Men's Wedding Ring Width Guide
While a wedding ring is a small token of undying love between two partners, it is a mighty token that holds a lot of symbolism for couples about to get married and embark on a lifelong journey together.
Frustratingly, some seem to find shopping for a ring exciting and fun. For others, finding the perfect wedding band is more like pulling teeth, especially if you’re someone that hates to shop. Even if you love to shop, you might be particular and picky. That makes finding what you want challenging.
For others, finding a suitable wedding ring might feel like no big deal. Don’t you just go to the jewelry store and pick one? Good try, friend, but no. And we assure you, choosing your wedding band is a very big deal, especially to your future spouse.
Besides, this is a ring you will be wearing for years to come. You definitely want to find one that fits you well, suits your style, and feels good on your finger. Bonus points if it looks good too, eh?
Men and Wedding Rings: A Short History Lesson
For centuries, all the way back to Egyptian and Roman times, rings have been worn to symbolize different things, including marriage. While in the past it was mainly women who wore a ring to indicate she was married or “belonged” to a man, in more recent history some men began to wear wedding rings too.
Starting during WWII, men began wearing wedding bands to signify they were married and remind themselves of their commitment and what was waiting for them back home. And since wedding bands are symbolic of an eternity spent together, they often hold all the romantic feel for your special lady. She may feel a sense of satisfaction at seeing a ring on your finger, just as much as you feel a sense of satisfaction at seeing one on hers.
Today, most men that don’t wear a wedding band often only do so because they work in an industry that makes it dangerous. This is why the popularity has grown so much over ring styles made of silicone, or off-beat options like tattooing the ring finger.
For instance, men that normally would opt out of wearing a ring because of their career choice might wear a comfortable silicone ring or a ring made of simple gold. Both can be cut off in an emergency easily. Or they might opt for a ring tattoo, and only wear an actual wedding band when they are not working. As for the men that choose not to wear a wedding band at all, whatever the reasons… do so at your own peril with your lady love!
If you do choose to wear a wedding band (smart man), trying to decide on the width of your ring is probably one of the most common challenges men face. Next in line is choosing the ring size, the metal, and the style, all of which impact how wide you want to go. With our ring width guide, we hope to answer all of those questions so you can find a wedding band that’s a perfect fit for you.
Ring Widths Common for Men
Most men’s wedding ring widths start around 6mm and then go up or down from there. Some men may decide to go as wide as 10mm. To give you some perspective, the width of a nickel is about 2mm. So, if you stack 5 nickels on top of each other, you can get a good idea of how wide a 10mm wedding band would be, as well as other widths you may be considering. Obviously, these are just generalities and every man will be different, but at least it gives you a starting point.
Thick and Wide: Not the Same
Sometimes when ring shopping, men can confuse how thick a ring is with how wide a ring is and use the terms interchangeably. However, this is misleading. The thickness of a ring is not the same thing as its width. There is a portion of the ring that can be measured for thickness, but when talking about width, it’s essentially referring to how much of your finger the ring actually covers. The wider the band, the more of your finger it encompasses.
Narrow Bands vs Wide Bands
Typically, the wider the band the more masculine a ring appears to be. Narrow bands look more feminine. That’s not to say men can’t opt for a narrow band, but most men gravitate toward the wider bands, depending on the size of their ring finger. Just keep in mind that you don’t want your ring to be too big and look overpowering. Men that have small hands and slender fingers, men that don’t normally wear jewelry, or men that wear a ring size smaller than a 9, might want to seriously consider a narrower band, between 5 and 6mm. If you’re a man with a ring size that’s larger than 9, a wider band might suit your hand more. You can go with a 7mm width all the way up to a 10mm width. Wide bands are great for men that are used to wearing jewelry and men that have large hands. Wide bands are also an excellent choice for men that really love to make a style statement. There’s no missing a 10mm ring on your finger!
