Our Top Picks
The Jwacct Steel Mesh Sport Loop is our pick for everyday wear. It is very versatile in that it can work well with casual or more formal clothing. Pairing well with both a t-shirt and jeans, as well as a shirt and tie, it comes in a variety of color options so you can optimize it for your own style. We appreciate its lightweight nature, especially for its metal band construction. The fit is comfortable and very adjustable. The magnetic closure is also very secure, never coming loose during our testing. Although it weighs more than a traditional silicone sport loop, we would also use it comfortably for exercise. It stays put and breathes rather well.
One downside to the steel mesh band is it can pull wrist hair. It should be noted, the product we received does not match the advertised product photo. The magnetic closure is different than pictured; the photo below shows the actual band we received. This is a very versatile band with a unique look that'll look great with any outfit, making it our favorite of the fleet.
The iYou Sport Band is a traditional iWatch sport band made of silicone. It doesn't offer the widest range of adjustment, but it does come in two sizes. The S/M size barely fits our tester's smaller wrists, but those with larger wrists will need to size up to the M/L size. The iYou Sport Band comes in 35 colors as well as three, six, and eight packs. It is very comfortable and lightweight, coming in at 17.3g. It works very well for exercise, and we never had the closure come loose.
It is one of the most sporty bands in our test. We wouldn't use it in any situation more formal than business casual. The band can get a little sticky when wet, causing it to ride up on your arm. This band is best for casual wear and working out.
The Tovelo Sport Band uses a hook and loop closure with an infinitely adjustable band, and it has the widest range of adjustment to fit wrists of almost any size. It is the lightest band in our testing at 7.1g, making it nearly invisible on your wrist. The material is soft and flexible, making it one of the most comfortable bands in the test as well. The Tovelo loop looks great with casual wear, and because of its minimal and sleek design, it dresses up surprisingly well for a fabric band. It comes in a large number of colors to match any style.
The biggest downside is the hook and loop closure. It can become unreliable during the sweatiest of workouts. While we never lost the band altogether, it came loose from time to time. The mounting hardware is plastic, meaning it doesn't look high-quality or durable. This band is ideal for those looking for something very light and nearly undetectable.
The Nomad Modern Strap is a versatile leather band and is great for everyday wear. It dresses up or down very well and is the most versatile band in our test (in that regard). The leather itself is thick and somewhat stiff but has worn in throughout our testing to be soft and comfortable. It only comes in one size, but the band has eight different adjustment points for a wide fit range. However, It might not be big enough for those with extra-large wrists.
Our tester happens to fall between size adjustment points, so the fit isn't ideal — it's either too tight or too loose. The "between sizes" fit won't be the case for everyone, but it's something to keep in mind. It comes in one color. If you don't like dark brown, you're out of luck as of now. Either way, it's a great leather band for a wide range of occasions and attire.
The AdMaster is our pick for working out. The fit is secure and won't come loose even during the most intense exercise. The ventilation holes keep the band breathable, so sweat isn't an issue. The silicone band material is soft and flexible and feels smooth against your wrist. It offers a broad fit range with small incremental jumps between fit points for a great fit. In addition to a large fit range, it comes in two sizes to fit any wrist.
The most significant disadvantage to the AdMaster is the vent holes can fill up with dirt and grime and will require the occasional cleaning. Also, it's a casual band that doesn't dress up well. It is not versatile in that regard. Overall, it's great for exercise and comes in a wide range of colors to suit your style.
The Idon Sport comes in a pack of three and is offered in just about any color you can imagine. The silicone band is smooth and comfortable and makes changing up your look as easy as can be. The material makes it a good choice for working out with, but the neutral and matte colors let you dress it up and wear it in business casual settings.
Although the closure system is very similar to the stock band Apple Watches come with, our testers found it awkward to fasten. They also noticed the actual attachment points didn't snap into place and were able to slide in and out of the attachment points without pressing the release button. This is an affordable and comfortable band that gives you the ability to personalize your look on a whim.
The Fitlink stainless steel watch band gives your Apple watch the look and elegance of a traditional metal watch. Perfect for board meetings or your big date night, this watch can dress up or down as you need it to. Being made of stainless steel, it does have a certain heft to it but feels no more cumbersome or noticeable than a traditional watch of the same materials. The band didn't have a lot of play while moving around but would occasionally catch an arm hair in a link.
