Pop Up Drain VS Push Down Drain- Which One Is Better?

What is the difference between pop up drain and push down drain? The main difference is how they operate; the pop up drain has a lift rod that is connected to the drain underneath the sink and lifts and closes the drain cover. The push down drain, on the other hand, requires pressing.

If you are gripped by indecision on pop up drain vs push down drain, then stick with us till the end. Here we will discuss all the details you need to know before buying.

Pop Up Drain Vs Push Down Drain- A Quick Comparison

Pop Up DrainPush Down Drain
Needs a lever to be lifted to open or closeNeeds a gentle push to open or close
Requires few tricky steps to installEasy to install
Generally ranges from 10$ to 35$Generally ranges from 15$ to 60$
User Benefits
 Tricky to cleanEasy and handy for all ages

Those are the differences between pop up sink drain and push down sink drain at a glance. If you are working on your new home or remodeling your bathroom, this guide will assist you to decide which one will be fit for your bathroom between these two types of sink drains.

Here we are taking the following key factors into account.

  • Function
  • Variety
  • Size
  • Ease of Installation
  • Design
  • User Benefits

Before getting started, let’s make one thing clear. Pop up drains are also known as lift rod pop up drains. On the other hand, push-down drains are also known as push pop-up, click-clack, or press and seal drains. 

To avoid confusion, we are simply using the terms “pop up” for the one with a lift rod and “push down” for the one that opens and closes with a gentle push.

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A pop up drain is controlled by a vertical rod attached to another pivot rod underneath the sink. There is a small hole behind the faucet through which the head of the lift rod comes out and can be moved up and down.

The connector inside the drain tailpiece moves along with the pivot rod, allowing the stopper to be lifted or lowered as needed.

On the other side, the push down drains use an easy mechanism; you simply need to press the stopper to open or close it.


Both pop up and push down drains come in two different varieties. They can be classified as with overflow and without overflow. 

A pop up drain with overflow has a small hole carved in the top of the threaded section of the drain to allow overflow water from the sink into the drain pipe. If your sink has an overflow feature, it is critical that you get a drain with an overflow hole so that your sink and drain work perfectly.

On the contrary, if there is no hole on the threaded section of the drain, it is referred to as a pop up drain without overflow. Your sink must be matched with a drain that does not have an overflow feature if it does not have an overflow hole.

The same thing goes for the push down or push pop-up drain with overflow and without overflow.


There is a frequently asked question: are pop up drains universal

For bathroom sinks, 1 ¼ inch, 1 ½ inch, and 1 ⅝ inch are the 3 most common drain sizes, no matter if it’s a pop up drain or push down drain. 

The drain must be the same or smaller size as the hole in your sink; a larger drain than the hole size will obviously not fit.

Now, a popular follow-up query is, how can a smaller drain fit into a larger drain hole? Well, The threaded section of the drainpipe must fit in the drai hole, so the drain’s measurement is normally for that. And this is enough to make a drain function properly. 

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Ease of Installation

When it comes to installation, the process for a pop-up sink drain is often basic and uncomplicated, although it might become a little more problematic due to variations in the fixture or fittings. Since a pop-up drain consists of a few parts and a lift rod goes behind the faucet, the installation process requires a number of steps to assemble it.

A push down drain, on the other hand, is comparatively an easy one to install. 


Both pop up and push down drains are available in a variety of metal finishes to match your bathroom faucet and create a unified design. Bronze, nickel, chrome, and matte black are the most popular finishes, and they are polished by a multi-layer electroplating process to resist daily scratches and corrosion.

However, if you wish to add a splash of color, pop-up drains are also available with porcelain ceramic tops that give a premium look.

There is also another type of drain stopper that is made of silicone and compatible with both kitchen and bathroom sinks. You can use it as a bathtub drain stopper, too. It is not permanent; you can seal the drain opening or take it off anytime you want.

User Benefits

Pop up drain stoppers are designed in such a way that dirt and hair can readily become caught. You’ll need to extract the trapped dirt through the overflow pipe and plate to get rid of it.

However, some may not prefer reaching out behind the faucet and lifting the rod. Here the push down drain comes in handy because it is the easiest one to operate.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are pop up drain stoppers good?

Pop-up drain stoppers typically open and closes using a lever located behind the sink faucet, while some drains may also have levers located elsewhere. If it is necessary to fill the sink with water, these drain stoppers are a good fit.

Are all bathtub drains the same size?

According to current plumbing codes, bathtub drains are typically 1 ½ inch in diameter and accommodate all ideal bathtubs ranging from 14 to 26 inches deep. So, tub manufacturers also make tubs with 1 ½ inch drains; hence this is an accepted practice.


Now, do you need a pop up drain? Or will a push down drain just do?

Well, it totally depends on personal preference while deciding on pop up drain vs push down drain. Some may choose the push down one since it functions easily and prefers not to have the lever behind the faucet for a stylish look.

However, if one doesn’t want to stick their hand on whatever is collected in the bowl, then using the lever is a more convenient way for opening and closing the drain plug.

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