How do I Choose a Bathroom Mirror? (Things to Consider)

beautiful lady in front of a round mirror

Many people want to know how to choose a bathroom mirror that would fit the theme, the ambiance, and the overall look of their space.

And although it might seem like an easy job, it’s more complex than you think.

I decided to put this guide up to help you get the best out of your bathrooms.

I’ll do that by giving the best bathroom mirror ideas and crashing it with the latest bathroom mirror trend to go with.

What to Consider in Choosing a Bathroom Mirror

Before you give a bathroom mirror the go signal, consider its shape, size, decorative frames, overall design, and features.

These factors are so important that they complement one another independently.

“A floor-length mirror with an arched top can add architectural interest to the space. It’ll make you feel like there’s a new doorway in the space,” says Justina Blakeney founder of Jungalow and lifestyle expert.

This is one of the things that moved me. Before purchasing your mirror, ensure that you’re purchasing is exactly what you intended for it to be.

Let me discuss these factors so you can further understand what makes them relevant in the first place.

ALSO READ: Best Lighted Mirror for Bathroom

Considering the Shape of the Mirror

wide rectangular bathroom mirror

I would usually always choose rectangle mirrors, whether vertical or horizontal.

Rectangular shapes are perfect for modern bathrooms styles because they cover an ample space.

This type of mirror is used in bathrooms to give a modern appeal, which is perfect for functionality.

But hey, you’re not limited to rectangular mirrors. In fact, for a single mirror, you can choose a circular, oval or other geometric shapes mirrors.

I would suggest choosing the shape that will add to the style of your bathroom [1].

For instance, if you have a long and wide sink, choose a rectangular mirror. If your sink is short, choose a small square one.

Taking Note of the Size of Your Bath Mirror

There is no perfect mirror, and neither is there a right or wrong size, too. Ideally, though, interior designers recommend getting a bigger mirror than usual.

“I would go a size larger than what you would expect originally. A size bigger will make it look more dramatic and can visually expand the space,” says Andrea West, Utah-based Interior Designer.

I usually take the size according to how big and wide my vanity is. For instance, I typically go for a mirror about 2 inches longer than the countertop.

That’ll depend on what style and design you’ll go for.

Having the wrong size mirror can be brutal.

Ensure that you get the size that is just a few inches narrower.

Or that there are a few inches of space between each bathroom component.

READ MORE: How to Prevent Mirror From Fogging

Choosing Between Framed Mirrors and Frameless Mirrors

Another consideration you can make is to decide whether you’ll get a mirror with or without a frame. You can get traditional full-length mirrors with frames for added style, or frameless smart mirrors.

This doesn’t mean that all smart mirrors are frameless –take note.

Frames can enhance or diminish the entire look of your bathroom, so ensure that you choose them properly.

Understanding the Design Elements

beautiful round bathroom mirrors

I always tell people that they need to make sure that the mirror has a beautiful design and fits the overall bathroom design.

The color of the frame needs to complement the wall space or bathroom space. If you have black walls in your bathroom, going with a white or silver frame would be perfect.

Moreover, the contents and additional design elements on the mirror need to neither underwhelm nor overwhelm the entire look.

Going For a Functional Mirror

Last, but not least would be the functionalities and features of the mirror. Most of the time, these would apply to mirrors under modern construction or smart mirrors.

The features include embedded LED light fixtures, anti-fog, light adjustability, storage, and many more!

Here’s a video from Amanda Cotton as she replaces her old, non-closing, non-functional mirror with a medicine cabinet that closes properly!

ALSO CHECK: Bathroom Mirror Decorating Ideas

What Shape Should My Bathroom Mirror Be?

The most common shapes of bathroom mirrors are rectangular and oval. They’re considered the simplest and fittest artistic pieces.

Round and Oval Mirrors

bright led lights around mirror

These bathroom mirror types bring a sense of softness and vulnerability to the room. It gives off a relaxed ambience because of its organic shape.

It can also enhance and reinforce the bathroom design tremendously because of how flexible the shape is.

Rectangular Mirrors

Rectangular mirrors bring out the sense of sharpness and toughness of a given space. It’s more towards functionality because of the wide viewing space.

Arch Mirrors

Arch or arched mirrors are also used in vintage and older models of houses. This shape is for people looking for antique mirrors and a larger bathroom mirror size.

QUICK NOTE: Not all arch mirrors are larger mirrors. The standard arch mirror is a tall mirror with a wide array of mirror frame materials. But it can also be short and compact, just enough to fit above the sink.

However, your options aren’t limited to that. Choose the shape that would complement the look of your bathroom.

Jackie Harris, co-owner of the Puckhaber Antiques in London says that ornate mirrors add a heap of detail and personality to the space where it’s in.

“When you have a lot of clean lines, I suggest putting an ornate mirror. It adds personality, detail, and elegance to the space.”

What Size Should a Bathroom Mirror Be?

a neat and clean bathroom but How do I Choose a Bathroom Mirror that fits?

The perfect mirror size will depend on the size of your bathroom. All mirror sizes couldn’t be perfect for all bathrooms. So, it will depend on your bathroom vanity or countertop.

