Health & BeautyProduct Reviews

Best Paper Towels in 2020 – Reviewed

Paper towels can be found in millions upon millions of kitchens all over the world. They’re an economical and easy way for people to wipe up messes. And because they’re so versatile, they can be used not only in the kitchen but they can be used anywhere a mess needs to be cleaned up. Unfortunately, they’re also a product that most people don’t think too much about. Well, we’re going to change that today by talking about this product and recommending the best paper towels that are currently available for any household to use. Let’s go ahead and find out which rolls of towels are good for the home and which rolls are better left on store shelves.

Quick Summary of Paper Towels

 Best Overall 
Bounty Quick-Size Family Roll Paper Towels  (review)
 Best Value 
Brawny Tear-A-Square Paper Towels  (review)
 Best Family-Size Rolls 
Presto Flex-Size Paper Towels  (review)
 Best Affordable 
Sparkle Modern White Paper Towels  (review)
 Also Consider (Affordable) 
Scott Paper Mega Rolls Paper Towels  (review)
 Best Absorbing 
Viva Signature Cloth Kitchen Towels  (review)
 Best Durability 
Pacific Blue 2-Ply Paper Towels  (review)
 Best Recycled 
Seventh Generation Recycled Paper Towels  (review)

Reviews

Bounty Quick-Size Family Roll Paper Towels

 Best Overall 

Even though these family-size rolls of Bounty aren’t as large as the huge rolls they used to sell, we think that they still provide the consumer with a good amount of paper towels for the money. These towels aren’t just economical, however. They’re also made from wood pulp that’s been responsibly sourced from a managed forest. That means that as trees are cut down for these paper towels, the company replaces them with new trees, so there isn’t deforestation. These paper towels are also made with American workers, so thousands of jobs are supported with every roll sold. What matters about these paper towels, however, is that they are twice as absorbent as other brands. And that makes them the best paper towels around.

PROS:

  • These towels are extremely absorbent.
  • They’re reasonably priced.
  • Made using sustainable practices.
CONS:

  • Not as large as we thought the rolls would be.

Brawny Tear-A-Square Paper Towels

 Best Value 

When we first saw these paper towels from Brawny, we thought that they were unique. They allowed consumers to not only tear off a sheet, but each sheet is perforated so that a half or quarter sheet can be pulled from the whole sheet. We thought at first that it would come in handy cleaning up smaller messes, but the truth of the matter is that it’s a feature that we hardly ever used. It’s a feature that sounds good in theory but is kind of just a gimmick. Having said that, we still think that these paper towels are worth buying. They don’t cost that much and they do a good job of absorbing liquid messes, so we give them a big thumbs up on both of those points.

PROS:

  • They’re a good value for the money.
  • They absorb liquid messes well.
CONS:

  • The four corner perforation is more of a gimmick than anything else.

Presto Flex-Size Paper Towels

 Best Family-Size Rolls 

Although these paper towels might not be as affordable as some other brands, we did think that they were decent enough to place on this list. The rolls were pretty large, so there’s less changing of rolls on a daily or weekly basis, and they’re fairly absorbent. We’re not sure if they’re 75% more absorbent than other 1-ply brands like they claim, but we will say that they do a good job of picking up messes. We also liked the flex-size, which allows the consumer to pull a smaller amount of paper towel for a mess than other leading brands. All of this makes these points make these paper towels pretty good, even if they might not be the very best ones available.

PROS:

  • They absorb messes well.
  • Rolls are pretty big.
CONS:

  • Not as affordable as other brands.

Sparkle Modern White Paper Towels

 Best Affordable 

Sparkle is an inexpensive paper towel that does a decent job of soaking up messes. Unlike other low-cost towels, these don’t just contain 1-ply but are 2-ply thick. That gives them the ability to absorb liquids quicker, although surprisingly it didn’t make them as strong as we thought they would be. We also didn’t think that the rolls were as big as they should be, even though they call their product large rolls. We’re also doubtful about this product’s claim that their 12-rolls of 2-ply paper towels equal as much as 16 regular rolls of towels. However, we still think that they’re a good value, and we think that some households are going to enjoy using them.

PROS:

  • They are inexpensive.
  • They absorb liquids well.
CONS:

  • Rolls are not as big as we would’ve liked.

Scott Paper Mega Rolls Paper Towels

 Also Consider (Affordable) 

Scott is a household name that people recognize, so there’s plenty of people who will buy these paper towels on the virtue of their name alone. And we don’t have a problem with that because these paper towels are a good value that does a good job of cleaning up messes. Each roll is nice and large, and the towels absorb liquids up quickly. And because this product is made from wood pulp sourced from sustainable forests, the consumer can feel good about buying them. The only problem we had whatsoever with these paper towels was that they were kind of hard to tear off a sheet with just one hand. Other than that little problem, however, these rolls were good quality and worked well.

PROS:

  • They’re a decent value.
  • They absorb liquid messes quite well.
CONS:

  • They can be difficult to tear with one hand.

Viva Signature Cloth Kitchen Towels

 Best Absorbing 

In all honesty, until we reviewed this product we weren’t familiar with Viva Paper Towels, so we didn’t know what to expect at first. On initial inspection of these rolls, it seemed quite obvious that they were a bit smaller than anticipated, but we thought that we’d give them a try anyway, and we’re glad we did. Once we began to use these paper towels, however, we learned that they were good quality and did a good job absorbing messes. They were strong yet soft, and each roll provided the user with approximately 58 sheets. Not enough to make these paper towels suitable for our number one position, but good enough to get them on this list.

