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How Do I Choose the Best Bath Plug?

By Judith Smith Sullivan
Updated May 21, 2024
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Bath plugs come in a variety of fun and whimsical designs, as well as traditional finishes and styles. Relatively inexpensive, whatever type appeals to you should be within your budget. A bath plug basically serves one purpose: to prevent water from draining from the tub. Therefore, there are not many different features to bath plugs, which the exception of a buoy. The buoy floats on top of the water, which allows an individual to pull the plug out without reaching to the bottom of the tub.

There are some variations in the size of drains, so measure your bath drain before you purchase a plug. Most bath plugs have a graduated rubber stopper so that it can accommodate a range of sizes, usually within 1 inch (2.54 cm), but it still helps to know the size your of drain in order to make the best purchase.

Next, decide what style of plug you want. If you want a bath plug that looks sophisticated, choose a traditional style metal plug that coordinates with the finish of the plumbing fixtures on the tub. Similarly, a simple white rubber stopper will also suffice, but its design is purely functional. There is very little visual appeal to this style, although it is probably the least expensive.

You can also choose a bath plug based on a theme. For instance, there are bath plugs in bright colors, animal shapes, boats, and flowers. These come in both regular and buoy style plugs.

There are also many humorous bath plugs. For instance, a plug that looks like a fish that got stuck in the drain, or a buoy in the shape of a polar bear sitting on an piece of floating ice. There are also many children's plugs, based on popular television or movie characters, the alphabet, and numbers, or other themes.

When you've determined the size of your drain, and what style you'd prefer, you can find a bath plug in home improvement stores, home goods stores, and through online and catalog retailers. Sometimes shopping online is easier, since the item description typically lists the measurements for the plug so that you can make sure it will fit in your drain. Many websites also provide customer reviews of an item, which allows you find out if other people were satisfied with the product.

Whether you purchase online or through a brick and mortar store, double check the return policy. If the plug does not fit, or allows water to leak through, you will need to return it. Some companies charge a restocking fee, which deducts a percentage from the total refund. Others have a very short window of time for returns, some as little as three days. Find a store which allows plenty of time for a return and doesn't charge additional fees.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By burcinc — On Jun 11, 2014

Some people think that all bath plugs are the same, but they really are not. There are rubber bath plugs and then there are non-rubber ones. The rubber, grip type of bath plug works better than any other type of bath plug I have used.

The cheap plastic ones we always had before always let water through to some extent and they never lasted too long. But the rubber grip plug we got two years ago has never had either issue. It doesn't allow any water to get through and it's extremely durable. It doesn't get damaged even in very hot water and the one size fits everywhere. I wouldn't recommend any other type of bath plug to anyone.

Now, it does cost more than cheap plugs, but it's totally worth it.

By fBoyle — On Jun 10, 2014

@ddljohn-- That's funny, I was going to recommend another fun children's plug but I think your son would insist on playing with that one too!

I also think that you will need to get an average looking plug that won't grab his attention. And avoid ones with a buoy because little kids enjoy pulling on that too!

By ddljohn — On Jun 10, 2014

I got the bath plug that looks like a fish got stuck in the drain for when my little boy bathes. It works great until my son decides to pull out the little fish and save it! I have plenty of bath toys for him but he always insists on pulling the fish. So I might have to get an average looking plug just so that we can have our bath without the fish saving operation!

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