In an effort to boost the quality of their product--and maybe grab some market share from national brands such as Charmin, Cottonelle, and Scott--Walmart and other major retailers are rolling out softer versions of their store-brand toilet paper. In Consumer Reports' toilet paper reviews, most standouts were store brands, which also happen to cost less than the big names.
The enhanced softness results from a change in the through-air drying, or TAD, manufacturing process, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The article noted that a softer Supervalu Essential Everyday toilet paper will be in stores in several months, and Kroger is considering introducing a premium paper bearing its name. Walmart Great Value toilet paper reportedly has been made using TAD for two years, and the retailer is expected to upgrade the White Cloud toilet paper it sells.
Americans are fond of soft toilet paper, so during testing our sensory panelists form an overall impression of each product's softness by making circular motions over each sample with their fingertips. Next, they test for pliability by gently manipulating the paper into a ball. The roughest, stiffest papers feel pointed, ridged, and cracked; the softest tend to be more pliable and conform smoothly to the hand.
Check our toilet paper buying guide and Ratings for all the details.