How To Measure 1 Meter Without A Ruler?

How To Measure 1 Meter Without A Ruler? (9 Easy Ways)

Last updated on September 22nd, 2023 at 05:39 pm

If you are looking to measure something that is 1 meter long and you don’t have a ruler handy, this article will show you other convenient ways to measure using different tools.

Here are 9 different items that you can use as measuring tools to determine the length of something that is 1 meter. 

1 Meter = 100 centimeters, 39.37 inches, or 3.28 feet.

1. Walking steps

Every person’s steps will be a bit different in length. But on average, an adult’s walking step will cover between 2.5 and 3 feet in length. By marking around 1 full step plus another quarter step, will give you a pretty good indication of a full meter in length as 1 meter equals 3.28 feet. 

2. Use your forearm

Body parts are very common to use when measuring other items without having a ruler handy. The issue with using certain parts of the body as a measuring tool is not everyone’s the same size. But it will give you an idea of the size of certain things.

For example, an average adult forearm from the elbow to the tips of the fingers is between 16 and 18 inches long. Consider using just under 2.5 times the length of your forearm to have an idea of how long 1 meter is. 

3. Credit or bank cards

Credit cards are one of the most convenient items to use when you need to measure something. Most people will have a credit card or bank card on them. 

Most credit cards are exactly 3.375 inches long. So picturing 12 credit cards together in a row will equal close to 1 meter long. You may not have 12 credit cards on you, so you can mark the length of 1 and repeat 12 times. 

credit card size

4. Money

Money is also a great tool to use when measuring things. Most people will have a bill or a coin on them. A USA dollar bill is very easy to measure with. Every bill is standardized to have the same dimensions and they will all be 6.14 inches long. If you have 7 dollar bills and fold 1 in half, this would equal very close to 1 meter long. Basically 6.5 dollar bills. 

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6.5 x 6.14 = 39.91 inches. The length of a meter is 39.37 inches so it is close enough to reference 1 meter in length. You could also use a USA quarter coin to measure length as each one is 1 inch in diameter. You would need 39 quarters to equal 1 meter long. 

5. Business envelopes

The standard business envelope that most people use in offices and for mailing things like cheques, all measure 9.5 inches in length. Place 4 of these envelopes together in a row and they will equal close to 1 meter long. 

6. Guitar

Although guitars are made in different lengths, it’s common for a full-sized standard guitar to measure around 38 inches long which is short of a full meter by over an inch. You may not find a guitar that is exactly 1 meter long, but most guitars that you are used to seeing will give you an idea of something that is 1 meter in length.

7. Bananas

Like many food items, bananas are not always going to be the same size. But they are great to use as a reference for measuring. Most bananas that you would see in a supermarket are around 8 inches long. 5 of these bananas would equal close to 40 inches which is around 1 meter in length. 

8. Women’s size 9 shoe

If you are a woman that wears a size 9 shoe, it will be very close to measuring 10 inches long. This shoe can easily be used for measuring other items including things that are 1 meter long as 4 of these shoes will equal 40 inches which is just slightly over 1 meter.

9. iPhone 12 Max Pro

With the iPhone being so popular, it is a great tool to use when measuring other items. The iPhone 12 Max Pro is 6.33 inches long. If you had 6 of these phones together, it would give you a good indication of 1 meter in length. Not quite 1 meter but very close. If you are an iPhone user, there are also a number of apps available that can help with measuring lengths and distances. 


Any number of the items mentioned above are great tools to use if you are looking to measure 1 meter in length. You could even combine them together if they are handy to add up to equal 1 meter long. For example, adding the length of 3 business envelopes and 2 dollar bills would be close to equalling 1 meter long.  

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