If you’re an avid reader of this site, you probably know that I greatly prefer handles and levers to knobs and handlesets. This is because any entry hardware that requires you to squeeze or depress something causes pain for those with arthritis. That’s why I really like levers for passage doors around the house, and I particularly like Berlin Modisch passage door levers for aging in place.
Even among handles and levers, I’m pretty picky. If you’ve ever watched an older loved one try to grasp a doorknob to open a door, you can understand why. The pain in their eyes is heartbreaking, and you know you need to find a solid, high-quality alternative. Berlin Modisch offers exactly that.
The good news is replacing doorknobs with handles and levers is one of the easiest DIY projects you can tackle. Most sets require no more work than screwing and unscrewing four or five screws and installing a strike plate.
Berlin Modisch Passage Door Levers Seem Like They’re Made for Aging Hands
What I really like about Berlin Modisch’s dummy (non-locking) door levers is that they really do provide a level of comfort for those suffering from arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s not just the material they use, it’s the shape of the handles themselves that prevent pain. These sets also come with a
Regardless of whether you have a hand ailment or not, squared-off door levers just aren’t comfortable. That’s doubly true if those squared off edges are vertical, because pushing down on the lever to open the door requires you to put pressure on a smaller surface area, which can dig into aging hands. The Berlin Modisch reversible passage lever door handle is flat and wide, which means a larger surface area and less pressure. And because it’s flat and wide, it can work for right or left passage doors. This is part of Berlin Modisch’s Classic Series. Two important notes about this set; reversing the handles can be a bit tricky, so make sure you read the instructions carefully. It comes in two finishes, oil-rubbed bronze, and brushed nickel.
Just like the vertical squared-off handle that can dig into your hands when opening the door, I’m also not a big fan of cylindrical door levers for aging in place. Although they are rounded and not as sharp, they still offer a small surface area because the curve creates a ridge that can create an equal amount of pain. This isn’t good for aging or arthritic hands, either. If you must have a lever with a small surface area (whether for aesthetics or some other reason), I recommend the Berlin Modisch slim, square, and reversible passage lever door handle. While certainly smaller than the previous recommendation, this handle does provide a decent amount of flat surface area and doesn’t cause undue pain for aging hands if accidentally gripped. This is part of Berlin Modisch’s Modern Series line of door levers. Like all Berlin Modisch hardware, these lever sets have a high quality feel and are very modern-looking. They come in brushed (satin) nickel or iron black finishes.
The Other Berlin Modisch Passenger Door Levers
As I mentioned—rounded handles and slim vertical handles aren’t best for those with arthritis because of the small surface area, but there are some companies that do them well. Berlin Modisch is one of these, and offers two options, the Berlin Modisch Contemporary Square Passage Lever Door Handle from the company’s Contemporary Series and the Berlin Mordisch Sleek Round Passage Lever Door Handle from its Elegant Series.
I’m actually OK with both these choices, and here’s why: they’re not flimsy or small. Both levers are heavy duty door handles that are reversible and have some extra heft to them. Given the choice, however, I’d probably recommend the round lever, just because it’s more comfortable to grip than the squared-off version. They both come in brushed nickel or iron black.
Berlin Modisch Passenger Door Accessories
When installing a new door lever set, it makes sense to think about the details. And Berlin Modisch offers some nice accessories; their spring-loaded self-closing door hinge and hotel-style door latch are nice little features that can make a big difference.
Spring-loaded hinges are perfect in rooms where automatic closure is useful, such as a garage door passageway, a bedroom, or an interior storm door. Berlin Modisch’s hinges are rounded and offer finishes to match your door levers. I recommend starting with the middle hinge, and be sure to have an extra set of hands to help you place the door during installation.
The door latch is more functional and adds a level of privacy without having to push in a button like traditional knob locks. You wouldn’t think a design this simple could be so sturdy, but it is. The latch is also pretty easy to install—just three screws and you’re done. It also comes with a small, but functional rubber door stopper.
What Should You Do Now?
Swapping out passage doorknobs for levers is a must when it comes to those with painful hand ailments like arthritis. Whether you go flat and wide, round and girthy, or square and slim, it’d be tough to go wrong with Berlin Modisch. The brand offers very high-quality hardware that’s durable and easy to install. Although they’re priced that way, don’t look at their products as budget in any way.
You will need a few things to help complete the job. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to invest in a phillips head screw driver (I actually recommend a screwdriver hand-tool set) or a decent drill combo kit and a wood chisel set to create a functional strike plate recess and/or to modify the latch mortise of your wooden door frame if necessary. If your doorframe is steel skinned and not latching correctly, you’ll still need the chisel, but also a metal file set to ensure the right fit.
That’s it! As always feel free to reach out in the comments or contact me to let me know how it goes.
One of the reasons why I recommend products on Amazon is that oftentimes the product you need is either out of stock or on backorder from the manufacturer or third-party site. I find Amazon to be much more reliable when I need a product fast, because they have access to so many sellers.