The Best Paper Towels (Review) in 2020
Often underappreciated and taken for granted, disposable towels can be the absolute saviors of the kitchen. Despite this, many still believe that paper towels are all created equal – until they experience the endless battle that is mopping up a spill with a poor-quality choice.
Below, we give you all the facts about what makes the best paper towels and provide you with our own Top Picks. If you’ve ever had a question or wanted to know more about what paper towel you should buy, keep reading to make all your paper towel dreams come true.
Comes in a range of quirky designs
Four different sheet sizes allow for complete control over waste
Quilted texture allows for quick and easy pick-ups
Super absorbent and fast acting
Responsibly sourced from sustainable forests
A very affordable option
Best ordered online, as the box can be bulky
Highly rated and popular with buyers
Well-known, trusted brand
Made without dyes, fragrances or inks
Made from entirely recycled paper
Very highly rated
Design and texture is super soft yet effective
The Best Paper Towels
An ever-popular brand, Bounty are known for producing high-quality kitchen towels that are quick and easy to use. These Select-A-Size options add a nice little benefit that many competitors are now picking up on, however, in that you can choose the size of the sheet you need before you start cleaning and/or mopping up.
They are still extremely absorbent, and their quilted design not only makes them better at sucking up spills, but also allows for greater grip over surfaces. This makes them ideal for any kind of mess you might come across in the kitchen or anywhere else around the home.
Customizable sheet sizes
Quilted design is very soft
Presto are a very popular brand that is often seen to be competing with other, better known options and this means that they’re keen to bring a greater level of quality to you as a buyer, at a better price. It also means that their customer service is better than average, as they work harder to keep you, as a customer, happy.
Very similar to our Top Pick, this brand uses customizable sheet sizes and is made from sustainable sources, allowing you to have greater control over your carbon footprint. For a 1-ply sheet, they remain extremely absorbent too.
Customizable sheet sizes
Satisfaction guarantee included
Made from sustainable sources
Another fantastic choice in paper towels is this offering from Brawny. Again, this brand is a popular choice with buyers, with extremely high reviews and positive feedback from buyers being shown time and again. This isn’t surprising when you consider the work that has gone into making this selection one of the best paper towels on the market, today.
For starters, these paper towels aren’t called “Brawny” for no reason – they’re incredibly strong and their 2-ply design gives them a great feel. It also allows for a fantastic level of absorbency without falling apart during use. Finally, these include the eco-features of being made from sustainable sources and allowing greater size selection with customizable sheets.
2-ply design for added absorbency
Customizable sheet sizes
Made from sustainable sources
Exceptionally soft, these paper towels seem more like a cheesecloth or fabric kitchen towel than a traditional paper towel. The reason for this comes down to the micro-texture design of the sheets, which bridges the gap between disposable wet wipes for the kitchen and typical paper towels. However, unlike wet wipes, these towels are sustainably sourced and don’t use micro-plastics to maintain their stability.
This is perfect for using your new purchase for disinfecting your surfaces, dusting and cleaning, as well as mopping up spills. Speaking of which, this particular design is surprisingly very absorbent and allows for quick clean-ups, despite their comparatively small size.
Very durable and absorbent
Micro-texture design is very soft
Looks and feels like cloth
Made entirely out of recycled paper, Seventh Generation are known for providing a completely eco-friendly alternative to most other paper towels. These are made without any dyes, bleaches or fragrances and are naturally whitened to still give an aesthetically pleasing final product. Not to mention that, once again, the customizable sheet sizes are also a huge benefit to reducing your carbon footprint.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking that these sheets might be a little too harsh or stiff to use, they are actually extremely soft – and very good at their job. Reviews for this option are very high and many customers are claiming this has replaced the more widely-known brands.
No dyes, bleach or fragrances
Very soft paper towels
Customizable sheet sizes
Kleenex are known for creating soft paper towels that are easy to grab and go – but they’re often associated with upward-facing boxes or smaller packs to carry in your bag. Luckily, someone over at HQ realized the benefits of using these great value hand towels around the home and thus, this new option was created.
