Last Updated on August 28, 2019
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There is no argument that Waterpik creates some of the best water flossers on the market. But the counter-top models are just that bit to bulky to bring along on your travels.
Enter Waterpiks Cordless Plus (WP-450). A portable model designed to be used away from the home.
Is it any good? We answer that question and more in our comprehensive guide on the Waterpik Cordless Plus.
Waterpik’s Cordless Plus vs. Cordless Professional
Now some of you may be wondering just what the difference is between the Waterpik Cordless Plus (WP-450) and the Cordless Professional (Wp-440):
Besides a few cosmetic differences, the two are identical. They both hold the same amount of water, they both floss at the same pressure, they both feel the same in the hand.
So why then is the Cordless professional $15 more expensive than the Cordless Plus?
Waterpik has tried to justify the price jump by including a small battery operated toothbrush (called the Nano-Sonic, it isn’t great) in the box of the Professional model. Curiously, the Nano-Sonic toothbrush can be purchased separately for $10, so we were unable to explain why the total price difference between the two were $15 (**cough** greedy **cough**).
We reached out to Waterpik for a response but the answer was vague and unhelpful.
So if you are choosing between these two models, we currently recommend choosing the Cordless Plus over the Cordless Professionals. Put your savings towards buying replacement flosser tips in the future.
Although this review is of the cordless plus, our experience with the Cordless Professional was identical. This review can also be used to determine whether or not the professional model is right for you.
Unboxing the Waterpik Cordless Plus WP-450
If you were to tear open the box of your brand new Waterpik Cordless Plus, this is what you would find inside.
Let’s break it down:
- Waterpik Cordless Plus (WP-450) body
- Classic Jet Tip x2
- Plaque Seeker Tip
- Orthodontic tip
- Instruction manual
WaterPik Cordless Plus
Examining the WaterPik Cordless Plus
Let’s take a closer look at all the features you will find on the Waterpik Cordless Plus.
At the front of the Cordless plus you will find two buttons.
1. Power Button – Sliding the top button will turn your Cordless Plus on or off.
2. Water Pressure mode – Sliding the lower button will toggle the water pressure between Low (45 PSI) and High (75 PSI).
While the power button slides up and down with a satisfying click, the pressure button feels loose and unresponsive. We had to double check to make sure we actually had the pressure switch on the correct setting.
Unless you share your Waterpik, you will likely leave the pressure button in the one position once you determine which pressure setting you prefer. As a result, we do not feel the clunkiness of the button will be too much of an issue for most users.
Located at the base of the unit you will find the charging socket:
As the name suggests, this is how you charge your Cordless Plus. Simply plug the charger into this socket and you are done.
If you look into the charging inlet on your brand new Waterpik Cordless Plus you will notice a small blob of silicone in each of the slots. Plugging the charger in for the first time spreads this silicone throughout the charging socket, helping to seal the unit. Why Waterpik has decided to
Interestingly, the silicone also coats the metal charging contacts, which we suspect is a big reason for many people reporting that their WaterPik Cordless plus no longer charging just months after they bought it, blaming the battery for not holding a charge when in fact the battery is not being charged at all.
We had a similar problem after a few months of use and found that scraping away both the contacts and the charger (unplug it first!) saw the Cordless Plus charge as good as the day we first got it.
Moving around to the rear of the Cordless Plus you will see why Waterpik decided to put the charging socket on the front of the unit; there simply isn’t any room on the back.
The rear of the Cordless Plus is dominated by a rubber grip and the water reservoir.
If you looked closely at the above picture you may have noticed that the rubber grip is ribbed. When you wrap your fingers around the neck of the unit, they will line up perfectly with the raised sections of the rubber grip, making it easy to keep a firm grasp of the water flosser.
As far as rubber grips go we were very impressed, combined with the curved molding of the neck, even the slipperiest of hands were able to get a good hold on the Cordless Plus.
At the base of rear you will find the reservoir:
The reservoir holds just over 7oz of water, just enough for 45 seconds of flossing. Unfortunately if you want a portable water flosser then you have to compromise on the amount of water the unit can hold.
Popping open the sealed flap will reveal an opening allowing you to fill up the container.
While the flap pops down with little effort, we were pleased to see that it was difficult to open by mistake.
With the flap open, you simply place the Waterpik Cordless Plus under your faucet and fill the container with water. Because the whole unit is sealed you do not have to worry about water splashing over the handle.
Cleaning the Water reservoir can be fiddly, so to make life easier you can completely remove the reservoir from the unit:
Since the water in the container is pumped directly into your mouth, you will want to keep the container clean and hygienic. Fortunately, the container itself is dishwasher safe which does make cleaning a much easier task.
Waterpik Cordless Plus tips
At the very top of the Cordless plus you will find the tip holder and release button:
Installing a flosser tip is as simple as sliding it into the holder. You will know that the tip is secure when you hear it click into place.
In order to release the tip you simply hold your finger on the release button with one hand and remove the tip with the other.
With a tip firmly secured in the holder you will be able to rotate it into different positions:
Waterpik claims that the tip can rotate 360 degrees. But they are only half telling the truth. While the tip can rotate in a full circle, it can only lock into one of 8 positions in that range of movement.
While it may seem like a basic feature, we were impressed with how easy the various positions made directing the flow of water while still allowing you to comfortably hold the handle.
Waterpik has included 4 flosser tips in the box:
Let’s take a closer look at each (from closest to furthest).
