Is a Handleless Kitchen Right For You?

9th November 2018by admin

So, you’re thinking about getting a new kitchen? Perhaps you haven’t done this for a few years or maybe it is completely new to you, either way, you thought it would be easy but, aside from all of the “what do I put where?” questions, there is a new fad in town: The Handleless Kitchen. It looks great, people rave about them, but is it right for you?

As with everything in life, there are upsides and downsides to a handleless kitchen. Below we offer some of the pros and cons that should help you to make up your mind as to whether you are the type that would suit handles or no handles in your kitchen life.

Handleless Kitchen


1. Style

Right now it’s all about classic contemporary. Handleless Kitchens offer a sleek and streamlined design, which not only look effortlessly stylish but are also durable, easy to clean and very practical. With so many design opportunities fitting to every shape and numerous materials and colours to suit your style, you can make it look unique to you. Plus, the more uncluttered and streamlined the finished look, the more you can express your individual style.

Handleless kitchen elegant style
The more uncluttered and streamlined the finished look, the more you can express your individual style.

2. It Makes Open Plan Living Look Really Neat

If clean and tidy is what you are looking for, the sleek lines that handleless kitchens and its no fuss aura will make you feel as slick and tidy as it looks. This is of particular importance if you kitchen sits in a wider open plan space, as you can use lines and colours in your dining area to continue the theme to link the two seamlessly.

Seamless handleless kitchen
You can use lines and colours in your handleless kitchen to run into your dining area seamlessly.

3. Hygiene

As well as not having to fiddle around the cracks and crannies of a handle – which are infamous for gathering dust and bacteria – a handleless kitchen is quicker to clean. And who likes spending too long cleaning?!

Hygienic and easier to clean kitchen without handles
Handeless kitchens are more hygienic and easier to clean.

4. One less thing to consider

Handles can change the look and feel of a kitchen beyond all measure – with a need for different sized handles depending on what the unit is opening. This can be quite a long and laborious process and by cutting out handles altogether you can avoid this at the same time as getting a more uniform, cleaner and sleeker look.

5. They take up less room

Because of the nature of a handleless kitchen’s working mechanisms, corners can be tighter and worktops can be flusher than if you were planning for a traditional kitchen with handles – this is one to consider particularly if you are short on space.

6. Children

Handleless kitchens are far less tempting to little inquisitive fingers learning to pull and push on handles and empty cupboards. We aren’t saying that they won’t learn how to use these unit doors and drawers, but you may be saved your sanity for that little bit longer…

7. A Saving On Your Wardrobe

You might think this is a ridiculous idea, but let’s face it, we’ve all caught a belt loop or snagged a thread of jumper by getting caught onto a hook or handle at some point in our lives. Handleless kitchens mean that you won’t run that risk of tears and snags, and your wardrobe will remain as beautiful and in tact as your kitchen.


1. Style

Okay, so we had this in the Pros, but then it really depends on your style and this is something that is very important to consider when thinking about your kitchen design. Handleless kitchens look super sleek and very cool. But perhaps this isn’t for you. Whilst you can choose different colours and materials, the design will still tend to look similar. Perhaps you prefer the distinction that handles can give you and your kitchen?

Handles provide visual design details
You may prefer the distinction that handles can give to your kitchen.

2. Cost

The bespoke nature of a handleless kitchen means that they tend to be more expensive. There are of course cheaper options, but these come with their own issues that we really would suggest you thoroughly research before endeavouring upon them.

3. Cheap handleless kitchens can make door opening harder

German design handleless kitchens will always have a channel recess “L” or “D” rail, rather than a “J” recess. This is because you need to avoid making heavier doors, such as those of dishwashers or fridges, hard to open with too shallow a lip edge. Cheap “off the peg” kitchens often neglect this, making your handleless kitchen a pain to use and often causing scratching and damage to the surfaces from nails slipping – not to mention how irritating it will be for you to open and close the fridge…!

Handleless kitchen cupboard channel recess
Make sure you ensure you have a channel recess to ensure for easy opening of heavier doors.

4. Could They Go Out of Fashion?

Handles have been in our kitchens since the beginning of time. Are they becoming outdated or is the handleless kitchen just a phase? Whilst we are not considering the pros and cons of an avocado bathroom, it might be worth thinking about if you are genuinely looking for a modern and sleek look, or if your style is more traditional. That being said, because of the wide variety of handleless kitchens, you can still have a traditional feel without handles by using wood or matt surfaces and traditional splashbacks and surface tops. You might change your kitchen every five years anyway, but if you don’t, think carefully about where you think you might be and how you might be living in five years time…

Where do I go from here?

Key to choosing your type of kitchen is thinking about how you live, the shape of your kitchen and whether it will be part of your larger living area or kept away, out of sight. Think about the footfall, how much time you spend in the kitchen and whether you want all of it visible. A great way to do this is to look up other kitchens that have your design spec online – whether it be U-shaped, L-shaped or a galley – there is a plethora of ideas on the internet that you can use to create a mood board before you approach your kitchen designer.

Whilst you are thinking about the look, however, you also need to consider the actual design and how it might fit with you ergonomically. Have a look at our article on worktop kitchen heights to make sure you remove the risk of stresses and strains on your body in your new kitchen.

Bespoke German
Kitchen Design

When remodelling your own home, it is more straightforward to step back and allow an interior designer to guide you. This will aid the selection process, ultimately achieving linear coherence instead of a crowded assortment.

As interior designers, we love to gather aesthetic elements and textural samples, bringing it all together once the preferred scheme and layout has been chosen.
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