Choosing the best Apple Watch band can be tricky, given the thousands of different options out there. Apple has its own selection to choose from, but there are also a seemingly never-ending supply of third-party Apple Watch straps to choose from too. Not all of these will be the best quality, so where do you even begin?
Fortunately, we know our stuff. We've used all the Apple Watch models since the very first one back in 2015, so we know what to look for when evaluating a good Apple Watch strap.
Apple updated the Apple Watch design with the Apple Watch 4 and Apple Watch 5, culminating in the latest Apple Watch 6 - but straps will fit these models even if they are designed for an earlier version, as the small and large sizes are interchangeable. All you need to do is make sure you're buying the right size with the Apple Watch 4 and above using 40mm (small) or 44mm (large) sizing, while older Apple Watches are either 38mm (small) or 42mm (large).
Got that far? Think about how you plan on using your Apple Watch and what kind of look you're going for. We've broken down our selection of the best Apple Watch bands according to use - there are everyday options, as well as options for swimming or working out. We've also chosen some top metal, leather, and designer options too. There should be something here for every scenario.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up at the end of November so if you're thinking about buying a new Apple Watch to go with the bands, this is the time. We have a roundup of the best Apple Watch Black Friday deals as well as the best Apple Watch Cyber Monday deals too.
These are products that we haven't had in our test labs, but based on our experts' opinion and knowledge of the most reputable brands around, we think these are worth looking at Our selections take into account online reviews, brand reputation, product capability or unique features, to help you pick through the maze of choices available to you.
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Best everyday Apple Watch bands
Your Apple Watch is an everyday essential wearable, so you want some similarly everyday Apple Watch bands to go alongside it. These bands look good and are suitably durable, so they can withstand whatever you get up to. They might not be as stylish as an expensive designer option, but they'll look as appropriate on public transport as they will in the office. Think of these bands in the same way as your reliable favorite T-shirt or pair of jeans - just in smartwatch form.
The Apple Solo Loop has developed a reputation for being the general all-day Apple Watch strap for a good reason - it's really nice. With plenty of colors to choose from, it's made from liquid silicone rubber so it has an unique stretchable design so you simply slip it onto your wrist. Ultra-comfortable in every way, you'll need to make sure you buy the right size for your wrist, but it covers all the bases throughout the day including being sweat and swim proof.
The Apple Braided Solo Loop uses the same stretchy design as the Apple Solo Loop but this time, it's made from weaving 16,000 recycled polyester yarn filaments around ultra-thin silicone threads. It looks suitably smart thanks to that and it feels incredibly soft. It's sweat and water resistant rather thanks swimproof so don't take it in the pool but for every day use, it looks delightful.
If you're keen to express your nationality on your wrist, the International Collection Sport Loop is ideal but you can always simply choose a great color pattern. Made from soft and breathable material, it has a double layer nylon weave that offers dense loops on the skin side for soft cushioning while still allowing moisture to escape. Don't swim with it but it's fine for working out or getting wet in a rain storm.
If you want a watch strap that keeps things simple, the Wepro Black Buckle does the job admirably and at a very low price. It's made from silicone so it's sweat resistant and dirt proof, but it looks more like a traditional watch strap than other silicone bands. It utilizes a classic buckle design which isn't as convenient as a pull-over method but means you can easily adjust it throughout the day.
Embracing the Braided Solo Loop look for less, this DigiHero Braided Solo Loop strap looks pretty great for the price. It doesn't have the stretchiness of the official product so you'll need to make do with its loop buckle design instead but that's a small price to pay. Made from 100% recycled materials, it feels good on your skin too with plenty of breathability.
If you want something a bit more eye catching and a little more durable, the Tasikar Strap is a good budget option. It uses magnetic straps to keep the band tightly together while still feeling comfortable around your wrist. You can flip it around too thereby enjoying two different color designs. That makes it the perfect watch strap for working hard before working out similarly hard at the end of the day. It looks suitably vibrant too.
Best Apple Watch bands for working out
When working out, you don't want an Apple Watch band that makes you feel sweaty or hot. Instead, you want something fairly breathable that's also water and sweat resistant. There are plenty of these out there so we've focused on the top choices. Each will look good so you can wear them in any setting but the focus is on comfort when working up a sweat.
