A soap dish is the most effective holder for bar soap. Sure, you can bypass a soap holder altogether and simply store a bar of soap on a countertop or in a shower niche, but only if you want to deal with the slipperiness and soap scum it leaves behind. Whether you use bar soap in the shower or at your bathroom or kitchen sink, a soap dish is an easy way to add some mess-free organization. It's also a great way to eliminate the single-use plastic of liquid soap containers. Ultimately, the soap dish you choose for your home should be functional, feature a soap-saving self-draining design, offer great value, be easy to clean and shouldn't take up too much space. While you might want your soap dish to have a stylish design, it shouldn't be the focal point of any bathroom or kitchen.
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What to Consider When Purchasing a Soap Dish
Material: Most soap dishes are made of waterproof materials such as ceramic, plastic, metal or glass, and some are made of water-resistant materials like bamboo or pinewood. Plastic soap dishes are a good choice for kids, as they are durable and generally the most inexpensive, and they tend to come in fun kid-friendly designs that encourage hand washing. Glass and ceramic soap dishes add some elegance and design to a sink, but might not be the best option for a shower since they are breakable. Wooden soap dishes are durable, eco-friendly and can add a spa vibe to the bathroom. Metal dishes are durable but tend to rust the quickest.
Drainage: The best soap dishes have generous drainage areas or a tilted design to prevent the soap from sitting in water and collecting bacteria. Some dishes are dual-level, where the excess water drains to a compartment on the bottom that you have to periodically clean to avoid a build-up of soap scum. Others have holes or slats for drainage that allow the soap to dry quickly, but the drawback is dealing with potential pooling water and soap scum underneath, so these tend to work best in the shower where the mess matters less.
Installation: Most soap dishes can be placed next to a sink or in the shower without any installation. If you don't have a lot of space for a soap dish on the countertop or on a shelf in the shower, consider buying one that can be attached to the wall—either via adhesive, suction or hardware.
Whether you're looking to upgrade your soap dish or are purchasing one for the first time, check out our top picks of 2022 below.
The Best Self-Draining Soap Dish
Anwenk Wooden Soap Dish
Crafted from soft pinewood, this soap dish is here to save your soap. Its built-in slats allow for natural water drainage and ventilation that lets your soap quickly dry, reducing soap scum and sogginess. Pinewood is a durable, non-toxic material that can last a long time, plus it adds a spa-like look to your space.
The Best Double Bar Soap Holder
TSV Double Tier Soap Dish
Whether you and your partner, roommate or kids prefer using your own bars of soap or you just enjoy having more than one soap option in the shower, this double tier stainless steel, rustproof soap dish keeps them separated, allowing for a quicker drying time and less mess. The holder sticks to a smooth surface via an adhesive, so no tools, screws or drilling is required. It has two hooks on the bottom for hanging body scrubbers, washcloths, towels, hair accessories and more.
The Best Soap Dish for the Shower
I-Mart Silicone Draining Soap Dish
A silicone soap dish is a great option for the shower as it's anti-slip and won't break if it does happen to fall. This pack of five self-draining trays is perfect for homes with multiple bathrooms and showers, or even if you have one shower but prefer to periodically switch out the color of your soap holder. It comes in five bright colors: pink, yellow, green, orange and blue.
The Best Soap Dish for Kids
Cosarrety Soap Tray
Sometimes kids need a little encouragement to wash their hands. What better way to help than an always-smiling soap dish. Made of thickened, recyclable, food-grade PP plastic and wheat straw, this children's pedestal soap dish is anti-slip and won't break if dropped. The tray has drain holes on the bottom to let water pass through and keep the soap from getting mushy. Choose from beige, blue, green or pink.
The Best Soap Case for Travel
Kiasona Travel Soap Case
This travel soap dish is a must-have for anyone who prefers to BYOS (bring your own soap) when showering away from home. A silicone band wraps around this soap box, keeping the lid firmly in place. A strong seal makes the lid 100% leakproof, so you won't have to worry about soapy water leaking onto your stuff. The dish comes with a sponge mat that sits inside the holder to absorb excess water and allows the soap to dry—something most travel soap dishes don't take into account.
The Best Waterfall Soap Dish
Idea Works Waterfall Soap Saver
This unique soap dish is shaped like a waterfall to allow excess water to drain into the sink. It has a slight tilt that allows gravity to take over to ensure the water drips out. It's made of durable plastic with built-in prongs that hold the soap in place. The dish is designed to sit on your sink, bathtub or countertop, and it has a strong suction cup base to securely hold it in place.
The Best Slotted Design Soap Dish
Topsky Soap Dish with Drain
The slotted design of these soap dishes lets the soap drain and dry naturally, keeping your countertop dry and free of soap scum. The top layer of the dish can be easily removed, making the bottom level easy to clean. Made from durable, non-toxic plastic, the dishes won't break even if dropped. The holders come in a two-pack and are available in 15 colors.
The Best Antimicrobial Soap Dish
The Container Store Soap Dish with Microban
This soap dish is made from plastic infused with Microban, which inhibits the growth of odor and stain-causing bacteria. The dish has a lid and can be used for travel or in your shower at home. Interior ridges allow water to drain. The soap dish is available in white, green, pink or blue, but you aren't able to specify which color you want. The company sends one at random. So, think of the color as a fun surprise.
The Best Suctioning Soap Dish
Wenko Vacuum-Loc Soap Holder
Wenko's Vacuum-Loc soap holder mounts to the wall and has an airtight suction to hold your soap while letting the water drain. It's easy to install with no tools required. The holder can be repositioned depending on your needs, and it will never leave marks on your wall.
The Best Ceramic Soap Dish
Tommy Bahama Pineapple Palm Ceramic Soap Dish
If drainage isn't as important to you as style, this ceramic soap dish is the one to get. Featuring a unique, glazed design and textured base in warm, rustic tones, this beauty will add a touch of island-inspired elegance to your space. It's part of the Tommy Bahama Pineapple Palm Ceramic Collection, which includes a tumbler, tissue box, toothbrush holder and shower curtain.