Trade account
Vanity unit buying guide
Buying guides

Vanity unit buying guide

Posted by Adam Chard in Buying guides | 3 years ago 7 min read

What is a bathroom vanity unit and what will it do for your bathroom? In this handy guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know before you buy.

It’s an item of furniture you’ve most probably heard of but don’t really know what function it performs. In this article, we’ll show you exactly what a vanity unit is and which types of bathroom they’re suitable for, before taking you through all your options.

To help make life easier, simply click on any of the links below to jump to the most relevant section.

What is a vanity unit?

A vanity unit is an item of bathroom furniture that integrates a basin with cupboards or drawers underneath.

To confuse matters a little more, they can sometimes be referred to by a number of names, including bathroom sink cabinets, under sink cabinets, basin cabinets or even bathroom combination vanity units. However, all these terms mean pretty much the same thing.

Vanity units provide extra storage space within your bathroom, both with cupboards and drawers, as well as surface areas for keeping everyday essentials close to hand. They are also very good at hiding away unsightly pipework.

As well as being functional, vanity units add a real touch of style, from traditional and classic looks to ultra-modern and minimalist. Basins can be fully or semi recessed into the unit, or you can even choose a countertop basin.

Orchard Derwent white floorstanding vanity door unit and ceramic basin 600mm

The 600mm wide Derwent white vanity door unit is one of our most popular, with a high quality ceramic basin and large undersink cupboard providing plenty of storage space

What types of bathroom are they suitable for?

Vanity units (or bathroom sink cabinets, as they are often called) are ideal for both large and small bathrooms, as well as wide range of styles. If you have space, you could choose a large unit for a strong visual impact. Having a large unit also means that you can keep a lot of your bathroom essentials within easy reach.

There are plenty of options for smaller bathrooms too. You can choose a simple, slimline vanity unit that will not only look great but also provide some handy extra storage.

Cloakroom vanity units

Looking for cloakroom ideas? Both of these small vanity units use corners effectively, making them ideal for more compact spaces

If space is a real issue, why not consider using the corners of your room? With one of our bathroom corner units, your vanity unit will fit nice and snugly.

What kind of colours are available?

There are a variety of colours and finishes to choose from, so you can find exactly the right look to fit in with the style of your bathroom. White or white gloss finishes are popular, as they are easy to clean and provide a minimalist, fresh look. However, we have a range of different colours available, from a classic oak to an attractive, period-style vintage grey.

The Bath Co. Camberley satin grey floorstanding vanity unit and ceramic basin 600mm

For traditional or Victorian bathrooms, this gorgeous, vintage style vanity unit from the Camberley range is both functional and elegant

What sizes are available?

Vanity units come in a wide range of heights, widths and depths, so there are plenty of options to fit your space. It’s important to measure your room carefully so you can see what units would fit and work well. Don’t forget to factor in the space needed to open doors and drawers, too.

What styles are available?

Generally, vanity units are available in 2 broad styles: contemporary and traditional.

Contemporary style vanity units

Contemporary vanity units are easily recognisable as they appear fresh and modern with clean lines, simple designs and on-trend colours.

Mode Meier grey floorstanding vanity unit 600mm

All of the vanity units from Mode Bathrooms offer cool, contemporary style for on-trend bathrooms

Traditional style vanity units

Traditional vanity units are created to timeless designs, meaning they’ll never go out of fashion. Look out for luxury details like bevelled edges, panelling and elaborate handles.

The Bath Co. Dalston floorstanding vanity unit and white marble basin 650mm

For traditional style vanity units, check out all the furniture ranges from The Bath Co.

Floorstanding or wall hung?

Floorstanding vanity units are common throughout the UK, however, wall hung versions are fast becoming a firm favourite with homeowners.

Whilst floorstanding units are easier to install, wall hung vanity units will help to keep your floorspace clear. As well as providing a more minimalist, designer appearance, a wall mounted unit will also help when cleaning your floor.

Of course, before considering a wall hung vanity unit, you will need to check that your chosen wall can support it. It’s always best to consult a qualified and experienced trade professional on matters like these.

Mode Adler white 600mm wall hung vanity unit and basin

Keep your floorspace clear with the Adler white wall hung vanity unit and basin from Mode Bathrooms

Double vanity units

A big trend in recent years, double vanity units are ideal for shared bathroom spaces. With 2 separate basins, you and your partner can both get ready in the morning or evening, without having to wait. Plus, with separate drawers or cupboards, there’s no squabbling over storage. If you have the room to spare, it’s an option that’s certainly worth considering.

Double basin vanity units

A double vanity unit, like this one from the Mode Bathrooms Burton range, could help create a more harmonious household

Are they easy to install?

Our vanity units are delivered to you pre-assembled, meaning no awkward assembly required. Whether you’ve chosen a floorstanding or wall hung design, our vanity units are easy to install, usually with an inset at the rear for all your pipework. If you are unsure, we would recommend that you employ a professional plumber to fit the basin.

Alternatives to vanity units

If you’re looking for further ways to optimise the space beneath your basin, there are some other options you may want to explore.


Washstands are very similar to vanity units, in that they provide extra storage space in your undersink area. However, a washstand usually consists of a frame made from wood or metal, rather than a fully enclosed unit with cupboards and drawers. They can look incredibly stylish in contemporary and traditional settings alike.

Beautiful bathroom washstands

With storage space beneath, this washstand from The Bath Co. Camberley range, is ideal for traditional style bathrooms

Countertop basin units

If you’re looking to create a boutique or spa style finish in your bathroom, a countertop basin unit is a genuine designer option, leaving plenty of space beneath. Again, like any wall hung furniture, you will need to check your wall can support it.

Countertop basin units

Create a stunning style statement with a countertop basin unit like this one from The Bath Co. Dalston collection

Vanity units as part of a coordinated furniture range

Whilst vanity units are often bought as standalone items, they can also be combined with matching furniture from the same range for a sleek, coordinated look.

One easy way to do this is to combine with a matching back to wall toilet unit to create a neat, complementary look.

Handy hint: Find out how to replace your basin and toilet with a combination unit.

If you have the space, you can then add other matching units, like a mirror cabinet, tall cabinet and even a shelving unit.

Eden white bathroom furniture range

Use the Eden white bathroom furniture range in any combination to suit your space

Fitted bathroom furniture is also increasing in popularity—and it’s not hard to see why! With a continuous countertop and ample storage space, your vanity unit becomes an integral part of your bathroom décor.

Fitted bathroom furniture and worktops

Make the most of your space with Wharfe slate matt grey fitted bathroom furniture from Reeves

If you’re looking for a coordinated storage solution, why not browse all our bathroom furniture ranges?

Shop vanity units

Why not browse our stunning range of vanity units today?

Shop vanity units

Author, Adam Chard

Posted by Adam Chard in Buying guides | 3 years ago

A born & raised West Countryman, now living on the Yorkshire Coast, for over 10 years Adam has been bringing home interior ideas to life at Victoria Plum. Adam’s favourite interior styles have been shaped by both urban and natural influences.

Sales Line 0344 264 4141 Track order Design Service Trade account

Looks like you haven't added anything to compare yet

Just look out for the Add to compare around the site and revisit this link

Close and continue

Thank you for using our comparison feature.

You can add as many products as you like, there is no limit. When you’re ready simply visit this page to start comparing your products.

Close and continue

Loading menu. Please wait


Your Shopping list is loading, this shouldn't take long.

Your basket is loading, this shouldn't take long.