Nose Ring Sizing: How to Get a Perfect Fit


There are six basic materials that most nose rings will be made of: stainless steel, gold, sterling silver, titanium, bioplast, and acrylic.  They can also be found in platinum, glass, and carved organic material like bone, but these media are generally more expensive and harder to come by.

Nose Rings - Different Materials

After choosing a material, there are four things you’ll need to know to get the perfect nose ring.  The first is what style.  The four common nose ring styles are the nose bone, nose screw, L-shape, and the hoop.  Nose bones are a short, straight piece with a slightly larger ball-like tip that holds them in place, while nose screws are held in by the corkscrew-type curve at the end.  L-shaped nose rings are kept in place by the ninety degree angle at the base, and nose hoops are either moveable with a tiny opening that prevents them from falling out, or fitted with a small disc at one end that holds them into the nose.

Common Nose Jewelry Styles

There is also an item available on the market called a fishtail nose ring, which is meant to be taken to a piercer and shortened, shaped, and bent for a custom fit.  This type of jewelry cannot be worn as is, because it is extra long (19mm or 3/4″), and has no shaping to hold it in place.

Fishtail Nose Rings

Next you’ll need to know above the gauge size of the item.  Standard sizing for nose rings is normally a 20 gauge; this means the thickness of the portion that goes through the piercing is approximately .8 millimeters.  Nose piercings can also be done in a slightly larger 18 gauge (1 millimeter thickness), or in the case of some Indian style piercings, a very tiny 22 gauge (only about .65 millimeters thick).  Knowing the correct gauge size is incredibly important to be sure the item fits comfortably without slipping out.

Nose Ring Gauge Sizes

Once gauge has been determined, then you’ll need to know sizing for the ring itself.  The length sizing for a nose ring is the length of the portion that actually passes through your piercing, not including any part that shows or rests inside the nose, and is measured from the base of the gem or decoration, to the curve, bend, or sphere.  Average is about 6 millimeters, but for those who have slightly thinner or thicker nasal cartilage 5mm and 7mm are readily available.  Other sizes for piercings that are done in non-traditional areas of the nostril can be custom made or created from a fishtail item.

Measuring Nose Rings for Length

For nose hoops, sizing won’t be measured as length, but instead as diameter.  This is the measurement of the widest portion of the hoop from inside edge to inside edge.  The standard for sizing here is 5/16″ (8mm) or 3/8″ (10mm).

Nose Hoop Diameter Sizes

The final element to perfectly size your nose ring is the most aesthetically important: the size of the gem or decoration that will show.  There are nose rings called “micro nose rings” out there that have extremely small ornamentation (usually a gemstone), but for the most part nose rings’ decorative tips come in three basic sizes, which are 1.5 millimeter, 2 millimeter, and 2.5 millimeter.  Some non-geometric shapes may be up to around 3.5mm in one of their dimensions, but usually no larger.

Nose Ring Gem Sizes

Now you’re ready to pick out the perfect nose ring that will beautify, enhance, and comfortably fit your specific nose!


  1. Ellyn Fasel says:

    Thank you for the info!! I really needed this because I keep getting nose rings that don’t fit! After reading I think it’s the gauge size cause mines is really little. Thanks!

  2. Elsie Silverman says:

    Yes! This was super helpful. Thank you so much!

  3. Becca Rowlings says:

    I always have a fit problem. Thank you for this very much!!!

  4. Wendy Hicks says:

    I never have fit issues, but I only buy mine from BodyCandy and nowhere else and always in the same size

  5. Rich says:

    Same here. I wear nose hoops from body candy.com and they always fit just perfect.

  6. Kat says:

    This was BEYOND RIDICULOUSLY helpful!! Thank you so much for this post!

  7. dtg914 says:

    I am looking for a 22 guage with 1.25 flat diamond. Do you know where I can get this in NYC?

  8. Barbara says:

    Wow…this is so well written and explained!! GREAT JOB!!

  9. Alexandra says:

    i have my nose pierced with a 20 gauge and i want to try and get a 22 gauge into it, do you know how to do that ?

    • Lorna says:

      Actually, the sizing for body jewelry goes backwards, so a 22 gauge is smaller than a 20 gauge. This size is very hard to find because it’s considered a specialty size since most piercers do not perform piercings in so small a gauge, but if you’d like we can talk to our artisans and see if we can work something out. Please contact us at 1(800)694-1426. If you’re looking for a larger size item though, that would be an 18 gauge, which is readily available in almost every style here. A piercer in your local area should be able to help you get to a larger size with minimal pain and effort. 🙂

  10. paula says:

    Is it easy to bend and/or cut a surgical steel nose stud? and is it easier to do that before i put it in or not?

    • Lorna says:

      It’s definitely easiest to go to a piercer and have them do it for you. They have special equipment to properly measure your nose for a perfect fit and can then bend the nose ring accordingly whether you want it bent into an l-shaped nose ring or a nose screw. Bends are almost always done prior to inserting the nose jewelry.

  11. Shida1ne says:

    My question is how do I get a hoop no seeing that fits snugly on my nostril? I always get my body piercing jewelry from body candy.com, and have been happy with each purchase, but the hoop moseying I ordered has quite a bit of space between the hoop an my nostril, and I don’t like how it looks. I want a more snug fit. Can I get the hoop nosering I already have cut or shape smaller to make it more snug on my nostril? Or would I have to purchase a different sized ring? The one I have is 5/8. Thanks in advance for your reply!

    • Lorna says:

      Hello! It sounds as though you may have been using standardized circular jewelry, rather than an item specifically designed for the nose. Whatever the case, trying a couple of smaller sizes is the first thing we’d always suggest. 5/8 is about sixteen millimeters, so trying a 3/8 (10mm) or even a 5/16 (8mm) might be just the ticket. If all else fails, purchasing a fishtail nose ring and taking it to your piercer to have them custom fit it is always an option. You can find our regular nose hoops in 3/8 and 5/16 sizes here, and a selection of nose rings available in fishtail style here. Hope this helps!

