Flat Back Earrings for Cartilage Piercings: Everything You Need to Know

I designed our signature flat back earrings with your requests and ideas in mind. You asked for high quality flat back earrings safe for sensitive skin, you wanted the flat backs to be internally threaded for extra security, and you wanted them to be affordable. Done, done, and done.

Our high quality flat back earrings are made of a medical grade titanium (so they’re hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin), they have an internally threaded design (you screw the top part into the backing, so it’s extra secure), and we’re psyched to share them with you so you can get the ear party you’ve always dreamed of. Here’s what you need to know about our flat back earrings:

What are flat back earrings?

Flat back earrings are exactly what they sound like: earrings featuring posts with flat backs. With traditional earrings, you slide them on front to back, and put a (butterfly) backing on to secure them. With flat back earrings, it’s the opposite. You put the flat back earring on from the back of your ear, sliding the post through your ear towards the front. Then you screw the front part of the earring into the ear post to secure it.

Crystal Trinity Flat Back Earrings at Maison Miru
Crystal Trinity Flat Back Earrings at Maison Miru

Why would I want flat back earrings?

Flat back earrings create a cleaner look for your ear party. You won’t have any unsightly ear posts poking out from behind your ear, so your ear party is beautiful from every angle. Also, flat back earrings are super comfy to wear – there’s no long ear post to poke you. Pro tip: If you sleep on your side, these flat back earrings are totally nap-friendly!

What materials are flat back earrings made of? Are they safe for sensitive skin?

Typically, flat back earrings are made in three different metals: stainless steel, titanium, and solid 14k gold. I chose to make our earrings in medical grade titanium (the same titanium that is used for surgical implants) because it’s hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin. These titanium earrings are polished to a mirror finish so that there aren’t any spaces for bacteria to grow and cause infections, and they’re always nickel free (unlike stainless steel flatbacks, which do contain nickel).

Our titanium jewelry is made out of a medical (aka implant) grade titanium, and the gold titanium jewelry is thick coated with 14k gold for shine and durability. Our flatbacks are meant to be left in – but as with all plated jewelry, the plating will eventually wear off. The underlying titanium is medical grade though, so it shouldn’t cause irritation. We do recommend taking the earrings out regularly for cleaning – ideally once a week – to remove the inevitable buildup that naturally occurs. As with everything in life, the better you treat your jewelry and your piercings, the better they’ll treat you!

Are you interested in solid 14k gold flatbacks? I’m always designing new things – message me to let me know what style(s) you’d be interested in!

How do I wear my flat back earrings? They seem a little tricky to put on!

You’re totally right – flat back earrings are different from standard earrings, and they’re a bit more difficult to put in and take out. That said, once you get them on, you can leave them in – the extra hassle is worth it.

To insert your flat back earrings, first unscrew the front of the earring from the ear post. The front of the earring can be tiny, so be careful with it so that it doesn’t get lost. Insert the post into your ear from behind, hold it with one hand, and gently screw the front piece of the earring into the ear post with your other hand. With the smaller styles (like the Tiny Trinity Studs), you may want to ask a friend (ideally with small, agile hands!) to help you out. Be careful not to over tighten the screw, as this can damage the internal threading on the earring. If the front doesn’t screw in or it doesn’t tighten, please let us know so that we can send you a replacement earring.

And then how do I remove my flat back earrings?

To remove your flat back earrings, hold the post (the back of the earring) with one hand and then gently unscrew the front piece from the post. Once the front piece is loose, gently pull it away from the post. Screw the front back into the post when you’re not wearing it to prevent damage to the threading.

I see gauge and length as sizing options. What are these, and what do I need to do to choose the right size flat back earrings for me?

Sizing for cartilage jewelry can be tricky – but here’s what you need to know. There are two sizes you’re going to want to get right.

The first dimension is gauge, which refers to the thickness of the post (the part that goes through your piercing). Typically, cartilage piercings are done with a 16g (or potentially an 18g needle), while standard lobe piercings are done with a 20g needle.

16g needles have a diameter of 1.2mm, 18g needles have a diameter of 1.0mm, and 20g needles have a diameter of 0.81mm – so the lower the number, the bigger the size of the piercing. When you get pierced, ask your piercer what size needle (s)he is using so that you know what gauge jewelry you need.

Note: sometimes piercings close up over time, especially if you wear jewelry that’s smaller than the size of needle you were pierced with. So even if you were pierced with a 16g needle, if you’ve been wearing regular earrings in that piercing, it may have closed up – and you might need an 18g earring instead.

The second dimension you’re going to need is length. For flat back earrings, this is how long the ear post is. With standard earrings, the ear post is designed to be extra long since you secure it with a butterfly back – but with flat back earrings, you’re going to need a more exact length. Make sure the length you choose will fully go through your ear piercing. Your piercer can help advise what length jewelry you need for your piercing, but you can also use this handy reference sheet for jewelry sizes, by piercing type. I’ve listed the standard size range for each type of cartilage piercing.

I have different piercings on my right and left ears. Do I have to buy flat back earrings in pairs?

We’ve got you covered – our flat back earrings are all sold as singles so that you can choose exactly the earrings you need. Plus, you can mix and match styles to create your own unique ear party on each ear.

I’m getting a new cartilage piercing. Can I get pierced with these earrings?

Our flat back earrings are made of medical grade titanium, and they are suitable for new piercings. You’ll just want your piercer to sterilize the earrings before you wear them. Just ask your piercer if they’re OK piercing with jewelry not from their studio – some piercers don’t allow this.

Can I wear flat back earrings in my lobe piercing?

Yes, you can wear flat back earrings in your lobe piercing! Flat back earrings are great to wear, especially if you like sleeping in your earrings (no more getting poked by your earring backs!). Depending on the size of your piercing, you may be able to wear our 18g flat back earrings in your lobe piercing. Standard lobe piercings take 20g earrings, but if your piercing has gotten stretched out over time, 18g earrings may be suitable.

I’m also working on making 20g flat back earrings – it’s taking a long time to get the quality just right, so they’re not quite ready. Join the waitlist and you’ll be the first to know once they’re ready!

Do I need to take out my earrings at night, or can I wear them all the time?

Our flat back earrings are meant to be left in – but as with all plated jewelry, the plating will eventually wear off. The underlying titanium is implant grade though, so it shouldn’t cause irritation.

That said, you’ll want to take them out to clean them (ideally once a week) so that you can remove the inevitable buildup that starts to form. Regular cleaning also helps to prevent potential infections – treat your ears and earrings nicely, and they’ll be nice to you too!

Help! I think I’m having an allergic reaction!

Our flat back earrings are made of a medical grade titanium – the same kind that goes into surgical implants. Titanium is known to be hypoallergenic, but it is possible to have a hypersensitivity to it and have an allergic reaction. First, try cleaning the earring and put it back in – after giving your ear a chance to rest. If you’re still having a reaction, you may have a titanium allergy.

If you’re seeing a delayed reaction, it’s more likely that your ear is reacting to something on the surface of the earring. Regular cleaning is important to keep the inevitable buildup from forming – which can irritate your skin and cause a reaction. Generally we recommend taking your earrings out and cleaning them once a week (this is true for solid 14k gold as well!) – but if you have super sensitive skin, you may want to clean your earrings even more often.

How do I clean my flat back earrings?

Titanium is a strong, durable metal. You can clean it by soaking it in warm, soapy water for a few minutes. Clean off any buildup with a soft cloth, rinse with water, and then dry it with a clean towel (air drying can cause spots).


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