There are many types of piercings, but some are definitely more popular than others. Which ones, and which styles of body jewelry work best in each? Let's take a look at the five most popular types of body piercings and the different styles of jewelry that can be worn in each.
Over the years, piercers have found new and creative ways to adorn people with body jewelry in places that were once impossible to pierce (think dermal piercings for one). Despite all the advancements in piercing, ear piercings remain at the top of the list of most popular body piercings among men and women alike. 83% of the U.S. population has had their earlobes pierced at least once and 30% of men and women have had at least one ear piercing other than an earlobe piercing.
Each ear can accommodate 13 different types of piercings, and sometimes several of each type. The most popular types of ear piercings are earlobe piercings, industrial piercings, helix piercings, tragus piercings, daith piercings, and rook piercings. The type of ear piercing you get determines the best style of jewelry to wear, and there are some ear piercings where men's and women's taste in jewelry tends to differ. For instance, men are slightly more likely than women to stretch their earlobes so they can wear plugs or tunnels as opposed to stud earrings or other styles of earrings. Women are more likely to get multiple helix piercings so they can wear spiral cartilage earrings, while men more often opt for industrial piercings or helix piercings with captive rings in them. Of course, these are just current trends; men and women alike can get any of these types of ear piercings and wear whatever style of jewelry they like best in them.
Below are some examples of the different styles of ear piercing jewelry available and details about which styles work best in which ear piercings. Click on any type of ear piercing jewelry shown to see other options in the same category.
Stud earrings work best as men's and women's earlobe piercing jewelry, but they could also be worn in well-healed helix piercings or even conch piercings.
|French Hook Earrings
French hook earrings are a more feminine style of earlobe piercing jewelry. There are no other ear piercings in which this style of jewelry works well.
Fake plugs are best used as earlobe piercing jewelry, since the large backings on them would make them awkward to wear in cartilage piercings of any type.
|Spiral Cartilage Earrings
You can get spiral cartilage earrings with 1-5 loops, so you can wear this style of ear piercing jewelry whether you have a single helix piercing or multiple helix piercings.
|Captive Bead Rings
Captive bead rings make great earlobe and cartilage piercing jewelry. Wear them in helix piercings, rook piercings, daith piercings, tragus piercings, and antitragus piercings.
Segment rings are a type of captive ring that can be worn as earrings in earlobe piercings or used in a variety of cartilage piercings, like helix, rook, daith and tragus piercings.
Seamless rings like these beautiful handmade niobium tear drop rings from our Unbreakable custom jewelry line make stunning daith piercing jewelry.
Industrial barbells only work in industrial piercings, which can be positioned multiple ways. Tip: Captive rings can be more comfortable in healing industrial piercings.
|Ear Hangers for Stretched Lobes
Ear hangers make great large gauge earrings for stretched lobes. They come in a variety of shapes and styles, like spirals and the dichroic glass drop earrings shown above.
|Plugs for Stretched Ear Piercings
Plugs can be worn in a variety of stretched piercings. The most popular types of ear piercings plugs are worn in are punched or stretched earlobe and conch piercings.
|Tunnels for Stretched Ears
Like plugs, tunnels make great jewelry for stretched lobes and punched or stretched conch piercings. Choose from handmade wood tunnels, stone tunnels, and more.
19% of women and 15% of men in the U.S. have their noses pierced, making nose piercings the second most popular piercing type overall. There are several different types of nose piercings, but nostril piercings and septum piercings are the two most popular. You can wear a wide variety of body jewelry in those two types of nose piercings. Circular barbells, captive rings (including segment, seamless and captive bead rings) and septum pinchers are three of the most popular styles of septum jewelry. Nose bones, nostril screws (which can be custom-bent to fit you perfectly using fishtail nose rings), nose hoops like segment or seamless rings, and labret studs are the most popular styles of nostril piercing jewelry. You can see an example of each of these styles of nose piercing jewelry below, or click on any type of nose ring shown to see others like it.
|Seamless Rings||Captive Bead Rings|
|Septum Pinchers||Septum Tusks|
|Nostril Screws||Nose Bones||Labret Studs|
Belly Button Piercings
33% of American women and an unknown percentage of American men have their belly buttons pierced, making belly piercings the third most popular type of body piercing in the U.S. Their immense popularity has lead us to stock more than 1,300 different navel rings in our Belly Button Rings section, making it the second-largest jewelry category on our site next to Earrings. It's no wonder so many people love belly button piercings, since they accentuate the sexy curves a woman's midriff and look hot on guys, too, with the right jewelry (e.g. circular barbells or captive rings).
You can see a few of our favorite styles of traditional belly rings below, or visit our Belly Button Rings section to see our full selection of navel jewelry.
|Crystal Explosion Belly Rings||Bali Belly Button Rings|
|Dangle Belly Button Rings||Gold Belly Button Rings|
|Navel Shields||Vintage & Opal Belly Rings||Reverse Belly Button Rings|
Nipple piercings are the fourth most popular type of piercing, with 18% of American men and 9% of American women sporting them. They have both aesthetic and sexual benefits that make them a very attractive piercing option for men and women alike. You can wear a wide variety of different types of body jewelry in nipple piercings, including straight barbells, bent barbells, pinchers and circular barbells, captive rings, nipple shields, and dangle nipple rings. You've seen some of these styles of jewelry in the sections above and can see examples of the other styles below and in our Nipple Rings section.
|Nipple Shields||Dangle Nipple Rings|
|Unique Nipple Rings||Fake Nipple Rings|
Tongue Piercings & Eyebrow Piercings
Tongue piercings and eyebrow piercings actually tie for fifth place among the most popular types of piercings in the U.S. Both types of piercings are more popular with men than women, with 17.5% of men having eyebrow piercings compared to 8% of women, and 16% of men having tongue piercings compared to 9.5% of women.
Straight barbells are the only practical type of tongue ring, but there are a few styles of jewelry you can wear in an eyebrow piercing. Micro bent barbells, circular barbells and captive rings are the three most popular types of eyebrow rings.
Other Popular Piercings
If you'd like to learn about other popular types of piercings, like dermal piercings, lip piercings and male and female genital piercings, visit the Piercing Information section of our Information Center to find FAQs and other informative piercing articles.