Paper towels are a household necessity -- from quick cleanups in the kitchen to wiping off streaks on the bathroom sink to quickly picking up the latest hairball from your cat, paper towels are the quick and easy solution to all of life's messes. But is one brand really better and style really better than another?
We at Oola rounded up our top picks for best paper towels, breaking out the pros and cons to each choice.
Don't let the confusing size options overwhelm you; our buying guide is here to help you better understand how to choose the best product for you. So take a look at our top paper towel picks!
The Best Paper Towels
The Bounty brand is a trusted name in the paper towel world for a good reason. Known for their strong, durable products that are thicker and absorb more than store brands, it is a pick you know you can rely on. We're a fan that these paper towels don't break or disintegrate even when wet, making them a durable option that can clean as long as you are. We also love the quick size option which allows the choice of a smaller sheet for smaller messes, eliminating unnecessary waste.
If you are eco-friendly and are looking for "green" products, these are sourced 100% from responsibly managed forests.
While more expensive than store options, for the sheer performance, it's worth it.
- Strong and durable
- Choose the sheet size to suit your mess
- Plush and soft
- Costs more than other options
- 100% sourced from responsibly managed forests
- Case of 12 family rolls
- Select-a-size sheets
- Brand: Bounty
- Sheet Dimensions: 11 x 5.7 inches
- Area of single roll: 62.3 square feet
Presto is an Amazon brand dedicated to crafting everyday products in an affordable way. If you go through as many paper towels as we do, you know all too well how quickly things add up. That's why we love this great option.
The large rolls contains 158 2-ply sheets in the handy select-a-size option, great for small and large messes alike. They are strong and absorbent, and while not as plush as Bounty, their coarser texture does lend itself to scrubbing a bit better, and they leave very little lint behind.
We also love they are made with pulp sourced from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources!
- Ability to choose smaller sheet for smaller messes
- Absorbant and durable
- Very little lint left behind
- A bit coarser than Bounty
- Case of 6 rolls
- 158 2-ply sheets per roll
- Sourced from sustainably managed forests
- Brand: Presto
- Sheet Dimensions: 11 x 6 inches
- Area of single roll: 72.4 square feet
For even more control over the size of your paper towels, Brawny's aptly named "tear-a-square" paper towels allows for full, half, and quarter sheet sizes! The smallest sheet is not only great for small messes, but is the perfect size to use as a napkin, combining two paper products into one.
The 2-ply rolls contain 256 quarter sheets, and come in a case of 16 rolls, providing over 4000 quarter sheets of strong and absorbent paper towels!
While not quite as effective sheet to sheet as Bounty, overall Brawny still makes a quality product great for small and large messes alike.
- Option for less waste by using only what you need
- Quarter size perfect for using as napkins
- Many rolls in one pack
- The perforation for quarter sheets can possibly tear when you don't want it to
- Tear-a-square: quarter, half and whole sheet options
- Case of 16 rolls
- 2-ply, 256 quarter sheets per roll
- Brand: Brawny
- Sheet Dimensions: 11 x 5.5 inches (between vertical perforations)
- Area of single roll: 53.8 square feet
If you are a fan of uber soft, cloth-like paper towels, this option from Viva fits the bill. The smooth feel is pleasant and aids in its durability, especially when wet. But don't let the softness fool you--the micro-texture of the paper towel aids in scrubbing tough messes.
Beyond the feel and performance, we love the "task size" of each sheet, which is about half the size of a normal sheet, giving you more flexibility when choosing just how many paper towels you need to get the job done.
Each pack comes with six rolls containing 143 TaskSize sheets per roll, with 2 packs coming in an order, providing over 1700 sheets for all your cleaning needs!
- Texture is smooth and soft
- Half-size sheets aids in less waste
- Great for sticky messes
- Family size rolls may be too small for some
- 143 TaskSize sheets per roll
- 2 packs of 6 family rolls, 12 total
- Cloth-like design
- Brand: Viva
- Sheet Dimensions: 11 x 5.7 inches
- Area of single roll: 62.3 square feet
Like all our picks, Sparkle's pick-a-size gives you the flexibility to choose between half and full size sheets, leading to less waste when dealing with smaller messes. The "plus" in these paper towels is that they are 1" wider than their regular pick-a-size option, which, while it doesn't sound like much, can make a big difference when deciding if you need a half or full size sheet.
While we're not a big fan of the name, the "thirst pockets" do aid in effectively absorbing and locking in liquids, and nice plus when cleaning up messes.
With 116 2-ply sheets per roll, each individual roll is slightly smaller than our other choices, but with 24 rolls per case, you'll have more than enough paper towels to last a while!
- Larger "select-a-size" sheets than other brands
- Effective at absorbing liquids
- Many rolls per case will keep you stocked for a while
- Fewer sheets per roll
- Pick-a-size paper towels
- 1" wide than regular pick-a-size
- 116 2-ply sheets per roll
- 24 rolls per case
- Brand: Sparkle
- Sheet Dimensions: 11 x 7.1 inches
- Area of single roll: 62.9 square feet
Paper Towel Buying Guide
All paper towels in some sense are pretty much the same: a paper product used to clean and dry up spills. The difference between price points ultimately lands on materials used and the quality of the product. This makes comparison shopping hard, but don’t fret as we hope to highlight some key factors to consider when making paper towel purchases.
Paper towel math (along with toilet paper math) can be exhausting since every brand has their own spin on what a “regular” roll is, so of course their version is always the best value compared to this elusive arbitrary regular roll. Rather than stressing out how many “mega” rolls equal one “family” roll, the best way to determine the best price is per square inch (or foot). Most brands will provide the dimensions of a single sheet. Find the area of that sheet and multiply by the number of sheets to determine the area of the entire roll. Your result will be in square inches, and if you prefer to look at in square feet, be sure to divide by 144 (not 12 which is a common mistake). Then determine the price per square inch (or foot) and compare prices this way.
Sheet size is an important factor as well, since some brands have varying widths of even what they call their “half-sheet” select-a-size varieties. While larger “half-sheets” may be helpful for some, most will see a single sheet — regardless of width — and will use it just the same as a slightly narrower sheet, meaning that fewer sheets on a roll means you are re-buying them more often. While size is not the only factor to consider, it is important to know how much product you will be getting for your money.
Cheaper towels are often more cheaply made, so you pay for quality. Some brands offer quilted or cloth like options that are more durable when in use, ultimately using fewer towels per job. Keep this in mind when making a decision as the more expensive options may save you money in the long run depending on how tough you are with them.
Look for products that are made with recycled products or that come from responsibly managed farms and forests if you are concerned about how a product may impact the environment. Or, consider using a washable or reusable option instead.