What Happened to the Medicine Cabinet?

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What Happened to the Medicine Cabinet?

Walk into any number of modern bathrooms and you might notice something very common is missing. No, it’s not the 1960s-era wall-mounted toothbrush holder and soap dish. It’s the shallow but handy storage unit called a medicine cabinet. Surprised? It happened without most of us even noticing. The humble medicine cabinet slowly fell out of favor and more and more bathrooms left them behind as a relic of the past. Some of you reading this might have just walked to your bathroom, pondering when you last saw a medicine cabinet. Is a medicine cabinet still worth having? Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of this little storage unit.

The Benefits of Having a Medicine Cabinet

What does having a medicine cabinet provide that benefits your bathroom and your life?

1. Added functional storage – The medicine cabinet is meant to be super functional and sized just right for items that would otherwise clutter up your bathroom counter. Your toothbrush and toothpaste, face lotion, contact lens supplies and perfumes are just a few of these items. A medicine cabinet keeps them tucked away out of sight but still handy and easily accessed when you need to use them.

2. Recessed medicine cabinet = built-in storage – This one is a bit of a technicality but we’ll go with it. Built-in storage is a value-add for your home value. A recessed medicine cabinet (tucked into the wall) also fits the definition of built-in storage and buyers love built-in storage. So, when it’s time to sell your home, your medicine cabinet could bump your house value up a small amount (okay, really small, but any gain is a good gain.

3. Lots of options – Whether you choose a recessed medicine cabinet or a wall-mounted one (sticks out from the wall), there are a ton of options to choose from. You can choose to match it up with your existing cabinetry or choose something that stands out and makes a statement, you’ll find far more options than you might think.

The Drawbacks of Having a Medicine Cabinet

Like almost anything, where there are benefits, there are also drawbacks, the same is true of medicine cabinets.

1. Storage is shallow – The nature of the medicine cabinet is one of shallow depth. This means some larger items might not make the transition from the counter to your medicine cabinet because of size. For example, if you buy the super extra value jumbo size contact lens solution, that container might be too big to fit comfortably in your medicine cabinet.

2. Adding a recessed medicine cabinet can be expensive – If your bathroom is currently sans medicine cabinet, adding a recessed unit could end up being a more expensive project than you might expect. There are only so many locations in a bathroom that make sense for a medicine cabinet and you might have to re-route existing wiring or plumbing to make room for the medicine cabinet framing. If re-routing is necessary, the simple project of adding a recessed medicine cabinet just got much more complex.

So, what happened to the medicine cabinet? Well, it mostly faded from the design of many modern bathrooms and people started to forget about it. We happen to think it can be a handy storage unit to keep smaller counter items tucked out of sight. What do you think? Is the medicine cabinet ready for a comeback?