Width vs Budget
Another factor that’s important to consider when deciding on the width of your wedding band is what type of metal and what style of ring you want. The wider the wedding band, the more materials required to make it. That means if you choose a style that’s laden with diamonds, a wider band will cost significantly more than a narrower band. Likewise, the more precious the metal, the more expensive the metal. The more expensive the metal and the wider your ring is, the more your ring will cost. You can, of course, balance the width of your ring with your budget by compromising on style and materials. This means you might opt for a wide band, but choose a ring made of valuable material, like palladium, steel or zirconium, instead of platinum or gold. Alternatively, you might choose a ring made of your favorite precious metal but decide against diamonds or other stones as detailing. The bottom line is the more to the ring, the more to the price. You have to weigh what’s most important for you in terms of width, style, and budget.
Heartbeats, Fingerprints, and Engravings
Some men want to have their ring engraved with something special or want to detail their ring with a fingerprint or heartbeat engraving. Width is a factor here because you can’t engrave much on a ring that’s too narrow, at least not successfully. On average, the minimum width recommended for wedding bands engraved with fingerprints is at least 3mm, so that the engraving shows up better. Any smaller than that and it doesn’t look as good. For a heartbeat engraving, the minimum recommended is 4mm.
If you only want words engraved on your ring, such as a special quote or a meaningful date, you can go down to a 2.5mm width, but in almost all cases of engraving, wider is definitely ideal. Of course, this is rarely a problem for a man, because most will wear at least a 5mm wide ring. On widths 5mm or larger, engravings are a piece of cake and should show up nicely.
Impact of Ring Size
Proper sizing is arguably one of the most important factors in choosing a wedding band, no matter the width. Know how a ring should fit, if it doesn’t fit properly it won’t be comfortable to wear for any length of time, let alone years. You should always keep in mind, the wider the band, the tighter the fit. This is because a wide band covers more of your finger, and fingers come in all shapes and sizes. Some men have fingers that are wide and stubby. Some men have fingers that are long and narrow. Some men have fingers that are slim where the ring sits, but wide at the knuckle, which makes sizing challenging. Either the ring is too large and spins around the finger, with an increased risk of accidentally losing it, or it’s too small to put on in the first place.
Comfort vs Style
Some men prefer simplicity when choosing a wedding ring, they intend to wear for a lifetime. They want comfortable, simple, and elegant. An extremely wide band isn’t necessary for any of those things, which means that often men who value simplicity and comfort will go for a narrower band, such as a 5 or 6mm. Men that desire comfort might also choose comfort fit, which is where the inside of the ring is slightly curved instead of lying flush and flat against the finger. A comfort fit also makes it easier to slide a ring over large knuckles, which is a common problem for men.
Other men find that the standard, flat fit is much more comfortable, regardless of how wide the ring may be. In most cases, a comfort fit is only recommended for men’s rings that are 5mm wide or wider. For rings that are less than 5mm in width, there’s not as much of a noticeable advantage in choosing a comfort fit style, which means you may be paying extra for a feature that you aren’t actually benefiting from. This is because just like wide rings require extra material to make, comfort fit rings also require extra material to make. This increases their value and price. If this is a concern, you may have to balance width vs fit so that you stay within your allocated budget.
Extra-Wide Wedding Bands
Finally, although they aren’t nearly as common, some men really love an extra-wide wedding band. While a 10mm width is the widest you might find available that’s ready-made, some men might want to go as wide as 12mm or more. Often men’s wedding rings this wide are custom-made and designed for their “wow” factor. Unless of course, you’re a very large man and a ring this wide is necessary. Either way men’s rings this wide aren’t the norm, so your chances of finding one without custom ordering it is slim.
Just as there is no “perfect” sized ring, there is also no “perfect” width for a men’s wedding band. The width you choose boils down to several factors, including budget, size, style, and personal preference.
Men that never wear jewelry might find the weight of a wider ring too disconcerting to wear on a daily basis, because of how heavy and even clunky they can sometimes be. Whereas men that are comfortable wearing jewelry might love the extra weight that comes along with choosing a wider band, along with the style statement a wider band can make.
Men that are very active, outdoorsy, or perform manual labor on a regular basis may prefer a narrower width for their wedding band, so it’s not as noticeable and doesn’t get in their way doing daily activities. There’s no wrong or right choice, only your choice. Remember, you are the one living with this ring and wearing it long into your foreseeable future. Make sure it’s a ring you like, that’s comfortable to wear, with a width that suits your taste and style.