Leaning mirrors: A tilted view

Mirrors are very versatile things. They're adaptable, they're economical and they're largely inexpensive. Probably the most versatile thing about them is the numerous ways in which they can be used. Usually framed, but even defying that norm, they're practically all over the place. They can be hung, strung, held, hammered, 'pedestaled', pivoted, stood up or nailed down. But the easiest way, the cheapest way, and probably the most elegant way to display a mirror is to lean it against the wall. Yes, this simple discovery that gravity could work in our favor has given rise to full length leaning mirrors the world over. And that's not the best of it; read on.

Leaning Mirrors: Space Creators

While most mirrors do give the illusion of space to even the pokiest of places, leaning mirrors have a special something that they bring into the picture - their angle. A leaning mirror positioned properly can not only virtually increase the horizontal dimensions of a room, but it can actually give it more height as well. A full length mirror kept against a wall at an angle of not more than about 20 degrees with the wall can give the feeling of vastness. If a single mirror can do that, then imagine what a wall full of leaning mirrors could do.

Leaning mirrors: A Chiropractor's friend

The next service that leaning mirrors provide to humanity, is the "no neck-pain or eye-strain condition". Because a full length leaning mirror doesn't require you to look directly ahead, the strain on the eyes and neck is considerably reduced – especially if you're going to be spending a lot of time in front of it. In general, the most comfortable angle of vision isn't the horizontal line of sight, but angled slightly down towards the ground at about 10 to 20 degrees to horizontal. That's why the 'ten-hut' position popular with the military is usually interspersed with a generous sprinkling of 'at-ease'!

Although these mirrors can prevent you from straining you neck when trying to check yourself out, the angle may distort your image to make you appear more slim. This is a common tactic that is used by department stores in change rooms or in corners. The backward angle ensures your upper body is further away from the mirror than at the base which distorts your torso and chest to appear skinnier. Although this may be a cheap trick, placing one in your home might give you the extra perk you need before rushing out the door in the morning.

Leaning mirrors: Placement tips

The key to getting the best out of a leaning mirror is the placement. Of course you want maximum visibility and focal distance, but that's not the half of it. You need to decide how close you want it to be to your closet; ideally if the room is relatively small then a hand's length away is perfect, so you can reach in and pull out a shirt without losing sight of your reflection – but that is only if you are using it in your dressing room area. For visual enhancement and for the benefit of your guests, you can keep it in the foyer. As soon as they walk in the door, they should be able to see themselves; this also gives the foyer a larger feel if that is what you are after.

Another great place to put a leaning mirror is near the exits of your home. Nobody wants to leave the house not looking their best. Since leaning mirrors are typically body-length size and width, a leaning mirror can be the perfect tool to ensure you look your best before you exit the house in your fall or winter wear. Looking at one's self in a small wall mirror might make you miss that ruffled pant leg or untied shoe lace.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, I don't push and you don't fall

You must make careful consideration for kids and pets - who are far more likely to knock your leaning mirror to the ground than adult house guests or hopefully, yourself. Unless you've bought a really heavy mirror with an iron or hardwood frame, keep it out of the beaten path that they normally come skidding down – the last thing you want with the young or the fuzzy is an accident where glass is involved. For easy movement, you can even opt for one with detachable wheels – just wheel it to where you want it this week, remove the wheels and lean it against the wall. Placing leaning mirrors in corners of rooms or beside large furniture can mitigate any potential risk of being knocked over.

How expensive are leaning wall mirrors?

Ah, now we come to the part that you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask. A lot of people assume that a full-length leaning mirror should be very expensive because it needs to have the right kind of materials go in to make it heavy enough not to slide off the wall or be knocked down easily. Though this can be true a lot of the time, it doesn't have to. For example, a walnut wood finished leaning mirror that's about 30 by 64 inches can be bought for about $120 at ambfurniture.com. You can also opt for a black and silver finish that would look terrific if you have a lot of chrome-finished furniture at home, or the antique gold finish that gives a truly 'rich' look.

You can search NexTag for the purpose of comparison shopping, as they usually have a wide range of items and prices - from the cheapest to the upper echelon. This should provide you with a good idea of what you'll end up paying when you purchase a leaning wall mirror.

Of course, the price goes up as high as you're willing to pay but on an average, quality leaning mirrors shouldn't cost you more than about $250 to $300, even for the large 70-inch plus ones.