Everyone knows that a great oral hygiene routine is essential. But what happens when you’re on holiday? What if you don’t have the counter space to spare?
Until recently, cordless water flossers have been the ultimate way to maintain a good flossing routine wherever you are. Waterpik’s Cordless Advanced has been a firm favorite due to its self-contained water reservoir, compact size, and rechargeable battery.
But, cordless flossers are also recognised to be less powerful and more limited than their countertop rivals. Enter Waterpik’s latest product: the Sidekick.
The Sidekick promises to bridge the gap between cordless and countertop water flossers; packing the punch of a countertop with the compact portability of a cordless. It has also been dubbed as the best looking water flosser out there. But is it really practical? And how does it compare to Waterpik’s best cordless flosser?
Before we get into details, why is water flossing important?
Whilst good brushing is paramount to maintaining great oral health, brushing alone simply is not enough. And even traditional flossing doesn’t cut it.
The Waterpik Sidekick and Cordless Advanced both:
- Use patented Waterpik technology to deliver pressurized water and pulsations which clean deep between teeth and below the gumline.
- Are clinically proven to be more effective than traditional dental floss.
- Are perfect for anyone with braces or implants, and those with crowns, bridges and veneers.
Side by side comparison: Waterpik Sidekick vs Cordless Advanced
|Sidekick WF-04||Cordless Advanced WP-560|
|Amazon reviews||4.2 / 5 (44 reviews)||3.9 / 5 (1074 reviews)|
Rose Gold (WF-04CD010-9)
Rose Gold (WP-569)
|Water flosser type||Countertop||Cordless|
|Flow rate per minute||13 ounces||10 ounces|
|Pulses per minute||1400||1250|
|Rotating tip||No||360 degrees|
|Quiet design||Quieter than previous countertop models||Ultra quiet|
|LED function indicator||No||Yes|
|Included tips||1||4 included tips:
2 Classic (JT-110E)
1 Orthodontic (OD-100E)
1 Plaque Seeker (PS-100E)
|Reservoir capacity||13 ounces||7 ounces|
|Capacity in seconds||60 seconds||45 seconds|
|Power voltage||Global voltage||Global voltage|
|Assembled height||4.84 inches||11.60 inches|
|Width (base)||5.70 inches||2.80 inches|
|Depth (base)||3.90 inches||4.00 inches|
|Warranty||36 months||24 months|
Where a compromise is made in one place, a great feature redeems it in another. Both the Waterpik Sidekick and the Cordless Advanced are great options. And, if you’re reading this, then you are probably already well on your way in your journey for excellent oral health. Overall, the Sidekick will give you the countertop experience on the road, albeit a simplified one. Whereas the Cordless Advanced offers more flexibility at the cost of power and capacity.
Other than bearing the name, Waterpik, these water flossers have very little in common. Both come with a travel bag, have global voltage, and are available with chrome accents. The similarities stop here.
So let’s take a look at the key differences and why they matter
Waterflosser type: countertop or cordless?
Whether you choose a countertop or cordless water flosser is largely down to personal preference. The main difference between the two is that with a countertop flosser, the water reservoir sits on the main body of the device. This is in contrast to the cordless water flossers which hold the water in a self contained reservoir located in the handle of the unit. It is worth noting that if you have mobility or strength issues with your wrists, then a cordless water flosser could be too heavy for you. Typically, countertop models offer greater reservoir capacity and more power, and here, the Sidekick delivers.
Pressure range and settings
If you’re looking for a compact water flosser that packs the punch of a full sized one, then the Sidekick is for you. It has a low setting of just 10psi, ranging right through to 100psi which allows you to get the ultimate clean. The limited top pressure of the Cordless Advanced means that, even on the highest setting, you won’t achieve quite a thorough clean as with the Sidekick.
Both water flossers offer less pressure setting options than a full sized water flosser, but this isn’t necessarily the end of the world. Most regular water flosser users settle into using a maximum of 3 different pressure settings, so 3 is usually plenty.
Pulses per minute
Studies show that pulsating water is more effective at cleaning than a continuous stream of water. And the more pulses per minute, the better. The Waterpik Sidekick has an incredible 1400 pulses per minute – equal with the full sized water flossers that Waterpik offers. Compare this to 1250 pulses per minute that the Cordless Advanced offers, and you can understand why people are so happy with the Sidekick. With higher pressure capabilities and more pulses per minute, the Sidekick doesn’t compromise on cleaning ability so you get the best clean possible.
Winner: Cordless Advanced
Many Waterpik products come with a rotating tip. Often an overlooked feature, this allows easy manoueverability and makes it so simple to clean the back of the teeth as well as the front. It also makes it perfect for those with limited moblity as the majority of the directing can be done with the rotating tip.
