To determine the best paper towels that money can buy today, we looked for options that offered excellent absorbency, durability when addressing a big spill, didn’t tear easily when ringing them out, and are appropriately perforated for large and small messes (negating waste).
And after more than 13 hours of research, we confidently believe that Amazon brand Presto paper towels are the best paper towel that you can buy. They provide excellent absorbency, durable 2-ply sheets, and the always-useful option to choose between smaller and larger tear-off towels depending on the job at hand. But we also have a number of other options, some more suited to commercial closets, and some which are the best for environmentally-minded buyers. Be sure to check through our full list to get all the details!
Top 6 Best Paper Towels Reviews
#1 Presto! Flex-a-Size Huge Roll Paper Towels
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: Presto are the best paper towels on Amazon for larger messes, with 2-ply absorbency and extra-large rolls that hold more sheets than any other. It’s perfect for the most serious cleanups.
- Best paper towels on Amazon
- Perfect sheet size options
- Extra-easy reordering
- Extra-large rolls don’t fit on all paper towel holders
Amazon’s Presto line is the conjunction of quality with extra large roll size. The sheets are up to 75% more absorbent than weaker leading 1-ply brands, and the rolls include a massive 158 sheets per roll, larger than any of our other picks so they’ll last as long as possible. They also have customizable sizes so you can separate out rectangles for smaller jobs to save material (and with that money). If you want an ergonomically-designed bottle, then you need to read our best olive oil bottle.
These towels are sourced from sustainably managed forests for a little extra eco benefit, too. Plus, since this is an Amazon brand, it’s extra easy to re-order with a recurring delivery from the site, or a simple voice command to Alexa. Use them with the best disinfectant spray and for many other applications.
#2 Bounty Double Plus Paper Towels
Award: Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: Bounty’s reliable rolls can handle any task, and excel at absorbing liquid. For an all-purpose paper towel around the home, you can’t do better!
- High absorbency & performance
- Durable towel construction
- Flexible size options
- Rolls significantly smaller than Bounty Family
Bounty makes a particularly versatile paper towel, and these double plus towels are both soft and all-purpose, ideal for cleaning pets, kids, spills, furniture and more. Bounty’s towels are also very absorbent, great for cleaning up liquid messes without dissolving in your hands. Chop food and cut dough perfectly with our best pastry cutter.
Similar to the Presto line, Bounty has a close connection with Amazon that makes it easier to order recurring shipments of the towels when necessary. You also get a lot of rolls for the price, making it a highly affordable option for those who want to save money! Using the best countertop cleaner will keep surfaces clean so you use fewer paper towels.
#3 Bounty Family Paper Towels
Award: Best Bulk
WHY WE LIKE IT: Bounty’s family version are the softest paper towels around and offer 10 extra day of paper The bulk buying option is great for big projects, and the absorbency ratings are excellent for cleaning up major messes.
- Softest paper towels
- Extra-large order size ideal for organizations and supply closets
- Extra-thick rolls to last longer
- 16 rolls is a little too much for smaller families
For the family rolls, Bounty increases the size of each roll and the quality gets a boost too for some of the gentlest paper towels you will be able to find. They’re soft enough to wipe your face with, and thick enough to not tear when cleaning up. Bounty claims that they are 2x more absorbent than the average similar brand in the United States, which makes them particularly good for the messiest situations. They also have around 80 more sheets per pack than average paper towels.
The order size of 16 rolls is also especially good for organizations that want to buy in bulk and make sure they have plenty for everyone to use. Like the other bounty rolls, they are easy to reorder and Alexa can automatically make the order for you! They’re also entirely sourced from responsibly managed forests. When you have good paper towels you will use the best mop less often.
#4 Scott Paper Towels
Award: Best Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: Scott paper towels offer great value and come with helpful ridges that can absorb extra liquid. These rolls are also a little large than average so they’ll last longer in your home!
- Ridges for easier absorption
- Great value for a 6 pack
- Multiple sustainability labels
- Paper towels are a little rough to the touch
This highly affordable paper towel is great for family savings without sacrificing quality. They offer flexible sizing options for tearing off rectangles, and little ridges so that the sheets can easily absorb more liquid without using up too much material at once.
These rolls also include a few more sheets than the average Scott’s roll at 102 towels each, so they’ll last a bit longer than the Scott’s rolls you may be used to buying. Scott also uses both the World Wildlife Fund and Forest Stewardship Council labels so that you know the material comes from sustainable sources. Paper towels mean that you won’t have to worry about washing the best cleaning cloths.
