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  • Advertising & Society Review

Kimberly-Clark Viva Paper Towels Case

  • Advertising Educational Foundation
  • Volume 12, Issue 4, 2012
  • 10.1353/asr.2012.0003
  • View Citation

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Paper towels

  • Overview Overview
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Ratings Scorecard

Test Results

Absorbency is based on how much water a 5-inch square piece of towel could hold.

Scrubbing is based on the number of times a towel could be rubbed along a rough surface before the sheet tore.

Wet strength

Wet strength is based on how much force it took for a steel ball to burst through a wet sheet of paper towel.

Sq. ft. per roll

The number of square feet of paper towel contained in each roll.

  • Excels at removing embedded dirt from carpets
  • You must bend to adjust the pile height

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The Viva Choose-A-Size is part of the Paper towels test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, Paper towels models like the Choose-A-Size are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.

Absorbency Absorbency is based on how much water a 5-inch square piece of towel could hold.

Scrubbing Scrubbing is based on the number of times a towel could be rubbed along a rough surface before the sheet tore.

Wet strength Wet strength is based on how much force it took for a steel ball to burst through a wet sheet of paper towel.

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6 Best Paper Towels, According to Cleaning Experts

The paper towel brands that will soak up, clean up, and scrub away any mess.

Headshot of Emma Seymour

Then, we sent paper towels home with consumer testers who rated how soft each paper towel was, and whether they liked using them. On top of in lab tests, we also sifted through hundreds of reputable reviews of popular paper towel brands to find the best new styles on the market.

What makes a good paper towel?

Paper towels are made up of ground-up plant material called cellulose, which can include wood, cotton, and other plants. The molecules of cellulose are actually sugar – but not like the sugar we eat – which attracts water molecules. Therefore, paper towels are great at picking up liquid spills. Fun fact: a paper towel's design is actually made of small crevices that help the paper towel have a better grip.

Keep in mind when shopping that each brand has a different number of sheets per roll, and that the size of a full sheet differs brand by brand, so comparing price can be tricky. While smaller sheet sizes can make it easier to use less, you are getting less product for the price. No matter the mess, these paper towels are ready. Shop the best paper towels you can buy:

Bounty Select-A-Size Paper Towels

Select-A-Size Paper Towels

Bounty paper towels are top performers and GH lab pros #1 choice for their own homes . These paper towels are able to absorb liquid quickly without breaking, and they leave no lint in their path, keeping your counter tops perfectly clean. We love that they are fairly thick with a plush, soft hand-feel too. The handy select-a-size feature lets you tear off only as much as you need for any size mess. 

Price per 100 sheets : $1.51 Sheets per roll : 138 full sheets Full sheet size : 11" x 5.9"

Presto! Flex-a-Size Paper Towels

Flex-a-Size Paper Towels

Amazon brand Presto! paper towels are  top sellers on Amazon with over 3,500 5-star reviews . Reviewers are especially impressed with how large the rolls are, giving you more absorbent paper towels for the price. These 2 ply paper towels are available in orders of 6, 12, or 24 rolls, so you always have what you need on hand. You can tear off in full- or half-sheets, depending on your preference.

Price per 100 sheets : $1.05 Sheets per roll :  140 full sheets Full sheet size : 11" x 6"

Brawny Tear-A-Square Paper Towels

Tear-A-Square Paper Towels

We are all guilty of accidentally grabbing more paper towels than we really needed for the job. These paper towels by Brawny make it easy to grab either a full, half or even just a quarter sheet , so you inevitably use less. In our lab tests, Brawny paper towels were top performers with good wet strength, total absorbency, and absorbency speed, and although these towels look pricey at first glance, keep in mind the full sheet size is larger than most brands.

Price per 100 sheets : $2.09 Sheets per roll : 64 full sheets (or 256 quarter sheets) Full sheet size : 11" x 11" (quarter sheet: 5.5" x 5.5")

Viva Signature Cloth Choose-A-Sheet Paper Towels

Signature Cloth Choose-A-Sheet Paper Towels

In our absorbency tests, Viva proved to be #1. These cloth-like paper towels were able to  absorb the most liquid out of every brand tested , while also picking up spills quickly. Viva paper towels were also the softest paper towels, according to our consumer testers. They did not break easily and were one of the thickest options. Reviewers note that these paper towels have fewer sheets per roll than other brands.  

