Table of Contents
- 1 Popular Types of Bathroom Mirrors
- 2 What to Consider When Choosing the Best Bathroom Mirror
- 3 Our Top Picks
- 4 FAQs About Your New Bathroom Mirror
In addition to your toilet and shower, a mirror serves one of the most essential functions of your bathroom—helping you look your best. Along with your personal appearance, your bathroom mirror should help improve the overall appearance and appeal of your bathroom as well.
Regardless of whether your bathroom has modern, contemporary, or traditional design features, there’s likely a bathroom mirror that can make a wonderful addition to your existing decor. For help in selecting the best bathroom mirror for your home, read on to discover the different bathroom mirror types, purchase considerations, and top picks in a variety of categories.
- BEST OVERALL: HAUSCHEN LED Lighted Bathroom Wall Mounted Mirror
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Homfa Bathroom Mirror Cabinet
- BEST PIVOT: Moen Glenshire Frameless Pivoting Bathroom Mirror
- BEST FULL LENGTH: KIAYACI Full Length Mirror
- BEST TRADITIONAL: Hamilton Hills Large Ornate Gold Baroque Frame Mirror
- BEST MODERN: ANDY STAR 30 Inch Round Bathroom Mirror
- BEST GEOMETRIC: Umbra Prisma Modern Geometric Shaped Oval Mirror
- BEST HIGH-TECH: Bonnlo 32×24in. Dimmable Led Illuminated Mirror
Popular Types of Bathroom Mirrors
The first step in finding the perfect mirror for your bathroom is determining the type that you need. There are quite a few bathroom mirror types to choose from, so knowing the differences between them will bring you one step closer on your journey to finding the mirror that’s right for you. Whether a mirror hangs securely on a wall, pivots on an adjustable base, is attached to a cabinet door, or rests freely on the ground all factor into your bathroom mirror’s form and function.
Wall mirrors are securely mounted directly to a wall. They’re the most common type of bathroom mirror and are available in the widest range of shapes, sizes, and styles, making it easy to accommodate practically any interior design consideration.
Although wall mirrors have the advantage of being widely available, the difficulty involved in installing them will vary based on whether the mirror is framed or frameless (see more below) and the type of framing material used. Several sub-types of bathroom mirrors fall under the category of wall mirror, like high-tech mirrors and pivot mirrors.
Floor mirrors are freestanding, full-length mirrors that rest on your bathroom floor instead of being hung directly on your wall. As opposed to wall-mounted mirrors that only allow you to see the top portion of your body, a floor mirror can give you a full-body view. They’re often equipped with an easel stand for adjusting the vertical angle of the mirror, so you can modify the reflection to highlight different areas of your body. Floor mirrors are also more affordable than wall-hung mirrors of a similar size, making them more accommodating to the budget conscious. The primary disadvantage of these mirrors is they take up floor space, which might be a limiting factor for small and compact bathrooms. Full-length wall mirrors are also available for those with limited floor space, but they’re harder to install than freestanding floor mirrors.
Pivot mirrors are a special type of wall mirror that features a flexible mount for moving the mirror at different angles. The ability to adjust the viewing angle of the mirror makes it possible to view different areas of your face, which can be ideal when fixing your hair or applying your makeup. Pivot mirrors usually only allow for a limited amount of vertical tilting up and down before the top or bottom hits the wall, but some have retractable arms to move the mirror further away from the wall to grant a full, 360-degree pivot.
Suspended mirrors are free-floating variations of the standard wall mirror. As opposed to being rigidly affixed to your wall, this type of mirror is suspended from a moving attachment point with chains or hooks. The visible hanging hardware, often made from either rope, metal chain, or leather strips, can offer an additional layer of aesthetic appeal. Suspended mirrors are usually round in shape to support a single central point of connection to the wall, but can also be made in square or rectangular shapes that have hanging hardware attached to both top corners of the mirror’s frame.
Cabinet mirrors combine two functions in one: personal viewing and bathroom storage. This is an excellent option for making compact bathrooms more space efficient, since your mirror and cabinet storage will be contained in the same unit. Cabinet mirrors can either be permanently installed to the wall or freestanding on legs. The type you choose will depend on the space you have available and whether that space is vertical wall space or horizontal surface space, like your vanity.
Mirrors are only useful if you can see the reflections they produce, which requires light, of course. If your bathroom doesn’t have sufficient lighting, a lighted mirror may be what you need to illuminate your beautiful face. Lighted mirrors are typically equipped with energy-efficient LEDs located on the top, bottom, sides, or all around. Choose accordingly based on the lighting needs of your particular space. Some units will even have features like an internal timer that automatically shuts the lights off after a certain amount of time. The primary disadvantage of lighted mirrors is they’re more expensive than standard wall-mounted mirrors and may be more difficult to install, especially if they’re designed to be wired into the wall.
