Bathroom Mirror vs. Regular Mirror – Is There A Difference?

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Bathroom Vanities classic style

The essential bathroom fixtures such as sinks, toilets, and showers are another integral element in the bathroom mirror. If you plan to renovate your bathroom, simply changing the mirror can completely overhaul the aesthetics. That said, there are thousands of options in the market today. You will even notice that the bathroom and regular mirrors are in separate categories. Both are technically mirrors, so why are they two different classes?

The critical difference is that bathroom mirrors are made from tempered glass, and this means that bathroom mirrors will not shatter into tiny sharp shards, preventing injury. There is also a difference between the style or design of bathroom mirrors from standard mirrors. 

Even after you understand the difference between a bathroom mirror and a regular mirror, there are still dozens of options to choose from, which can still be quite overwhelming. To help you narrow down your bathroom mirror choices, we address all the crucial questions regarding this topic. 

Why Is Tempered Glass Used for Bathroom Mirrors?

There are several reasons why bathroom mirrors are made from tempered glass. The first and primary reason is that it is indicated in the federal safety laws. Tempered glass is constructed with a focus on improving safety considerations, which is that it does not break into a million sharp pieces if it shatters. 

Tempered glass also utilizes a different procedure during its manufacturing process, which implements special chemical treatment before it is molded into its final shape. This chemical treatment gives the tempered glass its ability to not shatter into jagged pieces when broken. Instead, the tempered glass breaks into several “round” shards to prevent individuals from accidentally cutting themselves on the broken pieces. 

An alternative to tempered glass is laminated glass. Laminated glass is also used in creating bathroom mirrors due to its similar properties to tempered glass. Unlike regular glass, tempered and laminated are considerably more durable and resistant to temperature. Remember that standard glass tends to break when exposed to extreme temperature changes.

Regular glass mirrors are also susceptible to fogging and stains, which can be quite a disadvantage if you are in a hurry. All in all, you should try and avoid installing regular mirrors in the bathroom for safety purposes. If it breaks, the broken, jagged shards of glass will be dangerous for everyone in the household. 

Is Having a Bathroom Mirror Mandatory?

Yes, it is essential to have a bathroom mirror installed as it is a multipurpose tool that will help improve the convenience of your everyday routine. For example, a bathroom mirror can help you, groom, apply makeup, wash your face, and brush your teeth. Additionally, a good-sized mirror can also improve the bathroom’s lighting, making the bathroom appear more spacious. 

Bathroom Mirror Buying Guide

Since there are dozens of options available in the market, it is best to go into it to grasp what to look for in a bathroom mirror. But, first, read our comprehensive guide on finding the best bathroom mirror to suit your preference. 

Humidity and Moisture Resistance

The bathroom mirror should withstand moisture caused by humidity as you wouldn’t want a mirror that constantly fogs up whenever you take a bath. Regarding the humidity, we recommend you opt for bathroom mirrors that incorporate beveled-edge frames rather than ones that use metal or wood. The reason for this is that metal and wood frames tend to warp, bend, and rust over time. 

Safety Qualities

Next up, you should focus on safety. As we have already concluded earlier, a regular glass mirror does not provide the protection we are looking for in this area. As such, always go for bathroom mirrors made from tempered glass or laminated glass. 

Mirror Shape

Take note that there are different mirror shapes to choose from as well. Each mirror type has specific qualities that you should know before you decide. Here are the mirror shapes that you will come across:

  • Plane
  • Convex
  • Concave

Plane mirrors are your typical flat mirrors that show your reflection as-is with no distortions whatsoever. The convex mirror features a spherical shape that bulges outward, which creates the appearance of you being further away and is excellent if you prefer seeing a full-body reflection. Finally, the concave mirror also incorporates a spherical shave, except it curves inward, which results in your reflection appearing up close – perfect for putting on makeup and grooming.


Please take note that bathroom mirrors not only come in all shapes and sizes, its price also ranges from less than a hundred to thousands of dollars. The style, material, feature, and brand all factor into the overall cost of the bathroom mirror. We highly recommend not to go for the cheapest models as these tend not to last long and will even cheapen the design of your bathroom as a whole. 

Features and Functionality

Bathroom mirrors do not just offer you the ability to see your reflection; they can add some other functionalities as well. A prime example of this is the bathroom mirror/medicine cabinet model. These bathroom mirror designs will give you extra storage space for medicines, cosmetics, and hygiene kits. 

There are also bathroom mirrors that come with built-in lighting and some that utilize an articulated joint so that you can adjust the mirror’s position on the fly. 

Bathroom Mirror Size Guide

Another crucial aspect of bathroom mirrors is getting the right size, which depends on your desired functions. There are also specific rules for choosing the mirror size, limiting your options. For example, a mirror positioned above the sink must not be wider than the fixture. As a rule of thumb, always buy a bathroom mirror that is no more than 80% the size of your sink or vanity. 

The height of the mirror is also a crucial factor when choosing. Again, consider those using the bathroom mirror, and make sure that it can accommodate everyone. Ideally, the mirror should provide at least a foot of height above the person’s eye line. 

An equally large mirror will do the trick if you aim to make your bathroom appear larger. Still, stay within the boundaries of the rule stated above, and you should be just fine with your decision.

Different Types of Bathroom Mirrors

Besides the shape and size of the mirror, there are several styles sold in the market. These bathroom mirror models offer more than just a way to check your reflection. Those with limited bathroom space will find these features to be quite enticing, so check out this list to learn what other kinds of bathroom mirrors are out there.

Mirror with Medicine Cabinet

Green and white bathroom

As discussed earlier, this bathroom mirror comes with storage space for toiletries, medicines, and hygiene kits. The mirror is installed on the cabinet door, and the whole unit is installed to the wall using screws or a bracket. 

Mirror with a Shelf

Modern designer bathroom with herringbone shower tiling

This unit design is the most commonly found in most bathrooms. A bathroom mirror with a shelf at the bottom can hold bathroom essentials such as a toothbrush and toothpaste. Of course, it can only keep a handful of items, but it does create a sleek and organized look. 


Hopefully, this article has shed more light on the essentiality of bathroom mirrors and how it differs from regular mirrors. Use our comprehensive guide to direct you towards the best possible option that will meet all your needs in the bathroom, both aesthetically and in functionality.