Before you can find the ring of your dreams online or in-store, you’ll need to know what size to purchase. Ring size can be a difficult number to calculate, and retailers use competing sizing systems and units to measure your finger. So how can you find the right ring size for you?
In this article, we will discuss:
- What is ring size and why is it important?
- How to measure your ring size at home and online
- 6 things you should know to find the proper ring size for you.
Understanding ring size
What is ring size and how is it measured?
Ring size measures the internal circumference and diameter of a particular piece of jewelry.
To understand what size suits you best, you should measure your finger to see which size correlates to your measurements. Most regions have their own form of sizing designed to make shopping easier for buyers.
For instance, in North America, ring sizes are numbered, generally ranging from size 4 all the way to size 15. In the United Kingdom, Australia, and Ireland, ring sizes are alphabetical with half sizes marked as numerics. Sizes are more complex in Japan, China, India, and South America, as their numeric sizes do not directly correlate to circumference or diameter.
Some countries are a bit easier to understand. In Germany and France, sizes correlate to your ring’s internal circumference, so generally, a size 30 is 30mm. Or, if you buy a ring in Spain, Switzerland, Italy, or the Netherlands, your ring size is the ring’s ISO measurement minus 40mm. So, if the internal circumference of your ring is 45mm, your ring size is a 5.
Why is an accurate ring size so important?
Having accurate measurements for your ring size is crucial to a proper fit. First, having the right size ring avoids disappointment for you or your intended giftee. It’s horrible to have the excitement of a new purchase ruined by realizing you ordered the wrong size!🤣
Next, certain pieces are difficult to resize. When a ring is resized, a jeweler removes metal from the band and reshapes it. This means the band never fits quite the way it did before. In fact, styles like channel set bands, eternity bands, and others are near impossible to resize, as changing the shape of the band will affect the diamonds set within it.
Additionally, if you need to increase the size of your ring, it can be pricey. Increasing band size requires adding more precious metal, and that extra millimeter or two of platinum may cost you!
Finally, having the correct size for your ring prevents damage to your piece. When a ring is too large, it spins around your finger and can be scratched or lose diamonds. A ring that is too small can cause damage to your finger, cutting off circulation and inflicting unnecessary pain. The right size ring is important not only for the long term care of your ring but also for your own health!
How to measure ring size: 8 options (with comparison chart)
So how can you measure your ring size at home?
There are multiple tools and processes that you can use to find your ring size! Plus, measuring ring size for women is the same as measuring ring size for men, so everyone can use these processes to find their right size.
Option #1: Use a soft tape measure
An easy, affordable way to measure your ring size is with a soft tape measure. To find your ring size with a tape measure, simply wrap the tape around the base of your finger and record your measurement.
Most soft tape measures can tell you your size in inches and centimeters, so you’ll have to convert these numbers to millimeters for accurate sizing. ⚠️Additionally, if the band of your soft tape measure is too wide, it may cause an inaccurate measurement, as the band may not be properly fitted to your finger.
Option #2: Use a string
If you’d rather measure your ring size with items you have at home, try the string method!
How to measure your ring size with string:
- Find floss, yarn, or other string you have at home and cut a piece about 6 inches long.
- Wrap the string around your ring finger, and try to wrap it to a comfortable fit you would like from your future ring.
- Cut the string where both ends meet or use a marker to denote the meeting point.
- Place your measured string up against a ruler to find your size and compare to a ring size chart online. Or, you can use a printed ring sizing chart and lay the string around each size to find your fit.
This method is great for finding your ring size quickly and cheaply, but there are some drawbacks. For instance, string can stretch and flex, causing inaccurate measurements. This method also does not take into account the need to fit a ring over your knuckle, so it may not be an accurate measurement for anyone with larger knuckles.
Option #3: Use a strip of paper
Another easy measurement tool is a strip of paper. Similar to the string method, you can measure your ring size with items in your home. In fact, the steps are the same, and the only thing that changes is the material. Just find a piece of notebook or copy paper and you’re ready to start!
This is a great alternative if you can’t find a piece of string at home, and it can do in a pinch. 💭However, depending on how thick you make your strip, you can face similar inaccuracies. While paper doesn’t stretch, it still fits your finger much differently than an actual ring!
Option #4: Online ring sizer
Did you know you can measure your ring size online?
Using an online ring sizer is a great way to get a more accurate measurement of a ring you already own. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how to use a typical online ring sizer:
- Find an online ring sizer that you trust
- Use a ruler or credit card to calibrate the diagram for your computer screen
- Place your ring over the circles provided until you find one that matches
While this method is accurate, it requires the user to already own a ring to compare sizes. These online sizers can’t measure your finger for you, but you can use the string or paper strip methods and then use the online sizer to find your ring size.
Plenty of websites offer online ring sizers, with retailers like James Allen providing multiple ways to find your measurement or convert one you’ve already taken to an accurate ring size.
Option #5: Printable ring sizer
A printable ring sizer can also help you find your ring size. The process is very similar to the paper strip method.
