The Different Types of Mirrors

We all use mirrors at one point or the other during the day, applying makeup and other things. What type of mirror do you have in your house? Do you know the different types of mirrors that you can purchase? This guide will enlighten you on various mirrors types available so that it will easy for you to pick a high quality mirror that meets your needs.

There are different types of mirrors made from different materials. When it comes to using mirrors, it is important to know the various types so you can make the most out of any mirror that you might have. Here are some different types of mirrors that you can come across.

Plane Mirror


Plane Mirror. P.C. Clipart-library

It has a flat or planar reflecting light rays in the order they are received. The virtual image that plane mirrors produce is the same size and distance as of the real objects. Though the image seen in a plane mirror will appear to be backward because it is reversed left to right. A long time ago, plane mirrors made by flat pieces of copper, brass or precious metal. Now it is made of a thin piece of plate-glass to protect the surface from tarnishing.

Characteristics of The Image Formed By A Plane Mirror

  • It is virtual.
  • It is erect and of the same size as the object.
  • It is laterally inverted.
  • Largely used as looking-glass.

They also have many scientific uses. In most of the measuring instruments, a plane mirror placed under the scale and pointer moves, the image in the plane mirror also moves. Now the eye is so placed that the pointer and the image coincide. Thus the eye, the pointer and its image in the mirror are in the same line perpendicular to the scale. It helps in getting the correct reading.

Mostly used in solar cookers

They are used to make a kaleidoscope, a toy which produces beautiful patterns from colored paper, pieces of glass or small colored beads.

Spherical Mirror

Spherical Mirror

Road Side Spherical Mirror

These can be concave or convex mirrors. A concave mirror has its glass plate curving inward similar to the way a teaspoon is curved and then coated with mercury. Concave mirror is bulge outward, similar to the back of a teaspoon.

Therefore, the way images formed by these two types of spherical mirrors are different. In a concave mirror, the curvature of the image bounces light to the focal point in front of it, creating an enlarged reflection.

In a convex mirror, the image reflects at a wider angle more at the middle of the mirror, leads to the reduction of the reflection resulting to an image that is a bit smaller than the actual object and a bit distorted. The example of convex mirrors are side mirrors.

Uses of Concave Mirrors

  • It used in shaving to get an enlarged and erect image of the face.
  • Concave mirrors used in marine lighthouses that are found at the marine ports and seaports to guide the ships.
  • It is used in the solar furnaces to collect a large amount of solar energy in the focus of the mirror for cooking, heating water, recharging power backups or melting metals respectively.
  • It is used in front lights of cars to reflect the light.
  • Concave mirrors are using in telescopes; dentists use them to obtain a large image than the original teeth, ear or skin.
  • They also used in electron microscopes and magnifying glasses.
  • Flashlight of the camera uses this types of mirror.

Uses of Convex Mirrors

  • It is used as a side view mirror on the passenger’s side of a car because it forms an erect and smaller image for the way behind the car.
  • It is suitable for a convenient shop and big supermarkets and any other corner where need anti-thief.
  • It is used turning off the road and parking.
  • Vastly used in making lenses of sunglasses.
  • They can be used as street light reflectors because they can spread light over a big area.

One-Way/ Two-Way Mirrors


Iconic Mr.Bean On Two-Way Mirror

One way mirrors also known as two-way mirrors. They often associated with observation rooms and security applications where viewers on one side of the glass may look through the window without being seen on the other side.

These types of glass mirror effects are commonly seen on the television and in the movies. Clients seeking to purchase should be keen on the light conditions are an important factor, and also the observer’s side should be darker than the other observed side of the glass.

Uses Of One Way/ Two Way Mirrors

  • Two way mirror used for security surveillance for example department stores or banks.
  • They used for monitoring work areas in offices, warehouses, and large stores.
  • It is used to protect hidden cameras.
  • It used in observation rooms where the distraction of onlookers maybe unwanted. For example daycare, dance schools, science labs.


Congratulations! Now you know about different types of mirrors. Definitely to get the best choice of a mirror that suite your needs, this should be an enough knowledge. Thereafter, you can make a brilliant choice. For example, if you need a mirror for a barbershop, then you should go for a concave mirror as it enlarges the face and erects the image of the face.

Apart from uses, the other important factor to consider is the formation of images by different mirrors and will give a clear view of what you desire. If you want a mirror that gives a laterally inverted image that is of the same size of the object, then a plane mirror is the perfect choice to purchase.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply