Buying Men's Rings: 3 Things to Consider (Plus Care Tips)

Rings: A great accessory for men and women alike...

Rings are a fun, easy way to switch up your style! Despite the variety of rings available to men, most will stick with just their wedding ring for most of their lives. There’s nothing wrong with doing so, but there’s also nothing wrong with trying something new to invigorate your image.😎 Men’s rings are becoming popular once more, and nowadays guys are even experimenting with the idea of fashion rings.

Today, we’ll dive into men’s rings, specifically:

  • Why men wear rings and how they compare to women’s bands
  • 3 things to consider when shopping for a men’s ring
  • How to determine your ring size for a comfortable fit
  • Tips for cleaning and storing your ring
  • The best places to buy men’s rings
Man Wearing a Ring Laying On the Beach

Understanding the basics of men’s rings

Men and women may choose to wear a band on their fingers for a variety of reasons. As such, it can be helpful to understand the differences between men’s and women’s rings.

Why do men wear rings?

We can divide the common reasons for wearing rings into to categories:

Commitment

Men often wear rings to symbolize relationships. In fact, men’s promise rings are an old tradition that signifies one’s commitment to a partner. You can also opt for a ring that celebrates a birthday, milestone, anniversary, or any other significant moment in your life.

More recently, men’s engagement rings have become fashionable as well, as more men shift the dynamic of wedding-related customs. This has even been supported by celebrities, with names like Ed Sheeran and Michael Bublé popularizing the movement. Arguably the most well-known symbol of commitment is the wedding band, and men’s wedding rings symbolize a promise to walk in happiness, trust, and honor together eternally.🤵🏻

Fashion

A new revitalized trend, men may choose to wear rings simply because they want to. Men’s fashion rings are experiencing a renaissance, and it’s easy to see why. Rings are an understated accessory that can subtly call attention to one’s hands. As such, they’re an excellent conversation starter!

Much like watches, men’s rings are also a great way to share a bit of your life and tastes with the people around you. Men often have fewer opportunities to do so in a professional setting, so rings are a classy yet customizable accessory for any occasion.

Men's Rings Worn to Signify a Commitment

Men’s rings vs. Women’s rings

Men’s and women’s rings function pretty much the same way, but there are stylistic nuances to each that can make them seem rather different.

Size and Aesthetic

Because men typically have larger hands, men’s rings are often broader and thicker than women’s rings. This provides a much more masculine aesthetic with strong lines and angles when compared to the thin, feminine designs of women’s rings.

Additionally, women’s rings offer more styles, including split shank, elongated spiral designs, multi-band layering, and more. These bands are usually wispy and delicate, further increasing their femininity. In contrast, men’s designs are pretty standard, and while you can find some more unique settings they’re typically straightforward with classic and comfortable fits.

Materials and Accents

Women’s rings tend to be much more decorative than men’s bands, and so there are several accents utilized to create unique pieces. Popular options include diamonds, colored gemstones in every imaginable hue, and filigree, milgrain, and other delicate scrollwork that adds to the femininity of the pieces.

That does NOT mean that men’s rings cannot have these accents, but they typically do not. Or, accents are used sparingly on men’s rings, such as a small set of diamonds or colored gemstones that are nowhere near as glitzy as a women’s ring.😜 Or, men’s rings may include scrollwork and other designs for texture, but they’re not usually the tiny, complex work that’s seen on women’s bands.

While women may have more band options overall, men certainly have the upper hand when it comes to metals and other materials! Women typically can choose from platinum, gold, silver, and other commercially crafted metals. You may find titanium or black gold occasionally, but overall you’ll usually find women’s rings in white, rose, and yellow tones.

In contrast, men can choose from traditional metals as well as a host of other materials to personalize their rings. Popular materials for men’s rings include wood, titanium, ceramic, cobalt, Damascus steel, and even meteorite!🪐 These materials often mean men’s rings are more creative and bold, offering so much to look at without any added gemstones or scrollwork.

What to consider when buying rings for men (3 things to think about)

Your ring should be an ideal combination of your personal style and budget, and there are several things to consider when deciding which design is best for you. Here are 3 things to keep in mind when shopping for your own ring:

Style Preferences

Your personality as well as your reasons for wearing a ring are top priorities when searching for your new piece. Think about your typical fashion choices and consider what type of ring would best fit your look.

