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Published Sep. 30, 2021

If you’re ready to start using a water flosser or looking to upgrade your current version, there are a number of different—and great—options to consider. These handheld devices allow you to spray water into your mouth in steady pulses to dislodge food caught in your teeth, according to MouthHealthy.org, a consumer website from the American Dental Association. Using the device can help get rid of plaque and other gunk and help improve your mouth health, too.

The water flossers we’re recommending here meet a variety of needs, from style and size to age-specific models. So whether you’re looking for a water flosser that appeals to kids (hello, bright colors and fun decals!), one with lots of different pressure options, or a cordless version that you can tuck into an overnight tote, we’ve got you covered. 

How We Chose the Best Water Flossers

Methodology

There are a number of different water flossers on the market, which range in size, pressure settings, and features. To determine which rose to the top, we looked at some 20 different models and options available and determined our top picks based on the following criteria:

Cost: Price-wise, the models we included are in the average range, generally falling between $30 and $70. There are flossers that clock in at over $100, and while we didn’t include any on this list, the higher price tag might be worth it if you’re looking for a version featuring both an electric toothbrush and water flosser together.

Power Source: For this list, we wanted to make sure to check out a mix of both cordless, battery-operated models, and electric ones, which, similar to other household appliances, are plugged into an outlet and stay put in your bathroom. 

Extra features: We also took the water flosser features into consideration, including different pressure settings, the amount of water the water reservoir holds (that one is key to ensuring that you don’t have to refill mid-floss), and any other bells and whistles that make for a better experience. And since people using water flossers might have specific dental needs—braces, for instance, or implants—we wanted to see how many different, interchangeable tips were included with purchase. 

The Best Water Flossers: Reviews and Recommendations

 Best Overall: Waterpik WP-660 Water Flosser

The Traditional

Seven attachment tips, two flossing modes, and 10 pressure settings make the Waterpik WP-660 Water Flosser one of the most versatile water flossers on the market.
Waterpik

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Why It Made the Cut: With this Waterpik model you won’t have to refill water mid-way through—it lasts 90 seconds—and comes with other great features, like multiple tips and a built-in timer.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 3.8 x 4.7 x 10.3 inches   
  • Power Source: Electric
  • Capacity: 22 ounces 

Pros:

  • Comes with seven tips
  • Dishwasher-friendly water reservoir 
  • Has a 1-minute timer with pacer
  • American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance  

Cons:

  • Described as loud

There’s a reason the Waterpik Aquarius is so popular (it has over 80,000 reviews on Amazon alone!): We found that this model hits all the must-haves—and then some. You’ll find seven different tips (from orthodontic to “plaque seeker” to be used with implants and the like), two different floss modes (floss and massage, the latter of which is geared towards the gums), and 10 different pressure settings (with a 1400 pulse frequency) so you can choose which you like best.

This version is electric and the water reservoir is large enough to hold 22 ounces of water. We love the built-in timer feature here, which pulses at both the 30 second and the 1-minute marks to let you know you can finish up. Other cool features include the fact that it comes in multiple colors (including blue, black, grey, orchid, and white) and that the reservoir can be put directly in the dishwasher.

Best Value: Hangsun Water Flosser

Great Features, Better Price

Choose it for the price, stick with it for the worthwhile features, such as the rechargeable battery and multiple included tips. Waterpik

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Why It Made the Cut: The Hangsun cordless water flosser is inexpensive but still packs a quality punch, thanks to its rechargeable battery, multiple tips, waterproof design, and low noise level.   

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 2.2 x 2.9 x 7.7 inches
  • Power Source: Battery
  • Capacity: 300 milliliters (10.1 ounces)

Pros: 

  • Rechargeable battery
  • Waterproof
  • Compatible with global voltage, so good for travel
  • Comes with four tips

Cons:

  • The tank holds less than water than countertop versions

Coming in at a lower price than most competitors, this cordless Hangsun model delivers on both value and quality. To start, the flosser comes with a rechargeable battery—and can hold its charge for quite awhile. Its waterproof design is also a boon, especially for multi-taskers: You can take it in the shower with you (hello, streamlined morning!) and since the water tank is removable, it’s quick to wash, too.

The flosser itself comes with four tips, which can fully rotate. And for those looking for various pulses, this one has three different modes: Normal, soft, and pulse, with the “normal” mode clocking in at 1,600 pulses per minute. (For comparison, the most gentle here—the “soft” is 1,200 pulses per minute) Also great? While some water flossers can be quite loud, this version’s “extra quiet design” is around 55 decibels—about the same as a coffee percolator.

Best for Kids: Waterpik Water Flosser for Kids

Little Teeth, Great Clean

Thanks to this kid-friendly water flosser from Waterpik, it’s never too early to start a healthy flossing routine. Waterpik

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Why It Made the Cut: The fun color and kid-friendly features make it more likely that kids will actually want to floss their teeth, and the fact that it’s safe to use with braces is just icing on the cake. 

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 5.4 x 4.4 x 6.8 inches     
  • Power Source: Electric
  • Capacity: 15 ounces

Pros:

  • Comes with two tips, including one for orthodontia
  • Kid-friendly color and design
  • More compact size

Cons:

  • If more than two kids are using it, you’ll have to purchase additional tips

The first time a dentist recommended I start using a water flosser was when I had braces as a kid—and I definitely would have been more easily convinced to use it if this version had been out at the time. While there aren’t a ton of kid-specific water flossers out there—partly because many standard models come with an orthodontic tip for braces—the smaller size of this Waterpik model makes it a great choice for elementary- and middle-school-aged kids, including those with the aforementioned braces. Plus, the bright green color and the fact that it comes with 20 decorative “clings” (like stickers, but removable!) in patterns ranging from peace signs to animals and sports also up the fun factor.

