Kirkland vs. Bounty Paper Towels

Paper towels are a household staple that most of us use on a regular basis. Whether you need to clean up spills, dry dishes, or wipe down surfaces, a good paper towel is an essential tool.

Kirkland vs. Bounty Paper Towels

Two of the most popular paper towel brands are Bounty and Kirkland. But which one offers the better value and performance?

Bounty has long been the market leader when it comes to paper towels. Its iconic brand and “the quicker picker upper” slogan are well-known to consumers. Bounty praises its paper towels as being exceptionally strong and absorbent.

Kirkland is Costco’s signature brand. The Kirkland paper towels offer large rolls at a very affordable price point compared to national brands.

But how do they compare performance-wise?


When evaluating paper towels, absorbency is generally the most important factor. You need a towel that can quickly soak up spills without falling apart.

In several absorbency tests, Bounty paper towels consistently absorb much more liquid than Kirkland. The quilted texture and thickness of the Bounty towels gives them an advantage here.

Kirkland paper towels do absorb a decent amount of liquid, but they are thinner overall. As a result, they become saturated more quickly and may take more towels to clean up large spills.

Key Takeaway: Bounty has superior absorbency compared to Kirkland paper towels.


Strength and durability also matter when selecting a paper towel. You don’t want your towel tearing apart or leaving lint behind on surfaces.

Again, Bounty’s quilted design makes it one of the strongest paper towels you can buy. The Bounty sheets can withstand plenty of pulling and scrubbing without falling apart, even when wet.

Kirkland paper towels perform reasonably well in strength tests too. When dry, they are durable enough for most cleaning tasks. However, once saturated with water, Kirkland towels lose a noticeable amount of strength. Over time, small tears develop if you continue scrubbing.

Key Takeaway: Bounty maintains its strength better than Kirkland when wet.

Cleaning Ability

The true test of any paper towel is how well it cleans up messes.

Bounty’s superior absorbency and durability give it an advantage in this category. For wiping up liquids, grease, and food spills, it takes less effort with Bounty towels. Their thickness and textured surface seem to grab and lift messes easier.

Kirkland paper towels can get the job done too, but may require more scrubbing for sticky spills because they soak up less liquid per sheet.

For cleaning dust and dry messes, both brands perform similarly well. Although, some people prefer Bounty’s ability to trap dust in its quilted pockets.

Key Takeaway: Overall, Bounty cleans up wet spills quicker and easier than Kirkland. But both clean up dry messes effectively.


Many consumers also consider the sustainability or environmental impact of paper towels today.

Bounty states that all its paper towels are made from 100% recycled fibers or sustainable materials. And its manufacturing facilities apparently have eco-friendly features to reduce waste.

However, Kirkland goes a step further by using fibers from sugarcane waste and bamboo. These materials are renewable and generally considered more sustainable sources than wood pulp.

So if you’re looking for the “greenest” option, Kirkland may have a slight edge. But both brands seem to be taking steps toward more sustainable practices.

Key Takeaway: Kirkland paper towels may be marginally better for the environment based on their materials.

Cost & Value Analysis

When comparing the value of Bounty vs Kirkland paper towels, you also have to consider the pricing and quantity per package.

On a per roll basis, Bounty generally costs significantly more than Kirkland. Bounty 8-roll packs typically sell for around $25, while Kirkland 12-roll packs range from $18-22.

However, Bounty’s superior performance in key categories like absorbency and durability helps justify its higher price tag. The thicker, plusher sheets allow you to use fewer towels per task, offsetting some of the higher sticker price.

Kirkland still offers decent value for money. The thinner sheets are perfectly fine for casual household cleaning jobs. Just don’t expect the same heavy-duty performance as Bounty.

Key Takeaway: Bounty costs more per roll, but frequently outperforms Kirkland in tests to warrant the higher prices. Kirkland still offers good value overall though.

Availability & Sizing

One other consideration is local availability and package sizing options for each brand.

Since Kirkland is Costco’s exclusive brand, you can only purchase them at Costco warehouses or online. Bounty is more widely available at all major grocery and big box stores.

In terms of sheet count per roll, Kirkland has a clear advantage. Their standard 12-roll packs contain 160, 2-ply sheets per roll compared to just 110 sheets for the same Bounty 8-roll packs.

So if convenient access isn’t an issue, Kirkland could be the smarter pick for larger households that go through paper towels quickly. The larger sheet size is also nice for covering dishes or wrapping items.

Bounty vs. Kirkland Paper Towels Comparison Chart

Cleaning AbilityExcellentGood
SustainabilityGoodVery Good
Cost Per RollHigherLower
Sheet Count Per Roll110160
AvailabilityAll major retailersOnly at Costco


Which brand makes thicker paper towels, Bounty or Kirkland?

Bounty paper towels are noticeably thicker than Kirkland. The quilted texture gives Bounty extra thickness and absorbency.

Do professional cleaners prefer Bounty or Kirkland paper towels?

Most professional cleaners strongly prefer Bounty over Kirkland. Bounty’s superior strength and absorbency save time and allow professionals to tackle more cleaning jobs per day.

Are Bounty paper towels really worth the extra cost over Kirkland?

For most average, household cleaning tasks Kirkland paper towels work reasonably well and offer good value. However, Bounty’s exceptional performance does justify paying a bit more if you demand the best quality and want to reduce waste.

Which brand makes more environmentally friendly paper towels?

Kirkland paper towels likely have a smaller environmental impact since they utilize renewable materials like sugarcane waste and bamboo rather than only wood pulp. However, Bounty also uses recycled content and eco-friendly manufacturing processes to reduce its footprint.

Can I buy Kirkland paper towels if I’m not a Costco member?

You can purchase Kirkland paper towels on Amazon or certain reseller sites without a Costco membership. But non-members will pay higher prices compared to in-warehouse pricing.


Bounty paper towels consistently earn top marks for their superior absorbency, strength, and cleaning power. So for those willing to pay a little extra for premium performance, Bounty is hands down the best brand available.

However, Kirkland still makes a very serviceable towel that delivers solid value for Costco members. Their product is comparable to most mid-tier national brands. Just don’t expect the same heavy-duty performance as Bounty.

Towels Edition
Towels Edition