how to measure ring size at home how to measure finger size at home

How to Measure Ring Size


To begin, let’s talk about what a proper-fitting ring looks and feels like. And here’s a video that demonstrates proper ring fit.

Unlike your house slippers or pajamas, a proper ring size is first and foremost about security, as opposed to comfort. Most ring losses are due to improper sizing. This isn’t to say the ring should be uncomfortable once it’s past your knuckle…but it should require some noticeable effort to remove the ring. Most often, that effort comes in the form of rocking the ring back and forth off the knuckle, but other folks prefer to twist a ring off.

For those who have a far bigger knuckle than finger past the knuckle, the recommendation is to get a ring as tight as tolerable over the knuckle (pro tip: use Windex!), in order to minimize the amount of “spin” once the ring is past the knuckle.

Afraid of Getting it Wrong?
Don’t Make the Mistake So Many Others Make!

We love to educate and help! And that includes assisting you in finding your personal “Cinderella” size for a ring from our gallery or our studio.


What Happens if My Ring Size is Too Big?

Without the level of close fit that we recommend, the slightest bit of moisture, cold, or other fluctuation towards a smaller finger size can wreak havoc, with the utmost negative effect being ring loss.

problems if your ring is too big

Some folks just can’t tolerate a ring being the size that we at Alara consider to be ideal…it simply feels too tight, “suffocating,” etc. Obviously, we defer to folks on that, and warn them that the onus is on them to be extra careful, and to invest in jewelry insurance.

Understanding the Significance of Accurate Ring Sizing

Knowing the correct ring size as part of selecting a new ring or sizing an existing one is vitally important. Unfortunately, there’s not as much true standardization to ring sizers and ring mandrils (the long tapered wand you see jewelers use to determine the size of an existing ring) as would be ideal.

showing 2 different size 6 ring sizers that are not the same size

In fact, a manufacturing jeweler (such as Alara) invests quite a bit in professional-quality, matched sets of ring sizers and mandrils, because we need them in our gallery when we help customers and we need the exact same ones in our atelier, where the rings are created and/or sized. If we didn’t have matching equipment within our own organization, it would be chaos for us and disappointment for you. Likewise, the sizing rings and mandrils vary from one jeweler to another. Therefore, it is ideal to be sized (which is an active process, not just “handing you sizers”) by a professional at the place where you are getting your ring.

Your correct ring size will actually be different based on the internal shape, width, and construction of your ring. For example, a wide ring fits tighter than a narrow one, but the degree of difference varies from person to person. A ring that is “hollowed” out can sometimes be sized smaller than a solid interior ring. To do these calculations, interaction with an experienced professional is necessary. Some rings are sizable, and others are not.

Guessing ring size on your own might work out ok, if it turns out the ring style in question can be readily resized by the necessary amount. But, you might regret trying to measure your ring size at home if the ring style is essentially unsizable or only sizable to a small degree.

The Right and Wrong Ways to Measure Ring Size at Home

First, let’s go over what are totally the wrong ways to go for measuring ring size at home. The internet is rife with ideas that will head you to a world of hurt.

Ill-Advised and Unacceptable Ways to Measure Ring Size at Home

Yeah, we know. You’ve seen plenty of suggestions involving ribbon, string, twist-ties, tape measures, and paper for measuring your ring size at home.
the wrong ways to size your finger at home | string measuring tape paper

Quantity of info, even when frequently repeated,
does not make it right or true.

How to Measure Your Finger for Ring Size

What these techniques lack, in every case, is the rigidity that’s needed so that you are emulating how a metal ring actually slides on your particular finger. String, ribbon, and twist-ties all have varying degrees of “stretch,” while metals do not. Considering that a half-size difference in ring size (which is a big enough difference to make a ring not fit) is a mere 0.4millimeter, you can see how these methods can go sideways quickly and badly!

Also, knowing the circumference of your finger in any one spot along its length, or even multiple spots, still does not give you any idea how a ring will slide over its entire length. Your particular knuckle shape, your particular skin elasticity, and your particular “boniness versus fleshiness” can only be judged through the use of a rigid sizer, slid along the length of your finger.

The Best Way to Measure Ring Size at Home

As you’ve probably guessed, you’re going to want to use something rigid enough in order to get a proper ring size. But remember when we mentioned about how unsuccessful it is if the finger sizers you use don’t match the mandril the jeweler uses?
dos and donts for proper ring size

So, what you need is not a sizer from some random place (as tempting as that might be), but rather one from the jeweler that will be providing, making, or sizing the ring you’re getting. [Remember that time you tried to cut your own bangs at home…?]

alara ring sizers to size finger at home
While we can’t send you a set of our professional, matched sizing rings…what we can do is send you a set of plastic ring sizers that we have taken the time to compare to our in-house sizing mandrils. That is STEP ONE in getting a good long-distance finger size.

STEP TWO to getting a good long-distance finger size is hopping on a video call with us, so we can actually watch you take the sizing rings on and off. We can guide you and even adjust to ¼-sizes using this method.

If you’re an instant gratification kind of person, it might be frustrating to think you can’t “go it alone.” But if you want accuracy, the above two-step at-home sizing process is the closest to DIY you can get. And, once you have the sizers, you will always have them!


Are Fingers on Different Hands the Same Size?

Generally speaking, no.

So, if you’re thinking about doing the “trace inside the ring” or “measure ring size with a tape measure” concept, and you don’t know for sure if the ring in question is worn on the exact finger that the new ring is going to decorate, you’re adding more inaccuracy to the situation. Combine that with the fact that tracing inside a ring results in a trace line that is wide enough that you can end up being easily a half-size off. Same goes for the thickness of a tape measure. So once again, our ring sizers are the way to go!

Changing the Size of a Ring Multiple Times Isn’t Great for the Ring

Trust us, it really is better, whenever possible, to size a ring just once. A ring’s structural integrity is done no favors by sizing it multiple times.

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