What Is a Bathroom Tumbler?

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Bathroom tumblers may be used strictly as a decorative accent.
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It could be made of glass. Some are made of paper. Others are made of ceramic or plastic. They can be square, round or oval. No matter its composition, a bathroom tumbler is a fixture on any bathroom vanity. Whether it is used to rinse your mouth after brushing, to hold your makeup brushes or to soak your dentures before going to sleep, a bathroom tumbler, or bathroom cup, is a necessary accessory in all active bathrooms, so much so that hotels keep the small, handle-free cups in their bathrooms knowing that guests rely on them for several uses.


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The Evolution of the Bathroom Cup

Flat-bottomed with no stem and easy to grasp with no protruding handles or grips, the term "tumbler" originally evolved in the Middle Ages. One thing they all had in common was a rounded bottom. Other theories as to the origination of the name abound, including "self-righting" bottoms preventing them from rolling over and spilling. Digging deeper into word etymology, in old recipes, a "tumbler" referred to a measurement of one cup. Whatever the origination of the word "tumbler," it evolved into a small drinking vessel, which is what the bathroom tumbler is.


Usually sized from an ounce or two to 1 cup, the bathroom cup is not made for everyday drinking, although in a pinch, it can serve as a lowball cup. Straight-sided is preferred, although plastic and paper bathroom cups are usually wider at the top and narrow toward the bottom.

Fabrication of a Bathroom Cup

You usually lift a glass bathroom cup with a wet hand, and that often leads to it slipping and crashing onto the floor, sending shards scattering throughout the entire bathroom. Glass, while used in hotel bathrooms for economy and hygiene, is not the preferred fabrication of the bathroom tumbler, especially in a child's bathroom.


Plastic or paper bathroom cups are the safest style of cup. While they are not the most sturdy and though they are made for a single use, paper bathroom cups won't shatter. Ceramic tumblers are slippery, and aside from the popular water bottle sitting aside the sink, glass or stainless steel tumblers are most frequently used in the bathroom. Vanity sets almost always include a tumbler, indicating their necessity for all ages.


Using the Bathroom Tumbler as a Design Feature

You spend time and thought selecting your bathroom accessories, diligently matching the towel racks, toilet roll holders, and even the tissue containers, but you may seldom think to include the essential bathroom cup in your design scheme. Go outside the box and use the tumbler as a design feature. Choose a lineup of several coordinating cup colors and display your toothbrushes, makeup brushes, razors or anything else that you want easily at hand on the counter and turn the bathroom tumbler into a useful, colorful decorating accessory.


A helpful suggestion is to avoid choosing clear glass for your bathroom tumbler if you want to soak your dentures overnight. Spare the grandchildren from the fright!