Do you prefer casual looks that would be best complemented by a classic, understated band? Or, do you tend to dress up and choose formal or flashy accessories, requiring a ring with diamonds, unique metals, or even something completely custom? How you express yourself is a big part of what ring will look best with your style.

Similarly, think about WHY you want to wear a ring and incorporate that into your decision. If you’re looking to make a fashion statement, opt for a lesser-known material or colored gemstones. Or, if you’re signaling your status or looking for a formal occasion ring, diamonds and bright metals may be more your speed.

A Man Hold Two Creative Bands on His Hand

Occasion and Lifestyle

Where and when you will be wearing your ring are also important for choosing the right material. If you work in an office or don’t work with your hands, you can really choose any material, but gold rings are great for men who want a touch of polish without excess.

For the casual wearer, wood and meteorite rings are a fun option for anyone who wants something that will look good with any outfit. In contrast, platinum pieces are pricey, but they’re great for anyone who attends multiple formal events per year.

If you work with your hands or live an active lifestyle, you may want something more durable for your ring. Titanium and tungsten rings are great for men who need a strong metal that won’t scratch when working, lifting, participating in outdoor activities, etc. If you’re worried about ring avulsion, think about whether you should choose a silicone ring for men instead. Or, wear the silicone band whenever you’re working and have a nice ring for every other occasion.

Your Partner’s Ring

Finally, if you’re looking at promise, engagement, or wedding rings, think about whether you’d like your new piece to match your partner’s ring. If her band has diamonds, maybe you’d prefer a flush setting with a few diamonds to complement their aesthetic. Milgrain can also provide a subtle nod to your significant other’s ring.👸🏻

If you don’t want to match exactly, consider opting for the same metal as your partner, such as yellow or white gold to match his or her rings. Rose gold men’s rings are becoming increasingly popular as well, and they may match your partner’s rose gold band perfectly.

Overall, this consideration depends on whether you and your partner even want similar looks or completely different pieces. Never feel pressured to match your significant other!

How to determine size when purchasing rings for men

So what if you don’t know your ring size? Measuring your ring size is similar for both men and women, and the process is relatively simple.  

We’ve actually compiled information on how to measure your finger as well as 8 great online sizing tools you can utilize to determine your ideal ring size. However, there are a few differences you’ll want to keep in mind when measuring ring size for men instead of women.

Due to differing body physiology, rings do fit men a little differently. Much of ring sizing centers around body heat and swelling, and women naturally tend to keep their core temperature stable by drawing blood from their extremities. In contrast, men have a higher muscle ratio that allows them to generate heat, and so their hands are often a few degrees warmer than that of women.

This seems like a minor detail, but body heat and swelling are actually two big factors in how a ring will fit you! We’ll describe the effects of heat below in our tips and tricks.

Tips and tricks for ring sizing

Here are a few suggestions to make your ring sizing experience more accurate:

  • Keep your finger shape in mind. If you have slim fingers with wide knuckles, pay attention to the size necessary to slip the piece over your knuckle. For graduated fingers that get larger near the palm, make sure a ring can slide all the way down and sit comfortably without squeezing your finger at the base.
  • Adjust the size of the ring you buy according to band width. Thinner bands may require you to size down for a reliable fit, whereas wider bands have a broader surface that may require sizing up.
  • Measure your finger at room temperature during the middle of the day for the most accurate sizing. Your finger can change size in hot or cold weather, so a moderate temperature helps maintain your finger’s true size. Additionally, avoid strenuous activity before measuring to prevent swelling!  
  • Skip the salt and processed foods before measuring, as they contain preservatives that can cause your finger to swell. Be sure to drink plenty of water as well for an accurate reading!
  • Measure your finger a few times over the course of a week. Try measuring at the same time each day, that way you have a better idea of your average size rather than one reading that may have been on a day when your finger swelled.
  • If you’re between sizes, size up. It’s much cheaper to size a ring down than add material to size up. You’ll save yourself some money and have a better fitting ring on days where your finger swells.

How to care for men’s rings

So how can you keep your ring looking shiny and new? Let’s look at some cleaning methods and tips for keeping your ring strong and gorgeous.

Basic cleaning method: Gold, silver, platinum, and most metals

For precious metals and other metallic bases used in men’s rings, a simple concoction of warm water and dish soap should do the trick when it comes to cleaning your jewelry. Simply drop your ring into a solution of warm water and dish soap and let it sit for 15-30 minutes.

