Two of the most used fixtures in modern kitchens today are the sink and faucet.
And it’s also one of the points through which germs can easily be spread in the kitchen. To reduce the spread of bacteria and prevent you from using messy hands when preparing meals, a hygienic solution was engineered: the touchless kitchen faucet.
This article will show you everything you need to know about these automatic gadgets plus the best models out there.
Difference Between Touch-on and Touchless Kitchen Faucets
We’ll begin by answering the question: What are touchless kitchen faucets?
A touchless kitchen faucet is a smart faucet type that uses motion sensor technology so you can start the flow of water without touching the faucet.
To put this into perspective, this is unlike working with traditional faucets where you have to pull or push a handle to get water flowing from the tap. Here, the faucet responds to or detects the presence of something in front of it. Isn’t that amazing?
Contact is minimized, and you don’t have to bother about picking up germs while cooking or touching your faucet with messy hands.
Now, how are automatic faucets different from a touch-on faucet?
Actually, the two are more similar than different. Touch-on or touch-sensitive faucets–as they’re otherwise called–respond to physical touch rather than detecting the presence of something.
So both are innovative modifications of traditional faucets.
How Does A Touchless Kitchen Faucet Work?
Like we said earlier, a touchless kitchen faucet was developed with built-in sensors to detect the presence of a hand or other things in front of it.
Some hands-free kitchen faucets use infrared sensors to detect hand movement.
So to turn these kinds of kitchen faucets on, you’ll have to move your hand in front of the sensor. Then the infrared light will then bounce off of your hand and into the infrared detector. And this will signal water flow.
Magic, you may call it!
There are also some other kinds of automatic kitchen taps that use ultrasonic field sensors.
With these types, you also turn the faucets on or off by moving your hand in front of the sensor. But the mechanism here is that your hand will disrupt the ultrasonic field which triggers the faucet to turn on or off.
To better understand how touchless faucets work, let’s take a closer look at their four main parts.
· Sensor window
A hands-free kitchen faucet has got a motion sensor at either the lip or base of the spout to detect the presence of a hand or another object.
Placing your hand (without contact) will cause the flow of water. And removing your hand will cause the water flow to cease.
So the whole process starts by placing your hand near the sensor window to activate the sensor.
You already know the two common sensors being used now: infrared sensors and ultrasonic field sensors.
· Solenoid valve
The solenoid valve is an electromagnet that controls the flow of water.
So when the sensor sends a signal like the presence of hands to the solenoid valve, the solenoid opens up the rubber-like disc valves to allow water in the tap to flow. And when you take off your hand, it gets another signal to close the valve and stop the flow of water.
And then, we’ve got the spout.
The spout of a touchless faucet houses the mechanism: all the other parts. So when the valve opens up, water flows through the spout.
And that’s the cycle.
· Power source
There is a common question people ask about touchless kitchen sink faucets: Do touchless faucets need electricity?
Yes, touchless faucets need a source of power to work. You can either plug the faucet into a source of electricity like a low-voltage current from an AC transformer or use batteries to power the faucet as some other faucet models do.
Another popular question is, “Can a touchless faucet work manually?”
Yes, some (probably most) touchless faucets can work when there’s a loss of power. A kitchen sink faucet of this category has got manual sensor override mode to allow it function as a traditional faucet.
That’s an extra reason why you should get one for your kitchen or other places in your home.
Now we know how a touchless kitchen sink faucet works, let’s observe the advantages and disadvantages to see if having one is worth it.
Pros of Using a Touchless Kitchen Sink Faucet
From being a handsfree tool to helping to control the flow of water, there are lots of fantastic reasons why hands-free faucets are worth having at home (or in the kitchen at least).
Let’s find out more about why you may need an automatic tap in your sink.
The major reason people love touchless faucets is because of the ease of operation. Whether you’re going for a touch-sensitive or touchless kitchen faucet, they’re mostly hands-free; requiring minimal or no contact.
They’re activated with a touch or swipe of your hands or pot. How fantastic! You don’t have to bother about dropping your pot or container to twist or push the touchless kitchen faucet on or off.
This feature also makes them easy for kids and seniors to use with very minimal effort. And some also help you detect the water temperature so you can be more careful with scalding water.
