the top straps for all tastes – your casino guide

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The best Apple Watch bands won’t be the same for everyone. Perhaps you plan to wear it to work out, so it will need to survive sweat, or in the office where you want something smart. Maybe it will need to survive the elements in the great outdoors.

Plus, everyone’s tastes and budgets are different, so there are a lot of things to consider and a whole lot of Apple Watch band options, and it’s worth taking the time to find one that suits. After all, you’ve picked out the best Apple Watch for you, and you won’t want the experience to be lessened by a less than ideal strap. 

That’s where we can help. We’ve reviewed all the Apple Watches ever made, and in doing so we’ve tried more than our fair share of Apple Watch bands – so we know what to look for. Here, we’ve chosen over 30 of the best Apple Watch bands for all occasions, styles, and budgets, and split them into handy categories to make it easier to find what you want.

Once you’ve found the one you like, make sure you choose the right size. The Apple Watch 8 and Apple Watch 7 for example use 41mm (small) and 45mm (large) bands, while the Apple Watch Ultra is even larger at 49mm. 

Alternatively, the Apple Watch 4 through to the Apple Watch 6 uses 40mm (small) or 44mm (large) bands, as do the Apple Watch SE (2020) and Apple Watch SE (2022), with older Apple Watches using either 38mm (small) or 42mm (large). 

If you need it, you’ll find a step-by-step guide for how to change an Apple Watch band elsewhere on the site.

And, if you’re interested in more Apple Watch accessories, you may find these guides helpful too: the best Apple Watch charging stands, and the best Apple Watch screen protectors. 

These are products that we haven’t had in our test labs, but based on our experts’ experience, 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.

Everyday Apple Watch bands

Your Apple Watch is an everyday essential wearable, so you want a 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. 

For every occasion

+ Plenty of color options
+ Comfortable to wear
– You need the right size

The Apple Solo Loop has developed a reputation for being the best general all-day Apple Watch strap for a good reason: it’s ultra-comfortable in every way. There are plenty of colors to choose from, and it’s made from liquid silicone rubber, giving it a unique, stretchable quality – you simply slip it onto your wrist. You’ll need to make sure you buy the right size for your wrist. However, once it’s on, this Apple Watch band is sweat and swim-proof and has you covered all day.

2. Apple Braided Solo Loop

Comfortable and smart

+ Soft and comfortable
+ Easy to wear
– Expensive

The Apple Braided Solo Loop uses the same stretchy design as the Apple Solo Loop band, but this time it’s made from weaving 16,000 recycled polyester yarn filaments around ultra-thin silicone threads. It looks suitably smart and feels very soft. This one’s sweat and water-resistant, rather than swim-proof, so don’t take it in the pool. Still, if you like the design and aren’t a dedicated diver, it’s highly recommended. Plus, being made by Apple, you can be confident of the quality.

Cheap yet effective

+ Low price
+ Watch strap design
– Questionable durability

The Wepro Black Buckle keeps things simple. It’s made from silicone so it’s sweat-resistant and dirt proof, but it looks more like a traditional watch strap than most other silicone bands. It utilizes a classic buckle design, which isn’t as convenient as the pull-over method, but means you can easily adjust it throughout the day – and it makes this band a lot cheaper too. Durability could be an issue given the price, but we think it’s a bargain. The versatile design won’t look out of place in a gym or a bar.

4. DigiHero Braided Solo Loop

Design on a budget

+ Great value
+ Stretchy buckle design
– Less premium

Embracing the Braided Solo Loop look for less, this DigiHero Braided Solo Loop strap looks great for the price. It doesn’t quite have the stretchiness of the official product, so you’ll need to make do with its loop buckle design instead, but it’s made from 100% recycled materials and should feel good on your skin with plenty of breathability. While this band doesn’t have the quality and polish of the official Apple version, it’s available for a fraction of the price. It comes in a range of colors – and given the low cost, you could buy several.

