The 10 Best Tri-fold Vanity Mirrors
We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Tri-fold vanity mirrors allow you to see your profile and your face straight-on at the same time, which makes it a lot easier to apply makeup flawlessly and accurately. Our selection includes larger models good for the home, along with compact options great for travel or work. You'll never again have to wonder whether you look your very best or not. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best tri-fold vanity mirror on Amazon.
Why Choose A Vanity Mirror?
Consider the most common use for a vanity mirror, the one you’d probably shout out if this were Family Feud: putting on makeup.
Male or female, high-maintenance or not, there is virtually no one that a vanity mirror can’t help. At the risk of sounding overenthusiastic, these are perhaps one of the best items you can own to make applying makeup and grooming yourself easier, right along with a high-quality razor, a good set of makeup brushes, and an excellent moisturizer. Why? Because the tri-fold vanity mirror makes so many tasks less of a hassle — and with a better outcome to boot.
Consider the most common use for a vanity mirror, the one you’d probably shout out if this were Family Feud: putting on makeup. When you apply makeup without the ability to see up close and clearly, you’re guessing that you are contouring and blending in a way that is attractive yet unnoticeable. For example, have you ever seen someone with a foundation line around the jaw? Taking a close look in a lighted vanity mirror is a good way to prevent just such issues.
Another excellent use for a tri-fold vanity mirror is for those personal grooming tasks that many people wouldn’t wish to talk about in polite company, such as tweezing eyebrows, removing blackheads, or trimming nose hairs. Sure, you could lean over your counter and try to get close enough to your bathroom mirror to see what you’re doing, but do you really want to be in the middle of a balance and contortion act while holding sharp implements near your face? Grab a vanity mirror, sit down, and make your face presentable in comfort.
And don’t forget about shaving. Lathering up may perhaps be best accomplished over a sink, but when it comes time for straightening and evening, it’s best to have a good, stable view. A man’s beard is serious business; some have gone so far as to call growing and shaping a beard an art form. Very few people want to run the risk of walking out of the house with crooked or jagged facial hair.
Tips For Choosing A Tri-fold Vanity Mirror
Although at first glance most tri-fold vanity mirrors seem fairly similar, there are a handful of features that vary. Of course, as the name implies, they all have three panels, a design that affords you both a frontal and peripheral view. Usually such mirrors are tall enough to show the entirety of your face, and in most cases, they tilt to a range of angles so you can sit how you feel comfortable. Some travel versions don’t tilt, though, as they’re made to be compact and may not have as many features as their counterparts that remain permanently in your home.
Of course, as the name implies, they all have three panels, a design that affords you both a frontal and peripheral view.
Another difference found among tri-fold vanity mirrors lies in their magnification. Some have a magnified panel, usually the one on the right or left, for up-close work. Others give you a movable magnifying round mirror so that you can customize your viewing area. If you need magnification in many different areas, from neck to eyebrows, a movable magnification mirror is the way to go.
You’ll also notice that some vanity mirrors are lighted while others are not. Ideally, you want to put on your makeup in the same light you’ll be viewed. For many, this means going out in daylight, so a mirror with a strong, bright light is a big help. Some tri-fold mirrors offer adjustable brightness settings so that you can customize your grooming experience.
Finally, the aesthetic features of tri-fold vanity mirrors can vary. Some are no-nonsense, utilitarian pieces, while others seek to capture a certain look or feel. For example, you will see versions that would fit right in with antique comb and brush sets, while others are brightly colored and modern. As you’ll likely be looking into your new mirror every day, don’t neglect this aspect when making your choice.
A Brief History Of The Vanity
Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the vainest of them all? Not necessarily those using a vanity mirror, because in this case, the word vanity does not refer to an overdeveloped sense of pride in oneself. Rather, vanity is another word for a dressing table, the typically small table a person sits at during grooming tasks, such as putting on makeup. Today, these furniture items usually already have a mirror attached, as well as drawers, although they didn’t start out quite this way.
Today, these furniture items usually already have a mirror attached, as well as drawers, although they didn’t start out quite this way.
The vanity’s precursors are the boxes designed to hold cosmetics and grooming supplies that date all the way back to ancient Egyptian times. Exquisitely styled, these were often crafted from precious materials, including ivory and ebony. It wasn’t until the 17th century that the cosmetic box began to morph into the dressing table in its more modern form, when furniture makers began creating tables that slid apart to reveal a mirror and drawers — sort of a beefed-up cosmetics box with legs. Many were ornate and functioned as a marker for status and wealth, often featuring a family’s coat of arms.
Later, in the 19th century in America, the vanity took on the style that we are more familiar with today: straightforward and without the hidden drawers and mirrors. Popular furniture styles for these simple vanities include Chippendale, Colonial, and Queen Anne, with the dressing table becoming an integral part of the bedroom suite of furniture. Interestingly, by the 20th century, vanity tables had come to symbolize luxury once again thanks in part to being featured in Hollywood movie sets.
Today, the vanity can be either plain or luxurious, hand-crafted or of the flat-pack Scandinavian variety. And of course no one is suggesting that you have to have a dressing table to use a tri-fold vanity mirror. Your bathroom counter, dresser, or even a bedroom desk all work just fine.
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