Bathroom Mirrors: A Guide to 10 Types

published Mar 8, 2010
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When we think of bathroom mirrors, our mind immediately goes to the basic mirrored medicine cabinet. It’s a nice, multifunctional design, and we really have nothing bad to say about it, except that there’s a lot more out there to consider if you’d like to try a slightly less conventional look.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
  1. Mirrored Medicine Cabinets: One of the most common bathroom basics, mirrored medicine cabinets combine storage with a reflective surface. Hinged cabinets are a classic look, whether you use one that’s set into the wall or mounted flush against it.
  2. Shadow Box or Ledge Mirrors: These mirrors have built-in ledges, so you can rest bathroom products along the egde. They’re good for minimalists who like to keep everything well edited and in plain view.
  3. Framed Mirrors: One of the most basic styles of mirrors, it hangs flush against the wall—no bells or whistles. Framed mirrors run the gamut from modern to traditional, plain to ornate, and small to large.
  4. Frameless Mirrors: Finished with a buffed edge, rather than a full frame, these mirrors seem to float against the wall. If you want a custom look, you can have a hardware store or glass-maker cut the mirror to match the size of your wall. This style of mirror tends to look best in a contemporary bathroom.
  5. Venetian Mirrors: These mirrors have designs etched into the surface of the glass. They’re generally traditional and ornate, and they look great in a romantic bathroom.
  6. Pivot Mirrors: Mounted to the wall on two hinged pivots, these mirrors can tilt up or down. They’re slightly more flexible than a simple framed mirror, and they have a traditional appeal that would fit in well with a classic, subway-tiled bathroom.
  7. Extension or Swing-Arm Mirrors: If you have a small bathroom with no room for an over-sink mirror, a small extension mirror can be a good solution. It extends from the wall on an accordion or swing-arm mount, which provides some flexibility when you need to save space.
  8. Lighted Mirrors: These types of mirrors fit in well with a contemporary bathroom that needs some extra illumination. They include built-in lighting, usually surrounding the frame of the mirror. The Tigris version shown above is surrounded by a ring of low-voltage halogen lights.
  9. Vanity or Makeup Mirrors: Designed to sit on a counter or tabletop, these small hinged mirrors are mounted on a pedestal and they’re often double-sided, with a magnifying mirror on one face. They sometimes include built-in lights designed to highlight your face while you apply makeup.
  10. Captain’s Mirrors: A round mirror hung from a strap, the Captain’s Mirror isn’t one you see too often in bathrooms. It’s a striking piece that would look great in a powder room that blends traditional and modern styles. If the BDDW mirror shown above is too much for your budget, there are less expensive Captain’s Mirrors out there.