Helen Mao Sep 16, 2019, 2:50 PM
- As one of the most heavily used household fixtures, the kitchen faucet needs to be highly functional, durable, efficient, and convenient — all while looking great.
- The Delta Faucet Leland Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet offers all of the above: It streams and sprays, guards against leaks, turns on manually or by touch, resists dirt and fingerprints, and exudes simple elegance.
The workhorse kitchen faucet is often taken for granted — until it breaks. Just think of how frequently you and other household members use it to wash your hands, get a drink, scrub vegetables, rinse dishes, wet sponges, and more. Ideally, you want one that stands up to everyday use.
Choosing a kitchen faucet may seem like a mundane task, but it’s actually important. You want the right kind to fit your needs and your kitchen’s decor, and you don’t want to simply opt for the cheapest model.
There is also a myriad of faucet styles to choose from:
- On/off mechanism: There are single-handle (one lever controls both water flow and temperature), double-handle (separate knobs — one for cold, one for hot — offer more precise temperature adjustment but may be less convenient), and touch- or motion-activated (clean and convenient but requiring a power source) designs.
- Spout Style: Choose from revolving or stationary, regular (steady stream) or two-mode (regular and spray), low arc (3 to 8 inches above the top of the sink), or high arc (also known as gooseneck, which is more than 8 inches above the top of the sink) models.
- Spray head: The sprayer can be separate from and next to the faucet, or at the end of the spout. The latter type is either pull-down (often on taller faucets) or pull-out (which sometimes includes much of the spout itself).
- Finish: Whatever material comprises the faucet’s finish (chrome, stainless steel, bronze, copper, brass, nickel, etc.) affects its appearance, cleanability, resistance to spotting and rusting, and price.
So before you shop for a new kitchen faucet, think about where (the existing space, pre-existing hardware) and how you plan to use it. Consider each model’s specs:
- Arc and spout height and reach: Do you have ample clearance for high-arc faucet or a cozier kitchen better suited to a low-arc model? Will you need to maneuver pots and pans under the faucet in order to wash them? Do you care how far the spout reaches across or extends over the sink?
- Flow rate: Do you want adjustable water pressure? Do you need just a stream (for filling pots or washing vegetables) or also a spray (to add oomph to scrubbing sticky or burnt-on food off of dishes)?
- Installation requirements: How many holes does your sink have for fitting a faucet? Some sinks have only one hole, and faucets requiring more than one hole can’t be used (unless you plan to drill more holes … which may be inconvenient, costly, or structurally impossible). If your sink does have extra holes that the faucet doesn’t need, you can use cover them with an escutcheon or deck plate) or use them to fit accessories like a side sprayer or soap dispenser.
No matter which kitchen faucet you pick, choose a model that helps save water. A faucet aerator efficiently reduces the flow rate while still maintaining water pressure, thus conserving water and saving you money. Also, fix (or replace if necessary) the faucet when you notice any leaking. According to the Alliance for Water Efficiency, “A faucet leaking 60 drops per minute will waste 192 gallons (726.8 liters) per month … 2,304 gallons (8.7 m3) per year.” To calculate your household’s potential water waste from a leaky kitchen faucet, visit the U.S. Geological Survey’s Drip Calculator.
Finally, turn off the faucet when you’re not using it. For example, when handwashing dishes, turn off the tap while soaping up dishes or fill the sink with water to wet and soak them instead of continually running the tap.
Here are our top picks for the best kitchen faucets:
- Best overall kitchen faucet: Delta Faucet Leland Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet
- Best budget faucet: WEWE Single Handle High Arc Brushed Nickel Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet
- Best touchless faucet: Moen Arbor Spot Resist Stainless One-Handle High Arc MotionSense Wave Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet
- Best Pull-Out faucet: Moen Arbor Spot Resist Stainless One-Handle High Arc Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet
- Best commercial-style faucet: Kraus Two-Function Commercial Style Pre-Rinse Kitchen Faucet with Pull-Down Spring Spout and Pot Filler
The best overall kitchen faucet
The sleek and sturdy Delta Faucet Leland Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet has three water-flow options and is available in two different on/off (manual and touch) models.
