What Paper is Best For Printing Leaflets? Top 3 featured image

What Paper is Best For Printing Leaflets? Top 3

When asking what paper is best for printing leaflets, you’ll need to consider what they’ll be used for. This quick read takes you through the best options and identifies which stocks are best for residential leaflet distribution here in Derby & Burton-on-Trent.

Wondering what the best paper stock is for your next leaflet campaign? Then, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ll look at finishes, then the thickness of the paper or gsm (grams per square meter) and round it all up with the three most popular stocks.


Silk is a reasonably standard finish on both flyers and leaflets. Nearly all customers purchasing flyers on our most popular 170gsm stock choose a silk finish.

What is silk? It’s a very subtle finish, almost like what you’d consider a slightly smoother matt.

In contrast to silk is the outrageously shiny (not to mention slippery) gloss finish. I can’t remember the last time we sold any of these. Not an overly suitable finish for leaflet distribution purposes.

Some paper stocks will come with what’s called a coated finish.

Coated paper has been sealed with polymer. Why? It gives it a nice smooth feel and makes for a strong contender when considering your options for a residential door drop.


Uncoated stocks are a popular option with arts, entertainment and events flyers. Furthermore, you’ll see a lot of brochures and pamphlets using this type of paper.

What is it? A natural, untreated paper with a slight texture. As it’s not coated with anything, the inks are absorbed a little deeper, making for some gorgeous rich and deep tones.


Although all of the paper stocks we use here at Clearcut Derby are certified sustainable, they’re not all recycled.

A recycled stock doubles up your dedication to the planet using the most environmentally friendly option currently available. As with the uncoated stock, recycled offers texture, a more natural feel and, again, deeper tones due to the ink soaking in a lot easier.

Fancy Finishes:
In addition to the above, more commonly used options are a set of luxury or fancy finishes.

Matt, gloss or soft touch lamination, as well as metallic foil, would all be included here. These bad boys are usually reserved for big budgets that want to make an impeccable first impression.

Generally, these aren’t used for residential leaflet distribution campaigns. More so at events or as direct mail.

The thickness of the paper (gsm)

Super important to get this one right, especially if you intend on your leaflets being posted through people’s front doors.

The lower the gsm, the thinner the paper and (usually) the lower the cost. But, conversely, the higher the gsm, the thicker the paper and again, usually, this will increase the price of your flyers.

130gsm – 150gsm
Budget stocks that keep the cost of your flyers or leaflets down. Note; These stocks are not suitable for residential distribution due to being too thin. A large number will get crumpled in the letter boxes.

The absolute minimum requirement for door drops. The 170gsm stock is sturdy enough to go through most letterboxes without costing the earth. However, a small amount will sometimes still get slightly squished.

250gsm – 350gsm
The entry-level to a more premium look and feel. 250gsm is the perfect candidate for door drops. Bold, noticeable and sturdy enough to easily go through any letterbox.

La crème de la crème. This stock is what you’d usually use for a business card. However, when used for flyers, you get a premium, weighty offering that demands attention.

The 450gsm option is popular with smaller A6 flyers, giving it the look and feel of a postcard rather than a flyer.

Ideal for wowing viewers in their homes, at a conference, networking meeting or a show.

Top 3 best paper stocks for printing leaflets

So, what paper is best for printing leaflets? As mentioned, this will depend on how you plan on getting them in front of your audience. Generally speaking, most of the time, they are for residential distribution.

With that in mind, the top three options are:

  1. 250gsm Silk
  2. 170gsm Silk
  3. 350gsm Silk

A strong runner-up would be the 450gsm silk stock. Over the last couple of years, more and more campaigns have been opting for the best of the best.

The above versatile stocks are all firm favourites here in Derby and Burton. Our clients rarely choose to print on anything else.

What paper is best for printing leaflets – Conclusion

Always remember the intended use of your flyers or leaflets, and choose the right stock accordingly.

The cheapest option is rarely the best option; however, the budget stocks are a good option if you’re, well, on a budget.

Whenever possible, switch it up to the 170gsm stock as a minimum and go higher if the budget allows. First impressions are everything!

mike hindle emoji

Thanks for reading!

Mike Hindle – Founder & Owner
Clearcut Derby

High-impact leaflet distribution campaigns in Derby, Derbyshire, Burton-on-Trent & Staffordshire.