Buying Tips

How to Measure Wrist Size for Bracelets, Watches, Bangles!

Briana Briana 06 Apr 2021 25069

We all know how fun it is to shop for new jewelry and find ways to incorporate these new pieces into our wardrobe. However, we can’t help but notice that people pay far more attention to sizing when it comes to their clothing than when it comes to their jewelry!

While no one is denying the importance of finding the right sized clothing, it’s also important to recognize that sizing is important when it comes to your jewelry as well!

If you aren’t convinced, we hope you’ll keep reading and discover why sizing before buying any type of jewelry is so important. Today we are focusing on the wrists and sharing how to measure wrist size for all different types of jewelry and accessories – including watches, bracelets, bangles, and more. Best of all, we are sharing tips and size guides for everyone: men, women, and children!

Whether you are shopping for jewelry gifts for an anniversary, birthday, Christmas or treating yourself to some new accessories, this guide can help you figure out your perfect size. 

The Importance of Sizing

Okay, it’s true that people do care about sizing or resizing when it comes to one type of jewelry: rings. What about everything else, though?! Size is just as important with other types of jewelry as well, and especially anything that you wear on your wrists such as a bracelet or a watch.

With the wrong sized bracelet or watch, not only could it fall off, but you can also more easily damage it by getting it caught on something, and it also looks bad! 

Think about how a jacket looks when the sleeves are too long – it throws off the entire look! The same is true with accessories. If your watch or bracelet is too large, it can make your entire outfit look unpolished. 

Oh, and did we mention that it is simply annoying? Constantly having to push up a bracelet or adjust a watch face that keeps sliding to the underside of your wrist is a pain! For that reason alone, you should want to accurately measure your wrist to know your perfect size. 

While you might not have thought before to measure your wrist, hopefully, you’re thinking about it now!

If you aren’t sure how to measure your wrist, keep reading for tips on how to measure your wrist for all the various types of items, including bracelets and watches with straps made of chain, leather, or plastic.

Average Wrist Size

Before we get into how to measure your wrist size, we thought we’d include some basic information about the average wrist size. This is helpful for a couple of reasons.

First of all, if you do decide to measure your wrist, it is nice to have a comparison to make sure you’ve done it right!

Second of all, if you don’t have time to measure your wrist (or get the measurement for someone else’s wrist) you can use these average sizes to help you pick the right items.

For example, if you are shopping for a watch for your husband, consider the average wrist size and think if he has what appears to be a slightly larger or smaller wrist than average.

Use that to guide you towards your best guess at the right size. While there’s always the chance you get the wrong size, this can help increase your odds that you get that perfect fit! 

Average Wrist Size: Women

The average wrist size for women is around 6 inches. Typically, women’s wrists will range in size from around 5 inches to around 7 inches. 

Average Wrist Size: Men

The average wrist size for men is around 7 inches. Typically, men’s wrists will range in size from around 6 inches to around 8 inches.  

Average Wrist Size: Children

This number is harder to determine as children grow so quickly! There is no way to have one average number, so instead, here are some averages based on age:

Newborn – 6 months: 3 inches

6 months – 1 year: 3 and a half inches

1 – 2 years: 4 inches

2 – 5 years: 4 and a half inches

6- 8 years: 5 inches

9 – 13 years: 5 and a half inches 

How to Measure Your Wrist for Standard Fit Items

What do we mean by standard-fit items? These are items that you want to fit securely on your wrist. Think a watch or a bracelet that is made of leather, plastic, or even fabric. 

The main thing to keep in mind when measuring your wrist is where you want the item to sit on your wrist. When it comes to these ‘standard fit’ items, you typically want them to sit on your wrist right below your wrist bone. For that reason, that is where you should take your measurements!  

how to measure wrist size for bracelet
Source: Zoe and Belle

To measure your wrist (or to measure someone else’s wrist – it’s the same process!) You need to take either a flexible tape measure or some other flexible item.

Source: Kalli James Design

This could be a strip of paper or a piece of string. We find that string tends to work the best because it wraps the nicest around the wrist. However, you can get creative if you need to if you don’t have string available to you! 

Take your measuring item and wrap it around your wrist tightly. You don’t want to wrap it too tightly or too loosely. This will throw off your measurement. You want to get an exact measurement for your wrist size, so have the item wrap snugly.

If you are using a flexible tape measure, simply record the number. Make sure that if you do use a tape measure that you measure from the very beginning of the tape, otherwise your measurement will be off.

Are you using a string or piece of paper? Once it is wrapped around your wrist, be sure to mark off the point on the item where it wraps around your wrist. We recommend marking the spot with either a marker or a pen.


