Top-Performing Paper Towels

90% of American families use paper towels. But how do you know you're getting the best one for your money?

Consumer Reports puts them to the test.

For small spills and messes, it's often paper towels to the rescue!

Walk down any paper-towel aisle, and you'll see lots claiming to be the best, but which is the best?

Consumer Reports tested 21 paper towels including ones from Viva, Bounty, and Scott, as well as those claiming to be made from recycled paper.

In an absorbency test, testers measure the amount of water each paper towel holds-adjusting for sheet-size differences so that each paper towel faces the same challenge.

"Out tests found the best paper towels held almost three ounces of water, but the worst performers held just half an ounce." said Consumer Reports Kim Kleeman.

In a wet-strength test, Consumer Reports measure how much weight a wet towel can support before it breaks.

And in another test, a paper towel is scrubbed against a tile surface until it starts to shred.

One of the towels started to shred after 25 passes. And after 50 passes, it started coming apart.

Meanwhile, another paper towel was still holding up after 50 passes.

When it comes to the green paper towels tested, Consumer Reports found most using recycled paper were not up to the job.

"Practically every green paper towel we tested scored at the bottom of each of our tests." said Kleeman.

The clear winner-Bounty Extra Soft.

For good performing and less expensive paper towels, try Walgreens Ultra Quilted or Viva Kleenex.

They are Consumer Reports Best Buys.

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