  12. Amy says:

    I currently have in the 18g screw that was used during my piercing. My biggest complaint is that is often twists and can be seen in my nose. You can sometimes see it even when it doesn’t twist. My question is, when it is healed and ready for replacing, what is the best style to get that will stay in securely and still not be seen on the inside of my nose? Thank you!

    • Lorna says:

      The best style if you’re having a problem with it being too noticeable is usually a nose bone. These ones in the picture are bones and you can find them here. It’s basically just a straight back with a little ball at the end to hold it in. Hope this helps, and thanks for the comment!

  13. Jackie says:

    I was pierced with an 18 gauge and 2mm gem labret in my nostril, even though I wanted a 1mm gem. He said this would be better for an initial piercing. Now he’s telling me to stick with the gauge and size I have, but I want to go to a 20 gauge with a 1mm gem.

    When you first go to a smaller gauge, what do you do to keep it from falling out or through while the piercing shrinks?

    Thank you so much.

    • Lorna says:

      Getting a really secure nose ring style sounds like it would help here. One of the best is a nose screw, which has a larger, twisted bottom to help hold it into the piercing. A 20 gauge in one of these items would still feel loose, but the design should keep it from falling out a lot as long as you start with a 1.5 millimeter gem. You can find some here. Hope this helps, and thank you for the comment. 🙂

  14. Jenn says:

    Hi there..This is extremely helpful. I recently changed out my nose ring to a hoop because it was fully healed. However, the nose ring is a lot chunkier than I thought 🙁 It’s an 18 and I would really like a 20. Would it be a bad idea to put a 20 hoop in my nose? I really wished she would have pierced it smaller so that the nose ring wouldn’t be as huge.

  15. Rachael says:

    My piercing is placed a little to high on my nose to where I tryed on a regualr nose hoop and it didn’t fit. Is there any where that I could buy a nose hoop with a larger diameter?

    • Lorna says:

      Nose hoops come in a variety of sizes, so you’ll need to look for one that’s a size up from what you tried. If it seemed really small, you probably had an item with a 5/16″ (8mm) diameter, which is a small common size. If that’s the case, what you’ll want is a 3/8″ (10mm) diameter like these one’s here: 3/8″ Nose Hoops. Hope this helps, and thanks for the comment. 🙂

  16. Alexis says:

    So helpful! I’ve had a hard time finding the right size.

  17. Kahtia says:

    Well I’ve been wanting to get my nose pierced for the longest but I heard that most piercing places pierces your nose with a 18 gauge needle but I want a 20 gauge nose rings instead. Will it be okay to still get it pierced with a 18 gauge needle and put 20 gauge nose rings in?

    • Lorna says:

      The 18 gauge is definitely bigger, so a 20 gauge nose ring in an 18 gauge piercing would likely be noticeably loose, and could possibly fall out. Your piercer will definitely know what to do to help you get the fit you need though, and some parlors will order 20 gauge needles for their customers upon request, so it’s probably best to start by calling around to piercers in your area. Hope this helps, and thanks for the comment!

    • Sue says:

      You could buy your preferred jewelry and take it tin with you to see if they will use it for your piercing. Just make sure not to open it until you get ready to pierce it.

  18. luis says:

    I have a 22gauge piercing and i would like a nose hoop but found all the hoops that I’ve found are to small to wrap around my nostril I need help on where to find one my size…

  19. Meghan Elthon says:

    I am planning on buying a nose hoop on BodyCandy.com but I am worried about the size to get. I want a snug fit on my nose, but I don’t want to get a 5/16 and have it be too small and waste my money. On the other hand I don’t want to get a 3/8 and have it be too big and be unhappy with it. What should I do?

    • Lorna says:

      The best way is to have your piercer measure for you and tell you what you should get. By measuring your nose and current jewelry, they can tell you what size will fit the way that you want it to. Then if you order the size they recommend and is still looks too big or too small when it arrives, just make sure the item is still in its enclosed packaging, and you can send it back to us and we’ll let you exchange it for the other size. Hope this helps, and thank you for the comment! 🙂

  20. Lauren says:

    I got my nose pierced and I have an 18 gauge in my nose right now and I’m trying to decide what if I should get a size down on my guage or leave it at an 18. What’s your opinion.? Thanks, Lauren

  21. Devin says:

    Like a month ago I got my nose pierced with a gun. (I know bad idea, I was sold false information about it) and soon I’ll be ready to change my stud to a hoop. But I’m not sure what gauge I’m going to need to buy.

    • Lorna says:

      Hi, Devin:
      Most gun piercings are done with an 18 gauge, but the best way to be sure is to find an actual piercer/modification artist in your area and have them do measurements for you. That would definitely be helpful for when you switch to a hoop anyways, because there are several different sizes of nose hoop, and which size you’ll take depends upon the anatomy of your individual nose and exactly where it was pierced. Hope this helps, and thanks for the comment. 🙂

  22. Yasmeen says:

    Hi Lauren,

    Very helpful information. .thanks alot for this. I am looking for a nose hoop/ring I measured mine the length or diameter for a hoop/ ring its 10mm its an exact measurement, I wan snugly comfortable hoop. I am confused about the guage. mine piercing is done almost 7years ago n used thin gold ring but now my ring is stolen so I dont have an idea..now at present using neem thin stick..hope u get an idea.which guage should I use 20/22??? Plss help me. Do you ship item to Australia???? Thanks Lauren

    • Lorna says:

      A 22 gauge is extremely rare; most who wear very small nose rings are wearing a 20 gauge. If you’re really concerned, any piercer in your neighborhood should be able to take measurements for you and tell you exactly what size to get. We do ship to Australia, and you can find some of our 20 gauge 3/8 (10mm) nose hoops here. Hope this helps, and thanks for the comment.

