If you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen with the latest technology for efficiency and convenience, a touchless or touch activated faucet is an excellent option. These innovative faucets turn on and off with just a simple hand motion using built-in motion sensor technology. By eliminating the need to physically handle a dirty faucet handle, touchless models are more hygienic and allow for quicker cleanup. With hands-free operation, touchless kitchen faucets also help reduce unnecessary water waste.
How Do Touchless Faucets Work?
Touchless kitchen faucets are equipped with advanced sensor technology that allows for touch-free activation. Most models have sensors that use infrared or ultrasonic waves to detect motion within a set activation zone. When your hand enters this zone, the sensor signals the faucet’s solenoid valve to open and water begins to flow. Removing your hand from the sensor’s detection range will automatically stop the water flow.
These faucets use electric power for the touchless functionality. Battery-powered options allow for simple installation without connecting to an outlet. AC-powered models require wiring to an electrical source, but provide consistent performance. Hybrid faucets give you the flexibility to choose between battery or AC operation.
Touchless faucets include a safety shutoff after a set time, usually 1-2 minutes, to prevent accidental water waste if the faucet is left running. The sensors are designed to distinguish between intentional hand motions and other random movements to avoid false activations.
Key Considerations When Choosing a Touchless Faucet
Types of Sensors
Infrared sensors on touchless faucets detect motion using an infrared light beam, while ultrasonic sensors emit inaudible high-frequency sound waves to sense movement. Both have pros and cons:
- Infrared sensors work well in low to normal light conditions but may have issues in direct sunlight.
- Ultrasonic sensors function reliably in all lighting conditions but are prone to false activations from ambient noises.
Look for sensors with a wide detection zone for added convenience. Sensitivity settings allow you to adjust the activation range as needed. Dual infrared and ultrasonic sensor models offer the best motion detection.
As mentioned earlier, touchless kitchen faucets are powered via battery, AC outlet, or hybrid options. Battery-powered faucets are easier to install since no electrical wiring is required. Just ensure batteries are replaced regularly. AC-powered faucets offer consistent performance but need an electrician to connect wiring.
Hybrid faucets allow switching between battery and AC operation for flexibility. However, the initial installation is more complex to enable both power sources. Hardwired faucets connect directly to existing kitchen wiring for a seamless look without visible cords.
Faucet Design and Features
When selecting your touchless kitchen faucet, consider the spout height and reach that best fits your space. Pull-down faucets with adjustable wands offer greater versatility for filling, cleaning and rinsing. For a minimalist look, choose a streamlined faucet with a fixed arched spout. Most touchless models also include manual handles for temperature control.
Look for advanced features like multiple spray modes from powerful jet spray to light stream for efficiency. High water flow rates around 1.8 GPM ensure strong water pressure. A quality ceramic disc valve prevents leaks and drips.
Finish and style preferences impact which touchless faucet complements your kitchen’s decor best. Most offer popular finishes like chrome, stainless steel, matte black or white. Transitional styled faucets blend with both modern and traditional kitchen designs.
For contemporary kitchens, choose a minimalist, streamlined look in matte black or white. Traditional kitchens may benefit from touchless faucets with elegant detailing and brushed nickel or bronze finishes. The spout design should also coordinate with your existing fixtures.
5 Best Touchless Kitchen Faucets
1. Moen Arbor Motionsense
The Moen Arbor impresses with advanced MotionSense technology, featuring both infrared and ultrasonic sensors for precise hands-free activation from any angle. With powerful preset spray modes and a high-arch rotating spout, washing dishes or filling pots is easier. The thoughtful Memory allows customizing and saving preferred water temperature and volume settings.
- Dual motion sensors cover a wide activation zone
- Spot Resist finish resists fingerprints and water spots
- Flexible design fits modern or transitional styles
- Relatively expensive
- Sprayer must be manually pulled down
With its seamless operation, convenience features and versatility, the Moen Arbor is our top choice despite the higher price. The peace of mind offered by Moen’s lifetime warranty also adds value.