Designed to sit on top of wall-mounted paper towel holders, this box comes in a range of eye-catching colors and is able to produce a multi-fold tissue each time. This helps to cut down on the spread of germs and ensures that your home or business remains as clean as possible.
Ideal for reducing the spread of germs
Very soft paper towels
Comes in an attractive holding box
One of the most popular options to buy in-store, these paper towels have finally made it online and we couldn’t be happier. Easily providing some of the best value for money, these white paper towels are big and bulky to carry around – thanks to their extra-large design and 2-ply quilting – so making them available for delivery was definitely a smart move.
You can get an awful lot for your money here, with customers noting that their packages often last for months between having to restock their new favorite paper towels. This is one of the reasons why the Kirkland Signature paper towels are one of the most highly-rated options online, today.
Can be torn into half-sheets
Another great option from Seventh Generation with further steps taken to become as eco-friendly as possible. These brown paper towels are completely unbleached and non-whitened to maintain the natural boundaries used in creating these for your home. They are also made without any dyes or fragrances to further help with the carbon footprint.
Their simple texture remains absorbent, even when wet, while the quilting keeps these recycled paper towels nice and soft. Perfect for those with allergies or sensitivities, these kitchen paper towels are a little more expensive than other options but ideal for little people and those who are more vulnerable to skin conditions.
Made with 100% recycled paper
2-ply quilted design
Kimberly-Clark are a name that every business and most households will recognise. Known for creating hygienic paper towel dispensers in public places and offices, these multifold paper towels are quick and easy to install with also any tissue dispenser.
They also work with c-fold paper towel dispensers, helping you to cut down on any unnecessary waste and keeping your bathroom nice and clean. The high quality materials are super absorbent and only one towel is needed per pair of hands, meaning you’re likely to cut down in your overall spending, too.
4,000 paper towels in total
Well-known, trusted brand
If you find yourself with tougher stains, work in an engineering or construction sector or simply want greater control over your usage, this paper towel roll is perfect for you. Coming as one complete towel that stretches to 800 feet per roll, this option is perfect if you need a lot of cleaning power for a fantastic price.
The very thick sheets easily pick up thicker spills, while still being compatible with most types of freestanding paper towel holders (wall-mounted holders will depend on the level of space available – check your dimensions and compare with those given below). They also come with the added benefit of being made from recycled fiber, leaving you with a lighter conscience when you need to use a lot of paper towels.
Best Paper Towels Buying Guide & FAQ
Things to Consider When Buying Paper Towels
Arguably the most important factor when buying paper towels. The absorbency of your new purchase can make the difference between a quick clean up and pushing lots of water around, until you’ve used the entire roll.
Single ply (one sheet) paper towels are often the most likely to have a poor absorption rate, as there is less surface area to pick up liquids. Naturally, two-ply options will have added space between the sheets and generally be much thicker, and therefore be able to soak up liquids faster and easier – making higher levels the most absorbent paper towel types.
When it comes to cleaning up mess, size matters. In particular size has three very important considerations. Firstly, with an increased interest on going green, many of the options provided above now offer customizable sizing – this allows you to tear off only what you need to complete the task at hand.
Secondly, the larger the surface area, the greater the amount of cleaning you can complete in one fell swoop – and vice versa. Thus, if you opt for those without different sheet sizes, then choose an option that allows for enough room when cleaning up larger spills, yet small enough to fit nicely in your kitchen.
Finally, it’s important to have enough paper towels available for you to go a fair amount of time before needing to restock. The number of sheets you get per roll will therefore affect your overall value for money, so check this before you buy.
There is an increased focus on providing eco-friendly alternatives at the moment, and while most towels are made from paper, recycled paper towels are slowly becoming the norm. The difference between the two is often actually very small – but can affect color and even how it has been processed.
Those who have sensitive skin or allergies may be better choosing the recyclable alternatives. The main reason for this is that these recyclable paper towels are often create without using any dyes, bleaches or fragrances – or are naturally whitened. This is a lot easier on your skin and you’re therefore less likely to have a breakout.
