A great paper towel holder can be placed on your counter, hung below a cabinet, or mounted on a wall to allow you to tear them off quickly.
We conducted hours of research on the best paper towel holders, evaluating each model material, features, installation type, and design. The OXO Good Grips SimplyTear Standing Paper Towel Holder is our best overall pick because it is made of stainless steel and features a spring-activated arm that locks open for loading.
Ahead, find the best paper towel holders to help keep your kitchen clean.
Best Overall: OXO Good Grips SimplyTear Standing Paper Towel Holder
Attractive, stainless steel design
Allows for one-handed tearing
Holds any size or brand of paper towel
Weighted base for stability
Might require two hands as roll depletes
With its sleek, innovative design and affordable price tag, OXO’s SimplyTear Paper Towel Holder is our top pick for any household because it perfectly combines ease and function. This holder features a spring-activated arm that locks open for loading and ensures an effortless, one-handed tear with every sheet. This freestanding holder can accommodate any size or brand of paper towel roll. Thanks to its minimalist design, you can place it almost anywhere in your kitchen. The brushed stainless steel finish goes with virtually any decor.
OXO’s innovative design eliminates the problems you might encounter with flimsier paper towel holders. Say goodbye to unspooling, wasted sheets, and uneven rips. A weighted base and non-slip ring keep it securely in place on the counter. Internal resistance prevents the roll from unraveling, and the arm keeps the edge of the paper towel easily accessible. However, reviewers say you might have to use two hands as you get closer to the end of the roll.
Best Budget: Home Basics Paper Towel Holder
Simple yet effective design
Side bar prevents unraveling
Feet on the base for stability
Tends to slide and tip over
Not as sturdy as stainless steel models
Although it’s not as stylish as some of our other picks, the Home Basics Paper Towel Holder gets the job done and comes with an unbeatable price tag. It has a simple, understated design and comes in either a black or bronze finish. Since you don’t have to unscrew or remove any parts, replacing the paper towel roll is easy; it simply slides on and off. The side bar will prevent the paper towel roll from unraveling. However, it lacks a high-tension arm and won’t provide a neat tear.
Made from coated steel, this holder isn’t as durable or sturdy as stainless steel models. A common complaint is that the holder is so lightweight that it tends to slide around on the counter and tip over easily. That said, the feet on the holder's base should help keep it in place, providing you don’t pull on the roll too hard.
Best Freestanding: simplehuman Tension Arm Standing Paper Towel Holder
Allows for one-handed tearing
Weighted base for stability
Parts may break over time
With a durable build and portable freestanding design, this Simplehuman Paper Towel Holder is a solid choice for anyone who doesn't want to mount their paper towel holder on a wall or cabinet. It’s made from stainless steel and is large enough to accommodate any size paper towel roll. The variable tension arm provides the perfect amount of resistance, allowing you to tear off one sheet at a time with one hand. A heavy-duty weighted base keeps the holder securely on the counter–even when you tug hard on the roll.
You don’t need to unscrew the tension arm to remove or replace paper towel rolls either. The arm pulls away from the body of the holder for easy maneuverability. Another convenient feature is the finger loop at the top, so you can easily pick up and move the holder whenever you need to. There are a few reports of parts breaking over time, but Simplehuman offers a five-year warranty on this product.
Best Wall-Mounted: Kamenstein Perfect Tear Wall-Mount Paper Towel Holder
Stainless steel design
Can be mounted vertically or horizontally
Ensures clean tearing
Easy to use and install
Screws tend to strip easily
With just two screws, this paper towel holder from Kamenstein can be mounted vertically or horizontally. A patented ratchet system makes it easy to tear off one sheet at a time without any messy or unnecessary unraveling. The interior wire roller can fit any sized paper towel roll—even select-a-size and jumbo-sized rolls. Changing paper towel rolls couldn't be easier: You simply slide them on and off the roller, and there’s no need to remove or adjust any parts.
The sleek, stainless steel design is unobtrusive and blends in nicely with most kitchen fixtures. Some reviewers note the screws get stripped over time.
