With the internet offering us access to every corner of the globe, we rarely need to leave the comfort of our own homes to run errands, exercise, get food—basically, do anything. So the same should be true when it comes to measuring your ring size before ordering from the best jewelry stores or hinting to your boyfriend about some unique engagement rings you’ve had your eye on. You could go to a jeweler, but that doesn’t really fit with the whole doing-it-all-from-my-couch thing you’ve got going on. (It also ruins the subtlety of accidentally leaving a browser open on your partner’s computer with a few simple engagement rings pulled up—they’ll get the hint soon enough.)
According to New York City’s Catbird, a popular fine jewelry store in Brooklyn, “Your ring should fit your finger comfortably; snug enough so that it will not fall off, but loose enough to slide over your knuckle with some resistance.”
U.S. ring sizes follow a scale of numbers (and half numbers), typically from ring size 3 to 13.5 for adults. Women’s rings are commonly between sizes 3 and 9, while men’s rings are usually sized between 8 and 14. Those units match up to your finger’s width in millimeters: A ring size 3 fits a ring finger (or any finger) that is 14 millimeters across, and the sizes climb from there. The average ring size for women is between 5 and 7, but it’s always best to get an exact ring measurement before spending a lot of money—that average engagement ring cost isn’t cheap.
Before you sit down to measure your ring size, there are a few how-to pointers you should keep in mind:
- Consider your knuckle. If you know your knuckle is on the larger side, you should order half a size bigger than what your finger alone indicates, otherwise you won’t be able slide a ring into the right place.
- Ensure accuracy with multiple tries. Catbird’s site recommends measuring your finger three to four different times because the size actually fluctuates depending on temperature: It can be smaller the colder you are and more swollen if you’re overheated.
Below are three common and easy ways to measure your ring size at home—using string, a ring size chart, and a ring sizer—so you can get the right piece of jewelry, whether it’s a treat-yourself gift or a wedding ring.