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The Ultimate Buying Guide for Makeup Vanities


Are makeup vanities outdated? These home improvement features have been around for decades, helping people look their best. 

One study even showed that women who spend more time applying makeup for work make more money than those who don’t wear makeup, underscoring the value of makeup vanities. 

Makeup vanities or dressing tables are the most effeminate furniture many women have in their glam rooms, bedrooms, or dressing rooms. 

But how can one choose an ideal bathroom makeup vanity that suits their needs? This buying guide highlights factors to consider before purchasing one. 

However, before discussing these factors, consider the evolution of the makeup vanity industry. 

Table of Contents
The evolution of makeup vanities
Factors to consider when choosing makeup vanities
Types of makeup vanities

The evolution of makeup vanities

Originally, makeup vanities did not look like what they are today. A few hundred years ago, even bathrooms didn’t exist, let alone a defined makeup vanity.

The first makeup vanities were probably the washstands. They were wooden tables placed in the bedroom and a pitcher full of water for washing hands and face in the morning.

Makeup vanities fully evolved in the Victorian era when bathroom vanities became wall-mounted sinks. During this period, makeup vanities were outfitted with lush fabrics and furnishings embedded in exotic wood.

Over the last centuries, bathroom vanities have been gradually simplified. Today, they embody glamour and luxury with many homeowners, commercial restrooms, and restaurants seeking them.

As the cosmetic market is projected to hit $415.29 billion by 2028, up from $287.94 billion in 2021, the demand for makeup vanities is also expected to rise.

However, the question is, how does one choose the best makeup vanity?

Factors to consider when choosing makeup vanities

Makeup vanities are long-term investments in luxury homes, high-end restrooms, and restaurants; therefore, they shouldn’t be randomly picked. One should consider a vanity that matches their needs and decor. Here are some essential factors to consider when purchasing a vanity table. 

Available space

One of the primary factors to consider when choosing makeup vanities is the available space on the dressing table. Where will the styling furniture be installed? Choosing the right makeup vanity that matches the available space will help with the smooth integration of the vanity in the room. 

When deciding on the size of the makeup vanity to buy, one would consider the use. For example, if it is only for fine-tuning some details, a small makeup vanity will be sufficient. However, if the makeup vanity is needed for personal hairdressing, styling, or a beauty salon, then a vanity with a large mirror will do a better job. 

Most homes have built-in makeup vanities in bedrooms; however, some could be placed in the bathroom, making it easy for users to get ready immediately after a shower. The bathroom makeup vanity works well if the bathroom is properly ventilated; otherwise, moisture will cloud the mirrors.

A walk-in closet with a dressing table set and stool is also an excellent built-in makeup vanity idea for those who want their clothes and makeup products at hand. These vanities have several storage spaces and suitable dimensions to fit in the closet. 

Standard vanity dimensions range from 18 to 72 inches wide, while the standard depth is approximately 20 inches.

Height of the vanity

Makeup tables often come with a stool to sit on, so one should know their sit-down makeup vanity height before buying the table.

So, what is a good height for a makeup vanity? The master or guest bathroom height ranges from 33 to 36 inches to accommodate even kids. For the adjustable floating vanities, ensure the countertop sits waist-high at a standard height of 30 to 36 inches.

The makeup vanity height should also factor in the existing features on the countertop and the faucet height. The height should make sitting on a stool comfortable, pulling out makeup from the drawer convenient, and applying makeup easier.

Ideal material

Makeup vanities are made of different materials. Most are made of wood, but those with a non-porous surface are suitable because they are easy to clean. Other materials used for modern vanities include marble, board varieties, and laminate. 

manufacturers also use MDF to dress the mirror frame and vanity tabletops. Others are also dressed with glass that can function as a mirror. 

Storage features

Makeup vanities with drawers can help keep makeup products well organized, thus preventing clutter. Therefore, one should know how much storage they need and what they intend to keep in the drawers.

The storage area can store jewelry, hair accessories, makeup products, and styling tools. Before settling for a makeup vanity, stocktake makeup inventory to determine the required storage capacity. It is a good practice to factor in 10-20% additional storage room to cater to future purchases.

Height of the mirror

It is good to discern the height of the integrated mirror on the makeup vanity in relation to one’s height. Knowing the stool’s height before purchasing a makeup vanity is also vital since it determines whether one sees their full face or half.

The ideal height for a makeup vanity with a mirror should allow one to see their head and face while sitting or standing. If the vanity came without a seat, one should choose a stool that allows them to see their faces without a struggle.

