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Shopping Around: Cotton wool

All products tested are 100pc cotton and all packs carry a safety warning on the use of plastic bags. We scored on price, softness and absorbency.

Spar absorbent cotton wool, 100g

Verdict: It may be from a convenience store but this was the second cheapest tested. To our skin it also felt the softest and the absorbency was good. The label indicates that it was made for Spar International in the Netherlands, although an address in the Czech Republic is also given so we're not clear where it was produced.

Price: €1.05 (€10.50 / Kg)

Score: 8 / 10

Supervalu cleansing pleats, 100g

Verdict: We also thought this cotton wool was very soft. Absorbency was good but, to be fair, we found it difficult to find variances in absorbency among the products compared. There is no indication as to where it was produced and this pack was second dearest.

Price: €1.39 (€13.90 / Kg)

Score: 7 / 10

Tesco cotton wool pleats, 200g

Verdict: This cotton wool is second cheapest and is made in the UK. We declared it to be third softest.

Price: €1.29 (€6.45 / Kg)

Score: 6 / 10

Superquinn cotton wool pleats, 100g

Verdict: This was the only pack compared that is made in Ireland, so it's a pity that it was the dearest of the lot. We found the cotton wool to be slightly rougher that the others. We didn't find any plant matter in it but the packaging does warn that you may find some, given cotton is a naturally harvested crop.

Price: €1.49 (€14.90 / Kg)

Score: 5.5 / 10

Irish Independent