7 Types of Kitchen Faucets to Give Your Sink an Instant Update

A new kitchen faucet can transform your kitchen sink zone. Here’s how to choose the type of faucet that complements your cooking and cleaning style.

By Gretchen Heber and Shannon Lee | Updated Nov 30, 2021 12:22 PM

types of kitchen faucets

Photo: istockphoto.com

Of all the equipment in your kitchen, the sink and kitchen faucet just might get the most use, which is why it’s important for your faucet to look great and be functional. A change of faucet can work wonders as a near-instant update. You don’t need to wait for a total kitchen renovation to benefit from better design and functionality, and the good news is there are plenty of top-quality kitchen faucets from which to choose.

If you’re installing a kitchen faucet in new build, your faucet options are seemingly endless! Following, we take a look at the different types of kitchen faucets available and the best models in each category, so you can choose the faucet that’s right for your space and your needs.

1. Pull-Out Faucets

types of kitchen faucets

Photo: Lowes.com

Who says a faucet has to stay in the sink? Pull-out faucets broaden your space and 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.

Best for: Users who need a faucet head with a lot of range.

Our recommendation: Moen Kinzel Spot Resistant Stainless 1-Handle Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet – Get it at Lowe’s for $189

Power spray technology equals better cleaning, and reflex technology ensures proper seating of the faucet when not in use.

2. Pull-Down Faucets

types of kitchen faucets

Photo: Amazon.com

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, and they make dishwashing easier by getting the water into those hard-to-maneuver pots and pans for easier 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.

Keep in mind that a deep sink is a must for this style; if used in a shallow sink, this type of faucet can lead to significant splashing, and the tight quarters render the best features of the pull-down faucet all for naught.

Best for: Users who hand-wash a lot of dishes.

Our recommendation: Moen Arbor One-Handle Pulldown Kitchen Faucet – Get it at Amazon for $236.50

This faucet 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

types of kitchen faucets

Photo: Lowes.com

Offering a classic look, these are often gooseneck types of kitchen faucets, featuring a single handle in the middle 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.

Best for: Users who prefer a clean look and simple one-handed operation.

Our recommendation: Kohler Simplice 1-Handle Deck-Mount Faucet – Get it at Lowe’s for $470.02

This touchless faucet features an on-trend high arc, which allows for easy access to the space between the faucet and sink. With the Simplice, it’s a snap to clean large, unwieldy pans.

4. Two-Handle Faucets

 types of kitchen faucets

Photo: Lowes.com

Traditional and sophisticated, this type of kitchen faucet has a center spout flanked by two handles, one for hot water and one for cold water. The style works in almost every kitchen design, depending upon the finish. Separate handles provide hot water faster than what you might get with a single-handle faucet, and two handles provide the ability to fine-tune the temperature—and that’s perfect for those who are serious bakers and need to be careful about temps for ingredients.

On the other hand, the ease of two handles has a downside, which is simply that it has 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.

Best for: Users who prefer a traditional look and precision temperature control.

Our recommendation: Moen Hutchinson Spot Resist Stainless 2-Handle Deck-Mount Faucet – Get it at Lowe’s for $94.05

A high arc allows for better maneuvering of pots underneath the fixed faucet, which comes with a separate sprayer.

5. Touchless Faucets

 types of kitchen faucets

Photo: Amazon.com

A dream come true for serious cooks, these touchless faucets are just that—they 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, making prep easier. Most of us have used faucets like this in public restrooms, 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, and the biggest downside of this model might be the higher price tag.

Best for: Users who prefer hands-free operation.

Our recommendation: Moen Arbor Motionsense Two-Sensor Touchless Faucet – Get it on Amazon for $439.45

Flexible installation design, several finishes, and the option to add on features such as voice control means this faucet is highly customizable.

6. Smart Faucets

types of kitchen faucets

Photo: Homedepot.com

Do you ever wonder if some of the gadgets in your home are smarter than you are? Meet the smart faucet, which takes luxury to a whole new level, responding when you tell it to turn on the water, find a particular temperature, and dispense a certain amount of water. Just need a cup? No problem. The smart faucet will fill a 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 luxury 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.

Best for: Users who like automation.

Our recommendation: Kohler Setra Single-Handle Kitchen Faucet  – Get it at The Home Depot for $337.51

Monitor water usage with Kohler Konnect voice-activation technology, and choose from a variety of finishes.

7. Pot Fillers

types of kitchen faucets

Photo: Amazon.com

These ingenious faucets grace the backsplash behind the stovetop to fill up pots and pans, saving back strain from having to carry heavy, water-filled pots from the sink to the stove. The downside is that because these fillers are located so far away from the plumbing that’s typically behind and underneath the sink, they usually require professional installation and often require entirely new plumbing behind the wall above the stovetop or range. Repairs can also be pricey.

Best for: Users who want to fill big pasta pots right at the stovetop, eliminating the strain of carrying pots of water across the kitchen.

Our recommendation: Delta Pot Filler Faucet – Get it on Amazon for $477.58

With clean, contemporary lines and indisputable convenience, this kitchen faucet simplifies meal prep while looking stylish.

Final Thoughts

When it’s time to remodel, you’ll find many types of kitchen faucets to choose from. Before making color or style decisions, you might find it helpful to first choose the type of kitchen faucet you need. One handle? Two? Kind of smart? Super smart? Pull down? So many decisions!

Nevertheless, now that you know the types of faucets available, as well as some specific suggestions for faucets that might work for your kitchen, choosing a new one should be easy. Oh, and you might consider adding a water filter to your faucet for extra-clean and tasty tap water.

FAQs About Kitchen Faucet Types

types of kitchen faucets

Photo: istockphoto.com

Still have questions? It’s good to be thorough. Fine-tune your decision-making process by checking out these FAQs to learn even more about the types of kitchen faucets available to choose from when a kitchen refresh is in order.

Q. What kitchen faucets are most popular? 

While trends come and go, and it’s important that you choose a kitchen faucet that suits your particular style, most people these days seem to prefer a one-handle faucet in an arching style. Brushed nickel and matte black are popular color choices.

Q. Do kitchen faucets come in standard sizes?

Not necessarily. Mounting hole dimensions can vary. Some faucets require just one mounting hole, while others require three. Some are deck-mounted, while others are wall-mounted. The size and shapes of kitchen faucets, of course, can vary greatly.

Q. What types of kitchen faucets resist corrosion?

Faucets made of stainless steel are generally the most corrosion resistant. Furthermore, stainless steel faucets that are coated with a thick layer of chromium have even greater resistance to corrosion. This attractive, shiny finish is what we know as “chrome,” and it adds another layer of corrosion resistance.

Q. How do I choose a kitchen faucet?

Consider your lifestyle, your cooking style, and your cleaning style. Look at the types of kitchen faucets available and decide which matches best with your needs. Take into account your home’s style—modern, traditional, farmhouse—and look for a kitchen faucet that complements that style. Similar considerations come into play when choosing a bathroom faucet.

Q. What is the highest quality kitchen faucet?

The manufacturers whose products we’ve recommended above are among the best and can be counted on to make reliable, long-lasting products that you can install yourself, if you’re so inclined. Choose a kitchen faucet with ceramic valves, and select one with a durable finish, such as satin nickel, bronze, or polished chrome—generally considered the most lasting.