Nose Ring Gauge Sizes: Standard, Average, Hoops & More

Nose piercing and nose rings have been around for several years. It is a body piercing practice that started with fashion and Indian culture. Its primary purpose is to wear jewelry, such as a nose or ear piercing. Aside from India, other countries such as Nepal, Sir Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Philippines have strong ties with piercing. 

silver nose ring

During the early days, no system expressed nose ring sizes. It was more manual work and guessing than following a size chart. However, it has grown in popularity, so having a measuring system made sense.

The following sections cover nose ring gauge sizes, a chart, and different jewelry products that go well with it.

History

Piercing dates back several years ago in the Indian culture. Since the culture and fashion’s diffusion in the 1960s, youth cultures across different countries have adopted nostril piercing in the 1980s and 1990s. It became popular in North America, South America, Australia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and Japan. Some cultures practice it as part of their religious beliefs, while others are for plain ornaments.

nose rings in a bag

Although its popularity, some regions have negative connotations about it. A 2006 survey of the hospitality industry in the United States shows about 81% of hiring managers have negative perceptions of candidates with tattoos and piercings.

Only women in India had these piercings. Because of its popularity, men and women have resulted in liking it. Indian women prefer the piercing on the left side of their nose

nose ring

Beginner Nose Piercing Chart With Different Ring Sizes

These come in several types, making sizes an important part. The below table should help you determine the correct gauge for a ring. The inner diameter and the overall length should give you the details you need when choosing a ring.  

Aside from it, there are a few things worth considering, such as diamond size, metal options, and style.

Diamond Size

A few things worth considering when picking a diamond size is the work environment, facial features, and personal taste. A 1.2mm diamond would be great for a conservative workplace or if you only want minimal sparkle. 

GaugeInner Diameter (mm)Length (inches)
2470.02
2280.025
2090.032
18100.04
16120.051
14140.064

The perfect size would be the 1.6mm diamond. It fits well with most people without being too loud. However, if you prefer large diamonds that stand out and make a bold statement, we recommend getting the 2mm. If you have a small nose, it may look too big and overwhelming on you. A 1.2mm diamond may not be noticeable in more prominent noses.

If you do not have a decision, for now, we recommend visiting a jewelry store. There is no one-size-fits-all in nose rings because of structure and feature differences. Several customers pick a design that works great with their changing moods and activities. Should you have spare time, we recommend visiting the store at different times to get a better feel of your different moods. 

Metal Options

Metal compatibility has something to do with the wearer’s skin type. If your skin is incompatible with the metal type, it may cause skin irritation, leading to blistering and wounding.

Titanium and surgical steel are not 100% biocompatible. Implant-grade steel and implant-certified titanium are the only 100% biocompatible metals existing, so be vigilant about these material types. Steel becomes very cold when subject to cold environments, making it a poor nose jewelry choice for most people. Unless you live in an area that never gets a cold season or does not have an air conditioner, we recommend staying away from steel. Sterling metal may cause irritations to incompatible skin, leading to discomfort or skin rashes.

Some metals we recommend are nickel-free white gold, rose gold, gold, and solid platinum. Your jewelry choice should also have a fine, smooth finish to avoid irritations and discomfort. 

Style

gold nose ring

There are several styles to choose from, but the common ones are the L-shaped, pin post, and nose screw.

  • L-Shaped (Standard) – If it is your first time getting one, we recommend the L-shaped piercing because it is easy to insert. It is also an excellent choice for folks who often change their jewelry or have difficulty with a U-shaped screw. They are secure and easy to maintain. 
  • Pin Post – A pinned post has a little ball on one end, which you will use to push it through the piercing. The ball is not detachable but is comfortable enough to slip through it. The ball’s size should be perfect and comfortable. Otherwise, you may want to choose a different type, such as the L-shaped and U post. The little ball on one end can damage delicate skin. As such, you should only use it in healed piercings
  • U Post (Nose Screw) – Piercers thread the nose screw type into the piercing, resulting in a good, secure fit. It may be difficult to fit a nose screw. We highly recommend having a piercer do it the first time to avoid complications from arising. People with an active lifestyle or whose primary concern is the ring falling off will appreciate the U post type. 

Gauge

We call the post’s thickness a gauge. A thinner post has a higher gauge number. For example, a gauge 24 is thinner than a gauge 20. On the other hand, an 18 is thicker than a 20. Most piercers use a 18 post. After it heals, several people opt to switch to a gauge 20 because it is thinner.

