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The best toilet paper

Insider Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective. Learn more. High-quality toilet paper is gentle on your sensitive regions, easy on your plumbing, and it cleans up messes without leaving anything behind.Charmin Ultra Strong Toilet Paper is our…

The best toilet paper

Insider Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective. Learn more.

  • High-quality toilet paper is gentle on your sensitive regions, easy on your plumbing, and it cleans up messes without leaving anything behind.
  • Charmin Ultra Strong Toilet Paper is our top pick because it’s easy to tear from the roll, stays strong when wet and dry, and it’s incredibly soft.

Everyone seems to have a toilet paper brand that they remain loyal to. After all, if you’re going to apply the TP “where the sun don’t shine,” you want it to treat you right. This guide is for the lost or disillusioned. It’s for those of you who haven’t found the right toilet paper yet or have given up on your go-to brand, whether it changed, you changed, or you can no longer find it easily. Below, we will help you find the tissue that is right for your comfort, budget, and shopping preferences.

How to compare toilet paper prices

There is no standardization of toilet paper square or roll sizes, so words like “mega roll” or “double roll” don’t mean much. Instead, if you want to compare prices, look at the cost per square foot and the number of “ply,” or layers of thickness. This scary-looking yet simple equation should do the trick: 

(Price in dollars x 14400) ÷ (width of each sheet in inches x length of each sheet in inches x number of sheets on a roll x number of rolls) = cost in cents per square foot

And, when looking at costs, you should keep in mind that you will use fewer sheets of three-ply toilet paper on your bathroom trip than you’ll need of one-ply because of the superior cleaning and absorbing abilities.

Less toilet paper is better

All toilet paper is paper. In order to make paper, you need trees. Although there are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives on the market, for the sake of forests and our environment, the less toilet paper you use, the better.

One way to use less toilet paper is to install a bidet. We have a helpful guide on the best bidets, but basically, you can get a decent bidet on Amazon for less than $100 and install it yourself in about half an hour. You’ll still need TP to spot check the bidet’s work and to dry off, but you will use much less.

A note about buying toilet paper online

As we were doing our research, we found that there were a lot of buyer complaints about the rolls they ordered not being the same size as what they were used to. For this reason, when buying online, pay special attention to the sizes of the sheets, how many sheets are on a roll, and how many rolls you are getting.

If you do find a TP you like on Amazon, we recommend trying the “Subscribe & Save” service. This allows you to save up to 15% off the regular price. Plus, you don’t have to remember to reorder TP. It automatically comes to your home at regular intervals.

We examined hundreds of expert and buyer reviews and ratings of many toilet paper brands and styles. The ones we chose to include in our guide have the ability to clean you up down there, are septic and sewer system safe, and have an adequate level of softness.

Here is the best toilet paper you can buy: 

Updated on 10/24/2019 by Caitlin Petreycik: Updated prices, links, and formatting. 

The best toilet paper overall

best toilet paper


Charmin


Soft, strong, easy to tear, and ultra-absorbent, Charmin Ultra Strong Toilet Paper has built a faithful following with its consistent quality.

You might recognize Charmin Ultra Strong Toilet Paper from the series of commercials featuring bears with comfortable butts. As the name suggests, Ultra Strong is positioned as Charmin’s strongest two-ply toilet paper. Charmin advertises it as having washcloth-like cleaning abilities with four times the strength of “the leading bargain brand” when wet.

A durable and absorbent toilet paper is useful when your digestive system is having an off day and trips to the bathroom are frequent. If you are concerned about a hardy TP wreaking havoc on your plumbing, you may take comfort in knowing that Roto-Rooter has approved Ultra Strong as septic- and clog-safe.

The testers at the Good Housekeeping Institute rated Charmin Ultra Strong as the softest toilet paper. And, when wet or dry, it stayed strong. However, they did note that since it took a while to dissolve in their tests, it may not be the best TP for finicky plumbing. Wirecutter had similar findings in their tests and added that the tissue ripped cleanly from the roll and was one of the softest rolls they tested.

More than 1,100 Amazon buyers have posted five-star ratings of Charmin Ultra Strong. One lifelong Charmin buyer registered his frustration with the sheet size decreasing from 4.5″ by 4.5″ to 3.92″ by 4″. This led the reviewer to try several other options, but they ended up coming back to Ultra Strong because of the quality and value.

Another reviewer remarked that this is the only toilet paper they use because a roll lasts a long time since they only need a fraction of what they would use with other options. They also have not had any clogging issues with Ultra Strong.

Pros: Soft, strong when wet and dry, rips cleanly from the roll

Cons: Slow to dissolve


Buy on Amazon for $29.39

The best toilet paper for the environment

best toilet paper


Seventh Generation


If you are looking for an affordable toilet paper that gets the job done and is excellent for our planet, Seventh Generation Unbleached Toilet Paper is your best option.

Seventh Generation generally does an excellent job of producing eco-friendly household items that won’t break the bank, and the company’s Unbleached Toilet Paper is no exception.

This two-ply, minimum 80% post-consumer recycled fiber toilet paper is free from fragrances, inks, and dyes so it works well for sensitive skin. Plus, it’s safe for sewer systems, septic systems, and low-flow toilets, like those found in campers and RVs.

Happy Simple Living‘s reviewer recommended Seventh Generation because of the “dingleberry-resistance” and comfort. And, the reviewer at My Plastic-Free Life commented that this roll has the highest percentage of post-consumer content that they could find, but they would have liked it if it were softer.

