By on August 20, 2019

best blind spot mirrors

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If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: check yer bind spot! More than a few collisions (notice we didn’t call them “accidents”) occur because drivers heedlessly heave their car over into the next lane only to find themselves occupying the same time and space as another vehicle. This leads to Expensive Noises.

Plenty of machines on the road today are equipped with blind-spot monitoring systems, most of which use a system that detects when another vehicle is in one’s blind spot and flashes an amber light, usually on the face of the car’s sideview mirror. One of the best alert systems is employed by Audi, which places a big amber light on the inside of the mirror housing instead of on the mirror itself. That light then fades in and out like an Iowa radio station rather than winking abruptly like a horny teenager.

Still, there are plenty of cars which don’t have this tech — and more than a few rolling around in which it was not available when they were built — so we assembled eight options found on Amazon.

(Editor’s note: As noted above, this post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)


1. Editor’s Choice: MaxiView HD Metal 360° Blind Spot Mirror

maxiview mirrors blind spot mirrors

Your author is selecting this option because it combines a healthy footprint with a modicum of adjustability. It also has a metal, not plastic, frame which should stand up to the rigors of even the most violent New York City parking job. Its adhesive is touted as a strong all-weather bonding strip that “makes life safer forever.”

Hyperbole aside, it’s the swivel adjustment that is most appealing, since very few households are comprised of drivers all of the same size and height. The glass is advertised as being glare-proof which will help prevent the headlights of Chad’s Jeep from drilling into your eyeballs. Theoretically, it could also be used as a standalone mirror for bikes.

Pros: Hot swivel action, anti-glare lens, large surface area

Cons: A tad more expensive than the other options on this list

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2. Traditional Choice: Ampper Blind Spot Mirror, 2″ Round Convex Mirror

ampper blind spot mirrors

Chances are, when one thinks of aftermarket blind-spot mirrors, they’re imagining these little round stick on jobbies that have inhabited the aisles of every AutoZone and Pep Boys since approximately the dawn of time. A simple peel-and-stick affair, these lenses are 2 inches on the round and provide a fish eye view of the world astern.

The unit shown here is slightly different from the ones your Pop applied to his 1982 GMC pickup back in the day. Like the previous option, this one also has a swivel base, albeit one that only tilts left and right instead of in all directions. It’s still better than a static stick-on, of course. Best of all, it costs less than your morning Starbucks coffee.

Pros: Dirt cheap, fish-eye view, you’ll fit right in at the 55+ park

Cons: Limited range of movement

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3. LIBERRWAY Car Blind Spot Mirrors

liberrway blind spot mirrors

This curiously capitalized option is probably one of the better looking units on this list, if something like aesthetics appeals to someone who’s sticking extra mirrors on their car. The lens is long and thin with tapered edges, giving it a slightly more sleek look than most of the other alternatives shown here.

A flexible base allows for adjustment of up to 20 degrees which will help drivers of different heights and viewing preferences. Its rectangular shape also allows buyers more freedom when choosing a place to stick it on their side mirrors, as it will fit vertically along the side of the factory mirror instead of just having to be placed in a corner.

Pros: Good range of adjustability, shape encourages custom placement

Cons: Lack of symmetry will mess with your OCD

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4. KITBEST Interior Clip on Wide Angle Rear View Mirror

kitbest rear view mirror

We’re including a couple of these clip-on options for interior rearview mirrors as they’re a great way to see what’s behind you … both inside and outside the car. This unit measures nearly a foot long and three inches high, making for a lens that’s generous but not big enough to scupper your forward sightlines.

This one’s listed as anti-glare, a good thing as some customer report that it can mess with the day/night tab on the factory mirror. Twin adjustable buckles mean this thing should fit most cars and trucks, even though I’m sure one of you weirdos in the comments will carp about it not fitting the mirror in their Singer Gazelle.

Pros: Improves rearward sightlines, fits most cars, not exposed to weather

Cons: May impede stock day/night mirror tab

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5. Miaoke Universal 15.2‘’ Interior Clip On Panoramic Rearview Mirror

miaoke car rear view mirror

Sticking with interior solutions to vexing blind-spot problems, this enormous mirror should allow drivers to see everything that is behind them, including looming deadlines. Spanning a vast 15.2 inches wide and 3.2 inches tall, this mirror is actually a trio of lenses, with the outer two rectangles able to be adjusted like the pages of a book.

