The Best Toilet Paper (2024)

The research

  • Why you should trust us
  • How we picked and tested
  • What is sustainable toilet paper?
  • What about bamboo toilet paper?
  • Flaws but not dealbreakers
  • Our pick: Charmin Ultra Strong
  • Flaws but not dealbreakers
  • Budget pick: Amazon’s Presto! Ultra-Soft Toilet Paper
  • What to look forward to
  • Other good toilet papers
  • What about bidets?
  • What about “flushable” wipes?
  • The competition
  • Sources

Why you should trust us

Wirecutter has been testing toilet paper for nearly a decade. Combined, the previous author of this guide (Kevin Purdy) and I (Nancy Redd) have spent more than 50 hours reading about and researching the paper-manufacturing industry, paper recycling, toilet paper sustainability, and how paper products are produced—and dissolved.

In 2021 and early 2022, I personally compared 36 toilet papers at home, also taking into account feedback from my husband and two kids. After I narrowed the field considerably, I recruited nine additional Wirecutter staffers and their family members. Some of them compared top sustainable brands side by side; others compared only the top-two sustainable options with favorite traditional toilet papers. All testers ranked toilet papers in terms of softness, strength, and lint levels.

I also interviewed two industry experts: Shelley Vinyard, from the Natural Resources Defense Council, a not-for-profit environmental group, and Chris McLaren, chief marketing officer at the US Forest Stewardship Council.

As Wirecutter’s senior staff writer for health, I’m not new to bathroom-related comparison testing, having written guides to tampons, toilet stools, period underwear, and portable pee funnels.

How we picked and tested

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We’ve been recommending toilet papers for nearly a decade. But after the great toilet paper shortage of 2020—and with more consumer interest and tremendous strides in the number and quality of sustainable toilet papers available—we decided to give this guide a complete overhaul. Beginning in summer 2021, we called in 36 types of toilet paper from all of the major manufacturers. These included our three existing picks (from Charmin and Cottonelle), several smaller brands, and store-brand (generic) options.

Eleven of the 36 toilet papers we tried were made from what the toilet paper industry calls “sustainable materials,” like recycled paper. The rest were traditional toilet papers, made from trees cut down specifically to be ground into pulp for making toilet paper. We did test some three-ply toilet papers and one-ply toilet papers. But most of the papers we tested—and all of our eventual picks—were two-ply (two thin layers of paper lightly pressed or glued together).

Our initial testing examined various factors for each entrant:

Comfort: We judged softness subjectively during wiping. Our blind tushy testing had initial testers (my family members and me) rating all 36 toilet papers on a scale of 1 (those that felt like sandpaper or looked transparent like facial tissue) to 10 (opaque toilet papers that felt obscenely plush).

Lint factor: I wiped the sheets on velvet to test how much lint or dust was left behind, dismissing toilet papers that shed large amounts of residue.

Sturdiness: I poked and pulled sheets in multiple directions and with varying levels of pressure to test strength and “rippiness,” noting the ones that held up.

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Once the testing pool was whittled down considerably, I sent rolls to nine additional staffers, who judged each toilet paper without knowledge of which had performed best in the first round of testing. Several testers were sent the papers sans packaging, so they were unaware of the brand or whether a roll was made from recycled paper, bamboo, or traditional trees. The staffers (and, in some cases, their families) ranked the contenders in terms of softness, lintiness, and strength. After those results came in, I also considered secondary factors, including:

  • Certification: Toilet papers that bear a certification label from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) have been evaluated by the organization and found to be manufactured with responsibly sourced fibers. Though there are other certifications available, such as from the Swiss Programme for the Endorsem*nt of Forest Certification (PEFC, which certifies our budget pick), FSC is considered by environmental leaders (such as the World Wildlife Fund) to have the most rigorous universal standards. Although we didn’t consider FSC certification to be a requirement, we did weigh papers with FSC certification more favorably.
  • Additives: Most toilet papers have “proprietary” formulas of chemicals and conditioners that companies typically won’t disclose. We asked the manufacturers of our top picks whether their toilet paper contained any animal ingredients or byproducts (because some do), and we also asked about what they use to purify and whiten their toilet papers. In 1998, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began requiring most paper mills to limit elemental chlorine from being used in toilet paper production, due to carcinogenic concerns. Today almost all toilet papers are still purified and whitened using chlorine-based disinfectants and other undisclosed chemicals. Our Seventh Generation pick’s manufacturing process is completely free of chlorine. But its toilet paper is made from recycled papers that may have once been bleached, so it can’t be considered totally chlorine-free (which is most ideal). The use of additives did not make or break our toilet paper picks, but they did inform our evaluation.
  • Availability: I searched stores (online and in person) regularly to check fluctuations in price and availability, noting whether brands were frequently out of stock.



