Waterpik Ultra Plus review

We put the Waterpik Ultra Plus to the test and discovered a dentist-clean water flossing experience at home.

waterpik ultra water flosser being tested by Live Science contributor Lou Mudge
(Image: © Lou Mudge)

Live Science Verdict

A top of the line water flosser, we loved the large reservoir capacity of the Waterpik Ultra Plus and the multiple flossing tips for a clean-mouth feeling.

Pros

  • +

    Large reservoir (90 seconds of capacity)

  • +

    Storage compartment for heads

  • +

    Easy to use buttons

  • +

    Six tips

Cons

  • -

    Bulky/not great for small bathrooms

  • -

    Powered from shaver socket

  • -

    Not rechargeable/wireless

Why you can trust Live Science Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The Waterpik Ultra Plus lives up to the name “ultra”, with a range of flossing tips, a large reservoir capacity and ten powerful pressure settings. Whether you’re new to water flossing or are looking for a flosser to take up permanent residence in your bathroom, the Ultra Plus is better than most of the portable flossers we’ve tested due to its powerful pressure settings, variety of tips and easy to use ergonomic buttons. 

Waterpik Ultra Plus: Essential info

90 seconds of reservoir capacity

Storage compartment for heads

Ergonomic buttons

Six different tips

Powered from shaver socket 

Non-wireless 

10 pressure settings

Flosser head attached to reservoir with extendable cord

Easy to clean/dry 

Click tips into place, button to release 

During use, you can see the water depleting through the clear tank, so it’s easy to know when to refill if necessary. There is a button on the flosser itself to start and stop the water if you need to, as well as an on/off switch and pressure dial on the base of the flosser, which are both easy to use without looking (if your head is over the sink) and responsive to soft touch.

Read on to see how we found the design, functionality and performance of the Waterpik Ultra Plus, and what other users had to say about this water flosser.

Waterpik Ultra Plus review: Design

The Waterpik Ultra Plus is one of Waterpik’s countertop water flossers, which needs to be plugged in to run — unlike some of the cordless options. This is a great middle of the range option offered by Waterpik, with the Ultra Professional offering a slightly higher end option in a variety of colors. If you compare the specs for the Ultra Plus (this model) or the Ultra Professional, there is very little between them, with the same pressure range, pulses per minute and flow per minute. With this in mind, it’s worth saving the extra dollars and buying the Ultra Plus over the Ultra Professional, as they offer an almost identical flossing experience. 

The Ultra Plus only comes in white, with a clear tank to help you see how much water you have left while flossing and when you might need to refill. The tips click into place and are released with a button on the side of the flossing handle when you want to change them over. The reservoir lid doubles as storage for your spare tips, so you can easily change to a different flossing experience. 

waterpik ultra water flosser being tested by Live Science contributor Lou Mudge

(Image credit: Lou Mudge)

Waterpik Ultra Plus review: Functionality

The flossing tips rotate 360 degrees to help you reach difficult areas of the mouth and ensure you clean every tooth effectively. The instructions are very clear, with a quick start guide and a more detailed manual coming with the box. The box itself has a useful diagram with specifications and a breakdown of what each tip should ideally be used for.

The buttons are ergonomic, with a sliding dial to change the pressure setting and an on/off button on the reservoir, as well as a water on/off button on the handle of the flosser. In comparison to the cordless flossers we’ve tried, the amount of cords can be a bit annoying, especially if your shaving socket isn’t within easy reach of your sink. However the cords are a generous length, so once you’re set up it is easy to get going. Also, you can remove the reservoir and take it to the sink to fill if you need to. As well as the power cord, the flossing head comes on an extendable wire to allow you more manoeuvrability. 

waterpik ultra water flosser being tested by Live Science contributor Lou Mudge

(Image credit: Lou Mudge)

The fact that you can remove the reservoir makes it easy to clean as well. The manual recommends you tip out any excess water after use and you can easily wipe it dry to avoid creating a damp environment for bacteria to grow. We noted that it was easier to keep clean than portable water flossers, which usually have smaller water tanks that are difficult to clean out and dry manually. 

