Soap dispensers are containers designed to store and dispense liquid or foaming soaps using either a sensor function or a manual hand pump that draws soap up through a tube and out through a dispenser spout. These devices can save space in your bathroom or kitchen and are less messy than pouring soap out of a bottle or using a bar of soap.
The best soap dispenser for your needs depends on whether you want a hand pump dispenser that is less expensive and doesn’t require power, or a sensor/touchless soap dispenser which you can just hold your hands under to receive the soap. Other considerations are the size of the dispenser, its mounting capability, the type of soap it uses, and several more important factors which are detailed below in this list of some of the best soap dispensers on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: mDesign Square Glass Refillable Liquid Soap Dispenser
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Cutiset 3 Pack Assorted Glass 15 Ounce Dispenser
- BEST FOR KITCHEN: Casabella Sink Sider Duo with Sponge
- BEST FOR DISH SOAP: OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Soap Dispenser
- BEST FOR FOAMING SOAP: SKEY Automatic Soap Dispenser
- BEST SHOWER: Better Living Products AVIVA Three-Chamber Dispenser
- BEST TOUCHLESS: simplehuman 9 oz. Touch-Free Rechargeable Dispenser
- BEST GLASS: JASAI 18 Oz Clear Glass Soap Dispenser
- BEST WOODEN: Relaxdays Bath Accessory 4-Piece Set, Bamboo
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Soap Dispenser
Before choosing the best soap dispenser for your residence, take a few minutes to learn about the types, materials, and features. The best soap dispenser for you depends on how you want it to operate and where you want to use it.
Soap dispensers can be categorized by how they operate—including pump and sensor/touchless soap dispensers—and where they are used, such as wall-mounted, deck-mounted, and shower soap dispensers.
- Pump soap dispensers have a classic, well-known design that is simple and effective. When the plunger on the pump dispenser is depressed, it pushes air into the soap, creating a vacuum that pulls soap into the dispenser tube and out through the spout. These dispensers are inexpensive and easy to maintain because they have very basic parts. Refilling them is usually as simple as removing the lid and pouring liquid soap into the dispenser.
- Sensor/touchless soap dispensers offer the ability to dispense soap without having to physically touch the soap dispenser. This can be a very important feature to prevent the spread of bacteria or viruses between individuals. However, these soap dispensers cost more than pump soap dispensers, and they require a power source, like rechargeable or disposable batteries, to operate the sensor and the automatic pump.
- Wall-mounted soap dispensers save you counter space by including the necessary mounting hardware or adhesives to attach the soap dispenser to your wall. These dispensers range from small, sleek products that are ideal for a residential setting to much larger, industrial wall-mounted soap dispensers, intended for use in factory or warehouse settings.
- Deck-mounted soap dispensers are designed for installation directly into the kitchen or bathroom counters, giving them an appearance similar to a faucet. These soap dispensers are more commonly seen in mid- to high-end restaurants, where they can add the same touch of class that they would in your residence. Notably, deck-mounted soap dispensers are typically made with metal, such as brass, stainless steel, and brushed nickel.
- Shower soap dispensers usually consist of two or three soap dispensers in a single, wall-mounted frame. You can add body wash to one dispenser, shampoo to the second, and conditioner to the third, so you never have to worry about dropping a heavy bottle on the floor of your shower again.
Soap dispensers most often feature three common materials: stainless steel, glass, and ABS plastic.
- Stainless steel is a very strong material that gives a modern look to just about any kitchen or bathroom. It is naturally resistant to moisture, corrosion, and smudging, making it an ideal material for a soap dispenser, and the smooth surface is very easy to clean.
- Glass looks simple and elegant, allowing you to see the liquid or foam soap within the container. Glass does not rust or corrode; however, these soap dispensers are heavier than stainless steel and ABS plastic, while also being more fragile. This fragility makes glass a poor choice for residences with children since they tend to be more accident-prone than adults.
