Toilet Paper Roll History, Types, and Sizes

During the Covid-19 pandemic, toilet paper became one of the hot topics worldwide. What would you do if you were to live a day without using toilet paper? Have you ever wondered about toilet paper roll sizes?

It is almost impossible to live without them, to the extent that it has become an essential household item. So you need to know the types and sizes, and also things to consider when buying it. Read on!

History of Toilet Paper

toilet paper roll sizes

Talking about toilet paper is not complete without discussing its history. We need to know when it was first used and what people used before toilet paper.

The Chinese have been using paper for longer than we initially thought. Historically the earliest evidence of paper was found in China and dated back to the 2nd century A.D., which used it as padding or wrapping materials.

The first known toilet paper usage was in China in the 6th century A.D. The Chinese used a wet cloth to wipe their behinds at that time. The fabric was then wrapped around sticks or other objects and used as toilet paper.

Later in the Zhejiang Province, they started to manufacture toilet paper rolls. During the 14th century, the Chinese annually produced 10 million packages of 1,000 to 10,000 sheets of toilet paper. Around 1393 they went to the extent of making perfumed toilet papers.

Paper has been around for a while, but we didn’t gain toilet paper commercially until 1857. This is because the Western world only recently gained the ability to flush waste. Joseph Gayetty was the first to market it by producing “Medicated Paper” (purchased in packages) that could be flushed down the toilet.

Types of Toilet Paper

Due to the advanced technologies, rising demands, and minimizing waste, the manufacturers have come up with different types and materials of toilet paper to satisfy customer needs. There are common types of toilet paper, and the others are eco-friendly.

Common types are one-ply, two-ply, and three-ply toilet paper. As for eco-friendly types, here they are.

Bamboo Toilet Paper

Bamboo toilet paper is better because it’s made from renewable resources. You would also avoid the harm done by cutting down trees for conventional toilet paper. Bamboo is a type of grass that multiplies and can go from seed to mature plant in just a few months. It is an ideal source for paper, as trees take several years to do the same.

Bamboo toilet paper is more expensive than other types of tissue paper. It also has some excellent qualities, like being more vital and silkier.

Luxury Toilet Paper

Luxury tissue paper is best suited for people who want a good quality product and want to invest in their skincare routine. With this paper, lotions and other amenities are available for purchase.

This toilet paper ranges from two to four-ply and is very soft while being thick and durable, making it a hit in American homes. It has a huge price tag but is not worth the value like the name.

Brown Toilet Paper

This type is brown because it is made of unbleached paper. This toilet paper is one of the most environmentally-friendly options. However, due to its rough texture, it is not comfortable to use.

Recycled Toilet Paper

Like the name, this toilet paper is made from recycled products. Reusing recycled paper instead of buying new toilet paper can reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the number of trees cut to make it and save a lot of energy. Like the brown toilet paper, this is too soft and too thin.

Colored Toilet Paper

Colored toilet paper became popular throughout the past, with people taking them on as part of their bathroom décor. However, colored toilet papers are expensive because of the extra dye cost. When a study revealed that the dyes used in toilet paper were harmful to the skin, these types of toilet paper suffered a steep decline in popularity. This is because of the extra dye cost.

Thanks to the influence of celebrities, people are again considering buying colored toilet paper, and the manufacturers also stated that they are safe to use.

Things You Should Consider Before Buying a Toilet Paper

toilet paper roll sizes

The toilet paper market has drastically changed since the advent of paper mills in the late 1800s. Before that, most people used rags from their clothing or bedsheets to clean themselves after going to the bathroom.

Today, there are various toilet paper sub-types, each with unique attributes. What you seek from toilet paper should determine what you use.

Here are some factors to consider when picking out toilet paper.

Number of Layers

The toilet paper might come in a single-ply or up to six plies. The number of layers determines the softness and strength of toilet paper.

Softness

Toilet paper preferences vary from person to person. It can be soft, silky, or rough to the touch. First, rub it with your hand to ensure that toilet paper fulfills your preferences. Toilet papers come in different textures and materials based on what you prefer. So it would help if you took the time to try out different types and pick the one that suits you best.

Strength

There are several types of toilet paper in the market. The strength, or the resistance to puncture of a given type, can be determinable by a simple touch. You want to choose one that provides good resistance for its intended purpose. Plies are used to measure the thickness of toilet paper. When the number of plies increases, the thicker it will be.

Chemicals used

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has restricted the amount of chlorine allowed in toilet paper to only 0.3 percent to better protect the environment and human health. Many harmful chemicals can be found in toilet paper, including formaldehyde, which is used as a disinfectant and can cause irritation to the respiratory system, skin, and eyes after prolonged exposure. Though using chlorine in toilet paper is discouraged, some manufacturers still do it. Before purchasing toilet paper, ensure that it is chlorine-free.

In addition to that, consider buying environmentally-friendly toilet paper to save the earth. Using recycled materials reduces your essential bodily functions’ impact on the environment.

Do Toilet Paper Rolls Come In Different Sizes?

People often wonder if toilet paper rolls come in different sizes. The answer is yes, they do.

