Nothing’s worse than cheap toilet paper that feels rough and falls apart when you use it, but the last thing you want to do is throw money down the toilet (literally!) by splurging on pricey rolls. On top of that, you want to make sure to get toilet paper that dissolves easily in your toilet so it doesn’t clog your pipes and cause a septic nightmare.
How to find the best toilet paper
• Ply: The number of plies in toilet paper is the number of layers per sheet. 2-ply toilet paper (i.e. two layers) is the most common, but you’ll also find 1-ply, which dissolves faster, and 3-ply, which feels more luxurious.
• Price: You don’t have to spend a fortune to get high-quality toilet paper. In fact, our top performer was also one of the cheapest per sheet! Keep in mind: it pays off to buy in bulk. The more sheets per roll and the more rolls per package, the less you’ll spend overall.
• Septic safe: If you’re wondering what’s the best toilet paper to use in a septic system, consider this: Even though ultra-plush toilet paper was labeled as “septic safe,” some never dissolved in our tests after spinning at a high speed for over five minutes. Yikes. If you’re worried about clogs, it’s best to avoid the super soft and thick options.
• “Green” features: Eco toilet paper is either made from recycled paper (which is the most sustainable option) or bamboo. These types of toilet paper didn’t perform as well as most premium brands; however, you can still buy green toilet paper without having to settle for poor quality. If you do opt for traditional tree-pulp toilet paper, you can check whether it’s made using sustainably-harvested sources.
• Brand: When it comes to toilet paper, there’s no need to shy away from the private label or store brands. In fact, some of them outperformed the popular name brands.
Read on to learn more about our top picks, how we tested, and what to consider before buying your next roll of toilet paper.
Ultra-Soft Premium Bath Tissue (36 Rolls) – BERKLEY JENSEN
Not only is BJ’s toilet paper one of the best values in our tests, it also earned the top spot thanks to the fact that it was thick, absorbent and it dissolved within seconds in our test. The 2-ply construction was also free of defects in the rolls and it was rated soft by both our testers and our softness-testing machine.
The downside is it wasn’t as strong as other brands when it was wet, but that’s expected for bath tissue that dissolves quickly: it’s a fair trade-off. Even though it’s a club brand, you can buy it online without being a BJ’s member.
Ultra Soft Toilet Paper (12 Rolls) – CHARMIN
Lots of toilet paper brands claim to be super plush, but nothing comes close to the softness of Charmin. Consumer testers and lab equipment both ranked it the softest in a blind comparison. The 2-ply construction was also strong overall and stood out in particular for having the highest strength when wet (i.e you don’t have to worry about it crumbling during use).
Unfortunately, there’s a reason many people wonder if Charmin is bad for septic tanks: its high strength means it doesn’t break down easily with water. But it’s still a great pick if you don’t have plumbing issues. Plus, when you buy this one in bulk, the price per sheet is similar to more affordable brands.
Pro Small-Core High-Capacity 2-Ply Bathroom Tissue – SCOTT
According to the brand, this new Elevated Scott Design was “preferred 4 to 1” based upon a 2019 KCP Brand Differentiation Study. It also apparently boosts cleanliness with its “touchless technology” and bacteria-reducing benefits. The Slimroll design dispenses three times more tissue per unit than folded towels and is highly absorbent so you use less each time. This pack comes with 36 rolls to last you a long time.
Ultra Soft Toilet Paper – GREAT VALUE
This Walmart brand was a runner up and gives you good bang for you buck. The sheets were abit stronger than BJ’s when wet and felt soft, dissolved quickly, and were pretty absorbent. Thanks to Walmart’s store pickup option, you can buy these ahead of time online then pick them up in your local store instead of waiting for them to be shipped. You can also check store availability to see if your local Walmart has it in stock.
Ultra ComfortCare Toilet Paper – COTTONELLE
If you’re looking for the strongest toilet paper, Cottonelle was the best when we combined the wet and dry strength scores. It also had a perfect score in our visual analysis: there was no pilling (so it doesn’t leave pieces behind!) and the layers didn’t separate, which are two common TP issues. It has a 2-ply construction with a rippled texture to help clean, and it was one of the most absorbent in our test. It was still pretty soft despite not being super plush, and though it was slow to dissolve, it was quicker than the plushest options.