Paper Towel Reviews


Canstar Blue’s 2019 paper towels review has seen Viva, ALDI Confidence Samson, Handee, Quilton, Naturale, Black & Gold, Woolworths Homebrand, Coles, Coles Ultra and Woolworths Select rated on customer satisfaction.

See Our Ratings Methodology

Most Satisfied Customers | Viva

For the second year in a row, Viva has cleaned up in Canstar Blue’s paper towel review, receiving five stars for absorption, strength and quality, packaging design and overall satisfaction.

Viva on a roll 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 2,400 consumers who have bought and used paper towels in the last three months. Key factors considered included absorption, strength and quality, packaging design and value for money.

While 10 brands made it into our paper towel ratings, only one achieved five stars for overall customer satisfaction – Viva. Winning for the second year in a row, Viva received five-star reviews across most key areas, including overall satisfaction, absorption, strength and quality, as well as packaging design. It also got a respectable four stars on value for money. Viva is certainly ‘on a roll’ when it comes to satisfaction with paper towels.

Best-Rated Paper Towels

Best paper towels

The 10 brands in our 2019 paper towels review were rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:

  • 1st Viva
  • 2nd ALDI Confidence Samson
  • 3rd Handee
  • 4th Quilton
  • 5th Naturale
  • 6th Black and Gold
  • 7th Woolworths Homebrand
  • 8th Coles
  • 9th Coles Ultra
  • 10th Woolworths Select

ALDI Confidence Samson, Handee, Quilton and Naturale were all rated four stars for overall satisfaction, while the rest of the supermarket labels – Black and Gold, Woolworths Homebrand, Coles, Coles Ultra and Woolworths Select – rated just three stars apiece.

Although Viva won overall, there were a couple of other brands that shone in certain areas – ALDI Confidence Samson and Woolworths Homebrand were the only two brands to receive five stars on value for money.

Viva offers multi-use cleaning towels boasted for a unique ‘Quick Clean 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, three or six for both the standard and double length options. Prices range from $3.50 to $8.

What to consider when buying paper towels

When it comes to choosing the brand of paper towels to go with, our research revealed that one in four (27%) 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:

  • Absorption: 33%
  • Value for money: 31%
  • Strength and quality: 28%
  • Packaging design: 8%


Woman wiping frying pan with paper towel indoors

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 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. ALDI Confidence Samson, Handee and Quilton rated four stars, while the rest of the supermarket labels, plus Naturale, 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 quarter (26%) of survey respondents said they buy the cheapest brand of paper towels, while one in five (19%) regret buying cheap paper towels as they don’t soak up/tear easily, which has decreased from 56% last year. So, 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 Samson and Woolworths Homebrand were both rated five stars on value for money, followed by Coles, Black and Gold, Viva, Woolworths Select, Coles Ultra and Naturale with four stars. Handee and Quilton scored just three stars.

Strength and quality

Woman wiping knife with paper towel in kitchen

Strength and quality 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. 56% 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 and quality in our 2019 ratings, with Quilton, Handee, ALDI Confidence Samson, Naturale, Coles Ultra, plus Black and Gold behind on four stars. It was just three stars for Coles, Woolworths Select and Woolworths Homebrand.

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 was the only brand to rate five stars on packaging design, with Naturale, Quilton, ALDI Confidence Samson and Handee on four stars. All other brands received three stars.

Which paper towel should I buy?

Viva has topped our paper towel ratings for the second year in a row, which gives credibility to the brand. If how well a paper towel can absorb a spill is the most important factor to you then Viva, ALDI, Handee or Quilton might be the brands to consider, according to our review. However, if you’re on a budget, you may like to look at ALDI and Woolworths Homebrand as both of these brands proved themselves in providing 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

Dean Heckscher

This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Content Projects Lead, Dean Heckscher. He’s our resident expert on all things automotive, health & fitness, streaming and more. Dean is also one of Canstar Blue’s customer research report producers, helping to turn complicated subjects into easily-digestible information for our readers. He’s passionate about helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services.

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More about Paper Towels

Our latest customer satisfaction research on paper towels saw a number of brands rated best in different categories: 

  • Best Overall: Viva was rated best for overall satisfaction, ahead of ALDI and Handee.
  • Best Absorption: Viva was again rated best for absorption, followed by Quilton and Handee.
  • Best Value: ALDI was rated best for value for money, leading the way from Woolworths Homebrand and Coles.
  • Best Strength & Quality: Viva was rated best for strength & quality, ahead of Quilton and Handee.
  • Best Packaging Design: Viva was a clear winner for packaging design, with Naturale and Quilton the next best-rated.

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, 2,401 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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