  23. marita elliott says:

    I bought two hoops, 20g with one 5/16 and the other 3/8. I put them both in yet they ends of both of them do not come close to being in my nostril, they just stick out on the outside of my nose. I am having trouble with every hoop I buy and I am at a loss at what to do. the size is fine, and the stopper is all the way against the hole inside my nose, it just does not “hoop.”

    • Lorna says:

      It sounds like your nose piercing might just be slightly higher up on the nostril than average. It definitely happens from time to time and can make wearing hoops a bit difficult. If you like the look of a hoop though and the 3/8″ size seems okay, you can try a 20 gauge 3/8″ ball captive ring like the ones here. The ball just pops out and back in to close it, and because the hoop makes a complete circle you won’t have the issue with it not curving under anymore. Hope this helps, and thanks for the comment. 🙂

  24. catherine says:

    Can I find a nose hoop with a very small gap between the head and the end of it? My nostril is thick and the gap is very visible.

    • Lorna says:

      I would try one of the gem hoops like the one pictured above under “Nose Ring Styles.” If it’s still an aesthetic problem though, you always have the option of wearing a BCR like the ones here: Captive Rings. That way the hoop is closed off completely by the ball, so it’s decorative, and there’s no gap. Just be sure to get the correct gauge size for your nose piercing. Hope this helps! 🙂

  25. Lauren says:

    Question: I was pierced with, I believe, an 18g, and I somehow managed to get it down to a 24g. I now want to go back up in size, but I don’t know how to do this. These noserings that I currently have can only be found in one store in this area, and I would like more variety. Should I just switch to a 22g? Is it possible without hurting my nose? Thank you for your quick response!

    • Lorna says:

      Hi, Lauren:
      Nose piercings can definitely be stretched, but it’s generally a more difficult and time-consuming process than say, ears, because the area is composed mainly of cartilage. A 24 gauge is extremely tiny, so you may be able to be re-pierced at a larger size. Your best bet is probably to find a reputable piercer in your area and have them examine your nose piercing and determine the best way to size up. Hope this helps, and thanks for the comment!

  26. Lyric says:

    Hi! I found this very helpful thanks so much but I was wondering if you could clear something up for me, alright I’ve had my nose pierced for about 8 months now and a couple of months ago I purchased a pack of nose rings from Claire’s they were nose bones , which were inserted into the nostril like a stud, but gave the appearance of a ring due to the hoop connected to it , I since then haven’t found these anywhere else. And would love too find them because I have trouble inserting regular hoops so if you could tell me where to find these I would highly appreciate it thanks in advance. Ps. I cannot just return to Claire’s and get them because I have moved to a city where there is no Claire’s store available .

    g regular hoops

  27. jaslyne says:

    HI Lorna,
    I see that you have very diligent & helpful answers to these questions. But I have a quick question as well if you could help me out. I have a 22g nose hoop in my nose.Yesterday I went and bought nose hoops that were appealing to my preference but I didnt realize all types were not the same size. When I got home I seen that they were 18g hoops. I called piercing shops all in my area and they were saying I need a size 20g . If I buy one do you think it will be painful to upgrade to the 20g hoop myself or not ??
    Thanks for all your posts…hope to hear from you

    • Lorna says:

      Hello, Jaslyne!

      I agree that the 20 gauge is probably the way to go, but as for how much it will hurt to size up, that’s really going to vary from person to person. If you’ve had your nose piercing a long time or have ever worn larger or heavier jewelry there, it’s likely not to feel too bad, but if you’re apprehensive it’s best to have a piercer in your area do it for you. They know how to minimize discomfort and will be able to make sure that the new item fits properly. It can be tricky to stretch a cartilage piercing, but it’s definitely able to be done in most instances, particularly when such a small difference in gauge is involved. Hope this helps, and good luck with your switch! 🙂

  28. Marchesca says:

    Hi ! I currently have a micro nose ring in my nose, but I want something thicker. I bought a 18 gauge from bodycandy.com but it is very hard to get in. I’d like some tips on how I can get my hole to stretch or which shape 18 gauge nose ring would be best to really force it in so it’ll stretch. Please help!

  29. Marie says:

    I have a question , when I got my nose pierced they told me if I wanted the regular hole or the hoop I said the regular one .. But now a year later I wanna get the hoop one so bough the 8mm one and it fit small and I dont know my size can anyone help me ? Please I want it to fix tight not loose

    • Lorna says:

      Because of the different sizes and shapes that occur in noses, there’s no one size fits all approach to nose hoops. The best way to know your exact size is to return to your piercer and have them measure. They can measure your nose and make sizing recommendations, and most of them do it for free or very small fees, especially if you’re a repeat customer. That being said, 8mm (5/16″) is the smaller of the two most common hoop sizes, so going up to a 10mm (3/8″) would likely solve your issue. Hope this helps, and thanks for the comment. 🙂

  30. lexi says:

    hi I really like the hoop look but I cannot get one that fits my nose if I do i have to bend it inside my nose and the final shape that shows outside of my nose doesn’t end up circular I have no idea what to do I’m a size 22 g

  31. Marla says:

    Hi! I just had my nose pierced a couple of weeks ago in Spain. At first they tried a “standard screw” but discovered it wasn’t long enough b/c my nostril is thicker than average. Now I have a curved bone w/ a round ball on each end. It is VERY noticeable and when I’m healed (4 more weeks?) I want something smaller/cuter and not something that is easily seen in my nostril. What style and length of post do you recommend I try? Thank you for your time.