The band will likely need adjusting before you can wear it, and while it's not difficult to add or remove links, it is still a bit of a process. We found the provided tools to be quite fragile, and if you're not careful, easy to bend. All in all, this band is an affordable option to dress up your iWatch and keep you telling time in a timeless style.
The Apple Milanese Loop is great for everyday wear, as it dresses up or down and rarely looks out of place. It is the heaviest metal mesh band in our test, and it appears that the mesh is smaller and tighter than the other band. The Milanese Loop is light enough to use for exercise. It stays put, and the closure is secure. The mesh remains breathable to keep sweat and moisture under control. The infinitely adjustable band ensures an excellent fit.
The color selection is slim, with only a few options. It is also the most expensive band in our test. It's still a wonderful option if you're looking for a versatile, everyday wear option.
The Yoswan stretchy loop band thrives in the gym or on the trails. While easy to slip on and off, the elastic nylon band felt like it kept our watch safely in place while on the move. Only weighing in at 9g, this was the second lightest band we tested and was hardly noticeable while on our wrists. Given the stretchy nature of the band, it is even possible to wear it around your bicep if you want it out of the way while working out.
While it's great for working out and awesome that you can choose from many different color schemes, all of the patterns are pretty bright and funky. This band doesn't dress up well and wouldn't be appropriate for anything more than a business casual, with an emphasis on the casual work environment. The nylon material does hold a bit of moisture, so if you are really building up a sweat, the band might need a moment to dry out after your workout. It is comfortable to wear and comes with a variety of sizing adjustments.
The WFEAGL iWatch band is a fully leather and narrow option that comes in a selection of 45 different colors. The leather band works as formal wear but is simple enough to be used as an everyday piece. The width of the strap is far more narrow than many other options making it a stylish alternative to the standard iWatch look. The clasp closure is both easy to use and comfortable.
The biggest drawback to this piece is its limited ability to fit larger wrists. It maxes out at a circumference of 195mm. Leather isn't our favorite material for working out in, and the clasp style closure, though comfortable, feels more prone to getting caught on things. This is a stylish piece best suited to street and workwear.
Our tester's slim wrists were almost too big for this band. It doesn't come in a larger size. The fit can also be challenging to get right with significant gaps between adjustments. The Marge Plus comes in a variety of colors with many different options to choose from. Every color uses the same polished stainless steel hardware that may not match Apple's watch colors.
The Epuly band is the dressiest in our test. It is excellent for formal occasions but isn't as versatile for dressing down as some of the others in our test. The brushed silver finish holds up well to daily wear, and the clasp is soli, never once coming loose during testing. The band comes with two TPU protective watch cases.
The band is heavy and somewhat bulky. Due to its weight, it would not be our first choice for exercising. The fit isn't the most secure, either. In our exercise test, the band bounced around more than any other. The fit isn't great due to having to add or remove links to change sizes. The individual links are large and make fine-tuning the size a challenge. With the supplied tool, our tester spent 3:54 removing links to make the band fit properly. The process is intuitive and easy to figure out. Changing the size can be inconvenient, but it's not something you'll often do. Aside from that, it's a very dressy band built for formal occasions.
The Fullmosa band is very similar to the Epuly band. It looks great dressed up with more formal clothing. The finish is high-quality, and during our test, has resisted scratching or chipping from normal wear. The Apple Watch hardware is removable so that the band can attach to a traditional watch.
The band falls short in our fit category. It is very challenging to find the right size, as each link is large. Adding and removing links will change the fit by nearly a full centimeter. The band's hardware catches on the watch, making it hard to remove. With the supplied tool, our tester removed links to adjust the fit in 4:02, which is far too long. Another formal band option.
Why You Should Trust Us
Author and tester Conor Barry is our main reviewer, in addition to our team of testers. He is our lead expert as an early adopter of the Apple Watch and has been using the bands since the series two released in 2016. He's tried about every style of iWatch Band that's popped up on the market since then. He likes to cycle, cross-train, and run, in addition to attending formal events with each watch band on his wrist.Our testing continually with updates on products throughout the year. During our test periods, we wore the bands throughout the day, taking notes about performance and comfort during different activities. We paid particular attention to these metrics during workouts, including cycling, cross-training, and running in the hot Utah summer. We are rather picky when it comes to iWatch bands that don't stay put, get sweaty, and pull arm hair. Our testers work in office settings as well as in the field, so we paid particular attention to how well the bands worked in each setting and addressed top performers accordingly. We also evaluate band materials, quality, and adjustment features to truly distinguish between the players in this comparative test — all to help you find exactly what you need in this diverse market.
