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Compare facial tissues from brands Quilton, Kleenex, Sorbent, ALDI Confidence, Woolworths Select, Symphony and Coles, based on their strength & quality, softness, value for money, packaging design and overall customer satisfaction in 2018.
Canstar Blue research finalised in September 2018, published in September 2018.
See our Ratings Methodology.
Quilton wipes away the competition in tissue ratings
Facial tissues have come a long old way since the humble handkerchief! Think hypo-allergenic, lavender, eucalyptus and Aloe Vera fusions, giving consumers plenty of choice for their nose-y needs. Tissues are certainly a supermarket staple for many Australians. And besides the big-name brands, there are also a number of homebrand alternatives, so what’s best? Is it worth spending more on the named brands, or do supermarket labels tick all the boxes? This is exactly what our customer reviews aim to find out.
We went out to more than 2,300 shoppers and asked about their recent purchase of tissues, to identify which brands make up the perfect blend of quality and price. Consumers rated their brand on a number of factors, including strength & quality, softness, value for money, packaging design, and overall satisfaction. So, which brand topped the results in 2018? Australian owned and made – Quilton.
Quilton took top spot in this year’s tissue review, scoring five stars on overall satisfaction, strength & quality, and packaging design, with four stars for softness and value for money. The seven brands to feature in our 2018 comparison were rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:
- 1st Quilton
- 2nd Kleenex
- 3rd Sorbent
- 4th ALDI Confidence
- 5th Woolworths Select
- 6th Symphony
- 7th Coles
Last year’s winner Kleenex had to settle for second place this year, with Sorbent and ALDI Confidence coming in close behind, all with four stars for overall satisfaction. Symphony, along with supermarket labels Woolworths Select and Coles, received three stars overall.
Other results of note included Kleenex achieving five stars for strength & quality, along with Quilton. Kleenex was also the only brand to score five stars on softness, while ALDI Confidence and Woolworths Select were the only two brands to receive five stars on value for money.
Read on for an overview of the seven brands in our review, followed by what to consider when buying facial tissues.
Quilton offers a range of two, three and four-ply facial tissues, claiming to not just be for your nose but ideal for make-up removal, mopping up small spills, and wiping away any tears. You might like to take these with you if you’re watching a rom-com at the movies! Its two-ply line is a hypo-allergenic option, designed for those who suffer from mild skin irritations. Quilton also has two Aloe Vera infused choices in either three or four-ply, claimed to help reduce redness and dry skin. In addition, for blocked noses, you’ll find Eucalyptus infused three-ply tissues.
Quilton blew the competition away in this year’s review, with five stars for overall satisfaction, as well as strength & quality, packaging design and overall customer satisfaction. It was a respectable four stars for two other categories – softness and value for money.
Kleenex has been around since the 1920s, launching in Australia the following decade. Kleenex offers various lines of tissues, including its Special Care range that features a number of different scents. It also has a Kids’ range with fun designs, an Everyday mix, To Go packs for when you’re out and about, plus Wet Wipes. Special Care tissues include four options – ultra soft, plus Aloe Vera, Eucalyptus and Lavender scented tissues – while the Everyday range features a hypo-allergenic option.
Kleenex was rated four stars for overall satisfaction in 2018, as well as for packaging design. It was five stars for strength & quality and softness, but three stars in regards to value for money.
Sorbent launched in Australia in 1952 and provides toilet paper, wipes and facial tissues in its range. Sorbent’s facial tissues are available in Soft White, Thick & Large, Aloe & Eucalyptus, Hypo-allergenic, Velvet and Big Kids form, boasting something for every member of the family. Its hypo-allergenic facial tissues come in a 224 pack and are claimed to be dermatologically tested for use on sensitive skin with no additives, inks, dyes or perfumes.
In our 2018 review, Sorbent scored four stars for overall satisfaction and in all other categories, except value for money where it received three stars.
The German supermarket is a favourite for many household staples including multigrain bread, fresh milk, long life milk and frozen veg. Its facial tissues come in a number of funky and modern designs. Expect two-ply white facial tissues that come in a pack of 224.
ALDI Confidence achieved four stars for overall satisfaction, as well as in two other categories – strength & quality, plus packaging design. It rated three stars on softness, but five stars on value for money.
Supermarket giant Woolworths offers its range of facial tissues under the ‘Select’ brand. Woolworths Select Facial Tissues feature an Aloe Vera infused option in three-ply (95 pack). Woolworths boasts the Aloe Vera as a natural ingredient to help soothe irritated skin.
Woolworths Select received three stars for overall satisfaction, but achieved five stars on value for money. It was three stars in all other categories – strength & quality, softness and packaging design.
Symphony tissues are available at Woolworths. Its range is said to be soft to the touch yet two-ply strong and low lint. According to Symphony, it uses recycled waste paper for its packaging wherever possible. It also claims there is no chlorine used in its tissue making process. It has a number of trendy box designs and two pack varieties – single pack (hypo-allergenic) and value multi packs.
Symphony scored three stars for overall satisfaction, as well as for two other categories – strength & quality, plus softness. It was a reputable four stars in regards to value for money and packaging design, standing up to some of its claims.
Coles facial tissues are stated to be packed in Australia from imported ingredients. Its range consists of a 224 pack of two-ply white tissues, a 95 pack of three-ply tissues enhanced with Aloe Vera, a 95 pack of eucalyptus infused facial tissues, and a standard 90 pack of two-ply white facial tissues. You might also find a limited edition lavender infused option (95 pack).
This year, Coles was rated three stars overall and in most other research categories, except value for money where it received four stars.
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What to consider when buying facial tissues
As well as revealing which tissue brands are highest rated, our research identified the following drivers of customer satisfaction when it comes to facial tissues:
- Strength and quality: 33%
- Softness: 28%
- Value for money: 28%
- Packaging design: 11%
Before we dive into each of these factors below, our research also identified the following interesting findings:
Strength & Quality
Tissues may be a relatively low-cost grocery item, but shoppers have high expectations about quality. 91% of survey respondents told us they’ve tried more than one brand, and it makes sense – there are plenty of options, making it easy to switch when one brand doesn’t live up to expectations.
Softness was the second greatest driver of customer satisfaction, according to our research, with many brands boasting “extra-soft” tissues. It might not all be just marketing, with 70% of survey respondents indicating they notice a difference between normal tissues and specially marked ‘soft’ tissues. So, it may be worth investing in extra soft tissues, as the only thing worse than having a cold is having a tissue that feels like you’re blowing your nose into sand paper.
Value for money
It seems clear from these findings that strength & quality is the aim of the game, although consumers are still very conscious of price. At the high-end, you could easily spend $3 on a jumbo box of Kleenex tissues, while homebrand tissues from Coles, Woolworths and ALDI all cost under $1. Almost half (46%) of survey respondents said they generally buy the cheapest brand.
Swapping some big-name brands for private labels is a simple and easy way to cut your overall grocery costs, but when it comes to tissues, you’ll have to ask yourself whether or not the extra quality is worth paying for.
While the packaging design shouldn’t impact the tissue itself, it’s nice to have a nice-looking box sitting on the table to blend in with your home décor. Most brands come in a variety of colours and designs, as well as something fun for the kids, featuring movie characters they know and love. While it might be just a simple thing, it can make a big difference to you.
So, there you have it, we hope this guide has provided a helpful insight into what Aussies think of the tissue brands available from your local supermarket.
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 tissues in the last 3 months – in this case, 2,397 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 overall 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.