Door knobs and door levers are both types of interior door handles that offer the same functionality with different handle shapes. Door knobs feature either a round or oblong handle that needs to be rotated, while door levers have a horizontal handle that is pressed down or pulled up.
Some people find levers easier to open than knobs since they cause less strain on wrists. But, levers are also much easier for small children to open, so ease of use can be a positive or a negative depending on who is living in the space.
Dummy door knobs and dummy door levers are versions of these hardware elements that do not feature a latch. They are often used on smaller doors or French-door style entrances to closets, cabinets or pantries that don’t necessarily need to be firmly secured.
Most doors come with predrilled holes to mount a door handle 36 inches above the ground, but you can also buy doors with no holes if you need to customize the height for personal comfort and ease of use. You should note, however, that ADA guidelines as well as most building codes specify that interior door handles should be installed between 34 and 48 inches above the ground.
Door levers need to have their handle pointing toward the hinges so they don’t hit the door frame. Door knobs, on the other hand, don’t technically have a direction they are “supposed” to turn. Regardless of handle type, it’s generally more natural for it to rotate in the direction of the hinges.
It’s usually best to choose hardware that coordinates with any existing metal finishes in your home. You might want to coordinate with your current door handles, door hinges, faucets, door stops or cabinet knobs, but it certainly is not necessary to keep all of these the same, as that can look a bit too “matchy.”
For a quick clean a good wipe-down with a cleaning cloth and a bit of antibacterial cleaning spray should do the trick. If you want to polish up your door hardware and make it shine, check out our guide on how to clean household metals to find the right method for your specific hardware material.