A bathroom vanity can make or break the look and functionality of your bathroom. As a home renovation professional with over 15 years of experience, I always recommend clients invest in high-quality vanities with useful features. After installing countless bathroom vanities, here are the top 10 features I suggest to help maximize storage, organization, and style.
Deep, spacious drawers are a must for ample storage. Shallow drawers only a few inches deep won’t hold much and will constantly frustrate you when getting ready. Look for vanities with drawers at least 5 inches deep, though 8-10 inches is ideal for storing all your toiletries, makeup, hair tools, and other essentials. The deeper the drawers, the less you’ll have to stack items on top of each other.
Get drawers with smooth gliding action that fully extends to easily access items in the back. Upgrade to soft-closing mechanisms so drawers gently slide shut instead of loudly slamming. Optimal drawer organization starts with the right hardware.
Having adjustable shelves in the vanity’s cabinet gives you customizable storage. Being able to move shelves up and down accommodates items of various heights. Flexible shelving also adapts as your storage needs change over time.
Choose a vanity with a cabinet that has pre-drilled holes for shelving. This allows you to easily move shelves around without any complicated installation. Adjustable shelves also enable you to maximize vertical storage space.
Installing pull-out trays in a vanity cabinet or drawer is a smart way to neatly organize toiletries, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, and more. Trays allow you to access items in the back without moving everything else in front. They also keep your most-used items neatly corralled yet easily accessible.
Opt for pull-out trays with non-slip bottoms to keep items stable. Look for trays with dividers to further organize small items like makeup brushes. Trays are a great way to optimize cabinet and drawer space.
Soft-Closing Doors and Drawers
Any vanity doors and drawers should have soft-close hinges for a luxury feel and silent operation. Soft-closing mechanisms prevent cabinet doors and drawers from loudly slamming shut. Instead, they gently and smoothly slide into place.
This benefit is two-fold: soft-closing hardware is both functional and stylish. Your bathroom will have a high-end hotel feel without noisy banging doors and drawers. Soft-close glides also help doors and drawers last longer without the strain of slamming.
An undermount sink installed below the countertop creates a seamless, elegant look. The smooth transition from counter to sink has a clean, modern aesthetic. Undermount sinks also make cleaning easier by eliminating the lip of a drop-in sink, so crumbs and spills can be quickly wiped into the basin.
Choose a durable undermount sink made from quartz composite or high-quality stainless steel. Keep in mind an undermount sink requires precise installation and may cost more upfront. But the beauty and practicality are well worth the investment.
Built-In Electrical Outlets
Having electrical outlets built into the vanity provides convenient access to power right where you need it. Look for vanities that incorporate electrical outlets near the sink basin to easily plug in daily essentials. This allows you to style hair, use an electric toothbrush or razor, apply makeup, and more without untangling cords.
Built-in GFCI outlets make blow drying and styling safe near water, while also keeping countertops clutter-free. Some vanities even include USB ports for directly charging electronics like phones. Electrical outlets integrated into the vanity are a must for both form and function.
Installing lighting inside the vanity cabinet illuminates the interior to see items stored within. Cabinet lighting is incredibly useful when getting ready in the mornings or at night when overhead lighting is low.
Puck lights, strip lighting, or vanity-specific lighting bars all brighten the vanity’s interior to easily find items. Opt for energy-efficient LED cabinet lighting on a switch or sensor so you don’t have to keep it on all the time. Proper illumination is key for a functional vanity space.
Divided drawer organizers are essential for keeping toiletries, makeup, hair products, and other items neatly arranged. Look for drawers equipped with built-in compartments, adjustable dividers, tiered levels, and trays to customize organization.
Clear acrylic organizers are great for seeing contents at a glance. Non-slip drawer liners keep items in place. Small divided trays create dedicated spaces for items like tweezers, cotton swabs, and hair clips. Proper drawer organizers tailored to your needs keep the vanity tidy.
Faucet with Pull-Down Sprayer
Look for a vanity faucet with an attached pull-down sprayer. This multitasking faucet combines an aerator for regular water flow with a retractable hose for rinsing sink and countertop. The pull-down sprayer makes cleaning the vanity much easier and eliminates the need for a separate sink sprayer.
Choose a faucet with a long hose for maximum reach into the sink basin. Look for solid brass construction and ceramic disc valves for durability. A magnetic docking system keeps the sprayer locked in place when not in use. An integral sprayer adds both convenience and versatility.
Stone or Quartz Countertop
Natural stone or engineered quartz countertops not only look beautiful, but provide a durable and water-resistant vanity surface. Materials like granite, marble, and quartz offer elegance with neutral tones or unique natural patterns. The hard, non-porous surface resists stains, scratches, and water damage better than laminate.
The added surface area of a stone or quartz countertop also gives you space for decor and toiletry storage. Just be sure to properly seal natural stone regularly. While more costly than laminate, the durability and timeless beauty of stone countertops are worthwhile.
Why Invest in a Quality Bathroom Vanity?
After reviewing the top vanity features that professionals recommend, you may be wondering why it’s worth investing in a high-quality vanity. There are several compelling reasons to purchase the best vanity you can afford.
Enhanced Storage and Organization
Quality vanities are designed to maximize every inch of storage space. You get more room for toiletries, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, linens, and bathroom necessities. Superior organization keeps items neatly arranged yet easy to access. No more rummaging under the sink or messy countertops.
Durability and Longevity
Better materials and construction mean your vanity will last for years. Look for furniture-grade cabinets, soft-close hardware, water-resistant countertops, and traditional styling for a timeless look. The initial investment will pay off in durability, functionality, and longevity.
Improved Resale Value
High-end bathroom improvements like a luxury vanity can greatly boost your home’s resale value. Homebuyers are willing to pay more for elegant finishes and smart storage. Quality granite or quartz countertops also appeal to buyers. Think of a vanity upgrade as adding value to your largest investment.
Luxurious, Spa-Like Ambiance
Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re primping and preparing in a relaxing, spa-like space every morning? The right vanity provides a pleasant way to start your day. Soft-closing drawers, cabinet lighting, and elegant finishes transform your bathroom into a soothing retreat.
Perfectly Tailored to You
Investing in custom or semi-custom cabinetry allows you to customize the vanity to your exact storage needs, tastes, and preferences. Every inch of the vanity is designed around you. Personalized storage solutions make your daily routine easier and more enjoyable.
Key Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Vanity
With all of the options on the market, choosing a new bathroom vanity can feel overwhelming. Keep the following factors in mind as you shop to help find the perfect vanity for your needs:
Bathroom Size and Layout
Consider the dimensions of your bathroom as well as the location of doors and windows when selecting a vanity size. Measure to ensure enough clearance is left for doors and drawers to fully open. Also account for appropriate traffic flow around the vanity.
Think about what you need to store in and around the vanity. This includes toiletries, cosmetics, hair appliances, linens, medications, cleaning supplies, and more. Opt for maximum drawer space, cabinet depth, and countertop area.
Look for furniture-grade cabinets with durable finishes and soft-close hardware. Water-resistant countertops like quartz composite or granite are best for bathrooms. Quality materials will withstand moisture and everyday wear and tear.
Faucet and Sink
Select a faucet and sink that fit your bathroom’s style. Vessel sinks demand attention, while undermount sinks blend seamlessly into countertops. Choose a durable sink material like vitreous china, porcelain, or stainless steel.
Choose a vanity that aligns with your personal taste. Contemporary styling works well with modern decor, while traditional cabinetry fits classics motifs. Factor in the vanity’s finishes, hardware, and countertop material too.
Proper vanity lighting ensures you can clearly see your reflection. Allow room for lighting fixtures above or surrounding the mirror. Built-in LED cabinet lighting also illuminates the vanity’s interior.
