The Best Toilet Plungers of 2022

If you're looking for a plunger to help you clear those troublesome toilet clogs, start here with our top tips and recommendations.

By Tom Scalisi | Updated Jun 23, 2022 12:15 PM

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The Best Toilet Plunger Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

Stuff happens—and so, alas, do stuffed-up toilets. Excessive amounts of toilet paper, waste, hygiene products, and even hair can flummox a smooth flush, and when a clog occurs, someone has to address it, pronto. That means using a plunger: a simple yet essential plumbing tool that creates suction to banish blockages from drains and pipes with forced air.

There are different types of plungers, and a short-handled model made for the flat drains in a shower, tub, or sink won’t cut it in a commode. A toilet plunger features a pronounced flange (a short tube-like flap of rubber) on the bottom of its cup or bell. The flange fits snugly into the toilet drain to create a proper seal while also minimizing splashback. Once the flange is inserted, simply push and pull the handle to dislodge the clog.

Though these plumbing pals are pretty basic, there are variations in design, materials, and price, so keep reading for key shopping info and to find out why the following recommendations rate as best in class.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Korky Beehive Max
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: JS Jackson Supplies Bellows Accordion Toilet Plunger
  3. BEST TRADICIONAL: MR.SIGA Toilet Plunger and Bowl Brush Combo
  4. BEST BEEHIVE: Korky Beehive Max Hideaway Plunger
  5. BEST ACCORDION: Master Plunger MP500-3TB Heavy Duty Toilet Plunger 
  6. BEST TIERED: Neiko Toilet Plunger
  7. BEST DESIGN: Simplehuman Toilet Plunger and Caddy
  8. BEST PLUNGER AND BRUSH SET: MDesign Plastic Toilet Bowl Brush and Plunger
The Best Toilet Plunger Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing a Toilet Plunger

Material

Plunger material is mighty important. For compression and suction, a softer, more pliable rubber takes a lot less effort to operate than a thick, rigid rubber. Thick rubber is more rugged, so it’s preferred by pros in commercial applications where plungers are frequently used, but for the average home, stick with something you can easily operate.

Handle material is also worth considering. A plunger with a flimsy plastic handle will flex and bend—not helpful when working on a clog—while a model with a bare wooden handle can collect bacteria in the porous material. Look for a plunger with a sturdy PVC, painted wood, or aluminum handle that will be strong and easy to clean.

Handle Length

Plunging toilets is an inherently messy job, so the further you can stay away from the toilet water, the better. Pick a plunger with a fairly long handle—21 to 24 inches—to keep your hands and upper body out of the splash zone.

Drip Trays and Stands

Don’t put a dripping, germy plunger just pulled from the toilet into a cabinet or closet, or even on the bathroom floor, without a means to collect nasty errant water. Some quality models come with a drip tray or stand, but others don’t. For users that don’t want to buy a stand or tray separately, rig something up with a bucket or flowerpot.

Drain Styles

Not all toilet drains are alike. Depending on manufacturer and design, they may be at different angles or have completely different shapes. The drains of high-efficiency toilet (HET) models, developed fairly recently, have a different shape than their predecessors. It can be difficult to fit an older-style plunger into a HET drain and form an effective seal, which makes universal plungers more necessary now than ever.

Types of Toilet Plungers

There are four basic types of toilet plungers, each with its own angle on clearing clogs.

  • Traditional: Probably the image that comes to mind when thinking of a plunger, the traditional type is shaped like a bell and has a soft rubber flange underneath the plunger cup.
  • Beehive: Aptly named, a beehive plunger resembles what a cartoon bear might try to pull from a tree—round in the middle and tapered on both ends. This progressively wider shape, along with the flange, makes a beehive plunger well suited to sealing a variety of drain sizes and shapes.
  • Accordion (or bellows): Named for its shape, an accordion plunger is highly collapsible and moves a lot of air and water when compressed, so it’s great for clearing stubborn clogs. However, achieving a seal can be tricky because bellows plungers are usually made of stiff materials like plastic to maintain their accordion shape during use. Applying a thin bead of petroleum jelly may help to close off any gaps.
  • Tiered: Tiered plungers resemble their traditional counterparts but feature a stepped flange—usually in four sizes—meant to fit into specifically sized drains. While designed to be universal, they’re often more difficult to fit than a beehive, while also having less volume than an accordion-style model.

Our Top Picks

With all of that information about choosing the best toilet plunger, it’s time to start shopping. The following list of products includes some of the best, most-trusted models on the market. Be sure to compare these models to each other while also keeping the top considerations in mind, but any of the following are sure to keep the shopper from flushing money down the drain.

Best Overall

The Best Toilet Plunger Option: Korky Beehive Max
Photo: amazon.com

The Korky Beehive Max is a universal toilet plunger, designed to fit old-style toilet drains as well as those of newer high-efficiency toilets. This model has a soft, pliable plunging end and a sturdy T-shaped handle, allowing you to get a good grip for stubborn obstructions. The bell can flip inside out sometimes, which is inconvenient, but this issue can be corrected quickly by tapping the bell against the toilet rim.