Of course, a mirror this size is bound to impact forward vision to some degree, especially if one spends their time craning their necks at stoplights or navigating steep hills at the off-road park. It’s certainly a bit of a trade-off but if a wide convex viewing platform to the world astern is what you seek, this is surely the mirror for you. Reviews show those who have bought it a quite satisfied.

Pros: Vast size, adjustable endcap mirrors, flap on the back for toll booth readers

Cons: Vast size, and hey – who put that sticker on my rear window?

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6. Dometic Milenco Aero3 Blind Spot Mirror

dometic milenco aero3 blind spot mirror

Your author will freely admit he often chooses form over function; how else to explain his inexplicable penchant for large two-door coupes? With that in mind, I’ll say these things are surely functional but also one of the ugliest accessories with which one could ever pollute their car. Perching on the upper corner of a sideview mirror, they look like deformed Mickey Mouse ears.

Marketed as both a blind spot and towing mirror – which makes sense because the brand name is also found on many other trailer accessories – the seller alleges that, despite its stand-up appearance, the design utilizes airflow to stabilize the mirror. Um, okay. I’d give more credit to the stout mounting system for that. Its base is contoured to fit both flat and curved mirror surfaces.

Pros: Extremely practical, metal mounting points

Cons: Uglier than a battered hamster

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7. Beech Lane Blindspot Mirror

beech lane blindspot mirror

The seller markets this option specifically for third-gen Ram pickups, as its size and shape is intended to precisely fit the outer upper corner of that truck’s sideview mirrors. Really, though, they’re good for any rig with outside rearview peepers. Measuring nearly three inches square, this convex lens should give you a good view of the road behind.

A low price means no fancy adjustments but also a good dose of inherent simplicity. After all, if there’s no moving parts, there’s nothing to break. This is a strictly a stick-n-go affair. Most trucks have power mirrors, so using the stock adjustments for the main lens will have to suffice when fine tuning this convex add-on.

Pros: Designed for a specific truck, easy installation

Cons: No independent adjustment at all

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8. Zento Square Rearview Blind Spot Mirrors

zento deals square blind spot mirrors

Our eighth and final option from the labyrinth of Amazon allows its buyer to use it with or without the swivel head attachment. Like a bunch of other blind-spot mirrors that go stuck on to the factory sideviews, these lenses come with a swivel base allowing for a small range of motion even after secured in place. However, the base can be removed, meaning it can be affixed solidly as well.

The advertising shows the mirror being placed in a vertical fashion on the leading edge of a passenger side mirror, a great idea for spying militant cyclists who like to speed up alongside cars as they attempt to exit parallel parking spaces on a one-way street. The sticky paper is described as a “super adhesive,” a comic book hero with which your author is not familiar.

Pros: Cheap, two different mounting options

Cons: Some customer report installing them is a hassle

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[Images provided by the manufacturer, lead image: WishnclickS/Shutterstock]

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14 Comments on “Check It: Best Blind Spot Mirrors...”


  • avatar
    JimC2

    All of these are fine solutions, but don’t overlook the obvious by failing to properly adjust your side mirrors in the first place!

    Jim Kenzie of the Toronto Star has for decades offered some, simple, easy advice on adjusting the left and right mirrors. Adjust them *outward* enough so they view the so-called “blind spots” next to your car. Most drivers do it wrong- they adjust the mirrors inward until the side of the car is visible just along one edge of the mirror. All that accomplishes is two things: it gives you a view of something a split second before you sideswipe it, and it overlaps a lot with what you can see in your rear view mirror. If you adjust them so that what they view barely overlaps what the rear view mirror shows or even so there is a small gap in the coverage between them then you’ll get an overall wider view of what’s next to and behind you. By a small gap that means a gap that is too narrow for a small car or a motorcycle to hide; as one of those is overtaking you, the front will usually be just visible in the side mirror right before the tail disappears from the rear view mirror.

    Amazing (not).

    What’s amazing is that useless “get a good look at the paint on your doors” method still pervades the government overlord-approved “driver training” curriculum and low licensing standards in so many jurisdictions (in the United States and in Canada- from where Kenzie hails). Every rental car I get in has the mirrors adjusted like that… sigh. Nearly all of the drivers out there create their own blind spots by wasting their side mirrors.