- ABS plastic is durable, inexpensive, and resistant to moisture damage, making it a solid option for a soap dispenser. However, plastic is not as easy to clean as stainless steel or glass, and it can become stained after ongoing use.
The capacity of a soap dispenser refers to the volume of soap it can hold when it is full. Capacity is typically measured in ounces and can range from small soap dispensers with just a five-ounce capacity to soap dispensers that exceed 30 ounces. If you have a larger household that frequently uses soap, then choose a soap dispenser with a larger capacity so you don’t have to refill it as often. If you live alone or as a couple, then a smaller soap dispenser is appropriate, and it will not take up as much space on a counter, a wall, or in the shower.
In addition to these functional elements, consider the aesthetics of a soap dispenser. After all, if you don’t like the way it looks, then you won’t want it sitting on your counter. Whether your surroundings are traditional or modern, choose a soap dispenser that features a design and a color scheme that pairs well with your decor.
Soap dispensers can typically emit foaming hand soap, liquid hand soap, or dish soap, in addition to hand lotion and other liquid personal cleansing products.
- Foaming soaps are specially designed to produce a lather when you use them with a specialty foaming dispenser. Foaming soaps have been shown to reduce the water you use during handwashing by up to 16 percent.
- Liquid soaps are available in a variety of types, including antibacterial soap, moisturizing soap, and scent-free soap that is necessary for anyone with scent sensitivities. The majority of soap dispensers use liquid soap, so if you prefer this type of soap, then you will have a wider selection of soap dispenser choices.
- Dish soaps are one of the most useful liquid soaps available, with many impressive functions. While it is not typically used for bathroom soap dispensers, dish soap is a logical choice for a kitchen soap dispenser since you need liquid dish soap to properly clean dishes by hand.
- Hand lotion can be used in a soap dispenser to keep your hands moisturized. Place a soap dispenser filled with hand lotion anywhere around the house where it is convenient, instead of only in the bathroom or kitchen.
- Shower products like shampoo, conditioner, and body soap can be stored in shower soap dispensers. These specialized dispensers feature one, two, or three dispenser containers in a single mounted frame, allowing you to use the shower product you need without waste or having to deal with multiple bottles precariously lining your shower shelf.
Sensor and Batteries
Sensor or touchless soap dispensers require a power source to properly operate. This power source typically takes the form of AA or AAA batteries that can last up to one year in a home soap dispenser, though they would need to be changed more frequently if you are using the soap dispenser in a high-traffic area, like a business or a school. However, some soap dispensers may include built-in rechargeable batteries that allow you to recharge them with a charging cable whenever necessary.
The sensor on your soap dispenser can use photo-sensor or infrared-sensor technology to capture the movement of your hands and dispense soap without you touching the soap dispenser. This prevents the spread of bacteria and viruses that can occur with a manual pump soap dispenser. If you have someone in your home who wastes a lot of soap, then you may also want a sensor dispenser that limits the amount of soap.
Ease of Use & Installation
Many factors can affect how a soap dispenser functions and how difficult it is to set up, including the stability of the dispenser, the shape and texture of the hand pump, mounting options, and the soap refill process.
- Stability of a soap dispenser is typically due to a base that is wide and heavy enough to ensure it does not become unbalanced. A dispenser may also have a non-slip base designed specifically to resist sliding on smooth surfaces, so it won’t accidentally fall off a kitchen or bathroom counter.
- Pump shape and texture can determine how easy and comfortable it is to use the soap dispenser. A wide pump with a soft, spongy texture is easier to use than a small, hard plastic pump that you operate with only a thumb or one finger.
- Mounting options depend on the type of soap dispenser you purchase. Wall-mounted soap dispensers typically have a frame you can affix with nails, screws, or adhesive. Deck-mounted soap dispensers must be installed above and below your counter in a similar method to installing a new faucet, while shower soap dispensers usually have an adhesive frame that is very easy to install.
