Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?
If only it were that simple! When choosing the best mirror, it all depends on your space, décor, and furnishings, unfortunately there is not one simple answer for all.
This Buyer’s Guide will take you through the main things you need to consider so you know how to pick the best mirror for you.
Mirrors are magical assets for your home, maximising space, spreading light, and creating focal points. It’s hard to escape the maze of shape, size, material, and type when there are so many options out there, to find the best mirror for what you want it for. Whether you’re renovating a room from new and have all possibilities to choose from or wanting to have a little update and spruce up your space, once you reach the bottom of the page you will be confident in how to pick the best mirror for your space, needs, and wants.
When you walk into a room, one of the first things you will notice is the mirror (if there is one!) because mirrors will define the room it’s in; whether it radiates homely vibes or class and elegance, creates contrast and focal points, or is illuminating the space. Obviously, it’s not only round and rectangular mirrors that are available, you can choose alternative shapes, but these are the main ones, so we thought it best to tackle them first.
We recommend using your mirrors to contrast your space. For example, if you have a room full of straight lines and minimal details, a round mirror would work stunningly, to create variation among the space. This will introduce a softer, relaxed touch to your room also, perhaps even a whimsical feel for those characterful rooms. Round mirrors are great for rooms that have decorative wall art, allowing you to show it off more.
Mirrors in the living room are most often decorative pieces, designed to enhance your space. Round mirrors, with their soft lines, will make an impact without redirecting all attention; they will elegantly sit adding to the room’s atmosphere.
Round mirrors are great in the bedroom to contrast all the rigid, straight lines of your furniture, wardrobes, beds, dressing tables etc., in a minimalistic way. A mirror in your bedroom won’t only enhance your look, but the rooms too!
Bathroom mirrors are a lot more about functionality than any other room, but the same principles still stand, contrast the shapes. For those stylish, modern
rectangular sinks, a round mirror above it looks stunning. Perhaps you’d love a mirror on the windowsill in your shower too, smaller round ones make a great use of space and functionality.
On the other hand, rectangular and square mirrors grab attention with an orderly and restrained look – making your space look very organised and neat. These bold lines make a great statement piece in any room with a traditional look.
If you have a fire place, a rectangular mirror above it would be a great way to make a bold, unmissable statement that accentuates its beautiful architecture.
Rectangular mirrors are great in the bedroom because it’s where you primarily get ready for the day. This shape is more practical in letting you see more of yourself, so you can check out that outfit fully. Full length mirrors, most common in the bedroom, are also predominantly available in rectangular shapes for that fully immersive view.
If you want to create the illusion of space in your bathroom, rectangular mirrors are ideal to raise the ceiling and extend the width of your walls. They will also keep a traditional look to your bathroom, especially impressive in modern bathrooms.
The hallway is usually the last chance you get to look over your outfit and check everything’s looking good, so a mirror here is very important. As hallways are not usually particularly large (unless you’re very lucky!), rectangular mirrors work fantastic to create the illusion of space as well as having bold lines to make a feature piece, as hallways are not usually the most exciting part of the home.
A general rule of thumb to follow when deciding how to pick the best size mirror, is it should be 2/3 the size of the furniture it hangs above – if it’s not hanging above something, then is it making a feature or accompanying décor? You can use a paper template to work out how big your mirror needs to be in your chosen space to help you pick the best mirror for it.
Large mirrors are particularly effective in the living room to make a statement. If hanging over a fire place, it’s important to follow the 2/3 rule so you don’t drown out the fire place and the part it plays in your living room décor. However, small mirrors can work just as great, if they’re providing a little addition to your décor, perhaps above a side table or among a photo wall, they make charming and elegant pieces.
Likewise, large mirrors in the bedroom are super useful as well, being the place you most likely get dressed in the mornings. A large mirror will also maximise your space, reflecting lots of natural light throughout your room to really give you that feel good morning feeling – and of course help you get ready. Smaller mirrors are great on dressers, for up-close use with the finer details when getting ready.
If there’s one prime tip we can leave you with in learning how to pick the best mirror, it’s don’t underestimate the value of a large mirror in the bathroom. A mirror is not only there to help you see when you’re brushing your teeth, but with minimal natural light coming into your bathroom (as a result of those typically super smaller bathroom windows) they will spread the light there is to give you a bright, illuminated room with a clean feel. A large mirror will also make your room seem bigger, which is particularly handy in smaller bathrooms. As I mentioned before, a smaller mirror can be great as an addition on the windowsill or sink side for close-up use.
Here, the rule is definitely the larger the mirror, the better! Hallways are not particularly exciting places, so why wouldn’t you make the most of it in ways you can? A large mirror whatever shape, type, or material will make a great impact in your hallway, reflecting any natural light that floods through, and making the ceiling seem taller, walls longer and wider, and of course, those hallways by the front door, will give you optimal space for a last look over your outfit.
The next biggest question you may have when it comes to researching how to pick the best mirror, is what type of mirror do I want? Each type of mirror has their own advantages and disadvantages depending on what you want it for and where.
Mirrors hung on the wall are super handy because they work well in every room and for every purpose. They are particularly great because they don’t take up space, so in smaller rooms they are an ideal option that won’t take up any precious floor space. Indeed, the downside is that they usually have to be hung with hooks, that are drilled into the wall, so if you decide to take it down later on you will have to sort out covering the holes up/filling them in. Overall, if you don’t have lots of floor space or want it above furniture, wall mirrors are the best pick.
