How to choose kitchen handles | More Kitchens

Published: 16 February 2022 · Last Updated: 22 January 2024

It’s rather peculiar how the small details can have the most impact. The same is true for a kitchen the smallest design details could be the differentiator in a beautiful or visually striking kitchen design.

That brings us to kitchen handles, which are also known as kitchen door handles, cabinet handles or drawer pulls. Typically attached to the cabinet door and drawers in the kitchen, you’ll have caught a glimpse of one whenever you enter a kitchen.

Finding the right kitchen handle for your design is quite significant. It could be the final details that truly project your personality in the kitchen.

It doesn’t end with the design though, kitchen handles, believe it or not, influence the functionality of a kitchen, and picking the right style that is easy to use and a decent size will achieve this.

But picking a kitchen handle for your design is not a process that has to be overthought. In this guide we’re going to go through in detail all the different kitchen handle styles and types and how you can include them into a kitchen design.

Types of kitchen handles

When it comes to kitchen handles we’re fortunate there is an endless list of kitchen handle designs and options.

We have picked out a few kitchen handle options that are popular in kitchens and highly recommended by design professionals to go through.

Bar handles

To begin with we’ll start with bar handles. These are typically a popular choice for modern kitchen designs, and could be the finer difference in detail to achieving a stunning contemporary kitchen design.

Providing practical and comfortable pull options, you can get bar handles in various lengths for either a horizontal or vertical fitting on the front of the cupboards.

Further insight into its design is its simplicity, contemporary, and minimalistic look. Lending itself perfectly to a modern contemporary design.

The more popular colours that people go for when they have chosen this design handle are either chrome, brass or black.

That being said, they can seamlessly be integrated as part of other kitchen designs, but it will take the cleverness of intricate design planning. If you’re unsure, it is an area our experienced kitchen designers can help with throughout Yorkshire, by either book a free design appointment or coming into one of our showrooms.

Cup handles

Up next is the cup handle design. This design is mostly associated with a classic,traditional, and shaker-styled kitchen design.

It can be made from many materials, the more popular ones are metals that include:

> Brass

> Stainless steel

> Nickel

But that is not it. Other materials that can make a cupped kitchen handle are ceramic, glass, and even wood finishes. We imagine that some of those you are most likely questioning which material is going to be the right one but that would just boil down to personal preference, depending on the kitchen decoration and style.

For example, the more popular cupped handle finishes include brushed nickel antique brass, and oil-rubbed bronze. These cupped finishes truly radiate elegance and sophistication, perfectly complementing the classic shaker-styled kitchen designs.

Aside from their beauty, they’re comfortable for people to use with their ease of use, relatively easy to open and close. Making it a more practical handle design for a kitchen due to its user-friendly nature appealing to a wide range of users with small, medium, and large families.

Just like the bar handles, there are a range of sizes of cup handles, and choosing which size will depend on the overall kitchen design and materials used in other elements of the kitchen, but most importantly personal preferences.


The next handle style is the round and charming kitchen knobs. The versatile style can be used to be in numerous kitchen designs and layouts. You can find the kitchen knob that suits your taste thanks to the diversity of styles making it adaptable to different kitchen styles.

You can never go wrong with a kitchen knob. They’re a classic design that has been used throughout history and always buck the trend. This is solely due to their simplicity, functionality, and their reliability.

Another reason for their popularity is the comfortable grip that makes it easy for the user, adding to their popularity. Kitchen knobs are a cost-effective option compared to other kitchen handles.

We do highly recommend choosing a kitchen knob for a contemporary kitchen design with brass and gold knob handles to add glamour and for those who want a touch of luxury for their kitchen design.


Finally, the last of our favourite kitchen handle options is the handle pulls. We wanted to ensure we cover all bases for all types of kitchen cabinets.

Now this kitchen handle option is different. Not to mention that it still has a comfortable grip. What separates this one apart is its extending handles. Yes, they also come in other sizes like the other handles, but we must mention how they’ll be good for those who are big kitchen drawer lovers, as they’re able to sustain the weight of the heavier drawers.

The more common style and finishes of the pull kitchen handles are brushed nickel and polished chrome. More styles are available, but we urge you to consider a coordinated and cohesive design look.

