Sun. Dec 10th, 2023

There are lots of bands available for your Apple Watch, and finding the right one can be tricky. Whether you need one for everyday wear, working out, or a classy affair, we’ve highlighted the best Apple Watch bands that you’ll love!

UPDATE: 09/20/2023

We’ve reviewed our recommendations and updated our picks for the best Apple Watch bands you can buy.

What to Look for in an Apple Watch Band in 2023

When Apple first released the Apple Watch in 2015, it was difficult to find replaceable watch bands that fit everyone’s style and needs. Nowadays, bands are a dime a dozen, with hundreds of third-party options available. However, sifting through that pile of straps can be a hassle, and it’s important to know what to look for to separate the good from the cheap.

For instance, some third-party bands don’t fit in the slots on your Apple Watch as well as Apple’s first-party straps, so they can protrude and potentially malfunction as a result. Then there’s the trouble of spotting the right materials. While bands are inexpensive nowadays, that doesn’t mean they’re all good. Some might look good on the outside but offer poor construction and cheap parts when you unwrap them.

Getting the right size is also important. Over the years, Apple has made it a little bit confusing when it comes to picking a band that fits your Apple Watch. In 2018, the company switched from 38mm and 42mm case sizes to 40mm and 44mm cases. Despite this, all bands designed for smaller Apple Watches will continue to fit generation over generation, while those designed for the larger model will also fit.

Apple made a similar change in the fall of 2021 with the announcement of the Series 7 Apple Watch. This time, the smaller watch size uses 41mm watch bands while the larger model uses 45mm. Like the previous change, the smallest case size of any series will work with the smaller watch band, and the largest model will fit the larger watch band.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that not all bands are for everyone. You can use an Apple Watch in many different ways, so it’s important to shop for a band that can strike a balance and accommodate every task and activity you’ll be performing while wearing it.

Below, we’ve highlighted a handful of bands that offer good materials, construction, and looks for whatever you need to use your Apple Watch for.

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How-To Geek’s product recommendations come from the same team of experts that have helped people fix their gadgets over one billion times. We only recommend the best products based on our research and expertise. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product. Read More »

Best Apple Watch Band for Running: Nike Sport Band

Nike Sport Band for Apple Watch on gradient background



Comfortable materials with perforations for breathability

May slide around if you’re sweating

Secure fit with various sizing options and colors

Apple’s collaboration with Nike has resulted in various excellent bands for virtually any fitness activity. If you’re a runner or enjoy a good jog around the neighborhood, we recommend checking out the Nike Sport Band.

This band is made of a lightweight fluoroelastomer (a.k.a. silky-smooth rubber) and features lots of perforations that make the band breathable to wick away sweat. The holes also provide many secure points to ensure your Apple Watch fits properly. Speaking of fitting, it’s available for both the 41mm and 45mm Apple Watch case sizes.

The Sport Band is priced at $49 and comes in different colorways like Magic Ember, Midnight Sky, Pure Platinum, Desert Stone, Cargo Khaki, and Blue Flame.

Nike Sport Band pfp on transparent background

Nike Sport Band for Apple Watch

Best Apple Watch Band for Running

Nike’s Sport Band is made of a silky smooth rubber and has plenty of perforations, making it breathable and comfortable when out running.

Best Apple Watch Band for Weight Lifting: Nike Sport Loop

Nike Sport Loop Band on gradient background



Very lightweight, breathable material

Fabric look might not be for everyone

Soft and flexible to move with your wrists

Reliable, secure fit

Another great option in Apple’s Nike collection is the Nike Sport Loop. We recommend this one for weight-lifting and other activities that involve stretching your wrists at the gym. This Apple Watch band is made of soft breathable yarn and is extremely lightweight with a bold pattern. It doesn’t feel like you’re wearing anything at all, even when you’re curling those dumbbells.

The Nike Sport Loop uses a hook-and-loop fastener and a woven pull tab for a secure fit and is easy to wash, both important when sweating at the gym. Its double-layer nylon weave cushions the skin and lets out sweat.

It comes in 41mm and 45mm sizes and is available in Starlight/Pink, Bright Green/Blue, Black Blue, Sequoia/Orange, and Game Royal/Orange. Priced at $49, it will be a great addition to your gym gear lineup.

