By Jim Donovan

By Jim Donovan:  When facing common colds and allergies, tissues that provide comfort are best.  In Consumer Reports’ new tests of facial tissues, Puffs Ultra Soft & Strong and Kleenex Lotion Aloe & E topped the Ratings of 18 products for overall performance.

In its tests, Consumer Reports evaluated 2- and 3-ply facial tissues for their softness (judged by human hands) and strength (tested by a machine).  Only five products – all from Kleenex and Puffs – were worth recommending – including top-rated Puffs Ultra Soft & Strong and Kleenex Lotion Aloe & E, which was deemed a CR Best Buy. 

When choosing facial tissues, there are several things to consider – more brands now offer lotion, extra plies, and boast about their softness and strength. Here are three things to remember when buying:

  1. Don’t rely solely on a name’s claim.  Consumer Reports found that Ology Soft & Strong was one of the least soft; Total Home Soft & Strong was among the least strong; Great Value and 365 Everyday Value were not the best values.
  2. Both lotion and no-lotion products offered softness. Tissues with lotion did well overall, but some without it were also very soft. Kleenex Ultra Soft (no lotion) was even a bit softer than Puffs Plus Lotion and Kleenex Cool Touch (both with lotion).
  3. The number of plies may not matter. Puffs Ultra Soft & Strong tissues, which are two-ply, bested all three-ply products in Consumer Reports’ tests.

The full report and Ratings of facial tissues are available in the August 2013 issue of Consumer Reports and online at

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