Toilet Paper Holders: It’s Called a Roll for a Reason

Most times, people send us products to review, and we’re happy to tell you our opinion of them. In some cases, however, I feel a NEED to review items that no one has asked me to talk about, simply because there are things that have to be said.

Case in point: Who thought it was a good idea to create a toilet paper roll holder that doesn’t secure the roll in any way? You know the kind—it’s just an arm that the roll slides onto….and slides off of just as easily.
I’ve seen this trend—known as an open design—at numerous upscale hotels lately, and it’s got me completely flummoxed, not to mention irritated. Oh sure, the roll hangs there daintily as long as no one actually needs to use it, but when you do attempt to tear a strip off the roll, not only does the paper come off, but so does the roll…and let’s just say you’re not in any position to play catch.

toilet paper, bad design, toilet paper holder
When this flies off the handle (as it invariably does), I fly off the handle.

So let’s talk design flaws

I’m sure that tens of thousands of dollars were spent studying the efficiency of these toilet paper holders and how much time they save the staff, who instead of having to spend .01 seconds removing the toilet paper roll tube simply slide the new roll onto the arm without losing a beat.

And in theory, it’s a lovely concept. Less time spent in each bathroom, on each roll, surely adds up to enough time at the end of the year that hotel owners think that it’s a good investment.

But that’s because they aren’t the ones crawling around on the floor in the dark. Dripping.

While I appreciate whatever efficiency expert convinced hundreds of hotel chains and even independent boutique hotel owners to buy these hanging arms, what they didn’t take into account was that what goes on…more easily comes off.

This isn’t a good thing when you’re doing your business and in no position to lunge after the roll as it takes off like a shot across the room. It’s even worse when you have to crawl under the counter to retrieve it after it has merrily rolled to the farthest corner under the cabinet. And good housekeeping aside, does anyone really want to see what’s under there? Ewwww.

Toilet paper holder review on
THIS would even be better!

Consequences of a Flawed Design

I’m hoping that the hotel owners who have saved so much money on this model use their earnings for soundproofing, as the amount of swearing that I do when the roll escapes can surely be heard throughout the corridors. This is especially irritating in the middle of the night when I have crept like a ninja into the bathroom so as not to wake a roommate, which I now have to do since I can’t exactly jump up and retrieve the errant roll and need the help of a recovery team. Not surprisingly, people are really annoyed at being woken out of a sound sleep to help, causing even more bitching and the need for extra soundproofing in a room where you wouldn’t think you’d need to worry about heated discussions at 3 a.m.

It’s time for this design trend to end. While I appreciate the form, these types of holders fail in function, unless their true purpose is to get guests to check out the cleanliness of the deep, dark corners of the bathroom. Gack.