Pill bottles, swabs, toothpaste, and toothbrushes piled on a bathroom counter can make the whole room look sloppy and disorganized. A medicine cabinet goes a long way toward eradicating the clutter.
Typically designed to be installed above a sink or a commode, medicine cabinets feature shallow shelves that can hold several toiletries, makeup, and sundries. Many also feature a mirrored door that takes the place of a flat, wall-mounted bathroom mirror.
The best medicine cabinets are attractive, come with durable shelving, and offer ample room for bathroom storage. If you’re shopping for a medicine cabinet, keep reading to learn what factors to consider and find out why any one of the following could be an asset in your bathroom.
- BEST OVERALL: Kohler Remodeler Single Medicine Cabinet
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Tangkula Mirrored Bathroom Cabinet
- BEST RECESSED: Kohler Recessed Frameless 2-Door Medicine Cabinet
- BEST WITH SHELF: Tangkula Wall-Mounted Bathroom Cabinet
- BEST ROUND: Pegasus Oval Bathroom Medicine Cabinet
- BEST ANTIFOG: Home Decorators Collection Fog-Free Medicine Cabinet
- BEST FOR APPLYING MAKEUP: Decadom LED Mirror Medicine Cabinet
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Medicine Cabinet
Creating continuity of design in the bathroom is just as important as providing a spot to organize and store small items. A medicine cabinet usually sits at eye level, and as such, it is one of the most visible fixtures in the room. When considering medicine cabinet options, take both form and function into account. What the cabinet is made from, how much storage space it has, and whether it offers any additional options are all part of the selection process.
Medicine cabinets feature water-resistant materials, including anodized aluminum, stainless steel, molded plastic, sealed or painted wood, and glass. Like other household fixtures, shoppers will typically get what they pay for when it comes to medicine cabinets. Inexpensive cabinets often contain thin plastic that yellows over time, becomes brittle, and cracks. A cheap door frame that allows steam to seep behind the mirror leads to a process known as “desilvering” that separates the silver backing from the glass and ruins the mirror. A high-quality medicine cabinet should last for many years.
Standard over-the-sink medicine cabinets are pretty shallow, with an interior depth of about 3 to 5 inches, so shoppers should keep in mind that they’ll only be able to store smaller bathroom items. Interior shelves are often made from glass and may be adjustable in some models, so users can raise the height of a shelf to store taller items. Over-the-commode medicine cabinets typically offer a bit more shelf depth, from about 5 to 8 inches, allowing users to keep bigger items, such as bottles of shampoo and conditioner or neatly folded washcloths.
Surface-Mounted vs. Recessed
A surface-mounted medicine cabinet refers to a medicine cabinet that is fixed to the wall. A recessed medicine cabinet’s interior fits into the space between wall studs while the cabinet door sits flush along the surface of the wall, which adds a sleek look to the bathroom. If replacing an old medicine cabinet, the simplest solution is to opt for a new model that’s the same size and type. If the existing cabinet is recessed, replace it with a recessed model of the same size.
If buyers currently have a surface-mounted model but prefer a sleeker look, they should make sure to purchase a new cabinet that’s designed to be recessed so its inner cabinet will fit between standard wall studs. Most residential wall studs are spaced 16 inches apart on center, which leaves just 14.5 inches of free space between the studs. A surface-mounted cabinet is often too wide to fit between studs.
Style is just as important as storage when choosing a bathroom medicine cabinet.
- Finish frame: Mirrored medicine cabinet doors often come with metal frames such as brushed nickel or chrome. Selecting a finish that matches the sink and tub faucets will create a uniform look. Painted cabinet door frames look best when they match the other cabinetry or trim in the bathroom.
- Concealed look: Most medicine cabinets are recognizable by their location over a sink or by the fact they extend a few inches out from the wall, but a few models conceal their purpose. These medicine cabinets are typically recessed and feature a face frame that holds a painting, making the cabinet resemble a traditional painting hanging on the wall.
- Makeup mirrored cabinets: Steamy mirrors and harsh overhead lighting can make it challenging to apply makeup. Specialized medicine cabinets with built-in makeup lighting and antifog fans allow users to see clearly in the mirror, even if they’ve just stepped out of the shower.
