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A door handle is one of those things you probably don't give much thought to—until it's time to get a new one. We caught up with an interior designer for buying tips, then researched the various types, features, and styles for indoor use.
Our top choice is the Schlage Plymouth Knob, a versatile passage handle that comes in eight finishes and fits all standard door preparations.
Scroll down for the best doorknobs currently on the market.
Best Overall: Schlage Plymouth Passage Door Knob Set
After sifting through tons of handles, the Schlage Plymouth Door Knob Set (model F10 PLY 619) is our number one pick. As a passage knob, the lock-free design has a standard twisting function to open and close interior doors. It's perfect for closets, home offices, pantries, and bedrooms that don't need to be locked. The set comes with two knobs, one for each side of the door, and all the necessary hardware. (You can also buy it as a single doorknob.) It's easy to install with basic tools and even adjusts to fit all standard door preparations.
This doorknob comes in eight finishes to match the existing fixtures in virtually every home. We're talking matte black, aged brass, polished brass, pewter, aged bronze, polished chrome, satin chrome, and satin nickel. It's made of a standard metal and doesn't have that heavyweight feel of some higher-end options. However, the price is very reasonable, and both the mechanics and finish are backed by a lifetime warranty.
Best Budget: Copper Creek Colonial Function Door Knob
Various types and finishes
Lifetime mechanical warranty
Prone to scratching
The Copper Creek Colonial Door Knob (model CK2020BC) is a great budget option. Made of a durable steel alloy, it's available in passage, keyed, privacy, or dummy formats. The set comes with two knobs, a latch, and all the necessary installation hardware.
You can choose from seven finishes, including satin stainless, polished stainless, antique nickel, black, polished brass, and antique bronze. While some might be more prone to scratching than others, the finish is backed by a 10-year warranty—and there's a lifetime warranty on the mechanics.
Best with Lock: Kwikset Pismo Round Door Knob with Lock
Looking for something that locks? We're big fans of the Kwikset Pismo (model 30PSKRDT) for indoor use. This set comes with two round knobs, plus a latch and all the hardware you need to install it.
One knob has a turn-piece lock, which goes inside the bedroom, bathroom, or whichever room needs privacy. The other knob is plain with a discrete hole in the middle for the included emergency key. Backed by a lifetime warranty and coated with germ-repellent Microban, we only wish this set came in more finishes.
Best Options: Wayfair Basics Orchard Hill Door Knob with Square Rosette
Various types and finishes
Plate occasionally loosens
We also like the Orchard Hill Door Knob from Wayfair Basics. Made of zinc and steel, it comes in five finishes, including matte black, polished chrome, satin stainless, satin brass, and vintage bronze. You can also choose from a standard twist-open function, a privacy set with a small button lock, or keyed entry.
You'll get two knobs, a latch, a strike, mounting hardware, and a lock or key if applicable. The square rosette (base plate) makes for easy installation while complementing the round knob with a minimalist aesthetic. One thing to note is that the plate may loosen occasionally depending on your door preparation, but it's easy to re-tighten.
Best Modern: Baldwin Contemporary Door Knob with Round Rose
Sleek and sophisticated
Lifetime mechanical warranty
This doorknob is priced pretty steep, but if you love modern design, it might be worth a splurge. Made of solid brass with steel hardware, the set has a high-end, heavyweight feel. The flat circular handle is perfectly pared-down with a sleek, sophisticated appeal.
The Baldwin Contemporary Door Knob comes in passage, privacy, keyed, and dummy formats. You can also choose from six finishes and opt for a round, square, or rectangular rosette plate. What's more, it's backed by a lifetime mechanical warranty and 25 years for the finish.
Best Traditional: Emtek Brass Classic Hardware Providence Door Knob
Classic yet versatile
Various types and finishes
Relatively short warranty
If you like the look of traditional fixtures, you'll appreciate the Providence Door Knob from Emtek's Classic Hardware collection. It's made of solid brass and has a rectangular plate reminiscent of early 20th-century homes. The simple round handle balances out the rosette, so it's still versatile enough for modern spaces.
You can choose from passage, keyed, or dummy functionality and eight finishes. The brass and bronze options look the most traditional, but the nickels and chromes are lovely too. This set is somewhat pricey and has a relatively short (5-year) warranty. Still, you can count on a high-quality look and feel.
Best Porcelain: Emtek Ice White Porcelain Privacy Door Knob Set
Smooth, solid knob
Various types and finishes
Interior designer Ahmad AbouZanat is a fan of porcelain door handles. We like Emtek's White Ice collection. The smooth, round knob is solid porcelain, and the included hardware is brass.
Some of the circular rosettes are also porcelain, while others feature a contrasting metal finish, like pewter, chrome, or antique brass. You can choose a double dummy, standard passage entry, or a privacy set with a push-button lock and an emergency pin-style key. While we wish this doorknob was more affordable, we appreciate the lifetime warranty.
Best Glass: Anthropologie Glass Bubble Door Knob
Unique yet subtle
Hardware not included
Only one type
Crystal doorknobs have a traditional, glamorous charm. If you like the look but don't want anything too old-fashioned, check out this smooth glass design from Anthropologie. The knob is made with a boiling technique, which creates little bubbles and a slight effervescent effect.
