Abstract Recent progress in optics, atomic physics and material science has paved the way to study quantum effects in ultracold atomic alkali gases confined to non-trivial geometries. Multiply connected traps for cold atoms can be prepared by combining inhomogeneous distributions of DC and radio-frequency electromagnetic fields with optical fields that require complex systems for frequency control and stabilization. Here we propose a flexible and robust scheme that creates closed quasi-one-dimensional guides for ultracold atoms through the ‘dressing’ of hyperfine sublevels of the atomic ground state, where the dressing field is spatially modulated by inductive effects over a micro-engineered conducting loop. Remarkably, for commonly used atomic species (for example, 7 Li and 87 Rb), the guide operation relies entirely on controlling static and low-frequency fields in the regimes of radio-frequency and microwave frequencies. This novel trapping scheme can be implemented with current technology for micro-fabrication and electronic control.