The 5 best kitchen faucets in 2021

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Star Icon A bookmark shape with a star on it. The best kitchen faucet overall
Delta Faucet Leland Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet
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The best kitchen faucet on a budget
WEWE Single Handle High Arc Brushed Nickel Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet
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The best touchless kitchen faucet
Moen 7594ESRS Arbor Motionsense Two-Sensor Touchless One-Handle High Arc Pulldown Kitchen Faucet
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The best pull-out kitchen faucet
moen Brantford Single-Handle Pull-Out Sprayer Kitchen Faucet
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The best commercial-style kitchen faucet
Kohler Sous Pro-Style Single Handle Pull-Down Sprayer Faucet
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Many of us take our kitchen sink 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.

As a residential contractor, I've been replacing and installing different types of faucets for years. From large commercial kitchen models to simple bathroom faucets, I know the mechanical red flags to avoid (like plastic ball valves that leak) and unreliable brands to stay away from.

Using this knowledge — and after reviewing each option's installation and design specs — I visited several appliance showrooms and hardware stores in my area to analyze my top choices. Once I got a hands-on feel for each model's functionality and mechanics, I landed on these options as my top picks for the best kitchen faucets.

Even if you don't end up going with one of our picks, there are a few things you should keep in mind when shopping for a new kitchen faucet. For a short explainer of things to consider, read here

Here are the 5 best kitchen faucets in 2021

The best kitchen faucet overall

Best kitchen faucet Delta Leland Single Handle Kitchen Sink Faucet
Amazon

The sleek and sturdy Delta Leland Pull-Down Touch2O Kitchen Faucet adds the convenience of touch activation to the versatility of a pull-down spray head.

Pros: Stylish, lifetime warranty on parts and finishes, design reduces valve wear and tear.

Cons: Electronics only have a five-year warranty, batteries need to be replaced every two years.

What really sets the Delta Leland apart from competitors is the Touch2O technology. This allows you to turn on the water by touching anywhere on the spout or handle.  I can control the water with my elbow through the entire process of rinsing off the meat, breading it, tossing it in the pan, and then washing my hands. 

The Delta spray head's ergonomic tulip shape is easy to get a grip on, and its magnetic locking system connects it to the spout nice and tight. The head has a rocker-style switch for toggling between settings — standard and sprayer — without having to hold a button down the whole time. A separate button controls the spray-shield setting, which focuses the water into a thin, extra-powerful stream to blast off stuck-on food, while also creating a cone of water around the area to prevent splashing.

I was really surprised by the flexibility of the connector hose. Usually, these are stiff and rubbery. Even with a braided nylon covering, the Delta hose didn't affect my control at all. The hose length and faucet height make it great for tasks like filling up a big pot of water on the counter, instead of having to place it in the sink.

The drawback of any touch-activated faucet is the need for a power source, and this model requires four AAAA batteries — or you could use the included AC adapter if you have an outlet in your sink cabinet. 

In my personal experience replacing faucets — and several plumbers that I spoke with agree — single-handle faucets like this are eventually going to wear out and begin to leak. It's inevitable. This is why touch activation is a great way to extend the lifespan of your faucet. That being said, if you don't think you need the touch activation, Delta does make the same faucet in a standard style for a bit cheaper. That model still includes everything else, including the spray shield.

Even with the solenoid (an electromagnet) needed to power the sensor, installation of the Delta Leland Pull-Down Touch2O Kitchen Faucet is pretty straightforward if you have a couple of adjustable pliers on hand and an Allen key. Delta did a nice job with the instruction manual and also has some helpful videos that supplement it nicely.

$289.08 from Amazon $292.99 from The Home Depot

The best kitchen faucet on a budget

best kitchen faucet WEWE Single Handle High Arc Pull out Kitchen Faucet
Amazon

The Wewe Single-Handle High-Arc Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet is low in price but high in quality with efficient operation and a simple tulip design.  

