Why Are Mirrors So Expensive? (17 Crazy Reasons & Facts U Know)

The mirror in the image below was sold for the mind-boggling price of $1,575,500!

why are mirrors so expensive

This little mirror on Amazon costs less than $$$. That looks a bit too expensive to most people, but that isn’t actually the case.

Ever thought about what makes mirrors so expensive? Is it a frame or mirror itself? Is it weight that makes it expensive? What is the most expensive mirror? What makes a mirror good quality? If you are going to buy a mirror, read this post.

Let’s get started with the answer to the related question: why are mirrors so expensive?

Manufacturing of mirrors requires excellent craftsmanship, high-quality material, fine cuts, exceptional procedures and all of that requires time and skills. Mirrors are so expensive because of great polishing and detailed final touches that cannot be achieved by machinery.

Here is a telescopic mirror that costs $20 million. Have a look at this too.

Why Are Mirrors So Expensive: 10 Bonafide Reasons

What do mirrors cost so much? Glass is an essential component for extracting a mirror. It’s the high cost of glass that makes the mirror costly. There are some other factors such as the process needs time, craftsmanship and machinery. All these are expensive to arrange.

Let’s discuss the 10 genuine reasons that make mirror so expensive below:

1- Mirror  Manufacturing Is Time Consuming 

The manufacturing of a first-rate mirror always requires final touches by craftsmen that take a considerable amount of time and effort. However, mass-produced mirrors have not been worked upon that much and neither are they too expensive. But when you see an expensive mirror, know that it has been through a time-consuming manufacturing process.

2- Cost Varies  With Type Of Glass Used

There are usually two basic types of mirrors; first surface mirrors and second surface mirrors.

First surface mirrors or FS mirrors are made for special applications and hence, are laced with great quality and render greater accuracy. Vanity mirrors are usually second surface mirrors. Second surface mirrors are regular mirrors that create a ghosting effect, unlike FS mirrors which is why they are relatively less expensive.

Zadro Polished Dual Sided Glamour Vanity Mirror

Zadro Polished Dual Sided Glamour Vanity Mirror
  • Solid and stylish construction
  • Weighs approximately 12 pounds
  • The bulb is replaceable, UL listed
  • A leading innovator for over 30 years
  • Zadro offers a broad array of personal care mirrors
  • Bath and health and wellness products

3- Design of Mirror Makes It Costly

The expense of the mirror also depends on the degree to which it is flat, smooth, and polished. Mass-produced mirrors are not as smooth as custom-made quality mirrors as it takes much more time to achieve the accuracy and precision that makes an exceptional mirror. Some mirrors are made from cheap material such as plate glass or BK7 while good quality mirrors use expensive material like borosilicate glass or Ultra-low Expansion Glass materials which makes them a lot more costly than a regular/standard mirror.

4- Glass Itself Is Expensive

Glass is expensive and it becomes even more costly when it undergoes the process of polishing with high-quality silver or aluminium, coatings of tarnish-resistant material and those exquisitely designed frames that makes the end product a high-end mirror. Plastic mirrors are inexpensive but they scratch very easily and fail to provide a good image quality. Certain other metals can also be used in making mirrors but a highly flattened surface is easiest to achieve only with glass.

Read Also: Best Mounting Tapes for Mirrors

5- Application Of Mirrors Make It Costly 

Mirrors are used in different applications. Its price varies with its application. For example, household mirrors will be less expensive than telescopic mirrors. Similarly, decorative mirrors are more expensive than household mirrors. Lighted mirrors are more costly than table mirrors. Magnifying mirrors are also more costly than ordinary makeup mirrors. 

6- Frames Increase The Cost Of Mirror

Most of the time, the mirror itself is not costly but frames add extra bucks. If you’re short of budget, buy frameless mirrors. For decorative mirrors, these frames are quite heavier. Some are made up of metal and others are made up of wood. These frames are carved with different artistic designs. That’s why the cost of the artist is also included in the price of mirrors. For the decorative purposes, these frames are decorated with ornaments also. Such decorative mirrors are luxury lifestyle symbols. If you can’t afford it, it’s better to buy a frameless mirror or make a frame yourself. 

7- Breakable Item, Shipping Is Risky

Mirrors are easy to break items when shipping from one area to other. That’s why very few dealers take this risk of exporting mirrors in bulk. They have to bear heavy shipping costs with safety shipments. This makes the mirror more expensive. It requires a lot of time, packing material and packing skills to transfer mirrors from manufacturer to seller. Many times they break on the way and dealers have extra costs. This factor makes mirrors an expensive item to ship not only inside the country but also out of the country.

8- Over Sized & Over Weight Items To Ship

Decorative mirrors, dressing mirrors and gym mirrors are oversized and overweight items. Small mirrors are not much costly. As you demand more size, the weight increases automatically. When weight increases the shipping cost of the item also increases. This requires a lot of expenditure on packing material. From packing to shipping, one has to pay out of pocket for buying a large size wall mirror, or decorative mirror. The shipping cost increases a lot when you order it from another country. 

9- Quality Of Mirror Makes It Expensive

There are many types of mirrors available online and one on one stores. Some are cheap and some are priced. When you ask the storekeeper about the high-quality mirror, it would always be pricey. The high-quality mirror is extra thick. It will never rust sooner when you expose it to a set area. That’s why for vanity and basins people often buy high-quality mirrors. The longevity is an additional feature that may also add a few bucks to the mirror’s actual price. 

10- Cost Of Craftsmanship Makes Mirror Expensive

Mirror manufacturing is an art. It requires specific tools, machinery and chemicals. Only expert craftsmen know how to make decorative frames for mirrors. These craftsmen are trained professionals and get high wages from mirror manufacturers. That’s why manufacturers sell mirrors to retailers that charge an extra cost. They have to pay for material and craftsmen also. 

