has to offer: easy-to-use controls, a wide range of tip options, customizable pressure controls, and a 90-second tank capacity.

This model goes a step further toward ease of use with a convenient on/off switch on the handle (easier to use than a button), a comfortable handle design, and power and pressure knobs that are easier to grip than other Waterpik models. With five tips (and more available for purchase) and a range of available brush heads, this model is ideal for the discriminating user who needs something that works as good as it looks.

Its ten pressure settings make it a breeze to use for plaque removal, periodontal pockets, and even the cleaning of orthodontic devices. It’s a full-on upgrade with the sleek and effective sonic toothbrush, too.

The Waterpik Wp-952 is arguably the best-equipped, most effective, and best-looking water flosser on the market, making it our uncontested best choice for a high-end water flosser.

Pros

  • It comes with a hydro-pulse massage mode to keep your gums as healthy as your teeth.
  • The LED indicators maximize visibility and ease of use.
  • Maximum versatility is achieved with 10 pressure settings on an easy-grip knob.
  • It comes with a toothbrush case and two brush head

Cons

  • It does come with five flosser tips only, so those in need of the more specialized tips may need to purchase them separately.

3. What is a water flosser?

A water flosser, or oral irrigator, does exactly what your string floss does—but more effectively, with less hassle, and with water instead of string.

Essentially, you point an electric or battery-powered wand with a curved tip into your mouth at a 90-degree angle, and a high-pressure water stream flows through your teeth. Clinical trials have shown water flossers to be at least 50 percent more effective at removing debris and plaque and managing gingivitis than conventional floss.

4. Why to buy a water flosser

String floss is a tried and true method for cleaning between teeth. There’s a reason that people have been using it for centuries, after all. But technology has allowed industry experts to devise an even more effective method for maximum oral hygiene, and this method—the water flosser—has a number of advantages over its predecessor.

  1. It’s better for sensitive gums: String floss can cause bleeding and discomfort for those with sensitive gums, which can, in turn, make it difficult to floss effectively. Water flossing is gentler on sensitive gums and teeth.
  2. The water pressure on most water flossers is powerful enough to strip plaque from your teeth, so they have double-duty benefits for oral health.
  3. They dig deeper into the spaces beneath your teeth (your periodontal pockets) than string floss can.
  4. The long, slanted tips on water flossers make reaching your back teeth and finding the right angle for a thorough clean far easier than reaching and stretching with string floss.
  5. People with crooked teeth, extensive dental work, or braces can find string floss difficult (or impossible) to use. Water flossers alleviate this difficulty.
  6. Water flossers have also been shown to promote healthier gums. They’re ideal for people who struggle with gingivitis.

If you’re reading this guide, you may have already decided to invest in a water flosser but are unsure how to pick the right one. This guide has you covered on that front, too. A number of factors, such as portability, design, tip options, and number of functions, will help determine the best water flosser for you.

5. Types of water flossers

Oral irrigators come in three main types, or designs. The best water flosser for you will depend on your available space and the features you need.

Countertop models

Countertop water flossers are customizable in terms of water pressure and personalized features. They’re also ideal for sharing with family members because of this, and tend to come with many tips and gadgets.

Countertop combination models

A relative of the countertop model is the upgraded water flosser-toothbrush combination device. These products include both an electric (water) flosser and an electric toothbrush. This is the ideal option for people considering an upgrade to fully electronic mouthcare.

But, predictably, these options do cost significantly more, so they’re not the ideal budget option and may be overkill for those who already have their toothbrush needs covered. They are often a little larger than regular countertop models, which may pose storage challenges.

Cordless models

Cordless water flossers are much more compact than the countertop models, so they’re ideal for people on the go or with limited storage. However, there’s a reason that they’re the least popular option: their water reservoirs are small and contained in the flossers themselves, so they need to be refilled frequently.

They’re also less powerful than countertop models and are powered by batteries.

6. What size water reservoir do you need?

This is important, because the more water you have, the longer the water flosser can run before being refilled. Generally, water flosser tanks hold anywhere from 5 to 40 ounces, and run from anywhere between 30 seconds and 2 minutes before they need a refill.

Now, don’t think of this in terms of “number of flosses for one person”; you do NOT want to leave water sitting in the reservoir, as this creates a breeding ground for bacteria. Rather, think of it as “available floss time” or “number of people that can floss on one tank of water”.

Bigger tanks are better for longer floss times or multi-family households. Use the table below as a guide to figure out how long each tank will keep you flossing.

