7 Types of Kitchen Faucets to Know
A new kitchen faucet can transform your kitchen. Choose options that complement your cooking and cleaning style.
Out of all the areas of your kitchen, the sink and faucet just might get the most use. So your faucet needs to look great while providing you with every function you need. A change of faucet can work wonders as a near-instant individual upgrade. You don’t need to wait for a total gut renovation to benefit from better design and functionality—and you have plenty of top-quality kitchen faucets to choose from. Start from scratch with a new build, and those options become seemingly endless! Let’s take a look at the different types of kitchen faucets out there—and the best options in each category—so you can make an informed choice.
1. Pull-Out Faucets Broaden Your Space
Who says a faucet has to stay in the sink? Pull-out faucets allow for a wide range of motion for the detachable head, which usually offers a typical flow or a spray option. It can get to all the hard-to-reach areas of the sink (we’re looking at you, that far corner over there), and depending upon the model, it can even reach over to the countertop to fill up a large pot that might not fit easily in the sink. Pull-out faucets typically have one handle, so you can adjust flow and temperature with one hand while using the pull-out function with the other, providing the height of convenience. The downside is that with all that range, it can be easy to splash water everywhere if you’re not careful.
Editors’ Pick: Moen offers the Kinzel Spot Resistant Stainless 1-Handle Pull-Out Faucet (available at Lowe’s), complete with power spray technology for better cleaning and reflex technology to ensure proper seating of the faucet when not in use.
2. Pull-Down Faucets Make Washing Dishes Easier
These beauties with elegant gooseneck spouts are quite common, and for good reason: pull-down faucets make it easier to get the flow or spray into every corner of the sink, as well as get into those hard-to-maneuver pots and pans for easy hand washing. These faucets have a fixed head that pulls out in a downward position, giving some flexibility of use, but they don’t have the range of motion that a pull-out faucet can provide. However, a deep sink is a must for this style; if used in a shallow sink, it can lead to significant splashing, and the tight quarters render the best features of the pull-down faucet all for naught.
Editors’ Pick: The Moen Arbor One-Handle Pulldown Kitchen Faucet (available on Amazon) offers a few bells and whistles in addition to the pull-down option: there’s also Power Boost, which fills a big pot faster, a reflex system to dock the sprayer quickly, and spot-resistant stainless steel.
3. One-Handle Faucets Bring the Classic Look
These are often gooseneck types of kitchen faucets, featuring a single handle in the middle of or on the side. You move the single handle from left to right to draw hot or cool water. This means ease of use because it takes only a fingertip to move the lever slightly and adjust the temperature or flow. On the other hand, it can take a while to get used to the quirks of your particular faucet, and there might be some frustration when the water doesn’t reach that perfect temp you need. The good news is that these faucets are very reliable, easy to repair, and can even be a great option for DIY installation. If you choose a one-handle faucet, look for one with a taller profile, as this will allow you to maneuver heavy pots and pans underneath the spout.
Editors’ Pick: The Kohler Simplice 1-Handle Deck Mount faucet (available at Lowe’s) is a touchless faucet with a high arc. That arc allows for easy access to the space between the faucet and sink, making it easier to clean unwieldy pans.
4. Two-Handle Faucets Are Traditional and Sophisticated
This is a more traditional type of kitchen faucet that has the center spout flanked by two handles, one for hot water and one for cold water. The style itself works in almost every kitchen design, depending upon the finish. Separate handles mean faster hot water than what you might get with the single-handle faucet, and two handles provide the ability to fine-tune the temperature; that’s perfect for those who love serious baking and need to be careful about temps for ingredients. On the other hand, the ease of two handles has a downside, which is, simply—two handles. This means using one hand to move back and forth to adjust each handle, or using both hands at the same time, which can be inconvenient for a busy cook.
Editors’ Pick: The sleek, stainless steel Moen Hutchinson Spot Resist Stainless 2-Handle Deck Mount faucet (available at Lowe’s) has a high arc to allow for better maneuvering of pots underneath the fixed faucet, as well as a separate sprayer.
5. Touchless Faucets Make Cooking Easier
A dream come true for a serious cook, these touchless faucets are just that—they will begin pouring water at the wave of a hand, so you don’t have to touch any hardware. They work by a tiny sensor that activates the water flow when a hand or pot is waved in front of it. Most of us have used faucets like this in public bathrooms, where a wave of the hand is all it takes to begin the flow of water. It’s a perfect solution for those times you have just handled raw meats or other ingredients that may have left bacteria on your hands. However, adjusting the temperature and flow does require touching the lever handle, which is usually located on the base. The biggest downside of this model might be the higher price tag.
Editors’ Pick: The Moen Arbor Motionsense Two-Sensor Touchless faucet (available at Amazon) is a one-handle pulldown faucet with two sensors to help ensure an immediate flow of water with the wave of a hand. It also offers flexible installation design, several finishes, and the ability to add on features, such as voice control.
6. Smart Faucets Take Luxury to a Whole New Level
Do you ever wonder if some of the gadgets in your home are smarter than you are? Meet the smart faucet, which listens to you when you tell it to turn on the water, find a particular temperature, and dispense a certain amount. Just need a cup? No problem, the smart faucet will fill that measuring cup to that precise point—no more, no less. Smart faucets come with all sorts of bells and whistles, from digital displays that show you the water temperature to water-saving features that keep tabs on how much you’re pulling from the tap. Combo smart faucets allow for completely hands-free operation, which can be the ultimate for serious cooks. Keep in mind that this faucet is definitely not a DIY install, any repairs must be done by a professional (sometimes at an eye-popping price), and the smarter a faucet gets, the higher that price tag goes.
Editors’ Pick: The Kohler Sentra (available exclusively at Home Depot) is a voice-activated pulldown faucet with Kohler Konnect technology, which helps monitor water usage. The faucet comes in a variety of finishes.
7. Pot Fillers Save on Back Strain
These ingenious faucets grace the backsplash behind the range top to fill up pots and pans. Having the faucet handy right at the stove eliminates the need to wrestle with a heavy pot in the sink and carry it from the sink to the burner. And who doesn’t love another option for drawing water from the tap if need be? The downside is that because these fillers are located so far away from the plumbing behind and underneath a sink, they usually require professional installation, which might mean entirely new plumbing behind the wall. Repairs can also be pricey.
Editors’ Pick: The Pfister Port Haven Pot Filler (available at Lowe’s) is made of all-metal construction in a choice of four finishes to match your personal style. Advanced ceramic disc technology helps ensure no leaks.