New Air 10: $80 OFF with code "MOMS80" Shop now
Iconic Air 3: $90 OFF with code "UPOWER" Shop now
Spin to win $100 OFF code

Hermès Kelly vs Birkin: Which One is Right for You?

By Viktoria
June 26, 2023
7 minutes

Hermes is one of the high-end luxury brands that make timeless products in ever-attractive designs. Its bags have earned their name among fashionistas and rich women who are serious about the looks and accessories they carry. The reason lies in the unmatched 48-hours craftsmanship of the bags and their supreme raw material.

These handmade bags are the dream of many women out there as having even one of Hermes bags is synonymous with style, elegance, and luxury. Hermes has a number of sophisticated yet trendy bags like Kelly, Birkin, Constance, Jypsiere, Herbag, Evelyn, and more.

Out of these bags, Kelly and Birkin are the most coveted ones. But what if you only have the budget to buy one as these expensive six-figure bags cost an arm and a leg? Plus you do not know much about the differences between the two. So, investing in Hermes blindly might make your bag collect dust in the corner as both bags are compatible with entirely different styles.

So, let us check the comparison of both to find out which of the two will go well with most of your outfits. Also, you can look for Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM vs GM vs PM here if you decide to buy another bag.

Hermes History

Hermes was not actually launched as a handbag brand. In 1837, Thierry Hermes founded this small company to produce high-quality harnesses, saddles, and bridles for horses. They also made the popular luxurious saddles in their time.

In 1920, Hermes launched their first handmade high-end bag. Then in 1935, Hermes Sac A Depeches came out in the market and Princess Kelly wore it often as it was big enough for her to hide her pregnant abdomen. So, the bag was renamed after Grace Kelly.

In 1984, Jean Louis Dumas, the chief executive at Hermes, shared a flight with the actress Jane Birkin. Her bag broke on the way and the two discussed the characteristics of an ideal bag resulting in the production of Hermes Birkin.

Hermes Kelly vs Birkin: Which Bag is Better for You?

1. Variants

Hermes Kelly offers a large number of variants. The basic two include Hermes Kelly Retourne and Hermes Kelly Sellier. The difference between the two lies in their stitching style. The Retourne bag is stitched in a way that the seams are hidden and the edges are rounded. It is prepared with soft leather. So, the Retourne bag gives more of a soft and casual look.

In contrast, Hermes Kelly Sellier is made using hard leather. It has visible seams and well-defined margins. So, Sellier is a better-structured bag. The other variants of Kelly bags are their size options ranging from 15 to 50 with 25, 28, and 35 being the most popular ones.

Hermes Birkin has two variants based on its hardware design including lock and key, zipper, and metal feet. These variants are an 18-karat gold-plated one and a palladium one. In these variants, you get 5 size options including 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40. 25 is the most popular one and 20 is the limited edition Hermes bag.

2. Dimensions

Here is how Hermes bags differ with respect to their dimensions in terms of size and shape.

  • Shap

The shape of both bags is their major difference. The Kelly is a sharply structured bag in a trapezoid shape. It has an angular margin, straight-cut sides, and a well-shaped top flap. Additionally, it has a single handle to carry it on the shoulder, a flap closure with lock and key, and a long strap to use it as a cross-body bag.

On the other hand, Birkin is a casual bag with no strictness in maintaining its shape. It is more of a tote bag because of its square shape, two straps, a changeable flap closure giving you the freedom to leave the bag open or close it, and curved margins and top.

  • Size

The sizes of both bags are based on their lengths in cm. For example, Kelly is mostly available in 6 size options with 25 cm, 28 cm, 32 cm, 35 cm, 40 cm, and 50 cm lengths. The heights are around 19 to 25 cm and the widths are 9 to 12 cm according to the length of the bag.

In contrast, Birkin bags are bigger and mainly have 4 size options based on length including 25 cm, 30 cm, 35 cm, and 40 cm. Their heights are 20 cm, 22 cm, 25 cm, and 30 cm with widths of 13 cm, 16 cm, 18 cm, and 21 cm respectively.

3. Parts

Here is how the individual parts of the Kelly and Birkin bags differ.

  • Handle

Kelly bag has a single handle on the top which you can hold to look chic or wear on your arm as you go to a party. Moreover, Kelly offers a detachable long strap that enables it to be used as a cross-body bag leaving your hands free and making you look cool.

Birkin bag has two handles with a length a little longer than that of Kelly’s. It does not have a long strap. So, it can only be used as a handbag. Also, the handles of both bags are made of leather.