Pros: Good price, nice appearance, three-way spray setting, and easy installation

Cons: Zinc alloy is less durable and brushed nickel requires more maintenance than stainless steel

Typically, lower-priced faucets look nice on the surface but skimp on components behind the scenes. The Wewe Single Handle Faucet delivers on both fronts, with braided supply lines for durability, an ABS plastic aerator (think of the tough plastic used to make Lego bricks), and ceramic disk valves.

With no rubber caps to wear down over time, this faucet's ceramic valves prevent leaks more effectively than ball valves and are pretty crucial for a quality faucet. (Though they are susceptible to cracking if you apply too much pressure to them, so keep that in mind.)

In addition to the standard stream and sprayer settings, the Wewe Faucet lets you pause the water with a button on the spray head. You do have to continuously hold down the button while pausing, but it's still a useful feature for preventing over-spraying while between the sink and countertop.

The solid metal components give the Wewe Faucet a sturdy feel, but the zinc alloy and nickel finish are likely the reason for its low price. Cheaper than stainless steel and not as resistant to water spots, brushed nickel will need more maintenance to stay clean. A soft cloth and soapy water should do the trick, but remember to stay away from any abrasive cleaning pads that can scratch the finish, as well as any cleaners that contain ammonia. 

Installation is simple and should be doable for anyone willing to crawl under their sink and spend 30 minutes down there. You're not getting the "quick-connect" technology that pricier models have, so you'll be tightening the supply lines the old-fashioned way with your fingers and a couple of wrenches.

$73.94 from Amazon
Originally $79.98Save 8%

The best touchless kitchen faucet

Best kitchen faucet Moen 7594ESRS Arbor Motionsense Touchless One Handle High Arc Pulldown Kitchen Faucet
Amazon

Even if your hands are full or covered with grease, 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.

Pros: Convenient no-touch operation, spot-resistant finish

Cons: Motion sensors may need to be re-calibrated routinely

Marrying form with function, this faucet 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.

By adjusting the control box under the sink, you're also able to change the default temperature of the water when the sensors activate the faucet. The Moen factory setting is lukewarm, but you can adjust it if you prefer it to be warmer for rinsing dishes or colder for drinking water.

And if you ever feel like disabling one or both of the sensors, that's simple too. Just hold your hand in front of the sensor for five seconds, and it will stop registering until it's activated again. While they're disabled, you also can use the lever handle to turn the water on and off manually, as well as adjust the water pressure and temperature. 

The Moen Arbor MotionSense Faucet has a 100-degree-rotating high-arc spout — 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.

When it comes to installation, don't let the intimidating control box fool you; Moen's are among the easiest faucets to install. Their Duralock Quick-Connect installation system makes it easy to attach the hoses and lines to the control box, and their one-way connections make them almost impossible to install incorrectly. 

$439.45 from Amazon $439.45 from The Home Depot

The best pull-out kitchen faucet

best kitchen faucet 2021 moen brantford single handle
The Home Depot

Perfect for cozier spaces, the Moen Brantford Single-Handle Pull-Out Sprayer Kitchen Faucet is easy to use and keep clean.

Pros: Available in multiple finishes, easy to clean, quick installation

Cons: Plastic components can make it feel flimsy

The Moen Brantford Single-Handle Pull-Out Sprayer Kitchen Faucet shouldn't be confused with the pull-down Moen Arbor MotionSense that we profiled above, but you could consider it a younger sibling. If you have a small sink or you don't have a lot of vertical clearance, this faucet may be the right fit.

What I love about pull-out style faucets is that without all that extra spout length, you gain a lot of maneuverability. By pulling it "out" instead of down, you avoid wasting any hose length on the bend of the faucet spout, giving you more range of motion.

The 68-inch hose itself is especially flexible and can be easily maneuvered around any sink. This faucet does technically have a plastic spray head, but its stainless steel finish and easy installation make it a great faucet option. 

