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Tired of that bar of soap melting away into a pile of goop before your very eyes? We researched over 40 of the best soap dishes available today before purchasing the top 9 to put through our rigorous side-by-side testing. We washed our hands hundreds of times for this review; they're literally glistening. We also subjected each model to a number of tests, assessing their performance in two main realms. One, how dry and clean does the dish keep the soap bar? And two, how clean does the dish keep the surface it rests on?
There was a bit of confusion among our testers about the purpose and usefulness of the included silicone pad. In theory, it keeps the dish from slipping, but in practice, we didn't find the silicone pad to be all that useful.
The Onwon Hawaii Style Wood Soap Dish set is a good choice for a simple wooden set of soap dishes. For the price, it's a fairly durable and well-made product. This set seems to have a more solid finish than the other wooden soap dishes we tested, and the design keeps soap dry and allows for ample drainage.
There are a few issues with this dish design, though. First, there is no catchment system, which means water will drain out onto countertops and create a mess. For this reason, the Onwon dishes may be better suited for the shower. We were also a bit concerned with its overall construction. The slats are simply glued together, so it's possible the dish could come apart after prolonged exposure to water and soap.
If you're looking for a straightforward soap dish without any bells and whistles, look no further than the AmazerBath Bamboo 2-Pack. This set is a simple bamboo design made from a single piece of wood. This is an important distinction between the AmazerBath and other wooden options we tested, which are constructed using glue to attach individual slats of wood. Because the AmazerBath is all one piece of wood, it is easier to clean and much more durable. The slats keep the soap bar dry, but excess water drains out onto the counter or side of the sink since this dish doesn't have an integrated catchment system.
Though the AmazerBath keeps the soap dry and fresh, our main gripe is that it doesn't have a great drainage system. If used in the shower, water can just drain out into the tub, but it makes a bit of a mess on a countertop. For these reasons, this dish gets lower scores in both drainage and versatility.
Aesthetically, the mDesign Decorative Ceramic is one of our favorite soap holders in this review. We love its antique glaze and its timeless shape. This is an excellent option for sink-side use since it keeps excess water off the counter. It can also be used in a shower or bath and will perform similarly. Small ridges keep the soap bar elevated for drying, though they are not high enough to keep the bar entirely out of water.
The biggest design flaw with this dish is there is no drainage. This keeps water contained and off of the counter, but it means your soap can turn into a gummy mess. The only way around this is to drain and clean the dish regularly or to purchase an aftermarket product like a Soap Saver that elevates the soap in the dish and allows it to drain.
Some soap holders contain excess water and have to be drained frequently. Others are simple designs that allow water to drain from the bottom with no catchment. The final category is the self-draining soap dish, which directs water back into the sink. The Yamazaki Self Draining dish is our favorite of this style. It is subtle, has an intriguing design, and is made entirely of silicone, making it durable and easy to clean. The silicone pegs keep soap elevated and dry, while an angled surface underneath directs water back into the sink or tub.
The self-draining design meant that this dish had to be on the sink itself to drain effectively, which can make the sink area feel overcrowded. Ideally, this dish would probably have its own catchment system, but we liked the aesthetic and materials a lot.
Those who prefer bar soap in the shower will appreciate the chrome-plated, wall-mounted HASKO Suction Soap Dish. This dish suctions onto bathroom surfaces (it works best on tile or plastic shower walls) and holds a single bar of soap, though the basket is rated to hold up to 22 pounds. It is easy to install, even if you aren't incredibly handy. We appreciated the grid pattern of metal that makes up the bottom of the basket, as it can hold a bar of soap until it's paper-thin and almost disintegrating.
As mentioned above, this dish is pretty much only useful for the shower. It also only adheres to specific surfaces, so make sure to check your shower before installing. If the surface it is applied to is porous or uneven (very small tile or wood), then the HASKO won't stick.
This fun, flexible, and durable three-pack is an excellent option for a guest bathroom, a kid's room, and other high-use areas. The Aimaiaimai Silicone 3-Pack soap dish is one of two self-draining options in this review. This means it has to be placed on the edge of the sink or tub to drain excess water back into the sink instead of onto the countertop. We liked the shape and feel of this dish, and it is big enough to accommodate large or oddly shaped bars of soap. Since it is both inexpensive and durable, we felt this was a solid option for anyone to outfit multiple sinks with soap dishes.
Perhaps it is the silicone material that the Aimaiaimai is made of, but this dish seemed to attract grime and soap residue. It was the quickest to get dirty of all the dishes we tested, seeming to get covered in soap after only a few rounds of hand washing. Thankfully, it's also one of the easiest to clean since its flexible, silicone body can easily be rinsed off in between uses.
Upon installing both hanging soap dishes, we found that one remained in place while the other splatted to the shower floor after about an hour. Unfortunately, we could never resolve this suction issue with the HOME SO dish during our test period. Another notable con of this dish is that the parallel slats allow small slivers of soap to slide out. We found the woven metal bottom on the HASKO's hanging basket to be better than the parallel design of this model.
The third of the wooden slat-style soap dishes we tested is the Magift 2-Piece Wooden set. These dishes are simple and straightforward in terms of design and construction. Slats are stapled to two longer runners. The middle slats are carved out to create a subtle indentation where the soap bar lies. We appreciated that this wooden set comes with two dishes and a very reasonable price tag. If you are looking for a no-nonsense dish for sink or shower use, the Magift could work for you.
Unfortunately, the tradeoff for affordability is durability. We encountered some issues with the overall quality leaving us less than impressed. One of the dishes failed to hold up as a few of the slats started to come off only after a few days of use. The staples holding them together appeared to detach after very little use/handling. We were also not crazy about the finish of the wood, which was rough and somewhat spotty. It looked like some of the wood had been varnished, while other parts had not. These dishes work decently, but their construction is disappointing.
We started this review off with hours of online research to study up on the various types of soap dishes on the market. We then selected the top nine options available online for hands-on testing. Luckily, we've been washing our hands a lot recently, so there were plenty of opportunities to test these soap dishes. Hundreds of rounds of handwashing later, we have selected our top picks and our least favorites among these soap holders.
Our lead soap dish tester, Jane Jackson, has done extensive reviews on household products from bath towel sets to mixing bowls. She has spent almost half a decade assessing the performance of all matter of products. As a trained historian, Jane is no stranger to research. She applies the same attention to detail on her journey through the universe of bathroom products as she does to examining primary documents.
We considered the following four metrics when testing these dishes. The first and most important was assessing the drainage capabilities of each model. Next, we assessed the ease of cleaning of each. Finally, we compared their versatility and holding ability since some are designed specifically for shower use or for square soap bars rather than round ones.
Out of the nine different soap dishes we tested, we found four distinct designs when it comes to drainage systems. The simplest is the wooden slat-style dish, which holds the soap and allows water to run off between the slats. Our favorite dish with this design is the AmazerBath Bamboo because it is made from one solid piece of wood rather than several smaller pieces glued together. Next is the container-style dish. These holders keep the soap and soapy water contained as a solution to soapy run-off. Our favorite is the Passionier Lofekea Ceramic. Next is the self-draining style dish, which channels water into a sink or away from a countertop. We liked the Yamazaki best. The final design is the wall-mount style dish, which is designed for use in a shower; we preferred the HASKO Suction. 041b061a72