With such a wide range of paper towels on the market, it can be disheartening that few can hold water and clean up typical messes around the house. If you are looking for a new brand or product to try, we can help.
We’ve spent hours researching the most absorbent and eco-friendly options available. Whether you use paper towels in the kitchen or bathroom, these seven best paper towels are the most effective you’ll find.
What makes them so unique? More powerful? Well, we ensured to choose only the best by investigating each product’s paper type, ply, and absorbency.
Keep reading to find a new paper towel to test out.
- One roll goes a long way
- Three sheet size
- Strong & durable
- Soft but durable
- Cloth texture
- Sourced sustainably
- 75% more absorbent
- Small sheets for more precise sizing
- Comes in 12 huge rolls
- Made from sustainable materials
- Can be washed up to 100 times
- Heavy-duty towels
- Trap & lock technology
- Flexible sizing
- Comes as large towels
- Includes 2 mesh washing bags
- Made from bamboo
- Organic & biodegradable
- Made without fragrances or dyes
- 100 percent recycled paper
- Super affordable
Review Methodology: At Oh So Spotless, we understand the importance of providing trustworthy and reliable information for our readers. Our experts have conducted a comprehensive analysis to review and compare the best paper towels available in the market. By using a hands-on approach, we evaluate products from a user’s perspective and share quantitative measurements of their performance. We measure and rank paper towels based on key decision-making factors, such as absorbency, strength, softness, and eco-friendliness. Our team analyzes design choices and their effects on user experience to help you make an informed choice. We provide first-hand evidence and insights, so you can trust our recommendations on the top-performing paper towels that set them apart from their competitors.
The Best Paper Towels of 2023
To make this list of the seven best paper towels on the market, we spent hours researching real customer reviews, expert advice, and how each product is designed. This includes the paper type, absorbency, and extra features. We’re confident that we’ve narrowed it down to the top seven.
Are you ready to meet them? Let’s go.
Brawny Tear-A-Square Paper Towels
Best Budget Paper Towels
If you go through paper towels quickly, you probably want something budget-friendly. That way, your wallet can keep up with the many sheets you use.
Well, the Brawny Tear-A-Square paper towels are very affordable. Their cost per sheet is far less than what other competitors offer.
These paper towels are 2-ply premium white paper towels. Each roll comes with 256 quarter sheets, so it should last a long time before you need to switch to a new roll. You can even use the smaller sheet option for smaller tasks, allowing your roll to last longer.
Something To Note
- Budget-friendly; small cost per sheet.
- Three sheet size options.
- Strong, absorbent, and durable 2-ply paper.
- One roll goes a longer way than other brands.
- Too scratchy to be used as napkins.
- The perforations to make a quarter sheet are hard to see and difficult to tear.
|Number of sheets||Up to 256 sheets per roll (quarter sheets)|
|Paper type||2-ply premium paper|
|Other features||You can make full sheets, half sheets, or quarter sheets|
Viva Signature Cloth TaskSize Paper Towels
Softest Paper Towels
Of course, you’ll use paper towels to clean up spills, dust, and counters. But you’ll also likely use them as napkins, to wipe your little one’s face, or to dry your hands after washing dishes. Check out the Viva Signature Cloth TaskSize paper towels for something nice and soft.
These are called “Signature Cloth” because they have a super soft cloth-like texture. Not only is this gentle on sensitive skin, but it’s more durable and practical for cleaning up messes.
The cloth texture is tough on messes and super durable. In fact, you can rinse, wring and reuse these a second time. We think they’re slightly more eco-conscious than other standard paper-type towels.
- Double the durability of leading brands.
- Soft, even on sensitive skin and faces.
- Great for deep cleaning and scrubbing.
- Sourced from responsibly managed forests.
- You can wring it out and reuse.