What is sustainable toilet paper?

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Until our March 2022 update, we recommended only toilet papers made from virgin wood pulp—also referred to as “traditional” toilet paper—because none of the environmentally friendlier toilet papers we’d tested came close in softness and strength. Since our original testing for this guide began, nearly a decade ago, there have been tremendous strides in the area of “sustainable” toilet paper. Sustainable toilet paper is made from either recycled fibers or from more environmentally friendly primary sources, such as responsibly sourced bamboo. We found several of the sustainable toilet papers we tested in 2021 and 2022 to be comparable in comfort and strength to traditional toilet papers, as well as comparatively much less dusty.

With growing concerns about climate change and deforestation, there is an increasing push to eliminate the “tree to toilet pipeline,” which is the cutting down of forests full of trees just to make toilet paper, said Shelley Vinyard, co-author of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s The Issue With Tissue (PDF) report. Since 2019, the NRDC—a not-for-profit environmental group—has evaluated dozens of toilet papers and ranked them, taking into consideration factors such as whether potentially carcinogenic chlorine is used to purify or whiten the fibers and the type of certifications held by the fiber suppliers to demonstrate their commitment to responsible sourcing. The latest report ranked toilet paper made from recycled fibers higher than toilet paper made from other sustainable materials, such as bamboo. “What we want most is circular solutions to avoid sending waste to the landfill, so, with toilet paper, that means post-consumer recycled content is the gold standard,” Vinyard said.

Chris McLaren, chief marketing officer at the US Forest Stewardship Council, agreed with Vinyard’s assessment, with the caveat that it’s not always possible to incorporate circular solutions because there isn’t as much used paper to recycle as there once was. “The digitalization of society (such as online media instead of newspapers and magazines) has caused there to be fewer recycled papers to utilize in the making of sustainable paper products,” he explained. McLaren said this issue of sustainability goes far beyond toilet paper, and that without enough recycled paper to use, some toilet paper will always need to come from new materials “to keep up with demand.” FSC certification is one way to ensure that, as McLaren put it, “forests are well-managed to stay healthy."

The toilet paper you decide to use is obviously a personal choice. is FSC-certified to be made from 100% recycled materials. Charmin Ultra Strong has a lesser type of FSC certification that guarantees at least 70% of materials are from FSC-approved forests; the other 30% of materials are considered acceptable but are not FSC-certified. Amazon Presto! Ultra-Soft is not FSC-certified, but it is PEFC-certified (an industry certification considered to have less-rigorous standards than those of FSC). As of February 2022, the PEFC certification does not appear anywhere on Presto! Ultra-Soft’s new packaging, though an Amazon spokesperson confirmed it was PEFC-certified.

What about bamboo toilet paper?

Bamboo has become an increasingly popular alternative source material for toilet paper, and we tested several bamboo brands for this guide, including Betterway, Who Gives A Crap, and No. 2. Toilet paper made from bamboo is often promoted as an eco-friendly solution since bamboo grows so quickly and can be easily replenished, unlike a boreal forest. But bamboo toilet paper isn’t necessarily better for the environment, and it’s generally more expensive and not as soft as other papers.

When bamboo toilet paper is FSC-certified to be sourced responsibly—that is, ecosystems aren’t being wiped out and forests aren’t being clear-cut to plant hom*ogenous swaths of bamboo—it is a great alternative option, McLaren and Vinyard both said. But few bamboo toilet paper companies have pursued certification. Two exceptions are Betterway and Cloud Paper, which are both FSC-certified to source 100% of their bamboo from suppliers committed to responsibly managing their crops and surrounding environments.



Our pick: Seventh Generation 100% Recycled Extra Soft & Strong Bath Tissue

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Our pick

The best sustainable toilet paper

Seventh Generation 100% Recycled toilet paper is a soft, strong, low-lint offering. And it’s economically as well as environmentally friendly.

Buying Options

$43 from Amazon

is the cubic zirconia of toilet paper: With close scrutiny, an astute toilet-paper user might notice something’s different. But we think the average person would be hard-pressed to guess that this one is formulated with 100% recycled paper, instead of traditional virgin tree pulp. This soft, supple, nearly lint-free toilet paper is manufactured without bleach or any animal byproducts. And it was a true diamond in the rough among our testing pool of 11 environmentally friendly toilet papers.

