How do you secretly find out your partner's ring size?

Lego bride and groom
Photo by Jerold Santa Cruz
My partner and I have talked about getting married for a while now. But we're not officially engaged. I want to propose to him with the ring that would then become his wedding band.

The problem is… I want to make it a surprise, and I don't know his ring size. We don't even have a ring that fits him at the moment on which to base the size from!

Does anyone know other sneaky ways to find their partner's ring size? -ladyhatfield

Obviously, the best way is to steal the sizing from a ring your partner usually wears, but that's not the approach you can take in this case.

I once helped a friend get his girlfriends' ring size by getting her to try on my wedding ring. It fit her finger, so we went with my ring size. Does your boyfriend have a ring-wearing friend that might help you come up with a reason to get him to try on their ring?

What about just purchasing a ring with your best guess on size and then having it re-sized if need be?

What about you guys! What sneaky methods did you come up with to get your partners ring size?

Get your daily dose of Offbeat AWESOME

  1. Ask his mom/family/friends if they know. My mom knew my ring size because I have tried on her ring in the past and I'm the same size. If noone knows, definitely just use your best guess – you can always get it resized. The jeweler/ring seller will be able to tell you the average men's ring size/will be able to estimate if you describe your boyfriend's basic physical makeup.

    2 agree
    • Many of the newer, cheaper, "trendy" metals CANNOT be resized — titanium, etc. If you might need it resized, check with the jeweler before you buy!

      20 agree
  2. My husband enlisted the help of a good friend of mine. She works for Urban Outfitters so she emailed me and said they were having a sample sale and there are some really cute rings I might like, what are the ring sizes of your fingers so I can see if any of them will fit you. So I sent her my ring size for ALL my fingers! Sneaky! Then I forgot all about it.

    I never did get any cute sample sale rings from her.

    28 agree
  3. Is he a heavy sleeper? Buy a ring sizer, set it to what you think is closest and gently try it out. If he wakes up pull it off quickly and say you were flicking a bug off of his hand. Creepy, but effective.

    46 agree
    • My ex-fiancee did this. He slipped a sizer on me while I was sleeping. I actually did wake up a bit but it just seemed like he was grabbing/holding my hand in my sleep and I never thought about it again until he confessed later.

      10 agree
  4. Hm, it is pretty tricky. Sometimes, the easiest method, if not the sneakiest one, is to come up with a pretense for him trying on one of your rings. My partner's fingers are not much bigger than mine, so it was easy to do with one of my regular-sized rings, but I did have some more giant thumb-rings just in case he had bigger hands.

    I think I just convinced him that I was just curious about whether or not a ring he had given me would fit him. It ended up not mattering–we decided not to propose to each other, but to just get engaged, so we were both sized for rings at a jeweler.

    Do not get him a titanium or tungsten carbide band–those cannot be resized.

    7 agree
    • Actually, Tungsten Carbide is one of the best materials there is that you can get for a mens ring these days! It holds up against wear and tear and does not scratch, at all!! I love love love the fact that I can get my partner a Tungsten ring and count on it looking brand new for years to come! I'm actually searching for the perfect one right now! Just be sure you definitely know the size! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I pretty much did exactly this. I had the excuse that we were getting a custom reenactment costume done for him. So said I needed all his measurements. I gave him a list including hat and ring sizes to fill out. When he said he didn't know his ring size I just responded with "Oh, what about that ring you gave me, does that fit?" He's pretty gullible though, so I'm not sure if it would work with a cannier partner.

      1 agrees
  5. If you are buying a gold ring or custom, you would want to be sure to get as close to the right size because there could be additional cost to size it. You might pay more too if you over estimate his size.
    You could bring him shopping to a jewelry store and have/her him try rings on for "fun" people like specific styles so you would see the look he/she likes. Go to an import kind of place if you aren't a jewelry type of person. They often have rings. Most people like to try stuff on.
    It is NOT how we recommend getting an accurate size if you do have the person with you but for a secret ring so it is close, wrap paper around their finger mark it and then use that template to get a size (while they are sleeping). Be sure it is snug.
    Maybe a ring from a gum ball machine. Those are usually adjustable so you could make it go on his finger and capture an approximate size!

