The Apple Watch is one of tech companies’ most popular products. The smartwatch is sleek, stylish, very useful for everyday life, helps you achieve your health goals, and it’s very customizable to suit your personality. If you landed on this shopping guide too soon and want to see which Apple Watch you should first buy, start here: Best Apple Watches and Apple Watch deals.
In fact, when you consider all the different watch faces, sizes, types, cases, and watchbands, there are thousands upon thousands of combinations and styles available. Apple even has an Apple Watch Studio to help pinpoint options for you.
While there are loads of excellent Apple Watch bands out there, it might be a little overwhelming to pick one. So we’re here to help you narrow down which one will work best for you. From sporty to fashionable, classic to contemporary, or budget-friendly to luxurious, here are the best Apple Watch bands to buy in 2023.
TL;DR – These are the best Apple Watch bands to buy
Apple Watch Sport Loop
Best Nylon Band
Made from double-layer nylon, the Apple Watch Sport Loop is best for breathability for workouts and sports. The interior of the loop is softer with a cushioning that rests on your wrist, while its exterior is durable and clasps together with Velcro.
It comes in a few colorful two-tone designs, such as Blue Jay and Abyss Blue, Dark Cherry and Forest Green, Lavender gray and Light Lilac, and more. In fact, Apple updates these colorway options seasonally to keep the watch band line fresh.
Fullmosa Silicone Apple Watch Band
Best Overall Budget Pick
Let’s face it, the Apple Watch is already an expensive smart device starting at $249. It’s asking a lot to spend another $49 or so for a different wristband. Enter the Fullmosa Silicone Apple Watch Band, a wallet-friendly band that’s made from acid-resistant and non-toxic silicone that’s dustproof and water-resistant.
Starting at just $8, the watch band is sleek enough for everyday casual use, while it’s sweatproof and breathable for workouts and other physical activities. It comes in eight colorways, including black and Pumpkin Orange, black and blue, black and red, Pale Pink, and more.
Apple Watch Sport Band
Best For First-Timers
The Apple Watch Sport Band is the most popular watch band with Apple Watch users. This is because it’s the one that comes with the Apple Watch itself, so it’s considered the default and basic watch band.
Made from smooth fluoroelastomer (synthetic rubber) and designed with a pin-and-tuck clasp, the Sport Band is also the one that many Apple Watch users return to again and again—thanks to its durability, sleekness, ease of use, and wide range of color options, like Abyss Blue, Bright Green, Midnight, and more.
Nike Sport Apple Watch Band
Best for Runners
While Apple discontinued the Nike Apple Watch, the tech company simply made its apps and the Nike Sport Band available for anyone who wants to convert their Apple Watch into a Nike Apple Watch.
It has a sports-focused fluoroelastomer design with perforations lining the band for a completely breathable experience when working out or playing sports. The Nike Sport Band is also sweatproof and water-resistant, so it’s a good pick for going out for a run or swimming laps in a pool. The watch band comes in three colors, such as Anthracite and black, Magic Ember and Crimson Bliss, and Pure Platinum and black.
Apple Watch Solo Loop
Best For Athletes
If you’re looking for a smartwatch band that’s both sporty, yet stylish, then the Apple Watch Solo Loop is our pick. Made from Liquid silicone rubber, this watch band is intended to stretch over your hand onto your wrist for a quick and secure fit without any closures or clasps. It’s ideal for workouts or going for a run because it’s sweatproof, while this watch band is stylish and lowkey enough for professionals and casual situations.
It comes in six colors, including Sprout Green, Canary Yellow, Purple Fog, and more.
Marge Plus Genuine Leather Apple Watch Strap
Best Budget Leather
On a tight budget? The Marge Plus Genuine Leather Apple Watch Strap hits the mark between high quality leather and affordability. Starting at $10, the watch band has a fashionable and professional look and feel without breaking the bank—thanks to its premium soft top genuine leather, classic stainless steel buckle, and sweat-resistant polish.
The watch band comes in eight colorways, such as red and green, brown and silver, red and silver, and more.
Apple Watch Milanese Loop
Best Stainless Steel Band
The Apple Watch Milanese Loop is made from stainless steel mesh and uses a magnetic clasp to securely fit around your wrist. At $99, it’s elegant, refined, and has a premium look and feel, while it’s a considerable upgrade from the Apple Watch Sport Band that comes with the Apple Watch out-of-the-box. The watch band is also very adjustable, so it will fit on just about anyone’s wrist.
The loop comes in three colors, including silver, gold, and graphite.
Apple Watch Band Leather Link
At $99, the Apple Watch Band Leather Link is our pick for best leather band—thanks to its handcrafted Roux Granada leather that’s made in France, powerful and secure magnet attachments, and premium look and comfortable feel. This watch band is very sleek since there’s no buckle to fasten the Apple Watch, while it looks like one solid piece of leather around your wrist at first glance.
It comes in three colors, such as Umber, Dark Cherry, and Midnight.
Casetify Saffiano Leather Initial Apple Watch Band
Best For Fun Options
Although they’re sleek and stylish, a lot of Apple Watch bands are pretty vanilla. However, if you’re looking for a watch band that’s fun and has a bit of panache, then check out the Casetify Saffiano Leather Initial Apple Watch Band.
