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Toilet paper buying guide

Get the most bang for your buck when buying this household essential.

Toilet paper is a must-have household product, but its cost can quickly add up — especially if you have a large family. We help you compare a few of the leading brands to find the best roll.

Compare some of the best toilet papers

NameAvg. price
Number of rollsSheets per rollPlyPurchase
Charmin Ultra Soft$9.99362842Buy now
Quilted Northern Ultra Plush$9.99363283Buy now
Cottonelle Ultra CleanCare$16.49183401Buy now
Scott Comfort Plus Toilet Paper$13.99724621Buy now
Soft & Strong$9.19124842Buy now
Data obtained April 2019. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Types of toilet paper

There are three main types of toilet paper to choose from:

  • Virgin. Virgin toilet paper does not use recycled paper and is made from trees. The term comes from the virgin fibers in newly cut trees. The trees are chipped, pulped, bleached and then turned into toilet paper rolls. Many people elect to use virgin toilet paper, as they are often cheaper, softer and more readily available.
  • Recycled. Recycled toilet paper is better for the environment, as the manufacturing process has a smaller environmental footprint. Recycled toilet paper is made from used office paper or newspaper, not from used virgin toilet paper. Old papers are collected and mixed with warm water to form a pulp. Processes are applied to the pulp to remove ink, bleach the paper, dry it out and turn it into rolls.
  • Bamboo. Bamboo toilet paper is made from a similar process to virgin toilet paper, but using bamboo stalks instead of trees. Bamboo is a grass that regrows after it is cut and therefore does not need to be replanted. This is considered to be a more sustainable option than virgin toilet paper.

What’s the environmental impact of toilet paper?

Any single-use paper, including toilet paper, has an environmental impact. Toilet paper production often involves deforestation and chemical bleaching. Fortunately, developers and manufacturers are now producing recycled toilet paper that can compete with virgin products in the areas of comfort and strength, such as bamboo toilet paper. Growing bamboo can also have positive impacts on oxygen emissions, degraded land and erosion control. However, bamboo toilet paper typically costs more than other options.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification

The FSC is an international non-profit organization that has created a certification process for forest products that champion sustainability. Look for the tree-tick logo on your toilet paper that indicates it is made using trees from an FSC-certified forest.

Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)

PEFC is an international organization that promotes sustainable forestry practices. It aims to ensure that timber and paper goods are produced in line with ecological, social and ethical standards. It has two classifications – PEFC Certified, which means that 70% of a product has come from PEFC-certified forests, and PEFC Recycled, which means that 70% of a product has come from recycled sources.

How to compare toilet paper

When choosing toilet paper, consider these factors to find the right roll for you:

  • Roll and package size. How many sheets are in each roll? How many rolls are in the pack? The bigger the roll, the less often you’ll be rushing out to buy more toilet paper. You can often order toilet paper in bulk online, which can reduce cost.
  • Ply count. Ply count refers to how many layers of paper there are per piece. Three-ply means that there are three sheets. The more sheets, the tougher and softer the toilet paper, but also generally the more expensive.
  • Plumbing. If you’re having a problem with toilet blockages, it may be your toilet paper. While thicker toilet paper may be more comfortable, it’s worse for your toilet. The quicker toilet paper dissolves, the gentler it is on your plumbing.
  • Sensitive skin. Some people have very sensitive skin, which can be irritated by rough toilet paper or by products used by certain manufacturers. There are hypoallergenic options available on the market, designed with sensitive skin in mind.

Bottom line

There is a wide range of toilet papers available – from pricier, more environmentally friendly options to single-ply budget options. Take some time to compare a few leading brands and types to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

How did we choose these products?

We compared leading toilet paper brands, considering features like price, roll size, sheets per roll and environmental impact.

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