You may not think about it much, but the sink is an incredibly important aspect of bathroom design for both functionality and style. For that reason, it’s essential to choose just the right one for your bathroom renovation.
But with so many options available, how do you choose the right bathroom sink for your home? How do you separate the good from the bad?
How do you find bathroom sinks that meet your needs? How do you even know what your needs are in the first place?
Don’t panic. Whether you’re looking for a sink for your well-used master bath or for a seldom visited guests’ powder room, this buying guide will tell you everything you need to know to purchase your new sink.
We’ll go over the different types of bathroom sinks and exactly what to consider to choose the right sink for your needs. Then we’ll go over our top five picks for the best bathroom sinks currently on the market (though you can take a sneak peak at those picks below).
But first let’s talk about what exactly makes bathroom sinks different from other types of sinks.
All kinds of sinks aren’t interchangeable and there are a few things that set bathroom sinks apart. For example, bathroom sinks are smaller and shallower than kitchen sinks.
They also feature a smaller drain hole. Bathroom sinks most frequently have a drain hole with a 1.25-inch diameter, but 1.5 inches and 1.625-inch holes are also fairly common.
Bathroom sinks are also typically made from different materials than kitchen sinks. Porcelain sinks, ceramic sinks, and Vitreous China sinks are the most common.
However, you’ll also find them in other materials. Natural stone, stainless steel, fireclay, cast iron, glass, and copper sinks are less common but also available.
Traditionally, bathroom sinks are oval-shaped, but circular and rectangular shapes are becoming increasingly popular.
Finally, unlike kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks don’t typically come with drain assemblies. Instead, your pop-up drain (or other drain types, though pop-ups are by far the most common) will either come with your bathroom faucet or need to be purchased separately.
What Are The Different Types Of Bathroom Sinks?
There are a variety of types of bathroom sinks, based on how the sink is installed. Drop-in and under-mount sinks are the most common, but they’re far from the only types.
Drop In Sinks
Drop-in sinks are installed by simply placing the sink into a cutout in your counter. A rim around the edge of the sink rests on top of the counter.
Clips hold it in place and caulk seals around the edge. Drop-in sinks are the most common type of sink and they’re the easiest to install yourself.
In fact, most people can probably DIY drop-in sink installation, saving you the cost of a plumber.
However, undermount, or under-counter, sinks are very trendy right now. Their minimalist, clean look is perfect for modern bathrooms.
These sinks are installed underneath the countertop, with the counter’s edge extending all the way to the edge of the sink’s bowl. They have a rim as well, but it’s adhered and clipped in place underneath the counter.
Undermount sinks are trickier to install, but the lack of lip around the sink has benefits. It makes it easy for you to brush messes on the counter into the sink.
It also helps you preserve as much counter space as possible, which is great for small bathrooms and bathroom vanities.
On the other hand, not all types of countertops work well with undermount sinks since the bottom of the counter has to be able to support the weight of the sink.
Vessel sinks are another trendy sink style right now. Instead of being installed with the basin below the countertops, these sinks have basins that sit on top of the counter with a mounting ring to seal the edge and hold them in place.
Vessel sinks are really more of an aesthetic choice than a practical one, but some do provide just a smidgen more counter space underneath the sink basin.
The added height will also need to be accounted for in your bathroom design. You’ll need a faucet with a high spout to reach over the sink’s rim and you may want lower counters so the edge of the sink isn’t uncomfortably high.
Wall Mount Sinks
Wall-mount sinks are a great option for small bathrooms. As you can probably guess, these sinks mount directly to the wall.
Since no countertop or cabinets are required, this leaves floor space open, giving you more room to move in tiny bathrooms. You could even place the trashcan or hamper underneath the sink to open up a bit more floor space.
However, some homeowners may not like the exposed pipes underneath the sink.
In addition, no cabinets or counters mean less storage space, so these sinks are probably best reserved for half baths and guests baths. Furthermore, installation can be tricky.
You’ll need to make sure the wall can support the weight of the sink and you may even have to reroute plumbing lines to make the sink work. To get it right, you’ll probably just want to call a plumber.
Pedestal sinks are a similar option but with a more classic, clean feel. They’re also easier to install than wall mount sinks.
The pedestal under the sink means the sink’s weight is supported by both the wall and floor. And as long as the pipes go through the wall, not the floor, you shouldn’t have to reroute pipes and the pipes should be hidden by the pedestal.
The pedestal is still far less bulky than a full cabinet, though, so pedestal sinks are still very space-efficient. However, pedestal sinks have the same storage space problem that wall mount sinks do.
