Best Cufflinks

Updated October 2021
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

57 Models Considered
28 Hours Researched
3 Experts Interviewed
100 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best cufflinks

Nothing looks more dapper than a tailored suit and fancy brogues. Choosing the right dress shirt to pair with your suit can elevate your style even more. A shirt with French cuffs is often your best option. If you’re wearing French cuffs, then you’ll need cufflinks to keep the cuffs secured.

Cufflinks certainly serve a purpose, but they also introduce an essential element of style to men’s formalwear. Some men prefer small, understated cufflinks, while others gravitate toward larger cufflinks or those with a bit of flair. As far as design goes, you’ll find cufflinks that feature precious stones and premium metals and those that incorporate personalized accents like engraved initials.

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If you invested in expensive cufflinks, you may wish to store them in a safe deposit box as opposed to your home. Be sure to register them with your homeowners or renters insurance policy as well, as they’re considered valuables and may require special coverage.

Key considerations

Barrel cuff vs. French cuff shirts

Today it’s more common to see men wearing barrel cuff shirts, which have one to three buttons for securing the cuffs. French cuff shirts, on the other hand, lack buttons altogether. Rather, they have buttonholes on either side of the cuff that are held together by cufflinks.

Another major difference between barrel cuff and French cuff shirts is the amount of fabric at the cuff. While barrel cuff shirts have a simple, single-layer cuff, French cuff shirts are folded over. This gives the cuff more structural integrity to support the weight of cufflinks without warping or drooping.

Ready-to-wear vs. tailored shirts

You’ll find a wide variety of men’s dress shirts with French cuffs in the formalwear section of most department stores. While this is the most cost-effective way to get a dress shirt, some men may feel they’re in between standard shirt sizes.

For that reason, you may choose to invest in tailored dress shirts – and there are two options to consider. First, you can select a dress shirt and have it altered by a tailor for a custom fit. The other option is to go directly to a tailor and be measured for a custom shirt. It’s a more expensive option, but you’ll end up with a shirt that fits perfectly.

If you’re wondering how this affects the French cuffs, it boils down to finding the correct sleeve length to complement your suit, which you may wish to have tailored, too. The tailor will also be able to adjust the space between the cuff and your wrist. Some men prefer a tighter fit, while others prefer a moderate amount of roominess to accommodate watches or bracelets.

Choosing a cufflink style

Choosing cufflinks can be quite an involved decision, especially with so many styles and designs available. A good place to begin your search is to consider the event where you intend to wear the cufflinks. If it’s a formal gathering, like a wedding or gala, you will probably prefer dressy cufflinks. For less formal occasions, such as business meetings or dinners at upscale restaurants, understated or smaller cufflinks may be preferred.

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Did You Know?
Titanium is an ideal alternative to sterling silver for cufflinks. Not only are titanium cufflinks much less expensive, but they’re incredibly durable and have a professional yet lustrous finish.
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Features

Design

It’s not a stretch to say there are cufflinks in every shape under the sun. Round, rectangular, and square cufflinks remain the most popular and are considered traditional choices. Other shapes run the gamut and include animals, musical instruments, cars, ships, and asymmetrical designs. You’ll even find cufflinks inspired by popular movies, such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Marvel movies.

Materials

the most common material for cufflinks, including stainless steel, brass, aluminum, and titanium. Precious metals – such as gold, silver, and platinum – are popular, though these cufflinks cost significantly more than others. There are also gold- and silver-plated styles, which have a high-end look at a more affordable price.

There has been a rise in alternative materials for cufflinks, including recycled or reclaimed materials. Wood cufflinks offer a rustic, natural look and are easy to personalize with initials or designs. While they’re less popular and somewhat difficult to find, there are some cufflinks with predominantly plastic components.

If you’d like a one-of-a-kind cufflink, you may be interested in cufflinks made with repurposed materials. Often made by independent jewelry designers or craftsmen, these styles turn everyday items into cufflinks. Some of these items include board game pieces, coins, buttons, old jewelry, or tiny mechanical pieces.

Accent materials

Cufflinks with accents add a splash of personality, color, and texture to your suit. Designer cufflinks often use diamonds or precious stones, such as emeralds and sapphires, which drive up the price. Other cufflinks are embellished with semi-precious stones, such as opals or amethysts. The front faces of cufflinks may feature other unique accents, such as pressed flowers, mini picture frames, or moving pieces like gears.

