Bathroom medicine cabinets make for a great storage solution to keep all your accessories and frequently used products. It can function both as a mirror and extra storage — an ideal choice for those who have limited square footage in their bathroom. 

Most medicine cabinets are designed with a mirrored door (you can even install an interior mirror) and sized to fit above the sink, under a lighting fixture. You can use them to put on makeup, put in your contact lenses, or shave.

As far as the storage space is concerned, you can keep liquid products such as contact solution, hairspray, and mouthwash, cosmetic items such as lipstick, mascara, deodorant, and of course medicines. 

Besides being practical, a medicine cabinet can also enhance your decor, if you know how to pick the right look. Are you thinking of buying bathroom medicine cabinets for your house? Well, we have some tips that will give you an idea about the various options available. 

Types of bathroom medicine cabinets

Fortunately, and contrary to what most homeowners think, there is a wide variety of cabinet types available on the market. Be sure to choose the one that goes well with your space and overall style. Here are some of the most popular bathroom medicine cabinet options:

Surface-mount cabinets

Surface mount bathroom cabinet

This style of medicine cabinet hangs on the wall like a picture frame and is perhaps the easiest type to install. Even though you can choose from a variety of depths, most homeowners prefer around 4 inches or so. It’s a suitable size for a standard bathroom — leaving plenty of space for necessary bath accessories.

Recessed cabinets

As the name suggests, this cabinet style doesn’t protrude from the wall. In fact, it’s installed by cutting a hole into the bathroom wall — allowing the mirror to sit almost flush against the wall. Even though the installation requires a little extra work, the resulting look is worth it. 

Besides the fact that it takes up less space, such a cabinet makes your bathroom look cleaner and spacious. Do be careful while cutting the hole; check behind the drywall to ensure that there is no ductwork or plumbing.

Corner cabinets

This cabinet style is a boon for those who have limited space, or if their bathroom has a corner sink. Place a corner medicine cabinet and utilize that space in the most practical way. It takes up less wall area, but its depth allows for just as much storage like any other cabinet.

Tri-view cabinets

This kind of cabinet has a good amount of storage space. The design of these multiple mirrored panels is quite unique. Most units have three usable sliding or swinging cabinets. You can also opt for a decorative mirror in the center with two cabinets on either side. 

Cabinet shapes and sizes

Typically, medicine cabinets are rectangular, oval, arched, or even round in shape. The decision is yours to take. However, do choose a design that complements your decor.

Whichever shape you select, the standard widths available are 20” (50.8 cm), 24” (60.96 cm), 30” (76.2 cm), 36” (.91 meters). If you choose wider models, such as the tri-view cabinets, you can go as wide as 48” (1.21 meters) or 60” (1.52 meters)

Want to maximize the storage in your medicine cabinet? Go for a full-length model with a full-length mirror or buy one that divides into the upper and lower cabinets — each with its own mirror.

Cabinet materials

Bathroom medicine cabinets are available in various materials — you can choose from aluminum, wood, plastic, stainless steel, etc. Let’s explore some of them in a little more detail. 

Aluminum cabinets

Aluminum makes for a good choice for a cabinet. It is water-proof in nature. Furthermore, these aluminum medicine cabinets have oxidized finishing to prevent them from rusting in a high-humidity area like a bathroom. Another advantage of installing such a cabinet is that it isn’t prone to pest infestation. 

Wood cabinets

Wood bathroom cabinet

A wooden bathroom cabinet lasts for years and has a distinctive style. Since wood is a durable material, it lends utmost strength to the medicine cabinet — preventing it from sagging.

If you’re looking for a strong and sturdy cabinet, a wood-framed medicine cabinet is your ideal choice. Just make sure that you opt for a high-quality wood.

Plastic cabinets

When it comes to bathroom medicine cabinets, the light-weight plastic is easier to work with, and install. Also, the material is less expensive as compared to the others.

However, do know that plastic medicine cabinets may lack durability and are less rigid. But, as long as you store light products or medicines — your cabinet may serve you well.

Stainless steel cabinets

One of the most durable and beautiful options for bathroom medicine cabinets are stainless steel-framed ones. These have inherent protection against harmful pests, bacteria, and germs. What’s more, they have a lovely shine that lends a clean look to a bathroom. 

Extra features

You can choose the simplest of bathroom medicine cabinets or the most decked up — it all depends on the budget or the bathroom renovation cost you’ve planned in your mind.  

Basic models have mirrors and stationary shelves while grander models come with built-in lights above the mirror or adjustable shelving. 

A few units come with accouterments, such as side mirrors. You may even find ones with electrical outlets for hairdryers, electric razors, or toothbrushes. 

If you want to go a step higher, there are exclusive options such as cabinets with an integrated faucet, an attached magnifying mirror, built-in toothbrush holders, a night light, and the works. For ultimate luxury, you can even install a cabinet with a fog-proof mirror. Basically, you get what you pay for.

Whichever medicine chest you choose, ensure that it matches the style or decor of the rest of the bathroom fixtures such as faucets, sink, bathtub or shower, vanity, bidet, toilet, etc.


Whether a small bathroom or a big one, medicine cabinets are the much-needed storage additions. They make the bathroom clutter-free and give you the convenience of keeping your frequently used products (and day-to-day routine) organized. No need to dig for important items through crowded bathroom vanity drawers! 

What’s more, with such cabinets, you can preserve your stash of medicines while keeping them out of reach of children.

If you’re thinking of remodeling your bathroom or installing bathroom medicine cabinets for your new house, know the different types of cabinets you can choose from and the things you need to keep in mind before making the purchase. You can thank us later!

Buying Bathroom Medicine Cabinets? Keep These Factors in Mind was last modified: May 26th, 2022 by Ramona Sinha
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