The Waterpik Aquarius has widely been recognised as the best water flosser on the market for the past 4 years. It even ranked top place in our best water flossers round up. However, Waterpik’s latest product, the Sidekick, has already made quite an entrance. With raving reviews just a few months after its release, will the Sidekick end the reign of the Aquarius and steal the top spot? Find out in our Waterpik Sidekick vs Aquarius review.
But firstly… Who are Waterpik?
Waterpik have dominated the market since they invented water flossing over 55 years ago. They are so established that, for many people, the words “water flosser” and “Waterpik” are interchangeable. Waterpik products have been recognized for their award-winning design and patented technology and have become one of the most trusted brands in oral health.
So what do the Sidekick and Aquarius have in common?
Both the Sidekick and Aquarius utilize Waterpik’s patented water flossing technology. Clinically proven to remove 99.9% of plaque from treated areas, they also are 50% better at improving gum health than string floss. These results are achieved by shooting pressured water between the teeth at a rate of 1400 pulses per minute. The result? A quick and easy experience that leaves you with squeaky clean teeth.
Despite the Sidekick’s portability, both models are countertop water flossers. This means that they sit with the reservoir on the countertop instead of having water in the handle, and also require a power socket. The countertop design allows for a larger reservoir than cordless models. This equates to more flossing time and generally a more thorough clean. It is also worth noting that countertop flossers are the best choice for those with wrist problems such as arthritis, because the bulk of the weight is away from the handle.
Waterpik has confidence in their products and you should too. Whilst other brands typically have a two year warranty, both of these flossers come with a three year warranty. You can definitely rest assured that when purchasing a Waterpik product you are investing in a quality product that will withstand the test of time.
Sound good so far?
Let’s take a look at a side-by-side overview.
|Waterpik Sidekick WF-04||Waterpik Aquarius Professional WP-660|
|Recommended Retail Price||$129.99||$79.99|
|Amazon review rating||4.4/5 stars (41 reviews)||4.4/5 stars (11000 reviews)|
|Colors||Black and copper, white and chrome, white and rose gold||Black, white, blue*|
|Pressure range||10-100 psi||10-100 psi|
|Flow rate per minute||13 ounces (400ml)||13 ounces (400ml)|
|Pulses per minute||1400||1400|
|Rotating tip||No||360 degrees|
|Suitable for travel||Yes||No|
|Water on/off switch on handle||No||Yes|
|LED function indicator||No||Yes|
|Included tips||1||7 (3 classic jet tips, 1 orthodontic, 1 plaque seeker, 1 periodontal and 1 toothbrush)|
|Capacity||13 ounces (400ml)||22 ounces (650ml)|
|Flossing time at full pressure||60 seconds||90 seconds|
|Global voltage||Yes: 100-240VAC 60/50Hz||No – North America only: 120VAC 60/Hz|
|Height assembled||4.84 Inches
|Width (base)||5.70 Inches
|Depth (base)||3.90 Inches
|Warranty||36 months||36 months|
*More colour options available as Aquarius Designer WP-670 (white and chrome, teal, black, blue, orchid, pink). Price $89.99.
What’s the short of it?
From a quick look over the key features, it’s clear that Sidekick shares the same core features as the Aquarius. As previously mentioned, they both have a great pressure range and provide 1400 pulses per minute for the most effective clean. On top of this, each comes with a 3 year warranty and they even share the same 4.4/5 star Amazon review rating.
However, that’s pretty much all they have in common. It is important to consider that each flosser has been designed for a specific purpose. The Sidekick – to be portable and powerful; and the Aquarius Professional – (aptly named) to be the best. The Aquarius offers advanced features such as periodontal cleaning, massage mode, and a timer. Lacking these features, the Sidekick just cannot compare. The Aquarius continues its 4 year reign as best water flosser out there.
But don’t write off the Sidekick just yet – it might just be the water flosser for you.
Find out as we unpack the winning features of each.
The Aquarius comes with 10 pressure settings compared to the 5 that the Sidekick offers. Whilst both water flossers have a range from 10-100psi, the Aquarius’ wider selection of settings allows you to increase pressure in smaller increments. This gives you the ultimate control over your flossing and allows for a more tailored experience. That said, frequent water flosser users typically settle into using a maximum of 3 different pressure settings, so more isn’t necessarily better in the long run.
