Ring Size Guide
How do I know what size ring to buy?
Buying a ring is an exciting shopping experience. Whether you’re shopping for an engagement ring, or you're simply looking to treat yourself, knowing the ring size you need to buy is integral before you head out the door.
There are differing variables that dictate a person's ring size, so having an accurate measurement of the specific finger you’re buying the ring for is essential in order to make sure the ring you invest in is a comfortable fit.
In order to help you determine the ring size that you need, for either your wedding rings, engagement rings or just a ring to treat yourself, we have curated a helpful guide to help you find your ring size.
Ring sizing basics
There are a few different things that you need to keep in mind to measure ring size. Below, we run through all the different variables that affect ring size and how to navigate them to ensure you know how to perfectly measure your ring size to ensure the perfect fit.
Believe it or not, not all fingers are shaped the same, and the shape of the finger of the person you’re buying a ring for will determine the size of the ring you need to buy.
For example, if the person's finger is wider at the bottom, you will need to perfectly size the ring so that it fits at the base of the finger without the risk of it coming loose and falling off at the narrower end of the finger. On the other hand, if the person has wide knuckles, you will need a ring that is wide enough to get over the knuckles, but small enough to fit the base of the finger. Finding that middle ground of sizing is one of the toughest parts of knowing what size ring to buy.
The width of the band will also dictate the fit of the ring. If you’re opting for a ring with a wider band, the general rule of thumb is that it will be a bit tighter. Thinner bands are usually slightly larger and so will have a looser fit.
It is therefore important to consider the design of the ring you’re looking to buy and factor that into your sizing estimates.
Although the design of the ring may alter the ring size that you need, the ring size doesn’t need to dictate the design. Keep in mind that a smaller ring size does not automatically equate to a smaller carat size.
The aesthetics of a ring are completely down to personal preference regardless of ring size. Therefore, if you’re on the hunt for an engagement ring or wedding bands for your significant other and think you can get away with a smaller carat size because they have smaller fingers, it’s not the case.
Ring size does not dictate aesthetics, so if you want a huge diamond on a little finger, you can do that. Alternatively, if you have larger fingers and prefer the look of a small stone or diamond, that is equally possible.
When is the best time to measure ring size?
In order to get a perfect ring fit, there’s an optimum time for you to measure your fingers. Both physical and biological factors can affect your finger size and your fingers change size more frequently than you might realize.
The most important factor in determining your finger size is the temperature. When it’s cold, your fingers have a tendency to shrink, whereas when it’s very warm, your fingers tend to swell. It’s therefore best to measure your ring size when you’re in an environment that is as close to room temperature as possible.
The time of day will also dictate your finger size. When you first wake up, your fingers may be slightly swollen and therefore give you a bigger measurement than you actually need. The middle of the day is the best time to take your measurement.
In summary, you should measure your ring size during the middle of the day in a room temperature environment. If you’re able to create these conditions, you have the best chance of finding the perfect fit.
How to measure ring size
Now that you know all of the possible factors that determine ring size, it’s time to learn how to measure your ring size. There are a few different ways in which you can measure your ring size, here are the most common:
The paper/string technique
This is a simple method that can easily help you measure your ring size with supplies that you likely have around the house.
Simply find a piece of string or a piece of paper that has been cut into a thin strip. Wrap that piece of paper or string around your finger. Once it has been wrapped all the way around, mark with a pen or pencil the point at which the two ends overlap.
Lay the piece of paper or string out flat and measure the marked area with a ruler. This will give you the circumference of your finger, which you can compare to a ring size chart to determine your ring size.
Printable ring sizer
You can use a printable ring sizer to help you determine your ring size. If you have access to a printer, this is an easy method. You simply have to print out the ring size guide which will have ring templates of varying sizes. This will help you visualize the ring size you need.
To use the sizer itself, simply follow the instructions. It’s a simple process that usually involves cutting out the sizer, which will likely also have a small slit in the thicker part of the measurer which you will need to cut out.
Once everything is cut out, you wrap the ring sizer around your finger and feed the narrow end into the slit, hence creating a circular ringlike template around your finger. Check the number being displayed on the sizer, and this is your ring size.
The ring technique
If you already have a ring that fits you perfectly, it makes sense to get a ring that is the same size. Although most rings will have the size of the ring on the inside, if you want to be extra sure that you’re getting the right size, simply grab a ruler and measure the diameter of the ring.
Using a measuring tape is very similar to using paper or string, but cuts out the middleman. Simply wrap the measuring tape around your finger and mark the point at which it overlaps. Then, extend the measuring tape back out and you will have your size neatly displayed on the tape itself.
Best ring sizing tips
The placement of the ring is arguably the most important factor when measuring for ring size. Fingers are not one width the whole way up, therefore, the position that you would like your ring to sit will dictate the measuring and size of your ring.
Generally, if you’re shopping for engagement rings, you will want the ring to sit just below the knuckle. Therefore, when you’re measuring around the finger, you need to make sure you’re doing it in that exact position. If you measure at the base of your finger, that’s where your ring will fit comfortably, not below the knuckles where you want it to comfortably fit.
If you’re someone who wears a lot of rings, you might be looking for rings to stack on your fingers and therefore want your ring to sit just above the knuckle. If this is the case, you're going to want a smaller ring, and should therefore be measuring around the top of your finger and not the base.
It’s extremely important that you factor ring positioning into your measurement as it can drastically alter the size of ring you need to buy.
International sizing is another thing that many people forget to consider when ring shopping, especially when shopping for engagement jewelry.
There is no universal ring sizing as each country uses a different system for their ring sizes. Therefore, if you’re looking abroad for your engagement ring, as many people do due to the alternative styles and calibre of jewelry available in different parts of the world, you’re going to need to use a ring size conversion chart.
You can measure your ring just as you would normally and find out what the US/Canadian sizing is and simply look at a ring size conversion chart and you will be able to see the size equivalent in other countries. It’s not a complicated process, just an extra small step.
Go to a jeweler
If you’re unsure about anything, visiting a jeweler in person is your best option. Jewelers are professionals in the field so they will be able to help you with any questions you have.
If you’re buying a ring for yourself, you will likely find that the jewelers will be able to measure your ring size for you. Many jewelry shops have fake rings that you can try on to help you to determine your size. If they don’t have this, rest assured that they will have some form of measurement system that will allow you to get an accurate ring measurement.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to buy a ring for someone else, say for an engagement or simply a surprise gift and you haven’t been able to measure their finger, jewelers will still be able to help you. Although it’s not an exact science, if you show a picture of the person you’re buying a ring for in which their hand is clearly visible, many jewelers will be able to give you an educated guess of their ring size.