- High-quality toilet plungers are easy to use, keep messes to a minimum, and unclog even the most difficult drains.
- The Simplehuman Toilet Plunger and Caddy is our top pick because it feels comfortable in the hands, cleans up effortlessly, and is an attractive addition to any bathroom.
Nobody ever thinks about buying a toilet plunger until the time comes when you need it, and by then you probably have a disgusting, watery mess to deal with. Make sure you have a good plunger on hand before any clogs occur. But not just any plunger will do. A cheap, classic flat-cup may resolve minor clogs, but there are far better plungers for forming a seal on your toilet drain.
The plunger cup is arguably the most important feature of a toilet plunger. The shape will determine whether it can form a good seal on your drain and therefore produce the water pressure necessary to clear out debris. In our guide, we look at flanged, tiered, and beehive cups. Accordion cups are also popular, but they tend not to be as effective at forming a seal.
For the most part, plungers are inexpensive, so you might want to have a few plungers at your disposal for a variety of different clogs; this is especially true if you have more than one bathroom. If you decide to purchase multiple models, we recommend that you purchase at least one toilet auger. An auger physically removes debris rather than water pressure and it is a good option to have on hand for tougher clogged drains.
While researching the best toilet plungers, we looked at hundreds of buyer and expert ratings and reviews of several models, as well as our own hands-on experience. Our guide features plungers that are effective at unclogging toilets, require minimal effort on your part, and have a track record of durability.
Here are the best toilet plungers:
- Best overall: Simplehuman Toilet Plunger and Caddy
- Best on a budget: Neiko Toilet Plunger
- Best ergonomic: Korky Beehive Max Universal Toilet Plunger
- Best automatic: SurePlunge Automatic Toilet Plunger
- Best toilet auger: Ridgid 3 ft. Toilet Auger
Updated on 9/11/2020. We updated prices and links.
The Simplehuman Toilet Plunger and Caddy is efficient and comes with a sleek caddy, making it attractive (as far as plungers go) so you won't mind leaving it out in your bathroom.
The Simplehuman Toilet Plunger and Caddy is unlike most other plungers in that it looks nice. The rod is made of easy-to-clean stainless steel. The handle is rounded at the top for comfort as you provide leverage.
The long and narrow profile of the plunger flange works efficiently with the toilets being installed in today's homes. The caddy has a magnetic collar that secures the plunger's steel rod so you don't need to worry about it falling over or gross liquids dripping out.
The strength of the plunger is similar to a generic broom-handle model, but the Simplehuman handle is more comfortable to hold, cleans up effortlessly, and is easy to transport from one bathroom to another.
Pros: Comfortable handle, easy to clean, comes with caddy, attractive look
Cons: Average unclogging abilitiesThe best on a budget
If you're looking for a no-nonsense plunger to help clear clogs, the Neiko Toilet Plunger is the best low-cost solution.
What sets the Neiko Toilet Plunger apart is its tiered plunging cup. There are four graduated steps that narrow at the rubber cup's opening. This design allows for a tight seal and excellent suction on a wide variety of toilet sizes.
It's also helpful for approaching the drain opening from different angles. The rod is made of mold-resistant, rustproof, lightweight aluminum. The end of the pole features a peg for hanging the plunger.
This plunger is also easy to handle, lightweight, and the tiered cup can handle even difficult clogs from a variety of angles. Some owners have noted it has a chemical smell that may take weeks to dissipate.
Pros: Cost-effective, lightweight, aluminum handle, works from several angles
Cons: Broomstick handle is uncomfortable to gripThe best ergonomic
The ergonomic T-shaped handle and narrow opening of the Korky Beehive Max Universal Toilet Plunger makes it easy to use with many types of toilets.
The Korky Beehive Max Universal Toilet Plunger works well because it combines a comfortable T-handle with a large beehive-shaped cup that narrows at the opening. This allows you to pack a strong plunge.
The narrow cup opening is ideal for fitting a wide variety of toilet types, including newer high-efficiency toilets with oblong-shaped drains. The Korky 99-4A is made in the United States.
The product is popular with owners, however, we noticed some complaints about the plunger cup being flimsy.
Pros: Powerful plunging cup, works with a broad range of toilet shapes, easy-to-grip handle, affordable
Cons: Quite large, complaints of flimsy plunger cupThe best automatic
The SurePlunge Automatic Toilet Plunger uses pressure to clear drains, making it ideal for older adults and people with back problems or other physical disabilities.
The SurePlunge Automatic Toilet Plunger is different from the other entries on our list because it works by using 8g CO2 cartridges. You load the charger, insert the plunger into your toilet until it forms a seal, tilt it downward, press the button on the handle, and the burst of CO2 clears the clog.
The SurePlunge comes with a plunger stand and three CO2 chargers. The company states that this product is engineered and designed to deliver pressure that will not damage seals or pipes.
Due to the hefty initial investment and ongoing costs associated with buying more CO2 cylinders, we mainly recommend this plunger to people who have trouble using standard plungers, and not for everyday use. You could consider it if you face clogged toilets often, but if that's the case, you may want to consult a plumber and have your toilet looked at.
Pros: Requires minimal manual effort, incredibly strong, excellent customer service
Cons: Expensive, requires the additional purchase of CO2 cylinders, may be hard to use initiallyThe best toilet auger
If a manual plunger or one that uses water pressure doesn't get the job done, the Ridgid 3 ft. Toilet Auger can reach into the drain and physically pull or push clog-producing debris out of the way.
Also referred to as a closet auger, a toilet auger consists of a flexible coiled wire with a flared end and a sharp barb at the tip to work through just about any debris. The wire is attached to the end of a wand that pulls the wire into a sleeve. You stick the extended unit into your toilet drain. Then, once it's secure, you push down with the wand handle, and the coil extends into the drain. Once you hit the clog, you turn the handle to push or pull the debris.
This is essentially how the Ridgid 3 ft. Toilet Auger works. As the name suggests, the coiled wire snake is three feet long, which should be long enough to reach any clog. It's made of a strong compression-wrapped inner core cable that has three wrappings around the core. This makes it stronger so it can power through tough blockages. Ridgid backs the toilet auger with a lifetime warranty.
However, augers, in general, are awkward to store and houseguests may not know how to use them. Cleaning the auger can also be an issue.
Pros: Tends to work better than conventional plungers, comfortable handles, durable metal sleeve, lifetime warranty
Cons: May be hard to use initially, difficult to clean, doesn't store easilyHow to use a plunger
Let's talk about how to use a conventional toilet plunger. Before you start jamming it up and down, fill the cup with water by angling it to the side.
Perform a couple of small plunges to make sure all of the air is out, which will help you avoid making a mess. Then, slowly pump the plunger with increasing force to get the water moving back and forth in the drain, loosening the debris.Check out our other bathroom guides
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