Published on September 3, 2021

Faucets aren’t usually the first things you think of when it comes to kitchen renovations, but with their elegant shapes and lustrous finishes, they can transform a pretty utilitarian corner with minimal effort. As the main station for all things sanitizing, cleaning, cooking, baking, and more, your sink deserves a kitchen faucet that is not only beautiful but incredibly functional. “This is something you will use every day, multiple times a day, so it needs to hold up,” argues Bethesda, Maryland–based designer Erica Burns. And you don’t need to look further than our list of the best kitchen faucets—they’ll look good while getting the toughest jobs done, no matter if you’re on the lookout for something decorative or refined or even modern or transitional; every option, below, is a visually stunning workhorse that you can rely on for years to come.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Spout types: Styles can be narrowed down to three main options: a crook, which sticks out straight before curving at the very end for a bit of dramatic flair; articulated, which offers a range of movement thanks to it’s double- or multijointed spout commonly used for pot fillers; and gooseneck, which features a highly arched fixture and is both our and Burns’s favorite due to its versatility. “Single-hole gooseneck faucets can work in really any kitchen—they can be sleek and minimal for contemporary spaces or feature more detail for transitional ones,” she notes.  

Handles: Before you choose anything, pay attention to the scale of your sink. A faucet that requires three holes or more can occupy a lot of space and look crowded in a small or low-ceilinged area, and the greater the accessories, the more holes your plumbing will likely require. “You should consider what else is going on in your sink,” says Burns. “There’s typically a button for the disposal, sometimes a water filter, an insta-hot dispenser, a soap pump—the list goes on.” If you’re upgrading just the faucet as opposed to your entire sink, your choices will be limited by the number of mounting holes present. 

In most instances, you’ll need to choose between a single- or dual-handle faucet. The first features just one lever to control water temperature and pressure; the latter does the same, but with two distinct mechanisms that typically flank the spout, each with a designated water temperature (hot and cold). “I always like more simplistic faucets with two handles, preferably levers,” says And Studio founder Arianna De Gasperis. “The less complicated the mechanism, the better.” Even more important than the handles, she argues, is a side sprayer—it’s an absolute must-have in every kitchen she designs. “It will make your life 100 times easier when doing dishes and cleaning a large sink,” she adds. 

Finish: There’s no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to mixing and matching kitchen fixtures, but Burns selects all the finishes, from hardware to lighting, at the same time for a harmonious look. Polished nickel, she says, is great for a matchy-matchy setup but plays with brass and bronze, as well. De Gasperis also prefers her finishes to pair up in the same color family. “I think having a cohesive language throughout the space will help make everything come together beautifully,” she says. If you like the look of unlacquered brass—“Do not be afraid of the patina!” she stresses—at the sink and in pulls or knobs, keep the space visually interesting with antiqued brass lighting. When contemplating a color, note that faucets are designed for easy cleanup, but chrome is more likely to show fingerprints or smudges than its brass, nickel, and steel counterparts. 

Our Top Picks

Best Value: OWOFAN Single Lever Kitchen Sink Faucet 

According to De Gasperis, sprayers are the most important feature in a kitchen faucet. Enter the OWOFAN, a super-affordable workhorse complete with a pull-down, dual-function spray that lets you toggle between a lighter stream (to rinse produce) or blast (for powerful cleaning). Though the single lever keeps the setup compact, it’s compatible with both single- and three-hole configurations. Plus every purchase is accompanied by all the necessary hardware, which means no plumber is necessary to make your sink upgrades a reality. The one potentially limiting feature to note? At 15.7 inches high, it does require a bit of space beneath your cabinetry.

Best Touchless: U by Moen Smart Pulldown Kitchen Faucet

If you’re always playing the entertainer, the U by Moen faucet is for you. The mere flick of your wrist activates a motion sensor that turns the water on to rinse off sauce-covered hands with minimal mess, though a simple voice command to Alexa or Google Home also does the trick; a right-mounted handle is attached for those times when a real touch is needed to adjust pressure, and a 68-inch hose can be manually pulled for spraying action. We love the chrome finish for its sleek, mirrorlike appearance, but the bigger draw may be the customer service: If you experience any issues, just download the company’s app for assistance. 

Best Splurge: Waterworks Easton Classic Gooseneck Kitchen Faucet

As an admirer of homes with historic nods, De Gasperis gravitates toward the elegant curves of gooseneck spouts, but the design is also incredibly pragmatic. “Not only are they beautiful and classic, they are really practical for doing dishes, as the tall neck doesn’t obstruct the usability,” she says of the style, which is best suited for spaces trying to emulate a rustic French farmhouse or English cottage look. And with Waterworks, there are various lever choices to choose from—stick to one finish or pair with an oak, black, white, or metal handle to shake up this traditional style; for a little extra, the burnished brass finish brims with old-world charm.   

Best Color: Jason Wu for Brizo SmartTouch Pull-Down Prep Faucet

Forget matte black faucets. Brizo’s collaboration with designer Jason Wu proves a matte white finish may be the next major style statement. Whether you opt for a brass- or wood-accented lever or stick to a streamlined, all-white look, this fixture is just as functional as it is fashionable. The clean silhouette features SmartTouch technology, which lets you turn the water on and off with just one tap, and an LED light at the base indicates the water temperature, so you’ll never scald your hands again.

Best Bridge: Rejuvenation West Slope Kitchen Faucet

A bridge faucet typically skews traditional; Rejuvenation’s take updates the old-school style with sleeker lines and a simplified design. But looks aren’t everything. Since it’s sold as a single piece, it’s a less-invasive install than working with two separate handles, and ceramic cartridges in the hardware means the knobs won’t catch for a smooth turn. Choose from five finishes to fit any kitchen aesthetic—aged brass for the new traditionalist, brushed nickel for the minimalist, oil-rubbed bronze for the artist, and a brushed chrome or polished nickel for the classic lover.  

Ask Domino

When should I replace my kitchen faucet?

Corrosion, leaks, or a sticky handle are telltale signs that it’s time to trade in your current faucet for a new one, says Ryan Sterba, Moen’s kitchen product manager. But more often than not, customers swap their spouts for stylistic reasons. “As the centerpiece of the kitchen, you want a design that fits the aesthetic of your space,” he says.  

Do touchless kitchen faucets need electricity to work?

It depends on the brand. For Moen products, touchless faucets do not require electricity. “They are all battery operated, making them easy for DIY installation,” notes Sterba. But for users who prefer it, there’s also an optional AC services adapter kit. 

How We Vetted These Products

Every product in a Domino guide meets these criteria: 

  1. They blend form and function. We believe the best-designed products reflect your personal style and are a joy to use. 
  2. They’re expert approved. In addition to our team of editors, we tap a range of designers, makers, renovators, and all-around knowledgeable people to share their intel. 
  3. They’re endorsed by people who actually own them. We pay close attention to real reviews to know that they pass the test IRL. 

Domino’s editors independently curate every product on our site, because we’re just as obsessed with a great deal and an under-the-radar discovery as you are. Items you purchase may earn us an affiliate commission.

Discussion