Canstar Blue’s paper towels review compares Viva, Quilton, Handee, ALDI Confidence, Naturale, Coles Ultra, Woolworths Essentials and Coles on strength & quality, absorption, packaging design, value for money and overall satisfaction.
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* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. By default, brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are sorted by the mean overall satisfaction score as rated by consumers. You can click the arrows at the top of any column in the table to sort by the results in that column. ^ By clicking on a brand or ‘details’ button, you will leave Canstar Blue and be taken to our referral partner to compare. You agree that Canstar Blue’s terms and conditions apply to this referral. If you click on a brand that our referral partner does not cover, you will be taken to a brand page on Canstar Blue. Canstar Blue research finalised in November 2021, published in December 2021.
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 good 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’ll want to 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.
To find out which brands are keeping Aussies happy when doing the most unpleasant tasks (cleaning), we have again surveyed more than 1,900 consumers who have bought and used paper towels in the last six months. Brands were rated on their strength and quality, absorption, packaging design, value for money and overall satisfaction. Those that received the minimum survey sample size of 30 responses are rated in this year’s report.
Our latest annual ratings saw Viva soak up a fourth consecutive win, rating best for overall satisfaction and most other categories.
Best Paper Towels
Here are the best paper towel brands in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s latest review:
Viva cleaned up the competition as the best-rated brand for absorption, strength and quality, packaging design and overall satisfaction. Runner-up Quilton and Naturale also scored top marks for packaging, while ALDI Confidence rated best for value for money.
What to consider when buying paper towels
When it comes to choosing the brand of paper towels to go with, our research revealed that about two in five (40%) Aussies always buy the same brand. Other key findings 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 and quality: 33%
Value for money: 22%
Packaging design: 12%
Strength and quality
The strength and quality of a paper towel is another 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 and quality of paper towels.
Viva achieved the only five-star review for strength and quality. Quilton, Handee, ALDI Confidence and Coles Ultra scored four stars, while the remaining brands got three stars.
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 their expectations. There’s not much point in using a paper towel that fails to soak up liquids or clean up spills, especially if you need to use almost half a roll each time.
Viva was again rated best for absorption, achieving the only five-star review for the category. Quilton, Handee, ALDI Confidence and Coles Ultra followed behind on four stars. The remaining brands got three stars.
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, a fifth (21%) of survey respondents typically buy the cheapest brand of paper towels, although roughly the same number (19%) regret buying the cheap stuff as it doesn’t soak up spills or tears too easily. That isn’t to say that all cheap brands are a flop though, but it’s something you might like to keep in mind.
ALDI Confidence was seen as the best value for money, having earned five stars. Most of the remaining brands landed on four stars, except for Naturale which got three stars.
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 placed at the top for packaging design with five stars, alongside Quilton and Naturale. Handee and ALDI Confidence received four stars and the remaining brands landed on three stars.
Which paper towel should I buy?
Viva has topped our paper towel ratings for the fourth year in a row, which gives credibility to the brand. If how well a paper towel can absorb a big spill is the most important factor to you, then Viva, Quilton, Handee, and ALDI Confidence might be the brands to consider, according to our review. But, if you’re on a budget, you may like to look at supermarket branded options like ALDI Confidence which was rated to provide the best value for money. At the end of the day, it’s important to compare a range of brands, as you’ll want a paper towel that gets the job done every time.
About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Content Lead, Megan Birot. She’s an expert on household appliances, health & beauty products, as well as all things grocery and shopping. When she’s not writing up our research-based ratings reports, Megan spends her time helping consumers make better purchase decisions, whether it’s at the supermarket, other retailers, or online, highlighting the best deals and flagging anything you need to be aware of.
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 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 six months – in this case, 1,972 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.
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