The Best Door Handles and Knobs of 2021

Choosing the best door handles isn’t just a matter of what looks good—view recommendations based on quality, ergonomics, ease of installation, and longevity.

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The Best Door Handles Option

Photo: depositphotos.com

Though they’re one of the most used items in a home, door knobs are often overlooked as a decor element. While they make a small visual statement, these fixtures can still accentuate interior design and add style to entryways. From unobtrusive handles to stunning statement pieces, the array of options for interiors is mind-boggling. A quick search will yield thousands of styles and finishes.

Finding the best door handles for your home involves narrowing down your options—mainly based on style and function, available budget, and installation preferences. Fortunately, most door handles are do-it-yourself when it comes to installation, requiring only a few basic tools to complete the job.

Keep reading for more tips on choosing door handles, and check out some of the best recommendations in the following categories.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Probrico Privacy Door Levers Wave Style Handles
  2. BEST BUDGET: Copper Creek BK2030SS Privacy Ball Knob
  3. BEST LUXURY: Knobonly 3 Pack Genuine Crystal Privacy Door Knobs
  4. BEST MODERN: Kwikset 91550-023 Lisbon Door Handle Lever
  5. BEST VINTAGE: SCHLAGE F10 GEO 716 BRK Georgian Passage Knob
  6. BEST FOR CLOSETS: Probrico (6 Pack) Classic Closet Dummy Door Knobs
The Best Door Handles Options

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Door Handles

When shopping for door knobs and handles, correct measurements determine which models are compatible with your doors. Choosing a type that’s suitable for the room it accesses—in an appropriate style and finish—will also factor into the decision, along with build material and installation requirements.

Type

Door handles and knobs come in three main types: privacy, dummy, and passage. Each one serves a different purpose and is more suitable for particular rooms.

  • Privacy door handles and knobs feature a twist or button door lock on the front or side. The locking feature makes this type of knob suitable for bedrooms and bathroom doors. These door knobs with locks offer minimal security and typically feature a small hole on the opposite end, allowing the user to unlock the door with a universal key.
  • Passage door handles and knobs operate a latch assembly but typically include no locking mechanism. They are good options for interior closets, hallways, and other rooms that don’t require privacy locks.
  • Dummy door knobs are one-sided and don’t include any internal working parts. They essentially serve as a means for pushing or pulling open the door. Some dummy knobs come in pairs for use on double doors. They work well for small pantries, bedroom closets, or one side of a French door.
  • Pocket door handles most often resemble a latch for pulling pocket doors open and pushing them closed. These handles are available with or without a locking mechanism, depending on how much privacy is desired.

Measurements

There are three important measurements to establish before selecting a new door knob or handle: cross bore, backset, and door thickness.

  • Cross bore refers to the large round hole where the fixture is mounted. A standard cross bore hole is 2⅛ inches in diameter. The cross bore hole must be smaller than the diameter of the door knob’s backplate to fit.
  • The backset is the distance between the center of the cross bore to the edge of the door. There are two standard backset measurements: 2⅜ inches and 2¾ inches. The backset of the door handle must match the backset of the door, or it won’t fit.
  • The thickness of interior residential doors can vary, which also impacts whether a door handle will fit. Older homes tend to have thinner doors of 1⅜ inches, while newer homes have thicker doors, usually 1¾ inch thick. Most knobs can work with a range of door thicknesses.

Material

Interior door handles come in a variety of materials. Door knobs comprise a knob and a backplate, also called a rosette, which may be constructed of the same or different materials. Modern door knobs most commonly feature metal, which is followed by glass and ceramic options.

  • Metal is the most common material for door handles and knobs. Most are made of brass, with more high-end options featuring chrome or stainless steel. Metal knobs are the most durable options and can vary in aesthetic. The internal parts of high-quality door knobs consist of steel, which can withstand heavy use, treated with a nickel plating to resist corrosion.
  • Cut glass and crystal door knobs provide unique decorative accents to entryways. These fixtures were popular in the mid-19th to early 20th century, and many available today have a similar antique look. Faceted, octagonal, diamond, fluted, and bubbled are among various designs that can add a charming old-world aesthetic to a space.
  • Ceramic door handles are often painted for decorative purposes. Most feature patterns and colors that add eye-catching visuals to doorways. Knobs containing ceramic are most often made of porcelain, which is denser and more durable than other types of ceramic.

