For all the things the Apple Watch gets right, one of its overlooked qualities is its near-infinite compatibility with interchangeable bands. All Apple Watches come packaged with your pick of a traditional strap, but there are plenty of other options from both Apple and a host of third-party brands competing to be the best Apple Watch bands.
Apple Watch bands aren’t limited to just a few styles but encompass everything from the best designer Apple Watch bands to the best leather Apple Watch bands and the best metal Apple Watch bands. So, whichever model you decide on as the best Apple Watch for you, a new strap can complement every facet of your personal style.
Whether you’ve got an Apple Watch SE or Apple Watch Series 8, below are the best Apple Watch bands currently available, including sport and leather straps, as well as a selection of metal bands and a few designer picks. Don’t forget to grab one of the best Apple Watch screen protectors, too.
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Apple’s Sport Band is made of durable yet comfortable rubber that doesn’t irritate your wrist while working out.
This nylon strap has a lightweight, breathable design that works well for runners, cyclists, or anyone who keeps active.
Nomad’s Sport Band is a stylish alternative to Apple’s offering that’s slightly more functional for the avid outdoors person.
LifeProof’s Eco-Friendly Band is made of 99% ocean plastic yarn and is a comfortable and durable all-around sport band.
Lacoste’s Apple Watch Strap is style mets function. It’s made of comfortable silicone that’s great for the boardroom or the gym.
Apple’s Leather Link features a distinctive yet classy pebbled design, and is available in a variety of different colorways.
The Modern Band from Nomad is made of Horween leather and achieves a rugged yet stylish look that fits the design of the Apple Watch well.
Bellroy’s Leather Watch Strap is like a leather version of Apple’s Sport Band, right down to the durability, color options, and comfortable fit.
Tasikar’s Leather Band is a budget watch band that features high build quality, a rugged, timeless design, and a classic watch clasp.
Apple’s Milanese Loop is a chic, stylish watch band that’s made of stainless steel and modeled off a classic 19th Century Italian design.
The Apple Silver Link Bracelet features a traditional butterfly clasp system that evokes the style of a standard stainless steel wristwatch.
Speidel’s Twist-o-Flex Band has a similar link design to Apple’s Silver Link Bracelet but at a much more budget-friendly price.
The Apple Watch Band from Spigen features a classic linked design and a traditional clasp — and won’t break the bank at $40.
The Linked Band from Case-Mate has a stylish matte rose gold finish, a linked design, and an easy to use butterfly clasp.
The Hermes Rouge Sellier is made of a durable woven material and features a unique (and stylish) multi-color design.
The Kate Spade Stainless Steel Band features scallop links adorned with gold accents and sparkling bedazzles, and is available in 10 colors.
This band from Coach has a metallic mesh design, a foldover clasp, and the understated yet iconic Coach logo right below the watch face.
The all-black Michele Apple Watch band is made of durable stainless steel, features an easy to use clasp, and is both sleek and stylish.
What to look for in an Apple Watch band
First and foremost, consider what you’ll use the band for. If you frequent the gym, look for a sport band. If you want something classy yet rugged, leather might be your best option. And for those extra stylish occasions, consider a metal band, or something from a designer like Hermes.
It’s also important to remember how the band functions and if it’s something you’ll enjoy using. For instance, some may prefer using a magnetic clasp since it’s easy to use and accessible to a wider range of people. Others may like elastic-style bands that easily slip on and off their wrist.
Lastly, Apple sometimes releases new colorways for many of its Apple Watch bands, the latest of which is the company’s Spring Collection. These provide a great way to freshen up the look of your Apple Watch, even if you buy a band you already own but in a different color.
What is the best Apple Watch band?
This ultimately comes down to how you need the band to function as not all bands are designed to work for every use case. For example, you won’t want to wear a metal band while working out, nor would you want to use a leather band while swimming.
However, some bands are more versatile than others such as most of the sport bands as they can stand up to a heavy workout but can also function well in an office setting. The term “best” truly comes down to how each individual person needs to use it.
What’s the difference between Apple’s band and third-party options?
The biggest difference between Apple’s watch bands and those sold by a third party is the quality and specific styles of the bands. Apple’s bands sport a unique look and feel that are quite distinguishable from non-Apple products, and they’re often a lot more durable.
Of course, plenty of knock-offs aim to replicate the look and feel of an Apple band, but the quality tends to be much lower.
What’s the best Apple Watch band for working out?
A fluoroelastomer, or rubber-style, Apple Watch band will be the best for working out for a number of reasons. Not only are they much easier to clean than something like a woven band, but they manage to avoid looking dirty, too, even if you’ve worn it for a few workouts without cleaning it. They also tend to be more comfortable to wear, especially in warmer weather or during a particularly sweaty workout.
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