Made from Saffiano biodegradable leather and stainless steel, these bands come in exciting colors and designs, including Ink Dots, Cheetah Florals, Leopard and Cow Prints, and more. All watch bands are water-, scratch-, and sweat-resistant too.
Apple Watch Band Link Bracelet
The Apple Watch Band Link Bracelet is an elegant addition to the Apple Watch itself. It’s made from the same 316L stainless steel alloy as the Apple Watch itself, while it also features over 100 components to link it together. The premium watch band also has a custom butterfly closure that neatly fastens the smartwatch to your wrist. In fact, you can even add or remove components to really customize and adjust your own fit.
It comes in two colors, silver and Space Black. Starting at $349, the Apple Watch Band Link Bracelet is pretty versatile too and can be worn for just about any social occasion from a boardroom to a ballroom.
Apple Watch Band Trail Loop
Best For Trail Runners
Made for the Apple Watch Ultra (but can also be used for other models), the Apple Watch Band Trail Loop is designed for outdoors running—especially off-the-beaten-path running. The watch band should last for miles and miles on the trail. It’s sweatproof, lightweight, and durable enough to withstand harsh elements in the great outdoors, while it’s able to securely strap the Ultra to your wrist via a hook-and-loop Velcro system.
The Apple Watch Band Trail Loop comes in three two-tone color designs, like black and gray, blue and gray, yellow and beige.
Apple Watch Band Ocean Band
Best For Water Sports
If you’re a deep sea diver or an avid swimmer, then the Apple Watch Band Ocean Band is best for keeping the Apple Watch Ultra secure to you when you’re in the water. Rest assured, your Apple Watch will not plunge into the water with this band.
Made from high performance fluoroelastomer, the Ocean Band stretches and is intended to fit snugly on your wrist, even if you’re wearing a wetsuit. In fact, you can also get an extension band (an additional 50 millimeters, or about two inches), if you need the extra length for thicker wetsuits. It features a double clasp system with titanium buckles that slides and locks into the band’s tubular design for extra security.
It comes in three colors; Midnight, yellow, and white.
Apple Watch Band Alpine Loop
Best For Adventures
At $99, the Apple Watch Band Alpine Loop is rugged, durable, and ideal for the Apple Watch Ultra. It’s made from layered and woven polyester, the band features a titanium “G-hook” system that slides and locks into one of the rows of top loops to securely fasten to your wrist. It’s specifically designed for outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, or biking, while its color options—orange, green, and Starlight—will stand out in rough terrain.
OtterBox Terrus Apple Watch Band
Best Budget Sweatproof Pick
The OtterBox Terrus Apple Watch Band is made from recycled materials and it’s comfortable to wear. It features a subtle spotted design, while it’s also soft-to-the-touch. The watch band is water-resistant and sweatproof, so it’s ideal for workouts and training sessions.
Starting at $16, it’s a good choice for a wallet-friendly sweatproof Apple Watch band. It comes in 15 color options, including Clay and Stone, orange and blue, black, and more.
Apple Watch Hermès Gourmette Metal Double Tour Leather Band
Best the Ultimate in Luxury
Apple partnered with French design house Hermès to give the Apple Watch some luxury and opulence with the Apple Watch Hermès Gourmette Metal Double Tour Leather Band—which is ideal for the Apple Watch Series 8.
Retailing for a whopping $849, the band is made from soft Swift leather and polished stainless steel links that wraps around your wrist twice that mimic’s the curb chain on classic Hermès horse bridles. While the Hermès Gourmette Metal Double Tour Leather Band comes with the design house’s iconic packaging, it doesn’t come with exclusive watch faces that you’d get with the Apple Watch Hermès.
The watch band comes in two colors: Stainless steel and Noir.
What to Look For in an Apple Watch Band
One of the best things about the Apple Watch is its included watch band is detachable, so it can be swapped out with something else. While there are just about endless combinations and possibilities, picking the best Apple Watch band really depends on you and the activities you enjoy the most.
Active vs Casual Wear
If you’re active, a runner, a swimmer, or you just like to work out at the gym, then a sports band is a good pick. These bands are generally made from sweatproof and water-resistant materials—like silicone rubber, fluoroelastomer, or nylon—so they’re comfortable to wear, breathable, and durable. For the rugged adventure, go for watch bands suited for the Apple Watch Ultra, such as the Apple’s Ocean Band or Alpine and Trail Loops.
However, if you want to wear your Apple Watch to the office, in a business meeting, or to a Michelin-star restaurant, then look for watch bands made from leather or stainless steel. These watch bands convey a more professional or fashionable look.
Be sure to look for the correct size band that will fit your Apple Watch—either 38, 40, 4mm; 42, 44, 45mm; or 49mm. If you’re unsure, the size and series type are printed on the back of each smartwatch. For the best fit on your wrist, you can use this printable band size tool for detailed assistance to pick the most comfortable size for you—sizes 1-to-12.
Since Apple Watch bands are detachable and interchangeable, you can also pick up more than one for multiple situations and outings. It’s like wearing a different watch for just about any scenario.
Rudie Obias is a contributing freelance writer and editor for IGN with a speciality in all things Apple products.