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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: 21 August 2020

Two ply or three? Double length or triple? Patterned or embossed? Recycled or virgin? 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

sorbent gold 3 ply skin comfort with vitamin e 4 rolls

The top-scoring toilet paper

Sorbent Gold 3 Ply Skin Comfort with Vitamin E

  • CHOICE score: 80%
  • Price: 49c/100 sheets 

There wasn't much between the top five toilet papers, with all of the products we recommend scoring between 77 and 80%.

However, 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.

Our expert testers scored this Sorbent product 90% for softness – the highest score given for this test. It was also rated as very good for disintegration, so it won't clog your pipes. 

woolworths essentials white toilet tissue 2 ply 12 rolls

Best budget buy

Woolworths Essentials White Toilet Tissue 2 ply

  • CHOICE score: 76%
  • Price: 12c/100 sheets 

The supermarket basic ranges fared surprisingly well in our tests, with Woolworths' Essentials 2 ply product coming in two percentage points ahead of Coles' 2 ply basic offering (which also costs just 12 cents per 100 sheets). 

Both of these budget buys actually beat Aldi's similarly-priced Confidence Hypoallergenic product – although Aldi's 2 ply did score higher for softness than the Coles and Woolworths basics. If you're buying just based on softness, the Aldi rolls come out ahead but cost the same price per 100 sheets, but they only scored 64% overall.

who gives a crap 100 recycled double length 24 rolls

Softest recycled toilet paper

Who Gives A Crap 100% Recycled Double Length rolls

  • CHOICE score: 76%
  • Softness score: 80%
  • Price: 31c/100 sheets 

Recycled toilet paper doesn't traditionally have a great reputation for softness or quality, unfortunately. "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 our expert testers found that Who Gives A Crap's recycled rolls were one of the softest of all the recycled products we tested, and also received an excellent disintegration score.

Plus, it's packaged in paper, not plastic – bonus! However, it is made in China so does have more 'toilet paper miles' (like food miles but for loo paper) than locally manufactured products. 

A pain in the bum: the worst toilet paper 

coles 100 recycled toilet tissue 2 ply 12 rolls

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

  • Coles 100% Recycled Toilet Tissue 2 Ply (44%)
  • Kleenex Double Length (50%)
  • Kleenex Complete Clean (50%)

If you have a sensitive sewage system at home, you'll probably want to give these a miss. The two Kleenex products scored an abominable 0% on our disintegration test, while the Coles product only just came out ahead with 3%. 

The Coles product scored a scratchy 55% for softness, and none of them fared well in the puncture test – which is less than ideal! Toilet paper that punctures easily can let you down mid-wipe, and having your finger burst through the paper pretty much defeats the purpose of using toilet paper altogether. 

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

Perforated toilet paper was invented in 1871 by Seth Wheeler. 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