If a lighted mirror isn’t enough, smart mirrors have even more integrated technological features. This includes digital displays overlain onto the mirror’s surface that can let you adjust the lighting, turn on the anti-fog function, and tell you the time and temperature. Some even have Bluetooth and speaker connections. Unfortunately, these mirrors come with a pretty hefty price tag, so expect to pony up the big bucks if you want these amazing features. They can also be difficult to install, often requiring a professional electrician to hardwire the mirror into your home’s electrical system.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Bathroom Mirror
In addition to knowing about the different types of bathroom mirrors available, there are several other considerations to account for when making your selection. Knowing how to determine what size, shape, and style of mirror will best fit into your bathroom will greatly assist in your search.
The most common uses of a bathroom mirror are checking your appearance and assistance with everyday tasks, such as makeup application, shaving, fixing your hair, or just brushing your teeth. If these common activities will be the primary purpose for your bathroom mirror, you also need to ensure it receives adequate lighting. This can be achieved with vanity lighting or from lighting integrated into the mirror itself. If you primarily want a bathroom mirror to help you to pick out your outfit, a full-length will be your best bet.
Aside from serving a strictly functional purpose, a bathroom mirror can also be used for decoration, with many mirrors offering unique design elements that can act as eye-catching focal points. Mirrors can also make your entire bathroom look bigger and brighter, so consider choosing a larger mirror that will reflect your bathroom lighting for this purpose.
Framed vs. Frameless
Whether you choose a framed or frameless mirror will have a dramatic impact on the overall look of your bathroom. Framed mirrors have frames of different styles and materials that border the outside of the mirror and often play the biggest role in the overall appearance of the mirror. Though framed mirrors were once best suited for traditional-style bathrooms, now there’s a range of modern and decorative frames to suit other styles as well. Framed mirrors are generally easier to install than frameless mirrors, but the frames take up extra space, making them less appropriate for small bathrooms with a limited wall area.
Frameless mirrors are made from a single sheet of mirrored glass that is permanently affixed to the wall with glue or special hanging brackets. Despite their lack of framing, they can have beveled or sandblasted edges to give them more stylish features. The minimalistic and plain appearance of these bathroom mirrors can compliment a wide range of design considerations but are especially favorable in bathrooms with a modern or contemporary style. The primary disadvantage of frameless mirrors is they’re usually harder to install and to move from place to place, if need be.
There’s a huge array of mirror frame materials that can match practically any bathroom decor and color scheme. These include wood, plastic, metal, and glass. Wood frames can look great in traditional, contemporary, or rustic bathrooms, depending on the type of wood, paint, or stain that’s used. Plastic is lightweight, affordable, resilient, and can be painted in any color to match a practically infinite array of design styles. Metals like aluminum, brass, and copper are less versatile because of their natural coloring, but can bring a modern flare to a bathroom. Glass may be a counterintuitive choice for a mirror frame, but sandblasted and colored glass can accent modern and contemporary bathrooms nicely.
Whatever framing material you choose, you need to ensure that it’s rated for moisture resistance. It may be tempting to put a decorative, wood-framed mirror into your bathroom because it’s aesthetically pleasant, but it could possibly deteriorate in the high-humidity environment. In addition to the framing material, a water-resistant mirror will have a backing material that’s rated to withstand moisture exposure. This may include MDF plastic for framed mirrors or a protective silver coating for frameless mirrors.
There are two primary types of bathroom mirror surfaces you’ll encounter: plane and spherical. A plane mirror is a completely flat piece of mirrored glass that reflects images without any level of distortion. This is in contrast to something like a fun-house mirror that has different degrees of curvature throughout its surface to produce the characteristic malformations in reflections.
Spherical mirrors have a consistent curve and radius that gives the mirror a three-dimensional shape, as opposed to the two-dimensional flat surface of a plane mirror. The sphere reflects a slightly-modified image depending on whether the curve is protruding (convex) or indented (concave). A convex mirror reflects light outward to make the reflected images smaller than they actually are while capturing a larger area of the space being reflected. Convex mirrors work the opposite way and will reflect the image larger than it actually is. Concave mirrors have the advantage of amplifying the objects they reflect, which can be helpful when doing things that require greater attention to detail, like putting on makeup or shaving.
