With the internet continuing to give 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 jewelry online or hinting to your boyfriend what your dream engagement ring is. 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 or the subtlety of “accidentally” leaving a browser open on your partner’s computer with a line of engagement ringspulled up.
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.”
Women’s rings in the U.S. are commonly between sizes 3 to 9, while men’s rings are usually sized between 8 and 14, and those units match up to your finger’s width in millimeters. Before you sit down to measure your ring size, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
1. 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.
2. Ensure accuracy with multiple tries. Catbird’s site advises measuring your finger three to four different times because the size actually fluctuates depending on temperature, tending to 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 from that obscure, non-refundable store in Australia you read about on the internet.
Option One: Using String or Floss to Measure Your Finger
You can measure your ring size using either string or, perhaps a more common item in your home, floss. Take one of these measurement tools and wrap it around the base of your finger, marking where the string or floss meets the start with a pen. Then, line that up with a ruler and take down its length in millimeters.
With standard ring sizes, every half a size matches up to a 0.4 millimeter increment, starting with size 3 equaling 14.1 mm, size 3.5 equal to 14.5 mm, size 4 equal to 14.9 mm, and so on. The most common ring sizes for women are 6 (16.5 mm), 6.5 (16.9 mm), and 7 (17.3 mm). For men, the most common sizes are 10 (19.8 mm), 10.5 (20.2 mm), and 11 (20.6 mm).
There is one caveat with this method: String and floss can stretch, so try not to force your measuring tool too taut because you may be forcing your ring size smaller than what it will be with a more rigid material.
Option Two: Place a Ring You Already Own on a Ring Size Chart
You can measure your ring size using a piece of jewelry that you already have and know fits you. Print out a true-to-size ring size chart—like this one on Catbird’s site—and place your ring on the circles until you find the one that matches up with the inside circumference of your ring.
The ring size chart should tell you how many millimeters the matching circle is as well as what ring size that measurement correlates to.