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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

15 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
248 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best automatic soap dispensers

Last Updated July 2019

One of the most basic things we can do to stay healthy is to regularly wash our hands. An automatic soap dispenser is an easy, hygienic way to keep hands clean. You trigger the sensor without touching the dispenser with dirty hands, and it dispenses the perfect amount of liquid soap needed to properly wash your hands.

When shopping for an automatic soap dispenser, you’ll want a model that fits with your decor, is easy to set up, and is even easier to refill and maintain. A dispenser that accepts a variety of soaps and lotions is more desirable than an automatic dispenser that only accepts the manufacturer’s refills.

If you’d like to learn more about what to look for in an automatic soap dispenser, keep reading our shopping guide. You’ll find our top picks for the five best automatic soap dispensers on the market highlighted in the matrix above.

One of the benefits of an automatic soap dispenser is that it delivers a measured dose of soap, which can keep you from using excess amounts.

Key considerations

Sensor

Automatic soap dispensers come with several different types of sensors. Some use ultrasonic sound waves that bounce at faster rates when your hand interrupts their flow. Other dispensers use light sensors that detect a change in light intensity caused by your approaching hand. Automatic soap dispensers with infrared sensors detect the infrared radiation coming off your approaching hand.

Versatility

An automatic soap dispenser with a reservoir that can be filled with a variety of liquid substances is ideal. These models can dispense liquid soap, hand sanitizer, body lotion, shampoo, body wash, and more, making them highly adaptable to your particular needs.

Adjustable dispensing

An automatic soap dispenser with an adjustable setting is highly recommended. With an adjustable dispenser, you can determine the precise amount of soap that is dispensed. If your unit is filled with lotion, you will want it to dispense a larger amount than if it’s filled with liquid soap.

Size

This pertains to both the size of the unit and the size of the reservoir. If space is a concern, say in a small bathroom, you will need a small unit. However, an automatic soap dispenser with a reservoir that needs to be refilled several times a week will quickly get on your nerves. Opt for the largest model that fits comfortably in the space available.

Detection distance

The detection distance of your device may or may not be important to you. Depending on your preferences, an automatic soap dispenser that can sense your hand from four inches away may be better than one that can sense your hand from two inches away. A longer distance can come in handy for smaller children who have trouble reaching the unit.

Easy refill

If refilling your automatic soap dispenser takes more than a few seconds, you might not have the best model. A unit that unscrews easily and allows you to quickly add more soap is ideal.

Warranty

Look for an automatic soap dispenser that comes with a warranty. If a manufacturer promises that their unit will work for two years after the purchase date, for example, then you can feel comfortable knowing that it is a quality product.

EXPERT TIP

Automatic soap dispensers aren’t just for the bathroom. You can place dispensers in the kitchen and laundry room as well.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Foaming models

Some automatic soap dispensers infuse air into the liquid soap so it is dispensed as foam. If you prefer foamy soap, look for one of these models.

Display

Whether it shows you how much soap or battery life is left, an LED display on an automatic soap dispenser can come in handy.

Clear reservoir

Alternatively, you could purchase an automatic soap dispenser that has a clear reservoir so you can see exactly how much soap you have left at all times.

Batteries

Most automatic soap dispensers take standard batteries, either AA or AAA. Different units will burn through batteries at different speeds, however. You will want batteries that last a minimum of three months, but longer is better.

Materials

You’ll probably want to get an automatic soap dispenser that fits with your decor, but the unit also needs to be corrosion-resistant. Look for stainless steel or BPA-free plastic.

Waterproof

It should go without saying that you need a battery compartment that is waterproof. If water or soap can get into the dispenser’s electrical parts, it won’t function for very long.

Mounting

Most automatic soap dispensers are freestanding. If you don’t have room around your sink or you want a model in your shower, look for a unit that you can mount to a wall.

Non-slip base

If your automatic soap dispenser is sitting on a wet, soapy bathroom sink and doesn’t feature a non-slip base, it’s only a matter of time before it’s knocked to the floor.

