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Door Knobs Vs. Door Handles: Which Option to Choose?

When it comes to door hardware, we usually consider it to be something of personal taste. The right finish and design of door hardware can add sophistication and style, enhancing the general look of a home in a subtle way. But we should forget that its main function is to make it easier to open and close the door.

I suppose that most of us are used to seeing door knobs, handles and other fixtures and we don’t really put much attention on them, i.e. we don’t think about which one would be better, more practical, and why to choose the one over the other. Yet, both knobs and handles have their benefits and drawbacks which may influence your decision when home renovating.

That being said, here is a quick guide to the pros and cons of both knobs and handles for doors that can help you decide which one is the better option for you.

Door Knobs

Door knobs have a round opening and closing mechanism and this is one of the main factors which makes them different from door handles. They are suitable for both right-opening and left-opening doors. Having a sleek and simple profile, they are capable of adding a touch of tasteful elegance your home. There are plenty of designs and finishes of door knobs, from standard to some marvellously decorative ones.

door knobs designs


  • In terms of practicality, when fitted with appropriate latches, you can operate the latch by turning the knob either way regardless of the configuration of the door. This saves some time and effort.
  • Knobs are well-suited in homes with a traditional style or older properties as they have been around much longer than handles. Many of these older properties will have doors fitted with surface mounted rim locks, which are only compatible with knobs.
  • Safety covers are easily available for doorknobs and this is an effective way to childproof your home.
  • If the classic ball-shaped or bun-shape knob is too simplistic and not suited, you can always go for an oval or egg-shaped knob which will give an enhanced grip, leverage, and size. There are many designs and sizes that you can choose from that allow you to find one that will complement your door.
  • They are easy to maintain.


  • A doorknob doesn’t have such a large surface to grip as a door handle does. So, some elderly people and children may find it difficult to operate. However, this can be convenient for exit doors if you want to prevent your child from getting out without your supervision.
  • They need to be set back further into the door than handles in order to avoid users catching their knuckles on the door frames.
  • If your hands are wet or slippery, you may find it difficult to open the door.
  • There are some knobs that come with a push-button which locks the door. These knobs are not recommended to use if you have small children around, since they might lock the door of a room accidentally and then not know how to open it and come out.

Door Handles

Door handles, or also popular as door levers, are horizontal handles used for opening and closing the door. Since they are a more recent design of door hardware compared to knobs, they are usually integrated into spaces with a modern interior design. Still, they are available in both modern and traditional styles to choose from. If you are thinking about choosing handles for your doors, here are the benefits and drawbacks that you should be acquainted with.

modern door handle design


  • Door handles are very convenient to use. The handle offers a very easy grip to open and close the door. Even when your hands are full, you can easily open the door by using your elbow, something that you can’t do with knobs.
  • They are available in sleek designs which add a modern look to the door. But they are also available in a wide variety of other styles, so if your interior design is of a more traditional type, you can easily find a finish that will suit.
  • There are door handles that come with an all-in-one option which comprises a combined back-plate that accommodates the keyhole and the locking arrangement.


  • Handles may require some maintenance over time as they contain springs that hold the handle in the horizontal position which may become loose due to continuous usage. They also need to be oiled in order to function properly.
  • Door handles cannot be childproof, as opposed to knobs. This is an important disadvantage since you can’t prevent your kids from opening or closing the door.
  • The basic shape of a handle means that there is a chance that it can get caught on loose clothing as you walk through the door, and so tear it.

There’s a really diverse range of both door knobs and door handles, so choosing a hardware option that would fit the style and appearance of your door and your surrounding furniture shouldn’t be a problem.