The Ultra is one of the most recognized and popular out of Waterpiks models. And there is good reason for this. The Ultra sits at the cheaper end of Waterpik’s countertop range while including an immense amount of features.
Believe it or not, the Waterpik Ultra was released back in 2006. So is the Waterpik Ultra fit to compete with more modern water flossers? Or is the Ultra a great example of design that can stand the test of time. Find out that and more in our detailed review.
There are two different models of the Waterpik Ultra:
White (WP-100) White with blue highlights. The reservoir is made from a clear blue plastic. The subject of this review.
Black (WP-112) Black with silver highlights. The reservoir is made from a clear, colorless plastic.
The only difference between the two models is the color. When it comes to features and accessories, both water flossers are identical.
Out of the two we recommend the white model. We found that the black marked quicker than the white. Water marks, finger prints and toothpaste splatter were immediately visible on the black exterior. The Black Waterpik Ultra required more effort to keep clean.
Unboxing The Waterpik Ultra
If you were to tear open the box of your brand new Waterpik Ultra, this is what would be waiting for you inside:
Let’s break it down:
- Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser
- Classic Jet Tip (x2)
- Plaque Seeker Tip
- Orthodontic Tip
- Pik Pocket Tip
- Toothbrush Tip
- Instruction manual
The Waterpik Ultra takes seconds to set up out of the box. Simply select your plug the unit into your power outlet, select a flosser tip and you are good to go.
Examining the Waterpik UItra Water Flosser
As we touched on earlier in the review, the Waterpik Ultra has been going strong for over 10 years. As you might have guessed, it’s once cutting edge design is starting to look a little dated.
Looking like little more than a lump of blue white plastic with blue highlights, the Waterpik Ultra definitely isn’t going to win a beauty contest.
Fortunately, the Waterpik Ultra doesn’t have to win a beauty contest. Water flossers are vital for many peoples dental well-being. As long as they effectively improve your oral health, looks come in second. This is very likely why we have yet to come across a single Water Flosser whose looks have wowed us.
Let’s examine all the different features you will find on the Waterpik Ultra. Let’s start by lifting the lid.
Lifting up the lid at the very top of the Waterpik Ultra reveals a holder that you can use to store your flosser tips.
Whether you use multiple flosser tips, share your WaterPik with other users or just like to keep spares, the built in storage case keeps your flosser tips within easy reach.
Vents in the lid allow air circulate, helping to prevent mold and mildew from forming . Even with damp flosser tips inside.
The holder has room for up to four flosser tips. We particularly liked that waterpik had designed the holder to alternate the direction that the flosser tips face so that the ends that go in your mouth don’t touch each other.
This layout helps keep your flosser tip hygienic, especially if other members of your family also share your Waterpik.
The storage case also acts as a cover for the reservoir (the container where you store the water). Removing the storage compartment will give you direct access to the reservoir below:
The reservoir can hold up to 22 oz of water, just enough to get 90 seconds of use on the highest pressure setting. Measurements are clearly printed on the sides in both metric and imperial and come in handy if you need to mix a certain amount of water with your medication or antibacterial solutions.
While you can fill the reservoir up using a pitcher, it is by far easier to remove the container from the base of the Waterpik Ultra and fill it up in your sink.
The reservoir sits loose in the unit and can be removed without any effort. Simply place the container in your sink and turn the water on. The wide mouth of the reservoir makes filling a breeze.
A spring loaded valve at the bottom of the container prevents water from escaping when carrying it back to the Waterpik unit.
The container is top rack dishwasher safe although the valve isn’t. You will have to remove the valve each time you wash the container in the dishwasher which can prove tricky – In testing we dropped the valve on the floor and spent the good part of an hour trying to find it.
On the left-hand side of the Waterpik Ultra you will find the controls.
The top button is simply the power switch. Toggling this button turns the unit on or off.
Just below the power button is the pressure mode dial. The dial allows you to choose from one of 10 different pressure settings. The pressure ranges from 10 to 100 PSI with each position on the dial increasing the pressure by 10 PSI.
Moving around behind the Waterpik Ultra reveals a very plain looking back. At the base of the rear you will find the power cord.
The power cord stretches to just over 4 feet and will be more than enough length to reach the nearest power outlet in most bathrooms.
If you look at the underside of the Waterpik Ultra you will be greeted with the following sight:
The main feature to note here is the eight rubber feet. The four larger feet provide the main base of support while the four smaller feet stop it from rocking.
For the most part the feet work exceptionally well and prevent the Waterpik Ultra from sliding across even the most slippery of bathroom countertops.
Just a warning to those of you with white counter tops. Dragging the Waterpik unit across the surface of your counter will see the smaller feet leave visible black rubber “skid marks”. This is particularly a problem when the Waterpik Ultra is brand new out of the box and appears to go away the unit gets older.
We felt that this was a fairly minor issue since the marks are easily removed and for the most part the Waterpik Ultra will be set up in a single location.
The final feature on the Waterpik Ultra is the handle:
The handle (some peole call this the wand or bulb) is Located bang in the center of the Waterpik Ultra and and features a large blue button at it’s center.
Pressing and holding the blue button when the Waterpik is turned on pauses the flow of water, allowing you to position the handle without water flowing everywhere.
