The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (2022)

The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (1)

The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (2)

Written by Kevin Oliver and Georgia Kral

Updated January 12, 2022

Paper towels are one of those household products that pretty much need to be on hand at all times. And when it’s time to clean up a mess around the house, the right high-quality paper towel goes a long way. But with an entire aisle of paper towel brands in every store, which paper towel offers the best cleaning ability for the money?

After researching and testing the best paper towels on the market, our favorite paper towel is the Kirkland Signature Premium Create-a-Size (available at Amazon) because of its ease of use, soft texture, and unparalleled cleaning ability. However, there were many excellent products we found in our testing.

These are the best paper towels we tested ranked, in order:

  1. Kirkland Create-A-Size
  2. Presto! Flex-A-Size
  3. Bounty Select-A-Size
  4. Brawny Pick-A-Size
  5. Bounty Essentials
  6. Viva Signature Cloth Choose-A-Sheet
  7. Seventh Generation
  8. Brawny Flex Tear a Square
  9. Sparkle
  10. Food Lion
  11. Seventh Generation Unbleached

The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (3)

The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (4)

Best Overall

Kirkland Signature Create-A-Size Paper Towels

The Kirkland Paper Towels aced all of our tests. The towel had no problem sopping up tomato sauce on the counter or removing the dust from under my radiator. I was especially impressed with the dust wipe, as the particles clung to the paper towel and didn’t just get moved around on the floor. When I soaked the towel in water and rubbed it rigorously on the carpet, it held together and didn’t tear. Not only are these towels impressively strong, they’re also soft to the touch. A good hard pull is required to rip one of them, and it was reusable after being wet and then dried.

Pros

  • Similar to Bounty

  • Very absorbent

Cons

  • Loses strength in water

Buy now at Amazon

The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (5)

The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (6)

Best Value

Presto Paper Towels

Presto!, which is Amazon’s paper products brand, really impressed us. It was surprising that such a new product could hold its own next to powerhouse leading towel brands like Bounty. It wiped away nearly all of the tomato sauce on the counter and, when it was rubbed across a carpet, it only tore a tiny bit. It’s not the softest towel in the world, but it’s thick and sturdy.

Pros

  • Thick

  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Not the softest

Buy now at Amazon

How We Tested Paper Towels

The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (7)

(Video) Best Paper Towels 2022 (TOP5)

The Testers

I’m Georgia Kral, a journalist and mother of two young kids. As you might imagine, messes are pretty constant in my house! While I tend to use dish towels more than paper towels because of my dedication to creating less waste, there are certain jobs that paper towels are best for, so I always have rolls on hand. We all do. For this reason, I tend to be stingy when I use paper towels, so this testing was especially important to me on a personal level. I want paper towels that won’t fall apart, which would necessitate the use of another towel.

Kevin Oliver was the original tester and writer of this buying guide. He tested and reviewed all sorts of products for sites like Reviewed, BGR, Freshome, and TechRadar.

The Tests

We put each towel through its paces in practical, around-the-house tests that would best reflect the average consumer’s use of the product.

Our first trial was a simple wiping test. We put a teaspoon of tomato sauce on a common kitchen countertop and tried to clean the mess with one swipe of a paper towel. We documented any smudging or smearing, while also taking into account each product’s ease of use.

Next, we swiped each dry towel over a dusty surface to find their cleaning ability without the aid of water or spray.

We also tested the strength of each paper towel in both a dry and wet state. Using just one piece of paper, we attempted to pull it in half while dry and while wet. Next, we rubbed each wet paper towel against the rough surface of a floor rug to test the durability of each towel.

Last but certainly not least, we paid attention to the smaller, subjective details that make certain paper towels more enjoyable to use than others. This includes ease of tearing (because everyone loathes that piece at the bottom after an uneven tear), texture, softness, and overall ease of use.

What You Should Know About Paper Towels

While it may seem like all paper towels are the same, that’s actually not the case. There are a few considerations for the consumer that will help determine what to buy.

Cost

The first factor to consider is the sticker price, which incorporates the actual dollar amount but also the question of reusability. In our testing we wet the towels and then allowed them to dry and then used them again. This helped us determine which towels were strong and absorbent and the most durable.

