Clip-on Earrings: Types, Pros & Cons and Choosing Tips

Earrings are a major part of modern fashion. They come in two main styles: pierced and non-pierced earrings. Non-pierced earrings have become more and more popular in recent years, especially among people who are not ready to commit to an ear-piercing. The most popular types of non-pierced earrings are clip-on earrings. 📝This article is designed to be a complete guide to clip-on earrings, including their various types and designs, and whether or not they would be the right fit for you. It shall also include bonus tips on how to choose and wear clip-on earrings.

Clip-on Earrings: Vintage Style in Gold-Toned With Pearl
WheatflourHandmade / Etsy

What are clip-on earrings?

Clip-on earrings are a type of non-pierced earrings. They are designed to attach to your ears by applying pressure to both sides of your earlobe.

They were invented as an alternative to pierced earrings. Unlike traditional earrings, clip-on earrings do not require any piercings and are generally safer since there are no allergies and infection risks that usually come with ear piercings.

Clip-on earrings are also generally more comfortable, neither leaving any visible marks on the wearer nor causing any pain.

8 best types of clip-on earrings you can choose from

Screw-Back Clip-on Earrings

Screw-back earrings were the first type of clip-on earrings. They were first made in the Victorian era, a time when the affluent women in the society believed it was disgraceful to have ear piercings.

Fast-forward to today and screw-back earrings are still the most popular non-pierced earrings in the world. They employ a basic screw-back design. With this design, a small screw with a flat head on the backside of the earring is fastened, pressing the earring to the lobe. The screw allows you to adjust the earring to a comfortable position.

Hinge Clip-on Earring Findings

Hinge clip-on earrings are an alternative to screw-back earrings. They were first introduced in the 1930s.

Hinge clip-on earrings have a hinge clip at the back of the earring. This clip attaches the earring to the earlobe. It is fastened to attach itself and can also be opened up to loosen the earring’s grip on the earlobe.

Hinge earrings are quite easy to operate as they can be attached to the earlobe fast. They also eliminate the risk of losing the screw-back or experiencing pain when putting on the earring.

Paddle Back Clip-on Earring Findings

Paddle back clip-on earrings have a mechanism that’s similar to that of hinge clip-on earrings. They were introduced a decade later and became incredibly popular in the 1950s.

Simple and easy to use, paddle back earrings are also more economical to produce. These earrings have a paddle clip with a tension bar running down the middle. This simple design makes them extremely secure.

To attach or loosen the earring from your ear, all you have to do is to bend the spring bar outwards or inwards. They’ll usually have a spring key to help with this process.

Screw-Hinge Clip-Ons

As the name suggests, screw-hinge clip-on earrings are a combination of the hinge clip-on and the original screw-back design. The design of this earring was developed in 1962. It is a combination of the best of both designs incorporating a screw on a hinge. The screw makes the hinge design more convenient while also adding precision adjustment to the earring.🔩

Invisible Clip-Ons

Invisible clip-on earrings are a relatively new style of clip-on earrings. This design is increasingly becoming popular as it eliminates the risk of people experiencing problems and discomfort due to metal allergies, which is not uncommon when dealing with traditional clip-on styles.❤️

Instead of having metal clip-ons, invisible clip-ons are usually made of either resin or clear acrylic. These materials can easily be adjusted for your comfort. Invisible clip-ons work with various styles of earrings without losing shape. They are also lightweight and very comfortable, which makes them a great choice for clip-on earrings for girls.

Sliding Spring Earrings

Sliding earrings allow people without ear piercings to wear popular earring designs like clip-on hoop earrings. This makes them the ideal clip-on earrings for women.

Slide spring earrings are designed to make the wearer look as if they are wearing normal pierced earrings. They are a good option for things like clip-on wedding earrings.

With them, you are able to slide the back of the earring from the front to adjust it to fit your ear. Sliding spring earrings work well with lightweight clip-on hoop earrings. They are also more easily adjustable than conventional hinge earrings.

The spring design is able to accommodate all ear shapes. That said, most of them are made of metal. ⚠️Therefore, it is important to keep this in mind when shopping for them in case you are sensitive to any particular metals.

Ear Cuffs

Ear cuffs are another relatively new trend that has increasingly become popular in recent years. They allow the wearer to get the look of having multiple piercings without having to actually get the piercings.

With them, you can have stacks of clip-on earrings on your earlobes. In this way, ear cuffs are some of the most versatile earrings. They are available in different styles ranging from vintage clip-on earrings to even clip-on chandelier earrings, and they can be adjusted with ease.

Ear cuffs are also available in various sizes to accommodate ears of all sizes. This makes them good options for clip-on earrings for kids.

Mini-Clip Earrings

Mini-clip earrings are similar to normal-sized clip-on earrings in design. They have a tension bar that holds a wedge-shaped hinge in place.

