Our Editors Tested 26 Water Flossers, and These Are The Best

The Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser washed away the competition

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best water flossers
Verywell Health / Vicky Wasik.

Your toothbrush can’t always get between teeth and into periodontal pockets to remove debris, and that’s where flossing comes in. Wet flossers, also known as "water flossers" or "oral irrigators," are devices that utilize a pressurized water stream to target hard-to-reach areas and remove food and plaque. “While a water flosser should not replace conventional flossing, it can certainly serve as a helpful step in your at-home dental hygiene routine,” says Heather Kunen, DDS, MS, New York City-based dentist and co-founder of Beam Street.

Tested & Approved

The Waterpik Aquarius beat the competition with its incredibly customizable user experience and large water tank. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly water flosser, the H2ofloss Water Flosser Portable Dental Oral Irrigator has many of the same features and costs under $50.

When looking for a wet flosser, there are a few key things to consider. Countertop flossers have a tank that holds a lot of water, while cordless models have smaller, built-in reservoirs. While most dental experts recommend flossers with a range of settings, not everyone needs (or will enjoy) high-pressure modes, so think about your preferences before you start shopping. 

At the Verywell Testing Lab in New York City, we tested 26 wet flossers, ranging in price from under $30 for a basic machine to $170 for a model that doubles as an electric toothbrush. We evaluated each wet flosser and assigned an overall score based on effectiveness, ease of use, settings, and overall value.

Below, we discuss the best wet flossers on the market.

Best Overall: Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser

4.9
Waterpik

Amazon

Pros
  • Has a large water tank

  • Comes with seven flossing tips and 10 pressure settings

  • Three-year manufacturer’s warranty

Cons
  • The cord connecting the base and flosser wand is short

  • Must be plugged into a wall outlet

What do buyers say? Wirecutter, Good Housekeeping, and NBC News all picked the Waterpik Aquarius.

What do buyers say? 92% of 106,000+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

With 10 pressure settings and seven interchangeable flossing tips, the Waterpik Aquarius provides a customizable cleaning experience, though it’ll take a bit of practice—and both hands—to master its operation. “Adjusting the pressure settings, which are controlled by a dial at the base of the machine, is a bit awkward at first, but you get used to it,” our tester remarked. “I had eaten a quesadilla before using it, and my teeth felt spotless afterward.” In addition to gooey cheese, it’s effective at removing plaque and improving circulation in the gums.

The tank holds 22 ounces of water, which the brand promises is enough for 90 seconds of flossing activity, but our tester was pleased to find that the reservoir was still half full after completing two full cycles. The cord that connects the flosser wand to the base is short, so you’ll want to position it close to your sink basin to avoid drips and splashback. At the end of our testing, we crowned the Aquarius Best Overall, because it’s effective and easy to use, and it doesn’t take up much counter space.

Price at time of publish: $55

Key Specs

Charge Type: Electric charge | Reservoir Capacity: 22 oz | Number of Pressure Settings: 10

waterpik aquarius

Verywell Health / Vicky Wasik

Best Budget: H2ofloss Water Flosser Portable Dental Oral Irrigator

4.9
H2ofloss Water Flosser Portable Dental Oral Irrigator

Amazon

Pros
  • Affordable

  • Completely cordless

  • Five pressure settings

Cons
  • Small water reservoir

  • Higher pressure modes may be too intense

If you’ve never tried a water flosser and aren’t sure it’s worth the investment, we recommend the H2ofloss Portable Oral Irrigator. Priced under $50, it offers five different nozzles (including a toothbrush head), a tongue cleaner attachment, and five settings. The best part? It’s compact and completely cordless, making it the perfect travel flosser. “The design is very clean and practical, and there aren’t any excessive pieces or extensions,” said our tester.

The H2ofloss has a 360-degree rotating head to help you target those hard-to-reach corners of your mouth, and it has a 300-milliliter reservoir that holds just enough water for a full cycle. Users with sensitive teeth or gums may find the higher pressure settings a little too intense. “The higher settings were harder to control,” our tester noted. “When I tried to use them, water got everywhere.”

