Is This Material Swap the Secret to Warding Off Germs During the Pandemic?

NYC apartment developers seem to think so.
Lydia Geisel Avatar
gray kitchen with copper faucet

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As far as aesthetics go, copper is easily the most versatile member of the metal family. It can appear soft and playful when paired with pink furnishings, or edgy and industrial in the form of a range hood and exposed pipes. But there’s another reason to love the finish. A March report from the National Institutes of Health revealed that COVID-19 is detectable for only up to four hours on copper, compared to two or three days on plastic and stainless steel. In a time when touching doorknobs feels, well, risky, this news has us considering making simple swaps in the future. And we’re not the only ones.

According to a September New York Times story, Manhattan real-estate developers, like Gotham Organization and Kuafu Properties, are updating their appliances, hardware, and even workout equipment with copper-based upgrades. (Alchemy, for one, went with antimicrobial barbells, dumbbells, weight machines, and kettlebells from Black Iron Strength.) If you live in a house or if your building manager hasn’t quite caught on to the data, switching our your metals is an easy fix you can tackle on your own. Bookmark these products for a healthier home this flu season and beyond.

For the Kitchen 

Stand Mixer by KitchenAid

Williams Sonoma

Vintage Copper English Saucepan by Coppermill Kitchens


Pull Down Single Handle Kitchen Faucet by Akicon


Christina Double-Bowl Farmhouse Sink

Signature Hardware

We first saw the copper kitchen trend this past spring, when fashion designer Alexa Chung decided to put a copper sink, faucet, and backsplash in her London office kitchen. When paired with rich blue or forest green Shaker-style cabinets, the material reads old-world, though it could easily skew contemporary alongside Carrara marble countertops and open oakwood shelves.  

For Everything Else

Pendant Hardwire u0026 Bell Shaped Shade

Pottery Barn

Edgecliff Appliance Pull


Copper-Plated Crowe Utility Cart by Blackhouse



Black Iron Strength

Dress up a basic IKEA credenza with Pottery Barn’s sleek pulls, or if shiny isn’t your thing, go dark with a vintage-looking bar cart to safely serve your drinks. If you lead an active lifestyle, don’t forget to upgrade your weights—Iron Strength’s kettlebells come in antimicrobial copper perfect for fighting off germs.

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Lydia Geisel Avatar

Lydia Geisel

Home Editor

Lydia Geisel has been on the editorial team at Domino since 2017. Today, she writes and edits home and renovation stories, including house tours, before and afters, and DIYs, and leads our design news coverage. She lives in New York City.