How Much Does a Cubic Foot of Dirt Weigh? – Weight of Soil Per Cubic Foot!

Just as with more extensive volume measurements, like a cubic yard, understanding the weight of a cubic foot of dirt is critical to many projects, from landscaping to construction. This article will delve into the details of the cubic foot as a unit of measurement, the various types of dirt, and the factors that influence the weight of a cubic foot of dirt.

What is Soil?

Soil represents complex mixtures of minerals, air, water, organic matter, and organisms decaying the remains of once-living things. Soil is regularly ordered into two fundamental sorts: fill soil and dirt. Fill soil is the soil underneath the dirt and, as a rule, has a low measure of natural material, consisting of rockier material.

soil in hands

Dirt is the exceptionally top layer of soil on the world’s surface. Mostly, this layer is around 4 to 12 inches deep from the surface and comprises supplements and natural matter. Top-notch dirt regularly contains loads of carbon, nitrogen, and other accommodating supplements that straightforwardly add to more readily plant development.

Before exploring the weight of dirt, let’s define a cubic foot. The cubic foot is a unit of volume commonly used in the United States and other countries that do not widely use the metric system. One cubic foot is equivalent to the volume of a cube with sides that measure one foot on each edge. In other terms, it equals 1/27th of a cubic yard or approximately 7.48 gallons.

What is the difference between soil and dirt?

The main difference between soil and dirt is that soil is alive with living organisms, while dirt implies rocky, silty, and void parts without beneficial nutrients and microbes. Therefore, dirt is an entirely lifeless part of the soil. Usually, dirt and soil in day-to-day communication represent the same term.

Dirt is the best soil to use for planting and cultivating. The expanded measure of natural matter and supplements gives more oxygen to the plants, working with sound roots and added development. Due to the expanded measurement of biological significance, dirt tends to separate because of the breakdown of air pockets, so it is appropriate for the exceptionally top layer of arranging instead of being utilized as a supporting layer under strong constructions and finishing.

For example, manures and fertilizer can be added to your dirt to expand the number of supplements and oxygen. Dirt can even be changed over into garden soil. With enough treatment, the soil and manure increase; however, the interaction can require months.

Notwithstanding how you manage it, dirt ought to consistently be set on top of filled soil whenever it has been set, particularly assuming you need your vegetation to thrive.

Let us see the Weight of Soil Per Cubic Foot:

How Much Does a Cubic Foot of Dirt Weigh?

A cubic foot of dirt (soil) weighs 76 to 130 pounds. Dry dirt weighs 76 pounds per cubic foot, while moist dirt weighs 78 pounds per cubic foot. Dry peat weighs 25 to 75 pounds, while topsoil weighs 75-100 pounds per cubic foot. Gravel, rocky soil, and clay can reach up to 130 pounds.

See Weight of Soil Per Cubic Foot Table:

Soil TypeWeight per Cubic Foot (lbs)
Clayey Sand95-110
Sandy Loam85-105
Silty Clay100-120
Rocky Soil110-130

When it comes to construction, gardening, or engineering projects, understanding the weight of soil is crucial. Unfortunately, the weight of soil is often measured in pounds per cubic foot (lbs/ft³). Although it can vary depending on the type and composition of the sophist’s art, we will explore different types of soil and their corresponding weights per cubic foot. By gaining insight into these values, you will be better equipped to plan and execute your projects efficiently.

