If you’re going to buy a water flosser, then the Sidekick or the Aquarius are your two best options. The Sidekick is the most travel-friendly option that is small enough to fit in a woman’s purse. It doesn’t even have to be one of those giant tote bags. We’re talking a small handbag. It’s quite impressive.
This does mean you get a smaller water reservoir than most of the other Waterpik models, but capacity is enough to run the flosser for an entire minute. That’s exactly the amount of time Waterpik recommends you use the water flosser. Since you’re usually going to be flossing right next to a sink, it’s easy just to use a cup to pour a little more water in the reservoir when it gets low.
To keep the Sidekick more compact, there is no lid on the water reservoir. In fact, the entire body of the water flosser is stored inside the reservoir when you put it in its travel case. Pretty clever.
Waterpik Sidekick Features
Regarding performance, the Sidekick goes neck-and-neck with the other full-sized Waterpik water flossers. The flow rate and maximum pressure are not compromised by its smaller size, which is why it’s such a great option.
- 5 Pressure Settings
- Flow Rate: 13 oz (400mL) per minute
- 13 oz (400 mL) Water Reservoir Capacity
- 1400 Pules per minute
- 10 to 100 PSI
- Travel Case
- 3 Year Warranty
- Global Voltage Compatibility: 100 – 240VAC, 60/50Hz
The significant difference between the Sidekick and the Aquarius, aside from water capacity, is the number of pressure settings and global voltage compatibility. You don’t get the full ten like with the Aquarius, but we think 5 is plenty. All of the newer countertop Waterpik models have 5 or more pressure settings that give you plenty of range when you need to get sensitive areas or go full blast.
The global voltage capabilities of the Sidekick are a necessity if you travel outside North America. And traveling with the Sidekick is much more comfortable than with an Aquarius, and especially one of the Complete Care systems.
The small footprint of the Sidekick is even better than with the Aquarius and Complete Care 9.0, which leaves more countertop space for everything else. Leaving it sitting on the vanity permanently won’t be an issue.
The Waterpik WP-300 Traveler is the older travel-friendly water flosser that the Sidekick has replaced. The Traveler isn’t completely gone and is still available from Waterpik. It’s cheaper but has fewer pressure settings, 2-year warranty (instead of 3), and lower maximum pressure.
There is one downside to the Waterpik Sidekick that we haven’t mentioned yet: it is not compatible with all of the flosser tips that the full-sized models are capable of using. The Sidekick “Stylus” is one piece that has the tip and handle built together, and it’s smaller than the tips used on the other models. This won’t be an issue for most people, especially if you don’t have any orthodontics.
It just seems to be a sacrifice they had to make to keep everything compact.
Don’t let the lack of Timer/Pacer features deter you from the Sidekick. Keep in mind that the water capacity is only enough for one minute of use anyway, which is precisely as long as the Timer feature lets you brush. You do miss out on the Pacer letting you know when you’re halfway done so that you can switch from top to bottom or vice versa.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is the warranty still valid if I purchase through an online retailer, such as Amazon?
Q: Does a water flosser completely replace manual flossing?
A: Generally, no. Occasional manual flossing is still recommended, but water flossers take much of the work out of the flossing process. This can be especially beneficial for people with hand dexterity problems.
Q: Can mouthwash be used in the reservoir?
A: Yes, but don’t exceed a 1:1 ratio. Adding too much mouthwash can potentially damage the pump.
Q: Can a water flosser be used with braces?
A: It’s always a good idea to talk with your orthodontist first, but water flossers are a great convenience for people with braces. They’re much easier to use and navigate around the brackets and wires. Finding the motivation to floss manually is often difficult with braces. Water flossers help solve this problem.
Q: What’s the best way to keep a water flosser clean?
A: Distilled white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide diluted in water will keep mold growth away. Let the handle, tips, and reservoir soak for 15 to 30 minutes. You also will want to run the water and vinegar solution through the machine to clean inside. Doing this every month or so is a good practice.
Adding Solutions to the Reservoir
You can add mouthwash to your Waterpik with no issues. It is essential that you don’t exceed a 1:1 ratio of mouthwash to water no matter what type of mouthwash you use.
- Standard or Cosmetic Mouthwash
- Antiseptic Mouthwash (Listerine)
- Therapeutic Mouth Rinse (Usually prescribed by a dentist.)
- Bleach or Bleach Solution
- Essential Oils
- Salt, iodine, or baking soda
Adding anything other than the mouthwash types listed above can potentially damage your Waterpik either through corrosion or pump failure. Be sure not to add more than a 1:1 ratio of the recommended solutions, as it can damage your Waterpik’s pump. One potential reason for this is a change in viscosity can cause the pump to have to work hard, which over time will wear it out faster.
The Sidekick is the only choice for international travelers but is also incredibly convenient if you are a frequent traveler in North America.
It doesn’t compromise too much with its smaller size. Retaining the pressure and performance of the full-size models was a great accomplishment by Waterpik.
Check out our overview of the entire Waterpik product lineup. You can get a look at the big picture and decide on the right water flosser for you.