At 90 kilometers (56 mi) long by 24 kilometers (15 mi) wide, it is the largest and westernmost of the Commander Islands, with an area of 1,660 square kilometers (640 sq mi). Most of Bering Island and several of the smaller islands in their entirety are now part of the Komandorsky Zapovednik nature preserve.
Bering Island is treeless, desolate and experiences severe weather, including high winds, persistent fog and earthquakes. It had no year-round human residents until roughly 1826. Now, the village of Nikolskoye is home to 800 people, roughly three hundred of them identifying as Aleuts. The island's small population is involved mostly in fishing.
Two and a half miles (4 km) off Bering Island's northwest shore lies small Toporkov Island (Ostrov Toporkov) 55°12′9″N 165°55′59″E. It is a round island with a diameter of 800 m (2,600 ft).