    (Among other sensible concepts of all things driving, Jim Kenzie has always been a big fan of “keep right except to pass” rules… which is another reason I’ve always been a big fan of his writing.)

    /rant

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Yeah, I’ve seen that, too (probably another TV news story) on how to properly set the mirrors. It’s not the way people usually set them.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      “See the side of your car” avoids “what angle is that and how far away IS that vehicle” issues.

      Side mirrors adjusted the way you hate let you easily see that the car you just passed is far enough behind you to merge – which your rearview doesn’t *if*, say, you have cargo blocking the rear.

      And if you ever have to drive said truck or SUV set up like that, oh, look – you’re going back and forth between two different mirror setups that act totally differently. Fun times.

      No, thanks. I don’t care how “superior” it could be in theory if everything was retrained and changed.

      (I found a C+D article about this, and their smug “have fun filling out accident reports LULZ BECAUSE NOBODY CAN LOOK WITH THEIR HEAD OR STUFF” attitude reminded me why they suck and should fail.

      I’ve never hit anyone while merging with my mirrors set “wrong”, because I … actually look?)

      (This is why my SuperDuty has built-in blind-spot mirrors. Because you can’t assume the rear mirror in a truck is clear the way you mostly can with a sedan. And SUVs are closer to trucks here if you carry cargo.)

      Even on cars with blind-spot monitors of the modern kind, I add mirrors, because belt-and-suspenders.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        I guess by using the word “rear view mirror” three times, the word “car” four times, and the words “truck,” SUV,” “towing,” and “cargo” a total of zero times, I came across as ambiguous and I must have given the impression that I was also talking about a truck towing something really big and with no visibility directly to the rear… ;)

        I do agree that big SUVs are actually small trucks rather than big cars- and they should be driven and operated like trucks. Towing a load in any vehicle or carrying anything that obstructs the rear view mirror, yep, common sense says to have extra big side mirrors- that’s just using the right tool for the job, or drive extra cautiously.

        “And if you ever have to drive said truck or SUV set up like that, oh, look – you’re going back and forth between two different mirror setups that act totally differently. Fun times.”

        I have and I do agree with you on this.

        :cheers:

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          I’ve only driven something like a U-Haul or Penske “box truck” a couple times.

          I had more confidence with the mirrors there than in a normal car! Even with the added height! (That height is one reason I wouldn’t want an xUV as a daily driver! I’d be afraid of missing a Miata or motorcycle alongside!) If you set those correctly, after a few miles, there’s absolutely no question as to where any surrounding vehicles are in relation to the truck! All the way to the rear!

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        On my last couple cars, the door curves out and down from the window, with a little bit of a “sill,” so I set the mirrors to see that at the inner edge. It works because I can see the passing car in my peripheral vision, and the rear of that car in the mirror, along with the BSI.

        Even with the BSI, I still turn my head! Right and left side! If the BSI is active, I don’t move! If it ain’t, my usual mirror check, then shoulder check, applies!

        Actually stopped looking at the LaneWatch camera on the right side of my last Accord for several months, in order to prepare for the new one with the BSI, though I’ve had a couple of situations when the wider view of the camera on the right side versus the distorted, convex, smaller view of the mirror would have been nice to have! (LaneWatch is available on Sport and EX-L Accords in Canada!)

        That last Accord had a small convex “blind spot” mirror at the outer edge of the driver’s mirror, which wasn’t big enough to be of help! Ford has a larger mirror built-into their sideview mirrors which seems better-implemented, but would work better in conjunction with a BSI system.

        What I’d REALLY like to know is if anyone makes a “stick-on ‘rim’” for the frameless Gentex mirrors (with the “smiley” shape I’ve ranted about). There’s a quarter-inch zone around the outside of the mirror which doesn’t auto-dim, and it hasn’t happened just yet, but I know that someone with a 20-bazillion CP light rack (or a first-generation Astro or Safari van) will end up glued to my bumper some night, with the glare going gangbusters!

    • 0 avatar
      spookiness

      I subscribe to the “aim your mirrors to the blind spots not the side of the car method” and it works for me. Takes some getting used to at first, but once you learn it is intuitive. For parking maneuvers and other instances where you want to see the side of the car, all you have to do is lean to the side a bit and the view changes.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        I do it too, but the only downside to “aim mirrors at blind spots” is motorcycle riders “splitting lanes”.

