How Much Does a Sheet of Paper Weigh?

Reams of 20 lb paper

Last updated on November 20th, 2023 at 10:07 am

When people talk about “office copy paper”, they’re referring to the types of paper that most people use in printers and photocopiers at home/work. This is also the kind of paper that people usually buy at their local office supply stores (ex. Staples, Office Depot, Wal-Mart, etc).  But not all paper is equal, and one of the biggest differences comes down to its weight. So, how much does a piece of paper weigh?

The standard office copy paper weight is most commonly called “20 lb. bond”. Standard office copy paper weighs approximately 10.0 lbs per 1000 sheets. Office copy paper is the cheapest blank white paper you can buy.

Another name for this same copy paper weight is: “50 lb. uncoated text”

Yes, “20 lb. bond” and “50 lb. uncoated text” are basically the same kinds of paper. There is no difference between the two names for the paper. Weird, isn’t it?

Typically you see the different names depending on where you’re buying the paper from. But they’re both “office copy paper”; similar in color, thickness, and weight. It’s simply two different ways of manufacturing and naming the same paper. That’s why, when someone asks, “how much does a sheet of paper weigh?”, the answer will depend on the name that is used.

The reason why they have different “poundage” is because of the concept of basis weight. Even though the paper is the same, they’re measured in two different sized stacks: bond is measured with 17” x 22” sheets weighing 20 lbs., and text is measured with 25” x 38” sheets weighing 50 lbs.

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If you go to your local office supply store, their standard office copy paper will be named “20 lb. bond”.

When you order printing or order paper from a larger paper distributor (places buying/selling large volumes of paper), you will see office copy paper called both: “20 lb. bond” and “50 lb. uncoated text”. But how much does a sheet of paper weigh at Printivity?

At Printivity, our “office copy paper” of choice is: 50 lb. uncoated text, and it also weighs approximately 10.0 lbs per 1000 sheets. 50 lb. uncoated too thin for you? We have thicker options!

What other kinds of office copy paper weights are there?

Customers who want other varieties of office copy paper can go for thicker types of office copy paper. This results in a more substantial feel, and more opaque (images on a thin sheet like “20 lb. bond” can be seen through the back):

  • 24 lb. bond (also called “60 lb. uncoated text”)
  • 28 lb. bond (also called “70 lb. uncoated text”)

Why Does the Weight of Paper Matter?

Answering the question, “how much does a sheet of paper weigh?” is just part of what’s important — the other part is understanding how the weight can have an impact depending on your use.

Even though you may not be thinking about the weight of paper when using it, there are many reasons why it’s crucial. In fact, if you choose the wrong printer paper weight, you may find that it may not even work with your printer!

Here are a number of the reasons why choosing the correct sheet of paper weight is so important:

  • Print Quality: If you want your prints to look good, you need to choose the appropriate copy paper weight. When using high-resolution printers, you need paper that can absorb the ink and allow the printer to create sharp images and text.
  • Durability: If you want your paper documents to last, heavier paper can be much sturdier and more durable. It’s not only less likely to tear but will also not wrinkle as much as it gets passed around.
  • Professional Appearance: Heavier paper tends to look better and feel better in the hands. The thicker and sturdier sheets can make a better impression on clients and business partners.
  • Double-Sided Printing: If you want to use your paper for double-sided printing, you should opt for heavier paper because the print won’t be as visible on the other side.
  • Handling and Folding: If you plan on using your prints for flyers, brochures, or even letters, having heavier paper will make it easier to fold neatly without tearing or wrinkling.
  • Longevity: Paper is a fragile material, so it makes sense to use heavier paper to maximize longevity. It will not only be less likely to tear or wrinkle over time but will also be more resistant to yellowing, becoming brittle, or fading.
  • Compatibility with Equipment: Some printers have requirements for paper weights. But how much does a sheet of paper weigh when used for printing? Well, that depends on the specific model, so you should check the printer’s manual to see the recommended weight.
  • Paper Type Selection: Different types of papers can weigh differently, with cardstock or cover stock being significantly heavier than standard copy paper. Think about the use of your paper when selecting how heavy it should be.
  • Cost Considerations: Finally, consider your budget, as heavier paper can be significantly more expensive. We recommend stocking standard copy paper as well as a heavier stock. That way, you can choose the

Take your large office printing projects to Printivity!

Some print projects are too large or too color critical to print at the office. For those projects, order online at Printivity! We offer printing on standard paper weights at a fast turnaround at competitive pricing. When you have a project that requires a more professional looking paper, Printivity offers paper like 80 lb Text Gloss or Matte.

It’s okay if you are still unsure which paper type is best for you, because Printivity offers complimentary paper samples. Email our customer service department to to request a sample or ask any of your print questions.


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