What Size Should I Get? A Guide to Cartilage Piercing.

If you are planning to get a cartilage piercing for the first time, one of your burning questions must be, “What size should I get?” Cartilage piercings are trendy, stylish, and a great way to express your personality. However, it is essential to know the size of the jewelry you should choose for the piercing because it could affect the entire healing process. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about cartilage piercing sizes, including what size to get for the initial piercing, how to measure your piercing, and anything else about the size of cartilage piercings that you should know.

The Different Types of Cartilage Piercings

Before diving into what size cartilage piercing you should get, let’s take a look at the different types of cartilage piercings that you can choose from.

There are several types of cartilage piercings. A few of the most common ones include:

  • Helix Piercing
  • Forward helix piercing
  • Daith piercing
  • Rook piercing
  • Tragus piercing
  • Industrial piercing
  • Conch piercing
  • Snug piercing

Helix Piercing

The helix piercing is the most common type of cartilage piercing. With this, a hole is poked on the upper ear cartilage, and the jewelry is inserted. Generally, you can choose to get one, two or even three piercings as an arrangement.

Forward Helix Piercing

The forward helix piercing is named as such because it is situated in front of the helix. The piercing is done on the small ridge that juts out in front of the helix.

Daith Piercing

The daith piercing is a unique type of cartilage piercing done on the fold of the cartilage located right above the ear canal.

Rook Piercing

The rook piercing is done right above the tragus in the ear- in the thickest part of the cartilage. It is a great option for people that need something more than a simple earlobe piercing but less bold than an industrial or conch piercing.

Tragus Piercing

Tragus piercing lies between your temple and your ear canal in the small patch of cartilage that joins the face and the ear.

Industrial Piercing

The industrial piercing consists of a two piercing setup with one piercing at the ear’s top and the other at the bottom using a single combination bar.

Conch Piercing

Conch piercing is the piercing done at the ear’s center part- the area that wraps around your inner ear’s cup.

Snug Piercing

The snug piercing is done on the inner cartilage above the anti-tragus before the rook Piercing. It’s also known as the antihelix piercing.

What Size Cartilage Piercing You Should Get

Body jewelry comes in different sizes, thicknesses, designs, and materials based on the piercing location. Cartilage piercing size matters a lot, and you must pick the right size.

The usual piercing size is 16G or 18G, but some people prefer sizes that are greater than 14G. Anything thicker than a 14 gauge will take longer to heal and may cause scarring. A smaller size will heal faster but could pose a risk of infection or jewelry rejection. The size you choose will also depend on the piercing’s location, whether it’s single or double, and whether you want a hoop or a stud.

How to Measure Your Piercing

The standard measurement system for body jewelry is gauges; it signifies the width of the piece of jewelry. As mentioned before, beginners tend to have smaller sizes, which means a bigger gauge.

The common cartilage piercing sizes include:

18 Gauge 1.0mm
16 Gauge 1.2mm
14 Gauge 1.6mm
12 Gauge 2.0mm
10 Gauge 2.4mm

You can measure your cartilage piercing size by using a caliper. The caliper will help you gauge the diameter of your piercing. Alternatively, you can also use a ruler or a taper that fits the piercing hole, which will give you an accurate gauge reading.

Factors to Consider when Choosing the Cartilage Piercing Size

One of the essential factors to consider when picking the right cartilage piercing size is the location of the piercing. While the piercer may recommend the initial size of the piercing based on their assessment of your ear and the thickness, you may have a personal preference on the type of jewelry you want.

Single or Double Piercing

In most cases, the size of the jewelry used on a particular piercing may depend on whether it’s a single or double piercing. For example, if it’s a double forward helix piercing, you must choose a size that looks good and is comfortable on both piercings.

Hoops or Studs

The jewelry type will also determine the size of cartilage piercing you get. Hoops are increasingly popular and come in various sizes and thicknesses. Cartilage piercings with smaller hoops allow for more comfortable movement and less irritation since large ones may get caught on clothes and hair.

Studs are suitable for people with thin or narrow ears or those who have just gotten their first piercing. They are smaller in size and less damaging to the cartilage. A comfortable stud size for cartilage piercing is 1/4 to 3/8 inch in length and a 3mm to 4mm front bead.

Cartilage Piercing Aftercare

Your cartilage piercing’s size is not the only thing that matters when it comes to the piercing’s healing process. You must also take good care of your cartilage piercing to ensure that it heals correctly.

Here are some tips for cartilage piercing aftercare:

  • Wash your hands before touching the piercing
  • Don’t touch the piercing with dirty hands
  • Avoid sleeping on the piercing
  • Don’t change the jewelry too soon
  • Don’t immerse the piercing in water until it has healed
  • Use a saline solution to clean the piercing
  • Apply an ice pack to relieve swelling
  • Avoid swimming for the first four to six weeks
  • Be careful when brushing your hair or wearing headphones

The Most Common Questions and Their Answers Related to Cartilage Piercing Size

  1. What Size Is A Standard Helix Piercing? – A standard helix piercing is usually 16-18 gauge.
  2. How Do I Know If My Cartilage Piercing Is Healed? – When it comes to cartilage piercings, it can take up to six months to heal completely. To know whether it is entirely healed, you may feel some discomfort followed by a little fluid, but it should not be significant.
  3. Why Do Some Cartilage Piercings Take Longer To Heal Than Others? – Cartilage has less blood flow and healing factors, therefore may take more extended periods to heal.
  4. What Is The Best Jewelry For Cartilage Piercings? – Studs are the best recommendation for cartilage piercings although it depends on the individual’s preference.
  5. Is Cartilage Piercing Painful?- Piercing pain is subjective, but they are generally considered more painful than earlobe piercing.
  6. What Should I Do if My Cartilage Piercing Is Infected? – We strongly advise that you visit a doctor or a piercing professional for diagnosis and treatment of an infected cartilage piercing.
  7. What Happens If I Choose A Cartilage Piercing That’s Too Small? – Jewelry that is too small can cause discomfort, pain or even lead to the jewelry being rejected by the body.


Getting a cartilage piercing is a fun way to express your style and personality, but choosing the right size is essential for the piercing’s healing process. Pay attention to the factors mentioned above when deciding on the cartilage piercing size. Doing so will ensure you have a memorable and comfortable experience as you show off your new piercing.










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