Shopping & Reviews

The Best Sponges

Don’t sleep on the mighty sponge.


By Daniel Schwartz

Updated on May 14, 2021

Some sponges are better suited for hardcore home cooks; others for the soggy, stinky, sponge-averse. Almost all sponges require some form of cleaning to keep from stinking up your hands. (Don’t skimp on the sponge hygiene.) Find the right sponge fit and never let the plates pile up again. These are the best sponges for every kind of cook: all-purpose, heavy duty, eco-friendly, and odor-free.

Overall Favorite

Beloved by kitchen experts everywhere, this all-purpose sponge does it all. The build is a step above the rest and fits well in your hand: Not too big for washing glassware; not too small to slip from your grip. Best of all: The rippled scrubbing surface is as tough as sandpaper but, miraculously, won’t leave scratches on anything, including stainless steel and non-stick pots and pans. In fact, it’s the only scrubber approved for use on Teflon surfaces.

Fun to Use

These colorful silicone sponges wash dishes just fine, but really shine at everyday tasks that don’t require a ton of suds, like wiping down the kitchen sink, polishing off the bathtub, and cleaning makeup brushes. Because they’re made of non-porous silicone, these sponges aren’t very absorbent or effective at dispatching caked-on residue, but they’re fun to use around the house, don’t retain odor-causing bacteria, and disinfect in the dishwasher worry-free.

Sustainable Option

Consider these sponges an eco-friendly upgrade to your ordinary wash cloth. They’re just as handy, way more absorbent (they claim to soak up more than twenty times their weight), and can be reused up to 50 times each. Made of a quick-drying, fully compostable, cellulose-cotton blend, they’re a lot better for the planet than running through rolls of paper towels — and, arguably, way more effective.

Totally Hands-off

If the thought of plunging your hand into a pan of soggy scrambled eggs sounds like the worst time ever, you’d probably benefit from a refillable dish wand. The sponge head on this one works magic on non-coated cookware, but can easily be replaced by a non-stick version to take care of all your cleaning needs.

Budget Pick

If you’re not branding baked ziti into a casserole dish on a daily basis and aren’t afraid to get a grip on a good ole fashioned sponge, these cute, colorful ones are an incredible bang for your buck. Plus, their petite size makes them perfect for enlisting the kids for cleaning duty.


Most sponges have a lifespan of two to four weeks; this one can last months. Go ahead: Treat it to a charred non-stick skillet, introduce it to a few bowls of crusty tomato sauce, and forget to take it out of the sink after you’re done cleaning. It’s a tank. It can handle it. Because it’s made of silicone instead of cellulose, it takes a ton of neglect to get it smelly, making it perfect for someone who hand-washes dishes all the time, or just doesn’t want to be bothered stocking up on sponges.

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