- Refills for most soap dispensers are relatively easy: Simply remove the top and pour the new soap into the dispenser. The only real issue occurs if the soap dispenser has a very small opening at the top. In this case, determine if there is a larger hole in the bottom, or use a funnel to neatly refill the dispenser.
Our Top Picks
The products below were chosen for quality, price, and customer satisfaction. Check out this list to discover some of the best soap dispensers on the market for your kitchen or bathroom.
With this pair of soap dispensers from mDesign, fill one 14-ounce dispenser with soap and the second dispenser with lotion, so your hands are not just clean but moisturized as well. You could also split up the pair, giving you a new pump soap dispenser for two different bathrooms or use them in both the bathroom and the kitchen. Refilling these dispensers is easy, just open the wide-mouth lid and pour in more liquid soap.
The identical soap dispensers have a sleek, square glass design for the body and a chrome dispenser head. You can fill them with hand soap, dish soap, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, and even essential oils. The small size of each dispenser makes it ideal for sinks in half-bathrooms, powder rooms, guest bathrooms where you may not have much available space.
Fully outfit the bathroom or kitchen in your residence with this pack of three pump soap dispensers from Cutiset. These inexpensive dispensers can hold a variety of liquids, including hand soap, dish soap, hand lotion, bubble bath, and more. When it’s time to refill, just remove the lid, and pour the replacement liquid into the mouth of each dispenser.
Each soap dispenser holds 15 ounces of liquid soap or lotion, and they each feature a durable glass construction with a dimpled pattern for aesthetic appeal. The glass is colored with neutral tones to complement your home’s decor, and the plastic soap pump has a chrome overlay that looks attractive and is also corrosion-resistant for long-lasting durability.
If you need a soap dispenser for two different liquids, such as dish soap and hand soap, consider the Casabella Sink Sider Duo soap dispenser. This product features one soap dispenser with a 14.5-ounce capacity and a second soap dispenser with an 11-ounce capacity. It also provides space to store your cloth or sponge to keep your kitchen sink or counter neat and organized.
The broad pump design is easy to use and doesn’t require a lot of force, so you can operate it with just one hand. When you need to clean the dispenser, just pull the tab and remove the base. It removes easily so you can thoroughly wash it in hot water. However, refilling this soap dispenser is not as simple because the lid can be more difficult to remove. You must pull the lid back at an angle to lift it off the base, which is a skill that improves with practice.
Position this pump soap dispenser from OXO near your kitchen sink, and fill it with dish soap to have it readily available, without the hassle and mess of a plastic bottle. This dispenser features a non-slip base to prevent it from sliding or shifting on smooth or slippery surfaces, making it ideal for washing dishes at the kitchen sink.
The stainless steel design has a fingerprint-proof coating, so you won’t leave oily smudges on the sleek exterior. It also offers a large, cushioned pump button that is easy to use and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. The soap dispenser has a 12-ounce capacity intended for use with dish soap, hand soap, or hand lotion. However, it isn’t meant for foaming soaps or hand sanitizers.
If you like the feel or the water-efficiency of foaming soap, then you will need a foaming soap dispenser. This foaming soap dispenser from SKEY is powered by four AA batteries and features a hands-free infrared sensor. If your hand is within two inches of the front of the dispenser, then the powerful sensor will detect it and automatically release soap so you don’t have to directly touch the dispenser. This can greatly reduce the risk of bacteria and viruses being transmitted between individuals through a common object.
The sensor soap dispenser has a capacity of 11.8 ounces and must be turned on via the button on the top of the dispenser. This on/off feature is intended to save battery power, so the dispenser is not constantly draining the batteries. If the sensor is not actively detecting your hand, the dispenser will automatically turn off to save power. The dispenser is made of high-quality ABS plastic and polypropylene plastic that is both durable and lightweight.
Fill this three-chamber dispenser from Better Living Products with body wash, shampoo, and conditioner so you can get rid of the bottles cluttering up your shower. The dispenser provides a push-button pump on the front of each chamber with a curved design that looks sleek and feels smooth to the touch. It also offers helpful storage hooks between the dispenser chambers for your washcloths, loofahs, or razors.
