Waterpik Reviews: The Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser (WP-100 & WP-112)
The Waterpik Ultra water flosser WP-100 is already an old product – it came out in 2006, more than 10 years ago. Yet, it is still one of the most popular products in Waterpik’s range of countertop water flossers. Standing the test of time always speaks a lot for the quality of a product.
But is quality the sole reason for Waterpik Ultra’s long-lasting popularity?
This is the question we will explore in depth in this Waterpik review. Despite its commercial success, the WP-100 most certainly isn’t perfect and has its flaws. You should take this into account before committing to buy the Waterpik Ultra instead of a newer Waterpik model like the Aquarius WP-660 & WP-670 (you can read about it in our Waterpik Aquarius review).
- Usefulness 70%
- Design 50%
- Reliability 85%
- Vlaue for money 85%
- Does its oral health care job very well
- Good value for money
- Simple & convenient to use: easy to include in your daily routine
- Reliable: arguably less so than older Waterpik models, but more than most competitor water flossers
- Outdated looks: hard to get excited about using your Waterpik Ultra every day
- Design flaws: restrictively short hose; hard to use pause button on the handle; bad positioning of the tip release button;
Waterpik WP-114W (black/clear) vs WP-100 (white/blue):
Before we start dissecting the Waterpik Ultra water flosser in this review, bear in mind that there are two color variants with two different product numbers. The standard white water flosser with blue tinted water tank is called the WP-100. The black water flosser with clear water tank is called the Waterpik WP-114W Ultra Designer Black Coutnertop Water Flosser. Looks are the only difference between the two. Consequently, everything we say about the Waterpik WP-100 is true about the Waterpik WP-114W as well.
The black Waterpik Ultra model used to be sold under the WP-112 (black/clear) model number, which has now been replaced with the WP-114w Ultra Designer model.
Let’s start with what’s most important: The Waterpik Ultra water flosser – WP-100, does what it’s supposed to do and does it well.
Using it regularly (you should do so at least 1 minute per day) will increase the health of your gums and teeth in the long run. Waterpik backs this claim with multiple clinical studies – in this regard Waterpik is likely the safest brand to go for. After all, Waterpik is the brand that invented the countertop water flosser. Of course, this applies not only for the Ultra water flosser but for the whole Waterpik range.
The Waterpik Ultra (WP-100) is easy to use. This, in my opinion, is extremely important for an oral irrigator, because you need to be able to make yourself use it every day. Moreover, it has enough features to suit the needs of most people:
It has 10 pressure levels manageable on a pressure dial. This makes it easy to adjust the strength of the water jet to the exact level that you are comfortable with. The maximum pressure of the Waterpik Ultra is 100 PSI, the same as newer Waterpik models.
WP-100’s Water Tank:
The water tank holds 22 ounces (650ml) of water. This is the same amount as the Waterpik Aquarius (WP-660), but a bit less than the Waterpik Classic (WP-60). The water runs out after 90 seconds of flossing at the highest pressure setting. Some people complain that this is not enough, yet the minimum recommended flossing session length is 60 seconds. This means that you have 30 seconds of spare time to finish up flossing your teeth or to massage your gums.
WP-100’s Lid, Tips & Storage:
On top of the tank, there is a removable lid. It is convenient because it protects the water inside from air-bound dust and germs. In the same time, being removable, it doesn’t get in the way when you are filling or cleaning the tank.
Inside the lid, there is a replacement tip storage compartment. It holds up to 4 extra tips, which is more than the Waterpik Aquarius. The compartment is designed in such a way that the individual replacement tips face alternate directions. This means that the bits that get into your mouth don’t touch. This is a great feature, especially if the whole family is using the Waterpik WP-100.
The Waterpik Ultra water flosser comes with a total of 6 tips:
- 2 Classic Jet tips for general flossing.
- 1 Plaque Seeker tip with three tufts of bristles to help you scrub plaque buildup.
- 1 Orthodontic tip with small bristles to help clean orthodontics.
- 1 Pik Pocket tip for applying water deeper into periodontal pockets
- 1 Toothbrush tip for brushing while flossing
WP-100’s Handle & Hose:
The handle and hose are Waterpik Ultra’s biggest weaknesses. The hose is too short for a lot of situations. You need to keep the water flosser very close to the edge of the sink so that you don’t pull on it while you are flossing. This is a bit inconvenient and could get annoying with daily use.
The handle features a pause button that stops the water jet while you are pressing down on the button. Nonetheless, the button is very stiff and holding it down could become very tiresome. In fact, the on/off switch on the body of the product is much more convenient to use in order to stop and start the flow.
Last but not least, the button for releasing the tip is placed in a location on the handle that your thumb often goes to while you are using the flosser. This means that you could accidentally release the tip while you are flossing. Releasing the tip while the pressure is on means that the tip ejects with a bit of force and water sprays in unwanted directions. Having this happen to you often could become extremely annoying. Waterpik has solved this design issue in newer models and honestly, this alone could be a good enough reason to go for a new Waterpik.
The only good thing about the handle and hose is that it goes back in place very neatly and easily. This is because the hose is coiled and the handle fits very easily into its stand.
WP-100’s Noise Levels:
The Waterpik Ultra WP-100 water flosser is Waterpik’s first attempt to make their water flossers a bit quieter in general. They have succeeded to do so to a degree – the WP-100 and WP-112 are quieter than older Waterpik models and some competitor products (e.g. Interplak). Nevertheless, the Waterpik Ultra is still pretty noisy and if you are in the habit of going to bet later than your partner and your bathroom is close to the bedroom (as am I) you might have a problem. This, however, is not as much of a criticism to the Waterpik Ultra as it is to powered water flossers in general. If quietness is important to you, you should probably check out alternatives like shower flossers.