    3 agree
    • I work at a jewelry store and i dont suggest this method, the hardest part about ring sizing is that the knuckle is larger than where the ring is going to fit, you should have a small amount of resistance when removing the ring (so it wont fall off) anything that will change size when removing over the knuckle is going to give you an inaccurate size.

      3 agree
  6. I bought a ring sizing set and was playing around with them and asked my boyfriend if he knew his ring size. He is very curious and wanted me to check. Worked like a charm ๐Ÿ˜‰

    20 agree
  7. My fiance got my ring size in the LEAST sneaky way possible: by dragging me into a jewelry store while we were out shopping for other stuff and asking the clerk to size my left ring finger. "What the hell was that about??" I asked, repeatedly, and for several days. His response was always a very not-coy "NOTHING!" Riiiiight. So for weeks, I assumed he was about to propose any second, especially when the holidays came around. But nothing happened. Months passed, life went on, and I forgot about that jewelry store incident entirely. So when he proposed SIX MONTHS later, I was still pretty surprised ๐Ÿ™‚

    All this is to say that you don't really have to be sneaky about it if a) you're willing to wait long enough, and b) you can gamble on his hands staying exactly the same size while you wait.

    9 agree
    • My wife did something similar to this! She asked for my ring size, saying her mom wanted to get me a ring for Christmas, but we never got around to going for a sizing. When I finally asked her about it she said her mom had decided to get me something else. (Little did I know she'd grabbed one of my old rings and got the size from there.) I still held out hope until Christmas came with no ring in sight. After that I called myself silly for jumping to conclusions and pushed the incident to the back of my mind. It was a complete surprise when she proposed to me on New Year's Eve!

      1 agrees
  8. OMG I did the same thing – in terms of proposing with the eventual wedding band! My original plan to get his ring size was to size it while he was sleeping. So I ordered the ring sizers, waiting till he was sleeping – but then got too nervous I'd wake him up! I ended up looking online for average men's ring sizes. He's a fairly big person (6'4") but lean, so I went a size up to a 10. I expected to have to send it back to be resized but, surprisingly, it was just right.

    1 agrees
    • I have a technique and a few practical tips:
      This technique worked really well for me when I surprised my then-boyfriend with a proposal, but make sure that your partner's ring finger is a comparable size to at least one of your fingers.

      One morning when he was still asleep I got cuddly ("little spoon"-style), wrapped his arm around me, and held his hand (with relatively excessive movement of my hand so he wouldn't notice anything unusual). While doing so I used my other hand to carefully feel out the thickness of his knuckle and finger and found that the size was quite close to that of my thumb. I went back and forth a few times until I felt confident that I knew and could remember the difference in thickness. Later that same day I went to a jeweler and found the correct gauge.
      I ordered him a wooden ring– not that resizable, right? So I got a very inexpensive (but nice-looking, and not too-thin) one, figuring I could upgrade if it really didn't fit.

      In my sizing I erred on the side of slightly too small rather than too large (I was deciding between two gauges consecutive by the half-size), since it could be filed/drilled out larger– way easier than shimming it with a paper-thin veneer. With gold and silver it's easier to expand the ring to resize it than it is to shrink it, so the same principle would apply if you can get close enough for your partner to try on the ring at the proposal.

      It would be a bummer if they can't get it past their first knuckle, so if you really can't get a good estimate and you are fine with getting it resized, get something a little large so they can admire it on their finger for a little while.

      If you are proposing someplace where you can't resize it within a day or two (I did it on a trip), bring a chain or cord so they can wear it as a necklace for the time being.

      My finger-thickness estimate, turned out, was very accurate, and my cautious smaller size was just a hair too tight. We ended up taking it to a wood crafting store later on, where one of the employees took a few minutes to remove a small amount from the middle (no charge!).

      4 agree
  9. I sat next to my hubby with the mail and "discovered" a set of ring sizers I got for free from online ("How cool!" I exclaimed, "so many online retailers have plastic card sizers they ship to you for free, suckas"). I made a deal of I never know what size I wear since I have gone up and down over the years. I sized all my fingers, noting the differences between them and peaked his curiosity and wanted to see the differences between our fingers if one of his fingers would fit any of mine. Sneaky by effective.

