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January 30th, 2021 in


What are the types of Toilet paper? Uses, features and more

Toilet paper is a basic necessity, especially in the western world. So why go blind on toilet paper purchase. Here are all the types of toilet paper and what difference it makes to you, your toilet and the environment.

Toilet paper was adopted for mass use by the rich in the 1850s in the name of the medicated paper. Since then, toilet paper has grown and taken over as a huge market with a 35.53 bn cap in the US, led by Kimberly-Clark.

Enough history, let’s get to the types of toilet paper that are available in the market.


Pile of toilet paper


Types of toilet paper

There are a lot of different yet unique toilet papers in the market that comes with different features and sources with a purpose of their own.

1 Ply Toilet Paper

Toilet paper with one layer to it but not as thin or very light to the point of unusable. It is generally the cheapest of most toilet paper options because of the easy manufacturing process.

However, some people tend to use multiple sheets at one instance for ensured cleaning and comfort. If you are one of those, don’t buy one-ply toilet paper.

On the other hand, it is the easiest and fastest to dissolve hence ideal for narrow toilet bowls and easily clogging septic systems.

Excerpt: What is ply?

Ply generally refers to the count of layers that are put together. In toilet paper, a ply refers to a layer of paper that are rolled together. Ply count doesn’t have a direct relation to the thickness or the dissolvability of the toilet paper.

2 Ply Toilet Paper

Two-ply toilet paper has two layers rolled together. The thickness however is not always higher than that of a 1 ply counterpart even from the same brand. However, you can find it by simple math (total weight of the roll divided by the number of sheets in it).

The same goes with the dissolvability, but most of the times two lighter sheets is easier to break down than one thick paper. And two layers of tissue paper also adds to the absorbability, comfort and ease of use which makes it the most common toilet paper in the whole world.

Ask for a toilet paper roll without any specification and you are most likely to get a 2-ply toilet paper.

3 Ply Toiler Paper, Multi-Ply Toilet Paper

More ply means more absorption and getting the job done with lesser pulls. 3 Ply Toilet Paper is common in the market. But if you are looking for something more than 3, you still can get it. But beware there are high chances of clogging the toilet. More on how to deal with flushing issues and picking the best toilet paper to suit your toilet will follow by.

I would recommend not going beyond 3plies as it is the middle ground of comfort, price per head and toilet maintenance.

Coloured Toilet Paper

Coloured toilet paper was considered a luxury in the 1950s which gained popularity. However, the popularity fell due to the impact of dyes used affecting the environment and the user. The trend slowly faded and came to an end by the start of the 21st century.

Now, they are available again in the market. How safe are they to the skin and environment? Is a question we don’t have an answer to. They usually come in 2 to 4 plies and have texture and softness like generic toilet paper.

Printed toilet paper is another variety similar to coloured that is purely done for the fanciness and nothing else. Remember those trump toilet paper?


Coloured toilet paper


Luxury Toilet paper (or) Extra Soft Toilet Paper

Luxury toilet paper can have any one or more of the features mentioned below on 2 to 4 ply toilet paper.

  • Ultra-soft
  • Quilted
  • Scented/perfumed
  • Lotioned
  • Coloured

It is more of a lifestyle statement than a need. Ultra-soft toilet paper is preferred by some to prevent rashes and added comfort. Otherwise, every other feature is just luxury, including the price tag.

You can find luxury toilet papers claiming premium, super soft and a lot of other things. True to its nature, it is well received particularly in the USA with demands increasing faster than ever. But the environmental impact is not on the bright side.

When buying luxury toilet paper do not buy multi-packs. Try a single role and if it suits go for bulk.

Hypoallergic Toilet Paper (or) Toilet paper for sensitive skin

Just like soaps and other cleanliness products some people are sensitive and get allergic to generic toilet papers. The making of toilet paper involves a lot of chemicals of which chlorine, formaldehyde and bleach are prominent.

The hypoallergic toilet paper either avoids using the above-mentioned chemicals or use fewer chemicals and adds anti-allergens like aloe vera to counterbalance it. Why aloe vera for sensitive skin you may ask. It is one of the best anti-allergen for the skin.

An ideal anti-allergic toilet paper for sensitive skin is chlorine-free (PCF), formaldehyde-free and enriched in aloe vera. Do check for these three before buying.

Brown Toilet Paper (or) Non-Bleach Toilet Paper

Often named Non-bleach toilet paper or No-chemical toilet paper differs from the rest by skipping the bleaching process and hence appears in a shade of brown, the natural colour of wood pulp. This is similar to hypoallergic toilet paper but with a different motive.

Toilet papers are used in abundance and also the bleach to make it white. The choice to go without bleach will save a lot of environmental pollution.

Recycled Toilet Paper

As the name suggests, this toilet paper is made out of recycled paper. You can spot varieties of the recycled toilet paper unbleached in different plies and textures. A conservative method to keep tree cutting under control for the never-ending need for toilet paper.

Recycled papers are assumed to be coarse and rough on the skin which is why people fear using them. But modern manufacturing methods have managed to give a better texture all while saving 50 per cent on water consumption, manufacturing energy and pollution.

Bamboo Toilet paper

Using bamboo for toilet paper manufacturing is the modern solution to the long-existing problem of cutting down the trees. Bamboos are grass that has a very high growth rate compared to trees and hence producing tissues out of it is more sustainable.

Bamboo toilet paper is usually made from a mix of bamboo and sugarcane and uses an eco-friendly manufacturing process. The best eco-friendly and green solution to produce toilet paper without dependence on trees.

Unlike recycled paper, bamboo toilet paper is soft and silky. However, there is a significant downside of price. Right now, only a few households are willing to pay the extra to preserve the earth’s greenness.

RV Toilet Paper

Also known as travel toilet paper and marine toilet paper is designed with the waste system used in RVs and ships in mind. It is a very special case toilet tissue that is required for a black-box septic system and other similar systems.

Wax and plastic-free nature help in easy dissolving and soft on the skin, usually come in 1 or 2 ply rolls. If your toilet clogs due to toilet paper, using travel toilet paper should solve your problem for the time being.


Is that all?

Yes, this is the classification of toilet papers widely available in the market.

Wait, I see you still confused about what toilet paper to buy and how much. I get you, it’s common to be lost between options. There is more to it than the colour and the price. This is why we have a guide on buying the right toilet paper.

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