Solid ceramic dish is classy and durable. Stainless steel insert keeps soap raised off the bottom of the dish for effective drying. 2-piece design is highly functional and easy to clean. Fits most bar soap sizes and shapes.
Doesn't have non-slip feet.
Individual wood ridges offer excellent drainage and work especially well for soft beauty bars and handmade soaps. Concave bed keeps soap from sliding. Charming look with an earthy yet contemporary appeal. Affordable.
Larger soap bars may not fit perfectly.
Unobtrusive design works in any bathroom. Plastic is sturdy and won't easily crack. Raised ridges help keep soap dry. Compact dimensions don't take up much space.
The ridges aren't very high and soap may get soggy if water is allowed to accumulate.
Grid grate design prevents slivers of soap from falling through slits. Made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel and plastic. 3M mounting disk included. Tool-free, non-permanent installation.
Adhesion deteriorated in some models rather quickly.
Raised wire grid keeps soap dry while the tray keeps counters free from soap scum. Generous dimensions accommodate larger bars. Durable stainless steel construction and rustproof finish. Available in multiple colors to match all fixtures. Dishwasher safe.
Soap sometimes sticks to the wire grid upon lifting. No feet to keep it from sliding.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
If you like bar soap, then you can appreciate the soap dish struggle. Bar soap, unlike body wash, comes with neither a bottle nor base, so it needs a little help finding a home in kitchens and showers. To that point, consider the soap dish as the humble abode of bar soap. It prevents the bar from slipping off ledges and counters, an important functional and safety feature. It also controls the space where the soap drains and eventually dries to keep your bathroom or kitchen free of soapy residue.
Traditionalists who prefer simple ledge models will be thrilled to know that many soap dishes now have nonslip bases. Hard-pressed for counter or shower space? there are plenty of wall-mounted models as well. Of course, for the trendy interior designer, there are fashionable soap dishes that come in premium materials like teak, ceramic, and granite.
It’s hard to find the right design, but don’t worry, we’ve got you and your soapy needs covered. Look no further than our definitive buying guide. We’ve got the rundown on all the variations, as well as helpful tips and a few recommendations to help you choose the right one for your home.
Ledge: These soap dishes rest on a kitchen or bathroom countertop or in the shower area. Some models are nonslip to prevent the dish from sliding around a wet surface. Most decorative soap dishes are ledge styles and feature bases in unique shapes. A ledge soap dish is ideal if you have the luxury of space, but if not, it can be hard to find a home for one.
Mounted: These soap dishes are space savers and ideal for a small bathroom. They’re either mounted permanently with waterproof adhesive, or they use suction cups for a temporary yet secure hold. Installation can be tricky with these models because you need to be sure to thoroughly clean the surface to ensure good adhesion.
Self-draining: These soap dishes have design elements, such as holes, grate, or tilt, that help water drain from the wet bar of soap. These are most commonly mounted soap dishes, but some ledge models also have a self-draining feature. These have a removable plate with holes that let you rinse out the residue from the bottom of the dish while the bar dries.
If your bathroom tile is textured, you’ll have difficulty sticking a suction cup soap dish to it. You’ll either need to use a ledge dish or permanently affix the soap dish to the tile.
Soap dishes normally come in white, silver, or clear, depending on their material. Since they’re utilitarian in nature, they’re seen in colors that match kitchen or bathroom fixtures or home furnishings. Gray, black, bronze, gold, and copper are also popular, though these colors and finishes are normally seen in mid-range soap dishes with more refined design features.
Plastic: Plastic is the most common and least expensive material for soap dishes. It’s ideal if you need a dish on a budget and aesthetics don’t matter or you have kids who might knock it over.
Silicone: Silicone soap dishes are more durable than plastic ones and usually easier to clean. These tend to be on the low end of the price range as well.
Metal: Metal soap dishes are a bit more expensive but still wallet-friendly. They have the most durable construction, especially stainless steel models. Grate and wire styles are pretty difficult to clean, so be prepared to use a bit of elbow grease with them.