Material considerations

As always you have the option to decide alongside a designer what type of handle you’re considering.

The type of material you’ll want to go for is also a crucial decision when choosing a kitchen handle which we’ll focus on next giving you some of our favourites alongside their best design options.

Satin nickel

The durable and timeless popular finish satin nickel is an option that many go for, its nice elegant, versatile, and stunning look offers a smooth, matte surface finish with a slightly brushed satin-like texture.

Alongside its durability, it is also quite resistant to tarnishing, and really easy to maintain only needing, soap, water, and a cloth to clean it.

Brushed nickel

The more sophisticated version of nickel. Brushed nickel adds a luxury finish to the kitchen handle style.

It shares some similarities with the satin material in how they appear, and just like the satin nickel, it is better suited to contemporary and modern designs and is strong and durable.

The main difference compared to the satin nickel finish is the textured finish. The brushed nickel goes through a process that creates fine lines and a slightly textured surface which is easy to see on the eye.

When deciding on their preferred kitchen handle choice, those who are more bothered about the detail than a brush nickel finish with its clear line and texture visibility.

Gunmetal grey

Moving onto the next material finish consideration is gunmetal grey - a popular kitchen handle amongst modern kitchen designs because of its sleek or industrial look.

One of the many reasons for its popularity is its compliments to a kitchen design, with medium to dark grey undertones and, in some instances, a matte finish.

Another consideration for the gunmetal grey finish is its power to show the kitchen owner’s attention to detail, thanks to its unique distinctiveness.

Other than its visual attraction, we should mention and give credit to the gunmetal grey is its durability. It possesses a scratch-resistant protective coating, making it a worthy long-term investment.

Polished brass

Warm and inviting polished brass kitchen handles, are a timeless and classic option that can add a luxury finish to a kitchen design. In recent times it has been a material that has seen a resurgence in recent years.

Polished brass kitchen handles can complement many design colour schemes and styles. Its adaptability means that it can also pair well with light and dark colours, and even other kitchen features such as taps and other faucets,lighting also comes into play, and even cabinets. It does seamlessly integrate itself with both contemporary and traditional kitchen designs.

Adding to its surging popularity polished brassed handles are a key element in turning beautiful into a breathtaking aesthetic piece.

Some of you would be pleased to hear that they are also low maintenance and keep shiny the majority of the time.

Oil-rubbed bronze

The last option is the oil-rubbed bronze material. This finish is more suited for traditionally styled kitchens or a classic design that includes a hint or two of contemporary features.

The outcome of the oil-rubbed bronze on different kitchen handles is that it achieves an aged-style finish. Hence, it’s a huge connection with traditional-style kitchens.

Its appearance is supposed to look antique and weathered, adding character to the kitchen design and a hint of warmth.

If someone was to walk into a rustic or traditionally styled kitchen there would be little to no confusion about what the kitchen design was.

Matching handles to your kitchen style

Now we have been through many kitchen handle designs and materials, we’re going to put the most appropriate options and match them to the most popular designs.

Ornate classic knobs, as we mentioned earlier, are better suited to traditionally styled kitchens, due to their timeless appeal. They’re a versatile option that typically comes with a warm brass or copper finish, giving a strong sense of vintage appearance.

Contemporary designs are characterised by their minimalistic and uncluttered look and by incorporating bar handles with nickel or gunmetal grey finishes, you can create a cohesive, streamlined, overall minimalist design.

As for a rustic kitchen design, cup handles are its best suitors, with an oil-like finish on the popular bronze or copper material. This finish truly embodies a vintage with its aged weathered oil finish aligning well with the rustic design.

Choosing the right handle length

We briefly touched upon how some of the kitchen handles are in different sizes. So it is important for the overall kitchen design that you get the perfect size and balance to keep in line with the overall concept.

For cabinet doors which are wider than 600mm, we think you should consider using two handles for several reasons. One of the main reasons is that the user will have an enhanced grip making it much easier to use and providing them with comfort. Another is that it creates a more balanced appearance which creates a more visually appealing overall design.

Drawers that are limited to space are most probably best aligned with single kitchen handles to maintain a clean streamlined look. The single handles also mean that less space is taken up on the front of the drawer increasing its functionality. Many contemporary designs go for this minimalist aesthetic look.