Source: Casanova1948

Remove the item, lay it down flat, and measure the distance with a ruler or tape measure. You’ve got your measurement!

Choosing the Right Size

Now that you have measured your wrist and know how large it is, how do you select the right size bracelet? After all, if you measured your wrist and find out it is 6 inches, should you get a 6-inch bracelet? No! That would be way too tight! 

So, how do you select the right size? It depends mainly on how you like to wear your jewelry.

Do you prefer your bracelets or watch to fit super tight, do you prefer them a little looser than most, or do you like a pretty average fit? With that info in mind, you can figure out what your perfect strap length should be.

→ If you want a snug fit, we recommend adding around a half-inch to your measurement. Add no less than a quarter of an inch – otherwise, it’ll be too tight!

→ If you prefer a standard fit, add around 1 inch to your measurement or slightly less than that.

→ If you want a looser fit, add a little over an inch (say an inch and a quarter). We recommend not adding more than an inch and a half- at that point, it’ll be too big! 

How to Measure Wrist Size for Chain Items

If you measure wrist size for for wearing a chain bracelet, you will want to measure your wrist slightly differently than for standard fit items. Most people prefer a chain to hit a little lower on their wrist – say just above the wrist bone instead of just below like with those standard fit items.

how to measure wrist size for chains

If you want your chain to hit below the wrist, follow the guide from above. If you want it to hit above, follow the same basic methodology as above, but position the tape measure, paper, or string, slightly above the wrist bone to see what that measurement is.

With that number, we recommend adding about a quarter of an inch to get that perfect relaxed fit that looks so great with chains. 

How to Measure Wrist Size for Bangles

Shopping for a bangle? This type of bracelet fits differently than everything else, and for that reason, you need to think about your wrist size differently!

What is difficult about bangles is that they do not open or close or attach with a hook closure like other bracelets.

For that reason, you need your bangle to be big enough to fit over your hand, without being too big. If it is too small, you won’t be able to get it on, but if it is too big, it’ll fly right off your wrist! 

To measure your wrist for a bangle, start by holding your hand in the shape that you would when putting on a bangle. Bring all your fingers together, specifically being sure to bring your thumb in so that it is touching your pinkie finger.

how to measure wrist size for bangles
Source: John Hardy

Next, you need to wrap either your tape measure or paper or string around the widest part of your hand, which will be right over your knuckles.

Either read the measurement from the tape measure or mark your paper or string and measure it with a ruler to get the measurement. That measurement is the circumference of your hand!

Choosing the Right Bangle Size

Now that you’ve got your hand circumference, you need to use that to figure out how large of a bangle to get.

Typically, bangles are measured based on their diameter, not their circumference. It’s a good idea to use your circumference to figure out the diameter for your hand to know what size will be correct for you. 

Don’t worry! You don’t have to do the math. Head to this website for a quick converter – all you have to do is type in your circumference (make sure the unit of measurement is correct – say inches for example), and it will give you your diameter.

With that number in mind, you can find the bangle that will be the right size for you.

Typically, bangles come in three standard sizes: Small, Medium, or Large.

You will want a bangle that has a diameter that is around a quarter of an inch larger than what your diameter measurement is. This ensures that the bangle can fit easily onto your hand but won’t be too large and slip off.

choosing the right bracelet size
Source: Thesilverstore

If your diameter is around 2 and ⅜ inches, you are likely a  small. If your diameter is 2 and ⅝ inches, go with medium. For a diameter of 2 and ¾ inches, go with large. 

Life Hack: Use Existing Jewelry

Here’s a quick takeaway tip! Do you have a piece of jewelry that fits you perfectly? Measure its length to find your perfect fit!

This can sometimes be easier than trying to measure your own wrist, so it’s a great option if you do have a piece of jewelry that is a perfect fit. If you don’t, take the time to measure your wrist so that all your future pieces will fit perfectly!

Also, if you are struggling to measure your own wrist (it can be tricky to wrap the tape measure or string around your own wrist accurately) get a friend to help!

It’’ll go much quicker, we promise. Your result will also likely be much more accurate.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that your wrist size is just as important to know as your ring size or necklace length. The right sized bracelet or watch can make all the difference.

If you don’t have the time or access to measure yours (or someone else’s) wrist, follow the average size guides for help. Find the right part of your wrist, measure, and use that to find your next, perfectly sized bracelet or watch!

Put the work in now, and you will thank us later. After all, who wants to pay more money to have their jewelry properly sized? Do the measuring in advance so that you can get the right size the first time. 

How do you prefer to wear your jewelry? Do you like having a snug fit, or do you prefer looser fits and styles? Let us know!