A great kitchen needs a great kitchen faucet. You may not think much about your faucet, but you use it every single day. From quickly washing your hands to filling up a kettle or pot of water, your faucet’s ease of use can become a frequent, tiny irritation, or a quiet source of daily joy.
As more and more people move to remote work and spend more time at home, it’s suddenly a lot easier to start picking apart what you love (or hate) about your appliances and fixtures.
After months spent testing a dozen different faucets, we found that the BioBidet by Bemis Flow(available at Amazon) pull-down faucet with motion sensor was our favorite. This faucet, (from the makers of one of our favorite bidets) uses a unique hands-free on/off switch and a powerful sprayer to create a seamless kitchen experience.
If you’re looking for a value buy, we like the Wewe Single Handle A1001L (available at Amazon). While this basic faucet doesn’t have any fancy features like motion sensing or touch spraying, it’s well made and gets the job handled at a reasonable price.
Here are the faucets we tested, ranked in order:
BioBidet by Bemis Flow
Moen Arbor 7594ESRS
Delta Leland 9178-AR-DST
Wewe Single Handle A1001L
Kohler Simplice K-596-CP
Moen Banbury CA87000SRS
Kräus Bolden KPF-1610SS
MSTJRY Touch Kitchen Faucet
Delta Essa 9113T-AR-DST
Kohler Sous K-R10651-SD-CP
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Bio Bidet Flow
Delta Faucet Leland 9178
Moen Arbor 7594E
How We Tested Kitchen Faucets
What You Should Know About Buying a Kitchen Faucet
Strong water pressure and clever hands-free implementation put this surprise entry from BioBidet by Bemis at the top of our “favorite faucet” list. While this faucet isn’t perfect, there’s a lot to recommend it.
BioBidet by Bemis’ Flow faucet is technically motion-sensing, but it implements that technology in a very unusual way. The motion sensor has an incredibly limited range, and basically functions as an on/off switch. Simply putting cookware or your hands under the faucet will not turn it on. Rather, you have to wave your hands an inch or two in front of the sensor. If your hands are dirty or full, it’s more convenient than using the handle. Our initial reaction wasn’t enthusiastic. We weren’t expecting to get a lot of mileage out of such a limited touchless feature. However, we quickly came around to this simple activation, seamlessly incorporating it into our daily life. On top of that, the sprayer automatically turns on simply by undocking it, creating a quietly perfect workflow for cleaning dishes.
The water pressure is incredibly powerful, and the spray feature is even more so. This was one of our top-performing faucets for tackling tough dishes. Unfortunately, this is also where we find the Flow’s one weak point. The range of water pressures available felt limited. The faucet is basically either on or off. Trying to find a useful middle ground requires carefully manipulating the handle.
In the end, this faucet’s solid construction, reasonable price, and clever features put it on the top of the heap regardless.
Installation: If you like to do your own handiwork, you’ll be pleased to know that installation is fairly straightforward. While there are a lot of hoses to wrangle through a small washer, some friendly design choices make the Flow far less frustrating to handle than similarly-structured faucet installations.
Wewe Single Handle A1001L pull-down faucet is a low-key favorite, beginning with its easy, intuitive installation. The Wewe doesn’t have a lot of special features to contend with, but it does its job well and without complication.
The construction of the handles, spigot, and sprayer are all solid, and the faucet is responsive and reliable. This was one of the best, most functional faucets of our early testing, and left a strong impression even without special features.
We were so shocked to see a featureless faucet come out so high on the list that we re-installed it for a second round of testing. Our follow-ups and adjustments confirmed what our initial trials suggested: The Wewe really is among the cream of the crop, especially if you don’t care about touchless features.
Installation: Installation is a cinch. One thing many people don’t realize is that their faucet sprayer pulls into place with the help of a big weight attached to the hose. The weight on the Wewe easily clipped onto the hose, which was far easier to install than the weights many other faucets required.
A wide range of pressure, including a powerful spray
The Delta Leland 9178-AR-DST earns our Best Feature badge for its ShieldSpray, one of the coolest things I've ever seen in a home appliance of any kind. The ShieldSpray—a thin, laser-like beam of water, surrounded by a cascading bubble of water meant to minimize spray from the beam—is beyond powerful, and I gleefully cleaned out an old peanut butter jar with its blast. No other faucet came close to matching it for intensity.
That said, Delta’s Leland definitely isn't perfect. The weight that attaches to the hose and helps the sprayer retract just sits at the bottom of the hose, with no way to attach it to the side for leverage. This seriously impedes the retraction of the spray head. If you really wanted this faucet, you could probably rig up a solution, or purchase a separate weight. But our testing is about what you get, not about what you could have with some extra finagling.