We do not recommend a post thinner than a 20 because the hole may close out eventually. If this happens, you will need a piercer to put a hole through it again. 

Length

The correct post length should keep a nose screw from flipping. It can also help a nose pin lay flat. The length should provide a comfortable fit and an allowance. The nostrils naturally expand and contract, so the post length should accommodate it. Be mindful that it is not too loose or fit.

We recommend having a professional measure your gauge and post length for the most accurate measurements. Most nose piercer shops offer this service for free if you purchase a ring from them. 

What Gauge Is A Nose Piercing?

gold nose ring hoop

There are limited choices when it comes to nose piercing gauges. The most common is the 18, which most piercers use for first-timers. However, once it completely heals, several people opt to downsize to a gauge 20 because most jewelry is only available in this size.

In rare instances, some people go down to gauge 22. We recommend against picking a piece of jewelry thinner than a 22 for three reasons.

  1. The hole may close out eventually.
  2. The jewelry is easy to pull out or fall off.
  3. It is easy to deform.

There are certainly gauge 26 jewelry available in the market but do not waste your money on these. These are hair-thin and will break quite easily. 

Type Of Nose Piercings Jewelry

These pieces of jewelry come in several types and designs. The following types listed below are the top 10 most common ones in the market. These come in several materials – from cheap plastic to expensive platinum.

Plastic ones may be acrylic or bioplast. Metal ones may be sterling silver, stainless steel, white gold, gold, or titanium.

It could have cheap rhinestones or expensive gemstones, while some are simple.

The following are the different positions of piercing:

  • The third eye – Double piercing vertically placed between your eyes.
  • Bridge – Double piercing horizontally placed below where your nose starts.
  • Nasallang – Double piercing horizontally placed on your nose’s upper part.
  • Septum – Single piercing horizontally placed on the skin between one’s two nostrils. 
  • Septril – The piercing on the tip of the septum.
  • Rhino – Double piercing vertically placed on your nose’s tip.
  • Nostril – Mid-lower nostril single piercing.
  • High nostril – The upper nostril contains a single piercing near the bridge.
  • Austin – Double horizontal piercing placed on the lower nostril near the tip.

You can pair gemstones with a bezel or prongs. Prongs might catch your clothing or hair, so more active consumers should stay away. On the other hand, bezels do not allow much light to pass through, so they are not too sparkly. The following styles below are the ten most common ones.

Nostril / Twist / Cork Screws

The nostril has a straight stem, a c-shaped bottom hook, and a beat at the top. It should lie flush into your nose’s inner roof when you coil it into your nostril. Sweating or sneezing may cause the hook’s tip to touch the nostril.

If you are self-conscious, you may find yourself frequently touching your nose and feeling if it is loose. We recommend purchasing this type in person so you are sure of the thickness. 

L-Post / L-Shaped

The L-shaped has a similar design to corkscrews. It has a 90-degree bend instead of the stem curling.

The L-post sits against your nose’s roof. It feels less fussy without the hook but should have a tighter fit. We recommend the L-shaped for high nostril and nostril positions. 

Labret

The head of both stems is flat where one end screws off. You need to insert the labret from your nostrils inside before screwing the top part. However, dirt may creep in between the threads. We recommend the labret for regular and high nostril piercings. 

Stud / Nose Bone

The nose bone is similar to the labret but has a ball on both ends instead of flat tips. The inner ball could be metal, while the outer part could be a gemstone. The ball acts as a stopper. It should be small enough to squeeze it into the piercing with minimal effort. However, it should not slip out unless you remove it. Only use this type after it completely heals. 

Barbell

The barbell looks similar to a labret but has a screwed-on bead at both ends. The stem’s shape should determine the barbell type.

Rhinos and bridges work best with curved barbells because of the possibility of migration. Septum piercings work best with horseshoes and circular barbells. 

Bend-To-Fit / Pin / Fishtail

A fishtail has a top with a gemstone or bead design with a long, straight stem. The jeweler will bend the tip into a J-shape after you put it through the nose. The hook should not be sharp. If you want to remove it, you must go to the piercer to swap it off. 

Bar Closure / Captive Hoop / Headed Hoop

The captive hoop comes in an open or closed style. It is a horseshoe-shaped hoop with a bead acting like a stopper on one end. The closed type has one side that clicks into the bead, sealing and preventing it from slipping off. 

