Paper types, sizes and weights guide for your business

Paper types, sizes and weights guide for your business

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Picking the right paper for your business greatly depends on how you are going to use it and how much you will need. Weight, types, sizes, and other attributes can vary for each paper type, so knowing what each of these categories entails will help you make smarter purchasing decisions. In addition, purchasing in bulk is an easy way to save time and money on your paper purchases. Keep reading to learn about paper types, how to choose the right paper for your business, and how Amazon Business can help.


Paper Types 

The variety of paper options available can be overwhelming, but knowing some simple facts about paper types can help you in your purchasing decision. Learn more about paper types, attributes, weights, and sizes below.


Standard paper types: This category encompasses the most common types of paper used for businesses. The paper types included are copy paper, cardstock, poster paper, letterhead paper, index cards, retail signage, dividers, manila folders, catalogue paper, and book paper.


Specialized paper types: Paper types in this category are designed and produced for a specific purpose.

  • Acid free paper is typically used for important documents since it is highly durable and long lasting.
  • Inkjet paper is made to absorb liquid ink quickly for clear, clean results and is used in inkjet printers.
  • Laser printer paper is made to withstand the heat of laser printers and creates easy to read text, as well as sharp images.
  • Multipurpose paper can be used in a variety of paper machines such as fax machines, copiers, and printers.
  • Recycled or Eco-friendly paper, also referred to as post-consumer paper, is made of scrap material from paper mills or is from sustainably sourced farms for an environmentally friendly product.
  • Security paper is designed to prevent any tampering of a document and can be used for birth certificates, transcripts, or prescription pads. Also known as safety paper, security paper has features such as watermarks, printed patterns, holographic details, chemical treatments, or specialized fibres woven into the paper.


Paper Attributes

There are attributes that apply to all paper types and should be considered when placing your order.


  • Brightness: Paper brightness is measured by how much blue light reflects off the paper surface and is based on a scale of 1 to 100 with 100 being the brightest type of paper.
  • Packaging: A package of paper is called a ream, and contains 500 sheets. They can be sold as a single ream, half ream (250 sheets) or by the case (10 reams, or 5,000 sheets).
  • Finish: The paper finish is based off the texture and shine of the paper surface. Low shine and smooth textured paper is typical for basic copy paper, whereas high shine or heavily textured paper is used for signage, mailers, or embossed pages.


Paper Weight

Whether you need basic copy paper or a heavier weight paper for mailers, you will need to know how the weight of paper is measured to accurately choose what paper is right for your business. The U.S. method for measuring the weight of paper is based off 500 sheets of uncut paper and is represented in pounds. For example, if 500 sheets of uncut 17” x 22” paper weighs 20 pounds, then the paper is labelled “20 lb” regardless if it is cut into smaller sheets. It is important to note that the greater weight listed does not necessarily mean heavier paper and there is no standard size for uncut paper.



Paper Sizes

Paper sizes run on a scale of A0 to A8 with A0 being the largest standard size (33.10” x 46.8”) and A8 being the smallest standard size (2.5” x 2.91”).


How to choose the right paper for your business?

Now that you know the different elements of paper, there are several things to consider when picking the correct paper for your organization.

  • Intended use: If your business prints a large amount of documents, then basic copy paper should be able to fulfil your need. However, if your business is printing posters, mailers, or signage, you will want to consider a heavier weight paper for the job.
  • Type of printer: There are many types of printers available for businesses. Inkjet and laser printers are the most common since they use basic copy paper. For more specialized jobs, consider what paper size, shine, finish, and weight you need since results can be impacted if used with the wrong printer.
  • Amount to purchase: if your organization is a small business, purchasing a single case of copy paper should be able to last your team for a while. A larger organization, however, may need to order pallets of paper to fulfil their needs.


Shop paper categories on Amazon Business

  • Copy & print paper: The paper in this category is considered multipurpose paper since it can be used in variety of fax machines, copiers, and printers. You can purchase a 3-ream case up to a truckload by well-known paper brands, such as Hammermill and HP. In addition, you can shop paper types that are acid-free, sustainably sourced, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.
  • Cardstock & business communication paper: There is a variety of cardstock paper options in this category that are ideal for flyers or signage. Available by the ream, you can find paper options with features such as laser and inkjet compatible, FSC certified, and acid-free. There are also color variety packs for purchase to add some flair to your business signs.
  • Notebooks & writing pads: You can find a variety notebooks and writing pads in packs up to 12 in this section. From standard legal size writing pads to wire bound notebooks, you can find the right paper pad option(s) for your business.


How can Amazon Business help?

Amazon Business has over twelve million office products to help your business run smoothly, and that includes all the paper supplies your organization needs. We also have numerous savings options, like Quantity Discounts that let save money on your bulk orders. You can also Recurring Delivery  to make sure your business will never have a shortage on paper. In addition, Spend Visibility gives you insight into your paper purchases so you can stay on budget. Also with a Business Prime membership, you can get convenient and free shipping options on your eligible paper products.

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