Sink Plunger Vs. Toilet Plunger: What Are The Difference And Features?

Whether accidental or our own fault, shower, and toilet drain often get clogged. That’s why most of our house has a plunger to remove the blockage issues when any emergency arises.

But which plunger to use? Are there any differences between sink plunger vs. toilet plunger?

Choosing the right plunger is necessary to make the job easier because it is designed for specific tasks. Let’s check out the core difference between these two plungers to help you select the best one.

A Quick Comparison Table

Knowing the basic difference between sink plungers and toilet plungers can help you choose the correct one. Here is a brief comparison.

SpecificationSink PlungerToilet Plunger
DesignFlat Rubber EndExtended Rubber Cup
Main UsageSinks And BathtubsToilets
Alternative NameCup PlungerFlange Plunger
HandleStraightStraight Or Curved
FlexibilityMore FlexibleLess Flexible
Presence Of FlangeNo FlangeFlange Is Present
Suction AbilityNormal Suction CreationEffective Suction Creation
PriceMore ExpensiveLess Expensive

Primary Difference Between Sink Plungers And Toilet Plungers

So, you have already learned about a brief difference between sink plungers and toilet plungers. Let’s know in-depth details about them.

  • Different Design
Sink Plunger
Sink Plunger

We often mistake thinking sink plungers and toilet plungers have the same design.

Looking at their body structure and design carefully can give a precise idea where the main differences between them.

A sink plunger has a flat rubber end, mainly for flat surfaces. On the other hand, a toilet plunger doesn’t have a flat surface.

Instead, the end part of the toilet plungers features a raised rubber cup. This rubber cup makes the clog removal task easier.

  • Main Usage

You can’t use the same plunger to remove clogs from various areas because they are specially designed to perform a particular task.

Sink plungers are mainly suitable for using various flat surfaces such as a shower, kitchen, or basement sink. Some versatile sink plumber can be utilized to remove clogs from the drain of tubs and showers.

On the contrary, toilet plungers are ideal for toilet drain to remove clogs. Their extended cup design makes it more convenient for the removal of drain blockage.

  • Alternative Name

Some bathroom or toilet accessories have an alternative name based on their functionality.

For example, a sink plunger is often called a cup plunger because of the cup design at the end area. Likewise, a toilet plunger has another name, named flange plunger.

  • Handle
Toilet Plunger

A handle of a plunger provides sufficient grip to hold it comfortably. Often, we have to hold the plunger for a long time when the clog is a little bit hard to remove.

Most plungers for sinks have a wood handle, which is an eco-friendly option.

Plus, if you clean it properly after every use, you can ensure decent durability and a longer lifespan.

In addition, you can repair the handle if they are partially damaged. However, this type of handle is more prone to crack, split, or breaking issues when roughly using them regularly. They often invite bacteria too.

On the other hand, most plungers for toilets are made of plastic or metal. Though they are not as eco-friendly as wood handles, they have extreme durability and require minimal care.

They are not prone to break or crack easily and have decent grip too. You will face less failure to remove clog issues as they have solid and sturdy construction.

  • Flexibility

Sink plungers come in various shapes and sizes, making them more flexible to work on different sinks easily. Some house owners often use wire hangers or snakes, which are not as effective as a sink plunger in removing clogs.

On the contrary, toilet plungers are specifically designed for only use in toilets. You can use it for different purposes due to its distinctive construction.

  • Presence Of Flange

A toilet plunger has a special rubber at the ending part, known as the flange. Various shapes of the flange are available for a toilet plunger.

sink plunger

The main job of a flange is to create a seal at the last part of the drain. This lets you input extreme pressure to the clogging area appropriately using the seal mechanism.

On the contrary, no flange is present in a sink plunger. That’s why its mechanism is slightly different from the toilet plunger.

When working with a sink plunger, you need to first create a blockage at the aperture of the pipe. Your primary focus will be forming a full seal inside the line.