Frustrations aside, this faucet is incredibly well-built. Every piece feels sturdy, and again, the ShieldSpray feature more than makes up for the hitches that this faucet offered.
Installation: Installing the Delta Leland was abysmal. It forced me to reconsider my basic competency as a person, as well as my commitment to the very concept of home ownership.
Powerful spray setting
Fun to use
Spray head doesn’t retract well
ShieldSpray can cause a lot of splatter in some situations
The Moen Arbor 7594ESRS is a pretty great faucet. The water pressure is decent and the sprayer setting, while not the best we tested, offers plenty of additional utility.
The big draw here is the motion sensor, which is probably the smartest, most useful hands-free feature that we tested. There’s a sensor in the front of the faucet with enough reach to trigger when you go to wash your hands. It works the way you’d expect a hands-free faucet in a public restroom to work.
But, there’s a second option as well, a sensor on top of the faucet that serves as a hands-free on/off switch when you briefly wave your hand over it.
The sensor isn’t perfect with clear or dark cookware, but it does work with a variety of skin tones, and it adds a lot of convenience to everyday operation. From quick hand-washing, cleaning dishes, and cooking, we found more uses for the touchless activation features than we expected, and getting to choose from two of them makes a huge difference.
The faucet is well built and easy to use. Once or twice, we caught a stray drip, but this seemed to be just a stray bit of water after intense use and not a long-term, endemic issue.
Our one frustration with the Moen Arbor 7594ESRS is that it is possible to dangle the sprayer in front of the sensor so that the sprayer itself triggers. When this happened, the sensor and the faucet just kept spewing water. But this was a rare occurrence, and it easily resolved by moving the sprayer head.
Installation: The installation is pretty straightforward, especially considering the additional battery pack required to power the motion sensors. There were faucets with far fewer features that were much harder to install.
My name is Michael Garrett Steele. I make my living writing, and I’ve spent a decent amount of reviewing products. While I’m most at home testing audio equipment or tech gadgets, I made a foray into bidet testing last year for Reviewed, and re-awakened a dormant passion for amateur plumbing. I jumped at the chance to put an array of faucets through the ringer.
After scouring the Internet for the best-reviewed, most-praised fixtures, I installed each faucet the way the manual instructed, to test how easy the instructions were to use. If the manual failed, I turned to my own knowledge (or video tutorials, whichever was most handy.)
After installation, I used the faucet for about two weeks of routine use. This included hand-washing, cooking, cleaning out old jars for recycling, and more. Another member of the household also regularly used the faucet, confirming or challenging my conclusions and providing a grounding alternate point of view.
Because many people of color have described trouble with motion-sensing plumbing fixtures, I also brought in a friend to make sure that the motion-sensing faucets in the lineup would work for people who aren’t white. My friend Marvin graciously stood in front of my sink waving his arms around with me, as we made sure that the faucets’ benefits and frustrations were the same for both of us. (Encouragingly enough, they are!)
After a couple of weeks of use, I rated each faucet on a number of factors, from the responsiveness of the pressure and temperature, to how powerful the sprayer is, to how easy they are to wipe down. These questions are weighted for importance and tallied up to determine which faucets land at the top.
What You Should Know About Buying a Kitchen Faucet
How To Choose a Kitchen Faucet?
When it comes time to choose a kitchen faucet, there are more than a few things to consider. One of the big ones is cosmetics.
Many consumers want their faucet to go with their other appliances and fixtures. Some even go so far as to ask “should a kitchen faucet match your cabinet hardware.” Others prefer a contrast and like to mix and match metals and finishes, say pairing matte black with chrome.
These preferences may narrow your choices right off the bat. (Many of the faucet models we tested come in different colors, often with slightly different model numbers.)
Also, make sure that the faucet you like provides adequate pressure, and make sure that pressure can be controlled. A few of the kitchen faucets we tested offered pitiful water pressure. Others were high-pressure, but had so little range that the settings were basically “off” and “firehose.”
You want a faucet that’s responsive enough to be useful to you in a variety of settings.
Do You Want Smart Features and/or Sensors With Your Faucet?
Ask yourself whether you want smart features with your faucet.
We were initially skeptical of bringing in a fixture that was too ornate for its own good. But, for faucets with well-designed motion-sensing abilities, like the offerings from Flow or Moen, the hands-free aspect became part of our routine faster than we realized it would.
Hands-free sensors can make a tremendous difference.
Conversely, poorly-implemented features like some of the touch-activated options we tested can make a faucet far more frustrating to use than the average basic model.
How To Install a Kitchen Faucet, And Do I Need To?
Ease of installation is another factor to consider. All of the faucets we tested can be installed by someone with a little bit of patience and a willingness to look up videos online.
