Coronaviruses are responsible for several epidemics, including the 2002 SARS, 2012 MERS, and COVID-19. The emergence of recent COVID-19 pandemic due to SARS-CoV-2 virus in December 2019 has resulted in considerable research efforts to design antiviral drugs and other therapeutics against coronaviruses. In this context, it is crucial to understand the biophysical and structural features of the major proteins that are involved in virus-host interactions. In the current study, we have compared spike proteins from three strains of coronaviruses NL63, SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV, known to bind human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), in terms of sequence/structure conservation, hydrophobic cluster formation and importance of binding site residues. The study reveals that the severity of coronavirus strains correlates positively with the interaction area, surrounding hydrophobicity and interaction energy and inversely correlate with the flexibility of the binding interface. Also, we identify the conserved residues in the binding interface of spike proteins in all three strains. The systematic point mutations show that these conserved residues in the respective strains are evolutionarily favored at their respective positions. The similarities and differences in the spike proteins of the three viruses indicated in this study may help researchers to deeply understand the structural behavior, binding site properties and etiology of ACE2 binding, accelerating the screening of potential lead molecules and the development/repurposing of therapeutic drugs. © 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC.