Meta description: Learn expert tips on choosing the perfect bathroom mirror, including size, shape, lighting, placement and more. Find the mirror that matches your style and lighting needs.
Choosing a new bathroom mirror can completely transform the look and feel of your bathroom. With so many options to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to find the perfect mirror that matches your style, lighting needs and fits the space properly. This comprehensive guide covers all the key factors to consider when selecting a bathroom mirror. Learn expert tips on choosing the right size, shape, lighting, placement and more to find your dream mirror.
Determine the Right Size Mirror for Your Space
When deciding on a bathroom mirror, the first factor to consider is what size you need. Measure the area above your vanity or sink to determine the ideal width and height. Here are some tips on getting the proportions right:
- Aim for a mirror that is at least as wide as your vanity. This creates visual continuity and makes the space feel larger.
- The bottom of the mirror should be about 4-8 inches above the top of the vanity. This leaves enough room for accessories or decorative objects below it.
- For double sinks, choose a mirror at least two-thirds the width of the vanity but ideally as wide as the whole surface.
- The top of the mirror should be a few inches below the ceiling or any hanging light fixtures. This prevents it from feeling too crowded.
- In a small bathroom, keep the mirror proportional to the room size. An oversized mirror can make the space feel cluttered.
Once you’ve measured, browse mirror sizes that fit your parameters. Scale drawings on the product page can help visualize how it will look. Remember, you can always go a bit smaller or larger if needed. The general rule is keeping it proportional.
Select the Best Mirror Shape for Your Bathroom Layout
Along with size, the shape of your mirror substantially impacts its look and function. Evaluate your bathroom’s layout and existing features to choose a shape that complements them beautifully. Here are some popular mirror shapes and guidance on using them successfully:
Rectangular mirrors are a versatile classic choice fitting beautifully in most bathrooms. Their clean, straight lines offer a contemporary edge. Recommended uses:
- Center over single or double sinks.
- Coordinate with rectangular tilework or finishes.
- Place vertically on a narrow wall for height.
- Pair with round mirrors or sconces for contrast.
The soft curves of a round or oval mirror create a more traditional aesthetic. They also add nice contrast to a space with rigid lines. Ideas for using them:
- Flank a rectangular mirror over a double vanity.
- Hang above round sinks.
- Set in an alcove or niche to fill the space.
- Add visual interest on an accent wall.
Arch Top Mirrors
Mirrors with an arched or eyebrow top offer a graceful, elegant look. They make a stylish decorative statement while also reflecting light beautifully. Tips:
- Use over vanities with arched details to match.
- Coordinate with arched windows or doors.
- Place alone as an accent above a vanity.
- Layer with sconces or wall lamps.
For a more dramatic effect, consider a mirror in a specialty shape like a polygon, starburst or abstract outline. Unique shapes can elevate your bathroom to the next level. Ideas:
- Make a bold statement over your tub or shower.
- Give windows or specialty sinks tailored framing.
- Add visual intrigue behind open vanities.
- Incorporate artistic style on accent walls.
No matter what shape you choose, scale it appropriately to your space. Let the mirror contours highlight existing architecture for a cohesive feel.
Find the Right Mirror Style for Your Decor
Bathroom mirrors come in a wide range of frame designs and embellishments to match any style you desire. Determine what decor look you want your mirror to reflect before selecting the perfect one.
Framed mirrors feature a decorative border surrounding the central reflecting glass. The frame material and thickness make a bold style statement. Considerations for framed mirrors:
- Thin metal frames have a clean, contemporary vibe.
- Thick, ornate wood frames create traditional charm.
- Mirrored frames double the sparkle.
- Painted frames add a color pop.
- Distressed frames complement vintage style.
Beveled and Etched Mirrors
Special glass edging and treatments give mirrors extra dimension. Popular options include:
- Beveled edges – Angled glass borders refract light, adding depth.
- Etched designs – Delicate etched patterns look elegant.
- Mirrored borders – Contrasting mirrored edges reflect more light.
Bathroom Cabinets with Mirrored Doors
An alternative to traditional mirrors is choosing a bathroom cabinet or medicine chest with mirrored doors. Pros of mirrored cabinets:
- Add concealed storage space.
- Create a built-in custom look.
- Reduce visual clutter.
- Offer additional surface area.
Coordinate your cabinetry with other finishes for a cohesive look.
Backlit and Hollywood Mirrors
For extra glam, backlit mirrors feature interior lighting that creates a stylish glow. Hollywood mirrors have bulbs circling the glass for a true vanity experience. Use these mirror types to:
- Amp up the drama and luxury.
- Showcase your spa-like space.
- Brighten a dark area.
- Highlight your Get ready’ routine.
Choose Mirror Lighting to Enhance the Space
The right lighting paired with your mirror can make all the difference in both form and function. Evaluate your bathroom’s existing lighting situation to determine if you need supplemental fixtures on or near the mirror.
Ideally, mirrors above single or double sinks should have sconces or vanity lights installed on each side. Wall mounted fixtures illuminate your face evenly for grooming. Plus, they add decorative style. Consider:
- Swing arm sconces adjust flexibly.
