Nipple Piercing Size: What Gauge Is a Nipple Ring?

Nipple piercings are a popular piercing for both men and women, and there are countless reasons that people have for getting one from increasing their body positivity to increasing their nipple sensitivity.

No matter the reason for getting a nipple piercing, you should know that there are many different sizes and types of these piercings, and one may work better for your body than others would.

Nipple Piercing Size

  • The standard nipple piercing size is 14 gauge (14G), which translates to a 1.6-mm-thick piercing. 16 gauge (1.2mm) also works.
  • The length of the nipple piercing is usually 9/16 inches (14mm) and can range between 3/8 inches (10mm) to 5/8 inches (16mm) long.
  • For your first nipple ring, at least 1/2 inch (13mm) in diameter is recommended, and larger may be necessary.

1. What Gauge Is a Nipple Ring?

While 14 gauge (1.6mm) nipple piercings are the standard nipple piercing gauge and the most common size, some people may opt for a 16 gauge (1.2mm) or even 12 gauge (2mm) piercing instead.

In body piercing, larger gauge numbers translate to thinner barbells, not the other way around. That being said, a 16 gauge would be the smallest possible nipple piercing a person may choose while a 12 gauge would be the largest possible nipple piercing.

The gauge size of your nipple piercing often depends on the size of your nipple as smaller nipples may require a 16 gauge piercing while larger nipples can be suited well with either a 14 gauge or 12 gauge piercing. If you are unsure of what size gauge you should choose when piercing your nipples, be sure to consult an experienced piercer to get an expert’s opinion.

2. Nipple Piercing Length Sizes

A nipple piercing is usually 9/16 inches (14mm) and can range between 3/8 inches (10mm) to 5/8 inches (16mm) long; however, a longer piercing is especially recommended for your initial piercing to help with the healing.

To be detailed, upon first piercing your nipple, your body may react to the piercing by swelling around the pierced area. Because of this, a longer barbell is often inserted at first to accommodate for the swelling, which is completely normal.

After this swelling subsides, usually in six months or less, you may switch to a shorter barbell size if desired.

3. Nipple Ring Diameters

For your first nipple ring, at least 9/16 inch (14mm) in diameter is recommended, and larger may be necessary. After healing, you may be able to insert a piercing ring with a diameter of 5/8 inches (16mm) to 3/4 inches (19mm).

For those who prefer the look of nipple rings instead of barbells, know that you will also likely need a larger ring with your initial piercing to accommodate swelling during the healing process.

Some piercers may recommend not even using a ring until after healing, but an initial piercing with a ring is doable if you choose a ring that has a long and straight top section, which is where the piercing is placed under the skin.

Pros and Cons of Nipple Piercings

Source: Surfs Chicks.

Nipple Piercing Jewelry Types

There are a couple of different styles of nipple piercing jewelry out there, and each varies in the sizes available. Some of the most popular jewelry types include straight barbells, curved barbells, rings, captive beads, and clickers.

1. Straight Barbells

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While the straight barbell may be seen as the most basic type of nipple piercing, there are plenty of barbells with gemstone adornments on them.

Since these types of jewelry are straight, they do not have to be very long to accommodate a nipple piercing.

In fact, shorter straight barbells may work best so that they do not snag on clothing, and the most popular length of nipple piercing barbell is 9/16 inches (14mm).

2. Curved Barbells

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A curved barbell is another type of barbell that curves slightly but does not form a full ring. These pieces for nipple piercings are often slightly longer than straight barbells so that they provide a long enough straight area to be placed under the skin.

3. Nipple Rings

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Nipple rings are popular types of piercing jewelry that may come as a seam ring or segment ring.

Seam rings are continuous rings that feature one small seam that is used to insert and remove the piece from your pierced area while segment rings are other continuous rings that feature a removable piece that is screwed or popped in and out for easy insertion and removal.

4. Captive Bead Rings

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Captive bead rings (CBRs) are another type of nipple ring piercing that features a hoop with a distinctive ball or bead on it. This ball is usually twisted on and off for insertion, and the CBR is seen as a classic, comfortable type of piercing that can be worn for everyday use.

5. Nipple Clickers

Nipple clickers are a newer type of body jewelry, and they are a type of ring with an open and close clicking mechanism, which makes it more secure. Another benefit of these pieces is the fact that there are no included tiny balls that can be lost.

6. Dangle Nipple Jewelry

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These are nipple barbells that have a decorative charm or dangle hanging from one end. Dangle nipple jewelry can be made of various materials, such as surgical steel, titanium, and gold.

7. Shields

These are ornamental pieces that sit around the nipple, rather than going through it. Shields can be made of various materials, such as surgical steel, silver, and gold.

Nipple Piercing Materials

Nipple piercing jewelry can be made of a variety of materials, each with its own unique characteristics and considerations. Here are some of the most common materials used for nipple piercing jewelry:

  • Titanium: This is a hypoallergenic material that is lightweight, strong, and corrosion-resistant. Titanium is often used for people with metal sensitivities or allergies.
  • Gold: Gold nipple jewelry is a popular choice for those who prefer a more luxurious look. Gold is also hypoallergenic, but it is more expensive than surgical steel or titanium.
  • Surgical Steel: This is the most common material used for nipple piercing jewelry. Surgical steel is a hypoallergenic material that is durable, affordable, and easy to clean.
  • Niobium: This is a hypoallergenic material that is lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and available in a range of colors.
  • Acrylic: Acrylic nipple jewelry is lightweight, inexpensive, and available in a variety of colors and designs. However, acrylic is not as durable as other materials and may not be suitable for long-term wear.

It is important to choose nipple piercing jewelry made of high-quality, body-safe materials to reduce the risk of infection, irritation, or allergic reactions. A professional piercer can recommend appropriate materials based on your individual needs and preferences.

Nipple Piercing Cost

On average, the cost of a single nipple piercing can range from $40 to $100, although prices can be higher in more expensive cities or for more specialized piercings. This cost may or may not include the cost of the jewelry.

Nipple Piercing Healing

On average, nipple piercings can take between 3-6 months to fully heal. To be detailed, nipple piercing healing time can vary depending on several factors, such as individual healing rates, the aftercare routine, and the quality of the piercing.

Nipple Piercing Pain

Nipple piercings are generally considered to be moderately painful, with some individuals experiencing more pain or discomfort than others. It can vary depending on individual pain tolerance and the experience and expertise of the piercer.

To Conclude

No matter the reason for getting a nipple piercing, know that you have plenty of options for the size and style of your piercing. Just remember that larger barbells and rings are generally better for this type of piercing, specifically during the first few months of wear, although smaller piercings can be inserted after healing.

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