Insider's Guide to Shopping for a Bathroom Vanity

Insider’s Guide to Shopping for a Bathroom Vanity

If your master bath or powder room is in serious need of a makeover, then shopping for a new bathroom vanity is a great place to start. The type of vanity you choose can completely transform a bathroom’s aesthetics and pull the space together with ease. We’re offering up some insider tips and tricks for finding the best bathroom vanity to suit your personal sense of style.

Quick Answers:

Bathroom vanities generally have the following measurements and qualities.

  • Height: Bathroom vanities are generally between 31 and 36 inches.
  • Width: Bathroom vanities are generally between 12 and 84 inches wide, yet popular models are generally between 24 and 72 inches.
  • Depth: Bathroom vanities are generally between 17 and 24 inches.

Shopping by Popular Bathroom Vanity Widths

Smaller bathrooms and powder rooms look best with petite bathroom vanities and single sinks. (Optimal widths range from narrow 24 inch styles to slightly broader 36-inch designs.) A 30 inch bathroom vanity is a popular option for smaller areas and offers at least some countertop space for toiletries and essentials. Depending on your bathroom’s dimensions and your personal preferences, you may want to spring for a 42 inch or 48 inch single-sink vanity for a little more elbow room.

Common Bathroom Vanity Widths

Bathroom Vanity Heights

When it comes to choosing the right vanity for your bathroom, height is just as important of a consideration as width. Vanities that are 36 inches tall tend to work better for adults, and this specific size is commonly referred to as “comfort height” for that very reason. That being said, some bathroom vanities stand as low as 31 inches to better accommodate specific needs. For most adults, 36 inches is ideal and helps prevent unnecessary back strain. It’s also a smart choice for children’s bathrooms in the long-run, as they can use step stools to help them reach the sink until they’re grown.

Finding the Perfect Countertop

Confused about what type of countertop is best for your bathroom? It ultimately depends on the room’s traffic, your styling preferences, and your overall budget. For high-traffic master and secondary bathrooms, you’ll likely want countertops that are resistant to stains and built for durability (think granite and white quartz.) If you’re shopping for a smaller guest bathroom or powder room that won’t see as much regular use, then you can get away with decorative but porous countertops made of marble, concrete, or wood. For tighter budgets, ceramic and laminate are both good economical choices that are relatively easy to install.




When selecting a vanity top, it’s important to make sure that you choose a design that suits your style as well as your bathroom’s dimensions. A vanity top generally adds about an inch to the vanity’s size, so keep this in mind when narrowing down your options to ensure that the top you choose will work in the available space. Ideally, vanity tops should be an inch wider and deeper than the vanity cabinet itself. Taking the time to measure your bathroom space is especially important when you’re mixing and matching tops and bases – and it’s an essential part of finding the perfect fit.

Pro Tip: When in doubt, quartz is always a smart option. It’s just as durable as concrete and granite, and its non-porous finish is more resistant to stains and bacteria.

Popular Bathroom Vanity Styles

Today’s selection of bathroom vanities comes in a wide range of styles to complement your overall home décor. Choose from tried-and-true traditional favorites with slatted doors and wood-heavy construction for a touch of nostalgia, or refresh your space with contemporary pieces made with on-trend details and silhouettes. Modern vanities reflect mid-century styling with louvered cabinet doors and wide paneling, while transitional vanities blend these mid-century influences with the latest innovations for extra versatility. Whatever your preferred look, these designs add their own unique charm to your home’s bathrooms and offer the perfect pairings of form and function.

Choosing Bathroom Vanity Lighting

Lighting is such an integral part of every room in your home, and bathrooms are certainly no exception. From sleek metallic fixtures to extravagant bath bars and sconces with three or more bulbs, these designs illuminate your master and guest baths to perfection. Let your preferred aesthetics guide you toward choosing a style that reflects your great taste. Whether you favor mixed metals, ornate details, frosted glass, or exposed bulbs, these essential lights frame your vanity and brighten your morning and evening routines. (Read “From Blah to Spa: How Bathroom Lighting Can Turn Your Space into an Oasis” for more styling inspiration.)

Flush mount bath lighting will compliment your bathroom vanity set up by creating opportunities for light layering. For a bathroom, you’ll also want to add task lighting, whether that’s vanity lighting, bath bars or sconces. Flush mount lights will provide the overhead ambient light to fill gaps in your lighting mix. Flush Mount
Flush mount bath lighting will compliment your bathroom vanity set up by creating opportunities for light layering. For a bathroom, you’ll also want to add task lighting, whether that’s vanity lighting, bath bars or sconces. Flush mount lights will provide the overhead ambient light to fill gaps in your lighting mix.

Pro Tip: Always make sure that the bathroom fixtures you choose are UL rated for damp or wet locations.

Shopping by Components

Many bathroom vanities come complete with coordinating bases and countertops, but many are also sold individually to allow for more creative styling options. If you decide to buy these components separately to mix and match according to your personal tastes, then you’ll want to consider their specifications as well as how the base and tops work together (both visually and mechanically). These creative pairings are admittedly more challenging when it comes to the installation process, but the possible combinations are limitless.

Vanity Base

Keeping your bathroom tidy and organized starts with your vanity base. If you simply need a small sink for a guest bathroom or a powder room, then a petite wall-mounted style can serve the room well without overwhelming it. For larger master bathrooms, you’ll likely want vanities with fully equipped bases that consist of soft-close drawers and doors, adjustable height levelers, and plenty of interior shelves to keep your essentials out of sight but close at hand. The base is a wonderful way to show off your styling preferences, as well. From cherry wooden cabinets to crisp white units and mirrored finishes, your vanity base is a focal point that pulls the entire room together.

Popular Bathroom Vanity Finishes

Visually speaking, the finish of your vanity is one of the most important considerations for how it will look in your master and guest baths. Whether you love the soft effect of everyday neutrals or prefer contrasting shades that command attention, there are more than enough finishes to accommodate your sense of style.




Chilled Gray

French Gray

Grayish Blue




Choose from classic brown cabinets and natural rattan for down-to-earth charm. Black and charcoal, of course, are always in style. Or try a stained wood vanity in cherry, walnut, or mahogany. Gray is a versatile option that works well with a wide range of color palettes, while classic black and white finishes are timeless favorites that never fail.

Your Style, Your Pick

Begin and end each day at a bathroom vanity that speaks to your personal sense of style. Browse our complete collection of vanities to find the perfect design for your needs, and check out “10 Easy Bathroom Updates to Impress Your Guests” for more ways to beautify your space.

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