The bathroom might not be the first thing your guests see when they walk into your home, but they'll likely go in there at some point during their stay. And beyond the impression it has on visitors, optimizing this space can make your everyday life a little more efficient and enjoyable.
The right bath linens, storage solutions, self-care products, accessories and design tweaks can make a world of difference. Whether you're starting from scratch or looking to spruce up your current space, taking a look through all the bathroom necessities below will help get your wheels turning.
This bathroom essentials checklist covers all the functional must-haves, plus nice-to-have luxuries, cleaning supplies and everything in between. Let's get started.
Functional Bathroom Necessities Checklist
You should never have to compromise style for functionality — or vice versa. With this in mind, the essential items outlined below are not only useful but also aesthetically pleasing. This includes bath towels, a bath mat, an area rug, a shower curtain, storage baskets, a trash can, a soap dispenser, a toothbrush holder and a hamper.
Find buying tips and design considerations below.
Towels need almost no introduction. They absorb water, help you dry your hair and keep you warm in the interim between hopping out of the shower and getting dressed. Virtually everyone uses bath towels, putting them at the top of our checklist for bathroom essentials.
Read our blog to learn How to Fold and Style Your Towels Like a Luxury Hotel.
How to Choose the Right Towels for You
Of course, not all towels are created equal. There are ultra-plush luxury options made of classic Turkish cotton, super-soft ribbed bath sheets, flat-woven fouta, waffle weaves and even organic cotton bath linens. Each material has a unique look and feel, so the choice is mostly a matter of personal preference, but some fabrics fold more compactly than others.
For additional tips on choosing a set for your bathroom, see our article, What Are the Best Towel Materials, and What Sizes Should You Buy?
Towels may be at the top of the must-haves list, but a bath mat is a close second. The absorbent material helps keep your floors dry, ultimately preventing moisture damage, while tying in different colors and adding a hint of texture.
How to Choose a Bath Mat
Bath mats come in various shapes, materials, weaves and colors. If you're not sure what style to get, consider a design that matches your other bath linens. For instance, you can get a Turkish cotton tub mat in the same color and terry cloth weave as your towels. You could also match the color but opt for a different weave, like light grey ribbed towels with a light grey mat featuring a unique motif.
Learn How to Wash, Dry and Care for Bath Mats in our blog.
A bathroom rug is one of those bath essentials that's often overlooked. While it doesn't necessarily safeguard your floors from water damage, it can provide softness underfoot, insulation, sound absorption and a decorative touch.
See our guide for a deeper dive into the difference between Bath Mats vs. Bath Rugs.
How to Choose a Bathroom Rug
Bathroom rugs are generally smaller and flatter than the area rugs you might use throughout the rest of your home. Depending on the shape of your bathroom and your available space, you might place one or two small bath rugs on the floor below the vanity, a circular rug in front of the toilet or a long runner down the length of the room.
Check out these 17 Rug Styling Ideas for inspiration.
Not all bathrooms call for shower curtains, but if yours has a bathtub and no glass door for the shower, this item is a must for privacy and steam control. And don't forget the liner. This waterproof layer helps keep water off your bathroom floors while preventing mildew growth.
How Often Should You Replace Towels, Shower Curtain Liners and Other Bathroom Essentials?Read our article to find out.
How to Choose a Shower Curtain
Just because shower curtains are bathroom necessities doesn't mean they can't enhance the design of your space as well. You can choose from light and airy cloud cotton, flat-woven Turkish cotton with hand-knotted fringe, brilliantly textured waffle weave and subtle speckled patterns for those who want to add just a hint of interest.
See our Guide to Shower Curtains for more buying tips.
Soap dispensers are important bathroom necessities. This goes without saying, but it's important to be able to wash your hands after using the bathroom — or any time throughout the day. You can go with liquid hand soap in a refillable pump-style dispenser or opt for a bar soap with a design-forward dish.
Consider buying a toothbrush holder that coordinates with your soap and any other countertop accessories. From ceramic cups and modern mounts to metal racks and decorative stands, there's an option for every design taste.
Some electric toothbrushes come with their own charging stations, which double as a holder. Since cords aren't aesthetically pleasing, you might plug in your toothbrush under the sink if possible, on a shelf or somewhere else where the cord won't show.
Storage Baskets and Bins
Woven baskets and canvas bins are just the thing for storing and organizing your bathroom items. You can place folded or rolled-up towels in them, extra toilet paper rolls, hot hair tools, guest toiletries and any other bathroom necessities you like.
Baskets and bins are great for under-the-sink storage, whether hidden behind cabinet doors or in plain sight. You can also place them on open shelves and put larger ones directly on the floor.
See our article for more expert tips on Getting Organized.
How to Choose Baskets and Bins for the Bathroom
Undyed palm leaf and jute-woven baskets are exceptionally versatile, offering a laid-back, organic touch in any bathroom. The same goes for undyed canvas bins. When selecting storage containers, consider the different sizes and quantities you need, then get a matching set in the same color and material. Alternatively, you can choose two materials of a similar color or one material in two contrasting hues, like black and natural palm leaf baskets.
