How Many Stamps in a Sheet

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March 8, 2024

Postage stamps in the United States feature miniature artworks highlighting the American experience, such as history, heroes, natural wonders, and milestones. In 2022, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) printed around 13.8 million stamps.

If you are interested in philately or stamp collecting, you can purchase these stamps as part of your collection. The USPS Postal Store has a selection of commemorative stamps and souvenir sheets with different designs that may interest you as a stamp collector.

If you go to a post office to send a letter, you will likely purchase stamps for your mail. But when shipping multiple items frequently, consider buying stamp sheets rather than individual stamps only.

What are the different stamp sheets you can buy from USPS and other authorized vendors? How much do stamps cost? What are the postage weights per stamp?

This article discusses US postage stamp sheets, their features, and how much weight stamps can cover. This article also explains using a postage calculator to determine your item’s weight and charges.

When you are ready to mail your letter, visit FindPostOffice.org to find a nearby post office. Read more about stamps and other mailing and shipping-related topics on FindPostOffice.org’s blog page.

First-Class Stamp Sheets

USPS stamps you can use for First-Class postage and sold in the Postal Store are available in the following sheets:

  • 10-stamp sheets
  • 16-stamp sheets
  • 20-stamp sheets
  • 100-stamp coils

Second-Class Stamp Sheets

The U.S. Postal Service does not sell second-class stamps. However, USPS provides shipping services for second-class mail pieces like periodicals, newspapers, and magazines.

Suppose you want to send any of these items. You must pay the USPS Periodical Class Mail postage by advance deposit at the original or additional mailing office. You cannot pay for mailing periodicals using postage stamps, meter stamps, permit imprints, or precanceled stamps.

A permit imprint is postage information printed on the upper-right corner of the mail piece. Meanwhile, precanceled stamps are special stamps in small denominations used specifically for presorted First-Class Mail and USPS Marketing Mail shipments.

Determining the Postage Rates for All Pages

Postage rates often undergo frequent changes. For example, a one-ounce (1oz) letter worth $0.60 to send in July 2022 had cost $0.63 in January 2023 and $0.66 in July 2023. Thus, you must remain updated on these changes if you want an exact calculation of your letter’s postage costs.

Fortunately, USPS provides postage rate charts on its website’s price list page.

These charts provide updated information regarding shipping fees, postage charges, and international mailing costs. You can refer to these charts for the estimated costs of sending mail to various destinations.

Postage Rate

The postage you pay to send mail through USPS varies depending on your mailing service and other factors like your parcel’s weight, size, distance from origin to destination, and extra services.

The following sections compare the postage rates of some USPS services, such as First-Class Mail and Priority Mail.

First-Class Mail Letters Rate Comparison

The following table compares the retail postage rates between January 2023 and July 2023 for items sent via First-Class Mail service:

First-Class Mail itemPostage as of January 2023Postage as of July 2023
Letter (stamped)$0.63$0.66
Letter, additional ounce$0.24$0.24
Postcard$0.48$0.51
Large envelope (flat)$1.26$1.35
Large envelope (flat), additional ounce$0.24$0.24

Priority Mail Flat Rate Comparison

For Priority Mail rates based on flat-rate prices, the following table compares the rates between November 2022 and July 2023:

ProductPrices as of November 2022Prices as of July 2023
Regular flat-rate envelope$9.90$9.65
Legal flat-rate envelope$10.20$9.95
Padded flat-rate envelope$10.60$10.40
Small flat-rate box$10.40$10.20
Medium flat-rate box$17.05$17.10
Large flat-rate box$22.45$22.80
Army or Air Force Post Office (APO) or Fleet Post Office (FPO) large flat-rate box$20.95$21.20

On the other hand, Priority Mail Express products have the following price comparison as of July 2023:

  • Flat Rate Envelope: $28.75
  • Legal Flat Rate Envelope: $28.95
  • Padded Flat Rate Envelope: $29.45

Value Stamps

Based on the First-Class Mail price comparison table, each additional-ounce stamp costs $0.24 at the post office.

