Skip to content
Home >> Plumbing >> Drainage >> Pop up Drain Vs Push-Down Drain: A Complete Comparison

Pop up Drain Vs Push-Down Drain: A Complete Comparison

When building a new house, we are always super invested in getting the most reliable electrical connections and the most premium water supply. However, one important thing always gets neglected, drain plugs!

So, between pop up drain vs push-down drain, which one is better?

The main difference is that the pop up drain works via a lever, while the push-down drain works through a seamless button press.

However, they do not only differ by how they function. There is a lot more to discuss here, from each of their pros and cons to which drain plug is best suited for your lovely home.

Pop up Drain Vs Push-Down Drain!

pop-up drain vs push down drain

As we have already discussed, the main difference between the two drain plugs is how distinctly they each function. But before we talk about their individual functionality, we must first learn what the main purpose of drain plugs is.

Drain plugs

The drain plugs are a feature used mostly in our sinks and bathtubs. Their main function is to either block water and prevent it from running down the drainage pipes or enable a smooth water flow.

Drain plugs are very handy when you want to maintain a certain water level in your tub during a bath. Or also when washing dishes in a sink.

Pop up Drain

Now it is time to talk about both types of drain plugs’ distinct functionality. Both drain plugs function via a switch at the bottom of the sink or tub. As the switch is pressed, it lifts up the lever and the pivot rod, clearing the pathway to the drainage systems.

Any water stored in the sink or tub then rushes down the drainage system, clearing the entire surface of your sink or tub. Press down the switch again and the lever along with the pivot rod blocks the entire pathway to reach the drainage systems.

Push-Down Drain

The mechanism of the push-down drain is quite simple compared to the pop up drain plug.

The push-down drain plug functions with the help of a spring underneath the plug. When pressed down, the spring seals any gap for the water to flow beyond the drain plug.

When pressed again, the spring loosens and enables a smooth water flow from within your sink and bathtub.

A Summary Of The Comparison Between The Two Drain Plugs

The comparison between the two drain plugs can be pretty long. And absorbing so much information at once can be tricky.

Hence, we are providing a table of the overall comparison between the drain plugs to help you grasp all the given information in this article.

FactorsPop up DrainPush-Down Drain
Price$10 to $35$15 to $60
MechanismWorks in seamless motion with a lever and a pivot rodWorks via a spring that blocks the waterway
Ease Of CleaningA bit complicated to properly cleanVery easy to clean
UncloggingSimple to flush down any clogComplicated to clean any clogging
MaterialsVenetian Bronze, Antique Brass, Polished Brass, Brushed Nickel, ChromeBronze, Brushed Nickel, Chrome
InstallationA bit complicated to installVery easy to install
Design OptionsNot too many options available on the marketPlenty of options

Materials Comparison Between Pop up Vs Push-Down Drain Plugs

The pop up drain is still much more widely used and installed in common households. Hence, a wide variety of materials are also used for making pop-up drain plugs.

On the other hand, the push-down drain plug is quite new in the market and comes with a good variety of materials. Ranging from chrome and bronze to even brushed nickel.

However, it pales in comparison to the pop up drain plug. It has over 7 material options, each with its own perks. From classy design options with antique brass to premium offerings with Venetian bronze, you can find it all with pop up drain plugs.

Design Options In Both The Drain Plugs

The design options in pop up drain plugs are quite limited compared to its cousin. Due to a pretty large lever sticking out, makes the new modern designs quite challenging to be implemented on such a drain plug.

On the other hand, pop up drain plugs do not have to deal with such handicaps. Since the design of this drain plug is pretty straightforward and simple, this allows plenty of exotic designs to be implemented with no issue.

Price Comparison Between The Drain Plugs

Although the price would vary heavily on the specific design and material you are looking for, push-down plugs are generally known to be more expensive than pop up plugs.

However, pop up plugs are a great ‘bang for the buck’ drain plug if you are considering getting the overflow feature. They cost the same with or without one!

Overflow Feature In Drain Plugs

Turning the water tap on to fill up the bathtub while taking a break and watching tv is our common practice. However, if you forget to turn off the water tap in time, the entire bathroom would be flooded with water.

That is where the overflow feature comes in handy. It detects whether your tub is completely filled with water. And if that is the case, it opens a little gap within the drain plug to get rid of the extra water.

Which Drain Plug Is Easier To Unclog?

Sticky substances or hair getting flushed down your sink while washing dishes is nothing new. However, in the long run, it causes the drain plug along with the drain pipe underneath to clog.

Pop up Plug

The pop up drain plug does have a pretty complicated mechanism, but that does have its own pros. Since both the drain plug and the drain pipe is connected by means of a lever, any clogging can be easily removed. Just gently push the lever around a few times; any clog should be easily removed.

Push-Down Plug

On the other hand, with a push-down drain, there is a bit of a hassle when clogging. Since it functions by means of a spring, the spring can catch some tangled hair and sticky substances.

There is no easy way of cleaning such a clog. You have to remove the drain plug and clean it carefully. Also, here is a video to help you with such a task.


Below we shall discuss the most frequently asked questions about this topic.

Q: Is Push-Down Plug Easier To Clean?

Yes, compared to the pop up plug, the push-down plug does not have any lever or additional parts to clean. Hence, it is both convenient and easy to clean.

Q: Which Drain Plug Is Easier To Install?

The push-down drain plugs are considered easier to clean compared to its counterpart. Again, due to having no extra parts to install, the push-down drain is both simple and easier to install.

Q: What is the Difference In Longevity Between The Drain Plugs?

The longevity depends more on the quality of materials used in both drain plugs. Both drain plugs are engineered perfectly and have no flaws in their mechanisms. It is the materials being used in either of the drain plugs which will determine its longevity.


We have extensively compared pop up drain vs push-down drain. Which one should you be looking for?  Well, it depends on what your requirements are! We usually recommend push-down drain plugs in bathtubs and pop up drain plugs in the sink. As the lever would not be visible on a sink but surely will be on a bathtub.

Also in a sink, we are working with a more dense and complicated substance; the lever to clear out any clog can be very helpful. Regardless of which drain plug you choose, cleaning them regularly is necessary. Otherwise, they would never last long enough.