The Complete Care 5.0 is the follow up to Waterpik’s popular 2-in-1 water flosser and electric toothbush unit. Brushing and flossing in one resulting in complete care for your mouth.
But is the update a step forward or a step back? Find out in our detailed review of the Complete Care 5.0
Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 Models
There are two different models of the Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 available:
- WP-861W – White model with blue colored reservoir.
- WP-862W – Black model with clear reservoir.
Both units have the same features and accessories. The only difference between the two is the color. Given the choice between the two we recommend sticking with the white model.
Because given our past experiences with black colored oral health products, the white is much more resistant to showing splashes of toothpaste, fingerprints, water marks and dust. The complete Care 5.0 follows this trend.
If you want the black model you will have to be prepared to clean the whole unit regularly to keep it looking spotless.
At the time of writing this review, replacement black toothbrush heads were only available online while the white replacement heads were readily available at local retailers. We mention this because the white toothbrush head on the black toothbrush handle just looks odd and will frustrate you if you like house hold products matching.
Unboxing the Waterpik Complete Care 5.0
The first thing you will notice when you open the Complete Care 5.0 is the complete lack of effort Waterpik has gone to with the packaging.
The previous model of the complete care (WP-900) was immaculately boxed, with added cardboard to protect it and the toothbrush getting it’s own box.
On the complete care Waterpik has tossed everything into one plastic bag and added no extra protection. Check it out below:
On the left you have the new Complete Care 5.0 and on the right you have the older Complete Care WP-900.
The Complete Care 5.0 does not feel any more indestructible than the older model so the lack of care when it comes to the packaging feels like it is a cost saving measure more than anything.
When you open up the packaging on your brand new Complete Care 5.0, you will be greeted with the following:
Let’s break it down:
- Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 water flosser unit
- Classic Jet tip (x2)
- Orthodontic Tip
- Plaque Seeker Tip
- Pik Pocket Tip
- Triple Sonic electric toothbrush
- Triple Sonic replacement brush head
- Triple Sonic travel case
- Flosser Tip Case
- Instruction manual
As you can see, the Complete Care 5.0 comes with quite a bit of gear.
Examining the Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 Water Flosser Unit
The Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 is one of the most stylish looking water flossers currently available.
The Complete Care 5.0 is designed to be set up in a permanent location on your bathroom counter. Since the water flosser will be on display for any family members or guests that use your bathroom, we were pleased to see that Waterpik has spent some time refining the design.
If you own the older version of the complete care then you will fully be aware that the unit isn’t just an eye-sore but it takes up a lot of real estate on your bathroom counter.
Below you can see the Waterpik’s new Complete Care 5.0 vs. the older Complete Care WP-900
That’s quite an improvement.
Not only is the new model much better looking but Waterpik has nearly halved the size of the entire unit. Waterpik has achieved this by removing the flosser tip storage and rotating the controls around to the left hand side of the unit resulting in a drastic size reduction.
Okay, that’s enough comparison. It’s now time to take a closer look at the Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 unit.
Located at the very top of the unit is the cover.
On either side of the cover you will notice a series of holes. These are the air vents.
The vents allow air to circulate around the reservoir (water tank) underneath, allowing it to dry even with the cover down.
The cover is hinged and lifting it up reveals the reservoir below:
The reservoir is capable of holding up to 22 ounces of water, that’s a whole ounce less than the older model.
It would appear that Waterpik has gone with a looks over practicality approach with the reservoir. At first glance there does not appear to be any measurement lines on the reservoir.
They are there, they are just hidden behind the white plastic when the reservoir sits in the Complete Care base station. In order to see the measurement lines you will have to completely remove the reservoir from the unit:
The measurement lines are expressed in both metric and imperial.
Our preferred method of filling up countertop water flossers is to use a pitcher filled with water and emptying it into the reservoir. Unfortunately with the measurement lines hidden, you will not able to precisely measure out the water unless the reservoir is completely removed from the unit.
Now for many of you this won’t be a problem. You will simply fill the reservoir to the top and use the water flosser like normal.
The problem comes if you use your water flosser to administer medication or special oral rinses. Unless you remove the container you will unable to accurately measure out the medication.
The container smoothly lifts up out of the base and goes back in just as easily when filled with water.
