Touch vs. Touchless Kitchen Faucet—Which One Is Better?

Touch vs. Touchless Kitchen Faucet featured photo

The sink is a part of the kitchen where we spend most of our time, so choosing the best kitchen faucet is essential. And forget about obsolete, hard-to-clean kitchen faucets—those are a thing of the past. To make the most out of your time in your cooking space, you need something that combines convenience and functionality.

Touch-sensitive and touchless kitchen faucets are becoming increasingly popular. Both are easy to use and can elevate any kitchen. They are a great choice if you’re looking to upgrade from your standard faucet.

On the other hand, you may find one better than the other for your personal situation. In this post, we will look at the comparison of touch and touchless kitchen faucets. We will also go over their pros and cons so you can decide which one will best suit your preference.

What Is a Touch Kitchen Faucet?

A touch kitchen faucet uses a technology that allows you to turn the water on and off with a simple touch. How is that possible?

So, you know how your smartphone responds when you touch the screen? Touch-sensitive kitchen faucets do the same. These faucets have capacitive sensors that detect your electric current when you touch the tap. It maintains an electrical charge called capacitance to turn on and off the faucet with a simple touch.

The sensors in touch faucets can also tell when you do a single touch and a longer contact, and when you intend to just turn it on or adjust where it pours. So, whether you use your elbow, nose, chin, or whatever part of your body, the sensor will detect your body’s electrical charge and will respond accordingly.

What Are the Benefits of a Touch Faucet?

Well, things can get messy in the kitchen. If you use a regular faucet, the dirt on your hands can spread on the lever or handle. Now, you have to go through the hassles of cleaning it up, too. But with a touch faucet, you don’t have to. Just use the back of your hand or any body part that is clean and it will turn on/off for you.

Touch-sensitive kitchen faucets come in extra handy for busy kitchens. They are great for multitasking. So while chopping up your onions, you can fill up your pots—no problem. Plus, they will continue to operate on batteries during power interruptions.

Drawbacks of Touch Faucets

Touch faucets are more expensive than traditional faucets. But that’s the price you pay for convenience. 

However, the main con to such faucets is probably the accidental touching. A case in point is when you have too many items in the sink like pig pots and pans and there is not enough room for hand movement so you end up accidentally touching the faucet. It can activate/deactivate the faucet.

What Is a Touchless Faucet?

A touchless kitchen faucet, as the name implies, is one that you operate completely hands-free. Just like touch-sensitive faucets, touchless versions also use sensors. But not to detect your body’s electrical charge,  but to detect the movement of your hand or anything in front of it.

These faucets can respond to motion, sound, heat, or a combination of those. Most of them use either infrared detectors or infrared light in their sensors. So when you move or wave your hand in front of the sensor, infrared light will bounce off of your hands and into the detector.

Some models also use ultrasonic field sensors to detect moving hands and signal the faucet to turn on and off. That’s the beauty of touchless models. There is innovation.

Delta Faucet even came up with their Motion/Optical sensors to see the required movements to turn their faucets on and off. This innovation helps the faucet to determine whether you intend to turn the touchless faucet on and off, or just need to adjust the host or spout.

Brands like Moen, Kohler, and Grohe have comparable features. Just narrow down options based on the features you want with your touchless faucet.

Is a Touchless Kitchen Faucet Worth It?

Definitely worth the investment. Installing a touchless kitchen faucet offers a super convenient and fuss-free operation. There’s no mess to clean, no water spots, and there is no spreading of bacteria.

And the best part? Touchless kitchen faucets offer more features than touch-sensitive and traditional faucets. They are a true innovation.

What Are the Disadvantages of Touchless Faucets?

Touchless faucets are more expensive to purchase and run than touch-sensitive versions. They consume energy, and if there is a power interruption, you won’t be able to use your touchless faucet (unless it’s battery-operated).

And while it’s very convenient, if you have a busy kitchen, touchless faucets may not be the best option. The constant movement, noise, and high traffic in your kitchen can cause the faucet to turn on and off unintentionally. Pets can also activate the sensors just by being clumsy.

Comparison: Touch vs Touchless Kitchen Faucet

Touch-sensitive kitchen faucets require you to touch the fixture to activate the water flow. Touchless kitchen faucets, on the other hand, activate water flow when they detect a movement. Both touch-sensitive and touchless kitchen faucets offer the same convenience.

However, despite the obvious difference (as their names suggest), they are quite similar. In order to help choose between the two, there are some factors you must consider.

Water Conservation

In a household, the average flow rate of a kitchen faucet is between 1 to 2.2 gallons per minute. Most of it goes to waste. Touch and touchless kitchen faucets can help you conserve water, lowering your monthly utility bills. Such types of faucets automatically turn off water flow after a few seconds so you don’t waste water.

