Understanding Paper Weights

It can be very difficult and confusing to understand the terminology behind paper weights. We have put together this guide to help understand and clear up the measurements.

There are two basic systems in use; the U.S. system which denotes the weight in pounds (#) or the Metric system which indicates the weight in grams / meter square (g/m2).

The U.S. system is more difficult to understand because the same number in #'s can be used for thicker card stock or thinner text papers. Whereas the metric system is standard across all weights of papers.

For example, a card stock may be a 80# Cover or 80# Text. But in the Metric system, the same papers would simply be 216 g/m2 and 104 g/m2, respectively (the first being twice as thick as the second)

Therefore, we have provided the following chart to help see how the #'s translate to g/m2. We have also tried to provide reference points with things you can find in your house.

For example, regular copy paper and a standard 3 x 5 Index Card.

Arranged from Lightest to Heaviest Papers

PaperPound (#'s)Metric (g/m2)
LIGHTESTVellum Paper 17#17#64 g/m2
Reference: Copy Paper20#75 g/m2
Solid Text 60#60#90 g/m2
Parchment Text 60#60#90 g/m2
Vellum Paper 27#27#101 g/m2
Vellum Paper 29#29#109 g/m2
Vellum Paper 30#30#113 g/m2
Solid Text Paper 70#70#104 g/m2
Recycled Text Paper 70#70#104 g/m2
Linen Text Paper 70#70#104 g/m2
Embossed Metallic Text Paper 70#70#104 g/m2
Pearlescent Metallic Text Paper 80# / 81#80# / 81#118 g/m2
Vellum Card Stock 36#36#135 g/m2
Solid Card Stock 65# (Opaque)65#175 g/m2
Parchment Card Stock 65#65#175 g/m2
Vellum Card Stock 48#48#180 g/m2
Reference: 3" x 5" Index Card110# Index200 g/m2
Solid Card Stock 74# (110# Index)74# (110# Index)200 g/m2
Solid Card Stock 80# (Opaque)80#216 g/m2
Linen Card Stock 80#80#216 g/m2
Laid Card Stock 80#80#216 g/m2
Recycled Card Stock 80#80#216 g/m2
Embossed Metallic Card Stock 80#80#216 g/m2
Patterned Card Stock 80#80#216 g/m2
Canvas Card Stock 80#80#216 g/m2
HEAVIESTPearlescent Metallic Card Stock 92# / 105# / 107#92# / 105# / 107#249 / 284 / 289 g/m2
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