Now, we know it’s generally taboo to talk about weight in polite society, however, today we going talk about exactly that. About paper, of course!

Weight, when talking about paper, generally refers to the thickness or sturdiness of the paper. But why weight? Well, hold onto your hats as we get an overview of what this all means.

Paper thickness is measured in one of two ways:

By weight
Generally measured in lbs (pounds, #) in Canada and the US, and refers to the total weight of 500 full sized sheets of that specific paper. Now full sized sheets (also called folio size) come from different mills at different uncut sizes. They are generally between 17″-28″ wide and 24″-41″ long.

Say you go to Staples and get an 8.5″x11″ stack of printer paper that says “24lbs” on the package. This means that 500 folio sheets of that paper stacked before cutting down to the final letter size weigh 24lbs. Seems pretty straightforward, right?

By Point size
When you hear someone refer to a paper’s point size, they are literally talking about how thick it is. Each point=0.001 inch. So, a 14 point paper is 0.014 inches thick.

You generally will only see point sizes pop up on thicker papers. Papers used for things like business cards or, in our case, stationery. The general rule of thumb is, the bigger the point size, the thicker the paper.


Because there are so many papers to choose from, all with their different weights or point sizes, we group them off into categories based on their sturdiness and what they are used for. You will often see companies referring to cardstock, coverstock, bond, text, book and writing stock on their packages.

Cardstock and coverstock are your thicker paper types, with cardstock generally being a higher thickness. These are papers that you would use for business cards, cards and anywhere that you want your paper to be more sturdy.

Text, book, writing, and bond are thinner, with bond usually the lightest. These are papers that you would use for day to day printing in your standard printer.

We hope that this has helped to shed some light on today’s paper topic.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave us a comment, or pop us an email!