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

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!

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.

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" x 22")
Text
(25" x 38")
Tag
(24" x 36")
Index
(25.5" x 30.5")
Bristol
(22.5" x 28.5")
Cover
(20" x 26")
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 of paper sheet = length * width * paper grammage

On the other hand, calculating the paper weight using the basis weight is quite similar in the procedure. 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 of paper sheet = (basis weight * length * width) / (basic sheet area * 500)

For multiple sheets of paper, we can multiply the weight of a paper sheet by the paper quantity to calculate the total weight of the paper, as shown in the equation below:

total weight = weight of paper sheet * quantity of paper sheets

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 to our formula:

weight of paper sheet = length * width * paper grammage

weight of paper sheet = 0.297 m * 0.210 m * 70 g/m2

weight of paper sheet = 0.06237 m2 * 70 g/m2

weight of paper sheet = 4.3659 g

Multiplying this value by the 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:

total weight = weight of paper sheet * quantity of paper sheets

total weight = 4.3659 g * 2,500 sheets

total weight = 10,914.75 g or 10.91475 kg ≈ 10.9 kg

Kenneth Alambra
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