Best Apple Watch Bands in 2023 – Pocket-lint

Finding the right Apple Watch strap to pair with your smartwatch is no easy task, but you’re in the right place if you’re looking to add to your collection. We’ve tested drawer-fulls of Apple Watch bands since the device was first released, and understand how important it is to have a few go-to options for different social occasions. Regardless of whether you’ve got the newest Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch SE or an earlier model, all bands designed for the smartwatch should fit across every generation.

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You’ll still need to take into account whether you have the bigger or smaller case size – something that has changed across the various generations – but the cross-compatibility means there’s an absolute wealth of choice out there. Thankfully for you, we’ve done the hard work by living with a variety of straps, so we’re well-positioned to tell you about some of the very best options available.

Our Top Picks: Best Apple Watch Bands

Apple Sport Loop
Best Apple Watch band overall

Apple’s nylon straps are our favourite to actually wear day-to-day with your Apple Watch. They’re really stylish and available in a wide range of colors, but all of them fit extremely comfortably.

Apple Sport Band
Best Apple Watch band for exercise

If you prefer the feel of a silicone strap (or as Apple calls its material, fluoroelastomer), the official sports band is a great option. It’s waterproof and really easy to keep clean, and again, is available in plenty of colors to suit your style and outfit.

Apple Milanese Loop
Best chic Apple Watch band

If you’re looking for a more business-appropriate look or want to dress up for an occasion, the Milanese Loop that Apple offers is superb.

Iiteeology Link band
Best link bracelet band for Apple Watch

The Iiteeology band is a link-style band that looks really great and is available in multiple finishes to give you a bit of control over how it fits. We like the black version pictured here, but the others look swell too.

Nike Sport Band
Best sweat-proof Apple Watch band
$42 $49 Save $7

Our last sports band from Apple, the Nike tie-in for this band, is marked out by those holes, which make it even more breathable and perfect for long workouts.We particularly like this Pride edition of the band, and there are other nice colors available too.

Apple Modern Buckle
Best premium Apple Watch band

This subtle leather strap is on the pricey end, but looks great at almost every social engagement.

Airproce Band for Apple Watch
Best budget Apple Watch band

A great lookalike compared to Apple’s own soft-touch bands. For those who want a band that’s great for exercise, but don’t want to shell out hugely for it, this third-party option is a good one to check out.

LHXYUO Band for Apple Watch
Best Apple Watch band with color options

Want a more colorful flare for your Apple Watch band? This adjustable elastic band adds a little bit of color to every watch and only costs $10.

How did we choose the best Apple Watch bands?

Choosing the strap for your Apple Watch can feel just as important as choosing your watch model and size since it plays a huge role in determining how your watch looks. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you browse.

How adjustable do you need it?

One big variable between different straps, in our experience, is in terms of how easy it is to adjust them. If you know that you like swapping between different tightness levels depending on the situation, you might want to make sure you get a strap that you can adjust, while options like the Sports Loop let you do this in whatever increments you like.

Do you prefer certain materials?

A traditional watch strap is generally leather, it’s fair to say, but there are loads of materials you might have tried over the years, from canvas to plastic and loads in between, so if you’ve ever particularly liked a type of watch strap, bear that in mind! While Apple’s own list of options doesn’t span that many types, there are countless third-party providers who could oblige.

What kind of Apple Watch band do you need for exercising?

This is a big one – Apple Watches are superb ways to keep on track of your health and fitness thanks to the array of sensors and tracking they offer. However, if you pair your watch with a lovely leather band and then go for a run, you might run into some issues with the sweat that entails.

Simply put, if you’re going to exercise with your Apple Watch (and especially if that means any sort of swimming), get a waterproof or sweatproof band!

What are some fashionable or formal options for Apple Watch bands?

The biggest downside to the many sweatproof options out there for your Apple Watch band is that most of them look a little jazzy – a little informal. So, if you’re rocking up to a smart dinner or any other occasion where you want to dress to impress, it might be worth also picking out an option that’s a little more formal.

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