11 Things Everyone Should Have Somewhere in Their Bathroom

published Feb 4, 2023
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All you really need in a bathroom are some basic towels and toilet paper, but it’s those luxe and practical extras that make your primping and preening feel more like a spa day than a rush to get ready before you have to run out the door at 8 a.m. 

And here’s the thing about splurging on affordable upgrades in your bathroom: Bathrooms tend to be small spaces. You’re not going to spend hundreds of dollars on the nice towels or the fancy soap. The difference between the plush, hotel-worthy robe and the less expensive version isn’t hundreds of dollars (okay, yes, I’m sure you can find a $500 robe if you try hard enough, but I’m speaking generalizations here). 

This is a room where you can treat yourself without going overboard and, if you need some inspiration on where to start, here are 11 ideas.

1. Pretty Containers for Q-tips or Cotton Balls

It’s the little details that make your morning or bedtime routine feel special, so why not put your q-tips in a darling little vintage container? Or, if you’re feeling resourceful, grab a small empty candle container, remove the wax and wick, and give it a second life.

2. Hooks or a Towel Rack

There are few things more frustrating than getting out of the shower, reaching for your fluffy, dry towel, and realizing that it’s still wet or, worse yet, damp and starting to smell of mildew. But that’s what happens when you don’t have adequate hooks or towel racks. A bathroom needs room for towels to get enough airflow to dry fully.

3. A Medicine Cabinet

This one is going to be divisive, but hear me out. The amount of extra storage you get from a medicine cabinet is unparalleled. Yes, a decorative mirror is pretty but, if you’re in a small bathroom, where are you going to put your Tylenol? Your floss? Your extra razors? Those shelves will come in handy.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

4. Hand Soap

Who remembers the dish-hand soap dilemma of 2020? Treat yourself and buy some real hand soap. Hey, you can even splurge on this Le Labo soap because how quickly do you go through hand soap, really?

5. A Hand Towel

Because if you wash your hands, you also need somewhere to dry them. Ideally, this is accompanied by some sort of hook or ring right next to the sink for easy access.

6. A Place to Corral Toiletries

From washcloths to nail clippers to face wash, the bathroom is full of little items that need a home. A basket to corral them all not only helps with your everyday organization but it starts your day off on the right foot when you’re looking for the tweezers and you know exactly where to find them: in a neatly ordered and attractive basket.

Credit: Erin Derby

7. A Bath Mat

Your feet will thank you for that warm, comfortable bath mat that’s waiting for you each time you step out of the shower. Opt for a bath mat that looks more like a rug than a towel on the floor for an added burst of style in your bathroom.

8. A Plush Robe

Okay, maybe a plush robe isn’t a necessity in your bathroom, but once you live the robe life, you can’t go back; it makes mornings and evenings so much better. Even if your bathroom has that vintage tile that never quite feels clean — and I don’t mean the vintage tile that technicolor dreams are made of — you’ll always feel fancy when you slip into your robe.

9. Cozy Bath Towels

If you want every day to feel like a spa day, splurge on cozy, plush bath towels that will dry quickly. Get two to three for each person in your household to get you through to laundry day every week (cue the comments on how many times a week you really need to wash your towels in 3, 2, 1…).

10. A Wastebasket

Have you ever been at someone’s house, needed to throw away something personal in the bathroom, looked around and realized there isn’t a trash can? It’s what embarrassing stories are made of. So save yourself and your guests the moment of, “Umm… do I have to walk into the kitchen to throw this away?” and make sure there’s a wastebasket at the ready.

11. Toilet Brush Holder

The toilet brush holder is the least sexy resident of this list but 100 percent necessary. Luckily, there are minimalist options out there for those bathrooms where you can’t quite hide it away.