Living with a miniaturized computer on your wrist can be a profound experience with connectivity, and with the best Apple Watch bands, your iWatch stays snug where it’s meant to be. The best will turn your Apple Watch into an accessory that enhances your aesthetic, and will style nicely with your wardrobe. These wristbands run the gamut of styles and materials: some are made with woven nylon, others use high-quality leathers, while still others use metals, silicone, or reinforced hard plastics.
The wristband you choose for your Apple Watch will live with you day in and day out, so make sure to choose an iWatch band that says you: that might be a wristband that’s designed for your daily workouts, a rugged watch case and strap that will stand up to a physically demanding job, or a designer wristband that adds a pop of color to your outfit.
— Best Overall: Apple Sport Loop — Best Budget: SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro — Best Leather: Nomad Traditional Band — Best Metal: EPULY — Best Designer: Kate Spade New York
To compile our list of the best Apple Watch bands, we researched the best-selling and best-reviewed watch bands out there, looking for the standouts in a number of categories. Along the way we considered a few factors.
Comfort is all-important in a watch band that’s meant to be worn all day. We looked for watch bands that don’t include lots of little orifices that pull out hair, or textures that get sweaty and cause itching. We also looked for bands that use non-toxic materials, like nylon.
Style is an inextricable part of any accessory. We looked for watch bands that would fit well with lots of different personal aesthetics.
Build quality is important in any accessory that’s meant to be worn daily. We looked to highlight watch bands that have the quality required to be there for you day after day.
Why It Made The Cut: Made of non-toxic woven nylon that comes in a range of colors, theis is an excellent breathable sports band for your Apple Watch.
Specs: — Material: Nylon — Compatible watch models: 42, 44, and 45 mm. Apple Watch models — Wrist size: 5.7 to 8.7 inches
Pros: — Breathable non-toxic nylon weave feels great on skin — Lots of color options
Cons: — Somewhat expensive for nylon
Naturally, when Apple makes a sports band for their product, they do it right. The Apple Sport Loop is an excellent woven nylon sports band. The nylon feels great on your wrist, its weave is breathable enough that it won’t give you rashes, yet it also doesn’t pinch hairs. The band uses a hook-and-loop fastener that holds on to keep your watch firmly on your wrist, even when you do sprints.
The Sport Loop comes in lots of colors, some of which are so bright they’ll catch the eye with any outfit. Others come in discreet combinations that aren’t overbearingly loud. The loop comes in a regular size and an extra large size, and fits most models of Apple Watch with no trouble. Or if you prefer another device to keep tabs on your health metrics, these are the best fitness trackers.
Why It Made The Cut: With a double-tongue buckle, raised bezels to protect your watch screen, and high-quality shock absorption, this affordable case packs all the protection your Apple Watch needs.
Specs: — Material: Plastic — Compatible watch models: Apple Watch 7, Watch 6/SE, Watch 5, Watch 4 — Wrist size: 6.7 to 9.25 inches
Pros: — Excellent protection — Affordable price
Cons: — Not as good looking as some others
A budget Apple Watch case shouldn’t only be affordable, but should protect your investment. The SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro is one of the most rugged cases around, and it also comes for a fair price. The plastic case comes with a snap-on Watch screen protector with raised bezels that pairs with a scratch-proof plastic band. The band buckles with a two-tongue clasp that will keep your watch from flying away from you, even in the most extreme settings.
This is a great Apple Watch band for folks who work on construction sites, in the outdoors, for cooks, and anyone who wants to ensure they get the most value out of their Apple Watch investment. The bezels and shock resistance help keep the screen free of scratches and your watch in working order. SUPCASE also offers watch bands that are designed for other Apple Watch models with different dimensions.
Why It Made The Cut: Made with Horween leather that develops a patina as you wear it and stitched with linen, this strap imparts enduring style.
Specs: — Material: Horween leather, linen thread, stainless steel — Compatible watch models: All — Wrist size: 5.9 to 8.26 inches
Pros: — Beautiful Horween leather that ages well — Rugged look — Made in the USA
Cons: — Not meant to get wet or submerged
For those who want traditional luxury goods paired with a dose of modern connectivity, the Nomad Traditional Band brings high-quality leather to your Apple smartwatch. Using American Horween leather stitched with linen thread and outfitted with stainless-steel hardware, this is a watch that looks great out of the box, but only gets better. Horween leather develops a wonderful mottled patina with use, so that as you grow to love your watchband it grows with you.
The Nomad is a watch strap that invokes wranglers on the ranch, leather furniture in studies, and classic Americana luxury goods. The watch strap’s only drawback comes from its lack of waterproofing. As is the case with all leather goods, this watch strap is better off kept out of the dish bucket or shower. It will wear down if soaked through. However, if you take proper care of it, this watch strap will age with you.
Why It Made The Cut: Made of stainless steel, this classic metal watch band makes for a great accent to your Apple Watch.
