Are Pricey Paper Towels Worth the Money? We Tested the Most Popular Brands to Find Out.

Do you opt for generic or go with the pricey quilted brands? We tested eight to find out which is the best paper towel for your everyday kitchen messes.

Do you ever feel like you live in a TV commercial? The kind where you spill orange juice or drip marinara sauce and the second you go to wipe it up with a paper towel, that towel falls apart? It happens to all of us, but at Taste of Home, we decided no more! That’s why we put eight paper towel brands to the test so we’d never have to worry about flimsy sheets or using half the roll to clean a single spill again.

To test out all these towels, our editors developed a standardized test to really see how they stacked up. We poured a quarter cup of water on a tabletop and set a sheet of paper towel (folded in half) on top for 30 seconds. We checked how much the towel soaked up and then gave it a tug and a wring to see if it could go another round cleaning up another mess. Let’s see which ones withstood the stress!

The Best Paper Towels: Brawny


In the race for the best paper towel, one brand reigned supreme: Brawny. This paper towel soaked up all the mess we threw its way and still had some dry edges to spare for a bigger spill. After wringing out a sheet of Brawny, we felt it was dry enough to do another round of cleanup. As for that tug test—Brawny didn’t rip until eight good tugs. That’s one strong towel. We definitely think this super absorbent, super strong towel is what you need for cleaning up those big spills that happen in every kitchen. And if you rely on paper towels for tough messes and regular cleaning, spending a little extra is worth it.

$11 for a pack of 8; available at retailers nationwide.

Our Other Favorite Paper Towels



Coming in just shy of our top spot was the quilted Quicker Picker-Upper: Bounty. Like its competitor, it soaked up all the mess we gave it, and after being squeezed, was ready for more. It didn’t hold up as well in our tug test, but its ultra-absorbent powers more than made up for it.

$16.99 for a pack of eight; available at retailers nationwide.



Looking for a good paper towel, but want to save some pennies? We recommend Aldi’s Boulder brand. It soaked up all our drippy messes. Like the others, it soaked up every bit of spilled liquid and could even manage to clean up a bit more. This brand wasn’t the strongest, but it sure was durable. Plus, at an affordable price, it’s more than worth it.

$5.99 for a pack of eight rolls; available exclusively at Aldi.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to paper towels, you pay for performance. If you’re looking for a paper towel that can hold up to wringing, scrubbing and tugging, investing in a pricier brand like Brawny and Bounty is smart. If you don’t rely on paper towels for difficult messes, a budget brand like Boulder will do just fine.

Be sure to check out our other Best Loved Brands to keep your house feeling clean and fresh (and to keep your pantry stocked with the very best, too!).

Best Loved Brands Button

1 / 10

Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is a former Taste of Home editor and passionate baker. During her tenure, she poured her love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa also dedicated her career here to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.