Aside from being a time-saving tool, the touchless kitchen faucet is hygienic and easy to clean. First, you won’t be bothered about spreading germs as you don’t need to turn the water flow on or off.
This means you can now prepare your meals safely as you won’t transfer grime and bacteria between your faucet handle and cooking. This feature also extends to touch-sensitive faucets as you can touch them without handling them with your palm.
· Water conservation
Many automatic faucets produce aerated water which flows with greater pressure and reduces the amount of water usage.
This also reduces the impact of water usage on the environment.
And secondly, you’ll save more water and money as the motion sensor embedded in the spout of a hands-free faucet automatically cuts the water off when you’re done using it.
So no more dripping water and leaky hoses.
With the gorgeous and futuristic design of a touchless kitchen faucet in your kitchen space, you’ll have both your countertop and faucet competing for attention.
Cons of Using Touchless Kitchen Sink Faucets
Regardless of how innovative and awesome the touch and touchless kitchen faucets are, they also come with a few disadvantages.
So what are the cons of having a touchless faucet?
· Its engineering
The engineering of an automatic faucet makes it have more mechanical parts than a traditional faucet. And this could pose some problems to the user. You’ll have to call the plumber for even the smallest repair. Traditional kitchen faucets are easy to maintain in this regard since you can tighten the faucets at home and even replace them if need be.
This state-of-the-art technology kitchenware doesn’t come cheap. Both the touch-sensitive and touchless faucets are more expensive than the traditional ones.
You’ll need to fork out a pretty decent amount of money to get one (more on that shortly). Secondly, you may need a plumber to help you install it. The good news is that the ROI is well worth it as they’ll ensure you don’t wastewater.
· Power supply
A touchless kitchen faucet runs on electricity. Some are battery-operated while others require a connection to an AC output.
So if you’re going for a battery-powered model (even if you get rechargeable batteries), the hassle of always recharging or changing the battery can be quite a headache.
And if you prefer the one that you can plug into a source of electricity, this can run up your bill.
However, some touchless kitchen faucets can work manually.
· Sensor failure
Sometimes the motion detectors can fail and when you swipe your hands, it just won’t pick the signal. When this happens, it can be super frustrating.
As you may want to control the water temperature and flow rate, adjusting the valves beneath the sink may not be easy.
However, some have modes embedded in the faucet, and other use remote controls.
What is the Cost of A Touchless Faucet?
The cost for the best touch and touchless faucets usually starts at around $200. These faucets, despite their cheap prices, have the awesome features any homeowner or renter would desire.
But the prices for some luxury faucet brands could rise to $600, with some even costing over $1,000.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Touchless Kitchen Faucets for Your Home
Before you can decide on the touchless kitchen faucet technology that’ll best suit your home and style, here a couple of factors and feature you may need to first consider.
· Activation feature and accuracy
Since touchless faucets use motion sensor technology to turn the water flow on and off, the number of sensors and their accuracy is the most important feature you’ve got to look out for.
The primary thing you should take into account here is how accurate the touchless faucet is. And the right faucet for your kitchen is the one that responds immediately to the swipe of your hand; not the type that will have you moving your hands multiple times before starting and stopping.
Generally, a kitchen faucet with multiple sensors tends to be more accurate. But while some of the best touchless kitchen faucets have more than one sensor, there are also others with one super-accurate sensor.
Another thing you’ll want to observe in a touchless faucet’s accuracy is how it responds to other movements that don’t concern it. if it’s triggered by the slightest motion in the room, then it won’t make a good choice as it’ll lead to wastage of water and drive up your utility bill.
So make sure to compare the number of sensors and the accuracy of the different brands before buying one.
· Water flow rate
The best way to know if a faucet will run your utility bill up is by knowing its water flow rate. This is usually measured in gallons per minute (GPM).
This will help you know how efficient your kitchen faucet is in conserving water. Secondly, the flow rate will also indicate if your faucet has an aerated flow.
Generally, the maximum American standard expected of kitchen faucets flow rate is 2.2 GPM. So to save your money and the environment, you should choose a faucet that’s less than or equal to this value.
Secondly, a faucet with an aerated water flow will also save you more money as the water is mixed with air.
· Power supply
We’ve already established that the sensors need a power source to work. But the power source you use depends on the electricity fixture in your home.
