The ergonomic kitchen: what should you consider

Jul 2021
  • Wall cabinets with lift systems provide all-round freedom of movement as fronts move up and out of the user's way

  • Base cabinets with pull-outs result in enhanced order and clarity

  • Motion and opening support systems make everyday life easier

Ein blondes Mädchen lehnt sich auf eine mit Tellern gefüllte Schublade

Extensive observations and studies by Blum requirements research show that, in many households, kitchen users often find themselves in uncomfortable positions when working in the kitchen. Anyone who has ever had to get down on their hands and knees to find a pot from the back of a base cabinet or stand on tiptoes to reach higher storage knows that the problem is poor ergonomics.

These problems can be avoided during the planning stage with careful discussions between the customer and designer. Basing kitchen planning on ergonomics brings with it numerous advantages:

  • Ensuring good ergonomics minimises the risk of injuries and physical strains that come with a poorly designed kitchen, with doors and fixed shelves instead of drawers, or very high, inaccessible, storage.

  • Processes become faster and more efficient if all items of furniture and equipment are designed with short distances and quick accessibility in mind.

Ergonomic kitchen furniture is the answer

Well thought-out solutions must be introduced as early as in the planning stage, to ensure seamless processes and comfort during everyday activities in the kitchen:

  1. Wall cabinets with lift systems provide full freedom of movement as fronts move up and out of the user's way.

  2. Base cabinets with pull-outs ensure easy access and a clear view of the contents.

  3. Motion support systems promote smooth and practical workflows.

1Wall cabinets fitted with lift systems

Problem: Doors getting in the way

In many households, dishes are still stored in an old-fashioned crockery cupboard. Wall units – fitted with fronts with lift systems rather than hinged doors – are a more ergonomic solution.

A direct comparison shows that doors project into the room and get in the way of the user, who has to navigate around them every time they move. In particular when two people are working at the same time, dodging manoeuvres are simply inevitable. Last but not least, bumping heads on open wall cabinet doors is a frequent occurrence.

Ergonomische Küchenschränke haben nach oben öffnende Klappen statt Türen.

Solution: Unrestricted freedom of movement

Wall cabinet fronts that open upwards solve all these issues:

  • They guarantee unrestricted access and optimum visibility of cabinet contents.

  • The wall cabinet front can stay open during cooking or when emptying the dishwasher – without it getting in the way.

  • The items behind fronts are protected from dirt and grease (unlike open shelving), yet within easy reach.

  • Thanks to the motion support system, wall cabinet fronts close softly and effortlessly, and, with our optional electrical support SERVO-DRIVE, even at the touch of a button.

2Base cabinets with pull-outs

Problem: Cluttered cabinets

Base cabinets with doors and shelves remain in common use today. Items make their way to the back over time, and are forgotten about, meaning the entire cupboard needs to be emptied, on hands and knees, when they are finally needed. This puts a strain on the back and knees. If the kitchen user already has restricted mobility due to age or ill health, using these cabinets can often prove very difficult.

In der ergonomischen Küchenplanung kommen Unterschränke mit Auszügen zum Einsatz.

Solution: Neat and tidy

Base cabinets with pull-outs or drawers make more ergonomic sense. In fact this applies not only to kitchen cabinets, but to any piece of home furniture:

  • The contents of a drawer are fully visible from above, which eliminates the need to kneel and rummage for items that have made their way right to the back of the cabinet.

  • Inner dividing systems such as or from Blum bring additional order to the drawer – everything has its place and doesn't move when the drawer is opened.

Such pull-outs make sense as they are available from a depth of just 27 cm, perfect in the bathroom for example. However, drawers up to 65 cm deep are also available to deliver maximum storage space.

3Motion and opening support systems

Problem: Bending to reach handles

Strictly speaking, you don't only need to bend down to take something out of the bottom of a cabinet, the body is already slightly bent even when you open or close a drawer with a handle.

Öffnungs- und Bewegungsunterstützungen bei Auszügen und Türen gehören zur ergonomischen Küchenplanung dazu.

Solution: Electric opening, soft closing

With motion and opening support systems, furniture (regardless of the handle design) can be opened as if by magic, with a light touch on the front with the hand, knee or foot. This is particularly practical in the kitchen, where the user often stands at the sink with wet or full hands and wants to access the waste bin.

A whole host of options exist here:

  • BLUMOTION is a soft-close system that closes wall cabinet fronts, pull-outs and doors softly and effortlessly.

  • SERVO-DRIVE opens pull-outs and doors electrically when the front is touched. The soft-close mechanism is likewise integrated to ensure that everything closes softly and effortlessly. SERVO-DRIVE can also be used as a stand-alone solution for refrigerators and dishwashers.

  • TIP-ON BLUMOTION is the mechanical version for greater ease of use. Drawers open with a single touch and close with an energetic push with soft-close BLUMOTION.

  • TIP-ON – the multi-talented solution for all handle-less furniture fronts. Doors open with a single touch, giving users easy access to the opening edge of fronts. To close, press shut. - For pocket systems, wall cabinet fronts, pull-outs and doors

Ergonomics throughout the home

Incidentally, the solutions shown here are not only suitable for the kitchen; they also ease everyday tasks in other areas of the home:

Eine geöffnete Schublade in einem Kleiderschrank gefüllt mit verschiedenen Kleidungsstücken.

Pull-outs in the wardrobe – especially those with an inner dividing system – ensure that small items such as socks and underwear are kept neat and tidy. Thanks to a special folding technique, shirts and jumpers can also be stored in a drawer and taken out with ease.

Ein Badezimmerschrank neben einem Waschbecken. Eine der Schubladen ist geöffnet und enthält eine Haarbürste und mehrere Fläschchen

Pull-outs are the first choice when it comes to storing care and cleaning products, first-aid items and accessories in a sink unit or a dedicated storage unit - like the SPACE TOWER from Blum.

Ein blondes Mädchen entnimmt ein pinkes Plüscheinhorn aus einer Schublade, im Hintergrund spielt ein blonder Junge mit einem Teddybären
Children's room

Toys, craft materials and children's clothes can be stored in drawers as well. A special bonus here is that even the youngest child can choose their clothes for the day in the morning and help tidy up in the evening.

Eine geöffnete Schublade in einer Garderobe mit verschiedenen kleinen Utensilien wie Sonnenbrillen, Schmuck und Hüten
Teenager's room

Pull-outs are also practical for older children, for example in chests of drawers or under the bed. They can be used to store jewellery, stationery and electronic devices. High drawer backs and side panels prevent small items from falling out and disappearing inside the cabinet.

At a glance: ergonomic living

  • When planning a new kitchen or any other living space, ergonomics should be taken into account from the outset. This will ensure that tasks are performed seamlessly and efficiently, and will protect physical well-being.

  • Wall cabinet fronts with lift systems guarantee freedom of movement as the fronts move up and out of the way.

  • Base cabinets with pull-outs ensure order and clarity. The user can see all stored items at a glance and effortlessly remove them.

  • Thanks to motion and opening support systems, drawers open automatically with a light touch.

  • Applying these principles also results in ergonomic furniture in other rooms, such as the bedroom or bathroom.

Got a question or ideas you want to share?

We'd love to hear from you!

Top articles