  1. Clay (100-120 lbs/ft³): Clay soil is known for its fine particles and high water retention capacity. It typically weighs between 100 and 120 pounds per cubic foot. Due to its compact nature, clay can be heavier than other soil types. Its weight can vary within this range based on moisture content and compaction.
  2. Silt (95-110 lbs/ft³): Silt soil consists of fine particles with moderate water retention ability. It generally weighs between 95 and 110 pounds per cubic foot. Silt soils are smoother and have plastic than clay, resulting in a slightly lighter weight range.
  3. Sand (90-110 lbs/ft³): Sand soil comprises larger particles with low water retention capacity. It typically weighs between 90 and 110 pounds per cubic foot, but the weight can vary depending on the size and shape of the particles and the presence of moisture.
  4. Loam (95-115 lbs/ft³): Loam soil is a balanced mixture of sand, silt, and clay, offering good drainage and fertility. It generally weighs between 95 and 115 pounds per cubic foot. Due to its diverse composition, the weight range for loam soil falls within the average range.
  5. Topsoil (75-100 lbs/ft³): Topsoil is the uppermost layer of soil and is crucial for plant growth. It typically weighs between 75 and 100 pounds per cubic however, topsoil soil contains organic matter, minerals, and microorganisms, resulting in a relatively lighter weight range.
  6. Gravel (100-130 lbs/ft³): Gravel soil consists of larger particles and is often used in construction and landscaping projects. It usually weighs between 100 and 130 pounds per cubic however, gravel’s weight can vary depending on the size and shape of the stones.
  7. Peat (25-75 lbs/ft³): Peat soil is composed of decomposed organic matter and is commonly found in wetlands. It typically weighs between 25 and 75 pounds per cubic foot. Peat is known for its lightweight nature, making it useful for soil amendment and gardens.
  8. Chalk (65-85 lbs/ft³): Chalk soil contains calcium carbonate and is often alkaline. It generally weighs between 65 and 85 pounds per cubic foot. Due to its porous structure, chalk soil tends to be lighter.
  9. Clayey Sand (95-110 lbs/ft³): Clayey sand soil is a mixture of sand and clay particles. It typically weighs between 95 and 110 pounds per cubic foot. The weight range of clayey sand falls within the average range, influenced by the balance between sand and clay content.
  10. Sandy Loam (85-105 lbs/ft³): Sandy loam is splendid in sand and loam, offering good drainage and water retention capabilities. It generally weighs between 85 and 105 pounds per cubic foot. The weight range for sandy loam falls within the average range due to the balance between sand and loam components.
  11. Silty Clay (100-120 lbs/ft³): Silty clay soil consists of fine particles with more silt than clay. It typically weighs between 100 and 120 pounds per cubic foot. The weight range of silty clay is influenced by the presence of silt and clay, affecting its compactness and density.
  12. Rocky Soil (110-130 lbs/ft³): Rocky soil is characterized by rocks and stones. It generally weighs between 110 and 130 pounds per cubic however, The weight of rocky soil can vary depending on the size and density of the rocks.

Understanding the weight per cubic foot of different soil types is essential for various projects. By considering the weight range of specific soil types, you can make informed decisions regarding construction, gardening, or engineering. Remember that these weight ranges are approximate and may vary based on moisture content, compaction, and specific local conditions. Always consult experts or conduct tests to obtain precise weight measurements for your soil requirements.

In light of my examination of gardening soil, every quart weighs around 0.870 pounds; subsequently, 10 pounds implies generally 11.40 quarts. Ten quarts approach 9.5 Ltrs. Thus, there are about 24 and 0.75(¾) dry quarts in 1 cubic foot. Twenty dry quarts bundled with gardening Sarel is around 0.75(¾) of 1 cubic foot.

The range of cubic feet of soil can be from 110 pounds to 74 pounds, contingent upon the sort of soil wet is.

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Types of Dirt and Their Weights

“Dirt” is a general term often used to refer to soil, which can consist of various materials, including minerals (sand, silt, and clay), organic material, water, and air. These components can vary considerably, which means the weight of a cubic foot of dirt can also vary significantly.

1. Topsoil

Topsoil is the top layer of soil and is typically rich in organic matter and nutrients, making it ideal for planting. When dry, topsoil can weigh about 75 to 100 pounds per cubic foot. However, it can be somewhat lighter if it’s moist or contains much organic material.

2. The ill Dirt

Fill-in, or subsoil, is located beneath the topsoil layer. It’s often used in construction to create a stable base for buildings or to fill depressions in the landscape. Fill dirt usually contains less organic material and might have more clay, sand, or silt. It typically website more than topsoil, about 80 to 85 pounds per cubic foot when dry.

3. Clay

Clay is a type of soil known for its small particle size and high water-holding capacity. These characteristics make it denser and heavier than other types of soil. A cubic foot of dry clay can weigh about 100 to 110 pounds, but when saturated with water, it can weigh up to 140 pounds or more.

4. Sand

Sand has the largest particle size of all soil types. While its large particles create a lot of air space and make it less dense, its weight can still add up due to the mine particles’ density. Dry sand weighs approximately 100 pounds per cubic foot, and wet sand can weigh up to 120 pounds or more.

