FFF logo website svg



The impact of cabinet knobs and handles on kitchen functionality

Jul 11, 2024 | Cabinet Handles

Kitchen design usually revolves around larger features like worktops, appliances and furniture. However, smaller details such as the cabinet handles and knobs play a crucial role in both the look and functionality of any kitchen. It’s so easy to get caught up in ensuring you choose the most stylish kitchen hardware to match the decor, but it’s also important to consider how they will impact the daily use of the kitchen units.

The kitchen handles and knobs you choose are essential to the smooth running of your kitchen. They can also improve accessibility to ensure everyone who needs to can navigate the kitchen with ease.

By understanding the functional impact of your hardware choices, you can create a kitchen that’s not only beautiful but also practical and user-friendly.

Why functionality of your handles matters

The kitchen is heart of every home so ensuring the components are both stylish and functional.

The role of kitchen hardware

Kitchen handles are the touchpoints you interact with multiple times each day, making the choice of hardware a decision that extends beyond just looks. The right handle or knob design can boost the efficiency of kitchen tasks, making it easier to access pots, pans, utensils, and food. Poor handle choices can lead to frustration, discomfort, and even physical strain over time.

The balance of aesthetics and functionality

The key is finding a balance where beauty meets practicality. For example, minimalist handles might complement a modern kitchen’s look, but if they are too small or difficult to grip, their functionality is compromised.

On the other hand, a more ergonomically designed kitchen handle might not be as visually striking but can enhance ease of use and comfort. The challenge lies in selecting hardware that satisfies both criteria without sacrificing one for the other.

It’s essential they last long term

When selecting kitchen hardware, it’s important to think long term. Consider how the hardware will age and whether it will continue to function smoothly and maintain its appearance over time. Investing in high quality knobs and handles can save you from the hassle and expense of frequent replacements.

Ergonomics and kitchen design

When it comes to cabinet knobs and handles,  ergonomics dictate they are comfortable, efficient, and safe to use, enhancing the overall experience of using a kitchen. Ergonomics in the kitchen focuses on minimising strain and maximising efficiency. Given the repetitive nature of kitchen tasks, well-designed hardware can significantly reduce physical discomfort.

Ergonomic features of kitchen handles

Shape and size

The shape and size of knobs and handles are fundamental to their ergonomic functionality. Round knobs are easy to grasp and turn, making them suitable for people of all ages. Larger handles, such as D-handles or bar handles, provide ample space for fingers, reducing the need for a tight grip.

Grip and comfort

A comfortable grip is important, especially for those with arthritis or limited hand strength. Textured surfaces or contoured designs can enhance grip, preventing slips and making it easier to open cabinets with wet or greasy hands.


Handles should be positioned within easy reach, ideally at a height that doesn’t require excessive bending or stretching. For base cabinets, you could consider placing handles horizontally to improve accessibility.

Design and materials impact usability

The design and material choices significantly impact the usability of cabinet hardware. Popular designs like bar handles, and round knobs are not only stylish but also highly functional. Bar handles are particularly user-friendly, providing a secure grip that is easy to pull even when your hands are full or greasy. Round knobs may require a bit more effort to grasp, especially for people with weaker hands.

Smooth, non-porous materials like stainless steel, polished chrome, and glass are easy to clean and maintain, making them ideal for the kitchen environment. Textured or matte finishes can also be practical, as they hide fingerprints and smudges better than glossy finishes. It’s important to consider the level of maintenance you’re willing to commit to when selecting your cabinet hardware. Opting for materials that balance design with usability ensures that your kitchen remains both beautiful and functional.

more from this category

Measuring & Fitting Handles – A Guide

Measuring & Fitting Handles – A Guide

CC size, Fixing and more… While we pride ourselves on our products’ flexibility and ease of use, there is some terminology you’ll need to understand if you want to pick the perfect handles for your design.  Firstly, this isn’t really technical knowledge - they’re just...

read more
Finishes for Every Purpose

Finishes for Every Purpose

Give your kitchen a premium, bespoke look with our range of finishes Versatility is what we do here! Our range of finishes gives you endless options to tweak and perfect your home to your preferred spec. Aiming for an aged, rustic kitchen? There’s a handle for that....

read more