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I don’t shave my face… So I asked hubby to give us his masculine wisdom on the best shaving mirrors for men. Over to you Steve…
Before we look at our recommended mirrors in detail, let’s consider what you need in a shaving mirror. Yes, surprisingly there are a few gotchas when buying such a simple object. And as you’ll be looking into this thing every single day, it’s worth getting it right.
Do you need a magnifying mirror?
For me, a plain (1x) mirror is fine. This gives a big picture view without risking distortion, and without needing to work at exactly the correct distance from the mirror (both are potential annoyances with magnifying mirrors).
However, as your near-vision starts to weaken with age (it happens to us all at some point), then a magnifying mirror really comes into its own. I suggest the best magnification for shaving is somewhere between 3x and 5x. If you go any higher, not only will you be horrified by the state of your skin, but you will have such a detailed view that you tediously shave each hair one-by-one.
Do you shave in the shower?
There are so many reasons this is a great idea. If you haven’t tried it already, I really suggest giving it a go.
If you’re convinced, three important factors to consider for the best shaving experience are; anti-fogging, how to mount or support the mirror, and lighting.
If you wet-shave anywhere in the bathroom (whether in or out of the shower), then your mirror needs to be fogless. End of story.
If you only dry-shave or use clippers, then you might get away with a standard mirror, so long as your room has a good extractor vent.
Fogless mirrors use different methods for preventing condensation:
The simplest solution is a mirror coated with a moisture repellant surface. These work nicely, … at first. Unfortunately the coating
can will wear off over time, especially if the mirror is directly exposed to the shower spray. So better suited to general bathroom use or dry shaves rather than shower shaving.
Secondary market anti-fog sprays are available to restore the surface. In my experience these are disappointing. The type used on swim goggles or dive-masks do not work well at all. Sprays for mirrors (e.g. this one on Amazon) are more effective, but need to be (frequently) applied to a dry mirror well before you intend to use it – way too much hassle. They also cause a slight distortion in the image. Only use if desperate.
These work by raising the temperature of the mirror so that condensation fog won’t form. The commonest way of achieving this is by having a small refillable hot water reservoir behind the mirror, which you fill from the faucet just before use. They work very well, and should be long-lived. The main downside is the minor inconvenience of refilling and emptying, and the need to wait for a minute before use (to allow the heat to warm the mirror through).
A more sophisticated option is to physically plumb a mirror into the underlying hot water pipe. More expensive to buy and install, but the most elegant and convenient long-term solution. Well worth considering when you’re doing a bathroom remodel or intending to stay in your home long-term.
A few models use mains electricity or batteries to power the heater.
A solution which works surprisingly well is to simply hold the mirror under hot running water to heat it up. The downside is that the mirror will have beads of water sitting on it. But this happens anyway if the mirror is anywhere in the shower cubicle. I think this is the best budget option for us shower-shavers.
Wall mounted vs freestanding
If you shave in the shower, then some sort of wall mounting is the way to go. It’s just too hard to find a suitable (and safe) surface to stand a free mirror on.
Modern suction cups and adhesive tape options are both much more effective than in the past, and can even be used in the shower. Nevertheless, there is still a definite risk of them failing at any time. It’s worth considering a shatterproof mirror and frame to avoid injury and replacement costs.
An even simpler solution is to hang a plain mirror from a hook.
If your circumstances permit, I recommend a solid wall fixation with screws.
This is perhaps not as important a factor as it is for women’s makeup mirrors. If you have decent vision and a moderately bright room you should get away without in-built lighting. But many bathrooms and especially shower cubicles are on the dim side, in which case you will appreciate an illuminated mirror.
It is well worth considering an unbreakable mirror so long as it also meets all your other criteria. In fact, nowadays most mirrors advertised as shower mirrors are unbreakable, but still something to check.
So based on all these features, I’ve ruthlessly whittled it down to the:
Best 5 Shaving Mirrors
This one ticks all the boxes:
This ToiletTree mirror uses a refillable hot water reservoir to prevent the mirror from fogging. Slide the mirror out of the bracket, fill from the hot running shower, and clip back on. Only takes a few seconds, works perfectly, and should keep working forever. I much prefer this fogging solution over the chemical surface treatments, which will fail in time.
You attach the mirror using the supplied silicone adhesive. Boy, is it strong! Be warned to choose the spot carefully – you won’t easily move it afterwards. Out of thousands of Amazon reviews I could only find a couple complaining about the mirror coming unstuck, so I really don’t think this will be a problem.
The lighting does what it was designed for: it will supplement poor bathroom lighting in a dark shower stall. It is more than bright enough to shave by. I don’t feel it’s fair to compare it to high-end LED makeup mirrors, but if you did you might consider the lighting to be a little harsh and poorly diffused.
The mirror is generously sized at around 9 1/2 inches square. With the handy storage shelf for your razors it does stick out from the wall by around 3 inches, so I’d try not to position it close to the shower door where you might bump it.
Cheftick claim “next generation locking suction’. Certainly, it bears no resemblance to the old-fashioned suction cups that you just know are going to let go as soon as you turn your back. This suction cup is super-sticky, and then the suction is held by turning the locking knob. This makes it not only secure, but easy to reposition. It is highly reliable on glass, tiles, and other smooth surfaces, but not advised on rougher surfaces such as wood.
This mirror also uses a hot water reservoir as the anti-fog mechanism. It has a really neat emptying feature – just rotate the mirror on its support to pour the water out. This is much easier than removing the mirror from its bracket like most of the alternatives. Filling is through a large opening at the top of the reservoir, and is easiest with a detachable shower hose. I would think twice about using this mirror with a fixed showerhead however; you will need to detach the suction clamp from the wall every time you want to fill it (or bring a jug of hot water into the shower with you).
Ignore the negative Amazon reviews about fogging – by their own admission most of these idiots did not fill the reservoir first! It is physically impossible for this style of mirror to fog if they are filled with hot water.
The mirror is about 6 1/2 inches in diameter. This is plenty big enough for shaving. It’s smaller than the ToiletTree, which you might regard as an advantage in a smaller space. It is easily adjusted to any angle.
In summary, if you need extra light or a large mirror, go for the ToiletTree. Otherwise, this Cheftick is my pick.
Stick the hook on the wall, hang this mirror, and you’re good to go.
The hook comes with powerful silicon adhesive, and as the mirror only weighs 4 ounces (and is shatterproof), there is little chance of it falling and breaking.
For the “anti-fog”, you need to first warm up the mirror to water temperature by holding it under the shower for a few seconds. Depending on the air temperature this gives you (at least) a few minutes where the mirror is warmer than the steam, and therefore condensation can’t form.
Not the most elegant product perhaps, although it does have a certain rugged appeal. But it definitely does the job, and that may be all you need. Also a good option if you travel on a budget.
This is bigger (over 10×8″) than the shower mirrors, which makes it ideal not only for shaving, but also trimming your beard, general grooming, or even clipping your hair.
The base is heavy, in a good way. It feels solid and masculine. It will rotate a full 360o, and tilt 65o. It comes with a small screwdriver for the hinge mechanism, so you can lock it in position or leave it adjustable against the screw friction.
The reflection is crystal clear, and the whole package just exudes quality design. Shaving in front of this is a great way to start your day.
This mirror has it all:
There isn’t a cons column in that table because I’m struggling to come up with one. Perhaps the installation could be a bit tricky, as the mounting bracket partially covers the wiring.