From oil rubbed bronze knobs to stainless steel bar cabinet pulls, there are so many knobs and pulls that you can add to your kitchen cabinets. Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen or simply refacing your cabinets, the hardware for cabinets is an essential detail that cannot be overlooked.
Hardware on cabinets needs to have the right look and overall aesthetic for your kitchen while simultaneously being convenient and easy-to-use when you’re in the middle of cooking. But what kitchen cabinet hardware is popular these days, and how does it all work?
In this Kitchen Infinity guide we break down 16 of the most popular kitchen knobs and pulls of 2021. And tell you where to find them!
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Top 16 Most Popular Kitchen Cabinet Knobs and Pulls
Whether you’re going for a classic or modern kitchen design, these pieces of elegant kitchen hardware could be exactly the cabinet hardware you need to make your kitchen cabinets pop:
1. Mushroom Cabinet Knobs (Brushed Satin Nickel)
One of the most classic knob styles you’re ever going to find, mushroom cabinet knobs are incredibly popular and continue to stand the test of time.
Best suited to smaller kitchen cabinets and wall cabinets, these handy pieces of cabinet hardware are available in a range of finishes, though the brushed satin nickel knobs are perfect for a sleek, modern kitchen (especially paired with white cabinets)
2. Center to Center Bar Pull (Stainless Steel)
If you’re a fan of simplicity, then these stainless steel bar pulls are just the ticket for you. Designed with clean lines for functionality and a low-key look, these simple bar pulls have been seen in modern kitchen designs for well over a decade at this point, working as both drawer and cabinet hardware depending on the size.
Stainless steel also has the advantage of being very durable and easy to clean, which is important in any cooking space.
3. Arendal Cup Pull (Oil Rubbed Bronze)
A common sight in transitional and classic style kitchens, oil rubbed bronze cup pulls harken back to a bygone era of simpler, more rustic design. When paired with a white shaker style cabinet or old-fashioned drawers, these oil-rubbed bronze cup pulls give your cooking space a hint of drama and old-school charm.
Just remember that they’re not ideal for cleaning due to their shape.
4. Black Marble & Polished Nickel Knob
Made from Italian Carrara Marble and Polished Nickel, this lovely kitchen cabinet hardware adds a feeling of opulence to any cooking space, especially when paired with a matching Carrara Granite countertop.
Regardless, these knobs make quite the fashion statement on their own.
5. Princetonian Bar Pull (Brushed Satin Nickel)
Looking right at home in both modern and classic kitchens, these unique bar pulls can be made to look new or old depending on the cabinets you pair them with.
On sleek glossy cabinets, this cabinet hardware feels futuristic, but on polished wood cabinetry, these bar pulls have a 1970s-esque retro feel.
6. Clarity Clear Glass Knob
Glass knobs definitely don’t work for every kitchen, but if you’ve got an all-white kitchen design that you want to “bling up” a little bit, these clear glass knobs have a matte finish with a polished chrome base that tones down the “bling” factor just enough to keep them palatable.
7. Esquire Satin Nickel & Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish Knob
Designed as a crosshatch handle with metallic ends, these grippy pieces of cabinet hardware are both practical and stylish.
The satin nickel and oil-rubbed bronze versions are brilliant in transitional kitchens, while the polished nickel and golden champagne versions make a space feel expensive.
8. Aspen II Flat Sided Pull 18 Inch (Polished Chrome)
A slightly different take on the classic bar pull, these flat-sided bar pulls are finished with polished chrome to a very high standard.
Easy to open and very easy to clean, these pieces of kitchen hardware complete the look of various kitchens depending on the look you have in mind.
9. BlackRock Square Knob (Matte Black Finish)
Inspired by geometric shapes, these square-shaped matte black knobs are the perfect statement piece to finish off your cabinet doors.
Made with black bronze, these square kitchen knobs are reminiscent of the 1970s, though the matte black finish is very on-trend for 2020.
