5 Mirror Alternatives for When Glass Just Won't Do
Author: Rick Worst | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Don’t like having a regular mirror in your home? Well, we aren’t surprised to hear that. Many people are opting for mirror alternatives these days. Glass mirrors have been used for decades, and it’s high time we started using alternatives for a change.
That being said, there’s nothing wrong with using glass mirrors. These are very convenient as they let you see your reflection and make the room look much larger.
5 Mirror Alternatives
Yet, if a change is what you’re looking for, you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll be discussing the top mirror alternatives that you can opt for right now instead of using your typical types of mirrors.
A major reason why people look for mirror alternatives is the lack of space. If you find insufficient space for hanging mirrors in your room, you should get door mirrors. It's a way to hang mirrors without nails, since they just plop right over the door.
Door mirrors are one of the most convenient mirrors because they don’t require any extra space. If you have a door in your room, you should be able to install these without any hassle.
There are different types of door mirrors as well. They come in all sizes and shapes. Other than that, they can be installed in different ways too.
While some door mirrors must be hung, others can be glued or screwed to the door. If you want a temporary solution, we recommend going with the glue.
However, the glue may come off eventually, and the chances are even higher if the mirror is installed in a bathroom, as it’ll come in contact with water regularly. It’s true that these glues are very strong and don’t usually come off; the mirror will shatter if it drops even once.
So, we wouldn’t recommend using glue mirrors, and this is especially true if you’ll be installing the mirror in a bathroom.
When it comes to the permanent solution, you’ll have the option to either hang the mirror on some types of wall hooks or screw it on the door. Screwing the mirror on the door will make the mirror more stable. However, it’s more of a hassle.
On the other hand, you can easily install a hook or two on the door to hang the mirror.
One of the most significant advantages of having a door mirror is getting as large a mirror as you’d like, as there won’t be any space restriction.
It will allow you to see your entire body, which will help you get ready faster. This isn't a full-blown mirror substitute but often people are looking for something different, not just non-glass mirrors.
However, we’d urge you not to jump to a conclusion and get yourself one of these right away. While door mirrors are great alternatives to regular glass mirrors, there are superior alternatives. What is nice about these is not having to remove any scratches from glass.
Many people confuse plastic mirrors with acrylic mirrors, and there’s a reason for that as well. Acrylic is a type of plastic. However, they offer special perks, which help them stand out from the rest of the plastic mirrors very effortlessly.
While plastic mirrors are great, their quality isn’t even close to the quality of acrylic mirrors. That being said, these are much cheaper than the regular acrylic mirrors.
So, why are plastic mirror alternatives still surviving on the market? Even though they offer an inferior reflective capability to glass and acrylic mirrors, they are very robust and less expensive.
The plastic mirrors are capable of withstanding more damage than acrylic and glass mirrors. While acrylic mirrors are more long-lasting than glass mirrors, plastic mirrors are even better. These mirrors will survive drops, and they’re not likely to break even with a dent or a bump.
That is a significant advantage that plastic mirrors have to offer. It’s true that they aren’t as impressive as glass or acrylic mirrors in terms of reflections, but they are pretty durable.
Another reason why these mirrors are still surviving is their price. These are so inexpensive that you can get multiple plastic mirrors at the same cost as a single glass mirror.
Plus, they are very malleable. You can cut them easily and use them for DIY projects. Then again, placing them in areas such as roads, kid’s rooms, etc., is a great idea.
In such places, the mirrors are likely to get damaged. If plastic mirrors are put in these places, the necessity of changing them will decrease to a great extent.
However, maintaining plastic mirrors can be a tough job. Unlike glass mirrors, these don’t offer a satisfying “wipe to clean” experience.
Cleaning them is tough, and with time, they will decay eventually. Unlike glass mirrors, these can’t be brought back to their former self. Plus, they are susceptible to scratches. Thankfully these are the most cheap mirror alternatives and you can easily replace it when that time comes.
Despite these drawbacks, plastic mirrors are an excellent choice for many different usage scenarios. If you find yourself in one of these, you should get a plastic mirror for cutting costs.
