How Do I Know if My Ring Fits?
In an ideal world, a ring should fit as perfectly as Cinderella’s glass slipper—not too tight, not too loose, but just right (you know, like Goldilocks and her porridge). Fairy-tale references aside, if your ring doesn’t fit, you’re not going to wear it, whether it’s an engagement ring, a cherished family heirloom or a birthstone design that you’d hoped to wear every day.
If your ring is too large, it could slip off (and disappear completely) whereas a ring that’s too snug can become stuck (which can be painful, even if you try the variety of ring removal methods we run through here).
Both fit situations are problems worth solving. Keep reading to determine if your ring’s the right size, what factors may cause your fingers to swell or shrink, and when it’s time to seek the help of a professional jeweler.
How Should a Ring Fit?
A ring should not only look good but also feel good. While the “perfect fit” may be a matter of personal preference, here’s how most jewelers assess it:
A ring that fits properly should slide on with relative ease but needs a little extra push going over the knuckle. It should fit snugly at the base of your finger but not feel uncomfortably tight. When taking the ring off, you should feel a little resistance going over the knuckle.
If you know the size of the ring in question and it aligns with what you know to be your ring size, that might provide some peace of mind that the fit is a-okay. Don’t know your ring size? Download our printable ring sizer or visit your local jewelry store to get your ring finger sized by a pro. If you’re measuring up or down a full or half size, there’s your answer: you need to get your ring resized.
Signs Your Ring is Too Tight
The ring won’t come off. Despite feverish attempts to twist, turn and shimmy your ring off your finger, it just won’t budge. Don’t panic—here are some ways to remove a stubborn ring when you start to feel the squeeze.
The ring doesn’t turn. Your ring should be able to move slightly in a clockwise and counterclockwise direction without scraping up or twisting the skin at the base of your finger.
A mini “muffin top” is visible. If your skin is bulging out of the top or bottom of the ring and makes your whole finger look pudgier than it actually is, you for sure need a bigger size.
You feel pain or a tingling sensation. This could be a sign that your circulation is getting cut off, especially if you notice your finger is turning a bluish or purplish color. If it doesn’t return to its normal state after you take off the ring, you may want to get checked by a medical professional.
The ring leaves a mark: When you remove your ring, it’s ok if there’s a little bit of an indentation. However, if there are deep indent marks, scrapes, or sores that look purple or red, that means your ring is way too small.
Signs Your Ring is Too Loose
The ring spins around easily and the center stone won’t sit up straight—instead, it’s propped up on one side of your finger or entirely inverted.
Another person can slide the ring off without much effort.
A vigorous shake of the hand causes the ring to slip down past the knuckle in the middle section of your finger (careful when you do this—you don’t want your ring to go flying).
Getting Your Ring Resized
If you determine that the ring in question is indeed “too tight” or “too loose,” bring it to a jeweler to get it resized. In general, rings can be adjusted up to two sizes larger or smaller. However, anything more than that can compromise the integrity of the ring.
If your ring is too big, a jeweler will cut out a piece of the band and close up the circle by fusing the two gap ends together. If your ring is too small, a jeweler can either stretch the ring to create a larger opening or cut the band and fill the gap with an extra piece of metal. Like an impeccable tailor, a skilled jeweler’s clean, precise work will ensure that no one will ever know you adjusted the fit.
Most jewelers can complete a ring resizing job in a matter of days but allow a month or so if you need it by a specific date. Resizing a ring can cost anywhere between $20 and a few hundred dollars depending on the jeweler, the complexity of the job, and other factors.
Still Can’t Tell if Your Ring’s the Right Size?
It’s okay—sometimes you’re between two sizes (say a 5 and 5 ½) and it’s hard to say one way or another. The reality is that your ring won’t fit the exact same way all the time—your fingers may shrink or swell in size due to a variety of factors. And to make things extra complicated, left-hand and right-hand ring fingers are often different sizes!
If your ring fits well some days but on occasion feels like it’s too big or too small, pay attention to the factors below before you move forward with getting it resized.
Your ring will feel tighter:
- On a hot or humid day. Warm temperatures can cause blood vessels to expand, leading to swelling in your fingers.
- After a salty meal. Too much salt can cause the body to retain water instead of eliminating it.
- After a few drinks. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it makes you urinate more frequently. When more water passes out of your system than usual, you may become dehydrated. And when you’re dehydrated, your body starts to conserve the water it still has, leading to fluid retention in your hands.
- In the morning. Lying still overnight can cause fluid to build up in the tissues of the hands, resulting in swelling when you wake up.
- At night. Fingers can swell due to late-night eating, being sedentary, or a buildup of inflammation throughout the day.
- During or after exercise. When you engage in any strenuous activity or exercise, more blood flows to your heart, lungs and muscles. Less blood may flow to your hands, however, which can cause them to swell.
- If you suffer from an inflammatory type of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis or gout, your knuckles may become swollen, stiff and deformed which can restrict your ability to wear rings comfortably.
- If you are pregnant. Have a bun in the oven? It’s not uncommon for pregnant women to experience swelling in their extremities, particularly in the third trimester. This is due to increased levels of hormones and fluid in the body.
- If you gain weight. Gained a few pounds? Your fingers may be thicker and wider, too.
- If you have large knuckles. You may need a wider band to accommodate your knuckle size.
Your ring will feel looser:
- In cold weather. Your fingers may shrink a little when the temperature drops.
- In cold water. Taking a dip in the pool or ocean can cause your fingers to contract.
- If you’ve lost weight. If your clothes are feeling a bit looser, it’s possible your ring does, too.
Keep in mind that many of the factors listed above only temporarily affect your ring size. So for example, if your ring feels too big on a cold winter’s day, you may want to consider a temporary solution such as using a plastic ring adjuster or having a jeweler insert sizing beads on the inside of your ring to keep it firmly in place.
Having a ring that fits properly and comfortably is step one if you hope to wear and enjoy it for a lifetime. Once you find the right fit, protect your investment by obtaining personal jewelry insurance through Jewelers Mutual. It’s an affordable option that covers loss, damage, and mysterious disappearances. You can receive a jewelry insurance quote in just 30 seconds by clicking the button below. No personal information is required.