Nike Sport Loop Band pfp

Nike Sport Loop for Apple Watch

Best Apple Watch Band for Weight Lifting

The nylon weave of the Nike Sport Loop makes it breathable and flexible, two things you need when pumping iron at the gym.

Best Apple Watch Band for Swimming: Apple Sport Band

Apple Watch Sport Band on yellow and pink background



Soft material won’t bother your skin underwater

On the pricey side

You can find an option for any type of Apple Watch

Minimalist but stylish look

Choosing the right band for your Apple Watch isn’t easy, but it’s especially difficult if you’re looking for a band that works as well underwater as it does on dry land. Fortunately, Apple had this in mind, as the Apple Sport Band is a fantastic watch band for swimmers.

While the Apple Sport Band looks like it’s made out of silicone, Apple claims it’s a custom high-performance fluoroelastomer that is softer. This material works great underwater, and it dries quickly once you hop out. It’s also available in 41mm and 45mm varieties that will fit your watch regardless of your model.

You’ve got plenty of color options for this band as well. It’s available in White, PRODUCT(RED), Elderberry, Midnight, Slate Blue, Starlight, and Succulent.

The Apple Sport Band is a great pick for swimmers, but it is on the pricey side for what it is. If you’re looking for this type of watch band but don’t want to spend as much, the TreasureMax Sport Band has a similar look and feel at a lower price.

apple sport band

Apple Sport Band

Best Apple Watch Band for Swimming

If you want a watch band that will feel comfortable while you swim and still look nice during your day-to-day, the Apple Sport Band is a fantastic option.

Carterjett tire tread band on wrist



XXL size offered

Design isn’t anything special

Flexible material

Good price and color options

If your wrist happens to be on the larger side, we’ve got you covered. Carterjett’s Apple Watch band is made of silicone and is perfectly flexible. While it ships in sizes up to 10 inches, it can expand a bit, so you’re practically guaranteed a good fit.

It ships in a few colors, including black, red, blue, and a special glow-in-the-dark variant, with the tire tread design an eye-catcher. It’s also pretty affordable at under $25 and is available for both 41mm and 45mm watches.

You can’t go wrong with the Carterjett watch band if it’s a large Apple Watch strap you’re after.

carterjett apple watch band

Carterjett Tire Tread Band

Best Apple Watch Band for Large Wrists

When you have big wrists, it can be difficult to find an Apple Watch band that fits and isn’t expensive. Carterjett’s band is both!

Unity Braided Solo Loop Band on grqadient background



Various size options for a snug fit

Only available in black

Soft, breathable material for all-day comfort

For smaller wrists, we recommend the Unity Braided Solo Loop. This band comes in a variety of sizes to match your wrist for a perfect fit. The band is made of stretchy, breathable polyester and ultrathin silicone blended together for maximum comfort. It’s also good at wicking away sweat and water if you get it wet.

In order to get your precise measurement, Apple requires you to download a printable tool or use a tape measure. To do so, you’ll simply have to click the Start your measurement button and then follow the simple on-screen prompts. Available only in black, it comes in 41mm and 45mm options and in nine different wrist sizes for the perfect fit.

Unity Braided Solo Loop Band pfp

Black Unity Braided Solo Loop for Apple Watch

Best Apple Watch Band for Small Wrists

The Unity Braided Solo Loop is a band that Apple makes custom-fitted to your wrist size. You can’t beat that if you have small wrists and most bands are too big!

Hermès Noir Bridon Single Tour Band on a gradient background



Classic design that’s very elegant

You’ll definitely pay a designer price

Branding that’s well-known

Not all colors are available in 41mm and 45mm sizes

Beautiful construction thanks to Apple’s partnership

If what you’re looking for is something luxurious, classy, and designer, look no further than Apple’s outstanding Hermes collection. The $349 Hermes Noir Bridon Single Tour, in particular, is a stunner with its continuous knit design and hand-braided 3D chevron patterns.

Made from high-quality polyamide yarn, its modern aesthetic makes for a classy addition to just about any outfit, thanks to artisans in France who carefully craft its construction. This is a surefire way to make a statement no matter the occasion, and its price certainly matches that.

The Hermes Noir Bridon Single Tour band is available in elegant colors like Navy, Rogue H, Kaki, and Noir. However, not all colors are available in both 41mm and 45mm sizes.

Hermès Noir Bridon Single Tour Band pfp on transparent background

Hermes Bridon Single Tour for Apple Watch

Best Designer Apple Watch Band

Featuring a stylish chevron design, the Hermès band is designer in every sense of the word, including price.

