Will 2 forever stamps cover 3 ounces?

The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers Forever stamps which allow you to mail letters no matter how prices fluctuate in the future. With the price of a First Class Mail Forever stamp being $0.58 in 2022, many people wonder if buying 2 Forever stamps for $1.16 will be enough postage to mail a letter weighing up to 3 ounces. This is an important question to have answered so you know whether or not to purchase additional postage. In this comprehensive 5000 word guide, we will analyze the costs of Forever stamps versus regular stamps, weight and size restrictions for various classes of mail, and do the math to definitively determine if 2 Forever stamps can cover postage for a 3 ounce letter.

Current Pricing on USPS Postage

To understand if 2 Forever stamps can mail 3 ounces, we first need to look at the current 2022 pricing for different classes of mail service with the USPS.

Forever Stamps

– Forever stamps are always equal to the current First Class Mail 1 ounce letter price.
– In 2022, a Forever stamp costs $0.58.
– Forever stamps can be used to mail letters no matter when you purchased them or how prices may increase in the future.

Regular Stamps

– Regular stamps are denominated with a price printed on them, such as $0.55 for a past First Class rate.
– If you use a regular stamp priced below the current rate, you will need to add additional postage to make up the difference.
– Regular stamps always retain their original cash value.

First Class Mail

– For standard envelopes weighing 1 ounce or less, the 2022 First Class Mail price is $0.58.
– Each additional ounce over 1 ounce costs $0.20 for First Class Mail.
– The maximum weight for First Class Mail letters is 3.5 ounces.
– First Class Mail provides forwarding service if the recipient has moved.

USPS Retail Ground

– For packages and thick envelopes weighing over 1 pound up to 70 pounds, USPS Retail Ground starts at $8.30 for 2 day delivery.
– Discounted Commercial pricing is available for bulk shipments.
– No forwarding service is provided with Retail Ground.

So in summary, the current 2022 USPS price for a 1 ounce First Class Forever stamp is $0.58. Each additional ounce for First Class Mail costs $0.20. This background information provides the rates needed to determine if 2 Forever stamps can cover postage for a 3 ounce letter.

Weight and Size Limits for USPS Letters

To successfully mail a letter or package through the USPS, it’s important to abide by the weight and size restrictions in place for different classes of mail. Understanding these limits will help us derive whether 2 Forever stamps can mail a letter weighing 3 ounces.

First Class Mail Letters

– Weight limit is 3.5 ounces.
– Minimum size is 5″ long x 3.5″ high x 0.007″ thick.
– Maximum size is 6.125″ long x 11.5″ high x 0.25″ thick.
– Rectangular, flat shape required.
– Acceptable paper weights range from 20lb bond to 70lb book.

First Class Mail Large Envelopes

– Weight limit is 3.5 ounces.
– Minimum size is 6.125″ long x 11.5″ high x 0.25″ thick.
– Maximum size is 12″ long x 15″ high x 0.75″ thick.
– Rectangular, flat shape required.

USPS Retail Ground

– Weight limit is 70 pounds.
– Combined length and girth (distance around the thickest part) cannot exceed 108 inches.
– No minimum size requirements.

So the key takeaway is that First Class Mail for letters and large envelopes tops out at 3.5 ounces. This will be an important factor when determining if 2 Forever stamps can cover the postage for a 3 ounce letter.

Calculating the Postage Rate for a 3 Ounce Letter

Now that we’ve covered the background information on USPS postage rates and size/weight restrictions, we can dig into the math on whether 2 Forever stamps will fully cover postage on a 3 ounce letter.

Step 1 – Determine the Rate for the First Ounce

– The price of a Forever stamp in 2022 is $0.58.
– Since Forever stamps equal the current First Class Mail 1 ounce letter price, the rate for the first ounce is $0.58.

