4.28.2010

Kirkland Toilet Paper Review

Embossed for your viewing pleasure

In life there are many areas where spending a little money is the really the smartest idea.  Buying things "on the cheap" isn't always the best solution.
Case in point--have you tried anything on Taco Bell's value menu recently?  Craptacular.
Don't skimp on a mattress.  You sleep about a third of your life.  Why would you want to take a free mattress from your aunt, only to find that her 15 year old son who used it was a constant bed-wetter? (or even worse...I mean he is 15)
Don't buy Walmart roses for valentine's.  You'll end up with a wilty mess 24 hours later.
I once bought a "Tag-Heuer" watch from a friendly fellow on a corner in down-town Houston for 20 bucks.  It worked for exactly 6 hours until the hands fell off.  When I went back the next day, he told me he'd take the old one back, and give me a new one for an additional 20 dollars.  Sweet deal.

This brings me to the subject of toilet paper. 
I used to spend a considerable amount of time at a friends home when I was younger.  His Mom bought the cheapest toilet paper on the planet.  I think it was called "see through soft-wipes."  When the unfortunate occasion arose where I had to drop a deuce in his house, I always dreaded what I called wiping with "60 grit."
Just because it's called an ass-hole doesn't mean we need to treat it like one.

Our family buys the mega-pack of Kirkland toilet paper from Costco.  It is not the cheapest tissue on the planet, but it's also not as expensive as the Charmin at Costco.  It's kind of like choosing the Honda Accord instead of the Cadillac Escalade.

How does the Kirkland paper measure up?  I have a few important categories which measure its effectiveness and quality.  I will compare the Kirkland brand directly to the Charmin "super-soft" that is also in Costco.

Cost:  Kirkland is a little cheaper if you were to actually measure price per linear foot.  I haven't done this, and if I see you in Costco with a calculator running some numbers, I will shove your HP 48G down your throat.

Thickness:  The Kirkland is definitely thinner than the Charmin, but will still keep you from having the dreaded "punch-through."  In fact, the thinner paper will help flushability.  Try getting a million-wiper with the Charmin.  You'll be flushing in phases to get that thick tissue down your sewer pipe.

Softness:  Probably the most important of personal tissue paper qualities.  The Kirkland paper is just soft enough, and the texture has a nice "grab and hold" quality to it.  The Charmin is very soft, but suffers from "paper shred."  After a hearty wipe of the Charmin, you'll have little white paper flakes stuck to areas where paper flakes aren't meant to reside.

Versatility:  Kirkland paper also works well as a nose-tissue.  The lack of "Charmin-like" white paper flakes makes it a good candidate where you can expel any nasal excrement.

Presentation:  Kirkland paper excels at this.  Every single roll of toilet paper is wrapped in paper.  Thus, when you finish your business on the John and find an empty roll of toilet paper, an experience which used to be anxiety-inducing now becomes a treasured moment.  It's like unwrapping a present on Christmas morning. (UPDATE 4/2012--Kirkland has changed their toilet paper presentation.  Some rolls are now individually wrapped in plastic, and some are wrapped as a 4-pack in plastic.  It is deeply disappointing that they changed this in the name of cost-reduction or some saving the planet BS.  If I was concerned about saving the planet, I'd use only 1 square per visit, and "make do.")

Summary:  Kirkland toilet tissue is a good value, and does the job well.  It's much better than the no-name paper you'll find in some grocery stores.  I intentionally did not compare Kirkland paper to using a "personal wipe," or what I call a "flushable wet-nap."  These products deserve their own review, and are really the Ferrari of rear-end rust removers.

Kirkland toilet paper wipes out most of the competition on its way to a 4-star rating.

22 comments:

Major Undeclared said...

I'm glad you were fair to Kirkland on this one. I thought it was going to be a smear campaign.

Matt said...

I never set out on a review to give something a brown eye. I mean black eye.

Thomas said...

I'm surprised you like it. I equate the Kirkland brand toilet paper with "60 Grit." I've used it and hated it. I believe their toilet paper is on the list of things that Kirkland brand sucks at.

But hey, as long as you like it...

Matt said...

Thomas--In college, I spent as little as possible on toilet paper. Titles like "barely soft" and "almost clean" were regulars in the bathroom. This is probably why Kirkland passes muster for me.

Anonymous said...

Kirkland toilet paper is CHEAP....they changed it! It used to be awesome, then they went and changed the quality of it. I will not buy their toilet paper every again........it's so rough now, not like it used to be

Just Me:D said...

I agree on both counts. In fact I compared the new tissue to it's previous counterpart,simply put it is very thin regardless of still having two layers. Even though the print on both packages states 425 sheets, this new one is appears to all my senses as chintzy. I have bought this brand for years but I will no doubt be switching now. I honestly think they changed the package from paper to plastic to try and dupe the consumer. Sure I liked the paper better... although when I held each roll and gave them the 'cushy' check it was clearly evident that the plastic wrapped one had far less density. So this once loyal consumer is shall we say far less than wrapped up in this tissues quality. l.m.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I do not like the new Costco
T.P. Not only do I not like the new
plastic "wrap", but the toilet
paper itself is not always 2 ply...
I have found on a # of different
rolls, that often there is just a
single ply and then a double ply.
Why was it changed? Whoever made
the change in the T.P. itself, must
not be using it themselves; It is
really inferior..Thanks!

comparison shopper said...

