Bathroom Cabinet Buyers Guide

In a world where millions seem to be obsessed with the organisation tips and tricks put forward by Marie Kondo, it makes sense that your bathroom deserves the same treatment. It's easy to forget just how many toiletries and other assorted knick-knacks can build up in your bathroom. While ensuring you only keep what you require is a good first step, keeping it all organised is the best way to overcome the stress that can accompany a cluttered bathroom. One way to do this is with a bathroom cabinet.

Bathroom cabinets are handy pieces of bathroom furniture that allow you to keep all the things that would normally clutter up your bathroom neatly hidden away. Your bathroom is supposed to be a place where you can relax and relieve the stress of a busy day, so having clutter around will never be conducive to a relaxing environment. Simply fitting a stylish bathroom cabinet will allow all this to instantly disappear (and it may actually prompt you to check if you actually need all that clutter in the first place), as well as helping add some extra style to your bathrooms appearance.

But, like most things in the bathroom, there seems to be an endless amount of choice when it comes to choosing the best bathroom cabinet for your bathroom. Where do you even start? Luckily, we're here to help you. We've put together this buyers guide on choosing the best bathroom cabinet for you.

What do I need to know to choose a bathroom cabinet?

You can't just jump straight in and buy the first bathroom cabinet you come across, as easy as that sounds. There are a few things you need to consider before you even start comparing the features of your favourite choices. One thing to remember is that while style is obviously important to your bathrooms appearance, the bathroom cabinet you choose also has to be functional too. There's no point in picking an ultra-modern bathroom cabinet if you can only fit about two shampoo bottles and a toothbrush in it.

The things you need to consider are as follows:

  • What do you actually need?
  • What is your budget?
  • What size of cabinet do I require?
  • What style will best fit my bathroom?
  • What added features, if any, do I need?

Let's take a look at each one of these points in detail.

Assessing your bathroom cabinet needs

The best bathroom cabinet for you is one that ultimately meets your needs. For example, if you're a single person living alone then a massive bathroom cabinet is going to be a waste of money (unless your extensive grooming routine requires dozens of products!). On the other hand, if you're a family of four then you're going to require a bigger cabinet to fit everyone's products in. If it's just an ensuite bathroom you're buying a bathroom cabinet for, a small one will more than suffice. Additionally, do you really need all the fancy features that a high-tech bathroom cabinet with a large price tag is offering?

In an age where we're all trying to cut back on the resources we consume, as well as trying to spend less money, don't go overboard by buying something you don't actually need. Compare the different types of bathroom cabinet available and choose one that suits your needs. If you're in doubt about whether or not it will fit the design of your bathroom, make sure to read all the information about that cabinet available and ask for advice from a salesperson.

Determining your bathroom cabinet budget

The point above merges in with selecting a budget, as assessing what type of bathroom cabinet you actually need will go a long way to helping you determine how much you need to spend on one. Ensuring you stick to a budget can go a long way to helping you through many things in life, but we're here to talk about bathroom cabinets.

The simple answer to determining a budget is: how much are you willing to spend on a bathroom cabinet and how much money do you actually have to achieve your goal? There are thousands of bathroom cabinets out there to choose from, so setting your own budget will go a long way to ensuring you can narrow down your choice. A lot of websites, including Heat and Plumb, include simple sliders that allow you to only see the bathroom cabinets that meet your budget. If you're buying a bathroom cabinet offline, a salesperson would be happy to show you the cabinets that meet your budget.

When setting a budget, remember that there is a wide range of quality available out there. You might want to go as cheap as possible, but the quality of the material used to make it may result in you replacing it sooner than expected. But, on the other hand, paying more doesn't always mean you're going to get better quality, just as paying less doesn't mean you're going to get something shoddy. It's worth reading previous customer reviews first and learning about the different types of material available before you make your final choice. We'll answer the latter point later in this guide.

What size of bathroom cabinet should you get?

The size of your bathroom cabinet is totally subjective and depends entirely on your needs. As already mentioned, a family may need a bigger bathroom cabinet than someone who lives on their own. What you definitely need to do is measure the space where you're going to fit the bathroom cabinet, as not doing so may leave you red-faced when you come to install your new cabinet.

As well as getting the exact measurements required, ensure that the space you're going to put it in actually makes sense. It's worth making a sketch of your bathroom measurements and marking doors, windows and other bathroom fixtures. You can sketch some to-scale templates for a variety of bathroom cabinet sizes and arrange these templates on your plan sketch to decide which cabinet will best fit.

While we've already mentioned that the size of your bathroom cabinet mostly depends on how much you have to store in it, it's also worth considering the size of your bathroom too. A small bathroom cabinet may look out of place in a large bathroom, while a large bathroom cabinet will look silly in a small bathroom cabinet and make bathroom space feel cramped. Also, if it's going near to a door, remember to leave enough space for you to still be able to open the door fully.

