The 5 Best Toilet Papers

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Toilet paper is one of life’s non-negotiable necessities. A household staple in the U.S. since the 19th century, today toilet paper comes in an array of thicknesses, sizes, and variations—from your basic white roll to toilet paper fabricated to be extra soft, extra gentle, wet, dry, with or without fragrance, or additives like aloe vera and vitamin E for sensitive skin. There are rapid-dissolving varieties to prevent septic tanks and sewers from getting clogged and eco-friendly biodegradable variations made from recycled materials and plant-based packaging. 

Below, our picks of the five best toilet papers.

Our Top Picks
One of the mega rolls is equal to four regular rolls.
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It’s also safe if you’re using it in an RV or boat.
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It’s dermatologist-tested and perfect for skin prone to irritation.
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Clog Clinic tested and approved to be sewer and septic safe.
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Sustainable Forestry Initiative certified to promote better forest practices.
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Best Value: Charmin Ultra Soft Toilet Paper

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Value is important when you’re buying something like toilet paper, which is a bathroom necessity to have on hand at all times. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to buy the cheapest option, either. A low price might seem enticing, but if the rolls don’t last long, you’ll end up buying them more frequently, so it’s important to choose something that’s going to be easy on your wallet but also last as long as possible, like this Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper. These mega rolls give you serious bang for your buck—one of the mega rolls is equal to four regular rolls, and they’re two times more absorbent, so you’ll need to use even less at once.

Best for Septic Tanks: Scott 1000 Sheets Per Roll Toilet Paper

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Plumbing problems are never fun, and you need to be extra careful if you have a septic tank, so opt for a toilet paper that’s guaranteed to be flushable, like Scott 1000 toilet paper. Not only do you get 1,000 sheets per roll, but it's both sewer and septic tank safe, so it’s flushable no matter where you are. It’s also safe to use if you're buying it for an RV or boat. Because there are 1,000 sheets in each roll, it will last longer than other brands. According to online shoppers, it’s definitely the right choice for any plumbing issues. One reviewer reported that it quickly disintegrates in water and is less likely to cause blockages.

Best for Sensitive Skin: Charmin Ultra Gentle Toilet Paper

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Dealing with sensitive skin is a challenge. Since it feels like almost anything can cause dryness or irritation, it’s important to choose a toilet paper that’s going to be gentle on your skin. With Charmin Ultra Gentle, you can get 18 mega rolls (equal to 72 regular rolls) or 12 mega rolls (equal to 48 regular rolls). This way, you won’t have to buy toilet paper as frequently. Plus, it’s perfect for skin prone to irritation, going a step further than regular sensitive paper by adding a touch of soothing lotion with calming ingredients to each sheet. It’s also dermatologist-tested, safe for the septic tank, and won't leave behind any particles that may cause irritation.

Best Dissolving: Scott Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper

Scott Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper

Quick dissolving toilet paper is beneficial no matter where you live, but it’s essentially helpful if you want to avoid clogged pipes or when you're in an RV or boat. To alleviate any concerns, use Scott Rapid-Dissolving toilet paper; it's a tried and tested toilet paper that's great for those with plumbing concerns. Though it’s made specifically for RVs and boats, it’s also useful if you have a septic tank. This one will break down four times faster than regular toilet paper, and it's clog-free and approved to be sewer and septic safe. If you’re worried about the actual feel, it's soft, gentle, and absorbent. Not to mention, it dissolves quickly in the toilet bowl.

Best Eco-Friendly: ARIA Premium Earth Friendly Toilet Paper

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If you care about the environment, the Aria Premium earth-friendly toilet paper is a solid option that you will feel good about using. It’s made with 100 percent renewable power and comes in 51 percent plant-based, recycled packaging. Additionally, Aria gives back to the planet by planting three new trees for every single tree used. It’s made with responsibly sourced trees and is Sustainable Forestry Initiative certified to promote better forest practices.

Even though it's eco-friendly, this premium toilet paper is still soft and durable. The 2-ply paper is 50 percent thicker and three times stronger when wet compared to other toilet paper. It's also soft and gentle on the skin, and if you have sensitive skin, this paper is unscented, so it shouldn't pose a problem. If your house has a septic tank, this paper is biodegradable and septic tank safe.

What to Look for in Toilet Paper


Value

Toilet paper manufacturers market many variations of the standard toilet roll that can make choosing good value toilet paper feel like a math problem with too many variables to solve. Determining the cost ratio according to the number, size, and length of sheets; the real differences between regular rolls and maxi or even mega rolls; and the absorbent qualities of 1-ply, 2-ply, 3-ply or even higher can be difficult to calculate. To choose the best value, longest-lasting toilet paper, look for quality construction, since cheap, thin toilet paper will require you to use more, won’t last as long, or be as comfortable to use, which may end up costing you more in the end. But don’t pay for extras that you don’t want or need when making this very personal choice.

Septic and/or Sewer Safe

All toilet paper is made to be flushed, but some toilet paper dissolves more quickly and efficiently than others. Look for quick-dissolving toilet paper that won’t clog your plumbing in a home. If you have an RV or a boat, take extra care to choose toilet paper that is septic tank appropriate and safe. 

Ingredients

Toilet paper is a basic necessity that doesn’t have to try hard to attract buyers. But many brands market toilet paper with an array of extra bells and whistles such as scent or gentle natural additives like aloe vera and vitamin E meant to pamper sensitive skin. Pay attention to specific ingredients or scented toilet paper for those who are sensitive to artificial perfumes. Eco-conscious consumers can choose eco-friendly toilet paper made with responsibly-sourced trees, renewable energy, and recycled packaging. 

FAQ
  • How long is a toilet paper roll?

    The standard length of a toilet paper roll is 4.5 inches. Keep in mind that this can vary slightly depending on the manufacturing. Despite the proliferation of maxi and mega rolls that emphasize volume and make rolls appear larger, individual toilet paper rolls have reportedly been shrinking in recent years. This is in part due to shortening sheets, narrowing tubes, and enlarging cardboard rolls. 

  • What is toilet paper made of?

    Toilet paper is typically made from water, trees, fiber-extracting chemicals, and bleach to whiten the paper. The manufacturing process varies according to the material used. This can range from virgin tree pulp and recycled paper to hemp pulp and fiber.

  • When was toilet paper invented?

    The use of paper for toilet hygiene has been traced back to China in the 6th century, where it was made from rice. In the U.S., toilet paper became mass-produced and commercially available in 1857, thanks to Joseph Gayetty, who invented J.C. Gayetty’s Medicated Paper for the Water Closet. And the rest is more or less history.

Why Trust The Spruce

Sienna Livermore is a former Hearst magazine editor and a contributing editor and writer covering travel, home decor, fashion, beauty, and women's lifestyle. She's been writing for The Spruce since 2019.