The 10 Best Fogless Mirrors
This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in October of 2015. The steam of a piping hot shower softens the hair and opens the pores, allowing for a close and comfortable shave. But it also fogs up any regular mirror, making it impossible to groom safely. Our selection of fog-free options lets you do the job accurately and quickly, and includes a few choices for those who travel frequently. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best fogless mirror on Amazon.
What Causes A Mirror To Fog Up In The First Place?
What’s happening to your bathroom mirror when you shower is similar.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying a nice cold beverage on a hot day, you know that the container that beverage comes in — whether it’s a glass, a can, or some other vessel — seems to sweat. We think of it as sweating mainly because we sweat, and the results look and feel similar, but the moisture on the outside of your drink doesn’t come from the inside the way our sweat glands release moisture on our skin.
Your drink appears to be sweating due to condensation. The difference in the temperatures of the air and the glass cause otherwise invisible airborne water vapor to settle on the outside of the drink.
What’s happening to your bathroom mirror when you shower is similar. The glass of the mirror is much colder than the heavy steam produced by your hot shower. When that steam makes contact with the cold surface of the mirror, the water settles down on it. Because of the surface tension there, however, that film of water appears extremely thin; the fog that we perceive is actually thousands of tiny water molecules all sticking together on the mirror’s surface.
This is also why simply wiping that layer of fog off your mirror does little to help the situation. It may clear up the fogged area for a moment, but as soon as additional water vapor makes contact with the glass, the fog reappears. Often, this attempt to clear away the fog actually does more harm than good, as once you’ve broken the even surface tension that the fog had established, you’ll have opened up additional channels for condensation to run, creating streaks in the fog and possibly streaks on the mirror glass once that fog finally evaporates.
There are a few things you can do to combat the fog without investing in a fogless mirror, but you’re not going to like them. For starters, you could stop taking hot showers and resign yourself to the bitter cold. You could also setup a mirror outside the bathroom for your post-shower activities, but this also forces you out into the cold morning air after that nice hot wash. Another option would be to hit the mirror with a long blast of air from your hair drier. This dry air will cause the fog to evaporate at an accelerated rate, but you’re still going to have to wait for it to work and deal with the noise and increased electricity costs that accompany this solution.
How Does A Fogless Mirror Work?
There are plenty of reasons to use a fogless mirror in your shower or bathroom. I can attest to one, in particular, and that the reduction of razor burn. I’ve never found a razor or a shaving cream that could keep my razor burn at a minimum. The men in my family are also notorious for destroying electric razors with our thick, coarse facial hair, so I figured I was out of luck. Then, someone suggested that I start shaving the shower, in the midst of all that pore-opening, hair-softening steam. Like a fool, I took the advice without much additional thought, and attempted to shave without a mirror. Blood was spilt that morning.
In either case, the hot water causes the glass of the mirror to match the temperature of the steam in your bathroom, so no condensation will take place.
Afterward, I got my hands on a fogless mirror, and it worked great. The only problem was that I had gone with the cheapest thing I could find and within a month or so, it started attracting fog. I couldn’t figure out why it would work one day and not the next, so I did a little research.
Apparently, I had gotten a chemically treated fogless mirror, which is one of two main types of fogless mirror available on the market. Chemically treated fogless mirrors use surfactants, hydrophilics, or a combination of the two to keep present water molecules from sticking to the mirror’s surface or to each other. RainX works in a similar way to keep rain from accumulating on your windshield. But RainX needs to be reapplied every few weeks, and similarly, the chemicals on treated fogless mirrors won’t last forever.
That’s when I decided to invest in a water-based fogless mirror. These devices keep a reservoir of heated water in a cavity behind the mirror itself. Sometimes, this reservoir is heated by a battery operated heater housed in the unit. Certain fogless mirrors, however, are designed to be installed along the waterline of your shower head or hose, feeding a constant stream of diverted water to the space behind the mirror. In either case, the hot water causes the glass of the mirror to match the temperature of the steam in your bathroom, so no condensation will take place.
Other Ways To Maximize Your Shave
More than anything else, a fogless mirror exists to make shaving a more pleasant experience. There are certainly other uses for it, such as putting in contacts, applying makeup, and other early morning rituals, but many of these can be done a few minutes after your shower, when your regular mirror has had time let its fog evaporate. So, to make your shaving experience and the face it leaves behind as smooth as possible, there are a few other things you can add to your routine.
So, to make your shaving experience and the face it leaves behind as smooth as possible, there are a few other things you can add to your routine.
For starters, you should invest in a good razor. It doesn’t have to be a straight razor or even a safety razor, but it should at least be a reusable model. Disposables are a one-way ticket to skin irritation. Ideally, it will have a head with some natural articulation, and even a strip dedicated to lubricating the experience.
Then, you might want to try experimenting with pre-shave oils and other products designed to prepare your skin and facial hair for the coming shave. Some of these merely add a little extra moisture to the area, while others boast the ability to get hairs to stand up straighter and better receive the razor.
Finally, try to take your time. A lot of cuts and razor-based irritation comes from the haste with which most of us attack the majority of our morning duties. Hopefully, with a fogless mirror in your shower, you can take the time you need to treat your skin to a long, comfortable shave.
Statistics and Editorial Log