The handle is attached to the Waterpik Ultra by a coil of pipe. Water flows through the pipe, the handle and out the flosser tip.
We were able to comfortably stretch the water hose (pipe) 2 feet before it got so tight that we were unable to precisely control the handle.
Now your next step is choosing which flosser tip you will use with the Waterpik Ultra.
Waterpik Ultra Flosser Tips
Waterpik has included 6 different flossertips in the box of the Waterpik Ultra:
From left to right:
1. Classic Jet Tip -The standard flosser head that comes with all models of Waterpik. Two 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 – Delivers water deep into periodontal pockets
5. Toothbrush Tip – A stream of water shoots through the center of hole. The surrounding bristles can be used to scrub away at plaque just like a regular toothbrush.
When it comes to water flossers, Waterpik offers the largest selection of flosser tips out of any manufacturer. We were pleased to see that Waterpik has included almost all of them in the box, allowing you test each and determine which is right for you.
For detailed information on all the different flosser tips be sure to check out our flosser tip review.
Installing a flosser tip into the handle can be done in seconds:
Simply slide the base of your chosen flosser tip into the hole at the top of the handle. You will hear the flosser tip “click”, confirming that it is locked into place. It really is as simple as that.
The head of the handle can rotate the tip into one of 36 different directions. In practice the rotating handle worked really well. By positioning the flosser tip into the correct position before starting up the Waterpik we were able to get a much more precise clean.
Removing the flosser tip from the handle is just as easy as installing it. On the side of the handle you will notice a second button.
Pressing the button will unlock the flosser tip, releasing it from the handle. Just don’t press the button while flossing or the tip will shoot off.
Testing the Waterpik Ultra
With the whole unit thoroughly examined its now time to take the Waterpik Ultra for a test drive.
After plugging in the Waterpik Ultra for the first time you will need to fill the reservoir with water before you can use it. And to do that you need to remove the top cover which doubles as a storage compartment.
While we loved the flosser tip storage on top of the unit we do wish that it could be attached to the Waterpik Ultra itself.
We are strong advocates of hygiene (almost to the point of being germophobes). And a removable cover/tip storage just doesn’t seem to be the most hygienic way to cover the Waterpik Ultra. During testing we noticed that the cover could pick up dust and dirt from our countertop and drop it into the reservoir when we placed it down.
While the majority of you will no doubt keep your entire bathroom clean to the point of being spotless, we did feel this was an issue worth mentioning.
Filling up the reservoir takes no time at all. In fact we were pleased with just how easy the Waterpik is to set up and could have it up and running in under 20 seconds.
With the reservoir full it is time to turn the power on. Flick the switch and you can hear the pump roar into life. And we do mean roar. Like all water flossers, the Waterpik Ultra is loud enough to wake anyone who may be sleeping nearby.
The next thing you will have to do is choose your pressure setting. There is a wide range in pressure from the lowest to the highest setting. It took a few flossing sessions before we were able to determine which pressure setting worked best for us. Based on the feedback from our testers, “comfortable pressure” varied a lot from person to person, so be sure to play around with it.
The Waterpik Ultra is one of the few models of Waterpik that can reach 100 PSI; the other two being the Aquaris Professional and the Complete Care. If you require the highest pressure possible then you will need to choose from one of these three models.
At the highest pressure setting the water will drain in 90 seconds. At first the testers found this too short to clean their entire mouths. But as their technique improved they found that this was more than enough time to floss without refilling the reservoir.
When you are done you simply place the handle back into the holster. The holster is well designed and is pretty forgiving of just how poorly you place the handle back.
We set the Waterpik Ultra up on the countertop next to our bathroom sink. While this does permanently leave you with an ugly plastic object on your countertop, it was much less frustrating than pulling it out, setting it up and packing it away each day.
As you may have guessed, the Waterpik Ultra is a little bulky and is not exactly what you would call travel friendly. If you want a more portable solution you may be better off checking out the Waterpik Cordless Plus.
Waterpik Ultra Vs Waterpik Aquarius Professional
The Waterpik Aquarius Professional is essentially a modern version of the Waterpik Ultra. The Aquarius Professional comes with a much nicer looking exterior and a couple of other improvements. As well as a $20 difference.
But by and large they are essentially the same Waterpik. Functions to features the models are eerily similar. Same pressure options. While there have there have been some improvements in the design of the Aquarius Professional, there have also been some questionable design choices.
These choices include only having room to holding two flosser tips to the Ultras four, measurements hidden from view unless the container is removed and a questionable holster.
While neither model is perfect, both floss your teeth equally well. The Waterpik Ultra is the cheaper of the two and many will find that appealing. But we really can’t recommend one over the other in terms of performance.
Still undecided? Check out our review of the Waterpik Aquarius Professional here.
The Waterpik Ultra manages to stand the test of time. While it isn’t perfect, it easily competes with it’s competition and can even go toe to toe with Waterpiks newest model, the Aquarius Professional.
The clean is exactly what you would expect from a big industry name like Waterpik, effective and thorough. Combine this with the variety of flosser tips included in the box and you have a one-box solution suitable for most people.
While it may err on the side of ugly, the Warerpik Ultra ishighly recommended if you are in the market for a good water flosser.