From a features perspective, this version, which is electric, comes with two tips—one classic, one for orthodontia—along with three different pressure settings and a frequency of 1,400 pulses per minute. The reservoir, which can be turned over when not in use(important since this version doesn’t have a cover), holds 15 ounces of water—enough for about 60 seconds of continuous flossing.

Best for Travel: H2Ofloss Water Flosser

Floss on the Go

With a long battery life, included storage case, and compact size, this water flosser is a great choice for those who are always on the road.

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Why It Made the Cut: A great choice when you’re on the go—it’s rechargeable and comes with a storage case—this cordless version lives as well next to your bathroom sink at home as it does in a hotel room

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 2.36 x 3.15 x 8.66 inches
  • Power source: Battery operated
  • Capacity: 300 milliliters (10.1 oz) 

Pros:

  • Rechargeable battery
  • Waterproof
  • Comes with 5 different tips
  • Includes a travel case

Cons:

  • Only one pulse frequency setting

Whether you travel often or simply prefer not having additional wires in the bathroom, a cordless water flosser could be the way to go, and this model from H2Ofloss is a great choice to do just that. The rechargeable battery—it comes with a USB cord—holds its charge pretty well, going strong for upwards of two weeks, a particularly nice feature if you take this on the road. (The case it comes with is handy for packing, too.)

Also great for traveling: The flosser itself is pretty light, as well, weighing in at just over a pound. There’s only one frequency setting here—1,200 pulses per minute—but this version does offer five different pressure modes, starting from low to high. The water tank on this one is similar to other cordless versions and can hold about 300 milliliters, or 10 ounces, of water. It’s also removable (although be warned: it might be tough to detach the first time) for washing and drying. This version is also waterproof and comes with five tips.

Best Electric: Initio Water Dental Flosser

Countertop Staple

Set up shop with this electric water flosser from Intio, featuring a sizable tank and handy storage for its six included tips.

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Why It Made the Cut: This sturdy electric water flosser from Initio offers multiple pressure settings, includes six tips and has a large water reservoir—all at a super reasonable price.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 8.82 x 6.69 x 5.87 inches
  • Power Source: Electric
  • Capacity: 600 milliliters (20 ounces)

Pros:

  • 10 pressure settings
  • Comes with six tips, including a tongue cleaner
  • Internal slots to store tips

Cons:

  • Only available in two colors

Along with electric toothbrushes, this brand offers both cordless and electric water flosser models. And while we liked the cordless version and think it’s a definite contender, we ultimately opted to include the Initio’s electric option, thanks in part to the super reasonable price point for this type of model. There are also a slew of must-have features, starting with the 600 milliliters, or 20-ounce water tank, which should easily provide enough water to last through a typical flossing session.

With this version, you’ll also get the option of 10 different pressure settings and two different modes—clean and massage—and a high frequency of about 1,400 pulses per minute. And since you can’t use all the different tips at once (it comes with six total, with four varieties, including one periodontal tip), we particularly love the storage option here, where the tips fit directly into pre-made spaces and are stored in the cover of the water tank.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Water Flosser

As you decide which water flosser is best for you, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Storage

This can help you decide whether you prefer a battery-operated or electric version. Generally, electric models take up a bit more space, and you’ll need an outlet close to your sink in order to plug it in. On the other hand, if you want one with a smaller footprint or the option to use it in the shower (possible with waterproof models), consider cordless. For these versions, also check if they use a rechargeable battery (and how long it usually lasts) or if you’ll have to replace them.

Users

This is important for a couple different reasons. Most flossers come with at least one tip, while the majority include multiple. Each person should have their own tip—they can be swapped out easily—so if everyone in the family is using the same device, having a few tips included with your purchase is easier than having to buy them separately. Also, some tips are geared toward specific dental needs, like braces, dentures, or gum disease, so having the one that meets your specific concerns is also key. 

Extra Features

Evaluate the water reservoir. How much water does it hold and will it last an entire flossing session? Is it covered and easy to clean? You want to also look at the different pressures, frequencies, and modes available, especially if you’re new to water flossing, since you might want to start lighter on the pressure and work your way up. Other features, like a nozzle that fully rotates, a timer, and, in cordless options, whether it’s waterproof or not, are also good things to look for.

FAQs

Q: Who can use water flossers?

Almost anyone! While they can be tough for young kids to use, there are versions—including the one we featured on this list—that are well-suited for kids starting at age 6. They’re particularly great for kids and teens with braces—and in fact, for many, their first introduction to water flossers might be during their braces years. Plus, along with that cohort, experts point to water flossers as an alternative for anyone who might find traditional flossing tough. (This is where those special tips can come in handy!) Beyond that though, even those who don’t mind their daily string-floss session can use—and enjoy—a water flosser.

Q: Do water flossers get rid of plaque?

They do, according to scientists. In one study, Canadian researchers discovered that a water flosser was close to 30 percent more effective at removing plaque than traditional string floss.

Q: What’s the best way to clean your water flosser?

Removing and cleaning out the water reservoir and the tips—and fully drying them—are important. With some models, the reservoir can be put straight into the dishwasher, where others are better off being washed by hand. Each model is different, so be sure to read up on the best cleaning technique for your individual version. On a slightly different—but still important—note: Some water flossers come with a cover to put over the water tank, while others do not, so be sure to know what you’re getting ahead of time to help prevent spills.

Final Thoughts

If you, like so many of us, have had that moment when, in the middle of flossing, the string breaks or gets stuck, it might be time to consider a water flosser. With lots of versions and choices available (size, color, specific dental concerns), picking the best one for you and your family is just a matter of preference.

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