While some workplaces pride themselves on being paperless, for many of us, that’s simply not an option—we need to photocopy or print out all manner of materials, from handouts and presentations to tickets and boarding cards. Bulk-buying multipacks makes sense, but not all A4 paper is equal. Here’s what to look for when ordering a stack.

Uncoated and Multipurpose Supply

This uncoated variety has no surface glare, which makes it ideal for prints with a lot of text. The lack of coating makes it the most porous, and good for smudge-free lettering. Xerox

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While all A4 paper has the same dimensions in terms of height and width, thickness and weight vary, depending on the make and price. Gsm stands for grams per square metre—the higher the gsm, the thicker the paper. Papers weighing below 80gsm are lightweight, but, if heavily used in printers, can be the source of paper jams. If you’re going to be doing intensive printing, it’s best to stick to paper of 80gsm.

Environmentally Conscious

Thinner and lighter than some other options, but still offering real whiteness, this pack is produced with sustainability in mind, using less energy, water and chemicals, and producing less waste. AmazonBasics

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Paper also varies in terms of coating, from uncoated to matte and gloss. Uncoated is good for printing materials with a lot of text, matte looks slightly more upmarket and polished, while gloss is good for presentations and professional marketing materials that use full color images.

Non-Smear Matte Finish

This slightly thicker, heavier, higher-end choice comes with a matte finish, making it smoother than an uncoated sheet, but without being glossy or having glare. Pen ink will not smudge on it either. Canon

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Sustainability is key for many customers these days, and paper that is 100% or predominantly recycled is popular. However, be sure to check the colour and shade of the paper before you buy—some recycled papers are more of a parchment colour than the bright white which may be demanded for presentations or professional purposes.