wood vs metal wedding rings

We are entering a great era for men who want to choose unique, good-looking wedding bands. While you can still pick traditional styles and materials, a new generation of designers have brought a raft of cool, contemporary alternatives to the table.

The question, then, is whether to opt for a classic metal wedding band, or take the plunge with a wooden alternative. Today's engaged couple have a wide variety of options to consider when it comes to wedding band materials and designs. Let’s weigh up the differences between the two so you can make an informed decision.

Men's Wedding Bands; Much Cheaper Than Women's Rings!

Americans typically spend far less on wedding bands than engagement rings; the typical cost for women's wedding bands is $1,000, while for men, it is approximately $500. In comparison, a bridal set that includes a wedding ring and engagement ring typically costs as much as $5,000 in 2023 ... and often much more!

- survey data from The Knot and theSkimm

Metal vs Wooden Wedding Bands: Pros and Cons

Comparing metal versus wooden wedding bands involves considering various factors such as durability, appearance, maintenance, cost, and comfort. One needs to also consider the fact that just as with metal wedding rings where you have a spectrum from classic undecorated platinum bands like I have to ornately decorted bands featuring multiple metals as well as fascets for gemstones - the same here true for wood as well. As such, some factors such as "cost" may not be as easy to judge since an ornate Ebony Wood wedding band with diamonds may be more expensive than a classic Titanium men's wedding ring.

Bentwood Rings vs Whole Wood Ring

Similarly, different costs are involved if you select a bentwood ring where the wood is carefully bent around a tool so that it forms that perfectly round shape for your finger or if the ring maker carves the ring from a single piece of wood.

While bentwood rings offer a more affordable option by wrapping layers of veneer glued together with epoxy to form a circle, on careful inspection, you will almost always find the seam where the veneer layers overlap. Master craftsmen can do wonders to hide this element with pattern designs, polishing, and other techniques. However, solid wood rings made from whole wood is a superior ring-making process in almost every way.

Unfortunately, the process of carving the wooden ring from a single piece of wood does cause the price to go higher. 

Ultimately, while we are passionate about wooden wedding rings and frankly even just wooden fashion rings for men, if you are shopping for one, the best thing to do is research the topic but then visit a jeweler who can show you some examples in person.


FactorMetal Wedding BandsWooden Wedding Bands
Durability Generally more durable than wood. Resistant to scratches and less likely to deform. Less durable than metal. Prone to scratches and can deform or break under pressure.
Appearance Offers a classic and timeless look. Available in a variety of metals like gold, silver, platinum, and more. Provides a unique, natural, and often rustic appearance. Wood grain patterns vary, making each ring unique.
Maintenance Requires minimal maintenance. Some metals may tarnish over time and require occasional polishing. Requires more maintenance to protect the wood. May need regular oiling or sealing to prevent damage from water and daily wear. Be careful though since it can be damaged by chemical polishes that aren't designed for use on polished wood.
Cost Can be expensive, especially for precious metals like gold and platinum. Generally more affordable than metal rings. Price varies depending on the type of wood and craftsmanship.
Comfort Weight and comfort depend on the metal type. Some people might find metal bands heavier or colder on the skin. Tend to be lighter and can be more comfortable for daily wear. Wood's natural warmth can be more appealing.
Hypoallergenic Properties Depends on the metal. Platinum and titanium are hypoallergenic, while others like nickel can cause allergic reactions. Generally hypoallergenic, but some may be sensitive to certain types of wood or finishes used.
Customization High potential for customization in terms of design, engraving, and incorporating various stones. Offers unique customization, especially with the choice of wood type and the possibility of incorporating metal inlays.
Environmental Impact The environmental impact varies. Mining for metals can be environmentally taxing, but many metal rings are now made from recycled materials. Often seen as a more eco-friendly option, especially if sourced from sustainable wood. However, the impact depends on the source of the wood and the manufacturing process.

This table provides a comprehensive comparison of the key factors to consider when choosing between metal and wooden wedding bands. The best choice ultimately depends on personal preferences, lifestyle, and values.

african padauk wood wedding band for men

Which Wood Is Right For Your Wedding Band?

There are many different types of wood available, and jewelers are crafting wooden wedding bands from these days. While the industry may have started out simple with basic hand carved circles of wood for folks who couldn't afford a shiny gold ring - today's wooden rings are beautiful works of sentimental art on their own and deserve to be cherished just as much.

Hawaiian Koa Wood

CharacteristicsReasons for Preference
Native to Hawaii, known for its rich color and distinctive grain. Highly valued for its beauty and rarity. Resistant to wear, it symbolizes strength and integrity.

Walnut Wood

CharacteristicsReasons for Preference
Dark, dense, and strong with a straight grain. Popular for its durability and elegant appearance. Good for intricate carving.

Maple Wood

CharacteristicsReasons for Preference
Light color with a subtle, attractive grain. Known for its hardness and durability. Its light color offers a unique look and contrasts well with inlays.

Oak Wood

CharacteristicsReasons for Preference
Strong and durable with a prominent grain. Symbolizes strength and endurance. Its distinctive grain makes each ring unique.

Mahogany Wood

CharacteristicsReasons for Preference
Dark, reddish-brown color, known for its straight grain. Valued for its classic look and fine grain. It's a symbol of luxury and longevity.

Birch Wood

CharacteristicsReasons for Preference
Light-colored wood with a fine grain. Preferred for its light tone and excellent durability. Good for those seeking a subtle, minimalist look.

Olive Wood

CharacteristicsReasons for Preference
Known for its rich, warm tones and swirling grain patterns. Chosen for its unique grain patterns and symbolism of peace and wisdom.