5. Tasikar Strap Apple Watch Band

Tough and rugged

+ Strong magnetic strap
+ Durable design
– Bit chunky

The Tasikar Strap is a good budget option. It uses magnetic straps to keep the band tightly clasped, while still feeling comfortable around your wrist. You can flip it around, too, giving you two colourways in one. That makes it suitable for the office as well for less formal occasions. It looks built to last, though that durability comes at a cost – not in terms of money, but in the sense that this watch strap is a little on the chunky side. The use of magnets means it’s heavier than some, too. Iif you want a sleek and slim Apple Watch band, this isn’t the one for you.

Apple Watch bands for working out

When you’re 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.

Great for most workouts

+ Breathable design
+ Lightweight
– No good for swimming

The Apple Sport Loop is designed for better breathability, with a hook-and-loop fastener that you can easily loosen as needed. The double-layer nylon weave looks good and provides sufficient cushioning while also leaving room for moisture to escape. It’s durably designed, so it won’t falter while you’re exercising thanks to the securely anchored attachment loops. It’s lightweight, too. That said, the fabric material means it’s not great for swimming and other water activities.

Durable and breathable

+ Breathable design
+ Simple fit
– Basic looking

The Nike Sport Band for the Apple Watch doesn’t just carry a brand name, it also has a distinctive design. It’s made from fluoroelastomer with compression-molded perforations for added breathability. The design screams exercise, but it should feel good whether you’re getting your sweat on in the gym or lazing on the couch. It aims to be soft, smooth, and comfortable – as well as durable and strong. And it comes in a range of different colors, including an extra-eye-catching multi-colored Pride option.

Top running choice

+ Reflective thread
+ Breathable design
– Limited colors

The Nike Sport Loop has a reflective thread that runs through its nylon weave and shimmers when light strikes it. It’s no substitute for high-vis gear when running in the dark, but it is a useful benefit to this lightweight and breathable watch strap. This one only comes in a limited choice of colors (that match a line of Nike running shoes) but it ticks other sporty boxes, namely through the addition of dense loops on the inside of the strap to provide cushioning while also letting moisture escape. 

4. Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro

Great for weightlifting

+ Shock absorption
+ Bezel protection
– It’s chunky

If you’re looking for a rugged Apple Watch band for when you’re lifting, but don’t want to sacrifice 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. The chunky look won’t be for everyone, but if you’re doing the sorts of activities that put your Apple Watch at risk, you should find it’s more protective than most sports bands.

5. FortifiedNation Sport Armband

Weightlifting alternative

+ Better heart monitoring
+ Positioned out the way
– Specific purpose only

The FortifiedNation Apple Watch Sport Armband does things a little differently: you wrap it around your bicep or arm rather than your wrist. This should mean more effective heart rate monitoring, as well as a more convenient fit if you’re lifting weights and worried about knocking your wrist. Just don’t count on this being ideal in other scenarios – you definitely can’t use it as a regular wristband. You’ll need another Apple Watch band for when you’re not working out.

Apple Watch bands for swimming

The best Apple Watch bands for swimming have a lot in common with the best straps for working out. They’re lightweight and comfortable, while also being waterproof so you don’t have to worry about them falling apart during your swim. The options here are all great for casual use too – just bear in mind that they’re not suitable for more formal occasions.

Best for swimming

+ Durable and strong
+ Comfy fit
– Not the most stylish

Keeping it simple is the name of the game with the Apple Sport Band. It’s made from a custom high-performance fluoroelastomer, like many other sports bands, which means it’s durable and strong, yet comfy on your skin. 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. The main downside of this Apple Watch strap is simply that it’s a fairly plain, arguably even boring, design – you might want to consider a second strap for when you’re not at the pool.

Great value for money

+ Great value
+ Easy to wear
– Basic looking

Choose a four-pack of Kunyos Apple Watch straps and you get all the benefits of water resistance at a very low price, so it’s not the end of the world if you end up damaging your strap in some way in the pool. A pin and tuck closure system plus breathable holes mean it feels good on your skin, and with four in a pack, it’s likely to be a long time before you need to buy a new Apple Watch band again. Another benefit is that you get four different colors at once, so you can regularly change the appearance of your Apple Watch.