What Makes A Mirror Good Quality?

Some primary factors that affect the quality of the mirror are the purity and quality of the glass sheet, the flatness of the glass, mirror silvering, and glass thickness. A high-end mirror cannot be manufactured unless provided with great quality raw material.

Quality of Glass

A good quality mirror production requires pure glass sheets with no inconsistencies. Any inconsistency in the glass sheet creates distortions that drop the quality of the mirror. A highly flattened glass surface ensures the excellent quality of a mirror. The smoother the surface, the better will be the quality of the mirror-like this one.

Thickness of Glass

The thickness of the glass is a major determinant of mirror cost. For home use, mostly the thickness that is available in 1/8, 3/16 and 1/4 inches.

What Thickness Mirror To Use

Thicker mirrors are always better than the thinners ones. However, thickness adds to the weight of the mirror which makes them difficult to mount.

The best mirrors are 1/4 and are more expensive. If you’re not short on the budget, always go for a mirror with 1/4 inch thickness. These mirrors are heavy, durable and not to mention the best ones in quality. However, you also need sturdy support if you want to hang them on the wall

Silvering/ Polishing of Glass

Lastly, the quality of mirror silvering is what should not be neglected at all, at any cost. The reflective coating on the glass is done with aluminium or silver. Good quality mirrors are laced with high silver content. Silver usually tarnishes under normal conditions as well so the silver polish is further coated with tarnish-resistant material such as anti-corrosive paint or red lead.

The quality of glass should always be kept in mind. Low-quality glass makes good-for-nothing mirrors. They will render a distorted and unclear image. Great quality glass makes quality mirrors!

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Mirrors that are used for decorative purposes are usually more expensive. They are flashy and enhance the beauty of your surroundings. Their discrete cuts, intricately detailed frames, and durable material are what make them worth all the cost.

Some mirrors also come with the technology of the future. They are built with voice commands, support touch communications, music, Wi-Fi and whatnot. The mirrors used for ornate purposes are usually more expensive and there is not a single mirror that we can claim to be the most expensive one.

Cheap Mirrors Vs. Expensive Mirrors

Does the mirror quality make a difference? Yes, it absolutely does make a difference. In exchange for a few more bucks, you can get a more durable and better-quality mirror. Low-end mirrors scratch easily and are not long-lasting.

Cheap mirrors are manufactured with a very thin coating of polish/reflective material. Resultantly, they lose their reflection ability faster and that makes the image in the mirror dull and unclear. The glass is not as thick as that of a high-quality mirror. Cheap mirrors are usually built with aluminium polish on the back. Aluminium does not offer a great reflection quality as does the silver polish.

Expensive mirrors are worth all the cost because they are built with high-quality glass sheets with no distortions, bumps or spots. They feature a relatively expensive silver coating at the back. The reflection properties of silver are beyond perfect. However, silver does tarnish more easily than aluminium but to solve this problem, silver is coated with a tarnish-resistant polish that makes your mirror long-lasting. Expensive mirrors feature a 1/4 thickness of glass which further adds to the quality of the mirror.

How Much Should I Spend on a Mirror?

The amount you should spend on a mirror depends on your budget and requirement. If your budget is high and you need a big size wall mirror, you can go for it. But if your budget is low, you may have to compromise on size, weight and quality. You should also keep the mirror installation cost in mind.

Why Are Round Mirrors So Expensive?

Round mirrors are both cheap and expensive. Expensive round mirrors have extra features such as magnification and lighted mirrors. When round mirrors have a sucker fix in option they are mostly costly. Ordinary table round mirrors with simple holders are usually cheap. On average, the round mirror price range varies from $9 to $34.

Why Are Ganador Mirrors So Expensive? 

Ganador mirrors are expensive because they are lightweight and can be replaced easily. Ganador mirrors are automotive side mirrors. They are designed for RHD vehicles and sold in Japan. The super mirrors of ganador brands have no match in quality.

Why Are Floor Mirrors So Expensive? 

Floor mirrors are so expensive because of oversize. Moreover, the cost of the installation of floor mirrors is too high. It also depends on what type of installation you want. If you want to install a floor mirror, keep the budget of $295 in your mind.

Why Are Bathroom Mirrors So Expensive? 

Bathroom mirrors come in all kinds of shapes and finishes. The actual cost of a bathroom mirror is its installation cost. That’s too high, ranging from $70 to $800. Depending on the size, shape and weight of the mirror the installation cost varies. However, the cost of installing a makeup mirror is affordable. For a full wall-size mirror the cost may increase up to $462.

Why Are Vanity Mirrors So Expensive? 

Vanity mirrors are expensive to install, ship and buy also. They are available with your bathroom set. Depending on the size of your vanity the shape and weight of the mirror vary. They range from $50 to $750. However the cost of fixing starts from $157 to $462.

Why are Hollywood Mirrors So Expensive? 

Hollywood mirrors have extra features of built-in lights. That’s why they are expensive. Depending on size they range from $39 to $250 or more. Moreover, Hollywood is the name of famous manufacturers who always make high-quality products. You have to pay more if the quality is not compromised. 

Final Thoughts

What you should always seriously consider before buying a mirror is its reflective quality and flatness. High-quality mirrors reflect 90-95% of the light. While the flatness of the glass determines how precisely an image will be reflected on the mirror.

The silvering of a mirror is another thing that you should definitely look into. High-quality silvering allows the mirror to last for a long time without losing the quality of reflection. Mirrors are expensive because of their quality, design, and detailed manufacturing processes.