Acrylic mirrors are perhaps one of the most famous mirror-like materials that you can find out there. Many people are adapting to acrylic mirrors instead of glass mirrors, and there are many reasons behind this.
Let’s go over the drawbacks first. Acrylic mirrors aren’t as clean as glass mirrors, and maintaining them can be bothersome as well. As we’ve discussed before, glass mirrors are very easy to clean, and they usually don’t get scratched.
However, acrylic mirror alternatives can get scratched very easily. Plus, these are tough to clean as well. While restoring glass mirrors doesn’t take a lot of effort, the same can’t be said for acrylic mirrors.
Once these mirrors decay, it’s nearly impossible to restore them. In fact, you’d be able to buy yourself a new mirror with the cost of restoration.
These were the drawbacks of acrylic mirrors. Now that we’re done with those, let’s discuss the excellent benefits of these mirrors.
Acrylic mirrors are incredibly flexible. These mirrors can be bought in sheets, and they can be cut and bent as per necessity. That is why these mirrors are highly favored when it comes to DIY projects. On top of that, these mirrors are 17 times stronger than glass.
Then again, thanks to their flexibility, it’s possible to create a lot of unique-looking mirrors that otherwise would’ve been impossible to create with glass mirrors.
If you want to create a mirror by yourself, acrylic mirrors are the best option for you. You can simply purchase an acrylic mirror sheet, cut it as per necessity, and fit it inside a wooden frame of your choice.
As you can create these mirror substitutes by yourself, the acrylic mirrors usually don’t cost much. You’ll only have to pay for the raw materials.
Although these mirrors get scratched easily and are tougher to clean compared to glass mirrors, these are more durable and robust than glass mirrors.
Glass mirrors tend to shatter upon impact, and cracked mirror repair never comes out perfect. This means that a glass mirror may shatter upon dropping or crack if it gets hit by some object. They're pretty fragile.
The acrylic mirrors are safe from such damage. These are so robust that they won’t break even from dropping. Even if they fall on an edge, the maximum damage they can suffer is a dent. They may get cracked too, but that’s only found in rare instances.
Overall, despite lacking the sophistication of a glass mirror, the acrylic mirrors are a solid choice for offering outstanding durability and flexibility, and that too at a much lower price point.
Cameras & Digital Screens
Last but not least, we have cameras. Yes, cameras aren’t mirroring. Then again, they can be used as one of the most convenient and versatile mirror alternatives.
If someone had told me even 10 years back that cameras could be used as a proper mirror, I wouldn’t have believed them. However, now they’re so well designed that they can capture even the most minor details.
That is precisely why they can be used as mirrors. Plus, the availability of cameras has increased by a great deal in the last few years, thanks to smartphones. Most of us have a high-quality camera built into our smartphones, and carrying them is very easy too.
The best part about using cameras as a mirror is that you can carry them anywhere. It allows you to take a peek at yourself wherever you are, whenever you want.
However, there are indeed some obvious drawbacks to using cameras as a mirror.
Firstly, you’ll need a high-quality camera for noticing all the subtleties of your reflection. Although you don’t need a smartphone with a flagship-level camera for doing that, you won’t be able to do that with outdated phones either. Then again, cameras don’t work well in low light.
A very ancient concept, the reflecting pool involves filling large enough types of bowls with very clean water and placing it on a surface so that there is no movement within the water. You can't have ripples or flowing water or you won't get a clear picture.
In the past, this was used for all kinds of means such as fortune telling among other things, but the main purpose has always been to simply get a clear reflection for the person looking into the reflecting bowl. Still water is among the most mirror-like materials.
Doing this in the present day may seem absurd. You have to look down to see an image in the water instead of horizontally right in front of you. You run the risk of spilling the water indoors and on the carpet or tile.
You also have to change the water to keep it clean. As dust and hairs land on the water, your reflection will be disrupted. It's not a very practical idea but it can get the job done if you're in a pinch.
Mirror Alternatives for Space Saving & Less Breaking
Before you choose, make sure you’re getting a mirror that’ll complement your purpose correctly. Each type has something unique to offer, and going through the points mentioned above will help you identify them better.
Glass mirrors are unique, but some glass mirror alternatives can provide better value for money. That is why we highly recommend trying these alternatives out.