Factors Influencing the Weight of a Cubic Foot of Dirt

1. Moisture Content

The moisture content of the soil is one of the most significant factors influencing its weight. Water adds substantial weight; one gallon of water alone weighs approximately 8.34 pounds. Therefore, soil with high water content weighs considerably more than dry soil.

2. Organic Material Content

The amount of organic material present in the soil also impacts its weight. Organic material typically weighs less than mineral particles, so soil with a high proportion of organic matter will generally weigh less than soil with lower organic content.

3. Soil Compaction

Compaction refers to how tightly the soil particles are packed together. Highly compacted soil has less air space and weighs more than loosely packed soil. Different soil types have different compaction rates; for instance, clay soils compact much more than sandy or silty soils.

4. Particle Size and Type

The size and type of the soil particles also contribute to the soil’s weight. Soils with smaller particles, such as clay, are more tightly packed and thus heavier. In contrast, soils with larger particles, like sand or silt, tend to be lighter.


How much does a cubic yard of dirt weigh?

The weight of a cubic yard of dirt can vary depending on the type of dirt and its moisture content. On average, a cubic yard of topsoil or dry dirt can weigh between 2,000 and 2,700 pounds (907 to 1,225 kilograms). However, it can weigh significantly more if the dirt is wet or contains more moisture. Therefore, it’s always best to consult with a local supplier or check the specific weight specifications for the type of dirt you are referring to, as different types of dirt can have different weights.

How much does a yard of gravel weigh?

A cubic yard of gravel weighs between 2,400 and 3,400 lbs. Companies usually calculate that one cubic yard of gravel weighs around 3000 lbs (100-square-foot area with 3 inches of gravel) or 1.5 short tons. However, Dr gravel weighs 2800 pounds, while wet gravel weighs 3400 pounds per cubic yard.

How much do 20 yards of dirt weigh?

Twenty yards of dirt weighs around 440,000 pounds. A cubic yard of dirt weighs from 2000 to 3000 pounds, while dry dirt weighs 2200 pounds. Dirt weight increases depending on the degree of moisture in the soil. However, sometimes gravel, sand, and stone in the dirt can drastically increase its weight.

The gauge depends on the cubic yard computation. One cubic foot of dirt weighs around 40 pounds. The specific weight will depend on different conditions. Some variables influencing weight include dampness content and any little flotsam and jetsam found in the dirt. Dirt contains less residue than filled soil, so the weight is more reliable overall.

Because of the extreme weight that a cubic yard presents, you are, in every case, suitable depending on an organization to convey the soil to your property.

Measure the Weight of the Soil

The weight of the soil can be measured using various methods, depending on the scale and precision required. Here are some standard techniques:

  1. Balance Scale: A balance scale is commonly used to measure the weight of soil samples in a laboratory setting. It consists of a beam, a fulcrum, and two pans. The soil sample is placed on one pan, and known weights are added to the other pan until the balance is achieved.
  2. Platform Scale: A platform scale or weighing scale can be used for larger quantities of soil. The soil is placed on the scale platform, and the weight is measured electronically or mechanically.
  3. Field Density Test: In construction and geotechnical engineering, the weight of soil in the field can be determined using the field density test. This test involves taking a known soil volume from a specific location and measuring its weight. The weight is then used to calculate the soil’s density.
  4. Cone Penetrometer: A cone penetrometer, also known as a cone penetrometer test (CPT), is a device used to measure the soil’s resistance to penetration. The device is pushed into the soil, and the resistance is measured. The soil’s weight can be estimated by analyzing the resistance data.
  5. Water Displacement: This method is often used for smaller soil samples in a laboratory. A container is filled with water, and the empty weight of the container is measured. Then, the soil sample is submerged in the water, and the increase in weight is measured. The weight difference represents the weight of the soil.


In conclusion, the weight of a cubic foot of dirt can vary significantly, generally ranging from 75 to 130 pounds, depending on the soil type and factors like moisture content, organic matter content, and compaction. Understanding this range and the factors influencing it is crucial for many applications, from gardening to construction projects. When in doubt, it’s always best to consult with a local soil expert or supplier to get the most accurate weight for your specific type of dirt.


Igor Milosevic
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