The elegant Delta Faucet Leland Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet offers many convenient features. First, it not only streams and sprays water but also showers a powerful curtain of water (ShieldSpray Technology) that helps push food off of dishes without water ricocheting and splashing all over the place. With a flow rate of up to 1.8 gallons per minute, this faucet provides good water flow for kitchen use and has an aerator that can be removed and cleaned with an included wrench.
The spray head isn’t your ordinary model. Like most others, it’s versatile (for rinsing hard-to-reach places, filling a pot, cleaning the sink, etc.) with a 20-inch (when pulled down) hose. Features that make it stand out are its Touch-Clean Spray Holes (where you simply swipe your fingers across them to clear off calcium and lime build-up) and its MagnaTite Docking system, which uses strong magnets to hold the spray head securely in place against the faucet.
The Delta Faucet Leland Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet is easy to keep clean. It’s available in four different finishes (chrome, Venetian bronze, arctic steel, and SpotShield stainless steel) and Amazon reviewers found the arctic steel and SpotShield stainless steel best at effectively resisting water spots and fingerprints. Women’s Guide blog particularly liked the high arc neck that swivels 360 degrees for being “tall” enough(approximately 14.9-inches high for the manual model, 15.4 inches for the Touch20 model) to accommodate large pots.
Speaking of the Touch20 model, this Delta Faucet Leland Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet comes in a version with two sensors (one on top, one in front) where you simply touch any place on the spout or handle to start the flow of water at the temperature set by the handle; touch it again to turn off the water. Although very handy when your hands are full or dirty, this feature can be quite sensitive, resulting in water being turned on (and wasted) inadvertently. Luckily, the Touch20 faucet automatically shuts off after four minutes to conserve water. Healthy Kitchen 101 blog pointed out that “this feature is extremely useful if you have kids or even cats in your house, who may turn the water on by accidentally touching or brushing the unit.” A TempSense LED light changes color to indicate water temperature (e.g., red for hot, blue for cold).
The Delta Faucet Leland Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet comes with integrated one-piece supply lines and a diamond-embedded ceramic disc valve to minimize leak points and prevent leaks. Many Amazon reviewers found this faucet leak-proof, but some experienced leaks after a few months. This faucet fits onto sinks with one or three (with optional escutcheon) holes and is fairly easy to install.
The Delta Faucet Leland Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet won praise from numerous kitchen and plumbing websites and blogs, including The Architect’s Guide, Faucet Guide, Helpful Habitat, KitchenFaucetCenter, Kitchen Faucets Guides, and TheBestFlushingToilet. Among more than 2,500 Amazon reviewers, it earned an average rating of 4.3 out of fi5ve stars.
Pros: Elegant and clean appearance, non-splash technology, sturdy and highly resistant construction, availability in manual and touch on/off operation
Cons: Hose a little short, sensors on touch-capable model sometimes not sensitive enough and sometimes too sensitive (inadvertently turning on water) BUY ON AMAZON FOR $155.80BUY ON THE HOME DEPOT FOR $155.80
The best budget faucet
The WEWE Single Handle High Arc Brushed Nickel Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet is low in price but high in quality with efficient operation and a simple tulip design.
Despite the low price, the WEWE Single Handle High Arc Brushed Nickel Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet offers a lot of useful features. Its spray head has three settings: stream, spray, and pause. Amazon reviewers really like the pause feature for stopping (and thus conserving) water without having to turn it off completely while moving between tasks like filling pots and watering houseplants on the windowsill above the sink. A few, though, were less impressed about this function because “it’s momentary, and only shuts off for as long as you hold [the button] down, and if you were spraying, it comes back on in flow mode,” one shopper wrote. Nonetheless, people were pleased by the faucet’s good water flow volume.
The WEWE Single Handle High Arc Brushed Nickel Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet has a high-arc (15.7-inches tall) neck that swivels 360 degrees. The spout hangs 8.5 inches above and reaches 8.5 inches across the top of the sink. The sprayer head hose is 71 inches in total length (a bit long for some people who complained that it hits pipes and other objects under the sink) and 23 inches when pulled out of the faucet. A weight retracts the hose and pulls the sprayer head back in place after use, although sometimes the weight falls off and/or doesn’t pull the hose back completely.