Specs: — Material: Stainless steel — Compatible watch models: 45, 44, and 42 mm. Apple Watch models — Wrist size: 7 to 9 inches
Pros: — Sturdy stainless steel is good for daily use — Lots of colors to choose from — Relatively inexpensive
Cons: — Stainless steel loses its finish with time
Looking for a classic metal watch band for your new Apple Watch? The links in the EPULY stainless-steel watch band are sure to impress. For an impressively affordable price, this watchband comes in a variety of colors: from lustrous silver, to forest green, or pink. It’s a watch band that invokes automatic winding watches from days past.
While the stainless steel is rugged enough to be nearly immune to denting, its finish is not. You’ll likely see the color burnish off the edges of your watch strap with time as it rubs on countertops and tables. On models that have been finished with a color, these burnished areas will scrape down to raw steel, on silver models this burnishing may only present as a reduction in luster. Still, this burnishing isn’t a dealbreaker for such an affordable watch accessory — all in all, EPULY is a budget-friendly watch strap that delivers a solid product.
Why It Made The Cut: This printed silicone Apple Watch strap is a great choice for the fashion-conscious Apple Watch user.
Specs: — Material: Silicone — Compatible watch models: 38 and 40 mm Apple Watches — Wrist size: Undisclosed
Pros: — Bright pop of flair — Suitable for the office — Interchangeable
Cons: — Might not be as comfortable as some of the sports-focused options
Sometimes a watch should be treated as more of a fashion accessory than a tool. With this printed Apple Watch band from Kate Spade New York, convert your Apple Watch into a stylish fashion accessory that will provide a nice accent to your wardrobe. Made of silicone and outfitted with a polished metal clasp, this watch band is comfortable to wear all day but also won’t slip off for Thursday night samba lessons.
We love the floral patterns and curves of these Kate Spade watch bands, and think they’d look right at home with your contemporary office casual look, while also dressing up well for Saturday night out. However you style it, Kate Spade Apple Watch bands provide a nice pop of color. We think they’re some of the best watch bands for those who have fashion on the brain.
Before you invest in a new band for your Apple Watch, there’s a few things to consider.
Not every model of Apple Watch is the same. While some iWatch bands easily connect to any model of iWatch, others don’t. Apple Watches are up to Generation 7 now, and many of the generations have different sizes. Apple uses millimeters to describe these sizes. Make sure that the Apple Watch band you select will pair well with your iWatch before you buy. Apple Watch sizes are broken down below:
— Series 7: 41 or 45 mm — SE, Series 6 to Series 4: 40 or 44 mm — Series 3 to Series 0: 38 or 42 mm
Apple Watch bands come at all sorts of price points. Sometimes name-brand wristbands cost dramatically more than third-party bands that are made of the same materials. For example this 3-pack of nylon wristbands from DaQin costs significantly less than the official Apple nylon wrist band. Before you buy a name brand wrist band, consider if its value lives up to its name.
Since Apple Watch bands are generally easily interchangeable, it might be worth considering whether multiple bands for different occasions could be useful. Some people might benefit from having one wristband for the gym and another for date night. It can be fun to mix and match watch bands.
Since nylon reliably feels great on the skin. The Apple Sport Loop is the most comfortable wristband for all day use.
To find your wrist size, simply wrap a piece of paper around your wrist, then mark where the paper meets, lay the paper flat against a ruler, and measure the paper from the end to the mark. Most watch bands state the wrist size range that they are compatible with. Compare your wrist size to this number.
Whether your Apple Watch band will stretch greatly depends on the material it’s made of. Metal wristbands will not stretch. Silicone, on the other hand, may. A nylon weave shouldn’t stretch much unless it contains elastic to make it stretchy. Leather shouldn’t stretch.
Most Apple Watch bands are compatible with a number of specific Apple Watches. Some are universally compatible. It’s worth taking a look at the specific size of your Apple Watch and comparing it to the compatibility numbers given by the company that makes the Watch band that you are interested in. Keep your Apple devices ready to go with the best MagSafe chargers.
Many people tend to wear their watch on their non-dominant hand. For a smartwatch this is more important than ever, as you’ll likely use your dominant hand to manipulate the apps. For righties, this means your left wrist is usually a good bet. However, in practice it’s important to wear your Apple Watch on whatever wrist feels comfortable.
When you’re outfitting your Apple Watch with a new wristband, the wristband you choose can make your watch into something new. Multi-colored nylon and rustic leather create very different moods, but they also feel different. That’s why it’s important to select a wristband that will fit with your lifestyle. For a great rustic leather band that will develop a wonderful patina with use, consider the Nomad Traditional Band. The SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle is a great option for those looking for some affordable armor for their watch. The Apple Sport Loop on the other hand is a wonderful multicolored nylon band made by Apple, that will keep up on a marathon, and look good the whole while.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.