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If you're preparing to buy an Apple Watch, you need to take into consideration wrist size and the available band options to get the best fit. There are a few Apple Watch bands that need specific sizing, and others that are not designed to fit all wrists.

Apple-Watch-Series-7-Rainbow-Crop-Blue.jpg

You can try on an Apple Watch band if you have an Apple retail store nearby, but if you don't, there's a little more measuring to do so Apple doesn't send the wrong size.

This guide walks through all of the different Apple Watch band options and is designed to help make sure that you get the best Apple Watch band size for your wrist.

Measuring Your Wrist

When choosing a band, it's useful to measure your wrist as a first step. If you have a cloth tape measure on hand, you can wrap it around your wrist to get your band size. For those who don't have a cloth tape measure, you can take a piece of string and wrap it around your wrist, using a standard flat measuring tape or ruler to measure the part of the string that fits around your wrist as a watch might.

tape-measure-apple-watch-solo-loop-band-sizing.jpg

Make sure that you're using string or a measuring tape that does not have give so you can't stretch it and cause an error in measurement. If you don't have a tool like this, it's best to use a piece of paper. Cut a piece of paper into a strip and wrap it around your wrist where you might wear a watch, and use a pen to mark the paper strip where it overlaps.

When doing these measurements, make sure the tape measure, string, or paper is fit tightly to your wrist and that it is not sliding around. For all Apple Watch bands, you want a snug fit that will keep the Apple Watch against the skin for sensors to function.

If your tape measure only measures in inches, you may need to convert the measurement to millimeters to best match how Apple offers its sizing guidelines. One inch is equal to 25.4 mm, so if your wrist is seven inches in circumference, multiply by 25.4 to get 177.8 mm. Siri can provide a quick conversion for you if you need it.

Apple Watch Sizes

Apple offers the Apple Watch Series 7 in 41mm and 45mm size casing sizes, and the Apple Watch SE in 40 and 44mm size options. The first step in choosing an Apple Watch band is to select the right-sized Apple Watch.

apple-watch-series-7-sizes.jpg

Those with smaller wrists will want to opt for the smaller Apple Watch options, while larger wrists will need the bigger models. The 40/41mm Apple Watch models are designed to fit wrists sized 130 to 200mm, while the 44/45mm Apple Watch models are sized to fit wrists between 140 and 220mm.

Note that this guide references the 40, 41, 44, and 45mm size options available with the modern Apple Watch models, but this fit guide also works for the older 38 and 42mm models as band compatibility has remained the same since 2015.

Apple Watch Band Options and Individual Sizing

Once you've picked your appropriate Apple Watch size, you can delve into bands and the different fits of each one. We'll explain the materials of each watch band and how they might feel on the wrist.

Not all Apple Watch bands are available in every size, and not all bands are compatible with both models. The Modern Buckle, for example, is limited to the 40 and 41mm models, but for the most part the Apple Watch bands fit a wide range of wrist sizes.

Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop

The Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop are Apple's two bands that have no clasp. The Solo Loop bands are offered in twelve sizes rather than having an adjustable loop or clasp, so it's important to measure well for these bands.

solo-loops-fall-2021.jpg

Smaller Apple Watch models are compatible with bands sized one to nine, and larger Apple Watch models are compatible with bands sized four to 12, with specifics on those measurements below. Getting the right fit for a band that does not have a clasp is tricky. For an error-free experience, this is a situation where it's best to visit an Apple Store in person to see what feels best on your wrist.

braided-solo-loop.jpg

Apple offers a measurement tool online [PDF], and it's the next best tool to use if you can't get to an Apple Store. On the store page for the Solo Loop, click on the "Start your measurement" option to download and print Apple's sizing tool.

printable-tool-apple-watch-solo-loop.jpg

If you don't have a printer, you can measure your wrist with a piece of paper as described above and then use Apple's on-page calculator to determine your size. We have a dedicated guide on how to properly measure your wrist for the Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop.

