Home & Design

Why Do We Need a Medicine Cabinet in the Bathroom?

In an era where people are paying closer attention to every corner of their homes for better organization, the simple medicine cabinet has quietly returned. 

With new designs of lighted medicine cabinets and others that seamlessly combine practicality and style, it’s capturing attention and prompting an important question: What makes the medicine cabinet a standout addition to today’s bathroom aesthetics?

 Is it a true necessity or just a decor add-on? Let’s explore the answers as we dive into the essential role of the medicine cabinet in our modern-day bathroom spaces.

The Initial Purpose: Why Were These Cabinets Created?

The fundamental idea behind creating bathroom medicine cabinets was to provide a designated space for self-care essentials and maintain a well-organized bathroom. Even if the older versions seem a bit outdated, don’t be quick to dismiss them. 

Why? Because they still serve a purpose in today’s bathrooms. The best part about these cabinets is that you’re no longer confined to dull and generic designs. Modern medicine cabinets come in endless styles, including custom designs, some even equipped with electrical outlets and other tech-savvy features. 

Not to mention the dimensions like 55 x 35 medicine cabinets and more. Precisely, you can seamlessly blend function with style in your choice of a medicine cabinet.

Are Medicine Cabinets a Must-Have in Every Bathroom?

Yes, having a medicine cabinet in your bathroom is pretty common. They’re useful storage buddies for keeping your meds, toiletries, and personal stuff in order. But you know, whether you need one depends on what your bathroom is all about.

In residential settings, not every bathroom mandates a medicine cabinet. Medicine cabinets are common in bigger bathrooms, especially in the main ones with more room to spare, and people want more storage. 

If you have a master bathroom, having a medicine cabinet will make it easier to keep your meds organized. Yet, for smaller bathrooms, other storage options like shelves or cabinets built into the vanity are enough to store stuff without needing a whole medicine cabinet.

In hospitals or clinics, rules say they must have medicine cabinets everywhere, like in patient rooms. It’s about ensuring meds are on hand for the medical folks, patients and those controlled substances stay secure. In public bathrooms in malls or offices, you might find medicine cabinets. It’s about providing a clean place for people to stash their meds and follow health rules.

The Advantages of a Bathroom Medicine Cabinet

Did you know installing a medicine cabinet in your bathroom is a multifaceted enhancement? It offers a bundle of advantages that make the cabinet a practical and functional addition to any bathroom. What are these advantages? Let’s explore:

Organization and Storage

A medicine cabinet becomes a designated hub for all your bathroom essentials, promoting an organized space. With shelves and compartments, you can neatly categorize medications, first aid supplies, skin care products, toothpaste, and more, ensuring easy access and a clutter-free environment.


The strategic placement of a medicine cabinet, often with an attached mirror, ensures easy access to frequently used items. Grab what you need swiftly during your morning or bedtime routines, saving time and effort. This accessibility proves particularly valuable during emergencies or when immediate access to medications or first aid supplies is crucial.

Safety and Security

Installing a medicine cabinet helps to keep drugs and possibly toxic items out of the reach of youngsters and pets. Many cabinets include childproof locks, which provide an extra layer of security. Storing things in a lockable cabinet prevents accidental consumption or misuse while protecting pharmaceuticals from environmental variables such as dampness.

Space Optimization

A medicine cabinet is a great space-saving solution, especially for tiny bathrooms. Combining the functionality of a mirror with storage space reduces the need for separate shelves or units, allowing for more wall and floor space. Recessed medicine cabinets incorporated into the wall go above and beyond regarding space efficiency.

Aesthetic Appeal

Beyond being useful, a medicine cabinet adds a touch of style to your bathroom. With different designs like the lighted medicine cabinets and sizes like 55 x 35 medicine cabinets, you can match it to your vibe, whether you’re into modern, sleek or classic fancy. The mirror also jazzes up the room’s brightness, making it easy on the eyes.

Navigating Building Codes for Medicine Cabinets in Residential Bathrooms

Building codes keep homes safe and functional. They underline the need for certain amenities that aren’t always necessary but can be highly useful. One such amenity that is frequently addressed is the medicine cabinet.

Medicine cabinets, also known as bathroom or mirrored cabinets, are frequently seen in home bathrooms, providing a convenient storage solution for prescriptions, toiletries, and personal things. While not officially required by building rules in all areas, their installation is strongly advised for several compelling reasons mentioned above. 

For instance, installing medicine cabinets aligns with promoting safety in bathrooms. Beyond safety, medicine cabinets enhance the bathroom’s functionality and organization. 

Moreover, medicine cabinets address the practical challenge of inadequate bathroom storage, a common issue in older and newer constructions. In such cases, installing a medicine cabinet becomes a practical solution, maximizing available space and improving overall bathroom efficiency.

While specific mandates may be lacking, guidelines within building codes show the importance of bathroom storage. The IRC recommends a minimum of one storage cabinet with a clear opening width of 20 inches, ensuring sufficient space for essential items.

Local building codes and regulations may further specify requirements for medicine cabinets based on unique circumstances. In some jurisdictions, medicine cabinets might be required in bathrooms lacking alternative storage forms, like a vanity or linen closet. 

Such regulations guarantee that residents can access functional and secure storage options, reinforcing the practicality of installing medicine cabinets in residential bathrooms.


When finalizing a medicine cabinet installation, practicality, accessibility, and aesthetics should be key considerations. It’s not just about storing stuff – it should be in a spot you can get to, well-lit, and firmly stuck so accidents or someone snooping around your meds don’t happen. 

Besides that, the size and style matter too, so make sure whether you choose a lighted medicine cabinet or a 55 x 35 medicine cabinet,  it fits right in with your bathroom’s look and works the way you need it to. 

We hope this detailed guide will help you better understand the need to install a bathroom medicine cabinet.

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