Types of Paper for Double-Sided Printing

By Kristen Bennett

Printing double-sided saves trees and lightens your paper load.
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Printing on both sides of a piece of paper is beneficial for the environment and your wallet. While you can use any type of printer paper, some are better suited to handle the amount of ink that double-sided printing generates. They can alleviate the bleed-through that occasionally happens.

Paper Weight

Paper weight refers to the thickness of the paper. At most office supply stores, you will find a variety of paper weights. Standard paper weight is 20 pounds. This is the most economical type of paper and is suitable for single-sided color printing or double-sided black and white printing that is not image-heavy. For double-sided printing that includes colors or images, look for a paper weight that is at least 22 pounds to 24 pounds. For professional documents, such as brochures or business proposals, look for heavyweight paper that is between 28 pounds to to 32 pounds.

Paper Brightness

While you may think that all paper stocks are the same since they are all white, there are actually varying degrees of brightness for paper. The U.S. scale for paper brightness is between 92 and 100. The brighter the paper, the more crisp that your document will appear when you print it. For common double-sided print jobs at home, any paper brightness is acceptable, but if you are printing business documents or color double-sided print jobs, the brighter paper that you use, the better looking your print job will be.

Environmentally Friendly Paper

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) sets the standards for paper production and certifies paper brands as being environmentally responsible. Recycled paper is an ideal option for eco-conscious individuals. While many people think that recycled paper is not as high quality as regular paper, the fact is that, with today's technology, recycled paper is high quality and high performance, making it appropriate for any double-sided printing job.

Acid-Free Paper

If you are printing double-sided documents that will need to be preserved or archived over time, the best type of paper to use is acid-free paper. It is manufactured specifically for legal documents and document storage, and the paper will not yellow over time.