Paper Weight Calculator

Created by Kenneth Alambra
Reviewed by Dominik Czernia, PhD and Jack Bowater
Last updated: Nov 07, 2022

This paper weight calculator will help you determine the weight of a paper sheet of any size, grammage or basis weight. You can also use this calculator for paper weight conversion between grammage and basis weight and to find what the grammage of paper is.

In this calculator, you will learn about the measure of weight per unit area that is used to determine the weight of paper, as well as what the basis weight of paper is. We will also show you a paper weight chart that you can use as a paper weight guide for your prints. So, how do you calculate paper weight? Let's find out!

💡 Need to print a large-scale photo but not sure if your photo resolution will be enough? You can use our pixels to print size calculator to help you find out.

Paper weight chart: What is the grammage of paper?

Paper comes in a variety of sizes, colors, textures, thicknesses, and weights. In this paper weight calculator, we focus on the weight of paper sheets and how we calculate them. To keep it a standard among manufacturers and consumers, we use a certain unit of measure. This is called grammage.

Grammage is a paper's weight in terms of grams per square meter (g/m²). This unit is also commonly abbreviated to gsm, and you can usually see this printed on the paper's packaging.

What does paper weight mean? Not only does grammage define the weight of a paper sheet, but it also tells us something about the stiffness of a paper sheet. The higher the grammage is, the stiffer and the heavier a piece of paper is. A good thing to note is that though grammage defines the paper sheet's weight, it doesn't necessarily describe its thickness.

You can check out our paper thickness calculator if you want to learn about paper thickness.

Typical office papers are usually around 75-120 gsm, while photo papers are usually around 180-240 gsm. Heavier papers or cardstocks of around 250-350 gsm are best for invitations, event programs, postcards, and business cards. However, the choice of grammage still depends on personal preference and creative choices. As a paper weight guide on choosing the suitable grammage for your prints and other usages, we have here a paper weight chart for your reference:

Chart showing the suitable grammage for various uses of paper.

Basis weight of paper

Aside from paper weight meaning we've shown you so far, i.e., grammage, we also have the basis weight unit of measure as a reference in determining the weight of a paper sheet. Basis weight is the weight in pounds of a ream, or 500 sheets of paper, at particular basic sheet sizes, which vary depending on the stock type of paper being considered.

The different stock types are bond, text, tag, index, Bristol, and cover stock paper. In the paper weight conversion table below, you can see their estimated common basis weights in pounds and equivalent weights in grammage. Additionally, in the first row, you can find their corresponding basic sheet sizes.

Bond (17"x22")

Text (25"x38")

Tag (24"x36")

Index (25.5"x30.5")

Bristol (22.5"x28.5")

Cover (20"x26")

gsm

16

40

37

33

27

22

60

20

50

46

42

34

28

75

24

60

55

50

41

33

90

28

70

65

59

48

39

105

32

80

74

67

55

45

120

36

90

83

75

62

50

135

40

101

92

83

68

55

150

44

111

101

91

75

61

165

48

122

111

100

82

67

180

53

135

123

111

91

74

200

59

150

135

122

100

81

220

64

162

147

133

109

89

240

67

170

154

138

114

92

250

70

176

160

144

119

96

260

72

183

166

150

123

100

270

80

203

184

166

137

110

300

94

236

215

194

160

130

350

For example, from the table above, we can see a 20 lb bond stock paper, a 50 lb text stock paper, and a 75 gsm paper, when cut to the same size, will have approximately the same weight.

Now that we know what grammage and basis weight is, let us now learn how to calculate the paper weight.

How do you calculate paper weight?

Since grammage is a unit of weight per unit of area, we have to multiply the paper's area by its grammage to find the paper sheet's weight. And since the area of a rectangular paper sheet is simply the product of its length and width, we can then formulate the equation for the weight of a paper sheet as follows:

weight=L×W×g,\small \text{weight} = L\times W\times g,

where:

  • weight\text{weight} – Weight of a paper sheet;
  • LL – Length of the sheet of paper;
  • WW – Width of the sheet of paper; and
  • gg – Paper grammage.