But among the dozen that we tested, some were definitely easier than others.
The good news is that if you want a faucet that we found difficult to install during our testing, you can always hire a plumber. If you want to know how much it costs to install a kitchen faucet, then call around. Prices vary depending on where you live and who you choose.
How To Clean a Kitchen Faucet Head
For our tests, we simply cleaned our faucets by wiping them down with an all-purpose kitchen cleaner, to make sure that there were no odd design decisions that made cleaning difficult. But, cleaning your faucet is an important part of taking care of your investment long-term.
Over time, calcium and minerals from hard water can build up on your faucet head, affecting the water flow and making it look pretty gross, besides. The good news is that there’s an easy fix.
Fill a plastic bag halfway full with white vinegar. (Some places will tell you to dilute the vinegar with equal parts water. Either way, you’re not going to hurt anything.)
Attach the vinegar bag to your faucet head. You can use a rubber band for this, or a plastic zip-tie.
Let the bag sit on the faucet overnight. As the hours go by, the acetic acid in the vinegar will eat away at the mineral buildup on your faucet head. When you take the bag off the next day, your water should be flowing just fine.
If necessary, clean away any excess debris with a toothbrush or a small cleaning brush. Your faucet should be good as new!
If you don’t have any vinegar, you can also use half of a lemon in the bag instead. Press the lemon onto the faucet head and let the citric acid do its work for a few hours before removing it. Another great vinegar substitute is a lime and rust remover like CLR, diluted in water.
Other Kitchen Faucets We Tested
Kohler Simplice K-596
The Kohler Simplice K-596-CP is a bit of a dark horse, but it wound up being among our top faucets. There are no special features, no hook, no gimmick. Our time with it was enjoyable, but rather unremarkable. During our initial test run, we answered the battery of questions, but took very few notes beyond that. There just wasn’t much to note on the Simplice.
It turns out this is enough to propel this Kohler to the top half of this list. In a field stuffed with over-engineered faucets, this basic pull-down does its job well. There are no bleeding-edge tricks here, but there are also no tics or unfortunate drawbacks.
The Moen Banbury CA87000SRS is a perfectly serviceable faucet, with its fair share of minute frustrations and one feature that stands out.
The first obstacle to using this faucet is the installation. Unlike every other faucet we tested, water lines are not included with this faucet. They’re also not mentioned in the “tools you’ll need” section of the manual, meaning that by the time you learn you need them, you may already be up to your neck in pipes with your water shut off. In a regular consumer situation, we probably would have just taken this faucet back to the store.
However, if we’d done that, we would have missed out on the sprayer, which is quite a treat. This powerful blast wasn’t the most powerful sprayer that we tested, but it’s nevertheless an incredible benefit.
All in all, this faucet’s construction and sturdiness puts it in the middle of the pack. It’s nothing special. But, if you want a two-handle faucet that can hold its own against your dirty dishes, you could do a lot worse.
Incredible spray setting can tackle just about anything
Two-handle design gives you fine control of water temp and pressure
Of the “pro-style” faucets we tested, the Kräus Bolden KPF-1610SS is probably the least frustrating, but we still don’t recommend it for most people.
On the one hand, the design is smarter and easier to use than many other pro/industrial-style faucets. Installation is straightforward. The faucet head docks securely into the stabilizing arm, so you can move the faucet from side to side without issue, something other pro-style faucets struggled with. Clearance isn’t as frustrating as some of the other pro-style faucets, either.
However, there’s still the issue of cleaning a nylon hose with a coil of metal around it, and there’s nothing pro-style about the water pressure, which is unfortunately lacking. While this faucet holds fewer frustrations than many of its “pro-style” ilk, it’s far from our first choice for home use.
More secure and solidly built than other pro-style faucets
MSTJRY Touch Kitchen Faucet remains popular in some corners of the Internet, and we were excited to take it for a spin. Unfortunately, our actual, hands-on experience, it came up short.
The MSTJRY’s water pressure is frustratingly low, making it a pain to clean dishes. In addition, when you set the faucet’s pressure to its lower settings, it emits a concerning hum.
The touch sensors are a particular pain point. Because the faucet is touch-operated and not motion-controlled, skin tone shouldn’t be an issue for users. That’s a plus. However, the touch control is poorly implemented. If it’s been a while since the last operation, the faucet takes two touches to activate, almost like you have to “wake it up” before using it. This may be great for saving battery life, but it’s frustrating when your hands are full of produce that needs rinsing.
In addition, the touch controls extend to the spigot, so if you need to move the faucet left or right while cleaning dishes, you’ll also be turning the water on or off, whether you want to or not.
