It was with great curiosity – and admittedly high expectations – that I invested $120 in Innovia Touchless Paper Towel Dispenser. Given its promise to work with a plethora of paper towel varieties, I was eager to put this gadget to the test.
Where to Purchase
I purchased my countertop unit for $120 from the Innovia Amazon listing, which you can find here. Since my purchase, I’ve noticed that it has been frequently listed as unavailable. Their cabinet mounted version, however, appears to be more widely available, as you can see in this listing.
Paper Towel Dispenser Review
- Cost – A touchless paper towel dispenser for $120? The price point surely had me expecting a seamless user experience.
- Size – The first noticeable thing is its enormous size. For those pondering over where to place it, Innovia offers both countertop and under-the-cabinet versions. A few users even opt for a sideways placement of the countertop model.
- Programming – While the word “programming” sounds intimidating, the setup is rather straightforward. The moment you load your first roll, the machine dispenses a sizable length. You tear off the desired amount, and voila, the machine recalls that length for subsequent uses.
How it’s supposed to work
The way this machine is supposed to operate is that you load a roll of paper towels, with a small amount of towels protruding outside of the unit when you close it. The dispenser will then retract the paper towels into the housing. Upon waving your hand in front of the sensor, it will (on first use) dispense a sizeable amount of paper towels. After tearing off your desired amount, it will “remember” how much to dispense after that, until the machine is opened again. This model runs on either 4 D-size batteries, or with the included DC adapter.
Testing Various Paper Towels
During my hands-on review, I tested different brands and types of paper towels including:
- A cheap generic brand
- Cloth-feel paper towels (Viva brand)
- Bounty paper towels
- A large roll of Kirkland paper towels
The aim was to ascertain if the type or brand of paper towel had an impact on the machine’s functionality.
The Loading Dilemma
The accompanying instructions were ambiguous about the correct orientation for placing the paper towel – should it go under or over? Through my trials, I realized it might not matter at all. But here’s the catch – the way you load this machine may be the key to its efficiency.
After various unsuccessful attempts and jams using the standing configuration, I found a hack: Lay the dispenser on its side to load and program, then stand it upright for use. This trick surprisingly made even the cheapest paper towel rolls work flawlessly.
- Hygiene – The touchless feature is the star here. It’s perfect for maintaining hygiene, especially in times where minimizing touch is paramount.
- Adaptability – Despite the initial hiccups, once you get the hang of it, the machine is quite versatile in terms of accepting different brands and types of towels.
- Pricey – At $120, one would expect a smoother initial experience.
- Learning Curve – It’s not as intuitive as one would hope. Expect to experience a few jams and malfunctions before figuring out the perfect way to get it working.
- Size – Its sizable dimensions might not be to everyone’s liking.
The Innovia Touchless Paper Towel Dispenser is a unique blend of innovation and style, but it does come with its quirks. If you’re willing to navigate through its initial challenges, it can be a cool addition to your kitchen or bathroom. Though the price is on the higher end, the touchless feature and adaptability can make it worth the investment for some. However, be prepared for a little trial and error before you get it functioning seamlessly.
If you’ve had a chance to try something similar or this particular product, let me know what you think in the comments below.