Top 13 Different Types of Bracelets – Everything You Want to Know

As Jewelry Shopping Guide editors, we write about things that we love and we think you’ll like too. We often have affiliate partnerships, and may generate some revenue from these links at no cost to you.

There are so many varieties of bracelets on the market now, that finding the right one for you can be a feat. The word bracelet is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of categories.

Here we summarize the top 13 types of bracelets, outlining what makes them special and when to wear them.

If you want a quick look, jump to the infographic at the end of the article that showcases the main types of bracelets. If not, keep reading!

Bangle Bracelet

Trio bangle bracelet
Trio bangle bracelet by Blue Nile. See it here.

A bangle is typically a rigid bracelet that has no clasp or opening. Instead, you slide the bracelet over your hand and onto your wrist. Because of this, bangles are generally loose and tend to move around.

When wearing a thin bracelet, people tend to layer them, either with similar bracelets or a number of differently styled ones. However, you can also opt to wear a single, large bangle which would work like a statement bracelet.

Bangles are very popular in Asian countries like India or Sri Lanka and are generally seen as a staple part of a person’s outfit.

Chain Bracelet

Byzantine chain bracelet
Byzantine chain bracelet by Blue Nile. See it here.

Chain bracelets are typically made of metal loops linked together to create a chain. There are a variety of chain types you can choose from, which we’ve detailed in this article on types of chains.

While chain bracelets can be made out of any type of metal, gold and silver are the top choices as these have value and durability. Depending on the size and type of chain you choose, you can express a variety of styles with your chain bracelet.

These bracelets have clasps that make it easy to put on and take off. You can also attach things to them and convert them into charm bracelets.

Chain bracelets are stylish and tend to suit most occasions.  

Tennis Bracelet

Diamond tennis bracelet
Diamond tennis bracelet by James Allen. See it here.

One of the most classic and sophisticated options for a bracelet, tennis bracelets are an excellent choice for any occasion. Whether it’s for the red carpet or literally to play tennis with, tennis bracelets blend in well with any outfit.

The diamond line bracelet is the quintessential type of tennis bracelet, featuring a string of diamonds going around the circumference of your wrist. While there are gemstone tennis bracelets as well which are increasing in popularity, the ones featuring diamonds remain the most popular.

Cuff Bracelet

Satin cuff bracelet
Satin cuff bracelet by Blue Nile. See it here.

Cuffs are a type of inflexible bangle but are different in that they have an opening. This makes cuffs easier to put on and as they don’t have clasps or any type of closure, you don’t have to fiddle about with one hand.

Cuffs come in a variety of sizes and styles, with wide cuffs having a bold, confident look. Thinner cuffs are more suitable for regular wear and fit any outfit.

This bracelet variety is a unisex style, looking great on both men and women. They are typically made of metal, like gold or silver, but can also be made using leather for a tough, biker image.

Designer Bracelet

Designer bracelet

Anything with the adjective designer attached to it is generally fancy and expensive. No exception here. Designer bracelets are high-end pieces of jewelry made using expensive materials, like diamonds, platinum, and gold.

They’re typically custom-created by a designer, and the more well-known the designer, the more expensive the piece.

What makes designer bracelets stand out is that they’re unique and not your typical run-of-the-mill kind of jewelry. They come with a big price tag but they can last for decades and be passed down through generations.

Charm Bracelet

Heart charm bracelet
Heart charm bracelet by Blue Nile. See it here.

Charm bracelets became popular in the early 20th century, when WWII soldiers brought home little items that were made by the locals of places where they had been fighting. These were excellent keepsakes and could be attached to a chain. Over time, the concept of charm bracelets captured the imagination of jewelry lovers, becoming an ideal way to keep mementos and symbolic items close at hand.

Today, there are so many types of charms available representing various topics, hobbies, and themes. Charm bracelets are versatile, allowing you to take on and put on charms as you wish, depending on your mood and preferences.

They make excellent gifts and are a nice way to show your personality.

Beaded Bracelet

Blue apatite beaded bracelet
Blue apatite beaded bracelet by Throwin Stones. See it here.

Beaded bracelets typically have a bohemian style and are very versatile. They can be stiff, elastic, made of gemstones, plastic, glass, wood… you name it. This is one of the most famous types of bracelets because it’s very simple and can be customized to suit your style. Beaded bracelets are also perfect for meditation or spiritual jewelry.