As for the rosette, you're looking at brass with a simple chrome finish. This passage-style set doesn't have a locking option, and you'll need to buy the necessary hardware separately, including a latch. But in the end, the Glass Bubble Door Knob is a great option for making a subtle statement.
Best Lever: Signature Hardware Mabry Passage Set Lever Handles
Sleek and modern
Easier for babies/toddlers to open
Interested in a lever-style door handle? The Marby Passage Set from Signature Hardware is an excellent choice. (There's also a dummy option and a privacy set if you want something that locks). It's made of zinc and comes in your choice of brushed nickel, chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, matte black, or satin brass.
This fixture features a simple square rosette plate and a smooth lever with clean, squared-off angles. In addition to a modern aesthetic, you can open doors with your elbow, even when your hands are full. Just bear in mind the convenient design also makes it easier for babies and toddlers to open.
Best Dummy: Sure-Loc Hardware Bergen Single Dummy Door Knob with Round Rosette
Dummy knobs are primarily decorative. Similar to cabinet knobs, they don't have latches or locks and typically don't twist. Our favorite is the Sure-Loc Bergen, which flaunts a simple round flat handle and a slightly wider round rosette.
Made of stainless steel, this set comes in your choice of five finishes. It comes with the necessary screws for installation, which are ultimately concealed for a clean, streamlined look. Considering the affordable price point and lifetime warranty, we really have no complaints about the Bergen.
Best Childproof: Jool Baby Products Child Safety Door Knob Covers 4 Pack
Easy to use
Doesn't work on levers
Whether you're trying to keep littles out of off-limits spaces or want to prevent them from getting locked inside a room, these doorknob covers from Jool are up for the task. They're made of plastic and go directly over your existing handles. This offers a childproof deterrence, while the holes allow adults to still open and close doors.
Available in packs of four, these affordable safety covers can be attached to the doors of pantries, offices, closets, and anywhere else you want to prevent toddlers from entering. As you can see from the shape, they only work with round knobs, so you'll need an alternative solution if you have lever-style handles.
Overall, we like the Schlage Plymouth Passage Door Knob. Available in nine finishes, this versatile set fits all standard preparations and is backed by a lifetime warranty (view at Amazon). If you want something that locks, go with the Kwikset Pismo Door Knob with Lock (view at Amazon). And if you prefer a lever-style handle, we recommend Signature Hardware's Mabry Passage Set (view at Signature Hardware).
What to Look for in a Door Knob
When choosing a doorknob for your home, consider your existing interior decor (or what you envision if you're starting from scratch). From antique and modern to rustic and glam, there are tons of styles to choose from, so knowing the look you're going for will certainly help narrow down the selections.
"Doorknobs add character," says designer Ahmad AbouZanat of Project AZ. He explains that they can help tie together your finishes and furnishings, add contrast, or be used to make a statement. "This can be a fun and eclectic opportunity to be playful with more decorative pieces."
When it comes to doorknobs, there are a few safety features to consider. For instance, locking handles offer privacy, but you'll want to be careful about toddlers accidentally locking themselves in bathrooms or bedrooms. That's why many come with emergency keys, usually in the form of a pin-like tool. Beyond that, you may want to get snap-on covers to prevent small children from entering off-limit spaces.
The price of doorknobs varies drastically, so it's worth deciding on a budget before you begin your search. Luckily, most major online retailers offer a range of types and styles at different price points, ensuring you'll find the perfect fit with ease. But bear in mind that even with more reasonably priced designs, the cost can add up if you're buying knobs for every door in your home.
How do you change a doorknob?
First, you’ll need to remove the old doorknob by loosening the screws with a screwdriver. You’ll then put your new latch into the hole in the edge of the door and then install the new knobs one at a time, making sure they’re centered over the hole in the door. Tighten your doorknob as needed.
How do you remove a doorknob?
Determine which type of doorknob you have and inspect it to look for the screws that attach it to the door. Use a screwdriver to unscrew it and you should be able to easily remove the doorknob from the door.
Who invented the doorknob?
Osbourn Dorsey, a 16-year-old African-American inventor, was issued a patent for what he called a “door handling device” in 1878. Dorsey’s invention paved the way for the doorknobs we know today.
How do you clean a doorknob?
As a high-touch surface, most doorknobs can (and should) be cleaned regularly with a disinfecting solution. You can make your own with rubbing alcohol, distilled white vinegar, or bleach. Germ-killing cleaning sprays and disinfectant wipes work too.
Most door handles are designed to hold up under decades of use and regular cleanings. Still, you'll want to make sure the solution doesn't affect the finish, so check the manufacturer's cleaning instructions and warranty information first.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is a product tester, commerce writer, and home decor aficionado. For this story, she interviewed an interior designer, who offered buying tips and insight into various doorknob styles. Having recently chosen all the fixtures and finishes for her new home, she is up to speed on the various types and materials. She considered dozens of options, ultimately choosing those that stood out in terms of functionality, ease of installation, versatility, appearance, and overall value. You can read more stories by Theresa on MyDomaine, Byrdie, and People.