Waterpik Complete Care 9.5 Review
Pros: Built-in water pick, good battery life
Cons: Didn’t do well in our cleaning test
Our Analysis and Test Results
This electric toothbrush finished in the lower portion of the group, just behind the Oral-B Pro 1000 and ahead of the Colgate E1 and the Oral-B Pro 5000. The Waterpik costs about $50 more than Pro 1000 and $20 more than the Colgate, but about $40 less than the Pro 5000. The Waterpik is the most comfortable and has the best battery life out of this group, but delivered the worst performance in our brushing test. It's also a little less intuitive and not as easy to use as the Oral-B Pro 1000 or the Colgate.
To pick out which toothbrushes are really the best out there, we bought all of the most promising models and compared their performance head-to-head, ranking and scoring their results in four weighted rating metrics. The Waterpik's results compared to its peers are described below.
Responsible for the largest portion of the overall score at 40%, our Comfort metric is the most significant of the bunch. We rated brushing comfort by having a group of different people try all of the brushes, then score them side-by-side, as well as noting if there was anything relating to their comfort level that stood out when using them. Additionally, we also compared the noise level and looked for a brushing pressure sensor to fully assess the comfort score for each brush. The Waterpik did decently well, earning a 6 out of 10 for its results.
This brush was fairly well received by our panel of testers, with none lodging any major complaints about how it felt. It felt relatively smooth to brush with and its brush head is a good size to allow you to reach even the hard to reach areas around your back molars.
Overall, we weren't thrilled with the noise level of this brush, with multiple judged finding that it was distracting and rattled significantly more than many of the other products. It does have a sensitive mode that you can activate if you find it too rough on your gums with the standard cleaning cycle but lacks a pressure sensor to notify you if you are brushing too hard.
Constituting 30% of the final score, our cleaning assessment is the next most important for each brush, with points for this metric solely being based on our plaque removal challenge. We had each of our testers skip brushing for a period of about 16 hours, all while eating as many sugary foods as possible, then had them dye the accumulated plaque using a plaque disclosing tablet. We then had them use the Waterpik on its standard mode, then compared before and after photos to determine scores.
This brush didn't do amazing, with every single one of our testers missing a handful of spots and no one even coming close to a perfect brushing performance.
Ease of Use
For our Ease of Use rating metric, we looked at specifically how much work it took to clean the toothbrush, how easy to use the interface is, if there is an easy way to store multiple brush heads, and if there is a 2-minute timer. These combine to account for 20% of the total score, with the Waterpik earning a 6 out of 10.
This brush has three cleaning modes, with a secondary mode select button that makes it easy to switch between them. Pressing the button cycles through the three modes, with an indicator light on the handle illuminating to let you know which mode you are.
This brush is water resistant enough to use in the shower, but it still can be a bit difficult to clean, with small gaps around both buttons accumulating toothpaste residue.
Unfortunately, there isn't any storage on the water flosser base for additional brush heads, but there is a brushing timer set at two minutes.
For our final tests, we ranked and evaluated the battery life on each of these electric toothbrushes. Worth the remaining tenth of the total score, we ran each toothbrush for four minutes a day — two minutes in the AM, two minutes in the PM — scoring their performance off of how many days each one lasted. The Waterpik finished out our tests with a solid showing, earning a 7 out of 10.
This brush lasted for a whopping 30 days in our test, which was the second longest out of the entire group. This is definitely a handy trait, as lugging the charging base with an integrated water flosser with you on vacation would be a total pain.
This model is a decent value if you are shopping for both a water flosser and an electric toothbrush, but otherwise, there are less expensive toothbrushes that scored quite a bit better.
This electric toothbrush doesn't really stand out from the group for any reason besides its integrated water flosser, so if you are looking for a water pick and electric toothbrush combo, then this is a good choice. Otherwise, we would recommend looking at other models first.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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