Full Length Mirrors
Especially common and useful in hallways and bedrooms to give a full body view, is full length mirrors. These can be freestanding or hung on the wall, either way dependent upon your square footage, and are usually narrow. Significantly, full length mirrors are great at the end of a hallway to emphasise the apparent space, extending the hallway to seem much bigger than it really is! We would definitely recommend at least one full length mirror in your home.
These are advantageous for the fact they don’t involve hooks or mounts on a wall and can be portable so you can move them around your room and even between rooms. Freestanding mirrors are often either full length or ‘dressing table’ type mirrors, but they can also be used as feature pieces. For example, leaning a large mirror across an area or corner of the room you’re not so keen on covers up the undesirable space, and reflects attention to an alternative area of the room.
The frame material of your mirror is another important thing to consider when learning how to pick the best mirror, because the frame will set the style of the mirror, which will need to fit in with the rest of your room furnishings. There are plenty of options available, but again, we will stick to the most common to help you overcome the biggest hurdle! You may also opt for a mirror without a frame for a seamless, sleek look – these are just as effective as those with a frame.
Wooden mirror frames tend to suit most décor styles, with different shades of wood giving off different looks. Overall, wood gives a rustic, natural feel to a room with a minimalist chic, Scandi look. Wooden mirrors will often come in intricate designs and patterns making a great focal point in any room.
Glass-framed mirrors, whether it’s tinted or not, give the mirror a larger surface area, optimising the light and space it creates, allowing them to easily light up your home. Glass also suits most decorative styles, rooms and uses, adding a touch of effortless elegance.
Ideal for adding an on-trend chic look to your home, metal-framed mirrors are perfectly suited to modern homes, creating a contrast between the mirror and the frame itself. Often available in a variety of finishes - matte, gloss, metallic – you can choose a style to accentuate your room without taking the effect away from the mirror. They provide an industrial feel to your room, something that is very much on-trend in recent times.
If you’ve read this How to Pick the Best Mirror Guide and have decided a wall mirror is best for you, then check out these simple and helpful ways to hang your mirror.
- Equipment Firstly, check you have the right screws and wall fixings for you mirror (your mirror should come with an indication as to what you will need),
- Where? Check your chosen wall will be strong enough to hold the mirror: particularly heavy mirrors
will need stronger backing to be held in place, e.g., plaster or drywalls will need the screws or hooks to go into the wooden beams behind them
- Behind the wall You will need to be sure there are no pipes or wires behind your chosen spot
- Positioning Use a pencil to mark out on the wall where you
want it to go; use a spirit level to be 100% sure it’s straight. We would recommend a 6-to-8-inch gap if hanging above furniture
- End-result After you’ve hung the mirror, check again with your spirit level to see if it’s straight and check that you’re happy!
After you’ve learnt everything about how to pick the best mirror, what thing to learn than how to keep it clean and shiny? A dirty mirror will definitely get in the way of that 10/10 selfie and the overall look of your room, so it’s best to keep on top of it!
- Assess the dirt on your mirror, if it’s dirt, grime, and gunk, firstly use some rubbing alcohol on your cotton pad to scrub away any of the build-up, e.g., toothpaste splatters and hairspray marks!
- Use your glass cleaner or vinegar solution (white vinegar and water), to spray on a thin layer – don’t completely cover it otherwise it will just run down and cause you more mess to clean up
- Grab a microfibre cloth, even a couple of sheets of kitchen towel will do, and work your way down from the top, going across the width of the mirror. Move in a Z motion until you reach the bottom of the mirror
- Check your mirror over from a few different angles to make sure there’s no smears or marks left over
The Harbour Housewares Round Framed Wall Mirror in Gold is a best seller, and understandably so! The round effect of this mirror adds soft lines to your room while creating the illusion of space and reflecting the natural light to make it look bigger and brighter. With a hook on the reverse, it’s super easy to hang anywhere in your home. Also, the gold metallic finish adds on trend tone and texture to your chosen room without being overbearing.Harbour Housewares Round Framed Wall Mirror - Gold
For those who have decided they want a full length/freestanding mirror, the Harbour Housewares Square Full Length Mirror is the perfect choice. In a modern, minimalist design, its slimline profile will sit effortlessly in your chosen room giving you a full-length view and really creating the illusion of a bigger space. Being easy to assemble, you have all the fixtures and fittings provided so it’s a quick and easy job and your set!Harbour Housewares Square Full Length Mirror
How about a freestanding/dressing table mirror? The Harbour Housewares Square Dressing Table Mirror in Gold is a best-seller with a bunch of great features. The freestanding wire frame is lightweight so you can move it around, but highly durable, so if you are moving it around, it will withstand all the knocks and bumps! With an adjustable tilting function, you can find the perfect angle for you, wherever the light may be. In a classy, on-trend gold metallic finish, it makes a great feature on your dressing table or side, making your room look great as well as you!Harbour Housewares Square Dressing Table Mirror - Gold
Check out our blog on How to Transform a Space with Rinkit’s Top Tips on Mirrors for Home Décor by one of our helpful team if you’re still unsure how to pick the best mirror, or just want to more tips how to maximise the use of your mirror!