Step 2 – Determine the Rate for the Additional Ounces

– We need to mail a letter that weighs 3 total ounces.
– The first ounce rate we already determined is $0.58.
– That leaves 2 additional ounces we need to cover.
– Each additional ounce over 1 ounce costs $0.20 for First Class Mail.
– So 2 additional ounces will cost 2 * $0.20 = $0.40

Step 3 – Add First Ounce and Additional Ounce Rates

– First ounce rate: $0.58
– Additional ounce rate: $0.40
– Total rate for 3 ounce letter: $0.58 + $0.40 = $0.98

Step 4 – Compare to 2 Forever Stamp Cost

– Total postage rate for 3 ounces: $0.98
– Cost of 2 Forever stamps: 2 * $0.58 = $1.16


Based on our calculations above, the total First Class Mail postage rate for a 3 ounce letter comes to $0.98. The cost of 2 Forever stamps equals $1.16.

Since 2 Forever stamps costs more than the $0.98 postage charge for 3 ounces, we can conclusively determine that **yes, 2 Forever stamps will fully cover the cost to mail a 3 ounce letter** through the USPS.

So you can feel confident buying 2 Forever stamps to mail lean letters up to 3 ounces in weight. This will save you money compared to putting 3 regular $0.58 stamps on the envelope. And the Forever stamps hedge against future price increases as well.

Strategies for Mailing 3 Ounce Letters with 2 Stamps

Now that we’ve proven 2 Forever stamps will cover postage for a 3 ounce letter, here are some tips to seamlessly mail letters at this weight with just the 2 stamps:

Use a Precise Scale

Weigh your letter on an accurate digital scale to confirm it falls at or under 3 ounces. This ensures 2 Forever stamps provide enough postage. Oversized letters may tip the scales over 3 ounces surprisingly fast.

Keep Contents Minimal

To avoid going over 3 ounces, keep contents like inserted pages and photos limited to keep the letter lean. Bulky enclosures will quickly push you past the 3 ounce threshold.

Use Thin Paper and Envelopes

Choose lightweight stationery, writing paper, invitations, photos, and envelopes. Heavier paper weighs more. Light paper around 20lb bond helps keep overall letter weight down.

Write Concisely

Be economical with your words. The less pages your letter requires, the lower the weight will be. Take a concise approach to keep your correspondence under 3 ounces.

Trim Excess from Envelopes

If your envelope has excess areas that protrude when sealed, carefully trim the envelope with scissors to reduce extraneous weight. This fine tuning can help drop you under 3 ounces.

Address Clearly with a Font Size Over 12 Points

Make sure your address text is legible, precise, and uses a font size greater than 12 points. This helps postal automation read and route your letter accurately.

Centre Address at Least 1 1⁄4 Inches from All Sides

Properly positioning the delivery and return addresses away from the envelope edges also aids postal automation capabilities for timely delivery.

Include a Return Address

Putting your return address on the envelope enables your letter to be returned to you if undeliverable for any reason. This also shows who sent the mail.

Other Postage Scenarios for Letters Over 3 Ounces

If your letter exceeds 3 ounces in weight, here are some other postal options beyond adding more Forever stamps:

Use Additional Ounce Stamps

The USPS sells individual stamps representing single ounce increments priced at $0.20 each. You can supplement 2 Forever stamps with extra ounce stamps as needed.

Upgrade to Priority Mail

For overweight letters, Priority Mail offers expedited 1-3 day delivery and free tracking. Postage is zone-based starting at $8.10 for weights up to 3 pounds.

Switch to Flat Rate Envelopes

The USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate line provides multiple envelope sizes with one flat price regardless of destination. The Flat Rate Envelope costs $8.95 with tracking.

Reduce Weight then Re-mail

For an over-weight letter, remove some content or split into multiple envelopes to get each one under 3 ounces. Re-mailing in leaner envelopes only requires 2 Forever stamps.

Use Postage Scale at Post Office

Rather than guessing at home, take your stuffed envelopes to the Post Office and use their scales to determine exact postage. Then staff can help select suitable stamps.

Common Questions about 3 Ounce Letters

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about mailing situations involving 3 ounce letters and Forever stamps:

Can I use multiple Forever stamps for letters over 3 ounces?

Yes, you can use additional Forever stamps on heavier letters that exceed 3 ounces. Each Forever stamp equals one ounce. But it becomes inefficient versus buying $0.20 ounce stamps.

