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Published Mar. 6, 2022

Choosing the best kitchen faucets is not easy. There are thousands of different models on the market, and while visual appeal is a key factor there are also decisions to be made about functionality, flow rate, and fitting. There are touchless faucets to consider, and even options for voice control.

Clearly the kitchen faucet has become a much more complex device than something simply turned on for hot and cold water. The following article looks into these technical aspects in detail, and offers a selection of high-quality examples. This will give you valuable insight into the options available, and help you choose the best kitchen faucets for your needs and your decor.

How We Chose the Best Kitchen Faucets

Methodology

Having remodeled four different homes I have personal experience of choosing and fitting a variety of kitchen faucets. To ensure our knowledge was current, the team also checked the technical and performance aspects of dozens of the latest models.

Style: As personal taste and kitchen decor play a huge role in choosing a kitchen faucet, it is almost impossible to say that any one model is the single best kitchen faucet. We’ve offered a representative selection that highlights special features that will appeal to a wide range of buyers. Where possible, we have also chosen kitchen faucets that offer a multitude of options and finishes, so an alternative is available that might be a better fit for the decor.

Versatility: It is now common for kitchen faucets to have pull-down spouts, but there are differences in spray patterns, flow rates, and reach. We also looked at the practicalities of fitting the faucet, and whether there was more than one way to do so.

Brand: The manufacturer of each kitchen faucet was a key element in our decision. Buying from leading names like Delta, Moen, Kohler, and Kraus generally guarantees high quality and durability. Valves don’t leak or finishes wear off like they can on cheap kitchen faucets. However, sometimes big names come with premium prices, so we also looked at popular budget brands with a proven reputation for high-value products.

The Best Kitchen Faucets: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: Kohler 596-VS Simplice Pull Down Kitchen Faucet

Kohler

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Why It Made The Cut: Kohler has earned a reputation for developing innovative models with user-friendly features and a wide range of options during its 150 years of experience, and this versatile pull-down option comes in several color and style options.

Specs:

  • Design options: Four finishes, four styles, two optional extras
  • Flow rate: 1.5 GPM
  • Fitting: Deck mount, 1 or 3 hole, escutcheon included

Pros:

  • Three-function pull-down head
  • Ceramic disc valves
  • Useful 30-inch hose length

Cons

  • No pause function
  • Low flow can cause issues with tankless water heaters

Choosing a single best overall kitchen faucet is a considerable challenge. With so much variety available. it’s virtually impossible to pick one model that satisfies every wish. We chose the Kohler Simplice because its range of styles and features provide options that will satisfy most needs, most of the time. In addition to four different finishes, there are bar, low arch, high arch and semi-professional styles, and options to include a strainer and/or soap dispenser.

The pull-down head has an extra-long 30-inch hose, and a ball joint that reduces wear and improves flexibility. It also has rapid magnetic docking. The Kohler Simplice offers three flow modes: stream, spray sweep, and boost, with the boost setting providing a 30 percent increase in water delivery for fast filling or powerful cleaning. The spray head and hose are pre-installed, and flexible supply lines are included for easy hook up of water supply.

Kohler’s reputation for quality, built over 150 years, is the equal of any kitchen faucet manufacturer. Finishes offer high durability, and are both corrosion- and tarnish-resistant. Ceramic disc valves are fitted, which offer precise control of flow and temperature while being extremely reliable. However, unlike some other options that offer a pause button, there is no way to stop flow without turning the faucet off at the handle.

Best Budget: WEWE Single Handle High Arc Kitchen Faucet

Why It Made The Cut: The contemporary-styled WEWE kitchen faucet offers a variety of different color options, and has a feature set that is similar to more expensive competitors. 

Specs:

  • Design options: Eight finishes
  • Flow rate: 1.8 GPM
  • Fitting: Deck mount, 1 or 3 hole, escutcheon included

Pros:

  • Exceptional value for money
  • Two spray modes plus pause
  • Hose and water lines pre-installed

Cons:

  • No magnetic hose location
  • Plastic spray head

The WEWE kitchen faucet is an attractive proposition for those on a budget, or looking to save money on guest accommodation, for example. Multiple corrosion-resistant, wipe-clean finishes mean it can match with many decorative styles. Combine that with multiple spray modes and easy DIY installation, and it offers outstanding value for money.

