How to Choose the Best Paper Hand Towels | JanSan

Throughout your life you have been using disposable paper hand towels in public washrooms, you’ve unknowingly probably used nearly all our different types of paper towels or similar. However, if you were told to purchase the most suitable for your businesses needs which one would you choose?

We sell over 20 different types of paper hand towels, which means our customers have plenty of choices when it comes to choosing the correct product, however it can make the selection more complicated for others. Many users choose to purchase based on price point, but if we were to tell you then you can save money by picking a more expensive product due to the fold of the towel – would you reconsider your option?

To help make your product selection process a little easier, we are going to break down the different paper towel types, different ply selection, hand towel vs. hand dryer and environmental factors. Keep on reading to ensure you make the right purchase.

Paper Hand Towels Vs Hand Dryers

This has always been a big debate in the janitorial world, both options have pros and cons. Depending on your main business needs this pros and cons list below may help in your search for the perfect hand drying solution.

Hand Dryers



✔️ Keep washroom looking clean & organized

❌ Costly (Initial purchase & maintenance)

✔️ Environmentally friendly (no paper waste)

❌ Noise Pollution


❌ Can spread bacteria more easily via water particles being sprayed away from hands


❌ Takes longer to dry your hands


Paper Hand Towels



✔️ Cheaper to install and require no maintenance.

❌ Daily, Weekly or Monthly hand towel replenishment needed

✔️ Less cross-contamination (one study found that 10 seconds of using a hot air dryer was associated with more bacteria on the hands than not using a dryer at all.)

❌ Can be unsightly especially if bins overflow of paper towels

✔️ Dry your hands more efficiently.

❌ Paper waste (although most paper hand towels are made from recycled material)



Next, we need to talk about ply, if you think of layers or clothing ply is another name for how many layers the piece of paper contains in one sheet. 1 ply has is made up of one sheet of paper, 2 ply is made up of 2 sheets of paper and so forth.

As you can imagine the higher the number in ply the stronger the hand towel is and the more absorbent the hand towel will be. Usually, you will tend to find 1 ply hand towels In areas with a high volume of people, this is due to a larger pack quantity in a box and in most cases, it is less expensive than those of 2 ply.


The main job of paper hand towels is to absorb water, drying the hands. Now, if they don’t absorb the water properly, then they lose their function, which is why it’s so important to choose a hand towel type that is super absorbent and does its job properly.

One way to tell if a paper towel will be absorbent is to look at the pattern it has on it. Paper towels that have a pattern are more absorbent than ones that don’t, because of the ridges and grooves of the design. These help to make the towel more absorbent, as these ridges pull water into them. Like the V-fold Green Paper Hand Towels in 1 Ply that we offer; these have small, diagonal ridges running across them, which makes them more absorbent than normal, un-patterned towels.

A simple way to test how absorbent hand towels are is to do a small experiment with them. Dip each hand towel into a bowl of the same amount of water - this should be measured out - then wring each towel out until it no longer drips, then weighs each towel. The paper towel that weighs the most is the most absorbent, it’s as simple as that.

Fold Type

C FoldThese are the most common type of folded towel; these are dispensed folded and need to be opened before use.

Z FoldA self-presenting towel – the Z fold towel is always ready, clean, and untouched

M FoldSimilar to Z-fold but larger i.e 4 panels instead of 3, giving 25% more drying surface per towel.

V FoldAnother self-presenting towel the V fold towel is always ready, clean, and untouched. On dispensing the towels are fully open.

Rolls - If you require more hand towel dries per dispenser then we would recommend opting for a roll these are great for busy washrooms or kitchen

Environmental Factors

There is a minefield of conflicting information online as to whether paper hand towels are an eco-friendly alternative to hand dryers or not. The first thing to mention about paper hand towels is that they are not recyclable, as they are ‘contaminated’ waste.

On the plus side, most of our paper hand towel range is made from recycled paper. Many brands will have pledged to be sustainable products. For example, if we look at our range of paper hand towels many of them have European Eco labels, the Nordic Swan and Eu Flower labels, awarded to products that meet high environmental standards throughout production.

Try and look for a product that does meet Eco standards and is made from recycled paper.

Range of Top Selling Hand Towels

Lastly, here is the range of our bestselling hand towels

Andarta 2Ply White V/Fold Embossed Hand Towel (Box 4000)

Andarta 2Ply White Z/Fold Hand Towel (Box 3000)

Andarta 1Ply Blue V/Fold Hand Towel (Box 5000)

Andarta 1Ply Green C/Fold Hand Towel (Box 2880)

Want to know more? View our entire range of Paper Hand Towels here or email the team at [email protected] & don’t forget we also supply a range of hand towel dispensers to suit your needs.