At the very bottom of the reservoir is a valve. Essentially a plug on a spring, the valve prevents water from dripping over your floor as you carry the reservoir back to the Complete Care base.
When the container is place back inside the unit the valve opens up, ready to be pumped through the unit and out the flosser tip.
On the side of the Complete Care 5.0 you will find the two dials. These are your controls.
These dials perform two different functions:
- Top dial – Turns the Complete Care 5.0 on and off
- Bottom dial – Adjusts the strength of the water pressure
Like all countertop water flossers, the complete care gives you the greatest amount of control over the water pressure. Each At the lowest setting the water pressure is a gentle 10 PSI and at the highest setting a whopping 100 PSI.
Over all the Waterpik models we have tested we have noticed a trend. Switches, buttons and dials that only have two positions are loose and unresponsive. The same can be said of the power button on the Complete Care 5.0. It just doesn’t feel nice to use.
Curiously, Waterpik did a much better job when it came to switches on their Aquarius Professional. So why they once again returned to their bad ways for their newest release is beyond us.
At least they got the pressure selector dial right. The dial feels tight and responsive, allowing you to easily select your preferred pressure setting.
The only thing of note on the rear of the Complete Care 5.0 is the power cord and plug:
The cord can stretch up to four foot in length which will be more than long enough to reach most bathroom electrical outlets.
Hang on to that twist tie that comes in the box, you can use it to shorten the cable if needed. There’s nothing worse than long dangling cords in the bathroom.
If you peek underneath the Complete Care 5.0 this is what you will see:
If you look closely at the sticker you will notice that the Complete Care 5.0 bought in the USA will only work on 120V. This is a trend with all Waterpik models, even their apparently portable Waterpik Cordless Professional.
Also on the base of the Complete Care 5.0 are 4 small black rubber feet. These feet help prevent the unit from sliding around on your slippery bathroom counter.
I am also pleased to report that the feet do not leave black skidmarks on white counter tops, a problem found on all other counter top Waterpiks.
You may have noticed that stylish chrome trim that runs around the entire outside of the Complete Care 5.0.
While it may add to the overall looks of the unit, it doesn’t stay shiny for long. If you look at the picture above you will notice a whopping great big finger print easily visible on the chrome surface.
Watermarks, finger prints and other smudges all show up as if they are under a magnifying glass on the chrome trim. It’s unavoidable and the only way to keep it looking shiny is to religiously polish it after each and every use. This is a great example of sacrificing practicality for the sake of looks and we really wish Waterpik left the chrome strip off the unit completely.
The Waterpik handle sits loose in it’s own little holster:
This is the part of the Complete Care 5.0 that you hold in your hand during use. Water flows down the piping, through the handle and out the flosser tip and into your mouth.
The handle has an on and off button, this is far superior to the “pause” button you had to hold down on the previous model. Keep in mind that the on/off button only pauses the flow of water. You will still need to press the power button on the base station to turn the power on or off.
The button on the handle is quite uncomfortable to use, which again is ridiculous because the handle on the Waterpik Aquarius features amazingly comfortable and responsive buttons.
The handle is attached to the Complete Care unit by a coiled water hose. The hose can comfortably stretch 2 feet before it is pulled so tight that it becomes difficult to control the handle.
The coiled pipe “remembers” it’s shape and neatly coils itself back up to it’s compact spool when you place the handle back in the holder.
Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 Flosser Tips
Waterpik has included 5 flosser tips in the box of the Complete Care 5.0:
From left to right:
1. Classic Jet Tip – The standard flosser head that comes with all models of Waterpik. Three are included in the box.
2.Plaque Seeker Tip – Three thin tufts of bristles boarder the center hole that shoots water. The bristles add some extra scrubbing power when cleaning dental work (like crowns, bridges and implants).
3. Orthodontic Tip – Water shoots through a cluster of bristles to help clean around braces and other orthodontic appliances.
4. Pik Pocket Tip – Water is delivered at low pressure to help wash out periodontal pockets.
When it comes to choice in flosser tips, Waterpik offers more variety than any other manufacturer. To view the entire range, check out our detailed Waterpik flosser tip guide.
Now in what seems entirely like a cost cutting measure, Waterpik has reduced the number of Classic Jet Tips that come in the box. The older model came with 6 flosser tips, throwing in an extra Classic Jet Tip.
