Paper towels are very useful for anything from cleaning, to drying your hands, and even for unconventional uses like coffee filters - but are you using a brand that's both absorbent and strong?
Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites such as Amazon and Rakuten for the best paper towels available online. We then picked out the most popular products and tested them.
Our tests focused on 2 things:
We then ranked the products and put what we learned into a buying guide to help you choose the best Japanese paper towels available online.
We picked out some of the most popular products and tested them for absorptive power and wet strength.
Then, based on our tests, we ranked the top 19 Japanese paper towels available online.
Japanese prices for some of the products are given, but they've been converted into US dollars to make it easy for you.
|Materials||Non-woven fabric (pulp / rayon / polyester)|
|Number of Sheets||40|
|Number of Sheets||40/Roll|
|Japanese||花王プロフェッショナル サービスシェフ たっぷり吸収|
|Materials||FSC Certified Pulp|
|Number of Sheets||100/Roll|
|Number of Sheets||38/Roll|
|Number of Sheets||50/Roll|
|Materials||Unbleached Pulp, Bagasse (Sugar Cane)|
|Number of Sheets||150 (75 pairs)|
|Number of Sheets||50/Roll|
|Number of Sheets||100|
|Japanese||大王製紙エリエール ピーチ キッチンタオル|
|Number of Sheets||50/Roll|
|Japanese||カミ商事エルモア 強力吸収 キッチンタオル|
|Materials||100% Pure Pulp|
|Number of Sheets||50/Roll|
Kao Professional Service
Cook Up Cooking Paper
Lead Thick Paper Towels (2-pack)
Chef Ultra-Absorbent Paper Towels (2-pack)
Lead Cooking Paper (2-pack)
Dekiruco Super Absorbent Kitchen Towels (4-pack)
Muji Kitchen Paper
Kihon No Ki Kitchen Towels (4-pack)
Kitchen Paper Duster
Elleair Peach Kitchen Towels (2-pack)
Ellemoi Super Absorbent Kitchen Towels (4-pack or 6-pack)
|Features||mybest's Top Choice! Strong...||Big, Thick Towels That Can ...||Recommended if You Prefer L...||Great if You Want a Smaller...||Recommended for Heavy-Duty Use||Recommended if You Prefer U...||The Best Money-saving Paper...||A Cheap and Durable Paper T...||Decent Absorbency for a Goo...||A Roll-Type That Takes up L...|
|Japanese||ユニチャームクックアップ クッキングペーパー||ライオンリードペーパー 超厚手||花王プロフェッショナル サービスシェフ たっぷり吸収||ライオンリード クッキングペーパー||大王製紙エリエール 超吸収キッチンタオルデキルコ||良品計画無印良品 キッチンペーパー||西友きほんのき キッチンタオル||Seriaキッチンペーパーダスター||大王製紙エリエール ピーチ キッチンタオル||カミ商事エルモア 強力吸収 キッチンタオル|
|Materials||Non-woven fabric (pulp / rayon / polyester)||Natural Pulp||FSC Certified Pulp||Pulp||100% Pulp||Unbleached Pulp, Bagasse (Sugar Cane)||100% Pulp||Paper||100% Pulp||100% Pure Pulp|
|Number of Sheets||40||40/Roll||100/Roll||38/Roll||50/Roll||150 (75 pairs)||50/Roll||100||50/Roll||50/Roll|
And why they didn't quite make it.
Daiso's Roll-Type Kitchen Towels were not bad at oil absorption, but they tore really easily even just trying to wipe our hands dry. They are embossed and fluffy, but the paper is thin.
TopValu brand paper towels from Aeon are firm and thick, and absorb oil okay. The embossing is deep but they're not very soft. The main thing we didn't like, though, is how easily they fell apart when wet.
Nepia's Super-Absorbent Kitchen Towels are not actually super-absorbent, but just average. They tear too easily when wet, and are slightly stiff.
Elleair Super-Absorbent Kitchen Towels absorb an average amount, have shallow embossing, and are not soft. They fall apart when they get wet.
Kitchen Paper from Hattori isn't absorbent and has a stiff texture. You could use it for wiping, but it's not a good enough price to be worth buying.