These 23 Basket Decor and Storage Ideas can help get your wheels turning.
Trash cans are often brushed off as non-decorative bathroom necessities. While they are indeed necessary, that doesn't mean they can't be stylish.
Don't leave your visitors hanging without a trash can, and see our Guest Bathroom Essentials checklist to make sure you have everything else your guests may need.
Not everyone keeps a hamper in the bathroom. Still, it can be nice to have a place to toss used towels and dirty clothes before getting in the shower.
Check out our blog on How to Wash and Properly Care for Towels to ensure your bath linens last as long as possible.
How to Choose a Bathroom Hamper
Bathroom hampers don't necessarily have to look like receptacles for soiled linens. For instance, you can get a sophisticated lidded palm leaf laundry hamper to match your other storage baskets. Prefer to keep things simple? You can't go wrong with a canvas bag and a collapsible metal frame.
Here's how to Keep Your Towels Fresh and Get Musty Smells Out.
Bath and Shower Accessories and Self-Care Products Checklist
Once you have all your bathroom essentials, think about adding in a few bath accessories and self-care products.
Robes aren't exactly bathroom necessities, but it's definitely nice to have a high-quality one on hand. From extra-long laid-back linen to earth-friendly organic cotton, mid-length waffle weave, fluffy cloud cotton and spa-inspired plush terry cloth, there's a perfect robe out there for everyone.
Here’s some helpful guides for finding the right robe for you:
If you're serious about skincare, designated washcloths are a must. Not only do these makeup towels help you separate your hand towels from your face cloths, but they also look chic in a neat stack next to your sink. Plus, the black color conceals makeup stains.
Learn more about how upgraded bathroom necessities can rejuvenate your Skincare Rituals.
You can use high-quality body oil both in and out of the shower. This seaweed-infused elixir features a blend of sunflower, linseed and grapefruit peel oils to nourish and firm your skin, while offering a dose of invigorating aromatherapy.
When you get out of the shower or tub, reach for a moisturizing body balm. This plant-based concoction contains coconut and rice bran oils, plus marine extracts to simultaneously soften and tighten your skin from the neck down. The soothing scent is a nice touch too.
Biodegradable Sea Sponge
Trying to incorporate more sustainable products into your home? Swap out your plastic loofah for an all-natural sea sponge. This wool sponge (aka Spongia officinalis) is not only 100% natural but also biodegradable and antimicrobial, so you won't have to worry about it harboring bacteria.
You may be surprised by how useful and pampering a bath brush can be. This handmade beauty features an extra-long, oil-treated oak handle and soft yet durable horse hair bristles for gentle yet effective physical exfoliation.
Learn How to Turn Your Bathroom Into a Spa with the right tub accessories.
Attention all bath-takers! If you love a good soak, bath salt can help you take the experience up a notch by softening your skin and gracing you with relaxing aromatherapy.
Shower mist is used — you guessed it — in the shower. Turn on the water, spritz it generously into the steam, then step into a calming, spa-like oasis.
The tranquil scent of lavender can help you wind down before bed. Discover more ways to Upgrade Your Bedtime Routine in our blog.
Essential Oil Diffuser
If you have the available counter space, think about getting an oil diffuser for your bathroom. This sleek cordless model from Vitruvi helps you minimize clutter and achieve a modern, streamlined look — just add your favorite essential oils.
Check out these 27 Bedroom Essentials for Creating a Relaxing At-Home Oasis.
While we wouldn't call loungewear a bathroom necessity, investing in comfy-cozies can really elevate your morning and nighttime routines. You'll find a range of high-quality pieces at Parachute, including pajama pants, t-shirts, joggers, crewneck sweatshirts, linen button-downs, lightweight tanks, super-soft shorts, sleep shirts and house dresses.
What to Consider When Designing a Bathroom
You should be up to speed on the most critical bathroom essentials and optional accessories by now, but what if you're renovating your space or designing it from scratch? The main components include a vanity, a mirror, a toilet, a tub, tile, cabinets, shelving, fixtures, lighting, window coverings and artwork.
Choosing a Bathroom Vanity
A vanity offers a place to keep various things in your bathroom, like hair tools, skincare products and makeup. Depending on the layout of your space and the style you choose, it might house your sink or be a standalone unit with its own mirror and stool.
The right design and features can help you Make the Most of Your Morning Routine. See our blog for more self-care ideas.
Choosing a Bathroom Mirror
Some vanities come with a mirror, and your bathroom may already have one on the wall. However, the size, shape and frame style can make a big impact on your decor scheme, so it might be worth shopping around.
Choosing a Toilet
Toilets are functional bathroom necessities, but they're not all created equal. There are a range of different bowl styles, seats and lids to choose from, plus optional features like built-in bidets.
Choosing a Bathtub
While you might not give your bathtub much thought, you'd be surprised how many options there are. Think free-standing tubs, claw-foot basins, built-ins and oversized jacuzzis — to name a few.