Aside from these stamps, value stamps can help cover your letters’ additional weight. Value stamps allow you to not entirely depend on Forever stamps for your postage charges.

As of October 2023, Forever stamps cost $0.66 each. This price makes these stamps cost the same as a retail 1-oz letter.

Suppose you use two Forever stamps as postage for a 2-oz letter. You can pay $1.32 ($0.66 x 2 = $1.32). On the other hand, postage to send the same letter is only $0.90.

To pay for this postage, you can buy one Forever stamp and several value stamps that should result in the correct postage without overpaying.

Postage Weight per Stamp

You can send a 1-oz letter with one Forever stamp as they cost the same. A First-Class Mail item with this weight costs $0.66.

USPS sells the following stamps that vary based on the postage weight:

  • Forever stamp: $0.66
  • Additional-ounce stamp: $0.24
  • Two-ounce stamp: $0.90
  • Additional postage stamp:
    • $0.01 to $0.10
    • $0.40

How to Measure Your Letter’s Weight

Getting your letter’s exact weight can help you determine the postage charges and number of stamps to use and avoid unpleasant surprises later.

The following sections discuss ways to help you calculate your letter’s weight.

Visit the Closest Post Office

All post offices in the U.S. have a digital scale. You can use this device to measure the weight of your envelopes and papers. This method may be practical if a post office is near you. If there is no post office nearby, try calculating the weight at home using the technique below.

Calculate the Standard Letter Paper’s Weight

This method lets you calculate your mail’s weight by determining how heavy your paper is.

Although letter papers sold in 500-piece reams can show the weight, the measurement may be inaccurate. Therefore, you may have to make some estimations in your calculations.

The weight printed on the ream can be almost four times the original weight. So, when a 500-piece ream has “20lbs” printed on it, you can assume 5 pounds (lbs) is the actual weight (20lbs ÷ 4 = 5lbs).

How Much Weight Does One Stamp Cover?

As mentioned, a letter weighing 1oz requires at least one First-Class letter stamp. If your letter exceeds that weight, you must pay $0.24 per additional ounce.

How Many Stamps Do You Need to Mail 20 Pages?

Although paper can vary in weight, some estimates show that 20 pages can weigh around 3.391oz. Thus, you will need one First-Class stamp and two additional-ounce stamps to cover the first three ounces. For the remaining 0.391oz, you must pay an additional-ounce stamp’s full price.

With one First-Class stamp and three additional-ounce stamps, you must pay $1.38 [$0.66 + ($0.24 x 3) = $1.38].

Why Is It Important to Calculate the Right Number of Stamps for a Letter?

Knowing the postage costs you must pay to send your letters or parcels is crucial because you will not get a refund if you mistakenly pay additional charges. Even if you overpay by a few cents, this amount can cost significantly in the long run.

How to Use a Postage Price Calculator

Ready-made postage price calculators can help you calculate your mail’s postage charges. Many of these calculators require you to enter specific details regarding your mail, such as the following:

  • Sender’s ZIP code
  • Receiver’s ZIP code
  • Mailing date and time
  • Item type and class the mail belongs to

After inputting these details, the calculator should automatically determine the postage charges. These calculators can work for any shipment, such as postcards, flat-rate envelopes, and boxes.

How to Calculate the Weight of an Envelope at Home

Suppose you prefer measuring your mail’s weight at home. Consider using a regular scale, such as the one for measuring kitchen ingredients.

If your package is too big for the kitchen scale, use your bathroom scale to measure the weight. You may also need to round off the figure to the nearest ounce to see your envelope’s weight.

How to Calculate the Postage Charges

If calculating your mail’s weight is challenging, determining the postage charges should be relatively easy.

After getting the paper’s weight, multiply that figure by the number of pages in your letter. For example, 10 pieces of paper weighing 0.20oz each should weigh 2oz (0.20oz x 10 = 2oz). If the envelope weighs 0.5oz, your mail’s overall weight should be 2.5oz (2oz + 0.5oz = 2.5oz).