        They often surprise me as they come flying by from behind, since they escape all my mirrors most of the time.
        Even though I totally avoid “sudden lane changes”, I know it’s just a matter of time.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        Yep- for backing in to a parking spot, I like little convex mirrors on the bottom inside corner of my side mirrors. Those give a great view of the painted lines on the pavement to help you back in centered and straight and they give a great view of the curb for street parking. Being on that corner of the mirror they cover up what would be mostly pavement next to and just behind the car but they don’t cover the middle and top of whatever car/truck/motorcycle might be over there.

        That bottom inside corner of the side mirror also happens to be the part of the mirror that’s just the right angle for somebody else’s badly-adjusted headlights, and having little stick-on 2″ convex mirrors down there happens to do a nice job of dispersing that nuisance- or make it easy to lean a little bit one way or the other so the light isn’t in your eyes.

        But I like those little convex mirrors for parking but I don’t get much benefit from them when driving, even though they give a wide fisheye view; I get a better view using my side mirrors themselves.

        YMMV

    • 0 avatar
      lonborghini

      There are no blind spots with side view mirrors adjusted correctly and when a vehicle you just passed appears in your rear view mirror, you’re good to merge back into the right lane. You can’t see where you’re going when you’re looking back over your shoulder. I’m quite sure that drivers who aren’t bright enough to adjust their mirrors correctly couldn’t possibly parallel park under any circumstances.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Lots of people are talking about adjustment of side mirrors in/out, but people also adjust them wrong up/down.

    It doesn’t help you to look at sky.

    Your side mirrors should be set low enough that traffic on the horizon is just barely visible at the top edge of the mirror. The lower you can set them, the more of the blind spot right next to the car you can see. The mirror in the picture above is set horrendously wrong and only the bottom quarter or so of it is actually providing a useful view.

    I learned this when I learned to drive buses, on which the inside mirror is for looking inside the bus, and the outside mirrors are the only tool for looking behind you. Our instructor said “just a sliver of sky” at the very top edge of the mirror.

  • avatar
    madman2k

    My favorite feature about the pre-production Coda electric car I got to drive at the San Diego Auto Show several years back was the mirrors. The whole mirror was convex, like a blind spot mirror.

    I’m surprised every car mirror isn’t like that, they were great. I’m a big fan of the tow mirrors on larger trucks with the convex mirror at the bottom. Makes backing up into parking spaces super easy.

  • avatar
    emineid

    No, I do not like to adjust my mirrors to the “outward” angle as some people advocate. I like to see the paint of the door on the inner edge of my mirrors. The reason is simple. It allows me to verify every time I drive that the mirror(s) have not been knocked out of alignment, from washing the car, for instance.

    I like to use blind spot mirrors that are not listed above. They are a rectangle, and wedge-shaped when viewed from above, like a wedge of cheese. They are not adjustable, so again, there are no worries about them being out of alignment. These mirrors seem to be either out of production or sold as no-name brands, so you have to dig around to find them online.

    These rectangular wedge-shaped mirrors ALWAYS show me the car that is in the blind spot. They work amazingly well.

    Also, not all vehicles allow you to simply turn your head and see the vehicle in the blind spot. In my wife’s 2014 Camry, the shape and size of the headrest and its relation to the B-pillar conspire against a good look at a glance. In my 2010 Ford Ranger (regular cab), the B-pillar is very wide, and there isn’t much room between the headrest and the B-pillar. In my 2010 Honda Accord, the visibility is great, so there is no excuse to turning my head. Except… if the traffic is heavy and unpredictable, I like to keep the vehicle in front of me in my field of view rather than turn my head. Just my personal preference. And in my 2002 BMW 325i, the car is too pretty to clutter with a blind spot mirror, so I just turn my head and look.

    But really, for me, the best solution would be if the manufacturer had separate small mirrors for the blind spot and for looking at the painted line while backing into a parking spot or for parallel-parking. The BMW has the right side mirror that automatically dips down when in reverse. But I turn that feature off because my driveway is so steep that when I back up into my garage, I can’t see the door frame.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I just mounted some of the O’Reilly specials on my car, specifically to help me center myself in a 90° backing park, but have learned how wonderful they are in everyday driving. I can see that car who is camping right next to me, and I can give myself a little more information. I have my regular mirrors adjusted wide anyway, and more visual info is better than less

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