Price at time of publish: $35

Key Specs

Charge Type: Battery powered | Reservoir Capacity: 300 mL | Number of Pressure Settings: 5

htofloss water flosser

Verywell Health / Vicky Wasik

Best Cordless: Aquasonic Aqua Flosser

5
Aquasonic Aqua Flosser

Walmart

Pros
  • Cordless and fully waterproof

  • Comes with a travel case and four jet tips

Cons
  • Water reservoir only lasts about 45 seconds

  • Has just three basic pressure settings

If you’re a die-hard cord cutter, opt for the Aquasonic Aqua Flosser. It earned high marks from testers for its lightweight design, which is dentist-recommended for kids and teens. “It only has three settings, but I particularly enjoyed the pulse mode, which felt pleasant and did a great job removing food from between my teeth,” our tester noted. “Plus, it’s easy to toggle between the settings with one hand.”

The reservoir only holds 150 milliliters of water, which provided 45 seconds of flossing during our tests, so it may not be ideal if you like to take your time. Still, it delivered a thorough clean. Included in the box are a travel case and four jet tips, and the waterproof body protects the rechargeable lithium-ion battery so you can floss in the shower.

Price at time of publish: $30

Key Specs

Charge Type: Battery powered | Reservoir Capacity: 150 mL | Number of Pressure Settings: 3

aquasonic aqua flosser
Verywell Health / Vicky Wasik.

Best for Braces: Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 5000

4.9
Philips Sonicare Power Flosser

Amazon

Pros
  • Large water tank

  • 10 brushing intensities

  • Two cleaning modes

Cons
  • Expensive

If you have braces, flossing with standard string floss or dental tape can be tricky and time-consuming. Equipped with two flossing modes and 10 intensity settings, the Phillips Sonicare Power Flosser 5000 comes with a quad stream tip that covers a larger surface area for a deep clean. “The instructions were clear and even illustrated how to use the device if you have braces,” our tester said.

The setup process was easy, so our tester was able to start cleaning her teeth within minutes of unboxing. The reservoir was one of our favorite features—the lid fits snugly, and the tank holds 18.6 ounces of water, enough for a couple of cleaning sessions. At $99, the countertop model is one of our more expensive picks, but “it’s compact, easy to use, and effective,” so our tester declared it “well worth the price.”

Price at time of publish: $100

Key Specs

Charge Type: Electric charge | Reservoir Capacity: 18.6 oz | Number of Pressure Settings: 10

philips sonicare pro 5000 water flosser
Verywell Health / Vicky Wasik.

Best for Travel: MySmile Portable Oral Irrigator X

4.8
MySmile Portable Oral Irrigator X

Amazon

Pros
  • Large water reservoir

  • Cordless and portable

  • Has a digital display

Cons
  • The automatic “soft start” can be confusing

If your least favorite part of preparing for a trip is figuring out how to pack all your toiletries, try the cordless, compact MySmile Oral Irrigator X, which our tester said delivers a thorough flossing and a just-brushed feeling. It’s cordless and holds a charge for up to 20 days, with a 350-milliliter reservoir that provides 50-150 PSI of water pressure, depending on the setting. “It felt as if I was brushing my teeth and flossing simultaneously,” our tester noted. 

The flosser was easy to use, and the instruction manual includes easy-to-follow pictures. The five different settings are strong, normal, soft, pulse, and child mode, and there are eight interchangeable tips, enough to suit the preferences of the whole family. A digital display shows the modes, temperature, and battery level, which means a higher price tag.

Price at time of publish: $60

Key Specs

Charge Type: Battery powered | Reservoir Capacity: 350 mL | Number of Pressure Settings: 5

MySmile cordless water flosser
Verywell Health / Vicky Wasik.

Best Cordless Waterpik: Waterpik Cordless Advanced Water Flosser

4.4
Waterpik Cordless Advanced Water Flosser

Amazon

Pros
  • Cordless

  • Comes with travel case and charger

  • Easy to use

Cons
  • Only has three pressure settings

If you like the Waterpik brand but want to go cordless, look no further than the WP-560. Our tester raved about its ease of use and effectiveness at cleaning gummy fruit debris from their teeth in under a minute. The ample 7-ounce reservoir is easy to fill and lasts for a full minute. 

“There are only two buttons—one to turn it on and off, and the other to move between pressure settings—so it’s a good basic flosser,” our tester said. “I was a little disappointed that there are only three basic modes. While it falls a little short on settings, it does come with some useful accessories, including two classic jet tips, a travel bag, a plug, and a convenient magnetic charger.

Price at time of publish: $80

Key Specs

Charge Type: Battery powered | Reservoir Capacity: 7 oz | Number of Pressure Settings: 3

waterpik cordless advanced
Verywell Health / Vicky Wasik.