Designed for breathability, the Apple Sport Loop has a hook-and-loop fastener so you can loosen it any time you need a bit more space on your wrist. With a double-layer nylon weave, it looks good while still providing sufficient cushioning that leaves room for moisture to escape. Durably designed, it won't falter while you're lifting either thanks to attachment loops that are securely anchored.
If you want your phone to make a statement, then look no further. This Glam Rock case from legendary jewelry brand Swarovski is covered with glittering crystals, but they won’t interfere with wireless charging (albeit, no MagSafe here). There are four different colors to choose between, and ‘invisible’ bumpers offer protection without adding any unnecessary bulk. That shiny back panel is made of polycarbonate, too.
If you often run in dim or dark lights, the Nike Sport Loop is a good option to help illuminate you a little. It has a nylon weave with reflective thread through it so it's designed to shimmer when light strikes it. You'll need other high-vis gear in the dark but it's a useful bonus for a lightweight and breathable watch strap. Its colors match with a line of Nike running shoes too.
If you're looking for a rugged Apple Watch band for when you're lifting without sacrificing too much style, the Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro is a good option. it protects your Apple Watch via a bumper that provides rugged shock absorption along with a raised bezel that protects the screen. Despite that, it still looks a fairly classy Apple Watch band but just with a bit more heft than its competitors.
Ensuring you'll light up on your run or stand out at the gym, the PalmettoBands Nylon Sport Loop Band is cheap yet cheerful. Made from breathable nylon material, it's bordering on disposable at this price so it's great if you're prone to a few mishaps at the gym or liable to end up muddy. Bright enough to stand out, it could be useful in dim light too.
The FortifiedNation Apple Watch Sport Armband does things a little differently as you wrap it around your bicep or arm rather than your wrist. It should mean more effective heart rate monitoring as well as a comfier fit if you're busy lifting weights and worried about knocking your wrist. Just don't count on this being ideal in other scenarios as you definitely can't use it as a regular wrist band.
Best Apple Watch bands for swimming
The best Apple Watch bands for swimming have a lot in common with straps for working out. They're lightweight and comfortable while also being water-proof so you don't have to worry about them falling apart during your swim. Again, breathability is everything but you'll want to be able to wear them out of the pool too. Don't worry, you will.
Keeping it simple is the name of the game with the Apple Sport Band. It's made from a custom high-performance fluoroelastomer like other sport bands meaning it's durable and strong yet comfy on your skin too. A pin and tuck closure system means it's easy to slip on before you head to the pool and you won't have to worry about it soaking up any water.
Accidents happen and odds are your swimming band is a little less essential than your everyday bands. Buy a pack of Kunyos straps and you get all the benefits of water resistance for a very low price meaning it's not the end of the world if you end up damaging it in some way in the pool. A pin and tuck closure system plus breathable holes means it feels good on your skin no matter how long it lasts.
Another watch strap best for the pool but not the office, the Nisto Silicone Strap has plenty of air holes to ensure skin irritation is non-existent and you won't have to worry about it soaking up water in the pool or sea. Made from silicone, it's lightweight too so you'll barely notice you're wearing it. It uses a straightforward clip to hold it tight to your wrist.
The Epova Silicone Strap is basically a regular Apple Sport Band but without the expensive price tag. It's made from durable and soft silicone so it feels good around your wrist and should limit skin irritation massively. A buckle like design means it's fairly easy to attach too although not quite as simple as others here. Ultimately, it's all comfortably straightforward.
Want to express yourself in the pool? The Casetify Custom Clear TPU Watch Band is the best way to do that. Besides plenty of color choices, you can add text to truly make it your own. On a practical level, it's made from durable TPU/PVC material so it's ideal for swimming plus it's suitably lightweight too.
If you simply want a basic yet easy to use band to attach while you swim, the SnapBand Solo Stretch Snap Band is a good option. It slips around your wrist easily enough and is made from smooth silicone so it feels very comfortable on your wrist. That's about as deep as the SnapBand Solo Stretch Snap Band gets but that's just what you need for occasional swimming use ensuring you know your Apple Watch is firmly attached at all times.
Best leather Apple Watch bands
Love a more traditional look for a watch strap? These leather Apple Watch bands have the classiness of a traditional watch with all the benefits of being for your Apple Watch. If you're worried about sustainability, we've even found one that uses vegan leather so you have peace of mind there. Leather is highly durable when you maintain it well so these are ideal for the workplace.
