When buying paper for your office, home, or school supplies, it’s important to know how much a ream of paper weighs. This can affect your decision regarding the transportation and storage of the paper.
A ream of paper typically contains 500 sheets in various sizes, types, and weights. To determine the weight of a ream, you need to consider factors such as the size of the paper, its type, and its density, also known as GSM (grams per square meter).
The weight of a ream of A4 paper can vary due to quality, thickness, and the overall GSM. Generally, common A4 paper has a GSM range of 70-100, and a standard ream of 80 GSM paper usually weighs around 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs).
How Much a Ream of Paper Weigh?
When you purchase a ream of paper, you may wonder how much it weighs. In general, the weight of a ream depends on the paper’s thickness and size. Here’s some helpful information to guide you.
A ream typically consists of 500 sheets of paper. The most common paper sizes are A4 (8.27 × 11.69 inches) and Letter (8.5 × 11 inches).
To determine the weight of a ream, you can refer to the paper’s weight in grams per square meter (gsm) or pounds per ream (lb). For example, commonly used paper weights range from 20 lb (75 gsm) to 32 lb (120 gsm).
20 lb (75 gsm) paper: This weight is typically used for standard, everyday printing and copying. A ream of 20 lb A4-sized paper weighs about 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg), while a ream of Letter-sized paper weighs about 5 pounds (2.3 kg). This is the most common weight for office use.
24 lb (90 gsm) paper: Slightly thicker and more durable than 20 lb paper, 24 lb paper is suitable for presentations and official documents. A ream of 24 lb A4-sized paper weighs about 6.6 pounds (3 kg), and a ream of Letter-sized paper weighs around 6 pounds (2.7 kg).
32 lb (120 gsm) paper: This is perfect for high-quality reports, brochures, and other marketing materials. A ream of 32 lb A4-sized paper weighs approximately 8.8 pounds (4 kg), while a ream of Letter-sized paper weighs 8 pounds (3.6 kg).
Various Types of Paper
Bond paper is a high-quality and durable paper that you typically use for official documents, letterheads and resumes. This type of paper usually comes in standard 20 lb, 24 lb, and 28 lb weights.
Don’t worry; the heavier bond paper doesn’t mean it’s thicker. It simply means the paper has a higher density, providing a crisp and more professional look.
When you need a sturdier option, cardstock is your go-to choice. This type of paper is perfect for creating business cards, invitations, and other crafts. Cardstock typically comes in various colors and weights, ranging from 60 lb to 110 lb. The higher the weight, the thicker and more durable the cardstock.
Newsprint is a lightweight, economical paper in newspapers and other publications. It has a rough texture and is generally unsuitable for high-quality prints, but it’s perfect for those daily reads. Newsprint typically comes in 30 lb and 35 lb weights.
Offset paper, also known as book paper or text paper, is a versatile option that you commonly use for books, brochures, and flyers. This type of paper comes in different weights, typically ranging from 50 lb to 100 lb.
Offset paper provides an excellent medium for achieving sharp images and crisp text, especially when using offset printing techniques.
Cover stock is a heavy paper that adds a professional touch to your projects, such as report covers, menus, or greeting cards. It usually comes in heavier weights, typically between 65 lb and 200 lb. The increased thickness and rigidity of the cover stock make it an excellent choice when you require a bit more durability.
Tag stock is a strong, thick paper specifically designed for making tags, such as price tags, shipping tags, or labels. This type of paper typically comes in 100 lb and 125 lb weights. Tag stock is great when you need something sturdy to withstand handling and wear.
Methods in Determining Paper Weight
Determining the weight of a ream of paper is important for various reasons, such as calculating shipping costs, understanding your printer’s capacities, and more. To help you figure this out, let’s delve into a few methods to determine the weight of a ream of paper.
Method 1: Check the Packaging or Paper Specification. The most straightforward way to find out the weight of a ream of paper is by checking the information on the packaging or the paper specification sheet.
Manufacturers typically provide this information in either pounds (lbs) or grams per square meter (gsm). You’ll often see a number like “20 lbs” or “80 gsm” indicating the weight or thickness of the paper.
Method 2: Weigh It Yourself. You can weigh the ream yourself if you don’t have access to the packaging or specifications. You’ll need a scale that can weigh items with a reasonable degree of precision.
Place the entire ream of paper on the scale and ensure it is properly balanced. Write down the weight displayed on the scale.
Method 3: Calculate Based on Paper Type and Size. To determine the weight of a ream of paper, you can also use some simple calculations based on the paper’s type and size. Typically, paper comes in standard sizes like A4, letter, or legal.
The table below illustrates the weight of a ream of paper in different sizes for some common paper types:
|Paper Type||Letter-size Ream (lbs)||A4-size Ream (lbs)|
Given this information, you can estimate the weight of a ream of paper based on its type and size. For instance, a ream of letter-size bond paper would weigh around 20 pounds.
The Impact of Paper Thickness on Weight
When considering the weight of a ream of paper, you should consider the thickness of each sheet. As you may already know, paper comes in various thicknesses, directly influencing the ream’s overall weight.
Standard paper thickness is typically expressed as its weight in grams per square meter (gsm) or pounds per ream. For example, you might come across 80gsm, 100gsm, or 120gsm in the market. The higher the number, the thicker and heavier the paper is.
Now, let’s look at the paper sizes. An A4 size paper is the most commonly used size, with dimensions of 210mm x 297mm. In a ream of A4-sized paper, you’ll find 500 sheets.
To calculate the weight of a ream with different thicknesses, you can simply multiply the gsm by the area of a single sheet (in square meters), and then multiply that product by the total number of sheets in the ream (500).
Here’s a brief table to illustrate this:
|Paper Thickness (gsm)||Ream Weight (kg)|
Paper Size and Its Impact on Weight
Regarding the weight of paper, size is a significant factor. For example, a standard ream of A4 paper typically weighs around 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms).
This weight is based on a paper density of 80gsm (grams per square meter), which is the most commonly used in offices and schools. Different densities of A4 paper will result in different weights. For instance:
- 60gsm A4 paper: A ream would weigh around 3 pounds (1.4 kg)
- 80gsm A4 paper: A ream would weigh around 5 pounds (2.3 kg)
- 100gsm A4 paper: A ream would weigh around 6 pounds (2.8 kg)
Letter Size Paper
The common letter-size paper used in the United States has dimensions slightly different from A4 paper. Consequently, when it comes to weight, a standard ream of 8.5 x 11-inch letter-size paper typically weighs around 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) at 20lb (75.2gsm) density. Here’s an overview of ream weights for various densities:
- 20lb (75.2gsm) letter size paper: A ream weighs around 5 pounds (2.3 kg)
- 24lb (90.3gsm) letter size paper: A ream weighs around 6 pounds (2.7 kg)
- 28lb (105.4gsm) letter size paper: A ream weighs around 7 pounds (3.2 kg)
Legal Size Paper
Legal-size paper is often used for legal documents and has a dimension of 8.5 x 14 inches. Considering its larger size, its weight also differs from A4 and letter-size paper. At an average 20lb (75.2gsm) density, a standard ream of legal-size paper typically weighs around 7 pounds (3.2 kilograms). The weights for different densities are:
- 20lb (75.2gsm) legal size paper: A ream weighs approximately 7 pounds (3.2 kg)
- 24lb (90.3gsm) legal size paper: A ream weighs approximately 8.4 pounds (3.8 kg)
- 28lb (105.4gsm) legal size paper: A ream weighs approximately 9.8 pounds (4.4 kg)