10. Tuscany D Pull (Brushed Nickel)
Finished off in an understated brushed nickel, these cabinet pulls definitely belong in a traditional kitchen design.
Perfect for collections of drawers, these pulls have an ornate Italian feel to them that reminds one of palatial European architecture.
11. Alison Value Oversized Antique Brass Knob
Cabinets with hardware don’t always have to be super-practical; sometimes you just want a fancy-looking ornate cabinet knob that speaks to your tastes.
Inspired by antique collections, these brass knobs are popular in transitional kitchens. They’re best paired with dark woods or matte black cabinets for a classic Art Deco-inspired look. However, too many of these knobs can become overkill quite quickly, so use them sparingly.
12. 3-Inch Bit Pull (Oil Rubbed Bronze)
Perfect for both classic and transitional kitchen styles, these rustic-looking oil-rubbed bronze bit pulls are great when paired with white shaker cabinets.
Perfect for farmhouse style kitchens, oil rubbed bronze knobs and pulls have a weathered quality to them that suggests pure coziness.
13. Alison Value Center to Center Bar Pull
Finished in brilliant satin nickel, this modern cabinet hardware would look at home in any contemporary kitchen style.
Simple with a curved designed for easy handling, these bar pulls protrude into the room for a slight accent on more toned-down kitchen cabinets and drawers.
14. Somerset Melon Pull 7-inch (Brushed Satin Nickel Finish)
Feeling very traditional and old-school, these unique pieces of cabinet hardware are perfect when paired with dark matte woods.
Unlike many of the classic cabinet hardware pieces on this list, the Somerset Melon Pulls have a more ornate, luxurious feel to them instead of that rustic, farmhouse feel.
15. Davenport Knob (Satin Nickel Finish)
Complete in a satin nickel finish that is perfect for transitional kitchens, these unique knobs make use of curved bodies and straight lines that could work in your kitchen or your bathroom equally well.
Adding a striking accent to low-key cabinets, Davenport knobs could be just what your space needs to push the aesthetic over the edge.
16. Square Twist T Handle Knob (Steel)
Described by the manufacturer as not just traditional, but “Olde World” style, these unique pieces of kitchen cabinet hardware definitely have an old, old-fashioned look to them.
Twisted dark steel makes these kitchen knobs feel like they came straight from a blacksmith in the medieval era – choose these knobs only if your kitchen design closely matches their theme.
Frequently Asked Questions about Kitchen Hardware and Cabinet Pulls
You can definitely mix knobs and pulls on kitchen cabinets, but they need to have some sort of cohesive design motif that pulls them all together (no pun intended) so your kitchen doesn’t look disjointed and strange.
For example, you might have knobs and pulls that are all in the same finish, such as stainless steel or nickel, helping them to blend into one another. Ideally, the knobs and pulls should also have a similar style or be from the same collection.
There are no rules when it comes to kitchen cabinet handle choices, but they definitely should match the overall look of your kitchen design.
If you’re going for a classic look with shaker style cabinets, get classic-style cabinet hardware to match. Similarly, if you’re going for a sleek high-gloss modern look, you want to go for steel, chrome, or polished nickel hardware that matches the feel you’re aspiring to.
Don’t forget about practicality and how easy the hardware is to clean, especially if you make a lot of mess in the kitchen!
