TP Etiquette: Over or Under?

Is there a right way and a wrong way when it comes to hanging TP? Our readers weighed in on this very important bathroom etiquette question.

Toilet paper etiquette—should rolls be hung with the paper over or under? Sure, we are all familiar with the 1891 toilet paper roll patent by S. Wheeler that clearly shows the inventor’s intention was for the roll to be “over,” but that doesn’t “roll” well with everyone.

The original patent design doesn’t “roll” with everyone.

We Asked Readers To Weigh In

We asked our readers to weigh in on this hotly-debated topic. Here were some of the responses:

The Case for OVER (80% of the responses):

Toilet Roll Hanging Over in Nice Bathroom

Over — easier for night bathroom trips with lights off. – Wendy J.

Over, I like to make a triangle at the end and it shows when over — not under, where no one sees it. – Donna B.

Check the original patent for toilet paper. It was designed to go over. If you go under you are just wrong. – Dale C.

Over, because Grandma said so and you don’t talk back or question Grandma. – Jessica C.

Over, to me its easier to grab. – Carol K.

Over, well ….because. Even the hotel I’m in right now has it over.  As I read the Farmers’ Almanac website in the bathroom. – Chauna W.

The Case for UNDER (20%):

Under, because I feel you’re not wasting paper. If you do over, it rolls too far and you just pull — too much wasted. – Sally Ann N.

Under, because that’s the way momma taught me. – Shannon D.

Under!  In the middle of the night with only a night light to guide you, finding the starter sheet is much easier! – Fran B.

What Do The “Experts” Say?

According to the Miser’s Gazette, a monthly newsletter published by Ian Nicholson, available in the U.S. and Canada, studies indicate that toilet tissue rolled from underneath will probably consume one more sheet per occasion than when rolled from the over position.

Does that matter? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

What Did People Use Before Toilet Paper Was Invented?

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Deb Fortin

cats ??? under . No cats??? over




We prefer wipes tp doesn’t get the job squeaky clean ?

John Diego

i agree i need to my butt nice and shiny


Does it really matter ?? Who gives a poop one way or another anyway ??????????????????????????????????????

Last edited 2 years ago by Iguide
Vonda D

My grandmother always set it to under because she said people would use less that way and didn’t waste the paper. She ran a business with a public bathroom. I use the over method, because well, just because…

Susan Roberts-Ibarra

If one is a cat lover/adoptive parent, – – – one would need the tp to be hung under, or the cat will sit and unfurl a whole roll all over the bathroom floor !!!!!!!!!!

Betty Smith

My mom was a “under” I prefer over, easier for me.


I honestly don’t care, as long as the roll replaced. I find it on the edge of the bathtub, on the counter, not replaced at all. I think I am the only one who knows how to replace the tp.

Nancy Stang

Both ways have advantages- Under when you have small children, more difficult to unroll the whole thing when you are not watching!

Susan Roberts-Ibarra

Yes, hanging the roll under keeps the family’s 18 month old human child from following suit with the family cat child and “TP” ghe bathroom !!!

Lynne Mauro

Definitely over


In our bathrooms it will always be OVER!

Susan Roberts-Ibarra

No babies or kitties in your house, I guess . . . . . .

Mamoo Woonsocket

In my opinion for health reasons I hang it over, especially if you live with men or boys and your roller is set up next to your bowl on a wall or cabinet. I also move my roller higher than most people do here’s why. When men use the facilities they splash, it’s inevitable. (And some are very bad at aiming) Any one with a white wall will notice the yellow around the bowl. That wall that you’re letting that paper hang down next to and really ON when it’s new is loaded with that splashing unless you clean it 3/4 times a day. That is why you’re supposed to hang it over and not let it hang down far either.
Incidentally the toilet itself splashes micro particles when you flush, please close the lid before doing so.

Susan Roberts-Ibarra

This is where a well placed little friendly poem can remind people to be more careful and thoughtful toward others – – – – “””If you sprinkle when you tinkle – – – – Please be neat and wipe the seat.””” – – – – – – THIS WORKS !!!!


I’ve been putting my toilet paper “under” because I remember MY mother putting in toilet paper “under” for as long as I can remember. So it’s like I’m keeping the tradition.

CJ Armstrong

I vote for “over”. However, in our bathroom it’s neither. TP is in a basket on the floor next to the toilet so you grab the roll and unroll any direction you like. Decided when we built this house I did NOT want a holder on the wall . . . they get bumped into and ripped off the wall, nobody changes the empty tube, etc., etc. Having a couple of rolls in a basket and clear wall makes us happy.

Susan Roberts-Ibarra

Actualy, I too, have a different setup. I have a wicker hamper right in front of the toilet at arm’s length. The extra supply of tp goes inside the hamper, and the in-use roll is sitting on top the closed ha,per lid – – right in front of where it is needed.


There are such nice stand alone tp holders out there in the market these days.. THAT is what I use… and you can change them out as your taste changes.


It needs to be under if you have cats, they are less likely to unroll a whole roll on floor. They just keep spinning the roll.


