Fitting your wedding band is not always easy. Sometimes it will feel too tight, while other times, it will feel too loose. That’s because there is no such thing as the perfect fit for any jewellery, especially rings. In reality, a good fit basically means it feels comfortable most of the time.
Chances are if you wear the same ring every day, it probably means something to you. After all, rings are the ultimate symbol of love and commitment, and we cherish these bands as we carry them throughout our lives. Unfortunately, traditional rings weren’t actually made to go with us everywhere we go. They’re prone to breaking, scuffing, bending and slipping off the finger.
A wedding ring is the first piece of jewellery they ever wear, day-in and day-out for many people. So it’s no wonder that there are so many questions about finding the proper fit! Of course, every person has a slightly different finger shape and size, but a few rules of thumb do hold. Proper fit and comfort are key for a lifetime of wear.
You may ask yourself, “How tight is too tight?” since you want it snug, so you won’t lose it. Or you may ask, “How loose can I wear it?” because you’d like it to be comfortable.
How Tight Should My Ring Fit?
It’s important to acknowledge the fact that your ring will not fit perfectly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. So now that your expectations are set, how tight should your ring actually be?
Ring sizes range from 3 all the way to 15. The average woman wears a ring between a size 5 and 8. Your ring size depends on your finger’s size and considers the size of your knuckle.
The goal is to find a ring size that can slide past your knuckle easily and be tight enough not to slide off if your hand is moving around. No one wants to imagine losing their engagement ring or a wedding ring because it’s too loose!
You’ll also definitely want a little wiggle room; no one wants to endure the panic of having their engagement ring stuck on their finger either. When a ring fits correctly, you should be able to remove the ring without a struggle, but it should fit snug.
So, a general rule of thumb is to purchase a ring that is a quarter or half size larger than your standard size.
How to Tell if a Ring is Too Tight
Sometimes you’ll know when your ring is too tight around your finger, but other times it may be not easy to know for sure. Here are a few ways you can tell if your ring sizing is too constrictive:
- You experience swelling, tingling, or pain. Unfortunately, it’s never a good sign when you notice the area around your ring is swelling, going numb, or feels painful.
- It’s difficult to remove. If you’re using soap or butter to take off your ring every night, it’s too tight.
- You see indentation or redness. If you see indent marks from your ring or redness around the area, this is a tell-tale sign you should go up a size.
- You have a finger muffin top. It’s time to get a bigger size if your finger looks squished. In this case, you’ll see excess skin hanging off the sides of the ring.
How to Tell if a Ring is Too Loose
There are many instances where you might discover that your ring is too loose. We understand that your ring is a precious item, especially an engagement ring or wedding band. It’d be heartbreaking to lose any of these rings. So, to avoid any accidental slip offs, we’ve outlined a few ways you can determine if it’s time to go down a size for a more snug fit:
- Your ring spins around during wear. If your ring is too big, it’ll move around as your hand moves. If you notice that it’s spinning around constantly, it might be time to scale down a size.
- It slides off when your hand is down. A loose ring will slide past your knuckle too easily when exposed to the law of gravity, making it easy to lose.
- There’s no tension when you take it off. However, you need to feel a small amount of resistance when removing your ring, as this is what will keep it on your finger. If it slips off without any effort at all, it’s probably too loose.
How to Tell if a Ring Fits Correctly
The easiest way to know if you’ve found the fit for you is to examine how you feel. Are you comfortable? Is the ring sliding around when you move? Is it hard to take off at the end of the day? Your answers to these questions will be good indicators of whether or not you have the correct size.
As we previously mentioned, it’s all a balancing act. You want your ring to be tight enough to stay put but also loose enough to slip past your knuckle with just a little bit of tension. This way, your ring is properly secured to your finger without causing discomfort.
If you’re worried about ring sizing, talk to your jeweller before purchasing important rings like engagement rings and wedding bands. A jewellery professional can help measure your ring size for an accurate fit, and they can also help resize rings that don’t fit properly. However, keep in mind that some metal and the setting of your diamonds may complicate the ring resizing process.
Common Finger Types
Wide Fingers, Small Knuckles
If your fingers taper from larger at the palm to smaller at the finger without a noticeable size difference at the knuckle, you’ll want to choose a size that fits nice and tight around your finger. This fit should be very snug, so it stays in place but not so tight that it squeezes or cuts off your circulation.
