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Two hands with press-on nails on them held up in front of a pink wall. Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Best Press-On Nails of 2022

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Two hands with press-on nails on them held up in front of a pink wall. Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

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Editor's Choice Product image of Olive & June Instant Mani Press-On Nails - Oval
Best Overall

Olive & June Instant Mani Press-On Nails - Oval

These nails fit well, were easy to file, and looked good after application—an all-around winner. They also have extra small and extra large sizes. Read More

Pros

  • Variety of designs
  • Includes variety of nail sizes
  • Easy to apply

Cons

  • None that we could find
Product image of Static Nails Sway In Black

Static Nails Sway In Black

This press-on set fit well and felt comfortable. There weren’t enough sizes, but they still scored high due to the ease of applying and shaping. Read More

Pros

  • Comfortable fit
  • Easy removal
  • Variety of designs

Cons

  • Not enough nails for popular sizes
Product image of Kiss Impress Color Press-on Manicure

Kiss Impress Color Press-on Manicure

This set of nails was easy to fit to my hands and felt lightweight and comfortable, but required extra filing to look natural. Read More

Pros

  • Comfortable fit
  • Lightweight feel

Cons

  • Require extra filing
  • Not intuitive
Product image of Marmalade Sorcery Soul - Almond / Stiletto

Marmalade Sorcery Soul - Almond / Stiletto

These press-ons were flashy, comfortable, and looked natural, though you’ll want to be careful not to file the design off. Read More

Pros

  • Includes a variety of sizes to fit nails well
  • Comfortable fit

Cons

  • Design files off
Product image of PopSockets Nails Painterly Pastels

PopSockets Nails Painterly Pastels

These press-ons were easy to apply, wear, and remove. I liked that they fit my nails with minimal filing and could be recycled after wear. Read More

Pros

  • Easy to apply and remove
  • Recyclable

Cons

  • Difficult to determine sizing

Not everyone has amazing nails, but thanks to press-on nail kits, you can put your best hand forward with minimal effort. Press-ons are a quick and easy alternative to a manicure, and they can boost your confidence and help you feel put together. Press-ons come in all shapes and sizes, so we set out to see which brands are worth your time and money.

To help you choose the best press-on nails, we tested sets from the highest-rated brands out there. From application to removal, there was a clear front-runner: Olive & June Press-Ons (available at Olive & June), our Best Overall pick, which had many designs to choose from, were easy to apply, felt good to wear, and came off without a hassle.

These are the press-on nails we tested ranked, in order:

  1. Olive & June
  2. Static Nails
  3. Kiss Impress
  4. Marmalade Nails
  5. PopSockets Nails
  6. Kiss Strong Enough Salon Acrylic Nails
  7. PaintLab
  8. Clutch Nails
  9. Color Camp
  10. Chillhouse
  11. Misud
A hand wearing press-on nails holding a disco ball in front of a pink background.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Olive & June's press-on nails are easy to apply and remove, and they come in a variety of designs.

Best Overall
Olive & June Instant Mani Press-On Nails

Olive & June is known for its array of polishes and tools that claim to help you achieve an at-home manicure that looks as good—if not better—than salon results. I was curious to see how the brand’s press-on kit would compare in quality. Would it live up the company’s hype online? To skip to the bottom line, the set I tried totally did.

The Groovy Swirl kit from Olive & June comes with 42 nails—almost double what many kits typically include. More nails means more sizes for you to custom-fit to your nails, as well as a selection of tiny and extra large nails for anyone who doesn’t fit within the average press-on size range. Though I didn’t use any of the additional sizes, I appreciated the inclusion. The nails are curved, so I had to press them down evenly onto my nail bed and hold for at least 30 seconds each to secure them in place. In comparison to other applications, these went on easily—I was able to apply each nail in one try and 30 seconds was sufficient where, in other cases, I had to press for over a minute for proper adherence. The nails were comfortable once the glue was dry and I filed them down slightly, keeping their rounded shape, so they weren’t in the way while typing on my keyboard and phone.

I kept an eye on the nails over a few days and they didn’t shift or peel. Per the brand’s instructions, I removed the nails after a week when they began to grow out and peel by soaking my hands in warm water, using the supplied wooden stick to get under one nail, and then swiping nail polish remover (not included) over each nail bed to remove the glue. I’d certainly use this kit again, especially knowing that the nails lasted and felt comfortable for the duration of testing.

Olive & June has a huge selection of press-ons in different shapes, lengths, and designs. There are four nail shapes (squoval, square, round, and almond) and four lengths (extra short, short, medium, and long) to select from. And in terms of design, Olive & June has both solid-color and nail art options.