Kirkland TP used to be a very nice product, but I agree it has been changed to a much inferior product. I stopped buying it, but would go back if they restored it to its former quality.

Anonymous said...

I like the toilet paper. Charmin is WAY to soft, feel like I am going to plug the toilet every time. I will say I do not like the plastic wrappers. They need to go back to the paper. At least you can recyle that.

Observer said...

I was told Kirkland TP is good. Tried it and almost returned it. Hard and shreds. Went back to charming ultra strong. Doesnt shred, soft,and the best part, need just a few squares.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed that the last package of Kirkland TP is different. It is not as strong as what I used to get. A number of years ago they made the size smaller, now it is thinner and weaker. I have used this product for many years, but will change now if they stay with the product like it is now.

Anonymous said...

We can no longer use the costco brand. The larger rolls do not fit in our holder. Older homes have recessed in the wall TP holders. The bigger rolls do not fit.

Anonymous said...

I hope Costco is listening,I will not be buying anymore of their T.P.unless they go back to what it use to be.the "new" product is crappy.

Anonymous said...

So I'm not the only one disappointed with the "new" TP. Hate the new packaging, the fact that it does not fit on my holder and that it is an inferior product. I will also no longer be buying it if they do not go back to what it use to be.

Anonymous said...

Kirkland used to be OK, but is horrid now. When you wipe it leaves tiny little round balls of tissue everywhere - you know where. Husband hates it. Also, it is NOT individually wrapped any longer. We used Kirkland for about 17 years - no more. Now it is Northern unless we find better.

Anonymous said...

It's so frustrating that it doesn't fit the tp holder--it's too big!

Bigger isn't always better people! ;)

Anonymous said...

Good, glad it isn't just me hating the new kirkland tp. I am not buying it, and am on the search for another brand that is individually wrapped that doesn't fall apart like this one. I have been buying this for over a decade, and even weathered through the last change they made to chintzier paper. NOT THIS TIME.

And since tp is one of the only benefits of Costco for us, I get to say bye-bye to the annual fee too! Woohoo!

Matt said...

Ok...enough is enough. As rabid as I am about anal well-being, I can't believe that some readers feel even more passionate.

I'd like to discuss some of the claims people have made regarding Kirkland toilet paper:

"They changed it" -- This is true. I believe they constantly fine-tune the TP to make it more eco-friendly, reliable, and cost-effective.
If you have multiple "punch-throughs", then you need to trim your nails or stop trying to force entry with your paper.
If you are getting cling-ons, then I suggest you check in for a full brazilian wax or learn the "wipe and curl" method.
Lastly, I have fully moved to a closing safety wipe with an adult-wet-nap after doing the heavy lifting with the Kirkland paper. I highly suggest you stinky britches do the same. You have no idea the scent you are wafting and the filth you carry around.

"Kirkland paper sucks" -- This is a relative claim. Is it better than most TP's out there for the cost? Yes.
Is there better TP out there? Yes.
Will it cost you more? Yes.
As I mentioned in the review...this is not the Mercedes of toilet paper. This is a good middle-of-the-road TP that the whole family can use. If I put high quality Charmin in my kid's bathroom, they'd go through 6 rolls a day. They go through a lot of paper each bathroom visit as I teach that it's better to be safe than sorry when sticking your hand down your ass.

"Kirkland TP doesn't fit in my holder" -- This is probably true, but as you live in a house built in the 1920's, you should have probably moved on to adult diapers by now. TP fitting into your bathroom should be the least of your concerns right now. Did you leave the stove on?

Lastly, I'd like to address the most recent comment by Anonymous regarding canceling their Costco membership because TP was one of the only benefits.
Let's run some simple math:
Assuming a 4-person household goes through 1 large package a month of Kirkland TP--you would save roughly 3 dollars over the price at Walmart for equivalent TP.
This would have saved you 36 bucks a year...BUT...the Costco membership is 55 bucks, meaning you are at a net loss of 19 bucks a month. Times this by 10 years...and you have spent a grand total of $190 to buy shitty paper at Costco. This is offset by the fact that you probably purchase 378 footlong hot dos, plus you most likely make the rounds on the free samples at least 10 times a month to feed the family...So, it's probably a break-even proposition for you. Tough decision to renew next year.

Anonymous said...

Been using Kirkland tp for couple of years but this will be the last not two rolls the same now one like wallpaper next one like 1ply tissue, and not cheap

Roadapple said...

I contacted COSTCO about their new "fluffier" TP because I developed a very bad irritation is a shady place from it. 'Took weeks to go away after I switched to the Charmin (thick and pilly stuff). 'went back to the Kirkland after two months...same problem again, but less severe. Back to Charmin. No answer ever from COSTCO.

Anonymous said...

I had the exact same problem. I get my toilet paper for free from my mother-in-law. After using it for a short time, I developed a rash. Before I accused the toilet paper, I made sure I had not recently changed anything else. Only my toilet paper was new. I'm going back to Scott Tissue because this rash has to stop. The problem now is what to do with 128 rolls of bad toilet paper.

Anonymous said...

It's Charmin for my family - fortunately we do not have a "septic system" that will clog; we have sewers and that allows us to have "soft bums."

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