Mirror Buying Guide

A mirror not only helps you put your best face forward, it can also make a room look bigger, brighter and more interesting. This mirror buying guide outlines the various features to consider.

Mirrors 101

There are many different types of mirrors, and each contributes a unique blend of functionality and style to your home. A standing mirror or cheval mirror in your bedroom allows you to check your outfit before leaving the house. In the bathroom, a swing-arm mirror can be pulled forward for up-close exams, and moved aside when not in use. Wall mirrors and mirror panels are effective for making foyers and dining rooms look larger and full of light. The right mirror can also serve as a striking design focal point or decorative accent. Consider the size and style of your room when shopping for a mirror that will reflect your needs and suit your space. 

Types of Mirrors


Wall Mirrors

A wall mirror is a stylish yet practical option for any space in your home, from the foyer to the family room. Versatile and easy to install, wall mirrors make rooms look bigger and brighter. To enhance a formal design scheme, try hanging a framed wall mirror above a fireplace or sofa. And for quick hair and makeup fixes before leaving the house, there's nothing like a wall mirror in the front hall or hung from the closet door.

Cheval Mirrors

Whether you're trying on outfits for fun or hastily pulling together an outfit for work, you need to check yourself out from head to toe. Cheval mirrors, also known as floor or standing mirrors, are full-length dressing mirrors that can be placed prominently in your bedroom or tucked away in a corner of a spare room. A great thing about cheval mirrors is that they swivel, so you can focus on your upper body, lower body or whole body. This type of mirror is relatively light and stands on its own feet, making it easy to move it from room to room. 

Bathroom Mirrors

A bathroom mirror can affix right to a wall, though it’s more commonly fitted to a medicine cabinet door. Typically hung above the sink or toilet, bathroom mirrors come in a variety of sizes and styles to suit any bathroom decor. This type of mirror has shelves inside and is convenient for storing bathroom essentials like toothpaste, razors and Q-tips. Some bathroom mirrors also have hooks to hang towels and robes within easy reach. A Bathroom mirror cabinet can also store medications and vitamins, but make sure it’s installed high enough to be beyond the grasp of young kids.

Vanity Mirrors

No home makeup station is complete without a vanity mirror. It's the perfect mirror for moving in close to get a good look, or to pick up and move around to catch the ideal angle. Some vanity mirrors have built-in lights to provide extra illumination for primping and prepping, grooming brows, shaving or putting on contact lenses. A stylish vanity mirror can add elegance and functionality to a bedroom vanity, classic powder room or contemporary ensuite bathroom. Choose one that complements the rest of your decor for seamless style. 

Swing-Arm Mirrors

Also known as a pivot or extension mirror, a swing-arm mirror is a practical option for small bathrooms that can't accommodate a regular bathroom mirror. It can also complement a regular mirror by providing an additional option for shaving or applying makeup. The unit consists of a small round mirror attached to an adjustable arm that pivots and is mounted on a wall. Some models feature an accordion design: you simply pull it out for use, and push it back when finished. The mirror itself is also adjustable, allowing you to easily angle it up or down for a better look. Many swing-arm models come with a concave mirror on one side to magnify your face for close-ups. 

Mirrored Furniture

Mirrored furniture is elegant and also creates the illusion of spaciousness in a room. A mirrored desk, armoire or side table appears to recede into the background, adding to a room's visual depth. This helps a small furnished space like a condo living room feel less cramped and cluttered. Mirrored furniture also conveys a vintage style and can make a room look glamorous. Word to the wise: you may want to keep mirrored furniture to the sides in rooms where kids and pets play, or reserve it for adult-only rooms.

Kids’ Mirrors

Kids' mirrors are a great way to nurture good habits and independence in young children and promote pretend play. Children use mirrors to dress up as princesses and knights, apply face paint and act out dramatic or funny scenes. Mirrors also allow children to brush and style their own hair, get themselves dressed in the morning and check their appearance to make sure everything’s in place. When shopping for kids' mirrors, it’s important to choose models that are safe and can stand up to playroom wear and tear. Plastic mirrors, which are plastic sheets coated with metal, won’t break or shatter in little hands and are perfect for kids’ rooms.

Mirror Panels

If you want to create the illusion of spaciousness or conceal an element in one of your rooms, consider installing a mirror panel on the wall. Mirror panels typically take the form of decorative treatments or functional shelving units. They instantly make narrow hallways and staircases, petite powder rooms and other small spaces look bigger and brighter. Apply a mirror panel to an entire wall for maximum effect. Though the sky’s the limit when it comes to mirror panels, you might think twice about panelling a ceiling or kitchen backsplash because they can be difficult to keep clean. 