The size of your bathroom mirror will mostly be a matter of personal preference, but there are some general design guidelines you can observe. For one, the width of your mirror should be a few inches less than the width of your sink. For example, the mirror for a 36-inch vanity should be between 32 and 34 inches. You might also take the vanity lights into account; ideally, they should be at least 6 inches away from the top of your mirror. The bottom of your mirror should sit 5 to 10 inches above the sink.
Floor and full length mirrors should be at least half as tall as your height to see your whole body. That means if you’re 70 inches tall, your floor mirror should be at least 35 inches long. Since most floor mirrors are usually at least 40 inches tall, seeing your full body shouldn’t be a problem, but it is something to keep in mind.
Bathroom mirrors come in every geometric shape imaginable. There are squares and rectangles, circles and ovals, hexagons and octagons, and unusual combinations of everything in between.
- Square and rectangle mirrors can be hung vertically or horizontally to perfectly accommodate the space above your vanity.
- Hexagons and octagons can make eye-catching centerpieces that can single-handedly update the appearance of a traditional or contemporary bathroom.
- Circle and oval mirrors can be used to complement the soft edges of your existing bathroom fixtures or offer a dynamic contrast to a bathroom with hard angles. You can use a circular mirror above your vanity or opt for an ovular, full-length mirror on your wall to gain a full-body view.
- Distinctive combinations of all of these geometric elements, such as mirrors with rectangular bottoms and artistically-designed, convoluted curvatures on the top, are also available.
A bathroom mirror’s frame, shape, and color will all significantly influence the type of interior design style for which the mirror is appropriate. Frameless mirrors look best in modern and contemporary bathrooms that utilize sleek and simple design features. However, frameless mirrors with a scalloped design or beveled edges can work in modern and contemporary bathrooms as well.
Framed mirrors with intricate designs and dark woody colors are mostly used in bathrooms that have more of a traditional, eclectic, or farmhouse leaning. With these styles, the frame is meant to be a dramatic design feature. Framed mirrors with cleaner edges and softer colors work best in modern and contemporary bathrooms, and don’t possess as much personality as those found in other interior design styles.
Single vs. Multiple
Aside from the significant style contribution that a single bathroom mirror can make, adding multiple mirrors can contribute its own decorative flare. Using multiple mirrors can be especially useful if you have a large vanity, particularly if it has more than one sink. Most commonly, vertically-oriented, rectangular mirrors or oval-shaped vanity mirrors are situated over the center of each sink, but both can also work well when evenly spaced on either side of the central sink.
Regardless of your vanity’s size, whether you hang single or multiple mirrors over it will highlight different characteristics of your bathroom. Multiple vertically-oriented mirrors will emphasize the height of your bathroom and possibly make it look taller, whereas a larger, single mirror will make the bathroom appear to be generally larger and brighter.
Our Top Picks
Now that you know the characteristics the best bathroom mirrors possess, you’re ready to find the perfect mirror to match your specific needs and design preferences. However, if all this information left you feeling overwhelmed with the plethora of options, see if the following top picks satisfy your requirements.
A mirror is only as good as the image it reflects, which could be impaired if your vanity has insufficient lighting. With HAUSCHEN’s lighted mirror, you have adjustable lighting settings to fully customize your viewing experience. It lets you dim the LEDs from full brightness down to 20 percent. To eliminate the guesswork of finding the right level of brightness, there are three preset options, including “warm white” (low), “neutral white light” (medium), or “daylight” (high). To further enhance the clarity of its reflection, this mirror has an anti-fog function that will easily “de-steam” the vanity mirror after you get out of the shower. The defogger turns on automatically with the lights but can also be independently controlled with the included remote control.
Its 32-inch by 40-inch rectangular dimensions make it possible to hang the mirror vertically or horizontally, depending on which complements your vanity best. The electrical components are housed in a waterproof backing that only protrudes 1¼ inches away from your wall. Note that you might need a professional electrician to hardwire the mirror’s power supply, which contributes to the overall cost. Also, this mirror was designed with modern and contemporary bathrooms in mind, so might not go as well with more traditional decor.
If you have limited space and a limited budget, installing a cabinet mirror in your bathroom can kill two birds with one stone. The 18.9-inch width, 26.5-inch height, and 5.9-inch depth is modest enough to fit either above your vanity or toilet, but large enough to store an impressive number of toiletry items. The shelving inside the cabinet can be adjusted for height to easily fit your bathroom essentials, and the bottom storage shelf is 5 inches tall to make everyday items readily accessible.
This cabinet has a pure white finish and chrome-plated hardware, with a mirror installed directly onto the cabinet’s door face. The beauty of this easily-assembled cabinet lies in its simplicity, which will match traditional and farmhouse design styles.