If you’ve got access to an alternating current (AC) transformer in the form of an outlet in your sink cabinet, then a model you can plug into that source will be the best option.
This will be more economical as you won’t spend money on buying batteries. Plus you won’t also have to bother about changing or charging batteries often.
On the other hand, if you haven’t got an electrical connection around your sink, you’ll just have to opt for faucets that use batteries. And the good news is that the battery option is less expensive.
The major disadvantage of using models operated with batteries is that you’ll spend more money buying new batteries. This is especially so for kitchen faucet brands that are not energy efficient.
To minimize cost, use rechargeable batteries. And still, go for kitchen faucet brands that are energy efficient so you don’t end up recharging the batteries.
Before getting a hands-free faucet for your kitchen, you’ve got to know if it’s right for your sink.
For example, the kind of faucet that will fit a sink that’s sitting above the counter will be different from the type that will fit a sink built into the counter.
Secondly, sinks have got holes that allow for water to be connected to the faucet. Depending on the brand and the spatial arrangement of its holes, a faucet may require around one to four holes.
So make sure to check if a hands-free faucet fits your sink before making the purchase.
The best touchless kitchen faucets are named so not only because of their performance, but also the quality materials they’re made of.
So when choosing a hands-free faucet for your kitchen, endeavor to get the ones made from quality materials that will resist corrosion, leakage, not break easily, and are lead-free. Plus they should be durable and not show any sign of aging with time.
Also, you’ll need styles that complement your home décor: so, choose wisely.
Here is a list of finishes used in engineering the best touchless kitchen faucets.
Because of chrome’s mirror-like and polished appearance, it’s a finish material commonly found in modern and lush homes.
The finish has also got a warm and inviting appeal. But the material requires better care as it’s not as hard as stainless steel. Another feature that makes it a good faucet finish is that it’s hygienic and easy to clean.
It can be recognized from its silvery sheen (which is shinier than stainless steel).
2. Stainless steel
Stainless steel is able to resist germs, soap, and minerals from building up on its surface. And this makes it a great finish material in both healthcare and food environments.
This durable finish is also resistant to corrosion, rust, and scratches. And it’s also very hygienic and easy to clean and maintain.
It can be recognized from its medium gray metallic color that can be brushed or polished to give it a high shine.
3. Brushed nickel
The antique and rustic look of brushed nickel makes it win the hearts of traditional faucet lovers.
It looks and feels warmer because of its gray color and the soft matte texture of its brushed surface. So if you prefer a quality material with a contemporary appeal, a brushed nickel finish can give you that.
And for the record, its beauty becomes more pronounced when paired with matching finishes in kitchens.
If you’ve got wood panels or dark-colored walls, you may want to opt for a touchless kitchen faucet with a bronze finish.
The dark brown or coppery color of the bronze finish makes them look great in white kitchen sinks and bathroom fixtures.
· Pull down or fixed spout
Another factor to take into consideration is if your touchless kitchen faucet will feature pull-down technology or be a fixed spout type.
Pull-down sprayers are more convenient to use as they’ve got flexible metal hoses that can be extended to reach farther areas of the sink. So this might be a great option for you if you’re always busy in the kitchen. Plus some have multiple spray modes for spraying and rinsing.
A fixed spout sprayer hasn’t got the flexibility of its pull-down counterparts. But their advantage is that while some pull-down sprayers may limp off after extended use, they’ll always remain fixed to their positions.
So to avoid your pull-down spout coming loose, get the touchless kitchen faucet brand with a magnetic connection.
· Cost and warranty
The touchless kitchen faucet is more expensive than its traditional counterparts. So when choosing one, get one that’s got the best value for your money. Also choose a faucet with a really long warranty, like one with a lifetime warranty.
· Additional features
Some smart touchless faucets come with a voice control feature that you can activate using Alexa or Google Assistant.
Some hands-free faucets also allow you to program your ‘gadget’ to obey a couple of other commands that will make your using it easier and more comfy.
The 7 Best Touchless Kitchen Faucets in 2021
There are lots of amazing kitchen faucets out there, and you may be wondering: What are the best kitchen faucets brands?
The best automatic faucet brands are MOEN, DELTA, GROHE, KOHLER, and PFISTER. And this list features some of their best products.
Let’s take a look at the best kitchen faucet technology.
