Pocket doors can be excellent space-savers in modern homes, and they’re a welcomed, original touch in many older houses as well. However, they require an entirely different set of hardware than typical hinged doors, which includes not only how they open and close but also how they latch.
To gain the most benefit from the versatility and originality of a pocket door, you need the best pocket door lock. These useful handles sit flush with the door, allowing it to slide in and out, while still providing the ability to lock the door. This guide will explore the two types of pocket locks, important factors to consider as you shop for the best pocket door lock, and our selections for some of the top options on the market. Keep reading to find out more.
- BEST OVERALL: Kwikset 335 Round Bed/Bath Pocket Door Lock
- RUNNER UP: Deltana SDLA325U3-UNL HD Pocket Lock
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Designers Impressions Oil Rubbed Bronze Pocket Door
- BEST COMPACT: Prime-Line N 7239 Pocket Door Privacy Lock
- BEST MODERN: HOMOTEK Privacy Sliding Door Lock with Pull
Types of Pocket Door Locks
The best pocket door lock is available in two basic types, round and square, which differ not only in design but also in installation. The type you choose could depend simply on your particular design taste. However, if you’re retrofitting a new lock to an old door, you’ll have to match the current lock. Read on to learn a bit more about these two types.
As the name suggests, round pocket door locks are circular in design. These locks install into a round hole in the door that is typically 2⅛ inches in diameter. Their latches slide into a separate hole, which is usually about 1 inch in diameter. This process is very similar to the installation of a traditional lockset.
Round pocket door locks most often use 2⅜-inch backsets, which describe the distance from the edge of the door to the center of the hole. Again, this is similar to a traditional door lock. However, some of the best pocket door locks feature adjustable backsets to make them a bit more flexible during installation.
Square pocket door locks are a different construction altogether. Instead of using a set of holes drilled through the door, they install by first cutting a square shape out of the door. After removal of that section of the door, the entire lock slides into place in one piece and screws to the body of the door.
If a door has a round hole, there is a chance that a square pocket door lock might still fit. However, if the door originally had a square lockset, a round lockset is not a possibility.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Pocket Door Lock
Several factors go into choosing the best pocket door lock. The following section will break down some of the most important considerations to keep in mind while shopping for these unique pieces of hardware. Be sure to carefully read each section to make the best possible decision for your pocket door.
In general, interior doors are thinner than doors in exterior walls. On occasion, pocket doors can be even thinner than most traditional interior doors. For this reason, it’s essential to choose the best pocket door lock based on the thickness of the door in which you plan to install it.
The good news is that most round pocket door locks provide enough flexibility and adjustment capability to fit most interior doors. Simply tighten the bolts until the lockset squeezes firmly against the door.
This approach also works for square pocket door locks. These devices often feature oversize lips (or edges) that slide over the latch side of the door, hiding any discrepancies and creating a smooth, uniform look.
Age of Door
Depending on whether you’re installing a new pocket door, replacing the hardware in an old one, or retrofitting an old door in a new opening, the decision between a round or square lockset might be quite easy. In fact, you might not have a decision to make at all; if the door is old, you’ll likely have to use a lockset that fits the existing opening.
Retrofitting a round lock to a square hole is not possible, as the material required to mount the lock and latch will be missing. However, it might be possible to retrofit a square lock into a pocket door with a round hole with a bit of effort.
For a new door, the decision is entirely up to you. Since you can select either a round or a square lock, consider simply choosing a product that best matches your decor and personal tastes.
Pocket doors provide an excellent touch to a home’s aesthetic. Whether they’re an original feature or a modern addition during a renovation, they make a significant impact. Choosing the right finish for the accompanying lock is important.
Many of the best pocket door locks are available in several finishes, providing plenty of choices for matching the room or space in which they’re located. For example, a sleek, stainless steel pocket door lock might best suit the aesthetic of a modern home.
As mentioned above, this lock could be intended for an older pocket door. If that’s the case, an aged finish might be best suited. Several of the best pocket door locks feature an antique or distressed look. Keep in mind, however, that these vintage-style locks aren’t just for older doors and can look stylish on new doors as well.
When it comes to latching and locking, the best pocket door locks tend to lean toward latching. These locksets often feature hooks that flip out of the mechanism and latch onto the door strike in the door jamb. Other locks have latches that look like traditional deadbolts but with spring-loaded hooks that pop up to secure the door. Some sets do feature keyless locks similar to those found in bedrooms and bathrooms.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any locking pocket door locks that require keys. They do exist but are just more rare than a typical latching pocket door lock. This is because pocket doors are rarely used as entry doors or barriers to areas that require absolute security.