    • Lorna says:

      Hey, Marla!
      If you have special sizing needs, the best thing to do is to get the extra long straight item called a “fishtail” and take it to a piercer for custom fitting. This way the piercer can make the bend at the right spot for your specific nose, so you end up with a nice regular screw or l-shaped piece that’s the right size and doesn’t stick out funny. You can take a look at some of the fishtails that we make here, just to get an idea. Hope this helps! 🙂

  32. Elizabeth says:

    When I got my nose pierced, I wasn’t told what size it was. I believe it was a 20 gauge but I wasn’t sure and recently bought an 18 and pushed it in.
    My question is, do I have to stay at an 18 gauge or what will occur if I use a 20 gauge?
    Thank you!

    • Lorna says:

      If you’ve been wearing an 18 comfortably, most 20 gauge items will be too loose for you at first, but what happens from there can really change from person to person. For some, nose piercings will shrink or close rather quickly, particularly if the piercing is less than a year old and the larger jewelry hasn’t been in for very long. The only way to really know for you is to give it a try. In this case a screw style nose ring is probably your best option because it’s more likely to stay in if it fits a little loosely at first. Hope this helps, and good luck with the switch! 🙂

  33. Ciera says:

    SOO incredibly helpful!

  34. Deja says:

    Just received mt 18g 10mm(3/8) nose hoop. This was the largest diameter I can find. Unfortunately it is too small. The hoop ends don’t curl completely into my nose so they can be seen. Any suggestions?

    • Lorna says:

      I would try going for a captive ring rather than a traditional open ended hoop, and while you’re at it go up a millimeter or two in diameter as well to really find a good fit. Nostril size and piercing placement can make wearing normal hoops difficult sometimes, so you’re definitely not alone. Here’s a couple 18 gauge BCRs in 7/16″ (11mm) and 1/2″ (12mm), just to give you an idea of what to look for. Hope this helps, and thanks for the comment.

  35. Lillian says:

    I have a 22 gauge nose ring in my nose but I originally had a 20 gauge in and I am trying to find a 22 gauge nose hoop but I can’t seem to find them on your website. Do you sell 22 gauge nose hoops if not would it be painful to put a 20 gauge nose hoop in seeing as I have had my nose pierced originally at that size. Please help.

    • nicole says:

      Hi Lillian, We do not carry any 22 gauge nose hoops currently but do have some new 22 gauge nose rings you might like! Check em out here: http://www.bodycandy.com/search/go?view=grid&w=22+gauge+nose

      As far as getting a 20 gauge nose ring in your piercing, if you were pierced with a 20gauge needle you shouldn’t have a problem. The difference between the 2 sizes is tenths of a millimeter (very small difference). What we always recommend as a safe bet is to visit your piercer if you’re having a problem getting a particular nose ring in your piercing and they can get it in for ya!

  36. Quin says:

    How do you shrink your nose piercing ?

    • nicole says:

      Hi Quin, Are you looking to just wear smaller gauge jewelry in it? In that case, if you’re wearing an 18 gauge nose ring you could switch to 20 gauge (smaller in thickness) and the piercing will start to shrink around the smaller size jewelry. We hope that helps!

      • Quin says:

        Yes my nose was peirced with a 16 gauge and I was looking at rings to replace the one I have now with once it’s heeled. The problem is i can’t find any 16 rings

        • nicole says:

          Hi Quin, Nose Rings are typically 18 gauge or 20 gauge (in some instances 22 gauge also) When your piercing is healed you could switch to an 18 gauge and the piercing will shrink around the new jewelry over time. The difference between those sizes is very minimal.

  37. Lisa says:

    I have a 20 gauge L micro nose ring but it moves and I can see it sticking out my nose when I raise my head up. Should I try a 18?

  38. Jennifer says:

    Do the posts come in different sizes? I can’t seem to find ones that go right through my nose.

  39. I was wondering when I go and get my nose pierced can I get the smallest gauge they have .

    • Tara says:

      Hi Brittany,
      Ask your piercer what size can be done, they will know what it best for you but typically a nose piercing is a 20 or 18 gauge.

  40. toya says:

    hi i like the bones because it do not show but my problem is it not long enough could you tell me the correct size to use the standard is to short for my nose thanks

    • Tara says:

      Hi Toya,
      Since everyone’s nose is different you could try getting a fish tail nose ring, which is basically an extra long nose bone, and go to your piercer and they can then size and cut the jewelry for you.

  41. angela says:

    I just got my nose repierced with (I’m assuming, since it’s standard) an 18 gauge hoop. I like the look of the thinner hoops so I was looking to go to a 20 or 22 gauge. my question is since I have to let the piercing heal before changing it, would I be OK in a week or so to go from the thicker 18 gauge down to the thinner 20 or 22 gauge and have the hole tighten up around it to make it more snug?

    • angela says:

      correction, I just called the place I got it done and they said they use an 16 gauge to help with healing. so if I were to go down to a 20 gauge, would that work?

      • Tara says:

        Hey Angela,
        I would suggest waiting the full healing time before changing the jewelry, then go down to an 18g, then the 20g. If you go from 16 to 20 it would probably just fall through. It should tighten up around the smaller jewelry fairly quickly then.

  42. Shannon says:

    I got my nose pierced yesterday and was upset when they told me they used 16g. I really like the look of the really thin gages. I want a 22g. How can I make this happen? Thank you.

    • Tara says:

      Hey Shannon, if you’re unhappy go back and talk to the piercer, if it’snot healed you could take it out and make them re-do it for you or maybe go somewhere else, I’ve never heard of anyone doing it at a 16g so I question that shop’s credentials. If you don’t want to do that, get nose rings in 18,20,and 22g and slowly work your way down, the piercing should close in around the smaller jewelry over time. If you need a good piercer try http://www.safepiercing.org for an APP certified shop.