1. Moen Arbor Motionsense Pulldown Kitchen Faucet (Moen 7594ESRS Arbor) – Best overall
This Moen automatic kitchen faucet is one of the best faucets you can get, and here’s why.
The Moen Arbor has got two motion sensors (that are battery-operated) installed in the spout. The first is activated by waving your hand and is situated at the top of the arc. While the other is below the spout and is activated when you get your hands or an object–like a pot–under it. And the product comes with six AA batteries.
Its retractable pull-down spray nozzle and magnetic docking system ensure it’s capable of reaching hard-to-clean spots. And that it’ll always return to its place flush so your kitchen space will look neat all the time.
And this faucet makes it possible to easily switch through three spray modes with the touch of a button. The PowerClean spray technology ensures its spray power is 50% more efficient than other pull-down Moen faucets.
Moen 7594ESRS is guaranteed for life and is easy to install; takes around an hour for its installation. The hands-free kitchen faucet comes with the plumbing connections and docking plate you need to set it up. And it can be installed in a 1-hole or 3-hole sink.
There’s one downside to this Moen Arbor. The 1.5 GPM flow rate (which is good by the way) could become affected overtime when dirt and large sediments from your water build up on the mesh in the spray head.
However, if you’ve got an under-sink or whole house filter purifying your water, this wouldn’t be a problem. Or you can remove the mesh and clean it up. Removing it completely is another great option.
And finally, this automatic kitchen faucet is ADA compliant. It has a brushed stainless steel finish that looks gorgeous, is healthy, and resistant to fingerprints, mineral buildup, and spots.
Check the latest price for the Moen Arbor Motionsense faucet on Amazon.
2. Delta Essa Touch20 Single-handle Pull-down Kitchen Faucet (Delta 9113T-AR-DST) – Best value for your money
While this faucet isn’t a touchless one, it’s a single touch tap and has got no motion sensors. However, it works when you touch anywhere on the spout.
And if you’re concerned about touching the Delta Faucet Essa with messy hands, that’s not an issue. Tapping it with your forearm works perfectly well, too.
Another interesting feature is that you don’t even need to touch the Delta Essa Touch20. It’s got a voice control feature – VoiceIQ technology that allows you to command it with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. You can even command it to pour a specific amount of water.
Isn’t that interesting?
The pull-out spray head makes it able to reach every part of the sink. And this head has a MagnaTite docking system and extends via a metal hose. The water flow is also controlled by a single handle. It has got a 1.8 GPM flow rate and Tempense LED light.
Added to its lifetime guarantee, this Delta faucet features a patented Diamond Seal Technology to make it leak-free. Installation is easy; takes around 30 minutes to set up. It can also be installed on a 1-hole or 3-hole sink, plus it comes with a deck plate for the 3-hole sink.
Delta 9113T-AR-DST Essa touch-on faucet is operated by three AA batteries and is engineered with a durable stainless steel finish that is easy to clean and maintain. And it’s resistant to germs, fingerprints, mineral buildup, spots, wear and tear.
Check the latest price for the Delta 9113T-AR-DST Essa Single-handle kitchen faucet on Amazon.
3. Delta Leland Touch20 Single-handle Touch Faucet (Delta 9178T-AR-DST)
The Leland is another touch-on kitchen faucet like the Essa; meaning you don’t activate it by swiping your hands or an object. Instead, the Touch20 touch technology allows you to tap the spout with your hand, wrist, or forearm to get water.
So is it still hands-free? Yes!
In addition to the spray and aerated stream modes in other faucets, this kitchen faucet has an innovative ShieldSpray; which is an anti-splash spray mode.
How this works is that, in this mode, water comes out of the tap in a pressured straight stream like its shielded; hence the name. This, therefore, reduces splattering up to 90% and makes cleaning your sink and its environ a breeze.
The Delta Leland has got two spray functions including a high-pressure spray technology that makes it possible for water to easily cut through dirt and fill up containers quickly.
This smart touch-on kitchen faucet is very safe to use as it features a LED indicator light that changes color to notify you of the water temperature. This can help prevent scalds from hot water.
The Delta 9178T-AR-DST Leland spray nozzle has a pull-down feature that allows for improved flexibility and movement. The spray head is held in place by a metal hose and a powerful magnet.
