Waist Beads Vs. Waist Chain( Which One Should You Wear?)

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Looking for a unique piece of body jewelry, perhaps a type of body chain, but you are caught in the middle of two beautiful pieces – the waist bead and a waist chain, and now are unsure about which one to pick?

This simple guided article is here to help you make the right choice.

Here, we’ll look at the main differences between the waist beads and the waist chain to help you make the right decision between the two.

To do this, we’ll look at each type of waist accessory differently before pitting them against each other to give you an accurate picture of their differences. So, let’s get right into it!


What are waist beads?

Waist beads vs waist chain

Waist beads can be defined as a traditional African accessory that is made of small glass beads which are threaded on a piece of wire or string and meant to be worn either around your waist or the hips.

The waist beads, also known as belly beads, beaded waist chains, or waistline beads, come in various shapes and colors, and some have decorative stones, charms, or crystals incorporated in them.

In most African cultures, the belly beads are meant to accentuate the level of sexiness of the wearer and the woman’s waist. The waist beads have been around for many centuries, and they were largely worn by women from West African countries and cultures, but they have since gained a lot of popularity in the West.

Traditionally, the waist beads were worn to symbolize fertility, femininity, spiritual wellbeing, and sensuality. And today, in Africa and the West, the waist beads are worn for both practical and aesthetic reasons.


The pros and cons of waist beads

Waist beads vs waist chain


  • The waist beads are great tools for weight awareness as they allow for non-scale gauging of your body’s changes in weight, specifically in the abdomen area.
  • The waist bead is used in some parts of the world as a cultural symbol of maturity, womanhood, and overall growth.
  • It is also considered a sign of intimacy and fertility
  • Good fit
  • Elegantly designed and there are many design options that you get to choose from
  • The waist beads represent the best way of appreciating western African culture.
  • The fit of the waist beads would help improve your posture
  • They are a sign of heritage and pride


  • The waist beads have no clasps, and the only way to remove them is by cutting the waist chain.
  • Some stringed waist beads are too delicate, and the beads would fall apart if undue pressure is applied.


What is a waist chain?

Waist beads vs waist chain

The waist chain also called the belly chain, is a piece of delicately designed, fun, and also a sassy piece of body jewelry that, as the name suggests, is meant to be hung from the waist.

The waist chain was, for centuries, worn by belly dancers, which is where they got their name from. The chains used worn by the belly dancers were, however, heavier in design, and they often times featured metallic discs and even coins that were meant to tinkle to match the beat of the music.

Over time, however, there has been an expansion of the contemporary waist chain styles, and now, there is an even wider array of chains that were designed to show off the bare midriff rather fashionably.

Most of the waist chains are metallic, often with a gold finish. And as a kind of fashion jewelry, the waist beads are often gold-plated, although the solid gold options are available too.

In addition to the gold-plated options, the waist chains are also available in different styles, including the single, double, and triple-stranded waist chains.

The styles differ, too, and you may also like the chains embellished with pearls, crystals, beads, shells, sea glass, and semi-precious stones, among other types of embellishments.

There also are waist chains that are designed to complement the navel piercings, depending on the needs and the mood of the wearer.

The sizes of the waist chains differ as well, and you get to choose between the ones that fit snugly or the ones that have a rather loose fit.


The pros and cons waist chain

Waist beads vs waist chain


  • The waist chains are available in different styles, sizes, and designs
  • They are easy to take off and wear because they feature a clasp that is easy to workaround
  • Some waist chains fit loosely. Others offer a perfectly snug fitting
  • They are affordable
  • There are many styles to choose from, and there is something for everyone
  • There also are waist chains made of thick pieces of thread
  • Some of the chains are believed to offer some health and cultural benefits


  • Most of the waist chains are quite delicate and can break apart easily
  • They are inflexible
  • You cannot shower with the metallic waist chain


The differences between Waist beads and waist chain

Waist beads vs waist chain

Although these accessories serve the same purpose, well, almost, there are differences between them. For starters, the main difference between the waist beads and the waist chain is their origins.

The beaded waist accessory originates from West Africa, unlike the waist chains, which have their roots in India and were common in pretty much all Indian cultures.

The other difference is that the waist beads are essentially made of glass beads strung on thread or wires, unlike the waist chains, which are often made of gold plated or sterling silver metal chains, with or without embellishments.


Waist beads vs. waist chain- which one should you choose?

Waist beads vs waist chain

Well, your choice between the waist bead and the waist chain will depend on your preferences and style. That said, the most flexible option that would make life easier for you, especially when traveling, then the waist beads would be the ideal option for you.

The waist beads are comfortable to sleep with; they look great, and offer you great insights, especially when it comes to your weight management/ monitoring.

And lastly, the waist beads are a great option for everyday wear, unlike the metallic waist chain that you have to take off each night, and you can only wear it occasionally.



For a waist body jewelry piece that is comfortable and something you can keep on daily, we recommend the waist bead – it is, after all, designed to be worn throughout.

The waist chain is only meant to be worn on occasion.

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