On the other hand, calculating the paper weight using the basis weight has quite similar procedures. We need to multiply the basis weight by the paper sheet area in question and divide it by the appropriate basic sheet area multiplied by 500. In equation form, we can express it as shown below:

weight=b×L×WAbasic×500,\small \text{weight} = \frac{b\times L\times W}{A_\text{basic}\times 500},

where:

  • bb – Basis weight; and
  • AbasicA_\text{basic} – Basic sheet area.

For multiple sheets of paper, we can multiply the weight of a paper sheet by the paper quantity, n\small n, to calculate the total weight, Wtotal\small W_\text{total}, of the paper, as shown in the equation below:

Wtotal=W×n\small W_\text{total} = W \times n

✅ We have different names for different numbers of paper sheets, like reams, bundles, or bales. Learn more about them in our paper quantity converter.

Using our paper weight calculator

Here are the steps on how to use our paper weight calculator:

  1. Select the unit of measure you want to use, either grammage or basis weight.
  2. If you selected grammage, enter the grammage value and proceed to step 4.
  3. If you selected basis weight, choose the appropriate basic sheet size and enter your paper's corresponding basis weight.
  4. Next step is to select or input the paper size of your paper.
  5. Upon entering your paper's dimensions, you will then see the weight per sheet.
  6. Change the value in the Quantity field to match your requirements to find the total weight you need.

To use our calculator for paper weight conversion, select "basis weight" in the Units field and follow the steps below:

  • To convert a basis weight to grammage, select a basic sheet size and enter a basis weight. This will then display an equivalent grammage.
  • To convert grammage to basis weight, enter a grammage value first. Then choose your desired basic sheet size. This will then result in a value for the basis weight.
  • To convert a basis weight to another basis weight, simply select "Yes" in the Convert to another basis weight? field. This will reveal two more fields where you can choose the new basic sheet size you wish to convert to and see the value of the basis weight for that stock type.

Sample calculation of the weight of paper

Let's say we are asked to purchase five reams (2,500 sheets) of 70 gsm A4 size copy paper for the office, and we want to know how much it weighs. An A4 size paper has a width of 0.210 m and a length of 0.297 m. Since we already have all the necessary dimensions, we can now find the weight of our paper by substituting these values into our formula:

weight ⁣= ⁣L×W×g= ⁣0.297 m ⁣× ⁣0.210 m ⁣× ⁣70 g/m2= ⁣0.06237 m2 ⁣× ⁣70 g/m2= ⁣4.3659 g\small \begin{align*} \text{weight}\! &=\! L\times W\times g\\[0.2em] &=\! 0.297\ \text{m}\!\times\! 0.210\ \text{m}\!\times\! 70\ \text{g/m}^2\\[0.2em] &=\! 0.06237\ \text{m}^2\!\times\! 70\ \text{g/m}^2\\[0.2em] &=\! 4.3659\ \text{g} \end{align*}

Multiplying this value by the 2, ⁣500\small 2,\!500, which is the total quantity of paper sheets in five reams, we obtain the total weight of paper that we want to know, as shown below:

Wtotal=W×n=4.3659 g×2, ⁣500 sheets=10, ⁣914.75 g10.9 kg\small \begin{align*} W_\text{total} &= W \times n\\[0.2em] &= 4.3659\ \text{g} \times 2,\!500\ \text{sheets}\\[0.2em] &= 10,\!914.75\ \text{g}\\[0.2em] &\approx 10.9\ \text{kg} \end{align*}

We also use a similar procedure in determining the weight of similarly-shaped objects like metal sheets and plates. If you find this topic interesting and would love to learn more, you can also visit our steel plate weight calculator or our log weight calculator – which uses a different procedure of weight calculation.

Kenneth Alambra
Paper weight reference
Units
Basis weight
Basic sheet size
Bond (17" x 22")
Basis weight (of a ream)
lb
Paper grammage
gsm
Convert to another basis weight?
No
Select or input the size of your paper
Paper size
Letter (8.5 in x 11.0 in)
Length
in
Width
in
Output values
Weight per sheet
oz
Quantity
sheets
Total weight
lb
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