Types of backs

As you compare styles of cufflinks, you may be surprised to find that cufflinks have various backs. For the most part, cufflink backs can be broken down into two categories: those with moving backs and those with stationary backs. The choice is largely a matter of personal preference. However, some men say certain cufflink backs wear differently than others.

Cufflinks with moving backs include bullet-back, whale-back, and chain-link styles. These popular styles consist of movable pegs at the back of the cufflink, which fold down to slide through buttonholes. Bullet-back cufflinks have pegs that fold into themselves, whereas whale-back styles simply have a hinged “whale tail” at the back. With chain-link cufflinks, you’ll find that the front face and back are connected with a chain. These styles tend to offer a looser cuff, but keep in mind that the tiny chains can degrade the buttonhole over time.

Cufflinks with stationary backs include fixed-back and stud or button-back styles. Fixed-back cufflinks feature a larger front face and a smaller, usually ball-shaped back. These cufflinks often have smaller footprints than other styles, though you may struggle to press the back through a buttonhole with some designs. Stud or button-back cufflinks have a totally flat back that is flush with the rest of the cuff. Some men prefer these styles because they’re less likely to catch on clothing or belt loops.

Companion accessories

Cufflinks are often worn in conjunction with other formalwear accessories, which are either sold individually or as sets with the cufflinks. Tie slides, tie clips, and tie pins hold your tie in place, and it’s recommended to match these accessories to the finish of your cufflinks. Collar stays are often worn as well, as they’re essential to maintaining a collar that is stiff and free from puckering.

Before attaching cufflinks to your shirt, be sure to wash your hands and completely dry them. Otherwise, you may transfer dirt or soapy residue to the cuff.

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Cufflink prices

The price range for cufflinks is wide. They can cost anywhere from $10 to $1,000 and up. The price depends on the type of materials used as well as the quality of craftsmanship.

Cufflinks priced between $10 and $150 include a modest assortment of stainless steel styles, some of which may be plated in gold or silver. Quality is fair among these cufflinks, but certain styles with moving parts can be prone to breaking with frequent handling.

Styles that cost between $200 and $700 include cufflinks made with premium materials and accents. You’ll find many solid sterling silver sets in this range as well as some styles featuring modest accents of gold or precious stones.

Once you hit the $1,000 mark, you’ll find a broad range of designer cufflinks in silver and gold, many of which have diamonds or several precious stones in their designs. The high craftsmanship is apparent in these cufflinks, which are often passed down through the generations.

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Did You Know?
Cufflinks make great gifts for groomsmen, especially if you’re able to engrave each pair with their initials.
Staff
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Tips

  • Invest in more than one finish. Finishes often look better with some ensembles more than others, so it’s worth investing in cufflinks in more than one finish – namely gold and silver.
  • Match your watch. If possible, make sure your watch and cufflinks complement one another in terms of finish or style.
  • Get cufflinks professionally cleaned. If you’ve invested in an expensive pair of cufflinks, especially those with precious stones, have them professionally cleaned by a qualified jeweler. Jewelers have the right equipment and products to clean cufflinks without damaging them.
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For maximum versatility, invest in cufflinks with both gold and silver details. This makes them easy to match to most suits, watches, and other jewelry, plus it saves you money as you won’t need to get separate gold and silver pairs.

FAQ

Q. What can I do if the hinges or links of my cufflinks break?

A. First, contact the retailer where you bought them. If it’s a jewelry store, they may have a qualified repair technician or be able to send the cufflinks into their corporate office for repair. Certain designer brands recommend you contact them directly, as they have specialized repair processes. In some cases, you may void the manufacturer's protection if the cufflinks aren’t repaired by one of the brand’s approved technicians.

Q. I’d like to get my cufflinks engraved. What should I know?

A. Many jewelers offer engraving services, though you may need to leave the cufflinks with them for a week or two. Most people engrave initials on cufflinks, as they’re simply too small to accommodate much text. Recent trends, however, include ultra-small engravings to include names or coordinates. As far as engraving fonts go, ask the jeweler to show you examples first, and inquire whether certain fonts will appear clearer than others.

Q. How should I store my cufflink collection?

A. Some men choose to store cufflinks in their original boxes inside drawers. For larger collections, you may wish to invest in a cufflink box or valet. Cufflink boxes have foam rolls, which display the front faces of the cufflinks for easy viewing. Specialized valets are another option, as they’re designed to hold cufflinks as well as other men’s accessories, such as watches, pins, and jewelry.

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