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Which press-on nails are best?

Press-on nails are a creative way to add flair to your style without committing to a long-term option, such as dip nails or acrylic nail extensions. They come in many colors, shapes and patterns. And, since they’re temporary, you can easily swap them out with another set for any occasion.

How to apply press-on nails

False nails, including press-on nails, usually use an adhesive to stick to the top of your natural fingernails. To apply these nails, follow these steps:

  1. Remove any nail polish.
  2. Wash and dry your hands with soap and water to remove any dirt or excess oils.
  3. Let your hands and nails dry completely. 
  4. File, buff and clean underneath your fingernails to help the adhesive stick.
  5. Prepare and position the press-on nails. Some come with adhesive glue, while others are peel-and-stick. Position them over your fingernails to find the right fit.
  6. Apply the nails one at a time. Once positioned, press down for around 30 seconds so the nail can adhere properly.

How to remove press-on nails

Press-on fingernails can last up to two weeks when applied correctly. If you want to remove them early, do so carefully, so you don’t damage your real nails.

Start by soaking your hands and fingernails in warm soapy water for 15 to 20 minutes. Use a cuticle pusher to lift the press-on nail from the base, which should be on or around the nail bed.

If the nails aren’t coming off, leave your hands in the water for another 10 to 15 minutes and try again. Once removed, use a nail strengthener to improve the quality of your natural nails and reduce brittleness.

Some higher-quality press-on nails are reusable. If you have these, clean them after use and store them somewhere safe until you’re ready to wear them again.

Style and length

Press-on fingernails come in many different styles and lengths, including:

  • Stiletto nails: These are long and have a sharp or spiky point.
  • Coffin nails: Coffin nails are long, similar to stiletto ones, but they square off at the ends. They also have a larger surface area, making them easy to decorate or paint.
  • Almond nails: This type of nail has a soft point and is usually medium-length.
  • Oval nails: This style has a classic appearance and comes in different lengths. There’s also a round variant, which is similar in shape but shorter.
  • Square nails: As the name suggests, square fingernails have a squared-off point.

Most manufacturers include a sizing chart indicating the length of the nails. Sets generally come in extra-small, small, medium and large.

Each size corresponds to the width of your natural nails in millimeters. To determine the right size, position a flexible tape measure horizontally across each of your natural nails at the widest point.

Some false nails can be filed or trimmed to your desired length. To do this, simply use nail clippers and cut as you would your real fingernails.


When it comes to design, press-on nails come in many colors, patterns and finishes, including:

  • Clear or translucent: a blank slate for painting or decorating them as desired.
  • Classic colors: pink and nude are common as are ones with white tips.
  • Fun colors: pastels, dark or light hues, etc.
  • Patterns: ombre, stripes, swirls, etc.

Some have special designs, such as butterflies, stars or flowers. These themed nails are a great way of making a statement without needing to use nail polish.


Usually, press-on nails are made from hard plastic, acrylic resin or a combination of both. These materials are durable, though they can still chip. They can also be painted with ease.

8 best press-on nails

Best Morily 24-Piece Press-On Nails

Morily 24-Piece Press-On Nails

Available in eight colors, including wine red, black, dark pink and white, these glossy acrylic nails come in 12 sizes. Each kit includes 24 nails and comes with a single sheet of glue stickers, a small nail file and a wood stick to press them down. The adhesive lasts up to one week.

Sold by Amazon

Best Btartbox White Press-On Nails

Btartbox White Press-On Nails

These acrylic and soft gel nails come in a set of 30. They come with a storage box, adhesive tabs, nail glue and a nail file with a cuticle stick. There are 27 patterns, colors and styles to choose from, including white or black coffin nails. They’re resistant to chipping and fading.

Sold by Amazon

Best Glamermaid Press-On Nails Medium Coffin

Glamermaid Press-On Nails Medium Coffin

This set includes press-on fingernails and toenails. They come in 29 different patterns and styles, including ocean marble, heart lock and purple tulips. Each kit has 24 nails, 48 adhesive tabs, a cuticle stick, a mini file and a prep pad. The nails are made of strong plastic and acrylic, making them durable and chip-resistant.

Sold by Amazon

Best Dashing Diva Magicpress Press-On Gel Nails Homecoming

Dashing Diva Magicpress Press-On Gel Nails Homecoming

These press-on nails have waterproof staying power and stay on for up to seven days with active use. They have a classic French manicure style and come pre-glued, making the application process easy.

Sold by Macy’s

Best Coolnail Gradient Ombre Pink French False Nails

Coolnail Gradient Ombre Pink French False Nails

Available in a 26-piece set, these nails come in different styles, including stiletto, oval and round. The set includes a small nail file and a sheet of double-sided glue for easy application.

Sold by Amazon

Best Glamnetic Press-On Nail Kit

Glamnetic Press-On Nail Kit

With four colors to choose from, such as marshmallow swirl and caviar, these press-on almond nails are bright and vibrant. They are resistant to fading and cracking. They can also be filed and shaped to your preference. The set includes 30 fingernails, 2 milliliters of nail glue, a nail file and a cuticle stick.

Sold by Sephora

Best Glamnetic Wild Card Press-On Nails

Glamnetic Wild Card Press-On Nails

These durable, reusable nails can last up to two weeks with everyday use. The set comes with 24 glossy nails, nail glue, a cuticle stick and a nail file. The nails have creative, bright patterns, making them quite decorative.

Sold by Ulta Beauty

Best Kiss Impress Color Press-On Manicure

Kiss Impress Color Press-On Manicure

Each of these 33 pink false nails has an adhesive tab that makes them easy to attach to your natural nail. They are durable, chip-resistant and smudge-proof.

Sold by Amazon


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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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