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Article: The Ultimate Rope Chain Size Guide

measuring rope chain with a tape measure

The Ultimate Rope Chain Size Guide

Unsure about which rope chain size to get? Worried you’ll get the wrong size and that your chain will be too tight or too loose when it arrives? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

In this rope chain size guide, we go through how to measure a rope chain, the pros and cons of each width and length and how to choose the right size for your neck dimensions and style.


Measuring Your Rope Chains:

Getting the measurement of your neck is essential for getting the right fitting rope chain for yourself. If you take the necessary measurements, you run the risk of getting a rope chain that is too tight or too loose.

The first way of measuring rope chains is to take a piece of string and cut it to the desired length. Make sure that you are in front of a mirror then with the string, wrap it around your neck and join the two ends together as you would with a necklace.

Once you are happy with how it fits, measure the string with a ruler then round to the nearest standard measurement. Keep in mind that your rope chain may fit differently at various thicknesses.

Another method is to wrap a measuring tape around your neck and hold it as close to your skin as possible. Take whatever measurement you have and add 2 inches for a choker-like fit. Add 4 inches if you want a medium-fit rope chain. Add 6 inches for a looser fitting chain. Again, keep in mind that the rope chain will fit differently depending on its thickness.

Tips for measuring your rope chain accurately: 

Ensure that you measure from the base of your neck, this is the part of your neck where your shoulder connects with your neck. When measuring, don’t wrap your measuring tool too light or too loose. A good rule of thumb is to be able to fit a finger between the tape and your neck. Use a flexible measuring tape, string or strip of paper. Take multiple measurements then take the average of the three.


Key considerations when deciding on the ideal rope chain size:

Rope chain width:

rope chain width

The width of the rope chain is the distance between the outer edge of each link on the rope chain. It is important that you choose the right width of rope chain to ensure that you get the correct length of the rope chain. Thinner rope chains will also suit different outfits and styles better,

How to measure the width of a rope chain:

  1. Lay the rope chain flat on a surface or table
  2. Find the widest point of the chain and place a ruler over it
  3. Read the measurement from one edge of the chain to the other
  4. The measurement you get is the width of the rope chain in inches or millimetres

Tip for measuring the width of your rope chain accurately:

  • Use a ruler that is clear so that it is easier to get an accurate reading
  • Ensure that the chain is lying flat on a completely level surface
  • Ensure that you measure your rope chain from the widest point
  • Measure at multiple points of the chain and take an average.


Most popular widths:

5mm gold rope chain

The most popular widths of rope chains based on search volume on Google include the 3mm,4mm and 5mm rope chains. At these widths, the rope chain doesn’t look too over the top. Thicker rope chains are great to wear as a statement piece and offer greater durability than thinner options.

The 3mm rope chain is one of the most popular styles of rope chain. At this width, the rope chain is subtle, and the chain reflects light well when worn. At this width, the rope chain is perfect to layer with other pendants and chains. This width may also appeal to both males and females.

Factors to consider when choosing rope chain width:

  • Styling - think about how you are going to style the rope chain. If you plan on wearing it as a statement piece then you should opt for a thicker style. For a subtle look, choose a thinner variation. Also think about when you would wear your rope chain, if it is more for smart occasions then a thinner rope chain may be more appropriate, whilst a thicker rope chain would be better suited for more casual occasions. Also, think about whether you would be able to layer your rope chain at that width with other pendants and necklaces.
  • Neck size - you should aim to match the thickness of your rope chain to the thickness of your neck. Thicker rope chains will match better with a thicker neck, whilst a thinner one will match a thinner neck.
  • Comfort - think about how the rope chain will feel when being worn. If you prefer the feeling of a heavy chain around your neck, the go for a thicker rope chain. If you want a lightweight chain, then a thinner rope chain would be better suited for you.
  • Budget - for those with a small budget, a thinner rope chain would be much cheaper than a thicker one.

Pros and cons of different widths of rope chain:

Thin rope chains (1-3mm)

male wearing 3mm gold rope chain on neck with black shirt


  • Easy to layer with other chains and pendants
  • More affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile - more appealing to both men and women. Can be worn with both smart and casual outfits. Can be used to hold pendants


  • Easier to tangle
  • Less durable
  • Harder to see the rope-like pattern

Medium rope chains (4-6mm)

male wearing 5mm silver rope chain on neck


  • Great for layering with other chains and pendants
  • A good in-between point between a statement and a subtle
  • Suitable for both smart and casual outfits
  • Offers greater durability than thinner variations


  • Still more delicate than thicker variations. Smaller pendants won’t be able to fit on this thickness of rope chain.