    19 agree
  10. Speaking as a maker of wedding rings, if there's no current ring to base a size off of, family or friends are the first best option to enlist for help. If there's family heirloom rings, have mom or dad get them to try one on "in case I decide to pass it down sooner than later", or a friend to take them shopping because "I want to find my own size" or "Woohoo – let's try on sparkly things!"

    I can also tell you what *doesn't* work, and that's twist-ties, pieces of string, and sizers you print off online. They're rarely accurate because they're way to thin and narrow compared to most rings, which can affect the fit by quite a lot.

    If all else fails, aim for a ring design that has a decent section of plain metal at the back, and not eternity style or otherwise covered in teeny tiny stones. It will be much easier for a jeweller to size in either direction.

    9 agree
    • Seconding the advice against using string or online ring sizers. Before we got engaged (but after we talked seriously about getting married), my fiance and I printed a sizer from Zales' website or something and not only was it totally unwieldy, it gave super inconsistent (and as it turns out, wildly inaccurate!) results. We ended up just going to a jewelry store to get sized. The online printout method put me somewhere between a 5 and a 6, and the in-store measurement put me at a 4! (yeah, I have tiny fingers)

      I found out later that my fiance had first tried some sneaky methods to figure out my ring size, but came up short. I don't wear many rings, and the only ones I do own were taped up to make the fit snugger (aforementioned tiny fingers). He was re-sizing his great-grandmother's ring to fit me and had wanted it to be a complete surprise, but it just wasn't going to happen that way. Even though I knew we were getting engaged (eventually), the time/place/manner in which we got engaged was a surprise, and it was awesome.

      1 agrees
      • Okay, should have read all the advice before I posted above. Scrap my string advice, I didn't realise it was so inaccurate!

  11. My partner and I were just fitted for our wedding bands and were told that sizing with paper or other substitutes by wrapping round is very inaccurate as is cutting out sizing holes from paper or card for the simple reason that the materials involved are not the same as metal, they stretch and distort.

    Even though our rings are custom designed we sat and tried different sizes and thickness of basic types for an HOUR with our goldsmith, fine-tuning what felt and looked right on each of our hands, it's not an exact science and is entirely subjective. As well as width there are things like the inside profile to considered, is it round on the inside, flat on the inside etc, this affects how it looks and fits. Now compare that with wrapping a piece of paper round someone's finger in a hurry in the dark trying not wake them up. Metal is wonderful in that jewellery can be re-size but it's not free to do so!

    What I've also always found odd about the surprising someone with a ring thing is that it also means you are already making all the choices about your partners ring/wedding band for them but maybe that's my control freakiness coming out, please don't take it as a criticism just an observation. I have loved how both my partner and I have contributed ideas and come up with our rings together โ€“ when we left the jeweller last weekend we discovered we had missed our train and so went a nearby pub and drank lunchtime cider and just beamed at each other, it was just lovely.

    9 agree
    • A way to conquer your last point is to just "pop in" while shopping. "Oh hey, let's go in this jeweller's, I want to have a look at some rings". You can ask him which ones he likes, check out ring sizes, carry on as if nothing happened. Go back and whammo!

      1 agrees
  12. Even if you can't be sneaky about ring size, you can still surprise with a proposal. My fiancรฉe and I looked at rings together, and when I found one I liked, she told me she couldn't afford it. Little did I know that she had actually bought it that very day without telling me. A month later she surprised me with a proposal in Disneyland! I was definitely surprised!

    4 agree
  13. I also proposed with a ring which, after getting it engraved, will become his wedding band. He likes to put on one of my rings, which fits on his ring while I wear it on my middle, so I figured he's half a size bigger than me, and it worked like a charm.

  14. I work for a jewelry store and ring sizing is defiantly to be left to people trained. Finger size changes depending on the weather, if the person is a bit swollen/bloated, the thickness of the metal band on the ring, etc. (Costume jewelry fits differently than precious metals).

    That being said, best thing to do when you don't know the size is to buy the stock size (usually a 6-7 for women and about a 10 for men). Most places will give you a complimentary ring sizing upon presentation. That means buy the ring in a stock size and once you give it to them, you can come back and they will size it to fit. You get to keep the surprise and still get a ring that fits (only down side- you have to leave the ring with the jeweler for a few weeks while they do the work).