Tank size

Run time

5-7 oz.

30-45 seconds

15 oz.

60 seconds or longer

20 oz.

80 seconds

25-40 oz.

90 seconds to 2 minutes

7. Water flosser water pressure

The water pressure on water flossers is measured in PSI, or pounds (of pressure) per square inch, and is typically advertised between 10 and 100 PSI. While most models have adjustable pressure, keep in mind that more pressure means a stronger stream, so you’ll want the option for lower pressure if you have sensitive teeth.

You may need higher pressure for extensive buildup, close-together teeth, and braces.

8. Pick the right water flosser tip

Floss is floss, right? Not when it comes to water flossers. The best water flosser tip for you will depend on your unique oral care needs. Make sure your water flosser comes with (or makes available) the one that addresses your specific hygiene needs.

  • Standard tip: this is the design employed by most water flossers. It features a straight “rod” design with a curved tip that effectively cleans between your teeth and along your gums. It’s great for removing plaque and debris.

Note: These can come in high-pressure and low-pressure versions. High-pressure is ideal for a more thorough clean, while low-pressure is great for kids and those with sensitive teeth.

  • Toothbrush tip: Brush and floss in one go. These tips are shaped like your normal toothbrush and allow you to clean between your teeth while you move the bristles of the tip against your teeth. Bonus: they can be used with toothpaste.
  • Tongue tip: These are designed like the tongue-scrapers of days past to remove bacteria and buildup from your tongue.
  • Orthodontic tip: Flossing can be difficult or impossible for those with braces and other extensive orthodontic work. This tip makes it easier to reach between your teeth, and is also effective at removing plaque and buildup from around the braces themselves.
  • Plaque removal tip: These are like little toothbrushes that reach between your teeth and along your hard-to-reach gum line. They’re great for stubborn deposits of plaque and for those who have trouble getting a thorough clean with a regular toothbrush.
  • Pocket-cleaning tip: This is for those with gum disease. It’s effective at cleaning periodontal pockets. They must be eased under the gum line for best results.

9. Additional features

Of course, how well your water flosser works for you comes down to more than just its tip. Flossers are also equipped with a range of convenient features that streamline the cleaning process and allow you to personalize your flosser.

  • Adjustable water pressure: As mentioned earlier, this feature allows you to control the force of the water flow. The more settings you have (10 is usually the max), the more you can personalize the flow for sensitive teeth days or times when you need a more powerful clean.
  • Tip holder: Some flossers come with an in-device tip storage drawer or basin to help keep them clean and organized.
  • Tip ejector: Most flossers have an “eject” button that allows you to remove the tip with a single press.
  • Tip rotator: This usually comes in the form of a knob, and allows you to easily adjust the angle of the tip for the most thorough clean. It’s also great for those with joint and muscle issues who have difficulty rotating their arms.
  • In-handle water adjustment: Some models have a control on the handle of the flosser that lets you pause, stop, or adjust the flow of the flosser while you clean.
  • Timer: Many water flossers incorporate a timer (in the form of a pause in water flow, typically) to let you know when it’s time to switch sides for an even and thorough clean.
  • LED display: This makes viewing the controls on your flosser in low light far easier.
  • Massage mode: This option is ideal for those with gum problems. It gently stimulates the gums to promote optimal health and comfort.

10. Water flosser buying tips

Luckily, water flossers are pretty simple devices, but they do come with a range of benefits and features you can mix and match for a budget-friendly or high-end oral hygiene experience. Use our water flosser buying tips for a quick guide to finding the best water flosser.

Must-have features in a budget water flosser

  • Cordless models are available, but require multiple refills in the same session. So, we recommend a countertop water flosser.
  • For the most efficient possible cleaning, choose at least a 15-oz. tank.
  • Go for at least 2-3 water pressure settings for a comfortable and effective clean.
  • While getting the right tip is most important, 2-3 options will provide more versatility.

Good features to have in a great value water flosser

  • A 20-oz. tank is just the right size for a full floss without refilling.
  • Step up to 5-6 water pressure settings for a more varied usage.
  • Look for 4-5 tip options to make sure you get the right one for your needs.
  • A tip holder will keep those tips clean and organized.

Great-to-have features for the best water flosser around

  • A 25-40 oz. tank is ideal for more thorough flosses or multi-person use.
  • Go all-out with 10 water pressure settings for a personally tailored floss every day.
  • Tip ejectors and rotators make insertion, adjustment, and removal a breeze.
  • A massage mode turns ordinary flossing into borderline luxury cleaning.
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