Ear Cuffs vs. Ear Piercings: What You Need to Know

I personally love the look of a cartilage piercing – it’s a beautiful, modern update to the traditional lobe piercing.  Plus, it’s just a little badass. But if you’re concerned about the pain and healing time of a cartilage piercing, you may want to consider a no-piercing-required ear cuff.

“Should I get a cartilage piercing – or should I get an ear cuff?” – it’s a tough question, and there’s no right or wrong answer.

Here’s what you need to know to make the right decision for you:

Model with multiple piercings

Cartilage Piercings: Pros and Cons


  • Security & stability: With a cartilage piercing, you can put on your hoop or stud and just leave it in. No fuss, no hassle – you can set it and forget it. If you like to wear the same earrings 24/7, you may want to opt for a cartilage piercing.
  • So many jewelry options: With an actual piercing, you can wear a wider variety of jewelry. You’re not limited to the hoop shape of a cuff – and you can switch it up with barbells, flatbacks (though, frankly, the hoop is just so classic!).


  • Piercings can be painful: The obvious struggle with cartilage piercings is the pain of piercing pain and the associated healing time. TBH cartilage piercings can be relatively painful (or at least more so than a standard lobe piercing), but thankfully the pain is usually short and sharp.
  • Healing time: Depending on exactly where you get your piercing, the healing time can take anywhere from 3 to 18 months. The healing process for cartilage piercings can be lengthy and requires special care and attention to the area to reduce risk of infection.  
  • You can’t adjust the placement: Given the permanency of a piercing, you cannot adjust the placement of your jewelry once you’re pierced. 

Ear Cuffs: Pros and Cons


  • Super low commitment: If you love the look of cartilage piercings, but don’t necessarily want to commit, ear cuffs may be for you.  
  • No pain, no infections, no healing time: Enough said.
  • You can adjust your cuff: Because ear cuffs don’t require piercings, you can move your cuff around to different places on your ear.  One piece of jewelry can give you so many different looks!


Thinking about getting an ear cuff? I made a handy little guide for everything you need to know about how to wear an ear cuff.


Any other questions? Message us – we’re happy to help!