How To Pick The Right Height For Your Bathroom Vanity

Serving the Greater Richmond area since 2016 | Over 100+ projects completed in 2021 alone

Two beautiful bathroom vanities installed in a bathroom by Fabling Built

Bathroom vanities come in all shapes and sizes. But have you ever wondered why they’re traditionally so low? And is there a “right” height for a bathroom vanity?

In this article, we’ll look at all things bathroom vanity, from standard height and width to the different types you can choose from. After reading this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about picking the perfect bathroom vanity for your home.

We’ve got the answers to all your bathroom vanity questions! Read on to learn more.

How To Pick The Right Height For Your Bathroom Vanity

Before we dive into the factors that determine the “right” height for your bathroom vanity, let’s take a moment to go over the standard bathroom vanity height, width, and depth and how those measurements became the standards for bathroom design. And if you’re looking for trendy bathroom remodeling ideas, be sure to check out our guide to 2023’s hottest bathroom design trends.

Standard Bathroom Vanity Height

The label “standard” is somewhat inaccurate because there is no fixed standard height for vanities. Historically, the most commonly used height for bathroom countertops ranges from 30 to 32 inches.

However, based on the average height of men and women in the USA, some studies have suggested that a better bathroom sink vanity height for men would be between 34-36 inches, and a more appropriate height for women would be between 32-34 inches. Taking the average of the ranges for men and women gives us a height of 34 inches–which should be the new universal standard!

Most modern vanities can range from 30 inches to 36 inches. If you’re installing a new vanity or replacing an old one, it’s important to choose a height that works for you. Some factors to consider include your height, the height of your family members, and whether you plan to use the vanity for storage.

It’s worth noting that the historically popular height of 30-32 inches is lower than what is considered standard for kitchen countertops (36 inches). For this reason, 36-inch-high “comfort-height vanities” are becoming more popular (more on these in a little bit). These are great options if you want your bathroom vanity to match the height of your kitchen countertops. Or, if you’re taller than average, you may want to opt for a taller vanity.

Standard Bathroom Vanity Width

Again, the term “standard” may be a bit of a misnomer since single-sink vanity width is typically determined by manufacturer and sink style. That being said, most bathroom vanities will not be less than 24″ wide. On average, bathroom vanities with a single sink will measure between 30-48 inches.

Standard Bathroom Vanity Depth

The standard depth for a bathroom vanity is 18-24 inches. This typically includes the depth of the countertop as well as the backsplash. The depth of your vanity will be determined by how much storage space you need and what type of sink you choose.

Generally speaking, most people like more depth, but the size of a vanity can be limited by the overall size of the bathroom. If you’re short on space, opt for a shallower depth. If you want more storage, choose a deeper depth.

Just keep in mind that the deeper the vanity, the more difficult it may be to reach items stored in the back. Again, it all comes down to personal preference and what works best for your needs.

Why Are Bathroom Vanities Traditionally So Low?

Modern Bathroom with Two Level Vanity

There are a few reasons why bathroom vanities have traditionally been designed to be low. After WWII, the first suburban homes typically had more bedrooms than bathrooms, which meant that families had to share bathrooms. Since parents and children had to use the same space, bathroom vanities were designed so children could easily reach the sink.

The way in which bathroom sinks were traditionally used also impacted how high they were built. It used to be common for people to wash their hair and perform other tasks in the sink, which made a lower vanity height more convenient.

Nowadays, the universal height for vanities is around 34 inches–which is optimized for adults–but it can be adjusted depending on the height of the user. For shorter individuals, a shorter vanity height may be more comfortable, while taller individuals may prefer a taller vanity. In cases where multiple vanities are present, different heights can be used for each individual.

Comfort Height: Matching The Bathroom Vanity Height To The Kitchen Countertops

As noted above, a more recent trend in determining bathroom vanity height is called “comfort height.” This is simply matching the height of the bathroom vanity to the standard height of kitchen countertops–36 inches. Not only does this create a cohesive feel throughout your home, but it may also make using your bathroom sink less awkward if you find the standard bathroom vanity height to be a bit too low.

Types Of Vanities

Now that we’ve covered standard bathroom vanity dimensions let’s take a look at the different types of vanities available so you can pick the perfect one for your home. There are four main types of vanities: vessel sink vanities, floating vanities, open shelving vanities, and double sink vanities. 

Vessel Sink Vanity

An elegant, renovated bathroom with white sinks, grey vanity, granite countertop, and bronze hardware, faucets and light

A vessel sink is a type of sink that sits on top of the vanity cabinet rather than being recessed into the countertop surface like traditional sinks are. Vessel sinks can be made from a variety of materials, including glass, metal, ceramic, and stone. They come in all shapes and sizes, which means there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for your bathroom. 

