BATHROOM MIRROR BUYING GUIDE

Updated: Jul 6

From mirrored bathroom cabinets to illuminated mirrors, there are plenty of different designs and styles on the market. So how do you choose the right one?

A well placed mirror can open up the space you have as well as offering extra functionality not to mention style.



You can of course use a regular wall mirror that you take a liking to and mount it in your bathroom. They come in a wide variety of shapes and styles, are easy to install and usually come with their own fitting instructions.


These are the more basic option of mirror and are very affordable but one thing to note is that they tend to work better in a separate toilet that doesn't get particularly humid or steamy as over time too much steam will damage both a mirror and frame that isn't moisture resistant.



FRAMED OR FRAMELESS?


Frameless mirrors are a more affordable option and create a simple, minimalist look and are more common in modern bathrooms whereas those who prefer the traditional style tend to go for framed mirrors. Plain framed mirrors can still look modern however ornate, decorative framed mirrors can be a statement piece adding a pop of colour to an otherwise understated design.


BATHROOM MIRROR SHAPE & SIZE


More goes into choosing how big or small a bathroom mirror should be than you might think. You need to figure out how much space you have to work with so make sure to take some measurements of the wall you wish to mount the mirror on. A good rule of thumb is to aim to have your mirror line up with your vanity unit or slightly wider than your sink. This is so that it is large enough to be functional but not so big that it dominates the room or that it prevents you from using the space for other essential things like bathroom storage or lighting.


As for height, you need to place it where the average adult can see their head and shoulders but it can be as tall you as you like - the taller the mirror, the more angles available and it will help create a look of spaciousness.


How many mirrors you use is entirely a personal style choice but if you have a particularly wide vanity you could have two thinner mirrors as opposed to one large one, this would give you the option to place wall lights in between the mirrors to create a feature and bring more light. For very small bathrooms you might want a mirror that fills the entire wall to create the illusion of space.

If you are designing your bathroom from scratch it is better to have decided on your bathroom furniture first as it’s far easier to fit a mirror around your existing units than the other way around. There is nothing more disappointing than having your favourite mirror picked out only to realise after the bathroom is complete that there isn’t space to hang it.


Although rectangular mirrors are amongst the most popular shape, you’ll find mirrors that are circular, square and oval. Think carefully before opting for a less conventional shaped mirror as it may be trickier to fit other items around it.


Illuminated bathroom mirrors, more commonly referred to as LED mirrors, come with LED lights built into the mirror with enough power to light your entire bathroom and can even mimic natural daylight. Some even feature a sweep sensor which will activate the light in an instant if you simply pass your hand under the sensor.


LEDs (light emitting diodes) don't have a filament so are much less fragile than regular light bulbs. On average they last much longer than incandescent lights and ten times longer than comparable compact fluorescent lights. LEDs are also more energy efficient using around 75% less energy than standard incandescent lights.



Mirrored bathroom cabinets sometimes called medicine cabinets are dual purpose and most of us probably grew up with one in our bathroom.


The mirror acts as a door to the storage cabinet where you can keep toiletries or medicine up out of reach of small children.

Modern versions are a lot less bulky and aesthetically more pleasing with many coming with LED lights and built in sockets.



Many modern LED mirrors are also demister mirrors - designed specifically for use in damp environments. Steam demister mirrors with LED lights are becoming increasingly popular.


We are all familiar with the fogged up mirror that we have to wipe with our hand/towel or wait for the condensation to clear before we can use it properly. A demister mirror prevents the condensation from building up so that even after a hot shower or bath you’ll step out to a clear mirror. This magic happens because of a heating pad behind the mirror that heats the surface up to just above room temperature so that it’s never cool enough for condensation to form.


Shaving mirrors are also becoming popular, normally fitted to the wall close to the sink which saves on counter top space - either with lights or without.


When looking for a shaving mirror, it's a good idea to opt for one with an extendable/adjustable arm and magnifying mirror so you that you don't have to lean over the basin as you can simply move the mirror where you need it.


If you have a bathroom that is dimly lit with little or no natural light then opting for a shaving mirror with LED is a smart choice.


To make shaving even easier, there is now a great innovation - a bathroom mirror with shaving socket.


It is essentially an LED mirror which usually comes with a demister feature as well as an integrated shaving socket which can also be used for an electric toothbrush. These are carefully designed sockets that meet industry standards to maximise against shocks and don't require any expensive electrical work to relocate wiring.


Bluetooth mirrors elevate your bathing experience even further by enabling you to listen to your favourite music in the tub or shower. They are like an LED mirror but come with the added benefit of a Bluetooth speaker than can be linked wirelessly to your device so you can stream music, listen to your favourite podcasts or the radio. No more risking water damage by bringing your tech into the bathroom. Some even come with a digital clock and demister pads are pretty standard.





If you don't like the look of LED mirrors or they are beyond your budget, you could always choose to hang a standard mirror and place bathroom wall lights around it instead.


These are typically hung above or beside bathroom mirrors and come in a variety of designs from traditional to ultra modern. You can read more about bathroom wall lights here.




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