Product Specs

  • Type: Beehive
  • Universal: Yes
  • Holder: None

Pros

  • Sturdy T-shaped handle
  • Fits most toilets
  • Made of non-marking rubber

Cons

  • The kit with the caddy costs quite a bit more

Get the Korky toilet plunger at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Ace Hardware.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Toilet Plunger Option: JS Jackson Supplies Professional Toilet Plunger
Photo: amazon.com

Banish tough clogs and stay on budget with the JS Jackson Supplies Accordion Toilet Plunger. Like all accordion plungers, its main appeal is the volume and force it can create. This model is made of thick, resilient plastic that collapses easily but is rugged enough for many repeat plunges. Its design also works to prevent splashback, keeping users cleaner.

This accordion toilet plunger is available in several colors, and its handle unscrews from the bell for deep cleaning, but the resulting joint between handle and bellows is susceptible to leaking air and pressure loss during use. Also, JS Jackson Supplies does not supply a holder for this model, so it’ll have to live in a utility closet.

Product Specs

  • Type: Accordion
  • Universal: Yes
  • Holder: None

Pros

  • Bellows provides high pressure
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Affordable
  • Minimal splashback

Cons

  • It does not come with a drip tray

Get the JS Jackson Supplies toilet plunger on Amazon or at Kmart.

Best Traditional

The Best Toilet Plunger Option: MR.SIGA Toilet Plunger and Bowl Brush Combo
Photo: amazon.com

Featuring a tried-and-true design, the old-school clog buster in the Mr. Siga Toilet Plunger and Bowl Brush Combo kit will clear stoppages. This kit comes with a stand and drip tray combination to minimize messes as well as a toilet brush sure to come in handy for cleanups.

This model features an 18-inch handle that keeps users’ hands and faces away from the splash zone. The kit comes in two colors, black and white, each with a glossy finish. While this plunger is durable, the rubber bell can take quite a bit of oomph to operate, so it may be a bit too thick for those who lack upper body strength.

Product Specs

  • Type: Traditional
  • Universal: Yes
  • Holder: Drip tray for plunger and brush

Pros

  • Durable rubber
  • Brush and holder included
  • Suitable for most toilets

Cons

  • Thick rubber requires strong arms

Get the Mr. Siga toilet plunger on Amazon.

Best Beehive

The Best Toilet Plunger Option: SurePlunger Automatic Toilet Plunger
Photo: amazon.com

Anyone looking for a beehive plunger that can get the job done while also being able to store away discreetly should check out the Beehive Max Hideaway from Korky. This model features a beehive bell attached to a telescoping plastic T-handle for discreet storage in a cabinet or behind a toilet. When extended, the handle is long enough to keep folks clear from splashes and overflows.

This model features a thick bell made with non-marking rubber. It has a universal flange design that works with all toilet shapes. It also comes with a drip tray to prevent messes while transporting the plunger back and forth.

Note: It’s best to wipe this handle down with an antibacterial cleaner before collapsing it, or else it could harbor bacteria inside the handle.

Product Specs

  • Type: Traditional
  • Universal: Yes
  • Holder: Drip tray for plunger and brush

Pros

  • Durable non-marking rubber
  • Collapsible handle for easy storage
  • Universal flange design

Cons

  • Handle can harbor bacteria

Get the Korky hideaway toilet plunger at The Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Best Accordion

The Best Toilet Plunger Option: Master Plunger Sink & Drain Plunger
Photo: amazon.com

Folks looking to handle all their blockages, stoppages, and clogs with an accordion plunger should give this model from Master Plunger some serious consideration. This model features a durable plastic design with several collapsing sections to allow for plenty of volume while breaking up tough clogs, and it comes with a tall bucket to act as a drip tray.

This accordion toilet plunger from Master Plunger features a unique air-relief valve that the user can open to allow the plunger to fill with water and then close for plenty of suction and pressure, preventing spray and overflow. It also has a universal flange that will fit most toilets as well as sinks, garbage disposals, showers, and other drains. Just keep in mind that the plastic handle might not be as durable as those on other models.

Product Specs

  • Type: Accordion
  • Universal: Yes
  • Holder: Tall bucket

Pros

  • Large volume for breaking up tough clogs
  • Air-relief valve
  • Fits most toilets, sinks, showers, baths, garbage disposals, and more

Cons

  • Plastic handle might not be as durable as those on other models

Get the Master Plunger toilet plunger on Amazon.

Best Tiered

best toilet plunger neiko
Photo: amazon.com

As far as tiered plungers go, it’s tough to beat this model from Neiko. This tiered-style toilet plunger features four different-sized flanges to accommodate an assortment of drains. It fits 4-inch, 4⅝-inch, 5-inch, and 6-inch drains, offering a truly universal fit. The bell has been engineered to resist flipping inside out as well.