Love the look of leather but uncomfortable about the use of animal skin? This Casetify Tie Dye Blues uses Vegan leather so you get all the advantages and none of the cons. It looks good too offering water and sweat resistance as well as being made from biodegradable material. Everything about it is ecologically friendly while also looking great.
Elegant in every way, the California Poppy Leather Link is made from handcrafted Roux Granada leather made in France so you know it'll look good. Alongside that, it uses flexible molded magnets that gently flex to wrap around your wrist and form a secure yet comfortable fit. It's subtle so there's no bulky buckle to worry about while still feeling safe at all times.
Made from handcrafted leather from Italy, the Black Leather Loop oozes a lot of class. Its leather is soft and quilted so it feels great on your wrist with magnets that are concealed amongst it so you won't notice them. Best of all, neither will anyone else so it almost feels like your watch is suspended around your wrist, albeit securely and precisely.
Want something that uses the same material as NASA use to make landing airbags? That's the Modern Buckle with its inner layer of Vectran weave for strength and stretch resistance. It feels great too with a solid buckle that's actually a two-piece magnetic closure, giving it a classic look but modern sensibilities. It's classy in every way thanks to its high quality leather from France.
The Hermes 44mm Ebene Barmenia Leather Single Tour Deployment Buckle is very expensive but it's pretty classy. Using high-end leather, it has a hidden deployment buckle which opens with a click of the two side buttons ensuring an incredibly secure fit that still feels comfortable. It's ideal if security is everything to you and money is no expense but for many, it'll cost more than the watch itself.
Handmade by artisans in France sounds like something from a designer outlet but the Apple Watch Hermès - 44mm Noir Swift Leather Attelage Single Tour is a standard Apple Watch strap - kind of. It's elegant in every way with a stainless steel buckle that makes a nod to the equestrian heritage of Hermes. Ideal if you want a talking point and a good quality leather strap.
Best unique Apple Watch bands
If you're keen to express yourself through your Apple Watch, these unique Apple Watch bands are the ones calling to you. We've included some of the gorgeous Pride designs that Apple has embraced in recent times, as well as some quirky designs that simply ensure you stand out from the crowd. These are the Apple Watch straps for anyone that wants something a little bit different from a regular watch strap.
Beautifully designed, the Apple Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop is inspired by the inclusive nature of Pride. It looks fantastic and it's similarly comfortable too thanks to being created by weaving 16,000 recycled polyester yarn filaments around ultra-thin silicone threads. Soft yet textured, it's good for sweat and water resistance although don't use it in the pool.
Gorgeous to look at, the Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop offers a nylon weave with reflective rainbow yarn so it shimmers when light strikes it making it ideal for late night runs. Alongside that is a hook and loop fastener that's easy to adjust depending on how much room you need but its breathable design means you'll never feel sweaty wearing it.
A little bohemian in style and a lot full of Pride, the Wepro ThinRainbow Strap is delightful for the price. It has a stretchy design made from woven elastic nylon so it's comfy and secure at all times. Its buckle further helps here but it's fairly easy to arrange conveniently on your wrist. It's no good for exercise or swimming but other than that, it's a fun little party piece or for when you want to express yourself.
We're not saying wear the MobyFox Harry Potter Watch Strap in the office but if you fancy being a little nerdy then it's certainly tempting. Officially licensed, it's well made with sweat and UV-resistant silicone used to ensure the MobyFox Harry Potter Watch Strap is pretty tough and durable. There are numerous different designs so you can embrace your inner Harry Potter house.
Best suited for downtime at the weekend or when you're not planning on heading to the gym, the Casetify Doodles is a ton of fun. It uses a design from British artist, Jon Burgerman, and is sure to make you smile every time you glance at it. It might not be the most durable for workouts or anything like that but it's a fun way to express yourself.
Aimed at the nerd in all of us, this AngelWardrobe Batman watch strap is a lot of fun. Fairly limited in nature, you shouldn't come across many other people without this design while out and about, although we wouldn't recommend it in your high-pressure work environment. Still, it's a lot of fun and made from leather so it's fairly durable if not much use when swimming.