Best Budget Waterpik: Waterpik Cordless Express Water Flosser

4.8
Waterpik Cordless Express Water Flosser

Amazon

Pros
  • Affordable

  • Cordless

  • Space-saving and travel-friendly

Cons
  • Uses AA batteries

  • Water reservoir needs to be refilled often

The third Waterpik option on our list is the Cordless Express Water Flosser, our favorite budget-friendly option from the brand. It’s a basic model with just 2 pressure settings but was impressively effective at removing even tiny bits of debris from our tester’s teeth. The water pulls from a 5-ounce water reservoir, which lasts just shy of a minute and needs to be refilled often, sometimes mid-floss. 

The battery-operated model “left my mouth feeling clean, but I felt as though there was still some residue remaining after use,” our tester said. Still, the two included tips were easy to swap out, and it’s a great choice if your bathroom is short on countertop space.

Price at time of publish: $36

Key Specs

Charge Type: Battery powered | Reservoir Capacity: 5 oz | Number of Pressure Settings: 2

waterpik cordless express
Verywell Health / Vicky Wasik.

Best Electric Toothbrush and Water Flosser Combo: Waterpik Sonic-Fusion 2.0 Professional Flossing Toothbrush

4.7
Waterpik Sonic-Fusion 2.0 Professional Flossing Toothbrush

Amazon

Pros
  • Functions as a flosser and toothbrush

  • Large water reservoir

  • Comes with a protective hard travel case

Cons
  • It’s corded and quite large

The Waterpik Sonic-Fusion 2.0 does double-duty as a flosser and an electric toothbrush to clean your whole mouth. With 10 pressure settings, two flossing brush heads, and a 16-ounce water reservoir, it cleans teeth while removing plaque and gunk from even the tiniest crevices. “I love the way the buttons are stacked so that you can change the pressure easily,” said our tester, who loved the dual brush/floss setting. “There is no guessing which button will change the pressure and speed.” 

The Sonic-Fusion also has a two-minute brushing timer and a 30-second pacer to alert you when it’s time to switch to a different section of your mouth. It’s the most expensive model on our list, but it's a good investment if you’re looking for an all-in-one dental-cleaning device.

Price at time of publish: $140

Charge Type: Electric charge | Reservoir Capacity: 16 oz | Number of Pressure Settings: 10

waterpik sonic fusion 2.0
Verywell Health / Vicky Wasik.

Final Verdict

The Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser holds the title as best overall, because it has 10 pressure settings, is effective at removing gunk from the teeth, and has a large water reservoir. We also recommend the Aquasonic Aqua Flosser if you want a cordless option.

How We Rated the Water Flossers

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best water flossers we reviewed. We recommend them without reservation.

4.5 to 4.7 stars: These water flossers are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.

4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great water flossers, but others are better.

3.5 to 3.9 stars: These water flossers are just average.

3.4 and below: We don't recommend water flossers with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

How We Tested the Wet Flossers

The Verywell Health team tested 26 wet flossers at the Verywell Testing Lab in New York City. After unboxing and setting up the flossers, testers used their assigned model to floss for at least one minute. They paid close attention to how clean their teeth felt, how effective it was at removing food debris, and whether the flosser was able to get into hard-to-reach areas. 

We evaluated each wet flosser and assigned a score based on the following attributes: effectiveness, ease of use, settings, and overall value. After our initial test in The Lab, we are continuing to test the wet flossers to see how they hold up to daily use. We’ll update our recommendations with our feedback, especially in terms of battery life (which we weren’t able to test in The Lab).

What to Look for in a Wet Flosser

Reservoir capacity

Wet flossers either have a built-in water reservoir or are attached to a base with a water reservoir. If you don't plan to travel with your wet flosser, we recommend the Waterpik Aquarius and the Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 5000, which have larger water reservoirs. Flossers with bases can hold between 18 and 22 ounces of water. 

On the other hand, the larger the reservoir, the clunkier the flosser. If you plan on taking your device on the go, keep an eye out for a model with a smaller, more portable reservoir, like the Aquasonic Aqua Flosser. Flossers with built-in water reservoirs should last for an entire cleaning session but will need refilling more often.

Battery life

Water flossers are available in corded, cordless, and battery-operated models. Many options on our list have powerful rechargeable batteries that keep the flosser powered for days or weeks. If you're planning to travel, look for a model with a longer battery life that won't slow you down when you're on the go. We were particularly impressed with the MySmile Dental Flosser, which can hold a charge for up to 20 days.

