If there's one thing that just about everyone has an opinion about, it's toilet paper. Some don't mind if it's paper-thin to save a buck, while others won't settle for anything less than soft thick ripples. Luckily, there are more than enough brands of toilet paper to suit everyone's preferences. These days, you can find toilet paper with soothing additives or even eco-friendly tubeless rolls. Our buying guide helps you find that perfect roll and includes our top pick, Charmin Ultra Soft Toilet Paper , which is extra soft as well as strong and absorbent.
Considerations when choosing toilet paper
From one ply (or layer) to four plies, you have your choice of comfort. However, a higher ply comes at a higher price. One ply, or single ply, is the least expensive toilet paper since it's produced with less pulp or binding materials. But production advancements have made some single-ply brands stronger, thicker, and actually softer than some multi-ply brands. While three-ply toilet paper, which is designed to absorb more than lesser plies, is pricier, the upside is that you won't need to use as much each time. If your home has an unreliable plumbing system, however, it's best to stick to single- or two-ply brands to avoid clogging your toilet.
The names that manufacturers give to their roll sizes can make your head spin: big rolls, double rolls, mega rolls, family mega rolls, or regular standard rolls. Of course, the larger the size, the less times you'll have to pop in a new roll. However, if you have recessed toilet paper holders or older, smaller-size holders, stick to standard or double rolls. When toilet paper is jammed too tightly into a holder, it's tough to make it roll so you can tear off what you need.
A toilet paper's texture differentiates it from others on the market. Toilet paper with an embossed, or quilted pattern, creates softer, thicker, absorbent sheets, and it helps the plies stay together. Single-ply toilet paper can also be embossed to make it more aesthetically pleasing, thicker, and absorbent.
If you have sensitive skin, you might like aloe, shea butter, or vitamin E additives found in some toilet papers. These additives are typically fragrance-free, so they won't add to your sensitivities. Look for hypoallergenic toilet paper that's gentle on skin.
If you want a more environmentally friendly toilet paper, look for rolls without the cardboard tube or unbleached products. Unbleached toilet paper means the chemicals used to make the paper white was eliminated or significantly reduced.
Toilet paper prices
Single-ply toilet paper is the least expensive, ranging from $15 for 24 family-size rolls to $20 for 36 family-size rolls. Two-ply toilet paper, with or without additives, are more expensive, ranging from $21 to $29 for 24-count mega rolls. Pricier luxury three-ply toilet paper can be found between $29 to $35 for 24 double rolls.
Q. How do I calculate the best price for toilet paper?
A. By unit pricing. Unit pricing is the price you pay for a standard unit of measurement, such as the square footage of toilet paper. You can't compare rolls or sheets since there's no standard sizing with toilet paper. When buying toilet paper in a store, you'll see the unit pricing on the shelf tag. When buying online, there's a little math involved. Here's the formula: package price divided by square feet of package equals toilet paper's unit price. Example: A package has 12 rolls of two-ply toilet paper. The package costs $5.70 divided by a total of 152.4 square feet (listed on the package) for a $0.037 unit price. It's a decent deal with free shipping.
Q. Will multi-ply toilet paper clog my toilet?
A. Thicker toilet paper may take longer to break down when flushed, but you'll also find that you will require less two- and three-ply toilet paper than single-ply each time you use it, which is good for the plumbing. If you prefer multi-ply toilet paper, use it thoughtfully to avoid pipe clogs.
Toilet paper we recommend
Best of the best: Charmin Ultra Soft Toilet Paper Family Mega Roll, 24 Count
Our take: A two-ply toilet paper that feels like a luxury four-ply for those who want to feel pampered in all ways in the bathroom.
What we like: You don't need to spend a lot for this brand that holds true to its name. It's Roto-Rooter-approved, septic-safe, lint- and scent-free, and cleans well without compromising its cushiony touch.
What we dislike: Supersized rolls may not fit into toilet-paper holders.
Best bang for your buck: Presto! 308-Sheet Mega Roll Toilet Paper, 24 Count
Our take: This Amazon brand of toilet paper is another one of its winning proprietary products. It's soft, strong, and resists tearing.
What we like: Value-priced hefty, thick, two-ply rolls and lint-free paper makes this a favorite of countless users.
What we dislike: Easily disintegrates when fully wet, but that's good news for sewers and septic systems.
Choice 3: Cottonelle Ultra Clean Care, 36 Double Rolls
Our take: One word sums up why Cottonelle is a perennial favorite: ripples.
What we like: Besides the appreciated subtly scrubby texture of the brand's proprietary CleaningRipples design, it's hard to tell that this is a single-ply toilet paper. And because it's single-ply, it's one of the more affordable brands that actually packs a lot of softness into those ripples.
What we dislike: Sometimes the tissue pills during use.
Marilyn Zelinsky-Syarto is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.