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How we test tissues

Our rigorous test methods to find the softest, strongest tissues are nothing to sneeze at.

woman using a tissue

Tissues should be strong, absorbent and not tear easily when you're using them. But how do you tell your Kleenex from your Quilton? Your Sorbent from your Symphony? 

Our expert testers

We buy tissues available from major supermarket retailers and send them to a laboratory for testing.

We work out the value of each product by determining how much it costs per 100 tissues. We also take a closer look at the labelling claims, such as recycled and chlorine-free, to find out what they mean.

How we choose which tissues to test

With most of our product testing, we aim to choose the most popular models on the market as well as what you're most likely to see in retail shops. In the case of tissues, our aim is to cover as much of the market as possible. Our buyers purchase all the tissue products they can find in major supermarkets.

How CHOICE tests tissues


We measure how soft the tissue is. This is a subjective assessment conducted by a panel of four people.

Puncture force

We measure the strength of the tissue by testing its resistance to puncturing. In this test a higher force is the most desirable result, meaning your finger is less likely to go through the tissue.

Wet tear strength

We test how much force is required to tear the tissue when it's wet, as it would be after using it to blow your nose multiple times.


We measure how much fluid the tissue can absorb.

Test criteria explained

The CHOICE Expert Rating (or overall score) is made up of:

  • softness (40%)
  • puncture (strength) force (30%)
  • absorption (20%)
  • wet tear strength (10%).
We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.