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How Much Does A Sheet of Paper Weigh | A Guide To Paper Weights

How Much Does A Sheet of Paper Weigh

We can not underestimate the usage of paper worldwide. Even in this digital world, the importance of paper remains standstill. Starting from home, offices, schools, universities, service places, etc you will find usage of paper everywhere. If you want authority in your printing jobs, it’s important to choose the right paper for your need as it will not only helps to keep your waste and costs down but also bring images to life. Paper comes in a variety of weights, sizes, and textures that enable it in all types of office and creative print jobs. The variety makes paper functional and versatile but also difficult to understand and choose. To understand, How much does a sheet of paper weigh? we have to understand the ABC of paperweights.

Weight Basics For Paper

You may find the weights of the paper to be confusing. Of course, the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Why is 80 lb text paper is lighter and thinner than 65 lb cover?  Paper math is confusing, To truly understand how much does a sheet of paper weighs, we need to know how these measurements are obtained. There are three primary methods to distinguish the weight of paper.

  •  U.S. Basis Weight

The U.S. basis weight method represents the weight (in pounds) of a ream (500 sheets) of paper size in its uncut form. For example, an uncut sheet of bond paper is 17 x 22 inches before it’s cut to letter size. If 500 sheets of paper weigh 20 pounds, then the paper is labeled “20 lb” after it’s cut to letter size similarly the basic size of book paper is 25 x 38. If 500 sheets weigh 70 pounds, then the basis weight is 70 pounds. Paper is commonly identified using basis weight: Bond, Book, Text, Index, Bristol, and Cover. Each category has a different “standard sheet” size known as FOLIO or “parent sheet”. These measurements can be difficult to understand for several reasons. Because of the possibility of confusion, most reams of paper list a metric measurement along with the U.S. basis weight.

  • Metric Weight (GSM)

The term “GSM” stands for “grams per square meter.”The metric weight method is much simpler. For this standard, the weight of different kinds of paper is measured from a sample sheet cut to 1×1 square meter in size. No matter the length or width the paper becomes, the weight measurement is always taken from the square meter sheet. For example:

  •  paper with a weight of 55 gsm will be much, much lighter and thinner than paper weighing 400 gsm. The 400 gsm paper will be heavy, thick, and much more durable. 

Also, 55 gsm paper will not weigh that amount when it’s cut to letter-size or poster-size. However, both still are considered 55 gsm paper. When looking how much does a sheet of paper weigh? We look at numbers and that number represents a certain thickness or thinness.

  • Points Method

Then there’s the points method, which is the simplest: It involves using a caliper to weigh the exact thickness of a given piece of paper. As a rule of thumb, the heavier a paper is, the thicker it is. The measurement of a paper’s thickness is also known as its “Caliper”. Caliper is expressed in thousandths of an inch. One point equals 1/1000 of an inch.

Guide For Paper Types and Weight

Below is a chart listing common paper types, weights, and uses for your quick reference:



The paper you use for your marketing material can truly transform your artwork, documents, and images and so having a better grasp of how the weight of a paper will affect your printing can save you a lot of time and money.

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