Waterpik Water Flosser vs. AirFloss

There is a lot of buzz surrounding water flossers these days. Many people swear by it and include it as a part of their daily oral care routine. But they may be looking at some competition in the innovative Philips Sonicare Airfloss device. Both are reputable companies with cutting-edge inventions. Both have evolved the simple silk strand floss idea into more advanced, modern devices aimed at cleaning between the teeth like no pioneer has done before. So how to choose between the two?

Let's take a look at the important details of each and you can decide from there which is right for you.

What are the Main Differences Between an Air Flosser and a Water Flosser?

Although there is a big difference separating an air flosser from a water flosser, there are many small similarities between the two.

Water Flosser:

A water flosser uses water to clean between the teeth and gums removing debris and plaque build-up. A water flosser does not use air pressure like airfloss does. It requires power. The water is held in the device and needs to be refilled, usually with each use. There are different water pressure ranges on different models.

Air Flosser:

An air flosser also removes plaque from between the teeth but instead uses microburst technology: rapid bursts of air combined with water or mouthwash droplets. Like the water flosser, it is a good alternative for those who dislike or cannot use regular string floss. It was designed especially for those inconsistent flossers.

Air Flosser vs. Water Flosser Comparison

It's not up to us decide which is more appropriate for you personally, a water flosser or air flosser; but our goal is to help you better understand the differences and make a well-informed choice. Read on for the pros, the cons and considerations of each.

Philips Sonicare HX8332/11 Airfloss Ultra

Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser WP-660

Method: Air pressure with liquid microbursts

Method: Water pressure

Healthy Gum Guarantee: 2 weeks

Healthy Gum Guarantee: 2 weeks

Usage time: 1 minute

Usage time: 1 minute

Science: Clinically proven to be as effective as string floss for gum health

Science: Clinically proven to be more effective than string floss

Comes with: 2 nozzles

Comes with: 7 tips

Safe to add mouthwash: Yes

Safe to add mouthwash: Yes

Warranty: 2 years

Warranty: 3 years

The Pros & Cons

Waterpik Water flosser:

Philips Sonicare Air flosser:





  • Easy to use
  • More effective than string floss at reducing gingivitis, bleeding of gums, and plaque removal.
  • Great for people with braces, implants and other orthodontic appliances.
  • Can take up space depending on which model you purchase.
  • The tip attachments are an ongoing purchase as they need to be replaced every 3 to 6 months.
  • Less chance of a mess over a water flosser since it utilizes mainly air rather than water.
  • Hose-free.
  • Does not require much space.
  • Sonicare charger fits all sonicare devices.
  • Some users say the air flosser doesn't remove as large of food particles as the water flosser does.
  • Shorter life span according to the large amount of users who complain about the unit breaking down quickly.



If we were to compare the latest models of the Waterpik water flosser and Philips Sonicare Air flosser the price is nearly identical.

Efficacy - Waterpik vs. Airfloss

Efficacy is the most important consideration to look at when making a choice between a water flosser or air floss. Waterpik takes the cake here. Clinical studies have proven the Waterpik water flosser to be significantly more effective than the air flosser at removing plaque from tooth surfaces when combined with a manual toothbrush. Another study shows the Waterpik water flosser to be more effective than Sonicare Air Floss at reducing gingivitis. I personally feel a cleaner clean when using the power of water vs. air for flossing between my teeth.


Countertop models of Waterpik can be space hogs as they require a larger water reservoir and include tip storage. Cordless versions however do not require a large amount of counter space. The air flosser is more similar in size to portable models of Waterpik.

Customer reviews

Customer reviews can be very telling about the quality of a product. It is concerning to see how many air floss customers have dealt with faulty units soon after the purchase was made. Waterpik customer reviews are generally quite positive and have overall high ratings.


While both Philips and Waterpik are reputable, trusted companies with high-quality innovative products, the better choice between a Waterpik vs AirFloss in our opinion is the Waterpik water flosser. Clinical studies prove the Waterpik to be more effective in gingivitis and plaque reduction and customer reviews are very telling as to which is the more valuable product. Now whether you would like to floss with air/micro bursts or a full-on water stream is up to you.

If you have any comments about this article, please share below!

References: https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/blog/dental-floss-vs-water-flossers/

Aurora is the lead editor here at pearlywhytes.com. She is one of those people who actually likes going to the dentist. She loves to write about anything health related, but oral health is her most passionate topic. Her free time is spent partaking in family activities and experimenting in the kitchen.



As a dentist I appreciate your evaluation and agree completely. Additionally, the powerful blast of air in the Phillips Air-Flosser may actually drive bacteria into the tissues causing infection. The water flosser by WaterPik with half peroxide and half water is like scrubbing bubbles cleaning out areas hard to reach and kills the bacteria as well.

Daniel Strader, DDS

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