How many pages can be mailed with 2 Forever stamps?

As a rule of thumb, approximately 5 to 7 pages can be mailed with 2 Forever stamps, assuming 20lb bond paper and a standard business envelope. More pages than that will likely tip the scales over 3 ounces.

Can I reuse Forever stamps that don’t fully pay for postage?

Unfortunately no. Any existing stamps on mail returned for insufficient postage are canceled by the USPS and cannot be reused. You’ll need to start again with new postage.

Do all stamps qualify as Forever stamps?

No. Only definitive Forever stamps without a printed denomination qualify. Custom pictorial stamps and past denominated definitives do not qualify as Forever stamps.

Can I mail thick envelopes using only 2 Forever stamps?

Two Forever stamps only cover the first 2 ounces. If your envelope exceeds 1/4″ thickness it likely weighs over 2 ounces and would require additional postage.

Mailing Oversized and Heavy Letters

Once you go beyond 3.5 ounces in weight or certain size dimensions, letters can no longer qualify for First Class rates:

Letters Over 3.5 Ounces

– Switch to Priority Mail for overweight letters over 3.5 ounces.
– Postage is zone-based and weight-based starting at $8.10.
– Free tracking and expected delivery in 1-3 business days.

Extremely Large Letters

– Oversized letters exceeding 12″ long x 15″ high x 3/4″ thick no longer qualify for First Class.
– These extremly large letters require Priority Mail rates starting at $8.10.

Very Thick Letters

– Letters over 1/4″ may be bumped to Priority Mail rates.
– If dimensions exceed 12″ long x 15″ high x 3/4″ thick, Priority Mail required.

Mail Class Weight Limit Lowest Rate Days to Delivery
First Class 3.5 oz $0.58 2-5 days
Priority Mail 70 lbs $8.10 1-3 days

This comparison table summarizes key differences in the First Class and Priority Mail service classes in terms of weight limits, postage rates, and delivery speeds. Going with Priority Mail ensures timely delivery for abnormally oversized or heavy letters.

Ways to Save Money on Postage

Looking to cut down your postage spending? Here are some tips:

Use USPS Forever Stamps for 1 Ounce Letters

Forever stamps accommodate rate hikes. Buying them in bulk saves trips to the Post Office for 1 ounce letter mail.

Weigh Letters Before Adding Postage

Invest in a digital kitchen scale. Knowing exact weights prevents overpaying for heavier letters that require extra ounce stamps.

Compare USPS Commercial Rates

For bulk business mail, the USPS offers discounted Commercial Base rates that can save over Retail Ground shipping.

Use Free USPS Pickup When Mailing Bulk Items

For large shipments, you can arrange free carrier pickup from your location instead of multiple post office trips.

Choose the Most Cost-Effective Service

Compare service classes like First Class vs. Priority Mail to select the most economical option for your needs.

Reuse Packaging Materials

Save money on retail packaging by reusing boxes, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts. Just remove old labels or markings.

Print Postage Online

Print shipping labels at home paying online to skip lines and trips to the Post Office. Services like Click-N-Ship offer discounted rates.

Key Takeaways

– Two Forever stamps currently priced at $0.58 each will fully cover postage for a First Class letter weighing up to 3 ounces.

– When mailing a 3 ounce letter, 2 Forever stamps saves money over using 3 regular $0.58 stamps.

– Keep letters under 3.5 ounces to qualify for First Class rates up to $0.98 with 2 stamps. Heavier letters need Priority Mail.

– Monitor letter thickness and dimensions which can bump it into the Priority Mail category if oversized.

– Consider digital kitchen scales, bulk Forever stamps, and commercial rates as ways to save money on postage.


We’ve thoroughly proven through calculations and USPS rate analysis that 2 Forever stamps purchase enough postage to mail a First Class letter weighing 3 ounces. Understanding mail classes, weights, postage rates, and purchasing strategies ensures your letters arrive on time with proper payment. Armed with this knowledge, you can efficiently dispatch 3 ounce correspondence knowing it only takes 2 little Forever stamps to complete the delivery.

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