Pull Down vs Pull Out Faucet: Which is Better?

This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a small commission. Thanks.

The global market size of pull-out and pull-down faucets stood at $1,99 Million in 2018, and it grows by the year. It’s projected to reach a staggering $2,954 Million by 2026.

The trend is clear – people are moving away from conventional faucets and looking for the convenience of pull-downs and pull-outs.

Good news for you, the buyer

The numbers above are good news for buyers – because they mean more competition, lower margins, and better faucets.

In my experience, most people looking to get a pull-down and pull-out faucet are either fed up with their conventional tap or already have a ‘pull’ unit that doesn’t work as advertised.

Whichever of the two groups you belong to, I got you.

This guide is a plumber’s tell-all on the “pull-out vs pull-down faucet “ dilemma.

Pull Down vs Pull Out Faucet – FAQs

Before we move on to the actual recommendations, let’s get our basics right.

What’s a pull-down faucet?

Pull-down faucets are all faucets that feature a high-pressure sprayer (fitted inside the unit) that pulls down into the sink.

The faucet head/spray head is always the extension of the unit and usually docks back in automatically.

What’s a pull-out faucet?

A pull-out faucet is similar to a pull-down, but the sprayer pulls out towards you.
It can be a part of the faucet (as it is pull-down faucets) or come with a separate wand mounted on the side.

It’s the less common of the two, especially in kitchens.

Differences and similarities

What’s the difference between a pull-down and pull-out faucet?

The main difference is the point of detachment. The sprayer head of a pull-down faucet detaches at the end of the spout, while the pull-out detaches at the base.

Which is better, a pull-down or pull-out kitchen faucet?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It’s about your habits, needs, and the kind of aesthetic you’re going for.

The fact that none of the two is universally better doesn’t mean that there is no better option FOR YOU.

Do pull-down faucets rotate?

Yes, the better ones do rotate in the range between 180 and 360 degrees.

Advantages & Shortcomings

Pull-down faucets

PROs:

  • Added flexibility of reaching every spot of the kitchen sink
  • Multiple spray options – focused or broad shower
  • All the major brands prioritize them, which means more choice and more innovative tech included
  • They are more ergonomically correct than pull-out faucets
  • The higher spout makes it easier to use with bigger dishes
  • The design of pull-down faucets is typically sleeker
  • If there’s a leak, the water goes into the sink instead of underneath it (as it would with a pull-out)
  • The hose will not twist
  • More functions in the sprayer head
  • The better ones swivel, some even fully rotate

CONs:

  • If you have water pressure problems, the added height of a pull-down kitchen faucet can make it worse (if you choose the wrong unit, that is)
  • High arc takes up more space

Pull-out faucets

Since the design is similar, the PROs and CONs of pull-out faucets are pretty much the same as above (compared to conventional units) – it all comes down to the flexibility of use.

However, compared to the pull-downs, they might be a bit trickier to use because the motion is not as natural, there’s more maneuvering involved, and the pull is not as smooth.

On the other hand, they typically come with a longer hose and make less of a splash, making them the better option for small spaces and lower counters.

Which is more durable of the two?

The mounting

If you find yourself in the unlikely scenario that both faucet types will work equally well, durability might be a factor, especially if buying a cheaper unit.

This is what I’ve seen in practice – with pull-down faucets, the stress of the hose coming out and docking back is more significant because it’s exerted at the spout’s end. This means higher forces of angular momentum, especially at docking.

To put it simply – the mounting suffers more wear and tear.

With pull-out faucets, the detachment point is closer to the base, which means less stress for the mounting.

Hose and assembly

On the other hand, the hose and the inner parts of a pull-out kitchen faucet suffer more friction as you pull them to the side and down, not straight out.

How to offset the durability issues

On installation, it’s good practice to pair pull-down kitchen faucets with a stable surface like marble or granite.

This will mean less to no wobbling.

Also, if the docking is weight-based, go with units that feature weights that click-on instead of those that come pre-attached. The former operate more smoothly and never get stuck.

The biggest plus for the pull-down

When you have a conventional unit, you think that getting a pull-down means you’ll constantly be ‘strangling’ that hose.

In reality, most kitchen tasks will still be completed without touching the hose.

This is a critical point that not many people consider before choosing between pull-down and pull-out faucets.

It’s also a massive plus for the former because, while stationary, it works just like a regular faucet.

That’s the no.1 reason why most people choose it for their kitchens.

Don’t get either type of faucet if…

Even the best of them still have more moving parts than a conventional faucet, and if you’re getting one for a rental space, you’re probably better off with a conventional unit.

If you’re looking for a new kitchen faucet check out of best kitchen faucets reviews.

More options in the pull-down arena

With millions of units sold per year, a pull-down kitchen faucet is the bread and butter of the industry. It typically features sleek modern designs that work better with most modern American kitchens.

On the other hand, the designers of the pull-out units are more concerned with practicality (as are the people who’ll choose them).

The result is a much wider range of pull-down models to choose from, both in styles, types (one vs. two-handle), and finishes.

Final Thoughts & Takeaways

In my experience, pull-down kitchen faucets offer more and are the way to go for modern deep-sink kitchens, and industrial uses.

Because they’re the more popular option, most well-known brands have “poured” all their latest tech into the staple pull-down models.

Finally, compared to the range of pull-down models available, the pull-out market offers slim pickings.

With all that said, the approach to choosing between the two should be simple – go with a pull-out ONLY if you have specific reasons.

In all other scenarios, a pull-down faucet will be the superior choice for most kitchens.

Leave a Comment