Pros

  • Variety of designs

  • Includes variety of nail sizes

  • Easy to apply

Cons

  • None that we could find

How We Tested Press-On Nails

The Tester

A hand wearing press-on nails laying on a marble tabletop in front of a set of matching press-ons.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

I applied each set of nails and waited to see how long they could last.

I’m Liv Birdsall, a contributor for Reviewed with a history of biting, painting, and growing out my nails, as well as trying different press-ons to keep them looking presentable. As a beauty writer, I was curious to see how different shapes, styles, and brands of press-on nails would fit my small hands and hold up over time throughout washing dishes, caring for plants, and typing away at my computer. I was also excited to try out new designs and nail shapes to see what felt comfortable and looked natural in my day to day life.

The Tests

I scrolled social media, retailers, and other editorial lists to find popular press-on nail brands. Then, I put the kits to the test by applying each set to my own nails over the course of two months.

The testing process was straightforward: apply the nails according to the respective kits’ instructions, wear them until they begin to fall off or look overgrown, and then remove them by soaking my nails and using any provided tools. I paid attention to each set of nails in these three phases to see which brands required more time and effort. I jotted down things like if a set was difficult to shape to my liking, if one started to peel off prematurely, or if the set did not include enough sizes to accomodate my nails. Throughout testing, I scored the press-on nails on a calibrated rubic created by Reviewed’s team of experts to see how they would rank amongst each other.

What You Should Know About Buying Press-On Nails

An array of press-on nail sets laid out on a marble tabletop.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

We tested a variety of press-on nails to find the best.

There are a few things to keep in mind before selecting a pair of press-on nails:

Shape and length: The biggest determinant while shopping for press-on nails is knowing what shape and length of nails you’re interested in. If you’ve never had long nails, you may want to avoid extra-long sets or pointy shapes like stiletto, coffin, and arrowhead styles. One of the benefits of press-ons is that you can experiment with nails that you don’t typically have naturally, so you can try new shapes and lengths—and of course designs—but you want the nails to be practical and sensical for your life, too. If you work with food, play sports, or have kids, you may want shorter nails that won’t scratch or get in the way.

Wear time: Each brand of press-on nails makes a claim about wear time. Some nails purport to last up to two weeks while others aim for short-term wear. The latter can be convenient for formal parties, photoshoots, or last-minute events. Before you purchase a set of nails, consider what purpose you’ll be wearing the nails for. If you want to try press-ons just for fun, pick a set that should last at least a week; you can get a feel for the nails’ comfort over a period of days while still being able to remove them early if you choose.

Tools: Not all press-on nail kits come with tools for application and removal. If you’re a beginner, you might want a set that has everything—a buffer, nail glue, a file, and a wooden stick for removal—unless you have tools handy. You may also want a kit with the tools rather than packing your own tools for other reasons, like if you’re traveling or applying a set on short notice. It can be nice to have everything all together. Regardless of which set you pick, be sure to have nail polish remover on hand to clean your nails before application and take off any excess glue after removal.


Other Press-On Nails We Tested

Product image of Static Nails Sway In Black
Static Nails Sway In Black

The “Sway In Black” press-on kit from Static Nails was another standout from testing. It included the nails, glue, a file, and a buffer. The nail width and curve fit my nail shape comfortably, and the final result felt lightweight enough that I often forgot I was even wearing press-ons. The nails were a cinch to match to my natural nails because they come lined up in a package (rather than loose in a box), which led to a faster application. I was content with most of the nail sizes, but my ring, middle, and pointer finger all wore about the same size, of which there weren’t enough. The kit included some “half sizes,” so I was able to make it work, but I wish there were more multiples of the more popular sizes, as I’m sure many people would require multiples of the same ones I did, even if not for the same fingers. Still, the nails that were a little big or small were easy to file and shape to my liking.

I thought the zebra-esque design I chose looked beautiful, and though it was somewhat transparent, I don’t think you could see too much of my nail underneath. I’m accustomed to shorter styles and these extended about 2 centimeters beyond my nails, so I cut and filed each one, and I was happy with the final result. The nails lasted a full week, like our top pick from Olive & June, and they were just as easy to remove after soaking in water for 10 minutes.

Static Nails has dozens of press-on styles too, so you can find the solid color or catchy design that you’re looking for in a variety of shapes, from round to square to coffin.

Pros

  • Comfortable fit

  • Easy removal

  • Variety of designs

Cons

  • Not enough nails for popular sizes

Product image of Kiss Impress Color Press-on Manicure
Kiss Impress Color Press-on Manicure

The Impress nails are one of the most affordable sets we tested and include nail glue and a file. The “Point Pink” kit I got included plenty of sizes to fit my fingers, and the nails feel lightweight and comfortable once on. The application process took longer than other sets because I had a hard time telling which direction to apply the nail; I even applied some upside down and then needed to re-do them.