Ease of use

Todd Bertman, DMD, owner of Advanced Dental Arts in New York City, advises choosing a water flosser with an angled tip or a flexible, swiveling head. These features help target your mouth's nooks and crannies while also spraying away large pieces of debris and food particles. 

It's also important to shop for a model that's easy to grip, which is "especially useful for people with dexterity issues such as arthritis," says Dr. Bertman. We like the Aquasonic Aqua Flosser, which is dentist-recommended for adults and kids.

Intensity

Just because a flosser has several settings, that doesn't mean you'll use them all. Consider whether you have issues like gum sensitivity or deep gum pockets. According to Dr. Bertman, the pressure of a water flosser should be high enough to be effective but not so high that it causes pain, discomfort, or bleeding. (However, he notes that water flossers are generally safe, and any damage caused by intense pressure is likely to heal rather than be permanent.)

"If you are a first-time water flosser, it is best to start at a lower pressure setting and gradually work your way up," advises Dr. Bertman. "Once you are more accustomed to how it works, it will be easy to find a setting that works best for you."

Accessories

Most water flossers will come fully equipped, but some have optional tips and specially designed attachments for dental work, braces, and sensitive teeth/gums. “Patients who have trouble keeping braces or other fixed appliances clean may benefit from daily use of an oral flosser,” says Dr. Kunen. Dentists also recommend switching up the tip or head, depending on your specific concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are water flossers better than conventional flossing?

    Traditional string floss or dental tape may be some dentists' preferred choice, but water flossers are considered an adjunct to brushing and traditional manual flossing. "It feels quite gentle, but it is quite a strong force through the little triangle between the teeth," says Dr. Creaven. "It's pushing the food and debris so it will pop off the teeth and away from that area." Conventional and water flossing are suitable for cleaning thoroughly, but traditional flossing should be a part of your dental hygiene routine.

  • Are there any risks to using a wet flosser?

    Regarding safety, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you don't want to leave water sitting in the reservoir. A water flosser that isn't well maintained can introduce more bacteria into your mouth, so Dr. Creaven recommends emptying it after each use and cleaning it often. You'll also want to pay special attention to excessive pressure. "Since water flossers utilize a pressurized water stream to remove plaque and debris, it is important that patients don't traumatize their gums with the device," says Dr. Kunen. "Follow the directions of use to prevent any damage to tissues."

  • How often should I use a wet flosser?

    The order of the steps in your oral care routine matters. Start with a water flosser, and follow it up with a toothbrush. "We have a general rule of thumb: A water flosser should probably be used once a day before brushing," says Dr. Creaven. "There are active ingredients in your toothpaste, and you don't want to wash them away after you brush."

    Some research suggests that adding a water flosser to your routine can improve your dental hygiene significantly. One clinical trial showed that people who use a water flosser once a day and brush their teeth twice a day had improved gingival health, compared to people who brush twice daily and don't wet floss at all. Other research has indicated that routine water flossing (in addition to regular brushing) can reduce plaque and gum bleeding.

    "As long as those practices are maintained, I encourage those patients who like water flossers to incorporate them into their routines as often or as little as they like," says Dr. Kunen.

Why Trust Verywell Health

Kayla Hui is a seasoned public health practitioner and health journalist who received her master’s degree in public health in 2020. She has interviewed dozens of experts, reviewed numerous research studies, and tested a plethora of products to deliver well-researched product reviews and roundups. Her goal is to help readers make more informed decisions about their health and well-being.

5 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. The Best Water Flossers. Wirecutter. https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-water-flossers/

  2. 6 Best Water Flossers, According to Our Tests. Good Housekeeping. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health-products/g30689822/best-water-flossers/

  3. The 7 best ADA-approved water flossers. NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/select/shopping/best-water-flossers-ncna1295784

  4. Goyal CR, Qaqish JG, Schuller R, Lyle DM. Evaluation of the addition of a water flosser to manual brushing on gingival healthJ Clin Dent. 2018;29(4):81-86.

  5. Sharma NC, Lyle DM, Qaqish JG, Galustians J, Schuller R. Effect of a dental water jet with orthodontic tip on plaque and bleeding in adolescent patients with fixed orthodontic appliancesAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. 2008;133(4):565-571.

By Kayla Hui, MPH
Kayla Hui, MPH is the health and wellness ecommerce writer at Verywell Health.She earned her master's degree in public health from the Boston University School of Public Health and BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.