What Is an Orbital Ear Piercing? And What to Expect

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Piercing fanatics usually consider two key factors before getting a piercing – aesthetics and healing time. The orbital piercing checks both criteria amazingly well. Although it’s two holes, it’s not as painful as most piercings and heals quickly. So, if you’re looking for a new cute and edgy ear piercing, the orbital piercing is your best bet! But before you take the plunge, there’s a lot you need to know. So, let’s dive in. 

What is an orbital ear piercing?

ear with an orbital piercing - What Is an Orbital Ear Piercing? And What to Expect


An orbital ear piercing features two holes connected by one piece of jewelry. One can easily confuse it with an industrial piercing, but instead of a bar, the orbital uses a tiny hoop. The piercings are vertical, so only one side of the hoop is visible.

Orbital piercings are typically located on the helix but can also be positioned in other parts of the ear. If you already have a single ear piercing, you can consider turning it into an orbital by adding another hole next to it.

What is the difference between an orbital piercing and a conch piercing?

The main difference between an orbital piercing and a conch piercing is the number of holes. A conch piercing has only one hole, while an orbital piercing has two holes. 

So you can wear a stud or a hoop with a conch piercing. However, with an orbital piercing, you can only wear a hoop that connects both holes. 

A combination of both piercings is an orbital conch piercing which requires two holes in the conch. 

Getting an orbital piercing

orbital piercing


Getting two piercings at once might seem scary, but it shouldn’t be. An orbital piercing heals quicker, hurts less, and is still one of the unique piercings out there. However, you should know a few things before getting one. 

How much does it cost to get an orbital piercing?

Orbital piercing costs can vary based on your location and the piercing shop. However, most places charge around $30 (without the jewelry). With jewelry included, the metal type will influence the overall cost of your piercing. So, if you’re planning on getting a gold hoop, it can be quite pricey compared to other affordable metals like surgical steel. 

How painful is the orbital piercing?

The pain level depends on the placement of the orbital piercing. If it’s in the lobe or helix, the pain will rate 4.5-5 out of 10 on the pain scale. The cartilage in the helix is thinner, so it won’t hurt as much as other cartilage piercings. However, if you’re getting it done on both ears in one sitting, the pain in both ears will add up. 

What size earrings should you use for an orbital piercing?

earrings for an orbital piercing


Orbital piercing jewelry size is usually 16g (1.291mm) or 14g (1.628mm).

Care and healing

Although orbital piercings heal quickly, it’s still important to care for your new piercing properly to avoid infection or discomfort. 

How long until I can change my orbital piercing?

It’s essential to wait until your piercing is fully healed before you change your jewelry. An orbital piercing takes 8 to 10 weeks to heal completely. That means you’ll need to keep the original jewelry in for at least a few months. 

Are orbital piercings hard to heal?

No. Orbital piercings don’t require special care and heal quickly. Also, the jewelry is snug on the ear – it doesn’t dangle or stick out. So, there’s a low possibility of it snagging clothing or hair. 

How to care for a new orbital piercing

Here are a few essential tips to care for your orbital piercing:

  • Ensure that you clean your new piercing at least once, if not twice a day. 
  • Avoid touching the piercing as much as possible. If necessary, wash your hands thoroughly beforehand. 
  • Clean your piercing with a saline solution by mixing lukewarm water with sea salt. 
  • Clean off any crust on the piercing. Avoid using your hands; use a soft cotton ball or Q-tip. 
  • Avoid using over-the-ear headphones or other objects that could rub or irritate the skin. 

💡 Take Note: If your piercing swells for more than two weeks, oozes fluid, or bleeds, visit your piercer or see a doctor.

Frequently asked questions 

It’s normal to have a bunch of questions before getting a new piercing. We’re answering questions people usually ask. 

What kind of jewelry can I wear for orbital piercings?

orbital piercing with hoop earrings


The jewelry of choice for an orbital piercing is a hoop. However, you don’t have to settle for a plain hoop. You can experiment with stones like diamonds, opals, or a metal ball in the middle of the hoop. If you’re a bit extra, consider hoops with chains that give them character. 

Can I sleep on my new orbital piercing?

Avoid sleeping on your new piercing until it’s completely healed. Sleeping with a travel pillow is best as it has a hole in the middle and will not pressure your new piercing.

How many types of orbital piercings are there?

There are multiple types of orbital piercings. It depends on where it’s placed on your ear. For example, there’s the helix orbital, anti-helix orbital, conch orbital, tragus orbital (if your tragus is big enough) and so on.

Ready for your orbital piercing? 

What’s not to love about the orbital piercing? It’s distinctive and quirky, heals fast and hurts just a bit. Remember to visit a professional piercer to avoid infections or a poorly done piercing. If you’re still on the fence, look at our ear piercings guide to weigh your options. 

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