The nails in this set were too wide and had small plastic tabs attached to them, so I had my filing work cut out for me. Still, the nails were easy to file and then fit my nail bed nicely. Beyond application, the press-ons continued to feel light and comfortable throughout testing and were really easy to remove from my nails after five days. Many drugstores carry the Kiss Impress brand, so they’re accessible if you need them in a pinch, and the brand has dozens of shape, color, and design options. These are a decent pick, but I’d skip them if you want a quick, apply-and-go set.

Pros

  • Comfortable fit

  • Lightweight feel

Cons

  • Require extra filing

  • Not intuitive

Product image of Marmalade Sorcery Soul - Almond / Stiletto
Marmalade Sorcery Soul

Marmalade’s Sorcery Soul press-on nails were one of the most comfortable sets I tested, but that doesn’t mean they’ll work for everyone. The set came with glue, a buffer, and a nail file to make application easy. I found the curve of them fit my nail beds well, and the nails that were half sizes provided me with a good fit for each finger, especially my pointer and ring fingers. The nails were beautiful and looked natural once I applied them, but I noticed that the imprinted design would shed from the nail if I filed too hard or at an angle.

The nails were comfortable from the start, lasted about a full week, and garnered numerous compliments when they caught people’s attention. The removal process was simple; I soaked my hands in water for 10 minutes and then gently peeled the nails off. I noticed this glue was stronger than other sets I tried, so I needed more time to soak and rub the glue off with nail polish remover. Despite the design shedding snafu, I’d definitely try this set again, as well as other designs from the brand, because I know there are enough sizes to fit my nails well.

Pros

  • Includes a variety of sizes to fit nails well

  • Comfortable fit

Cons

  • Design files off

Product image of PopSockets Nails Painterly Pastels
PopSockets Nails Painterly Pastels

Who knew PopSockets—yes, the brand responsible for the handles that stick to the back of your phone—sold press-on nails? I didn’t, but they were fun to test out and you can match them to your phone’s PopSocket, which is a cool detail, though there are currently only 15 options and they are all round- or squoval-shaped. The “Painterly Pastels” set came with a prep pad to wipe your nails, a nail file, and a manicure stick. That said, these nails were middle-of-the-pack when it came to application, wear, and removal.

The press-on sizes were somewhat difficult to match to my nails because they didn’t have numbers with the sizes listed on them. I visually matched each nail and then peeled off the sticky back and pressed them on—no glue necessary (one of two sets I tested like this) though you could add glue for extra adhesion. They felt comfortable and I didn’t need to file very many because the shape and length were close to how I typically wear my nails.

The press-ons lasted four to five days and then began to peel and weaken as I washed my hands and showered. You could probably use nail glue to lengthen the wear time, but I liked the lightweight feel and the commitment of five days. I also loved that the company sent a return bag for the press-ons so you can send them to Terracycle for recycling.

Pros

  • Easy to apply and remove

  • Recyclable

Cons

  • Difficult to determine sizing

Product image of Kiss Salon Acrylic Natural Nails
Kiss Salon Acrylic Natural Nails

The Kiss press-on nails were the only ones we tested that mentioned the ability to polish over them. The nails looked the same as the others visually—albeit very transparent—but felt much thinner. It was easy to match up the press-ons to each of my nails and then apply with glue, but I noticed the sizes were too wide for my nail beds when I was trying to match them up.

Based on the nude color I tested, I’d suggest painting over the nails for an opaque color, otherwise you can see where the glue is thicker or isn’t present beneath the nail. I found the nails comfortable for five to six days of wear and then they were easy to remove with water and nail polish remover. I recommend these nails for press-on beginners because they’re lightweight and easy to file. However, because some shades require polish to look good, you may want a simpler set with fewer application steps.

A bonus: Kiss is a popular drugstore brand, which means you can purchase a set locally in addition to ordering online. Either way, you should have a variety of shapes and designs to choose from.

Pros

  • Polish-friendly

  • Lightweight feel

  • Easy to file

Cons

  • Wide shape

Product image of Paintlab Peep Beauty Smiley
Paintlab Peep Beauty Smiley

The press-on nails I chose from Paintlab have a playful smiley face design that was somewhat transparent, meaning I could see my nails underneath. The kit was smaller, but it came with all the necessary supplies and enough nail sizes to fit each of my fingers. However, because my pointer and ring finger were close in size, I mixed up the two on one hand, causing the smiley face decals to look different on my left hand versus my right. That may not be an issue for you, but consider this a word of advice to pay close attention to which nails you apply where to make sure your design on one hand mirrors the other.