    Most people who buy rings that want it to be a surprise just go with the stock size and worry about the fit later. Just make sure the ring can be sized before you buy it.

    3 agree
  15. The place that my Fiance got my ring from does free ring sizing. I don't think it distracted from the proposal that the ring was too big. We just went back to the store to get it resized.

    • Yeah same! He got the ring in the average size, which ended up being WAY too big. Couldn't even stay on my thumb lol

      1 agrees
    • That is the ONE thing I found nice about an ad for some diamond jeweler: You pick the stone, they put it in a stock ring, then you propose and bring back the ring for your betrothed to pick their setting.

      4 agree
  16. My approach was this:
    – Order free ring-sizer from ring vendor (yes, they do this!)
    – Have my sister declare that she wanted to knit gloves for him for Christmas and needed to measure his fingers
    – Hide in the kitchen

    And voila! Sneaky ring size.

    35 agree
  17. My husband sneakily found out my ring size with the help of my best friend. Her grandma is into all kinds of crafts so I didn't think anything of it when Rosie casually mentioned that her grandma was thinking of trying ring-making and had asked Rosie to size up all of her friends so she could get a rough idea of what size fingers people in general had! Rosie sized all of my fingers and did my other housemate's as well. Didn't suspect a thing ๐Ÿ™‚

    6 agree
  18. This might not work because the difference in hand sizes might be too wide; but, when I was contemplating proposing I used a particularly goofy night to compare our hands. I'd tease him about how slender his fingers were and then had him try on MY rings… which happened to have a cheap men's ring hidden among them ("it's my thumb ring" or "when I was in college my hands were chubbier"). The added bonus: it prompted him to playfully critique the rings and tell me which ones he preferred. Not ideal, but I had a much better understanding of his size (and preferences) when I went shopping.

    3 agree
  19. My fiancรฉ tried to measure my finger while I was sleeping, but that failed miserably (as did his excuse of 'uh, I wanted to measure your finger to see how much smaller it was compared to mine.' Riiiiiight). He then located my stash of jewelry that I used to wear but hadn't in a while and measured a ring I used to wear all the time. He used one of the print-it-yourself measuring tools online, which I really didn't think would have worked, but he was spot-on. I'm glad, because my ring was special ordered from Ireland (it's a platinum Claddagh ring, exactly what I had wanted!) and couldn't easily or cheaply be re-sized locally.

    1 agrees
  20. Rings sizes are weird anyway. When we ordered my wedding band we ordered the same size as my engagement ring, but because the wedding band was much much thicker than my slender engagement ring, it didn't fit and I had to go up a half size! So, there are many factors that can affect the fit of a ring.

    Good luck!

  21. Great tips and stories shared in the comments here. I just wanted to add that there are some metals like titanium or tungsten that can't be resized, whereas classics like gold or platinum can. So if you order a ring without knowing the exact size, keep that in mind. Best regards, Jan

    3 agree
  22. I didn't find out her ring size. I just bought a ring and one of the conditions of the sale offered by the jeweler was to re-size it as needed.

    1 agrees
  23. Fun suggestion: if it fits your style buy a candy ring (like those with huge candy gem) or a funky fun ring. Allows you to propose with a ring, make fun memories, allows your partner to choose his/her ring they are sure to like (saves from possible awkward moment).

    6 agree
    • My friend was proposed to with a cheap-but-cute ring from Walmart. The next day they went shopping together for something a little fancier. Memories, spending time together, right size, and she ended up with something she liked. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1 agrees
  24. My fiance spent a few months feeling the circumference of my ring finger several times every day under the guise of just playing with my hands. Then he also felt the circumference of his finger every day until he felt like he had a solid idea of the difference between his finger and mine. Then he measured his own ring size and then sized down to the amount my finger seemed to be (I think one size). Voila, my ring fit perfectly.

    Of course, you have to be as obsessively and accurately attuned to physical details as he is, so your mileage may vary.