The reason for this is likely to get you to purchase replacement flosser tips sooner rather than later. The classic Jet Tip is the most commonly used tip and is good for up to 6 months. Dropping the number of included flosser tips just feels greedy on Waterpik’s part.
Installing a flosser tip into the handle takes seconds.
Simply slide your chosen flosser tip into the hole at the top of the handle. You will hear a “click” sound to confirm that the flosser tip is locked into place. And that’s really all there is to it.
The head of the handle can rotate the tip in a 360 degree range of movement. By utilizing the spinning head you can aim the flosser tip at any part of your mouth without moving your wrist.
Removing the flosser tip is just as simple. On the side of the handle you will notice a second button:
Sliding the switch up with one hand will eject the flosser tip from the holder, allowing you to remove it with the other. Be sure to hold the handle upright when ejecting the tip, or it will fall to the floor below.
The Complete Care 5.0 takes another step backward when it comes to flosser tip storage. All the other Waterpik Counter top models have a dedicated location to store flosser tips on the base station.
The Complete Care 5.0 does not. Instead they give you a cheap plastic case:
If you use more than one flosser tip or share your waterpik handle with other family members then this is the only option you have to store your flosser tips.
Perhaps the worst part about the case is that the flosser tips sit loose, so they are free to move around and touch each other. Hardly hygienic. And good luck opening the case if you cut your fingernails short, the latch is annoyingly fiddly to open.
But perhaps the biggest disappointment is that Waterpik actually makes a decent and sturdy travel case where each individual flosser tip clips in. But rather than include this better case in the box, they have chosen to save a few pennies and give you this piece of rubbish.
Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 Triple Sonic Toothbrush
The included electric toothbrush is where the Complete Care 5.0 get’s it’s name from. A toothbrush and flossing solution in a single unit.
If you have spent much time on this site then you may recall that we absolutely loved Waterpik’s toothbrush that came with the older Complete Care model, the Sensonic Professional Plus
The Sensonic Professional Plus was near perfect and more than capable of going toe to toe with the best electric toothbrush that Philips Sonicare has to offer. You can read our full review of the Sensonic Professional Plus here.
So for Waterpik to replace this toothbrush with the Triple Sonic, it would have to be better still… Right?
The Triple Sonic is complete rubbish in comparison. Waterpik should be embarrassed to offer this new electric toothbrush. It further goes to show that Waterpik is trying to cut costs by palming off an inferior electric toothbrush on to you.
Compared to the Sensonic Professional Plus, the Triple Sonic feels like a cheap child’s toy. Gone is the easy to grip shape and rubber grips and in it’s place is cheap slippery plastic.
Removing the brush head reveals another area where the new Triple Sonic falls short:
The shaft that connects the toothbrush head to the body is made from plastic. We have spend in excess of 8 months testing electric toothbrushes trying to find the best one. Out of all the models we tested, the ones that had reliability problems were the ones with plastic shafts.
There is a reason that the leaders in the electric toothbrush industry, Oral-B and Philips Sonicare use metal shafts. They are superior in every way.
Then there is the toothbrush head itself:
Unlike the Sensonic Professional that has a regular, small and amazing orthodontic brush head, the Triple Sonic only has a single brush head available.
The brush head is identical to the type you will find to cheap generic sonic toothbrushes, the type that come straight from China.
The only difference is that Waterpik’s has a tongue cleaner on the rear. As far as tongue cleaners go, it was pretty ineffective. If you want a more effective tongue cleaner, Waterpik sells a tongue cleaner tip for the water flosser.
Despite all this, with the proper technique, the electric toothbrush can still effectively remove plaque. But it is inferior to the previous model in every way.
It appears that Waterpik has taken a shortcut and just tweaked a readily available design:
We were not surprised that the brush heads are interchangeable with other cheap generic Chinese toothbrushes. And that pretty much sums up our thoughts on the Triple Sonic. A poorly made electric toothbrush masquerading as a premium one under the Waterpik brand.
The only area the Triple Sonic improves on the Sensonic Professional Plus is on the front of the unit:
A second button allows you to cycle through the three cleaning modes:
- Clean – The standard cleaning mode for general use
- Whiten – Claims to “polish and whiten” your teeth, does neither
- Massage – Pulsates for gum sensation. Another gimmick.