You can also place a tiny wet fabric at the last part of the hole. You will put the plunger over the drain and let the water flow until the plunger cup is fully covered with water. Finally, pump up and down the plunger several times.

So, why do you need to pump up and down the plunger multiple times? Pressing down the plunger allows you to create compressed air, which will force the clogging to go download.

Then, pulling up the plunger will move it to its prior location. Continuously moving the plunger back and force several times will force the blockage to become free after a certain time.

  • Height

A toilet plunger can be as long as 21 and one-half inches. In comparison, a sink a plunger has a lower height.

And the handle size of a sink plunger varies. It can be anywhere between 9 inches to 19 inches, based on your chosen brand.

Handle Design

A sink plunger normally comes with a straight handle that is easy to use for dislodging clog quickly.

It gives you flexibility for slight movement and doesn’t lock your hands. Generally, this type of plunger is used on straight-line drains and pipes.

Take an example of the Luigi’s Sink and Drain Plunger, which has a straight handle and comes at an incredibly low price. It is a typical sink drain.

On the contrary, a toilet plunger may have a straight or curved handle. With a curved handle, you can reach inside the tricky part of your toilet system more easily and unclog the toilet quickly.

Consider the design of the PlumbCraft Heavy Duty Toilet Plunger, which has a curved handle better grip while plunging. It has an innovative and unique structure to powerfully clear most toilet clogs with minimal effort

  • Suction Ability
toilet plungers

Toilet plungers have more effective suction than sink plungers because they feature an extended rubber or flange at the end part.

We have already discussed how the suction works in both plungers.

Now, you might be wondering why toilet plungers have better suction ability than sink plungers?

The answer is simple! Your toilet deals with many solid wastes, while a bathroom or kitchen sink mainly has liquid wastes.

Due to the hard items, you need a better suction mechanism to unclog the drain from the hard wastes. However, you can use a sink plunger if the clog is not that much tough.

Nevertheless, it is better to use the right one for a particular task. The reason is that it will take more time to remove a clog from a toilet drain when using a sink plunger. After all, it is designed for sink drains, not for toilet drains.

  • Price

Price is another crucial factor you should consider when choosing a plunger. Toilet plungers are a little bit pricier compared to plungers.

For example, a popular sink plunger named Liquid-Plumr Mini Sink and Drain Plunger has a price of around $13 on the Amazon website. It has a compact design. Its bell cup width is 5-inch while the handle length is approximately 9 inches.

In comparison, take an example of a toilet plunger, which name is Niko 60169A Toilet Plunger.

It is a two-piece toilet plunger and has a price tag of around $23. Its bell cup width is 6.46-inch while the handle length is approximately 17 inches.

However, the price of a sink or toilet plunger mainly depends on its construction quality and brand. You will find some sink plungers that are more expensive than toilet plungers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are sink and toilet plungers the same?

No, they are not the same. Sink plungers have a flat surface at the bottom, while toilet plungers have an extended rubber surface.

Can I use a toilet plunger on a sink?

Yes, you can use a toilet plunger on a sink by folding the flap inside the cup.

What kind of plunger do you use on a sink?

Cup sink plungers are the best for sinks because they are flexible and easy to use.

What works better than a plunger?

Closet augers are a better choice than typical plungers since they feature a coiled metal snake to unclog the drain. However, professional plumbers mainly used them.

How often should you replace a toilet plunger?

Normally, you need to replace them every few years when they plunge anymore.


Hopefully, you have learned all the important details about sink plunger vs. toilet plunger? It is better to have both plungers at home since you will perform various tasks in your households.

Avoid using one for another. This may prevent you remove the clog quickly, and you may end up damaging the plunger.

Don’t forget to choose a well-made plunger for plunging with minimal effort.

Clyde Mitchell

I run a hardware store nearby Court Anaheim, CA. Over the last 7 years, I have been blogging about home improvement and yes, I own From me and this website, you can expect some useful tips on great ideas for a modern bathroom.

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