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Handles vs No Handles Kitchen Design

Handles vs No Handles

Handles may seem like a minor feature of your new kitchen design but they can have a significant impact on the overall look and functionality of the space. 


When renovating or installing a new kitchen, one of the many design decisions you’ll need to make is whether to have handles or go for a more streamlined, handleless look for your cabinetry. Both options have their pros and cons from an aesthetic, functionality, and budget perspective. 


Over the years we have guided our clients on how to choose their perfect handles but in recent times, many of our clients lean towards handleless kitchens. So, to assist our clients in this decision-making process, we have listed the pros and cons of both handles and no handles to help you make an informed decision.

What is Handleless?

Handleless is as the name implies, there are no handles attached to the cabinetry doors or drawers.


Handleless cabinetry is not a new thing, in fact, they have been around for over 40 years. However, more and more people are embracing contemporary living and modern innovative designs and opting for this simple, sleek, minimalist look that suits their lifestyles.


Handleless can be either a push-to-open mechanism attached to the back of the doors or integrated into the top of the drawer fronts or door such as Sharknose or J-pull finger pulls.


They are perfect for creating that modern luxury minimalist design, with crisp lines and smooth flat surfaces.

J-pull integrated handles

J-pull handles

J-pull integrated handles

J-pull handles

Sharknose integrated handles

Sharknose integrated handles

Why choose Handleless design

Modern Elegance

Handleless kitchens exude a minimalist, pared-back, contemporary design which, allows the beauty of the cabinetry and materials to take the spotlight. Perfect for those who appreciate a sleek and sophisticated aesthetic. 


Effortless cleaning

Without protruding handles, cleaning becomes a breeze, ensuring that your kitchen remains a pristine and inviting space.


Luxury Appeal 

Handleless kitchens have an upscale, designer look, similar to what you see in high-end homes.


Creating Illusion of Space

As there is no overhang from protruding hardware, handleless designs can make smaller kitchens appear more spacious, ideal for those who want to optimise their kitchen layout. 

Disadvantages of Handleless

While handleless design is beautiful, they have a few disadvantages to consider. 

Higher Costs

Handleless is more costly, especially the push-to-open. Expect handleless kitchen cabinetry to cost 10-15% more than cabinetry with handles. 


Prone to fingerprints 

The lack of handles means you’ll end up touching cabinet surfaces more frequently. Be prepared for more fingerprints and smudges to deal with unless you opt for fingerprint-resistant surfaces.


Can reduce storage space

One disadvantage of the shark nose handleless style is the integrated handle requires a shadow line, which takes up valuable storage space. The alternative is the J-Pull integrated doors, they create a similar streamlined look without sacrificing the space as the shadow line is built into the door so that it does not take up extra storage space.

Handles and knobs

As much as we love handleless cabinetry, handles, and knobs certainly have their place. They can subtly enhance the overall aesthetics of your space, especially if your style requires details and character to your cabinets, such as a Hamptons kitchen or Provincial kitchen. They come in an array of sizes, colours, and different materials and styles to suit any home.


Why Handles might be perfect for you:


Versatile style

Handles come in an array of different styles, colours, materials, and finishes, ensuring your new kitchen aligns perfectly with your unique style, be it classic, or modern.



They provide a tangible grip, making it easier to open and close cabinets. Which is especially helpful for multiple family members, guests, or others with mobility challenges.  


Personalisation at its best

Handles add visual interest and allow you to infuse your personality into the heart of your home. Choose designs that resonate with you, making your kitchen a true reflection of your taste. 



Generally, kitchens with handles cost less than a handleless design. The hardware costs are lower and the installation is simpler.



Handles can increase the lifespan of your cabinetry as the wear and tear is concentrated on the hardware themselves, taking the pressure off the doors. 

Weighing up the key factors

Consider your priorities and weigh the pros and cons. If you prioritise a classic, customisable look with tactile functionality, handles may be the perfect fit for your kitchen. Alternatively, if you crave a modern, minimalist aesthetic with easy maintenance and space-saving features, a handleless design might be the way to go.


There is no right or wrong with handles, you could decide to mix and match and have handles on the lower cabinets and no handles on top cabinetry but in the end, the ultimate design choice depends on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and the overall design theme of your kitchen – That’s the beauty of designing your kitchen is that you can truly customise. 


If you are still unsure book an appointment with our team at Vitality Kitchens & Joinery and have a look at our wide variety of handles and handless options on display.

Our Sydney kitchen design experts will walk you through the options and recommend solutions to help you choose the perfect handle to compliment your overall kitchen style.


Contact us online or give us a call and take advantage of our in-home kitchen design consultation.

Upper Cabinets with push to open mechanism, lower with handles

Upper Cabinets with push to open mechanism, lower with handles