Some of the biggest trends for kitchen hardware in 2021 include:
- Exposed screws – cup pulls with exposed pulls are very trendy at the moment, giving the space an edgy feel
- Glass knobs – glass knobs used to be popular at the turn of the 20th century, and now they’re back with a vengeance
- Oversized bar pulls – these pulls can be more than 21 inches long
- Aged nickel finishes – weathered-looking nickel is everywhere in 2021, especially in stylish Shaker kitchens
- Matte black pulls and knobs – striking when paired with white cabinets, flat black hardware is having a moment in 2021
- Antique-style knobs – intricate antique brass knobs are great for farmhouse-style rustic kitchens
More often than not, choosing between pulls and knobs comes down to personal preference and taste. However, size and function also play an important role in the decision. Typically, knobs are the best option for cabinet doors, especially ones located at chest height or higher, as putting pulls on cabinet doors of this height can make opening and closing them awkward. While this is generally true, pulls can be an excellent fit for cabinet doors that are located below waist height. One exception to this rule is when you have cabinet doors that are extra long or wide. In this case, pulls are recommended as they are better suited to dealing with the added weight of oversized doors.
Furthermore, pulls are a good idea for particularly heavy doors or slide-out drawers commonly filled with heavy items. The reason for this is that the shape and added size of a pull allow you to get more leverage, making it easier to open.
Cabinet knobs can be purchased at most hardware and home improvement stores as well as through several online retailers. For example, I wouldn’t necessary buy them at the same speciality store when looking for the best refrigerator brands, but when shopping around for pulls and knobs, it is best to stick to vendors who are experienced in the subject and understand which knobs and pulls work best with which kind of cabinets and drawers.
In most cases, most cabinet knobs and pulls can be used with dresser drawers and can be purchased through the same venues as described above. The primary item to consider when it comes to dresser drawers is the size and weight. As we covered above, some drawers can be quite heavy, and knobs might be impractical.
White is such a versatile color because almost anything goes with it. However, some colors have proven to be the most popular with homeowners, such as:
- Simple or matte black pulls for a bold yet pleasing appearance.
- Chrome pulls for a softer yet still aesthetically charming appearance.
- White matte pulls for a minimalist look.
- Brushed brass for an understated yet elegant look
While we have covered some of the timeless pulls and knobs, there are some types that have become quite trendy in 2021, the most noteworthy of which include:
- Long pull bars – long pull bars, especially black matte and chrome, are very popular this year as more and more people are choosing to go with oversized cabinet doors.
- Glass knobs – Although glass knobs fell out of style for many decades, new manufacturing techniques and styles have made them more popular than ever before.
- Rustic/wooden knobs and pull bars – The chic-rustic trend began catching steam around 2019 and hasn’t given any signs of slowing down. Some rustic handles are made out of treated wood, while others are made of stainless steel, brass, and even aged nickel.
- Black matte – Even though it is not a new design or style, black matte handles have maintained a high level of popularity in 2021.
Yes! Unless your cabinet comes with a built-in handle, you will undoubtedly require some kind of hardware to open and close your kitchen cabinets with ease.
It is hard to say precisely what is the most popular piece of kitchen cabinet hardware as one’s decision ultimately comes down to style, budget, and preference. That being said, there are a few products which are purchased more often than others, the most popular of which include mushroom cabinet knobs, center to center bar pull and Tuscany D pulls.
In addition to that, matte block knobs are also trending since black goes well with just about anything.
While some styles are timeless and never go out of fashion, every couple of years, a new set of trends and preferences emerge in the world of cabinet hardware. For 2021, some of the most popular cabinet hardware styles include:
- Minimalism: Sometimes less is more, at least according to minimalists, and this sentiment has become popular in the world of cabinet hardware in recent years. Instead of using flashy or intricate designed pulls and knobs, many people are preferring a more soft, understated look for their kitchen, living room, and bathroom.
- Long Pull Bars: Pull bars of 21 inches or more are more popular than ever, especially when paired with oversized cabinet doors.
- Black on White: Even though it’s been around for decades, the classic white shaker-style cabinets juxtaposed with black hardware are still trendy.
- Brass Hardware: Although more expensive than aluminum or stainless steel, many people love the rich color that brass offers, especially when used as a pull or knob. When choosing brass fixtures, it is important to discern between lacquered and unlacquered hardware. The latter will tend to tarnish over time, leaving it with a rustic appearance, whereas the former is treated to avoid this.
Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.