If you have sensitive ears, you know that finding a pair of earrings that are cute and that you can wear all day long is an uphill battle. Though those trendy Zara earrings all of your friends are wearing at the moment will just never be for you (because green skin and sore ears just aren’t worth it, no matter how gorgeous they are), we’ve put in the research to track down pairs you’ll be able to wear all season—and all year—long.
The key here is to carefully read up on what that pair of hoops you are lusting after is made of before you pull the trigger. The most common irritator for sensitive ears is nickel, which is unfortunately used to make most of the affordable earrings out on the market and is often used to make piercing guns. (This is just one more reason why it’s worth going to an experienced piercer the next time you want to up your ear game.) So if you’re planning to pick a pair up from an affordable store, you’ll likely want to steer clear unless the packaging specifies a pair is nickel-free or is made of one of the five metals outlined below.
The following 29 pairs made of pure gold, sterling sliver, and more should all be safe for sensitive ears, so read on to shop earrings you’ll be able to mix and match to Instagrammable perfection.
If you have sensitive ears, going for a pair made out of solid 14k gold or higher is one of the safest routes you can take, as very few people are allergic or sensitive to the neutral metal. Many styles are clearly marked as solid gold—as opposed to gold plated, which can mean there is only a thin layer of gold over pesky nickel or brass, both of which will likely irritate your ears—so you can be sure what you are clasping on won’t cause you any trouble. That said, if solid gold is out of your price range, you can go for gold-plated earrings with a sterling silver or titanium base (more on both of those materials in a minute) without causing yourself any trouble.
Like gold, sterling silver is typically a safe bet if you have sensitive ears. That said, because the material is a composition of other metals (as pure silver is usually too soft for earring posts), be sure to look for a 925 stamp, which ensures the silver is 92.5% pure and will therefore be less likely to irritate your skin.
Though usually much harder to find (and much more expensive!) than gold and silver, platinum styles are some of the best earrings for sensitive ears. The rare metal is also remarkably resistant to corrosion, so the investment more than pays off if you are looking for a pair that you plan to wear 24/7.
Titanium is often used in piercing jewelry, as it is every bit as strong as surgical steel and is reliably hypoallergenic. Like platinum, titanium earrings can hold up to everyday wear and are a good option if you are looking to build out your collection but don’t want to splurge on fine jewelry.
Though it is always best to know exactly what kind of metal your earrings are made of, unless you are severely sensitive, pairs marked simply as nickel-free should be safe for you to wear. That said, we’d suggest going this route only for trend-led styles or pairs you don’t plan to leave in for the long haul.
This post was published at an earlier date and has since been updated by Jasmine Fox-Suliaman.