Best designer Apple Watch bands
Designer Apple Watch bands can be very expensive but not always. We've covered a range of different designers so there's something for (nearly) every budget. If you want to spend more than your watch cost, you can, but there are still some very smart looking designer options for far less, and you can even create a bracelet style look from some examples here.
Aimed at older Apple Watches that use 38mm screens, the Kate Spade Floral Silicone Apple Watch Strap isn't for everyone but it certainly looks charming. It offers a stylishly cute design that works well for those wanting to express themselves with a designer name without being too garish. A cute buckle means it looks a lot like a regular high-end watch strap too.
Often, designer watch straps aren't particularly durable but the Hermes Kraft/Rouge de Coeur Jumping Single Tour is swimproof. Looking great thanks to its use a new textile that's been woven with a vibrant design, it looks exciting yet subtle enough for the workplace too. Sure, it's expensive but at least it covers pretty much all your needs if you can stretch that far.
If crocodile skin leather seems like the height of luxury, this designer watch strap from Mintapple is for you. The Mintapple Limited Edition Genuine Exotic looks distinctive in every way using the expensive form of leather alongside stainless steel that won't rust or tarnish. It's highly durable and intricately made thanks to being made to order.
If you want to help your Apple Watch fit into your evening wear decor then the Kate Spade New York Apple Watch bracelet is a good option. Made from polished stainless steel, it uses signature spade-shaped links that are easily adjustable by you to get the right fit for your wrist. It's a little heavy for workouts and other practical purposes but at night, it looks great.
Elegantly thin yet robust, the Rebecca Minkoff Apple Watch Gold-Tone Heart-Pressed Mesh Bracelet looks gorgeous, turning your Apple Watch into a bracelet. It has a sliding buckle closure for extra security but it's fortunately pretty easy to use. With the Rebecca Minkoff name on the back of it, you can show off your designer pedigree with class. Just don't count on it during a workout. This is an evening design.
Designed with older Apple Watch sizes in mind, the Toryburch Buddy Bangle Band doesn't quite fit as flush on newer models but it's worth sticking with thanks to its unique and eye-catching design. The idea is that basket-weave has been reinterpreted as a geometric print and it looks great. A prong-buckle closure means it's secure whatever you're doing too.
Best metal Apple Watch bands
If you prefer the classic and cold stylings of a metal watch strap, it's easily achieved with a metal Apple Watch bands. Much like the designer range, things can get expensive but the handy thing about metal Apple Watch bands is they're incredibly robust. Consider these an investment and your watch will stay safe for a long time to come.
A little heavy it might be but the Gold Milanese Loop looks stunning. Woven on specialized Italian machines, its smooth stainless steel mesh looks great and feels suitably good on your wrist too. It's fully magnetic so you can adjust it to your heart's content to get the perfect fit for your wrist. The use of a physical vapor deposition layer means it has an extra distinctive finish too.
Utilizing more than 100 components, the Silver Link Bracelet takes advantage of a complex machining process that takes nine hours to cut the links for just one strap. That's nice peace of mind when purchasing an expensive strap and it's further enhanced by its neat custom butterfly closure that folds neatly within the bracelet. Everything about the Silver Link Bracelet feels classy with the option to switch out links yourself aiding the personal process.
The Pugo Top Strap doesn't look quite as classy as some metal straps but it's far cheaper than the competition. It still uses premium stainless steel with a refined dual fold-over clasp design that's easy for you to adjust by removing or adding links. The clasp closes securely so it feels snug around your wrist all day long. Looks wise, it could look more refined but it's certainly practical.
The Huzobob Metal Strap won't feel as refined as more expensive metal watch straps but it looks pretty good. It uses high quality woven stainless steel mesh to ensure it's durable and elegant every step of the way. Best of all is a magnet clasp design so you won't have to struggle with a buckle and it means the strap looks more shapely.
Heavy like other metal straps is the main downfall for the inexpensive Hekai Metal Strap but otherwise, it's pretty good for the price. Made from high-quality stainless steel, it's polished and colored by vacuum plating so it looks pretty good and sleek. A buckle can be locked firmly to your wrist so it's secure all day long with adjustable links so you can get things just how you like it.
The Artche Watch Strap is a secure fit for a good price. Made from stainless steel, it certainly looks the part. Where some may not be keen is with its double folding clasp that locks firmly but is a little awkward to set up. Still, if you have a physical job, this will keep you feeling safe for less and it looks good too.
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