- They are hard to tear off the roll; may require two hands.
|Number of sheets||1716|
|Absorbency||Two absorbent layers|
|Paper type||Responsibly sourced paper that can be reused one more time|
|Other features||They can be rinsed and reused, soft on skin|
Presto! Flex-a-Size Paper Towels
Best Flexible Sizing
Are you looking for something with flexible sizing? The Presto! Flex-a-Size paper towels are right up your street.
The sheets are six inches wide compared to the standard 10.4 inches. This allows you to be more precise with exactly how much you want to use at a time. Overall, this will make the roll last much longer since you’re not wasting paper towels.
Besides that, the sheets are 75 percent more absorbent than other leading brands. So you can be confident that these towels will absorb all kinds of heavy messes.
This particular pack comes with 12 huge rolls, which is a total of 1,896 sheets. So you won’t need to go to the store for more for a long time!
- 75 percent more absorbent than other brands.
- Smaller sheets so you can use the precise amount.
- The whole roll lasts three times longer than standard sizing.
- Designed for tough messes.
- They are pretty expensive.
- Some customers found the sheets to be a little thin.
|Number of sheets||1896|
|Absorbency||75 percent more absorbent than the leading 1-ply brand|
|Paper type||2-ply made with pulp from sustainably managed forest|
|Other features||Smaller sheet sizes for flexible use|
EcoLifestyle Bamboo Reusable Paper Towels
Best Eco-Friendly Paper Towels
Go green with the EcoLifestyle bamboo reusable paper towels. If you’re not a fan of using a paper towel once and tossing it in the trash, these are for you.
Firstly, they are made from 100 percent organic bamboo, which is already good for the environment. But also, one roll lasts for six months. Yes, six whole months!
How does this work? Well, you can rewash the 40 sheets in cold water — by hand — up to 100 times! Not only does this cut down on paper waste, but it also saves you money over time.
We also love that these are multi-purpose paper towels you can use wet or dry. They’re designed to work well with spills, dusting, or cleaning various surfaces. This includes electronics, windows, and your floors. Lastly, you can also use them as napkins.
- Made from sustainable materials.
- Can be washed up to 100 times.
- They are heavy-duty and absorbent.
- They have versatile uses.
- They may leave lint behind.
- Because they can’t be washed in hot water, they are difficult to disinfect.
|Number of sheets||40|
|Paper type||Reusable organic bamboo|
|Other features||Can be rewashed up to 100 times|
Bounty Select-a-Size Absorbent Paper Towels
No one wants to use paper towels that don’t actually absorb well. When cleaning up your spilled wine, or a glass of your child’s milk, you want to eliminate the mess as quickly as possible. That’s why you need super absorbent sheets like those from Bounty.
These paper towels are twice as absorbent as other leading brands. So now a small sheet acts like a big sheet, meaning you can use less paper waste but clean up more mess.
These sheets use a unique trap and lock technology to absorb and lock the messes. This way, you don’t spread them around your surface.
- Extra absorbent with trap and lock technology.
- Flexible sizing, so you can rip off exactly how much you want to use.
- It lasts 50 percent longer than standard paper towels.
- Works for cleaning dishes.
- Overpriced, around 3x more than other brands on our list.
|Number of sheets||262|
|Absorbency||2x more absorbent than other leading brands|
|Paper type||2-ply with trap and lock technology|
|Other features||Flexible sizing|
Electy Reusable Bamboo Paper Towels
Best Reusable Paper Towels
Electy makes it super easy to use their reusable bamboo paper towels. They come with a handy mesh bag so you can put them all together in the wash, and they won’t get lost, stretched out, or tangled up in other items.
The paper towels themselves are sustainably made from bamboo — a renewable source. They are organic, eco-friendly, and biodegradable. So even after the 70 washes they can handle, you can rest assured knowing they will break down organically once you discard them.
One roll from Electy can last up to six months, saving you trips to the store and money over time.
We also love that they are soft and gentle. So, if you’re using them as napkins, they will be kind to even the most sensitive skin.
