Wet shaving is as much about the ritual as it is the result. Wet shaving enthusiasts will consider intangibles like how the safety razor feels in the hand before even getting to the quality of the blade. That’s why details like the shaving bowl are important. Sure, you could make do with any small bowl or mug for lathering, but there are reasons to invest in a designated bowl.
Many shaving bowls will have a texture that helps form a richer lather, and they’ll be sized to comfortably hold in one hand while working the brush with the other. Shaving bowls can be made from different materials, including stoneware, steel, ceramic and plastic. Luxurious materials like marble will sometimes be used, which make for great gifts. Good shaving bowls will also help retain heat from the warm water to enrich the lather.
You might actually want to have two shave bowls on your sink or vanity — one to hold your shaving soap, and the other to lather. While you can lather straight from the bowl that holds the shaving soap, a separate bowl will help you get a richer foam for a better shave.
Your average shaving bowl will have a similar shape to an ice cream bowl, but these are not the only option. You can also get shaving bowls that have curved handles like a cup. There are also scuttles, which have handles and spouts — these somewhat resemble a teapot. These have a reservoir under the bowl that holds hot water, which keeps the bowl warm for a richer lather. Another reason to invest in a designated shaving bowl has less to do with shaving and more to do with the rest of your morning routine — since they often look like kitchenware, you don’t want your partner to confuse your shave mug for their coffee cup.
We’ve rounded up the best shaving bowls and mugs to buy, including options that are great for lathering as well as containers that are perfect for storing your shave soap.
1. AKStore Men’s Durable Shave Soap Cup
BEST STEEL BOWL
For a simple, no-frills option, this shaving bowl from AKStore is made from stainless steel and is double layered to better insulate heat from the warm water. It has a smooth interior and is available in two sizes so you can find the one that works best for your bathroom counter or vanity.
2. ShaveBowl Modular Shaving Bowl
If you’re looking for a space-saving option, consider this one from the unimaginative-but-fittingly-named Etsy seller, ShaveBowl. It has cutouts on the rim that can accommodate a razor and a shave brush, eliminating the need for a separate stand. It’s made from polymer, making it lightweight and durable, and the bowl is made in the US.
3. D R Harris Arlington Shaving Bowl and Soap
This option from D R Harris includes a wood shaving bowl and a puck of shaving soap which fits into the bowl. The bowl also has a lid to store it when not in use. Once you run out of the shaving soap, this bowl is a great option to reuse for your next shaving soaps.
4. West Coast Shaving Hand Thrown Shaving Scuttle
BEST SCUTTLE BOWL
A shaving scuttle is a unique alternative to a traditional bowl. It has a spout that is used to add hot water, which helps heat the bowl from the inside. The warmer bowl will help you work up a richer lather. The handle also makes it easier to hold when adding water.
5. CHARMMAN Shaving Soap Bowl
This shaving bowl is made from coarse granite, and the rough texture can help form a richer lather on your brush. It also adds a nice rugged, earthy charm to your bathroom. Its solid granite construction makes it a weightier option, which will feel satisfying to hold.
6. Proraso Shaving Soap In A Bowl
BEST TRAVEL BOWL
This option from Proraso comes in its own plastic bowl, and it’s an affordable way to get shaving soap from one of the most legendary shave brands. The bowl comes with a lid and the body has an ergonomic shape, making it a great place for storing pucks of shaving soap. Once the Proraso soap is through, you can simply reuse the bowl or throw it in your Dopp kit as a travel option.
7. Beau Brummell Solid Marble Shaving Soap Bowl
With a brand named after history’s most famous dandy, it’s no surprise that this bowl from Beau Brummell characterizes classic style and elegance. It’s made from solid white marble and has a coarse texture on the inside that helps create a richer lather.
8. Rascal Porcelain Shaving Bowl
BEST SHAVING MUG
This porcelain shaving bowl from Rascal has a unique design, thanks to its tapered shape and handle. This shape makes it space-saving and easier to grip. The black porcelain has a slight sheen, giving it a more luxurious look.
9. DixieCowboy Shave Cup
This stylish wood option has a handle with finger loops, and one of the loops has a leather strap for hanging or holding. The bowl is made from rubberwood, which is a popular option for furniture for its durability. You can also order it with shave soap included.