Consumer Reports evaluates top toilet papers

FRESNO, Calif.

Consumer Reports checked out big brands, including Charmin, Cottonelle and Quilted Northern as well as cheaper store brands and even one from Walgreens called Ology that says it's "100 percent tree-free." It's made out of sugar cane husks and bamboo.

All the toilet papers go through the same set of tests. Sensory panelists feel each sheet to rate the papers' softness. Another test checks to see how easily the toilet paper tears at its perforations. A third, how strong it is. And Consumer Reports clocks how quickly toilet paper breaks down in water because toilet paper that breaks down more quickly is better for your sewer or septic system.

The only toilet paper to score excellent for strength, softness and disintegration is Walmart's White Cloud. And it's reasonably priced, too. Charmin Ultra Strong came in second. Despite its name, it isn't quite as strong, but it does tear a little more easily.

Some other toilet papers were disappointing. Scott 1000 was neither strong nor soft and Marcal Small Steps was almost as harsh and didn't tear easily. As for that Ology "tree-free" toilet paper from Walgreens, it did break down very easily but it wasn't very soft.

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