15 Bathroom Gadgets That Are a Waste of Your Money

Targeted consumer marketing can get the best of us, despite our hard-fought efforts to resist the temptation. Whether it be extraneous household gadgets or expensive pet supplies, they’re all out to attack our wallets with a vengeance and test our frugal resolve.

Bathroom gadgets are no exception. There are countless useless bathroom products designed to take our money and crowd our counters. Some gadgets — such as toothpaste dispensers or towel warmers — seem like smart buys but end up being a complete a waste of money and space. Other products are so wacky it’s a miracle anyone spent money on them in the first place.

If you’re trying to cut back on unnecessary spending, the home goods section is a good place to start. It’s likely you have, or have had, one of these bathroom products in your lifetime that are a complete waste of money.

1. Caffeinated soap

soap bar

Coffee and soaps? | iStock.com

On the surface, lathering up with caffeine-injected soap seems like a brilliant idea for a morning jolt. But is it necessary? Too much caffeine can have dangerous side effects, and its recommended people don’t ingest more than 400 milligrams per day to stay healthy.

ShowerShock soap allows 200 milligrams of caffeine to be absorbed through the skin per shower. But potential harm aside, it’s unclear whether the product actually works any real magic. Reviews on ThinkGeek.com suggest the bar does nothing to boost energy, thus rendering it yet another useless bathroom product.

Next: No need to get fancy when a towel or air cushioned packaging will do the trick.

2. Bath pillow

bath tub and faucet

Bath pillows are a complete waste of money. | iStock.com/hxdbzxy

Soft and plump bath pillows can make your bathing experience more luxurious, especially when considering how uncomfortable the sides of your bathtub can be. But there’s no need to waste money on branded bath pillows. As a post on ThriftyFun.com points out, there are other ways to solve this comfort problem for free. She uses air cushioned packaging from boxed deliveries as a pillow. But rolling up a towel behind your head works just as well, too.

Next: A spa luxury that’s not always necessary in your home

3. Towel warmer

Stressed young woman in bathroom

Did you waste money on a towel warmer. | iStock.com/CentralITAlliance

Just like manufacturers love to prey on concerned parents with inventions, such as baby wipe warmers and diaper genies, home goods manufacturers like to target stressed humans with spa-like inventions. There’s really no need for a towel warmer. This is just another useless bathroom product designed to take your money and appeal to your high-end tastes. Even more, the potential safety hazards are large. Not only are they dangerous to have around young children due to the heat, but they’ve been previously cited as the root cause of massive fires in shops.

Next: Don’t get too fancy with soap. It’s meant to clean, not impress.

4. Decorative soap

orchid, white towels and soaps

Don’t touch the decorative soaps whatever you do. | iStock.com/Guescri

Any product — such as a fancy soap — that sits on the counter but can’t be used is considered a waste of money. No one wants to be the first person to unwrap the carefully packaged lavender poppy seed soap in your bathroom, so there it sits, useless. Decorative soap seems like a harmless purchase when you toss it in your cart for six extra bucks. But when your bathroom is littered with nicely wrapped soaps your guests can’t touch? It’s an impractical waste.

Next: See why those showerheads everyone pines for are an unwise buy.

5. Rain showerhead


They seem like a good idea but are just another useless bathroom product. | iStock

Maybe you’re tempted to polish off that bathroom renovation with a shiny rain showerhead. Unfortunately, these gadgets are much more expensive than regular showerheads and produce less water pressure. For people with long or thick hair, that could be a problem. If you do get a rain showerhead remember they’re larger in size. So make sure the flow is adjustable or pressurized to control the amount of water you’re using (read: wasting).

Next: Those gross bath mats

6. Fancy bath mat

decorated bathroom

The bat mat debate is controversial. | iStock.com

To bath mat or not to bath math. It’s a controversial topic. Some prefer to use these mats to avoid slipping or to control excess water. But the plush bath mats hold damp water for longer, causing bacteria to fester. To combat such atrocities, some people warrant splurging for expensive cork or wood mats that usually last longer, but those alternatives can get pretty costly, too. Apartment Therapy suggests replacing these bathroom products every two years, so why spend extra money on something with a shorter shelf life?