We give the Waterpik Ultra 7 out of 10 for usefulness – its only problems are the hose and handle.
Although many people claim that design isn’t that important for health care products, Anna and I strongly disagree. If you want to get results, you need to use your water flosser consistently – every day. This is much, much easier to do if you actually like your new shiny toy.
The Waterpik WP-100 is Waterpik’s first attempt to get rid of the clunky and square classic water flosser design. The Ultra reshapes the countertop water flosser into a product that looks more like something you would find in someone’s home, not in the dentist’s office. All of this is wonderful and has some historic value, but it took place more than 10 years ago. Today, in 2017, the Waterpik Ultra’s design is clearly outdated. Sadly, it is unlikely to invoke in you the warm feelings of having a shiny high-tech device. Simply said it looks like something from the past, not from the future.
It is worth mentioning again that you have the option to choose your color. The Waterpik WP-112 is the black/clear variation of the Ultra water flosser. If you decide to go for the WP-112, you need to bear one thing in mind. Toothpaste splatter and water marks are more easily visible on the black body than they are on the white one. Nonetheless, if that doesn’t bother you too much, the black one has a more high-tech feel to it (this is obviously very subjective and you might disagree).
In terms of design, we could not go higher than 5 out of 10 for the Waterpik WP-100. It is an old piece of technology and this is becoming more and more obvious as the years advance.
The one thing you read consistently in reviews about every current Waterpik water flosser is that “they don’t make them as they used to“. This might be true, but this criticism sounds to me like it’s aimed at modern household technology as a whole, rather than the Waterpik Ultra.
Yes, it might break more often than the old models who could last for decades, but it doesn’t break more often than most water flossers on the market nowadays. In fact, probably the biggest strength of Waterpik as a brand is that it creates more reliable water flossers than competing brands. This is a statement that you can read in most of our Waterpik reviews because it is true – it seems most brands are achieving lower prices at the cost of reliability more often than Waterpik.
The Waterpik WP-100 is no exception to this. It comes with a 3-year warranty and overall you shouldn’t expect it to break down sooner than that.
Nonetheless, there are some issues worth talking about:
The most common problem for water flossers as a whole is that they could start leaking after a while. Sadly, the Waterpik Ultra water flosser also suffers from this problem. The most common complaint is that it starts leaking either from the unit (where the tank goes into the body) or from the handle.
The handle leak is more common and more problematic because it makes the water jet less powerful. This prevents the WP-100 Ultra from doing its job properly. The handle usually leaks around the tip ejection button area. This happens because the O-ring sealing this location is in the good case – dislodged, in the bad case – damaged. Gentler handling when you are inserting and ejecting your tip could increase the lifespan of your Ultra’s handle.
Since Waterpik know that the hose and handle are the weakest points in the unit, they provide a replacement that you can buy in case your breaks.
If the O-ring is simply dislodged, you can try to fix the problem by yourself by pushing the O-ring back into its place. You would need something that allows you to reach into the hole of the handle and nudge the O-ring around. For example, you can use a straightened paperclip, curved at the end (with pliers) to create a little hook. You will also need someone to hold a flashlight for you so that you can see into the hole of the handle.
Leaks from the body of the Waterpik Ultra water flosser are usually caused by a deformed rubber gasket or a faulty valve. This is not such a big problem because if the leak is not severe you will be able to use your Waterpik Ultra WP-100 to its full cleaning capacity. You will, however, have to empty the tank once you are done using the flosser. Otherwise, water will spill all over your bathroom counter if you leave it full.
When it comes to maintenance, the Waterpik ultra needs the same treatment as all countertop water flossers. You need to run it with a vinegar solution every once in a while to prevent the buildup of mildew. Moreover, soaking the handle in such a solution is also a great idea, because it prevents mildew buildup inside the nooks and crannies of the handle. Proper maintenance will keep your water flosser clean and hygienic, which is quite important.
The tank is removable and could be washed in a dishwasher, which is very convenient. It is important to mention that before you do this you need to remove the valve at the bottom of the tank – not doing so might damage it and cause the leaks we talked about.
The Waterpik Ultra water flosser is one of the most reliable products on the market, yet we cannot give it a full 10 because of the possible leak problems: 8.5/10
The Waterpik Ultra water flosser (WP-100 & WP-112) is, without a doubt, a product of high quality made by a great brand. Buying it is in no way a mistake. Nonetheless, the fact that it is already more than 10 years old shows, especially in its design. When I buy a new piece of technology, I like to feel excited by it – the Ultra water flosser fails to do that for me.
If you are like me and clever innovation and design excite you, then you should check out our other Waterpik reviews and consider more modern options:
The Waterpik Aquarius Professional water flosser, WP-660, is pretty much the modern version of the Waterpik Ultra. Alternatively, if you’re willing to spend a bit more, going for Waterpik’s water flosser + electric toothbrush complete care models (the WP-800 and WP-900 series) is also a great option. Last but not least, if you are looking for something more innovative – Jetpik’s water flossers (e.g. JP-50, JP-200) might be what’s right for you.
If you are more practical than me and you are simply looking for something that gives you a lot of bang for your buck, the Waterpik Ultra might be the right purchase for you. The Ultra is useful, reliable and is one of the cheaper Waterpik countertop models.
(In case you are simply looking for value for money, however, you should check if some of the newer models are not currently sold at discount on Amazon.)