It seems odd that Waterpik haven’t continued this feature in the Sidekick. However, the Sidekick does have a swivel handle which allows for some motion.
Winner: Cordless Advanced
If you have used a water flosser before, you can identify with this fact: water flossing can be a little messy. Now imagine that you could water floss in the shower, where getting water everywhere doesn’t matter one bit. This is a big plus of the Waterpik Cordless Advanced because it is shower safe.
The Sidekick? Not so much. Obviously, it’s not possible to have a shower safe product that plugs into a socket, so users must operate it over a sink instead.
Winner: Cordless Advanced
A really great feature of the Cordless Advanced is that is comes with a range of tips. Because these are interchangeable you can select specialist tips for different jobs. If you have braces or brackets then choose the Orthodontic tip. Implants, crowns or bridges? The Plaque-Seeker tip is for you.
Aside from included tips, you can also purchase additional speciality tips which give you even more options. The Waterpik Pik-Pocket tip is designed for those with periodontal pockets and helps to tackle gingivitis. Also available, is the Toothbrush Tip which allows you to brush and floss as you go. And finally, for fresher breath – the Tongue Cleaner which removes bacteria and sulfur compounds that reside on the tongue.
Why is reservoir capacity important? Recommend water flossing time is 60 seconds. Ideally, you want to be able to complete your water flossing routine without having to re-fill the reservoir.
At full pressure, the Sidekick offers 60 seconds of flossing time, whereas the Cordless Advanced only offers 45 seconds. Whilst not everyone flosses at full pressure, its important to remember that the top pressure of the Cordless Advanced is significantly less.
Winner: Cordless Advanced
When you are cleaning your teeth with streams of water, you want to make sure that the vessel that water is carried in is as sanitary as possible. The Cordless Advanced is easier to keep sanitary because it has a fully contained reservoir which is less likely to become contaminated with dust and bacteria. The Sidekick, however, has a completely uncovered reservoir.
Leaving the Sidekick out assembled means that the uncovered reservoir is likely to collect dust throughout the day. Disassembling means that the whole unit will be packed away inside the reservoir – also not the most sanitary option. Neither of these mean that the Sidekick cannot be sanitary, though. You can turn the reservoir upside down on the unit to prevent dust from gathering. Also make sure that you always rinse your reservoir before each use, and don’t forget to clean it regularly.
An important feature to consider in a portable water flosser is its size. Both units are relatively small and portable, but here, the Sidekick just wins out. Standing at less than 5 inches tall assembled, it packs down into a unit the size of a photograph that is just 1 inch high. Compare that to the Cordless Advanced which, assembled, measures 11.6 inches – almost 1 foot! Whilst the base footprint of the Cordless Advanced is smaller, it’s not by much, and it definitely feels bulky compared to the Sidekick.
Warranties are easy things to skip over. Nearly everything we purchase has one and they are rarely called upon. But what do they really mean? A warranty states that a company has guaranteed that their product will work for a minimum specified time. This helps us to work out a maximum cost per day of each product and so decide if it’s really worth it.
The Sidekick is slightly pricier with an MRSP of $129.99 but that is paired with a 3 year warranty. If it were only to last the amount of the warranty and not a day more, it would still even out at $0.12 per day. Comparatively, the Cordless Advanced is $99.99 and comes with a 2 year warranty. Here, the cost per day works out marginally higher at $0.14 per day. Both of these numbers are higher than the cost of string floss, but then so are their effectiveness.
- 99.9% of plaque removed from treated areas
- 50% more effective at improving gum health than string floss
- 2x more effective at improving gum health around implants than string floss
- 3x more effective at removing plaque and debris around braces than string floss
Ultimately, whether you choose the Sidekick or the Cordless Advanced, it will be a miniscule cost to pay for significantly improved oral health. And if you really want your money’s worth: the Sidekick just works out that tiny bit cheaper for cost per day.
So which should you buy, Waterpik Sidekick vs Cordless Advanced?
Both are really great water flossers and come from a highly reputable brand. Both are portable, with their own travel bag, and both have global voltage. The Sidekick offers the full power of a countertop flosser in a paired down unit, whilst the Cordless Advanced keeps extra features but compromises on power.
If specialized tips, 360 degree rotation and ultra quiet technology are high on your priorities, then the Cordless Advanced is for you. It’s also great if you want a shower safe flosser, and if you’re not sure that you’ll have a bathroom plug at your destination.
You might prefer the Sidekick if you want a water flosser with maximum power and cleaning capabilities and are happy to compromise on extra features to get it.