Once your ring has soaked, use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the inner and outer surfaces of your piece to remove any remaining debris. If you have diamonds in your ring, make sure you brush around the setting to get any stuck food, oils, etc. out from underneath the stones!

Finally, rinse your ring with warm water and dry it with a lint-free cloth. You can clean your ring at home as many times as you’d like, but it’s helpful to bring it to a jeweler for a professional cleaning every 6-12 months.📝

All precious metals should be stored in a lined jewelry pouch or box when not in use. This is especially important for silver and other metals that can oxidize to avoid them turning black. Additionally, storing rings separately prevents scratches and wear over time.

You can also use an ultrasonic cleaner at home if you have one, but be careful! Only certain materials will work with this high-heat or high-intensity product. Read more about using an ultrasonic cleaner here.

Special cleaning methods for unique materials

Most unique materials used in rings can still be cleaned with some version of the process mentioned above. ⚠️However, there are some delicate components that require extra attention when cleaning. Here are a few popular additions to rings and how to clean them properly:

Ceramic

Ceramic is a popular men’s wedding ring material because it is extremely lightweight and incredibly hard. Typically, you can clean ceramic pieces with the same basic process described above. Use non-abrasive cleaners and cloth just in case, but you’ll have a hard time scratching a ceramic ring.

Despite its strength, ceramic is weaker than diamond, and so it’s crucial to store any diamond jewelry separate from your ceramic pieces. If you can, you should also avoid dropping your ceramic ring as hitting the band at the correct angle or with a material that is stronger than ceramic can cause cracks and chipping.

Meteorite

Corrosion and rust are top concerns with meteorite rings due to their high iron content. As such, do not submerge these pieces in water at all.

Redwood Meteorite Ring By Jewelry by Johan
Image: Jewelry by Johan

In fact, keep meteorite rings away from all liquids or chemicals if you can, including water, hair care products, cleaning chemicals, and even dish soap!

If your ring needs cleaning or some rust has formed, start by brushing it with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste or baking soda. Once you feel the abrasion has been removed, soak your ring in rubbing alcohol for about 10 minutes. Then, leave your ring to air dry on a cloth or paper towel.

Finally, to recoat your ring, place it in a small container and pour oil over it. Gunmetal oil works well, but you can use any sealing oil to protect your band.

Wood and Antler

Oftentimes, jewelers seal wood, antler, and bone rings with resin to protect the soft, absorbent material. However, this doesn’t mean water can’t enter through cracks, and so you should never soak these rings in water.

You can use mild soap and warm water to clean these materials, but do not let the ring sit in the solution for extended periods of time. Instead, gently brush the surface with a soft toothbrush immediately and repeat as necessary.

Summary: How to avoid unnecessary damage to your ring

Here are a few steps you can take to keep your ring looking new even years after purchase:

  • Avoid overexposure to harsh chemicals, such as cleaning solutions, shampoo, body wash, chlorine, etc.
  • Do NOT wear your ring in the pool or shower, and only submerge your ring during cleanings if it is safe to do so.
  • Remove your ring or purchase a men’s silicone ring to wear when performing strenuous activities, such as working out, maintenance, physical labor, etc.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures for extended periods of time, as this can cause damage to inlays and other features of your ring.
  • Store your ring in a safe, lined pouch when not in use to prevent damage.

Where can I buy rings for men?

So where can you find a ring that best suits your personal style? Depending on what you’re looking for, you may need to shop around a bit. Here are our favorite retailers for rings, categorized by their top products or general aesthetics:🧸

Classic styles or rings with gemstones

Creative pieces

  • Brilliance
  • Manly Bands
    • Specialty rings utilizing wood, antler, meteorite, and more
  • Etsy
    • Custom items available from some retailers

Unique bands or materials

Affordable designs

Selecting a new ring for yourself or your partner

In truth, there’s an endless supply of men’s rings to choose from. However, always keep in mind what you or your partner wants out of your jewelry, as this is the key to finding the piece that will work best for you. A ring can be flashy, detailed, simple, gold, silver, and everything in between, but the decision ultimately comes down to comfort, longevity, and your own taste.🛀

Are you searching for an engagement ring any time soon? Take a peek at our guide regarding popular women’s engagement ring styles for some inspiration!

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