I suggest trying on the ring or sizer for a few minutes (or longer if you can) to ensure that the snug size feels natural during a range of activities. Drop your arms to your sides and wiggle your fingers to make sure it does not slip. Raise your hands and give them a good shake with the fingers outstretched to test if they stay in place. Simulate the act of typing on your keyboard to make sure you have a comfortable range of motion. For your finger shape, this ring must be tight but not uncomfortable.
Over time, your fingers will develop a natural indent from wearing your ring (ask your married friends to peek under their band, you’ll see what I mean!) This niche will become the “sweet spot” where your band lives comfortably and doesn’t feel constricting.
Large Knuckles, Small Fingers
If you have large knuckles but slim fingers, you will want to choose the smallest size, which you can slide down over your knuckle and still remove without causing discomfort. Once on the finger, the ring will be secure.
If your ring moves around or spins too freely, jewellers can sometimes add a few sizing beads or “speed bumps” to the inside of your ring. These bumps help hold the ring against your finger but can still be worked over the knuckle. They also provide a little extra weight to anchor your ring if it is top-heavy. While they take a moment to get used to at first, most customers report that the beads feel comfortable and are not noticeable over time.
Proper Ring Fit Is Important
Choosing a ring that fits comfortably is important for the long run. If a ring fits too tight, you may find yourself wearing it less often because it feels uncomfortable. On the other hand, if a ring fits too loose, it’s more at risk of slipping off or becoming lost.
The tissue on your fingers will fluctuate in size throughout the day as you move through your normal activities. Early in the morning and late at night, we may find our fingers are more swollen. Diet can affect water retention and bloating, which makes rings feel tighter. Before purchasing a wedding band, it’s best to measure your finger size when it is most stable. This usually occurs in mid-afternoon, after you’ve eaten lunch.
Another factor to consider for the fit of your ring is the width of the band you hope to wear. The wider the band, the tighter the fit will feel, even though the ring itself may measure at the same inner diameter. It is best to take your ring measurement with a ring sizer close to the width of your final ring.
Factors That Can Affect Ring Fit
Our bodies are always changing, so it’s natural to notice changes in your ring’s fit. Some of these changes occur over time, while others are part of our daily cycle.
As you make a final decision about your ring size, take a moment to factor in your body’s propensity to react in the scenarios below. For example, if your fingers swell in humidity or shrink in the cold, choose a size that feels comfortable in both scenarios. Likewise, if your family has a history of arthritis, choose a ring style that can easily be sized if your knuckle shape changes down the line.
How Tight Should You Size Your Ring?
The Perfect Fit
First of all, it’s important to know and fully understand (soak this in!) that there will never be a perfect fit. And if your ring does fit perfectly, it’s probably just for a moment, an afternoon, or, at most, the day, because our fingers change size with the weather, from what we eat, or from working with our hands a lot.
Knowing this, though, you can still find them a good fit; you have to be open to the idea that it won’t always fit the same.
To help you find that almost perfect fit, you should work with an experienced jeweller to get your finger professionally sized. And I’m not talking about going to a jewellery store that has some plastic sizer and an inexperienced sales associate. When you’re wearing something as meaningful and expensive as a wedding band, you want to make sure you do it right.
When you go in to get your finger sized, they should have various tools and methods to help you find the ring size that will feel the most comfortable. Of course, this is an entirely personal opinion, so speak up and let them know if it doesn’t feel right.
What you shouldn’t do is look up ring sizing methods online and then do it yourself. This might help you find an alright size, but having a professional size for you will get you the best results.
After you get your finger sized by one professional, make sure to go out and get a second opinion. This might seem like a lot of work for something like this, but as I mentioned, when it comes to something valuable both in money and sentiment, and since you’ll be wearing it for years, it’s worth the effort. The more opinions, the better, depending on how happy you are with the results.
Time of Day
The best time to get your finger sized is between lunch and dinner. This is when most people’s fingers are at their largest size. So, try to book your fitting in the mid-to-late afternoon if possible.
