The right toilet paper is soft and plush while offering excellent strength and absorbency. The last thing you want is a product that tears, pills, or feels rough on sensitive skin. While you may be used to buying whichever TP is on sale at the grocery store, it’s worthwhile to learn more about what to look for in a high-quality toilet paper, so you can make the best choice for your household. Ahead, see some of the best toilet paper recommendations in their respective categories—softest, strongest, even the most eco-friendly options on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Cottonelle Ultra ComfortCare Toilet Paper
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Angel Soft Toilet Paper, Mega Rolls
- UPGRADE PICK: Betterway Organic Bamboo Toilet Paper
- SOFT PICK: Quilted Northern Ultra Plush Toilet Paper
- STRONG PICK: Charmin Ultra Strong Toilet Paper Mega Roll
- BEST SUSTAINABLE: Seventh Generation White Toilet Paper, 100% Recycled
What to Consider When Buying Toilet Paper
Before shopping for toilet paper, there are some key factors to consider. Though it’s easy to assume that all brands of toilet paper are the same because they work in a similar manner, there are several characteristics that can affect the quality. Keep reading to learn about some of the most important qualities to remember when shopping for the best toilet paper for you and your family.
Toilet paper is typically made from one of three materials.
- Standard (or virgin) toilet paper is made from the fibers of softwood or hardwood trees. The fibers are shredded and bleached before being transformed into the rolls you put in your bathroom. This type of toilet paper is the most commonly used and is both readily available and affordable.
- Recycled toilet paper is not made from used toilet paper. Rather, it is crafted from recycled newspapers or other recycled paper products. This kind of toilet paper is an environmentally-friendly and sustainable option.
- Bamboo toilet paper uses fibers from bamboo rather than softwood or hardwood trees. It’s a more easily renewable resource, which makes it more sustainable than standard paper.
The “ply” refers to the number of layers of material that make up each sheet of toilet paper. Each additional ply provides more strength and absorbency.
- 1-ply toilet paper is what you find most often in businesses and public places. It is also a good bet for those who need a quick-dissolving product for their home plumbing or septic systems.
- 2-ply toilet paper is the most common for home use. It is made up of two layers and is softer and more absorbent than 1-ply paper.
- 3-ply toilet paper features three layers and has a plush, luxurious feel. While this kind of paper may be more durable, it takes longer to dissolve and is therefore not ideal for homes with septic tanks.
Softness is one of the primary concerns for consumers when it comes to toilet paper. Whether it’s just being used as bathroom tissue or is occasionally doubling as facial tissue, you want your toilet paper to be soft and plush without feeling rough. Sensory experts generally test toilet paper softness by evaluating its feel in temperature- and humidity-controlled rooms. Pliability is also relevant, because the more pliable a sheet of toilet paper is, the softer it will feel.
Durability and strength are essential qualities to look for in a high-quality toilet paper. Strength is typically measured by how easy the paper punctures. Due to their multiple layers of material, 3-ply toilet papers are likely to be strongest, but there are plenty of 2-ply toilet papers that perform just as well. You will likely use less toilet paper if it is durable, making it a more economical and eco-friendly choice.
Sheets Per Roll
Sheets per roll is an important consideration as you’re calculating whether a brand of toilet paper is economical or not. Many brands make marketing claims about the size of their rolls, but one reliable way to measure the validity of those claims is by how many individual sheets each roll contains. Brands use marketing terms like “mega roll,” “family roll,” and “ultra roll,” but these sizes are not consistent from brand to brand. By verifying how many sheets per roll the package you are considering contains and then calculating the price per sheet, you can make an informed decision on whether it suits your budget.
Approximately 27,000 trees are consumed every day for the world’s toilet paper production. Bathroom tissue is inherently wasteful, but there are ways to reduce your ecological footprint. Recycled toilet paper is a popular option, as are toilet papers made from alternative materials like bamboo.
Eco-friendly toilet papers have traditionally underperformed compared to their standard-paper counterparts, but innovations in technology mean that you no longer have to sacrifice quality when shopping for sustainable toilet tissue.
Many toilet papers are bleached with chlorine in order to make them pure white. Chlorine is a pollutant and is not considered an eco-friendly material, so those who want to purchase “green” tissue should look for recycled toilet papers that are not treated with chlorine. It’s also possible for chlorine to enter your bloodstream when it comes into contact with your skin. There are few different ways toilet paper manufacturers can reduce the amount of chlorine with which your toilet paper is treated:
- Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) toilet papers used gentler chlorine derivatives like chlorine dioxide.
- Process Chlorine Free (PCF) toilet paper is typically made from recycled paper that has not been re-bleached with chlorine.
- Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) toilet paper uses no chlorine in the bleaching process.
Our Top Picks
The following recommendations take into account factors like material, strength, softness, sheets per roll, and environmental impact. This list features a variety of top-notch toilet paper options to help you find the one that’s right for your needs and budget.
Each family mega roll of this 2-ply paper contains 325 sheets, making it an economical choice that’s soft, absorbent and durable. Cottonelle Ultra doesn’t pill or leave lint behind, and the two layers stay together without separating. The paper is very absorbent and performs well whether it is wet or dry. The product’s plush, textured material gives it a high-end feel and the ripples help deliver an ultra-clean result.
Cottonelle Ultra is Climate Pledge Friendly, having been certified by The Forest Stewardship Council for responsible and sustainable forestry practices. It’s also safe for use in septic tanks and dissolves well despite its thick texture. These Cottonelle mega-size rolls come in four packs of six each, with a total of 24 rolls of toilet paper.
This pack comes with 36 mega rolls, each of which contains 425 sheets. With so many sheets per roll, you’ll change rolls and shop for more paper less frequently. Angel Soft is more economical than many other leading brands, and it’s a terrific option for those who want softness and strength without spending too much. Its 2-ply design is meant to be durable and absorbent. Safe for use in both septic and sewer systems, Angel Soft papers meet Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) sourcing standards.
Eco-friendly toilet paper has a reputation for being less plush than its mainstream counterparts, but Betterway’s organic bamboo toilet paper feels luxurious. It is composed from organic, hand-picked bamboo that is BPA-free and contains no dye or added fragrance, making it an excellent pick for sensitive skin. The 3-ply paper is textured for added grip.
Each roll of Betterway bamboo toilet paper contains 360 lint-free sheets, available in a pack of 12. The bamboo Betterway is grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. The paper’s modern packaging is made of recycled cardboard and is entirely plastic free.
For those seeking the softest and plushest toilet paper on the market, Quilted Northern’s Ultra Plush variety is an excellent choice. This product has an embossed, 3-ply design, making it thicker and more absorbent than most other products on the market. Each roll contains 319 sheets, giving the roll a total width of 4 inches. This Quilted Northern toilet paper comes in three packs of eight rolls (24 in total).
Though it is marketed as septic safe, because Quilted Northern Ultra Plush is so thick, it may not be the best choice for those with plumbing issues or septic tanks. It meets Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) sourcing standards.
If your top priority in a toilet tissue is strength, Charmin’s Ultra Strong is a very good choice. It performs well even when wet, and has a diamond-weave texture that improves cleaning performance. While the price for this pack may be on the higher end, it includes 30 mega rolls of 2-ply toilet paper, with 286 sheets per roll. Since the paper is strong, you’ll likely use fewer sheets on each trip to the bathroom. Together, these two factors mean you’ll change the roll less frequently.
Despite the fact that it’s ultra-strong, it is also septic-safe. This is a Climate Pledge Friendly product, as Charmin doesn’t participate in deforestation practices and only sources their paper from responsibly managed forests.
Seventh Generation toilet paper is widely considered the most eco-friendly toilet paper on the market. It’s not only made from 100 percent recycled paper, it’s also packaged in 100 percent recyclable materials. This 2-ply toilet tissue is whitened without the use of chlorine or bleach, and is free of dyes, inks, and fragrances.
This sustainable Seventh Generation toilet paper is septic safe and can even be used in low-flow toilets like those in RVs and campers. Each roll contains 240 sheets, available in two packs that each contain 12 rolls.
FAQs About Toilet Paper
With all the choices available, finding the best toilet paper can be a bit overwhelming, so you might still have some questions. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about toilet paper.
Q. How long is a toilet paper roll?
The length of a roll of toilet paper varies greatly depending on the brand. They also vary in width, so square footage is an ideal measure of quantity. In terms of square footage, the top brands range from 21 to 53 square feet of toilet paper per roll. While the number of sheets per roll varies, most rolls contain 1000 sheets for 1 ply, 500 sheets for 2 ply, and around 330 sheets for 3 ply toilet paper.
Q. How long does toilet paper last?
The average two-person household goes through 4.5 double rolls of toilet paper per week if they are home full time. The average four-person household uses 8.5 rolls per week.
Q. Where should you throw away used toilet paper?
Flushing used toilet paper down the toilet is the most sanitary method of disposal and better at keeping unpleasant odors out of the bathroom. Alternatively, you can throw toilet paper in the trash. Toilet paper does not qualify as paper recycling, but you can recycle the cardboard rolls.