In an age of climate awareness, plastic-free products, from bamboo toothbrushes to simple bar soap, are increasingly popular.
Bar soap lasts longer and is kinder to the environment than liquid soap. But it’s not perfect. When left to rest in a puddle of water, it softens and dissolves before its time. And it leaves a tenacious residue behind. A simple and clean solution is crucial.
The best soap dishes keep bar soap dry, solid, and clean wherever you place it. To help you find the best soap dish, here are some key shopping considerations and our top picks on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: iDesign York Metal Soap Saver, Holder Tray
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Nieifi Soap Dish Holder with 4 Hooks Stainless Steel
- BEST MOUNTED: Command Soap Dish, Satin Nickel, 1-Soap Dish
- BEST SELF-DRAINING: YAMAZAKI home 2992 Self Draining Soap Holder Dish
- BEST HANGING: HASKO accessories Suction Soap Dish with Hooks
- BEST WOODEN: Magift 2 Piece Home Bathroom Wooden Soap Case Holder
- BEST WATERFALL: Idea Works Waterfall Soap Saver
- BEST HIGH-END: Zenna Home, Bronze Boddington Soap Dish
Types of Soap Dishes
Not all soap dishes look the same, nor do they offer the same benefits. Before you start shopping, familiarize yourself with the most common styles: ledge, mounted, and self-draining.
A ledge-style soap dish is likely the most common design you will find. It can be compact or oversize, simple or ornate, but its defining characteristic is that it can rest on any surface around the shower, tub, or sink.
Like other types, it may offer additional features, such as a suction cup under the base or an interior textured bottom for proper air circulation.
For small showers with limited ledge space, a mounted soap dish may be most convenient. It can be fixed directly on the shower wall or near the sink with suction cups or adhesive. It gives you more space and keeps the soap at your desired height.
A self-draining soap dish can be either ledge-style or mounted. What distinguishes it from other models is that, instead of accumulating water and soap residue inside, it evacuates it on its own.
Some designs achieve this through a straining upper layer that incorporates holes, prongs, or spaced-out slats. Soapy water is then either collected in a lower chamber—which will require cleaning—or left to drip onto the surface beneath. In some cases, a tilted design pours the water straight back into the tub or sink.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Soap Dish
Many soap dishes look cute. Not all of them are great at what they do. To discern quality in a myriad of options, keep an eye out for the following criteria.
Accidents happen, especially if you have children or sneaky pets. A soap dish should withstand being dropped, knocked off the ledge, or roughly handled in general. That is, unless you feel confident that your household can handle a fragile decorative piece.
Sturdy materials include silicone, stainless steel, wood, and, to an extent, plastic. Metals should be corrosion-resistant, while wooden options should be nonporous to avoid water absorption and mold.
Ceramic and glass are some of the fanciest but also the most fragile options. If a soap dish is intended for a guest bathroom or an adults-only master bath, it might be worth the risk.
Easy to Clean
Soap residue, once dry, can be quite challenging to remove. For that reason, self-draining dishes tend to be lower maintenance. But dual-level designs often include a lower chamber that still requires cleaning.
No design is entirely foolproof. Unless you choose a dishwasher-safe model, you may want to look for a soap dish that can withstand heavy scrubbing or long soaks in detergent. Steer clear of designs with hard-to-access nooks and crannies, where residue can accumulate and form a crust.
Easy to Fit Anywhere
Showers, tubs, and sinks are easily crowded with toiletries and hygiene products. A soap dish shouldn’t eat up too much space.
If it has to hold multiple bars of soap—whether for different people or because you also use shampoo bars—it cannot be too compact. But you still want a dish that fits easily on a ledge or countertop and that won’t get swiped onto the shower floor or into the sink with every use. If space is limited, mounted models are a good choice.
Our Top Picks
We have done the research for you and selected the top products on the market. Read on to learn why these nine unique soap dishes stand out in their respective categories.
The York Metal Soap Saver by iDesign is made of sturdy, durable stainless steel. Available in three color options, it comes in either split finish, bronze, or chrome with pearl white. Its streamlined design—free of inconvenient nooks and crannies—makes it tasteful and easy to clean. The interior’s textured bottom prevents the soap from slipping off and keeps it elevated and dry.
Measuring 3.8 inches by 5.6 inches wide and 1.5 inches high, it can hold larger soaps. It is suitable for the countertop and the ledge of a tub or shower. But keep in mind, the metal is not corrosion-resistant. Spots of rust may appear over the years. Keep it farther from the shower’s stream to help delay that process. This dish may be less rust-prone on a countertop.
