How to choose the right hand towel dispenser for your business

person using white hand towels from a hand towel dispenser in a bathroom

Hand towel dispensers may seem like a standard addition to any restroom, but their role in maintaining hygiene and cleanliness cannot be overstated. From bustling public restrooms to busy business offices, the right hand towel dispenser can significantly improve the overall sanitation and user experience. 

This guide will detail the types of dispensers available, factors to consider when choosing a hand towel dispenser for your business and how to maintain and clean them. We’re here to help you make informed decisions when selecting hand towel dispensers that suit your requirements.

Types of hand towel dispensers

Hand towel dispensers come in various types, each offering unique features and benefits. Understanding the distinction between each is the first step towards selecting the right one. 

Manual Hand Towel Dispensers: 

These dispensers require users to pull out the desired amount of paper towels manually. They are simple and cost-effective, making them a common choice for smaller businesses with lower foot traffic entering restrooms. Manual dispensers also offer a level of control over towel usage.

White Paper Hand Towel Dispenser

Automatic Hand Towel Dispensers: 

Automatic dispensers use sensor technology to dispense a predetermined length of paper towel when a user’s hand is detected. The touch-free operation is convenient and reduces the risk of cross-contamination, making them an excellent choice for high-traffic environments where hygiene is a top priority.

Hand Towel Dispenser

Touchless Hand Towel Dispensers: 

Touchless dispensers are similar to automatic dispensers; the only difference is that they are activated without needing physical contact. As users don’t need to touch the dispenser, these are ideal for healthcare facilities, food service areas and restrooms where hygiene is essential.

north shore touchless hand towel dispenser

Factors to consider when choosing a hand towel dispenser:

Selecting the right hand towel dispenser is not a one-size-fits-all decision. Several factors need to be considered to ensure it aligns with your needs. 

We suggest you consider these 4 key factors when choosing a paper hand towel dispenser:

Traffic flow

The flow and number of people in your facility are crucial when selecting a hand towel dispenser. High-traffic areas such as large commercial office space restrooms, restaurants or facilities like airports and arenas will benefit from a dispenser that can handle frequent use without the need for constant refilling, such as the Northshore Mechanical Hands-Free Roll Towel Dispenser, which can hold up to 680 sheets. 


The available space in your bathroom will heavily influence your choice as well. You should consider the physical dimensions and mounting options when selecting a dispenser. In cramped areas, you should opt for space-saving models that can be mounted on walls or under counters. 

On the other hand, if you have ample space to spare, you may have more flexibility in choosing a larger, higher-capacity dispenser or multiple units to accommodate a larger crowd. Also, consider if your dispensers are within ideal proximity to sinks where people can quickly grab a paper hand towel


Your budget is also a significant factor when choosing a hand towel dispenser. Dispensers come in a wide range of price points depending on features, so finding one that aligns with your budget is essential. Remember to account for the initial purchase price and the long-term cost, including prices of compatible towels for maintenance. 

If you have a small budget, a hand towel dispenser, such as the Katrin system towel dispenser, features a controlled usage feature, meaning you will have reduced waste, thus saving you pennies. 

User experience 

The last factor to consider is the user experience. Users want to use a hand towel dispenser that is effective and easy to use. Automatic and touchless dispensers offer a smooth experience with controlled towel release, reduced waste and enhanced hygiene through the minimal contact to get a hand towel. 

person washing hands with a hand towel

Hand towel dispenser maintenance and cleaning

Properly maintaining and cleaning hand towel dispensers are vital to keep them working and hygienic. Here are some practical tips to keep them in tip-top shape: 

Routine cleaning: 

Regularly wipe down the exterior of the dispenser with a mild, non-abrasive bactericidal cleaner to remove smudges, fingerprints and dirt. You should pay attention to frequently touched areas like buttons or levers.

It would be ideal to schedule a regular cleaning routine, either daily or weekly, depending on the level of use. Not only does regular cleaning enhance the aesthetic appeal of the dispenser, but it also prevents the buildup of germs and bacteria. 

Inspect for damage: 

Check for any visible damage or wear and tear. A damaged dispenser may not function correctly and pose a safety hazard. Look for cracks, dents or any signs of wear on the dispenser. You should address any damage by replacing or repairing the affected components to ensure the dispenser can be operated. 

Refill and replace supplies timely: 

Running out of paper towels is inconvenient for users and reflects poorly on the business’s maintenance. To avoid this situation, you should keep a watchful eye on the level of paper towels in the dispenser. 

We recommend that you establish a regular routine to refill, even if it’s just once a day, to check to see if they are filled. 

Troubleshooting common issues: 

It would help if you were prepared to handle common issues with hand towel dispensers, such as paper jams, sensor malfunctions or battery changes. We recommend you familiarise yourself with the manufacturer’s guide.


Order your hand towel dispenser today!

In conclusion, choosing the right hand towel dispenser for your business is a decision that goes beyond functionality. You should also consider the needs of your particular business regarding hygiene and user experience.

By understanding the various types of dispensers and critical factors to consider, we hope you feel prepared to make an informed choice on a hand towel dispenser that aligns with your specific needs. 

While the choice of a hand towel dispenser may seem like a small detail, it plays a significant role in the well-being of your customers and employees and the reputation of your business. 

If you need help choosing what paper hand towel dispenser to order, contact the team here at UK Cleaning Supplies, and we’ll be more than happy to advise.

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