- Vertical lamps save horizontal space.
- Linear lighting creates a modern look.
- Bulb shape impacts the lighting pattern.
Dimmable sconces allow adjusting the brightness as needed.
For a mirror located away from your vanity, overhead lighting can provide the illumination you need. Chandeliers, pendant lights or recessed cans focused on the mirror work well.
Mirrors with built-in LED lights offer another convenient option. Turn them on to provide soft, even light for applying makeup or shaving.
When possible, position mirrors near windows to take advantage of natural light. Unobstructed daylight reduces the need for electrical lighting during the day.
Place mirrors thoughtfully so their reflections enhance the sunlight.
Choose the Right Placement for Your Mirror
Bathroom mirror placement impacts both aesthetics and practical use. Evaluate the room layout, traffic patterns and existing features to determine optimal positioning.
Over the Vanity
The most common spot for a bathroom mirror is centered above the vanity or sinks. Place it at least 4-8 inches above the backsplash or counter. Allow enough clearance below for toiletries and decor.
On the Wall
Without a vanity, hang the mirror on the wall in a logical grooming area with good lighting. Position it appropriately for the primary user’s height.
Over the Tub
For a statement-making look, place an oval or rectangular mirror horizontally above a bathtub. This makes the tub feel like the focal point of the room.
Across from Windows
Placing mirrors across from windows maximizes natural light reflection. Take advantage of this decorating trick to make dark bathrooms brighter.
Feng Shui Principles
In some spaces, following basic Feng Shui tenets can optimize positive energy flow. Avoid reflecting the toilet or shower entrance. Leave space between the mirror’s edges and walls or corners.
Angle slightly to keep long uninterrupted reflections at bay.
Double Check Safety Considerations
While mirrors allow us to check our appearance, they can also present safety issues in bathrooms if improperly installed. Review these tips to protect your family:
- Solidly mount mirrors on wall studs using specialized hardware.
- Consider shatter-resistant tempered or acrylic mirrors.
- Keep glass mirrors away from hard surfaces like tile floors.
- For families with children, dull the edges and corners.
- Position mirrors away from walkways to prevent collision.
Take safety precautions seriously, but don’t let them stop you from finding your dream mirror.
Shop Smart to Get the Best Value
With all the perfect mirror options available today at various price points, you can likely find one that fits your budget. Keep these tips in mind for getting great value:
- Check big box home stores for affordable standard mirrors.
- Search online for specialty shape or backlit mirrors.
- Look for sales, coupons and clearance deals around holidays.
- Consider framing a basic mirror yourself for savings.
- Reuse or refinish an existing mirror for a vintage vibe.
Sometimes small upgrades like lighting make a bigger impact than the mirror itself. Invest carefully by prioritizing the features that matter most.
Enhance Your Bathroom with The Right Mirror
Choosing a mirror may sound simple, but numerous factors impact your options. Start by determining the ideal size, shape, style and placement based on your bathroom’s layout and decor. Factor in proper lighting and safety considerations too. With the tips in this guide, you can confidently evaluate the many mirror possibilities to find your perfect fit.
Displaying an appropriate mirror in your refreshed bathroom completes the space beautifully. Each time you gaze into it, take pride in the thoughtful selection process that led you to the best design. Let your new mirror reflect both your appearance and decorating style for years to come.
How to Choose a Bathroom Mirror: Factors to Consider
Selecting the perfect bathroom mirror involves evaluating several key factors. The right choices create a functional, eye-pleasing focal point that completes your space. Consider these essential elements when shopping:
Bathroom Mirror Shape
Common mirror shapes include:
- Rectangle – Works over single or double sinks. Offers clean lines.
- Circle – Provides traditional charm. Great over round sinks.
- Oval – Soft, elegant curves. Fills alcoves nicely.
- Arch – Matches arched elements. Graceful brows.
- Specialty – Unique polygons, starbursts. For drama.
Bathroom Mirror Frame Style
Frame finishes dramatically impact the look, like:
- Metal – Sleek and contemporary.
- Wood – Classic and traditional.
- Mirrored – Reflects maximum light.
- Painted – Pops of color.
Bathroom Mirror Lighting
Proper illumination is key. Evaluate adding:
- Vanity lights – Wall sconces by mirrors.
- Overhead fixtures – Pendants, chandeliers, cans.
- Backlighting – Mirror perimeter glow.
- Natural light – Near windows.
Bathroom Mirror Size
Measure your space for ideal width and height:
- Width – At least vanity width.
- Height – Bottom 4-8 inches above vanity.
- Double Vanity – Span 2/3 to full width.
Bathroom Mirror Placement
Consider optimal positions like:
- Above vanity – Centered on wall over sinks.
- Above tub – Horizontal for a focal accent.
- Opposite windows – Reflect natural light.
- Feng Shui – Avoid reflecting toilet or shower.
Bathroom Mirror Safety
Prioritize secure mounting and installation:
- Solid anchors – Attach safely to studs.
- Tempered glass – Shatter-resistant.
- Dulled corners – For homes with kids.
- Avoid walkways – Prevent collisions.