A pull-down spray head includes stream and spray modes, as well as a useful pause mode. The head does not have a magnetic catch, which doesn’t affect retraction but doesn’t have the solid locking feel.  The ceramic cartridge valve may not offer quite the durability of ceramic discs, but is still far superior to compression or ball valves often found in cheap kitchen faucets.

The spray head hose and water lines are pre-installed for quick and easy DIY fitting. There have been a few reports of leaks, but these seem to relate to insufficient tightening at the factory, so it’s a good idea to check before installation.

Best Commercial: Kraus KPF-1610SS Bolden 18-Inch Commercial Kitchen Faucet

Why It Made The Cut: This type of kitchen faucet is very popular, but true commercial models are often larger than is suitable for home use. Kraus offers an attractive alternative with similar features in a more compact form.

Specs:

  • Design options: Twelve finishes, four optional extras
  • Flow rate: 1.8 GPM
  • Fitting: Deck mount, 1 or 3 hole

Pros:

  • Designed to fit below kitchen cabinets
  • Dual flow head
  • Very competitive price

Cons: 

  • Escutcheon extra
  • 20-inch hose

Commercial-style kitchen faucets add a professional feel to modern cooking areas, but many are physically large, and despite their practical appeal can look out of place in a home kitchen. The Kraus Bolden commercial kitchen faucet has all the functionality of this design, but at a compact 18 inches tall, it fits easily below kitchen wall units. Additionally, the lever works through 90 degrees of forward motion, so no rear clearance is needed.

The pull-down spray head offers aerated stream or power spray modes. An additional pause mode is unnecessary because commercial-style kitchen faucets have the function built in. A strong spring returns the head to the docking arm when not required. The Kraus commercial kitchen faucet is available in a host of different finish combinations, with filter faucet, soap dispenser and a touchless model available. It’s important to note that if fitting as a three-hole unit, the escutcheon is not included, and will need to be ordered separately.

Although the hose only extends 20 inches, the Kraus kitchen faucet already presents the spray head further forward than other designs, so in practical terms there is little loss of reach. The use of ceramic cartridge valves makes for good durability at reasonable cost.

Best Touchless: Moen 7594ESRS Arbor Motionsense Kitchen Faucet

Why It Made The Cut: Moen is widely recognized as one of the best kitchen faucet brands. Their Motionsense technology activates flow with just a wave of the hand, or the movement of a pan.

Specs:

  • Design options: Four finishes, three optional extras
  • Flow rate: 1.5 GPM
  • Fitting: Deck mount, 1 or 3 hole, escutcheon included

Pros:

  • Convenient hands-free operation
  • Renowned Moen quality and durability
  • Operates with or without sensors

Cons: 

  • Batteries not included
  • A few complaints about sensitivity of front sensor

The Moen Arbor kitchen faucet solves two common problems: how to turn on the lever when you have both hands full, or when your hands are dirty. Sensors on the top and side will activate the flow passing a hand, arm, or object across them. Each sensor can be deactivated independently to suit user preference, and in the unlikely event of a problem, the faucet will operate normally without the sensors.

In other ways the Moen touchless kitchen faucet presents as the quality item you would expect from the brand. There are spot-resistant finish options to suit most decors, optional soap dispensers, and a hose management system for under sink areas that are crowded with pipework for other appliances. The pull-down head offers 24 inches of extension, self-retracting docking, and modes for stream, power spray that boost flow by 50 percent, and pause. A ceramic cartridge valve is fitted.

The Moen Arbor touchless kitchen faucet requires six AA batteries, which will need to be purchased separately. 

Best Smart: Delta Faucet Essa VoiceIQ Touchless Kitchen Faucet

DELTA FAUCET

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Why It Made The Cut: Delta is another leading kitchen faucet brand, and its premium-quality Essa model is packed with user-friendly technology that offers two different control options, and is combined with outstanding durability.