The Aquarius features an innovative rotating tip. This often overlooked feature allows maximum access to both the front and back of teeth without having to reposition the handle or the arm. Whilst a seemingly small pro, this has 3 benefits.
- More thorough clean as easier to get to hard to reach areas
- Less messy overall experience as it is easy to direct flow with precision
- Great for those with limited mobility who would be unable to reposition for access to the back of teeth.
Suitable for travel
Portability – the Sidekick’s star feature. Designed as a companion to travel the world with you, the Sidekick folds down into a compact package not that much bigger than a photograph. Whilst the footprint of the Aquarius is actually slightly smaller, the packed away Sidekick stands at just 1 inch high! It then packs away into its stylish premium travel case. This is water-resistant too, so you don’t need to worry about setting down in the bathroom.
The Aquarius? That’s definitely one to stay firmly at home!
Water on/off switch on handle
This feature is by no means a deal breaker, but it is worth mentioning. The Sidekick has a single power button on the main body of the device. The Aquarius has a power button and a water on/off slider on the handle of the jet tip. If more buttons sounds like extra work to you, think again.
Optimal flossing position is with head down, facing the sink. This allows water to flow out of your mouth at the same time as flossing, but it makes it difficult to see much at all. In particular, it makes it difficult a power switch on a device that is sitting out of your line of sight. This isn’t a problem with the Aquarius though, as the water on/off switch sits right under your fingertips – easy to find every time.
Whilst the Sidekick only has a flossing mode, the Aquarius also has option of hydro-massage. Designed to be used with low pressure settings, this sends a series of pulses directly to the gum line. Gum massage helps to prevent gingivitis and periodontitis by stimulating blood flow, promoting healing. For those with periodontal pockets, it also helps to release any trapped debris from the gumline.
Another feature unique to the Aquarius is its timer. The water flosser will briefly pause after 30 seconds to prompt the user to move to the other arch of your mouth. It will then pause again after a total time of 1 minute to signal that recommended flossing time has been reached. If this isn’t enough time for you, don’t worry – the device will continue to run until it is switched off. If this isn’t a feature you want, the timer can be deactivated.
The Sidekick only has one flossing tip, whereas the Aquarius is compatible with multiple ones. 7 are included with every device: 3 classic jet tips, 1 orthodontic tip, 1 periodontal tip, 1 plaque seeker and 1 toothbrush head. The range of tips means that there is always a tip to perfectly suit your need. If you have any dental work or gum issues, these specialized tips allow for optimal cleaning and comfort.
The Sidekick doesn’t offer extra tips because the tip is integrated into the handle and hose. This impacts in 2 ways. Firstly, it is not possible to use any specialized tips with the Sidekick. Secondly, unless you’re willing to share flossing tips, it is strictly a personal water flosser. The Aquarius offers a much better solution for family use with its interchangeable and color coded tips.
The issue of capacity really divides water flosser users. Is bigger better? Many would argue yes as this allows for more flossing time. If you don’t feel pressed for time, you’re more likely to do a thorough job and therefore have better dental health. The Aquarius gives a full 90 seconds of flossing time at the highest pressure, compared to 60 seconds with the Sidekick. However, recommended flossing time is 1 minute, so whilst it allows the user a little more time, as long as you can get the job done, the extra time isn’t actually too beneficial.
A covered reservoir makes for a more hygenic flossing experience. The cover helps to prevent bacteria from getting in the reservoir and prevents dust from contaminating the water. Whilst the Sidekick can be equally sanitary with proper care, the Aquarius maintains that level of hygiene without effort required.
The Sidekick comes with global voltage allowing for easy use across the globe. This is something that is not possible with the Aquarius, which is region specific and only suited for use in North America.
The Aquarius is the winner but…
Clearly, the well-loved Aquarius is the strongest contender here. With an impressive array of features,it trumps almost any water flosser out there. For every day at home use, you cannot get better than the Aquarius.
That said, the Sidekick does come out on top on a few features. And these features are important. Compact but powerful, universally compatible and complete with travel bag – if you are always on the move then the Sidekick is the one for you.