Our Favorite Paper Towel Holders for Everyday Tasks (2024)

Whether drying your hands or cleaning a countertop, a reliable paper towel holder is an essential household tool you reach for time and time again.

To find the best paper towel holders, we researched countless options while considering type, material, and ease of use. We also consulted Michelle Urban, the founder of The Organized House, and Karina Toner, the operations manager at Spekless Cleaning.

Our Top Picks

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Best Budget Paper Towel Holder:

Oboding Paper Towel Holder at Amazon ($10)

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Best Freestanding Paper Towel Holder:

Umbra Paper Towel Holder at Amazon ($25)

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Best Stainless Steel Paper Towel Holder:

Simplehuman Tension Arm Paper Towel Holder at Amazon ($47)

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Best Paper Towel Holder with Shelf:

Taozun Paper Towel Holder with Shelf at Amazon ($19)

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What Stands Out

  • This freestanding paper towel holder has a weighted bottom to prevent tipping.

What Could Be Improved

  • The arm's tension may reduce over time.

Whether you need one paper towel or several, the OXO Good Grips SimplyTear Paper Towel Holder will dispense what you need without unraveling across your countertop. The spring-activated arm can hold paper towel rolls of all sizes, allowing you to tear off even a single sheet with just one hand.

The base is weighted and has a non-slip ring to prevent any unnecessary sliding or tipping over. And thanks to the clean, stainless steel design, you won’t mind having this paper towel holder on your counter.

Type: Freestanding | Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 13 inches | Material: Stainless steel | Weight: 1.2 pounds

Best Budget Paper Towel Holder

Oboding Paper Towel Holder

Our Favorite Paper Towel Holders for Everyday Tasks (2)

What Stands Out

  • This paper towel holder is budget-friendly, functional, and comes in three colors.

What Could Be Improved

  • It requires some assembly.

If you want to save on a paper towel holder, this Oboding option is budget-friendly and comes in three colors (gold, silver, and black) to suit your kitchen. It has a slim profile and a minimal footprint on your countertop. To use it, simply slide a paper towel roll over the center pole, which has a semicircle loop on the top to make it easier to carry. Note that this towel holder requires assembly and is very lightweight, so you may need to be careful of tearing paper towels too quickly.

Type: Freestanding | Dimensions: 2.5 x 6.3 x 6.3 inches | Material: Metal | Weight: 249 grams

What Stands Out

  • This paper towel holder can be easily mounted on any magnetic surface and has an adjustable width.

What Could Be Improved

  • You may have to be more careful tearing paper towels from it.

The EhomeA2Z Magnetic Paper Towel Holder is ideal for those with limited counter space who don’t want to damage a cabinet door or wall with mounting hardware. The holder comes in two pieces, each with three magnets to hold it in place, and installation is a breeze.

To use it, put the pieces on a fridge or any magnetic surface and adjust the width as needed. The holder doesn’t require drilling or mounting and you can easily move it to a different position or surface. The magnets also have a rubber coating to prevent scratching surfaces.

Type: Magnetic | Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 4 inches | Material: Steel | Weight: 1.5 pounds

What Stands Out

  • This paper towel holder prevents rolls from unraveling.

What Could Be Improved

  • The design requires you to screw the holder into the wall.

A wall-mounted paper towel holder can help create a clutter-free counter, and we love that you can install this one from Kamenstein vertically or horizontally. This wire roller is flexible and can accommodate various sizes of paper towel rolls, including extra-large ones. It has a minimal stainless steel design and a ratchet system that tears one or a few sheets at a time without the entire roll unraveling. Note this holder does require you to install two screws into your wall/cabinet, so it's not suitable for renters.

Type: Wall mounted | Dimensions: 4.53 x 13.78 x 3 inches | Material: Stainless steel | Weight:12.6 ounces

What Stands Out

  • This simple freestanding paper towel holder has a grippy center to hold the roll securely.

What Could Be Improved

  • It doesn't have an arm, so paper towels may unravel.

