Helix vs Conch Piercing: Which One Should I Get?

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Helix and conch piercings are cartilage ear piercings that give you an edgy look. This can make choosing one of them a difficult decision. 

However, more information on these piercing types can make your decision-making easier. In this ear piercing guide, we’ll look at helix vs conch piercing; how they compare.

What is a helix piercing? 

Helix piercing - Helix vs Conch Piercing: Which One Should I Get?


A helix piercing is located on the upper cartilage of your ear. There are different types of helix piercings based on their specific position.

Standard helix

Standard helix piercing


A standard helix piercing is made on the outer upper cartilage of the ear.

Forward helix  

Forward Helix piercing


A forward helix piercing is the piercing on the inner upper region of your ear, the part closest to your face. 

Double helix 

Double Helix piercing


A double helix piercing is the piercing of two holes in the upper cartilage of your ear. The holes are arranged vertically and can either have a standard or forward placement.

Triple helix 

Triple Helix piercing


A triple helix piercing is the piercing of three holes in the upper cartilage of your ear. The holes are arranged vertically and can either have a standard or forward placement.

What is a conch piercing?

Conch piercing - Helix vs Conch Piercing: Which One Should I Get?


A conch piercing is a cartilage piercing in the middle of your ear, close to your ear canal. It derives its name from the anatomical name for that part of the ear. 

The structure of your ear determines whether you can get a conch piercing and which type to get.

Inner conch piercing 

Inner Conch piercing


An inner conch piercing is close to the ear canal and is typically jeweled with a stud.

Outer conch piercing

Outer conch piercing


An outer conch piercing is close to the curved cartilage area, known as the anti-helix. It’s perfect for hoops

Multiple conch piercing

Multiple conch piercing


You can also have a double conch piercing if your ear has adequate space. If you want to get a double piercing, speak to your piercer before they position the first one. It’s advisable to get one at a time. 

Helix vs conch piercings: How they compare

Let’s look at how these two types of ear piercings compare.

Piercing pain

Helix and conch piercings are cartilage piercings, typically more painful than lobe piercings. Even though we all have different pain thresholds, both piercings have a similar pain level of 6. 

However, a helix piercing may be less painful, especially if it’s on a thinner part of the cartilage. 

Healing Time

A helix piercing can take three to six months to heal. The cartilage in this area is typically thinner than that of the conch piercing. A conch piercing can take three to nine months to heal.

Generally, your healing time depends on the aftercare and your overall health. Both helix and conch longer to heal than lobe piercings because they go through the cartilage.

Piercing Pairings 

Helix and conch piercings pair well with other piercings for a simple or bold look.

The best pairings for helix piercings include triple lobe, rook, tragus, daith, and conch piercings. For a conch piercing, the best pairings are with multiple lobes, tragus, and helix piercings. 

It may look unsightly to pair an industrial piercing with multiple helix piercings. Likewise, an inner conch piercing and a daith piercing may give a crowded look if your ear structure doesn’t have enough flat space. 


Since they are cartilage piercings, helix and conch piercings have the same average starting price of about $30. 

However, the price will increase if you get a double or triple helix piercing or a multiple conch piercing. The cost will also depend on your location and the type of jewelry you choose. 

💡 Pro-Tip: A reputable piercer and quality jewelry may cost more, but it’s worth it in the long run. 


You can wear different kinds of jewelry on standard helix piercings. 

A conch piercing is shielded from accidental tugs, which typically slow the healing process. Some people with the conch piercing have reported that it has helped with migraine and anxiety, although there’s no scientific evidence to back up these claims. 

Frequently asked questions

You likely still have questions, so we’ve answered the most common questions concerning helix vs conch piercing.

Can you wear Airpods with a conch piercing?

Yes, you can wear AirPods with a conch piercing, but only when your piercing is fully healed, or else you risk irritating your piercing. 

Can you sleep on conch piercing?

You should not sleep on a conch piercing before it’s fully healed. Sleeping on it too early can irritate your piercing and lengthen the healing period. 

What piercing looks good with a conch?

With a conch piercing, forward helix, tragus, and double helix with rings look good.

Can you ever sleep on a helix piercing?

Yes, you can only sleep on a helix piercing when it’s fully healed. If you sleep on it before healing completely, you risk irritating it and delaying the healing process. It might also cause rejection.

Helix vs conch piercing: Which should you choose? 

Helix and conch piercings are great options for an edgy look. They have many similarities, so it might be challenging to choose one. However, you might prefer one over the other for a few reasons.

Wearing headsets

If you love wearing headsets or have a job that requires them, choose a conch piercing. It will still put pressure on your ear, but not as much as a helix piercing – especially when it’s fresh. Also, your jewelry might get caught in the headphone, depending on the type. 

Wearing earphones

On the other hand, you can wear earphones with a helix piercing. It’s on the upper part of the ear, so the earphones won’t affect it.  

Wearing eyeglasses

While putting on your glasses, you might hurt both these piercings, especially the helix. Or the glasses might pull your hoops if you aren’t careful. 

It’s advisable to wear your glasses before your piercing so your piercer can mark a suitable placement. You may also need to wear contact lenses during the healing period.

Jewelry Types

If you like flat back studs and barbells, get a conch piercing, as that’s the ideal jewelry for them. If you prefer hoops, go with helix piercings. 

The Battle of Piercings 

Whether you choose to get a helix or a conch piercing, one sure thing is that you’ll get an edgy look. For both piercings, there are a few variations for placement, so you can choose the one you like best.

Rather than helix vs conch piercing, get both since they look good together. However, don’t get them done at the same time. Even if you plan on getting them on both ears, make it one ear at a time so you can sleep on one side without issues. 

Remember that cartilage piercings heal slowly, and your aftercare is the key to a smooth healing process.

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