The nails have a stick-on adhesive on them, but the kit also comes with glue. I applied some with the sticker as the only adhesive and others with the glue and found that they were easy to apply and remove either way. The stickers nails are like a Command Hook: You peel the back and press the sticky side to your nail. Using the sticker was less messy and meant that I could reuse the nails again with glue in the future. If you opt to use the sticker option, you’ll want to take extra care cleaning and buffing your nails before application because the adhesive is not as strong as nail glue and you want a clean surface to attach to.

Pros

  • Reusable with sticker adhesive

  • Trendy designs

Cons

  • Somewhat transparent

  • Sizing can be difficult

Product image of Clutch Nails Breakfast at Tiffany's Press On Nails
Clutch Nails Breakfast at Tiffany's Press On Nails

I tested the “Tiffany Blue” set of press-ons from Clutch Nails. At first glance, the nails all looked too big, but there were plenty of sizes for different fingernails. The application was easy, and though the nails slipped around while I was placing them onto the glue, they felt well-adhered and lightweight once the glue was dry a few minutes later, making up for the hassle.

The square shape looked overwhelming on my fingers, so I filed the nails to appear shorter and rounder. Filing each one was easy enough, but one nail came loose and required more glue to secure it in place. Application aside, the nails felt comfortable over the span of a few days.

The nails came off easily at the end of testing after soaking my hands in warm water for 10 minutes, and a strong nail polish remover took off the remaining glue. I wouldn’t recommend these for long-wear as the glue wore out in a few days, but they’d be great to match to an outfit for an event or photoshoot.

Pros

  • Lightweight feel

  • Easy to apply

Cons

  • Somewhat transparent

  • Not the strongest glue

Product image of Color Camp Half Moon
Color Camp Half Moon

The press-on nails from Color Camp differed slightly from others we tested. Upon ordering a design and shape (I chose half moons and oval) the company sent me a set of clear nails in each size, along with instructions for how to match each finger on my left and right hand using the provided nails.

After matching them to my nails, I input the sizes into a form for Color Camp and the company sent the actual press-ons, which were custom-fitted to my nails. In theory, it seemed like a great idea to only have the sizes I needed—cutting back on waste and ensuring I’d have a press-on that fit each finger. However, the clear sizing nails seemed more flexible than the final press-ons, so the fits were off. I also didn’t like only having 10 nails—what if I cut one too short or lost one before it came time to apply? I was bummed that the overall process was a bust, and you’ll certainly want to order these well in advance because you need to wait for two packages.

Sizing aside, the application was difficult because the nails are quite curved; they popped off my nail beds even with abundant glue. In summary, the process seemed alluring but the nails didn’t end up fitting well enough to be comfortable.

Pros

  • Variety of designs

Cons

  • Difficult to apply

  • Requires extra shipping time

  • No extra nails

Product image of Chillhouse Chill Tips Everything Zen
Chillhouse Chill Tips Everything Zen

I wanted to love the “Everything Zen” Chillhouse press-on nails because the designs are very cute. But I found there weren't enough middle sizes for my pointer and ring fingers, so I could see some of my natural nails on the sides. The press-on nails came with all the required supplies for application, and the nails were easy to file and shape.

My biggest complaint with these is related to the sizes: The yin-yang design I chose was only on some nails, but because I had to shuffle the nails around to get them to fit my three middle fingers on each hand, I ended up with non-symmetrical designs—one yin-yang was on my ring finger and the other was on the opposite hand’s middle finger. However, the nails felt comfortable and wore well over the period of a week, so if you can find the right fit, these shouldn’t disappoint.

Pros

  • Trendy designs

  • Strong glue

  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Not enough sizes

Product image of Misud Oval Short Fake Nails
Misud Oval Short Fake Nails

The Misud Glossy Graffiti press-on nails weren’t a good fit for me. The nails felt thin and flimsy which isn’t always a bad thing—it could make for a lightweight, comfortable set. But once I put the nails on, they felt cheap. Other sets of press-ons mimicked my nail shape better, whereas the Misud ones were clearly fake. Because the nails were large and square, they were easy to apply, and the thin plastic also made them relatively easy to file. Due to the poor fit with my nail shape and the cheap plastic, the nails only lasted three days, and I was happy to remove them.

Pros

  • Lightweight

  • Easy to file

Cons

  • Poor quality

  • Don’t last long

Meet the tester

Liv Birdsall

Liv Birdsall

Contributor

@livbirdsall

Liv Birdsall is a Freelance Contributor at Reviewed. She is most passionate about eco-friendly initiatives and alternatives and writes about sustainability across subject areas, including beauty, style, home and garden, and lifestyle. Her writing can be found on USA Today, Reviewed.com, Yoga Journal, and her blog muchmess.com. She works as a yoga teacher, QA Analyst, Copyeditor, and Blog Coordinator, all from her plant-filled home in Columbus, Ohio.

See all of Liv Birdsall's reviews

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