Whatever the price of tissue per roll, certain basic qualities are expected in this simple but indispensable product.
The stronger the tissue when wet, the less likely it is to tear or break during use. Tissue strength is measured by its wet strength, which is more important than dry strength. For this reason, two-ply tissues are often preferred because they are stronger as a group, but there are some single-plies that are quite strong, too.
Most toilet papers are soft enough for everyone but sensitive individuals. Many people won’t find even the roughest toilet papers objectionable. Two-ply tissues are generally softer thansingle-ply.
Toilet papers should thoroughly and quickly absorb moisture. When tested, two-ply models soaked up a drop of water within five seconds or less. Most single-ply tissues were not quite as absorbent.
Tissues should break up promptly when flushed away. If they don’t, a slow toilet may back up.
Some tissues are scented. Scent serves no practical purpose in bathroom tissues, and it may be irritating to some people.
Some toilet papers come in single rolls, some are packed in packages of 12 or more. The most popular are the four-packs.
A packageshould be easy to open, the roll should be easy to start, and tissues should be easy to tear off. Plastic packages with perforations around the top are easiest to open.
On some rolls, the first few sheets stick to the ones underneath, an annoyance when you begin using the roll. On others, the end of the first sheet hangs free, providing a pull tab that’s easy to grasp. Sometimes the tab works well; sometimes it shreds before freeing the next sheet.
Most two-ply models are relatively easy to detach, thanks to their adequate perforations. By contrast, some single-ply products are flimsy and tend to tear raggedly.
No tissues have all four qualities: softness, strength, ability to tear easily, and inexpensiveness. Some qualities are mutually exclusive. For example, softness generally doesn’t go with strength. Then again, perhaps all the fuss about softness is unnecessary.