Which is cheaper – using facial tissue or toilet paper to blow your nose?

Tissue for blowing nose

Image from Mcfarlandmo

This is a hot topic for debate, as it was in my office today.  Apparently, the folks over at AOL’s DailyFinance think this is worth mentioning as a way for people to save money on their household spending.  Let’s see if their tip is worth following:

Their math –

      65 sheets per box, 2 cents per sheet = $1.30

Nearly 260 sheets per roll and $.65 for a roll, bonus = is often softer

Amazing – if this is true, everybody could be saving somewhere to the order of 87.5% on what they use to blow their nose.

I’m going to use two common price guides, Target and Amazon to test how well this rings true.  I’m excluding shipping for all calculations.


      Kleenex is $8.49 for a 6-pack of 184-count boxes.  This comes out to $0.0077 per sheet.

Cottonelle Extra was $12.99 for 18 rolls of toilet paper with 176 sheets per roll.  This comes out to $0.0041 per sheet.

Would you use one sheet of toilet paper to blow your nose?  Whenever I have had to use toilet paper for blowing my nose, it is generally two sheets.  For two sheets of the toilet paper, the facial tissue comes out at a one cent savings for every 20 times you use tissue to blow your nose.


      Kleenex can be bought for $22.29 for a 10 boxes of 260 tissues.  This was not as good of a price as Target, coming out to $0.0085 per sheet.

The Cottonelle Extra can be bought for $18.99 for 24 rolls with 176 sheets per roll.  Again, this was not as good as Target’s prices, at $0.0045 per sheet.

And again, the bath tissue is more expensive if you use two sheets to blow your nose compared to facial tissue.

So where did the supposedly helpful people over at AOL go wrong?  First, I could not find a roll of toilet paper for $0.65 – the lowest price was a little above $0.72 per roll buying in bulk.  Next, 65 sheets of tissue per box is a really small box and $1.30 is a semi-reasonable rate for a single box, but a rather bad price compared to buying in bulk.

What else matters besides price, right?  In the video from AOL, they give tips to make using toilet paper not look as weird by putting the roll in a regular facial tissue box.  There are issues with tissue strength.  The facial tissues are more likely to get blown through with a strong sneeze, but by using two squares of toilet paper, there’s a weak point right in the middle between those two squares.  There are issues with softness.  If you have a cold or are suffering from allergies, normal facial tissues can cause pain from the tissue paper being wiped across the nose so often.  Depending on the toilet paper, some of them will be softer than the facial tissue while others will be more coarse.

The Verdict: Tissue vs Toilet Paper

So, what’s the best way to blow your nose if you are concerned with costs?  A handkerchief.  The cost of buying the cloth, then washing it in the washing machine will quickly overcome the continuing cost of buying facial tissue.  Otherwise, the cost is not much different between bath and facial tissue and probably depends on what is on sale at the time, with facial tissue being more commonly the cheaper choice.  If you only have enough money to buy a large package of toilet paper or a medium sized package of both toilet paper and facial tissue, the bulk savings will certainly outweigh the comparable advantage of purchasing the facial tissue over the toilet paper.



Filed under Advice, Reactions

3 responses to “Which is cheaper – using facial tissue or toilet paper to blow your nose?

  1. Louis Lopez

    Very good work. The handkerchief answer is the best solution.

    Also i often use tear the facial tissue sheet in half and use only that.

  2. shanna VanAusdall

    In our home, the only paper products bought are kitchen paper towels and for the bathroom and living areas we only use facial tissue. Toilet tissue in rolls are expensive and tear easily. Facilities tissues for your nose and bottom is cheaper and softer. Many guests walk in our restroom and walk out only to take me aside to ask if I know I am out of toilet tissue! Lol! When I reply that there should be facial tissue above the toilet, my guests look askance. But I would much rather face that than the constant expense of toilet tissue. Again, more sheets, softer and noticeably less
    expensive than toilet paper.

  3. Steven Bushert

    farmer blow is cheapest by far

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