Your engagement and wedding rings will likely become a part of most waking moments of your life. Many married folks wear their wedding rings even when they’re just relaxing at home, so getting the right fit is a must. We tapped expert jewelry designer Sylvie Levine to find out the average ring size for men and women, plus tips to keep in mind if you need to measure your ring size at home.
Meet the Expert
Sylvie Levine is a three-time national award-winning jewelry designer and third-generation diamond expert. She is the the founder and designer of the Sylvie Collection.
The Average Ring Size for Men
“Most men’s ring sizes will vary from around eight to 15 and the ring size will always be about a half size larger on the dominant hand that he writes with,” according to Levine. Size 10 is what she considers to be the average “stock” size for men. Also, rings for men are normally thicker. Therefore, they sometimes will need a larger size to enable them to easily get the ring on and off each day.
“The best thing a man can do before sizing for his ring is to decide what type of ring he will want,” Levine continues. “Men’s rings tend to come in a larger variety of metals and styles than women’s rings. These include titanium, cobalt, and tungsten. Each metal can fit or look different than the other so this can play an integral role in the size of the ring.”
The Average Ring Size for Women
According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the average ring size for a woman is a size six. “Depending on her lifestyle, on average most women tend to fluctuate in weight, so we recommend adding a quarter size to your ring just in case your weight does have a history of changing throughout the year,” Levine explains. “Fingers can also swell during different seasons such as the summer so keep that in mind when sizing your finger.” If you feel that your fingers are swollen, it’s best to wait so you can get an accurate result. Also, take your favorite ring with you to the jeweler so they can assess what comfort level and fit you are looking for in a band.
What You Need to Know About Ring Size Charts
According to Levine, the most effective method for sizing is to use a physical ring sizer made out of metal or sturdy plastic. If you need to use a chart at home, try to utilize one that displays whole-size, half-size, and one-quarter-of-a-size options so you know your exact measurements.
“It’s best to use either a printable ring sizer, a cloth measuring tape, or a string when wrapping your finger to determine the size, do not use a stiff tape measure or actual tape,” cautions Levine. Using multiple charts helps you find a consistent size. So, get at least two different ring size charts from two different sources to ensure a consistent sizing before recording it and sharing it with your jeweler.
Talk to your jeweler about the type of ring you are most interested in and how it might impact your sizing. The size of your knuckle, the time of day, swelling, and weight fluctuation are factors that can affect your ring size.
Tips for Measuring Your Ring Size at Home
The best time to size your finger for a ring is in the morning before you eat or drink anything. Also, if your weight tends to fluctuate a lot, try to size your ring when you’re at your most consistent weight. “If your weight tends to decrease more often than increase, be sure to size your finger early in the morning before you have eaten or when you are at your most consistent weight,” says Levine.
“Because size can fluctuate due to what you eat or weather temperatures, I do suggest sizing up to three times on different days,” Levine advises. “Keep in mind that in the summer months your ring figures usually will be larger because of the heat. Any ring I wear in the winter is always looser, so if you are in between and have some doubt then always go up if it’s in the winter.”
Wash any lotions or oils off your hands prior to getting sized. Also, to increase accuracy, warm up your hands by rubbing them together. When sitting for a sizing, only present the exact finger that you plan to wear your ring on. Your dominant hand might be slightly larger in size, so don’t measure one hand thinking the other will match it.
Levine says that the shape of your fingers typically plays a critical role in choosing a ring size and even the shape of your diamond. For sizing, it’s important to size your ring based on your knuckle size. So, if you have large knuckles, you’ll want the ring to comfortably slide over your knuckle and be snug enough that it never falls off. If you have long, slender fingers, a wider band can ensure that you have a snug-fitting ring.
A wider band will always fit a little tighter and snugger. “It’s best to add a quarter of a size when you are buying a ring with a wider band,” says Levine. “If you’re buying a ring with a thin band and you tend to fluctuate in weight downward, you can consider going a quarter-size smaller but make sure the quarter-size smaller ring-fit can slide over your knuckle.”
If you have to size your ring after you have already purchased it, Levine does not recommend sizing your ring more than one size up or down if there are diamonds in the band. Doing so could compromise the stone’s setting, and that could result in your stones falling out in the future.
GIA. "Selecting an Engagement Ring."