Slippery bar soap that dissolves in a flash has never been my preference, but like others, I am trying to cut down on single-use plastic, which means it's time to make the switch from liquid soap. But while there's seems like no good way to store bar soap, I’ve found a handful of soap dishes that have converted me. The best soap dishes have generous drainage holes or a tilted design that prevents soap from sitting in puddles. Here are a few things to consider before you buy your own.
The ultimate goal of a soap dish is to keep the bar of soap from sitting in water and getting soggy. Dishes that drain easily include those that are dual-level: the soap sits on a top compartment and excess water drains to another compartment below, but you'll have to periodically remove the bottom tray and clean it or it will accumulate excess soap scum. Other options are designed with slats or holes at the bottom to allow the soap to dry but this style is not your best bet for use on countertops where pooling would become a hassle. Another option is the waterfall design, which is a soap dish that’s tilted to allow excess water to drain while keeping the soap in place. This design requires a surface with enough room to accommodate its suction base. No matter which soap dish type you prefer, a concave design or a lip on the dish also ensures that the soap doesn’t slip off the dish.
I’ve included soap dishes made from a variety of materials. Plastic dishes will be the least expensive and won't break if you knock them over. Metal materials like stainless steel are the most durable, but can be difficult to clean if they become rusted, so look for corrosion-resistant picks. If you prefer a wood material, be sure to find one that is properly sealed or made of quality wood to avoid water seeping into the porous material, where bacteria can breed.
On this list, you’ll find everything from modern-looking dishes for sleek kitchens to convenient adhesive dishes that stick to your shower tile. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on this gadget either — all of these options are less than $20.
1. A Handcrafted Soap Dish Made From Real Wood
This real wood soap dish is coated in a nontoxic, anti-corrosive finish that preserves both the soap and the dish itself. This all-natural, handmade beech wood dish has a slated, single tier design. The soap sits on top of the slats, which have a slight concave shape to keep soap in place, and the water drains below. Since there's no second tier that "catches" the water, this pick works better in showers than on countertops, where it can make more of a mess. This dish has more than 3,300 Amazon reviews and a 4.6-star rating and its wood design is timeless and goes well with a variety of home decor styles. It's also available in packs of two and three so you can get one for each bathroom in your house.
Helpful Review: “Nice wooden holders for soap. The quality is good and they look great. I was looking for something natural and [this is] the best choice for this price. They are washable and easy to clean. I like how they fit my bathroom interior. Highly recommended.”
2. A Dual-Layer Soap Dish That's Easy To Clean
If you have more than one bathroom to outfit, this money-saving pack of two soap dishes is an affordable option you won't regret. They're made of low-maintenance plastic, which is easy to clean and won't shatter, and have two levels that are easy to separate when it’s time to clean. This soap dish features a removable top container with large holes where the soap sits and a wide lip around the dish that holds the soap in place. As your bar of soap drains and dries, the bottom compartment catches the water, keeping it off your counters. When the compartment is full, just lift the top layer and empty out the water that’s left behind. One reviewer even reports she put it in the top rack of her dishwasher to give it a good clean. It boasts more than 6,000 reviews and a 4.4-star rating. This dish is available in five colors and two additional designs, including one with a lid that's great for travel and one in a rectangular shape.
Helpful Review: “I've tried a lot of soap dishes in my life; these are just about perfect. True, they don't have super high style, if that's what you are looking for, but they are unbreakable, easy to clean, lightweight, allow your soap to drain and stay dry. Since I have had these, I'm convinced that I have reduced the amount of wasted soap because I'm able to use each bar almost completely.”
3. This Waterfall Soap Holder That Extends The Life Of Your Soap
This waterfall soap dish is designed to drain excess water into your sink or tub so your soap lasts longer. The tray itself is made of durable plastic that won’t break and has a strong suction cup on that bottom that fixes it to your sink, tub, or countertop. It has built-in plastic prongs that hold the bar of soap in place on the steep tilt of the dish. This tilt lets gravity do its job and redirects moisture away from where the soap sits. The white color and design are versatile and complement any space.