The housing of this soap dispenser is made with durable, water-resistant ABS plastic. Each chamber has an 11-ounce capacity for the shower product of your choice, and when you need to clean or refill the chambers, you can easily remove them from the integrated wall mount. However, keep in mind that the wall mount is not easily removed once you install it due to its waterproof silicone adhesive and 2-way tape that ensures the mount doesn’t fall from the wall.
The simplehuman soap dispenser is a functional and stylish product that is completely touchless, so you won’t have to worry about bacteria or viruses being transmitted between users. It provides a 9-ounce capacity for dish soap, hand soap, and other liquid products, like hand lotion or hand sanitizer. Just lift the top and pour the soap in to refill the dispenser in minutes. A unique feature of this soap dispenser is a built-in soap volume control system that allows you to determine how much soap is released when the sensor is triggered.
The dispenser is powered by a rechargeable battery that charges with the included charging cable. Once charged, the soap dispenser can remain unplugged for up to three months of power on a full battery charge. It provides a clog-free tubing pipe that ensures precise and consistent soap flow, as well as a flexible silicone valve that closes immediately after dispensing soap to prevent messy drips.
Glass soap dispensers are both heavier and more fragile than either metal or plastic dispensers, but they look incredible paired with many home decor styles because of the simple design aesthetic that accents the decor without distracting from it. This soap dispenser from JASAI provides an 18-ounce capacity and a push pump made with premium stainless steel, ensuring that it won’t rust or corrode.
The dispenser also offers a simple, blank wooden tag on which you can add a fun phrase or a personal affirmation to give it a unique touch. To refill the dispenser, just remove the pump and pour your choice of hand soap, dish soap, hand lotion, body wash, hand sanitizer, or any other liquid with a similar consistency into the top of the bottle. You may need to use a funnel if the opening is too small to accurately pour the liquid.
Bamboo is a durable, moisture-resistant material that fits perfectly with more traditional home decor. This bamboo set includes a pump soap dispenser, a toothbrush holder, an extra container that could hold a bottle of lotion or a small hairbrush or comb, and a tray that holds the entire set. This soap dispenser offers a capacity of 8.1 ounces that is easily refilled by removing the pump and pouring liquid soap into the opening.
The dispenser also features a chromed plastic pump that matches the appearance of the stainless steel lid on the toothbrush holder, and the tray takes up just 4 inches by 10 inches of space, allowing you to place this set on your bathroom counter or even on the back of the toilet. While you can use the soap dispenser around your home as a separate product from the toothbrush holder and extra container, the set looks best when it is displayed together on the tray.
FAQs About Your New Soap Dispenser
If you still have questions to help you decide on the best soap dispenser for your needs, keep reading to find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
Q. Can a soap dispenser be used for hand sanitizer?
Yes, but it must be designed for this purpose, or you will run the risk of damaging your soap dispenser. If you are interested in this particular feature, look for products that specifically state that they can hold both soap and alcohol-based liquids.
Q. Do you need a special dispenser for foaming soap?
Yes. You can reuse a liquid soap bottle, but you need a foaming soap dispenser like the SKEY Automatic Soap Dispenser to be able to properly dispense foaming soap.
Q. What is the best hands-free soap dispenser?
What is best for one person may not be suitable for someone else, but—for the average person—the simplehuman 9 oz. Touch-Free Rechargeable Soap Pump is one of the best hands-free soap dispensers available.
Q. Why does my soap dispenser not work?
The two most common problems with a soap dispenser are that the soap tube is clogged with congealed soap or the spring is broken on the pump mechanism. If the tube is clogged, just remove it from the dispenser and wash it with warm water to dilute the congealed soap and clear away the clog. If the spring is broken, you will have to remove the old spring from the base of the soap dispenser tube and replace it with a new spring.