Simple, good-looking paper towel holders

Be ready for the next mess.

tidy kitchen
Got a mess? Roll with it.Creatv Eight via Unsplash

As you think about how to minimize the amount of waste you generate in your home, reusable alternatives to paper towels are a key consideration. However, some messes are so foul or poorly timed that a roll of absorbent paper is your first line of defense. You can still choose recycled paper or renewable bamboo, and compost whenever possible. Keeping your paper towels properly stored also helps reduce the amount of towels you need and can prevent pets from destroying them for sport, so you have them at hand when Pickles produces a hairball at the worst possible moment. Here are our favorites.

Umbra Squire Paper Towel Holder
Dispense the indispensable.Amazon

If you just want a basic and functional tool to store your paper towels on a table or countertop, this holder is it. The metal wire design looks like more expensive cast iron, blends with most decor, and doesn’t require installation of hardware. An upturned piece of wire gives you a little assist in tearing off sheets one at a time, and the curved top serves as a hook to easily carry the towels to the site of a mess without having to grab the towels themselves with dirty hands. The holder is six inches in diameter at the base, and stands about a foot tall.

Simplehuman Paper Towel Holder
Help prevent your mess preventer from becoming a mess.Amazon

If you’ve got a curious and/or vindictive creature with claws in your household, you may already know that paper towels can be unraveled and shredded just as easily as your favorite handmade sweater. This clever model has a tension arm that holds towels in place, making it much harder to roll them out if you don’t have opposable thumbs, and much easier to only take what you need if you do. It’s taller than the Umbra Squire holder (about 14 inches) and has a wider diameter at the base (about 7 inches), so you can save money by purchasing jumbo rolls of towels. Choose from black or brushed stainless steel finishes to complement your kitchen or bathroom.

OXO Good Grips Steady Mounted Paper Towel Holder
Convenience that’s built-in.Amazon

Mounted paper towel holders take a little more time to set up, but they’re a great solution for using the space underneath your kitchen cabinets, or adding paper towels to a bathroom with limited counter space. This model features a die-cast knob with a classic look, and provides functionality for regular and jumbo rolls with a minimum of set up time. Attach it to your wall or under the cabinet above the sink with the included screws and drywall anchors.

Rtzen-Décor Fancy Paper Towel Holder Stand
A statement piece.Amazon

If you want every item in your house to look hand-selected, no matter how utilitarian, consider this unique choice. With a diameter of just under 7 inches and a height of about 14.5 inches, this paper towel stand works with larger rolls but makes all rolls look instantly more fancy. It’s made of actual wrought iron, and is zinc-plated and powder-coated to resist rust. The classic “S” scroll design on the side also doubles as a tool to help you tear sheets precisely.