Door handles or door knobs? Which one you should choose and why?

A few years ago, I decided to renovate our house as it was built not less than 50 years ago. Many changes were needed so that it matches with the new fashion and era. I wanted to pay attention to every single detail, including the door hardware. While I was in favour of using handles (or levers) for the doors, my partner wanted to keep it the same, i.e. door knobs. It didn’t seem like he want to change the styles. We went into an argument and I decided to do in-depth research about door handles and door knobs. So, door handles or door knobs, what are the pros and cons. And why should you choose one over the other?

Door handles, also sometimes referred to as door levers, can be used as alternatives for door knobs. I know we often get confused between the terms, knobs vs handles. Many questions circle in one’s mind when the question arises of having door handles or door knobs. As much as people love the aesthetic, they must keep a few things in mind before making a firm decision.  

You must know a few things about both door knobs and door handles. It will help you make a clear decision about what you should choose for your house or your next project.

Door Knobs

Door handles or door knobs? Why one is getting more popular than the other?
An old door knob with vintage look (Photo by thom masat on Unsplash)

Door knobs look very beautiful when we install them on our doors. But there is functionality which is more important than beauty. As door knobs are the most aesthetic placement to your decor, you must keep a few things in mind. Since so many designs, styles, and finishes are available, picking one that matches your door and surrounding furniture is easy. Along with standard procedures, you can find a range of beautifully decorated features, such as cut-glass knobs or reeded designs. 

An African American inventor named Osborn Dorsey in 1878 first got the award for his door knob and internal latch. Several British locksmiths designed lever tumbler locks, including Robert Barron, Joseph Bramah, and Jeremiah Chubb. Locks invented by Chubb were patented in 1818. 

Initially designed in the Georgian era, the Beehive Door Knobs feature a beehive motif. Georgian and Victorian houses often featured beehive doorknobs. The wooden knobs and the antique brass knobs look gorgeous in period properties and modern homes add vintage style to the architecture.  

Why Some People prefer Door Knobs?

Safer Than Others

Firstly, why most people choose door knobs is because of the safety that prevails. Door knobs are very safe, and this is why people who have families and children at home like to install doorknobs. Another important thing is that you are less likely to have your dress entangled in it. 

Easy to Operate

Secondly, If they have appropriate latches, you can turn the knob, either way, to operate the latch regardless of the door’s configuration. When you fit them with proper latches, it works perfectly. Furthermore, you can use tailor’s spindles to fix the compatible knobs for the cupboards and other doors.

Why Should You Avoid Door Knobs?

Since lever handles have been around much longer than door knobs, they are an excellent choice for older period properties. Homes from the 1950s and 1960s had surface-mounted rim locks. This situation calls for door knobs as they are perfect with rim locks.

Loose Grip

Furthermore, it can be tough to operate on a doorknob with damp hands. A door knob’s grip is not as good as a lever handle. Therefore, children and the elderly may have difficulty operating a doorknob since they do not have much grip. My suggestion is always to use lever handles over doorknobs when it comes to public buildings. Since there can be different age groups visiting the facility. 

Not Children Friendly

Moreover, if you have children at your home, I suggest you avoid doorknobs. Since doorknobs often come with a lock, your children can accidentally lock themselves. So, to prevent the child endangerment scenario, it is better not to have door knobs. 


Some individuals may find it challenging to align the keyhole with the doorknob due to the trade-off. Handles are more accessible to operators than doorknobs because you can grasp them more easily. The lever style of handles has become the norm for most commercial buildings due to their functionality.

How often have we struggled to open one with an elbow while walking with a bag? In this regard, doorknobs are never great since they need the hand’s grip to open and close.

Door Handles

Door handles or door knobs, which one should you choose?
Door handles or door knobs? Why door handles are getting more and more popular and becoming dominant choices over door knobs? (Photo by Henry & Co. from Pexels)

Door handles are much easier to use in comparison to doorknobs. They provide many advantages. And this is why people always love to have them in their doors, including me. Here are a few benefits of Door handles. The handles on doors have been around since the Neolithic age. Latching and locking mechanisms have existed for at least the same amount of time. At least since Egyptian civilization, key-operated door locks have existed. You can use Two-foot-long keys to open these locks, which also functioned as door handles to slide a locking bolt. In the following centuries, bonuses and insulae of the Roman world employed lockable doors, accessed by a handle/key combination.