Ebony Wood

CharacteristicsReasons for Preference
Very dense and dark, almost black in color. Sought after for its dramatic appearance and extreme hardness, symbolizing strength and power.

Black Apricot Wood

CharacteristicsReasons for Preference
Distinctive dark color, often with lighter streaks. Prized for its unique color contrast and fine texture. Ideal for those seeking a sophisticated, yet natural look.

Chestnut Wood

CharacteristicsReasons for Preference
Medium to dark brown, known for its straight grain. Valued for its rich, warm tones and durability. Often chosen for its traditional appearance and strength.

African Padauk Wood

CharacteristicsReasons for Preference
Bright orange or red color that matures over time. Sought for its striking color and durability. Symbolizes vitality and passion, often used for its bold statement.


CharacteristicsReasons for Preference
Recognizable for its strong dark and light grain pattern, resembling a zebra's stripes. Chosen for its dramatic, exotic appearance. Provides a distinct and bold pattern, symbolizing individuality and adventure.

This table highlights the diversity and unique qualities of different types of wood used in wooden wedding rings. Each wood type brings its own aesthetic appeal and symbolic meaning, making them popular choices for those looking for something special and meaningful in their wedding bands.

Hybrid Wood Ring Combos Are The Norm

The first thing to point out is that when talking about wooden wedding rings, most often this is not a product purely made from wood. Instead designers tend to combine wood varieties with a metallic framework to support them.

For example, tungsten and wood wedding bands are hot right now, and the marriage of these materials can be achieved in a number of decorative, eye-catching ways. 

It Is Uncommon To Find 100% Wooden Wedding Bands

Most wooden rings will have metal elements such as a metal inside ring or exterior metal inlay that can be designed to hold gemstones.

The wood may be layered around the outside of the ring, giving it a textured, natural look which is contrasted by the sheen of the metal. The wood may also be built into the ring’s interior, rather than its exterior, creating a juxtaposition that is hidden for most of the time, only to be revealed when the ring is removed.

In terms of the woods available, you will surely be impressed when you scour the market at the moment. From well-known woods like chestnut and pear to more exotic options like koa wood and padauk wood, you really are spoilt for choice.

These hybrid combinations of wood and metal are where the most cutting-edge design work is being done at the moment, and aside from the aesthetics, it’s worth mentioning that reinforcing wood with metal makes sense from the point of view of longevity.

If you want a wedding band that will last a lifetime and complement the design of your partner’s band, then this is a sensible choice.

Metal Bands Are More Diverse Than Ever

Men who want wedding bands that stand out from the crowd are in luck, because you can still get metal bands without being forced down traditional design routes if you are not interested in them.

The choice of metals is much broader today than in the past, for example. Aside from the tungsten rings mentioned earlier, you can also opt for materials such as titanium, stainless steel, and many more.

These metals tend to be tougher than the more old-school choices, which also means that they can take on eye-catching, masculine designs that break the mold and push new boundaries rather than being back-to-basics and frankly boring.

variety of metal wedding bands

Metal Rings Offer More Decorative Design Options

Another point to make about wooden versus metal wedding bands for men is that without a doubt - there are some stunning wooden wedding bands and the ability for an artisan to work with designs already created by mother nature can produce a stunning piece of jewelry - metal rings offer decorative design options that work better with metal than wood.

This specifically means that it is easier to inlay fragments of other material, including gemstones, into metal facets than directly into wood. Let's take a look at some of these design options that are being popular today.


Have you ever considered meteorite wedding rings being your go-to for your wedding rings? You can literally tell the person you love that you’re willing to go to outer space and back for them. And the best news is that you didn't even have to physically go!

Meteorite is exactly what it says it is: meteor material that has passed through the atmosphere to get to the surface of the planet. Most of the bigger rocks will crash through and burn up but meteorites are the result of whatever is left. The design is unique, and nickel-iron and taenite form the material you could be giving to your loved one. No two meteorite rings have the same pattern, making them wholly unique.


Or if meteorites are too out of this world for you, then how about a ring inlaid with fossilized bones from a 65 million-year-old dinosaur instead?

Bones and Antlers

Or, for our hunting fans out there - perhaps an antler might work best. I even saw one today that featured mammoth tusk inlay. These bones may have special significance to a man and be something important to signify their eternal connection with the cycle of nature and their love of hunting.

However, it is far easier to inlay bones, antlers, fossils, and meteorite fragments in a hard metal such as tungsten or titanium than it would be in polished wood, especially a hand-carved solid wood ring.

Wooden Wedding Rings Can't Be Resized Easily Like Metal

The final pros and cons element that we should consider before deciding which is the best answer for you, is the potential to resize the ring later in life (or even if your partner gets the size wrong - oops!). Again, there are many different woods types and a similar variety of metals but generally speaking, wooden rings connot be resized the same way that a gold wedding band, one one made of platinum can. 

However, not all metals are the same - Titanium rings cannot be expanded but additional material can be applied on the inside to make it fit more snugly and Tungsten (the hardest metal commonly used for wedding rings) is not able to be resized at all.

Again this is something to consider when shopping online or with a jeweler so that you can ask about the different wood and metal options before making the final investment.

 variety of metal and wood wedding bands

There Is No ‘right’ Answer When Shopping For Wooden Wedding Rings

Ultimately the wedding band you choose needs to be right for you because it feels like the correct choice, so don’t try to adhere to any trend just because you feel like you should.

If you want to wear a vintage gold band that has been in the family for generations, go ahead. If you’d rather wear a wedding band which is both brand new and built to last, then whether it is wood, metal or a combination of the two, only you can make this decision.