Handheld water flossers usually have only two or three intensity settings, whereas countertop models like the iTeknic typically boast around ten. Very often, users of portable models find that these just don’t provide them with exactly the pressure they need: strong enough to clean the gumline and the gaps between teeth, yet not so intense as to cause pain.
If this describes your previous experiences with water flossing and you need something you can take with you when traveling, the Akunbem might be what you need. This is because it gives you the option of varying the force of the water jet, either by selecting between two presets or manually setting it to as powerful or as gentle a level as you want. Unlike most portable water picks, it also offers a pulse mode designed specifically to massage gums.
Also a Globetrotter
An exceptionally large 2000 mAh battery takes 4 hours to charge, after which it should work fine for two weeks or so before you notice the power dropping off. It comes with a travel bag and, unlike the Mospro, requires the power button to be held down for 3 seconds before it turns on, making it less likely to run the battery down on its own if somebody drops your suitcase.
The ability to charge from any convenient USB power source adds to its mobility. However, unlike with the Waterpik Cordless Advanced, there’s no separate battery level indicator. Instead, when you press the “Mode” button while the device is off, more or fewer of the lines of text light up to tell you how much charge is left. This isn’t very intuitive, but still better than the Waterpik WF-02, which only tells you to change the batteries by ceasing to work.
For Four Flossers
The 4 included color-coded tips makes this something the whole family can use. Unfortunately, no specialty tips are available. People with braces, crowns, or bridges will still get some use out of it, but may benefit more from a flosser that’s designed to work with orthodontic fixtures. Perhaps the Waterpik Cordless Advanced that we reviewed here, or a countertop model.
Children, too, can use the Akunbem: the tips rotate but remain latched securely in place until the eject button is pressed. The ergonomic, non-slip handle helps here, too, as does the unit’s light weight of only 14 oz (390 grams) when empty.
Tough or Tender: Fine Pressure Control
This water flosser makes a great choice for anyone who has previously found that other water flossers’ “low” setting just doesn’t get the job done, while “high” feels like taking a sandblaster to their gums. This is due to an impressive pressure range that is, among the products we’ve selected for review, rivaled only by the much larger Atmoko.
A touch of a button lets you switch between a “normal” mode (that may as well be called “hard”) for plaque removal in difficult-to-reach places and a “soft” mode that will not bruise sensitive gums. If you suffer from the latter, you might also want to massage them using the “pulse” setting. This will improve blood circulation, which can mitigate a whole bunch of problems over time.
In addition, you can select what the manufacturer calls “DIY Mode” and adjust the power manually from lower than “soft” to more vigorous than “normal”. Unfortunately, getting this right is not an easy trick. Once you’ve chosen this option, you’re expected to hold down a button while the power gradually increases from very low to very high, stopping when it’s just right.
Especially the first time, it’s difficult to judge the current level by feel; there’s no indicator on the handle and no way to store a preset for your personal preference. This somewhat diminishes what would otherwise have been a fantastic feature – perhaps you’re supposed to take the nozzle out of your mouth, activate it, and adjust it according to how hard you see it squirting.
Like all models in our list of water flossers, this Akunbem is waterproof, but only as long as you remember to seal the charging port with the supplied plug. Neglecting to do so, or inserting it askew, will most likely void the 1-year warranty.
A removable water tank makes cleaning easier so you can prevent mold or limescale from forming, though we would suggest to the manufacturer that they make the symbols that show which way to twist it to make it detach a little more legible. This tank is quite comfortably sized, so you can clean your whole mouth without having to stop and refill it, though how long the water lasts depends heavily on what pressure you’ve selected.
- Can set pressure to anything between 30 and 120 PSI
- Pulse setting to massage gums
- Can be shared among 4 people
- Charging port may allow water in
- No specialized tips available