What are the best accessories for your Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch may technically be an accessory for your iPhone, but it's also a powerful device in its own right — cataloging workouts, monitoring your heart rate, helping you pay for items, playing music, and, of course, telling time. The more you use your Apple Watch, the more you may find yourself wanting to accessorize your accessory with new bands, protective coverings, external monitors, stands, travel cases, or headphones.

Here are our must-have accessories to pick up for Apple Watch.

Get more bands

You can completely change the look and style of your Apple Watch with a lightning-quick band swap — but to do that, you need new bands!

Apple offers a wide variety of bands for casual and formal use alike, but the band market goes far beyond Cupertino: There are tons of third-party designs out there, along with ways to make your old watch band Apple Watch-compatible and customize the lugs.

Protect your Apple Watch

While the Apple Watch is a pretty hardy piece of technology, it's still vulnerable to being cracked, scratched, or otherwise damage when embarking on more unusual activities. The Apple Watch Sport, in particular, risks screen breakage, thanks to its Ion-X glass screen (the higher-end models sport stronger sapphire glass, instead).

If you want to protect your Apple Watch while biking, Tough Mudder-ing, skydiving, and more, here are some ways you can go about it.

Pick up an external Heart Rate Monitor for extra data

Whether you have tattoos that block your Apple Watch from accurately reading your heart rate or you're an exercise fiend who needs more detailed information than a pulse oximeter, an external heart rate monitor might be just the ticket for you and your Apple Watch.

Bluetooth chest and arm monitors wirelessly connect to your Apple Watch; they can log many more heart rate instances than your Apple Watch in a given time period — often more accurately than a wrist-based device — and might also save you from draining your watch's battery by keeping you from using the wrist sensor.

Stands and travel cases

At the end of a long day, your Apple Watch deserves a comfy and safe place to rest. You don't want to be scrambling around the house trying to find it on your way out the door, and you certainly don't want to accidentally knock it off of the nightstand while turning off an alarm in the dark. Investing in a stand will make everything easier — trust us.

Time for some Bluetooth headphones

On your morning commute, your evening jog, or your lunch break, a pair of headphones will let your Watch play you the perfect soundtrack for your mood and moment. Your Watch can also serve as the perfect control source for your iPhone — it just depends on whether you're grooving out to music locally on your watch or controlling it from afar.

Questions?

Have an Apple Watch accessory you can't live without, or a question about one of our recommendations? Let us know below!