Titanium vs. Stainless Steel: Which Is Better?

Mercy studied civil engineering but hates construction and fluids. She's a sucker for…

White metals like platinum, white gold, and silver have been popular for years, and rightfully so. They are all beautiful metals in their rights. Although not very popular for jewelry, titanium and stainless steel have benefits like affordability and durability. 

If you’re wondering which of these two metals to choose, this guide is for you. We compare titanium vs. stainless steel in terms of weight, durability, cost, and allergenicity to help you decide.

What is titanium?

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Titanium is a lightweight silvery-gray metal with high strength and low corrosion. It was discovered in the 1700s and named after the Greek Mythological Titans because of its strength and durability. 

Titanium’s lightness, high tensile strength, and corrosion resistance have made it popular in various engineering fields. Engineers use it to build aircrafts, missiles, ships, and space crafts. Medical professionals also favor its hypoallergenic nature and use it to make surgical equipment and prosthetics.

All its qualities also make titanium ideal for jewelry making.

What is stainless steel?

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Iron might be vulnerable to rust, but its stainless steel alloy isn’t. Stainless steel is a combination of iron, carbon, chromium, and other elements. 

The chromium element reacts with surrounding oxygen to form chromium oxide, which creates a protective film on the surface, making stainless steel corrosion-resistant.

Stainless steel makes kitchenware, surgical equipment, tankers, building construction, and appliances. This silver metal’s corrosion-resistant property also makes it excellent for jewelry.

What’s the difference between titanium vs. stainless steel?

On the surface, titanium and stainless steel look the same; they are both low-cost silver-colored metals. But they have key distinguishing features. In this section, we compare them, considering their composition, cost, weight, durability, allergenicity, and appearance.


Stainless steel is on the lower end of the price scale at an average of $1 per pound. Titanium is more expensive (about $30 per pound) because the mining and extracting process costs more, which spills over into the final price tag. 

Both options are great if you’re looking for affordable jewelry. You can find plain stainless steel wedding bands for as low as $5 online and the same titanium bands for $25 and more.


Stainless steel and titanium are relatively light metals. Titanium is more lightweight, with a density of 4.54 kg/m3. Its lightness makes it a metal of choice for making aircrafts. 

Stainless steel is roughly twice as dense as titanium and hence heavier. Both metals are still lightweight but if you prefer lighter jewelry, choose titanium.


The critical difference between titanium and stainless steel is their components. Titanium comes from titanium ores around the world. Commercial titanium contains some other elements like nitrogen, oxygen, carbon, and iron in small quantities.

On the other hand, stainless steel is an iron alloy containing about 11% chromium and other elements like carbon and nickel. Stainless steel is corrosion-resistant because of its chromium component.


Titanium and stainless steel are perfect if you’re looking for metals that will last a lifetime. They are durable, scratch resistant, and they stay beautiful for ages.

When compared, though, titanium might be more prone to scratches while you wear it. You might want to take it off while working with your hands. 

Despite titanium’s susceptibility to scratches, you can always visit a jeweler for polishing. Conversely, stainless steel is more scratch-resistant and makes for fabulous daily wear jewelry.


Though stainless steel and titanium look similar, their colors are slightly different, and that’s an excellent way to tell them apart. Titanium has a darker shade of silver gray. It also possesses a more weathered look, even when polished. 


Stainless steel contains nickel and isn’t considered hypoallergenic for that reason. Some jewelry wearers are allergic to nickel. Their sensitive skin reacts to stainless steel. They usually develop an irritating rash around the area in contact with the jewelry. 

Titanium, however, is hypoallergenic. It doesn’t contain nickel, and though some people react to it, most don’t. If you have nickel sensitivity, titanium might be a better choice. But if you have a titanium allergy, too, you might want to avoid both.


Both metals are corrosion resistant and can be exposed to moisture for a long time without getting ruined. Their water-resistant quality makes them excellent shower-safe jewelry.

Titanium vs. Stainless Steel: Side By Side

Here’s a table with a side-by-side comparison of both jewelry metals.

MetalTitaniumStainless Steel
CompositionA metal element, titaniumAn alloy of iron with 11% chromium and small quantities of nickel and carbon
PriceCosts about $30 per poundCosts between $0.1 and $1 per pound
WeightLightweightLightweight but twice as heavy as titanium
DurabilityLong-lasting, but susceptible to scratchesMore scratch-resistant
AppearanceSilvery colored, but usually looks darkerSilvery and often lighter
AllergenicityHypoallergenic, but might cause skin reactions in a few peopleContains nickel which causes reactions in nickel-sensitive people
WaterproofWater resistant and safe for showeringWater resistant and safe for showering

Titanium vs. Stainless Steel: Which Is Better?

The best qualities of titanium and stainless steel are their light weight, durability, water-safe nature, and low cost. You get the same beautiful silvery appearance as more expensive metals but with a smaller price tag. 

Titanium is lighter, making it ideal if you like incredibly light jewelry. It’s also a nickel-free choice, so you might gravitate towards it if you have a nickel allergy.

Titanium has a higher price tag, so stainless steel is much better if working with a smaller budget. Stainless steel has better scratch resistance and is long-lasting.

So, which one is better? That answer depends on you and your preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out our answers to questions people ask about titanium and stainless steel.

Is titanium jewelry better than stainless steel?

Titanium jewelry is better if you want incredibly light jewelry as it’s lighter than stainless steel. It’s also nickel-free, making it more suitable for those with nickel allergies.

How can you tell the difference between titanium and stainless steel jewelry?

At first glance, titanium and stainless steel look almost the same. But if you look closer, you’ll notice titanium has a darker shade of silver than stainless steel.

Another way to tell them apart is their weight. Titanium is the lighter of both metals.

Will a titanium ring tarnish?

Pure titanium will not tarnish. 

However, not all titanium jewelry is the same. Some of it contains alloys like iron and copper, which alter titanium’s properties, making it susceptible to tarnish over time. 

What are the disadvantages of titanium?

If you choose to have a titanium wedding band, you won’t be able to adjust the ring easily in case it stops fitting. The only way to make a smaller titanium ring fit is by shaving off some material inside the ring. And there’s no guarantee it will fit.

You can’t find a titanium engagement with a traditional prong setting unless the prong is made with a different material. This tough metal can’t melt easily like other metals.  

What is more scratch-resistant stainless steel or titanium?

Stainless steel is more scratch-resistant than titanium. Take off your titanium rings before you work with your hands to prevent scratches. The good news is you can get it repolished and erase the blemishes.

Which Will You Choose?

Ultimately, the choice between both metals is up to you. Titanium and stainless steel share a couple of qualities, but in their differences, you can decide which one you prefer. 

Stainless steel is cheaper and more scratch-resistant, but it might trigger nickel allergies. Titanium is lighter and more hypoallergenic, but it might cost more. Overall, both metals hold up to daily wear and can last you several years.

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