      • Candace says:

        I got my nose pierced a week ago and my peircer also used 16g. Is going down to 18g ok

        • Jodie says:

          Hi Candace,

          While it is possible for the piercing to heal okay, it’s not guaranteed. Since you were pierced with a larger gauge, there is a risk that the jewelry will fall out since it will not fit snug with the hole. I would consult the person who pierced your nose before changing your sizing on your jewelry.

  43. Jezette smith says:

    I just bought two nose rings from body candy and I don’t like how much shows from the nostril. I would like it more snug to the nostril. What size should I order. I Ordered 20 gauge 5/16 and they don’t fit right.

    • Tara says:

      Hey Jezette,
      You may need 1/4″ length post, or you can get a fishtail nose ring which is basically a super long nose ring you take to your piercer and they will size it for you.

  44. Marisha says:

    How do you know what size in diameter ? I want to do the 20 gauges it fits better but I don’t know the diameter I need?

    • Tara says:

      Hey Marisha,
      Do you mean the diameter for a nose hoop? Hoops generally come in 5/16″ which is smaller and 3/8″ which is bigger. You could try buying a cheap one of each size to try it out, or visit your local piercer to get sized.

  45. Florence says:

    I have a nose screw and the problem im havimg is that the end of the jewelry is basically hanging out of my nose. Is there a way to find a shorter nose screw or do i have to get a custom one?

    • Tara says:

      Hey Florence,
      this is a very common problem. You could go to your local piercer for sizing options or get a fishtail. This is a very long post nose ring that you take to a piercer to have them bend and cut to the appropriate size for you. Or perhaps try wearing a hoop, bone or L-shape style to see if that works better for your nose.

  46. Amaiya says:

    All my body piercings seem to heal better with 14k gold jewely. I’ve only have my nose pierced for a month and I want to change it to a 14k gold ring so it could heal better. Do you suggest I should do that? Also, How long exactly is the post for your L shaped 14k gold studs?

    • Tara says:

      Hey Amaiya,
      I suggest asking your piercer about changing the jewelry earlier than the recommended healing time. Our L-shaped nose rings are about 1/4″ (6mm) long.

      • Laura Lamontagne says:

        Does this include the bend ? , How long is the Bend in the L shaped, that end that goes into the nose ?

        • Jodie says:

          Hey Laura,

          That part of the jewelry is not typically measured because its purpose is to secure the jewelry, which does not differ from person to person. If you’re worried about sizing, you can ask a piercing professional to measure you to be sure you’re getting the correct length 🙂

  47. Ashton says:

    I just got my nose pierced about a month ago so I was looking for a hoop to put in that it snug. I have gotten three so far and the third one is an open hoop with a little plate on the back which sits inside of my nose. It fits like i want it to but it doesn’t continue around all the way inside my nose. I am afraid that if i get a bigger one it won’t be as snug as I want it. HELP!!

    • Tara says:

      Hey Ashton,
      Most nose hoops in that style do not continue all the way around to the inside of the nose, it is meant to create the illusion. If you want it to go all the way around try a captive ring/ BCR. Try talking to a local piercing shop and see about them fitting one for you.

  48. Gianna says:

    I have a 16 gauge in my nose currently. The most common sizes I see are 18 gauge. If I use an 18 gauge would it slip out? I just got my nose pierced about a month ago so would it just close to a 18 gauge?

    • Gianna says:

      I also want to ask how do I know what diameter size hoop I would want to get and which would fit a bit snug on my nose

      • Jodie says:

        Hi again Gianna 🙂

        The diameter depends on personal preference/comfort. If you measure the distance from the piercing hole to the end of your nose, you’ll have a good idea. To be entirely certain of a perfect fit for you, you can ask a piercer to measure you if you’re not comfortable doing that yourself.

    • Jodie says:

      Hi Gianna,

      There is a chance that an 18 gauge will slip out. It’s always best to stick with the gauge you’re pierced at.

  49. Krystle says:

    My fiance purchased a white gold opal nose ring for me from you guys but he accidentally got it in the fish tail design, we took it to a tattoo/piercing shop and she cut it and shaped it to a screw without asking what I wanted. I really wanted the L Shape and she didn’t cut it short enough so the screw is always hitting the inside of my nose pushing it upward so the gem is not sitting against my nose. Is there a way for me to re-shape this and cut shorter, or is it a lost cause?

    • Jodie says:

      Hi Krystle,

      I’m so sorry to hear that happened! The piercer should have definitely asked you before she shaped that. I wouldn’t advise attempting to re-shape it. Have you spoken to anyone from our customer service department yet? If not, I can ask them on Monday morning if there’s anything we can do for you since it was a 14KT gold piece. Their email is sales@bodycandy.com if you’d like to get in touch with them.

  50. Alex says:

    This is one of the clearest and internationally accurate guides on jewelry sizing out there for sure. I changed nose jewelry mid way through the healing of my nostril piercing and went to the smallest gauge possible, 22 gauge, after being pierced with the most common 18 or 20 gauge needle. Now finding jewellery is a struggle because my piercing is so tiny, 22 gauge jewellery is out there though! Good luck y’all

  51. Haley Mendoza says:

    i got pierced at 20g and yesterday i couldnt get a 18g hoop in it did go through my skin but never figured out how to put so i decided to put my LShaped ring back in whick is 18g , now its sinking what should i do ?? I only know how to put LShape rings

    • Jodie says:

      Hi Haley,

      If you’re having trouble getting jewelry in, it usually means you’re using the incorrect size. You need to use jewelry that is the size (gauge) you were pierced at in order for it to stay in place properly. Have your piercer take a look at it if you think there’s any sort of issue. They’re the ones who can help you with these things.

  52. Trish says:

    I purchased a 1/4 hoop, and it fit slightly tight. However, it was snug to my nostril just like I wanted. Because it was to small it sort of stretched my hole vertically. Do you think a 7mm will be ok?

