The different types of door handles

UK Home Improvement

The Different Types of Door Handles

Whether you’ve just bought a new house or you’re redecorating, choosing whether to go for doorknobs or UPVC door handles might be the least of your worries. However, door handles can add the perfect finishing touch to any room and choosing the right style will make a noticeable difference.

The three main types of door handles are lever handles, pull handles, and doorknobs, but what are the differences? If you’re renovating your home or wanting to keep up with décor trends, this article will explore the different types of door handles available to help you decide which is best for your next project.

Door Lever Handles

Door levers, also known as lever handles, are the most common door handle and are widely used in residential homes and public buildings. There are two types of this handle, lever handles on backplate and lever handles on rose.

Lever handles on the backplate are traditional door handles and are supplied with a long, usually rectangular backplate. The backplate is where you can get creative – either opt for a plain style or one that’s more decorative depending on the look you’re going for. You can also get a lever and a lock, a thumb turn lock usually used for bathrooms, or a lever latch used for doors that don’t need to be locked.

Lever on rose handles are much more modern door handles that aren’t as big as backplates. The handles sit on a circular or square rose and are operated with a latch. They don’t come with locks, but these can be fixed separately when needed.

Available in a variety of finishes, from chrome to bronze and everything in between, you can find a look that’ll match the style you’re after with lever handles.

Pull Handles

Door pull handles are great for passage doors or for doors that can only be pushed or pulled open. There are a variety of types of pull handles which include:

  • Pull handles on rose: this type offers a more modern look to a door and is usually fitted onto a round rose.
  • Pull handles on a backplate: a more traditional style. These can be fitted on internal, external, and double doors.
  • Back-to-back pull handles: these are more commonly used in restaurants and commercial buildings.
  • Bolt through pull handles: this type operates with a bolt that goes through the door and is fixed by a nut at the other side.
  • Face fix handles: these feature visible screw fixings which aren’t very commonly used.

Pull handles are also available for sliding doors, operating from side to side instead of inwards and outwards, perfect for rooms with limited space and commonly used for shower doors.


Doorknobs must be rotated to open and are mainly used for internal doors. This type of handle has been used for hundreds of years and is usually spherical.

Doorknob designs can easily add an elegant touch to a room, which can sometimes look much nicer than lever handles. With so many different styles, from antique iron to modern stainless steel, there’s a variety to choose from when it comes to selecting a doorknob to fit your aesthetic.

It’s important to note that doorknobs are usually harder to use than lever handles, so think about if anyone might struggle to use them before choosing this type of handle. The different types of doorknobs include:

  • Dummy door knobs: these are fake door knobs; they don’t have to be twisted to open but pulled instead. These are usually found on cabinets and wardrobe doors.
  • Passage door knobs: these are usually in rooms that don’t require privacy, they need to be rotated to open doors and don’t have a lock.
  • Privacy door knobs: use a twist-lock function that works from only one side, perfect for bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Keyed entry doors: have a lock and key mechanism on both sides of the door.

Still not sure? Mix it up!

If you’re still not sure which particular style of door handle you would like, why not mix and match? There aren’t any rules that say you have to pick one style; you can have different handles in each room to add a unique décor element! It’s entirely up to you. For more inspiration check these 5 unusual door handles.


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