Specs:

  • Design options: Four finishes, one optional extra
  • Flow rate: 1.8 GPM
  • Fitting: Deck mount, 1 or 3 hole, escutcheon included

Pros:

  • Voice control via Alexa or Google Assistant
  • Also offers Delta Touch control
  • LED temperature indication

Cons:

  • Requires under sink power outlet
  • Touch activation occasionally temperamental

The Delta Essa offers a quite staggering array of high-tech features. Top of the list has to be VoiceIQ which integrates with Alexa and Google Assistant. This doesn’t simply allow the faucet to be turned on and off by voice command, it can also dispense specific volumes of water.

This faucet also features touch activation; the handle, and any part of the spout can sense contact from a wrist or forearm. To pre-warn users about the water temperature, there is a small LED that glows blue at 80 degrees Fahrenheit, pink at 95 degrees F, and red at 110 degrees F.

Technology aside, there is a pull-down 24-inch spout and a positive magnetic housing. The spray head offers stream or spray, though perhaps surprisingly there is no pause option. The valve has a diamond coating which is claimed to offer as-new performance for the life of the faucet. A matching soap dispenser is available.

The touch feature requires six AA batteries, which are included. VoiceIQ requires the provision of a standard power outlet in the under sink area. While we have not heard of problems with voice control, some have found the touch feature can take several attempts to activate.

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Kitchen Faucets

Finding the right kitchen faucet means looking at a variety of factors.

Size and Style

While visual appeal is personal, there are practical elements at play as well. Several of the best kitchen faucets offer low and high arch versions. The latter may be important to those who frequently fill large pans, for example. Commercial-style kitchen faucets are very popular, but take a little more work to keep clean.

It can be difficult to visualize how a particular kitchen faucet will look, especially if buying online. Product pictures can be deceptive so it is vital to check dimensions. Hold a tape measure in place above the sink to give a better idea, or do a rough cardboard cutout.

Flow Rate

In a bid to reduce water waste, the federal government restricts all faucets to a maximum flow rate of 2.2 gallons per minute (GPM). In California this is 2.0 GPM, and there are plans to reduce it to 1.8 GPM. It’s likely that other states will follow suit, particularly those where water conservation is a priority. Whether that’s true where you live, lower water consumption is good for the planet, and good for your utility bills.

There’s a misconception that low GPM means poor flow. The best kitchen faucets compensate by offering different spray patterns, thus delivering high performance when necessary, even with actual flow at 1.5 GPM or below.

Finish

There are many different finishes, or combinations of finishes available. This is a very personal decision, and often relates to the kitchen decor. However, there are a couple of points worth considering. Stainless steel and other bright finishes are very popular, but fingerprints can leave unsightly marks, and constantly wiping them away can get frustrating. The same is true of water spots. Matte finishes are one solution, but there are also “spot free” finishes that resist marks.

Fitting

Many modern kitchen faucets are what is called “deck mounted,” which means they fit through a hole in the worktop. If an existing faucet is being replaced, it’s important the number and spacing of the holes is the same, or an escutcheon (cover plate) is fitted to conceal them.

Some types of drop-in sink also have pre-drilled holes, so again the faucet will need to be checked for fit.

FAQs

Q: How do you measure a kitchen faucet?

If it has a single hole, the diameter should be checked. Otherwise, it is the distance between the two outer holes that supply the hot and cold water feeds. You will also want to consider height and reach, but those are both personal choices rather than being necessary for correct fitment.

Q: How much do kitchen faucets cost?

They vary tremendously. We wouldn’t expect to pay less than around $60 for reasonable quality, but touchless and smart kitchen faucets can cost several hundred dollars.

Q: Can any kitchen faucet fit my sink?

If you are fitting a deck mounted kitchen faucet, and there are no existing holes you have freedom to choose whichever you think looks best. If there are pre-drilled holes, either in the worktop or a sink you will need to choose one to fit.

Q: How far out should the faucet extend over the sink?

The generally accepted range is between 5-1/2 and 8 inches. Much depends on usage. If you want to place large pans, bowls or a watering can in the sink, this may impact on how far the faucet can extend.

Final Thoughts

The Kohler Simplice kitchen faucet offers a range of finishes and style options to suit many different homes. It is also very competitively priced for a model of this quality. WEWE may not be a widely recognized brand, but in terms of features for the money their kitchen faucet is hard to beat. As a result it is tremendously popular, and has proven to be reliable.

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