Based on this measurement, you may have to buy 2.5oz worth of postage. In this case, purchase one Forever stamp to cover the first ounce’s cost and additional-ounce stamps to cover the remaining weight.

What About Forever Stamps?

One benefit of using Forever stamps is that they never lose their value, even when the postage price goes up.

Based on historical prices, USPS postage rates have continuously increased, and the price increase may not show signs of slowing anytime soon.

With Forever stamps, USPS guarantees you can use them as a traditional First-Class stamp regardless of how much you paid for their face value.

FAQs

1. Will one stamp cover all of my mailing needs?

Not all envelopes you send will go through the delivery process if you only have a single stamp attached.

For example, a 3-oz letter costs $1.14 to ship. This amount equals the price of one Forever stamp and two additional-ounce stamps [$0.66 + ($0.24 x 2) = $1.14].

If you send a square, unusually shaped, or large letter, you may have to pay at least $1.06.

However, a standard letter weighing up to 1oz should require only one Forever stamp.

2. How many sheets of paper can one stamp cover?

There is no absolute rule regarding how many sheets of paper a single stamp can cover when sending your mail through the post.

However, most people who send letters with four or five standard-sized pieces of paper should not need to add a second stamp on their mail, even if the weight slightly exceeds 1oz.

3. How do I know how many stamps to include?

As mentioned, you can determine how many stamps to affix to your mail using a kitchen scale that can weigh single and fractional ounces.

If you send mail frequently, consider using one of those postal scales or meters for more accuracy on how much your postage will be.

4. When will using stamps alone not cover my postage?

You can send stamped First-Class Mail letters up to 3.5oz or large envelopes up to 13oz. But stamps may not suffice to cover the postage if you send packages and parcels instead of letters or envelopes. 

With packages, your postage will depend on the item’s weight, delivery speed, and other criteria and services you select.

For example, insurance and signature receipt services can add costs to your First-Class stamp.

5. Do stamps come in sheets?

USPS usually sells booklets, coils, and sheets of stamps. Some products in the Postal Store come in sheets containing 10, 16, or 20 stamps.

6. How many stamps do I need for a 10-page paper?

You can typically mail four or five pages of standard paper and one envelope for one regular First-Class stamp. With this number, you can send about 10 pages of standard-weighted paper and an envelope for the two-ounce rate.

7. How many stamps are in a book?

One stamp book typically contains 20 postal stamps. Whether you buy a booklet containing First-Class or Forever stamps, these books of stamps are all the same.

8. How do I make sure my mail is good to go?

Suppose you are an online retailer selling goods on eBay or Amazon and want to know if your item is ready for shipping. You can bring your package to your local post office and confirm with the staff whether the parcel is ready or will require additional postage.

Experienced postal staff can glance at your envelope, lift it in their hands, and immediately know whether or not the postage is enough to cover the cost.

References

  1. 13.8 BILLION postage stamps printed
    https://facts.usps.com/19-billion-stamps-printed/
  2. The Postal Store
    https://store.usps.com/store/results/stamps/_/N-9y93lv#content
  3. What is Periodical Class Mail?
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/What-is-Periodical-Class-Mail
  4. Permit Imprint
    https://pe.usps.com/BusinessMail101/Index?ViewName=PermitImprint
  5. Precanceled Stamps
    https://pe.usps.com/BusinessMail101/Index?ViewName=PrecanceledStamps
  6. Rates for Domestic Letters Since 1863
    https://about.usps.com/who/profile/history/domestic-letter-rates-since-1863.htm
  7. Price List
    https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm
  8. U.S. Postal Service Announces New Competitive Prices for 2023
    https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2022/1110-usps-announces-new-competitive-prices-for-2023.htm
  9. First-Class Mail
    https://www.usps.com/ship/first-class-mail.htm