Bathroom vanities span a wide range of prices. Set a realistic budget and remember more custom options mean a higher price. Focus on quality over size if space is limited. Investing in luxury materials will add value.
Top Tips for Maximizing Vanity Storage and Organization
Once you’ve selected the perfect vanity, it’s time to optimize the storage and get organized. Follow these top tips to make the most of every inch of space:
Strategically place most-used items
Keep your most frequently accessed beauty products, toiletries, and tools in the top drawers or easy-to-reach cabinets. Reserve the bottom drawers for spare or overflow items.
Use trays and baskets
Clear acrylic trays, woven baskets, and storage boxes corral related items. They make grabbing items quick and keep the vanity tidy.
Try drawer dividers
Adjustable dividers customize drawers to store items of different sizes. Smaller divided trays organize everything from makeup brushes to nail polish.
Take advantage of vertical space
Install pull-out cabinets, spinning corner lazy susans, and adjustable shelves to fully utilize vertical storage. This opens up valuable space between stacked shelves.
Add hooks and mounting strips
Install hooks, rails, and double-sided strips inside cabinets to hang spray bottles, blow dryers, and other items. Mounting strips securely hold containers upright.
Limit surface clutter
Only keep daily essentials out on the countertop. Store extra items out of sight in drawers, cabinets and baskets so counters stay clean.
Opt for vanity-specific organizers
Specialized vanity accessories like drawer dividers, countertop acrylic organizers, hair appliance holders, and under-sink caddies keep items tidy and accessible.
Go through toiletries, cosmetics, and medications a few times a year and purge anything expired or seldom used. Donating unopened items declutters space.
Give every type of item a dedicated space like assigning a drawer for cosmetics, a cabinet for first aid, etc. Consistency makes finding things fast.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bathroom Vanities
Many homeowners have additional questions when selecting a new bathroom vanity. Here are answers to some of the most common queries:
What is the standard vanity size?
The most common vanity widths are 24, 30, 36, 48, and 60 inches. Depth is usually between 18-24 inches. Pick appropriate dimensions based on your bathroom layout.
What height should a vanity be?
Standard vanity heights range from 31-36 inches. Measure the current vanity height or distance from the floor to average user’s waist to determine ideal height.
Should I choose a single or double vanity?
Double vanities provide his and hers storage and sink space. But a single vanity optimizes space in smaller baths. Decide based on your storage needs and bathroom footprint.
How much space should be around a vanity?
Leave 15-18 inches of clearance between the vanity and toilet. Allow 36 inches between vanity edges and doors or other obstacles so doors fully open.
What materials are best for bathroom vanities?
Look for moisture-resistant wood veneers, plywood, or medium density fiberboard (MDF) for cabinetry. Choose granite, quartz, or laminate for the countertop.
Should I install the vanity before or after flooring?
For easiest installation, install flooring first, then the vanity. This allows the vanity to sit directly on the finished floor.
What lighting works best for bathroom vanities?
Wall-mounted sconces on each side of the mirror sufficiently light the face for grooming. Undercabinet LED strips illuminate the countertop.
How much does a bathroom vanity cost?
Prices range widely from $200 – $2,000+. Cost depends on size, materials, custom designs, and included features like sinks and faucets.
What should I store in a bathroom vanity?
Vanities offer ideal storage for toiletries, towels, cleaning supplies, first aid items, toilet paper, cosmetics, hair styling tools, medications, soaps, lotions, and more necessities.
Incorporating high-quality design, luxe materials, and smart organization makes a bathroom vanity both functional and beautiful. By investing in the top features pros recommend, your vanity will perfectly meet your storage needs while adding value and style. Use these expert tips when evaluating bathroom vanities to help select the perfect one for your space and lifestyle needs. With a little thoughtful planning, you can create a vanity area you’ll enjoy using every day.