2018 Paper Towel Reviews

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Review paper towels from Viva, Quilton, ALDI Confidence, Handee, Coles Ultra, Woolworths Select, Woolworths Homebrand, Coles and Black & Gold on strength & quality, value for money, absorption, packaging design and overall satisfaction.

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Most Satisfied Customers | Viva

Viva has beaten other brands for customer satisfaction in Canstar Blue’s inaugural paper towel review, scoring five-stars on overall satisfaction as well as strength & quality, absorption and packing design. It was a respectable four stars on value for money.

Viva cleans up in paper towel ratings

When it comes to cleaning up, paper towels are a staple for many Aussie households. Whether it’s to wipe down the kitchen bench, clean up the BBQ, or even check the engine oil, there are plenty of uses for the humble paper towel both inside and outside the home. It might also be on your packing list for camping trips and picnics. So, with paper towels playing such an important role, you’d want to make sure you find a quality product, so you don’t end up using the whole roll for one spill! Buying ‘cheap’ might not mean you’re buying an inferior product, but buying the most expensive may not guarantee the best value for money either.

So, to find out which brand has kept Aussies happy when doing the most unpleasant tasks (cleaning), we surveyed more than 2,000 consumers who have bought and used paper towels in the last three months. Key factors considered included strength & quality, absorption, packaging design and value for money. Nine brands made into our inaugural paper towel ratings, but only one topped the rest – Viva.

Viva Paper Towels

Viva received five-star reviews on overall satisfaction, strength & quality, absorption and packaging design. It also got a respectable four stars on value for money.

The nine brands in our 2018 paper towels review were rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:

  • 1st Viva
  • 2nd Quilton
  • 3rd ALDI Confidence
  • 4th Handee
  • 5th Coles Ultra
  • 6th Woolworths Select
  • 7th Woolworths Homebrand
  • 8th Coles
  • 9th Black & Gold

Quilton, ALDI Confidence, Handee and Coles Ultra had to settle on four stars overall, while the rest of the supermarket labels – Woolworths Select, Woolworths Homebrand, Coles and Black & Gold – rated just three stars apiece.

Although Viva may have won overall, there were a couple of other brands that shined in certain areas – ALDI Confidence was the only brand to receive five stars on value for money while Quilton was the only other brand alongside Viva to achieve five stars for packaging design.

Viva offers multi-use cleaning towels boasted for a unique ‘Tough Wave Texture’ and FSC certified responsible forest management. There’s also a Bamboo fibre variant stated to have a blend of FSC certified bamboo and wood fibre, for a ‘renewable alternative’. These come in packs of two and three for standard and double length options. Prices range from $3.50 to $7.

What to consider when buying paper towels

When it comes to choosing the brand of paper towels to go with, our research revealed that almost half (46%) of Aussie consumers always buy the same brand. Other key finding from our research included:

Key drivers of satisfaction

When it comes to buying paper towels, there are a few key factors that will make or break the paper towel (literally). Our survey identified the following drivers of customer satisfaction when it comes to paper towels:

  • Strength & quality: 35%
  • Value for money: 27%
  • Absorption: 27%
  • Packaging design: 11%

Strength & quality

Paper Towel Strength and Quality

Strength & quality is evidently the biggest factor affecting customer satisfaction. If you’ve ever tried to wipe up a greasy grill on a BBQ and half of the paper towel got left behind – doubling the cleaning you needed to do – you’d also value the strength & quality of paper towels. 91% of survey respondents said they’ve tried more than one brand and we understand why – if our ratings are of any indication, there is plenty of choice in the market, making it easy for consumers to switch when one brand doesn’t cut it.

Viva was the only brand to achieve five stars for strength & quality in our 2018 ratings, with Quilton, ALDI Confidence, Handee and Coles Ultra behind on four stars. It was just three stars for Woolworths Select, Woolworths Homebrand, Coles and Black & Gold.

Value for money

Getting good value for money is also important, which makes sense considering how many rolls you’d go through in a lifetime. However, buying the cheapest brand might not always get the job done. According to our review, two in five (39%) said they buy the cheapest brand of paper towels, while more than half (56%) regret buying cheap paper towels as they don’t soak up/tear easily. That isn’t to say that all cheap brands are a flop, but it’s something you might like to keep in mind.

ALDI Confidence was the only brand to rate five stars on value for money, followed by Viva, Coles Ultra, Woolworths Select and Woolworths Homebrand with four stars. The rest scored just three stars.


Paper Towel Absorption

Many brands boast fast absorption times, but whether they live up to these claims is another matter. That’s why we survey customers to find out which are really living up to the expectations. There’s not really much point to a paper towel if you’re using almost half a roll each time.

Viva was the only brand to rate five stars for absorption, which backs up some of its claims. Quilton, ALDI Confidence and Handee rated four stars while the rest of the supermarket labels got three stars.

Packaging design

While packaging design won’t have any impact on cleaning performance, it’s still an important factor to consider. Packaging that’s easy to open helps with the overall cleaning process. Think urgent clean-ups and annoying plastic packaging! Some brands boast environmentally friendly packaging to help reduce waste.

Viva and Quilton were the only two brands to rate five stars on packaging design, with ALDI Confidence, Handee, Coles Ultra and Woolworths Select on four stars. Woolworths Homebrand and Coles received three stars while Black & Gold got two.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue surveyed 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used paper towels in the last 3 months – in this case, 2,280 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overalls satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.