Helpful Review: “My only question is, why didn't someone invent this super helpful thing earlier? Over the years I've used various soap dishes made of different materials — Plastic, bamboo, even tempered glass. In every instance, the design flaw is always that the bar of soap eventually winds up sitting in a pool of water becoming a gloppy mess. This waterfall design is awesome! I've only had this thing for a few months and my usual bar of soap that used to only last 3-4 weeks, now is into week 8 and should last almost 3 months! The slanted design allows the bar of soap to dry properly. Definitely one of the best purchases I've made in a while.”
4. An Elegant, Durable Ceramic & Steel Soap Dish
This stainless steel soap dish is durable and resistant to rust. It has a ceramic base and stainless steel slates that are modern and functional. It comes with an anti-slip silicone mat that you set under the dish to keep it in place. The dual-layer design keeps water from slipping onto countertops and prevents your soap from pooling in water. Just lift the stainless steel layer to empty the ceramic dish below. The concave design is contemporary and several reviewers report that it didn’t rust over time.
Helpful Review: “Really nice soap dish. I've tried others that either tended to rust, or didn't look as nice as their pictures, but this one has neither issue. It looks way more expensive than its price would suggest, and after six weeks in the shower, there is not a hint of rust. Very pleased with this purchase.”
5. An Adhesive Soap Dish For Your Shower
This adhesive soap dish mounts to the wall to hold your soap while letting the water drain out. It’s easy to install and doesn’t require any tools. Just apply the water-resistant adhesive strip to your shower and allow 24 hours for it to cure. Then you’re ready to stick the satin nickel dish onto the strips. This dish is rust-resistant, which is key in a shower where moisture is inevitable. You can hang it on a variety of surfaces including glass, mirrors, tile, fiberglass, wood, and painted walls. The dish is made of metal and plastic, with large, concave slates that hold the soap while not letting water pool. It holds up to 2 pounds, even in wet, warm, and humid conditions and is available in satin nickel or clear frosted.
Helpful Review: “My tiled shower didn't have any built-in holders for soap or shampoos. I had been using metal holders with suction cups to stay on my wall, but they were constantly falling down and just looked cheaper because of the rubber suction cups. I've used Command Strips in the past, so I thought I'd try this. Installation took a few minutes and it went on easily. I've been using it for 6 months now and it's still holding strong as ever. The stainless steel design is nice and since you don't see any suction cups, I feels much more integrated into the shower.”
6. An Affordable Set Of Versatile Soap Dishes
If you plan to leave your soap dish out, especially in your kitchen, you want it to drain well and also look nice in the space. This stylish set of three leaf-shaped soap dishes is the perfect option. They’re made of strong plastic and have a two-layer design — the top layer is concave and features large slats that drain water into the second "dish" layer below. An adorable feature of this dish is that to lift the top layer and empty the water, you grab the stem of the leaf, which acts as a handle. This three-pack comes in blue, green, and pink and is available in large and small sizes. One reviewer cites that the plastic material is easy to clean.
Helpful Review: “This is actually a soap dish that works. The top part is so thin that the soap actually stays dry and it's easy enough to pour the water out. And the dish looks nice too. Very happy."
7. A Unique Ceramic Soap Dish With A Near-Perfect Amazon Rating
With an impressive 4.8-star rating, this ceramic soap dish is designed to quickly dry bar soap after you use it. The top of the dish has large drainage holes and a contoured shape to cradle the soap. Water drains down below into the second layer and a side ventilation hole moves air throughout the dish to dry your soap quickly and more completely. When water gathers in the bottom layer, just dump it out through the drainage or ventilation hole. The handcrafted, cracked pattern porcelain is beautiful and functional. These dishes are more like art pieces that make your life easier. They’re available in 11 colors like purple (featured), green, ivory, and brown.
Helpful Review: “This is a well hand crafted soap dish made with care and unique beauty! Keeps natural soaps lasting longer [than] it would in a normal soap dish. The soap does not sit in water because it drains immediately.”