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The best and worst toilet paper

From the best budget buy to the softest recycled roll, here's the bottom line from our toilet paper tests.

packs of the three best and three worst toilet paper rolls
Last updated: 28 March 2023

Two ply or three? Double length or triple? Patterned or embossed? Recycled or bamboo? Since when did toilet paper become so complicated?

Plus, if you buy toilet paper that's rough, tears at the worst moment, or clogs up your pipes, you're basically flushing money down the toilet. 

So here's a handy round-up of the best and worst performers in our latest toilet paper review to help you get the best dunny roll for your dollar.  

We'll also 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

quilton toilet tissue gold 4 ply softness

Quilton Gold 4 ply: top scorer.

The top scoring toilet papers

Quilton Toilet Tissue Gold 4 ply Softness

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 85%
  • Price: 61 cents/100 sheets

Quilton Toilet Tissue King Size 25% Larger Sheets in Gold

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 85%
  • Price: 63 cents/100 sheets

Two Quilton products topped our tests: Quilton Gold and Quilton King Size 25% Larger Sheets in Gold. They both scored an excellent 90% for softness. 

But you'll pay extra for the gold-star treatment. These two products were among the most expensive we tested, costing 61 and 63 cents respectively per 100 sheets. 

Quilton products dominated the leaderboard, taking out the three top spots

It's not clear what the extra 25% in toilet paper sheet size is for: extra-large backsides, or for wiping extra-large messes. Regardless, if you want to buy toilet paper fit for a king, it'll cost you more – 2 cents per 100 sheets extra, to be exact. 

Quilton products dominated the leaderboard, taking out the three top spots – almost a royal flush! 

But they're not the only products that performed well: check our review to find the best toilet paper for you.

confidence 3 ply extra soft toilet tissue

Aldi Confidence 3 ply: best on a budget.

Best budget buy

Aldi Confidence 3 ply Extra Soft Toilet Tissue

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 82%
  • Price: $0.22/100 sheets

Although Vevelle White Toilet Tissue 2 ply was technically the cheapest product we tested (costing just 14c/100 sheets), it didn't score well on the puncture test, which measures how likely your finger is to go through the toilet paper.

It was a similar story with Coles' So Soft & Strong 3 ply Embossed White. It costs the same as the Aldi product and scored 83% overall, but just 58% on the puncture test, so isn't recommended by our experts.

So while these products might be cheap, it's safe to say that using them could be risky.

This Aldi toilet paper hits the sweet spot between performance and price: it's gentle on your wallet and your bum!

coles so soft strong 100 recycled toilet tissue 3 ply

Coles So Soft & Strong 100% Recycled: softly does it.

Softest recycled toilet paper

Coles So Soft & Strong 100% Recycled Toilet Tissue 3 Ply

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 78% 
  • Softness score: 80%
  • Price: 28 cents/100 sheets

Recycled toilet paper doesn't traditionally have a great reputation for softness or quality. "Toilet paper that's kind to the planet may not be kind to your behind," says CHOICE resident toilet paper expert Matt Steen.

But this Coles product well and truly defies the stereotype, scoring 80% for softness. In fact, it's just as soft as some premium toilet papers that tout softness as one of their defining features, but for half the price.

A pain in the bum: The worst toilet paper 

oobamboo bamboo unbleached toilet rolls 3 ply

Oobamboo Bamboo Unbleached: bottom of the pack.

Oobamboo Bamboo Unbleached Toilet Rolls 3 ply

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 43%
  • Price: 56 cents/100 sheets

If you have a sensitive sewage system at home, you'll probably want to give Oobamboo a miss: it scored an abominable 0% on our disintegration test. (Although it does claim to be "septic safe".) It's also one of the most expensive products we tested, costing a huge 56 cents per 100 sheets. 

It scored a scratchy 55% for softness, but it did perform well in terms of separation (how easy it is to tear the toilet paper at the perforation). 

Two other products also sat at the bottom of the pack: Kleenex Toilet Tissue Double Length with CleanRipple and Naturale 100% Recycled 3 ply Softness. 

Even paying a steep 49 cents per 100 sheets apparently doesn't buy you peace of mind that your toilet paper won't disintegrate mid-wipe

While they weren't in the same league as the Oobamboo, their scores were dragged down by poor disintegration properties: just 30% for the Kleenex and 41% for the Naturale. 

The Kleenex product deserves a special mention for its poor puncture test score. In this case, even paying a steep 49 cents per 100 sheets apparently doesn't buy you peace of mind that your toilet paper won't disintegrate mid-wipe. Perhaps it's the perfect toilet paper for those who like to live dangerously: will it break or won't it? 

To make sure you're picking up the best roll, check our toilet paper reviews before you buy. 

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

Seth Wheeler took toilet roll very seriously.

Perforated toilet paper was invented in 1871 by US inventor Seth Wheeler (not to be confused with Seth Wheeler the US businessman and former policy adviser to both the Bush and Obama administrations). 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? Join the conversation in our CHOICE Community and tell us why. 

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.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.