Philips Sonicare Airfloss Review – Should You Buy It?

The Philips Sonicare Airfloss is a stylish and thoughtfully designed dental flosser which is incredibly intuitive to use. Unlike other water flossers on the market, it uses a unique combination of pressurized air and microdroplets of water to dislodge food particles and plaque from hard to reach areas (view on Amazon).

Philips strives to improve people’s lives through meaningful innovation, and they have been doing that since 1891. If you’re looking for an established and reputable company, it doesn’t get much better than that. And their Sonicare Airfloss is proven to remove 5x more plaque than just brushing alone.

There are hundreds of different water flossers on the market, and many aren’t cheap. It can be difficult to know whether you’re spending your money on a quality product or a scam.

As more and more products hit the market, it is so important to do your research to ensure you are getting a well-priced product that will actually deliver results.

In this Philips Sonicare Airfloss review, we’ll unpack all the things you need to know when deciding if the Airfloss is right for you.

Philips Sonicare performance

Philips Sonicare Airfloss HX8211/03
Philips Sonicare Airfloss HX8211/03

Removes 99.9% of plaque from treated areas

  • Proven to improve gum health of 97% of users
  • More gentle on gums than string floss

How does the Sonicare Airfloss work?

Traditional water flossing uses pressurized and pulsating water to dislodge plaque and debris from between teeth. The Airfloss take this one step further, combining the water with pressurized air for an “air flossing” experience.

What’s in the box?

The Sonicare Airfloss comes with:

  • Airfloss unit (white and green)
  • 1 nozzle
  • Travel charging base

Note: we review the standard Sonicare Airfloss here, but other variants are available. These include:

Key features of the Sonicare Airfloss

Philips Sonicare Airfloss
Reservoir 7oz or 60 seconds of flossing time
Flossing head Specially designed guidance tip
Battery life 2 weeks with auto power off
Time required for a full floss 30 seconds

Sonicare Airfloss Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Reservoir allows for 2 flosses
  • Economical for those using mouthwash
  • 2 week battery life for ultimate convenience

Sonicare Airfloss cons

  • Only one pressure setting
  • No speciality tips
  • No color coded tips
  • Not reliable

The Philips Sonicare Airfloss is great for those looking for a hassle-free flossing experience, and an obvious choice if you are already using other Sonicare products. The biggest drawback is it’s reliability (although it does come with a 2 year warranty). Aside from that, it is simple,  incredibly easy to operate, and is a lot tidier to use than a standard water flosser.

Philips Sonicare AirFloss Rechargeable Electric Flosser, HX8211/03
643 Reviews
Philips Sonicare AirFloss Rechargeable Electric Flosser, HX8211/03
  • From the makers of the #1 dental professional-recommended electric toothbrush brand
  • Removes up to 5x more plaque between teeth than manual tooth brushing alone. Battery life is up to 3 weeks when fully charged. Operating time is replace nozzle every 6 months
  • Helps improve gum health in as little as 2 weeks. Charge time - 24 hours to full charge
  • Fill with water or mouthwash, point, and clean for an easy 30 second cleaning routine
  • Safe and gentle on teeth and gums, and safe to use with implants, veneers, and orthodontics. Note : Refer to the PDF attached below in Technical Specification for User Manual and Other Content PDF for Troubleshooting Steps.

Reviewing the Sonicare Airfloss: 5 key features unpacked

Let’s take a closer look at the details.

1.) Design

The Airfloss is beautifully designed. As far as water flossers go, this is sleek and elegant, looking right at home in your bathroom (view on Amazon). Designed in keeping with the rest of the Sonicare line, it even uses the same chargers as their electric toothbrushes so you don’t have to keep switching over.

Don’t expect it to look like a toothbrush though. It is considerably more bulky than an electric toothbrush to allow sufficient reservoir capacity.

2.) Reservoir capacity

Philips have approached the idea of water flossing with a new take, combining pressurised air and water (or mouthwash) which are then ejected in a series of pulses. As a result of combining air and water, less water is required – just one teaspoon of liquid per floss.

If you want to floss with mouthwash then this is definitely the most economical way to do it as water flossers typically require around 200ml per clean. Using less water also makes for a tidier experience – you have very little water to spit out. But, as a result, you won’t get that fully rinsed mouth feeling with the Airfloss.

3.) Initial battery life

After a full 24 hour charge, the battery of the Airfloss lasts for an incredible 14 flosses compared to 7-10 that similar flossers are capable of. This is aided by the auto-shut-off feature that ensures that no power is wasted. The long battery life is helpful if you don’t want to take a charger with you on your travels.

