When I first heard of smart faucets, I was initially skeptical. I figured this was yet another example of “over-smart-home-ization” where companies needlessly add “smart” WiFi function to their product.
However, after I looked into these smart faucets, I started to change my mind. With a voice-activated faucet, you can avoid touching the faucet with dirty hands, waiting for a pot to fill, or waiting for water to get to the correct temperature. There are potentially some real, tangible benefits to owning a smart faucet.
Admittedly, I am not an expert on what constitutes a high-quality faucet. However, I do know that the brands of faucets (Moen, Kohler, and Delta) in this article are generally considered to make long-lasting, reliable faucets. Therefore instead of focusing on the faucet quality, what I’m most concerned about in this is article is the voice-control feature. How does it work? How does it integrate with other faucet functions? How much extra does it cost?
Before You Buy
As I was researching these products, I was surprised to see a very wide price range. Of course, prices vary between brands and also between different models of the same brand. But, I also found that prices of the same model from the same brand sometimes vary wildly depending on the finish. Therefore, if you’re not dead-set on a certain color and finish, it might be worth browsing through the multitude of finishes to find a deal.
Best Voice-Activated Faucets
Moen, Delta, and Kohler all sell voice-controlled faucets. Each brand offers voice-control technology on multiple models and in multiple finishes. The voice-control technology works the same for all models from a given brand, e.g. all Delta faucets with VoiceIQ have the same voice-controlled features. For that reason, I’m not going to take the time to review each individual faucet model. Instead, I will review the voice-control features for each brand.
U by Moen Smart Faucets
- Four methods of control: Voice, App, Motion Sensor, Manual
- Superior voice-activated features compared to competitors (Delta and Kohler) – Use voice to dispense both precise volumes and temperatures
- Customizable presets for measurements and temperatures
- Requires power (6 D cell batteries or overpriced AC adapter) for all functions, including manual lever
The U by Moen smart faucets stand out from the competition by allowing users to request water at specific temperatures, up to 120F, and dispensing water in volumes ranging from 1 tablespoon to 15 gallons through voice control.
Additionally, you can create presets in the app and then use voice control to activate them. For example, you could create a preset that dispensed 5 oz at 100F and name it baby bottle. Then you could activate the preset by telling your voice assistant to “fill the baby bottle”.
Like any high-end kitchen faucet it also comes equipped with touchless wave sensor activation so you can turn the water on and off without physically touching the faucet.
The faucet requires power to function, even when using the manual handle. By default, it relies on 6 D cell batteries mounted beneath the sink. However, they may not last as long as advertised due to the need to power the WiFi connection for voice control. This can be addressed by purchasing an additional, albeit overpriced, AC adapter.
Moen’s smart faucets are available in many different styles and finishes. The list is too long to put here, but rest assured they have one that fits the look you want.
What I like
- Moen’s smart faucets are equipped with a wave sensor on the top side of the faucet. You don’t have to touch the faucet with dirty hands to turn on/off the water. The sensor is positioned above the faucet where it won’t be easy to accidentally trigger it, but still in a convenient location for when you actually want to use it.
- The Moen smart faucets are the only smart faucets that let you request a specific temperature of water. You can request water at a temperature up to 120F. To be clear, the faucet does not heat or cool the water. It simply dispenses the water. Therefore, the faucet can only dispense water as hot or as cold as your supply lines can provide. This is perfect for mixing baby formula at the perfect temperature, watering sensitive house plants, or baking homemade bread.
When you request water at a specific temperature, the faucet will turn itself on and run until the desired temperature is reached at which point it will turn off. Then, you can use the wave sensor to turn the faucet back on and dispense the water at the desired temperature.
- You can use voice control to dispense as little as 1 tbsp or as much as 15 gallons.
- Smart faucets are not Moen’s first entry into the smart home world. They also sell smart water valves and smart shower systems. If you have multiple Moen devices, they can all be controlled using the Moen app.
What I don’t like
- The faucet REQUIRES power to work. Even the manual handle will not work if it runs out of power. The faucet comes with 6 D cell batteries that are supposed to power the faucet for up to 2 years.
If the batteries only powered the wave sensor, I don’t think this would be a problem. However, since the batteries are also maintaining a WiFi connection for voice control, I am very skeptical that the batteries will last the full two years. A quick skim through some Amazon reviews confirmed my suspicion. Several people complained of a battery life much shorter (on the order of weeks and months rather than years) than advertised.