Chimes

Some units make a chiming noise when activated. If this sounds appealing to you, look for an automatic soap dispenser with this feature.

DID YOU KNOW?

When you rub your hands together while washing, it creates friction that helps lift dirt, grime, grease, and microbes off your skin.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some automatic soap dispensers allow you to add different types of soap, hand sanitizer, and even lotion to the unit.

Automatic soap dispenser prices

Automatic soap dispensers can be finicky. Because of this, most units below the $15 mark are not very highly rated. These units do not hold much soap and typically have a very short lifespan.

In the $15 to $20 range, automatic soap dispensers are more reliable. They feature adjustable dispensing and can dispense a wide variety of soaps and lotions. These units are waterproof and have an infrared sensor.

As you move into the $20 to $30 range, the automatic soap dispensers offer roughly the same features, but most of these units include a warranty and a satisfaction guarantee.

Tips

Regularly washing your hands is one of the best ways to keep from getting sick and spreading germs. Here are some tips for washing your hands thoroughly.

  • You cannot stay germ-free. Anything and everything you touch collects on your hands, which means there are almost always germs on your hands.

  • Don’t touch your face. Even if you have germs on your hands, there’s a chance you won’t get sick because most germs need to access your body via your nose, mouth, or eyes. Before touching your face, it’s advisable to first wash your hands.

  • Don’t wait. Any time you perform a task that contaminates your hands – like going to the bathroom, blowing your nose, petting an animal, preparing food, or taking out the trash – don’t wait to wash.

  • You probably don’t need antibacterial soap. Unless you are in the healthcare profession, antibacterial soap will not clean your hands any better than regular soap.

  • Wet your hands first. Before washing your hands, wet them.

  • Lather up. Be sure to cover all areas, not just your palms. This includes the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your fingernails.

  • Keep it going. Currently, the agreed-upon minimum time you should continuously rub your soapy hands together is 20 seconds, which is roughly the length of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday.”

  • Rinse. You can’t get rid of all that loosened grime without a thorough rinsing.

  • Dry off. Germs like damp things. If you don’t dry your hands after washing, it’s an open invitation to all nearby germs.

Other products we considered

You can use automatic soap dispensers on the sink in your bathroom, in your kitchen, or even in your shower. You’ll find our favorite dispensers in the matrix, but here are a few other options. The YUJIA Automatic Soap Dispenser is made of stainless steel and has a top-fill container. This unit also offers a variety of dispenser settings to meet your needs. The Pykal Premium 15 oz. Kitchen Soap Dispenser is designed for use in your kitchen. The unit comes with a sponge and a brush holder, which makes it an ideal tool for cleaning dishes. Lastly, the Anself Wall-Mount Automatic Soap Dispenser has a clear reservoir so you can easily see how much soap remains. The dispenser is good for liquid soap, lotion, hand sanitizer, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, and more.

Some studies have shown that people are more likely to wash their hands if they are intrigued or curious about the design of an automatic soap dispenser.

FAQ

Q. Will I build up an immunity to getting sick if I stop washing my hands?
A.
No. Building up an immunity is a very specific and targeted process. For example, you can’t build up an immunity to pollen simply by being exposed to it. You need to wash your hands to have the best chance of staying healthy.

Q. Why is a touch-free soap dispenser better?
A.
The number one reason to use a touch-free automatic soap dispenser is that it eliminates point-of-contact germ transfer. Picking up a bar of soap leaves you vulnerable to all the germs and bacteria that may have been transferred to that bar through other individuals in your home.

Q. Why do some soaps come out of the dispenser as foam?
A.
Foam is just another form of liquid soap. At a certain point, air is infused into the soap, creating a foam that some find more desirable than liquid. Additionally, foam is more environmentally friendly because it uses less soap per dispensing.

The team that worked on this review
  • Allen
    Allen
    Writer
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Erica
    Erica
    Writer
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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