Apple Watch bands can transform the look and feel of your smartwatch dramatically, so it's important to choose the right one. Yes, we're just, on the face of it, talking about a watch strap. But as the images below show, different styles of Apple Watch band can give your wrist a whole new look, from traditional to modern, day-wear to evening-wear, and beyond.
There are also Apple Watch bands for specific purposes, such as sports, working out and adventurous activities, where you want something more rugged and waterproof. So there's a lot to consider.
However, with dozens of official Apple Watch bands and hundreds of third party options to choose from, it's hard to know where to start. So we've gathered together the very best Apple Watch bands, in a range of styles and for a variety of uses, in one place.
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The best Apple Watch bands available now
The Apple Leather Loop band may be expensive, but like everything from Apple, you get the kind of stylish and thought-through product that justifies the price.
Handcrafted in Arzignano, Italy, the quilted Venezia leather design is striking and original, while still hitting that level of finish and elegance you expect from Apple. And there's even has some clever tech in there: the magnetic closure makes taking this band on and off a smooth and pleasurable experience. This heady combination of aesthetic appeal and useability makes this our number one pick for Apple Watch bands overall.
When two big superbrands like Nike and Apple come together, you know you're going to get something special. And that's exactly what you find in this, our favourite Apple Watch band for sports and workouts.
Its minimalist design looks very cool. The tuck-and-pin fastener is easy to adjust when you're on the move. And the "compression-molded perforations" (holes to you and me) makes it very breathable and lightweight. Yet at the same time, its use of fluoroelastomer (a fluorocarbon-based synthetic rubber) makes this watch strap very hard-wearing and durable, however much sporty movement you put it through.
It comes in a range of fun colours, and there's even a Pride edition. So whether you're running, cycling or working out at the gym, this is our top pick.
Go on a lot of hardy hikes, challenging climbs and other outdoor adventures? Then you’ll need a more rugged style of Apple Watch band, and here’s our current favourite.
The soft, antimicrobial silicone of the UAG Civilian Silicone is waterproof, sweat-proof and super-durable, making it the perfect choice whatever the weather. Along with the lovely tuck closure, this chunky watch band is a strong and comfortable fit. Finally, the icing on the cake comes in the form of a surprisingly affordable price.
If you ever needed proof that Apple is as much as fashion brand as a tech one, then consider the fact that a luxury brand like Hermès is among those making Apple Watch bands. And what a beauty it is.
Handmade by artisans in France from either buttery-smooth Barénia leather, textured Epsom leather or supple Swift leather, this elongated design wraps elegantly twice around the wrist. So if you’re planning to mingle with the fashion mafia, this will definitely help you to attract admiring looks … as long as you’re willing to pay the eye-wateringly high price, that is.
The Milanese style of watch strap was, as you might expect, developed in Milan at the end of the 19th century. It's based on smooth stainless steel mesh woven on specialised Italian machines, and it will give your Apple Watch a very distinctive look indeed. Apple's own Milanese loop is pretty impressive too, and the same price at time of writing, but in our eyes this design from Mintapple just pips it to the post.
The mesh looks beautifully polished, and feels smooth and comfortable to wear. The weaving appears slightly less likely to pick up hairs and dust in practice than its official Apple rival, plus the strap itself is a little lighter. Also, because it’s fully magnetic, the Milanese Loop is wonderfully adjustable, ensuring a perfect fit. Overall then, this tasteful and sophisticated design is our top recommendation when it comes to stainless steel Apple Watch bands.
Short on cash, and have an Apple Watch 1-4? Then we recommend the Marge Plus. Because, although we're not sure about the name itself (more likely to summon images of Ma Simpson or something you spread on your toast), this is a very classy Apple Watch band at a super-low price.
This distinguished-looking strap is made from genuine leather, and it certainly looks like should cost a lot more than it does. Giving your smartwatch a professional and traditional look, it's a shame it won't fit the Apple Watch 5, but for any other model, it represents an absolute bargain.
Want a traditional stainless steel watch strap for your Apple Watch? Then our favourite has to be this Apple Watch band from Epuly.
Cut and crafted from Premium 304 stainless steel, this design hits the perfect sweet spot between classic and hi-tech, creating a perfect synergy between watch and strap. And you also get a kit that allows you to remove links, so you can customise the length to fit your wrist.
Overall, this looks and feels like something that should cost a lot more. We'd probably have recommended it even had it cost twice as much, so the very affordable price is a nice surprise indeed.
Want the leather look, but object to real leather on ethical grounds? Casetify do a lovely line in faux leather Apple Watch bands, in a wide range of fun and youthful colours and styles. They're crafted from cruelty-free, high-quality saffiano 'vegan leather' that's both water- and scratch-resistant, so they're a good choice for everyday casual wear. And they're also very reasonably priced overall.