Style and Finish

Door handles come in numerous colors and finishes to suit different decor styles. Metal finishes include brass, pewter, chrome, black, bronze, copper, and polished nickel. Glass door knobs feature a round or square rosette with clear or colored designs, while ceramic options tend to feature one or more colors.

Door handles with clean lines and sleek metallic finishes work well with modern interiors. Matte-black door knobs are a stylish pick for modern industrial decor, whereas those with an aged or distressed look complement vintage industrial interiors. Antique-looking metal accents and finishes also pair well with rustic, farmhouse, and traditional decor.

Traditional interiors and historical homes can benefit from glass door knobs for a period aesthetic. On the other hand, colored glass and ceramic knobs can add the brightness and originality that defines bohemian and eclectic decor.

Installation

Installing a door handle or knob is typically a simple DIY task requiring limited tools. Most fixtures include detailed installation instructions to walk users through the process. Only some models come with the required door hardware, so check product details to determine whether or not these parts are included.

Dummy door knobs are naturally the easiest to install since they don’t have latch assemblies that hold the door to the doorframe. Passage, privacy, and pocket door handles are a little more complicated to install, but they’re generally very manageable, even for those who lack experience.

Our Top Picks

When evaluating door hardware products to find the best options, all of the features mentioned above were considered while creating the Top Picks list. After some in-depth research, we assembled this guide to showcase some of the best door handles available in a variety of categories. One of these options may be the perfect fit for your home.

Best Overall

The Best Door Handles Option: Probrico Privacy Door Levers Wave Style Handles
Photo: amazon.com

Made of stainless steel with a satin nickel finish, this six-pack of lever, wave-style handles by Probrico is ideal for interior doors. A latch bolt easily locks the door, and an emergency release tool can unlock the door from the outside, eliminating the need for a key.

Designed to fit both left- and right-handed doors, these handles are easy to install with simple tools, as they come with all the necessary pieces included. Though this particular set features a wave handle, which is great for ergonomics, it’s also available in a variety of other levers and knob styles.

The adjustable universal latch fits doors between 1¼ and 1¾ inches, making it suitable for most interior doors. The latch plate cannot be removed from the latch, so expect to install this as seen in the photographs with no modifications.

Product Specs

  • Style: Privacy lever
  • Quantity: 6
  • Material: Alloy steel, stainless steel

Pros

  • Fully reversible
  • Emergency release
  • Adjustable
  • Ergonomic handle

Cons

  • Latch plates cannot be removed from the latch


Best Budget

The Best Door Handles Option: Copper Creek BK2030SS Ball Privacy Door Knob
Photo: amazon.com

This privacy door knob from Copper Creek provides just what one would expect from a simple door knob at a price that’s easy on the pocketbook. Choose from antique or polished brass, antique nickel, polished or satin stainless steel, or Tuscan bronze finishes.

This is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Grade-3 security knob, designed to withstand more than 200,000 lock cycles. The privacy locking function is meant for interior doors only. In the event of an emergency or accidental locking, release the lock easily with a screwdriver or coin.

The auto-screw alignment feature makes this handle easy to install with basic tools, while solid brass cylinders and nickel-plated bolts help ensure less wear and tear on the knob over years of use.

Product Specs

  • Style: Privacy ball knob
  • Quantity: 1
  • Material: Alloy steel, stainless steel, copper, nickel

Pros

  • ANSI Grade-3 rating
  • Wide selection of finishes
  • No privacy key required
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Not suitable for drive-in conversion


Best Luxury

The Best Door Handles Option: Knobonly 3-Pack Genuine Crystal Privacy Doorknobs
Photo: amazon.com

With the impressive look of genuine crystal in a diamond shape, this three-pack of privacy door knobs from Knobonly features a satin nickel finish on the traditional round rosette. Designed for a door thickness between 1⅜ and 1¾ inches, the heavy-duty construction helps ensure longevity, while the included hardware makes it easy to install with a basic screwdriver.

Fully reversible, this round knob option can work for either left- or right-hand doors. If the goal is to coordinate a specific look throughout the home, matching cabinet knobs and door pulls are available through Knobonly, as are larger sets of crystal privacy knobs to outfit the entire house.

Product Specs

  • Style: Privacy rosette knob
  • Quantity: 3
  • Material: Glass

Pros

  • ANSI Grade-3 rating
  • Passage and privacy options available
  • Fully reversible
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Only one finish available


Best Modern

The Best Door Handles Option: Kwikset 91550-023 Lisbon Door Handle Lever
Photo: amazon.com

The sleek polished chrome finish on these modern interior door handles combined with the slim door lever profile and square plate are suitable for contemporary home decor styles. The zinc-constructed handle is available in five finishes and is easy to install into an existing door hole with just a few screws.

