Nose piercings are a popular and stylish form of body modification. When shopping for a new nose ring, one of the most important decisions is choosing between 18g and 20g sizes.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: 20g nose rings have a thinner, more delicate appearance, while 18g rings are slightly thicker and more durable for long-term wear. 18g is best for an initial piercing.

This comprehensive guide will compare 18g vs 20g nose rings, from differences in thickness and comfort to metal options and style recommendations. You’ll learn the pros and cons of each gauge size to determine which is right for your piercing.

Nose Ring Gauge Sizes Explained

18g is 1mm thick

When it comes to nose rings, the gauge size refers to the thickness of the jewelry. The term “gauge” is used to measure the diameter of the wire used in the ring. An 18g nose ring is approximately 1mm thick. This size is a popular choice for those who want a slightly thicker and more substantial look.

It provides a balance between comfort and style, making it a versatile option for different nose piercing types.

20g is 0.8mm thick

On the other hand, a 20g nose ring is slightly thinner, measuring approximately 0.8mm in thickness. This gauge size is commonly used for nose piercings and is considered the standard size for initial piercings.

The thinner wire provides a more delicate and minimalistic look, perfect for those who prefer a daintier style or have a smaller nose.

Higher numbers mean thinner rings

It’s important to note that when it comes to gauge sizes, higher numbers indicate thinner rings. For example, a 22g nose ring would be even thinner than an 18g or 20g. Conversely, a lower number, such as 16g or 14g, would indicate a thicker and more substantial piece of jewelry.

Understanding the gauge sizes is crucial when selecting a nose ring. It determines the thickness and overall look of the jewelry, as well as how it will fit and feel on your nose. It’s advisable to consult with a professional piercer or jeweler to ensure you choose the right gauge size for your specific needs and preferences.

For more information on nose ring gauge sizes and styles, you can visit reputable websites such as Painful Pleasures or Body Candy.

Comfort and Weight Comparison

18g provides more stability for new piercings

When it comes to comfort, the size of the nose ring plays a significant role. The 18g nose ring, which is slightly thicker than the 20g, provides more stability for new piercings. This extra thickness can help prevent the ring from moving or rotating too much, reducing the risk of irritation or discomfort.

It also gives a sense of security to those who are new to nose piercings, as it feels more secure in the piercing.

20g offers lightweight comfort

On the other hand, the 20g nose ring offers a lightweight and comfortable option. With a thinner gauge, it feels less noticeable and can be more comfortable for those who prefer a more subtle accessory.

The lighter weight of the 20g nose ring also means less strain on the piercing, which can be beneficial for long-term wear.

Possible irritation from thinner rings

While the 20g nose ring may offer lightweight comfort, it is important to note that thinner rings can potentially cause irritation for some individuals. The thinner gauge may put more pressure on the piercing, leading to discomfort or even allergic reactions for those with sensitive skin.

It is crucial to listen to your body and consult with a professional piercer if you experience any discomfort or irritation with thinner nose rings.

Ultimately, the choice between 18g and 20g nose rings comes down to personal preference and individual comfort. Some people may find the added stability of the 18g more comforting, while others appreciate the lightweight feel of the 20g.

It is essential to consider factors such as healing time, personal style, and sensitivity when making a decision.

Metals and Styles for Each Gauge

Best metals for sensitive skin

When it comes to choosing a nose ring, it’s important to consider the metal that will be in contact with your skin. For individuals with sensitive skin, certain metals can cause irritation or allergic reactions. Fortunately, there are options available that are less likely to cause any issues.

The most common metals used for nose rings are surgical steel, titanium, and 14k gold. These metals are hypoallergenic and are less likely to cause any adverse reactions. It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional piercer to determine the best metal for your individual needs.

Popular gemstone and design styles

When it comes to style, there are endless options to choose from when selecting a nose ring. One popular choice is a nose ring with a gemstone. Gemstones add a touch of elegance and can come in a variety of colors to match your personal style. Another popular design is a simple, plain nose ring.

This minimalist style is timeless and can be worn with any outfit. For those looking for something more unique, there are also nose rings available with intricate designs or patterns.