2. Delta Touch20 Wave
Featuring WaveIQ Technology, the Delta Touch20 uses four powerful sensors to precisely detect hand movements from any direction for reliable touchless activation. The MagnaTite Docking uses a strong integrated magnet to hold the spray wand firmly in place when not in use.
- Works well even with low water pressure
- Streamlined design easy to integrate with modern decor
- TempSense indicator lights make temperature adjustment easy
- Plastic parts prone to staining over time
- Doesn’t have as many finish options
With a sleek and minimalist look, Delta’s Touch20 Wave faucet adds high-tech functionality to contemporary kitchens at a more affordable price point.
3. Kohler Sensate Touchless
Kohler’s Sensate touchless kitchen faucet simplifies both cleanup and food prep with the flexible ProFlex wand that extends your reach anywhere in the sink. The precision Sensate touchless activation responds reliably to hand movements for efficient operation.
- ProFlex hose offers great range of motion
- DockNetik securely locks the sprayhead in place
- Minimalist trough design for modern spaces
- Installation may be tricky for DIY
- Sensor range could be wider
With its high-arcing spout, easy spray wand maneuverability and streamlined style, the Kohler Sensate is perfect for modern kitchens looking for functionality and flexibility.
4. Giagni Noir Orchid
If you prefer a more traditional look, the Giagni Noir Orchid has an elegant bronze finish and decorative detailing. The sensor is conveniently built into the faucet body. The pull-down wand has two modes for efficiency.
- Traditional style ideal for classic kitchens
- Solid metal construction with quality bronze finish
- Deck plate provides easy 1 or 3-hole installation
- Plastic spray head and hose feel cheaper
- Water pressure could be stronger
With its visual flair and robust build, Giagni’s Noir Orchid adds a touch of sophistication along with touchless functionality for about half the cost of premium brands.
5. American Standard Colony Soft
American Standard’s Colony soft touchless faucet features user-friendly Selectronic hands-free technology. The faucet neatly conceals the AC power module inside for a streamlined look. With a smooth, spot-resistant finish, it’s easy to keep clean.
- Selectronic sensor responds reliably to gestures
- Concealed AC module maintains clean lines
- Dual spray modes for efficiency
- Fixed spout limits maneuverability
- Visible plastic connections
With its concealed power module and intuitive Selectronic sensor, the Colony Soft adds no-touch functionality without compromising your kitchen’s aesthetics.
Smart Home Connectivity and Voice Control
One exciting innovation available for some touchless kitchen faucets is smart home connectivity and voice control capabilities. Many models can now be synced with your smart home system and assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Home.
After connecting your voice assistant device, you can activate pre-set voice commands to turn the faucet on or off and adjust water temperature and flow rate hands-free. These voice controls allow for truly touch-free operation without needing to wave your hand.
Some voice-activated touchless faucets even let you set up commands for soap dispensing, controlling under-sink appliances like garbage disposals and more. This adds an advanced layer of automation, convenience and efficiency to your smart kitchen.
Touchless Faucet Maintenance Tips
While touchless faucets are designed for reliable and low-maintenance operation, some periodic care will maximize performance and longevity. Here are some quick maintenance tips:
- Clean faucet exterior regularly using a soft cloth, mild soap and water to prevent mineral buildup and stains.
- Disinfect sensor area periodically with rubbing alcohol to prevent bacterial growth.
- Check sensor settings/batteries if experiencing activation issues and adjust as needed.
- Rinse faucet head and aerator regularly to prevent clogs from hard water and debris.
- Replace batteries or power pack promptly when indicated to maintain touchless functionality.
Upgrading to an efficient, hygienic touchless kitchen faucet can really optimize your food prep and cleanup routine. Key features to look for include adjustable spray functions, a sensor with sufficient range, a durable ceramic valving system and convenient smart home capabilities.
While your style and budget preferences will help determine the best option, our top recommendation is the Moen Arbor Motionsense for its dual-sensor MotionSense technology, thoughtful personalization features and flawless touchless operation. The Delta Touch20 Wave and Kohler Sensate are also great choices with ultra-efficient touchless controls and modern style.
The best touchless kitchen faucets eliminate irritation and mess while creating a cleaner, more high-tech workspace. Your inner neat freak will thank you!