The width of the paper determines the size of a toilet paper roll. The diameter of a toilet paper roll is also determined by its width. A standard-sized toilet paper roll has a diameter of 2 inches, while a larger-sized one has a diameter of 4 inches.

The standard toilet paper roll size is 36 inches and can hold up to three sheets of tissue. However, the size of a toilet paper roll varies depending on where you are. For example, in the United States, standard registration is 2-ply, and 1-ply rolls are not as standard as in Europe.

So, it’s true that toilet paper rolls are available in various sizes. However, the most common sizes are those that fit into a standard toilet paper holder. These include the following:

  • 1-ply: fits into a holder with one post
  • 2-ply: fits into a holder with two posts
  • 3-ply: fits into a holder with three posts

Diameter of Toilet Paper Roll Sizes

Now that you know that toilet paper comes in different sizes, we’ll discuss the measures.

The most critical dimension is the inside diameter of the tube. A toilet roll holder requires at least 31 mm minimum inside diameter of the tube. When new, the wall thickness {(Outside diameter- inside diameter) /2 } of the roll should not exceed 55 mm.

The roll diameter will fall from 123mm to 112mm, with the number of sheets still 240.

The cheaper rolls have a giant hole to make them look better at their value. Costco ones have a 45mm tube. There are 260 sheets per roll of 3-layer sheets, and each sheet is 124x110mm. The minimum roll length is 32.2m, and the total area for a four-pack is 14.2 sq.m.

The white color acquired by bleaching is the most popular color with shoppers because now avocado and tangerine bathroom suites are out of vogue.

There are several reasons behind the manufacturers trying to get the toilet paper tubes as minor as possible to reduce transport costs. Also, the shoppers will get the same amount of toilet paper but with a smaller tube and, therefore, less packaging, including the outside film.

But there must be some physical limitation, or the tubes will be much smaller. So sometimes, the brand would change depending on the size of the toilet paper.

Roll Sizes of Different Toilet Paper Brands

Fifteen years ago, all toilet paper rolls were at or around 5 in circumference. Over time, manufacturers have gotten cheaper, and toilet paper rolls have gotten bigger to save on paper. Most of them seem to be 5.5 to 5.75 in the outside circle.

Some brands come with the outside of the toilet paper roll precisely 6 inches. The inside is 5.8 the most.

An Aussie toilet roll is around 14cm or 5.5 inches. Scott’s toilet paper rolls also are 5.5 inches everywhere. The manufacturers are making the toilet paper rolls smaller and smaller and charging more.

To the manufacturer’s advantage, it keeps the tube the same size and decreases the amount of toilet paper while increasing the price. Everyone is following the same formula these days: upsize the packaging, downsize the product, increase the cost, then offer it a discount but to the original price.

The size of the tubes will remain the same for cost reasons. They probably have an entire machine for making them, and recalibrating or resizing them would be pricey. If anything, they would skimp the number of sheets you get per roll.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions asked regarding toilet paper roll sizes.

Which Is Bigger: Mega or Jumbo Toilet Paper?

Jumbo toilet paper is a type of toilet paper that is larger than ordinary toilet paper. Some refer to it as “mega” or “giant” toilet paper. Jumbo is derived from the French word for elephant, which was chosen because of its size and weight.

The Mega toilet paper is the bigger of the two, also known as Double Roll. The Jumbo toilet paper is smaller than the Mega but has more squares per sheet.

The Mega toilet paper measures a length of 2.7 meters and a width of 1 meter, while the Jumbo has a length of 1.6 meters and a width of 0.9 meters.

The Jumbo toilet paper is broader and thicker than the Mega toilet paper. So, it is more likely to cover the whole area of the toilet bowl without any waste.

The Jumbo toilet paper is also more expensive than the Mega toilet paper.

Why Are All Toilet Paper Mega Roll Sizes?

It is not known why toilet paper rolls are so prominent these days. However, one clear thing is that the larger the registration, the more it costs.

Mega rolls of toilet paper allow for easy handling and transportation. They are also easier to store and use in public restrooms without any risk of ripping or tearing the roll. The current trend has been going on for a while, but experts still don’t know why they are so popular today.

The mega rolls can be used in multiple ways: they can be used as a cover-up when you want to hide your mess from others or as an emergency blanket.

All toilet paper mega rolls are not created equal, and there are several reasons behind this phenomenon.

The most common and accepted reason is that manufacturers want to ensure that their products don’t get used up too quickly. This way, they can be sure that their customers will buy more toilet paper in the future.

Some other possible reasons include the following:

  • The convenience of having one package with enough to last a long time
  • The fact that it’s easier to store a large roll than multiple smaller ones

Are Toilet Paper Roll Sizes Getting Smaller?

The size of toilet paper rolls has been getting smaller and smaller over the years. It is not just a matter of aesthetics but also conservation.

The average roll size in the US was 4.4 inches in 1980 but had shrunk to 3.8 inches by 2014. This means there are now only 20% more sheets on a roll than 40 years ago when there were 50% more sheets on a roll.

This trend has been seen worldwide and attributed to the increased use of single-ply toilet paper and decreased demand for thicker sheets due to environmental concerns.

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