1 Ply vs 2 Ply TP: What’s the Difference?

1 Ply vs 2 Ply TP: What’s the Difference?


Which kind of toilet paper is more sustainable: 1 ply vs 2 ply? Learn the difference before you make the purchase!

When looking at toilet paper, you’ll often see the number of plies correlating with the price. The higher the ply count, the more expensive you can expect it to be. For the most part, you can understand the type of toilet paper you are purchasing based on the plies. However, there are multiple factors that affect the quality rank of the toilet paper, including the materials and manufacturing process.

What is ply?

A single ply simply refers to the number of layers that a paper consists of. For toilet paper, there’s usually between one to four layers of paper pressed together to make a parent roll. Then, they’re cut into rolls and sheets. 

As stated above, it is generally inferred that the more plies a toilet roll has, the higher quality the paper is. But don’t be fooled because this isn’t always the case.

1 ply vs 2 ply: Which is Better?

When looking at 1 ply vs 2 ply paper and which is better, it will somewhat depend on what you are looking for. 2 ply paper has an additional layer which generally makes it stronger and a little softer as it has two layers of cushioning. 1 ply toilet paper being just the single layer, is usually the weakest of any toilet paper, but it breaks down the easiest.

So, if you have a weak plumbing system, choosing a single ply option might be the best for you. Or if you are running a building and aren’t concerned about feedback from people using the restrooms - 1 ply toilet paper is usually the cheapest option available and is sold in bigger rolls so you can save money and maintenance time.

If you are looking for a little more strength and softness - 2 ply will be a better option for you. If you are really concerned about those two qualities, then you should go for a 3 ply option. However, 2 ply can serve as a good in between as well.

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Toilet Paper Ply and Paper Towels Ply

Plies don’t only apply to toilet paper, but to paper towels as well. Similar to toilet paper you can find paper towels in anywhere from one to three or four plies depending on the brand. As with toilet paper as you go up in plies you can usually assume a little more softness and strength with the product, the same goes for paper towels. The more plies a paper towel has, the more strength and absorption traditionally occur - meaning that you will likely need to use less to clean up any spills or messes when used.

Should You Use 3-Ply Paper?

3 ply paper is traditionally the best option for strong and soft toilet paper. 2 ply, unfortunately, is still a little weaker product than most people are looking for and 4 ply is overly plush. It is always smart to assess your plumbing system when choosing toilet paper - if you have a very weak system, then 3 ply might not be for you.

Whichever you decide, you should still use toilet paper in moderation to avoid being wasteful. If you want to be more sustainable, consider switching to toilet paper alternatives, such as bamboo toilet paper, bidet, etc. We even offer bulk toilet paper that allows you to both save money and the planet. You can check out some sustainable paper products, like recycled paper towels, on our website.


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