This type of crucial lockable door was relatively uncommon, although available. It was used as a handle, either bolted to the bar bracket or screwed into the bolt. Roman interior doors lacked the doors of modern structures, but they had recognizably modern door handles. Excavated from Lake Nemi in the 1st century CE, the door handles are knob-shaped.

Advantages of Door Handles

Needs Less Energy 

The most crucial advantage that the door handle has over the knob is the ease of passing through the door. You don’t need to have your hands free to open the door if it has a handle. When opening your front door coming from your garage, you don’t have to use a free hand to gain access. By using door lever handles, you can open a door with armloads of groceries or other items. It is straightforward to open and unlatch the lever-type door with a small amount of downward pressure. You can use your shoulder or even the elbow to exert a little force on the handle. And it will open within an instant. Therefore, you don’t need to put your things down to open them. 


Door handles are straightforward to operate. They don’t need a lot of exertion to open the door. Furthermore, an older person or children at home will be a great option because the knob is less likely to move.


Various backplates are available for door levers, such as round roses and long backplates, accommodating multiple functions. If you mount the door lever on a long plate, a keyhole or turn-and-release mechanism may be incorporated, eliminating the need to purchase these components separately. However, there are doorknobs with long leaves that are very few and have minimal applications.

Why Door Handles Might Not Be The Best Choice For You?

However, there are a few reasons that door handles are probably not the best choice for you.

High Maintenance 

Door handles are not low maintenance, and this is one of the disadvantages, especially when you are a workaholic and barely get time for things like these. Now and then, the door handles need to be taken care of, which is easy. With continued use, door lever springs may become loose, requiring some maintenance over time. You need a professional to repair or even replace the fixture. 

Not Children Friendly

The door handles are not child-friendly at all. They can have rough edges that can bruise your children, and thus, parents with little kids tend to avoid them. Your child can bump into the door handle quite easily and can get a scar, so it is not advisable for families with children between the ages of two to six. 

Door handles can also damage and wear off your clothing very quickly. Most of the time, while in a rush, you get your clothes in the handle, and it easily tears it away. Many people have also added it as a disadvantage since most of the time, people are in a hurry, proving a significant disadvantage.

How About Mixing Door Handles and Knobs

Here is another essential thing that you can do. You can mix both of these styles in your home to add more variety and convenience. If you are a very private person and do not like people interrupting you, we suggest you have door knobs. Door knobs are very stylish, and they offer a wide range of aesthetics that you can coordinate with your door. Furthermore, the door knob also comes with an instant lock that can give you the promised privacy. 

You should also install door knobs on the main entrance that separates the outer space from the inner. These door knobs can add style to your house while ensuring privacy since there is no keyhole. Furthermore, the doorknobs can also add an overall look to the outer. 

However, you can opt for the door handles for the living room, study, and even kitchen since everyone uses these three places the most. It is a wise choice to have door handles in these places. People are going in and out with things in their hands most of the time. You can also opt for the beautiful door handles for these places. Contrast the designs with the architect of the room and install them in those areas. There are a lot of techniques that you can have in your house. 


To wrap it up, door handles are getting more and more popular in the market and it becomes the dominant choice for door hardware over knobs. Main reason is they are much more handy if you compare them with door knobs. Especially if you are always running around the house with things in your hands, I advise you to have door handles. If you live away from home, alone, and are issueless, door handles are the best pick.

At Luxterior, we have an exclusive range of designer door handles which suits most Australian home, either a new built or a big renovation. Check out Luxterior’s door handle range or visit our shop for others architectural hardware.

Comments (3)

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  2. A precise & well-wrtitten post. Thanks heaps for sharing it.

  3. A precise & well-wrtitten post. Thanks heaps for sharing it.

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