Water flossers, also known as oral irrigators, cost a lot more up-front than string floss. And they can still be pretty uncomfortable to use—get ready to drool. Also, there’s no clear evidence that they’re superior to traditional floss. Yet some people really like the way the water jets feel between their teeth, and some find it’s easier to work with a wand than a piece of string. Of the 13 models we’ve tested, we recommend the Waterpik Ion, a compact traditional water flosser with a cordless charging base. It cleans mouths thoroughly and takes up less counter space than most of its competitors.
This countertop flosser made our mouths feel the cleanest, and it can operate cordlessly (between the unit and the wall), which saves a ton of counter space.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $80.
Testers unanimously chose Waterpik’s Ion as the best countertop water flosser both in terms of cleaning and saving counter space. It tied with our previous longstanding pick, the Waterpik Aquarius, for being the “most likely to deliver that ‘just left the dentist’ feeling.” But the Ion’s unique cordless charging base is a significant upgrade because it successfully mitigates one of the biggest hurdles we’ve had with traditional water flossers: needing an outlet near your countertop. (A cord connects the flossing device to the countertop water tank.)
The Ion has 10 pressure settings and comes with multiple tips of different stream widths. So you should be able to dial in a setting with the mix of comfort and effectiveness you prefer. This model also comes with a three-year warranty, which is as long as we’ve seen.
The Aquarius cleans just as well as the Ion, and it has the same warranty and 10 pressure settings. But this model is slightly larger, and it requires an outlet and more counter space.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $88.
The Waterpik Aquarius cleans mouths just as well as the Ion, and it has the same 10 pressure settings and three-year warranty. This model does, however, require more counter space than most flossers, and it needs to be plugged in while you use it. Even so, we found it easy to use and clean, like the Ion. The Aquarius is the only one of our picks that comes with a “massage” setting, which emits pulses of water.
Waterpik Cordless Express
This handheld, battery-operated cordless model is more portable than—and almost as effective as—its corded counterparts.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $36.
If you’d like to use your messy water flosser in places other than at the sink (such as in the shower), consider the Waterpik Cordless Express. It’s a portable, cordless water flosser that’s almost as powerful as our other picks. Unlike its countertop counterparts (which feature large water reservoirs and handheld sprayers), this battery-operated flosser combines the sprayer with a single-use reservoir, for an all-in-one, handheld experience. Plus, this model fits in a bathroom drawer (or a suitcase) between uses.