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Paper towels are the ultimate modern kitchen and household convenience. Mop up a spill, wipe a counter, clean windows and surfaces, wipe your hands, use in a pinch as a napkin or a tissue—the applications are endless. Plus, no smelly sponges or rags to wring out and harbor bacteria. And scores of paper towels are right there, in a roll on a holder, usually just a step or two away.

Such convenience comes at a price, of course. That’s one determining factor. The other is which paper towel quality matters most to you. The tricky part is that people rarely use paper towels for just one purpose, so you need to find a brand and type that’s affordable, great for what you’ll use it for most, and is at least serviceable for other jobs. Here’s a guide:

Pick Your Size

These are perforated into quarters, allowing you to easily remove a small piece for small jobs. Brawny

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Sometimes you need a whole sheet. Other times a half sheet will do the job. And in some cases, even a quarter sheet is all you need. While you can tear a piece of unperforated paper towel, it’s very difficult to tear one in a straight line unless it’s perforated. If your hands are covered with chicken grease or dirty dishwater, you’re not going to tear a whole sheet off of the roll and use two hands to tear it in half. You’re going to tear a whole sheet off and use that, even if it’s just for wiping away a couple drops of gravy.

If you often find yourself using paper towels for small jobs, you’ll save money by choosing a brand and type with perforations that divide a normal size sheet into quarters. Even if that type is more expensive, you’ll save money by consuming fewer paper towels over the long run.

Available in Two Styles

This choice is made from pulp sourced from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources. Presto!

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If you use paper towels for big jobs, or use a lot of paper towels in the course of a day, you need paper towels that are inexpensive—but don’t require you to unravel half of the roll in order to mop up a big spill. If this is you, look for a brand that’s reasonably priced, but thick enough to absorb more liquid than a few sheets of toilet paper—and tough enough to not fall apart if you need to use it to clean counters or polish furniture.

Extra Absorbent

This option is simple to reorder using an Alexa device. Bounty

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Have you ever tried to wring out a wad of cheap paper towels? You know what you wind up with—a hard, wet, white wad of cheap paper towels. You can try to unravel it, but all that happens is you pick small pieces of paper towel off of it, resulting in nothing but a smaller, hard, wet, white ball of cheap paper towels.

The best kind of paper towels for reusing will stand up to squeezing, unraveling, and resuing. But most reusers also use paper towels for other purposes—and you don’t want to spend a lot of money on strong paper towels if you’ll also be using them for one-time use, such as wiping a baby’s mouth after a meal. Choose a brand that comfortably straddles the fence between price and durability.

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