This plunger from Neiko features a lightweight aluminum handle that has an eyelet on the end so users can hang the plunger on a hook inside a cleaning cabinet. The aluminum handle is also durable and easy to clean. Keep in mind that while this model is universal, getting a good seal on a tiered plunger can be a challenge, but a bead of petroleum jelly around the flange can help.

Product Specs

  • Type: Tiered
  • Universal: Yes
  • Holder: None

Pros

  • 4 tiers for drains of different sizes
  • Made from durable aluminum
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • May be tough to get a seal

Get the Neiko toilet plunger on Amazon.

Best Design

best toilet plunger simplehuman
Photo: amazon.com

DIY plumbers looking for a plunger that looks as good as it works should consider the Simplehuman Toilet Plunger and Caddy. This traditional-style plunger features a sleek design with a stainless steel handle as well as a plastic drip tray with a matching metallic collar, allowing this plunger to sit in the corner of a clean, modern bathroom without drawing attention to itself.

It’s not just the looks that make the Simplehuman toilet plunger such a star. The drip tray’s collar easily hooks onto the plunger’s bell, allowing the tray to come along for the ride for drip-free transport. And, despite the hooking tray, it’s easy to grab the plunger and remove it with one hand. Keep in mind that this model isn’t listed as universal, so it may not seal perfectly with some toilets.

Product Specs

  • Type: Traditional
  • Universal: No
  • Holder: Drip tray

Pros

  • Sleek, modern design
  • Drip-free tray attaches to plunger bell
  • Plunger is easy to remove from tray with 1 hand

Cons

  • Not a universal design

Get the Simplehuman toilet plunger on Amazon.

Best Plunger and Brush Set

best toilet plunger mDesign
Photo: amazon.com

Having a plunger to break up a clog and a brush on hand to clean up the mess could be the right move, and this one purchase solves both problems. This model features a one-piece base that easily stores the traditional-style plunger and the toilet brush out of sight, keeping things looking neat and tidy, even if they weren’t just a few minutes prior.

This plunger and brush kit comes in six different colors. Each has a drip tray to prevent messes and a storage space for the toilet brush. MDesign’s plunger features a standard traditional bell-type cup as well as a plastic handle. While it might not be a truly universal design, it does work on modern toilets and doesn’t distract from the look of the bathroom.

Product Specs

  • Type: Traditional
  • Universal: No
  • Holder: 1-piece base

Pros

  • Plunger and brush in 1 kit
  • Base stores the brush and kit out of sight
  • Fits most modern toilets

Cons

  • Not a universal design

Get the MDesign toilet plunger on Amazon.

Our Verdict

For a reliable plunger that fits most toilet shapes and provides plenty of pressure, the Korky toilet plunger is an ideal choice. Its design seals well and the sturdy T-style handle can take a lot of hard plunging. Shoppers looking for an all-around toilet solution could consider the combo pick Mr. Siga toilet plunger, which includes both a plunger and a toilet brush with a drip tray and holder.

How We Chose the Best Toilet Plungers

When we set out to put together a list of the best toilet plungers, we knew the job would be tough—we were going to have to draw on our experience with plumbing repairs and drain stoppages to think of the features we needed most from a plunger.

We performed extensive product research to compile a list of plungers that we felt fit our criteria. Then we compared pricing, ability, and materials to ensure we were only suggesting the best toilet plungers. We threw out the models that ultimately didn’t make the grade, and assigned awards to the ones that did. Those awards are based on their strengths and the features or styles shoppers are most likely to be looking for.

FAQs

That’s a lot of plunger information to take in, so you might have some lingering questions. This section aims to unclog the mind with answers to the most frequently asked questions about toilet plungers.

Q. What’s the best way to plunge a toilet?

The first step in plunging a toilet is to ensure that the water level inside the toilet bowl is high but not so high that it will overflow. Next, place the head of the plunger into the water at an angle so it may fill with water. Next, place the plunger over the drain and apply pressure to form a seal. Then, push the handle in and out multiple times to push the clog through or pull it back into the bowl.

Q. What kind of plunger do plumbers use?

Professional plumbers use a variety of plungers. Many use beehive or accordion styles, while others may use air-powered plungers. However, most pros prefer to use a device known as a closet snake, which is specially designed to clear clogs in toilets.

Q. What kind of plunger do you use for an elongated toilet?

A universal-fit plunger is typically best for elongated toilets, but these can still be a challenge to create a seal around. To help, place a bit of petroleum jelly around the flange of the plunger to create a better seal.

Q. Can you unclog a toilet without a plunger?

Plungers aren’t always available, so it may be necessary to clear a clog with another method. While these methods will work, the preferred plunger-less method includes using a closet snake.

Q. Can you use Drano in a toilet?

Drano is really a drain maintenance tool, not a clog-buster. Only use it in slow-draining drains. When it comes to a toilet clog, the Drano will collect on the clog and do very little, and it will be dangerous for the plumber or person who inevitably comes along to plunge it.