    • Jodie says:

      Hi Trish!

      I’d think that 7mm will be okay. You can always check with your piercer to be certain. They can measure your nose to determine exactly what size would work, to save a trial & error process.

  53. Hadassah says:

    Hey, I got my nose pierced almost 5/6 months ago, and I have a nose bone stud, with a sharp end on it cause thats the one i got it pierced with, im not sure of the size, it seems bigger than some others i have seen, and the stud itself looks big, kindof…. What size do you think i should choose if i want a ring or even another stud?? I still have trouble getting it out though, it hurts to much:(

    • Jodie says:

      Hi Hadassah,

      If you’re having trouble getting the stud out of your nose and it’s painful to do so, you’re going to want to go see your piercer. They can look at it to make sure you’ve healed properly, and advise you on the size they used for your piercing.

  54. Megan says:


    I’ve been searching everywhere for a 5mm length nose bone or screw, and I can’t find anything. Your guide says that even though 6mm is most common, 5 and 7mm are also readily available, but I’m at a loss. I prefer a 1.5mm gem and a 20g piercing – do you have any recommendations?

  55. Jill says:

    My nose was pierced with a 16 gauge! Found out later how uncommon that was. Now I can’t find jewelry anywhere 🙁

    • Jodie says:

      Hi Jill,

      My best advice for you would be to contact the shop you were pierced at and see if they can recommend any [nose] jewelry that might work for you. We do carry 16 gauge captive rings that could be helpful for you as well.

  56. betule says:

    i got my nose pierced this morning! either i have giant nostrils or i let them put it in way too far back… the space between the hole and the edge of my nose is 15 mm! will this look normal or like i have hoop earrings in the middle of my face? :/

    how can i find out what gauge i have in? it looks ENORMOUS compared to every other nose stud i’ve seen at the mall today…

  57. Donna says:

    What is the typical time to change a nose ring when first pierced?
    Is it the higher the number of the gauge the smaller in size it Is?

    • Jodie says:

      Hi Donna,

      Typical healing time for a nose ring is about 3-4 months. The sizing works just like that, yes. The higher the number, the smaller the size. 🙂

  58. Natasha says:

    I recently bought a nose bone from Body Candy, 14k 20g 1.5mm ball nose bone. I normally wear 22g nose bone so it took a little more effort to put the 20g in. My question is can I go back n forth between the 2 gauge sizes, because my other nose bones are gold is well and I want to be able to wear the other ones as well. So I’m wondering if my piercing will adapt to both sizes. I bought the 20g because it’s the only size you had and it was a decent price.

    • Jodie says:

      Hey Natasha,

      It isn’t recommended to switch back and forth between sizes like that, especially since you had difficultly getting the 20g nose bone in. The 22g jewelry may feel loose or fall out after using the 20g piece. I would check with a piercer before you make a final call. They can look at the hole and determine your best course of action.

  59. Tara Meneguzzo says:

    My nose ring is nose bone style and I feel that it is too long. When I have it in, it pokes the inside of my nose and makes my piercing stick out. I like my studded diamond to be flush with the skin. Do you have any suggestions? I have a tiny nose and hated the nose screw design when I first had it pierced. It would twist and stick out of my nose.

  60. Kim says:

    Is 22 gauge 1.5mm the smallest nose stud you can get? What is the smallest length? That’s not a fishtail? I’m looking for a nose stud.

    • Jodie says:

      Hi Kim,

      1.5mm is the smallest size we carry for the gems, yes. If you’ve tried nose bones before and found out they’re too long, the screw fit or L shape might be helpful as it will hold the stud in place closer to your nostril than the nose bone would.

  61. terri says:

    hi. when my daughter and i had our nostrils pierced the gauge of the screw wasnt told to us. however, weve compared it to other ones we have bought which are 18g ( 1mm) it was very thick and much thicker than the 1mm 18 g thickness.the place we had our piercing done at has closed so we cannot go there to buy them.. we actually liked having the thicker screw , where can we get thicker gauge nose screws??

    • Jodie says:

      Hi Terri,

      Unfortunately we do not sell nose screws bigger than 18 gauge. An alternative would be a 16 gauge circular barbell to wear like a nose hoop. If there’s any way to get information on the piercer (if they went to a new shop), they might have knowledge of someplace that can sell you a nose screw in the correct size. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

  62. Jordyn says:

    I got pierced with a 16 g BCH a week agoand it is crazy uncomfortable! I can’t stand the ball…I want to switch to a 20g hoop. What’s the worst that could happen?

    • Jodie says:

      Hi Jordyn,

      If you want to switch out your jewelry on a fresh piercing, definitely have a professional piercer do it. It shouldn’t be uncomfortable for you, so that’s a legitimate reason to switch it out. I’d call the place that did it and ask them if you can come in and get that changed. It shouldn’t be an issue at all. Good luck, girl! 🙂

  63. Dee says:

    I have an L shape stud and want to be sure I have it placed the proper way inside my nose. Once in, should it be pointed up or to the side? Seems to poke me and cause my nose to bleed, if I’m not careful.

  64. Stephanie says:

    I just ordered a 16 gauge 3/8″ lebret for my nose. Is this going to be too big??

    • Jodie says:

      Hey Stephanie,

      I’m not sure what size you were pierced at for your nose, but typically those are done at 18 or 20 gauge. The length may also be an issue as the labret piercing goes through more skin. I would suggest checking with your piercer for the size needle they used and then exchanging it for the appropriate jewelry. 🙂

  65. Brenna says:

    So I just ordered a 3/8 20 gauge hoop. I like the size, but the end doesn’t actually curl around into my nose all the way. How do I avoid this when I order a new one?