Users like that this model is easy to clean with a stylish look and solid construction. The warm nickel finish is water-spot resistant. In addition to a brass body, a zinc-alloy handle, and a stainless steel spout, the faucet has an ABS plastic aerator (think of the tough plastic used to make Lego bricks) and a leak-resistant ceramic disc cartridge valve. Most Amazon customers reported no leaking, although a few did after a few months of use.
What many people really liked was WEWE Single Handle High Arc Brushed Nickel Pull Out Kitchen Faucet‘s easy and quick installation. It fits sinks with one hole (if used, escutcheon plate requires three holes). Kitchen Faucets Guides noted that this model “is ready to use right out of the box. It comes with already assembled hoses for effortless installation, with no plumber required. In fact, if you’re a DIY enthusiast, it shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes to have it in place.”
The WEWE Single Handle High Arc Brushed Nickel Pull Out Kitchen Faucet was named “best overall” kitchen faucet by The Spruce, and is one of the top picks on Kitchen Faucets Reviews and The Architect’s Guide. It earned an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars among more than 1,700 Amazon reviewers.
Pros: Good price, nice appearance, three-way spray setting, and easy installation
Cons: Pause function a little frustrating to some, pull-down weight to retract hose isn’t great
The best touchless faucet
Even if your hands are full or covered with grease or raw-meat juices, you can still turn the water on and off with the Moen Arbor Spot Resist Stainless One-Handle High Arc MotionSense Wave Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet.
Have you ever used dirty hands to turn on a faucet in order to wash those hands, only to have to wash the faucet itself and then mop up ensuing puddles around the faucet? Okay, this may be a first-world problem, but it is a nuisance you can avoid with the Moen Arbor Spot Resist Stainless One-Handle High Arc MotionSense Wave Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet. Marrying form with function, this model offers convenient, hands-free operation with just the wave of your hand; the Wave Sensor (on top) and Ready Sensor (in front) initiate and stop water flow when either one detects motion.
The faucet also has a water-saving automatic shut-off feature. Reports varied about the sensors’ range (from a few inches to a foot) and sensitivity (too much or too little). Some Amazon users disabled one of the sensors to avoid turning on (and wasting) water by mistake when merely standing in front of or reaching over the faucet.
You also can use the lever handle to turn the water on and off manually, as well as adjust the water pressure and temperature. KitchenFaucetCenter recommended that “if you plan on using the spray head a lot more than the actual faucet itself, then the motion sense technology becomes less of a must-have feature…since that is the one feature that puts this faucet on top and makes it costly.”
The Moen Arbor MotionSense Kitchen Faucet‘s 100-degree-rotating high-arc spout (15.5 inches) is great for filling and cleaning large pots. The spout with a pull-down spray head offers three functions: an aerated stream, a strong “PowerClean” spray for heavy-duty cleaning, and a pause that temporarily stops the water flow (1.5 gallons per minute maximum). The spray head’s hose is 68 inches in total length and retracts smoothly to dock into place.
Users love that the Moen Arbor MotionSense Kitchen Faucet has a “Spot Resist Stainless” finish that prevents fingerprints and water spots. Then again, as Women’s Guide pointed out — which named it “Best Motionless Faucet for the Money” — there should be no fingerprints on the faucet because it has touch-free operation.
The Moen Arbor MotionSense Kitchen Faucet uses a “Duralock Quick-Connect” installation system. Many Amazon users found installing this faucet quite easy and quick. It fits sinks with one hole or, with the included deck plate, three holes. Few users reported leaks.
Faucet Assistant, Helpful Habitat, and Kitchen Guy’d blogs all named this model the “Best Touchless Faucet. ” Chosen as the top pick of Faucet Guide, The Architect’s Guide, and Kitchen Faucets Guide, the Moen Arbor MotionSense Kitchen Faucet earned an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars among 2,300 Amazon reviewers.
Pros: Convenient no-touch operation, spot-resistant finish
Cons: Expensive, easy to turn on water inadvertently
The best pull-out faucet
Perfect for cozier spaces, the Moen Arbor Spot Resist Stainless One-Handle High Arc Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet is easy to use and keep clean.