Very breathable

+ Plenty of air holes
+ Waterproof
– Maybe not for the office

This strap is better suited to the pool than a formal office: it’s about as sporty looking as an Apple Watch band can get. The Nisto Silicone Strap has plenty of air holes to reduce skin irritation, 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 and comes in a wide range of shades. The low price does make us question its durability, but it won’t be an expensive loss if it doesn’t last long.

Simple and durable

+ Easy design
+ Color options
– Basic looking

The Epova Silicone Strap is essentially a regular Apple Sport band, but without the expensive price tag that comes with Apple branding. It’s made from durable and soft silicone, so it feels good around your wrist and should limit skin irritation. A buckle-like design means it’s fairly easy to attach as well, although not quite as simple as some others here. It’s available in a wide range of colors, and cheap enough that it could be worth picking up several in different shades.

Leather Apple Watch bands

Leather Apple Watch bands – and vegan leather options – have the classiness of a traditional watch, with all the benefits of being designed specifically for your Apple device. Leather is highly durable when you maintain it well, so it’s good value for money, but it’s not great for exercising – and certainly not suitable for swimming. 

1. Casetify Tie Dye Blues

Vegan leather

+ Animal friendly
+ Stylish looks
– Only sweat resistant

The Casetify Tie Dye Blues Apple Watch band uses biodegradable vegan leather, so you get a classy look without harming animals. It’s water and sweat-resistant, and everything about it is ecologically friendly. Just like a real leather strap, this one’s no good for swimming – sweat is its limit. But it costs less than you might expect, and it’s available in a wide range of eye-catching colors. The tie dye won’t be for everyone, but to those who like it, it’s a stylish and distinct choice.

2. California Poppy Leather Link

Elegant French leather

+ Premium leather
+ Magnet attachment
– Not for exercise

Elegant in every way, the California Poppy Leather Link band is made from handcrafted Roux Granada leather made in France, so you know it’ll look good. 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, but still feels safe. As with most leather straps, this is a terrible choice for exercise – this is strictly a strap for making your Apple Watch look good.

Classy Italian leather

+ High-end look
+ Attractive
– Not for exercise

Made from handcrafted leather from Italy, the Apple Leather Loop oozes class. Its leather is soft and quilted so it feels great on your wrist, with secure, concealed magnets so you won’t notice them – and neither will anyone else. This is a premium (and expensive) choice that you won’t want to exercise in, and it’s only available in a few different colors. But if you find one that you like, it’s a comfortable, great-looking strap that’s ideal whether you’re going for a casual or smart look.

The classic strap

+ Magnetic buckle
+ Comfy fit
– Not for exercise

This is a strap that focuses on both form and function – it looks good and is built to last. The Modern Buckle uses the same material that NASA uses to make landing airbags, with an inner layer of Vectran weave for strength and stretch resistance. On the outer layer, there’s smooth top-grain, high-quality leather from France. It feels great, with a solid buckle that’s actually a two-piece magnetic closure, giving it a classic look but modern sensibilities.  

Expensively decadent

+ Incredibly smart looking
+ Clever buckle
– Very pricey

The Hermes 44mm Ebene Barenia Leather Single Tour Deployment Buckle is very expensive, and a mouthful to say, 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, which makes it hard to recommend for most buyers.

Designer Apple Watch bands

Designer Apple Watch bands can be very expensive, but not always. We’ve curated a range of bespoke options here: some from big-name designers, others from less well-known artists or in-house designers – all with a unique look that will help you stand out from the crowd. There’s something here for every budget. If you want to spend more than your watch cost, you can, but there are still some very smart-looking bespoke options for far less, as well as fun designs, and you can even create a bracelet-style look with one of the options here.