    • Jodie says:

      Hi Brenna,

      That’s always tricky because you don’t necessarily know how much space there is there for the jewelry to sit. My best advice would be to find a smaller diameter ring – maybe a 5/16″ next time. 🙂

  66. Kelly says:

    my nose was pierced with a 20 gauge but I was wanting to go to a smaller size like a 22 gauge. Whats the best way to do that? Sorry I’m new to this lol 🙂 I’ve only had my piercing about 5 months. Or do you reccomend i just stay with the 20 gauge?

    • Jodie says:

      Hi Kelly!

      Is there a reason you want to go down to 22? It’s possible, but the risk you’d run into will be the smaller sized jewelry possibly falling out if you’re already healed at a 20 gauge.

  67. Kat says:

    Just placed my first order with you. This information was very helpful in deciding what to buy. Looking forward to getting my new nose studs.

  68. Hannah says:

    I got my nose pierced with an 18 gauge nose screw, and after a few months of letting it heal I was able to switch between the original piercing and a 18 gauge nose hoop I had. After a while I switched to a nose bone that I thought was an 18 gauge (I only bought 18 gauge jewelry), but then after a while when I tried to put my nose hoop in again, it hurt and started bleeding so I gave up and have since just worn the nose bone. I bought some hoops in a 20 gauge, but I’m afraid to wear them for too long and that I won’t be able to fit the nose bone in again (if it is actually an 18). I’m also afraid to buy a 20 gauge nose bone in case this happens again. What do you suggest I do? I like wearing the hoop, but unfortunately I work at a place where it isn’t considered professional, so I need to be able to switch back and forth.

    • Jodie says:

      Hi Hannnah,

      Do the 20 gauge hoops feel loose at all? If so, there’s a chance that when you tried to switch from the “18 gauge” nose bone to the 18 gauge hoop, your piercing may have just been aggravated that day. You’re probably still at an 18 gauge if that’s the case. Otherwise, if those 20 gauge hoops fit comfortably and that nose bone you purchased also fits fine, then it may be a 20 gauge and you might need to go down to a 20 gauge. Really, if you can get an 18 gauge piece in there (probably a nose bone since that will be safe for work) and leave it for a bit, that should straighten things out for you.

  69. Kori says:

    I wear an 18g in my nose and what’s odd is that an 18g nose bone will fall out, slip right in with barely a touch and feel loose until it falls out, but a screw or a hoop feels perfectly fine and fits well. I did downsize my nose to a 20g at a point but I went back up to an 18g, there’s no way that this could be affecting the fit though, since I went down and not up, right? Is it possible that screws and bones are slightly different sizes? I was trying to compare them (many different pieces from a few places, some even came together in a pack) and it always seems like the nose screws are a tiny bit thicker? I may just be out of my mind. Anyways, my only real question is do you know why this may be happening and should I try to find a nose bone (or something similar) in a 16g?

    • Jodie says:

      Hi Kori,

      There may be a very slight difference in sizes, but more than likely your anatomy just fits better with the nose screw style. Most people prefer those or the L-shaped nose rings to the nose bones for the very reason you’re having issues with them! It’s up to you. If you really want to wear the nose bone style, you could try a thicker gauge, but I would just steer clear of that style 🙂

  70. Hi, ok so I got my nose pierced about 2 months ago and it’s healed enough to change my jewelry. When I went out and bought my new ones I didn’t know my exact size so I just bought 22’s. When I went to change it I noticed my original was fairly larger. I went ahead and just changed it anyways since my original was a cork screw and I didn’t even wanna attempt putting that back in after some trouble getting it out! I believe the original was a 20…it’s been a week and I was just wondering if I can go back to wearing 20’s or is it going to hurt to put them in now?

    • Jodie says:

      Hi Taylor,

      You should be fine with putting a 20 gauge in there, but if you’re worried about it hurting you can go to a piercer and have them change it for you. They’re used to these kinds of situations so they’ll definitely be gentle 🙂

  71. Anda says:

    Hey! So I love the fishbone studs! But I have he problem of them being to short that I feel like it barely reaches the inside of my nose. Where would I be able to get longer fishbone studs at then the usually size that all piercing places have?

  72. Izola says:

    Hi I’ve had my nose pierced for 2 years now and I’ve mostly been wearing nose studs and nose rings. I want try the nose bone but I heard that’s stretch the piercing and then over time it’s wider and sore. So should I try it and what is a small for nose bones? Thank you

    • Jodie says:

      Hi there!

      The nose bone has a little bulb on the end that holds the jewelry in place. It won’t stretch your piercing, but it can be uncomfortable to wear for some people. You’d want to find a nose bone in the gauge that you were pierced at. Probably 18 or 20 (20 being the smaller of the two). Let us know if you need any further help!

  73. John says:

    My girlfriend just got her nostril pierced( she did it herself) and she says it itches. Is this common. Does it take time for the itching to go away? Thanks

    • Jodie says:

      Hey John,

      Itching is common, just like it’s common for a cut or scrape to itch. It’s part of the healing process. As long as she isn’t experiencing any pain or redness in the area, she should be fine.

  74. Christina says:

    Hi there! I just got my nose pierced yesterday and the back end keeps hanging out of my nostril. I’m continually having to push it back into my nostril with a Qtip. Is this normal and what would recommend I do since it is still so new? Thanks so much!

    • Jodie says:

      Hey Christina,

      Sometimes with the nose screws, the bar can be a bit annoying at first. You could probably call your piercer and ask if there’s any way to get a shorter length ring put in. As long as a professional piercer is changing it out for you, you should be fine!

  75. Resee says:

    I have a nose ring and it’s a 16 gauge and I did not know. So I put in a 22 gauge hoop now I can’t put the 16 in cause it does not want to go in. What do I do?

