Why does Sweden have two types of toilet paper?
March 13, 2008 5:29 AM   Subscribe

Do Swedes use two types of toilet paper? Why? My boss was just in Malmo and claims that his hotel had two types of TP - one smooth, the other "with nubs." Is there a purpose for this? Is it common?
posted by tiburon to Society & Culture (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am a Swedish citizen who grew up in the states, and used to visit Sweden as a child every summer in m youth, and have been back somewhat regularly since, and I've never seen a place with two different types of toilet paper. That is strange. Maybe some sort of high-end fancy thing that the hotel is trying?
posted by Grither at 5:50 AM on March 13, 2008

I have never observed any major differences between toilet paper usage here and in other countries.

The only times I've seen two different types of toilet paper at the same time in a toilet here in Sweden (in both private homes and hotels) have been when someone (such as myself sometimes) bought new toilet paper of a different brand and thus have two types in/near the toilet paper dispenser. Might be what happened at the hotel.

Of course there are different varieties of toilet paper on sale, some that are smooth and some cheap ones which are not exactly smooth and have small "nubs".
posted by rpn at 6:32 AM on March 13, 2008

There are some cheap brands of toapapper here that could be considered ‘nubby,’ and which, despite their cheapness, one can find as the default offering in even moderately pricey hotels. Such paper, to the best of my knowledge, is meant to be used in the same way, and for the same purposes as any other kind. I would be surprised if the hotel had any motive other than cutting costs, and putting out the cheapest paper they could get away with. If there is such a thing as a super-deluxe or special-purpose ‘nubby’ paper, I have not seen it.
posted by misteraitch at 6:33 AM on March 13, 2008

My guess is the hotel is giving you the choice of what kind of TP you want. Some people like uber soft TP whilst others prefer it rough.
posted by hylaride at 6:37 AM on March 13, 2008

The rough paper is probably unbleached, made from recycled paper. So if you want to be "green" rather than "gentle" about your hygiene, you can use that variety; the hotel may have chosen to give clients a choice (as hotels tend to do these days by giving guests options to get fresh towels and sheets daily or re-use them for another day, etc.)
posted by beagle at 7:10 AM on March 13, 2008

Or maybe they just ran out of the usual type supply, and replaced the spent roll with whatever they could get their hands on quickly.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 7:14 AM on March 13, 2008

Hysterical - I'm swedish and I've never been subjected to the choice of toilet paper.

If you Mefi-mail me the name of the hotel, I'll definitely investigate further.
posted by Rabarberofficer at 8:08 AM on March 13, 2008

i'm with hungrysquirrels. many places have two rolls to make the supply run longer. one ran out and they replaced it with a different brand. i suspect your boss has convinced himself that swedes are a lot more exotic than they are...
posted by klanawa at 9:16 AM on March 13, 2008

We just redid our master bathroom and put in two toilet paper dispensers. One for the type of paper my wife likes and one for the type I like. Hey, it's our bathroom. ;-)
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 10:26 AM on March 13, 2008

As far as I can gather the nubs (dubbrulle?) are to give an impression of thickness without actually being, you know thick. The nubs also make it so there is less paper on a roll than it would appear. Faux quilted if you will. Seconding the thought that the second roll was in place for if the first ran out and that they perhaps always use the other type as the "queued" roll so the client has two options if they have a preference. Wow, I overthunk that...

I look back fondly on the days when you would see the word "Kräpp" on looroll packets.
posted by Iteki at 11:17 AM on March 13, 2008

It's all part of an ergonomic design sceme to maximise efficiency in fecal removal. And you people say that all that taxation is holding Scandinavia back!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:16 PM on March 13, 2008

Taken Outtacontext - And why the hell not? I love it! The idea has so many possibilities. I think I'm going to install a second holder in my main bathroom and put one roll going over and one roll going under.
posted by BoscosMom at 3:24 PM on March 13, 2008

Well, speaking as a woodworker, you start with a rougher grade of sandpaper and finish with the smoother stuff....
posted by codswallop at 9:20 PM on March 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

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