Between the lackluster touch controls and the sad water pressure, this isn’t a faucet we can wholeheartedly recommend.
The Owofan 9009R is useful in some ways, but it feels over-designed in others.
For a “pro-style” faucet, the height is very low. This isn't something we were explicitly testing for, but the low clearance makes this faucet difficult to use. It's particularly noticeable in our double-basin sink, but it would be obnoxious in any sink. For the incredible height of the faucet on its upward curve, there's no reason for it to come down as low as it does.
You can detach the faucet from the base easily for a little extra height. But unfortunately, the forcefulness of the faucet and the looseness of the construction means that the faucet head goes flying around like a water-powered jetpack if you do. Meanwhile, the spiraling curves and exposed hose make it difficult to clean the faucet. This faucet looks great on paper, but a couple of crushing design decisions make it very frustrating to use.
Peppermint UT16Y’s entry on this list is frustrating in many respects. Installation is easy, and the water pressure is powerful, but that’s where the upsides end.
The UT16Y’s faucet juts straight out over the sink, and you have to grab the entire faucet spigot to use as a sort of wand-shaped sprayer. It’s a bit unwieldy, and the sprayer doesn't really dock on its own when you’re done. Nor does it particularly retract, especially if you place the weight where you’re instructed during installation.
One piece of this faucet arrived broken, or at least displaced, on our test model. It was a black plastic shield that covers the gold-colored inner workings on the handle. Because of this piece’s location, it was impossible for us to put it back into place. It was only a cosmetic issue, but gave us some concern about the faucet’s construction, and how it might hold up over time.
The water pressure is incredible, and it does a phenomenal job of blasting food and residues away from dishes. However, that water pressure is hard to control. Even after turning the pressure down at the supply lines, the water came through the faucet hard and fast enough to shoot up out of our water glasses when we went to get a drink. There is little to no nuance in the range of water pressure offered. It’s all or nothing.
Additionally, the faucet offers a little more resistance than hoped for when moving the faucet from side to side.
Strong water pressure
Awkward sprayer that has difficulty staying docked
Our installation experience with the Delta Essa 9113T-AR-DST was deeply frustrating. The pieces under the sink were higher-quality than the other Delta faucet we tested, leading to a slightly less obnoxious installation. However, it was still unnecessarily tricky, trying to squeeze a bizarre custom wrench up the water supply line into a tightly-crowded area full of wires and hoses to find a single nut.
The faucet’s touchless controls leave a lot to be desired. It usually turns on, but turning it back off can be difficult. It seems that having wet hands (or letting the faucet get wet) may have something to do with this, but the truth is that the sensors were so finicky during testing that we couldn’t definitively identify what worked and what didn’t.
We tried all kinds of pressure and duration of touch, and different types of skin from different parts of the hands, arms, and even forehead, and we never could get this to reliably shut off like it’s supposed to.
Adding to the bafflement is the fact that the handle is also part of the sensor area. That means that trying to adjust the water temperature or flow can cause the water to abruptly punch into action (or shut off) when you don’t want it to.
The supply lines are made of some kind of inflexible plastic, with nothing to mark which line is which. The good news is that an LED light indicates the water temperature, which is helpful since I installed the unmarked supply lines backwards and the colored dots on the faucet handle ended up backwards.
Changes in pressure happen instantaneously, and the faucet tends to overshoot on pressure. It’s hard to find a useful middle ground of pressure, which is especially frustrating since it’s so easy to turn this faucet on without meaning to.
Another “pro-style” faucet, the Kohler Sous K-R10651-SD-CP is easier to use than some of the others in its class. It has much higher clearance, so cleaning large dishes is less frustrating. It also feels sturdier.
However, there are also some serious shortcomings. For such a large faucet, it puts all of its weight into one hole. Using it with a 3-hole sink requires an escutcheon that just sort of sits on top of the sink. It’s not the only sink we tested that works that way. However, considering the enormous size, the escutcheon seems like a wasted opportunity to add some extra ballast. The instructions suggest that you can add a 1/2 piece of plywood to reinforce your sink, but that isn’t communicated until you’re already trying to install the faucet, and by then it feels a little late.
This isn’t the only place the Kohler Sous K-R10651-SD-CP disappoints. The faucet head is held in place magnetically. But, the magnet is weak enough that if you grab the faucet by the head to move it side to side, the head simply detaches and swings limply around. Turning the faucet on in this state causes it to fly around like an out-of-control jetpack. The whole thing is wildly counterintuitive, and a big enough inconvenience that it negates any advantages the “pro-style” form might offer.
Decent clearance compared to some other pro-styles
Heavy faucet may require additional parts for stability
Trying to move faucet left/right detaches faucet head
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