Canstar Blue’s 2020 tissues review has seen Quilton, Kleenex, ALDI Confidence, Sorbent, Woolworths Select, Coles and Symphony compared on strength & quality, softness, packaging design, value for money and overall satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
Facial tissues have come a long old way since the humble handkerchief! Think hypoallergenic, 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 the supermarket labels tick all the boxes? This is exactly what our customer review aims to find out.
We’ve surveyed more than 2,200 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 of choice on a number of key factors, including the strength & quality, softness, packaging design, value for money, and overall satisfaction. Those which received at least 30 survey responses are featured in our report.
So, which brand topped the results? Quilton is back in first place since first winning our customer satisfaction award for tissues in 2018.
Here are the best brands of tissues in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s latest review:
Quilton topped our ratings with five stars for strength & quality, packaging design and overall satisfaction. Last year’s winner Kleenex still managed to receive full marks for softness and strength & quality, while the supermarket brands ALDI Confidence and Woolworths Select received five-star ratings for value for money.
Read on for an overview of the seven brands in our ratings, 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 hypoallergenic option, designed for those who suffer from mild skin irritations. Quilton also has new cooling lotion tissues available in two variants, (vitamin E and menthol & eucalyptus), which contain a soothing lotion formula to feel cool to the touch and easy on the skin, according to the brand.
Quilton’s range includes:
Quilton scored five stars for strength & quality, packaging design and overall satisfaction. It got four stars on 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 ‘Wellbeing’ tissues in three options – aloe vera, eucalyptus and lavender-scented tissues – while the Everyday range features three-ply thickness. It also has To Go packs for when you’re out and about with a Slim Pocket Pack designed to fit in – you guessed it – your pocket! Plus, you’ll also find anti-bacterial Wet Wipes within the range.
Kleenex was rated five stars for strength & quality and softness, plus four stars for packaging design and overall satisfaction. It got three stars in regards to value for money.
The German supermarket is a favourite for many household staples, including multigrain bread and long life milk. Its facial tissues come packed in a number of fairly funky and modern designs, with each pack containing 224 two-ply white facial tissues. The range also features aloe vera and vitamin E infused tissues, claimed to be hypoallergenic.
ALDI Confidence received five stars for value for money, and four stars for strength & quality, packaging design and overall satisfaction. It got three stars on softness.
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, Hypoallergenic and Velvet, stated to offer something for every member of the family. Its hypoallergenic facial tissues come in a 200 pack and are claimed to be dermatologically tested for use on sensitive skin with no additives, inks, dyes or perfumes.
Sorbent’s range includes:
Sorbent scored four stars for overall satisfaction and most categories, except value for money where it received three stars.
Supermarket giant Woolworths offers its line of facial tissues under the ‘Select’ brand. Woolworths Select Facial Tissues feature an aloe vera infused option in three-ply (95 pack). Woolworths states the aloe vera is a natural ingredient that’s designed to help soothe irritated skin. There’s also Woolworths Essentials facial tissues in a 224 pack for $1.
Woolworths Select rated five stars for value for money and four stars for overall satisfaction. It got three stars for strength & quality, softness and packaging design.
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).
Coles was rated four stars for value for money and overall satisfaction. It got three stars for strength & quality, softness and packaging design.
Symphony tissues are available exclusively from Woolworths. The 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, with no chlorine used in its tissue making process. It has a number of trendy box designs and three-pack varieties (pictured) available.
Symphony rounded up the scores with four stars for strength & quality and three stars for softness, packaging design, value for money and overall satisfaction.
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:
Before we dive into each of these factors below, our research also identified the following interesting findings:
Tissues may be a relatively low-cost grocery item, but shoppers have high expectations about quality. Close to half of survey respondents (41%) said they notice a difference between homebrand and brand-name tissues – so there are plenty of options out there, 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 either, with previous 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.
It seems clear from these findings that strength and 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 from a major label, while homebrand tissues from Coles, Woolworths and ALDI all cost under $1. Just under a third (28%) 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.
Ultimately, the tissue brand you buy will depend on your budget and preferences. If you have sensitive skin, you may opt for a brand that specifically targets this, while those looking to save a dollar or two might find themselves scanning for the cheapest option in the aisle.
Tissues are a staple whether you’re at home or out and about, so having them stocked is a must! Each brand also features a range of sizes whether you need a jumbo box or a small packet to fit in your back pocket. We hope this guide has provided a helpful insight into what consumers think of the tissue brands available from your local supermarket.
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.
Picture credits: little star/Shutterstock.com, SG SHOT/Shutterstock.com.
Our latest customer satisfaction research on tissues saw a number of brands rated best in different categories:
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 three months – in this case, 2,222 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.
Here are the past winners from our tissues review:
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