How Much Does a Cubic Yard of Topsoil Weigh? – Cargister

Knowing the weight of a cubic yard of topsoil is essential before ordering for landscaping projects. This helps with budgeting for supplies and transport. On average, topsoil weighs between 2200-2900 pounds. This depends on moisture content and composition.

uses of topsoil

To get an exact estimate, experts can use laboratory testing. Specialised equipment and sampling techniques are employed. This takes into account moisture, bulk density, and more. The chemical analysis classifies soil according to minerals and chemical makeup. This helps calculate volume reduction/expansion due to compaction. It also helps with contamination concerns when working with large volumes. Knowing the weight enables you to plan accordingly.

What is a Cubic Yard?

A cubic yard is a measurement of volume. It is a cube with the same length, width, and height. It is used to measure large amounts of material, like topsoil.

In this article, we will learn about cubic yards. We’ll also find out how much a cubic yard of topsoil weighs.


Cubic yards are a unit of volume. They are equal to the space inside a cube,,,, with each side being one yard long – which is 3 feet. That’s 27 cubic feet, 764.5 gallons, or 202.8 liters.

Cubic yards are used to measure topsoil and bulk material. It comes in pre-bagged sizes like half, quarter, and eight cubic feet. That’s great for any landscape project – from small flower gardens to huge hills.

The weight of a cubic yard varies depending on the material. For instance, sand is lighter than topsoil or mulch. Generally, one cubic yard of topsoil weighs between 1,200 and 1,700 pounds (544 to 771 kilograms).


A cubic yard is a unit of measurement for volume. It’s equal to 27 cubic feet, or 46,656 cubic inches. It can measure the amount of space an object takes up or the capacity of a container. It can also be used as an estimate for the size of a room. Or when combined with other measurements, such as square feet or square inches, to measure the size of an area.

Topsoil usually weighs between 2,200 and 2,900 pounds per cubic yard. This depends on factors like how wet it is or what particles make up the soil. There are different types of topsoil, depending on where it’s sourced from and its composition. For example, surface soil, subsoil,,, and garden topsoil. So, it’s essential to know the type of topsoil you’re buying to estimate its weight per cubic yard.

Factors Affecting Weight

Weighing topsoil is no easy feat! It’s affected by numerous factors, such as moisture content, type of soil, and extra materials like sand or gravel. When measuring a cubic yard of topsoil, these variables must be considered.

Let’s check out the factors that affect topsoil weight and how they can affect your calculations:

Moisture Content

The weight of a cubic yard of topsoil varies. It depends on moisture content and the minerals present. For instance, soil with more silica sand particles may be heavier than soil with silt-size particles.

The angle of the soil’s repose affects its weight too. If it is standing up in a steep pile, it will weigh more.

When topsoil dries out, the bulk density decreases. This is because, as water evaporates from between the grains, particle cohesion is lost. This means that wetter soils are heavier than drier ones.

Soil Compaction

A cubic yard of topsoil weight is impacted by soil compaction. Compacted soil has more mass for the same volume, which can increase its weight by up to 50%! Activities, such as foot traffic or machinery use, can lead to compaction. Different types of soil compress differently,,,, and moisture affects contraction too. Thus, it’s essential to understand the amount of condensation and moisture before estimating the weight of the earth.

To stabilize the soil, it’s recommended to limit water intake in heavily trafficked areas:

  • Limit foot traffic in heavily trafficked areas.
  • Be mindful of machinery use.
  • Understand different types of soil and how they compress.
  • Monitor moisture levels.

Type of Soil

The soil type in your garden can heavily influence the growth of your plants. Different soils have different amounts of drainage, water-holding capacity, and nutrition.

  • Loam has a balance of clay, sand, and organic matter. It allows air to move, nutrients to stay, and good drainage.
  • Clay soils are dense and compacted, but they hold moisture well.
  • Sandy soils are loose and light, with good drainage but little nutrition.

Fertilizers or compost should be added to your soil to give plants the necessary nutrients. Organic matter will help plants get and store moisture, plus provide them with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K). Organic matter also aids microorganisms that help plants grow. If fertilizer isn’t balanced, too much can be harmful. It could create toxicity in the soil or cause leaching, which wastes nutrients and harms aquatic wildlife.

Average Weight of a Cubic Yard of Topsoil

A cubic yard of topsoil is a volume measurement. Generally, it weighs between 1,200 and 1,700 pounds. It depends on the soil type. Dense and clay-rich soils are heavier. Loam-based soils are usually lighter at around 1,200 pounds. One cubic yard usually covers 100 square feet with 3 inches of depth. To measure, multiply the total area by the desired depth.

Different types of topsoil have different weights and densities. They may contain silt, clay, peat,,,, or compost. Topsoil usually has some moisture content. This can affect the weight, usually not more than 15%.


To sum up, it’s hard to determine the exact weight of a cubic yard of topsoil without knowing what type it is and how much water it contains. Generally, a cubic yard of topsoil weigh between 1,800 and 2,000 lbs.


This might be different if additives have been added or taken away. It’s always a good idea to know a rough estimate of how much it weighs before buying and handling it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a cubic yard of topsoil weigh?

A cubic yard of topsoil typically weighs between 2,000 and 2,700 pounds.

Is a cubic yard of topsoil considered heavy?

Yes, a cubic yard of topsoil is considered a heavy load.

Is it difficult to move a cubic yard of topsoil?

Yes, it can be not easy to move a cubic yard of topsoil. Using a wheelbarrow or a garden cart to move the topsoil is best.