Even with the tool, some Apple Watch Solo band users have not gotten the right fit, which is again why we recommend trying the band in a store if possible. Apple does, however, offer free returns and exchanges if you do get a band that doesn't fit right.

The Solo Loop is made from a soft liquid silicone rubber, while the Braided Solo Loop is made from polyester yarn braided around silicone thread. Both of these bands have an elastic quality that allows them to slip over a hand and contract on a wrist, and these bands will stretch over time, so it may be worthwhile to size down from your measured size.
  • Compatibility: 38mm, 40mm, 41mm, 42mm, 44mm, 45mm Apple Watches.
  • Size Range: 5 inches to 8.125 inches, or 120mm to 206mm.
  • Size Options, 40 and 41mm: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Size 1 starts at 5 inches (120mm) and size 9 is 7.25 inches, or 184mm.
  • Size Options, 44 and 45mm: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Size 4 starts at 5.75 inches (146mm), and size 12 is 8.125 inches (206mm).
Sport Band

The Sport Band is an adjustable band made from a fluoroelastomer, and it comes in two sizes to fit the smaller and larger Apple Watch models. Because this band has holes for an adjustable fit, you just need to make sure that the size range below matches the size of your wrist.

sport-bands-fall-2021.jpg

Apple ships the Sport Band with components that allow it to be configured for either an S/M or M/L fit, so you will get an extra piece with a Sport Band.

Fluoroelastomer has a soft touch feel, but it is a silicone-like material. It is waterproof and sweatproof, and it does not have stretch.
  • Compatibility: 38mm, 40mm, 41mm, 42mm, 44mm, 45mm Apple Watches.
  • Sizing, 40 and 41mm: Fits wrists sized 130mm to 200mm.
  • Sizing, 44 and 45mm: Fits wrists sized 140mm to 210mm.
Sport Loop

Apple's Sport Loop is made from woven nylon with a hook and loop fastener. One side is a velcro-like material that adheres the Sport Loop tightly to your wrist. It doesn't use holes like the Sport Band, so you can get an even more customized fit

sport-loop-fall-2021.jpg

The Sport Loop is soft and breathable so it's comfortable when sweating, but you probably won't want to get it wet so it's best for activities without water exposure. It comes in two sizes for the smaller and larger Apple Watch models, and if you have a larger wrist, this is one of the bands with the widest fit range.

For this band, Apple says that sizing starts at 130mm, but there is some leeway here because of the wrapped fit so this is also a good choice for smaller wrists.
  • Compatibility: 38mm, 40mm, 41mm, 42mm, 44mm, 45mm Apple Watches.
  • Sizing, 40 and 41mm: Fits wrists sized 130mm to 200mm.
  • Sizing, 44 and 45mm: Fits wrists sized 145mm to 220mm.
Leather Link

Made from leather, the Leather Link has a wraparound fit with the end of the band secured to the wrist using flexible, moulded magnets. The fit is not unlike the Sport Loop, but with a leather material instead of woven nylon. Because it's leather, this is not a band that should be used in water or when exercising to avoid subjecting it to sweat.

leatherlinkbands.jpg

With a wrap fit, the only consideration when choosing this band is to make sure your wrist falls in the size parameters listed below.
  • Compatibility: 38mm, 40mm, 41mm, 42mm, 44mm, 45mm Apple Watches.
  • Sizing, 40 and 41mm: Size S/M fits 130mm to 160mm wrists. Size M/L fits 140mm to 180mm wrists.
  • Sizing, 44 and 45mm: Size S/M fits 140mm to 180mm wrists. Size M/L fits 165mm to 205mm wrists.
Modern Buckle

Made from leather, the Modern Buckle is Apple's only band that is exclusive to the smaller 40 and 41mm Apple Watch models. It is not compatible with the larger 44 and 45mm Apple Watches.

modernbucklebands.jpg

The Modern Buckle has a buckle clasp and the fit is not quite as forgiving as some other bands, so you need to make sure that you buy one that's appropriate for the size of your wrist. There are three sizes, starting at 135mm, so this band starts out a little bit larger than some other Apple Watch bands.

