Toilet Paper Orientation: Over vs. Under (Proof That The Correct Toilet Paper Roll Direction Does Matter!)

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What is the correct toilet paper roll direction? That’s a question that gets asked repeatedly in households across America.

Who knew there would be a Wikipedia page about toilet paper orientation? Not me.

But I am happy to report that I have finally discovered the correct way to hang the toilet paper roll!

Yes, there is finally proof that toilet paper direction (over vs. under) does make a difference!


correct toilet paper roll direction: down


wrong toilet paper roll direction: up

How do I know?

Because the hearts and flowers are upside down when the toilet paper is hung the WRONG way.

Haa haa. Hee hee.

So, now that I have proof (thank you Northern!), my next mission is to get dear hubby to start hanging the toilet paper roll the RIGHT way.

I don’t normally buy this ‘hearts and flowers’ brand of toilet paper. If I did, perhaps hubby (and others) would have caught on long before now and there’d be no debate on the issue.

Furthermore, according to Northern bath tissue, the majority of people (72%) prefer their toilet paper come from the top.

So, I’ve actually been doing it “right” ever since I moved out of the house and started living on my own.

Which is why finding the toilet paper hanging “wrong” somewhere else just seems so… well, wrong!

What Others Are Saying…

Before you start thinking I’m the only one talking about this delicate issue — and blogging about it — consider this…

They’ve been talking about toilet paper on TV a lot lately. (And today’s toilet paper commercials are nothing like the toilet paper commercials of yesterday.)

Funny wise owl toilet paper that's hanging the CORRECT toilet paper roll direction!

Heck, the techies at cNet are talking about this topic.

So are the geeks at Fast Company.

Even Business Insider has an opinion on which way the toilet paper roll should hang! (Theirs is based on the official “toilet paper patent” which clearly indicated which direction the roll should hang. By the way, here is the history of toilet paper and timeline of its use that you’ve been wondering about.)

So I’m definitely not alone here.

People seem to be putting the most weight in this infographic — which, as it turns out, was created by a couple of engineers!

Toilet Paper Usage Facts

Even more fun facts from Northern toilet tissue you probably didn’t know…

Picture of sitting on the toilet
  • The majority of people (53%) use 4 to 6 squares of toilet paper to get the job done.
  • 90% of women and 75% of men wash their hands after using a public restroom. (Personally, I wonder how many actually wash their hands after using the restroom at their own house!)
  • 8% of Americans flush public toilets with their feet.
  • 51% vs. 49% prefer to “crumple” vs. “fold” their toilet paper before using it.
  • 1/3 of all Americans flush the toilet while sitting.
  • 10% of Americans cover toilet seats in public bathrooms with toilet paper to avoid germs and filth.

News Flash… Toilet seats aren’t that germy! Here are 25 things we use every single day that have far more germs on them than a toilet seat. (Like your phone!)

Must read: How To Clean A Toilet Properly + The Best Toilet Cleaning Products

Little-Known Facts About Bathroom Behaviors

Weird bathroom behaviors!

Fortunately, there are lots of people to help us with our good hygiene… and good humor!

By the way, do you snoop inside the medicine cabinet at someone else’s house? I don’t — but 50% of people do!

The Bottom Line

So, to answer the question, “Which direction should a toilet paper roll face?”

The answer, once and for all, is down — so that the paper rolls OVER the top of the roll toward the floor.

This is proven by the original toilet paper roll patent, dated 1891, the direction of the designs printed on toilet paper, and the majority of Americans’ personal preference.

Like this post? Save it to read again later… or share with others on Pinterest!

See the correct toilet paper direction... as it was intended by the original patent.

17 thoughts on “Toilet Paper Orientation: Over vs. Under (Proof That The Correct Toilet Paper Roll Direction Does Matter!)”

  1. Yes, this is the right way. HOWEVER… if you have a pet or child that likes to try to unroll the roll, hanging the roll “backwards” means it is only going around and around, not unrolling (as much)!

  2. TP in my house has, for decades, been mounted in the “under” position, thanks to a cat I once had that delighted in unrolling entire rolls. Since I always have a cat, I’ve never changed to the “over” position.

  3. I, too, agree with the “under” and was surprised that so many people did the “over.” I keep wondering where they got their data. Public data (like a public poll) would be tainted, b/c the tissue companies want the ‘over’ way done. It makes more sense to me to do the Under, for the same reasons quoted by Pied Type and Brandy Grote. I found that there was less accidents and LESS PAPER being used in the Under position. Could this be the reasons the tissue company wants us to do better? After all, more paper used means more money in their pockets!

  4. In Thailand people often don’t use toilet paper at all, instead using conveniently placed nearby water reservoirs to clean their nether regions…its cheaper, better for the environment and it works better.

  5. It turns out that people with either intellectual or emotional disabilities become easily fascinated and obsessed with unrolling entire rolls of toilet paper. In care facilities discouraging this behavior is very
    important, because the unroller will often try to flush the “evidence” down the toilet, clogging the toilet. I know, I have to face this problem on a weekly basis. I know one psychiatric hospital that resorted
    to regularly escorting patients in and out of the bathroom. In public restrooms, intellectually disabled people may only be a small percentage of users, but even facing this problem once is once too often. The “industrial” toilet paper dispensers I’ve seen actually have instructions inside to orient the roll “under”.

  6. “UNDER

    Harder for anyone to unravel, including RVs, earthquakes, children, cats, and humans altogether.”


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