What’s the Best Metal for Nose Rings? (Ask Cladright)

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With more guys branching out into piercings and jewelry than ever before, it’s important to be informed about your choices. 

Because if you don’t get the best metal for your piercings, you can almost guarantee irritation or worse yet, an infection.

Let’s take care of that before it’s a problem, shall we?

man smoking with a nose ring
Photo by Tanner Ross

What Is the Best Metal for Nose Rings?

The best metal for nose rings is stainless steel.

Look for implant-grade steel, such as 316L or 316LVM. These are affordable and hypoallergenic, making them perfect for a first piercing.

Alternative Metals for Nose Rings

The types of metals you want for your nose ring are those that are unreactive. That way, they won’t interact with your skin and cause irritation.

Five other, more costly metals are hypoallergenic and great for nose rings:

  • Gold, from 14K on up. It has to be pure gold, not a gold plating.
  • Silver, again it has to be pure silver and not just silver plated. Sterling silver is mixed with another metal, and likely to cause skin irritation.
  • Platinum, one of the most expensive options, is a great alternative if any of the above metals have irritated your skin.
  • Titanium, another pricey option that’s also often used for surgical implants, AKA it’s entirely body compatible.
  • Niobium, a mid-range metal that comes in a wide variety of colors.

For all of these metals, look for “implant grade” versions to ensure that they’re compatible with skin.

man wearing a nose ring relaxing in plaid shirt
Photo by Javier Peñas

Nose Ring Materials to Avoid

So what type of materials do you not want to use for a nose ring? These are the top materials that will cause problems:

  • Plated metals, since the non reactive plating will wear off over time, leaving an inferior metal that will react badly with your skin.
  • Any metal that’s not implant grade. Even surgical stainless steel can be made with inferior production processes, raising the chance of skin irritation.
  • Plastic or nylon. Stay away from any material that’s porous, as it will be a breeding ground for nasty bacteria.
closeup of nose ring
Photo by Sergi Dolcet Escrig


And now you know just what type of nose ring to look for! Don’t be taken in by the idea of getting a cheap piercing — it will only come back to cause you problems further down the road.

Have any other questions about nose rings, piercings, or other jewelry? Drop us a line on Instagram and we’ll help you out.

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