Seamless Hoop / Unbeaded Hoop

Seamless hoops need a compress to shut and a tug to open. The tension lets it stay in place and rotate 360 degrees. 

Fake Hoop

The fake hoop is the second faux hoop type, a combination of an L-shaped and a hoop nose ring. The inside folds into the letter L, maintaining a circular illusion. The outside fits like a loop. 

Septum Clicker

The horseshoe and circular barbell are the two most common septum clicker types. The beads on the tips prevent it from slipping out, and the curls help for a snug fit on the septum. 

Recommended Products

The following products are our recommendations from Amazon. There are several for sale, but the ones below are some of the best choices. 

Small Nose Piercing

The Massete 14k & 18k gold 20 gauge nose ring threadless piercing has one ball on each side. Unlike other accessories, the Massete uses 100% solid gold. An authentication stamp proves the gold’s fineness. It also comes with a certification of authenticity.

The Massete is an excellent gift for men and women. It forms part of one’s everyday outfit.

Nose Stud Jewelry

The Fansing 6 pieces surgical steel nose studs come in two types – screw and L-shaped, and is available in two colors – silver and gold.

The screw type for women bends to the right, while the L-shaped is flexible. It is available in several lengths, ranging from 1.5mm to 4mm. The gauge choices are available in 18, 20, and 22 gauges.

The Fansing 6 pieces set is perfect for personal use or as a gift to a friend, family, or partner. 

Nostril Piercing Jewelry

The Ldurian surgical steel nose ring is available in 14, 16, 18, and 20 gauges. Its diameter range from 5mm to 16mm and is available in four colors – silver, black, gold, and rose gold.

It has a hinged clasp, adopting a seamless design. The hoop nose ring does not loosen up even after long-term use. 

Nose Hoop

The Orangelove hypoallergenic nose ring is available in 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20 gauges. Orangelove uses a 316L surgical steel grade for the material, making it hypoallergenic, safe, and affordable.

It is available in a few colors – gold, rose gold, silver, blue, rainbow, and black. 

1.5 Mm Stud

The Body Candy 1.5mm nose stud is an L-shaped nose ring with a 20 gauge. The Body Candy 1.5mm is handmade in the United States.

It has a 0.25 inches length and 6mm at the bend. 

What Is Nose Jewelry Made Out Of?

Manufacturers use different materials when making nose jewelry. Some use cheap plastic, while others use metal.

These metals include titanium, surgical stainless steel, niobium, and gold. Among these metals, surgical stainless steel is the most common. It works great on healing and fresh piercing. Surgical steel is hypoallergenic, so it does not irritate the skin.

When your piercing is fresh or healing, some materials to avoid are plated metals, plastic, nylon, and sterling silver. We recommend waiting until it completely heals before attempting to use any of these. 

How To Measure Nose Ring Size

There are several measurement terms you may come across. Some are as follows.

  1. Measure the inner diameter – The measurement from the inside edge to the inside edge. We recommend using a caliper, but a ruler would also work.
  2. Measure the outer diameter – The measurement from the outside edge to the outside edge.
  3. Rise – The part directly after your nose’s bend. It goes through your piercing. 
  4. Gauge – The metal’s thickness.
  5. Length – The longness or shortness of the ring.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to take your nose ring size measurement.

How To Measure Nose Ring Size Using a Clipper

  1. Stand in front of the mirror.

  2. The piercing hole should line up with the top jaw.

  3. The nostril’s edge should line up with the bottom jaw.

  4. Using a caliper, measure the distance.

  5. We recommend using a digital caliper because the reading is easier to see.

Using a Ruler

  1. Using a paper strip, line it up with the piercing hole.
  2. Use a pencil or pen to mark your nostril’s edge.
  3. Take the paper strip and place it beside a ruler.
  4. Read the measurement.

FAQ

Below are the frequently asked questions.

How to make a nose hoop fit snugly?

Twist the hoop to open. The ends should meet each other depending on the ring type. You can also drop by the nearest jeweler to have it checked and customized to your liking. 

What size nose ring should I get?

The most common one is 18 gauge. However, some prefer going down to 20 gauge as soon as the piercing heals. We recommend against going thinner than 22 gauge. 

What is the smallest gauge nose ring?

The smallest is the 24 gauge. 

Where should you put a nose piercing?

There are several areas to put your nose piercing. You can place a hoop, ring, or stud along your nostrils.

We can also help you with bra sizes.