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

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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?

Here are a few other ideas:

  • Ask family members if they know.
  • Enlist a friend to be sneaky. One Offbeat Bride told us: “My partner 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.”
  • Are they a heavy sleeper? Measure their ring finger with a piece of string or dental floss while they're snoozing. One reader told us “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.”
  • Get a ring sizing set for yourself “just for fun” and then have them try it. “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 😉

or how about THIS clever method:

Here's what I did:

– 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 eavesdrop

One very important thing to note: while gold, silver, or platinum rings can be resized, tungsten carbide rings can NOT be resized.

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

Comments on How do you secretly find out your partner’s ring size?

  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.

    • 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!

  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.

  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.

    • 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.

  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.

    • 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! 🙂

      • The thing with tungsten carbide rings is that they cannot be cut off in an emergency. They can be “cracked” by a special tool, sort of like pliers but a little different, but not every ambulance or ER has it.

        If your hand or arm is crushed and the fingers start to swell, you sometimes have mere seconds to get your rings off before circulation cuts off. That’s why, at the jewellery store I worked, we advised customers who work in heavy machinery, commerical fishing, woodworking, etc., to not wear their ring to work.

        Gold and silver can be cut easily by a ring cutter. SOME titanium rings can be cut as well, but it takes much longer. I personally would not take the risk with tungsten or other dense metals.

    • 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.

  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!

    • 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.

  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 😉

  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 🙂

    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.

    • 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!

  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.

    • 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!).

  9. 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.

    • 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.

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

  10. 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 – 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.

    • 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!

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