Choosing Bathroom Tile
Tile isn't just for flooring. It can be used for bathroom backsplashes, shower walls, bathtub surrounds and even accent walls. And you can find virtually any color, shape or design imaginable.
Choosing Bathroom Cabinets and Shelving
Cabinets and shelving aren't merely for storage. They're also a major factor in a bathroom's overall appearance. Whether it's a statement paint color, cabinetry that blends in with the walls, a natural wood finish or floating shelves, there are endless routes you can take.
See our guide on How to Create an Interior Design Mood Board for step-by-step pointers on designing a space from scratch.
Choosing Bathroom Fixtures
Bathroom fixtures in a unique color, finish or shape can offer subtle character, setting your space apart from cookie-cutter interior design. This includes everything from the showerhead, faucets and towel rods to drawer pulls, cabinet handles and doorknobs.
These 56 Bathroom Decor Ideas are proof that small changes make a big difference.
Choosing Bathroom Lighting
Lighting is also vital in a bathroom. Be sure to have ample overhead and vanity lighting so you can see clearly while getting ready, plus some dimmable fixtures or mood lights for setting a perfect ambiance.
Choosing Bathroom Window Coverings
If your bathroom has windows, you'll want to add some window coverings. Blackout materials are best suited for bedrooms, but privacy is still important, so look for something that effectively filters light without being too sheer.
For more bathroom necessities and must-haves for around the house, see our New Home Checklist.
Choosing Bathroom Artwork
Since bathrooms are among the smallest spaces in the home, it's easy to overlook artwork. But just because the walls are narrower doesn't mean they shouldn't be adorned with decorative accents.
When it comes to adorning your walls, framed pictures are far from your only option. Wallpaper, shiplap, tile, floating shelves and hanging plants can offer character without cluttering the space.
Here are 37 clever Ideas for Decorating a Blank Wall in Your Home.
Essential Bathroom Cleaning Supplies Checklist
You're wise to keep a few cleaning essentials on hand. Here's what to include on your bathroom cleaning checklist.
Whether out of sight in a cabinet or upright and on display in a stylized stand, every bathroom should have a toilet brush.
A toilet plunger is also a must-have. If you don't store it in the bathroom, make sure there's at least one in your home at all times.
It's good to have some room spray in your bathroom to tackle inevitable odors. Make sure it's in plain sight, preferably somewhere near the toilet, so your guests can easily access it.
You can whip up your own refreshing spray with one of these DIY Room Spray Recipes. To learn about some other ways to use your room spray around the house, explore the Best Ways to Use Room Spray guide.
Tub, Toilet and Tile Cleaner
Every clean bathroom checklist should have a porcelain-friendly solution for the bathtub, toilet and tile. In addition to removing grime, water spots and limescale, they’ll help keep your space smelling fresh.
See our guide for more tips on How to Make Your Home Smell Good.
Glass cleaner is a must-have in every bathroom. You can use it to wipe down your mirror, windows, shower door and other non-porous surfaces, like a quartz or laminate countertop.
When it comes to essentials for cleaning a bathroom, a multi-surface disinfectant is high up on the list. You can use this solution to kill germs on your counters, faucets, toilet seat, doorknobs and other shared surfaces in between deeper cleans.
Looking to live a greener lifestyle? Here are some Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips to get you started.
Bathroom Essentials FAQs
Find answers to frequently asked questions about bathroom necessities below.
What Are the Best Bathroom Essentials for Babies and Young Children?
Hooded towels can make it easier to dry off infants and toddlers while ensuring they stay warm after a bath. You should also have plenty of small washcloths on hand for cleansing and drying. Beyond that, you don't need much more than mild hair wash, tear-free conditioner, soothing lotion and a small comb or brush.
Read our article to learn the Best Way to Wash, Dry, and Care for Baby Bedding and Baby Towels.
Why Choose Organic Products for Your Bathroom?
Lots of folks prefer organic products because they're sustainably sourced and generally better for the environment. Others want to make sure only the purest, gentlest materials come into contact with their skin.
See these blogs for more detailed insight:
What to Consider When Choosing a Bathroom Color
Color is a crucial aspect of choosing bathroom necessities. Think about the design scheme throughout the rest of your home, and opt for shades that play off that theme. Every color doesn't have to be an exact match, but all rooms should look cohesive. When in doubt, start with a neutral color like grey, black or ivory, and choose two more complementing hues.
Check out these 35 Stylish Bathroom Color Schemes for ideas and inspiration.
How Often Should You Clean Your Bathroom?
It’s important to clean your bathroom at least once a week, as germs accumulate every day — even more so in bathrooms used by multiple people. Your bathroom cleaning schedule might include weekly vacuuming and a wipedown of all surfaces, then a deeper clean every other week.
Free Home Design Consultations With Parachute
At this point, you should have a thorough idea of what your bathroom needs, including what to put in your bathroom. But if you're still stumped on a color scheme, design style or how to decorate your space, a Parachute stylist is here to assist.
Schedule your free one-on-one virtual consultation today!