Choosing a bathroom cabinet style

From traditional to ultra-modern, there are plenty of choices when it comes to choosing a style that suits your taste. But the style of bathroom cabinet you need is directly related to the style of your overall bathroom. If you're going for a more traditional look then an ultra-modern bathroom cabinet will obviously look completely out of place, whereas a dark brown wood bathroom cabinet is going to look ridiculous in a bathroom that's mostly white.

Don't just consider the overall look of the bathroom cabinet, you should also think about its finish, handles, the shelving inside and more. This is something you're going to be using for years, so nobody is going to stop you if you're scrutinising every single aspect of the cabinet before you plonk down the cash. Think about the range of materials available too. These usually consist of stainless steel, MDF, and aluminium, but other materials may be available too. Just remember that with it being a bathroom, any old cabinet won't suffice as the needs to be able to withstand exposure to moisture.

  • Aluminium: This is a durable choice as aluminium won't corrode or rust when exposed to the inevitable moisture build-up in the air. Aluminium bathroom cabinets tend to the most popular choice these days as they have sleek and modern appearances.
  • Stainless steel: Similar to aluminium, this is another material that can easily stand the test of time. They also tend to have a modern appearance too and are easy to keep clean.
  • MDF: Available in more budget bathroom cabinets, vinyl wrapped MDF can be found with both modern and traditional styles. MDF also allows for a great variety of finishes, so you'll find a wide range of colours as well as wood effects such as oak and walnut. While MDF cabinets are built to be water resistant, they aren't waterproof, so it's best to fit one in a place that's not in direct contact with water. If water does get on the cabinet, wipe it off immediately.

A popular type of bathroom cabinet these days are mirrored bathroom cabinets. These are great for small bathrooms, as not only do mirrors bounce natural light around the room, they also help the bathroom look bigger than it actually is. Another great benefit is that you're combining two fittings into one, so you don't have to have a separate mirror in the bathroom if you don't really have the space for it.

When it comes to bathroom cabinet style, you also need to consider the position of your bathroom cabinet. Luckily, there are a few types to choose from so you can easily place it where you need it.

  • Wall mounted bathroom cabinets: A wall mounted bathroom cabinet is the best option for a small bathroom, as they help maximise space and keep any floor areas clear. You'll find a variety of designs, such as long horizontal wall cupboards, tall cupboards, and cabinets that have glass, mirrored or wooden doors. For families, it's best to keep them positioned high up on the wall so that it's safely out of reach for any children. Keep in mind that a wall mounted cabinet needs to be able to safely stay attached to the wall and withstand the weight of everything you put inside it.
  • Freestanding bathroom cabinets: Best suited to bathrooms on the larger side, freestanding bathroom cabinets can be positioned just about anywhere in your bathroom provided that you have the space. You'll find a range of styles available, with popular choices being tall and slimline cabinets.
  • Corner cabinets: Ideal for small bathrooms where space is at a premium, a corner cabinet will fit snugly in the corner of your bathroom. This is best suited for a small room where installing a normal bathroom cabinet will look out of place and leave you with less space.

Extra features of bathroom cabinets

While the main job of a bathroom cabinet is to provide handy extra storage space, there is a raft of other features available these days that make it more than just simple storage space. Just remember that extra features usually mean extra money too.

The main feature you'll see when doing your research is lighting. Illuminated bathroom cabinets have been a pretty much standard fixture on the market these days, and there's good reason for that. Many bathrooms have a nasty habit of lacking natural light, especially with how small a lot of bathrooms seem to be these days. While mirrored surfaces help bounce natural light around, integrated artificial light help boost the amount of lighting in the bathroom and give targeted light too. It also has the extra benefit of looking gorgeous too! Some illuminated bathroom cabinets also come with sensors, so you can simply sweep your hand across it to turn the lights on and off.

With illuminated bathroom cabinets, you need to keep in mind that you're introducing another source of electricity in close proximity to water. Check that the bathroom cabinet meets the standards required to be fitted in bathrooms and always get a qualified electrician to install it for you. You can also buy battery powered illuminated bathroom cabinets, removing the need for mains electricity to be connected to it.

Aside from lighting, bathroom cabinets seem to be getting new features every year. Soft closing doors are found on the vast majority of bathroom cabinets, which gives them soundless and smooth closing and prevents the cabinet doors from being slammed shut. Demister pads are also a popular choice, as these help prevent the mirrors on your cabinet from steaming up too much. Both of these options tend to be practical choices that are worth the money.

Other extras tend to be things that you don't really need, but are still pretty cool. Bluetooth connected cabinets let you play your music through them, while more futuristic cabinets even have smart displays integrated into the mirror.

While your bathroom cabinet will most likely be out of reach of children (unless it's a freestanding or under-the-sink cabinet that sits on the floor) it may be worth investing in a cabinet that can be locked, especially if you keep medicines within it.

So, if you made it this far, you hopefully now have the knowledge to pick your perfect bathroom cabinet. Go forth and browse through our quality selection of bathroom cabinets.

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