Thickness & Absorbency

The thickness of each paper towel must also be considered. How sturdy the towel feels in your hand is important, but thickness plays a role in absorbency, which of course is one of the most important criteria when it comes to paper towels. But it’s not always the case that the thickest towel cleans up the biggest mess or stays the strongest when soaked through. In our testing, the thinnest towel was the Viva, but that towel proved to be quite durable when wet.

Other Paper Towels We Tested

The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (8)

The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (9)

Bounty Select-A-Size

The “quicker picker upper” brand—yep, Bounty—is one of the best known paper towel brands and for good reason. In the tomato sauce single-wipe test, Bounty left only a trace amount of sauce left on the counter, just like the Kirkland towel. Where it lost points was in the dust wipe; while some of the dust did cling to the paper towel, an equal amount was left behind.

As a dry paper towel, the Bounty felt very strong and thick. Once we wet the towel, it held its strength and performed very well in the rough carpet rubbing test with just a bit of tearing. On the subjective side, this towel doesn’t necessarily feel like anything special or unique and it isn’t soft to the touch, but each sheet tears easily from the roll.

Buy now at Amazon


The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (10)

Brawny Pick-a-Size

Brawny has a comparable feel to Bounty—which means it would feel right at home in any kitchen for just about every use. The only area Brawny struggled in was how it held together after dunking. Other than that, this product is a good option for most people and you shouldn’t hesitate throwing it in your shopping cart.

Pros

  • Very absorbent

(Video) Top 5 Best Paper Towels Review [2022] | Which One Should You Buy?

Cons

  • Falls apart when soaked

Buy now at Amazon


The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (11)

The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (12)

Bounty Essentials

The Bounty Essentials are thinner and softer than the Select-a-Size towels we tested. However, this translates into a towel that can’t really compete. The towels pulled apart easily during the carpet rubbing test. And, while it wiped up most of the tomato sauce, it pushed around as much dust as it picked up and tore when rubbed across the carpet.

Pros

  • Steady

  • Affordable

Cons

  • Loses strength when submerged

The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (13)

Viva Choose-A-Sheet

The Viva paper towel is thin and soft. There’s no texture woven into this towel, which makes the experience of using it quite different than the others. When holding the towel, it feels thin and closer to a thick piece of toilet paper than a sturdy paper towel. But while it feels nice and soft while using, it didn’t perform well during the wiping test.
The Viva wiped up some but not all of the tomato sauce and it wasn’t able to pick up most of the dust under my radiator. Interestingly, despite the lack of thickness, it didn’t tear at all after being submerged in water and rubbed across a rough carpet.

Pros

  • Soft

  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Disintegrates easily when wet

Buy now at Amazon


The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (14)

365 Everyday Value 100% Recycled

While Whole Foods sells recycled paper towels from Seventh Generation, the company’s store brand option performed much better in our tests. In our wiping tests, these recycled towels held their own against our top pick. After submersion, they also performed well compared to the competition. However, after drying, they left a lot of residue on both the cast-iron and the carpet and tore almost immediately.

For recycled paper, especially when used either dry or in the sink, we couldn’t find a better choice than Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value Recycled Paper Towels.

(Video) ✅Top 5 Best Reusable Paper Towels in 2022

Pros

  • Strong

  • Durable

Cons

  • Leaves residue behind

Buy now at Amazon

The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (15)

Brawny Flex Tear-a-Square

Like Bounty, Brawny is another household brand. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to its reputation. These textured towels are fairly rough to the touch. They also weren't able to wipe up the same amount of sauce or dust as its competitors. As for durability, it’s on the weaker side. After being submerged in water and dragged across a rough carpet, the towel pulled apart fairly easily.

Pros

  • None we could find

Cons

  • Rough

  • Pulls apart

Buy now at Amazon


The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (16)

Sparkle Paper Towels

Sparkle was simply nothing special. Aside from being ho-hum in all of our objective testing, the paper had an irritating feel. It also took some effort to tear a clean piece without leaving a corner at the bottom. Altogether, it’s not awful, but there are so many better options on the market with competitive prices.