Our Top Picks
To qualify as a top pick, a medicine cabinet should be made from quality materials and have a secure latch that holds the door closed. Style and design will vary by the individual user’s needs. The following models were all chosen for their durability, functionality, and attractiveness.
The Kohler Remodeler recessed medicine cabinet boasts sleek anodized aluminum construction for a timeless finish. The frameless mirrored door is reversible and installs on either the right or the left side. The Kohler cabinet features additional mirrors on the inside of the door and behind the shelving on the cabinet wall’s back.
The medicine cabinet recesses between standard wall studs and measures (with the mirrored door) 20 inches high by 16 inches wide by 5 inches deep. It also comes with two adjustable interior shelves made of glass.
- Type: Recessed, mirrored
- Dimensions: 20 inches high by 16 inches wide by 5 inches deep
- Shelves: 3 (2 adjustable)
- Timeless look
- Sturdy design
- Adjustable glass shelving
- Mirrored on the sides and the inside
- Sharp corners
- Hinges can be difficult to adjust
Get the Kohler Remodeler medicine cabinet at Amazon, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Wayfair.
At just 21 inches high by 13.5 inches wide by 6 inches deep, the Tangkula Mirrored Bathroom Cabinet is compact enough to fit in small bathrooms while providing essential storage space for toiletries and medicine. The Tangkula cabinet is a wall-mounted model featuring two shelves behind a white mirrored door.
While the cabinet is small in height and width, its 6-inch depth offers ample storage room for larger items, such as lotion bottles or even toothbrush holders. Install it above the sink, the commode, or on any wall for some additional storage space. Its straight, simple lines complement most bathroom styles, and it’s made of easy-to-clean medium-density fiberboard board that offers durability and water resistance.
- Type: Wall-mounted, mirrored
- Dimensions: 21 inches high by 13.56 inches wide by 6 inches deep
- Shelves: 2 (1 adjustable)
- Open shelf at the bottom for storage
- Height-adjustable shelves inside
- Waterproof paint is easy to clean
Get the Tangkula mirrored medicine cabinet on Amazon.
Those looking for a wider recessed medicine cabinet for their bathroom space could consider this frameless mirror option from Kohler. At 30 inches wide, it features a large door on one end and a slender door on the other, providing some contemporary appeal compared to ordinary single-door designs. The mirrored interior of the cabinet also helps to illuminate the items inside by allowing light to bounce in and around it, providing a polished and sophisticated-looking finish.
This medicine cabinet is available in three different widths to suit most home setups, offering 25-, 30-, and 35-inch options. All of which measure 26 inches in height and are 4.81 inches deep, fitting most small- to medium-size bathroom essentials. The two interior glass shelves are also adjustable to accommodate taller or shorter items.
- Type: Recessed, mirrored
- Dimensions: 26 inches high by 30 inches wide by 4.81 inches deep
- Shelves: 3 (2 adjustable)
- Multiple width options available
- Sophisticated mirrored surfaces
- Adjustable interior shelves
- Mirrored surfaces can smudge easily
- Wider options may not fit standard stud gaps
Get the Kohler recessed medicine cabinet at Amazon, The Home Depot, Wayfair, Kohler, or Build with Ferguson.
The open shelf at the bottom of the Tangkula double-mirror medicine cabinet is just the ticket for holding items that look good enough to display, such as folded washcloths or ornamental soaps. The Tangkula medicine cabinet is a wall-mounted model that features two additional height-adjustable shelves behind double doors. It can be installed above a sink or toilet or elsewhere in the room when extra storage space is necessary.
Its straight, simple lines complement most bathroom styles, and it features waterproof paint that makes it easy to wipe clean. It’s also available in three modern color options.
- Type: Mounted, mirrored
- Dimensions: 23 inches high by 22 inches wide by 5 inches deep
- Shelves: 3 (1 adjustable)
- Plenty of storage space
- Style suits most bathroom decors
Get the Tangkula wall-mounted medicine cabinet on Amazon.
Bathrooms often feature a lot of hard edges and corners. Consider softening this look with a round medicine cabinet mirror and add a more relaxed and fun feeling to the space. Round mirrors can also be an attractive companion to curved pedestal sinks. The Pegasus oval medicine cabinet is 36 inches high by 24 inches wide with a square storage shelf behind the mirror that fits within the circle, out of sight.
