Paper & Price Calculators

Basis Weight Calculator

Our basis weight calculator is anything but basic!

Our Converting paper character represents our basis weight calculator

Basis Weight

Find the basis weight for a ream of paper, based on its weight in grams per square meter (GSM).

GSM X Basic Size / 1406.5 = Basis Weight (lbs.)

The basis weight in lbs. for a ream of 25 x 38” book paper that weighs 67.3 grams per square meter (GSM) is: 67.3 X (25 x 38) / 1406.5 = 45 lbs.


What is Basis Weight?

In the United States, basis weight is the weight of 500 sheets of a given basis size paper.

So, why would you want to know the weight of 500 sheets? That’s the number of sheets on a ream of paper. Pretty ream-markable, right?

What is Basis Weight Used For?

In the paper business, basis weight is a very important measure to know, both in its own right and because it can help you calculate other things, like M-Weight.

At a basic level (see what we did there?) basis weight tells you how heavy the paper is. This number is super handy because it helps you figure out if the paper is right for a project, whether that’s a brochure, a postcard, or an invitation. Understanding basis weight is an important step in choosing the best paper for your projects.

How To Use Our Basis Weight Calculator

To use our basis weight calculator, you just need to know your paper grade and size, as well as the Grams per Square Meter (GSM). You can select the right grade and size from the dropdown menu, enter the GSM, and click “Calculate.” That’s the whole process. It’s easy as pie! Okay, now we want pie.

Basis Weight FAQs

How do you calculate basis weight?

May we recommend our calculator above? It’s a simple process that lets you avoid doing the calculations yourself. You can select your paper grade and basic size from the dropdown menu, and then you just need to fill in the GSM and you’re set! If you’d rather do the math yourself, you can also click “Show Formula” to find the information you need. 

Why is basis weight important?

Basis weight matters for lots of reasons! Beyond what we listed above, a higher basis weight paper will also be stronger, so if durability is a priority for your project, keep the basis weight in mind. Either way, basis weight matters a lot, because it can help you figure out the best paper for your project needs. 

What is the basis weight in pounds?

Well, that’s mysterious; what kind of paper are we talking about here? Basis weight in pounds is going to depend on the grade and size of the paper, as well as the Grams per Square Meter, so you’ll need to have those details at the ready. Go ahead and put that info into our basis weight calculator above and see what you get!

Does basis weight tell you the thickness of the paper?

Technically, the measure of paper thickness is caliper, not basis weight. Luckily, if you need to know about caliper, we have paper thickness tables to help with that, too! It’s just one more way we are “On the Case” for our customers, providing what you need to help you understand all things paper.

How does basis weight impact the cost of paper?

One of the reasons it’s important to know the basis weight of your paper when planning a project is that it can help you get an idea of some elements pertaining to the cost of your order. For example, knowing basis weight can help you make some estimates if you will have weight-based shipping costs. However, keep in mind that the best (actually, the only) person who can price an order for you here at Case Paper is your sales representative! 

What is the difference between basis weight and M-weight? 

Wondering about the difference between basis weight and another important paper metric, M-weight? Interestingly, basis weight is actually used to calculate M-weight. While basis weight means the weight of a ream (500 sheets) of a particular paper (at least in the U.S.), M-weight refers to the weight of 1,000 sheets of it. If you need to find M-weight, head over to our M-weight calculator!

Is basis weight the same as grammage?

Just like your eyebrows, they’re sisters, not twins! Here in the U.S., basis weight is usually the weight of 500 sheets (a ream) of paper. Grammage is grams per square meter (GSM), so it’s actually a component of calculating the basis weight. Need to know grammage? You’ll be happy to know that we have a grammage calculator ready to help you out with that. 

Who’s behind this awesome Basis Weight Calculator? 

We are so glad you asked! We’re Case Paper, a family-run paper and paperboard enterprise that’s been thriving for over eight decades! We live to be “On the Case” for our customers, getting them the premium paper they need and generally making their lives easier. So, it just makes sense to provide this handy calculator to simplify your basis weight calculations!

By the way, if you need to figure out more paper specifications, we have a comprehensive collection of paper calculators available, so you can find out just about everything you need to know on paper and board before you contact us to price your order.  We actually provide a whole suite of resources to help you with your paper-related needs, so don’t be shy; give them a try! This is just one more way we can make the paper-buying process smoother for our customers, so we’re happy to help.

You can also read more about our products, discover our mission and history, and learn about our commitment to sustainability. We’d love to share our passion for paper with you.

Find the top-tier paper your project deserves with Case Paper!

Case Paper provides premium paper and paperboard for printing, publishing, and packaging (plus alliteration!) In all seriousness, with an 80-year legacy to live up to, we take pride in our paper and the quality of our customer service. As devoted paper experts, we’re always eager to find you exactly what you need, when you need it. See how we go the extra mile to meet your paper needs. Our friendly and highly knowledgeable sales team can’t wait to put together your perfect order, so contact us today to get started!