It can be frustrating when you need to convert metric units in your head but don’t have a converter handy. In this article, we’ll provide you with some tips and tricks for converting metric units in your head quickly and easily.

What are Metric Units?


There are two main types of metric units: metric units and standard units. Metric units are based on the dimensions of a meter, a kilogram, and a second. Standard units are based on the English system of measurements, which uses inches, pounds, and feet as the base units. In order to convert between metric and standard units, you need to know what each unit is based on.

To convert from meters to inches, multiply by 10^3 (3 meters x 10^3 = 300 inches). To convert from meters to pounds, multiply by 0.45 (3 meters x 0.45 = 1 pound). To convert from meters to feet, multiply by 3 (3 meters x 3 = 9 feet).

There are also some simple conversion formulas you can use in your head: kilometers to miles (1 kilometer = 1,000 meters), liters to gallons (1 liter = 1/4 gallon), Celsius to Fahrenheit (1 Celsius = 0.8 Fahrenheit), and watt hours to joules (1-watt hour = 3 joules).

Converting Between Metric Units


One of the more common things people need to do when converting between metric units is to remember how many milliliters are in a liter. Converting between liters and milliliters can be tricky, but it’s not too difficult with a little practice. Here are some tips for converting between liters and milliliters:

  • To convert from liters to milliliters, divide the number of liters by 1000.
  • To convert from milliliters to liters, multiply the number of milliliters by 1000.

Tips for Faster Conversion

There’s no need to break out the calculator every time you need to convert metric units! Here are a few tips to help you converting metric units in your head more quickly:

  1. Make a mental note of the metric unit prefixes (i.e., kilo, hecto, deca). These prefixes are always used with metric units, so they’ll help you keep track of which unit you’re converting to and from.
  2. Use pictures or visual aids whenever possible when converting metric units. For example, imagine measuring a yardstick in centimeters and then converting that number to inches. Rather than trying to remember all of the prefixes for centimeters (in, centi, deka, etc.), you can simply think of a picture of a yardstick and use that as a visual aide.
  3. Practice converting metric units until you can do it in your head without any help! Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be able to convert any metric unit with relative ease.


If you’re like most people, you probably don’t have to think about converting between metric and U.S. units very often. But if you work with or travel to other countries a lot, or if you need to communicate with scientists or engineers who use different measurements, it can be helpful to know how to do it in your head.

In this article, we’ll give you a few tips on how to convert units quickly and easily. So whether you’re at home or away from your regular resources, these tips will help make the process easier and more efficient for you.