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Best paper towels: Bounty vs. Costco vs. Viva vs. Walmart

Published: Friday, May 11, 2018 @ 3:00 PM

When you’re cleaning up spills around the house, you want a paper towel that’s both strong and absorbent.

The quality of paper towels can vary significantly, so many shoppers wait for their favorite brand of paper towels to go on sale and stock up — maybe when they’re less than $1 per roll or two cents per square foot.

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But is the brand that you’re loyal to really the best? Team Clark conducted a little experiment to find out…

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Team Clark’s paper towel test: Which brand is the strongest? 

Inspired by a video of a second grader’s science project that was uploaded to YouTube, we selected four brands of paper towels (two national brands and two generic brands) to test them for strength.

We poured a cup of water onto each towel and used quarters to measure the weight each sheet could handle before breaking.

Here are the results of our test:

Viva: 88 quarters
Kirkland Signature Premium Big Roll (Costco): 68 quarters
Great Value Everyday Strong (Walmart): 7 quarters
Bounty: 120 quarters

We only had 120 quarters and the Bounty paper towel held all of them! That’s not really surprising since two other types of Bounty towels (Bounty DuraTowel and Bounty Extra Soft) top Consumer Reports’ rankings.

However, we didn’t expect there to be a 113 quarter difference between the best and worst brand of paper towels.

The Great Value Everyday Strong paper towels from Walmart were the cheapest of the four we tested, but sometimes you get what you pay for. They cost just 98 cents per roll at the regular price.

Read more about the best paper towel brands for your money and let us know your favorite in the comments below!

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