Single Vs. Double Vanity: Which Is Right For Your Space?

Choosing between a single and double bathroom vanity is easier to do in your head than in real life. A mental choice usually considers style, theme, and other fun things, but in reality, you're more likely to consider important factors such as practicality and how the piece fits into your space. Considering such factors is essential when purchasing furniture such as a vanity (via Kurtis Kitchen & Bath). The wrong vanity could disfigure a bathroom or make it time-consuming to get ready each morning.

So, how exactly can you choose between a single and double vanity? Well, for starters, the major difference between them is the number of sinks they have. Consequently, one of the most important things to think about is the space in your bathroom. The amount of space you have dictates whether or not you can even consider having more than one sink. According to Bath Trends, you need at least 60 inches of room for a double vanity, but the left-over space must be enough for two people to move around the bathroom freely. If your bathroom has enough space to let you choose, here are some other factors to help you decide between a single or double vanity for your bathroom.

How many people need to get ready at the same time?

Double vanities have two sinks, making them perfect for a couple. You and your partner can brush your teeth, shave, or groom yourselves simultaneously without encroaching on each other's space. Double vanities can erase chaotic mornings that leave one party waiting for the other to finish up in the bathroom. 

But here's the thing: If you share your bathroom with a partner but don't always get ready at the same time, you may not need a double vanity. Most couples assume they'd need two sinks, but Metropolitan Bath & Tile notes that couples don't often get ready in sync and may not actually need to use the vanity at the same time. So, a couple can easily share one sink without having to wait for each other.

Despite this, you might still need a double vanity, especially if you and your partner prefer having personal countertop space (via Unique Bathroom Vanities). Northbound Plumbing notes that having your own vanity space makes it a lot easier to multitask when getting ready in the morning. However, if you and your partner gladly share items, keeping a double vanity tidy might be hard since your personal products will keep moving from side to side.

What's your budget?

One of the major details that most people consider when choosing between a single and double vanity is the price. Kitchen & Bath Shop says that a vanity without installation can cost anywhere from $300 to $3,800, but this largely depends on the material, size, and if it is custom-made. If you're looking for something of high quality, expect to spend closer to the maximum amount. You will also spend much more on a double vanity than a single one.

Double vanities are more expensive because having two sinks means buying two of everything and facing double the risk of getting a clogged sink (per Cabinet Now). It also means double the plumbing bill and a higher cost for the installation in your bathroom. If the idea of a pricey purchase doesn't sit well with you, a single vanity might be a better option.

You can find a double vanity that costs less than average, but it won't be made of durable materials that stand the test of time. Modo Bath states that low-quality vanities get damaged after a few years because of the quality of materials used to make them. If your choice is between a durable and high-quality single vanity and a double vanity of average or low quality, your money is better spent on the single vanity.

Do you want your purchase to increase the value of your home?

One significant way to improve your home's value is to upgrade your bathroom fixtures and furniture. Your vanity, in particular, can add significantly to the value of your home, especially if it is a double vanity. Forbes explains that double vanities are usually seen as upgrades and can increase the appeal of your home to buyers. Shockingly, this increase can be as much as 2 to 5% depending on how valuable it is (per Badeloft USA).

One thing to note is that a high-quality double vanity alone will not increase your home's value. It must also be right for the theme and location (via Realty Times). An antique double vanity would be out of place in a beach house, no matter how gorgeous. Similarly, there's no point in a double vanity that makes it impossible for two people to use the bathroom at once. A prospective buyer would calculate the remodeling costs, which would devalue your home (per Home Light). If your space is small, a single vanity may not increase the value, but it's a much better choice.

How much storage space do you need?

Another reason that couples prefer double vanities is because they come with double the space. Each side has its own drawers and cabinets, which makes it easier to keep personal items organized. Since storage is a major issue in most bathrooms, you need to consider what type of vanity works best for you (per First Choice Warehouse). A single vanity can work for you if you have other storage options and don't see yourself running out of space to store needed bathroom items.

However, if your bathroom is used by two or more people and has few other storage options, a double vanity may be right for you. One pitfall to watch out for is getting a double vanity with a design that gives you less space. According to Cabinet Now, a bulky plumbing design can steal storage space. This is especially important to note if you're designing your vanity yourself. Having more drawer space makes your bathroom easier to organize and can even increase the value of your home (via Realty Times).

What to do when neither option is right for you

Although double and single vanities are the standard sizes, there are many options in between. If you envy the space a double vanity would give but do not need two sinks, At Charlotte's House suggests adding a sink to any storage furniture, such as a cabinet or dresser, to change it to a vanity. If the idea of double plumbing puts you off a double vanity, you can connect both sinks to a single drain and save yourself the cost of double plumbing.

There are also alternatives for homeowners with small bathrooms. If you're sorely in need of storage space, but a double vanity is not right for you or your bathroom, you should focus on creative ways to increase the space in your bathroom with only a single vanity. Good Housekeeping suggests purchasing an over-the-door rack to utilize that space. Another idea is to add hooks and shelves at different heights all around your bathroom or install a wall cabinet. You can hire a professional for whatever alternative you choose or decide to make it a fun little project and do it yourself.