#5 Brawny Tear-A-Square Paper Towels
Award: Best Quality
WHY WE LIKE IT: Brawny’s product is the most absorbent paper towel we’ve seen. Add in the durability and the option to tear the sheets easily into fourths for smaller jobs, and these towels offer options like no one else can.
- Most absorbent paper towel
- Can divide into fourths
- Durable for light scrubbing
- Extra size options not necessary for everyone
These 2-ply Brawny are the most absorbent paper towel we’ve found, and they come with a great feature: You can tear the sheets into smaller rectangles, but you can also tear those rectangles into two smaller squares. Dividing a towel into fourths like this is a great solution for smaller messes, quick polishing jobs, or serving individual cookies and muffins.
The large rolls are also very thick and able to handle tougher jobs, including a little scrubbing if there’s a stain that needs some extra work. These paper towels are the best choice for the toughest jobs – and anything else you might need. Your kitchen will thank you.
#6 Kitchen + Home Reusable Bamboo Towels
Award: Best Eco-Friendly
WHY WE LIKE IT: These bamboo towels are the greenest paper towel available. They’re re-usable and can take the place of 60x the amount of traditional towels, ideal for a home that wants to avoid waste.
- Reusable towels
- Soft bamboo fibers
- Can help save money over time
- Cleaning the bamboo sheets can take extra time
For the eco-conscious, running through rolls and rolls of paper towels over the weeks can be a tough sell. Fortunately, there is an ideal alternative: Each one of these bamboo rolls holds 20 11×12-inch sheets. Once you use one, you can hand wash it and let it dry, or put it in a laundry bag for protection and wash it in the washing machine. They can be reused many times this way, and one roll of these bamboo sheets can last as long as 60 rolls of normal paper towels.
Not only is this the greenest option you can find for paper towels, but they combine the easy use and absorbency of traditional options with the durability of bar towels, making them suitable for a wider range of cleaning jobs. Make some room on the kitchen counter for drying them out, though.
How We Decided
Paper towels are designed for fast cleanup right when you need it. That means they need to absorb easily without tearing apart. We looked for versions that could hold plenty of liquid and do some scrubbing as well. This is why our top picks are 2-ply towels, which simply means each sheet is made out of two layers so it absorbs more and won’t tear as easily. Bonus points were given for unique designs that help capture more liquid.
Versatility is also important. The best paper towels offer the option to split squares easily in halves for smaller projects, as most of our top picks do. We were also impressed by some (like our Brawny pick) that could further split into squares for even smaller projects. Of course, some buyers have big projects to tackle, so we liked to see options for easy ordering and larger pack sizes for stocking up.
Finally, we know a lot of paper towel users care about sustainability. Our choices were also based on which paper towels were sourced from sustainable forests or which were environmentally friendly in other ways as well.
Best Paper Towels Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Sheet Size
Sheet size refers to how the individual towels are separated – this feature will vary based on how you use paper towels in your household, and how much you want to save. Most paper towels these days offer “flex” or “pick your size” options that divide sheets into rectangles so you can grab either one rectangle or two for a full square. Some even divide those rectangles further into little squares for smaller projects. But if you only use paper towels for the big stuff, you don’t have to worry as much about this (although you will go through rolls faster).
Paper towels can’t do their jobs well if they fall apart as soon as you start using them. If you use your towels for tougher cleaning projects (as opposed to just sopping up spills) then look for versions that are recommending for “scrubbing” or reviews that specifically call out durability. In this case, 2-ply towels will always be a better option because their thicker nature allows them to last longer.
It’s not always a concern, but if you use paper towels for cosmetics, pet cleaning, or similar tasks then you will want to make sure they are soft. Look for “virgin fibers,” which means the material hasn’t been recycled from anything else. These types of paper towels will be softer than other versions.
For most cleanups, paper towels are used because they can absorb a lot of liquid quickly. Here, 2-ply is again an important option, because this allows for better absorption. You can also look for features like built-up ridges or other designs that facilitate better pick-up per towel.
- Environmental Benefits
If you go through a lot of paper towels, you may be wondering how to lessen your environmental impact. There are several levels to this, depending on the type of towels you are looking for. The first level is paper towel rolls sourced from sustainable forests, which isn’t much but definitely something. The second level is looking for towels that are directly made from recycled materials. Recycled paper towels are a little rougher, but save a lot more trees, like the Seventh Generation 100% Recycled paper towels. The third option is to look for towels that can be re-used, like our final pick. Also, keep in mind that smaller squares help you save more material!