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Are clip on earrings bad for you?

That's a good question to ask! Since you are looking into the side effects of clip on earrings, you are probably considering them as an alternative to traditional earrings, that require a pierced earlobe (or cartilage) to be worn. As with all things in this world, nothing is perfect and everything has its pros and cons.

Let's start with the good news: Generally, clip on earrings are safer and less risky to wear than pierced earrings, at least as far as your health is concerned. This is because there is a risk of infection when getting your ears pierced. Not to mention the injury that could be done, if your earrings accidentally become stuck somewhere or somebody tries to rip them off your ears as this can cause your earlobe to split (i.e. cutting through the flesh all the way). A clip-on earring would simply slip off your earlobe. While this in itself may be painful, it is unlikely to cause any injuries to you.


The most common concern with clip on earrings is the fact that they may cause discomfort or pinching. As this varies from person to person, it can not be generalized that clip on earrings are uncomfortable; someone might find them painful, the next person finds the same pair comfortable to the point they are not aware they are even wearing them!

If you feel that your clip on earrings are pinching your, there are several things you can try. If you have screw clip on earrings, then simply loosen the screw sligthly to reduce the pressure. That's the easiest fix of any type of clip on earrings.

Should your clip ons come with hinges or paddles, then it is often possible to very gently bend the metal to adjust the strength of the closure mechanism. A tiny bit can go a long way.

Metals are normally quite ductile, meaning you can bend them easily without causing damage to it, as long as your don't bend it too much. Thus, you should be able to ever so slightly adjust the hinge or paddle without breaking the earrings.

Bending the clips too much can either snap them in case of a brittle metal. Even if they don't snap, the metal may be deformed permanently making it hard to bend them back, and even if you can, their shape will not be the same anymore.

Also bear in mind that, depending on the metal, frequent bending may cause the metal to ultimately fail and your earrings break apart.

If unsure and especially if your clip on earrings are valuable we recommend to seek professional help by a jeweller.

Pinching of your ears may also be caused of the clips having too little surface contact and thus pressing too strongly into your earlobe. Especially since metal is a hard substance, this can quickly become quite uncomfortable. In that case, you can consider to use rubber pads to distribute the pressure more evenly over your earlobe. You can find Rubber Cushions on our website, which are a particularly great fit for our paddle style clip on earrings.

Remember that pain is a signal of your body that something is not right. So if your clip on earrings are causing you discomfort or pain, try to adjust your clip on earrings or add some cushions. Besides, it is also advisable to not wear them the whole time and to give your earlobes some breaks every now and then. This is especially true for heavier clip on earrings.

How secure do clip ons hold?

One of the bigger concerns with clip on earrings are not so much health-wise, but come from the fact that they are easier to lose than traditional pierced earrings. Especially when a lot of sudden and excessive movement is involved - like in playing sports - it is possible that a clip on earring comes detached off your earlobe. That said, it is always advisable to remove all jewellery before carrying out any physical activities, especially in (team) sports, to avoid the risk of injury. Even something innocent looking like a tight-fitting ring can cause horrific injuries!

The other problem that arises with the fact that clip on earrings can slide off your ear easily is that they could also be targeted by thieves. Since they can be slid off your lobe without too much hussle, a thief could quickly remove them. (Although the alternative of getting your pierced earrings ripped off from you seems even worse). As with all things valuable, it is best not to show them off in public and only wear them when necessary.


Generally, clip on earrings are safe to wear and provide a great alternative to pierced earrings. They are especially useful for the occasional wearer since no commitment to permanent piercings are required. This makes them ideal for ladies and children alike.

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