Toilet Paper Started Out 4.5 Inches Square

Earlier this week we shared with you the tragic Shrink Raying of Walmart’s White Cloud toilet paper from 4.2 inches by 4 inches to 3.9 inches by 4 inches. Yes, that’s a pretty small difference, even if it does result in an obvious height difference when you set old and new rolls side by side. What you may not realize is that our modern rolls would look puny next to your grandparents’ toilet paper.

When he submitted his photos, tipster Andrew idly wondered what the original size of rolled toilet paper sheets was. We didn’t know that this answer was really out there, uncovered by intrepid butt-wiping historians. Ponder this the next time you buy toilet paper: the original standard measurement was 4.5 inches square, thought to be the width of the average man’s hand.

One brand has kept their size consistent over the decades, and is prized for it: Boardwalk. It has rave reviews from online shoppers who find toilet paper sheet size very important, and who disagree about whether the sheets are 4.4 inches long or 4.5.

The Incredible Shrinking Toilet Paper Roll [Metropilis]
Is My Toilet Paper Shrinking? [Toilet Paper World]

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  1. Liberal says:

    An internet search shows limited options to buy Boardwalk locally for me. The Walmart one ply roll size went to 1250. Sheet size is 4.1×3.7 and increased the cost by about 25% in my area. At least there was something for the consumer with the extra 250 sheets.