One thing to keep in mind when installing a vessel sink vanity: since the vessel sink typically adds an additional 5 inches in height, the main countertop should sit a maximum of 32 inches from the floor. This ensures that your sink edge is not too far past the recommended height for men of approximately 36 inches.

Pros: Vessel sinks add visual interest to any bathroom and can make even small bathrooms look luxurious.

Cons: One downside of vessel sinks is that they can be more expensive than traditional drop-in or under mount sinks. Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a vessel sink is that they require special faucets that sit on top of the sink rather than being recessed into it.

Floating Vanity

A floating vanity is one that appears to “float” off the ground without legs. This type of vanity is perfect if you’re tight on space, as it gives the illusion of more room. Floating vanities also tend to have a more modern look thanks to their clean lines and lack of clutter. 

Pros: Floating vanities give bathrooms an open, airy feel. They’re also easy to clean since there’s no hidden area where dirt and grime can build up unnoticed. Floating vanities also make small bathrooms look larger by allowing more light underneath them. 

Cons: One downside of floating vanities is that they can appear cold and sterile if not styled properly. Floating vanities also require careful installation since they must be securely attached to studs in order to prevent them from falling off the wall. 

Open Shelving Vanity

An open-shelving vanity is any type of vanity that has shelves instead of closed cabinets. Open shelving allows easy access to towels, toiletries, and other items stored on them and can help make a small bathroom feel larger.

Pros: Open shelving provides easy access to all your bathroom items, making them perfect for small bathrooms where space is limited. In addition, open shelving helps give bathrooms an open, airy feel. 

Cons: One downside of open shelving is that it requires regular dusting since there’s no door or other barrier to prevent dust from settling on shelves. Open shelving also doesn’t offer as much privacy as closed cabinets since everything stored on shelves is visible to anyone who enters the room. 

Double Sink Vanities

A double sink vanity installed by Fabling Built

A double-sink vanity is exactly what it sounds like–two sinks side-by-side. Double-sink vanities are perfect if you have a large family or couples who want Jack-and-Jill sinks, as they offer plenty of space for two people to get ready at once.

Just keep in mind that double-sink vanities tend to be wider than single-sink vanities, so be sure there’s enough room in your bathroom before making this purchase. Otherwise, you can make a double sink as wide as you can (assuming the plumbing is configured to allow the extra width).

Pros: Double sink vanities offer plenty of counter space for multiple people to use at once. They’re also great for couples who want separate areas to store their belongings. Double-sink vanities also help give bathrooms an open, airy feel. 

Cons: One downside of double-sink vanities is that they take up more space than single-sink models. Double-sink models also tend to be more expensive than single-sink models. 

Bathroom Vanity FAQs

Now that we’ve covered all things bathroom vanity-related let’s answer some frequently asked questions about this vital piece of furniture.

How High Should A Vanity Light Be?

When placing a light fixture above or alongside your mirror or medicine cabinet, you want to make sure that it is high enough that its light won’t be blocked by someone looking into the mirror. For this reason, it is recommended that lights be placed 75 to 84 inches high if going above the mirror and 65 inches high if lights are placed on the side of the mirror.

How Deep Should A Bathroom Vanity Counter Be?

The standard depth for a bathroom vanity countertop is 21 inches; however, many people prefer wider counters if possible. If space allows, these can go as wide as 30 inches or more. Wall-mount vanities may be as shallow as 16 inches deep.  

How Tall Should A Bathroom Mirror Be?

When it comes to finding a good height for your bathroom mirror, you want to find something that will work well with all members of your household. The top edge of your vanity mirror should be a few inches higher than eye level for the tallest person in the home.

For versatility and convenience, aim to place the top edge of the mirror around 72 inches high. The actual height of the mirror itself should generally range between 28 and 38 inches (unless you are doing a full-length mirror that reaches all the way up to the ceiling). 

Are There Regulations For How High A Bathroom Vanity Should Be?

Although there are no official laws regarding the height of bathroom vanities, the National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends a wide variety of heights ranging from 32 to 43 inches in order to serve people of all sizes. To learn more about bathroom regulations for universal design, please visit the official Americans With Disabilities Act website here.

Get Your Perfect Bathroom With The Experts At Fabling Built

Whether you’re remodeling an existing bathroom or starting from scratch with new construction, choosing the right sizes for fixtures like mirrors and vanities is essential for creating an inviting atmosphere in any room. With this crash course in hand, now you know exactly how to pick out vanity heights that are just right for your bathroom.

If you need help deciding which type of bathroom vanity is best for you or have any other questions about bathroom remodeling, our knowledgeable team is ready to answer them! Not sure where to start? Fill out our contact form today, and let’s make it happen.