Touchless kitchen faucets, especially, are more efficient at it. They are designed to have a lower water flow rate to avoid leakage. The motion sensor in touchless faucets consumes slightly more energy, though. But conserving more water typically offsets the cost of the monthly electric bill.

While it’s cheaper to just get a traditional fixture, enjoying a touch of tech-savvy while saving more on utility bills makes them both cost-efficient in the long run.


Hygiene and sanitation are important, particularly in the kitchen where you spend most of the time preparing food. Contaminated meat and raw eggs due to a dirty work area can cause foodborne illnesses such as salmonella.

Touch and touchless kitchen faucets make everything not only easier to rinse but also help maintain your kitchen’s cleanliness since you don’t need to clean the faucet’s surface after use (though both require occasional cleaning).

Sure, a touch-sensitive kitchen faucet will require you to touch the fixture. But compared to traditional faucets, they are far more hygienic. Just use a clean forearm or elbow to touch it and you’re good to go.

That said, this is also where touchless kitchens excel. They are more hygienic than touch kitchen faucets because it eliminates the need to be in contact with the fixture. Since it’s completely touch-free, you can avoid the spread of germs and bacteria entirely.

Overall Convenience

Touch and touchless kitchen faucets are so convenient and simple to use. With a tap of the hand, you’ll be able to easily rinse and prepare everything you need in the kitchen. You can do so without the worry of spreading germs and frequently cleaning the faucet after each use.

Compared to traditional kitchen faucets, touch and touchless kitchen faucets save time and make everything effortless. Both have easy controls and are user-friendly. They are a great choice if you live with children and persons with disabilities.


The installation process for touch-sensitive and touchless kitchen faucets is the same. What you need to consider, really, is the type of countertop your kitchen has.

Certain materials such as quartz might interfere with your faucet’s sensors. This is because quartz may have enough metal to transmit a capacitive charge from your counter to the sensor. When this happens, your kitchen faucet may accidentally turn on.

Also, remember to check the specifications of your chosen fixture. Touch and touchless kitchen faucets can come in either battery-operated or power-plug models. You’ll want to also check that you have a power source under your sink.

Whichever faucet you pick, hiring a professional installer will make the upgrade work more efficiently.


Compared to traditional fixtures, touch-sensitive and touchless kitchen faucets are definitely on the higher end of the price spectrum. If your faucet is hard-wired to your home’s power source, except to pay more (but not much) on your electric bill.

And then, there’s the cost of hiring a skilled installer. This can quickly add up to the overall cost of your upgrade.

However, the cost of installing touchless faucets is often higher than touch faucets. Touchless faucets have more bells and whistles and sensors than touch-sensitive ones. If one of those malfunctions, you might have to spend extra on spare parts.


Will Touch Faucet Work Without Batteries?

Touch faucets typically require either batteries or an A/C adapter connected to your home’s power. But depending on the brand or model, some touch faucets can work without batteries.

However, many faucets rely on the CFGI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) outlet under the sink. So if you don’t have that outlet under your kitchen sink, you’re better off with a touch faucet that uses batteries.

Are Touchless Faucets More Sanitary?

Touchless faucets are definitely more sanitary than touch faucets because your hands don’t come into contact with the fixture at all. With a wave of hand, these faucets can help stop the spread of germs and avoid cross-contamination. It’s the main advantage that touchless kitchen faucets have over touch-sensitive faucets.

How Long Do Touchless Kitchen Faucets Last?

One of the myths about touchless kitchen faucets is that you need to replace their batteries often. That’s not really the case. Most touchless faucets nowadays have lithium batteries that last between 3 to 5 years. And usually, you would know when it is time to replace them because these smart faucets have indicators.

Why Do Touch Faucets Stop Working?

It is usually due to the faucet running out of batteries. The batteries on such types of faucets usually die after 3 to 5 years. You can usually tell when the batteries are nearing their lifespan, though. So go ahead and replace the batteries.

The natural wear and tear from repeated use may also be the main culprit. Check for its mechanical parts like the valve, and sensors, or look for other moving parts. A professional installer will help you address these issues.

The Verdict: Is Touch or Touchless Faucet Better?

Both faucets offer the same convenience. No lever or handle to toggle and little to zero mess to deal with.

But if you want a completely hands-free experience, go for touchless kitchen faucets. While they may cost more, touchless kitchen faucets offer convenient features that most touch-sensitive versions don’t.

However, splurging isn’t for everyone. Touch-sensitive kitchen faucets are just as easy to operate as touchless models. They aren’t as fancy as touchless faucets with all the bells and whistles, but they are efficient and make it easy to work in the kitchen.

Regardless of your choice, make sure to consult with a qualified installer to ensure safety and efficiency. In the meantime, we hope you’ve found this helpful in choosing between touch and touchless kitchen faucets. Feel free to contact us should you have more questions. Thanks for reading!