10 Best, Most Popular, Ear Piercings To Have & Their Pain Ratings

Thinking about getting a piercing but you aren't sure what to get or how much it hurts? Don't stress! This article's got you covered!
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Chances are that you clicked this article because you are thinking about getting an ear piercing soon but you:

a) have no idea what type of ear piercing you want to get or what options exist;


b) aren't sure how much a particular ear piercing hurts.

Well, in this article I am going to list 10 of the most popular ear piercings and along with each piercing description, I will grade them on their pain level on a scale of 1-10 (1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest) to help you out in your decision making process. 

*Please note that pain is subject to each individual and therefore you may or may not agree with the ratings that I have given based on my own experiences

Okay, let's get started!

10 popular ear piercings and their pain ratings:

1. Lobe

lobe piercing
image source: imgur

The lobe piercing may or may not surprise you as being the first entry on this list. Even after all the decades that this type of piercing has been around (and it's been around a while), it is still one of the most common piercings to be worn. The classic look of a simple stud, one on each ear, is perfect for piercing newbies or for those who want a classic and subtle look. 

Pain Level - 3

When I got my lobes pierced the first time they hurt a lot but that was because they were done with a piercing gun... a big no-no!

The reason for not using a piercing gun to get pierced is that piercing guns can actually shatter the cartilage as the needle on them is blunt. The blunt needle shoves the earring through your ear which causes a lot of pain and trauma to the tested area.

This blunt force trauma can then cause issues and prolong the healing time of your piercing(s) and in some cases, your piercing(s) might never fully heal. The other problem with piercing guns is that they cannot be sterilized so they could even harbor bacteria from each person that has been pierced, which can then lead to infections in your piercing(s).

So make sure that you always go to a professional piercer as they use hollow needles which causes zero damage to your cartilage and reduces the pain than that of a piercing gun).

Anyway, back to my story! Many years later I decided to get them re-pierced the correct way at a professional piercing studio and let me tell you, the pain was so much less! So, as I said before, always get your piercings done at a professional studio!

2. Second & Third Lobes

second and third lobe piercing
image source: istockphoto

Taking this one step further are the second and third lobe piercings. Now, this type of piercing is, as I'm sure you have guessed, usually either two-lobe piercings or three-lobe piercings on one or both ears. This type of piercing is again great for those people who want to stand out a little bit but not too much. You can decorate your look with hoops or studs or a mix of both if you fancy!

Pain Level - 4

Speaking from my experience of getting my second lobes pierced, I found that the pain wasn't any worse than getting my first ones pierced. However, the only difference was that I got my first and second lobes pierced the same day so the pain was slightly higher hence I will give this a pain rating of 4. The more piercings you get in one sitting, the more will be the pain that you have to bear as your adrenaline is wearing off.

3. Stacked Lobe

stacked lobe piercing
image source: pinterest

Again another lobe piercing! Did I tell you there are very popular around the globe! The stacked lobe is a newer trend that has been seen more frequently.

This piercing consists of around 1-4 piercings scattered around the ear lobe in a number of different ways to create a unique and interesting look. As with the previous piercings, hoops and studs can be worn to personalize your look.

Pain Level - 5

I, myself, have never had a stacked lobe piercing so I can't really comment on the pain but based on the facial expressions of my friends who got this piercing right in front of me it could be around a 5, plus the number of piercings done in one sitting adds up the pain levels.

4. Curated

curated ear piercing
image source: squarespace

This has fast become a trend for several reasons. The main reason is that it is unique (like a tattoo). Placements are subject to ear anatomy and can be styled to suit the individual's personal tastes to create a unique and complementary style to both ears. This makes it a great option for those who are not sure what kind of piercing you can get due to your ear shape. 

Pain Level - varies based on the number of piercings

Unfortunately, it is hard for me to give this one a rating due to the many different types of piercings that you can get with this option. It is possible, however, for this to be a little more painful experience based on the number of piercings you get done in one sitting.

5. Conch

Woman with double Lobe & Double Conch Piercings
Photo by Kimia Zarifi on Unsplash

The conch piercing is located in the middle part of the ear. It looks like a conch shell. The conch is such a trendy piercing because it helps to break up a look if you already have helix or lobe piercings. You can opt to have your inner or outer conch pierced and style it with a simple stud or if you like to stand out you can always opt for a super gorgeous crystal hoop.