Sizing maxes out at 180mm, so if you have a wrist that's over seven inches, you'll want to go with a different band. The Modern Buckle is another band that's more for fashion than function, and it isn't designed to get wet.
  • Compatibility: 38mm, 40mm, 41mm Apple Watches.
  • Sizing: Size small fits wrists sized 135mm to 150mm, size medium fits wrists sized 145mm to 165mm, and size large fits wrists sized 160mm to 180mm.
Milanese Loop

The Milanese Loop is made from a stainless steel mesh, and it has the same wraparound design as the Sport Loop. Like most Apple Watch bands, sizing starts at 130mm, but it's worth noting that this is one of the smaller Apple Watch bands, topping out at 200mm. If you have a larger wrist (Over 7.8 inches), the Milanese Loop may be too small.

milaneseloop-2.jpg

The Milanese Loop is a fashion band and it is not meant to be used for exercise nor is it meant to get wet, but it won't soak up water like the Sport Loop if it does get water on it.
  • Compatibility: 38mm, 40mm, 41mm, 42mm, 44mm, 45mm Apple Watches.
  • Sizing, 40 and 41mm: Fits wrists sized 135mm to 195mm.
  • Sizing, 44 and 45mm: Fits wrists sized 150mm to 200mm.
Link Bracelet

Made from a stainless steel alloy, the Link Bracelet is Apple's most expensive band, with a link design that looks similar to a high-end watch band. Sizing can only be adjusted by removing links, so there's less flexibility with the Link Bracelet than with other bands.

linkbracelet-1.jpg

Sizing on the Link Bracelet starts at 135mm so it's a bit bigger than some other Apple Watch bands, and it maxes out at 200mm, so the size range is smaller than other options. Because of the way it fits, you're going to want to make sure you're right within the size measurements listed below.

Links can be removed or added with a release button, so it's not too tough to adjust the size once you purchase this band.
  • Compatibility: 38mm, 40mm, 41mm, 42mm, 44mm, 45mm Apple Watches.
  • Sizing, 40 and 41mm: Fits wrists sized 130mm to 180mm.
  • Sizing, 44 and 45mm: Fits wrists sized 150mm to 200mm.
Choosing a Band

For the most part, every Apple Watch band has a good size range, and you really only need to pay close attention if your wrist is smaller than average or larger than average.

Wrap bands like Sport Loops are the most forgiving in both situations, and if you have a large wrist the Sport Band and Sport Loop may fit where other bands do not. For small wrists, the Sport Loop can be pulled tight and it will offer a better fit than something like a Sport Band.

Sizing is especially tricky with the Solo Loop and Solo Braided Loop, so measurements for these watches need to be spot on. You don't need to be quite as careful with the other Apple Watch bands, but it is useful to get precise measurements to ensure a good fit.

With any of the bands, it's a good idea to go to an Apple retail store if you can for a try-on process so you can get an idea of the different materials and what they feel like on the wrist. This can be especially helpful with the Solo Loop and Solo Braided Loop because the measuring tools aren't accurate for everyone.

With almost all of the bands, the fit is true to size, but the Solo Loop and Solo Braided Loop stretch, so with these two bands, you might want to size down.

Guide Feedback

Have a band sizing question or want to provide feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Article Link: How to Choose the Right Apple Watch Band Size
 
Last edited:

nutmac

macrumors 603
Mar 30, 2004
5,496
5,592
I am a guy and I realize modern buckle is for women. But I really dig its magnetic closure. It's too bad the closure isn't available with any of the 42mm leather bands.
 

netsped

macrumors 6502
Jul 8, 2008
279
280
Well, I guess I'm stuck with either the leather loop or the classic buckle. For the price of the 42mm watch with one of those straps, I was planning on buying the milanese loop.

Damn you 210mm wrist. Maybe they'll offer more band sizes in version 2.

Oh, so tempting but now I guess I'll wait one more year.
 

gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
3,432
3,399
Well, I guess I'm stuck with either the leather loop or the classic buckle. For the price of the 42mm watch with one of those straps, I was planning on buying the milanese loop.

