Best facial tissue

Cleaning Tools & Supplies

Introduced in 1924, the first facial tissue was marketed as cold-cream removers.

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Which facial tissue is best?

What began as a makeup and cold cream remover has become the faithful companion to cold and allergy sufferers everywhere. Combining strength, absorbency and softness, facial tissue is now a must-have in homes, schools and offices.

Not all brands of facial tissue are created equally, however. Some entry-level brands may not measure up to the performance standards set by recognizable names such as Kleenex or Puffs. There are medicated facial tissues for cold and allergy sufferers. There are scented versions for those who prefer some fragrance. There are even lotion-infused facial tissues that provide additional comfort for long-haul users.

Our top pick, Kleenex Ultra Soft Facial Tissues, is a premium three-ply from one of the most recognized brands in the facial-tissue industry. It has exceptional absorbency and softness, especially for long-term use.

What to know before you buy facial tissue?

Paper quality

Facial tissue and bathroom tissue are similar in the sense of overall construction. Some inexpensive brands use a coarser paper product as the base, then only offer a single ply. Long-term use of these tissues often leads to redness and soreness. They may perform well enough for make-up removal, but not for colds and allergies.

Better facial tissues offer at least two layers of material for strength and absorbency. Premium brands often feature three plies, and the base is derived from virgin wood pulp for additional softness. The overall quality of the tissue paper should be a major decision factor because an inferior product can cause a lot of discomfort later.

Strength and absorbency

One good argument for two-ply and three-ply facial tissues is overall strength. One layer of processed paper can easily disintegrate during use, but multiple layers will keep the tissue intact. Some brands can shed bits of paper lint because they are formulated more for softness than strength. This might not be a deal breaker for those with sensitive skin, but long-term users should opt for brands that can hold their own during an illness.

Absorbency is also a factor when evaluating facial tissues. The tissue must be able to absorb and trap liquid mucus. Inexpensive one- or two-ply brands sometimes make the process more unpleasant because they do not immediately absorb mucus. This is why softer two- and three-ply brands are so popular with cold and allergy sufferers. An absorbent facial tissue draws the mucus deeper into the paper, away from the skin.


For cold and allergy sufferers, a lotion-infused facial tissue is a much-appreciated upgrade. The small amount of lotion adds to the overall softness of the tissue, and helps reduce the soreness and redness associated with long-term use. However, lotion-infused facial tissue is not ideal for other tasks, such as cleaning eyeglasses. Lotion-infused facial tissues can be more expensive, and the quantity may be more limited per box.

While not as easy to find on regular store shelves, there are facial tissue brands infused with virus or bacteria-killing agents. These products can help reduce the spread of cold or flu viruses by neutralizing the shed virus on the tissue. Antibacterial facial tissue help decontaminate surfaces where used tissues have been discarded.

How much you can expect to spend on facial tissue

Most brands of facial tissues are affordably priced. An inexpensive box of one- or two-ply tissues can cost less than $1 and are often sold in bulk for a significant discount. The overall quality is variable, however. For regular home or office use, expect to pay around $3 for a box of unenhanced two- or three-ply facial tissues from recognizable brands. Premium brands with exceptional three-ply softness and absorbency cost a dollar or two more per box, while facial tissues enhanced with lotion or antibacterial/antiviral agents can average around $6 a box.

Facial tissue FAQ

Are facial tissues safe for a septic system?

A. Most facial tissues do not break down as easily as toilet tissues. You can flush a few facial tissues down the toilet in an emergency, but they will eventually start to clog a septic system before they disintegrate completely.

Are there facial tissues with virus-killing properties?

A. While many facial tissues are not treated with anything more powerful than skin lotion, there are some brands that do contain an effective virus-killing agent. This information should be included on the product’s packaging.

What’s the best facial tissue to buy?

Top facial tissue

Kleenex Ultra Soft Facial Tissues

Kleenex Ultra Soft Facial Tissues

What you need to know: This super-soft facial tissue is ideal for cold and allergy sufferers who need the absorbency and strength of a three-ply product.

What you’ll love: The sturdy three-ply construction has an exceptionally soft texture, ideal for sensitive skin. Very absorbent material is great for allergy symptoms (runny nose, frequent sneezing).

What we dislike: It can shed material during use. Some users complained about unsealed/damaged packaging.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top facial tissue for the money

Solimo Facial Tissues

Solimo Facial Tissues

What you need to know: These value-priced facial tissues work best as “everyday” products in the office, guest room, bathroom or bedroom.

What you’ll love: It has a budget-friendly price point, especially in bulk. Produced from recycled or sustainable sources, the two-ply construction comes in attractive packaging.

What you should consider: Not as soft on the skin as more familiar brands, it generates significant lint.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Puffs Plus Lotion Facial Tissues

Puffs Plus Lotion Facial Tissues

What you need to know: While standard facial tissues can irritate the skin over time, these soft lotion-infused facial tissues from a trusted brand are designed to reduce soreness.

What you’ll love: Lotion protects sensitive or raw skin. Two-ply construction with a layer of puffed air comes in a cube-shaped packaging with visual appeal.

What you should consider: There are a limited number of tissues per box. Lotion-infused tissues cannot be used to clean glasses.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Michael Pollick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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