Placing the kitchen handles centrally on the cabinet door or drawers can be beneficial both in aesthetics and the functionality of the kitchen. It will be easier to access and will allow users to open and close the cabinets or drawers without having to reach the other side.

Factoring in functionality

There are a few factors to consider when it comes to the functionality of a kitchen handle. The first one is to make sure that they are secure giving the user enhanced control over the handle, which is hugely beneficial for those with heavy cabinets or drawers and decreases possible safety concerns.

In terms of the accessibility of the kitchen handle, it is better to go for a design that accommodates all of the users within the household, this includes taking into though the different hand sizes and grip strengths.

We also strongly urge using kitchen handles made from high-quality materials and that is simply because the majority of them will be durable, keep the value of the kitchen, and particularly for those that have heavier drawers, they’ll be able to withstand the weight and support if it is regularly used.

Considerations for mixed handle styles

Considerations for mixed handle styles(h2)

There is also the option to mix kitchen handle styles in your concept, and there are ways you can include this without overwhelming or creating visual chaos and design confusion.

Firstly it is to avoid the variety and stick to two maximum three kitchen handle styles and pick a consistent colour finish such as:

> Brushed nickel

> Matte black

> Antique brass

With these, you’ll be able to create a balanced cohesive design. This is something that you can go through with a designer if you’re thinking of going for a more eclectic aesthetic kitchen handle.

Seeking professional guidance

You could be in the position where you’re thinking of refurbishing your kitchen or making little changes here and there, and with so many factors to consider when it comes to a kitchen, collaborating with one of our designers could be your best bet for guidance - even when it comes to intricate design details.

A designer will be able to offer advice based on your specific needs and preferences with a possible outcome of a new concept at the design appointment. They’ll even be able to go through the variety of kitchen handles and help you visualise how the impact the handle you’re considering will have on the overall kitchen design.

You must have a long-term kitchen vision and take into account how the kitchen handles you want align with the design.

Can we help you choose the right kitchen handle for your kitchen?

Kitchen handles despite not being a major feature in a kitchen design, certainly play their role in a kitchen and selecting the right style and one that is easy to use, to create a perfect aesthetic and user-friendly kitchen.

We have an expert team of designers who are creative and consider personal style when it comes to different factors of a kitchen design including the kitchen handles. You can book a free design appointment or call us today for a designer to visit and go through the early stages of kitchen refurbishment.


How do I maintain my kitchen handles for long-lasting beauty?

Regularly cleaning your kitchen handles, includes wiping them down with a damp cloth now and again to remove any spills or grease that might occur over time. For stubborn stains use a mild soap and water solution to clear it.

To keep the handles in good condition they must go through an enhanced polish or conditioner every couple of months to keep the shine and protection from moist damage. For wooden handles, it is best to apply natural wood conditioner or beeswax polish.

For metal handles you can use metal polish to maintain them, this also prevents the material from being tarnished.

How can I upgrade my kitchen cabinet hardware on a budget?

A nice and easy option to update your existing kitchen is to give your existing kitchen handles a fresh makeover by painting them or if it is a metal finish apply a metallic finish.

If you have knobs as the handles and are looking for a more modern streamlined kitchen design you can lo swap out the handles for the handle pull option.

Vice-versa if you are after some classic handle options then a trip to places that sell unique and vintage handles will be worthwhile and you may find them at bargain prices too.

How can I incorporate colour into my kitchen handles without overwhelming the space?

Sticking to one colour finish that complements your existing kitchen design creates a simple and cohesive design, and doesn’t overwhelm your kitchen space.

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Senior Designer

Simon joined Passmore’s in the later part of 2017 following 20 successful years at interior design giants, Norwood Interiors, where he designed high quality kitchens, bathrooms & bedrooms.

Starting his career at a young age Simon worked at a bathroom business in Huddersfield where he hand drew perspective design concepts having gained a HND qualification in interior design.

Working in and around the industry ever since, Simon now heads up the design and surveying team at Passmores. Working directly with the More Bathrooms & More Ability brands Simon's aim is to adopt a more collaborative approach making our ‘sales’ processes smoother and more efficient.

Bringing with him his years of experience, industry knowledge, natural design ability and creative flare Simon is also keen to keep a firm hand in designing and surveying projects for our domestic customers.

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