Fully reversible for left- or right-handed doors, this handle is also Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant and approved for use by those with disabilities. It’s also an ANSI Grade 2, making it a stronger option than most interior door levers.

A simple locking mechanism requires only the push of a finger to activate and includes a pin release to make getting into a locked door fast and simple.

Product Specs

  • Style: Privacy lever
  • Quantity: 1
  • Material: Zinc

Pros

  • ANSI Grade-2 rating
  • Push-button release
  • Fully reversible
  • ADA compliant

Cons

  • Emergency key required


Best Vintage

The Best Door Handles Option: Schlage F10 GEO 716 BRK Georgian Passage Knob
Photo: amazon.com

In elegant matte black, aged bronze, antique brass, and satin nickel finishes, these Schlage door knobs work well on standard door depths. The round, Georgian-style knob is enhanced by a stylistic plate that adds an elegant antique element to home decor.

This Schlage door knob is intended for use on interior doors that don’t require a lock, such as closets or pantries. It does come with a latch and strike plate, however, so the door will stay firmly closed.

The door knob is a bit shorter than others on the market, so it is likely not a good ergonomic option for those who need a larger or easier-to-turn knob. Using an angled Phillips head screwdriver might be a good idea for do-it-yourself installation.

Product Specs

  • Style: Passage knob
  • Quantity: 1
  • Material: Bronze

Pros

  • Elegant design
  • Bronze construction
  • Multiple finish options

Cons

  • Not ergonomically friendly


Best for Closets

The Best Door Handles Option: Probrico (6 Pack) Classic Closet Dummy Door Knobs
Photo: amazon.com

These classic closet knobs are non-turning handles designed to be pulled to open the door, rather than turned to open a latching mechanism. With fewer moving parts, the installation of these door knobs is very easy, with only two screws required to attach them to an interior door between 1⅜ and 1¾ inches thick.

The exterior finish is brushed nickel, and no door prep is required. Simply follow the instructions for installation. Using a screwdriver, gradually tighten the screws on each side to help ensure a solid and proper fit against the door. It might be helpful to use a 90-degree angled screwdriver to get the job done.

Product Specs

  • Style: Dummy knob
  • Quantity: 6
  • Material: Stainless steel, alloy steel

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Adjustable latch
  • Rust-resistant finish

Cons

  • Only one finish available


Our Verdict

While the perfect door handles vary based on your home’s style and type of interior door, the Probrico Privacy Wave Style Handles is our top pick because of its high-quality construction and classic design. Those on a budget may appreciate the Copper Creek Privacy Ball Knob, which offers privacy at a low price point.

How We Chose the Best Door Handles

These recommendations for the best door handle cover a variety of types and styles to best suit a variety of needs. Our curated selection was developed based on extensive product research. While choosing a door handle can be largely based on style and aesthetics, we also weighed a number of practical considerations when making our recommendations.

We narrowed our selection to door handles and knobs made with high-quality materials like glass and stainless steel. We gave preference to handles with adjustable, universal hardware that would be likely to suit most interior doors. We aimed to include handles and knobs that offer easy installation.

FAQs

If you’re still wondering about which door handle or knob style to install and what maintenance is required, this section may help. Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about these fixtures. For specific questions about a product, check with the manufacturer.

Q: Are internal door handles standard sizes?

There is not a single standard size for interior door handles, which is why hardware is often adjustable. Backset sizes typically range between 2⅜ inches and 2¾ inches.

Q: What is the best material for a door handle?

In terms of quality and durability, chrome and stainless steel handles would be considered the best. However, they’re also the most expensive options.

Q: Should all interior door handles match?

While all the hardware in a home does not need to match, matching all the interior door handles will help achieve a cohesive look. If a home features a style such as bohemian or eclectic, mismatched door knobs could accentuate the decor.

Q: What is the most popular color for door knobs?

Although color preferences vary, brushed nickel (also known as satin nickel) is the most popular finish for knobs and handles.

Q: Is there any maintenance needed for door knobs?

Wipe down a door knob with a mild soap and water solution or metal polish to prevent corrosion. For privacy handles and knobs, spray a lubricant such as WD-40 into the hole to lubricate the knob’s internal parts.