  • Front Flaps

Both bags have front flaps having a classic Hermes buckle and a lock and key for the closure of the bags. As Kelly bags only have 1 handle on top of the front flaps, the flap needs to be closed and used as it is.

On contrary. The upper slits of the Birkin bags are well-finished and it has two separate handles. So, you can simply move the front flap inside and use the bag as an open tote bag.

  • Other Accessories

Both bags have turrets to place the locks of the bags, a leather clochette bell to cover the keys of the locks, D-rings to attach the straps, a tight loop around the handle of the bag to connect the clochette, single straps that move from front to back of the bags, and colors to stand the bags.

The only difference is the Kelly bag has two pairs of D-rings, one extra for the long strap and Birkin has a Pontet, a metal bracket to keep singles in place.

4. Style

There is a great difference between the styles of both bags. Kelly was created for women of grace and elegance who want to keep their ladylike looks obvious no matter what situation they are in. The Kelly bags are top-notch with their well-defined shapes and sharp designs.

On the other hand, Birkin bags give out casual vibes. They are for the women who want to take it easy and stuff everything they have in the bag without worrying much about its shape. So, Birkin bags are relaxed bags in contrast to the up-kept Kelly bags.

5. Popularity

Although there are many differences between both bags, one thing that keeps them together is their extreme popularity. Both bags are highly popular among women of all ages, any status, any profession, and any lifestyle. This is exactly what makes Hermes bags the most coveted ones.

However, these much-desired bags are not available easily. It is challenging to find the bag originally from the Hermes store on their website. Rather, you would have to find them and buy through resellers. Also, you can opt to buy a used bag in good condition to save a little on cost and get your dream bag.

6. Price

The price of Hermes Kelly and Birkin depends on the size of the bag, its variant, the material used, the year of production, and demand in the market. If you directly buy the bags from Hermes stores, the price of Birkin bags is more because of their size, design, time invested in production, and use.

However, if you opt to buy the bags from a reseller or a store selling used bags, Kelly is more expensive because of its high demand, elegant style, and short supply. Let us now know how much the bags actually cost.

The mini Kelly costs $8,520 to $27,575; Kelly Sellier 25 costs $11,300 to $23,100; Kelly Sellier 28 is for $11,075 to $25,275; Kelly 32 is for $14,000; Kelly 35 is for $14,500; and Kelly Retourne cost $10,900 to $12,00.

The Prices of Birkin bags vary from $10,000 to $250,000 depending on the size, material, and addition of the bag bought. These prices have a margin of a few hundred dollars when you buy the bags from a reseller.

Comparison Table

Here is a comparison table to find the major differences between both bags


Hermes Kelly

Hermes Birkin



  • Hermes Kelly Retourne

  • Hermes Kelly Sellier

  • Hermes Birkin 18-Karat gold plated

  • Hermes Birkin Palladium



Well-maintained Trapezoid

Casual Tote



  • Kelly 15

  • Kelly 20

  • Kelly 25

  • Kelly 28

  • Kelly 32

  • Kelly 35

  • Kelly 40

  • Kelly 50

  • Birkin 20

  • Birkin 25

  • Birkin 30

  • Birkin 35

  • Birkin 40



Single handle

Two handles


Use as a crossbody bag

Yes because of the detachable strap



Changeable front flap style




Named after

Grace Kelly

Jane Birkin


Launched in





Elegant ladylike

Relaxed and casual



$8,000 to $30,000

$10,000 to $250,000



Highly popular

Highly popular


Resell Value


Little less


Final Verdict: Which Bag is Better for You

The choice of getting one of the Hermes Kelly and Birkin bags can be difficult when you know nothing about both. And when you come to know the differences between the both and also what is your requirement, buying one of the two becomes a piece of cake. Additionally, you can simply get both for different occasions if your budget allows.

The Kelly bag, made for Princess Kelly will bless you with royal vibes and a refined look. However, it might be too elegant for everyday use. In contrast, Birkin is perfect to be used in your daily routine and put all of your things in one place. So, it is up to you to decide which one is better for you. Also, if you want to know more about luxury brands, give Dior vs Chanel a read.

Subscribe Win Free Air3 & 100 OFF
Featured Products
Ulike Air 3
90% hair reduction in 4 weeks
$239 $329
Ulike Air +
78% hair reduction in 4 weeks
$219 $309
Related articles
Latest article