While the Umbra Tug One-Handed Tear Modern Paper Towel Holder is simple, sleek, and very functional. The weighted base prevents it from toppling over, and its padded bottom won’t scratch your counters or table. The core has a curved rubber design to hold rolls in place and allows you to tear off sheets with one hand. It also comes in several colors (black, brass, chrome, and more) to blend in with the rest of your kitchen.

Type: Freestanding | Dimensions: 6.5 x 6.5 x 13.25 inches | Material: Steel, PVC | Weight: 1.8 pounds

What Stands Out

  • This minimal, easy-to-install under-cabinet paper towel holder allows one-handed ripping.

What Could Be Improved

  • It's only available in one finish.

The barely-there OXO Steady Mounted Paper Towel Holder requires just two screws and is simple to install under a cabinet or on a wall to save space. It’s made of aluminum and can hold any size paper towel roll.

Replacing your rolls is easy; just slide a new one on. The core holds paper towel rolls in place so you can tear off sheets with one hand quickly without unraveling the entire role. The only downside we noted was that it's only available in one standard silver finish.

Type: Mounted | Dimensions: 1.7 x 12.8 x 5.7 inches | Material: Aluminum, plastic | Weight: 13.7 ounces

What Stands Out

  • This wooden towel holder has a circular design and natural aesthetic.

What Could Be Improved

  • We wish the center rod had a grip to hold the roll in place.

Wood accents can add a soft, natural touch to your kitchen, and this Threshold paper towel holder delivers on both design and functionality. With its natural wood finish, circular base, and wooden column, this paper towel holder will blend seamlessly into your counter or tablescape.

The base is weighted to prevent it from tipping over, and it has a 6.5-inch diameter to accommodate even larger-sized paper towel rolls. We only wish there was a grip on the center rod for better security.

Type: Freestanding | Dimensions: 12.25 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches | Material: Wood | Weight: 0.45 pounds

What Stands Out

  • This durable stainless steel paper towel holder has features like a tension arm and a top finger loop.

What Could Be Improved

  • It’s a relatively more expensive option.

The Simplehuman Tension Arm Standing Paper Towel Holder is made of stainless steel, making it sleek, hygienic, durable, and low-maintenance. If silver is not your preferred color, you have other options, as it comes in black, brass, or white. It has a weighted base to keep it upright with each pull, and the holder can even accommodate jumbo-sized rolls (or reusable paper towels).

Best of all, the holder has a tension arm that locks your paper roll in place, allowing you to tear off one or multiple sheets with one hand. The center post also has a finger loop to move it easily.

Type: Freestanding | Dimensions: 8 x 7 x 3 inches | Material: Stainless steel | Weight: 2.7 pounds

What Stands Out

  • This attractive and sturdy paper towel holder adds a touch of elegance to your kitchen.

What Could Be Improved

  • It's the heaviest option on our list.

You may not think paper towel holders can be luxurious, but the Radicaln Marble Paper Towel Holder may change your mind. Made of natural marble in either white or black, this paper towel holder adds a touch of elegance to your kitchen. It has a heavy, non-slip base and only requires a one-step assembly: screw the center post into the base and it's good to go. Keep in mind that harsh chemicals may damage marble, so we recommend double-checking any household cleaners you use on it.

Type: Freestanding | Dimensions: 12.5 x 6.5 x 3 inches | Material: Marble | Weight: 4.75 pounds

Best Paper Towel Holder with Shelf

Taozun Paper Towel Holder with Shelf

Our Favorite Paper Towel Holders for Everyday Tasks (10)

What Stands Out

  • This paper towel holder adds instant shelf space for organization.

What Could Be Improved

  • It’s a bulkier option that requires more space.

The Taozun Paper Towel Holder with Shelf can store additional items without the fear of them falling off thanks to its shelf and four hooks to hang microfiber towels or utensils you want to keep close by. It’s made of stainless steel and is waterproof and rust-proof for added durability.

You can choose from two different installation methods—either drill it directly into a wall or flat surface or use the included adhesive. If you opt for the adhesive option, be careful not to lean too much on the holder or overload it with heavy items.