Our Top Picks
Keeping the above-mentioned considerations in mind, choosing the best pocket door lock should be significantly easier. Read on to discover some of the best pocket door locks on the market, chosen in light of these important factors along with overall quality and affordability.
In some smaller bedrooms and bathrooms, a pocket door might be the only way to provide some privacy. The locking mechanism of this Kwikset Round Bed/Bath Pocket Door Lock helps to provide a bit of security.
The brushed nickel round pocket door lock fits preexisting 2⅛-inch round holes in interior doors with a standard thickness. This allows users to retrofit the lock into older doors while also providing a simple installation into new doors. It has a ½-inch latch throw (the distance the latch travels) and includes the door strike onto which the latch hooks. The lock also provides a preset 2⅜-inch backset, but it’s adjustable to fit most standard interior doors.
Retrofitting a lock into a square hole in a pocket door can be a headache, but Deltana’s HD Pocket Lock makes it a bit easier. This pocket door lock fits holes measuring 2¾ inches tall by 1¾ inches wide, fitting most older doors without modification.
This lockset features an adjustable design that works for doors as thin as 1⅜ inches to as thick as 1¾ inches. The two sides of the lock separate from the latch body itself, allowing the user to tighten them independently for a snug fit.
The lock is also available in a wide range of finishes, including antique brass, lacquered brass, black, satin chrome, and more, making matching this set to a home’s existing hardware a snap.
Swapping out a square pocket door lock doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor with the Designers Impressions Oil Rubbed Bronze Pocket Door Privacy Lock. This model features a privacy-style lock similar to those found on traditional bedroom and bathroom doors and includes a match strike plate.
The pocket door lock is a bit on the smaller side, helping it to pair well with bedroom and master suite decor. It measures 2½ inches wide by 2¾ inches tall, though the generous lip around the edge might help cover some gaps. This lock features an oil-rubbed bronze finish, allowing it to fit in with the aesthetic of traditional older homes or simply add an antique touch to more modern designs.
For smaller pocket doors, oversize latches often look out of place. That’s not the case with Prime-Line’s N 7239 Pocket Door Privacy Lock. This lock provides a compact footprint, measuring 2½ inches wide by 2¾ inches tall, so it matches the proportions of a smaller pocket door.
The square door lock works for interior doors between 1⅜ inches and 1¾ inches thick, meaning it will also work for most pocket doors. While offering a bit of security for a bathroom or bedroom application, this lock also features an exterior latch to unlock the door in an emergency. It is available in a contemporary satin nickel finish.
Contemporary design requires a more modern approach to pocket door hardware, and HOMOTEK’s Privacy Sliding Door Lock with Pull delivers. This square lockset features a built-in pull that pops out for easy sliding. While the lock isn’t adjustable, it does fit doors with 1⅜-inch thickness, meaning it will fit most interior doors.
The lock is also reversible, allowing users to disassemble and reassemble the unit, so the locking latch is on the appropriate side without the built-in pull being upside down. Choose from a variety of finishes—including black, satin nickel, and oil rubbed brass—to match this lock with existing hardware for a cohesive, modern look.
FAQs About Your New Pocket Door Lock
If you still have questions about the best pocket door locks, keep reading for a collection of some of the most frequently asked queries about pocket door locks.
Q. Can you lock a pocket door from both sides?
Most pocket door locks feature an outer emergency knob for safety, but they often require a small screwdriver to operate.
Q. How high should the lock be on a pocket door?
Some pocket doors feature designs that make placement of the lock relatively obvious, but a general rule is to install the lock between 34 and 48 inches from the floor.
Q. How do you put a lock on a pocket door?
For a round latch:
- Use the template to make appropriate marks on the door.
- Drill through the door following the template using a 2⅛-inch hole saw for the lockset.
- Drill from the latch side of the door using a 1-inch hole saw.
- Slide the latch into the latch hole.
- Place both sides of the lockset on the door, carefully aligning them with the latch.
- Tighten the screws attaching the lockset to the door.
For a square latch:
- Use the template to make the appropriate cut marks on the door.
- Use a jigsaw or handsaw to cut the door along the marks.
- Drill two holes in the door for the mounting screws.
- Slide the new lock into the cutout.
- Screw the lockset to the door on both sides.
Q. Can you put a deadbolt on a pocket door?
No, deadbolts simply slide into recesses in the door jam. They don’t latch onto anything, making them useless for pocket doors.