Fortunately, Moen also sells an AC adapter so that you can plug the faucet into an under-sink outlet. With the AC adapter, your faucet will use the AC power nearly all the time, but will still have the batteries as backup in case the power goes out. Unfortunately, the AC adapter is priced ridiculous high for what it is. Nevertheless, if you’re going to purchase a Moen voice-controlled faucet, I highly recommend getting the adapter to avoid the headache of battery replacement.
The ability to create presets with both volume and temperature control greatly enhances Moen’s voice-activated feature in comparison to its competitors. Neither Delta or Kohler smart faucets can control temperature. In addition, the wide volume range of 1tbsp to 15 gallons makes it even more versatile compared to the others.
The battery power is the main thing that makes me hesitant about the Moen faucets. Like I said above, if you decide you want this faucet, I highly recommend just buying the stupidly overpriced AC adapter to avoid the inevitable annoyance of having to replace 6 D batteries.
Depending on the model and finish, Moen’s price is about the same as the Delta options and is several hundred dollars less than the Kohler faucets.
The Moen voice control system has the most versatile feature set of the three brands listed here. Combine that with the competitive pricing and it has my vote as not only the best option of these three smart faucet brands, but also the only one that I even recommend buying.
Kohler Faucets with Kohler Konnect
- Dispense specific volume using voice, no temperature control via voice
- Pull-down faucet head with 3 selectable spray modes
- Limited Siri compatibility, more functions with Google or Alexa
- Requires AC power, faucet still works manually if power goes out
- Manual handle must be in “on” position for voice or sensor to work
Kohler currently sells 5 different faucet models with the Kohler Konnect voice activated feature. They are: Crue, Riff, Artifacts, Tone, and Graze (shown above). Each faucet is a single hole design (if you already have 3 holes, you can buy an escutcheon to cover the extra holes) with a touchless sensor and a pull-down faucet head. The smart faucets feature voice-activated technology that dispense a specific quantity of water upon command. There is no temperature control using voice. Instead, temperature is controlled the usual way by adjusting the manual handle to the appropriate angle.The faucets offer and work with the KOHLER Konnect app to monitor water usage and notify of unusual flow. They have an innovative sprayhead that rotates in 90-degree increments with each turn adjusting the spray intensity. Kohler’s DockNetik docking system secures the sprayhead, and their ProMotion technology ensures easy pull-down and comfortable use.
The faucet can dispense between one cup (8oz) and six gallons. As a safety measure, the faucet will automatically shut off after 4 minutes. This seems especially necessary given multiple reports of the faucet spontaneously turning itself on (presumably a “false-positive” malfunction of the sensor).
What I like
- There are no batteries required. It plugs into AC power, and they don’t charge a ridiculous amount for the AC adapter like Moen does.
- The Kohler faucet will still work using the manual handle if the power goes out. However, that introduces an annoyance explained in the next section.
What I don’t like
- In order for the voice or sensor on/off to work, the manual faucet handle must be in the on position. As explained in this CNET review, it’s similar to how a light switch must be in the “on” position in order for a smart bulb to work. Therefore, it can lead to annoying situations where you attempt to use the voice or sensor function, and the manual handle is in the “off” position.
- Technically, the Kohler Konnect faucets do work with Siri. However, the only function available is on/off which is basically pointless in my opinion. If you want to dispense pre-determined amounts by voice, you’ll have to use Google or Alexa instead.
Kohler has a reputation as a high-end faucet maker. I have no doubt that each faucet is beautifully made and the regular faucet parts function at a premium level and will last for many years. However, the “smart” part of the Kohler faucets seems like it could still use some refinement. The lack of temperature control is a small let-down, but not a deal-breaker as far as I’m concerned. In addition, the requirement for the manual handle to be in the “on” position for the smart control to work is another let-down. Both these limitations are built into the hardware of the faucet, so they can’t easily be upgraded at a later date.
Given those limitations, I am hesitant to recommend the Kohler voice-activated faucets. Add to that the higher price of Kohler and it makes them even less appealing. That said, I have nothing against Kohler in general. In my limited experience, they make great stuff. However, if a smart faucet is what you really want, I would lean towards Moen instead.
