How Should a Ring Fit? Finger Tips for New Users

Learn Jewelry

How Should a Ring Fit? Finger Tips for New Users

If you’re getting married or engaged soon, or you’re going to pop the question, then you might be wondering: “How should a ring fit?”

There are different ways you’ll find out whether a ring fits you. First of all, there are several signs that your ring is the perfect fit. These have to do with it being snug but not too tight. There are also signs that it isn’t the right fit—and strategies you can use to find a ring that is.

How Should a Ring Fit?

If you’re asking yourself the question “How should a wedding ring fit?” or you’re wondering about how another type of ring will fit, we will cover that in this section. There are several guidelines you should follow when making sure a ring fits. These include:

  • You’re able to turn the ring comfortably while wearing it
  • If you gently pull at the ring, it should go over your knuckle
  • When you take off the ring, your skin is slightly compressed where it was
  • The ring sits straight, instead of at an angle on your finger
  • There isn’t any tingling or pain on the finger with the ring

Additionally, you shouldn’t notice that there’s a “muffin top” (like what happens when your jeans are too tight) on either side of the ring when you’re wearing it. Additionally, you don’t want indentation marks when you take it off.

Signs Your Ring Doesn’t Fit

If you’re wondering, “How should an engagement ring fit?” it helps to know what the signs are that it doesn’t fit. Often, these signs are easier to look out for than the ones above. By trying on several rings that don’t fit, you can eventually find the right size for you.

You Can’t Get It Off

Of course, you don’t want a ring that’s so loose that it threatens to fall off every time you wear it or moves around in an annoying way. However, when answering the question, “How snug should a ring fit?” you don’t want it to be so snug that you can’t take it off.

If you find that you need to use soap and water every time you want to take your ring off, then it’s way too tight.

Bulging Skin

When answering the question, “How tight should a ring fit?” the answer is that it shouldn’t be so tight that you experience bulging skin around the ring. You don’t want your skin to turn red or puff up around the ring’s edges.

Pain, Tingling, or Swelling

You may absolutely love the look of a ring, but if you’re experiencing any pain, tingling, or swelling, then the fit is too tight. In addition to not being comfortable, this could also be dangerous. You could end up cutting off your finger’s circulation.

Intense Indent Marks

When you remove your ring, it’s okay if there’s a little bit of an indentation. A tan line is nothing to worry about, as well. However, if there are intense indent marks, this is a sign the ring is too tight. If they’re purple or red, you definitely need to resize your ring.

Turning and Spinning All the Time

If your ring is turning and spinning all the time on your finger, then this means it’s too loose. While this isn’t dangerous for your finger, it is dangerous for your ring. You don’t want to lose your ring. Additionally, you might be slightly uncomfortable with a loose ring.

Different Finger Types

When finding the right size ring for you, you have to be aware of the relationship between ring fit and finger types. Your hands might not look like those belonging to the hand models in the magazines. So, depending on your finger type, how should your ring fit?

Knuckles Larger Than Fingers

If your knuckles are larger than the parts of your fingers on either side of them, then you need a ring that is large enough to fit over your knuckles but isn’t loose once it’s resting on your finger. Keep in mind that, when taking your ring off, you’ll have to pull a bit harder.

Even though this is usually a sign that your ring is too tight, it isn’t the case when your knuckles are larger than your fingers.

This is because, if you were to buy a ring that fits over your knuckles smoothly when you took it off, it would be too loose when you were wearing it.

Fingers Larger Than Knuckles

If your fingers are larger than your knuckles, then you need to pick a ring that’s slightly tight on your finger. Otherwise, if it were to slip around on your finger, it would fall off, because your knuckle isn’t large enough to keep it from slipping.

For some people, this might make the ring feel too tight. If this is the case for you, go for a band that’s narrower so you’re more comfortable.

Methods for Finding the Right Size

Now that you know what to watch for to make sure that your ring fits properly, you have to find the right size. There are two methods you can use: the ribbon method and the mandrel method.

If you’re buying a ring in secret before popping the question, you need to use the right method.

The Ribbon Method

While the ribbon method isn’t as accurate as the mandrel method, it’s effective enough for a surprise proposal. Take your partner’s ring that fits their ring finger best, and put a ribbon inside it, lining it up with the ring in a circle.