Bathroom Mirror Budget
Get the look you want at the right price:
- Big box stores – Affordable basic mirrors.
- Online specialty shops – Unique backlit options.
- Sales and coupons – Holiday deals on upgrades.
- DIY framing – Custom savings.
Helpful Tips for Shopping for Bathroom Mirrors
Follow these helpful tips when evaluating mirror options to find the perfect fit for your space and style:
Think about decor and use
- What look do you want your mirror to achieve – contemporary, traditional, vintage?
- Will the mirror be used mostly for purpose like grooming? Or just decor?
- Do you need supplemental task lighting for makeup or shaving?
Consider scale and placement
- Measure your available wall or vanity area for accurate sizing.
- Will the mirror be hung alone or flanked by decorative sconces? Account for clearance.
- Note any spatial restrictions like ceilings, cabinets or fixtures.
Assess the existing lighting
- Is there adequate natural daylight, or do you need supplemental fixtures?
- Can you install new wired vanity sconces, or use battery-powered lamps?
- For backlit mirrors, ensure electrical outlets are accessible.
- Look for mirrors with tempered glass and softened beveled edges.
- Mount securely to studs, not just drywall anchors.
- If kids are present, dull sharp corners or opt for acrylic.
- Keep mirrors away from heavy foot traffic zones.
- Measure carefully so you don’t have to return mirrors due to size issues.
- Look for online coupons and clearance sales around holidays or change of seasons.
- Consider DIY upgrade options like framing a basic mirror.
- Focus budget on must-have features like lighting and resist splurging on unnecessary bells and whistles.
Bathroom Mirror Ideas by Style and Layout
Explore bathroom mirror ideas suited to popular decor styles and layouts. Find inspiration for your space:
Traditional Bathroom Mirrors
Framed mirrors with detailed wood frames, arches, or metallic finishes bring timeless sophistication.
Ovals and rounded shapes add softness. An oval mirror above a traditional clawfoot tub is a classic combination.
Sconces mounted on both sides provide graceful symmetry while lighting the mirror.
Contemporary Bathroom Mirrors
Minimalist frames in thin metals, or frameless, keep the look clean and modern.
Large rectangles make a statement, especially extending the full double vanity width.
Unique shapes like polygons, stars, and rounded corners add artistic flair.
Backlit illumination amps up the contemporary vibe.
Small Bathroom Mirror Ideas
Ovals and rounds save visual space. A round mirror works beautifully over a pedestal sink.
Clear space around the mirror prevents clutter. Limit wide horizontal mirrors that will dominate.
Mirrored cabinets add storage without sacrificing reflectivity. Coordinate cabinet hardware with other metals finishes.
Natural lighting makes rooms feel open. Place mirrors across from or near windows.
Mirror Ideas for Double Vanity
Spanning width creates cohesion. A mirror filling the full vanity space makes it feel like one unit.
His and hers sconces allow personalized directional lighting. Pick different fixture styles for eclectic flair.
Framed with two panels defines each sink’s zone. Or frame the outside edges to connect.
Varying shapes like rounds and rectangles side by side add tailored asymmetry.
Master Bathroom Mirror Ideas
Backlit mirrors lend a spa or luxury feel for master suite pampering.
Arched mirrors match beautifully with arched transom windows found in many master baths.
Mirrored medicine cabinets offer concealed storage for toiletries and medicines. Maintain symmetry with two cabinets flanking the vanity.
Wall-width rectangles make a dramatic statement in larger master baths. Opt for minimalist metal framing.
Frequently Asked Questions About Choosing Bathroom Mirrors
Find answers to common questions about selecting the perfect bathroom mirror:
What size mirror should I get for my double vanity?
For a cohesive look, choose a mirror that spans as much of the full double vanity width as possible. Around 2/3 the full width is recommended at minimum. The mirror should be installed about 4-8 inches above the countertop.
Should bathroom mirrors reflect the vanity lights?
It’s ideal for bathroom mirrors to reflect the vanity light fixtures installed on each side. Position the mirror centered above the sinks so the sconces illuminate the face evenly for grooming tasks.
Where should I position a mirror without a vanity?
For a mirror without an underlying vanity, look for an open wall area where grooming and dressing logically occur. Still place the bottom of the mirror around 40-60 inches high. Nearby electrical outlets are ideal for supplemental lighting.
What’s the best mirror shape for a small bathroom?
For a small bathroom, curved shapes like ovals can make the space feel larger. Rounded edges are also safer and less prone to cracking if bumped. Avoid wide horizontal mirrors that may overwhelm a compact room.
Should I get a backlit mirror?
Backlit LED mirrors provide beautiful vanity lighting. They work well when existing light fixtures are lacking and make for an ultra-glam statement. Ensure accessible electrical outlets before installing. Backlighting is not essential but offers perks.
How do I hang a heavy mirror securely?
Use specialized mirror mounting hardware designed for the weight of your chosen mirror. Attach directly to wall studs, not just drywall. For extreme weight, use reinforced cleats spanning two studs. Follow all manufacturer instructions for safety and preventing falling hazards.
Can I DIY reframe or upcycle a mirror?