Best Under Cabinet: SUNTECH Adhesive Paper Towel Holder
Can be installed without drilling
Available in three finishes
Adhesive may lose holding power over time
Must place it correctly on first try
This under-cabinet paper towel holder from SunTech frees up precious counter space in your kitchen, while still keeping paper towels within arm’s reach. The holder doesn’t require any tools, hardware, or drilling. It features an adhesive backing that easily attaches to almost any smooth surface. Be mindful that when installing any fixture with a strong adhesive, you only get one try to get it on the correct spot.
This holder is available in three different finishes: silver, polished silver, and black, so you can customize it to fit your kitchen's color palette. You can also choose between a rectangle or oval mounting plate. Thanks to a slim design and low profile, it doesn’t stand out or take up too much room underneath a cabinet. With a load-bearing capacity of up to 22 pounds, the adhesive is incredibly strong, but there are some reports of it loosening up over time. To improve its longevity, try not to pull too hard on the roll when you tear off a sheet.
Best Rustic: Mud Pie Farmhouse Rustic Paper Towel Holder
Adorable farmhouse-inspired design
Decorative wooden handle
Handle may be difficult to unscrew
Not ideal for one-handed tearing
Made from galvanized tin and featuring a wooden handle at the top, this paper towel holder from Mud Pie would make a nice addition to a farmhouse or rustic-style kitchen. It has a weighted base that keeps it nice and sturdy on the countertop. The base can hold larger or even jumbo-sized paper towel rolls, but it doesn’t have a side or high-tension arm, so there is nothing to prevent the roll from flapping open or unspooling.
The handle must be removed in order to attach or replace a paper towel roll. Some reviewers note the handle is difficult to unscrew at first, but it gets easier over time.
Best Eco-Friendly: Full Circle Roll Model Paper Towel Holder
Made from sustainable materials
Keeps paper towel rolls in place
Sturdy ceramic base
Easy-to-remove bamboo handle
Not as durable as stainless steel
Environmentally conscious consumers will appreciate this freestanding paper towel holder from Full Circle Home. It’s made from sustainable materials like bamboo, ceramic, and recycled aluminum. Full Circle is a B Corp Certified company, which means they meet rigorous standards for their commitment to the environment. All of Full Circle's packaging is not only recyclable but it’s also made from recycled content as well.
The arm secures the paper towel roll in place to prevent it from unraveling, even when you're down to your very last paper towel. Replacing the roll is a breeze, thanks to the easy-to-remove bamboo handle. The smooth ceramic base is sturdy and won’t scratch your countertop. This eco-friendly option is right on par with other freestanding models when it comes to price point.
Best Touchless: Oasis Creations Touchless Wall Mount Paper Towel Dispenser
Hygienic touchless operation
Large storage capacity
Available in three colors
Includes a key lock
Bulkier than other options
Not compatible with all paper towel types
For a more hygienic experience in any room of your home, consider this touchless model from Oasis Creations. This dispenser is intended to be wall-mounted at an accessible height, allowing easy access for you and all of your guests. Mounting hardware is included for easy installation. It has an impressive storage capacity and can hold up 500 multifold paper towels, which means you won’t have to refill it very often.
This machine is not battery-operated, but the design allows paper towels to dispense automatically. You can grab an individual towel without having to touch any part of the dispenser. The dispenser is intended for both residential and commercial use. If you plan to use it in a shared or public space, it has a key lock feature for added security. This unit is available in three neutral colors–black smoke, white, and black.
Best with Shelf: mDesign Metal Wall Mount Paper Towel Holder
Provides additional storage space
Easy to install
Reports of defective products
Lacks a high-tension arm
For optimal kitchen organization, consider this wall-mounted paper towel holder from Mdesign. It features a top shelf for additional storage, as well as a towel rack and four hooks along the bottom. The open design allows you to keep paper towels and cooking essentials like spices, condiments, oils, and utensils right within reach. You can hang this shelf on the wall or inside a cabinet door. All mounting hardware is provided, and installation is simple and straightforward.
Made of durable steel wire and coated with a rust-resistant finish, this holder is built to last. There are a few reports of products arriving bent or broken. Be sure to thoroughly inspect the holder before mounting it in your home. The arm that holds the paper towel doesn’t swing out at all, and it can’t be removed. Loading the rolls might be a little tricky, depending on where you place the unit.
