How to Tell The Difference Between Good And Bad Quality Mirrors

A lot of people don’t realize this, but purchasing a new mirror might be a little bit more daunting and complex than they initially thought.

After all, the shape, size, and design aren’t the only things that they’ll need to consider, instead, they’ll also have to think about things such as how it reflects light and whether or not it can open up a particular area.

So, if you have to purchase a new mirror for your home, you might be wondering about the key features that you’ll need to consider when browsing through the options available on the market.

Luckily, our 2024 guide from below could help, so, here are the top things that can help you tell the difference between a good and bad quality mirror:

1. Before Anything Else – Know That There Are Three Types


Before you move on to reading the tips that can help you purchase a high-quality mirror, you should know that there are three basic types that you could opt for. First, there are wall mirrors that are designed to be hung on walls and they come in various shapes and sizes, thus, you’ll be able to find something that suits your needs.

Second, there are dressing mirrors, which are usually long and narrow so that they can provide you with a complete reflection of your body. They can either be hung or freestanding.

Last, there are leaner options available on the market and as the name implies, these cannot be mounted to a wall, instead, they should lean on it.

The type of mirror you choose will, of course, completely dependent on your preferences, and the room you need it for, hence, before opting for the first option that comes up in your search results, you should determine which type is the most suitable for the needs you have.

2. The Glass Must Be Thick


You should know, that the thicker the glass of the mirror is, the better the reflection will be. Some cheap options that you can find most commonly feature glass that is 2 or 3mm thick and at times, it might even be manufactured from plastic!

If it’s thin or made out of plastic, the reflection will be completely distorted, thus, you should make sure that you opt for a mirror that uses at least 5mm glass so that there is no distortion, even at a greater distance.

3. Take a Look at The Back


Besides checking how thick the glass is, another thing that you must check is the quality of the backing. Why is this important? Well, it is simple to understand, the backing and frame have to be durable and strong enough so that they can support the mirror, and if not, they’ll bend over a period of time, which means that the reflection might and probably will become distorted and it could end up falling and breaking.

This is why you might want to opt for a backing that is, for example, made out of wood, mostly because it’ll ensure that the structure is strong, and more importantly, that it won’t bend over time. Also, avoid purchasing options that feature simple a paper back, since if you poke it even the slightest, you’ll reveal the glass which could, of course, lead to it breaking relatively easily since there will be nothing protecting it.

4. Use a Ruler to Check The Reflection


Yes, you’ll check the thickness of the glass and how secure the mirror is, however, there is another important thing that you must check – whether or not the reflection is straight. Now, there are two things you could do. First, you could bring a ruler with you and check if the frame is straight. Simply place it perpendicularly and see what happens.

Find out more details about mirrors and how to check the reflection here:

Second, you could also perform a test by standing in front of the mirror and looking at the objects around you. Hence, look and see if the windows and doors are straight and if the smaller objects behind you look warped.

Though this will take you a bit more time, it’ll still ensure that you opt for purchasing a high-quality mirror, so, while browsing, don’t forget to perform either of the two tests we’ve mentioned.

5. Do The 360-Degree Test

Another thing that can help you choose right is to perform a 360-degree test. What will this require? Well, you should take an object – one that is slippery – place it in the center of the mirror you’re thinking about buying and spin it.

Do this a couple of times and if the reflection is slightly off, the glass isn’t high-quality and thick enough. Also, cheaper models will always give you a good frontal view, but if you look at yourself sideways, it’ll probably look weird.

6. The Lighting Trick Should Help


Last on our list of tips, but equally as important as everything else we’ve mentioned is doing the lighting test. What will it require? Well, basically you’ll want to see how light reflects upon it.

For instance, if you’re planning on placing the mirror in your bathroom, it’s possible that you’ll have wall scones around it, thus, you should check and see what reflection a particular model will have – especially the reflection of the items behind you.

Keep in mind, that good reflection will mean that the mirror will be more expensive, which is why you should consider it as a long-term investment, something that’ll last for a really long time. Hence, before you choose to buy the cheapest option on the market, do the lighting test and see how it’ll reflect.

Some cheaper options can be good if you set up the right lighting, so, if you have a tight budget, doing this test will help you choose an affordable, yet good mirror.

Frame Quality

While the article mentions the importance of backing and glass quality, it doesn’t delve much into the frame. A well-built frame made from materials like metal or hardwood enhances the overall durability and aesthetic appeal of the mirror. A sturdy frame not only adds to the mirror’s lifespan but also contributes to its ability to withstand wear and tear.

Anti-Corrosion Properties

In environments where moisture is a concern, such as bathrooms, it’s important to consider glass mirrors with anti-corrosion properties. This can prevent the frame from rusting or deteriorating over time due to constant exposure to humidity.

Installation Method

The article doesn’t discuss the installation method, which is crucial for ensuring the mirror stays securely in place. Mirrors should be properly anchored to walls using suitable hardware to prevent accidents and ensure the mirror remains level and steady.

Cleaning and Maintenance

While the article touches on cleaning in terms of reflection clarity, it’s also important to consider the ease of cleaning the mirror’s surface and frame. Some finishes and materials might be harder to clean and maintain than others.

Warranty and Reputation

Checking if the mirror comes with a warranty can provide added peace of mind. Additionally, considering the reputation of the manufacturer or brand can give insight into the overall quality and reliability of the mirror.


After reading this article, it’s most likely pretty clear that purchasing a new mirror isn’t as easy as you might have initially thought. However, if you follow all the advice we’ve mentioned in our list above, you’ll most certainly make everything easier for yourself, but more importantly, you can ensure that you opt for a high-quality, durable mirror for your home.

Since you’re now well aware of what you must look for in order to buy a high-quality mirror, you shouldn’t waste any more of your time. Instead, you should start browsing different brick-and-mortar businesses so that you can find a mirror that suits your requirements, budget, and needs.