1. Kate Spade Floral Silicone Apple Watch Strap

Stylishly cute with a traditional flourish

+ Elegant flowery design
+ Secure buckle
– For older Apple Watches

Designed for older Apple Watches that have 38mm bodies, the Kate Spade Floral Silicone Apple Watch Strap isn’t for everyone, but it certainly looks charming. It offers a stylishly cute aesthetic without being too garish. A cute buckle means it looks a lot like a regular high-end watch strap too. The main issue with this strap is simply that it doesn’t support newer Apple Watch models, so you can only use it if you’re rocking an older model – and it’s probably only worth buying if you won’t be upgrading anytime soon.

2. Hermes Kraft/Rouge de Coeur Jumping Single Tour

Attractively designed and swim proof

+ Swimproof
+ Great use of textiles
– Costs more than others

Often, designer watch straps aren’t particularly durable, but the Hermes Kraft/Rouge de Coeur Jumping Single Tour is swimproof. It looks great thanks to its use of a textile that’s been woven with a vibrant design, and is exciting yet subtle enough for the workplace too. This Hermes strap is available in a wide variety of other shades, and it’s versatile and durable enough that you’ll probably only need this one strap. But that’s a good thing, because it’s exceedingly expensive. It’ll be hard to justify for a lot of people.

3. Mintapple Limited Edition Genuine Exotic

A distinctive crocodile skin leather option

+ Crocodile skin leather
+ Very durable
– Not animal friendly

If crocodile skin leather seems like the height of luxury, the Mintapple Limited Edition Genuine Exotic Apple Watch strap is for you. This designer watch strap from Mintapple looks distinctive in every way, using expensive leather alongside surgical grade 316L stainless steel that won’t rust or tarnish. It’s intricate, highly durable, and comes made to order. Many people won’t want a crocodile leather strap, but for anyone who does this is an undeniably classy choice, and represents good value for money. 

4. Kate Spade New York Apple Watch bracelet

A bracelet that’s also a watch strap

+ Doubles up as jewelry
+ Self-adjustable links
– Pretty heavy

This Kate Spade New York Apple Watch bracelet is a great option for anyone who wants to match their Apple Watch with their evening wear decor. Made from polished stainless steel, it uses signature spade-shaped links that are easily adjustable to get the right fit for your wrist. It’s a little heavy for workouts and other practical purposes, but it’s shiny, stylish, and chic, and at night it looks great – it works as jewelry in its own right.

5. Apple Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop

Beautifully inclusive

+ Beautiful design
+ Incredibly comfortable
– Costs more than some

The Apple Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop is inspired by the inclusive nature of Pride. It looks fantastic and it’s comfortable too, made from weaving 16,000 recycled polyester yarn filaments around ultra-thin silicone threads. Soft yet textured, it’s good for sweat and water-resistant – although don’t use it in the pool. It’s easy to slip on and off your wrist but not in any danger of sliding off unexpectedly, and the Pride colors make it a bright, attractive option that’s sure to stand out from the crowd.

6. Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop

A more breathable way of being proud

+ Reflective rainbow yarn
+ Breathable design
– No good for swimming

Gorgeous to look at, the Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop offers a nylon weave with reflective rainbow yarn that shimmers when light strikes it. 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 shouldn’t feel sweaty wearing it. Of course, being a fabric strap, this Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop isn’t something you should swim in – though it’s ideal for less water-based exercises.

7. Wepro ThinRainbow Strap

Pride on a budget with a bohemian twist

+ Great design
+ Low price
– Quality could be higher

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 the strap is 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 times when you want to express yourself. It looks similarly good to straps that cost five times as much.

8. MobyFox Harry Potter Watch Strap

For Harry Potter fans

+ Novelty design
+ Durable
– Very situational

We’re not saying wear the MobyFox Harry Potter Watch Strap in the office, but if you fancy being a little nerdy then it might be tempting. Officially licensed, this appears well made, with sweat and UV-resistant silicone to ensure it’s pretty tough and durable. There are numerous different designs too, so you can embrace your inner Harry Potter house. This also isn’t overly expensive, which is ideal for a novelty strap that you probably won’t want to wear everywhere. 