Printable sizers will have different ways to find your ring size calculation, but the premise is the same for all of them. Simply print out the sizer, wrap it around your finger, and look at the number where the two ends meet. Then, follow any subsequent instructions to find your ring size.
Printable ring sizers are a great way to get an accurate size for a particular retailer, but they may not give you a universal understanding of your measurement. Plus, since not everyone has the same printer, the sizers may come out different for each person, meaning you have to be very careful to print your sizer to the intended dimensions.
Option #6: Plastic ring sizer belt
Simple and easy for anyone to use, the plastic ring sizer belt is great for anyone with limited resources.
To measure your ring size, slip the plastic belt over your finger and pull the end to adjust the belt to the base of your finger. Once you’ve adjusted it, you should find the corresponding ring size on the outside of the belt where the two ends meet.
Option #7: Request a ring sizer from a jeweler
Jewelers often have free or cheap ring sizers for clients to use. You’ll just have to get in touch with your jeweler, see if they have free sizers available. There may be a tiny cost associated with smaller jewelers, but it’s worth knowing your actual ring size!
Option #8: Use a ring sizer set
You can always purchase a professional ring sizer set online to get an accurate measurement. A bit more expensive than other options, these metal ring sizers are an investment in your future jewelry needs.
Ring sizers consist of metal rings on a loop, with corresponding sizes emblazoned on each test ring. ✅However, they make the measuring process easy: try a few on, find your perfect size, and shop to your heart’s content!
How to measure ring size: comparison chart of methods
Still unsure which ring sizing method is right for you? Compare them all below:
Ring Sizing Method Comparing Chart
|Soft Tape Measure||$$||5||6||5|
|String||FREE or $||6||7||6|
|Paper||FREE or $||5||6||7|
|Online Ring Sizer||FREE or $||7||7||4|
|Printable Ring Sizer||FREE or $||7||8||6|
|Ring Sizer Belt||$$||8||7||6|
|Request Sizer from Jeweler||FREE or $||9||5||7|
|Ring Sizer Set||$$$||9||4||2|
6 things you should know regarding how to measure ring size
Here are 6 things to keep in mind while taking your measurements:
Your finger’s characteristics
There are two main types of finger shape, and they require different sizing methods. First, fingers with large knuckles that are slimmer everywhere else require the wearer to find a ring size that will fit over his or her knuckle. As a result, the ring will be too large for the base of the finger. To prevent spinning or movement, consider adding ring sizing beads that create a tighter fit and prevent slippage.
The other common finger shape is “tapered”, where the finger gradually gets larger as it reaches the palm. For this type of finger, most wearers need a snug fitting ring, as the band will slip upward and fall off if it is too large. Larger bands will also keep rings in place more efficiently.
The type of ring and band width
The width of your band makes a difference in fit. A wider band fits tighter, as there is more metal to wrap around your finger. If you’re planning on getting a wider ring, consider sizing up for comfort. In contrast, thinner bands tend to fit looser, and so sizing down may be wise if you’re worried about it falling off.
Temperature and environment
Your fingers can change size with the seasons, activity level, and your environment! During hotter months, your fingers will swell, and your usual jewelry may not even fit you at this time. A similar effect occurs when your body temperature rises, such as during exercise or strenuous activity.🏌🏻♀️
In contrast, your finger size may shrink during colder months, and certain activities—like swimming in a pool—can lower your body temperature to a point that your finger is smaller than usual. To prevent this, measure your finger at room temperature, and avoid any strenuous activity beforehand. In fact, try to stick to the middle of the day as your measuring time, as your fingers may even swell in the morning after you wake up.
If you’ve eaten a juicy burger or a loaded burrito recently, you’ll want to wait a day or two before measuring your ring size. That’s right: what you eat can affect the size of your finger!😁
Too much sodium causes your fingers to swell, and processed foods are loaded with the preservative. For accurate sizing, wait until these foods have passed through your system. Drink plenty of water and eat healthy before finding your size.
Measure twice, buy once
It’s important to measure your finger more than once to get an accurate understanding of your actual ring size. Take a few days to measure your finger at different times in a controlled environment. Pick certain times of the day, try to keep the temperature of the room consistent, and write down your measurements each time.
Having the right ring size will save you money, and it’s also helpful if you need any work done to your piece. You’ll save cost on resizing and be able to put that money toward sizing beads or other features that can help you get a more comfortable fit.
Half sizes and in between sizes
What if your typical ring size doesn’t fit? Or what if you’re a 6 ½ but the retailer doesn’t have half sizes? In such situations, it’s always safest to size up rather than size down. If you size down, you may end up paying for extra metal to be added to your ring, which can cost upwards of $100 or more! Don’t forget to ask your trusted jeweler about sizing beads as well, as they may be more suited to fixing your sizing issue.
Don’t forget to find your ring size
Ring size may seem like a complicated number to find, but with a little research you can do it at home!
Once you accurately measure your ring size and identify your proper size via a ring size chart, it’s finally time to buy the ring of your dreams! But what style ring should you pick? Read about these 15 popular ring settings to make an educated decision and find the ring that best suits your personal style.