Paper Quantities - Quire, Ream, Bundle, Bale & Pallet

Overview

When buying paper it is useful to know how much you are getting for your money, paper is normally sold to the consumer in reams or quires and commercially in bundles, bales and more recently pallets. In modern times the ream has become standardised at 500 sheets and the quire at 25 sheets.

Modern (Metric) Paper Quantities

The following table gives the number of sheets for each of the quire, ream, bundle and bale (pallets are covered further down the page).

Measure Sheets Quires Reams Bundles Bales
Quire 25 1 0.05 0.025 0.005
Ream 500 20 1 0.5 0.1
Bundle 1000 40 2 1 0.2
Bale 5000 200 10 5 1
Ream of 80gsm office paper

Ream of 80gsm office paper.

Pallets of Paper

In the US a pallet of paper is usually 40 cases of 10 reams per case giving a total of 200,000 sheets. In the UK a pallet can be either 20 boxes of 5 reams per box (50,000 sheets) or 50 boxes of 5 reams (125,000 sheets) depending upon who you purchase from.

Other Paper Quantities

It is fairly common these days to see specialist papers sold in 100 sheet (4 quire) packages and heavier weight card (160gsm+) being sold in 250 sheet (10 quire) packages.

Imperial Reams & Quires

Prior to standardisation on the metric ream and quire of 500 and 25 sheets respectively, the UK and other British Commonwealth countries used a quire of 24 sheets (2 dozen) and a ream of 20 quires at 480 sheets. This was also used in the US where it is known as the short quire.

The following table gives the number of sheets for the Imperial (Short) quire, ream, bundle and bale.

Measure Sheets Quires Reams Bundles Bales
Quire 24 1 0.05 0.025 0.005
Ream 480 20 1 0.5 0.1
Bundle 960 40 2 1 0.2
Bale 4800 200 10 5 1

 

British Imperial Quire & Ream Sizes

Imperial Ream & Quire Sizes - An excerpt from Everybody's Pocket Companion
Published by T.V. Boardman & Co. Ltd in late 1939 to early 1940.

The Printer's Ream

The printer's ream of 516 sheets was used, before the standardisation on 500 sheet reams, when purchasing paper to ensure that wastage during the print process did not leave the finished job short of a standard ream (e.g. when producing headed paper for typing that would have been ordered by the ream).

Weight of Sheets & Reams Calculator

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More information on paper weights can be found here.