Nipple rings and other types of nipple jewelry are very effective and truly make your nipple piercing stand out. However, it’s sometimes difficult to choose the most appropriate size. Unlike many other piercings, knowing the gauge is not enough; you need to choose the appropriate length of a barbell and a suitable shape of the jewelry (this is particularly true for nipple shields and other jewelry types encircling the nipple).
Different Types of Nipple Piercings
The first step in choosing an appropriate nipple jewelry is to choose a jewelry type you wish to buy. There are many different jewelry styles, sometimes collectively known as “nipple rings”. However, rings are just one jewelry type, and it’s not even the most commonly used for nipple piercings. The most common and the most basic nipple jewelry type is straight barbell.
- Straight barbells. A straight barbell made of a body-safe material is the most common jewelry type for nipple piercing. These are standard straight barbells and many of them can be used for other types of piercings. Some barbells specially made for nipple piercings have gems facing out so they can be seen from the front.
- This basic jewelry type can further be expanded to add various dangles, chains and decorations. These decorations typically hang on a chain attached to the ends of the straight barbell.
- The most complex nipple jewelry type is a nipple shield. This jewelry type is made to encircle the nipple and make it stand out from the hole in the center. Some nipple shields are not even made for pierced nipples and they are held in place using special glue or some other method. Nipple shields made for pierced nipples are attached to a straight barbell which goes through the piercing.
Sizing and Fitting
Sizing for nipple jewelry can be a bit difficult because there are several things to take into account, depending on the type of the jewelry: the gauge, the length of the barbell and the diameter/shape of the hole (for nipple shields).
The first thing to take into account is the gauge size. You need to know the size you are pierced with (or the stretched size, if you have stretched nipple piercings). The gauge size will determine the gauge of the jewelry you need to use. Most nipple piercings are made at 14g, which is the most common gauge for nipple jewelry.
The next thing to determine is the length of the barbell you need to use. Sizing is done similarly to any other straight barbell sizing: you need to measure your nipple’s width to determine the length of the barbell. Make sure to add a bit because you don’t want the barbell to be tight: the balls should not press onto your nipple. The easiest way to determine a proper barbell size is to take your current jewelry and measure it. Remember to always measure the length of barbell between the two tips when both balls are screwed into place. The standard length of straight barbells used for nipple piercings is 5/8 inches (16 millimeters).
For nipple shields and other similar types of jewelry, you will also need to measure a diameter. These diameters vary greatly because there are many anatomic variations when it comes to the size and shape of a nipple. It’s important to measure your nipple and to talk to your piercer for sizing recommendations. A lot will depend on the style: some people want tight nipple shields while others are comfortable with loosely fit nipple shields. It’s important to understand all the variations and to take this into account when choosing a nipple shield for yourself.