The Moen Brantford Pull-Out Faucet spout swivels 360 degrees and has several functions in common with the Moen Arbor MotionSense, including an aerated stream and a strong "PowerClean" spray for heavy-duty cleaning. 

The installation of the Moen Pull-Out Faucet also uses Duralock Quick Connect hoses, allowing you to connect the water lines without a lot of twisting and turning. To make things even easier, this faucet also includes a cool installation tool that acts as a basin wrench, which makes tightening those mounting nuts a lot easier (especially if you don't have much space between the wall and your sink basin).

$279.00 from Amazon
Originally $298.51Save 7%
$27.90 from Home Depot

The best commercial-style kitchen faucet

best kitchen faucet Kohler Sous Pro-Style Single Handle Pull-Down Sprayer Faucet
Kohler

The Kohler Sous Pro-Style Single-Handle Pull-Down Sprayer Faucet has the power and size of a commercial faucet, with all the features of a standard model.

Pros: Sturdy, magnetic locking arm, high quality

Cons: Spring needs to be cleaned periodically, installation can be tricky depending on your surface

The Kohler Sous Pro-Style Single-Handle Pull-Down Sprayer Faucet features the sturdy construction of a commercial-kitchen-style faucet, with a modern style that looks right at home in a residential kitchen. It's great for an active kitchen and the ideal faucet for tackling large piles of dishes.

The Kohler Sous Pro-Style Faucet has a magnetic docking arm that the spray head firmly attaches to when not in use. Unlike other commercial-style faucets, the docking arm swivels out of the way when you're working.

I've noticed that commercial-style faucets' height can make them look out of place in some kitchens. That's not the case with the Kohler. It is still short enough to look great on most counters. I've even seen this on a kitchen island — usually a no-no for taller faucets — and it looked great.

The spring-loaded design of the pull-down spray head has the perfect amount of tension to it: not so tight that it restricts movement but solid enough to have a feeling of control while you're using it. The downside of any spring-type tension mechanism is that debris can become lodged in the gaps of the spring. What's great about the Kohler Sous Pro-Style is that the entire spring is simple to remove and you can spray the whole thing off on the sink. 

In addition to the standard stream setting, the faucet also features "Sweep Spray" technology, turning the stream into a linear broom-style pattern. This is great for washing away food from dishes, instead of just blasting it around with a standard sprayer. This setting is also excellent for cleaning out the sink itself.

If you are installing this faucet to a stainless steel sink, you will need to add a small 1/2-inch plywood support piece under the counter. It's nothing too difficult, but it's an extra step that most other faucets don't have.

$279.00 from The Home Depot

What to consider when shopping for a kitchen faucet

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. Before you shop for a new kitchen faucet, think about the existing space, pre-existing hardware, and how you plan to use the faucet. Consider each model's specs: 

  • Valve Control: This is the mechanism that turns your faucet on and off and adjusts the temperature of the water. Single-handle designs use one lever to control both temperature and flow, while double-handles have two (each handle controlling either the hot or cold water supply). Touch- and motion-activated designs are convenient in a lot of ways, but they are dependent on a power source for their sensor.
    Note: Double-handle styles are less common and are generally bought for their aesthetics over practicality — which is why we don't have any featured here. That said, I definitely value their durability: Dual handles tend to be sturdier and less easily yanked on than single handles.
  • 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.
  • Arc and spout height and reach: Do you have ample clearance for a 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 cover them with an escutcheon or deck plate or use them to fit accessories like a side sprayer or soap dispenser. It's also worth checking to make sure you have enough clearance between the faucet and the wall behind to ensure your handle can rotate as far as it needs to.

 

How to choose a water-saving faucet

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. "A faucet leaking 60 drops per minute will waste 192 gallons (726.8 liters) per month" and "2,304 gallons (8.7 m3) per year," according to the Alliance for Water Efficiency.

To calculate your household's potential water waste from a leaky kitchen faucet, visit the US Geological Survey's Drip Calculator.  

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