    • Jodie says:

      Hi Resee,

      If you want to go back to the 16 gauge piercing, you’ll probably need to let that one close up and have it re-pierced. Another option would be to take the jewelry in to a piercing shop and see if they can help you with getting it back in. Sounds like the hole has already started to shrink to meet that 22 gauge hoop, which is quite a big difference from 16. A professional may be able to at least get you into a 20 gauge, but please don’t attempt that yourself. Better to wait and have it redone than to do any damage to the tissue in your nostril.

      Hope that helps!

  76. Kaylee says:

    I just recently got my noise pierced and I have very thick skin where I got pierced. She piercediy with an 18 gauge. Because I have such a thick nose will it be harder to put the screw and l shaped piercings in? Also will the bone piercing cause my nose to close up if it doesn’t stay all the way through? can you find bone piercings that are made for wider nostrils?

    • Ann says:

      Hello, Kaylee!

      Since you’re pierced with an 18 gauge (the largest gauge most nose piercings are performed with), you should be fine with any jewelry type you choose to use/change to! If you experience issues with any of the types you try, just choose a different one because the type of nose ring you choose is all about personal preference – there’s really no “best” type.
      Also, I’m not quite sure what you meant about the bone piercing – do you mean a nose bone? Those types of nose rings should only be used after your nose piercing has FULLY healed because of the ball at the end that will definitely cause some pain if you try to push it through too early on. You shouldn’t have a problem keeping it in there as along as it’s 18 gauge and as long as the bulbous end creates a stopper within your nostril.
      Let me know if that information helps! Thanks for the question and the comment!


  77. Tiffany says:

    Will it hurt to go from 22g to 20g?

    • Jodie says:

      Hey Tiffany! The level of pain differs from person to person. It’s not uncommon to wear a 20 or 18 gauge nose ring, so you should be okay 🙂 Just make sure you keep that size in for awhile with the 20 gauge, don’t switch it back to 22.

  78. Gaby Pérez says:

    thank you so much! this is perfect.
    I got my nose pierced and I lost my L stud in my sleep so I decided to purchase a nose screw to replace it since it was… is still healing and I was told the screw would stay in while I sleep better than the L.
    Even though the screw stays in way better, I find it very uncomfortable and even though the gauge is actually a 22 so… smaller? then my previous 20, it feels tighter.

  79. Gaby Pérez says:

    thanks to this article I’m pretty sure the length is the problem, but the one I bought doesn’t say anything about measurement only gauge so I don’t know how to get one that fits comfortably.
    I’m also worried because I know that I’m not supposed to change it before it heals specially since I already did switch it when I lost the first one, but it’s so uncomfortable that sometimes it hurts.
    sorry I know I’m rambling now but I was hoping to get some advise. thanks!

  80. Kristi Brown says:

    I buy all of my nose bones from BodyCandy and I loved them with my 1st piercing. (I had to repierce when first one got infected but it’s healed and I’m wearing BodyCandy nose bones in since then.) With this 2nd piercing being in a different spot, the post is too long at 6mm. It keeps poking out all the time so it looks like a screw on Frankenstein’s neck! I do not like any other kind of nose ring. I have been looking on your website to see if you have any nose bones that are 4mm long posts. Do you have any or are they all 6mm and up? Thanks for your time.

  81. Alexandra says:

    Hey there,

    I have been wearing a hoop for a few weeks now and I really like it but I am noticing that the hole looks a lot longer (if that makes sense) but I recently had a piercer change out my jewelry and he didn’t mention that it looked torn or anything. I think I want to change to a stud but I am afraid that the hole won’t heal back to normal.


    • Jodie says:

      Hey Alexandra! Usually when this happens it’s because the jewelry you’re wearing was too small. If you were pierced at a smaller gauge (it’s known to happen with a 20 gauge piercing), it can create that little slit you’re seeing there as well. You can change it to a stud with no problem. Another solution would be to move up to an 18 gauge ring, to eliminate the “torn” look. Your piercer should be able to help you out with inserting a bigger ring if you decide to go that route!

      Hope that helps!

  82. Michelle says:

    I got my nose pierced 4 months ago and recently have started switching out my stud, I am having a problem not only finding a bone with a long enough tail but it seems the ball on the end is very tiny and so my bone dosent stay in. Does the ball on the end of the bone come in different sizes? I wear a 20 gauge.

    • Jodie says:

      Hey Michelle. The nose bone style doesn’t come with different sizes for the ball end. Your best bet if these aren’t staying in place is to switch to an L-shaped or a nose screw. If you’re worried about the length, you can also purchase what’s called a fishtail nose ring (http://www.bodycandy.com/search/go?view=grid&w=fishtail) and have a piercer cut/shape the ring to fit into your nostril more comfortably.

  83. Jdoll says:

    I can’t find a nose bone shorter than 4mm. I found one in a shop once that was 3mm, and a perfect fit. I do not like the fishtails, or screws. Finding this in a search is impossible. Does anyone know where I can get them? Thanks

  84. Nirvasha says:

    Hi I have an 18 gauge nose piercing for about 14 days now and I’m just wondering can I put a 3mm diamond on an 18 gauge nose stud thanks in advance

    • Ann says:

      Hello Nirvasha,

      It’s totally possible to get a 3mm gem or diamond stud size for your 18 gauge nose ring. However, since you’ve only had your nose piercing for about 2 weeks, the recommended healing time for your piercing would still leave you with a couple of months until your piercing is fully healed (which is when the best time to change it for the first time will be to avoid any complications/prolonged healing time).

      My only suggestion for you if you are too excited to wait that long is to visit your local piercer (preferably the person who pierced your nose) and see if they can change it out to a different piece of jewelry for you – something most piercers will do free of charge (besides the cost of the jewelry, of course). Hope that helps!

      All the best,

Leave a Reply