The 9 Best Medicine Cabinets
This wiki has been updated 31 times since it was first published in October of 2016. You won't have to settle for stuffing your medications, makeup, and other toiletries into cupboards and drawers if you install one of these medicine cabinets on the wall. Coming in a range of designs, not only are they super-convenient, but they're nice to look at, too. We've included modern as well as traditional models, making it easy to find the perfect solution for any home. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 02, 2019:
Replacing your old, out-of-style medicine cabinet is a simple way to give your bathroom a mini facelift. We've tried to create a varied list of cabinets to give you plenty of style and storage options. You'll notice that this list contains several contemporary, minimalist models that will fit in nicely with modern decor, in addition to a few traditional styles that will match farmhouse and classic decorating schemes perfectly. Every cabinet featured here has multiple interior shelves to provide families with ample space to store toiletries, makeup, and of course, medicine.
The Jensen 868P34WHG has been replaced with the updated 868P34WHGX version. Similarly, the Jensen 1454 Mirage has been replaced with another newer model, the 1454X. Brand new additions included the Kleankin Multifunctional and Tangkula AM1804HM, which range in style from rustic and homey to chic and modern, and both offer ample storage space.
A Brief History of Medicine Cabinets
Around the turn of the 20th century, however, a greater emphasis began to be placed on taking care of your body.
Have you ever wondered where people kept their toiletries before medicine cabinets came along?
The answer is: they didn't really have toiletries.
For much of human history, hygiene has been a dodgy proposition at best. Washing up was infrequent, and often done at public baths. Instead of getting clean, they often focused on covering up odors with scented oils that were just kept in jars in the bedroom.
Dental care was spotty, as well. A variety of methods were historically used to clean teeth, and even after toothbrushes were invented, they were often community items, rather than essentials kept in personal bathrooms.
Around the turn of the 20th century, however, a greater emphasis began to be placed on taking care of your body. That led to a variety of new implements that needed to be stored, including shaving equipment, soap, and toothbrushes — not to mention basic first aid materials.
Luckily, the most trustworthy people in the world were on the case: advertisers. Since personal hygiene brands were becoming big business, they started to employ marketing firms. These firms touted the necessity of having a built-in medicine cabinet in your bathroom to house all your essentials — because you care about your family, don't you?
As we learned more about germs as agents of disease transmission, both our bathrooms and our medicine cabinets began to take on a clinical, antiseptic feel. It was all white porcelain and stainless steel — surfaces that could be cleaned so thoroughly that they were positively gleaming.
The responsibility for stocking and tending to medicine cabinets fell almost completely on women. They were expected to keep home and hearth spotless, as well as have an answer in their medicine cabinets for every malady under the sun.
That's somewhat less true today, as just about every bathroom has its own medicine cabinet — and the primary user of said cabinet is expected to keep it stocked to his or her liking. These storage spaces have become so important — and our health and beauty regimens so extensive — that having a big one is seen as a luxurious extravagance.
They're also great places to stash a flask for a little early morning pick-me-up. Now that's an extravagance.
The Well-Stocked Cabinet
Having a spacious medicine cabinet is all well and good, but what are you supposed to put in there? Is it all a matter of personal choice?
You should certainly include whatever items you personally deem essential, but there are a few things that everyone should keep stocked.
The most important things, of course, are any prescription medicines you might be taking. This includes things like asthma inhalers, EpiPens, and insulin.
Emergency contact numbers, information about drug interactions, and lists of current medications and dosages for all family members should be included.
Keep a fair amount of OTC drugs in there, as well. At minimum, you should have a painkiller and fever reducer (ibuprofen does both), something for digestive issues, and an allergy treatment. That should cover most of the common afflictions.
Remember that, if you have babies or small children in your house, you'll likely need a completely different set of meds for them. This will also likely mean that you need to have a thermometer for them in addition to one for you.
Having the proper equipment to treat wounds is also important. This includes gauze, antiseptic, antibiotic ointment, alcohol wipes, and bandages. It may be easier to just buy a pre-stocked first aid kit for this, but the important thing is to have something.
Past that, it's smart to include emergency medical information in your cabinet — just tape it to the inside. Emergency contact numbers, information about drug interactions, and lists of current medications and dosages for all family members should be included.
Taking the time to put together a proper medicine cabinet likely isn't your idea of a fun Saturday night, but it's an important task nonetheless. After all, you'd hate to really need something in an emergency and not be able to find it.
Other Smart Bathroom Storage Ideas
While having a medicine cabinet can reduce some of the clutter around your sink, you'll need more than just a single cabinet to house all your bathroom gear.
A smart method for doing this is to take advantage of all the room you have. This is especially true if you have a small bathroom — finding places to create storage space is as important as actually storing your stuff.
The bigger items, like towels and rolls of toilet paper, may be better off stored someplace else, like in a linen closet.
An over-the-toilet cabinet is a great way to maximize your space. There's lots of room above your toilet, after all, so take advantage of it. You can store towels, toilet paper, and assorted other large objects up there.
Taming the items below the sink can be extremely useful, as well. You can use a few wire baskets or plastic boxes to keep everything contained. You'll be surprised at how much you can fit here if you keep it well-organized.
Hanging bars are another simple way to utilize otherwise wasted space. You can install a few of them on the wall, and then hang baskets filled with stuff from them. You could also install cabinets, but that requires more room while being more expensive and more difficult to set up.
Ultimately, though, the best way to keep your bathroom well-organized is to reduce the amount of stuff you keep in there. The bigger items, like towels and rolls of toilet paper, may be better off stored someplace else, like in a linen closet. If you can find products that multitask, like moisturizing cleansers or shampoos with conditioner mixed in, that can reduce the amount of junk on your counter without causing your appearance to suffer as a result.
Plus, if you can reduce the amount of makeup and toiletries you use, it might even save you time in the morning. That can mean getting to work earlier, or even better, staying in bed a little longer.