Damn you 210mm wrist. Maybe they'll offer more band sizes in version 2.

Oh, so tempting but now I guess I'll wait one more year.

You could do the sport band as well it looks like.

Looks like I'm at @ 203mm so my options are limited in some areas too. The sport band looks like it would be the better fit here. Not interested in leather not paying for metal so sport band it is/would be. Still not 100% sure but most likely will purchase.
 

TonyC28

macrumors 68020
Aug 15, 2009
2,355
6,184
USA
I wish there was a way to try it on before pre-orders start. This guide is useful info but it's something I really want to try on before ordering.
 

nutmac

macrumors 603
Mar 30, 2004
5,496
5,592
I wish there was a way to try it on before pre-orders start. This guide is useful info but it's something I really want to try on before ordering.

I think that may be what Apple want all along. Stepping in to the store and trying out different bands, etc., increases upscale potential.

I am planning on preordering on day 1 (42mm aluminum space gray) but make an appointment to visit the store to try out different configurations in person.
 

irfaanfaki

macrumors member
Jan 11, 2013
95
0
Really disappointed that there is no 38mm leather loop. I have very skinny wrists and was hoping to get a 38mm watch with a black leather loop.
 

KieranDotW

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2012
623
68
Canada
Waiting for the MRA's to come out the woodwork...

Men with bigger wrists have to buy bigger watches? DISCRIMINATION!
 

Locoboof

macrumors 65816
Jun 8, 2008
1,177
158
Bay Area,Cali
Step 1: Go to an Apple store near you.

Step 2: Try it on.



Angry pre-orderers incoming...


But the problem is. If pre-orders start at 12:01am 4/10/15 (let's say) but by the time I get to a store to try it on after work (5pm) all pre-orders could be gone potentially. Right?

I'm pre-ordering one 42mm stainless steel with leather band and another stainless 38mm for the fiancé.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,379
5,657
Waiting for the MRA's to come out the woodwork...

Men with bigger wrists have to buy bigger watches? DISCRIMINATION!

Nah, my wrists are smaller than those of most girls, I think. It's more like large person discrimination than a gender based discrimination, so it wouldn't be an MRA, I don't think.
 

Trik

macrumors 6502
Jan 18, 2011
363
1,123
Washington, DC
I like to wear my watch a little loose around my wrist but I have a feeling that I cannot do that and expect an accurate reading of my heart rate. I'll definitely have to go and try it on to find out...
 

Onimusha370

macrumors 6502a
Aug 25, 2010
591
134
145mm wrist here, torn between the 38/42mm SS with Milanese loop. The 42mm band seems to be 150mm+ so I guess my decisions sort of made for me now :/
 

bronksy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 5, 2006
625
331
London
sorry - but you get 2 bands in the box no?

I've chosen my 'favourite' watch in the apple store app on my phone.

The summary says 'fits 140-210mm wrists'

No option to chose the strap.

I assume there's 2 straps in each box - if you look at the store page for the separate straps there's 2 per box.
 

DavidTheExpert

macrumors regular
Apr 20, 2012
199
349
Thanks again Lory Gil for posting this completely unnecessary article for no other reason than to capture the inevitable search traffic closer to the launch date. 100% of this information is already available on Apple's website, except for the wonderfully helpful tips on how to convert inches to millimeters. Thanks so much for that tidbit.
 

ttss6

macrumors 6502
Mar 28, 2014
333
58
California
I just stick with the base stainless steel  Watch black rubber band. It's free if I buy them with the watch and later on once supply catches up with demand and the Apple stores are no longer busy I'll consider the Milanese loop and classic buckle.
 

dfs

macrumors 6502
Sep 17, 2008
353
179
California
Yes, but...

Note that the cost of the metal link bracelet band is four hundred bucks!!! This tells me that we're about to be hit by an avalanche of third-party alternatives, reasonably priced and probably a good deal more attractive than Apple's offerings.
 
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