PROS:

  • They absorb liquids quite well.
CONS:

  • The rolls are pretty small.

Pacific Blue 2-Ply Paper Towels

 Best Durability 

These paper towels from Georgia Pacific are manufactured in the U.S from quality wood pulp, and each roll is fairly affordable. These are 2-ply towels that are strong, durable, and they do a good job of picking up messes as well. The only real complaint that we have about them is that they aren’t as soft as other paper towels. It’s also worth mentioning that the rolls aren’t as big as other brands of paper towels either. However, we still feel that these paper towels are going to work out well in most kitchens, break rooms, or restaurants, which is why we give it an enthusiastic thumbs up.

PROS:

  • These paper towels are of good value.
  • These towels are strong and absorb messes well.
CONS:

  • These paper towels aren’t very soft.
  • The rolls aren’t very large.

Seventh Generation Recycled Paper Towels

 Best Recycled 

While we were reviewing these paper towels, we noticed that they had two big things going for them. They were quite affordable and they were eco-friendly. These paper towels are sourced from 100% recycled paper, so consumers can feel good about their choice of buying them. The main problem with these paper towels, however, is that they’re thin and not very soft. They certainly aren’t the roughest paper towels we’ve ever used, but they aren’t soft at all. They do an alright job of absorbing messes and they’re durable enough to be useful, but they won’t win any awards for how they feel.

PROS:

  • These paper towels are a green product.
CONS:

  • They are thin and they’re kind of rough.

A Guide To Buying & Using Paper Towels

Anyone looking over our top list can see that consumers have plenty of options when it comes to paper towels. Although it might look like one roll is the same as another roll, there can be distinct differences between brands. In other words, some paper towels are really good and others aren’t so good. We want to ensure that anyone reading this guide can choose a roll of paper towels that’s in the former category and not the latter category, which is why we’ve decided to put down some tips that will help our readers choose the best paper towels for their needs. 

Choosing The Best Paper Towels

Let’s begin this guide by talking about some of the things that consumers should consider when they’re purchasing a brand of paper rolls for the first time. As we said earlier, there are some brands that are better than others, so the consumer should pay close attention to the paper towel’s features before buying. Below are some things that consumers should consider.

Think About The Paper Towel’s Size

One of the first things that consumers are going to want to consider is the size of the paper towels. Paper towels come in several different sizes, so consumers should choose the one that’s the right size for their needs. Of course, when it comes to these towels, the size of the roll is only part of the equation. The consumer also should consider the thickness of the paper towels as well—a subject that we’re going to cover next.

Some brands label themselves as Select-A-Size or Pick-A-Size, which is just a marketing term that describes paper towels that are perforated so the consumer can select small size pieces for wiping up smaller messes. This feature can lower the number of paper towels the consumer uses on a daily basis. 

Consider The Thickness Of The Towels

The thickness of the towels is also an important consideration. Most of the higher quality paper towels use 2 plies of paper, which allows them to absorb more liquid quicker. However, 1-ply paper towels tend to be cheaper than 2-ply towels, so the consumer is going to want to weigh the impact the paper towels are going to have on their budget with the effectiveness of them at picking up messes. 

Consider Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers

In the past, considering the post-consumer recycled fibers would mainly be a concern for individuals trying to lead a “green” lifestyle, but we feel that it’s something all consumers should consider. Green paper towels use at least 40% post-consumer recycled fibers in their towels, but some brands use up to 100%. Although “green” paper towels might under perform in key areas as absorbency and softness, they are a better option for the environment. 

Look For Environmentally-Friendly Paper Towels

It’s also a good idea for the consumer to think about buying environmentally friendly paper towels—and we’re not just talking about products with a high post-consumer content of recycled fibers. What we mean are products that don’t rely on deforestation to make their products. Instead, the consumer should choose products that responsibly harvest trees and then replant them after they use them. This is not only better for the environment, but is also fiscally sound policy for the paper towel companies as well, and these savings can then be passed on to the consumer. 

The Dos & Dont’s Of Using Paper Towels

Once the consumer has chosen the right paper towels for their needs, they will then want to use those paper towels responsibly. Although paper towel brands market their products as being useful for any cleaning job in the home, that’s not quite the case. There are some jobs that paper towels excel at and other jobs that they don’t work perform so well. Below, we sort the dos and don’ts that consumers should consider when using paper towels.  

Paper Towel’s Do’s:

  • Do Use Them For Cleaning BBQ Grates.
  • Do Use Them For Oiling Cast Iron Skillets.
  • Do Use Them For Wiping Up Messes.
  • Do Use Them For Drying Washed Produce.
  • Do Use Them To Clean Doorknobs During Flu Season.
  • Do Use Them For Cooking Food In A Microwave.
  • Do Use Them For Absorbing Oil From Fried Foods. 

Paper Towel’s Do Nots:

  • Do Not Use Them To Clean Eyeglasses Or TV Screens.
  • Do Not Use Them To Wash Windows.
  • Do Not Use Them To Dust Furniture.
  • Do Not Flush Them Down The Toilet.
  • Do Not Use Them For Easily Scratched Surfaces. 

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