How we test toilet paper

Here we'll tell you how we put toilet paper to the test in the lab.

The dirty details

Toilet paper should be a simple product, but there are so many options to consider when you're staring down the shelves in the supermarket aisle. You need to decide what ply you want, if you want a scented roll or 'quilted', and then work your way around all the labeling claims on the pack. 

Ultimately, we all want our toilet paper to be soft and strong, tear easily at the perforation and disintegrate quickly once we've flushed it down the toilet. 

Here we'll tell you what goes on behind the scenes when we test toilet paper, to get the best results that help you choose what to buy. 

Our expert testers

We bought toilet paper available from the major supermarket retailers, and sent them to a laboratory for testing. In-house, we work out the value for money of each product by determining how much it costs per 100 sheets. We also take a closer look at the labelling claims to find out what they all mean.

How we choose what we test

With most of our product testing, our aim is to test the most popular models on the market and what you're most likely to see in the retailers. In the case of toilet paper, our aim was to cover as much of the market as possible. Our buyers purchased all the toilet paper products they could find in the major supermarket retailers, plus a few subscription products.

How we test


We measure the ease of separating the toilet tissue at the perforation. The easier it is for the toilet paper to tear, the better.


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

Disintegration time

We time how quickly the toilet paper disintegrates. The faster the better – you want your toilet paper to break up quickly as it moves through sewage, making it less likely to block pipes. The quickest product takes just over a minute to disintegrate while some products took just over 16 minutes to disintegrate.


In this test we measure how soft the toilet paper is. This is a subjective assessment conducted by a panel of five people.

Test criteria explained

The overall score is made up of:

  • Disintegration time (30%)
  • Softness (30%)
  • Separation (tear) force (20%)
  • Puncture (strength) force (20%)

Ready to buy?

Check out our toilet paper reviews to see which brands came out on top.

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