Metal Over Plastic
A professional jeweller should have a metal ring sizer over a plastic one. The metal ones are much more reliable. Also, the width of the ring does matter because the wider the ring, the tighter the fit will be, so have the professional jeweller compensate for that.
Now that you know the importance of a trained, professional jeweller with the right tools, you should understand what a good fit feels like.
You should be able to take your ring on and off when needed, without too much of a struggle. If you’re reaching for soap or baby oil to wiggle it off, it’s probably too tight. As a general rule, your ring should be able to slide over your knuckles easily but take a bit more to come off. Turning and tugging for two to three seconds to remove your ring is actually normal. In fact, your ring should barely fit over your knuckles. This is important because it helps ensure it won’t easily fall off.
Your ring should fit snug around the base of your finger without any bulging or leaving indent marks. To see if it fits right pushes your ring up from underneath and sees a small space between your ring and your finger. This means there is enough room.
It really helps to know if you have enlarged knuckles or small knuckles. If you have smaller knuckles or “tipi fingers,” your ring will have to be a snugger. If you have larger knuckles, you run into the problem of your ring being too loose at the base of your finger. You want your ring to fit snug at the base, where it is supposed to sit.
Still, you don’t want to wear a ring that is too tight. If it’s too tight, it will be even tighter if your hands swell from humidity or something else. And if you’re pregnant, you might want to wear your wedding band on a necklace around your neck for a while, as my aunt actually had to get hers cut off when her hands swelled too much.
Of course, you also don’t want a ring that comes off too easily. The last thing anyone wants to experience is that moment of panic when they realize their wedding ring has fallen off, and they don’t know when or where. As mentioned above, your ring should be a lot easier to slide on than off. So, if you can take your ring off without any effort, it’s probably too loose.
In the end, it’s important to remember that sizing is really a personal preference and not an exact science.
Ring Size May Fluctuate
Did you know that your fingers get bigger and smaller during different times of the day and even in different seasons? It’s an unusual yet incredibly intriguing fact. It’s also important to keep this in mind when picking a ring size, as this size will change along with your fingers.
You may notice that your ring is too tight or loose throughout the day or even the year. Before you freak out and run to the jewellery store for refitting, know that this is entirely normal. Your ring fit will likely change due to environmental factors like weather, aging, and more – it doesn’t mean you need to rush to the jewellers for a resizing.
Why do our fingers fluctuate in size? There are a variety of reasons why this occurs.
The primary cause is a temperature change. When our bodies are colder in the winter, our blood vessels constrict and reduce blood flow to the skin, making our fingers and toes shrink. So, in this case, your ring will feel loose.
When we are warm or hot in the summer, our blood vessels enlarge, increasing blood flow and expanding our fingers and toes. So as your fingers swell, your ring will feel tighter than usual.
Below are a few more common factors that affect changes in finger size:
The female body produces much more blood and appropriate fluids to nurture the fetus as it develops in the womb. As a result, swelling is a common symptom for women through pregnancy, which can expand the fingers and toes.
This condition is commonly accompanied by swelling of the extremities, making your fingers larger and cause your ring to feel too tight. In addition, knuckles are especially affected by arthritis, which can make it difficult to put on and take off your rings comfortably.
Water Retention & Diet
Certain foods, especially those with a lot of sodium, can cause bloating. Salt allows you to retain more water, which can lead to puffy fingers and a tighter-feeling ring.
Some people’s hands swell when they engage in physical activity, as their bodies are hotter and blood vessels are expanding rapidly to cool the body down.
Weight Loss or Gain
Believe it or not, you can actually lose and gain weight in your fingers and toes. So, if you notice your ring is feeling too loose or too tight, your weight may be to blame.
Your ring should be comfortable! A ring with a great fit does have the potential to feel a little uncomfortable in a perfect storm of bad conditions. But this should resolve itself in the right conditions with a little time. If your ring feels too tight daily, it should be sized up a bit. The same goes for too loose. If your ring ever falls off or you are often worried that it might fall off, it is best to go a little smaller.
If you are on the fence about resizing or think you want to change it a smidge, I recommend holding off to see how it feels in different seasons. That way, we would know just how much to adjust to get the right fit. I would hate to go too big or small based on your hands due to seasonal factors. Some days your ring will fit tighter and some days, loser, remember the goal is to find your sweet spot in the middle.