Door Knobs vs. Levers, Which One Should You Get for Your Home?

It can be a difficult decision when choosing the right door hardware, barn door hardware, sliding door hardware, pocket door hardware, bifold door hardware and more. You may think it is an easy decision based on the door you chose, but sometimes when you start shopping through 100’s of styles, you end up with decision paralysis! Well we’re here to help make that decision easier!

So why change up your door handles in the first place? Well, updating your door hardware, kitchen hardware or even closet door hardware can be a cost-effective home improvement that can make a huge impact! The best part about door hardware is that you can always stay in trend, for those trendsetters, updating hardware can be done easily and you won’t break the bank. Whereas if you want to stay in kitchen trends every time there is a new kitchen cabinet style out on Pinterest, you not only will be hurting your bank account but you need to factor in all of the construction time. Hardware can be updated and installed by YOU! Yes YOU! Eliminating the need for a contractor and significantly reducing the time it takes to complete your project. So here is what you need to know when you’re deciding on what hardware to change out.

Types of Door Hardware

Door hardware, whether it is a knob or lever, has four options you need to understand before purchasing; Privacy, Dummy, Passage, and Keyed Entry.

Privacy Handle:

A Privacy handle is where it can be locked from one side of the hardware. Privacy handles or knobs are typically used for bathrooms where whoever is inside can lock from the inside and cannot be opened from the outside, unless it is unlocked from the inside.

Dummy Handle:

The Dummy handle does not have any function. These are often used for closets or cabinets where most of the time you only need one and you simply pull it rather then giving pressure or having to twist.

Passage Handle:

A Passage handle is used the most often. These are used for bedrooms or anywhere that you enter through a door on both sides, it has no lock and requires a movement or pressure.

Keyed Entry Handle:

A Keyed Entry handle is exactly how it sounds. It requires a key to enter and is often used on entry doors or garages.

Check out our Hardware page to get more information and see some inspiration.

Door Knobs

Doorknobs are the handle on the door that is round giving your hand a comfortable option to grip when opening or closing a door. Knobs can be used to twist for a Privacy, Passage or Keyed Entry Knob. They don’t need any function for a Dummy such as on a drawer or closet door. Doorknobs have been around longer than levers and they are more common in older, century homes. You can see in the image above and the images below there are many different styles of doorknobs, some are egg shapes, some simple circles, long or short Rosettes, and some knobs are all glass. Don’t forget all of the different finishes you can get in most knobs or handles.

This image is a brass knob with a long rectangular Rosette. A Rosette is the piece behind the knob that fits around the knob or lever to hide the internal door mechanisms. This style of knob has become popular as handles on cabinetry and even lighting fixtures have been featuring brass and brushed gold tones. It is a warm feature to break up sharp whites and textures of gray in a space.

Here we have a French door that features a texturized crystal knob with a unique, traditional style Rosette in matte black. This is a classic look on a classic style of door while the matte black rosette helps to put a modern spin on things. This would be a great feature in a historic home that is looking to maintain the history of the home while still updating it to the tastes of today.

On this French door we have a much more modern look. With the single pane of glass and a modern take on a knob you can see a doorknob doesn’t have to always be traditional, there are a number of options for contemporary style interior door and interior doorknobs.

Door Levers

The Door levers are a newer option than doorknobs and in the last decade it is more common to see door levers in newly build or renovated homes. The levers give off a more contemporary and European architecture style. Bonus, although they are considered modern, there are many different traditional designed levers that are very popular as well. Levers, similar to knobs, come in a number of different finishes to suit the theme in your home.

Here you can see a more traditional style of lever with the curved Rosette. Again this looks great on French style doors to accent the design of a more traditional or older home.

This Polished Chromed Weiser lever on the other hand is a more contemporary style and is a very popular lever. This would fit right into any home that is sporting a more modern and contemporary interior design style.

Ease of Use

Now that we have discussed the style options available in both doorknob and door levers, let’s look at Ease of use, at is very important when deciding what door hardware you need. A main factor in choosing a door lever is its ergonomics. A doorknob requires a tighter grab and your full capable hand to grip the knob and twist it in order to open the door. Whereas the lever can essentially be used with any body part or anything physical that is heavy and sturdy enough to push the lever down.

How many times have you had your hands full carrying bags or boxes and used whatever item you’re carrying to push the lever down and open the door. All you need for the lever is to push down and apply some pressure.

Knob or Lever: Which is a better option for you?

Due to the fact that all you need is a little bit of pressure in the use of a lever, the lever is a better option for busy people, and the elderly. If you plan to stay in the home you are in right now for along period of time it is best to stick with a lever as it is more user friendly for people as they age. People who suffer from arthritis or other joint ailments it is best to use a lever over a knob.

For family households with young children, the best option would be a knob. This is because it’s slightly more difficult for them to open, toddlers would have to use two hands to twist the knob to open the door.


When looking into door hardware, whether it is sliding door hardware, barn door hardware or commercial door hardware or closet door hardware, you should consider what style you want so that it matches the style in your home or building.

As doorknobs are often more traditional styles you can get knobs in a more contemporary style now a days. Same goes with levers, some people think of a lever as being a more contemporary option for a door but there are more traditional levers available as well. So if you are having a hard time deciding based on your traditional or contemporary style home, don’t worry, there are multiple different styles and designs for both the knob and the lever. Check out our website for inspiration, or come visit our showroom where we have an entire hardware section dedicated to people who are having a difficult time choosing the perfect door handles for their home! We have a huge selection from door knobs, barn door hardware, emtek door hardware, closet door hardware, bi fold door hardware and any type of door hardware that you require!

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