You may have noticed there is no sensitive mode. The whitening mode is a much gentler option for those of you who find the standard Clean mode too aggressive.
The Triple Sonic will “remember” your chosen cleaning mode the next time you turn the electric toothbrush on.
So one step forward and fifty step backs. Pretty disappointing. But the bad changes don’t stop there. Waterpik has even decided to mess with the plastic toothbrush travel case:
Except it’s not a case anymore. It’s two parts of a tube that connect together. Now this wouldn’t be an issue except that the tube requires the strength of ten men to pull apart and if you are not careful doing so will send your Triple Sonic toothbrush flying across the room.
There is also no dedicated space to put spare brush heads if you share the toothbrush with someone else.
Testing the Waterpik Complete Care 5.0
With the whole Complete Care explored it’s time to take it for a test drive.
Filling up the reservoir was easy. The valve held strong and prevented the water from escaping until the container was placed back in the unit.
With the Reservoir full and the cord plugged in it was time to turn the power on. Twisting the unresponsive dial to the right resulted in the pump motor roaring into life. And we do mean roar.
Like all water flossers the Complete Care 5.0 is on the loud side. We recommend you don’t use it when others are sleeping.
While the pump chugs along, water will not actually flow out the tip until you slide the button on the handle into the on position. We honestly wish the button was as responsive as that found on the Waterpik Aquarius. It would have made pausing the flow of water a much more enjoyable experience.
Still on the topic of this button, ensure that you return it to the off button when not in use. When the reservoir runs dry it can be easy to forget to do resulting in water flowing freely through the handle when you next turn the unit on, making a mess.
There pressure selector works well. There is a huge difference between the lowest and highest pressure setting. It took us a few flossing sessions before we were able to determine which pressure worked best for our mouths.
Interestingly, the “comfortable” pressure varied a lot from person to person. So it pays to play around with the settings.
The Complete Care is one of three Waterpik models capable of spitting out water at 100 PSI, the other two being the Waterpik Ultra, and the Aquarius Professional. If you want the most powerful stream possible, one of these three models is a must.
At the highest pressure setting we were able to completely drain the reservoir in just under 90 seconds. At first we found this time limit too short. But as our technique improved we found there was there was more than enough time to floss the entire mouth without refilling the reservoir. There was even enough time to linger on troublesome areas.
Then there is the Triple Sonic toothbrush
As you probably guessed from the roasting we gave it earlier in the guide, we don’t like it.
We were able to get 8 brushes out of the Triple Sonic (brushing twice daily for two minutes) before the toothbrush would completely die.
The toothbrush has a “Quad Timer” which pauses the toothbrush every 30 seconds prompting you to move on to the next quarter of your mouth. Once two minutes are up the brush will automatically turn itself off, which will be frustrating for those of you who wish to brush slightly longer.
The handle felt cheap in the hand and a rubber grip is desperately needed. The handle can get slippery if your hands are wet.
But at the end of the day it removes enough plaque that you could in fact use both the water flosser and the toothbrush together to give you the “complete care” claimed, but the whole thing feels like a step backwards rather than forwards.
Waterpik stuffed up. They released the Complete Care WP-900 which offered too much value for money. An amazing toothbrush and water flosser in one at what is now a bargain price if you purchase it from Amazon.
The Complete Care 5.0 feels like nothing more than a cash grab in comparison.
- A great flosser tip holder.
- A great toothbrush case.
- A flosser tip
- A great toothbrush
In exchange for a slimmer profile and sleeker design.
Is the trade worth it? Not at this price point.
If Waterpik was going to offer this up as a budget priced water flosser and leave the Complete Care WP-900 as a premium model then we would have praised this unit for the price.
Instead Waterpik released this model so that they could sell the WP-950 (the WP-900 with little more than a color change) for an additional $20.
Waterpik offers an inferior product at a premium price. $99 is too much for such a mediocre unit. This is a big step backwards for the complete care brand.
Vote with your wallet and avoid this model. For those of you who still want to try the Complete Care 5.0 for yourself you can pick it up at Amazon:
- Owner Manual – Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 PDF instruction manual
- Specs – Waterpik 5.0 Item Details and Specifications