Type: Surface mount | Dimensions: 13.3 x 5 x 3 inches | Material: Stainless steel | Weight: 1.21 pounds

Final Verdict

The OXO Good Grips SimplyTear Paper Towel Holder is our top pick for its streamlined design and spring-activated arm, which allows you to tear sheets with little effort. For a wall-mounted option to reduce your countertop clutter, the Kamenstein Perfect Tear Patented Wall can be mounted horizontally or vertically and has a ratchet system to help prevent rolls from unraveling.

How to Shop for Paper Towel Holders Like a Pro

Type

There are various types of paper towel holders, including freestanding, wall-mounted, under-cabinet, magnetic, and ones with shelves. The best paper towel holder for you depends on your preferences but can also be informed by how much free space you have in your kitchen.

Freestanding paper towel holders can be placed almost anywhere—from your kitchen counter to your dinner table for meal-time napkins. Freestanding holders don’t require installation and come in various styles and materials you can coordinate to your style preferences. However, if you already have limited counter or table space, you may want to opt for a mounted paper towel holder.

Wall-mounted or under-cabinet paper towel holders save counter space and can create vertical storage. Under-cabinet paper towel holders are typically more hidden yet accessible for cleaning, cooking, and daily kitchen tasks. Keep in mind that wall-mounted and under-cabinet options often require installation in the form of screws (or sometimes a strong adhesive), which can create damage to your walls or cabinets. Due to this design, they might not be ideal for renters. That said, they won’t tip over like a freestanding model and are more sleek, making them ideal for minimalists.

Magnetic paper towel holders also don’t take up any counter space and don't require drilling or permanent installation. Instead, they use magnets to adhere to metal surfaces. You can place and move them as often as needed, and they usually come in two pieces so you can adjust the width, too. However, they are limited to magnetic surfaces, which may not be in the most convenient location.

Lastly, paper towel holders with shelves can help create additional organizational space in kitchens. The added shelf gives you an easy-to-reach place to hold items daily essentials. The disadvantages of these types of shelves are that they require installation and more space.

Material

No matter what your kitchen looks like, you can find a paper towel holder material that will match. Popular options include wood, stainless steel, plastic, and marble. If you want your kitchen to look put together, Urban recommends paper towel holders that match or go well with your other accessories and appliances.

For a durable, easy-to-clean option, Urban and Toner recommends stainless steel or plastic. Stainless steel and plastic also tend to be lighter options than, say, marble.

Ease of Use

Most people use paper towels frequently, so the last thing you want is to wrestle your holder when you need to wipe up a mess. To evaluate ease of use, look for features like a weighted and/or non-slip base on a freestanding paper towel holder so it’s less likely to tip over. For wall-mounted or under-cabinet models, Urban says the mounting system needs to be secure so the holder doesn’t fall.

In addition, features like a tension arm, such as the one on the simplehuman Tension Arm Standing Paper Towel Holder, allow you to tear sheets with one hand for added convenience.

Questions You Might Ask

What is the extra arm on a paper towel holder for?

Some paper towel holders have an extra arm, which keeps the roll in place and prevents it from unraveling, making it look neater, according to Urban. The arm also makes it easier to tear off paper towels with one hand.

What is the best place to keep paper towels in a kitchen?

The best place to keep paper towels in your kitchen is usually near the sink or cooking areas. “Ideally, it should be within easy reach of your main work area to facilitate quick cleanups and drying hands, ensuring efficiency during cooking and cleaning tasks,” says Urban.

Also, consider the layout of your kitchen. Even though having a towel holder on the counter is convenient, if you have limited space, consider a wall-mounted or under-cabinet holder that saves counter space and keeps paper towels within reach. Urban likes to mount paper towel holders inside a cabinet door for accessibility and a clean, uncluttered aesthetic.

What type of paper towel holder is in style?

Toner says minimalist and modern designs are in style for paper towel holders. “Sleek stainless steel or matte black finishes are popular choices, seamlessly blending with contemporary and modern kitchen aesthetics," she says. "Wall-mounted holders with clean lines and discreet functionality are also trendy nowadays."

