Buying Guide

Pull-Down Versus Pull-Out Faucets: Which is Right for You?

How you use your faucet determines the style that best fits your needs

A sink faucet is the workhorse of any kitchen, so choosing the right one for your needs is one of the more important decisions you’ll make. With some many styles and designs to pick, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when deciding which kitchen faucet to purchase. Before you install a run-of-the-mill faucet, consider the whether a pull-out or pull-down kitchen faucet will make washing, rinsing, and filling pots, glasses, and vases quicker and easier for you.

Pull-down kitchen faucet

Pull-down faucets

On a pull-down faucet, the spray wand is an extension of the spout that you literally pull down to use. When not in use, the wand hose retracts back into the spout out of the way. This type of faucet generally has a high-arch spout, also called a gooseneck, giving it a tall profile. They are perfect for deep and large size sinks which provides ample space to pull down the hose.

Some pull-down faucets are designed for more heavy-duty use both in the home and in commercials settings. This type features a metal coil spring wrapped around the exposed hose rather than a hose that retracts inside the spout, remaining hidden until it is extended. These pull-down faucets are also known as semi-professional kitchen faucets.

Pros of a pull-down faucet

  • Allows greater control
  • Limited twisting of hose to extend longevity
  • Ideal for large or deep sinks
  • More ergonomically correct to pull down
  • Makes it easier to fill tall items
  • Better access to spray button for easier switching between spray modes
  • More spray mode options
  • Greater range of style and design options

Cons of a pull-down faucet

  • Taller spout might limit water pressure
  • Smaller or shallow sinks can’t accommodate a pull-down design
  • Less space to grab onto the wand
  • Cheaper models may not be as durable

Pull-out kitchen faucet

Pull-out faucets
Pull-out faucets have shorter, lower profile spouts compared to pull-down faucets which is a significant advantage when space is limited. This type of compact faucet is ideal for small to medium kitchen sinks, shallow sinks, or where there is less clearance space above the sink. You will not be able to easily fill tall vessels such as a large stock pot, vase, or bucket due to the lower height of the spout and may need to use the wand to fill taller items. A pull-out faucet may have a smaller wand that may not be as comfortable to grip and a little less ergonomic to handle as you have to pull out rather than down, but the longer hose allows for greater flexibility and reach with less splashing.

Pros of a pull-out faucet

  • Lower profile saves space
  • Will work in all sink sizes including small to medium-sized sinks
  • Longer hose for greater reach
  • More flexible design lessens splashing

Cons of a pull-out faucet

  • Smaller handle grip might not be as comfortable for larger hands
  • Less efficient for rinsing
  • Pull-out sprayer can an integrated part of the spout or a separately mounted wand on the sink ledge
  • Less ergonomically correct to use
  • Not ideal for filling taller pots, pitches, or vases or washing larger items
  • More limited range of style and design options

Factors to consider when buying a pull-out or pull-down faucet

Both pull-down and pull-out faucets come in a wide range of brands, styles, and finishes to suit any home décor and function. Although the range of options tends to be greater for pull-down models, you are sure to find a faucet you’ll love no matter which design works best for your sink application. Whether you choose a pull-down or a pull-out faucet, here’s some things to consider when selecting which faucet to buy for your kitchen.

Hose length, retraction and locking mechanism
Pay attention to how seamlessly the wand extends out from the spout and how easily it retracts back. Notice how long the hose is when extended.  Is it long enough to meet your needs, allowing you to reach all areas of the sink while rinsing, cleaning, and filling? When the hose retracts, do you have to slide it manually back in place or does it glide smoothly on its own? How securely does the wand stay in place once it is back in place on the faucet spout. If it doesn’t dock tightly, the wand can come loose and spray water everywhere. Higher quality faucets use a magnetic docking system to ensure the spray head locks into place.

Spray type
Check out the spray button functions before you buy. How well the sprayer works and how many modes it offers will impact your overall satisfaction. How easy is it to switch between spray modes? Some faucets use a push-button, others use a lever-like switch that clicks from one spray option to the other. Often, pull-down faucets will come in more spray and pressure options, and some faucets also let you widen or narrow your spray stream. The types of spray types you need depends on how you use your faucet. Wider streams are good for overall rinsing, while narrower, more focused sprays let you power clean.

Wand design
The wand design between pull-down and pull-out faucets differs mainly in size. If you prefer to grip a full handle, a pull-out sprayer is the right choice for you. A pull-down spray head is smaller which may not be as comfortable to hold if you have larger hands, but it will feel more ergonomically correct to pull the wand down to release it rather than pull it out. 

If you are looking to purchase a new kitchen faucet, check out the great selection of both pull-down and pull-out faucets from top brands at Riverbend Home.