The Moen Arbor Spot Resist Stainless One-Handle High Arc Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet shouldn’t be confused with the pull-down Moen Arbor MotionSense that we profiled above, but you could consider it as the baby brother. If you have a small sink or you don’t have a lot of vertical clearance, the Moen Arbor Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet may be the right fit.
With a spout height of 12.13 inches, the Moen Arbor Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet is shorter than many other models. When docked on the faucet, the spout has a reach of 8.13 inches; however, with a total hose length of 59 inches, the pull-out spout certainly can reach farther.
The Moen Arbor Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet‘s spout swivels 360 degrees and, like the Moen Arbor MotionSense, there are three functions: an aerated stream, a strong “PowerClean” spray for heavy-duty cleaning, and a pause that temporarily stops the water flow (1.5 gallons per minute maximum). Healthy Kitchen 101 noted that once the faucet is turned off, it defaults from the “PowerClean” spray to the “regular” stream, meaning that “the flow will always be gentle and smooth when you turn it on.” The sturdy spray head’s flexible hose automatically retracts smoothly to dock into place.
The Moen Arbor Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet’s installation allows water lines to be quickly connected without tools. It fits sinks with one hole or, with the included deck plate, three holes. Few Amazon shoppers reported leaks, although, for some, those occurred after a year of use.
Pros: A hybrid of pull-down and pull-out styles, easy installation
Cons: A little pricey
The best commercial-style faucet
With both a sprayer and a spout, the Kraus Two-Function Commercial Style Pre-Rinse Kitchen Faucet with Pull-Down Spring Spout and Pot Filler is a multifunctional, sturdy asset to any kitchen — industrial or at home.
If you have an industrial kitchen or just want that professional look in your home kitchen, install the Kraus Two-Function Commercial Style Pre-Rinse Kitchen Faucet with Pull-Down Spring Spout and Pot Filler. Kitchen Guyd remarked that this model is great for large families or people who cook (and/or party) a lot. Modern and imposing in appearance, this tall (approximately 32.1 inches) dual-function faucet is striking with its straight lines, right angles, and exposed-coil spring hose encasing. Durable, heavy-duty, and efficient, it’s constructed of lead-free solid brass (body and spray head) and stainless steel (coil) with a rust-resistant finish.
What distinguishes this model is that water comes out from two separate locations, making it multifunctional and convenient when completing kitchen tasks (especially by more than one person). Turn the water on and off with single handle that rotates forward 90 degrees. Switch between the 360-degree swiveling pot-filler spout and the sprayer for different jobs. With a height clearance of 11 inches and a reach of 8.5 inches, the spout accommodates tall pots, pitchers, and large dishes. It provides a soft aerated stream with a good flow rate of 1.8 gallons per minute for filling items as well as washing vegetables and fruit.
The pressurized pre-rinse sprayer powerfully scrubs away sticky food and dirt; users praised the handle’s convenient lock function that keeps on a continuous spray. When securely clipped into the docking arm, the spray head has a height clearance of 11.25 inches and a reach of 7.635 inches. The total length of the sprayer head hose is 31.50 inches.
TheBestFlushingToilet — which named this model “Top Commercial Kitchen Faucet” — liked the “heavy-duty spring that expands to let you pull the faucet out from the sink for using all around your kitchen.” All around your kitchen may be a stretch, but you do have the freedom to extend the hose across side-by-side sinks, the counter, and more. Amazon reviewers enjoyed operating the comfortable spray head but several warned that the handle heats up quickly when you’re using hot water; if you grasp the handle beyond the black insulated rubber section and touch the surrounding metal, you can burn yourself, so be careful.
The Kraus Two-Function Commercial Style Pre-Rinse Kitchen Faucet with Pull-Down Spring Spout and Pot Filler has soft rubber nozzles that are easy to wipe clean in order to prevent limescale build-up. It also has a ceramic cartridge valve to prevent leaks. Most Amazon users reported no leaks, although several noted leaking from the sprayer head. The faucet comes installation-ready with pre-attached water supply lines and all mounting hardware. Many Amazon reviewers found the one-hole installation quick and easy, although some hired plumbers.
Pros: Multifunctional, convenient, heavy duty, reaches all parts of the sink and beyond
Cons: Newer model no longer lets water flow from both pot filler and sprayer simultaneously, spray head handle heats up when hot water used.
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