The Nieifi Soap Dish Holder is made of rustproof and durable stainless steel. With its wall-safe adhesive strip, it is a real space-saver. It adheres to any smooth surface and leaves crucial ledge space for other toiletries. Available in either black or bronze, this soap dish will fit most bathroom decor.
The two hooks on each side of the dish will hold sponges, washcloths, and razors. The wire design lets water flow through, so soap stays clean and dry. When the dish itself needs scrubbing, it conveniently unhooks from the adhesive section—no need to remove the whole thing!
The Command Soap Dish is easy to install on nearly any surface, from glass to mirrors, tiles, and wood. Its water-resistant adhesive strips leave no sticky residue on the walls and hold up to 2 pounds. Generally stronger than suction cups, this adhesive can withstand both humidity and warmth. But it may not work on textured walls, wallpaper, or brick.
This soap dish is made of rust-resistant metal and plastic. To clean it, no need to remove the entire fixture—only unhook the dish, scrub it, and hook it back on. Its no-frills design is an effective space-saving solution for small showers, pedestal sinks, and crowded vanities. The wires let water flow through, which is no issue in the shower but may require precise placement over a sink.
This self-draining Japanese design by YAMAZAKI home may look unusual, but it’s effective. Rows of upward-pointing prongs keep the soap elevated and dry, while the tilted bottom allows water to flow right back into the sink or tub. But it only works when the dish is directly on the edge of the sink or tub. It will only make a mess on the countertop next to a sink with an elevated rim.
The silicone material is easy to clean and won’t hurt any toes if it falls off the ledge. The tight rows of prongs may make soap residue harder to reach, but silicone is malleable. The cute, modern dish comes in black, blue, pink, and clear to match most bathrooms or kitchens.
The HASKO accessories Suction Soap Dish works on smooth surfaces, including ceramic tile, glass, granite, stainless steel, acrylic, plastic, or any other nonporous material. The strong rubber suction cup supports about 22 pounds. The package includes adhesive mounting disks for rougher and porous surfaces such as wood, porcelain, or marble.
The stainless-steel basket is corrosion-resistant, rustproof, and durable. The basket design will keep soap in place, but, once dissolved, it might slip through the wires. Hooks on both sides will hold sponges, washcloths, or razors. The chrome-plated plastic knob covers up the suction cup, for a clean, elegant look.
The Magift Wooden Soap Case Holder is solid, durable, and most importantly, waterproof. It is made of all-natural, nontoxic pine wood with a mold-resistant coating. It is handmade, unscented, and allergen-free. The standard size makes it easy to fit nearly anywhere. Its artistic design is a fine choice for home spas and rustic decors.
The hollowed-out wooden strips and heightened base ensure proper ventilation and draining, to keep the soap dry and in its place. Water drips directly onto the surface beneath. Soap residue caked in between the slats may require a thin brush to remove. This soap holder is sold as a single item or in packs of two or three.
This Idea Works Soap Saver took the waterfall concept rather literally, offering a cascade-inspired tilted design. Excess water flows right back into the sink or tub, while the built-in prongs keep the soap secured onto the dish. A suction cup under the base holds it in place.
This model is on the larger side, with a dish measuring 5 inches from side to side and 5.5 inches from back to front. Its height is also significant, at around 3 inches. It’s not suited for cramped showers or pedestal sinks. It pairs nicely with more spacious tubs and sinks. The plastic is durable, kid-friendly, and easy to clean.
This fancy-looking soap dish from Zenna Home’s Boddington collection combines glass-like translucent resin with rich bronze borders for an elegant, antique-inspired motif of mismatched, multicolored shapes. The materials, albeit dainty-looking, are durable and easy to clean with a simple damp cloth. The model is part of a larger bathroom set.
Measuring 4 inches long, 3.5 inches wide, and 1.5 inches high, it accommodates any size soap and fits on most ledges. The only downside is that it does not self-drain and needs more regular cleaning. But, with a flat bottom, the corners are easy to reach.
FAQs About Your New Soap Dish
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by buyers when shopping for a soap dish.
Q. Can you put a soap dish in the dishwasher for a deep cleaning?
Unless otherwise specified, we wouldn’t recommend putting a soap dish in the dishwasher. You can, however, let it soak in water and detergent for half an hour before scrubbing.
Q. If a shower has a built-in soap ledge, is a soap dish still needed?
Yes. A proper soap dish will keep soap dry and clean and reduce the mess in the shower. Plus, soap in a dish is less likely to slip off the ledge.
Q. How do you keep a soap dish clean?
While self-draining designs keep the scrubbing to a minimum, we still recommend cleaning the soap dish twice a month. One tablespoon of baking soda mixed with 1 teaspoon of vinegar can help. For caked-on residue, soak the soap dish in water and detergent for half an hour before scrubbing.