    2 agree
    • Haha that's awesome! I definitely noticed a few instances of my fiance paying special attention to my ring finger while "idly" playing with my hands, but we ended up going to a jewelry store to get sized so I can attest that this method doesn't work for everyone ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • That sort of thing works particularly well if you're naturally very playful – my partner did pretty much this to me one night while we were in bed. I thought absolutely nothing about it because of that, and also because I had a really bad anxiety attack earlier that day ^^'

      1 agrees
  25. I also love the "fun alternative" idea. My fiance sewed a felt flower onto a little girls hair band and used that for the proposal (on the ice in the middle of our hockey game). It was perfect because it fit on my finger both with and without my hockey glove.

    Then we went ring shopping to find something perfect ๐Ÿ™‚

    6 agree
  26. I've been thinking this through a lot, since I'd eventually like to get my significant other a meteorite ring, which basically can't be resized from what I understand. I've concluded that I'm probably going to get a cheaper ring with a Tardis on it for popping the question and then pick out a more permanent ring with him after.
    Side question: my sister and I both have metal allergies, though hers is more severe than mine. She ended up developing an allergy to her engagement and wedding rings and can't wear them any more! I've only ever had fairly cheap rings, but haven't been able to wear those in 6 or so years. I'm really concerned that when the time comes, I'll be forced to look at alternative options like tattoo rather than pick out a pretty ring of my own for fear that I won't be able to wear it after a while. Anyone have any experience with this?

    2 agree
    • you probably already thaught of it, but how about other materials? wood, leather ring for example, there are probably much more available (clear plastic? glass? stone?) but I don't know what is best

      1 agrees
    • I can't speak to the metal allergy side of it, but I've been told by a tattoo artist that ring tattoos are generally not a great idea. They have a tendency to fade a lot, especially on the underside, because the skin doesn't hold the ink well there and you're constantly using your hands for things. If you went this route you may need to get it touched up much more frequently than a normal tattoo.

      Of course, if you meant a tattoo in general instead of a ring tattoo then you can disregard this comment. ๐Ÿ˜€ My wife and I got semi-matching Polynesian tattoos on our honeymoon, and we're thinking about getting another pair of tattoos on a future anniversary with symbolism referencing the wedding itself.

  27. I'd say the best way is to buy a bunch of cheapo rings in various sizes (or try different size key rings too, something that appears to be like a ring)…if he won't put them on or would get suspicious you can put them on him while he sleeps. If he is a heavy sleeper, see if there are friends or family who can ask him to try on a ring maybe to "help them out" with a choice for one of their loved ones…You can also print up one of those ring size charts and cut out the holes and do that when they sleep as well. As a tip it is cheaper to go bigger on size if not sure…it costs more to go sizes up as they have to add whatever metal the ring choice is, and that could get costly. My fiance bought me a ring without checking size first and got one way too small. He had to pay an extra $200 to get it sized up, it would have costed about $50 to size down, so the difference is way noticeable. So keep that in mine.

  28. this is a little elaborate but I promise it would work… I work for museum stores, and invariably they all carry those silly mood rings. couples of all ages gather round them and try them on, watching the colors change and joking about eachothers moods. The vendor who makes these for most gift shops prints the size on the inside of the band.

    so plan a fun day date to the science center or natural history museum. heck even call ahead and ask the store if they carry them to be sure.

    2 agree
    • or you could get one that's one-size-fits-all and play around with and make him try it and make sure to keep it where he adjusted it to fit so you can measure it.

      1 agrees
  29. My FH borrowed a ring to test the size but that didn't work because the ring he borrowed fitted a different finger. I jeweller he bought my engagement ring from re-sized it free any way and it only took one day so getting it re-sized was no big deal.

  30. Yeah, I felt really silly.

    My fiance and I LARP together, and our characters are engaged. So when I was at a friends house a few weeks before an event and he called me to ask what my ring size was "For Sam(my character) because she needs an engagement ring" I told him off handedly and then said something like "but I don't really want a ring for her because I don't like LARPing with rings on"

    a month later, he proposed to me….

    4 agree
    • My fiance and I also LARP, which as it turned out was an absolute godsend when I decided I wanted to propose last Leap Year Day ๐Ÿ™‚

      He's got a ring he wears as one of his characters, which made it a fairly simple process of offering to sort out the "kit room" and surreptitiously trying it on all my fingers until I found the one it fit best (in my case, my thumb), then getting my thumb sized myself.

