Wondering how many stamps are needed for your letters or packages? The answer lies in the size and weight of your envelope. This guide will help explain.

Fret not if you’re short on time to visit the post office for a proper calculation, we unravel the complexities of postage and provide you with a comprehensive guide to ensure your mail reaches its destination without a hitch.

USPS Stamps Store
United States Postal Service: Stamps Store

The question of how many stamps to use isn’t one with a simple answer. It’s a puzzle that depends on various factors like weight, size, and destination.

Generally, a single postage stamp is sufficient for mailing a standard letter.

However, irregularly shaped envelopes, hefty packages, or oversized mail require additional consideration.

Navigating Through Different Mail Types

Let’s break it down:

  • Standard Letters: For a typical letter within a standard-sized envelope weighing 3.5 ounces or less, one stamp will do the job.
  • Large Envelopes: Larger envelopes such as 9×12, legal, or manila ones require two stamps for the first ounce, with an additional $0.20 for each subsequent ounce.
  • International Mail: Mailing outside the United States? Opt for Forever Stamps or Global Forever Stamps. One Global Forever stamp or three Forever Stamps cover a letter weighing one ounce or less.
  • Packages: The postage for packages depends on both weight and size. Generally, the first four ounces require a minimum of $4.79 in postage, with rates increasing as the weight goes up. Alternatively, consider Priority Mail flat-rate boxes for a fixed shipping cost.

The Shape Matters

Remember, it’s not just about weight. All envelopes and postcards must be rectangular. Square-shaped stationery or specialty envelopes may require an extra stamp for postage.

Forever Stamps: Your Price-Saving Solution

Introduced in 2007, Forever Stamps offer a convenient solution to fluctuating postage rates. They retain their value despite price hikes, making them a timeless investment for your postage needs.

USPS Postage Rate Calculator
USPS Postage Rate Calculator

Where to Buy Stamps Online?

Whether you prefer traditional methods or the convenience of online shopping, obtaining stamps is a breeze. Visit the USPS online store or explore other platforms like Stamps.com.

The USPS has a postage calculator, you can visit the USPS price calculator page here.

You can also purchase stamps at local post offices, over the phone, or at various retail outlets.

Embrace the Future with Virtual Mailboxes

Upgrade your postal experience with a virtual mailbox. Services like Earth Class Mail offer secure virtual addresses where your mail gets processed digitally. Say goodbye to missed deliveries and hello to streamlined mail management.

Stamp Books: Your Handy Companion

Stamp books are the quintessential tool for your mailing endeavors. Standard books contain 20 first-class stamps, including Forever Stamps. Keep your postage needs covered with these convenient booklets.

Understanding Postal Costs

Postal rates vary based on size and type of mail. Postcard stamps start at $0.54, while standard envelope stamps begin at $0.68. Oversized, square, or unusual envelopes may require stamps starting at $0.88. For larger envelopes and packages, prices range from $1.16 to $4.50, with additional charges for nonstandard packages.


Sending mail shouldn’t be a daunting task. Armed with this guide, you can navigate the world of postage with confidence.

Whether you’re mailing a letter to a friend or shipping a package across the globe, understanding your postage needs ensures smooth sailing for your mail every time.

author avatar
Brian Wilson Writer and Editor
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar. Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor's degree in business from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications. Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email:   info@llcradar.com Phone: 972-776-4050

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