Finally, console sinks are kind of a blend between wall mount and pedestal sinks, with a touch of cabinetry thrown in for good measure. The sink itself attaches to the wall, but it also has legs to help support its weight.
It may just have two legs in the front or four legs, one in each corner. At their most minimal, that’s all there is to a console sink.
However, some console sinks have additional counter space around the edge of the sink basin. Most don’t offer any kind of storage, but some will have a shelf or two underneath the sink.
These sorts of additions give a bit more storage than the standard pedestal or wall mount sink, but the open space helps keep small bathrooms from feeling too cramped.
What Do You Look For In The Best Bathroom Sink?
Aside from the right type of bathroom sink for your space and needs, there are a few other things to consider to make sure you’re choosing a high-quality bathroom sink that works for you.
Appearance vs. Functionality
For many of us, having a sink with just the right look is important, but don’t forget about functionality as well.
For example, square sinks can lend a modern feel, but angles and corners are hard to clean. The same goes for most matte finishes.
Glossy bathroom sinks are more traditional, but there’s a reason for that: the smooth finish makes it easy to wipe away messes.
Sink material is a similar factor. Ceramics and enameled cast iron are available in pretty much any color under the sun and they tend to be easy to maintain.
On the other hand, the color is one of the main appeals of going with a copper sink, so they’re far more limited, and maintenance is more involved.
And remember that the material you choose also has an effect on durability. Glass sinks, for example, can be beautiful and statement-making, but they’re also fragile, so maybe reserve these for a classy master bath and go with more durable vitreous China or cast iron for the kids’ bathroom.
For most types of sinks, you’ll also want to make sure you choose a sink with the right number of faucet holes and with the right spacing between them.
If you want a single handle faucet, you’ll only need one faucet hole. You can go with a three-hole sink, however, if the faucet comes with a deck plate to cover the extra holes.
If you want a center set or widespread faucet, you’ll need three. For a center set faucet, the holes on either side should be 4 inches apart. Widespread faucets give you more flexibility in spacing.
Best Bathroom Sinks Reviewed
Now that you know how to choose the best bathroom sink for your needs, let’s go over the top five best bathroom sinks.
1. American Standard Edgemere 4” Centers Sink Top (Our Top Pick)
Our top pick is the American Standard Edgemere Sink. This versatile white porcelain sink can be used as either a console sink or pedestal sink.
Simply buy the sink top and the matching either consoleor pedestal to go underneath it. The sink top comes with a mounting kit that works with both.
The sink itself is rectangular shaped and has three holes, perfectly spaced for a center set faucet. It also has three rear overflow drain holes.
Our best budget sink is also the only vessel bathroom sink on our list.
Despite the low price, the vessel style and rectangular shape give this sink a classy, modern vibe. At the same time, the rounded corners and the porcelain ceramic sink material make the sink easy to clean and maintain.
Those rounded corners also help things a little bit safer while you stumble around your bathroom before you’ve had your morning coffee to really wake up.
High end feel at a budget friendly price
Durable and easy to clean
Rectangular shape but rounded corners
Flat bottom can cause water to pool at the bottom instead of draining properly
The Kohler Reve is even more versatile than our top pick. You can use the washbasin alone as a wall-mount sink, with the Reve Pedestalas a pedestal sink, or with the Reve Shroud as a semi-pedestal sink.
The shroud hides the pipes below the sink but doesn’t provide support as a full pedestal would.
The sink is made of fireclay, so it looks similar to porcelain, ceramic, or vitreous China, but is even more durable. The version linked above has a single hole for a faucet, but it’s also available withthree faucet holes.
The undermount installation, combined with the square shape, gives this sink a sleek, modern appearance, but vitreous China and glossy white color ensure that it fits with a wide array of bathroom decorating styles.
Kohler doesn’t sell matching tubs, toilets, or other fixtures, but their Solid/Expressions Vanity Tops can be purchased with perfectly sized cutouts already made for easier DIY installation.
The Kohler Verticyl Rectangle Undermount Bathroom Sink comes with a one-year limited warranty.
Simple, versatile design
Perfectly fits with Kohler Solid/Expressions pre-cut vanity tops
Will need to be paired with a wall- or counter-mount faucet
By now, you should have a good idea of how to choose the best sink for your home. The sinks we’ve included here are diverse in type, material, decorating style, and price point, so it should be pretty easy for you to narrow down your options.
The American Standard Edgemere is our favorite for its versatility, looks, and durability, but none of these are bad sinks and each of them can be a good option for just about any home. Just think about your space, tastes, price point, and what you’ll be using the sink for, then choose the one that fits those considerations best.