How Many Stamps Do I Need for a Manila Envelope?

The manila envelope is the gold standard for official communications, thanks to its durability and wide range of sizes. Can you mail a manila envelope? Of course, you can.

Thanks to their durability, these envelopes have become a gold standard for sending important documents (letters, bills, greeting cards, etc.) because they can withstand even harsh conditions without sacrificing readability on either side. Items that need extra protection can be sent in bubble-lined, waterproof, or padded paper envelopes.

The word “manila” comes from Manila hemp. Locally known as “abacá” (a species of banana native to the Philippines) and is used for making manila folders, banknotes, decorative papers, tea bags, and of course, manila envelopes.

Want to know how many stamps for a manila envelope are needed? It depends on three factors:

  1. size,
  2. weight,
  3. destination.

How many stamps does a manila envelope need at USPS in 2022?

To be eligible for “First-Class Mail” letter rates, an envelope  must meet specific dimensions:

  1. from 3.5 inches by 5 inches,
  2. up to 6 1/8 inches by 11 1/2 inches.

If your manila envelopes fall within these dimensions and weigh less than 1 oz you require only one Forever stamp or one regular stamp that costs $ 0.60. For each additional ounce (max. 3.5. ounces) you will be charged $0.24.

Larger manila envelopes that exceed the size as mentioned above can be classified as “flats”—the cost for sending a single-piece flat starts at $ 1.20. Thus, you will need to use two Forever stamps to send a single-piece flat.

Furthermore, USPS warns to use only rectangular envelopes; otherwise, additional charges may apply.

Why? Because fancy size envelopes are classified as “non-machinable” (they can get stuck in mail sorting machines). A post office worker has to sort them manually, and USPS will gladly charge you an extra $ 0.99 (see here).

You can find a more detailed cost evaluation of sending various kinds of letters in this article, or you can use USPS online calculator here.

Can I mail a manila envelope with one stamp?

Yes and no.

If the manila envelope matches appropriate dimensions, say 5 by 7 or 6 by 9 inches, and its weight is less than 1 oz, using 1 Forever stamp will be enough.

For each additional ounce (max. 3.5. oz) you will have to open the wallet and attach additional postage ($0.24. for each ounce). The easiest option to do that is to add an extra Forever stamp. A cheaper solution would be to buy different stamps that cost less.

How many stamps do I need for a 9×12 manila envelope?

All 9×12 envelopes are qualified as large, including manila envelopes.

At current rates, you will have to use 2 Forever stamps to cover the postage of a 1 oz 9×12 envelope.  For each extra ounce, you will be charged $0.24 (up to 3.5 oz).

To send1 oz  9×12 manila envelope outside the U.S., use 2 Global Forever stamps (from $ 1.40 each, depending on the country of destination).

Conclusions about using stamps on manila envelopes

The number of stamps you need to send a manila envelope depends on its dimensions and weight.

Smaller, lightweight envelopes (up to 1 oz) require only 1 Forever Stamp, while larger ones may need multiple forever or additional ounce stamps.

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