How do Flat Back Earrings Work?

Flat back earrings have revolutionised the world of body jewellery, offering comfort and versatility that traditional earrings can’t match. Whether you’re a piercing enthusiast or simply looking for more comfortable everyday earrings, understanding flat backs is essential. This guide will delve into the ins and outs of flat back earrings, exploring their unique features, how to wear them, and why they’ve become so popular.

What is a flat back earring?

What is a flat back earring?

Flat back earrings, as the name suggests, feature a flat disc on the back instead of the traditional butterfly or screw-on backing. This design allows the earring to sit flush against the skin, providing a sleek and comfortable fit. They’re typically made from high-quality materials like titanium or surgical steel, making them ideal for sensitive ears.

Key features of flat back earrings:

  • Flat disc backing
  • Smooth, flush fit against the skin
  • Often made from hypoallergenic materials
  • Available in various styles and sizes

What piercings can I wear a flat back earring in?

One of the great advantages of flat back earrings is their versatility. They can be worn in a wide range of piercings, including:

  1. Lobe piercings
  2. Helix piercings
  3. Tragus piercings
  4. Conch piercings
  5. Forward helix piercings
  6. Daith piercings

It’s worth noting that flat backs are particularly popular for cartilage piercings due to their comfortable fit and reduced risk of snagging.

What makes them special?

Flat back earrings have several unique features that set them apart from traditional earrings:

  1. Comfort: The flat back design eliminates the discomfort often associated with traditional backings, making them ideal for sleeping or long-term wear.
  2. Versatility: They can be used in various piercings and come in different lengths to accommodate different ear thicknesses.
  3. Hypoallergenic: Often made from materials like titanium, they’re less likely to cause allergic reactions.
  4. Ease of use: Many flat backs are threadless, making them easy to insert and remove.
  5. Aesthetics: The flush fit provides a clean, subtle look that many find appealing.

“Flat back earrings have been a game-changer for those with sensitive ears or multiple piercings. They offer comfort without compromising on style.” – Sarah Thompson, Professional Piercer

How to wear flat backs / threadless jewellery

Wearing flat back earrings, especially threadless ones, might seem tricky at first, but it’s quite straightforward once you get the hang of it. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Clean your hands and the jewellery: Always start with clean hands and sterilised jewellery to prevent infection.
  2. Separate the pin from the top: If you’re using threadless jewellery, gently pull the decorative top away from the post.
  3. Insert the post: Carefully slide the post through your piercing from front to back.
  4. Attach the top: Line up the pin on the decorative top with the hollow post and push firmly until you hear or feel a click.
  5. Check the fit: Ensure the earring is secure and comfortable.

Pro tip: For threadless jewellery, you may need to slightly bend the pin on the decorative top to ensure a secure fit. Be gentle to avoid damaging the jewellery.

Can you put flat backs on regular earrings?

While it’s not typically recommended to mix and match parts from different types of earrings, there are converters available that can help you use flat backs with some regular earrings. However, it’s important to note that this may not work for all types of earrings and could potentially compromise the security of the jewellery.

How to put in fast back earrings

Fast back earrings, which are similar to flat backs, are designed for quick and easy insertion. Here’s how to put them in:

  1. Clean your hands and the earrings thoroughly.
  2. Hold the decorative front of the earring between your thumb and forefinger.
  3. With your other hand, gently push the post through your piercing from front to back.
  4. Once the post is through, simply push the flat disc backing onto the post until it’s secure.

Remember, the key is to be gentle and patient, especially if you’re new to this type of earring.

What are fast back earring called?

Fast back earrings are often referred to by various names, which can be confusing. Some common terms include:

  • Push pin earrings
  • Clutch back earrings
  • Friction back earrings
  • La Pousette backs

These terms generally refer to earrings with a similar mechanism – a post that’s held in place by friction rather than a screw or butterfly back.

How to put on flat back earrings with nails

Long nails can make inserting earrings tricky, but it’s not impossible. Here’s a technique that might help:

  1. Lay the earring on a clean, flat surface with the post pointing up.
  2. Use your nail to slide the post into your piercing from the front.
  3. Once the post is through, use your fingertips to push the back of the earring into place.

If you’re still struggling, consider using insertion tapers or seeking help from a friend or professional piercer.

Flat back earring converter

Flat back earring converter

For those who love their traditional earrings but want the comfort of flat backs, converters can be a great solution. These devices allow you to attach a flat back to a regular earring post.

Converter TypeDescriptionBest For
SiliconeSoft, flexible converters that slip over regular postsEveryday wear, sensitive ears
MetalMore durable converters that screw onto regular postsLong-term use, heavier earrings

Remember to choose a converter made from hypoallergenic materials if you have sensitive skin.

Are flat back earrings thicker?

The thickness of flat back earrings can vary, but they’re generally not thicker than traditional earrings. In fact, many people find them less noticeable due to their flush fit against the ear.

Flat back earrings typically come in these gauge sizes:

  • 20g (0.8mm)
  • 18g (1mm)
  • 16g (1.2mm)
  • 14g (1.6mm)

The choice of gauge depends on your piercing and personal preference. Always consult with a professional piercer if you’re unsure about the right size for your piercing.


How do flat back earrings come off?

Threadless: Grip front and back, pull apart. Threaded: Hold front, unscrew back anticlockwise.

Do flat back earrings stay in?

Yes, they’re designed to stay in securely. The flat disc sits flush against the skin, reducing snagging. Threadless versions use tension, while threaded ones screw together tightly.

How secure are flat back earrings?

Very secure. They have a snug fit, use quality materials, and have secure mechanisms (tension or threading). The smooth back reduces snagging on clothes or hair.


Flat back earrings have revolutionised the world of body jewellery, offering a perfect blend of comfort, style, and practicality. They’re a versatile choice for various piercings, from lobes to cartilage, and their secure fit makes them ideal for everyday wear. Whether you’re dealing with sensitive ears, seeking a more comfortable option for sleeping, or simply want a sleek, modern look, flat backs are an excellent choice. 

While they might take a bit of getting used to, the benefits far outweigh any initial learning curve. As with any jewellery, proper care and insertion techniques are crucial, but with a bit of practice, you’ll likely find flat back earrings to be a game-changer in your piercing journey.

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