Scottie Fine Kitchen Towels come in tightly-wound rolls, and you can choose the size you need, so each roll may last a long time. But their performance overall was below average.
Daiso Triple-Ply Kitchen Paper has below-average strength and absorption, in spite of having three layers to each towel. It is soft and elastic, though.
Scottie's Kitchen Towels (Box Type) can only boast their box as a merit. Everything else was below average.
Scottie Quick Paper Wipes are not very absorbent, and only a little stronger than some others. They might be good to give your kids to clean up their own messes, because kids tend to use too much, and these are cheap.
We put each product through two tests. One measured its ability to absorb liquid while the other tested its strength when wet.
First, we wanted to know how well the paper towels absorbed liquid.
We used olive oil in our tests to check absorption. We poured 6 teaspoons into a bowl, folded one paper towel four times and dunked it in, and let it absorb as much as it could. Then we measured the weight of the leftover oil.
Towels that left hardly any oil left in the bowl received the highest scores.
We found that felt types absorbed the most. They are not as strong or as fast-absorbing as paper, but they can suck up a lot of liquid without dripping. To drain oil from fried food or to wipe spills without getting your hands dirty, choose a felt type.
Next, we wanted to see how strong the paper towels were when wet.
We soaked one paper towel in water and lightly squeezed out the excess. Then we stretched the sheet over a glass and used an instrument to test the force needed to rip the paper.
Paper towels with a higher score on our device naturally received a higher score in our ranking, since that meant they were harder to rip.
We found that non-woven fabric towels are very strong. If they're made from pulp, they should be fairly thick, and they work pretty well when you use two of them stacked together.
We recommend considering the following points when choosing the right paper towel for your needs.
Paper towels are most often available in either pulp or non-woven types. Here's how each type differs and what situations they're best suited for.
Paper towels made from pulp are cheaper, and are good for cleaning and wiping. Some of them are stronger than others, like embossed-type or felt-type. Embossed products are generally tougher, but they will still rip eventually.
Towels made from non-woven fabric are superior in both absorption and strength, but are more expensive. However, some of them can be rinsed and re-used many times. Aside from the price, we'd use this type in almost every situation.
There are three types of packages you can choose from, and they all have pros and cons.
Paper towel rolls are probably the most familiar. They're usually cheaper than box types. But unless you have a holder, they're really inconvenient to use and store.
Trying to get one off the roll when your hands are dirty or wet can ruin several sheets. Also, even if you have a holder, it may not match the size of the roll you want, so if you choose this type, plan carefully.
Many paper towels now come in boxes, which function just like facial tissue boxes. They're a bit more expensive, but they can be grabbed with just one hand and there's no need to tear them off. They also take up less space, so they're a good choice whether you want to keep them on the counter or in a drawer.
Soft packs are available which dispense like tissues, don't take up much space, and are cheaper than the kind that come in their own box.
We recommend using these with a holder, though, because since the pack is weak it doesn't grip, and it can be hard to remove the towels, especially when the pack is less than half full.
Regular paper towels are fine for cleaning, but we recommend using the felt type for draining the oil from deep-fried food. They will remove the most oil, and therefore cut calories, too.
The non-woven fabric type is great for using in place of a tea towel or cheesecloth. They can be used to drain tofu, yogurt, or squeeze out the water from grated veggies or cooked leafy greens.
If you run out of coffee filters, you can fold any type of paper towel into a cone filter! Just make sure you use two paper towels if they're particularly thin.
You can use paper towels to drain the water from yogurt. Leave it overnight and wake up to thick, tasty yogurt the next day.
You can also wrap vegetables in damp paper towels to steam them in the microwave. They'll come out soft without any loss of nutrients.
mybest looked at 19 of the most popular Japanese paper towels available online and tested them all.
We found that there were differences in performance even among products made with the same raw materials. We also realized how important it is to choose the right one based on our needs in addition to performance and price.
Author: Yoshino Ichiyama/Translation: Susan Lucier-Ogawa/Photos: Yuki Inagaki, Saaya Iwakami
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