February 21


Bathroom Mirrors Vs. Regular Mirrors

By Robin Hatch

February 21, 2020

Bathroom mirrors and the bathtub and sink are the most iconic pieces of the bathroom setup.

Bathroom mirrors are different from regular mirrors because they’re made with tempered glass. The tempered glass will shatter into tiny shards if broken, limiting the risk of injury. Bathroom mirrors are also different from regular mirrors structurally as well as aesthetically.

In this article, we will show you the difference between bathroom mirrors and regular mirrors.

How Bathroom Mirrors Are Different From Regular Mirrors

Size Of The Mirror

Unlike traditional mirrors, bathroom mirrors are typically different in size to match the bathroom sink vanity. Often, the bathroom sinks are square in size; this is to stay in relative shape to the vanity.

If we go to homedepot.com, we’re going to see that the first four types of mirrors are what we’re describing. Square mirrors that will proportionality fit above the sink.

bathroom mirrors

It’s important to both size up the wall you’re looking to install a bathroom mirror on, as getting a mirror that is too big will look clunky.

On the other side, a bathroom mirror that’s too small will make guests have to lean over the vanity to see themselves.

For both males and females, it’s important to remember what bathroom mirrors are used for:

  • Applying Makeup
  • Inserting Contacts Into Your Eyes
  • Cleaning and Washing Your Face
  • Facial Care

This is why it’s important to consider size when purchasing a bathroom mirror. If buying a mirror is too big, it may be tough to reach the top corners to clean. If your bathroom sink is a large vanity, have a full range to clean and utilize the bathroom mirror properly.

Also, take in mind the thickness of the mirror. Most mirrors measure at 3/16 inch thickness, which can withstand a good amount of contact without any issues.

Slimmer mirrors may break if struck hard enough, whether by something slipping out of your hands or a door closing fast. It’s always good to plan for the worst-case scenario.

Structure Of The Mirror

Bathroom mirrors come in three forms – with or without a medicine cabinet and having a shelf.

Having a medicine cabinet gives you the flexibility to put small things like contact solutions, toothpaste, and toothbrushes away and distance yourself from the public.

It’s also great to hide your toothbrush from any backsplash from people going to the bathroom for sanity reasons. Having it in medicine will keep it protected and dry from any airborne illnesses.

Types Of Bathroom Mirrors

Bathroom Mirror With A Medicine Cabinet

The medicine cabinet is simply a mirror on a hinge that reveals a small space to store items if you’re unfamiliar. These types of mirrors are great for bathrooms that have children or if you’d like to store medication without having to stuff them in drawers.

bathroom cabinet with medicine cabinet

Above is a perfect example of a bathroom mirror fit for a medicine cabinet. The guests can’t see what you’re hiding in the medicine cabinet.

They can only see the mirror. Store brushes, face creams, contact solutions, and whatever you need to get ready in the medicine cabinet.

The medicine cabinet is a bit outdated, as newer bathrooms will likely be pressed completely against the wall and feature that our next mirror comes standard.

Bathroom Mirror With A Shelf

Bathroom mirrors with a shelf are more common for bathrooms to keep the vanity and sink as clean as possible.

bathroom mirror with a shelf

If kids are present, toothpaste or general face products may splatter all over the vanity. To keep it clean, mirrors are now being built with a shelf where simple items can be placed on them for quick access.

If the bathroom is the place for you to store cologne, face wash, contacts, and teeth care products, a medicine cabinet may be your best bet.

Simply having a shelf on the sink is great for quick access items like a toothbrush or a comb that don’t clutter the bathroom’s decor.

If a few people (1 or 2) are using this bathroom, we recommend the mirror with a shelf as it’s great for easy access to items and looks even better in a master bedroom.

Standalone Bathroom Mirror

Having just the bathroom mirror is common in most 21st-century bathrooms. Storing space is now focused more on the vanities and less on the mirrors themselves.

As mentioned, medicine cabinet mirrors are starting to phase out, and single flat-back mirrors are more common.

Not only are they more common, but there are also more options to choose from and a wider range of options to match your bathroom.

Bathroom Mirrors Compared To Regular Mirrors

Bathroom mirrors are different mainly because of their decor. If you’re looking to purchase a bathroom mirror, ensure that the bathroom mirror trim (if there is any) matches the trim presented throughout the bathroom and house.

bathroom mirror

For instance, this black framed mirror works great with the picture shown above because the bathroom’s black trim allows the color to coincide with each other.

Choosing a bathroom mirror that corresponds both with the trim and modern mirrors is crucial in ensuring your house stays updated.

If someone walks into your bathroom, you don’t want them to feel like they’re in grandma’s house. New and elegant bathroom mirrors can be found here for under $100.

These mirrors fall into all three categories we mentioned above, and most come with a lifetime guarantee if anything breaks.


Bathroom mirrors are different because of their size and match the bathroom decor. If you’re looking to store items in your bathroom, we recommend using a mirror with a medicine cabinet or a shelf built into it.

If you’re designing your bathroom with just a plain flat back mirror, make sure it fits both the vanity dimensions and is centered properly. Make the mirror on the wall just as beautiful as the person looking into it.

We’ve compiled a complete list of frequently asked bathroom questions for new and experienced homeowners.

Our team of experts answers these questions to help assist you through DIY projects and home repairs.

Robin Hatch

About the author

For over a decade, Robin has been a real estate agent, interior design specialist, and mother. Through her trials and tribulations, she wanted to create the perfect website to help you save money and make your home look beautiful.

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