Why Do Elevators Have Mirrors?

Why Do Elevators Have Mirrors?

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Elevators have been around for over a century, and they are a common features of modern high buildings. Over the century, they have evolved to include a range of features designed to make them safer, faster, and more comfortable.

One such feature is the mirror, which is often installed in elevators for a variety of reasons. While many people assume that these mirrors are simply for vanity or grooming, they actually serve a range of other practical purposes.

Here in this article, we'll talk about some of the reasons why elevators have mirrors, and how they benefit passengers.

femaie in elevator
Image source: shutterstock

Distract Passengers from Boresome and Anxiety

The very early and primary reason why elevators have mirrors is that the elevator company is trying to use this easy way to distract passengers from the fact that they are in a confined space and that the speed is not so fast.

Elevators can be slow-moving and cramped, which can make some people feel uncomfortable and anxious. Mirrors can provide a distraction, allowing passengers to focus on their appearance or surroundings rather than the slow speed or confined space. In addition to distracting passengers from boresome and anxiety, mirrors can also make the elevator ride more enjoyable. People may enjoy checking their appearance or trying out different facial expressions in the mirror, which can make the ride more fun and less stressful.

According to the research, people's sense of time was distorted while in elevators because they had nothing to do but stare at the walls and worry about the safety of being suspended in the air and the fear of falling. Due to the lack of space and equipment, they came up with the idea of installing mirrors in the elevators. This provided a distraction for passengers, allowing them to focus on their appearance and not the potential danger, resulting in a perception of faster elevator speeds even though the physical speed remained the same.

maie in elevator
Image source: shutterstock

Bring Safety to People

Another reason why elevators have mirrors is for safety. When people enter an elevator, they may not be aware of who else is inside. Mirrors allow passengers to quickly check their surroundings and ensure that they are safe. This can be especially important in situations where a passenger feels uncomfortable or threatened by another passenger.

Mirrors can also help prevent theft in elevators. If someone tries to steal a purse or wallet from another passenger, a mirror can catch the thief in the act and allow the victim to identify them. In this way, mirrors can help deter criminal behavior and make elevators safer for everyone. The capacity to observe others in an elevator can serve as a deterrent to certain types of offenses such as theft and unsolicited touching. In situations where the elevator cabin is crowded with unfamiliar passengers, the presence of mirrors can provide a sense of security and prevent physical contact that may occur due to the lack of personal space.

Additionally, mirrors can help individuals identify any suspicious behavior, making it easier to report any potential criminal activity. Overall, the installation of mirrors in elevators can improve the safety and security of passengers by allowing them to observe their surroundings and potential threats.

people in the elevator
Image source: shutterstock


Claustrophobia is a common fear that affects many people when they are in enclosed spaces. The fear can be triggered by a range of situations, including being in an elevator.

For individuals with claustrophobia, the thought of being trapped in a small space like an elevator can be terrifying. Mirrors can serve as a helpful tool for individuals with claustrophobia by creating the illusion of more visual space. When someone sees their reflection in the mirror, it can make the elevator feel larger and less confined. This can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and make the ride more comfortable for individuals with claustrophobia.

In addition to the visual effect of mirrors, some elevators also feature music or calming sounds to help create a relaxing atmosphere. These features can work together to create a more pleasant experience for individuals who may be struggling with claustrophobia or anxiety in elevators.

It's important to note that while mirrors and other features can be helpful for individuals with claustrophobia, it's also important to seek professional help if the fear is impacting daily life. Therapy and other forms of treatment can be effective in managing claustrophobia and other anxiety disorders.

Crouched Worried Man With Hands On Head In Elevator
Image source: shutterstock


Finally, mirrors in elevators can be helpful for people with mobility issues, such as those who use a wheelchair.

When these passengers enter the elevator, they may need to turn around to face the door in order to exit the elevator safely. Mirrors can allow them to see when the elevator has stopped and the door has opened, making it easier for them to exit the elevator without turning around.

The installation of mirrors in elevators has become a common practice, with the Japan Elevator Association guidelines even recommending that glass be installed in every elevator. The primary reason for this is to improve the mental well-being of elevator users, especially those who use wheelchairs and need to enter and exit the elevator without inconveniencing other passengers.

male in wheelchair
Image source: shutterstock

Wrap up

Elevators have mirrors for a range of practical reasons. They can help passengers feel safer, distract them from the confined space, alleviate feelings of claustrophobia, and assist those with mobility issues.

While many people may assume that mirrors in elevators are simply for vanity, they actually serve a much more important purpose. As technology continues to advance, it will be interesting to see how elevators continue to evolve and improve to meet the needs of passengers.

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