Hoops, nostril screws, and L-shapes

When it comes to the shape of your nose ring, there are a few options to consider. Hoops are a classic choice and can add a touch of edginess to your look. They come in various sizes and thicknesses, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your style.

Nostril screws are another option and are known for their secure fit. They have a twisted design that helps keep the nose ring in place. Lastly, L-shaped nose rings are shaped like an “L” and are designed to sit comfortably in the nostril.

They are easy to insert and remove, making them a popular choice for those new to nose piercings.

Changing Between 18g and 20g Rings

When it comes to nose rings, choosing the right size is crucial for both comfort and style. Two common sizes are 18g and 20g, and many people wonder how easy it is to switch between the two. Here are a few things to consider when changing between 18g and 20g nose rings.

Letting new piercings heal first

If you’ve recently gotten your nose pierced, it’s important to let the piercing heal fully before attempting to change the size of your nose ring. This usually takes around 8-10 weeks, but it can vary from person to person.

Rushing the process can lead to irritation, infection, and prolonged healing time. It’s always best to consult with your piercer before making any changes to ensure that your piercing is ready for a different size.

Using piercer’s taper tool for sizing up/down

When it’s time to change the size of your nose ring, it’s recommended to visit a professional piercer. They have the necessary tools and expertise to safely and comfortably size up or down. One common tool used is a taper, which gradually stretches the piercing to accommodate a larger gauge.

This method minimizes discomfort and reduces the risk of tearing or damaging the piercing.

Taking precautions to avoid infection

Regardless of the size of your nose ring, it’s important to take precautions to avoid infection. This includes keeping the area clean and dry, avoiding touching the piercing with dirty hands, and using a saline solution or a gentle cleanser recommended by your piercer.

Additionally, it’s essential to only use high-quality jewelry made from materials such as surgical stainless steel or titanium, as these materials are less likely to cause irritation or allergic reactions.

For more information on nose ring sizes, piercings, and aftercare, you can visit The Association of Professional Piercers. They provide reliable and up-to-date information on safe piercing practices.

Caring for Your Nose Piercing

Proper cleaning and hygiene

After getting a nose piercing, it is crucial to maintain proper cleaning and hygiene to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of infection. The first step is to wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before touching your piercing.

Then, gently clean the area around the piercing using a saline solution or a mild, fragrance-free soap. Avoid using alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, as these can be too harsh and may delay the healing process.

It is recommended to clean your nose piercing twice a day until it is fully healed, which usually takes around 6-8 weeks.

Avoiding irritation and infection

To prevent irritation and infection, it is important to avoid touching your nose piercing unnecessarily. Touching the piercing with dirty hands or excessive movement can introduce bacteria and irritate the healing tissue.

Additionally, be cautious of the products you use near your piercing, such as makeup, lotions, and perfumes. These can contain chemicals that may irritate the piercing. It is also advisable to avoid swimming in pools or hot tubs until your piercing is fully healed, as these environments can harbor bacteria.

Furthermore, choose jewelry made of hypoallergenic materials, such as surgical stainless steel or titanium, to minimize the risk of an allergic reaction. If you experience any signs of infection, such as increased pain, redness, swelling, or discharge, it is important to seek medical attention promptly.

When to change jewelry

Changing your nose piercing jewelry too soon can disrupt the healing process and increase the risk of infection. It is generally recommended to wait until your piercing is fully healed before changing the jewelry, which typically takes 6-8 weeks.

However, everyone’s healing process can vary, so it is essential to consult with your piercer or a medical professional before attempting to change the jewelry.

When changing your nose piercing jewelry, make sure to use high-quality pieces specifically designed for nose piercings. Avoid using regular earrings or other types of jewelry that may not be suitable for the delicate nose tissue.

Additionally, ensure that the new jewelry is clean and properly sterilized before inserting it into your piercing.

For more detailed information on nose piercing aftercare, you can visit reputable websites such as Mayo Clinic or Association of Professional Piercers.


When choosing between 18g and 20g nose rings, consider your piercing healing, sensitivity, and the style you want to achieve. 20g rings offer a dainty look, while 18g provides stability for new piercings.

With proper metal selection, piercing care, and gauging between sizes, you can rock your choice of 18g or 20g nose ring in both fashion and comfort.

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