Make a mark where one end of the ribbon meets the other. Then, place the ribbon to the side of a measuring tape or ruler.

It’s smart to use the ribbon method a couple of times to make sure that you have the best measurement possible.

Once you’ve completed the measurement, go online and find a conversion chart. These are free to use and will tell you what size will be best for your fiancée-to-be.

The Mandrel Method

If you go into a jeweler, they’ll have a mandrel available, which is a tool used for measuring rings. When both partners know about the engagement, they can go together, and you can even try on rings that belong to the jeweler in addition to the ones you’ve brought with you.

Once you have a ring that fits according to the guidelines we’ve provided above, you can have the jeweler put it on the mandrel. Then, they’ll tell you what your ring size is.

If you’re getting a ring in secret and want to use the mandrel method, you can always see if it’s possible to sneak off with your future fiancée’s best-fitting ring finger ring and have the jeweler measure it.

Tips for Finding the Right Size

If you go for the Mandrel Method, there are several strategies you should use to make sure that your wedding or engagement ring is the best fit. These include getting a second opinion, getting sized at the right time, using the right type of sizer, and more.

Get a Second Opinion

When you go to a jeweler to find out your ring size, it’s smart to go to several. This way, you can get second, third, and fourth opinions. Considering the cost of an engagement or wedding ring, you need to get the most accurate size by going to different jewelers.

Get Sized at the Right Time

Did you know that the size of your fingers changes throughout the day? In order to avoid buying a ring only to find that it’s tight way too often, it’s best to get sized when your fingers are a bit larger. This is usually after lunch but before dinner.

Use the Right Type of Sizer

Not all sizers are created equal. As a rule of thumb, it’s smart to use metal sizers, as these are more accurate than plastic ones. Additionally, it’s better to use individual sizers than those that are attached to a larger heavy metal circle.

These are more accurate. If you find that your size is between sizes, you can always ask for one between the different size results.

Consider the Width

If you’re thinking of getting a ring that has a broad width, then simply using a sizer won’t actually tell you everything you need to know about the size of the ring. This is because the sizers you’re using work under the assumption that the band is on the more traditional side.

For anyone who wants a wider ring, they should speak with the jeweler to make sure that this doesn’t impact the size of the ring.

The Thing About Thin Silver Rings

Here’s the thing about thin silver rings: they slowly stretch over time. If you want a silver ring, then, by all means, buy one. However, be aware that you’ll need to resize it in the future. If you have any detailed work done on the silver, this could be a challenge to replicate.

Tension Mount Considerations

If you decide to get a tension-set ring, then you need to be aware of the fact that it can’t be resized without destroying the tension set’s integrity. For this reason, you need to make sure that you don’t lose or gain too much weight.

Otherwise, you’d have to buy another ring entirely. However, you could always use a ring guard if you lose weight to keep the ring tight.

Factors That Affect a Ring’s Fit

There are several factors that affect a ring’s fit. You should be aware of these factors when you’re figuring out your size. Generally speaking, this is why it’s best to go slightly over when it comes to choosing the right size for you.


If you’re big on going to the gym, then you might want to get a size that’s slightly larger. When you exercise, blood rushes to your extremities. As a result, your ring might feel a bit tight when you’re spinning away at spin class or climbing up the Stairmaster.

Air Temperature

On cold days, your fingers might get smaller, making your ring feel a little loose. On warm days, they might swell up. If you live somewhere that gets especially hot or cold, you can always choose your size based on how you think your fingers might change with the weather.

Salt Intake

If you eat a lot of salt, this can cause your fingers to swell up. Fortunately, this is a pretty easy thing to control. Taking a picture of your engagement ring to post on social media? Stay away from salty foods beforehand.


Another factor that can affect your finger size is pregnancy. This is because your body is producing extra fluid for your baby, which you feel in your body, too. This said, however, your fingers should return to their normal size after you’ve had your baby.

Need More Information?

Now that you know the answer to the question, “How should a ring fit?” you might need additional information. Maybe you want to learn about how to choose the right metal type for your ring.

Or maybe you want to learn more about what type of jewelry you can buy to match your wedding or engagement ring.

Whatever information you need, we’re here to help. At Philophrosyne, we’re experts when it comes to jewelry. We also make personalized rings. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us now.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published