Although we found many of the sustainable bath tissues we tested to be scratchy, Seventh Generation’s toilet paper is not. It also held its own against traditional toilet papers in softness and strength—testers found it to be durable and dependable, with no reports of accidental ripping during use. During the velvet rub tests to check for crumbling, pilling, and lint, the paper remained intact and left behind almost no residue.

Like traditional toilet paper (but unlike many of its sustainable competitors), Seventh Generation’s Extra Soft & Strong toilet paper is white in color. Yet this is due only to the color of the recycled papers used to make it; there is no chlorine used in the manufacturing process. This toilet paper is two-ply, and both sides are soft, but only one side features an embossed pattern (which is meant to help with wiping, though its usefulness is debatable). Seventh Generation says this paper is safe for septic systems and low-flush-volume toilets, and that no animal ingredients or byproducts are used in the manufacturing process.

Seventh Generation toilet paper is readily available in stores and online. Its largest offering, a 24-pack (240 sheets per roll), is normally about $22, or 0.38¢ ($0.0038) per sheet. Since it’s often on sale for less, Seventh Generation toilet paper is one of the most economical of the sustainable papers, and it’s similar (or even cheaper) in price to many traditional toilet papers.

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Flaws but not dealbreakers

Princess and the Pee types may notice that Seventh Generation is slightly less soft and a tad less strong than Charmin, our traditional toilet paper pick. However, one of our testers of sustainable toilet paper didn’t even realize that it was a recycled option, mistaking the Seventh Generation paper as a “control” traditional roll.

Price: about 0.38¢ ($0.0038) per sheet (depending on pack size and store sales)

Options: four, 12, or 24 rolls (240 sheets per roll)

Manufactured in: USA and Canada

FSC certification: Yes, certified to be 100% recycled.

Chlorine used in processing: No. Only hydrogen peroxide is used for the purification process. However, the recycled office paper and newspaper used may have been initially processed with chlorine, so the toilet paper cannot be called totally chlorine-free.

Ingredients: recycled paper fibers, hydrogen peroxide, “proprietary ingredients to control microbial growth and to aid in the wet strength of the product,” according to a Seventh Generation spokesperson (the company says this paper contains no animal ingredients or byproducts)



Our pick: Charmin Ultra Strong

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Our pick

Charmin Ultra Strong

The best traditionally produced toilet paper

One of the plushest of the toilet papers we tested, the strong, soft, low-lint Charmin Ultra Strong left all other traditional toilet papers … behind.

Buying Options

$29 from Amazon(for 18 rolls)

$31 from Target(for 30 rolls)

Of the 36 toilet papers we tested, the supple Charmin Ultra Strong stood out as the one with the best combination of strength and softness, with the added bonus of being low-lint and crumble-free. As bathroom tissue goes, our testers found this one to be foolproof—it tackled the toughest of toilet trips with nary a breakthrough finger rip, but it also felt pampering on our most delicate body parts. Our velvet rub tests found that Charmin Ultra Strong left behind very little lint, with no pilling or crumbling.

Charmin Ultra Strong is two-ply, and though only one side features an embossed pattern (like the Seventh Generation toilet paper), our testers confirmed that both sides felt super-soft. A Charmin spokesperson told us that it’s safe for septic systems and low-flush-volume toilets.

This toilet paper is available almost everywhere bathroom tissue is sold, in-store and online, and it has rarely been out of stock.

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Flaws but not dealbreakers

This traditional toilet paper is formulated from virgin tree pulp, but it is FSC-certified to have the majority of its materials sourced responsibly. It is manufactured using a purification/whitening process that is elemental chlorine-free but not totally chlorine-free.

When not on sale, Charmin Ultra Strong is slightly more expensive per sheet than Seventh Generation’s paper. The largest pack you can buy is a Mega roll 30-pack (264 sheets per roll) for about $31.50, or 0.39¢ ($0.0039) per sheet. That’s more than our other picks cost, but this paper is often on sale, and manufacturer coupons abound.

Charmin could not confirm whether animal ingredients or byproducts are used in the manufacturing process.

Price: about 0.39¢ ($0.0039) per sheet (depending on pack size and store sales)

Options: six, 12, 18, 24, or 30 Mega rolls (264 sheets per roll); eight, 12, or 18 Super Mega rolls (396 sheets per roll)

Manufactured in: USA

FSC certification: Yes, certified to be FSC-Mix, meaning at least 70% of the tree fibers used are responsibly sourced.

Chlorine used in processing: Yes. The purification/whitening process is elemental chlorine-free, but not totally chlorine-free.

