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Ask the Strategist: What’s the Next Tissue-Box Holder?

Photo: Food52

In our advice column, Ask the Strategist, we take your most burning shopping questions and survey friends, call up experts, and draw on our own personal experience to answer them. As always, please email any online-shopping-related queries to strategist@nymag.com with the subject Ask the Strategist — we’re here to help.

Burning question: What’s the next tissue-box holder? It’s so hard to find the right one — one that’s tasteful, easy to utilize, and makes the refilling process fuss-free. Would love your help!

I thought my 65-year-old mother was the only person who loved tissue-box holders, but I stand corrected. In doing a deep dive into the available options, I’ve realized there haven’t been too many innovations in terms of how they function, but gone are the days of padded, doily-dressed covers stashed in every corner of your grandmother’s house or matchy-matchy full bathroom sets (my mother’s personal favorite). You can still find plenty of kitschy options — like cat-shaped covers where the tissues come out of the butt — but we were surprised to find that there are many tasteful-looking options to be found from merchants you might not expect (like Urban Outfitters). Easy to utilize and refill was a bit trickier to pin down, since we haven’t handled these boxes ourselves. So we had to rely on reviews, and to further narrow the field, we focused on covers that can go directly over your standard-size Kleenex box, either square or rectangular.

Let’s start with this stark-white tissue-box cover, which was actually a Strategist best seller back in January (because it turns out our readers were once also interested in tissue-box covers, at the height of flu season), and it would easily go unnoticed in your bathroom or bedroom — in the best way. It blends right in except for the quirky touch of the tissues coming out of the chimney of this house-shaped tissue box.

Photo: retailer

We love to shop Dusen Dusen for colorful home décor, and not only will this brighten up your space, but this tissue box is as easy to use as they come. There is no fussy trapdoor at the bottom, and it fits right over a standard box of tissues, instantly elevating your bathroom or bedroom with a pop of color.

This is another easy-to-use tissue box from Jonathan Adler, an expert at playful home décor. The three-dimensional effect on the acrylic kind of makes this tissue box look like it’s glowing — especially if you go for the neon-y blue.

MacKenzie-Childs’ Mad Hatter, New Jersey–diner aesthetic would typically fall into kitschy, but these polka dots would add just the right whimsical touch to your space, without making you feel like you’re in a doll house.

This isn’t exactly the most eye-catching or colorful option, but the design is so clever we have to include it. Just turn your standard tissue box on its side, plop this cover right over it, and put it on your nightstand, and it’ll do double duty as a catchall.

Photo: retailer

There’s no hard-and-fast rule on where you should put a tissue box, but this holder definitely screams it belongs in a bathroom — even if the bathroom isn’t exactly where you’d imagine having something from wedding-dress designer Monique Lhuillier.

Brax Tissue Box Cover
$29
$29

If your style is more traditional, this china-inspired ceramic tissue-box cover might mesh well with the rest of your décor. The soothing blue color will work in either a bathroom or bedroom, and we can’t be sure, but the opening on this cover looks slightly bigger than others on this list, which would make it even easier to use.

$30
Photo: retailer

Beads are everywhere right now, from beaded handbags to beaded friendship bracelets, so why not on your tissue box? The design feels very Gen Z and — dare we say it — trendy.

Photo: retailer

We recently wrote about how checkerboard is trending, and this would be an easy way to dip your toes into the trend. The handmade, beaded design is also on trend with quarantine DIY projects, so you might be able to pass this masterpiece off as your own. You can tell people how you designed it to easily slip over a standard-size tissue box but cleverly included clasps at the bottom to keep the box in place. This addition means you can easily move it from your bathroom to your couch for your next viewing of The Notebook.

If you want another crafty option that’s reminiscent of grandma’s bathroom, these cloth tissue-box covers from Madre scratch that itch. It can fit over a standard box and be folded up and put out of sight when you want a change. You can also add your monogram to it, which might seem extra, but in these germ-conscious times, having a clearly labeled set of tissues for each member of the family doesn’t sound like the worst idea. This petite, Liberty floral print on this will bring the outdoors in, even if the outdoors makes you sneeze.

This felt tissue box is a slightly more elevated cloth option and looks like it belongs in a winter cabin, especially with the range of warm neutrals.

In my search, leather — or leather-looking — tissue-box covers were a recurring theme. When you search #tissueboxcover on Instagram, a hashtag that surprisingly has over 16,000 results, it seems like there is a leather one in every other row. The look is definitely more formal, but would look dapper in your new home office. Some of these faux-leather covers appear to be a little tricker to use, because they’re just a bit too small to house a tissue box, so you might have to take out the tissues and insert them directly into the cover, but happy Etsy customers say this one slips easily over a long tissue box.

This tissue-box cover does not have a base, and because it is slightly elevated by its feet, the bottom of your tissue box might peep through the bottom, but guests should hardly notice. They’ll be too busy looking at their reflection in the elegant mirrored surface. If you think you might give up on the idea of a tissue-box holder and just (gasp!) display the tissues in the box they already come in, this one is so nice and versatile, it could easily be repurposed as a jewelry box later on.

According to reviews, a regular-size tissue box will not fit into this Yamazaki Home holder, so perhaps it’s not in line for a fuss-free refill. But the design is so simple and sleek, reviewers say it’s worth taking out the tissues and putting them inside — especially since the wooden top actually just rests on top of the tissues and drops down as you start to run out, so you never have to dig in the box for that last piece. We’ve written a lot about the modern home décor from Yamazaki, and this is just as stylish and user-friendly as the rest of the line.

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Ask the Strategist: What’s the Next Tissue-Box Holder?