About 77% of the buyers who reviewed Seventh Generation Unbleached Toilet Paper on Amazon gave it four or five stars. The most helpful reviewer, C.J. Hulbert, had a chronic vaginal issue that was improved by using this chlorine-free, unbleached product.

Other reviewers with skin issues echoed this sentiment. One buyer liked that it was free of formaldehyde, which is commonly used to make other toilet papers thicker.

Pros: Good for the environment, doesn’t leave behind lint, unbleached

Cons: Not as soft as other options


Buy on Amazon for $48.80

The best toilet paper on a budget

best toilet paper scott


Scott


Scott 1000 Sheets Per Roll Toilet Paper is ideal for people who want to save money, care about the environment, and hate being left with lint.

Scott 1000 Sheets Per Roll Toilet Paper is what we use in our house. However, we are a house divided when it comes to toilet paper. I am for the economical, lint-free Scott 1000, while the rest of my family accuses me of “hating butts” due to its somewhat abrasive design. Consequently, the rest of the family has their separate TP, which is usually Scott Extra Soft. Compared to two-ply and three-ply varieties, I definitely have to use more sheets of Scott to get a good wad.

Despite its one-ply stature and quick-to-dissolve design, this TP stays strong, and left-behind lint is a rarity. Another benefit of this product is that it’s one of the few toilet papers certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This means Scott uses sustainable practices in their manufacturing process. So, it’s better for our planet.

Good Housekeeping’s testers considered Scott 1000 to be among the rougher toilet papers they tested, but they also noted that the sheets are thicker than some two-plies. Plus, Scott 1000 dissolved quickly and easily while maintaining strength while wet. Your Best Digs recommends Scott 1000 for people with RVs and sensitive septic tanks who are not looking for luxury since the reviewer found it broke down quickly but is still rough on the skin.

Over 1,200 buyers have posted positive reviews of Scott 1000 Sheets Per Roll Toilet Paper on Amazon. The most helpful review is from a buyer who purchased the compressed rolls. These are like the normal Scott rolls only they are squished so that the interior is flattened. The buyer can then squeeze the roll to make it round again. It’s meant for people who need to save space in small quarters.

However, the reviewer noted that this made the rolls very wobbly on the roller. Despite this, they still gave Scott 1000 four stars because it didn’t leave butt lint, didn’t clog, was long-lasting, and the price is right.

Pros: Affordable, eco-friendly, dissolves easily, minimal lint

Cons: Somewhat abrasive


Buy on Amazon for $19.98

The best toilet paper for sensitive skin

cottonelleultragentle2


Amazon


If most toilet papers leave a burning sensation in your rear after a thorough cleaning, consider treating yourself with Cottonelle Ultra GentleCare Toilet Paper, which contains aloe and vitamin E.

Cottonelle Ultra GentleCare Toilet Paper has a unique wavy rippled texture, which is supposed to clean better while remaining comfortable, strong, and soft. This TP incorporates aloe and vitamin E, and the topical application of aloe has been shown to help wounds heal faster. But, there is less empirical research into the skin benefits of applying Vitamin E topically.

Approximately 66% of the people who rated Cottonelle Ultra GentleCare on Amazon gave it four or five stars. Buyers appreciate how soft it is, as well as the fact that it doesn’t leave lint behind. Plus, it doesn’t cause an “uncomfortable feeling” down there.

The biggest complaints are about tearing, and some buyers feel that the “mega rolls” don’t exactly live up to their name. A number of one-star reviews can also be attributed to a pretty major price hike on Amazon, which took place a few years back. People who were ordering this TP through the site’s Subscribe & Save program were understandably miffed by this since they were automatically charged the higher rate.

We recommend always reviewing your subscriptions each month to look for price increases since this is a common problem for an array of items.

Pros: Soft, keeps your behind from burning, minimal lint

Cons: Expensive, some feel the rolls are too small


Buy on Amazon for $19.84

The best three-ply toilet paper

best toilet paper quilted


Quilted Northern


Quilted Northern Ultra Plush Supreme Toilet Paper is the ideal tissue when softness is your top concern.

Quilted Northern Ultra Plush Supreme Toilet Paper is the only three-ply TP on our list. Why is three-ply tissue better than other options? All other variables equal, the more layers there are, the more absorbent and softer the toilet paper will be.

However, the added thickness comes at a cost: Quilted Northern is one of the more expensive options on our list. On the plus side, this toilet paper is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

In Good Housekeeping‘s testing of dozens of brands, the reviewers found that Quilted Northern was among the softest and thickest. It absorbed water well and remained strong while doing so. The only drawback was that it did not dissolve easily, which could be a problem for weak plumbing.

The Wirecutter‘s reviewer described the Ultra Plush Supreme as “pillowy soft.” However, of the toilet paper they tested, Quilted Northern fell in the middle for cleaning power and strength. Also, they noted it produced a lot of lint.

More than 6,300 people have left positive reviews of Quilted Northern Ultra Plush Supreme Toilet Paper on Amazon. The positive comments all seem to be along the lines of this TP providing a good balance of comfort and strength without causing undue strain on the plumbing.

Reviews from about five years ago complain about the rolls being too small, and several buyers mentioned that the “double rolls” were no bigger than standard. But, a more recent review noted that the rolls were now too large to fit the buyer’s holder without the use of an extender. Quilted Northern now guarantees that their rolls will fit your holder. If the rolls don’t fit, the company will send you a free extender.

Pros: Incredibly soft, three-ply, thick

Cons: Produces a lot of lint, not the best for weak plumbing


Buy on Amazon for $27.99

Check out our other great guides to bathroom products

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at insiderpicks@businessinsider.com.

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