How To Tell If A Ring Is Too Small

Does your ring feel a little bit too snug at the moment?

You need to know how to tell if a ring is too small for your finger.

When rings are too tight it there is a possibility it could cause major problems if ignored.

How To Tell If A Ring Is Too Small

The easiest way to tell if your ring is too small is because it's physically painful. Even if your finger is just tingling the ring is too tight. A muffin top means your ring is too small, and it probably won't spin or come off without a fight.

Rings should be small enough to stay on your finger without coming off, but when it's too tight you might need to think about getting it resized.

Should A Ring Leave An Indent?

Take your ring off and see if there is an indentation on your finger. It's normal when your ring finger swells up for several reasons.

But your finger definitely shouldn't be turning blue. Here are some of the top signs your ring is too small for your finger:

  1. Physical pain
  2. Discoloration
  3. Zero movement
  4. Won't come off
  5. Ring muffin top

1 Physical pain

If wearing rings caused us physical pain we wouldn't wear them, so it's not normal to feel any pain when your ring is on.

Will you have to struggle with your ring a little to get it over your knuckle? You might have to use a little force to slide it back to the base.

It's the only time you should feel anything. Here are a few sensations you shouldn't be able to feel when you're going about your day:

  • Tingling
  • Throbbing
  • Burning
  • Aching

You might dismiss something like pins and needles because it's not excruciating pain, but you could be causing damage to your nerves.

2 Discoloration

Even if your finger isn't sore a small ring could be causing discoloration of the skin.

A small ring that's too tight can cut off the circulation to your finger. It can lead to severe problems unless you take the ring off straight away.

Just remember the discoloration might not be caused by wearing a very tight ring.

Ring rash is also a possibility because it causes the area around your ring to turn a reddish color. You can confuse the irritation it causes with pain.

If your ring is only 14 karat gold you might be having a reaction to nickel, which is one of the more common metals to cause allergic reactions.

You can take your ring off to inspect the area underneath it, but unless your ring is very small and tight the discoloration isn't a circulation problem.

3 Zero movement

Sometimes it's hard to wear a lovely ring with a huge setting because it spins around so much. It's nice when it finally stays in place.

But when you struggle to turn the ring around with your fingers it's too small. Even snug rings should be able to move a little when you spin them.

Before you start to worry it's important to know your rings can suddenly feel tight for many legitimate reasons.

It doesn't always mean your ring is too small. Changes in temperature and exercise swell your fingers up by increasing the size of your blood vessels.

Pro Tip: Take a bag of frozen veg from the freezer and hold it against your hand for 5 minutes. It will cause your blood vessels to constrict reducing the swelling.

If your ring loosens up and can spin around you know the size of your ring isn't a problem. If your ring is still unable to spin it's too small.

You can always have the ring resized which won't affect its aesthetics or durability. Getting a ring resized won't devalue it either.

4 Won't come off

A ring shouldn't be able to come off when you're playing sports or swimming in the sea. But it should still be able to come off at any moment.

When you can't physically slide the ring over your knuckle you might have a problem. First, let's look at two scenarios where it's not so bad:

  • Knotted knuckles
  • Swollen fingers

Knotted knuckles

Some people have knotted knuckles which means they're bigger than the base of your fingers. Others have tapered fingers that decrease in size as you reach the tip.

If your knuckles are extra big it doesn't necessarily mean your ring is too small for your finger. It might mean you'll need to use butter or soap to get it off.

Swollen fingers

We've just talked about how you can use frozen veg to reduce the size of your finger. Once the blood vessels in your fingers are constricted the ring can slide off.

If you're still having trouble at this point your ring is likely too small for your finger.

Wrap some ice around your finger and hold your hand above your head for 5 minutes. Once the time is up use some lubricant to slide the ring off.

The tightness could still be caused by things like weight gain and medication, so you'll have to decide whether or not you'll need to get the ring resized.

5 Ring muffin top

Do you notice the bulge that hangs over your waist when you eat and drink too much food over the holidays?

The same phenomenon can happen on your ringer when your ring is too small, and it's called a ring muffin top.

If you eat too much salt and your finger swells up it might squash up a little, but if your finger looks like a squashed balloon your ring is too small.

Are you one of those people with tapered fingers that slowly narrow all the way down to the tip? A slight ring muffin top might be a good thing.

You won't have a big knuckle to stop your ring from falling off, so you'd expect to wear a slightly tighter ring. The muffin top shouldn't come with those other problems.

Can A Jeweler Cut Off A Ring?

If your ring is too small and there is no way to remove it using a life hack at home you'll need to get it cut off by a jeweler. In more serious cases you might need to visit the doctor before a jeweler touches it to stay on the safe side.

But jewelers have the equipment on hand to cut your small ring off pretty easily. You don't have to visit the emergency room or fire station.

How Much Do Jewelers Charge To Cut Off Rings?

Jewelers won't charge you money to cut your ring off if you get it repaired and resized. You'll pay around $50-300 to get it fixed so cutting it off gets thrown in for free. The exact price depends on the material and how complex your ring design is.

The jeweler would need to snip your ring to resize it anyway. If you get it cut off by firefighters or doctors it won't be as neatly cut to be resized.

Why Does My Ring Not Fit Anymore?

If you've recently bought your ring it shouldn't be too small. I'm sure you measured your finger size for the finger or thumb it was going on.

So unless you were gifted the ring by someone who chooses the wrong size there are probably a few reasons why you're now having problems with it being too small.

Hopefully, it's just small when you're exercising, during summer, flying, pregnant, or eating salty food because your ring finger will eventually get smaller.

If you've put on weight, started taking important medication, or have an illness you will have to get your ring resized unless things change.

Questions + Answers


What Happens If You Leave A Ring On A Swollen Finger?

If you leave a ring on your swollen finger it could cause permanent damage if left too long. You might lose the feeling in your finger and it will begin to change color. It's going to cause a huge amount of pain until it's cut off.

Think about what would happen if you left a tourniquet on a wound without letting blood flow to the rest of the limb. That limb would eventually be removed.

How To Reduce Swelling In Fingers To Remove Ring?

You can wrap your hand in ice and hold it above your head for 5 minutes to reduce swelling in your fingers. If that's going to be too difficult dip your hand in a bowl of cold water. It won't take long until the blood vessels constrict and the swelling goes down.

How To Remove A Ring From A Swollen Finger?

Once you've cooled your hand down using ice or water you can use lubrication to slide the ring off your finger. Windex, soup, oil, butter, or similar lubricants will work well. If it's still too tight you can use string, rubber bands, or a toothpick.

There are lots of cool little tricks that will help you remove a ring that's too small. I'm sure you'll have something at home that comes in handy.

Is Wearing A Tight Ring Dangerous?

Wearing a tight ring isn't dangerous unless it's causing you any of the problems we've discussed so far. A smaller ring means it's going to be hard to fall off. But if you do start running into issues it's because your ring is too small.

Take it off as soon as possible and look into getting it resized.


How To Tell If A Ring Is Too Small

Rings shouldn't cause pain or discoloration, plus they should be able to spin around and slide off with a little effort. If your ring does seem to be stuck and sore you'll need to take it off. A tight ring is dangerous if it's left alone for too long.

Don't wait until you're forced to have it cut off because you didn't want to deal with the problem.