The Diamond Seal technology featuring a diamond-embedded ceramic disc reduces (if not completely eliminates) leaks to extend its lifespan. Despite this, you’ll also get a lifetime guarantee.
Also, this Delta faucet is easy to install and is compatible with 1-hole or 3-hole mounting on a sink. Plus it comes with all the necessary plumbing tools.
Finally, it has a flow rate of 1.8 GPM, runs on an AC adaptor, and is built with high-quality materials that are built to last.
Check the latest price of the Delta 9178T-AR-DST Leland Single-handle Kitchen Faucet on Amazon.
4. Kohler K-72218-VS Sensate Touchless Kitchen Faucet
One of the most impressive features of this touchless kitchen faucet is the speed with which it can turn the water flow on and off within 20 seconds.
This makes its motion sensor one of the fastest and most sensitive you can get. And it’s got a precision activation window to detect if activation is false or intended.
The pull-down feature of the spray nozzle has a magnetic dock to hold it firmly in position. So for kitchens with a double sink, the Kohler K-72218-VS Sensate will be perfect.
This touchless kitchen faucet will also help you eliminate the wastage of water with its protective feature that prevents the accidental tripping of its motion detectors.
Despite being state-of-the-art home equipment, it’ll also lend its support to your home decoration since it comes in a beautiful finish and design.
You can get this smart and sleek faucet in 4 different cool shades: stainless steel, stainless steel with black accents, polished chrome, and polished chrome with black accents.
And whichever finish you choose, they’ve all got its patented MasterClean Surface that helps them resist germs, fingerprints, mineral buildup, scratches, and spots.
Check the latest price of the Kohler K-72218-VS Sensate Touchless Kitchen Faucet on Amazon.
5. Stellen Single-handle Pull-down Kitchen Faucet with React Technology
One of the amazing features of the Stellen Single-handle touchless kitchen from Pfister is that it can be operated with either the battery option or an AC adapter. Plus you also have the option of using it in manual mode.
And the innovative react technology helps you to start and stop the flow of water by waving your hand within 3 inches of the motor sensor. And the SmartStop technology also stops water from flowing within 3 minutes of inactivity.
This feature combined with the stainless steel finish reduces germs, fingerprints, and water spots.
The wand can also be used for temperature control.
It also features 3 spray modes; spray, stream, and pause. This smart automatic faucet is also ADA compliant and is easy to set up. it comes with a deckplate for a 1-hole or 3-hole installation.
Check for the latest price of the Stellen Pull-down Kitchen Faucet on Amazon.
6. Moen 5923EWSRS Align Motionsense Touchless Kitchen Faucet – Best luxury faucet brand
This Moen touchless sensor kitchen faucet is known for its one motion sensor that’s highly responsive.
The Moen Align’s design stands out as a beautiful work of art, and it’s got a pull-down spray nozzle that you can use to clean spots water won’t originally reach. And its single handle will ensure you can install the faucet in all kinds of settings.
It’s also easy to install this Moen model: the installation won’t take you more than 30 minutes. And once installed, the faucet has got a lifetime guarantee.
Another distinctive feature of this touchless tap is that it’s built with a shiny stainless steel finish that’s not only visually appealing but also resistant to germs, spots, fingerprints, and rust, etc.
But be aware that all these cool features of the Moen Align don’t come without a hefty price.
Check the latest prices for the Moen 5923EWSRS Align Motionsense Touchless Faucet on Amazon.
7. LadyLux L2 Pull-down Spray Kitchen Faucet with Foot Control
The Ladylux L2 is also a high-performance sensor kitchen faucet manufactured by Grohe.
It’s got a sleek and contemporary design with a durable starlight chrome finish. The GROHE SilkMove technology of this smart device makes handling the device a breeze. And the magnetic docking ensures the spray head is held firmly in place.
It has also 3 spray functions so you can easily and efficiently clean the dishes and other items. The retractable has been made so that it can rotate a full 360°.
All in all, this is going to be a great buy.
Check for the latest price of the Ladylux L2 Single-handle model on Amazon.
In this guide, we’ve exhausted everything you need to know about touch and touchless kitchen faucets, including the best products out there.
So whether you prefer the touch-sensitive faucet because of the amount of control it gives you, the user or you prefer the more automatic operation of the touchless one, both kinds of faucets will definitely be awesome additions to your home.