Ledge Mirrors

A ledge, or shadow box, mirror is a convenient way to provide storage for a few basic bathroom items in a small bathroom or kid's bathroom. The frame of a ledge mirror has a built-in bottom ledge generally just wide enough to hold a toothbrush holder, soap container or regular-size beauty products. If your bathroom is short on drawers and cabinets, a ledge mirror could be just what you need to keep your bathroom essentials close at hand.

Mirror Buying Tips:

  • Measure the space set aside for your mirror and buy accordingly
  • Consider mirrors that double as shelves and cabinets if you’re short on storage
  • Before buying, browse decor magazines and websites for ideas on how to use mirrors in your space
  • When shopping for a bathroom mirror, consider the style of your vanity, light fixture and bathroom decor
  • Pick up water-repellent and anti-fogging products to keep bathroom mirrors from steaming up

Mirror Features

Mirror Glass +

Types of mirror glass include silvered glass, antiqued and concave. Silvered glass, which has a thin layer of silver nitrate and paint on the back, is used for most household mirrors. Antiqued glass has coating or tints applied to the back to create the impression of deterioration. A concave glass mirror is curved inward to enlarge the reflections for easier grooming. Some mirrors are made with metal or plastic rather than glass. Metal mirrors (metal surface polished to be reflective) are safe for kids because they won't shatter. Plastic mirrors (plastic coated with reflective material) are another safe option.

Mirror Sizes +

If you want to make a room seen bigger, or add dramatic flair to a foyer, bigger is often better. Consider a floor-to-ceiling mirror or a wall-to-wall mirror panel for maximum impact. Standing mirrors and cheval mirrors are large options suitable for the bedroom. They give you a head-to-toe view for dressing to perfection. Vanity and swing-arm mirrors are small but mighty. They provide a close-up reflection for plucking eyebrows or applying cosmetics. Measure your room accurately before purchasing, and be aware that mirrors tend to look larger once installed

Mirror Styles +

Style options are many and varied: they include sunburst mirrors, Venetian mirrors, circular mirrors, oval mirrors and captain’s mirrors. This makes it easy to find one that blends in beautifully with your decor and functional needs. Playful, sculptural designs like sunburst mirrors can make a bold style statement in a room. Rounded designs like circular, oval and captain’s mirrors help soften the sharp angles of a desk, table or fireplace mantel. Arch frames can be used to create faux windows or to highlight high ceilings. Ornate, decorative designs like Venetian mirrors can add a glam or vintage touch to a guestroom, or bring pretty feminine detail to a little girl’s room.

Mirror Frames +

Mirror frames come in square, rectangular, round, oval and abstract designs. Square mirrors and rectangular mirrors complement a classic or contemporary look, while round mirrors and oval mirrors contribute a graceful, artistic vibe. Wall mirrors with interesting frames can give any room a unique look and add style in spades. The material used to make mirror frames include wood, tile, acrylic, resin and metal. Your choice of materials should depend on a combination of your style preferences and budget. Acrylic and resin frames are affordable and versatile, while metal and wood frames tend to be more durable and long-lasting.

Frameless Mirrors +

Frameless mirrors hung on a wall sometimes create the illusion that they’re floating. This simple, understated mirror design makes the perfect accent above a dresser, fireplace mantel or side table. A frameless mirror is a great choice for a small bathroom because the absence of a frame allows for a larger mirror surface. This type of mirror is clean and sleek, making it a good fit for modern spaces.

Lighted Mirrors +

Good lighting is important for taking care of your beauty and grooming needs, whether it’s applying makeup, treating blemishes or trimming facial hair. But plenty of powder rooms and bathrooms have poor natural light and lack suitable overhead lighting. Lighted mirrors have built-in lighting around the frame to provide extra illumination. Keep in mind you may require the services of an electrician to install your new lighted mirror.

Shop Accessories & Related Products:

Mirror Hanging Tips:

  • Buy a picture-hanging kit designed specifically to handle the weight of your mirror
  • When hanging heavier mirrors, use drywall screws or other support hardware
  • Use glue or liquid nails to hang a mirror permanently
  • Use wire or mirror brackets to hang one temporarily
  • Be sure to screw or nail the mirror into wall studs to mount it securely
  • Hang a mirror at eye level, about five feet from the floor, to avoid cutting off facial reflections
  • Make sure your mirror reflects something you’d like to highlight, such as a beautiful view from a window
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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