The 22 Most Popular Types of Earrings You Should Know

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Earrings are one of the most famous jewelry pieces. The right earring can take an outfit from boring to elegant or glamorous. Are you curious about the types of earrings that exist? We’re spotlighting 22 of the most common ones and seven earring back styles you should know.

22 Different Types of Earrings to Choose From

It’s hard to make choices, but it’s even harder when you don’t know all your options. Here are 22 different types of earring styles to broaden your horizon.


stud earrings - types of earrings

Stud earrings are small, minimalist earrings. They are composed of a single stick attached to a post and secured by a backing. This stick can be made from plain metal or have attached gems. They are ideal earrings options for men or women who want to include subtle jewelry pieces in their dress codes.


hoop earrings - types of earrings

Hoop earrings are typically circular bands of gold, silver, or other metal. They range in sizes from simple and small to elaborate and chunky. Even though the classic shape is circular, hoops can come in ovals, diamonds, and star shapes. No matter what they look like, hoops are a classy piece of jewelry and elegant addition to your collection.


Huggie earrings - types of earrings

Huggies are a smaller hoop style that stays close to the earlobe. The name comes from how they sit close to and “hug” the earlobe rather than hang low. Besides the closeness to the earlobe, these earrings are also chunkier than standard hoops and sometimes come adorned with small gems. Aside from being an ideal casual jewelry piece, they are also comfortable sleeper earrings.

You may also find our list of huggie earrings for babies useful the next time you need earrings for your little one.



Unlike regular hoops, which form closed shapes, C-hoops are C-shaped and held in place with studs. If you fancy the circular shape of hoops but want something different from a full hoop, these are an excellent alternative. They come in various styles and sizes and are sophisticated and unique.

Chandelier Earrings

chandelier earrings

Chandelier earrings look like the light fixture they’re named after. These earrings come long and ornate, with a tiered arrangement of jewels or beads. The earring is attached to the ears by a hook, stud, or in some cases, clip-on. It’s a fantastic choice if you’re looking for something dramatic and bold.

Tassel Earrings

tassel earrings

Tassel earrings have dangling cords or threads fastened at one end. They come in several different colors and can also be made of metal. In the cases where metal is the instrument, manufacturers use long thin chains. These earrings are lightweight and comfortable to wear.

Dangle Earrings

dangle earrings - types of earrings

Dangle earrings are made to dangle, hanging below the earlobe and moving to-and-fro. The lengths vary, and so do the designs. Some designs involve thin chains with gems, while others include layers or branches.

Drop Earrings

drop earring - types of earrings

Drop earrings are made up of long stems with a gem at the bottom. The design is simple, slim, and elegant, with a diamond, pearl, or another kind of gem at the bottom. Unlike dangle earrings, drop earrings are usually stationary when worn.

Shoulder Duster

shoulder duster

Shoulder dusters come in many designs, but they are characterized by lengths allowing them to graze the shoulders. Long, slender chains can make up these charming earrings, but sometimes, manufacturers use thicker, chunkier pieces with gems or beads.

Teardrop Earrings

teardrop earrings

Teardrop earrings are oval or pear-shaped, like a teardrop. They have similarities to drop earrings but don’t fall nearly as far. The teardrop shape can be entirely metal or a pendant surrounded by smaller gems. It’s a great jewelry choice for conveying unforced elegance.

Straight Barbells

straight barbell earrings

Barbell earrings look like the metal bars used in weightlifting. They have a long metal post, with spheres attached at each end. These simple jewelry come in a wide range of colors and styles, with the typical spheres at the end switched for gemstones.

Circular Barbells

Circular barbells

Also known as horseshoe barbells, circular barbells are a popular piece of jewelry for earrings. They are curved metal posts with spheres at the end and are often used for transverse ear piercings. Though spheres are the standard attachment at the end, you can use other shapes and styles.

Plug Earrings

ear plugs

Plug earrings include both faux plugs and real plugs, which require ear lobe stretching. Fake plugs are similar to straight barbells, having a cylindrical post with detachable discs. When used for earlobe stretching, they come as a thick cylinder with different gauges.

Cluster Earrings

Cluster earrings

Though cluster earrings can come in stud or drop designs, the name refers to the cluster of gems or crystals. Despite how popular they are, gems are not the only options for this jewelry. Sometimes simple pearls or metal balls are used instead.


crawler earrings

Ear crawlers or ear climbers are unique earrings that look like the earring is “crawling” or “climbing” up the ear from the lobe. They are fixed in the lobe and shouldn’t be hidden behind hair or a high collar. You can choose to wear them as a mismatched pair with another earring style in the other ear.

