Nose Ring Sizes: A Guide to Purchasing Nostril Piercing Jewelry Online

You got your nostril pierced a minimum of six months ago and had your professional piercer confirm it is fully healed. The time you’ve been patiently waiting for is finally here. You can purchase all of the nostril piercing jewelry you’d like.

However, with so many options, it can feel overwhelming to know where to start first. That’s why we’ve put together a guide on nose ring sizes and how to purchase nostril piercing jewelry online.

Different Types of Nostril Piercing Jewelry

Before you think about sizing, you should know what type of nostril piercing jewelry you want. Because nostril piercings have so many acceptable styles for initial jewelry, you may want to try a new style or collect a variety.

The two main types of nostril piercing jewelry are studs and rings.

Types of Nostril Piercing Studs

Nostril Screw

Nostril screws are common jewelry for nostril piercings, especially to wear during the initial healing process. They are sold as adornments on top of straight pieces of wire. The wire goes through the piercing and any excess is bent so it coils up in your nostril. The one caveat of nostril screws is that you may need a professional piercer who has the tools to help you bend the screw so it fits your specific nostril anatomy.

Nostril Screw However, nostril screws are easy to insert and remove should you need to wear a retainer for work or temporarily remove it.

Labret Post

Labret posts are another popular type of nostril piercing jewelry. A labret post has a flat back on one end and an adorned end on the other. They are sold as threadless or threaded; if you purchase threaded jewelry, know that internally threaded is safer for your piercing than externally threaded jewelry. Threaded labret posts work like inserting a mini nostril screw into a hollow labret post.

Labret Nostril Piercing Stud

While labret posts are some of the most secure options for nostril piercing jewelry, they can be more difficult to insert and remove. If you need to easily take out and put your jewelry back in, this might not be the type to choose.

Nose Bone

Nose bones are a type of nostril piercing jewelry that should only be used in fully healed piercings. These look similar to unbent nostril screws, but they have a rounded end that’s larger than the size of the wearable channel. In a healing piercing, this could cause the fistula to shrink to the size of the wearable channel and the jewelry to become stuck.

Nose Bone

However, in a fully healed nostril piercing, nose bones work well if you need to easily remove and insert the jewelry.


L-bends are another type of nostril piercing studs that should only be used in fully healed piercings. These get their name because the post bends at a 90-degree angle. For the best fit to suit your exact anatomy, these should be custom-bent by a piercer. They make great options if you prefer interchangeable jewelry or need to easily remove and insert it.

L Bend Nose Rings

Types of Nostril Piercing Rings

Seamless Rings

While they should not be used while a piercing is healing, seamless rings are great for fully healed nostril piercings. They are rings with a small slit so you can twist the ends in opposite directions from each other to insert the jewelry and then twist them back. That being said, seamless rings can be tricky to open and insert and may require the help of a professional piercer.

Seamless Hoop Nose Rings

Captive Bead Rings

A captive bead ring is like a seamless ring, except the opening in the ring is much larger to hold a captive bead in place. Captive bead rings can also be tricky to insert and remove without a professional piercer’s help, so consider that if you like to change your jewelry often.

Captive Bead Rings

Captive beads come in many colors, materials, and styles too, which helps make them versatile jewelry options for nostril piercings.

Clickers and Segment Rings

If you like the idea of a seamless ring but want something easier to remove and put back in, a clicker or segment ring is a great option for nostril piercing jewelry. A clicker is like a seamless ring, but it has a hinged segment that clicks open and shut for ease of insertion and removal.

Clickers and Segment Rings

A segment ring has an entirely removable section that snaps into and out of place for insertion and removal.

Circular Barbells

A circular barbell is shaped like a horseshoe with threaded ends on each side. It’s best to get internally threaded jewelry, as externally threaded jewelry can irritate your piercing – healed or not.

How Do I Know Which Nose Ring Size to Get?

Now that you know what style of jewelry you want to purchase, the next step is figuring out what size to get. There are two main components to nostril piercing jewelry sizing: gauge and length (for studs) or inside diameter (for rings).

Nose Ring Sizes

How to Find the Right Gauge for Your Nostril Piercing

In the United States, body jewelry sizing is measured using a gauge system. The gauge size refers to the thickness of the jewelry that goes through your piercing, with the thicker the jewelry being a smaller number. A 20-gauge barbell is extremely thin, whereas a 4-gauge barbell is much thicker.

Nose Ring Sizes

When you’re initially pierced, your piercer should provide you with information on the initial jewelry you selected, including what gauge it is. While nostril piercings typically range from 18 gauge to 12 gauge, everyone’s anatomy is unique and piercers determine what gauge would best suit you based on your specific anatomy.


In general, if you want to wear labret posts, 18- and 16-gauge are the most common sizes. If you want to wear a ring, sizes range from 18- to 12-gauge, especially if the jewelry needs to be thicker to support wearing a ring as initial jewelry. Nostril screws are most commonly 18-gauge.

How to Find the Right Length or Inside Diameter for Your Nostril Piercing

When sizing nostril piercing jewelry, you also need to take the length or diameter of the jewelry into account. In the United States, body jewelry sizing when it comes to length or diameter is measured using fractions of an inch.

If you have labret posts; nose studs; or nose bones; or you’d like to put any of these types of jewelry in your nostril piercing, you must select the proper length of jewelry. The initial jewelry placed in your piercing tends to be a bit longer than you need to allow for any swelling to occur.

However, as your piercing heals, you will need to downsize your jewelry. To help you find the right lengths suitable for your piercing and anatomy, it is often best to see a professional piercer. They can tell you the largest and smallest sizes your anatomy could wear for different types. Additionally, the jewelry length or diameter they wrote for your initial jewelry is not the size you should go with for future jewelry due to downsizing.

The length of the jewelry refers to the bottom of the post, where enters your piercing hole, to the top of the post; it is also known as the wearable surface of a piercing. The typical length of jewelry placed in standard nostril piercings ranges from 1/4” to 5/8".

While studs are measured in terms of their length, rings and clickers are measured in terms of their diameter, or the length between the inside of the jewelry at its widest point. The most common diameter sizes are 5/16” and 3/8.”

Nose Ring Hoop Diameters

However, if you have a large gauge nostril piercing, you might need a wider diameter. You can also decide which diameter works best for your nostril piercing by determining how flush against your nostril you want the jewelry. The larger the diameter, the farther from your nose the jewelry will be.

The Importance of Buying Properly Sized Nostril Piercing Jewelry

Buying and wearing properly sized nostril piercing jewelry is important because wearing improperly sized jewelry can cause your piercing to become irritated or develop other complications. Even if your piercing has fully healed, it doesn’t mean it’s not susceptible to damage.

Nose Ring Hoop Diameters

When you purchase jewelry that’s too short in length or diameter, it can cause the jewelry to pull on the piercing hole. This may result in dreaded irritation bumps, migration, or even a tear of the piercing hole.

When the jewelry is too long in length or diameter, it is more susceptible to snags, which could irritate the piercing hole.

Once you confirm with a professional piercer what sizes work best for your specific anatomy, you can purchase as much nostril jewelry online as you want. At Urban Body Jewelry, we have a large collection of nostril screws, labret posts, nose bones, L-bends, seamless rings, clickers, and captive bead rings in many sizes, designs, and colors.

UPDATED: 5/29/24

Written by Jackie Rachel

Jackie Rachel

Jackie Rachel is a poet and Content Account Manager. She has been getting pierced for over 16 years, while taking the time to learn proper aftercare techniques from the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) members. Always enamored by the jewelry options that exist for body modifications, she one day hopes to assist clientele with picking out jewelry and styling ears.