Pain Level - between 3 and 4

I found that the pain of this piercing was very similar to my lobe piercings. I had read online that the conch piercing was quite painful but that didn't happen to be the case for me. Now, I don't think I have a high pain tolerance but I was informed by the piercer that my cartilage was quite thin so perhaps that played a part in my lower pain level?

6. Helix

woman with helix piercing

Another classic. This piercing never fails to be popular! Perhaps it's down to the way that it frames the ear? Or maybe it's down to the way it can be styled with studs and hoops that makes it so aesthetically pleasing either way it is a great piercing to get. You can choose to go for a dainty single or a double or triple helix to really kick it up a notch!

Pain Level - 4

Again, I didn't find my double helix to be super painful. It was still comparable to my lobe piercings. 

7. Flat

flat piercing

This piercing is a relatively new one to the scene. Its location is on the flat surface at the top part of your ear. This is perfect for decorating with a beautiful marquise fan or a delicate stone stud. 

Pain Level - 2

My flat was not painful when I got it done at the end of last year. It was a short quick pinch much like my previous piercings. Though the pain level really depends on how thick the cartilage is in this area of your ear.

8. Tragus

tragus piercing
image source: healthline

This piercing is located in the small part of the ear that connects your ear to your face. This piercing is super popular right now due to its intimate location making it an ideal first piercing as it is relatively easy to take care of.

It is also popular amongst many celebs including the likes of Rihanna, Zoe Kravitz, P!nk, and Scarlett Johansson to name a few. The small area means that dainty jewelry can be worn and again is perfect for those getting their first piercing or for those who are not looking to make a statement with their piercings. 

Pain Level - 7

The Tragus is quite a thick bit of cartilage because of which the pain level for this is more or less the same as the Daith, however, as we have discussed before many times throughout this article, pain is subjective, and whilst some may consider this piercing painful others may not. But you should definitely expect to feel more than a quick sharp pinch.

9. Constellation

constellation ear piercing

Again one of the newer trendy piercings to have is the constellation ear piercing! This one involves several piercings scattered across the lower portion of the ear mimicking constellations in the night sky. The look is very unique as there are lots of customizable options to go with and with the added embellishment of crystal studs, you can be sure to stand out.

Pain Level - varies based on the constellation size

Again because this consists of several piercings it is hard for me to provide an exact pain level, however, if going by the lobe piercing pain rating, I would say that the pain level would be slightly higher due to multiple piercings being done in one sitting.

10. Daith

daith piercing
image source: healthline

The Daith is located in the inner part of the ear. There have been many rumors circulating that this piercing is particularly helpful in reducing migraines.

However, there does not appear to be a definitive answer to this as some people swear by their Daith piercing as it has either stopped them from getting migraines altogether or it has helped reduce the frequency of their migraines, and then there are people who say that their Daith piercing has not helped at all with their migraines at all.

So, if you were thinking of getting this piercing for this sole purpose then please consider this information before going through with it. Make sure that you actually like the aesthetics because if it doesn't help with your migraines, then at least you are not stuck with a piercing that you don't really like looking at.

Pain Level - 8

This piercing was by far my most painful one! I thought the tube that was placed at my ear to catch the needle as it passes through your Daith to avoid poking you was sore enough. I had no idea how sore it would actually be until the needle started to go through.

I had to clench my teeth as the needle made its way through. I felt like it took a bit longer to have this piercing done than my others as they were a quick pinch and done.

With this one, it took slightly longer than normal (don't get me wrong it wasn't a drawn-out process, it was still quick but it was a little slower than my previous piercings) probably because the cartilage here is quite thick so it requires a little more force to push the needle through which causes it to be more painful than other piercings.

If you are considering how to style your ears then Lulu's Body Piercing has a great video on this. 

Remember the options for how you choose to style your ear from the placement of the piercing to the jewelry that adorns it, are totally endless! Please share this helpful guide with your friends and find out what they say.

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DMI Certified Digital Marketing Associate studying a BA (Honours) Business Management (Marketing) Degree with The Open University

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