It just seems more sanitary. My bathroom gets pretty steamy. My hubby put it under and it wasn’t pretty after he got out of the shower?. Since then OVER has been our family motto☺️

Harriet St.Amant

We are an “over” family, for what that’s worth. However, much depends on the brand as to how much we use at one time. The original Scott tissue was single ply and rather thinner than necessary. It was less expensive than most others, but since more sheets were needed to protect one’s hands, the price was essentially the same. These days we’re using Charmin and others in that price range. Because of the Covid situation, my husband started hoarding TP of certain brands. I think we have about enough for the duration!


I like it under looks neater and doesn’t roll to fast.

Paul Cooper

Over unless a cat parent.

Darrell L Cole

Over…My late partner and I were both in the over camp. I grew up w/ it over.


Absolutely over…but, if your toilet paper is located next to your register vent, you may want it under just so it doesn’t unroll from the air being blown around it.


Under because if you have animals and they happen to Paw at it,it won’t come unraveled

Susan Roberts-Ibarra

They ALWAYS paw at it !!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Kathy Savage

If one has young children, then the roll should feed to the back. Can’t tell you how many rolls were unfurled by small, inquisitive human beings.

Susan Roberts-Ibarra

Yup !!!!!!


I had to switch to under because my pets (both dog and cats) decided it was fun to unroll them. Sometimes they would end up in the toilet, and I’d have to fish the wet paper out so the toilet wouldn’t clog. Now if they decide to spin the TP, they just roll it up.


over. end of story.


I like mine over it is up to the person to pick the way they want it.


I follow the patent’s diagram. Good enough for me. And my cats haven’t ever shown any interest in messing with the TP, in the 60+ years I’ve had cats, since I was a toddler, so it’s strange for me to see people commenting that the cats mess with it. I’ve seen videos of the cats so I know it does happen, but I’ve never had a problem with them doing it.

Hubby always did the under, until we were married, and now it’s over… 9 years of wedded bliss, because he knows which battles are worth fighting over. TP position isn’t one of them.

Audrey Ohl

Any way is fine with me. It sure beats having to use the newspaper in the old outhouse when I lived on the farm.


Unless you have a toddler or a cat, OVER is the way to go.

Gary K

If you have kids and/or cats it goes under

Christine Villasenor

I always thought if it was under bugs or critters, snakes in the out house could snuggle into. What a surprise that would be.


I’m a rebel!

Mark D. Gilley

Always Over



J. Christopher Whitmire

Over; as per design!


The spindle where we are supposed to keep our toilet paper is right next to the toilet in an awkward postion which makes it difficult for me to reach; so, I keep it on the towel bar right across from the toilet. Our bathroom is small. The paper comes over the top. I keep the bathroom door closed which means the cat leaves the toilet paper alone.

Melissa Lenhart

Under or over or however, Cause the worst case scenario is not having any tp at all…

Suzanne Kyle

I prefer over because the loose paper doesn’t touch the wall but I do Under because the cats find it more difficult to unroll the entire thing onto the floor!

Kerry D Taylor

Over. Use both hands, don’t just grab the first square and yank. I find it odd that hot sauce ads are popping up as I read. I’m going to leave this right here…..

Last edited 3 years ago by Kerry D Taylor
Daniel R Carnell

Over – It makes it easier to roll.

Susan Roberts-Ibarra

yes, for babies, cats, and dogs . . . . . . . .


Under bc over is weird


I don’t care what the original patent drawing shows. Grandma taught me to think for myself. Do whatever you like. The toilet paper comes off the roll either way.




I keep the roll off the hanger on the shelf in front of the john in easy reach. Hanging is too much trouble simper-fi


Over so you don’t bump the wall and make marks on it. If you keep bumping the wall while reaching for TP. it will eventually leave marks that will look dirty.Over also makes it easier to grab and looks neater. Why make life any more complicated?


Over so you don’t bump the wall and make marks on it. If you keep bumping the wall while reaching for TP it will eventually leave marks that will look dirty.Over also makes it easier to grab and looks neater. Why make life any more complicated?


OVER that is the way the patent shows it to be done


Simple solution get rid of your cats


Not a cat lover, are you. That’s okay, to each their own.

Susan Roberts-Ibarra

that’s just ugly, Steve – – – – – go stick your head in it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Susan Higgins


Dorothy Z'bornak

Over, cause ma’ said so.


While my new bride and I were setting up housekeeing we had our first dispute. Her family were overs, mine were unders. After arguing for some time she finally said: “You know I’m chlostrophobic. I’m not sure I can get used to sleeping with another person.” I sighed and replied: “Well would it help your chlostrophobia if the TP comes over the top?” “Yes” she said and our first argument was resolved.




Over is easier very considerate especially when a sheet is left hanging for the next user to grab and it just looks tidy

Suzanne Kyle

It’s never tidy in my house!


Rolling anyway other way than from the top forward is just fundamentally, universally, astronomically, scientifically, socially and absolutely wrong and backward. I
am sure all politicians roll from the BACK.

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