9. Casetify Doodles Apple Watch Strap

Cute and charming

+ Fun designs
+ Comfortable fit
– Not great for workouts

Best suited for downtime at the weekend or when you’re not planning on heading to the gym, the Casetify Doodles Apple Watch strap is a ton of fun, featuring a design from British artist Jon Burgerman. It might not be the most durable watch strap for workouts or anything like that, or smart enough for certain situations, but it’s a fun way to express yourself and reasonably affordable.

10. Apple 45mm Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop

Inclusive and delightful

+ Classy design
+ Comfortable fit
– No good for swimming

The Apple Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop offers a design that means you can feel proud and inclusive, but its rainbow design blends more into your surroundings for a more professional appearance. Soft and breathable, its nylon weave feels great on your skin. A hook-and-loop fastener makes it easy to adjust as needed, while the attachment loops keep it secure.

11. Apple 45mm Pride Edition Sport Loop

Gorgeously proud

+ 3D texture
+ Comfy fit
– May be too vivid for some

The Apple Pride Edition Sport Loop is thoughtfully designed. Its colors unite the core Pride flag, and also symbolize marginalized LGBTQ+ communities, people of color, people living with and who have died from HIV/AIDS, and gender nonconforming people. Its breathable double-layer nylon weave is made from soft textile loops, and there’s a 3D texture. It’s a unique style that stands out.

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 band. Much like some of the designer range, things can get expensive here, but the handy thing about metal Apple Watch bands is they’re incredibly robust. Consider these an investment that will help keep your watch safe for a long time to come. Just bear in mind they’re not usually great for exercising.

1. Apple Gold Milanese Loop

Inspired by Italy, with extensive adjustability 

+ Beautiful design
+ Distinctive finish
– No good for exercise

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 should feel suitably good on your wrist too. It’s fully magnetic, so you can adjust it to your heart’s content to get the right fit for your wrist. The use of a physical vapor deposition layer means it has an extra distinctive finish too. This is a premium strap that comes in silver or graphite shades, as well as gold.

2. Apple Silver Link Bracelet

Multiple different classy touches

+ Intricately designed
+ Secure custom clasp
– Evening attire only

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 makes for good peace of mind when purchasing this expensive strap, and the sense of security is further enhanced by its custom butterfly closure, which folds neatly within the bracelet. Everything about the Silver Link Bracelet feels classy, with the option to switch out links yourself. It’s very, very expensive though. 

An inexpensive metal watch strap

+ Cheap
+ Stainless steel
– Finish could be classier

The Pugo Top Strap doesn’t look quite as classy as some metal straps but it’s far, far cheaper than the competition. And 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. Looks wise, it could be more refined, but is practical, and should be comfortable too. However, it’s likely to be less durable than the others here. 

Durable, secure, and great for sports

+ Adjustable design
+ Smart look
– Clasp isn’t for everyone

The Artche Watch Strap promises a secure fit for a good price. Made from stainless steel, it looks the part. Where some may not be keen is with its double folding clasp, which locks firmly but is a little awkward to set up compared to some alternative methods. Still, if you have a physical job, this will keep you feeling confident you won’t lose your watch. There’s also an adjustable strap here, and while it wouldn’t be our first choice to work out in, the makers claim it’s suitable for exercise.

How to choose the best Apple Watch band

When choosing an Apple Watch band the first two things you should consider are your budget and what you plan to do while wearing the Apple Watch – most notably whether you plan to exercise in it, whether you plan to swim in it, and whether you’ll wear it somewhere smart.

With all those considerations in mind, you can start to round down the best strap for you. Leather straps for example are no good for swimming, and if you plan to extensively exercise then a dedicated workout band might be the best choice.

If exercise isn’t on the agenda then you can look to something classier, like a metal or leather band – and if money is no object then designer bands could be worth considering.

Author: Logan Hughes