No matter which type you eventually purchase, do be sure that your materials are sustainably sourced. In other words, that they come from regulated forests that are replanted with each tree that is cut down, or formed from recycled materials. All of our options above meet these requirements, which allows for our forests to continue growing, while we still meet our kitchen needs.
Once again relating to value for money, the quantity of sheets you get can be just as important as how well they work. Lots of sheets or rolls that aren’t absorbent and require plenty of waste will inevitably cost you more money in the long run, even if they are cheaper at the time. Meanwhile, lower quantities that have a higher quality of materials are likely to last longer, and can save you more money over time, despite being more expensive initially.
You should also consider the number of rolls or boxes available with each purchase. If you’re looking for paper towels for commercial use, you’ll naturally want a much higher number of towels and probably won’t have to worry about storing them around the building. Households, however, may prefer smaller amounts of rolls, to better suit the space they have in their home.
If you’re into your aesthetics and want your paper towels to match your kitchen, you may be after more than the standard white paper towels. For example, some options given above use patterned options or present their tissues in colored boxed, which makes them much easier on the eye.
Others, of course, are unbleached and will therefore look like simple brown paper towels that some may not like – while others love this. It’s all about personal choice and comes down to your own preferences, here.
You should also look out for patterns in the quilting, as this can encourage grip when cleaning up mess and also provide a larger surface area. This larger surface area adds to the absorbency of your paper towels and therefore makes a more effective cleaning fabric.
Different Types of Paper Towels
- Pull-Roll Paper Towels
These are the more traditional paper towels that you probably envisage when using the term. They are usually rolled over a cardboard tube and can be pulled off in multiples, until you get the number of sheets you desire.
These are great for around the house, as they can be used with freestanding paper towel holders or wall-mounted variations. They are often a little thicker and come with multi-ply thicknesses, as well as being made in a range of sizes and patterns.
- C-Fold Towels and Multifold Towels
Due to their similar nature, we’ve popped these two together under the same banner. However, as well as their similarities, there are a few key differences. For starters, C-fold towels are named so due to their “c” shaped folding pattern, while multifold options are likely to take a range of different shapes, although they usually come in a “Z” shaped fold.
Both of these will need a suitable dispenser in order to use them as they were intended – with one towel being pulled out at a time. They are frequently interchangeable, but the size of your dispenser will need to be taken into account before you buy a fresh pack.
They are also, usually, only single-ply and won’t have any great detail of pattern or quilting available. This makes them very basic – although it also lowers the price, increasing the economical factor of buying multifold and c-fold paper towels in bulk.
Best Paper Towels FAQ:
Q: What Chemicals Are in Paper Towels?
A: There are many companies who manufacture paper towels with natural alternatives to avoid the use of chemicals, opting instead for a wider use of natural alternatives – many of which you can see in action in our Top Picks. However, there are still producers who use chemicals within the manufacturing process of paper towels.
The most common of these is chlorine, which is used as a bleach, in order to produce a clean, white paper towel. If you have sensitive skin, you may be affected by this chemical through the regular contact with the chlorine. In these cases, you might suffer from bouts of eczema, or find that your skin and eyes become irritated after using your kitchen towels.
Q: Is There Bleach in Paper Towels?
A: Often, many white paper towels use chlorine in order to bleach their towels, unless otherwise stated. If you are concerned about the levels of chlorine in your paper towels, you may prefer to purchase recycled paper towels, which are less likely to use bleach, or opt for a white paper towel that states it has been “naturally whitened”.
Our Top Pick
The Bounty Select-A-Size are easily the best paper towels on the market, today. As well as being available at a very cost-effective price, they also allow for less waste as you can pick the size of sheet you require. This, along with the fact that they are responsibly sourced, means you can use your kitchen paper towels without worrying about any damage to the environment.
They come in a bulky pack, due to their larger-than-average number of sheets but this usually just means that your purchase will last much longer than average. They also come in a range of fantastic designs that will brighten up any kitchen.