Home Gym Mirror Guide: Benefits, costs, what type and size

By Steve Hall

July 2, 2021

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Many people prefer the freedom of having a home gym. You can work out whenever you get a chance, you never have to wait for equipment, etc. Commercial gyms all have big mirrors, but is it worth installing one in your home gym? And if so what are the benefits of having a home gym mirror?

Home gym mirrors help you to maintain and improve your form and therefore reduce the risk of injury. They can also help to improve motivation because you can more easily see your progress. Lastly they help to brighten up your exercise space and make it feel more spacious.

There are physical, psychological, and aesthetic benefits to installing a mirror in your home gym. Below, we discuss all three benefits along with the drawbacks of home gym mirrors, costs, sizing, and more. 

Benefits of Installing a Mirror in Your Home Gym

There are three primary reasons to install a mirror in your home gym. Mirrors have physical, psychological, and aesthetic benefits for you. 

Physical Benefits of Home Gym Mirrors

Regardless of your preferred type of exercise, whether you are into powerlifting, cardio in any form, yoga, Pilates, or an all-rounder, the most important lesson you will have learned is that form is paramount.

Quality over quantity may seem like a cliché trope, but when it comes to working out, it can be the difference between successfully building muscle mass and tone and causing injury that will set you back weeks.

Mirrors are excellent tools in any gym because they allow you to watch your form throughout the exercise session. As you watch yourself, you start to learn when good form feels like, and your body starts to do it naturally. 

Psychological Benefits

Working out can be a psychological battle. You have to overcome many mental blocks along your training journey, and for some people, a mirror is a game-changer.

Watching your body work is one of the most amazing motivators, and one day, you will look in the mirror and notice a definite change. Whether it is muscle definition, perfect execution of an exercise you have been struggling with, or even just a confident and happy face—it helps you to keep going.

Aesthetic Benefits

The well-lit and inviting rooms of the house are typically reserved for living areas, so home gyms are often built in back rooms, basements, or garages that are darker.

There is nothing wrong with using these rooms, except that, as mentioned, the well-lit rooms are more inviting, and your workout environment has an impact on motivation.

Installing a large wall mirror in your home gym will completely transform it. Not only will it catch all of the natural light and reflect it back, making the room less dark, but it also creates the illusion of space, which makes the room seem less cramped and easier to work out in. 

Drawbacks of Mirrors in Home Gyms

When deciding whether or not to get a home gym mirror, it is not helpful to list only the benefits because they might not outweigh the drawbacks for every person.

There are two primary drawbacks associated with home gym mirrors.

The first drawback is the cost. We will discuss the figures a little further on in the article, but purchasing and installing a home gym mirror is obviously going to be a more expensive option than installing one. Then there is also the potential cost involved if the mirror cracks or chips.

The second drawback is that the mirror will have to be cleaned and maintained. In a home gym environment, the mirror can quickly become dirty with water bottle spray and sweat droplets. It can also tarnish. 

What Type of Mirror Is Best for a Home Gym?

There are two main types of mirrors available: acrylic and glass. Both have advantages and disadvantages. 

Pros and Cons of Acrylic Mirrors

PROS

  • Lightweight—makes DIY installation of larger mirrors much easier and puts less strain on the wall on which it is going to hang
  • Impact-resistant and even if it does shatter, it will not create sharp shards, so it is safer in this regard
  • Less expensive than glass
  • Easy to clean

CONS

  • Can warp and become distorted, especially if hung incorrectly
  • Can absorb moisture if exposed to damp environments such as are sometimes found in basements

Pros and Cons of Glass Mirrors

PROS

  • More rigid than acrylic, so there is no chance of distortion or warping, so you will always see a perfect reflection

CONS

  • Not impact-resistant, and if it does shatter, it will produce sharp shards, which can be very dangerous
  • Very heavy, especially because thicker glass is stronger, so you might have to opt for something thicker
  • More expensive than acrylic

Choosing Between Glass and Acrylic Mirrors

On paper, it looks as if acrylic mirrors are the better choice, and in many cases, this is true. However, if your wall is not completely smooth and flat, it will become warped, and then you will not be able to assess your form in the mirror accurately.

Furthermore, it can make your body dimensions look distorted, which can negatively affect your body image.

On the other hand, if you want to get a really large mirror, then acrylic will be both cheaper and easier to install.

Consider the benefits and the drawbacks of each mirror as they pertain to your exact situation, and make your choice from there. 

What Size Mirror Do I Need for Home Gym?

The size of your home gym mirror depends on three factors; the type of exercises you do, your budget and the amount of space you have

1. Type of Exercise

Suppose you are primarily using a treadmill, elliptical machine, stationary bike, etc. In that case, you will not be moving around much, and you can install a smaller mirror directly in front of your machines. You will also not need the mirror to extend all the way to the floor.

If your daily or weekly regimen includes floor-mat exercises and moving around, then you will need a bigger mirror so that you can watch your form, whether you are lying down or moving across the other.

These are just two examples, so base your mirror size on your particular form of exercise. 

2. Budget

Now that you know what size mirror you need to fulfill the correct function in your home gym, you can compare this size to the size that you can afford. Before going smaller, you should consider acrylic options, which may get you the size you need for the price you can afford.

However, if you have to reduce the dimensions based on your budget, make sure you don’t eliminate the functionality. 

3. Space

Another limiting factor may be your wall space. You may want a big mirror and have the money for it, but your available wall space is what limits you to a smaller one.

Don’t be afraid of mirror walls, making the most of even a small space. Also, take care not to choose a mirror with a large frame. 

Where Can I Buy Home Gym Mirrors?

You can go to a home décor store if you are not looking for anything too large. You can also check platforms like Craigslist for people who are selling secondhand mirrors.

However, Amazon is also a great place to buy a home gym mirror.

For example, you could get something like the NeuType Full Length Mirror. This is not explicitly a home gym mirror, by it is a great option for someone who primarily uses a stationary machine or does weightlifting.

There is also the option of a multipaneled home gym mirror using the Murrey Home 12” Square Mirror or the Acrylic Plastic Mirror Sheet.

If you are looking for really big mirrors for a mirror wall, you can go to a specialized retailer in your area, but Amazon also sells the 48” x 72” Fab Glass and Mirror Activity Kit

How Much Do Gym Mirrors Cost?

Depending on the size, you can purchase a home gym mirror for anywhere between just under $40 and $400.

Are Home Gym Mirrors Easy to Install?

The ease of home gym mirror installation depends on the type and size you have chosen.

Glass mirrors are more difficult to install because they are heavier and drilling holes into them (to hang them) is tricky because of how easily they can crack or shatter.

If you are installing a massive mirror, acrylic or glass, this will be difficult to try and manage, especially on your own. What you can consider in this case is splitting the mirror into two or three panels and installing them flush next to each other.

Furthermore, if you want the mirror to be flush with the wall (no lip), then you have to recess it, which is more difficult.

Despite this, a home gym mirror is certainly something that you can install for yourself with a few basic DIY skills; you do not have to hire a professional. 

Conclusion

In theory, a mirror in your home gym is not considered to be a necessity. However, even if it is not vital, it can become important for someone who really utilizes their home gym regularly and not just when they can’t make it to the gym.

Home gym mirrors can help you perform each exercise with good form, protecting you physically from injury.

They can help you to stay motivated by giving you real-time evidence of your progress, and they also make your home gym lighter and airier, which can help motivate you to get in there and exercise!

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Steve Hall

Steve is a strength training fanatic who geeks out over the best, most efficient workouts, nutrition and gear to help get you stronger and healthier!

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