For adding an adjustable element to a standard wall mirror, Moen’s 26-inch by 22-inch pivoting oval mirror will tilt to accommodate different views. It’s frameless design and chrome swivel mounts have a clean, modern finish making it perfect for the contemporary bathroom. The pivot mounts are made with corrosion-resistant material.
Moen even makes it easy to install by providing an installation template, clear instructions, and the hardware you’ll need. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another pivoting bathroom mirror as attractive, affordable, and easy to install as Moen’s frameless pivoting mirror.
If you want a full-length mirror to give you a full-body view when you’re getting dressed, KIAYACI’s 47-inch long mirror is here to help. The mirror itself has a silver nitrate coating that’s shatter resistant, and the aluminum frame naturally resists rust and moisture.
The aluminum frame is available in several different colors, so you can select the perfect hue to match your bathroom’s existing color scheme and decor. You can also choose to rest it freely on the floor or hang it securely on the wall, depending on whether you have more available floor or wall space.
This Hamilton Hills mirror’s ornate golden frame was made to beautifully compliment the traditionally-inspired bathroom. The wide and gorgeous, Baroque-style frame securely houses the rectangular 14½-inch by 26½-inch glass, which has a silver backing for increased longevity in wet conditions.
For maximum functionality and decorative appeal, it can be hung either vertically or horizontally.
It comes equipped with sturdy D-rings to hang it securely on your wall and includes all installation components required for an easy install.
The simple yet striking design of ANDY STAR’s 30-inch, round mirror can bring elegance to a modern bathroom. Whether you use it as a functional vanity mirror or as a primarily decorative feature, the brushed metal, stainless steel frame can add a modern flare to existing interior design elements.
The brushed stainless steel is available in three colors, including silver, gold, and black, and has three layers of waterproof paint for exceptional protection from bathroom moisture. The 9mm MDF safety backing is designed for both moisture- and shatter-resistance. It’s also equipped with D-ring hanging clips for attaching all 22 pounds of this hefty mirror securely to your wall. This mirror wraps beauty and brawn into a single, sleek bathroom mirror specifically tailored to today’s modern bathroom.
Equal parts functional vanity mirror and wall art, Umbra’s geometric mirror can add a unique focal point to a variety of bathroom styles. The 22¼-inch by 16¾-inch mirror can be hung vertically or horizontally. Metallic wires from the three-dimensional frame flare out 3¼ inches from the wall and can be used as hangers for clothes and towels. This adds a multi-functional component to its already diverse range of features.
The spectacular frame, which is available in black, copper, brass, and white, can match most existing bathroom color schemes. All in all, Prisma’s geometric mirror is an affordable way to revamp your bathroom.
If you demand more from your bathroom mirror than merely seeing your reflection, then Bonnlo’s rectangular mirror will add technological innovation and aesthetic transformation to your bathroom. The 32-inch by 24-inch mirror features energy-efficient, LED backlighting; bluetooth compatibility and integrated speakers; and an anti-fog feature—all easily operated with the included wall switch. You can adjust the brightness of the LED lights, and even save your preferred brightness settings with the touch of a button. Since it’s designed for your bathroom, the electrical components are rated for water resistance.
Like most high-tech mirrors, the primary disadvantage is that it’s a little pricey, but is still more affordable than comparable options. Also like mirrors within this category, it might require a professional electrician to install into your home’s electrical wiring. Despite these factors, which are common amongst most bathroom mirrors in this category, this advanced mirror offers advanced technological features at a reasonably affordable price.
FAQs About Your New Bathroom Mirror
If you still have questions about choosing the perfect mirror for your bathroom, consider the answers to the following frequently asked questions.
Q. What is the difference between a bathroom mirror and a regular mirror?
The main difference is that a bathroom mirror is rated for moisture resistance, which is important for a high-humidity environment like your bathroom.
Q. Can bathroom mirrors be wider than a vanity?
For single-sink vanities, the general guideline is to have your vanity mirror a few inches narrower than the width of your vanity; a mirror that’s wider can look awkward and out of place.
Q. How do you choose a wall mirror size?
Your vanity mirror should be a few inches shorter in width than your vanity. It should be placed 5 to 10 inches above the top of your vanity and at least 6 inches below the vanity lighting. For full-body viewing, the size of a full-length mirror should be at least half as many inches as you are tall.
Q. Where do you hang a bathroom mirror?
You can hang a bathroom mirror above your vanity or on any open space on your bathroom wall.
Q. How do you hang a frameless bathroom mirror?
Frameless mirrors can either be glued to the wall or hung using special support brackets specifically designed for frameless mirrors.