- Strong and durable bamboo material.
- They are versatile; you can use them in any room of the house.
- Two mesh washing bags are included.
- You can reuse them up to 70 times, around six months.
- They biodegrade after 70 uses.
- Soft enough to use as a baby wipe.
- They’re not as absorbent as other brands.
- They may leave behind dust or lint.
|Number of sheets||20|
|Absorbency||Not as absorbent as other brands|
|Paper type||Organic bamboo that can be reused|
|Other features||They can be washed 70 times, comes with mesh washing bag|
365 Whole Food Market Recycled Paper Towels
Best Recycled Paper Towels
If you don’t want the hassle of reusing reusable paper towels but still want to be eco-conscious, we recommend using recyclable paper towels. Particularly, we recommend the 365 Whole Food Market option.
These paper towels are made from 100 percent recycled paper, 80 percent from post-consumer recycled paper. Overall, this saves trees since it uses pre-existing materials rather than new materials.
Another eco-friendly aspect of these towels is that they are whitened without chlorine. Instead, they use a safe, environmentally progressive whitening process. This cuts down on harsh chemicals in your home.
- Made without fragrances or dyes.
- 100 percent recycled paper.
- 2-ply paper.
- Super affordable pricing.
- They’re not very absorbent.
- They’re not soft.
|Number of sheets||405|
|Absorbency||Not very absorbent|
|Paper type||100 percent recycled 2-ply paper|
|Other features||Made without fragrances or dyes|
|Product||Best||No. of sheets||Absorbency||Ply Rating||Eco-friendly|
|Brawny Tear-A-Square Paper Towels||Budget Paper Towels||256||High||2-Ply||No|
|Viva Signature Cloth Paper Towels||Softest Paper Towels||1716||High||1-Ply||Yes|
|Presto! Flex-a-Size Paper Towels||Flexible Sizing||1896||High||2-Ply||Yes|
|EcoLifestyle Bamboo Paper Towels||Eco-Friendly Paper Towels||40||High||N/A||Yes|
|Bounty Select-a-Size Paper Towels||Absorbent||262||High||2-Ply||No|
|Electy Reusable Bamboo Paper Towels||Reusable Paper Towels||20||Low||N/A||Yes|
|365 Whole Food Market Paper Towels||Recycled Paper Towels||405||Low||2-Ply||Yes|
How To Choose the Best Paper Towels
You may be used to going to the store and grabbing the same old paper towels every time. But what if you want the most from your paper towels? We’ll show you the exact criteria to consider before buying to ensure you get the paper towels of your dreams.
What Is a Good Alternative to Paper Towels?
Despite some of our recommendations being eco-friendly, you may still be looking for an alternative to paper towels. In our home, we actually never use paper towels, even though we understand the benefits. We’ll share a few amazing alternatives to paper towels for different scenarios.
- Cleaning surfaces: We recommend microfiber cloths for cleaning all your surfaces. You can use these with a cleaning spray or just water, depending on the mess at hand, and they will clean your mess right up. They are soft and gentle on surfaces and can be rewashed hundreds if not thousands, of times before they wear down.
- Drying dishes: Why not invest in a good dish towel for drying dishes? These are essential staples in our house. They do a much better job at drying dishes than paper towels.
- Drying your hands: This is another excellent place to use dish towels. They absorb very quickly and are nice and gentle on your hands.
- Napkins: While using paper towels as napkins is convenient, you may be looking for an alternative. We recommend cotton napkins which you can wash and reuse many times.
- Wrapping up food: Giving a neighbor some cookies? You may reach for paper towels, but why not try reusable beeswax wrap? They can return it to you, you can wash it, and reuse it again!
- Draining fried foods: You may be used to draining or patting down fried foods, or other ingredients, with a paper towel. Instead, put a wire baking rack over a baking sheet and let the food naturally drain itself. This prevents the food from going soggy or bits of the paper towel from sticking to the food.