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The best and worst toilet paper

From the best budget buy to the softest recycled roll, here are the best and the worst from our toilet paper tests.

best and worst toilet paper
Last updated: 02 February 2022

Two ply or three? Double length or triple? Patterned or embossed? Recycled or bamboo? Since when did toilet paper become so complicated?

If you regularly find yourself caught like a deer in headlights in the toilet paper aisle, you're not alone. 

So here's a handy round-up of the best and worst performers in our latest toilet paper review. Plus, we'll settle the debate of whether you should hang your toilet paper over or under – once and for all.

On a roll: the best toilet paper

icare double length tissue 3 ply

icare Double Length: top scorer.

The top-scoring toilet paper

icare Double Length

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 75%
  • Price: 30c/100 sheets. 

There wasn't much between the top seven toilet papers, with all of the products we recommend getting CHOICE Expert Ratings of between 72% and 75%.

But there is a price difference between these products, so if you're on a budget you can comfortably opt for the cheaper option while still getting excellent performance.

The top-performing toilet paper we recommend is a great example of this. Costing just 30c per 100 sheets, it outscored products costing more than twice as much. Plus, it's Australian made and owned, and made from 100% recycled paper – so you don't need to spend extra for a clear environmental conscience!

coles so soft strong double length 3 ply

Coles So Soft & Strong Double Length 3 Ply: best on a budget.

Best budget buy

Coles So Soft & Strong Double Length 3 Ply

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 73%
  • Price: 24c/100 sheets. 

The supermarket ranges fared surprisingly well in our tests, with Woolworths, Coles and Aldi products all scoring over 70%. 

Although Woolworths' Essentials Recycled Toilet Tissue 1 Ply was technically the cheapest product we tested (costing just 12c/100 sheets), it didn't score well on the puncture test, which measures how likely your finger is to go through the toilet paper. So while it might be cheap, it's safe to say that using it could be risky. 

This Coles toilet paper hits the sweet spot between performance and price. You can certainly buy cheaper products, but this one will give you the best bang for your buck. (Or should that be butt?)

icare double length tissue 3 ply

icare Double Length Tissue 3 Ply: softly does it.

Softest recycled toilet paper

icare Double Length Tissue 3 Ply

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 75%
  • Softness score: 90%
  • Price: 30c/100 sheets. 

Yes, you read that right: icare appears twice in this list, first for top score and then for softest recycled toilet paper. 

Recycled toilet paper doesn't traditionally have a great reputation for softness or quality. "Toilet paper that's kind to the planet may not be kind to your behind," says Ashley Iredale, CHOICE's resident toilet paper expert.

But icare well and truly defies the stereotype, scoring 90% for softness – the highest score in our test. In fact, it's even softer than premium toilet papers that tout softness as one of their defining features, not to mention costing twice the price.

A pain in the bum: the worst toilet paper 

sorbent gold king size 3 ply

Sorbent Gold King Size 3 Ply: hardly toilet-paper royalty.

These are the lowest scoring products from our toilet paper test, along with their CHOICE Expert Ratings:

  • Sorbent Gold King Size 3 Ply (47%)
  • Aldi Confidence Hypoallergenic Toilet Tissue 2 Ply (49%)
  • Coles So Soft & Strong Hypoallergenic 3 Ply (50%).

If you have a sensitive sewage system at home, you'll probably want to give these a miss. All three products scored an abominable 0% on our disintegration test. 

The Aldi product scored a scratchy 55% for softness, but it did perform well in terms of separation (how easy it is to tear the toilet paper at the perforation). 

And although Coles' standard So Soft & Strong product was one of the top budget performers, this hypoallergenic version really bombed out – which just goes to show how a small change in formulation can have a big impact. 

To make sure you're picking up the best roll, check our toilet paper reviews before you buy. 

The age-old question: over or under?

We have a conclusive answer to the controversial question of whether to hang your toilet paper over or under the roll. At risk of permanently losing members, we're here to answer it once and for all: over is the correct method.

toilet paper patent-1 illustration

Seth Wheeler took toilet roll very seriously.

Perforated toilet paper was invented in 1871 by US inventor Seth Wheeler (not to be confused with Seth Wheeler the US businessman and former policy adviser to both the Bush and Obama administrations). He subsequently re-patented his invention in roll form in 1891. 

His patent application includes detailed diagrams that clearly show the paper going up and over the roll, not under. 

So placing your toilet paper overhand is using this wonder product precisely as its creator intended.

Don't agree? Tell us why in the comments section below. 

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.