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Best Paper Towels

(Image credit: Amazon)

Life is messy, and sometimes you need a quick fix for spills. That's where paper towels come in handy. They are perfect for cleaning all the dirties that come your way. There are paper towels that size to your needs, and they're incredible. Some paper towels just flat-out work better than others. Here's the rundown of what we like and why.

Brawny Tear-a-Square

Use only what you need

Best overall
Can be separated into 2 or 4 sheets
Absorbent
Durable when wet
16 rolls included
Good for multiple uses
Only 64 sheets per roll

These paper towels look like the ones your mom used but come with the added convenience of being able to tear them in quarters or halves, so you only use what you need. Each large sheet is perforated. You can work with the entire paper towel if you need to wipe up big spills, tear it in half for smaller splatters, and even separate it into quarters and put it to work as a napkin or give the appliances a quick once-over.

Each sheet is two-ply, so it's thick and absorbent. Like all Brawny products, these towels are durable. You can blot up water spills and wipe down the counters after cooking with just one sheet. It never shreds, breaks down, or wears out. The unique tear-away design lends itself to a wide variety of uses both inside and outside the home.

There are fewer towels per roll when you go this route. It's not a huge difference, but it does add up if you buy paper towels in bulk. That said, if you find a full sheet of paper toweling is often going to waste in your household, these are an excellent alternative. They stand up well to harsh cleaning jobs, and the tear-away design is eco-friendly.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Scott Essential Multifold Paper Towels

The paper towels you can take anywhere

Best value
4,000 paper towels per box
Handy for the car or home
Cheap
Great for cleaning
Perfect size for travel
Not as absorbent as other options

Scott paper towels don't come on an awkward roll but are instead folded and tucked into cardboard packs. There are 16 packs included, and each contains 250 sheets. In case you're not doing the math with me, that's 4,000 paper towels per box. Wow!

Scott's towels can fit in most universal multifold paper towel dispensers, or you can stuff a box in the glove compartment, on your kitchen counter, or anywhere else you need them. We like to keep a box handy for camping. Though ideal for drying hands after washing, the tight weave on the paper also works well for cleaning mirrors, soaking up food splashes, and even wiping down the car.

These aren't as absorbent as more traditional paper towels, but they work well enough for 99 percent of what you need them to do. And let's face it, this is one heck of a bargain. Whether you're refilling a paper towel dispenser or looking for toss-away rags you can stick in the car, these paper towels from Scott will get the job done.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Presto! by Amazon

The towel that keeps going

Best for tough jobs
Super strong
Good value
Can restock using Alexa
Soaks up messes
Sourced from sustainable forests
Leaves a little lint behind

If you long for old fashion full-sheet paper towels, this 12-count pack from Presto! will impress. With 90 sheets per roll, you'll get well over one thousand thirsty paper towels per box.

Full-size sheets from Presto! are sourced from sustainable forests, something we always like to see. Do they work? Yes! These towels can soak up big and small messes, get a rinse, and continue cleaning. As a former user of big brand name paper towels, I've made the switch to Presto! and haven't noticed a difference in quality.

These aren't the greatest for cleaning windows or mirrors, something that's true for many brands of paper towels. They tend to leave a bit of lint behind on glass. For basic cleaning and wiping up messes, Presto! paper towels are a choice you won't regret. And bonus: you can reorder towels using Alexa.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Viva TaskSize

Clean anything

Best multi-surface
Cloth-like feel
Sucks up liquid like a sponge
Soft enough for use anywhere
Doesn't leave lint behind on glass
Works better when wet

When you want one paper towel that can do it all, you should reach for Viva TaskSize. Viva is known for its cloth-like paper towels that not only suck up spills but also feel like a soft rag. Because they're not as harsh or scratchy as other towels, these won't leave marks or streaks behind on delicate glass or other surfaces.

These are big towels, and they're made for big jobs. Viva TaskSize paper towels excel at cleaning large spills, polishing fingerprints off glass and mirrors, and general cleaning. Their biggest plus is that no lint is left behind on windows or mirrors. Fantastic!

It's worth mentioning that these paper towels work better when wet or at least damp. They tend to absorb more liquid and power out stains with less elbow grease when pre-moistened. That goes for windows and glass too. You'll want to use a window cleaner with the towels in those instances. For cleaning anywhere around your house, Viva TaskSize is the right paper towel for the job.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Seventh Generation

Tough on grime, easy on the planet

Best environmental-friendly
Durable
Dye and chlorine-free
Made from recycled materials
Compostable
Absorbent
Thin

Seventh Generation has made a name for themselves producing eco-friendly cleaning products that are easy on the planet and tough on dirt. Their paper towels are no different.

This 24 pack of paper towels are made of 100 percent recycled paper, at least half of which comes from post-consumer recycled content. There's no chlorine, dyes, inks, or fragrances added. And if that weren't enough, each paper towel is compostable.

These two-ply paper towels are perforated so that you're able to use a full sheet when required, and a half sheet when less is called for. These aren't quite as thick as other choices, but they are every bit as efficient and durable when put to use cleaning.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Kitchen + Home Bamboo Towels

The machine-washable paper towel

Best reuseable
Machine-washable
Super strong
Versatile
Perfect for windows and glass
Large size towels
Stains don't wash out

If you grimace a little each time you throw a paper towel away, you will adore these machine-washable bamboo paper towels from Kitchen + Home. One roll of bamboo towels replace six months worth of regular paper towels.

These are made from sustainable bamboo and are entirely lint-free, so they're great on windows, mirrors, and other shiny surfaces. They're also super durable. So durable, they're machine washable and reusable up to 120 times.

These towels are a large 11"x24" and can be used to clean up spills, wipe down counters, clean windows to a streak-free shine, and more. They're soft enough to dry hands and use on wood, yet durable enough to use and reuse over and over again. One word of caution: stains do not wash off these towels. If you clean a dirty floor or wipe up a red sauce, even after a run through the washing machine, that stain will still be present. If you can live with that, these are versatile towels that are good for you and the environment.