Waterpik Ultra Plus review: Performance

This water flosser has ten pressure modes, ranging from 10 PSI to 100 PSI, which gives you plenty to choose from. The six flossing tips also give you options to target different dental problems, whether you have braces, periodontal pockets or furcation defects. Our tester found the Plaque Seeker tip particularly good for cleaning the spaces between teeth, where one would accumulate plaque and tartar. There is also a toothbrush tip and tongue cleaner, to give you a full dental cleaning experience. 

It was by far the easiest water flosser we’ve tested to fill and wipe clean after use, and the 90 seconds of tank capacity makes it easy to floss the whole mouth without needing to refill it. This is something cordless water flossers generally fall short on, as the reservoirs are too small to floss your entire mouth in one session.

waterpik ultra water flosser being tested by Live Science contributor Lou Mudge

(Image credit: Lou Mudge)

Waterpik Ultra Plus review: What’s good about it?

The Waterpik Ultra Plus is versatile, powerful and easy to use and clean. The settings dial is easy to understand and two power buttons (one on the base and one on the flosser handle) prevent you from accidentally spraying water everywhere, which we found to be a problem with other brands.

Compared with its cordless counterpart, the Waterpik Cordless Select, the powerful Ultra Plus is actually cheaper, retailing at $89.24 on Amazon rather than the $95.19 for the Cordless Select. Considering the Ultra Plus has vastly more features and capabilities, you definitely get more for your money. 

waterpik ultra water flosser being tested by Live Science contributor Lou Mudge

(Image credit: Lou Mudge)

Waterpik Ultra Plus review: What’s not so good about it?

If you have a small bathroom, the Waterpik Ultra Plus might not be the right choice for you.

Don’t pick it up by the reservoir either — the base will detach and you could break it if you aren’t supporting it underneath. Also, the shaver plug limits customers who don’t have shaver attachments in their bathrooms and they will need to purchase an adaptor.

Waterpik Ultra Plus review: User reviews

Users also noted that having to plug the Waterpik Ultra Plus in makes it restrictive and difficult to use, but that the flossing experience is unparalleled and their teeth feel cleaner than ever after using the flosser. One user said: “This unit is extremely effective, easy to use, with various pressure options, making it powerful to floss your teeth. It has plenty of water capacity to floss your teeth properly without having to top up the unit. To top it off, it's not too loud either.”

waterpik ultra water flosser being tested by Live Science contributor Lou Mudge

(Image credit: Lou Mudge)

Should you buy the Waterpik Ultra Plus?

If you have the space in your bathroom for a corded water flosser, the Waterpik Ultra Plus is definitely a great investment. You get ten pressure settings and six flossing tips for your money and it’s easier to fill with water and clean than other brands we’ve tested.

If this product isn’t for you

If you are looking for a portable version with Waterpik’s great technology, then you might want to try the Waterpik Cordless Select. 

Or, for a slightly more advanced cordless water flosser, we liked the Oclean W10 Water Flosser for its five great pressure settings and color options. 

Lou Mudge
Health Writer

Lou Mudge is a health writer based in Bath, United Kingdom for Future PLC. She holds an undergraduate degree in creative writing from Bath Spa University, and her work has appeared in Live Science, Tom's Guide, Fit & Well, Coach, T3, and Tech Radar, among others. She regularly writes about health and fitness-related topics such as air quality, gut health, diet and nutrition and the impacts these things have on our lives. 

She has worked for the University of Bath on a chemistry research project and produced a short book in collaboration with the department of education at Bath Spa University. 

  • Elinakeitherin
    The rinsing action of Waterpiks may not be enough to remove plaque completely from the surface of teeth. Some people like to use string floss first, to scrape off and loosen plaque. A Waterpik can then be used to efficiently rinse out residue and plaque left behind.
    My Insite
    Reply