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Diatribe: Why Are Tissue Boxes Always Ugly?


My grandmother often kept a box of tissues on the top of the toilet tank in her bathroom.  She had a fancy boxlike cover with a slot in the center under which she would place the opened box of tissues, allowing for one sheet at a time to be gently tugged from the box.  When the grandchildren would visit, she would often move it to a high shelf elsewhere in the room so that little fingers wouldn’t pull all of the tissues from the box and waste them.

Decorative tissue box covers come in a huge variety of textures, colors, shapes and sizes.  They can be made of wood, plastic or metal and decorated to suit any bathroom decor.  But, why do so many people buy them?  Because the boxes that tissues come in are downright ugly.

Whether tissues are made by Kleenex, Puffs or a store brand, the size and shape of the boxes in which they are packaged is consistent … presumably so consumers can hide them in decorative tissue box covers.  It also appears to be an industry standard to sell them in ugly boxes.  Silly prints, wild color combinations, flowery graphics and sea shells appear to be the most popular.

I think it somewhat comical that, in offices and boardrooms of the nation’s largest corporations, executives have lavender-colored cardboard cubes with swirly white flowery designs on them sitting atop burlwood desks and sleek conference room tables.  The ugly boxes shout to the world “someone here has the sniffles!”

How about a plain white or a navy blue box.  Simple, neutral, colors would look good in every room and eliminate the need for decorative tissue box covers.  Or, perhaps, the tissue makers and the decorative box cover-making people are in cahoots?!  Conspiracy theory?

Decades after grandmothers hid her tissues under macrame or knitted “tissue cozies”, the reason that they did so still exists.

Do you use decorative tissue box covers to hide the ugly boxes from the store?


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From → Diatribes

  1. i remember those tissue box covers. making them out of yarn on a plastic frame was all the rage for a while. the yarn ones can’t be cleaned tho, and that carries its own bit of icky. i haven’t seen a box cover for sale in ages. mother just tries to get a color that doesn’t clash too bad.


  2. I don’t use tissue box covers, I just try to get the most classy boxes I can find. Mind you, I care more about the tissues INSIDE the box than the outside of the box. I like my nose to be treated softly when I need a tissue.


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