Thick rope chains (6-8mm)

8mm gold rope chain on neck

  • Great as a statement piece chain
  • Offers maxim durability and the ability to withstand daily wear
  • Bold look


  • Heavy to wear all-day
  • More expensive
  • Less versatile for styling with smart outfits
  • Harder to layer with other chains


Rope chain length:

measuring length of rope chain with tape measure

The length of a rope chain describes the distance between two ends of the rope chain. It can be measured by the number of links that make up the chain. Choosing the right length is important to ensure that your Cuban chain is not too tight or too loose.

Popular lengths of rope chains:

different lengths of rope chains
The most popular lengths of rope chain are between 18 to 22 inches. Within this range, the rope chain will fit just above the chest or directly in the middle of it. Any shorter or longer than this range and you run the risk of the rope chain being too light or too loose around your neck.

Factors to consider when choosing a chain length:

  • Styling - consider how you plan on styling your rope chain. If you are wearing it as a statement piece, then a longer chain length is perfect. Longer rope chains give off a more relaxed look and therefore suit casual outfits better. For those looking to layer on chains alongside the rope chain, choose a shorter rope chain as a base piece. Shorter rope chains are also perfect for styling with smart outfits. 
  • Body size - match the rope chain length to your height. Those that are taller will suit longer rope chains, whilst shorter individuals will suit shorter ones better.
  • Budget - for those on a budget, a shorter rope chain will be less expensive than a longer one. This is because a shorter chain will have fewer links and therefore use fewer materials. 

Pros and cons of different rope chain lengths:

Short rope chains (16-18inch)

  • Great as a base chain for layering with other pendants or chains
  • More practical for day-to-day use and is less likely to get caught


  • Not long enough to hold pendants
  • Doesn’t work well with turtlenecks or collared shirts
  • For some, this length may fit more like a choker
  • Doesn’t suit taller individual

Medium rope chains (18 - 20 inch):

  • The most versatile length of rope chain. Works great layered with other chains and suits most styles and outfits.
  • At this length, the rope chain fails perfectly above the middle of the chest for most people. Also, a great length to add pendants to.


  • May be too long to do vigorous physical activity like running

Long rope chains (20-26 inch)

  • Good length for thicker statement piece
  • Works well layered with shorter chains
  • Can be worn with turtlenecks or worn over a sweater or hoodie


  • Less practical for daily wear as there is a high risk that the chain will get caught in something
  • Not comfortable to wear, as the chain is likely to swing side to side when being worn
  • Not great for high-neckline clothing
  • Doesn’t suit shorter individuals

Choosing the right size rope chain for your neck:

Getting the right size rope chain is essential. It ensures that the chain is comfortable to wear throughout the day around your neck. It also ensures that the rope chain matches the dimensions of your neck.

How to choose the right size rope chain for your neck:

Measure your neck properly with the methods mentioned before. Whatever measurement you get, add 2-4 inches to find the perfect fit.

  • Consider neck length - for those with a longer neck, a longer rope chain will match better. For those with a short neck, a shorter rope chain will match better.
  • Consider neck thickness - for those with a thicker neck, a thicker rope chain will match better. For those with a thinner neck, a thinner more subtle rope chain is better suited.

Choosing the right size rope chain for your style:

3mm gold rope chain on female neck

Another consideration when choosing the right size rope chain for yourself is to match it with your style. Thicker and longer rope chains give a more casual and relaxed vibe. Thinner and tighter-fitting rope chains give a more smart and put-together look.

How to choose the right size rope chain for your style:

  • Minimalistic/subtle style - for those with a minimalistic style, a rope chain between 18 to 22 inches and between 1-3mm width is perfect. At this width, the rope chain is more subtle.
  • Standard look - for those who want the rope chain to be a main aspect of their outfit, go for rope chains between 3-5mm and a length of 20 to 22 inches. At this width, the rope chain has a much bolder look but can be worn with both casual and smart outfits.
  • Bolder look - for those who want their rope chain to make a statement with their outfit, a rope chain between 6-8mm width and 20-22 inches is ideal. At this width and length, the rope chain starts to become the main point of focus in an outfit.



In conclusion, measuring your neck and considering the width of your rope chains is essential in finding the perfect fit and style for yourself. Taking accurate measurements and considering key factors like neck size, comfort and budget can help you make a smarter decision when it comes to buying a rope chain. The most popular widths of rope chains range from 3 to 5mm.

Ultimately, the choice of rope chain size comes down to your personal preferences and style. With careful consideration of all the factors mentioned above, you can find the perfect rope chain for yourself!

Want to learn more about the rope chain? Check out our complete rope chain blog.

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