Pros

  • Absorbent

Cons

  • Has an irritating feel

  • Takes effort to tear a clean piece

Buy now at Amazon


The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (17)

Food Lion Paper Towels

While our local grocery pick may not fully represent every local grocery’s paper towels, Food Lion’s paper towels simply couldn’t hold up to the competition and didn’t impress in any category. They were rough to the touch and only became weaker when wet. Spring for the Bounty Essentials or any of our other store-specific picks if you’re looking to save money on paper towels.

(Video) ✅ Top 5: Best Paper Towels For The Money 2022 [Tested & Reviewed]

Pros

  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Rough to the touch

  • Falls apart when wet

The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (18)

Seventh Generation Unbleached Paper Towels

For whatever reason, the unbleached version of the Seventh Generation’s 100% recycled paper performed much worse in our test than its bleached counterpart. This product was coarse, weak, and not great at performing basic clean-ups. If you’re looking for a recycled paper towel, the Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value 100% recycled towels was a better and more affordable option.

Pros

  • Made of recycled paper

Cons

  • Coarse feeling

  • Weak

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Meet the testers

The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (19)

Kevin Oliver

Contributor

@kevintheoliver

Kevin Oliver is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.

See all of Kevin Oliver's reviews

The Best Paper Towels of 2022 (20)

Georgia Kral

Contributor

Georgia Kral is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.

See all of Georgia Kral's reviews

Checking our work.

Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.

(Video) Best Paper Towels for 2022 [Top 5 Review] | Make Your Selection

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FAQs

The Best Paper Towels of 2022? ›

Never Let Messes Worry You With the Best Paper Towels
  • 1 Earthly Co. ...
  • 2 Bounty Quick-Size Paper Towel – Runner Up.
  • 3 Brawny Tear-A-Square Paper Towel, Quarter Size Sheet – Honorable Mention.
  • 4 VIVA Signature Cloth Choose-A-Sheet Kitchen Paper Towel – Honorable Mention.
  • 5 Sparkle Paper Towel Pick-a-Size Plus.
Apr 14, 2022

Which paper towel is best? ›

In our lab tests, Brawny paper towels were top performers with good wet strength, total absorbency, and absorbency speed, and although these towels look pricey at first glance, keep in mind the full sheet size is larger than most brands. In our absorbency tests, Viva proved to be #1.

What is the leading brand of paper towels? ›

We found Bounty – Select-A-Size to be a strong runner up. After researching for over 30 hours and performing eight tests, we have determined that Brawny – Pick-A-Size stands out as the leader among best paper towel brands on the market.

What is the softest brand of paper towels? ›

We're big consumers of paper towels (as are most parents). We've found that Viva brand is the softest for grubby cheeks, and the hardiest for cleaning chores.

Which paper towel has the least lint? ›

Bounty Select-a-Size Paper Towels

They absorb liquid quickly and won't fall apart. They are thick, strong when wet, and won't leave lint behind.

Why is Bounty the best paper towel? ›

Because Bounty is The Quicker Picker Upper. It's built like no other paper towel. Each sheet of Bounty is more durable, more absorbent, softer and thicker than anything else. So you can keep on living even when the messes keep on coming.

Are Kirkland paper towels good? ›

"Kirkland paper towels are preferred by all of our staff because they're very absorbent and don't leave streaks when we clean windows and mirrors." There's another plus to using these paper towels. With 160 sheets per roll, they only cost about 1 cent per sheet.

What happened to Brawny paper towels? ›

WILMINGTON, Del (Reuters) - An affiliate of Georgia-Pacific LLC, which makes Brawny paper towels, has filed for U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid soaring costs of defending against claims its products caused asbestos-related diseases, according to a company statement on Thursday.

Are Bounty and Charmin the same company? ›

Procter & Gamble has a number of the most well-known and loved household brands within its portfolio, which spans a range of sectors. Charmin is a leading brand of toilet tissue and Bounty is a leading paper towel brand. The two brands are arguably the most well known in their respective categories.

Which brand of paper towel is the most absorbent science fair? ›

The results of the experiment were that the Sparkle brand paper towels were the most absorbent. It absorbed on average, 50ml of water, when the Bounty brand paper towels absorbed only 44.75ml of water.

