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Lock Blog

A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals

What Are The Best Door Knobs For Arthritis Hands?

by Taylor January 16, 2023

Unfortunately, most manufacturers don’t design door knobs with aging people in mind. Most doors can only be operated with full use of your hands, making them impractical as time goes on. Plenty of people will eventually develop conditions where they can’t open doors like they used to. And yet door knob manufacturers still don’t change a thing.

Fortunately, there are other ways to make up for an inability to use most door knobs. Many have developed solutions for seniors that need door knobs for arthritic hands. You have several options when choosing what works for you.

Each of your options has a different installation difficulty. Some are simple additions to pre-existing doors, while others are entirely new installations. Your options are made to match whatever is most convenient for you.

Whatever your requirements are for door knobs for arthritis hands, you’re likely to find a solution that works. Your options also vary on what you need out of door knob installation, so consider your requirements for successfully operating devices. Also, think about if these requirements could change in the future.

Here are your options for door knobs for arthritic hands:

  1. Additions To Doorknobs
  2. New Doorknobs
  3. New Locking Systems

Additions To Doorknobs

Several devices can attach to your door knobs to make them good door knobs for arthritis hands. Installation ranges from simple slip-covers you put over the knob to ones where you’ll need to operate a screwdriver.

Non-slip covers go over your door knob and make it easier to grip, creating solid door knobs for arthritis hands. They’re often made of plastic and covered in bumps for hands to catch on. And some non-slip covers can glow in the dark for those with bad eyesight.

Other non-slip cover types come with plastic “wings” that protrude outward. These allow the door to open with nothing but a finger pressed against one of the wings if you’re having trouble with rotation motions. That said, these still require some finger force.

If that amount of force doesn’t work for you, knob extenders transform your door knob into a lever without you needing a new knob installed. These are often put in place with a screw, though, so you may still need assistance with installation.

Caretakers can install locks for those dealing with cognitive decline. Many childproof locks are available that can be adapted easily for dementia patients. Remember that some childproof locks are designed with short people in mind and may not work for adults.

You can also get accessories for the key. You can find enlarged key holders that make turning keys easier, as there’s more leverage for the hand. These slip onto the head or bow of the key and extend into a “T” shape, giving you more room to turn.

New Doorknobs

You can have your knobs replaced with door knobs for arthritis hands.

The best way to go about this is to replace all knobs with handles. Handles can be operated with a forearm or elbow instead of a hand, making them easier to use.

When it comes to replacing interior doors, you don’t need nearly as much security and therefore have better options. Dummy knobs don’t have keyholes and don’t even need to turn. They operate as something to hold onto when opening and closing doors, making them fantastic door knobs for arthritis hands.

But if you want a lock on your interior door, then privacy handles with buttons are the way to go. These are locked with the push of a button and unlocked with a pull of a handle. This operation makes them very easy to use, even when you can’t fully use your hands.

If you’re living with a caregiver, you probably want something easy to pick in an emergency. After all, the caregiver probably doesn’t know how to open a locked door from the outside. Privacy locks are perfect for this, as you can open them by inserting a hairpin or paper clip into the other side of the locked door. They’re great as bathroom locks and can open easily in an emergency.

There are many easy-to-use handles and door knobs for arthritis hands, and getting them installed isn’t too hard either. Consider whether or not this would be helpful for you.

New Locking Systems

You have two options for new locking systems – you can get a brand-new type of lock installed on your door, or you can get a new door altogether.

A keypad lock is a popular keyless choice. Make sure to get one with a hand lever instead of a doorknob, as there aren’t really any good door knobs for arthritis hands.

You might opt for a type that locks automatically too. So you never have to turn a lock. Some are backlit if you have poor eyesight. And if you’re worried about forgetting the code, they do usually have keys that can override the code.

Smart locks can unlock any time you have a phone in your pocket. Other electronic locks use fingerprint scanners. Both of these can also have backlights and automatic locking.

For door adjustments, make sure your door is aligned with the frame so that it opens and closes with ease. You may want to increase the doorway’s size so walkers and wheelchairs can fit if you currently need one or will need one in the future.

Swing clear hinges also provide more clearance for your door, and you might even consider removing some doors altogether if you realize you don’t need them. Look into ADA compliance standards – these are for businesses, but they could also help in your home.

Replace any sliding doors with french doors. These are much easier to operate and can be made with good door knobs for arthritis hands. If this isn’t an option, keep your sliding doors at least lubricated.

Wheelchair users can make use of manual door closers. These t-shaped devices allow you to open the door near the hinges instead of at the knob. You might even be able to install a motorized handicapped door.


What are the best qualities of door knobs for arthritis hands?

If you or a loved one has developed arthritis, there are a few qualities you need to look for in your doorknobs.

First, levers and handles are better than knobs. You can have knobs replaced with handles, or you can get door knob extenders that transform the knob into a lever. You need to use a screwdriver for installation, so if you have bad arthritis, you’ll probably need someone to help you install one.

You can also get non-slip covers for doors that allow additional grip. These aren’t as good as handles, but they do the job.

What are the best door knobs for arthritis?

Door knobs are not healthy for arthritis, as there aren’t many good door knobs for arthritis hands. If you’re looking for new door knobs, you should instead go for door handles, as they’re easier to turn. You can open them with an elbow or forearm instead of just a hand.

For interior door knobs, you might want to install dummy knobs that don’t lock and don’t need to turn for ease of use.

What makes arthritis door knobs easier to use?

Door knobs for arthritis hands de-emphasize the use of the wrist when operating them. They often don’t need turning motions and can be used through simple up or down gestures.

This ease is achieved either by using a handle rather than a knob or attaching parts to allow handle-like function. Some attachments imitate full levers, while others attach “wings” to the side of the knob that you can push down with a finger.


Many seniors have trouble operating doorknobs in their day-to-day lives. These devices were often not made with any disability in mind, making them anywhere from mildly tricky to nearly impossible to use as you age. After a while, everyone needs some form of accommodation on their doors.

Fortunately, there are solutions to these problems. Many additions can give you good door knobs for arthritis hands. These additions include simple covers that make the knob easier to grip or added wings that make turning easier to even knob-to-handle attachments for your door.

You can also have your doorknob replaced with a handle. Since the handle gets built into the door, it’s more reliable than an outside attachment while also looking better. You can replace your interior door knobs with dummy knobs that don’t need to be turned and get privacy locks that operate with handles.

Finally, you can install something electronic, like a keypad or smart lock. These operate without a key and can light up to be easier to see. You may also consider door adjustments or getting a new door installed altogether.

Whatever kind of adjustments you get for your door, know that you have many options for door knobs for arthritis hands and can figure out what works best for your budget and needs. Rest assured, there are accommodations for seniors with trouble operating their door knobs.

Category: Buying Guides, Residential, Safety & Security

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