Proof That Beautiful Soap Dishes *Do* Exist

How a plastic-free lifestyle sparked a soap dish revolution in my house.

April  8, 2022
Photo by James Ransom

A few years ago, I was laser-focused on ridding my life of single-use plastics. One of the changes I made was to switch from liquid soaps to bar soap. (If you haven’t come around to bar soap yet, let fellow contributor Chantal Lamers persuade you.) I quickly realized that a soap dish was in order, but when I started shopping, it was challenging to find anything that matched my aesthetics. Instead, many of them were basic, plastic designs—the very material I was trying to avoid—or they were sold as part of a matching set with bathroom accessories like tissue box or toothbrush holders that I didn't need. I finally found a handmade ceramic one through Etsy.

Fast forward to today: It seems like cool soap dishes are everywhere. Etsy is overflowing with modern soap trays (concrete, terrazzo, clay, glass!); major retailers have options beyond the basics (and with no need to purchase a matching suite of accessories), and I kid you not—there are even cool soap dish collabs.

Houston, Texas-based homeware brand Pretti.Cool is a prime example of a company making this new breed of style-conscious soap dishes. Jeff Gilmer, one of the founders, says it wasn’t consciously trying to fill a hole in the market when it launched in 2017. However, since then, the perennially cool Ace Hotels has commissioned the company to make a smaller version of its popular soap dish for its hotels, and West Elm now carries its classic, full-size soap dish as part of its Local initiative.

Gilmer doesn’t see bar soap surpassing liquid soaps anytime soon, but still says, “Bar soap seems to be having a bit of a resurgence the last five to 10 years. There are a lot of small-scale, boutique soap brands now, and usually those types of movements happen small before moving more mainstream.” If Gilmer’s observations are correct, we bet you’ll see even more design-forward soap dishes in the coming seasons.

Until then, here are 14 of our favorite soap dishes available today.

Photo by Sounds

1. Sounds x Den Den Soap Dish, $65

This concrete soap dish is the result of the aforementioned collaboration between Sounds and Den Den. Available in brick, sand, and mint, the sculpture-like design keeps soap dry while also keeping your bathroom vibes in check.

2. Yamazaki Silicone Soap Dish (Set of 2), $22

While not a handmade heirloom, Japanese home goods brand Yamazaki has managed to turn a simple silicone soap dish into a practical, yet thoughtfully-designed object.

Photo by Brooklinen

3. Soap Dish, $24

The simple cast concrete design from Pretti.Cool is available in both two-tone swirled concrete and shades of solid terrazzo. The company also makes a round mini version for guest soaps.

Photo by Etsy

4. Kim Hau Ceramics, $40

This rustic-style bowl by Kim Hau Ceramics is designed to sit on the corner of your sink with its drain spout positioned over the edge so your soap doesn't get mushy in water. You can choose from four different earthy colors, all of which are as beautiful as the next.

Photo by Design Milk

5. Les Pieds de Biche Terrazzo Soapdish, $35

Available in a rainbow of hues, Les Pieds de Biche’s terrazzo soap dish is larger than most to accommodate even the biggest of soap bars. The cool two-piece design makes it easy to keep the soap dry, too.

Photo by Holder Workshop

6. Holder Workshop Rainbow Soap Dish, $25

The ridges of this rainbow dish by ceramic artist Kierstin Holder cleverly let the water drain away from your bar of soap.

Photo by Etsy

7. Soap Momento Jesomite Shampoo Bar Holder, $12

Sized to fit a round shampoo bar, this jesomite soap dish is as minimalist as they come.

Photo by Rocky Luten

8. Fruitsuper Soap & Sponge Stands (Set of 3), $66

This trio of graphic concrete stands will keep your hand soap, kitchen soap, and sponges dry on your countertop. Choose from white or black finish.

Photo by Etsy

9. Emmett’s Soaps Concrete Soap Dish, $10

Created by a soapmaker Tyler Emmett to complement his gorgeous handmade soaps, these concrete dishes have a minimalist profile but rich color combinations.

Photo by Hawkins New York

10. Bloomingville Cement Soap Dish, $12

A Brutalist-esque design, this cement dish by Bloomingville adds an industrial touch to your sink.

Photo by Rejuvenation

11. Terrafirma Round Soap Dish, $55 $38.99+

Part of Rejuvenation’s handmade collection, this dish by New York City-based pottery studio Terrafirma Ceramics has a subtle pattern created by applying liquid porcelain to textiles and lace.

Photo by Etsy

12. Camp Copeland Fused Glass Self Draining Soap Dish, $35

A little bit retro, Camp Copeland’s glass soap dishes come in the prettiest colors, while drainage holes and raised nubs prolong the life of your soap.

Photo by Pigeon Toe Ceramics

13. Pigeon Toe Ceramics Zigazagah Soap Dish, $48

This zigzag silhouette dish comes from Portland’s female-founded Pigeon Toe Ceramics. Its glossy finish makes it easy to keep clean, while the fun product name keeps you singing while washing your hands.

Photo by Etsy

14. Casting Theory Draining Soap Holder, $14.95

It’s hard to pick a favorite from Texas-based Casting Theory’s five soap dish styles. Whether it’s this simple self-drainer or a punk rock-inspired dish, they're all available in 15 colors, so we bet something will surely suit your style.

Are you part of the bar soap revolution? Tell us in the comments!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns a commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Laura Fenton is the No Space Too Small columnist at Food52. The author of The Little Book of Living Small, she covers home, design, and sustainability. Laura lives in Jackson Heights, Queens in a 690-square foot apartment with her husband and son. You can follow her on Instagram @laura.alice.fenton or subscribe to her newsletter Living Small.

1 Comment

Adirienzio April 9, 2022
I agree. I’m a potter and I’ve made quite a few.