Why are Bounty paper towels so expensive? ›

Growing global demand, particularly in China, and tight supply have pushed up prices, said Arnaud Franco, a senior analyst at the Pulp and Paper Products Council.

Is it cheaper to buy paper towels on Amazon? ›

5. Paper Goods. It might seem simpler to order bulky paper items on Amazon and have them delivered to your front door, but you are paying for the convenience. You can save much more on paper staples such as paper towels, paper plates and toilet paper by loading up at your favorite warehouse store.

Who is Bounty owned by? ›

The Procter & Gamble Company, Bounty Paper Towels, Case No. 6403 (Aug. 28, 2020).

What happened to Viva paper towels? ›

Are the original Viva® Towels going away? Viva® Towels aren't going away but you might notice something a little different on the shelves. We're relaunching as Viva® Signature Cloth™! Don't worry, you can still expect an exceptional clean from the towels you know and love.

How much should paper towels cost? ›

Walmart paper towels

A 6-roll pack of double roll, split sheets costs about $8.50 for 324.5 sq ft (about $0.026 per sq ft) here. A 2-roll pack of double roll, big sheets costs about $3.60 for 93.5 sq ft (about $0.038 per sq ft) here.

What makes a good paper towel? ›

To choose best paper towels some physical properties are very important such as strength, scrub strength, absorbency, weight, softer, water filtering capacity and thickness. Among them absorbency property is the most significant.

What type of paper absorbs the most water? ›

We found out that paper towels and toilet paper were the most absorbent- the water soaked into the these types of paper really quickly.

Who makes Bounty paper towels? ›

Procter & Gamble's (NYSE: PG) Bounty(R) brand announces an improved paper towel with twenty-five percent thicker quilts and a more cloth-like durability than before. The paper towel consumers have grown to love and trust to tackle their spills and messes now helps them clean the mess with less than the bargain brands.

What toilet paper is made in the USA? ›

Large paper companies such as Georgia-Pacific and Kimberly-Clark Company make popular brands like Quilted Northern, Angel Soft, Cottonelle and Scott bathroom tissues, and a majority of bathroom tissue is produced right here in America by members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

Who makes Brawny paper towels? ›

Who manufacturers Brawny® Paper Towels? Brawny® paper towels are manufactured by Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP.

Who makes paper towels in the US? ›

Kimberly-Clark is another of the world's largest producers of consumer paper products. In addition to Viva, they also own Kleenex, Huggies Diapers, Pull-Ups, and Kotex. Viva is touted as a 1-ply paper towel that is as thick as a 2-ply.

Which brand of paper towel is the most absorbent science fair? ›

The results of the experiment were that the Sparkle brand paper towels were the most absorbent. It absorbed on average, 50ml of water, when the Bounty brand paper towels absorbed only 44.75ml of water.

What makes a good paper towel? ›

To choose best paper towels some physical properties are very important such as strength, scrub strength, absorbency, weight, softer, water filtering capacity and thickness. Among them absorbency property is the most significant.

What type of paper absorbs the most water? ›

We found out that paper towels and toilet paper were the most absorbent- the water soaked into the these types of paper really quickly.

Are bamboo paper towels better? ›

Offering superior softness — having been compared to some of the most luxurious materials available — bamboo absorbs a lot of water. In fact, it can absorb more than three times its weight in water. Even the biggest messes won't stand a chance against your bamboo paper towels.

What soaks up the most water? ›

The Best Water-Absorbing Plants and Flowers
  • Daylily.
  • Purple Coneflower.
  • Bee balm.
  • Globeflower.
  • Golden club.
  • Japanese iris.
  • Primrose.
May 10, 2021

What makes some paper towels hold more water than others? ›

Water molecules, which like to stay together, follow the one another as they are absorbed by the cellulose and fill the empty spaces. Layering the paper towel creates more spaces for water to fill, which explains why your layered paper towel could hold more water and was more efficient at drying your hands.

What absorbs water quickly? ›

Materials that absorb water include; sponge, napkin, paper towel, face cloth, sock, paper, cotton balls. Materials that don't absorb water include; Styrofoam, zip lock bag, wax paper, aluminum foil, sandwich wrap.

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