Guide to Ring Sizes: How to Measure & Get the Right Ring Size

Knowing your ring size may not seem as important as knowing your pants size or shoe size, but sooner or later the day will come where you need to know what it is. Whether you’re looking for a fashion ring, wedding ring or a promise ring, ring sizes are crucial to get right. If a ring is too big, then you run the risk of it falling right off your finger. But, if a ring is too small, it may end up stuck on your finger and potentially cut off some circulation. It’s especially useful to know your ring size when you’re buying sterling silver rings online as well, since there’s no way for you to try the ring on and see how it fits physically. So, we’ve put together this guide on how to measure and determine the right ring size for either yourself or someone else.


How to Measure Ring Size

Depending on the manufacturer, a ring will be labeled either using the standard single digit sizing system, or with a more accurate millimeter measurement. Rather than take a blind guess at what you think your ring size is, or spoiling a surprise by asking for a size, use these easy methods to determine it.

Measure Your Finger

One of the easiest DIY ways to measure your own ring size is with a piece of string or paper. All you need to do is:

  1. Wrap the paper or string around the finger you want to put a ring on and mark where the ends meet.
  2. Measure the length that’s been marked with a ruler and compare that length to a ring size chart that will tell you which ring size your measurement correlates with.
ring size chart

If you’d like a more accurate reading, then you can also use measuring tape to get the exact length of your finger.

Measure Your Ring

If it’s easier for you to measure your ring than your finger, then simply take a ruler and measure the ring hole’s diameter, end to end. Use a ring size chart that goes by diameter rather than length and find the size that is closest to your measurement.

If you’d like to get more accurate, you can buy a ring sizing stick that can measure exactly how big any ring of choice is. These often come bundled with a metal ring of rings, so you can measure both rings and fingers. But, if you only need to measure a ring size once, then this may not be the most cost-effective option.

Visit a Jeweler

If you’re worried about the accuracy of these at-home methods, then you can always visit a jeweler to get a professional opinion. You can either bring a ring that you already wear to be measured, or you can ask a jeweler to measure your finger. With more professional equipment on hand at any jewelry store, you can get an accurate answer for free.

For Someone Else?

Now, if you’re trying to buy a ring for someone else, and you need to do so discretely without spoiling the surprise, then there’s a few other strategies that you can employ.

Tracing the Ring

If you can get a hold of a ring that you know fits the desired finger, then you can trace the inside of the ring onto a piece of paper to accurately get a measurement of its size. From here, you can either measure it with a ruler and compare it to a size chart, or you can take your trace to a jeweler for a more accurate measurement. Just remember to put the ring back where you found it, or else you’ll risk raising suspicions!

Ask a Friend or Family Member

Chances are, someone who’s close to the person you’re getting a ring for might know the person’s ring size. If their family and friends are good at keeping secrets, then try and employ their assistance to get to the bottom it.


Tips to Get a Ring Off Your Finger

Sometimes, you might run into the unfortunate situation where you just can’t seem to remove a ring from your finger. You either got a ring that’s too small for you, or your finger has grown due to weight gain or swelling. In either case, you’re stuck with a ring that you want to remove that won’t seem to budge over your knuckle. Rather than damage the ring (or yourself) by cutting it off or tugging endlessly, there’s a few tricks that you can try to remove it safely.

Thread or Floss

For this method, you can either use any type of string, including a piece of thread, ribbon, or dental floss.

  1. Thread the string or floss through the ring, in the space between it and your finger.
  2. Wrap the rest of the string around your finger, starting at where the ring is and ending down near your fingernail.
  3. Pull the thread downwards on the side that’s through the ring and begin unwrapping it down your finger.
  4. As the thread unfurls down your finger, it will pull the ring off with it.

Soap or Lotion

Any lubricating product, such as dish soap, hand lotion, or petroleum jelly will work for this method.

  1. Liberally apply a lubricant, like liquid soap or lotion, to your finger and the ring.
  2. Spin the ring around to get lubricant underneath the ring between it and your finger.
  3. Pull the ring slowly off your finger while twisting back and forth.

Elastic Compression

This method is similar to the thread method, with the difference being that the elastic band is compressing your finger to make it slimmer and easier to slide the ring off. This method is especially useful for a swollen finger.

  1. Wrap your finger tightly with an elastic band.
  2. Thread the end of the elastic up through the ring.
  3. Pull to unwrap the elastic around your finger, which will pull the ring off your compressed finger.


Resizing a Ring

One essential truth that all ring-wearers should know is that sizing a ring down is much easier than sizing one up. If you’re unsure of your or someone else’s ring size, or if you’re not able to get a half size ring, then it’s always best to go for the larger size. This not only helps your chances of getting a ring that fits, but it also makes changing the size in the future much easier.

When you size up a ring, the metal may actually become weaker in the process because the metal is being stretched to fit a larger size. During this process, your ring will be thinner and more likely to bend, warp or break while wearing it. If your ring is gold, this is especially detrimental since gold is already a softer material.

But, when you size down and make the ring smaller, this process is done by removing metal rather than stretching out the existing material. This process doesn’t compromise the ring’s band nearly as much, because the remaining metal is still the same thickness as it was previously.



Rings aren’t just beautiful pieces of jewelry; they can also be powerful symbols of love, nature, and unique states of mind. Getting the wrong size can often be disappointing and difficult to fix, so avoiding the issue altogether by knowing your ring size will end up saving you a lot of headaches.

Mailing List