Kristen Bell's Bathroom Coffee Station: Brilliant Design Hack Or Simply Outlandish

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Kristen Bell fans may remember that back in 2020, her husband's podcast co-host and bestie, Monica Padman, revealed that the "Frozen" star had a coffee station in her bathroom. But, while we can see why this idea might spark joy for some, with the serious hygiene risk that comes with it, we certainly wouldn't advise just anyone to try this at home. From the picture that Padman shared to Instagram, it's not exactly clear how big Bell's bathroom is. However, it seems as though there's another area to one side of the station, and it also appears that whatever is in it may be behind a door. 

As such, we're going to assume that the toilet is in that room, and not in the same section as the bathtub and refreshments area. If that is the case, we can totally understand why Bell would want a coffee station near her bathtub. After all, many a day spa has a similar setup, and given that the photo was taken in the midst of the pandemic, it makes sense that the actor would want to make her home as tranquil as possible. Having said that, not everyone has the same setup — and that's where trying this as a non-celebrity home design hack becomes risky. Unless your toilet is tucked away, this is a no-go. 

Bathroom coffee stations could put your health at risk

In many (read: non-celebrity, non-mansion) homes, bathrooms have a shower, bathtub, and a toilet all situated in a relatively small space, and that's where including a coffee station in the same spot becomes risky. When toilets are flushed, a significant amount of bacteria is released into the air — and no, it's not always possible to see where the droplets fall. As noted in a 2022 Scientific Reports study, both large droplets and microscopic aerosol spray from toilets can travel more than 4.9 feet. Granted, that was with the toilet lid left up (as an aside, failing to do this is a big, albeit common flushing mistake). Regardless, a 2020 study published by Access Microbiology found that while using a lid reduced the number of droplets, it didn't entirely prevent them from escaping the toilet bowl. 

Moreover, the researchers behind the study pointed out that the aerosol particles could still escape and become a risk either way. With that in mind, it probably goes without saying that having a coffee station set up in your bathroom isn't the most hygienic choice, especially if your toilet isn't safely behind a closed door. It's not just the ick factor, either. If you or anyone else using the bathroom is ill, there's a chance that enteric bacteria will be in the droplets, and having things like coffee cups in the same space is a recipe for disaster. As a result, this is one celebrity home design hack we just can't get behind. 

How to keep things as clean as possible

On the off chance that your toilet is separate from the rest of your bathroom, and the thought of a nice warm cup of joe straight out of the shower is just too hard to resist, there are certainly ways to DIY impressive coffee stations. But, obviously, keeping things clean is paramount. Before setting up your station, start by giving your bathroom a deep clean. Be sure to clean your coffee maker regularly too, as well as anything else involved in the process of producing your beverage. On top of that, it's not a bad idea to opt for a cup with a lid that you can remove and regularly clean, like a travel mug. Amazon sells these for around $9. 

Alternatively, for a full set that feels more like a coffee station and less like you're about to run out for the day, Amazon also sells chic sets of four cups with lids for just under $30. At the end of the day, for most of us non-celebs, an in-bathroom coffee station is a little on the outlandish side. Unless you have the space and can commit to regular hardcore cleans of not just your bathroom but the station itself, it might be easier to just make your coffee elsewhere in your home. You can still bring it into your bathroom, especially if you have a lid. And at least you won't run as much of a risk of getting ill.