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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: 04 January 2024

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

This year's roll results were a bit complicated. 

Quilton Royal Toilet Tissue technically took out the top spot, but our experts can't recommend it because it didn't fare well in our puncture test – which measures how likely your finger is to burst through the paper mid-wipe. That's a real bummer. 

If you don't mind rolling the dice on the dunny, though, it's a great toilet paper in all other respects. But who really wants to brave a blowout on the bog? It's also not cheap at 55 cents per 100 sheets, which is a lot to pay to live so dangerously.

It's a royal flush for Aldi: three of its products were the highest scoring overall

As for the toilet tissue our experts do recommend, it's a royal flush for Aldi: three of its Confidence toilet paper products were the highest scoring products overall that also met our experts' exacting standards. 

aldi confidence hypoallergenic quilted softness toilet tissue 4 ply

Aldi Confidence Hypoallergenic Quilted Softness: Top scorer.

Here are the products that were on a roll:

Aldi Confidence Hypoallergenic Quilted Softness

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 77% (Recommended)
  • Softness score: 90%
  • Price: 45c per 100 sheets

Aldi Confidence 3 Ply Extra Soft Toilet Tissue

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 76% (Recommended)
  • Softness score: 90%
  • Price: 25c per 100 sheets

Aldi Confidence 3 Ply Extra Soft Toilet Tissue Double Length

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 76% (Recommended)
  • Softness score: 90%
  • Price: 28c per 100 sheets
aldi confidence 3 ply extra soft toilet tissue

Low cost, high score: Aldi's Confidence 3 Ply Extra Soft Toilet Tissue

Best budget buy

The cheapest product in our test – Black & Gold Toilet Tissue 2 ply – scored highly overall, but like the high-scoring Quilton product it didn't perform well on our puncture test.

 At a budget-friendly 17 cents per 100 sheets, it's a good buy on face value, but not so much on the, er, other end. 

Saving money on essentials feels good, but you just can't put a price on knowing that your toilet paper isn't going to give way mid-wipe. 

You can invest in peace of mind, however, by going for Aldi's Confidence 3 Ply Extra Soft Toilet Tissue (25c/100 sheets) which will cost you just 8 cents per 100 sheets more than the Black & Gold – a small price to pay given how high the stakes are. 

Strangely, the double-length version of the Aldi 3 Ply, Aldi Confidence 3 Ply Extra Soft Toilet Tissue Double Length (28c/100 sheets) costs a bit extra, despite buying in bulk usually being a good way to save money. But at just 28 cents per 100 sheets, it's still a great buy. (Bear in mind that toilet paper prices can change frequently; these prices were correct at the time of testing.)

toilet paper roll

Make sure you're not spending too much on this everyday item.

How to save money on toilet paper

In our cost of living crisis, every little bit counts. And since toilet paper is a staple that you'll use every single day, it makes sense to get the best deal possible so you're not just flushing money down the toilet.

Toilet paper prices change frequently and between on-sale products, double-length rolls and bulk packs, it can be tricky to know whether you're getting the best price. The best way to tell is to check the unit price so you can compare how much you're paying per 100 sheets. 

If you have the storage space, buying in bulk is usually (but not always) cheaper, so check those unit prices before you settle on a pack that's cheaper overall.

Softest recycled toilet paper

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 expert Matt Steen.

But Coles and icare have well and truly defied the stereotype, with their recycled rolls scoring 80% for softness. In fact, they're just as soft as some premium toilet papers, but for a fraction of the price.

To take its enviro credentials a step further, icare's rolls are wrapped in paper so you can recycle it when you're done; Coles' recycled rolls are wrapped in plastic. 

coles so soft strong 100 recycled toilet tissue 3 ply

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

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

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 74% (Recommended)
  • Softness score: 80%
  • Price: 30c per 100 sheets

icare Double Length Tissue 3 ply

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 73% (Recommended)
  • Softness score: 80%
  • Price: 38c per 100 sheets

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%
  • Softness score: 55%
  • Price: 56 cents per 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 (despite claiming 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). 

plunger on white background

Don't take the plunge on these bog-clogging toilet papers.

Two Kleenex products were also at the bottom of the pack: Kleenex Toilet Tissue Double Length with CleanRipple and the similarly-named Complete Clean with CleanRipple. 

While they weren't in the same league as the Oobamboo in terms of scratchiness, their scores were dragged down by poor disintegration properties: they also scored zero on this test.

 Even paying a steep 56 cents per 100 sheets apparently doesn't buy you peace of mind that your toilet paper won't disintegrate mid-wipe

The Kleenex products deserve a special mention for their poor puncture test scores. In this case, even paying a steep 56 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.