Price per 100 sheets : $1.57 (price for TaskSize sheets) Sheets per roll : 58 full sheets (or 143 TaskSize sheets) Full sheet size : 11" x 5.9"

Kirkland Signature Create-a-Size Paper Towels

Create-a-Size Paper Towels

Some paper towels leave behind a little trail of lint in its path. To avoid creating a new mess after cleaning one up, use a non-linting paper towel such as Kirkland Signature paper towels. In our lab tests, these left behind no lint while also absorbing liquid very quickly . We found these paper towels to be fairly thick too.

Price per 100 sheets : $1.04 (note that there are additional costs for shipping and Costco membership) Sheets per roll : 160 full sheets Full sheet size : 11" x 7"

Seventh Generation Seventh Generation 100% Recycled Paper Towels

Seventh Generation 100% Recycled Paper Towels

If you are trying to live more sustainability, try these Seventh Generation paper towels that feature 100% recycled paper without using bleach whitening. Seventh Generation paper towels were top performers out of all the paper towels with recycled content: They were able to pick up liquid quickly without leaving behind any lint behind.

Price per 100 sheets : $1.70 Sheets per roll : 140 full sheets Full sheet size : 11" x 5.4"

Headshot of Emma Seymour

Emma Seymour (she/her) is a senior product analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute 's Textiles, Paper and Apparel Lab, where she has led testing for luggage, pillows, towels, tampons and more since 2018. She graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor of science in fiber science and apparel design and a minor in gerontology, completing research in the Body Scanner Lab on optimizing activewear for athletic performance. 

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Everyday items

Kleenex Viva review

Owned by kimberly-clark australia. priced at $3.50..

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CHOICE Expert Rating


CHOICE Expert rating

This is the product's overall performance score, based on key tests conducted by our industry experts in the CHOICE labs.

Test Results Test Results

Specs specifications.

We recommend paper towels with a CHOICE Expert Rating of at least 70%, an absorption score of at least 70% and no other scores below 65%.

The overall score is made up of absorption (60%), puncture (strength) force (20%), separation (tear at the perforation) force (10%) and wet tear strength (10%).

In this test we assess how much liquid the paper towel can absorb.

We test how easily the paper towel will tear when wet to show how strong it is, or if you're dealing with something you don't particularly want coming through the towel.

We measure the ease of separating the paper towel at the perforation. The easier it is for paper towel to tear off the roll, the better.

We assess the strength of the paper towel by testing its resistance to puncturing. In this test a higher force is the most desirable result, meaning your finger is less likely to go through the paper.

This is the price we paid at the time of testing.

This is based on the pack size tested. Buying in bulk can help to reduce costs.

Based on the pack size tested. This will vary based on the price at the time of purchase.

Shop Ethical rates the environmental and social impact of the company (not the product) using independent sources. This rating is not included in our total score. N/A means there is no rating for that company.

Company that owns the brand name.

The Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is an international organisation that works to promote sustainable forest management.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international, nonprofit organisation that promotes responsible forest management. It achieves this by setting standards on forest products with a certification process. You'll find the FSC tree-tick logo on some paper towel packs, but if you take a closer look at the fine print you'll notice there are three classifications to the label – FSC Mix, FSC Recycled, and FSC 100%.

Where the product was made. An asterisk indicates that while the product was made in Australia, it was manufactured using imported materials.

Number of rolls in the pack we tested.

This simply refers to the number of layers of paper used. Generally the higher the ply count, the thicker, stronger and more absorbent the paper towel will be.

Coles Ultra

Owned by Coles.

iCare Wipex

Owned by Encore Tissue.

Woolworths Strike 100% Recycled Paper Paper Towels

Owned by Woolworths.

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Member review.

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Best Rated Paper Towels 2022 | CHOICE Reviews

How to buy the best paper towels for your kitchen.


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  1. What Is the History of Viva Paper Towels?

    Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc. produces Viva paper towels in response to consumer demands for a stronger, more cloth-like paper towel for daily use that is still soft enough to prevent skin irritation.

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  3. What Is a Paper Towel Made Of?

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