Beads per Inch and Beads per Strand

Calculating Number of Beads in Millimeters and Inches

Bead sizes are typically referenced in millimeters. There are many reasons that you may need to know how many beads there are per inch or how many beads there are in a strand.  For example, when you are purchasing the beads, you need to know you have enough for the project you are making. That is especially true for projects that require a specific number of beads, such as making a rosary necklace or a making a mala prayer bead necklace.


Another situation where you might want to know the number of beads in a strand or inch is when you are planning on selling your jewelry.  If you know how many bracelets or earrings you can make from a strand, then you can get a rough estimate on the cost of each item before you buy the beads. It's always a good idea to plan for how you might be able to use and ultimately sell the beads if that is one of your goals.

Another example is when you need the beads per inch information and substituting beads from an original design.  If the design calls for 8mm beads, but you only have 6mm beads, it's nice to be able to quickly calculate how many you will need. 

Use the chart below to determine:

  • how many of a certain size bead it takes to cover one inch of a beaded strand
  • how many of a certain size bead you need for 7 inches, the size of a standard bracelet,
  • how many of a certain size bead are in 16 inches, the size of most standard glass and gemstone strands.

    Use this information to help plan out a bead stringing design, or calculate how many beads you'll receive when you purchase beads by the strand.

    To estimate how many beads make up a strand of a length that is not listed in the chart, multiply the beads-per-inch for the size bead by the length of the strand in inches.

    Here's an example.

    • Question: How many 6mm beads are in a 16-inch strand?
    • Calculation: 4.2 (beads per inch) x 16 (strand inches) = 67.2 beads
    • Answer: About 67 beads

    Beads Per Inch Chart

    Bead Size (Length)Beads Per InchBeads in 7 inchesBeads in 16 inches