Most people know what clothing size they fit into, but ring size is a different matter.
Not many people remember what their ring size is, but if you’re purchasing an engagement ring, wedding ring, heirloom band, or even something that’s just for fun, knowing your ring size can be very useful.
Most jewelers have a set of plain metal rings they can use to accurately size your finger, but there are also a few ways to measure your ring size at home.
1. Use String
One of the easiest ways to measure ring size at home is to use a piece of string. Take the string and wrap it around your finger.
You can use a pen or marker to mark the string where it meets around your finger if that’s easier.
Then, use a ruler to measure the length of the string.
When you measure, make sure you measure in millimeters.
Once you know the circumference of your finger in millimeters, you can use a size chart to determine your ring size. Ring sizes increase a half size for every additional 0.4 millimeters.
The smallest standard size is a 3, which has a circumference of 14 millimeters. The largest size is 13.5, which has a circumference of 22.6 millimeters.
Most women, however, wear rings between sizes 6 and 8, while most men wear rings between sizes 9 and 11.
Pro tip: If you use the string method to determine your ring size, don’t pull the string too tight or let it lie too loosely around your finger. Instead, make sure it’s comfortable but snug.
Remember that, if your measurement doesn’t correspond perfectly to a ring size, some jewelers offer quarter sizes.
2. Use a Ring Chart
Ring charts are charts with rings or circles printed on them. Each circle corresponds to a ring size.
These charts can be purchased online. You may also be able to bring up an accurate ring size chart online, so you don’t need to order anything.
With a ring chart, you can take a ring that fits you perfectly and place it over the different circles. When you find a circle that matches the size of the ring, you’ve found your ring size.
Remember to match the circle on the chart with the inner circumference of your ring.
Some ring charts have cutouts for each circle, so you can slip your finger into the circle to find a perfect match.
3. Purchase a Ring Sizer
Most professional jewelers have a set of metal ring sizers, but you can also purchase a relatively inexpensive ring sizer to use at home.
These ring sizers are usually plastic or metal, and you can tighten them or use different rings to find your ring size.
Measure in the Afternoon
If you’re using a ring sizer or the string method to determine your ring size, try to measure in the afternoon.
Throughout the day, your fingers shrink and expand depending on what you’ve eaten, what you’ve been doing, and how hot or cold it is outside.
The afternoon is when your body is usually at its most stable, so measuring then will give you the most accurate size.
If you’ve recently eaten a lot of salty foods, you might want to measure on a different day. Salty foods make you retain water, which can cause your fingers to swell slightly.
If it’s cold out, your fingers can shrink a surprising amount, so make sure your hands are warm but not hot when you try to find your ring size.
Even after you determine your ring size, it’s important to consider how your body will change as you wear your rings.
Even if you don’t gain or lose weight, your fingers will gently shrink and swell throughout the day.
If you’ve opted for a ring size that’s a little loose or a little tight, there may be times when the ring slips off or feels too tight. Try to aim for a comfortable size.
If your ring doesn’t fit perfectly, even after determining your ring size, you can usually have it resized.
However, it’s much easier for jewelers to size a ring down instead of making it larger. Sizing a ring down is less expensive and doesn’t risk damaging the ring as much.
For this reason, if you’re not sure what your exact ring size is or if you fall between sizes, it’s best to round up instead of down.
Most people don’t think about ring width when they consider their ring size. However, your finger is slightly narrower at the spot closest to your hand and widens a bit after that.
If you plan to wear a wide band, at least part of it will sit a little higher on your finger.
Because of this, you may want to go up a half size so the ring doesn’t feel tight.