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Lesley Chen, a contributing writer for Real Simple with experience writing commerce, home, and lifestyle stories. To compile this list, she thoroughly researched the type, material, and ease of use of each paper towel holder. For expert advice, Lesley spoke to Michelle Urban, the founder of The Organized House, and Karina Toner, the operations manager at Spekless Cleaning.

Our Favorite Paper Towel Holders for Everyday Tasks (2024)

FAQs

What are paper towel holders for? ›

Paper towel holders don't just have to stay in the kitchen or stick to the task of holding rolls of paper towels. Helpful as that is, thanks to the variety they come in — hanging from the wall, freestanding — they can help cleverly and neatly organize a handful of items around the rooms of your home.

What accidental idea caused people to use paper towels? ›

To protect her students from spreading any more germs, this resourceful teacher came up with the novel idea of cutting heavy copy paper into squares and using them as individual towels. Arthur Scott of the Scott Paper Company heard about the teacher's ingenious solution and it gave him an idea.

What are other uses for a paper towel holder? ›

Stack craft supplies

Keep your craft supplies tidy by storing spools of ribbon, yarn, washi tape, and other goodies on a paper towel holder. A freestanding one is easy to move, so you'll have your tools wherever the need to make art calls.

What is the purpose of using paper towels? ›

Paper towels absorb water because they are loosely woven, which enables water to travel between the fibers, even against gravity (capillary effect). They have similar purposes to conventional towels, such as drying hands, wiping windows and other surfaces, dusting, and cleaning up spills.

Why do people put paper towels in the bathroom? ›

Paper towels have remained popular because of their convenience and germ-fighting capabilities. As wet hands spread 1,000 more germs than dry hands, this last step of the hand-washing process is crucial.

Why should we stop using paper towels? ›

3.Non-Recyclable = Landfills

It is stated that in the US alone, 6,500,000 tons of paper towels are sent to landfills each year. And landfills pose an even bigger threat to the environment since they release deadly methane gas into the air which is 28 times more potent than methane gas.

Are paper towels toilet safe? ›

Can Paper Towels be Flushed? If you're wondering whether it's safe to flush paper towels down the toilet, the answer is almost always no. Regardless of the type of paper towel you're using, it can cause serious damage to your plumbing system and septic tank.

Are paper towels unhealthy? ›

This is a worrying fact if you are using paper towel, particularly if you wrap your food in it, as most paper towels on the market contains toxic chemicals which can compromise our health. 2. The two main chemicals found in most paper towels are Chlorine and Formaldehyde.

What happens when you dip a paper towel in water? ›

The water is being absorbed, or soaked up, by the paper towel material through a process called capillary action.

Is paper towel a waste? ›

Unlike reusable goods, paper towels are used once and thrown away. They're not recyclable, even if some are made from recycled materials.

What is the wet towel trick? ›

Called the wet-towel trick, it's as basic as it sounds. If a charging station handle is too hot, throw a damp cloth over it to cool it down and increase charging speeds. Easy, but does it actually work? According to InsideEVs, yes, it does.

What is the extra piece on a paper towel holder for? ›

The second little post on a paper towel holder is a tear-off point.

What is the purpose of a paper towel dispenser? ›

so, paper towels dispensers are undoubtedly a convenient and effective device of dispensing hand drying towels. The wall-mounted and automatic dispenser helps to keep the towels neat, dry, and free from any type of contamination. They also eliminate the wastage of paper towels and offer an eco-friendly operation.

What is the purpose of a toilet paper holder? ›

A toilet paper holder, also referred to as a toilet paper dispenser, is an essential bathroom accessory in every home. They keep your tissue within reach, make it easy to dispense, and do their part in keeping your space orderly. However, not all toilet paper holders are created equal.

What else can I use a towel holder for? ›

If you buy a flat-backed shower caddy that hangs from the shower head, you can put it on an extra towel bar (attached with a hook or ribbon) and use it to store makeup or toiletries instead. In the kitchen, it could hold cleaning supplies or cooking oils.

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