We all have our reasons for carrying around a compact mirror. Maybe you like to touch up your makeup during a long day of travel, or maybe you like to use it to fix your hair every few hours.
No matter what you use it for, the perfect compact mirror needs to have a few things. The type of compact mirror you want to carry around should be distortion-free, collapsible, freestanding, and small enough to fit in a purse or backpack.
These requirements are just the bare minimum. There are a lot of other fun features to consider, like LED lights, magnification, and more. To help you find the perfect travel mirror, we asked travel enthusiasts what they consider the best of the best. We also created a useful guide to inform your compact mirror-buying decision.
The Best Compact Mirrors
“This one’s a super stylish portable vanity mirror available in two color options: grey and blush pink. It includes three brightness levels: white, calm, and warm. In my experience, the best feature of the mirror is a touch sensor function for dimming the lights as needed. I can adjust the lights by keeping my finger on the power until I get the appropriate brightness. I can also easily set the mirror to my preferred angle to get the perfect view and lighting. It comes with a rechargeable micro-USB charger, so no more light dimming after multiple uses. Fully charged, it lasts for two hours of use. It is a hands-free mirror, so I can place it wherever I want.” – Shailen Vandeyar, Founder, Camping Console
“The ultimate compact that I won’t leave my house without is the Fancii LED Lighted Travel Makeup Mirror. It’s compact enough for your small bags, yet has a full 5-inch mirror so you can see your whole face. It has a second built-in mirror that magnifies up to 10x. The built-in LED lighting is an amazing feature that allows you to apply makeup or just freshen up in dim areas. It’s incredibly convenient if you’re always on the go. It’s an easy Christmas gift that you can purchase for yourself or a loved one.” – Tina Grant, Quality Assessor, Aerospheres
“I highly recommend the Feruaro Travel Mirror with built-in LED lights. This compact mirror is only 5 inches, about the size of an iPhone, and can open up to create a stand for itself. It also includes LED lights for better lighting and a magnifying side for extra precision. I love this little mirror and is great for when you are on the go. It is the perfect medium for features and price.” – Jasmin Diaz, CMO, SmokyMountains.com
“I’ve had this pocket sized travel mirror for nearly two years and I absolutely love it. First and foremost, this mirror is available in a variety of cute and classic colors. The one I have is in eye-catching cyan. Second, it is extremely portable, small and thin enough to fit in a small compartment of my backpack, handbag, purse, or even a pocket — making it the ideal travel buddy.
Third, it has a magnetic switch design that makes it very easy to open. I
don’t have to break my nails trying to open it. Fourth, it has daylight LED lights that can provide just the right amount of illumination as I apply my makeup. Finally, it can provide up to 10X magnification, which I find very useful when applying my eye makeup delicately.” — Sarah Jameson, Marketing Director, Green Building Elements
Compact Mirror Buying Guide
Before you buy a compact mirror, consider which of the following features you want to make your experience traveling with and using your compact considerably more enjoyable!
Choosing the right mirror magnification may seem a little stressful at first. Most mirrors include a true-to-life mirror that’s life-size and perfectly mirrors what you would see in a bathroom mirror, car mirror, or window reflection. These mirrors help you see the full picture and all that’s there, but they aren’t great if you want to focus on little details.
Magnification can be as low as double magnification and as high as 10x magnification. 10x magnification is excellent for seeing pores up close and being able to focus on specific aspects of your appearance, from applying lipstick to looping in earrings. The only drawback with higher magnification is that the more magnified you go, the more you might get distracted by genuinely tiny flaws that you would not otherwise see!
LED lights are a fancy feature that some compact mirrors have. LED lights cast the mirror in a glow — sometimes a warm, peachy light, other times a dusky blue. An LED-lit compact mirror may have one light setting or many. If there are multiple settings, each is intended to show your reflection in different brightness and detail.
Owning a mirror with LEDs allows you to use it day or night, dusk or dawn.
If you’re buying a compact with LEDs, pay close attention to maintenance requirements. This includes noting whether the compact will require batteries or an outlet. If it requires an outlet, it’s not as portable as it should be. If it requires batteries, make sure the compact either comes supplied with batteries or the batteries are mainstream enough to be easily purchased.
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