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Types of Paper Towel Dispensers

A paper towel dispenser is an essential element in any sanitary restaurant kitchen or office restroom. With a variety of options available, it is best to first decide where your paper towel dispenser will be located. Whether you are looking for a surface-mounted or countertop dispenser, we have a selection of styles and colors to choose from. The mounting style and type of dispenser will affect how paper towels are stored, as well as how they are dispensed. Choosing the right paper towel dispenser for your business may seem difficult, but this guide will explain the different designs and types of dispensers so you can make the best choice!

Paper Towel Dispenser Mounting Styles

Diagram showing the types of paper towel dispenser mounting styles

If there isn't much room in your bathroom or kitchen, then a surface-mounted or recessed paper towel dispenser would be the best fit. By mounting it to the wall, you save precious counter space and provide convenient access to paper towels right by the sink. The sleek design of recessed models is perfect for tight bathrooms and kitchens where it is best to avoid bulky or cumbersome paper towel dispensers. Both surface-mounted and recessed dispensers are ideal for dispenser / trash can combinations.

Countertop paper towel dispensers work well for more spacious bathrooms. With the freedom to pick up countertop dispensers and move them around your hotel or office bathroom, your options are virtually limitless. Once you have determined a location for your paper towel dispenser, as well as the best mounting style for your space, we have a variety of styles to choose from.

Paper Towel Dispenser Types

When choosing the right type of dispenser, it is best to think about what type of paper towel you will be dispensing in your commercial kitchen or bathroom. Each dispenser has its benefits and certain paper towels are better suited to fit each dispenser. Our paper towel options include standard rolls, center pull rolls, perforated rolls, and folded paper towels.

Once you know about the different types of paper towel dispensers and their compatible paper towel types, you'll want to consider how your guests will access your paper towels. We offer several styles and options. With a variety of standard rolls, center pull rolls, perforated rolls, and folded paper towels, there's a perfect dispenser type for every kitchen or restroom. We've matched up each paper towel with its compatible dispenser below.

Expert Tip



If your dispenser will be located in a place where damaging or tampering is a concern, purchase a locking towel dispenser that comes with a compatible key so that you can restrict access to staff members.

Standard Paper Towel Rolls

Our large, standard rolls are perfect for high traffic areas. Available in white and brown paper, we offer a variety of sizes to best serve your specific needs and environment. See the chart below for the dispensers most compatible with this type of roll.

Restaurant Equipment

Lever / Crank Standard Roll Towel Dispensers

Lever / crank dispensers are a convenient way to dispense a variety of paper towel lengths; however, these dispensers are not as sanitary as hands free dispensers due to the physical contact between each user and the lever or crank.

  • Allows you to dispense the desired length of paper towel
  • Ideal for light-traffic environments
  • Available in a variety of colors to match your decor
Restaurant Equipment

Hands Free Standard Roll Towel Dispensers

Hands free dispensers allow customers to pull or tear a desired length without touching the exterior of the dispenser. Motion sensors are also included as a special feature on certain dispenser models to increase the level of sanitation in any given setting. Motion sensors eliminate the need to pull on a lever or crank, ensuring that each paper towel is only touched by one user and germs are not transferred from user to dispenser and vice versa.

  • Most hygienic solution
  • Dispenses a set length of paper towel to limit waste
  • Available in a variety of colors to match your decor

Center Pull Paper Towel Rolls

Center pull paper towels are a cost-effective and sanitary option. The large roll accommodates high-traffic environments, while the pull-down dispensing method ensures that each paper towel remains clean and unused until it is dispensed by each customer or employee. By removing the center roll, you can then pull each paper towel down from the inside out, further contributing to the sanitary qualities of this paper towel roll.

Restaurant Equipment

Center Pull Roll Towel Dispensers

Center pull dispensers allow customers and employees to pull a single paper towel straight down from the center of the unit. Featuring a large capacity barrel, this dispenser is ideal for high traffic environments.

  • Dispenses single sheets to minimize waste
  • Each user only touches 1 towel
  • Great for high-traffic kitchens or bathrooms

Perforated Paper Towel Rolls

With perforated sections, customers and employees can easily tear the desired amount to clean up spills. These rolls are ideal for soaking up messes around your school, office, break room, or kitchen. Soft-to-the-touch, perforated rolls feature a combination of strength, absorbency, and comfort.

Restaurant Equipment

Countertop Perforated Roll Towel Dispensers

Countertop perforated towel holders are a sturdy yet stylish option for your restaurant or bar. They hold standard, perforated paper towel rolls on tabletops, counters, and bars for convenient access during meal service.

  • Perfect for individual tables at busy bars and restaurants that serve crab legs, barbeque, and wings
  • Great for countertop applications
Restaurant Equipment

Surface-Mounted Perforated Roll Towel Dispensers

Easy to mount, this type of paper towel holder is perfect for dispensing standard, perforated paper towel rolls at the back of the house for commercial kitchens or next to sinks in healthcare facilities.

  • Mounts to walls for convenient placement near sinks

Folded Paper Towels

Folded paper towels can be used for both countertop and surface-mounted dispensers. Folded paper towels include C-Fold and M-Fold styles. C-Fold paper towels are made to lie on top of each other, while multifold paper towels are made to interlock with each other. The interlocking nature of M-Fold paper towels allows you to fit more paper towels in each dispenser, whereas C-Fold paper towels are easier for guests to separate. Great for dispenser / trash can combinations or countertop baskets and holders, the chart below includes additional information on the benefits of each folded paper towel dispenser.
Restaurant Equipment

C-Fold / M-Fold Paper Towel Dispensers

C-fold dispensers and M-fold dispensers dispense paper towels one at a time to cut down on waste. Guests can pull down the next available paper towel for easy dispensing. Many of our folded dispensers are made to accept both C-Fold and M-Fold papers towels, providing you with versatile options for your kitchen or bathroom.

  • Paper towels remain enclosed and sanitary inside the dispenser
  • Easy to separate paper towels
  • Available in a variety of colors to match your decor
Restaurant Equipment

Folded Paper Towel Holders / Baskets

Folded paper towel holders allow guests to easily reach in to access the top paper towel from the holder or basket. Holders / baskets allow for convenient placement near bathroom sinks and they can be easily moved to wipe down counters. With their decorative appearance, these holders / baskets add a touch of comfort and warmth to any environment.

  • Great for countertops
  • Easy mobility
  • Ideal for light-traffic environments
  • Available in a variety of colors to match your decor
Restaurant Equipment

Folded Paper Towel Dispensers / Trash Can Combinations

Paper towel dispensers / waste receptacle combinatons dispense paper towels and collect waste. Guests can easily grab one paper towel at a time and quickly dispose of it in the trash can space below. With the ability to dispense and dispose of paper towels in one convenient location, you'll save space and promote a sanitary environment.

  • Great for restrooms
  • Saves space
  • Promotes the highest level of sanitation
  • Available in stainless steel and silver

Special Features and Accessories of Paper Towel Dispensers

Now that you know which dispenser to buy, don't forget to stock up on paper towels themselves! In addition, browse our list below to make sure that you have all of the accessories you need!

Restaurant Equipment

Paper Towel Dispenser Adapters

Converting battery power to AC power, dispenser power adapters eliminate the need to replace batteries.

Restaurant Equipment

Paper Towel Dispenser Inserts

To reduce waste, use waste control inserts to dispense one paper towel at a time.

Restaurant Equipment

Handwashing Instructions

Placing handwashing signs on your dispensers ensures people practice proper hand washing techniques.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details.

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