Paper towel size – How tall is standard?

USA11 inches11 inches
Australia20.5 cm20.5 cm
Average Paper Towel size

Paper towel in the US is 11 inches by 11 inches square. Standard paper towel will be 11 inches tall. If you are in Australia, paper towel is 8 inches or 20.5cm tall.

Paper towel square size

The typical size of a paper towel is 11 inches by 11 inches square.  They can vary as you can buy extra large paper towels. They come in packages in up to 8 rolls, but you can buy 1 roll packs, 2 roll all the way up. Most rolls will hold up to 100 sheets of 2-ply material.

Paper towel size for different different brands

In Australia, paper towel are generally all standard heights, they do however vary in length.  I always try to choose a double length roll as this means I get twice as much for the same amount of packaging.

There is also the option to buy paper towel wrapped in paper from Amazon.  This paper wrapping can be recycled and creates less plastic waste.

What to look for when buying paper towel

You can buy paper towel that is made to be more durable, these are generally the more expensive brands and won’t rip as easily.  The cheaper brands tend to tear more easily and they won’t hold water as well.

Viva reusable paper towels are thicker and can last 10x longer than regular paper towels. They can be rinsed over and over and fit somewhere between a paper towel and a cloth.  They are a little more environmentally friendly as they can be used 10x more than a normal paper towel, but eventually need to be thrown away.

These are thicker, longer lasting paper towel

If you want something really long lasting, keep reading to find some alternatives to paper towel.

Select-A-Size paper towels

The Select-A-Size towels by Bounty let you tear off just the amount that you need. This means you could tear off a 5 inch piece or a 15 inch piece.  This means you will waste less because you can just tear off what you need.

They are 2ply and have 74 sheets per roll. They come in 8 roll packs. If you are like me and spill your coffee (very often) or you have kids and need to wipe up spills, these will work well. They are strong, so will hold up even when you have a lot to clean up.

They are also quilted which helps them to clean and absorb mess.  If you choose the single plus, they contain 50% more sheets than regular rolls. The sheet size is 11 inches by 5-15/16 inches.

Paper towel shortage

That is a great question. A paper towel shortage was caused by people buying and storing these.  Lockdowns caused people to race to the shops and buy many rolls, (although here in Australia we were always able to visit supermarkets, even during lockdown).

Thankfully, paper towel has returned to the shelf and seems in great supply.  There must be lots of households with cupboards full of paper towel which will last them a lifetime.

Paper towel alternatives that are eco friendly

There are lots of options to use instead of paper towels which can be re-used over and over and eco-friendly.

Bamboo Paper Towels – These are an eco-friendly choice. Bamboo is quick growing and uses few chemicals in the growing process.

Microfiber cloths –These are great as they can be used over and over again, they are extra absorbent and can be washed in your washing machine and used again and again.

Dishcloths or tea towels – grabbing a tea towel or dishcloth to soak up a large spill can be a great alternative to using a handful of paper towel.  Just soak up the spill and throw the cloth or tea towel straight in the washing machine.  You can re-use it and you don’t waste piles of paper towel.

Unpaper towels – These are great, you can buy these from Etsy or Amazon. These are handmade towels, that can be wrapped around a roll just like the original and are extra absorbent.  They can be used again and again and are great for the environment.  You can even make them yourself if you are crafty.

Sponges – the humble sponge can be a great alternative to cleaning up spills. They are very absorbent and can be rinsed over again. If you use it for a particularly dirty spot, make sure you give it a good wash in some warm, soapy water.

Check out my previous article here on all you need to know about paper towels.