Ingredients: wood pulp, water-based adhesive, and proprietary conditioners (a spokesperson for Charmin said it may contain animal ingredients or byproducts)



Budget pick: Amazon’s Presto! Ultra-Soft Toilet Paper

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Budget pick

Amazon Presto Ultra-Soft Toilet Paper

A reliable budget toilet paper

Amazon Presto! Ultra-Soft Toilet Paper is a tad lintier and almost imperceptibly rougher than our top picks. But our testers liked it best of all the lower-cost toilet papers we tested.

Buying Options

$28 from Amazon(for 24 rolls)

Although it isn’t quite as soft as our top picks from Seventh Generation and Charmin, Amazon’s Presto! Ultra-Soft Toilet Paper is a reliable traditional toilet paper that’s comfortable to use. However, it comes only in a large box of 24 rolls (four packages of six), so this may not work well for people with very limited storage space. At around 0.31¢ ($0.0031) per sheet, Presto! paper costs at least 25% less than our top picks—and using Amazon’s Subscribe & Save service could bring the price down by an additional 5% to 15%.

In our velvet rub test, we found Amazon Presto! left behind more lint than our other picks—but not too much. It also did not pill or rip easily while wiping. Most testers noticed only that it was less soft than our other picks, when they were asked to compare them side by side. The Amazon paper is two-ply, and both sides are soft (though, as with our other picks, only one side features the embossed pattern). Amazon says this tissue is safe for septic systems and low-flow toilets.

Amazon! Presto is rarely out of stock, but you can purchase it only online (on Amazon, of course). And it can be purchased only in a set of 24 Mega rolls (308 sheets per roll). This is a traditional toilet paper that is formulated from virgin tree pulp, and it is not FSC-certified. The pulp used to make the toilet paper is purified/whitened through a process that utilizes chlorine dioxide, making it elemental chlorine-free but not totally chlorine-free. Amazon confirmed that no animal ingredients or byproducts are used in the manufacturing process.

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Price: about 0.31¢ ($0.0031) per sheet (less if you use Amazon’s Subscribe & Save service)

Options: Amazon’s Presto! Ultra-Soft comes in only one size: 24 Mega rolls (308 sheets per roll)

Manufactured in: USA

FSC certification: No, though it is certified by the Programme for the Endorsem*nt of Forest Certification (PEFC).

Chlorine used in processing: Yes. The purification/whitening process uses chlorine dioxide and thus is elemental chlorine-free, but it is not totally chlorine-free.

Ingredients: wood pulp and proprietary process chemicals “to help deliver properties like wet strength to the product,” according to an Amazon spokesperson (a spokesperson for Amazon said it contained no animal ingredients or byproducts)

What to look forward to

We’re currently testing the premium version of celebrity-backed Cloud Paper, a well-liked, if slightly expensive, 100% FSC-certified bamboo toilet paper bleached using a TCF (totally chlorine free) method.



Other good toilet papers

If you’re looking for a budget toilet paper and prefer to shop in-store: Walmart’s Great Value Ultra Strong and are both extremely similar to our budget pick, Amazon’s Presto! Ultra-Soft. In fact, until late 2021, all three products had the same manufacturer license from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative on their packaging, as did other toilet paper made by white-label company First Quality Enterprises Inc. Although Presto! Ultra-Soft changed its packaging to omit this license number, the new packaging links to, which discusses First Quality Tissue at length. If you find either of these on sale, they’re both a good inexpensive option. But we found that Amazon’s Presto! Ultra-Soft was generally less expensive.

If you want a super-soft toilet paper and don’t mind a little butt dandruff: Cottonelle Ultra ComfortCare (our previous top pick) and the brand’s Ultra GentleCare (an aloe-infused cult favorite) are the softest toilet papers we’ve tested. However, they are also the dustiest and lintiest of all the papers we’ve tested, shedding tiny little lint bits and other residue everywhere the toilet paper touches, from bathroom cabinets to human bottoms. These are still super-comfy, super-cushy, and super-sturdy choices if you’re okay with tp residue.

If you’d prefer a toilet paper made of bamboo: Testers liked Betterway, which is soft (for bamboo toilet paper) and FSC-certified to have 100% of its fibers sourced responsibly (the best of the certifications available to bamboo papers). It comes at a higher cost than our picks, however, and it feels a lot rougher.

What about bidets?