  31. A friend of mine used a picture of his girlfriend holding a coke can to mathematically determine the size she would wear. I'm nowhere near smart enough for something like that (he's an engineer), but the ring fit perfectly.

    13 agree
  32. you could always buy a few cheap men's rings in different sizes (like from hot topic or spencers or something. Do they even still sell those? It's been 10 years since I've been in one) and say someone in your life gave them to you because they didn't want them anymore and ask if they fit and if he wants any of them. Then you can estimate based on what fits the best.

    1 agrees
  33. I think asking a common friend to seek help finding a ring with your partner will be a good idea too. Your friend may pretend that the girl ring finger size look exactly like her size.

  34. My husband stole the class ring off my nightstand and then blamed me for losing it. After he was done going to the jeweler, he then came to me and claimed me had found it.

    I know he was just chastising me to make himself look less suspicious, but it failed miserably. Don't do this. ><

    4 agree
  35. I got really lucky. My partner would always play with my class ring and try it on himself. When I picked a ring for him, I based it off of my ring size and got pretty close. When he lost a lot of weight, I had to get him another one and that was more difficult. I asked the seller I purchased from online if they would accept an exchange if it was only based on size (which didn't affect the price of the ring in question). They were super cool about it, but I got lucky in my guesstimation.

    Moral of this story: talk to the place you are buying the ring from what their policy is on sizing/size based exchanges if you aren't at least 80% sure you're going to be within a half size.

  36. So, my "baskets" kind of moment around this: I just got the human a pair of cufflinks. He's from OKC and they have the state seal of Oklahoma on them. I was really tortured about wanting to find a perfect ring for him, getting a good size, how much money I would spend, etc. Bam, $23 later and I have something I feel good about, and since he's a dapper dude, I know he'll wear them. This doesn't sort out fit, but it did work a million times better for me. I'm really looking forward to proposing now

    2 agree
  37. Here are some tips on getting ring finger sized accurately:

    * Size After Five: Your joints swell as the day goes on, so be sure to measure your finger at the end of the day, not the first thing in the morning. And for fingers that swell often or easily, we suggest a modern width. Not one that is overly wide as it may become uncomfortable when your finger swells.

    * Don't Knock the Knuckles: Knuckle size and finger size can sometimes be very different, but don't forget to factor in your knuckles when considering a fit. Taking a ring off should never be a painful (or impossible!) process. Also, big knuckles can often mean larger hands. Consider a ring in a dark metal with a more substantive look.

    * Twist to Know: The right size should have to twist once or twice to get it off the knuckle; otherwise, your ring will fall off when it's wet. Hands do change, but don't hesitate to get the best fit for your finger today.

    *Is the ring comfort fit: Most of our rings are comfort fit meaning the inside of the ring (next to the finger) is domed shaped. This means that only the center part of the ring will be tight against the flesh. For example, an 8mm wide ring that is comfort fit will have about 3mm of metal that is tight against the finger. So for comfort fit rings it is important to use a narrow finger sizer. Most jewelers have a wide finger sizer (about 6.5mm) and a narrower one (about 3.0mm). Use the narrower one for a more accurate fit.

    3 agree
  38. Hey there,

    There's some really great advice on here, which I am extremely grateful for, but I ended up coming up with a different way of getting a ring size if anyone's interested.

    I was actually trying to get a ring for my little brother for Christmas, not for my partner, and unfortunately my little brother has no idea what his ring size is so I couldn't even subtly ask him. He likes wearing rings but he's only ever gotten the cheap adjustable kind.

    Anyhow, I found these ring sizers on ebay. They're about $1.50 and it's just a little adjustable band you put on your finger to measure it. I got one, went to my parents place when he was there and sat on the couch playing with it. Wasn't long before curiosity got the better of him and he came over to check it out. I offered it to him to play with for a bit, and pretty soon I had the measurements for every one of his fingers.

    It's a good thing too because I'm ordering his ring from overseas so there's no way I'd be able to get it re-sized easily.

    1 agrees
  39. I've been told that both women and mens Shoe Sizes basically are the same size as they're wedding finger !

Leave a Reply to Arjuna Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.