Wood: Wood soap dishes are popular if you’d like a natural, nontoxic option to limit chemicals that can transfer between soap and other materials. Make sure to spend the money on a quality wood model. The less expensive ones are made with porous wood that absorbs water and harbors bacteria growth.
Other popular materials: Ceramic, granite, marble, stone, and even fine bone china are popular choices for stylish soap dishes. Granite, marble, and stone are heavy, durable, and easy to clean. Ceramic and china are rather delicate, so they’re best used for decoration.
Glycerin soaps leave less residue than other types of soap because they don’t lather as much.
Bar soap: ArtNaturals Natural Soap Bar Gift Set
With so many bar soaps to choose from, expand your horizons and try a new one. We like this six-piece set from ArtNaturals, whose bars are 100% natural and infused with essential oils and jojoba oil. Each bar features a unique scent and skin nutrients to target a variety of dermatological conditions.
Suction cups: iRomic Suction Cup Hooks
Sometimes the suction cups that come with mounted soap dishes aren’t strong enough. We like this two-pack of heavy-duty suction cups from iRomic, which can hold up to 13 pounds. Designed with a locking lever mechanism, installation and removal are simple, too.
Bath pouf: Whale Life Shower Bamboo Charcoal Bath Sponge
Of course, you need a bath pouf to use with the bar soap. We like this four-pack of poufs from Whale Life, which are infused with bamboo charcoal to provide a deep, exfoliating clean. The poufs even come in attractive packaging, making them ideal for gifting.
Soap dishes cost between $3 and $40, mostly depending on the quality of the materials.
Inexpensive: Budget-friendly soap dishes cost less than $10. This bracket includes simple plastic, silicone, and some stainless steel models. While these dishes certainly get the job done, it’s only a matter of time before they break.
Mid-range: If you spend between $10 and 20, you’ll pick up a well-designed soap dish. Ones in this range offer reliable drainage, quality suction cups, and refined finishes.
Expensive: Spend more, $30 and up, and you’ll end up with a decorative soap dish. The materials and detail in these dishes focus on interior design, so they’re more attractive than functional.
Instead of scrubbing your soap dish, let it soak in liquid dish soap for 20 minutes. It will dislodge major residue and cut cleaning time in half.
If you don’t see what you need in our matrix, we found a couple other products for you. We also like the Aira Soap Saver, whose design extends the life of your soap without accumulating a caked-on mess in the shower. This BPA-free soap saver is made in the USA of woven, chemical-free bioplastics and comes in a range of colors. Water simply drips through the crevices and the soap dries in time for your next shower. While some consumers love using this as a stand-alone soap dish, many purchase it to line an existing soap dish.
We’re also impressed by the Evelots Soap Saver. This budget-friendly two-pack is a soap dish tilted downward for drainage through a narrow spout. It’s an ideal choice for kitchen and bathroom sinks that need to save space and cut down on soap residue. Best of all, at 5.4 inches long, you can fit even oversize soap bars in it.
Q. What’s the best soap dish for my kids’ bathroom?
A. It’s a good idea to stick to lightweight plastic or silicone soap dishes that won’t shatter if they’re knocked over. Wood dishes are also an ideal choice. There are also some soap dishes that are oval or round, which are worth considering to avoid any sharp corners.
Q. I’m a renter, so can I permanently affixed a soap dish to my bathroom?
A. It’s not a good idea, because it’s almost impossible to remove the adhesive once it’s on. In some cases, you might need to replace the entire tile. Once you move, your landlord could charge you for damage to property if it’s not a quick fix. Depending on how much that costs, and if it includes tile repair, you could lose a significant part of your deposit.
Q. What’s the most versatile material choice for a soap dish?
A. If you’re looking for one that can blend in with nearly all bathroom décor, opt for a transparent plastic or silicone dish. While it’s not the most attractive choice, it won’t clash with fixtures or other accessories. For another option, if all your fixtures are the same color, choose any soap dish with the same finish.
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