As an alternative to toilet paper, or as a means to reduce the amount of toilet paper you use, consider the bidet. A bidet is, essentially, a powerful water fountain in your toilet that’s meant to spray your bottom clean, hands-free, with only a square or two of toilet paper needed to dry off. (Some bidets even incorporate a bum-drying fan, potentially cutting out the need for toilet paper altogether.) Bidets have been a bathroom-hygiene staple in many parts of the world, such as Japan and Italy, for decades, and they’re gaining popularity in the US. Wirecutter testers have found bidets to be life-changing devices that can be more economical in the long run and cut your toilet paper needs by at least half. “We’re not saying people should throw out their toilet paper,” Shelley Vinyard said. “But bidets take much less water to use than the water required to make a roll of toilet paper, and they save money.”



What about “flushable” wipes?

Don’t buy wipes, unless you’re willing to put used wipes in your bathroom trash can or maintain a separate can for them. By flushing them down your toilet, you’re passing on a huge problem to your sewer system, as evidenced by sewer crises in New York City and London, and recurring problems in Miami, Ottawa, and Lake Charles, Louisiana, among other cities. For those who think they need to use wipes, we suggest they consider a bidet instead.

The competition

Sustainable toilet paper

Bamboo No. 2 Toilet Paper rolls come individually wrapped in colorful, Instagram-worthy tissue, and the packaging doesn’t use any plastic. But this toilet paper is not FSC-certified, and it’s also not as soft as our sustainable pick.

​​Who Gives A Crap Premium Bamboo Toilet Paper also comes individually wrapped in pretty, plastic-free packaging. But it’s not as soft as our sustainable pick, nor is it FSC-certified.

Caboo Bamboo Bath Tissue was polarizing. Some testers thought it was perfectly serviceable, but others found it to be rough and not strong enough.

Tushy’s bamboo toilet paper also comes individually wrapped in pretty, plastic-free packaging, but it is very thin and scratchy.

Reel Tree-Free bamboo toilet paper feels rough compared to other bamboo toilet papers we tried.

PlantPaper bamboo toilet paper is FSC-certified, but it’s also rough and thin, and it ripped too easily.

Who Gives A Crap 100% Recycled Toilet Paper is extremely popular among sustainability-minded butt wipers, and it comes individually wrapped in attractive, plastic-free packaging. But it felt rough to us.

Neither Whole Foods’ 365 Sustainably Soft recycled toilet paper nor its 100% recycled toilet paper felt as strong or as comfortable to use as our picks.

A spokesperson from Seventh Generation told us its Natural Unbleached Bathroom Tissue (also made from recycled paper) had been discontinued.

Traditional toilet paper

Aria Premium Earth Friendly Bath Tissue scored very high in comfort among test tushies, but it’s expensive and dusty.

Neither Amazon’s Presto! Ultra-Strong nor its thicker three-ply option were worth the additional expense over our budget pick, the same brand’s Ultra-Soft.

Costco’s Kirkland Signature was the widest toilet paper in our test pool (the rolls often don’t fit on regular holders). But that was the most impressive feature of this otherwise-mediocre paper. It was neither the softest nor the strongest in our testing pool, and it was rather dusty. This was surprising given the longstanding reputation of this toilet paper; diehard Costco toilet paper users on Reddit theorize that pandemic-related supply-chain issues have caused the company’s bath tissues to devolve.

Charmin Essentials Strong and Charmin Essentials Soft felt scratchy and seemed to require a lot more paper to finish the task than our picks.

When directly compared with our top picks, Charmin Ultra Soft, , and Quilted Northern Ultra Plush were not ultra-soft, ultra-plush, or ultra-anything to our testers.

Charmin Ultra Gentle and Scott ComfortPlus were linty and ripped too easily.

Scott 1000 was translucent and easily ripped.

, Walmart’s Cascades, Cottonelle Ultra CleanCare, Virtue, andAngel Soft were not as soft or sturdy as our picks.

Amazon Solimo, Kirkland Signature Ultra Soft, Scott Extra Soft, Scott Naturals Tube-Free, and were tested (and dismissed) in an earlier round of testing. They have since been discontinued.

—additional reporting by Kevin Purdy

This guide was edited by Ellen Lee and Kalee Thompson.




  1. Emily Flitter, My Tireless Quest for a Tubeless Wipe, The New York Times, February 28, 2020

  2. Olivia Young, Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper: Bamboo vs. Recycled,, December 6, 2021

  3. Shelley Vinyard, co-author of The Issue With Tissue report (PDF), phone interview, December 1, 2021

  4. Chris McLaren, chief marketing officer at the US Forest Stewardship Council, phone interview, February 9, 2022

The Best Toilet Paper (2024)


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