These earrings are a great choice for people looking for subtle earrings or people who have small earlobes. Mini-clips are very common on dangle clip-on earrings or clip-on stud earrings. They are also popular for their lightweight and are preferred by young girls who wear clip-ons.

Mini-Clip Earrings With Cubic Zirconia in Rose Gold
Photo: Claire's

Mini-clips, however, are not made to be used with heavy earring designs. They are also not easily adjustable, especially when compared with other clip-on designs.

Mini-clip earrings also make good clip-on earrings for men.

FAQ about clip-on earrings

You might be considering a pair of clip-on earrings, but have a couple of questions first. We’re here to answer the most common questions about clip-on earrings, so you can decide whether they are right for you.

Are clip-on earrings comfortable?

Clip-on earrings are designed with comfort in mind. People buy them because of the comfort they provide. When used correctly, they can be extremely comfortable.

The comfort of clip-on earrings also depends on their design. There are designs that are more comfortable than others. Good clip-on earrings are supposed to apply some pressure as they attach to your earlobes. This pressure, however, should be just enough for attachment and not cause the wearer discomfort.

⚠️If your clip-on earrings are uncomfortable or painful, try adjusting them to see if the problem was with your adjusting. If the pain persists, you should consider trying another type of clip-on earrings.

Do clip-on earrings fall?

Just like any other non-pierce earrings, clip-on earrings can fall. However, most of them will only fall because of intense movement or direct impact.

Another reason why clip-on earrings may fall is because of poor design. The screw-back, hinge, or spring may be poorly designed, causing the earring to fall.

They can also fall because they are too heavy. With every sudden movement, they may loosen the grip on your earlobes and eventually fall.

Finally, if your earrings are poorly maintained, they’ll wear out faster. The mechanisms that help keep the earring attached to your ear will get weaker, and with time, your earring might fall.

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Where to buy clip-on earrings?

Clip-on earrings are quite popular and can be found in almost every jewelry store. They are also available at a wide range of price points.

Prices will vary depending on the quality and the material used to make the earring. Chanel clip-on earrings and many clip-on earring items on Etsy are examples of good-quality clip-on earrings that you can look into.

What are the pros and cons of clip-on earrings?

As with all styles of earrings, clip-ons do have their negative points, as well as positive points. Let’s take a look at some of these:


  • Clip-on earrings are very easy to put on and remove. This makes them very convenient especially when you are in a hurry.
  • Clip-on earrings, as well as other non-piercing earrings, do not require you to pierce your ears. Therefore, you won’t have to experience the pain involved with piercing your ears. Non-pierced earrings greatly reduce the chances of you having allergic reactions or getting an infection due to the ear piercing.
  • Pierced earrings can be used by people of all ages. They can be worn by both kids and old people who are not ready to have their ears pierced.
  • Clip-on earrings are also readily available and can be easily found in stores all over. You do not have to pierce your ears first to get them. You can just get into a store buy them and wear them.


  • Clip-on earrings can be snatched from the wearer’s ears. Having valuable earrings such as gold clip-on earrings snatched can be a rather expensive loss.😥
  • With clip-on earrings, there is a weight limit. Pierced earrings can support larger and heavier earrings than non-pierced earrings. Heavy clip-on earrings are more likely to be uncomfortable and are more susceptible to falling.
  • There are various methods on how to make clip-on earrings comfortable. However, for people with very sensitive ears, even the lightest clip-on may be uncomfortable or even painful.
  • Buying expensive clip-on earrings is risky, especially since you can accidentally lose them when they fall. 

Bonus tips: How to choose the right clip-on earrings?

There are several factors that should be considered before buying clip-on earrings.

  • The first thing to consider is your skin sensitivity. People of different ages have different skin sensitivity. As you get older, your skin weakens and you become more sensitive to some materials. 💡If you notice a reaction to your clip-ons, try earrings whose clip-ons are made of resin, acrylic, or other inert materials.
  • You should also consider the weight of the earrings. Don’t get clip-on earrings that are too heavy as they’ll be more uncomfortable and more likely to fall.
  • You should also look at the value of the earrings. Some sterling silver clip-on earrings, gold clip-on earrings, and clip-on earrings made of precious gemstones such as diamonds can be very expensive. Weigh your options carefully before getting such earrings.
  • You should also consider the occasion before getting clip-on earrings. It is not recommended to put on clip-on earrings right before moving around a lot, for example during an exercise session. Doing so makes them more likely to fall.

Final Thoughts

Clip-on earrings are versatile earrings that can be worn by both kids and adults. They are a much safer option than pierced earrings. With them, you get to look stylish without having to pierce your ears.

Although they may have some drawbacks, a good pair of clip-on earrings that are well taken care of will serve you well for years.

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