The Best Earrings for Sensitive Ears That Are Cute and Comfortable

September 19, 2022

Finding the best earrings for sensitive ears can make a world of difference when it comes to final touches. But when your accessories game hits a painful snag, some avoid the hassle of earrings altogether. Makes sense: Ever shopped—and found—the perfect pair of earrings only to watch them turn your lobes into an itching, red, swollen mess? Zero fun. And the jewelry is often the culprit.

So what is it that makes ears so sensitive (for some more than others)? We tapped experts to help us work through our sensitive-ear situation in hopes of flaunting piercings once again. Read on for their expert advice, along with some of our top picks to snap up.

What to avoid in earrings for sensitive ears

Put on your Sherlock hat here, because you first need to figure out what’s bothering you. Experts point out that various metals (including gold and cobalt) can cause a reaction. The proper way to assess a metal allergy is through a patch test, but there are certain materials that tend to pop up as being particularly problematic.

“The most common allergy experienced by jewelry wearers are nickel allergies,” cautions Zeichner. “A lot of affordable jewelry pieces use nickel as the base metal—and with time, friction, and moisture, the skin may begin to feel sensitive. Adhesives used to put costume jewelry together can be another source of allergic contact dermatitis.”

How to choose earrings for sensitive ears

Platinum and stainless steel tend to be less reactive, making them the best metals for hypoallergenic jewelry, says Marchbein. “These are also good options, along with plastic, for initial ear piercings, which can decrease the risk of developing ACD later on,” she explains.

Prefer gold danglers? Use 14-karat gold as your base when shopping for the best hypoallergenic earrings. “The higher the karat, the purer and less likely to cause a reaction. Tantalum is also hypoallergenic,” says dermatological nurse and celebrity aesthetician Natalie Aguilar.

The good news: This doesn’t have to result in a costly solution, since you can find high-quality, hypoallergenic earrings without the price tag of fine jewelry (unless you’re in for a splurge). From statement earrings to sparkly studs and chunky huggies—including a set of marble earrings that double as a wearable work of modern art—read on for a jewelry box’s worth of the best earrings for sensitive ears that (finally!) look as good as they feel.

Oanvider Surgical Stainless Steel Small Hoop Earrings

Can’t settle on a hoop size? Switch it up with this smart set of hypoallergenic earrings from Oanvider. The Amazon’s Choice pick features three small, surgical stainless steel hoop pairings that can be worn throughout the day (sans irritation) or swapped out to suit different outfits and occasions.

versatile nickel-free earrings

Uhibros Surgical Stainless Steel Round Ball Earrings

These versatile nickel-free earrings are made of surgical steel. “Love them. I have a nickel allergy and super-sensitive skin and I haven’t had a reaction to these at all,” comments one reader. “I can 100% confirm that these are hypoallergenic,” says another. They also feature a double-notched back for added security (though, if you happen to lose a set, you can rest easy knowing you have four backups).

Resin Hoops Earrings

Resin Hoops Earrings color earrings 

4 Pairs of Earrings Come in a Set.Fine flash earrings makes dazzling in more angles. Fine glitter earrings makes shinning. These earrings perfectly complement any look. It’s especially good to match with a shiny evening dress to make you look fabulous.

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