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How we test toilet paper

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

hand pulling toilet paper

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 labelling 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 results that help you buy the best.

Our expert testers

We buy toilet paper available from the major supermarket retailers and send it to an external 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 which toilet paper we test

As with most of our product testing, our aim is to test the most popular brands on the market and what you're most likely to see in stores.

In the case of toilet paper, our aim is to cover as much of the market as possible. Our buyers purchase all the toilet paper products they can find in the major Australian supermarkets like Coles, Woolworths and Aldi, plus a few subscription products.

How does CHOICE test toilet paper?


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 result, 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. We then convert their rank order into a percentage score.

Test criteria explained

The CHOICE Expert Rating, the overall score that determines which products we recommend, is made up of:

  • disintegration time (30%)
  • softness (30%)
  • separation (tear) force (20%)
  • puncture (strength) force (20%).

Weighings are listed in brackets.

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.