This variety of bracelets is perfect for stacking and blends well with other types of bracelets. They’re generally great if you’re going for a casual look.

Pearl Bracelet

Freshwater pearl bracelet
Freshwater pearl bracelet by Blue Nile. See it here.

Technically, a pearl bracelet falls into the category of beaded gemstone bracelets, but it’s so popular that we think it warrants its own category.

Much like diamond tennis bracelets, pearl bracelets are a classic staple of most jewelry collections and has been so for centuries. They’re sophisticated and very elegant. A pearl bracelet goes with any outfit and suits most occasions. Because of the typically neutral color of pearls (there are black and colored pearls too but white remains the most popular) pearl bracelets blend well with any outfit.

If you’re thinking that a pearl bracelet is old-fashioned, think again. Designers are getting creative with pearls, using different types of pearls and setting them in unique ways to make pearl jewelry in general, modern and chic. A case in point is this beautiful keshi pearl bracelet.

Friendship Bracelet

Friendship bracelets
Fishtail friendship bracelets by KnotsByRae. See them here

Friendship bracelets are decorative, often colorful, bracelets given between friends to symbolize their friendship. These bracelets are typically made of thread or string and are woven in any number of ways to create the pattern.

Friendship bracelets became popular in the 1970s when hippie culture and the anti-war sentiment were prevalent. Today, they’re worn the world over, especially among young people.

One thing to note is that when friendship bracelets get wet, they can feel unpleasant until they dry out.  They also wear off and need to be replaced every now and then. Even so, they make for a cute and quirky gift between friends.

Slider Bracelet

Slider bracelet silver
Personalised slider bracelet by Hurley Burley Gifts. See it here.

Without doubt, one of the most annoying things about bracelets is trying to get the clasp on with one hand. Slider bracelets are an answer to that. Slider bracelets work by sliding the ‘slider’ along the chain until you get to a comfortable fit for your bracelet. It’s that simple. This makes slider bracelets comfortable and easy to wear.

Slider bracelets can come in a variety of designs and styles, from dressed up and chic to casual and boho. It’s all in the materials and design.

Hololith Bracelet

A hololith refers to a piece of jewelry carved from a single piece of rock. Jade hololiths are very popular, as the gemstone is durable enough for this kind of composition.

Jade hololiths are very popular, especially in Asia. They can cost huge sums of money, depending on the quality of the jade. There are also glass and plastic imitation bracelets that look very much like jade hololiths.

Wooden Bracelet

Wooden bracelet
Corsican olive wood bracelet by Woodisland France. See this here.

Technically, wood is a type of material that bracelets can be made out of and not a bracelet variety in itself. However, if solid rock bracelets are called hololiths, then solid wooden bracelets deserve their own bracelet category, right?

Wooden bracelets can be made using wooden beads (beaded bracelet) or just carved out of a single piece of wood. They can also be made out of wood segments that are cleverly put together so that you don’t see the seams. These can vary greatly in terms of size, color, shape and type of wood. Wooden bracelets are unique and immediately eye-catching and can be very funky, like this unique wooden bracelet we found here.

Affirmation Bracelet

Affirmation bracelet
Affirmation bracelet by Engraved 4ever. See it here.

Affirmation bracelets are bracelets that hold a message for the wearer. They’re typically positive, inspiring words, quotes or messages that serve as a constant reminder to the wearer.

Affirmation bracelets aren’t a style of bracelet and can made using any of the above 12 mentioned styles. The difference is that the message would be engraved or added to the bracelet somehow. In this way, they’re not exactly a separate type of bracelet but more a style of bracelet.

So, there you have it, the top 13 types of bracelets. Now that you’ve got that out of the way, why not browse for your perfect bracelet? We recommend searching on Etsy or Amazon for a large variety of styles at competitive prices. Just ensure that you do your due diligence, check the track record of the retailer, customer reviews and after sales policies. 

types of bracelets

Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years in the jewelry niche. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education. She has always been interested in expression through fashion and accessories, and her extensive experience in the field has made her a respected voice in jewelry trends and education. As the chief editor of Jewelry Shopping Guide, she not only leads the content strategy but also shares her insights through engaging articles. Her passion for storytelling is reflected in every piece she curates, exploring the intricate relationship between jewelry and personal identity.

Jewelry Guide