Clip-On and Other Non-Pierced Earrings Pros and Cons

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There are many types of non-pierced earrings, as well as many different reasons to wear them. The main reason for most? The desire not to have holes pierced through your flesh.

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But that’s far from the only one – maybe you also want the versatility that non-pierced earrings offer, maybe you want to be able to more easily put them on and off, maybe you have allergies or skin sensitivities. Or, maybe, you want them for a child.

Whatever the case, non-pierced earrings offer a lot of benefits as well as some drawbacks, so let’s go over all of them here.

What Are Clip-On Earrings?

non pierced types

The main type of non-pierced earrings people usually talk about are clip-on earrings. These are earrings that, through one mechanism or another, are attached to your ear by applying a little pressure to it from both sides of the earlobe.

They are safe, don’t damage your ear in any way, and when attached properly, don’t cause any pain or leave any visible marks.

Types Of Clip-On Earrings

When we talk about clip-on earrings we may mean any of the several main types of clip-on attachments they can come with. All of them work on the same principle – by keeping the earring on your ear with a little bit of pressure.

1- Screw-Back Earrings

Screws aren’t what you’d usually think about when thinking about jewelry, especially one that’s traditionally been associated with the female gender.

However, screw-back earrings are one of the oldest and most often used types of non-pierced earrings in the world. They work with a simple, small screw on the back side of the earring, pressing it to the lobe.

Screw back clip on earrings
Example of screw back clip-on earrings from Etsy. Check price here.

2- Hinge Clip-On Earrings

A convenient alternative to the screw-back introduced on the market in the 1930s, the hinge earring works by having a small hinge clip on its back that can easily be fastened to the lobe or opened up to release the earring. It’s easy and fast to operate and it leaves no more room for pain or for loss than the screw-back.  Here’s a perfect example

3- Paddle Back Clip-On Earrings

Similar to the hinge clip-on, the paddle back was introduced a couple of decades later. It works through a paddle clip that has a spring bar on its hinge. It’s a great and simple design that offers a lot of security, it’s very easy to use, and it’s even cheap and cost-efficient to produce.

4- Screw-Hinge Clip-On Earrings

A combination of the original screw-back design and the hinge clip-on, this design invented in 1962 combines the best of both – it includes a screw on a hinge. This gives it the convenience of the hinge design, as well as the option for precise adjustment of the screw-back.

Floral Clip On Earrings
Floral Clip On Earrings. Check price here.

5- Mini-Clip Earrings

Great for small, lightweight earrings, the mini-clip is comprised of a simple wedge with a tension bar that hinges the earring to the ear. This is a great design for people with small lobes or for those looking for a discreet earring.

Are Clip-On Earrings Comfortable?

The core idea behind clip-on earrings is that they are used because of the comfort they provide. When used correctly – and when the earrings you’ve got are of a good enough design – they apply a small amount of pressure that isn’t in any significant way uncomfortable.

If you find that your clip-on earrings are painful or uncomfortable to wear then you should switch to another type of clip-on earrings. If you can’t find any type of clip-ons or magnetic earrings that suits your need and don’t hurt your ears, then consider regular piercing or no earrings at all.

Alternatives To Clip-On Earrings

Of course, the clip-on isn’t the only type of non-pierced earrings out there. There are many different and innovative designs that can be mentioned but only a couple of them are widely used in the industry today.

Both of them have their merits, both of them are better than the clip-on in some regards and worse in others.

1- Magnetic Earrings

Like the various clip-on designs, magnetic earrings rely on applying pressure to the two sides of one’s earlobes. Unlike clip-ons, magnetic earrings do so with magnets. They are very easy to put on and they apply only a very slight pressure on the ear – less so than even the gentlest clip-on earring.

They are, however, somewhat less reliable as they are easier to steal or to lose. They can also disrupt electronic devices when stored next to them, so you should keep them away from things such as credit cards, watches, and others.

2- Sliding Spring Earring

The sliding spring earring can be viewed as a clip-on of sorts. This design is ideal for lightweight hooped earrings and looks exactly like regular pierced hoop earrings. They carry most of the same benefits and characteristics of the standard clip-on and are almost always a great idea for hooped earrings.

Sliding-spring hoop earrings
Sliding spring non-pierced hoop earrings. Check price here.

Do Non-Pierced Earrings Fall?

Of course, clip-on earrings, as well as magnetic earrings, can fall. They can fall because of a direct impact or intense movement, they can be stolen with a simple sleight of hand, they can also fall all on their own if they are of a poor design, too heavy or if they’ve been poorly maintained.

However, all of those eventualities can be accounted for and prevented. Try to purchase only high-quality earrings and designs, keep them in good condition and don’t play sports with them.

Other Advantages And Disadvantages Of Clip-On Earrings

As with any other jewelry item, clip-on and other non-pierced earrings have their advantages and disadvantages that all need to be considered. Their pros over pierced earrings don’t make them superior to them and their cons don’t make them inferior – it’s all about your subjective preferences.


  • Clip-ons, as well as magnetic earrings, are very convenient, easy to put on, and quick to remove.
  • No piercing, no pain, no allergies, no infections. Non-pierced earrings avoid all these things.
  • Clip-ons today are readily available in almost all stores and are easy to buy. You don’t need to test them, you don’t need to prepare your ears for them – you can just buy them and use them.
  • They are great for both kids and older people that don’t want to have their ears pierced.


  • As we mentioned, clip-ons can be stolen from one’s ears.
  • For the vast majority of people, clip-ons are not uncomfortable. However, there are some with more sensitive ears that might find even the gentlest clip-on too harsh.
  • Clip-ons and other non-pierced earrings have the disadvantage of being too limited with the load they can bear. A normal piercing can carry heavier and larger earrings than the average non-pierced earring.
  • Using a clip-on for a highly priced earring can be risky.

Non-pierced earrings such as clip-ons and magnetics versatile and suit both kids and adults. They are safer for your health, they are easier to use, and they can be just as stylish and beautiful as pierced earrings. They do have their drawbacks but if you choose an adequate pair and if you keep them in a good condition, it can serve you faithfully for years with no pain, no holes in your flesh, and no inconveniences.

If you’re looking to browse non-pierced earrings, start your search here. 

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