Next: A useless beauty product for women

7. Color-enhancing shampoo

man washing hair

Most color shampoos are useless. | iStock.com

New York City hairstylist Nick Arrojo told WomensDay.com that “the tone in color-enhancing shampoos and conditioners will not be a perfect match to your hair, and that can make your tresses more brassier and golden.” What’s more is the additives in these products contain a temporary color stain that can do more harm than good. He suggests shampooing less frequently to retain hair color rather than wasting money on useless enhancing care products.

Next: Why we should stop hoarding unclogging tools

8. Drain unclogger

baby pulling toilet paper

You probably already have what you need to unclog a drain. | iStock.com/markcarper

All those bulky toilet gadgets and drain uncloggers? Ditch them. Draino and other heavily marketed bathroom gadgets will definitely get the job done, but they’re deemed unnecessary if you have a few key pantry items available. Dishwasher detergent will help unclog a toilet, and a little baking soda can clear any finicky bathroom drain, according to Lifehacker. Problem solved.

Next: Find a better solution to clean your mirror than this useless product.

9. Mirror cleaner

Woman brushing teeth

Just use your towel to wipe your mirror clean instead. | iStock.com/gpointstudio

Waiting for shower steam to dissipate often takes time you don’t have in the morning — even with the most powerful of exhaust fans running at maximum strength. But spending money on any pointless mirror cleaning tools, such as one that acts like a windshield wiper in the rain, is simply a waste. Isn’t that what the corner of your towel or your newly cleaned palms are for?

Next: A gadget that allows you to bring technology to the bathroom

10. Waterproof case for your technology

woman using phone

Can you leave you phone for one shower? | iStock.com/Antonio_Diaz

Gallup says 46% of people admit they can’t live without their smartphones. It’s no secret Americans have a love affair with technology — so much so that going 15 minutes without it while we shower seems unbearable. There are plenty of new gadgets that enable you to take your tablets or phones in the shower with you. But if you’re willing to spare money to avoid unplugging for even minutes, you might have a bigger problem that needs addressing first.

Next: The Snuggie 2.0

11. Wearable Towel

young woman wiping hair with towel

Is it a Wearable Towel or another Snuggie? | iStock.com/Central IT Alliance

Lovers of the Snuggie might feel tempted to purchase a Wearable Towel that’s shaped like a dress or large sweatshirt. It’s hands-free drying at its finest. But when it comes to actual practicality, it’s unlikely this towel actually dries your body as needed. People can purchase an elastic cover-up for less money if they’re looking to get dressed and stay covered after showering or swimming. But the Wearable Towel infomercial is amazing and might just sway your decision.

Next: Why we spend too much on sunscreen

12. High SPF lotion

Young woman applying sunblock cream on legs

The higher the SPF, the more wasteful it becomes. | iStock.com/fizkes

Doctors have said any sunscreen over SPF 45 is just false security. So why pay more money for a lotion with a higher SPF rating when the cheaper product will work just as well? There’s a better way to shop and save on sunscreen. Those prone to sunburn are better off concentrating on a lotion that offers broad-spectrum protection rather than ratings.

Next: Is this next product ingenious or just plain annoying?

13. Product dispenser

Soap dispensers, cotton swabs and other toiletries

Automatic dispensers are just annoying | iStock.com/Okea

Anyone who’s been to a hotel that utilizes automatic dispensers for shampoos, soaps, and lotions knows just how convenient they can be when you have soap in your eyes or slippery fingers. But it’s also super annoying to wait for just the right amount of product to come out. Are we in that much of a hurry that we need to use automatic dispensers for these things?

If you deem these products a smart buy rather than a complete waste of money, make sure to read individual product reviews carefully before pulling the trigger. Some Amazon reviews are quite scathing for these types of gadgets.

Next: A word to the wise for men

14. Disposable razor

electric razor

Disposable razors aren’t worth the money. | Amazon

Another widely discussed topic is the debate between electric and disposable razors. Men’s Science lists the pros and cons of each, some of which include a faster shave, less need for shaving cream, and increased versatility. But on the other hand, disposable razors allow for a closer shave. If you’re only concerned about money, buck up the cash for an electric route.

Next: What’s convenient is not always practical.

15. Tub tray


Useless decorative items are a waste of money. | iStock.com

Placing a decorative tray across your bath tub is a popular staging idea on HGTV remodeling shows. But back in reality, these trays are just another modern inconvenience that gathers junk and stands in the way of shower time each night. It might hold a book and a wine glass, but that’s what the ledge is for. Buying such gadgets will be yet another way you’ve squandered hard-earned cash on a useless and annoying bathroom product.