Delta VoiceIQ Kitchen Faucet
- Voice control includes: specific water amounts, presets in Delta app, or on/off control (no temperature control via voice)
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant – Uses less user-friendly command format for Alexa integration
- Manual handle must be in “on” position for touch or voice features to work
- Voice control upgrade module available for existing Delta Touch2O faucets
- Uses touch sensor for on/off, contrasting Kohler and Moen’s touchless motion sensors
The smart faucet system from Delta is called VoiceIQ. It is designed to connect to both Alexa and Google Assistant. You can use VoiceIQ to dispense a specific amount of water by saying the amount, dispense a specific amount by creating a preset in the Delta app, or simply turn the faucet on or off.
All of the VoiceIQ models also come with Delta’s Touch2O system which allows you to turn the faucet on/off by touching it. This is in contrast to both Kohler and Moen which use a “wave” sensor rather than a touch sensor. They also come with a retractable spray head and a colored light that indicates the water temperature.
The VoiceIQ system requires an AC outlet for power. However, the AC adapter that powers VoiceIQ does not power the touch sensor. Therefore, the faucet also requires 6 AA batteries (included) to power the sensor. Since the batteries only power the touch activation, they should last for years. Alternatively, there is yet another AC adapter you can buy to eliminate the need for batteries.
It can be operated by voice commands, by touch, or with the manual handle.
What I like
- Delta a sells a VoiceIQ upgrade module (check price). If you already own a Delta Touch2O kitchen sink faucet, you can use this kit to upgrade your existing faucet to voice control. These faucets are made to last many years, so the idea of replacing your old, but still relatively new faucet just to upgrade to voice control seems wasteful. Bravo to Delta for making this upgrade kit available.
- Like the Kohler faucet, the manual handle will still work if the faucet loses power.
What I don’t like
- Delta has the least experience with smart home devices and it shows. Many people seem to struggle to even get the faucet to connect to their voice assistant.
- If you are able to get it connected, the integration with Alexa uses the annoying “Alexa, ask Delta to [your command]” format. Any company that puts any effort into their Alexa integration has ditched this format a long time ago and replaced it with the much more user friendly “Alexa, [your command]” format.
- I read many reports of the solenoid that operates the on/off function failing after only a year or so. To be fair, Delta does have a 5 year warranty on electronic components, so they should replace a failed solenoid. But for an expensive product like this, it would still be a huge disappointment and inconvenience to have such a vital component fail so soon.
- Again just like the Kohler model, the manual handle has to be in the on position for the touch or voice features to work.
Delta’s VoiceIQ feature offers very little that the competition doesn’t match or exceed. I don’t see any reason to buy an entire Delta faucet with VoiceIQ when you have the option to buy the U by Moen instead. At this point, the only reason to spend any money on Delta’s VoiceIQ would be if you already have a Delta faucet and you want to get the upgrade kit. However, even then, it seems like it may be better to save your money until they improve the current voice system.
If you’re looking for a more detailed break-down of the the Delta VoiceIQ faucets, Stacey Higginbotham (staceyoniot.com) wrote this thorough review. She seemed to like it and personally installed and used the faucet (I have not used it). However, the article is several years old so some of the info may be a bit dated.
Before you choose the best voice-activated faucet for your home, you should take the time to consider which features and functions you need. In this buying guide, we will take a closer look at voice-activated faucets and what you should look out for.
Smart faucets need their own power supply and this can either come from batteries or an outlet. I vastly prefer an AC power source, especially when dealing with smart home products that are connected to power-gulping WiFi.
Most relatively new kitchens will have an outlet underneath the sink to plug in your garbage disposal, and a switch next to the sink that switches the outlet. If you have a standard duplex outlet underneath your sink, most of the time only one of the receptacles is connected to the disposal switch. Therefore, the receptacle not connected to the switch should be available for a smart faucet.
Voice Assistant Compatibility
All three smart faucet systems are compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
Also, the Kohler Konnect system is compatible with Apple HomeKit (Siri). However, only the on/off functions work with Siri.
Location of Faucet
I personally don’t see a reasonable need for a voice-activated faucet in any location other than the kitchen. The most useful voice-activated features are: dispensing a particular volume of water, and controlling the temperature. Controlling on/off function by voice is not really necessary and is done better by a simple motion sensor.
For now the only voice-activated faucets that I would recommend are the U by Moen faucets. They are the only smart faucets that are able to control both the volume of water dispensed and the temperature of water dispensed. This allows you to save time in the kitchen by multi-tasking. Instead of standing over the sink waiting for a pot to fill or the water to reach the right temperature, you can let the smart faucet handle that task while you take care of something else.
There isn’t one particular Moen model that I recommend. There are many different styles and finishes, but they all function the same. I listed a few of the most popular styles below, but there’s many more.