Nomad Leather Apple Watch Band
Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek



Fantastic leather finish and design

Price is a bit high

Good construction

Very limited color options

Only available for 45mm and 49mm Apple Watches

When it comes to leather accessories, few companies do them as well as Nomad. The company’s Modern Band for Apple Watch is our pick for the best leather strap you can buy.

Nomad’s design and high-quality genuine leather make for a classic, modern, and rustic band. It’ll also patina over time as you use it, giving it a unique worn look.

It’s relatively pricey at $60, and there aren’t any colors to pick beyond brown, tan, and black. But it’s a great look nonetheless for 45mm and 49mm Apple Watch users. If you have a smaller Apple Watch, you’re unfortunately out of luck with this Nomad band, though you can pick up a band that’s even more designer, such as the Hermes Noir Bridon Single Tour.

nomadgoods leather band
Nomad Goods

NOMAD Modern Band

Best Leather Apple Watch Band

Nomad’s leather band is sure to look great and last forever. It’ll patina over time and give your Apple Watch band a unique look.

Apple Watch Sport Loop Band on gradient background



Soft, breathable material

Not many size options other than the standard 41mm and 45mm

The hook-and-loop design makes for easy adjustment

Available in a wide variety of colors

Sensitive skin is an issue for some skin types. It doesn’t matter how useful your Apple Watch is if you can’t wear it without irritating your skin. If this is a problem for you with certain watch bands, then the Apple Sport Loop Band is the watch band for you.

The Sport Loop is made using a double-layer nylon weave and fastens using a hook-and-loop system, making it easy to adjust. The fabric is soft and breathable, and the dense loop side of the hook-and-loop that is in contact with your skin has a cushioned feel and doesn’t hold moisture.

When it comes to Apple-made watch bands, the Sport Loop is as affordable as they get. Even better, it’s available in a wide variety of colors such as Cypress, Winter Blue, Midnight, Starlight, and Light Pink. The Sport Loop comes in 41mm and 45mm varieties, with an X-Large size option with the 45mm model.

Apple Watch Sport Loop Band pfp on transparent background

Apple Sport Loop

Best Apple Watch for Sensitive Skin

The Apple Sport Band is made with a fabric that is soft, comfortable, and most importantly, breathable, which makes it a great option if you have sensitive skin.

Apple Milanese Loop Metal on wrist.
Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek



Metal weave design looks stunning

Mesh design can occasionally snag arm hair

Magnetic design makes finding the right fit easy

Three different finish options

Metal watch bands look great, but they aren’t always the most comfortable and can be tough to adjust. The Apple Milanese Loop addresses both of these issues with a great look and comfort, and wearability you don’t often see in metal watch bands.

The Milanese Loop uses a stainless steel weave instead of big, chunky metal. This gives the band much more breathability than expected in a metal watch band. You might think this is thanks to new technology, but this band is based on a design from Milan near the end of the 19th century.

You don’t have to worry about a buckle, either. Instead of the buckle you’d normally see on a metal watch band, the Milanese loop uses a magnetic design. This makes the band infinitely adjustable, so finding a good fit is easier than other metal watch bands.

The Apple Milanese Loop is available in 41mm and 45mm versions. Color varieties are Graphite, Gold, and Silver.

milanese band loop

Apple Milanese Loop

Best Metal Apple Watch Band

The Apple Milanese Loop is a new take on a 19th-century design, combining a stunning classic look with useful features like a magnetic design for easy adjustment.


How do I know what size Apple Watch band to buy?

Apple has a downloadable template to help you measure your wrist to determine the correct band size. You also need to make sure you buy a band for the model of Apple Watch that you have.

How do I change my Apple Watch band?

Each Apple Watch has a band release button. Hold down this button and slide the band to remove it from the watch. Now slide on the new band. There are more in-depth instructions on Apple’s support website.

How do I clean my Apple Watch band?

For leather bands, wipe the band with a lint-free cloth, slightly damp if necessary. The process is similar for other bands, but you can also use mild hypoallergenic soap with these if necessary.

Are Apple Watches waterproof?

Apple Watches are water-resistant, but not waterproof. You can swim with Apple Watch Series 2 models and later, but older models are only splash-resistant. You can scuba dive with the Apple Watch Ultra, but not other models.

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By John P.

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