1. Orthodontic Tip – Water shoots through a tapered cluster of bristles. This flosser tip has been designed to be used with braces and other orthodontic appliances.
2. Plaque Seeker Tip – Three thin tufts of bristles boarder the hole that water shoots out. This flosser tip has been designed for dental restorations (like crowns, bridges and implants). The bristles and water stream work together to remove the plaque that often clings to these restorations.
3. Classic Jet Tip – The most commonly used Waterpik flosser head. A stream of water flows through the tip and blasts away plaque from between the teeth and along the gum line. Waterpik has included two Jet Tips in the box of the Cordless Plus.
When it comes to flosser tips, Waterpik offers more options than any other water flosser brand. There are another three variations that can be used on the Cordless Plus (sold separately). Each head has been designed to solve a specific problem area of the mouth. For more detailed information, read our guide on the different types of Waterpik Flosser Tips.
If you look closely at the picture above you will see that not all of the tips have the same colored ring at the base. These are the identification rings and allow you to share your Waterpik Cordless Plus with other members of your family.
Each person using the flosser picks a color and you will no longer have to deal with the fear of irrigating your teeth with someone else’s flosser tip.
Flosser tips will eventually wear down and become unhygienic. Bristled tips need to be replaced once every three months (just like a toothbrush) while the completely plastic tips can be used up to 6 months before needing to be replaced.
WaterPik Cordless Plus
Charging the Waterpik Cordless Plus
The first thing you will have to do prior to using your brand new cordless waterpik is charge up the battery.
Charging is as simple as plugging the charger cord into the socket at the base of the Waterpik unit:
One thing we didn’t like about the charging process is that there is no clear signal that the battery is charging. No sound, no flashing light to let you know charging has started or finished.
The Waterpik Cordless Plus contains a NiMH battery and takes a full 24 hours to charge. We found ourselves getting just over 14 uses before the battery would completely die on us.
Because of the long charge time you will have to remember to place the Waterpik unit on charge once a week, otherwise you risk it dying on you mid-use.
Now the whole idea (to us anyway) of a portable Waterpik is that it can be taken with you anywhere. While you can take the Cordless Plus to any country on earth, it will only charge on 110V . Charging on 240V will fry the battery. IF you want a truly portable water flosser that you can take world wide then you should check out the battery operated Waterpik Cordless Freedom.
But as far as travelling across America is concerned, the Cordless Plus is a great portable Waterpik. It’s even plane friendly, we took the unit with us on interstate flights and were not stopped by the TSA once.
WaterPik Cordless Plus
Testing the Waterpik Cordless Plus
With our Waterpik fully charged it’s time to take it for a test drive.
If you have ever used a counter-top Waterpik then you will know just how easy it is to steer and direct the handle. The separate water reservoir and pump makes the handle light and easy to maneuver.
But being a portable model, the Cordless Plus houses everything in one hand held unit. If you are expecting the same level of maneuverability as your counter-top model then you are going to be disappointed.
While the Waterpik unit is easy to wrap your fingers around, it feels quite bulky, especially with a full water reservoir.
Filling up the reservoir was easy, just expect a good amount of water to trickle down the handle if you do not detach the container from the unit.
If you live in an area where you are prone to mold and mildew then expect to clean the water reservoir once a week (or before you place it back into storage). The small opening does not allow for a lot of air circulation, which makes drying difficult. We noticed that water droplets remained a week later in damp environments.
We also noticed that hard water would leave deposits on the inside of the reservoir. Fortunately these were easy enough to clean remove with a warm water and vinegar solution.
Pressing the power button saw the Cordless Plus roar into action. The sound is roughly twice as loud as your standard electric toothbrush. If you use this water flosser while people are sleeping you will almost certainly wake them up.
The reservoir holds enough water for 45 seconds of flossing. We found this to be more than enough to clean along our gumline. However, if you have braces or pause to take care of a trouble spot you may find yourself needing to refill in order to achieve a whole mouth clean.
As far as the clean goes, we were more than happy with the results. The only people who will be dissatisfied are those of you who use a counter-top model on the highest pressure setting.
While the Waterpik Cordless Plus packs a powerful motor into a portable size, it just can’t achieve the high pressures of the much larger stand-alone models. But we feel that the majority of people will be more than happy with the pressure output.
There was a learning curve to overcome and at first we found water running down our arm as we got used to the correct angle to hold the Cordless Plus. But within a week we had perfected our technique and this was no longer a problem.
While we found that the Cordless plus is very portable, we were disappointed to note that a travel case is not included in the box. While we were fine stuffing the unit into our luggage, it would have been nice to keep the flosser tips and Waterpik unit in a single kit.
If you want to buy a proper travel case for the Cordless Plus then you will need to purchase directly from the Waterpik website. The case itself is nylon and feels very cheaply made, why Waterpik couldn’t include this in the box is beyond us.
Despite the small hiccup with having to scrape down the charging terminals we described earlier in the review, using the Cordless Plus was a fairly simple experience.
Coming in at the same price as a good counter-top Waterpik, the Cordless Plus is only really superior if you need a water flosser while traveling.
The Cordless Plus does offer a clean that is on par with a counter-top model (unless you want more pressure). But bulky handle, smaller reservoir and constant need to be charged make this particular Waterpik impractical to be regularly used at home.
Where the Waterpik Cordless Plus truly excels is domestic travel. If you are looking for good waterflosser you can throw in your luggage then the Cordless Plus fits the bill perfectly.