Closed and Locked: The 6 Best Types of Interior Doorknobs for Function and Looks

Ben Kissam
Written by Ben Kissam
Updated May 6, 2022
A little girl attempts to open a door
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Our nod to the best knobs

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Whether you're outfitting a new home, planning a renovation project, or simply just changing out doorknobs, choosing the right interior doorknobs is important for both aesthetic and functional purposes. Not all doorknobs are created equally, so it's a good idea to understand the differences when shopping around.

Learn the six best types of interior doorknobs in this guide.

1. Privacy Doorknobs

A bathroom door handle
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Typically installed on bedroom or bathroom doors, privacy doorknobs eliminate the dreadful feeling we've all experienced of potentially being walked in on during a private moment.

These doors lock using a button positioned either on the doorknob itself or slightly below or above it. There's generally not a locking mechanism built into the door frame itself.

2. Passage Doorknobs

A silver door knob
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As their name implies, passage doorknobs typically separate one room from another. They are similar to dummy doorknobs (more on that later) in the sense that there's no locking mechanism on them. But they may have a handle that turns to open, which sets them apart.

They start as low as $8 per set, but for ones made of thick metal or coated with a matte finish, you may pay extra ($100 or more isn't out of the question).

3. Keyed Doorknobs

A home stainless door knob
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Keyed doorknobs are pretty self-explanatory—you need a key to lock and open them. These doorknobs offer the benefits of privacy as well as increased home security, and can be used in both interior and exterior doors. They include a locking mechanism that can only be opened with a key to protect your home. For indoor keyed doorknobs, you may also select ones that have an additional push lock on the opposite side. These can be opened with a key.

4. Dummy Doorknobs

A white cupboard wooden doors
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All looks, no functionality sums up the dummy doorknob. They're essentially a decoration that can improve the look of doors inside your home.

Dummy doorknobs are best installed on:

  • Closets

  • Pantries

  • French Doors

Dummy doorknobs start as low as $6, but again, can quickly climb in price depending on material.

5. Storeroom Doorknobs

A storeroom door knobA hand holding a door knob
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Looking for peace of mind when you store your valuables? A storeroom doorknob is ideal.

Storeroom locks open from the outside using a key to retract the latchbolt. However, the main difference between storeroom and keyed doorknobs is that storeroom knobs can't be unlocked or locked from the inside. This ensures the outdoor lock stays locked at all times, protecting whatever is behind the door.

6. Entrance Handle Doorknobs

A hand holding a door knob
Photo: Paulo Sousa / EyeEm / Getty Images

Outside of your traditional hand-sized doorknobs, many homeowners decide to install elegant handles and other unique items in lieu of doorknobs on their interior doors. Handle-style doorknobs come in an interesting variety of materials, including:

  • Old pipes

  • Recessed ring

  • Barn door knockers or handles

  • Timber

  • Shaped brass or gold

The possibilities are endless—and let's be honest—so are the costs associated with installing high end interior doorknobs in your home. Ultimately, how much you spend will depend on what styles you prefer and what your budget looks like.

Ask a local door installer for input or a quote on installing doorknobs in your area.

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