4.) Guidance tip

Philips Sonicare Guidance Tip
Sonicare guidance tip

Proving that they have put serious thought into this product, Philips have strayed away from the standard jet pick design.

Instead, the Airfloss has a unique guidance flossing tip to help direct the flow between the teeth at the optimum angle for the most thorough clean. This makes for a very user-friendly and simple flossing experience – especially for children and first-time users.

These tips aren’t available in varying colors, which is not necessarily a deal breaker. But, it can make it difficult if multiple members of the family need to identify their personal flossing tip.

Also, whilst the guidance tip is a great feature, it is the only tip that is available with the Airfloss. Other brands also have specialized orthodontic, periodontal and tongue tips available, and usually included with the unit.

Most people are happy with the results they get from just using the guidance tip, but if you have dental work or sensitive gums, this may not be for you.

Is this all too good to be true?

Whilst wonderfully designed, the Philips Sonicare Airfloss does have some downsides.

The standard model one features one pressure setting compared to a standard three settings of competing products. Think of pressure settings as toothbrush grades. Would you give a child a hard toothbrush? No. Would you give someone with a plaque problem a baby toothbrush? No. In the same way, not everyone should use the same pressure when water flossing. Whilst the pressure is selected to work for most people, it may not give you optimal results.

5.) Longevity

The Airfloss comes with a 2-year warranty. Spreading the cost out over that time frame works out at just $0.07 per day – a minimal price to pay for improved oral health!

HOWEVER, when speaking of the Airfloss, the same phrase comes up again and again and again:

“This product is amazing… When it works.”

The initial user experience is very similar across the board, with nearly everyone being very happy with how the product looks, feels and functions. A significant proportion of users report a rapid decline in battery life after just a few months, causing devices to be rendered useless.

Often the Airfloss will be unable to get through a single floss before the battery dies. Whilst battery will be covered by the 2-year warranty, you should consider whether want to deal with claiming on warranty.

Ultimately, the best way to prolong the life of your Airfloss is to use it correctly.

How to use the Philips Sonicare Airfloss:

Charge your Airfloss for 24 hours before first use. When fully charged, the battery light indicator will stop flashing.

Insert your flossing tip into the handle. It will click into place. Then lift the reservoir lid and fill with water or mouthwash before replacing the lid.

Press the power button to turn on, then repeatedly press the activation button until water flows out (approximately 6 times).

The Airfloss is designed to be used on the outside of your teeth. Position the guidance tip between teeth and apply a gentle pressure before pressing the activation button to issue a burst of water and air.

Glide the tip along the gumline to nestle between the next teeth and repeat until all spaces between teeth have been cleaned.

Press the power button to turn off or simply set down to allow the device to auto-power off.

Philips Customer Service

If you do find that you need to call upon your warranty, you can contact Philips Customer service.

Phone: 1-800-682-7664

Via the Philips website

How does the Sonicare Airfloss compare?

Waterpik Cordless Advanced Philips Sonicare Airfloss Waterpik Sidekick
Reservoir 7oz / 1 full floss 7oz / 2 full flosses 14oz / 1 full floss
Pressure settings 3 1 5
Flossing head 2 Classic Jet

1 Orthodontic

1 Plaque Seeker

1 guidance tip 1 Sidekick flossing tip
Battery life 7 days 14 days N/A – plug into outlet
Flossing time required 45 seconds 30 seconds 60 seconds

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So what’s the bottom line?

This product has had some great thought put into it. Attractive, easy to use and effective, it seems to have all the qualities of an amazing water flosser. However, the functionality of the Airfloss just isn’t on par with other cordless flossers, such as the Waterpik Cordless Advanced, and it isn’t a product that you can rely on.

-> Read: Best Water Flossers of 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the flossing heads interchangeable?

Yes, the flossing heads are interchangeable and should  be replaced every six months.

Can the charger be used in Europe?

Yes, the charger is multi-voltage.

Does the Airfloss come with a travel case?

No. However, there are a range of options available to purchase on Amazon.

Where can I buy replacement nozzles?

Replacement nozzles can be ordered here.

Can the Airfloss be used for nasal irrigation?

No, the Airfloss should not be used for nasal irrigation. Nasal irrigation requires a specialist tip and low pressure settings. As neither of these options are available with the Airfloss, nasal irrigation should be avoided.

Does air flossing replace regular flossing?

Yes, you use the Airfloss in the place of string floss.

Can multiple people use the same device?

Yes, but it is recommended that each person has their own designated nozzle for hygiene purposes.

Does this remove staining in between teeth?

While the Sonicare Airfloss will give a thorough clean between teeth, it is not a whitening product and you should not expect such results from it.


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