Best for Bathroom: Nature Supplies Bamboo Paper Towel Dispenser with Removable Top Tray
Sleek and stylish design
Dispenses one towel at time
Promotes better hygiene
Bamboo cover doubles as a shelf
Towels may tear during dispensing
Not compatible with all paper towel types
This bamboo paper towel dispenser From Nature Supplies is perfect for a guest bathroom or any room that sees lots of traffic. Unlike bulkier commercial paper towel holders, this model has a sleek and unobtrusive design. Plus, the bamboo cover at the top can double as a shelf for additional storage. You can also remove the cover and use it as a separate tray.
Since the holder dispenses one towel at a time, it makes for a more hygienic bathroom experience, which we can all appreciate. This holder can accommodate a standard pack of 250 multifold towels, which means you won’t have to refill it that often.
Our best overall pick is the OXO Good Grips SimplyTear Paper Towel Holder, which features a spring-activated arm, ensuring a perfect tear every time. Its sleek, brushed stainless steel design makes it an elegant addition to any kitchen. If you're looking for a more affordable option, consider the Home Basics Paper Towel Holder which has an understated aesthetic, is durable, and dispenses easily.
What to Look for in a Paper Towel Holder
Freestanding: A freestanding paper towel holder can be placed anywhere on your countertop for quick and easy access. Because they’re so lightweight, the downside to a freestanding model is they are more likely to tip over or slide around on the counter. To ensure adequate stability, look for features such as a weighted base and rubber feet.
Wall-mounted: A wall-mounted paper towel holder is ideal for anyone with a limited amount of counter space. Most are easy to install and typically attach to the wall with several screws. They come in various styles and can often be positioned horizontally or vertically in a location that best suits your needs. A larger multi-purpose paper towel holder is another option to consider. Some come equipped with shelves and hooks, providing an all-in-one storage solution.
Under-cabinet: Unlike a wall-mounted model, an under-cabinet paper towel holder is typically a bit more discreet. These low-profile units keep paper towels within arm’s reach while saving valuable counter space. If you don’t want to drill holes into your cabinetry, consider a model that attaches with an adhesive.
Paper towel holders come in a variety of different materials including wood, stainless steel, metal, bamboo, and aluminum. Stainless steel is the most durable option because it’s resistant to corrosion and rust—a big plus if your holder is stored on a countertop and frequently gets wet. Most stainless steel paper towel holders aren’t dishwasher-safe, but they clean up easily with a cloth and warm water. Plastic, wood, and other types of metal are not quite as durable, but for the simple purpose of holding paper towels, these materials should work just fine.
Many models are fashioned from stainless steel or other metals, which means they’re not dishwasher-safe. For a quick cleanup, you can wipe down the surface of your paper towel holder with a microfiber cloth moistened with warm water. For more cleaning power, you can add a drop of mild dish detergent to the mix. Many go-to cleaning products are too harsh and abrasive to be used on stainless steel, and they may cause permanent damage. Instead, try a homemade solution of white vinegar and water, which will sanitize and cut grease.
Where should a paper towel holder be placed?
It’s ideal to keep paper towels within arm’s reach and close to the sink. One of the most accessible places to hang a paper towel holder is underneath a cabinet. Hanging it on a wall is another option, but make sure it’s an accessible height for everyone in your household. A freestanding holder can be placed anywhere on a countertop.
Is a paper towel holder necessary?
A paper towel holder is a more hygienic way to store paper towels. If you leave the roll standing on the counter, it’s likely to get dirty and wet. If unspooled rolls and uneven rips are a pet peeve of yours, a holder equipped with a high-tension arm can eliminate these problems.
What else can I do with a paper towel holder?
Paper towel holders aren’t limited to use in the kitchen. Go ahead and get creative. Du Bois suggests repurposing paper towel holders to organize necklaces and bracelets with clasps. The bar can also be used to organize belts, scarves, hats, and other fashion accessories.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Sage McHugh is a freelance writer specializing in home decor and lifestyle content for The Spruce. She makes sure to recommend products that are stylish, functional, and well-reviewed by consumers. For this roundup, Sage considered dozens of paper towel holders, carefully evaluating each model’s material, features, installation type, and design. She also took hundreds of customer reviews and write-ups from third-party websites into account. Additional input was provided by Jennifer Du Bois, professional organizer and founder of Organized by Jen D.