In mid-March 2020, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, sales of toilet paper increase by 845 percent in one month. Whereas it’s usually between the 20th and 30th highest-selling product in U.S. stores, that month, it was the number-one seller.
Psychologists say the tendency to stockpile items like this has something to do with trying to regain control when we’re faced with fearful situations. Something called “social knowledge” is also a factor—we see other people stockpiling toilet paper, so we decide we’d better do so, too. And pretty soon the manufacturers are falling behind, as they simply can’t make enough products fast enough to meet the demand.
Even in normal times, toilet paper is a coveted product. Stand.earth and the National Resources Defense Council released a report in 2019 showing that the average American uses three rolls of the product per week, with what they termed “serious” consequences for wildlife and the global climate.
The answer according to environmental activists is to use more recyclable materials and alternative fibers. Meanwhile, we may have learned through the crisis to conserve a bit more, which could help everyone, even once the virus is contained.
If you’d like to think about using alternative types of toilet paper—or if you just want to be sure you’re using the best brand for you and your family—we’ve got some good information for you below.
We recently reviewed dozens of toilet paper products to find the ones that will best fit your lifestyle and needs. We looked at factors like sheets per roll, materials (including recyclable ones), softness, strength, and tearing ease. All of these top-rated toilet papers can be purchased online at Amazon.
We’ve identified Charmin Ultra Strong toilet paper as our top brand. No other brand compares when it comes to strength and absorbency, and that’s what you need if you want to use less. We’ve featured the family mega rolls as they are made to keep your family stocked no matter what the circumstances!
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Toilet Paper Products
|Best Toilet Paper Overall
|Charmin Ultra Strong Toilet Paper
|Best Gentle Toilet Paper
|Cottonelle Ultra GentleCare Sensitive Toilet Paper
|Best Budget Toilet Paper
|Scott 1000 Sheets Toilet Paper
|Best Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper
|Seventh Generation White Toilet Paper
|Best RV/Marine Toilet Paper
|Aqua-Soft Toilet Tissue
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Toilet Paper Overall: Charmin Ultra Strong Toilet Paper
You can easily use less toilet paper when it’s as strong and absorbent as Charmin Ultra Strong is. The manufacturer says it’s four times stronger than the leading bargain brand. We can’t vouch for that comparison, but we can say that this is the strongest toilet paper we tried. A few sheets of this one works just as well as a few rounds of the other brands.
This 2-ply product was designed to clean like a washcloth, with a strong, woven texture and five times more sheets per roll in these mega rolls. Families will have to buy toilet paper less frequently when using this brand, plus you can order conveniently through your Amazon Alexa device if you like, getting it delivered right to your door.
Charmin is also made in America, so the company is supplying American jobs while caring for the environment. All of the pulp used to make the toilet paper is from responsibly managed forests.
Charmin Ultra Strong Toilet Paper Key Features:
- Strong, woven, washcloth-like texture
- Four times stronger than the leading bargain brand
- Convenient ordering through Alexa if you like
- Responsibly sourced materials
Best Gentle Toilet Paper: Cottonelle Ultra GentleCare Sensitive Toilet Paper
If you find that your skin is getting rubbed raw by other tissue brands, or if you have sensitive skin that gets irritated easily, Cottonelle Ultra GentleCare Sensitive Toilet Paper is the one for you. Aloe vera and vitamin E add moisturizing properties, providing a soothing, gentle clean that will be a welcome relief after using other, rougher brands.
Don’t worry about cleanliness—soft doesn’t mean “wimpy” in this case. Cottonelle is made with a rippled texture that provides a superior clean, and this toilet paper, in particular, is two times more absorbent than the leading national value brand.
Like many of the other brands listed here, Cottonelle is FSC-Certified and uses materials from responsibly managed forests. It’s also free of any added dyes and made from fibers that are 100-percent biodegradable.
Reviewers note that this brand is great for people with rectal issues, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or hemorrhoids. Others note that it solves unwanted itching caused by perfumed brands.
Cottonelle Ultra GentleCAre Sensitive Toilet Paper Key Features:
- Made with aloe and vitamin E
- Gentler and softer than other brands
- Perfect for people with sensitive skin or rectal issues
- Rippled texture provides superior clean
- Uses only responsibly sourced materials
Best Budget Toilet Paper: Scott 1000 Sheets Toilet Paper
When the budget is tight, choose Scott 1000 Sheets Toilet Paper. It’s economical and lint-free and is also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which means the company uses sustainable practices in its manufacturing processes.
If you have sensitive skin or prefer a gentle touch, this probably isn’t the product for you (see our gentle option above), but you can get just as clean with this product as with other brands without having to pay as much. Some reviewers note that even though it’s made with a one-ply design, that one-ply is often thicker than the 2-plies offered by other brands.
The paper dissolves easily so it won’t harm your sewer or septic tank. The manufacturer says it breaks up four times faster than the average bathroom tissue for fewer clogs, plus you’ll be glad not to have to make as many roll changes with these large rolls.
Scott 1000 Sheets Toilet Paper Key Features:
- Get a lot of toilet paper for the money
- Change out rolls less frequently
- Certified by the Forest Stewardship Council
- Strong 1-ply design
Best Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper: Seventh Generation White Toilet Paper
You don’t have to feel like you’re killing trees when you buy your toilet paper if you choose Seventh Generation White Toilet Paper. This product is made from 100-percent recycled paper with no added dyes, inks, or fragrances. Seven Generation states that if every household in the U.S. replaced one 24-pack of 240-sheet toilet paper with this product, it would save nearly five million trees.
The 2-ply design is made to be extra soft and strong, so you don’t have to sacrifice quality for the planet. Reviewers note that even though it’s recycled, it still does the job well for a reasonable price, without leaving lint or dust behind like some other eco-friendly brands can do. Plus they love that they can buy it and feel good about the choices they’re making for the planet.
Seventh Generation White Toilet Paper Key Features:
- Made with 100-percent recycled paper
- No added dyes, inks, or fragrances
- 2-ply design is soft and strong
- A trusted brand for eco-friendly products
Best RV/Marine Toilet Paper: Aqua-Soft Toilet Tissue
The sewage system in your RV or boat is typically more delicate than your household system. You have to be more careful to avoid clogs or other issues, which no one wants to have to deal with while out camping or boating.
RV-friendly toilet paper is specially made to disintegrate quickly to keep your sewage system or tank running problem-free. Can you use regular toilet paper in these systems? You can, but you’re taking a risk. You might as well enjoy peace of mind by purchasing a product you know is made to work with your vehicle.
We chose the Aqua-Soft Toilet Tissue, which is designed to work with RV, marine, and portable toilets. It’s a soft, 2-ply paper that’s 100-percent biodegradable and rapid-dissolving to prevent messy clogs. Reviewers note that it’s safe for sailboats and RVs, helping them to avoid problems for years. They add that it’s soft and durable without being scratchy.
Aqua-Soft Toilet Tissue Key Features:
- Specifically designed to work with RVs and boats
- Soft, 2-ply design
- Dissolves quickly to help you avoid messy clogs
- Keeps more delicate systems running well
In the end, any toilet paper is better than none, but once the crisis passes and you have your choice again, look for these top-rated options. If you’re looking for other products for your bathrooms, check out our Best Disinfectants and Best Shower Caddys.