For instance, if your vanity is about 32 inches, designers would usually choose a bathroom mirror that’s about 1 to 2 or 2 to 4 inches narrower than it. So, your options for a mirror are narrower, at 28 to 30 inches.

If you have bathroom scones or vanity sconces, experts recommend having a mirror about 60% to 70% of the overall vanity width.

How Many Bathroom Mirrors Should You Have?

A single custom-sized mirror for one bathroom with sufficient mirror lighting is enough as it will do the job. It’s usually at a ratio of 1 bathroom sink/vanity: 1 mirror.

Some modern design guidelines have bathrooms in double sinks –some even have more.

This can still call for a single mirror but having double mirrors would be fitter and more balanced.

What Types of Wall-Mounted Frame Material Choices Do You Have?

I also suggest looking at the option of classifying the mirrors you’ll choose by the material of their frames.

Not all mirrors have the same frame style, in fact, many are distinctive just from the frame alone. There are frameless mirrors made from glass, wood, aluminum, acrylic, and even bronze!

Glass Frame Material

Glass frames are known for the purpose of design, elegance, and neutrality. Because of the fact that it looks close to what the mirror looks like, you might find it redundant –even weird.

It’s so generic and neutral that it’ll match whatever style or design you have for your bathroom.

Wood Frame Material

You’ll find mirrors that are equipped with a wooden frame material. This is common across vintage and old mirror styles, as well as styles and themes that link to nature and the environment.

Aluminum Frame Material

Aluminum is a common material in mirrors with LED fixtures and smart mirrors. The most typical would be a 2-inch thick metal frame surrounding the entire edge of the mirror.

This frame material is used because of strength, durability, and longevity of the material. Not to mention, it’s also resistant to water!

Acrylic Frame Material

Acrylic frame materials are also popular because of their sheer strength, durability, and resistance to some aspects like water and heat.

I’ve had custom-sized mirrors and custom-fitted mirrors where I chose acrylic as the material and I didn’t regret it.

Bronze Frame Material

Last, but most definitely not least in this list is bronze material. Thanks to its elegance and sophistication, bronze frames are perfect for an accent mirror in a contemporary bathroom.

Where Should You Place Your Bathroom Mirror?

round bathroom mirror with bright light

As experts and interior designers recommend, the placement of your bathroom mirror should be above the bathroom counter, sink, or bathroom vanity.

It should be about 5 to 10 inches above the sink or the vanity and a few inches above the faucet. If you choose not to place it above the sink or vanity, it should be about 4 to 7 inches from the floor.

Check this video out by the eHow at Home channel as they discuss that the mirrors should be at least 5 inches higher than sink-level.

What Type of Light Should Your Bathroom Mirror Have?

In choosing a mirror, you have 2 options: a lighted bathroom mirror or a backlit bathroom mirror. People think they’re similar –they’re not. So, what is the difference between backlit and lighted mirrors?

Lighted Mirrors

What is a lighted mirror?

Lighted mirrors are mirrors that have lights. The mirrors are usually edge-lit, front-lit, or backlit.

They’re perfect if you have ample mirror space. It’s clean, and neat, and it looks more organized. They’re typically used for makeup, outfitting, or if the user needs to see details on the face.

Backlit Mirrors

backlit mirrors in the bathroom

Backlit mirrors, are mirrors equipped with LED lighting at the backside of the mirror. The lights form following the shape of the mirror to make the effect that it’s separated from the wall.

Backlit mirrors, at times are also used for makeup application. But their primary use is to provide an aesthetic appeal to the space or area where it is.

Both mirrors are special and technical in their own ways. Both would usually have an adjustability feature, an anti-fog feature, and many more!

Before deciding on a mirror to go with, it’s best to check and ensure that it will fit your personal space, it is of decent quality, and it doesn’t come at a hefty price tag!

FAQs

Are Round Mirrors Out of Style?

round bathroom mirror with bright light

No, round mirrors aren’t out of style. In fact, they would never be out of style.
From mid-century to the modern and industrial period, round mirrors are still popular and versatile.

What Kind of Mirrors Are Best For Bathrooms?

The type of mirrors perfect for bathrooms is those that have tempered glass [2] beneath most mirrors’ 4-layer float technology.
Tempered glass mirrors don’t fog, are strong, and don’t easily change under high humidity and high heat.

Don’t Just Choose the Mirror of Your Dreams, Choose the Mirror That Fits!

We have many different ways to choose a bathroom mirror, but understanding the thought process of how it’s done is the best.

Like me, it will allow you to choose the best and fittest type of mirror for your bathroom without the need to call an interior designer or a mirror expert.

square bathroom mirrors with lights

How do you choose a bathroom mirror? Let us know below!

Resources

  • 1. Gold J. Eight Residential Bathroom Design Trends For 2021 [Internet]. Forbes. [cited 2022 Apr 21]. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiegold/2021/01/12/eight-residential-bathroom-design-trends-for-2021/?sh=1170aa174b29
  • 2. Natsoulis N. Tempered Glass: Properties and Applications [Internet]. www.ny-engineers.com. Available from: https://www.ny-engineers.com/blog/tempered-glass-properties-and-applications

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