Installation can be recessed or surface-mounted according to preference, and the hinge is reversible, depending on where users would like the mirror to open. The two glass shelves inside the cabinet are also adjustable to fit taller toiletry items.
- Type: Surface-mounted or recessed, mirrored
- Dimensions: 36 inches high by 24 inches wide by 4.5 inches deep (oval-shaped)
- Shelves: 3 (2 adjustable)
- Creates a soft and relaxed look
- Plenty of adjustable storage space
- Reversible door hinge
- May be too large for smaller bathrooms
Get the Pegasus medicine cabinet at The Home Depot.
What can be more tedious than stepping from a hot, relaxing shower only to find that the bathroom mirror is a foggy mess just when you need it most? The fog-free technology in this framed mirror medicine cabinet from Home Decorators Collection provides a clear reflection even in the steamiest of bathrooms. It also manages to do this without the use of expensive built-in heating elements, instead providing a budget-friendly solution with its patented technology.
Install this medicine cabinet as a recessed or surface-mounted unit, which includes two adjustable shelves to make sure bathroom essentials fit just right. It only comes in white, but it should fit well with most bathroom decors.
- Type: Recessed or surface-mounted, mirrored
- Dimensions: 25.75 inches high by 20.75 inches wide by 5.35 inches deep
- Shelves: 3 (2 adjustable)
- Affordable fog-free technology
- Comes fully assembled, easy to install
- Can open to the left or right
Get the Home Decorators Collection medicine cabinet at The Home Depot.
The Decadom LED Mirror Medicine Cabinet comes with internal light strips on the sides that emit an adjustable mix of cool, neutral, or warm light for selecting the lighting tone that best suits the user’s complexion. The lighting is also dimmable. The medicine cabinet features a defogger that keeps the mirror clear even after a steamy shower, and the entire cabinet is wall-mounted to the surface.
It measures 30 inches high by 30 inches wide by 5 inches deep. This high-end cabinet also comes with an integrated clock, making it easy to know how much time is left to get ready. An electrical outlet behind the cabinet (or nearby) is necessary to use all electronic functions.
- Type: Recessed or surface, mirrored
- Dimensions: 30 inches high by 30 inches wide by 5 inches deep
Shelves: 4 (3 adjustable)
- Adjustable light-color temperature
- Defogging technology
- Integrated clock
- Clean, modern design
- Requires an electrical outlet
Get the Decadom medicine cabinet on Amazon or at The Home Depot.
For a simple and elegant addition to a bathroom renovation, consider the Kohler Remodeler medicine cabinet, which provides clean, sophisticated lines and adjustable storage shelves. For shoppers looking for the ultimate upgrade that’s packed with top-of-the-line features, the Decadom medicine cabinet is the answer.
How We Chose the Best Medicine Cabinets
When gathering our top picks for the best medicine cabinets, we made sure to include options at both ends of the budget spectrum—selecting a few affordable choices for simple yet elegant upgrades to a bathroom while also offering a suggestion for shoppers looking for more technologically impressive picks to impress their guests.
An important aspect of a medicine cabinet is storage space, so our recommendations all include ample shelving to allow storage for all the classic bathroom essentials. All of our picks feature adjustable shelving to allow users to fit tall items or squeeze in extra rows for additional space.
For small bathrooms, we have included compact units in addition to recessed options that can sink back into the wall for a flush finish.
A new medicine cabinet can change your bathroom’s look, so choosing one that complements rather than detracts from the bathroom’s style is essential. If this is the first time you’ve shopped for a medicine cabinet, you likely have some questions.
Q. How do you install a recessed medicine cabinet?
To install a medicine cabinet that’s recessed, first locate the studs beneath the drywall (a stud locator helps), then cut the drywall to match the cabinet’s dimensions. Many recessed medicine cabinets come with templates for marking the wall before cutting. A recessed cabinet attaches from inside the cabinet to the adjacent wall studs.
Q. What is the standard medicine cabinet size?
No one size is standard. Medicine cabinets range from 14 inches wide (for recessed models) up to 65 inches wide for wall-mounted installation over double vanities. Height ranges from about 22 to 40 inches, with the taller models being better suited to rooms with ceilings that are 9 feet or higher.
Q. How do you organize a medicine cabinet?
Fill it with items that would otherwise clutter your vanity top. Put makeup items in one spot, oral hygiene products in another spot, and reserve the top shelves for medications.
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