Type of mirrors

Makeup vanities come with different mirror types to choose from. For instance, one can choose vanities with adjustable mirrors, giving users more flexibility. They also allow guests to adequately use the light and check their makeup from different angles.

Standing mirrors are suitable for rooms with natural light or lightbulbs. Tri-fold designs offer superior results for those with more space in their bathroom or bedroom.

Flip-top mirror types are loved because they are multipurpose. Those with limited space who want to transform a makeup vanity into a writing desk can opt for a flip-top mirror.

If the dimensions of the built-in makeup vanity are minimalist, a mall mirror will fit better than a huge mirror.

Accessory stool and lighting

Makeup vanities often come with a stool placed underneath the table. However, some come without a stool, suitable for those having a chair.

When choosing an ideal stool size, remember to add extra inches in depth that allow pulling out and sitting comfortably. And since they are made from different materials, a stool with a vinyl or leather top or washable cover is easy to clean and maintain.

Lighting is also important when deciding which makeup vanity to purchase. Those with white LEDs of at least 90 CRI are helpful when it gets dark.


Budget is always a determinant when one is purchasing anything. Makeup vanities can be expensive, like any other furniture in the room. However, quality should take precedence over price, which means that cheap may not always be the best.

Types of makeup vanities

Makeup vanities come in various sizes and shapes to accommodate different home layouts. Consider some popular makeup vanities and where they suit best. 

Vintage makeup vanity

White vintage makeup vanity with an oval mirror

Vintage makeup vanities are perfectly designed for keeping makeup items and accessories in any mid-century or traditional-style bedroom. They have multiple cabinets and drawers and can store fragrances, makeup products, and jewelry stands. 

Most vintage makeup vanities have matching embossed details and upholstered seats, improving any dressing room’s luxury appeal. Their accompanying comfortable stool and mirror form a gorgeous setup for restrooms. 

Mirrorless makeup vanity

Crystal diamond makeup vanity table with two drawers

Some people already have built-in mirrors in their bedrooms. In this case, they are looking for a vanity table to pair with the mirror.

The mirrorless makeup vanity offers ample storage space. It functions like a small desk furnished with several trays and drawers for keeping hairdressing products and beauty products. It is often cheaper and can be customized to one’s liking, thus suitable for contemporary interiors. 

Travel vanity

A lady using a pink travel makeup organizer

Makeup artists or people who travel frequently benefit greatly from travel vanities. Applying makeup in a random bathroom or hotel mirror can be frustrating when one is used to a beautiful, well-lit vanity at home.

Travel vanity solves the problem for most travelers. It has a travel case for easy carriage and a lighted mirror for better application. Travel vanities come in various designs and shapes depending on the space, mobility, storage, or lighting. 

Lighted vanity mirror

Bedroom dresser Hollywood mirror vanity

Lighting is an inseparable part of an ideal makeup vanity for anyone looking for a flawless look. The mirror can be lit in various ways to help one see themselves well when applying makeup.

Some of the most favored lighted vanity mirrors, like the Hollywood mirror makeup vanity, get light from all directions. And this helps users identify areas in their faces that need adjustment. 

Lift top vanity

Wooden lift-up makeup vanity with two drawers

This makeup vanity is versatile and acts as a piece of hybrid furniture. It can function as a desk when the mirror is folded and becomes a makeup vanity when the mirror is lifted. 

Furthermore, moving from vanity to table and back to vanity takes seconds when needed.

The lift-top vanity is ideal for those having limited space. With this piece of hybrid furniture, one can save space and reduce the amount of furniture at home.

Its subtle look also makes it a darling for people who display their makeup vanities at all times. Minimalists often buy these vanities because they can fold the mirror down and use the table for other purposes.

Bathroom vanity

White modern bathroom mirror vanity with washing basin

Sometimes there is limited space in the bedroom, forcing one to place their vanity in a bathroom. Bathrooms can be relaxing and calm, suitable for makeup routines immediately after showering. 

Bathroom vanities have adequate storage spaces to keep jewelry, makeup products, and hair styling tools. When placed under the sink, they can save space and cover water pipes that tend to make bathrooms look dull. 


Makeup vanities are highly demanded items in most luxury homes and restaurants. Although some homes have built-in makeup vanities in the bedroom or bathroom, most don’t. 

However, homeowners and restaurant management can create space for this piece of furniture to add value to their guests’ lives. 

This article has addressed some valuable factors to consider when buying a makeup vanity and the types of vanities to choose from. 

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