It has been reported that the percentage of lever door openers in homes is increasing year by year, and the percentage of doorknobs is falling. Levers now make up only 15% of all home door openers, but levers are gaining fast.
Aside from decorative features, levers have one big advantage over doorknobs, and that is the ease with which disabled people can operate them. Many Americans are simply unable to grasp and twist a doorknob. But almost anyone can operate a door lever — with an open hand, a fist, or even an elbow.
The only drawback I have found with levers is that they can be operated by a toddler, or even (surprisingly) by a cat!
Levers are far more popular in public buildings because one requirement of the Americans With Disabilities Act is that doors to buildings accessible by the public must be “usable with one hand, without tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist.”
If you are doing any home remodeling or redecorating, please consider replacing doorknobs with levers. As you age, you will appreciate the levers more, and so will your guests and family members.