Jacket Earrings

jacket earrings

Jacket earrings embellish a simple stud to give a more glamorous look. The stud sits in front, and you secure it by the more exciting piece at the back. This piece could be a range of designs, from clusters of gems to delicate drops to elaborate dangles.

Ear Cuffs

ear cuffs - type of earrings

For ear cuffs, you don’t require a piercing. Just slip the cuff over the outer part of your ear, giving the appearance of a helix or snug piercing. They can be minimalist with a single circular band or can involve intricate or elaborate designs. It’s a good choice if you’re considering a helix piercing but are unsure of the look.

Threader Earrings

threader earrings

Threader earrings give an appearance of effortless class. They play a twist on regular dangle earrings by having thin, flexible chains which drop through the piercing hole and hang free. If you have multiple piercings, you can thread the chain through the other holes for an additional effect.

Bajoran Earrings

bajoran earrings - types of earrings

Initially a religious ornament worn by Bajorans in Star Trek, the Bajoran earring has grown beyond the fandom. This earring features an earlobe stud attached by a chain to a cuff on the cartilage. Most people wear this style on a single ear (usually the right), just like the traditional fictional Bajorans.

Cross Earrings

Cross earrings - types of earrings

These earrings are in the shape of a cross. They can be designed with studs or have the cross attached to a small hoop. The fastenings also vary, with magnets and clip-ons being used.

Mismatched Earrings

mismatched earrings

You don’t always need to use an identical pair of earrings. You can use different earring styles or purchase a mismatched or asymmetric earring set to create a contrast. With this earring style, you can draw attention to one side of your face or make a variation.

Single Earrings

single earring

For a more stand-out choice, you can go with a single earring. You should pick this earring style to draw more attention to one side of your face or ear over the other. For that reason, select a bold and elaborate earring. This is also popular with men who may prefer to wear a stud in one ear.

Types of Earring Backs You Should Know

It’s impossible to keep your earring on without appropriate closure. That’s where earring backs come in. These simple fixtures are essential in holding your earring on your ear. Even as earrings come in multiple styles, so do earring backs. Here are the various earring back styles.


pushbacks - types of earring backs

Also known as “butterfly” backs, pushbacks are extremely popular. The name comes from the action required to secure the earring in place, a simple push unto it. This earring back style is popular with regular studs and various forms of drop, tassels, and dangle earrings.


screwbacks - types of earring backs

You use screwbacks for earrings with threaded posts. It is a highly secure earring back and, for that reason, is adequate for jewelry for small children and babies. Though it might take some extra time to remove the earring, the risk of losing your earring is low.

Fish Hooks

fish hooks - types of earring backs

These can also be called wire hooks or French hooks. They are hooked metallic wires which usually extend past the lobe long enough not to require additional backing. However, you might use a rubber or metal fastening for extra security in some instances. They are more common with longer earrings, like tassels, dangles, drops, and chandeliers.


leverbacks - types of earring backs

Leverbacks come with a spring-loaded lever that latches to provide a secure fit. These come with a hook that loops through the piercing. You fasten the hook by snapping the lever at the earring base over it. This earring back is popular with longer earrings like dangles, drops, and shoulder dusters.


latchbacks - types of earring backs

If your earring requires you to snap the post in place over a latch, you have a latchback earring back. Hoop earrings and huggies are more likely to have this earring back. As long as you latch the earring post correctly, it will rarely fall off.

Hinged Back

hinged backed earring back

Hinged backs are also known as saddlebacks. They come with a hinged post that snaps onto a groove at the back of the earring. This type of back is most common with hoops.


clip ons

Clip-ons are the ideal choice for those without a piercing. This back simply clasps onto the earlobe, keeping the earring in place. The pressure might hurt after some time, but the earring won’t fall off unless there’s a heavy impact or violent movement.

There’s a Style for Everyone!

Earrings offer a fantastic opportunity to add a flash of jewelry to your look. If you’re looking for something simple to shift attention to other aspects of your outfit, try these types of earrings: a stud, huggies, or drop. However, if you wouldn’t mind having eyes drifting to your ears, chandeliers, clusters, or elaborate shoulder dusters are an excellent choice.

No matter what you desire, several types of earrings exist to meet it.

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