Analysis and Test Results
After researching over 20 iWatch bands, we selected and purchased 13 to put through side-by-side testing. Our testing covered fit and comfort, versatility, aesthetics, and color selection. An iWatch band should not only look good but should be comfortable, secure, and complement your style. We tested our bands based on those criteria to find standouts.
We looked at the quality of materials, how well it matches Apple's aesthetics, attention to fine detail, and how well the finish holds up to normal use. While the materials of the bands themselves never appeared suspect, some of the bands feature rather cheap-looking hardware.
The Tovelo Sport Band has especially cheap plastic attachments that not only look bad but might not last very long. The *Apple Milanese Loop* looked very nice with a tightly woven stainless steel mesh paired with matching hardware. It also matches the finish of the Apple Watch the best.
The Marge Plus has shiny stainless hardware that doesn't match Apple's brushed metal aesthetic very well. As far as the quality of materials, the Nomad Modern Strap uses genuine Horween Leather with high-quality branded hardware that looks very refined and polished.
Comfort and Fit
Comfort and fit — our key metric for testing each watch band. We measured the total range of adjustment on offer. We also measured the number of adjustment points and the gaps between them for fine-tuning the fit. In addition to measuring the bands, we weighed them.
The infinitely adjustable bands were some of the most comfortable in our test due to being easy to find a proper fit. Bands like the Apple Milanese Loop, Tovelo Sport Band, and Jwacct Steel Mesh Sport Loop featured an infinite adjustment.
Bands with smaller spacing between adjustment points offered the second-best fit but still might fall between sizes for certain wearers. Bands with large spacing between adjustments and those removable links were the hardest to dial in the fit. Bands like the Epuly and Fullmosa performed the worst with 9mm between links.
We wore each band during a variety of activities and noted if the band pulls arm hair. The stainless steel mesh bands were the worst offenders, with the leather bands being the best performers. All of the mesh bands used magnetic closures that increased the odds of arm hair pulling. The Nomad Modern Strap was particularly smooth against the skin, not allowing for arm hair to get caught.
We ran into a few fit issues, as some did not offer a range of fit. The most egregious was the Marge Plus. It only had 5cm of adjustment and was barely big enough for our tester's wrist, which is not very large. Wearers with large wrists will want to avoid this band. The Stainless steel mesh bands offered the widest range, with the Jwacct Steel Mesh Sport Loop having 9.5cm of adjustment and the Apple Milanese Loop having 9mm.
We tested each band with casual attire as well as our Sunday's best. We rated each band on a numeric scale for how well it dressed up or down. We also tested the bands for breathability and closure security during a workout. We answered the question, "Would we work out in it?" with a simple pass/fail score.
The Nomad Modern Strap was the most versatile as far as dressing up or down. It worked well with a T-shirt and shorts as well as our Sunday best. The stainless steel mesh bands also worked very well with casual and formal clothing, with the bonus of being lightweight and breathable enough for exercise. They didn't look as appropriately dressed down as the leather bands.
The Admaster and iYou Sport Loop, the bands that performed the best for working out, didn't dress up well and looked out of place in a more formal setting.
For the bands that required adding and removing links to fine-tune the fit, we timed how long it took to do so. Both the Fullmosa and Epuly required a tool to add or remove links. The process is very similar for both, and they each took around four minutes.
Simply put, we measured how many colors are available at the time of writing. The iYou Sport Loop was the clear standout in this metric with 35 colors at the time of writing. It was followed by the Tovelo Sport Band with 27 colors and Admaster with 14. The worst performer was the Nomad Modern Strap, available in only one color.
After side-by-side testing in multiple scenarios and applications, we ranked the Best iWatch bands to help you find the best one to suit your style and needs. We put each band through a series of tests to highlight key performance metrics, including aesthetics, comfort and fit, versatility, and color selection. After testing, we compiled a list of strengths and weaknesses for each band to show where some shined and some fell short.
— Conor Barry & Buck Yedor
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More