The dental water jet has been clinically proven to remove more plaque than manual tooth brushing, and has been shown to greatly improve gum health. It’s no wonder many people are switching to a power flosser. If you too are thinking of making the switch, you may find yourself comparing two of the best electric flosser models available today: Sonicare Airfloss and Waterpik Ultra. These two models dominate the electric flosser market and they are considered to be some of the most effective when it comes to fighting plaque and gum disease. But, which one is better?
This guide article explores these two leading brands, including their main differences as well as their strongest selling points, so you can decide for yourself which to go for.
Which One Is Better?
Waterpik Ultra electric water flosser is a product of the oral health product manufacturer Waterpik. As the oldest brand, the company has had the longest history on the market. It is, in fact, responsible for introducing the first oral irrigator (in the 60s) – and that’s why the Waterpik become the name for oral irrigators/water flossers/ dental water jets.
Sonicare Airfloss was developed quite recently by the oral health division of Phillips, a Dutch diversified technology company headquartered in Amsterdam. It came into existence in the year 2000, after Phillips acquired Optative Corporation; but it has since gained tremendous popularity that has seen it become one of the most respected dental care brands. Phillips Sonicare now boasts the best-selling electric toothbrush in the United States.
What Are Their Differences?
We have tested, evaluated and researched the two electric flossers to prepare this comprehensive review. By the time you finish reading in-depth comparison, you would have a good understanding of which model has an edge over the other.
But first, let’s have a look at the differences between the two.
Flossing technology: The main difference between the two lies in the flossing technology. They feature two different deep cleaning technologies. The Waterpik Ultra utilizes a stream of pressurized, pulsating water to deep clean teeth. The water pressure is adjustable through the unit’s ten different settings.
The Sonicare Airfloss, on the other hand, features the Microburst Technology with Auto-Burst – which simply means it delivers pressurized air coupled with micro-droplets of water to deep clean and remove plaque from teeth. The technology allows you to use less water to deep clean teeth fast and effectively without causing a mess.
Flossing modes/Flosser tips or nozzle: The Waterpik comes with 6 color-coded flosser tips, which include: an orthodontic tip for braces and other orthodontics, a plaque seeker tip for plaque removal and dental appliances, 2 classic jet tips, toothbrush tip and pik picket tip for cleaning periodontal pockets and furcations. The Airfloss features a single nozzle, which is replaceable.
Design: Another big difference between the two models is design, specifically the size and shape aspects. The Waterpik is large and bulky. It’s almost similar to those oral irrigators found in dental offices, with large water reservoirs and designed to sit on countertops. The handle with the tip remains constantly attached into the large reservoir via a cord (which delivers the water for flossing).
The Airfloss, on the other hand, features a slim compact design in which the nozzle or tip comes attached to the small reservoir. The unit is rechargeable, cordless and therefore portable.
Battery life: Airfloss comes with a rechargeable battery that lasts 14 days (or 14 uses). But the Waterpik needs to be kept constantly plugged into the power supply to charge the built-in battery. This unit (Waterpik) is designed to be used in the US only.
Price: The Airfloss is a premium oral care product and is, therefore, more expensive (currently retailing at $180 on Amazon); while the Waterpik goes for only $58.
Charging and voltage: The Waterpik Ultra operates on 120V, 60Hz only. But the Sonicare Airfloss has an extended voltage range and can be used on electrical outlets overseas. AirFloss also fits standard Sinicare chargers, so if you have another Sonicare product you can use that charger.
Sonicare Airfloss vs Waterpik Ultra: What Are Their Similarities?
Capabilities: Both Airfloss and Waterpik Ultra have been proven to remove more plaque than manual tooth brushing. They are also quite effective at fighting plaque and gum disease.
Ability to clean dental appliances: Both models can be used on implants, veneers, crowns and orthodontics.
Warranty and guarantee: Both products come with a warranty.
Which Is Better?
Dental water jets are defined more by their flossing technology and capabilities. So in this case Waterpik Ultra will just take the lead with its 6 color-coded tips, which include Plaque Seeker Tip, which ensure maximum plaque removal. On the other hand, Sonicare Airfloss offers probably offers the more powerful and convenient flossing technology – Microburst Technology with Auto-Burst. This technology from Sonicare helps deep clean teeth and your whole mouth in as little as 30 seconds!
From a technical point of view, Phillips Sonicare Airfloss delivers a better charging experience: which is an important consideration when buying any electric oral care product. The charger, compact design and its unmatched portability made things easier for users. It’s a cordless irrigator that uses less water and is, therefore, less messy for users. For the same reason it’s recommended for those that travel frequently. You can easily fit the flosser and the charger in your travel bag and carry it with you. Airfloss is capable of providing protecting your teeth up to 14 days with a single charger; and doesn’t need to be constantly plugged into a liquid reservoir or mains electricity. Its voltage range makes it even more advantageous, since it’s compatible with electrical outlets even outside the USA. So, if you are living outside of USA or planning to go on a trip, you won’t need to buy an adapter – as is the case with Waterpik Ultra. When it comes to design, both the units have their own uniqueness. The Sonicare Airfloss is compact, lightweight and extremely portable, which also makes it very easy to maneuver during use. Whereas Waterpik Ultra is large and bulky; and is designed to sit on countertops.
Simply put: these are two different models with different features and capabilities. So, we feel it’s not fair to compare the two but we’ll still go ahead and give you our verdict.
When we talk about electric flossers, Phillips Sonicare Airfloss and Waterpik Ultra are two of the best that you’ll ever find. But the two models are quite different in many aspects, from design to flossing technology to retail price. Each unit has its own pros and cons, and the best option for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences as well as your budget.
Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that out tests showed that the Waterpik Ultra does a slightly better job of cleaning teeth. We can confidently say that Waterpik ultra is more effective when it comes to reducing bacterial plaque compared to Sonicare Airfloss. Our findings were actually confirmed by most of the reviews and studies that we came across during our research. We also consulted a professional dentist who agreed with our findings, alluding to his experience with patients who have used the two flossers. So, if your main motivation of getting a dental water jet is plaque removal, you will find the Waterpik Ultra model very useful.
But, at the same time, Sonicare Airfloss offers so many advantages that cannot be wished away. It’s portable, easier to use, more energy efficient…and the list goes on. It’s also a very powerful plaque remover in its own right. Many review and users we interviewed would swear to its effectiveness and the fact, that they found the Airfloss to be the best power flosser. Its only downside was the price, which is on the higher side. So if you don’t mind the price and really want a convenient, portable and easy-to-use flosser, then this is it.